Solidly recorded, exquisitely lyrical folk music from Jeff Mangum, produced in Denver by Robert Schneider (of the Apples in Stereo). Although Jeff still writes all the songs, the arrangements here have more of a band feel than his previous full-length, On Avery Island. The central guitar/vocal axis is hung at various points with organ, singing saw, flugelhorn, bowed banjo, and a whole stable of other instrumental esoteria. Jeff does a good job mixing pretty melodies with his own distinctive vocabulary. It's not every songwriter who will get you singing "semen stains the mountaintops" as you walk down the street. (Merge, PO Box 1235, Chapel Hill, NC 27514)
"Jazz Mesopotamia", "Ice Cues", "Fling" b/w "Hepzibah, If a Girl", "The Intellectual Head Nod" 7" single
by Bob Toevs
Using no more than 8 tracks (songs 1 & 3 were recorded on 4), Virginia Creeper doles out competent jangly pop with increasing/decreasing dynamics to liven it up a bit. A deadpan vocal style cuts...