Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Capstan Shafts | Fixation Protocols

Here's a first for The Capstan Shafts (aka Dean Wells)...his new album Fixation Protocols got a "Clean" logo on the iTunes music store. It has to be a mistake. Not because Wells drops f-bombs regularly in his songs but because the "Clean" label indicates that a different version has been recorded with cleaned-up lyrics. Considering that the reigning king of lo-fi barely completes one take of some of his songs, the idea of him going back and re-recording a "Clean" version is kind of comical.

As for the music itself, it picks up right where his previous 17 some-odd albums left off...the thoughts and emotions of Dean Wells wrapped into minute-long lo-fi pop gems. The most noticeable change is the addition of some simple keys to the background of a few songs. Otherwise, you get another 22 songs that make your head bop up and down and an expansion of your vocabulary with words such as monometallists and cenozoic making their way into song titles. In fact, while looking up those words on the internet, I also learned that "fixation protocols" is a scientific term relating to tissue culture cells.

By the way, The Capstan Shafts have blown past Sufjan Stevens, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, The Mountain Goats, Yo La Tengo, The National and The New Year to grab the top slot on my Last.FM "Overall Top Artists" chart. Yes, some of that is due to the short song lengths but even if you were to divide the number of listens by three to compensate for the different song lengths, they'd still be in my top five most listened to artists. Considering I had never heard of them before last October and my Last.FM account has been active since April 2005, I've been spending a lot of time dialing up Wells tunes.

Lastly, for folks in NYC, Wells will be performing at The Knitting Factory on Thursday, August 28 at 8pm. Also on the bill will be Get Him Eat Him which has cover Capstan Shafts songs in the past. Tickets are available here ($10).

The Capstan Shafts | Eyeliner Skywriting etc. | Buy

The Capstan Shafts | A Heart that Never Flies | Buy

The Capstan Shafts | Boy to Take You Nowhere | Buy


Anonymous said...

Capstan Shafts is playing the next night (the 29th) at Glasslands gallery in Brooklyn as well.

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