Whew! Just when I thought that there weren’t gonna be any new 45s for me to review this month, Ryan Birkner pops up with the 2nd Carte De Visite record in 6 months! That’s the kind of work schedule I can get behind! You want me to review your record? Release a record! It’s that easy!
This one both builds on & veers from the foundation laid by the first one. It still has those prettily picked & strummed guitars & mumbled vocals that sound like they came from some mid 90’s US lo-fi college-town band that was ripping off some early 90’s UK lo-fi college town band, which is a musical soft spot I will likely never lose, but it adds some spoken word-y-ness, recorded live, which ends while it’s still cool & before it can get annoying (a difficult line to walk!), & some home-recorded messing around that entertains more than self-indulges (another difficult line to walk!). Whether there’s a grand plan behind Carte De Visite or whether it’s just some kid & his friends messing around, I remain firmly on board, & am already looking forward to the next record!
Late 90’s St Charles weirdos Bulb recorded & released a similarly lo-fi, fuck-around-y record, but the times were not right. Or maybe they just couldn’t be bothered. The great 90’s indie rock 45 & zine boom had passed & the world was no longer as welcoming a place for home recorded all-instrumental Pavement/Slint-isms, no matter how charmingly wrought. If you can find a copy of this record, though, it’s a great snapshot of the creativity that comes from suburban indie boredom, & if they play a reunion show (I can’t actually recall if they ever even played A show), I’m there!
Carte De Visite-September 17, 2013
No Bulb(s) online, but here’s a Pavement song called Drunks With Guns. Bulb were along these lines…