Sunday, September 14, 2008

Moonshine and Banjos

What better time to reflect about life than Sunday? As we put our inherent pessimism on the shelf next to that mason jar with grandpa's own mountain dew swishin' around inside, let us remember to celebrate our lives as we celebrate our art, for they are one and the same. And if art does imitate life, then isn't any reflection of our art a reflection of the best parts of ourselves? Of our own flawed existence? Good question, right? So just open your hymn books and follow along. . .

The Second Gleam is the latest release from North Carolina natives, The Avett Brothers. Some may have forgotten about this lost gem as it lingers in the shadow of their upcoming major-label debut, but The Second Gleam casts a glow all its own.

The Second Gleam may lack the ferociousness associated with some of the groups other work, but makes up for it with sheer sentimentality. The slow, melodic numbers are the perfect soundtrack for an evening down by the river with the girl that you love. And if you wished your little gal would move just a little bit closer, heartfelt songs like “Bella Donna” will be the best argument made for her to wiggle closer until the distance between the two of you is nonexistent.

The fan favorite here, of course, is “Murder in the City”. “Murder” perhaps does best to summarize the masculine sentimentality that the Avett’s are known for. It goes to show that the Avett’s dedication to love is not pigeon-holed to romantic entanglements, and that their devotion to family is the strongest tie that binds. This is a sentiment that anyone can get behind (not just your ‘little gal down by the river’), and a driving force behind what has made this trio so successful.

Natives of North Carolina have been long devoted to the musical stylizing of the Avetts, and are more than a tad bit anxious to see their leap from hometown wonders to national celebrities. The group is currently working with legendary producer Rick Rubin for their still untitled upcoming album. This will be the groups first with a major label, Rubin’s own American Recordings. Rubin draws his fame from groundbreaking work with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty and the late Johnny Cash. The two musical entities draw on a similar style of minimalism that owes more to base melodies and inventiveness rather than simplicity. Novices and audiophiles alike will surely be clamoring to get their hands on a copy of this.

But if you’re still more concerned with getting your hands on your ‘little gal down by the river’, then just push play on the Second Gleam and let the Avetts serenade her into a state of bliss. As the river sways lazily by the silhouette of you and your gal sitting on the hood of your truck, try to think of the moonshine and the banjos, because if you listen too closely to this wonderful record you might get teary-eyed as well.

1 comment:

Prince Gomolvilas said...

Rick Rubin made me almost want to fuck the Dixie Chicks (almost). I will buy his endorsement any day.