May 24, 2010

The Paparazzi//The Rococo Tape

You’re Being Followed: Monday Mail
What is Monday Mail?

It can be hard for me on Monday when I’m trying to peruse the old Gmail tag “OSS” to decide what to put up here. It’s not that there’s a lack of submissions. On the contrary, I’m totally overwhelmed by all the OSS mail I get. It’s also not that there’s no talent. There’s a lot of talent. It’s just that most of it sounds EXACTLY the same. I mean, really, the same. I find myself mostly just looking for something, anything, different. Please, send me something different. PLEASE. I’m sure you guys are all really nice, but I’ve had my fill of soft-singing indie rock boy singers whispering over acoustic guitars and trebly electrics. ENOUGH with the synthy dance tracks and remixes. With a few VERY VERY special exceptions, if you read this blog, you probably know that I think most of that stuff SUCKS. I want to hear songs that do weird things, that sound different. At very least, I want to hear something with a vision where that vision is fulfilled. Send me hip hop. Send me a track with a female vocalist that’s not cheesy. Send me something in a rare time signature. PLEASE. /end rant.

That said, here's this from the folks over at Serious Business Records:

The Paparazzi is the musical pseudonym of songwriter and rock auteur Erik Paparazzi, who has spent the better part of the past decade as a sideman with Cat Power's Dirty Delta Blues. His new record Rococo, recorded back in 2004, has finally seen in March 2010 thanks to Serious Business. Expect a lush and dreamy ride that harnesses the best moves of several purveyors of lost classics and lost weekends: Brian Wilson, Harry Nilsson, and Todd Rundgren.

Back in 2004 when The Paparazzi was performing regularly as a 7 piece band, they recorded the tracks for what was to become Rococo. But something was missing in the final results, and Erik shelved the record until 2007. On the road with Cat Power, he began remixing it on his laptop and wound up deconstructing many of the original performances and arrangements, sometimes drastically reinventing the songs. In so doing he gave new life to the project, and brought us a sonically stunning and wholly immersive record.

This is one to play through. From the first note to the last, Rococo thrusts listeners into a quasi dream state, conjuring rich images and soundscapes while reveling in pop thrills with enough happy accidents to subvert any hint of predictability.

There’s a lot going on here: a classic rock vibe and the licks to go along with it, a little bit of that indie rock fey aloofness in the vox, a hint of power pop, arrangements that ramble and change and morph. It’s not super crazy, but it is definitely enough. The Paparazzi knows what they’re going for. They got it.

The Rococo Tape.mp3

Popped in the tape deck
Your reddish pink cassette,
You have the voice of a juvenile delinquent.
And that surprised me.

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