Our man, Craig, is obviously stretching himself on each new release.
Stripper Music opens with a lovely, soothing keyboard instrumental that I could almost call "new-agey" (but I won't). The second track, "Nothing to Do with What Happened," is a highlight, with lyrics that are by turns serious, clever, and quirky. And his remix ("remixxx") of mk12's "The Heat of the Ninja" is a stunning foray into sound effects and overdubs, the like of which I have not heard from the usually "lo-fi" Moorhead.
Another stunner is his cover of Neutral Milk Hotel's song, "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," showing us he is as good an interpreter as he is a songwriter. As a bonus, Craig has included two recordings of his friend, Thomas, taken directly (one assumes) from his answering machine.
Stripper Music is one of those albums that is excellent for listening to at work. You can pay attention to it, or, if your mind is needed elsewhere, you can just let it wash over you. It's a free download for a limited time (or you can
stream it), so burn yourself an introduction to some of the best (perhaps the only) savant rock coming out of Maryland today.
And then, once you've "discovered" (I won't tell) the indie rock phenomenon that is Craig Moorhead for free, shell out a measly ten bucks (postpaid!) for the lo-fi masterpiece
The Problem w/ Troubles, the album Craig released before
Bold Experiment. Historically speaking,
The Problem w/ Troubles was a huge step in the evolution of Moorheadiana. It contains 21 tracks of genre-jumping creativity unlikely to be found anywhere else. Moorhead covers rock, country, and electronica with equal ease and the transitions are never jarring.
And for someone to go from the acoustic Americana of "Central America" to "It's Exciting to Be Excited," a track that could easily find a place on the
Run Lola Run soundtrack -- and in addition, having two songs ("The Problem w/ Troubles," "The Trouble w/ Problems") that are similar without being redundant -- is an effort truly to be experienced. Although not as polished as his latest efforts, anyone could find something on
The Problem w/ Troubles to call their own (my favorite is "The Lonely Astronaut"), as it is truly an album for everyone.
CRAIG MOORHEAD: The Problem w/ Troubles
Lyrics intertwine, genres change from song to song and the hits keep rockin' out from Craig Moorhead's lo-fi brain. This is savant rock at its finest.
And now for a little history: While reading a review of the Microphones' album
The Glow, Pt. 2 on Pitchfork Media, I saw an ad for a Free Download! (always a draw for me). It was an entire album called
Craig Moorhead's Bold Experiment (by
Craig Moorhead of course--no connection to this site). In this case, you get a lot more than you pay for.
It begins with "Bluebird," which features Mis B singing "Craig is a bluebird in the sky." Frankly, this is a little too close for comfort as I can be a bit of a bluebird sometimes myself, but we won't go into that. In order to avoid the personal connotations I get from the song--and, to read his liner notes, I don't think I'm reading too much into this--I generally skip ahead to my favorite,
"That's Okay," in which he "let[s] the rock and roll take [him] away" and, strangely enough for a man alone with a four-track, includes a horn section(?).
Bold Experiment is straight-ahead guitar rock with a little bass and drums, and some synthesizer for spice. Get a kick out of "The Song That Almost Was But Then Wasn't" and take a look at what could've been, as well as a guitar virtuoso the likes of which I haven't heard since Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." And what kind of secret message is he sending by giving two adjacent songs ("Get Nothing" and "Telescopes") the same running time of four minutes and thirty-six seconds?
In any case, it's no longer available for download, but you can still
buy it. At $8.00, it's a steal, (or if not exactly a "steal," since it costs money, certainly a bargain)!
For those of you who just simply refuse to pay for music, you can either borrow it from the cool people you know or download Moorhead's other one, the shorter and better (not that they're connected)
Stripper Music: The Second E.P.--available until Christmas. (To find out why it's the second E.P., visit his shopping page for a big clue.)
Buy Craig Moorhead's other albums while you're there (like
The Problem with Troubles). Use your credit card (it's not real money, anyway) or PayPal and support independent music by guys named Craig! To paraphrase "Get Nothing," I'm pretty sure these albums are the cure for something.
Click on the links above to purchase any of the items mentioned, or use the search box below to find what you like.
(Or just email me and let me know what you think.)