Saturday, June 30, 2007

Brad Walker: Welcome to the Symmetry

Brad Walker (do a Google image search-- there are lots of Brad Walkers out there) has been up to his old hi-jinks and has some interesting things for you to check out. The first is his most recent album. He records under the moniker Some Monastery and the new album is by far the most mature, and cohesive record so far. This is also the 16th album in 6 years so there's a lot to compare it to, and there's been a lot in terms of varying quality over the years.

On the album's page on his website (which has a beautiful flash animation of images similar to the cover), Brad writes that the album was influenced by Thurston Moore's solo album "Psychic Hearts" and you can hear it in the tunings for the songs and in the tone of instrumentation. Brad also channels Kim Gordon quite a bit on this album and knowing that he is one of the rare male rockers who listens to more music made by women than men, this makes sense and makes the music that much more appealing. With that said, the songs are idiosyncratic enough to not be a complete rip-off of Moore's album and works as more of an homage. Brad has always been up front about his influences (2005's Plagiarism et al. is a covers record) and this helps in a world of people trying to convince you that they are the real deal, tres unique, that on the day they were born the mould was broken and the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true.

Brad's lyrics have always been a good mystery. Reading them over them while listening, I wonder who this person is that wrote this music. Each album is a glimpse into the interior world of someone I know really well. With this said, WTtS is more straight forward than past albums. On the track "Lazy Polymer" he sings in a mumble-y whisper rap:
when I saw you last you were jottin' down notes
about your do's and don'ts and that's such a joke
why finish what you start just to say
that you've finished what you've started
And on the high-hat driven (it's kind of like punk disco!) and meta "Monsoon Season", the protagonist is wishing they could confront someone directly, wishing that he could just speak his mind instead of following the protocol of the public sphere, and being limited by their timidity:
I'd like to be brutally honest
at every second of every waking moment
but I am afraid that it would all be too real
but wouldn't it be nice to be so lucky free
The album has 10 tracks and as seems to be the trend these days, is short and sweet. It clocks in at only 34 minutes-- the right amount of time to make me want more. I'm not sure how you buy the album but you can contact him at or wait until the album is on iTunes where it should be shortly. For now you can go here and listen to samples.

So, if that weren't enough, Brad also has an online zine that he makes called Majuscle. His most recent issue is called A Mess of Pictures and is outtakes from his family's photo albums. For the zine he paired seemingly unrelated images together. It's an interesting example of the filler that is probably in most albums.

And finally, Brad is also the artist with whom I'm doing a yearlong project called SAMETIME 7:15 with.

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