Monday, April 12, 2010

7": Alex Bleeker These Days

"Never Going Back to School"
Group Tightener are on point again with their latest release, a fresh 7" from lead Freak and Real Estate low-end commander Alex Bleeker. While it's oft silly to judge a record by its cover, the cover of the These Days says it all. Suburban Freewheelin'. Both fitting and touching, the cover transports the listener to a place where rock and roll myth and ethos are mere everyday realities. The Q104.3 classics that built the foundation for much of what we call rock and roll are so ingrained in our minds that its often hard to look away and think of a world where they didn't exist. It's clear Bleeker's got them on his mind, as he unabashedly, and unironically, channels the spirit that birthed so much of the music we now take for granted. Listening to "These Days" it's clear that Jackson Browne's original, written for Nico, is a fond touch point. {ED Note: however, Bleeker's version of "These Days" is not a cover. It first appeared on the Underwater Peoples Winter comp.} It's a tune we all know and love. It's part of our collective cultural psyche, yet Bleeker finds a path in the tune that's never been explored, choosing to wander around the edge, while subtly highlighting his influences and idols. The end result; a brand new, completely different, but still familiar tune that plays with the idea of turning off/on our audio memory. "Getting By" is similar and works in its "I swear to God I've heard this before" head scratchery. Harnessing the vibe of Grateful Dead's late career hit (and most identifiable song) "Touch of Grey" and driving it down the same roads the Feelies explored while recording The Good Earth. Playful and introspective, the new Group Tightener release finds Bleeker moving away from the no-frills Freaks LP and carving a niche for himself as a songwriter unafraid of tackling sounds and ideas many would think cliche, turning them into feel good anthems for youths who only heard "Touch of Grey" years after Jerry passed.

Pick it up at Group Tightener.

Alex Bleeker- Getting By


Mark Schoneveld said...

I love how you call him 'low-end commander'. haha

JP said...

awr how reminiscent of bob and suze