Saturday, March 04, 2006

Any musician who has stuck a toe in the chilling waters of a recording studio has felt it - the yearn to make a sonic masterpiece that will become the soundtrack to a thousand lives at least for a half hour or so. And any musician who has put finger to fret or lips to mike in obeyance with the most powerful studio utterance, "rolling," knows that this feat is as easy to pull off as...as...well I can't say because I've never done it! The worst thing about that is when it is achieved it sounds effortless and graceful, about has hard to pull off as a snowflake's journey to earth. But if you've been in that control room only once, you know what wizardy lies beneath. And when a masterpiece arises from the hand of one man in a Wicker Park basement you can only stare in appreciative wonderment.

Devin Davis is that man and "Lonely People of the World, Unite!" is that album. Just listen to the first song from the album, the song Iron Woman and the very first verse:

"it's hard to live in a basement and not get carried away
when you're a caveman on the pavement in the USA
I lie in bed in the headlights staring temporarily stunned
three whole weeks spent throwing matchsticks at the sun."
It doesn't hurt for this listener that Mr. Davis borrows heavily from Mr. Davies, but also that he doesn't sink so deep into the Brit Invasion hit well that it just becomes another hoot album like we hear so much of these days.
This album was picked up by mp3 blogs such as the Of Mirror Eye. It became a favorite of Deathcab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard. Simply by word of mouth and on the basis of its shear goodness, the album has already sold over four thousand copies. Not bad for a bandless basement dweller.
I saw Devin Davis play the Hideout last Wednesday. It was strange to see him at one point standing in the middle of a swelling crowd being touched by kindly fans on all sides. His curious success from the lonely confines of the internet and his basement was clear and wonderful.
Devin did not have a band that night, although he often is well accompanied. For some reason the saxophone, the back up vocals, the lead guitars, all the stuff that make the album so great, well they just weren't missed because the songs are solid and the commitment so obvious.
*image courtesy of Devin's site.

2 comments:

Ramon Medina - LP4 said...

Ok downloaded this album from e-music a while back and loved it but sadly nobody I play it for is as blown away by it as I was.

Glad to see someone else appreciates a primo example of indie-pop.

Kilian said...

I have to admit on first listen several months ago I wasn't too big on it either. It's grown on me.

I've got ProTools and a 1/2" 8trk in my basement studio (sunken monastery) plus lots of other studio toys. It's getting to the point that I have no technical excuses for not making a record as astounding as this one. All the more reason that I appreciate it so much.