Califone - All My Friends Are Funeral Singers
- Artist: Califone
- Album: All My Friends Are Funeral Singers
- Label: Dead Oceans
- Year of Release: 2009
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: dscanland on 2010-02-05
You may have noticed that I added Califone's All My Friends are Funeral Singers on my year end list. You may also have noticed that up until now no review existed for this outstanding album. Sometimes it is hard to find the words to write a review for albums that you love so much. You want to do it justice while trying to sell it to future fans. Anyway, Califone is one of those bands who don't seem like they care about fans, or about gaining legions of fans.
Tim Rutilli's Califone is Chicago based, long revered for it's indie rock roots. Then were does a band like Califone fit in? I'm sure their ethics and such fit in quite nicely into the home of Superchunk and other indie greats.
All My Friends opens with a somewhat raunchy track called "Give Away The Bride" and after hearing the song, you can't imagine a better opener. It's raw but deep in delivery. "Polish Girls" follows with more of a rock leaning. One of the best style of songs for Califone is the meandering one. It is a song that doesn't seem like it has a purpose, just sort of drifting between here and there and that's exactly what they pull off on "1928", just before they get into the brilliant title track. I hear a little Richmond Fontaine in the folky "Buñuel".
They get into an old blues-style stomp on "Ape-Like". If you are a fan of Bon Iver then check out "Alice Marble Gray", a gentle track that is very well arranged. The album leaves you on a very tasty note, a song called "Better Angels".
The whole album is premium material. Nothing that could have been trimmed or fleshed out is contained on the album. If you've never bared witness to the wonderful Califone, this is the perfect stepping stone. Work backwards to Roots and Crowns.
Tim has also put together a feature film that will be the same name. It's due at some film festivals later this year.
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