Paleo, Misery, Missouri

Paleo, Misery, Missouri

Dave “Paleo” Strackany’s debt to Neutral Milk Hotel would be far less obvious if not for his ill-advised affectation of Jeff Mangum’s (unaffected) nasal whine. Ironically, it would be far more obvious if Strackany possessed a fraction of Mangum’s talent. Unfortunately, the Elephant Six collective’s influence on Paleo seems to have been limited to a fake folk sensibility, low recording quality, bad singing, and a grating sense of irony. With Misery, Missouri, Strackany has proved himself able to put together a song, arrange it for a small number of instruments, and record it. In an age when anyone can make a record (and seemingly already has), this is no longer an achievement, particularly in a genre, or at least an imitation of a genre (folk) that has a tradition of good songwriting that is so rich as to be itself a topic of good songwriting. Like so many second-rate practicioners of what is called “freak-folk” or “anti-folk,” and unlike its masters, what Strackany hasn’t demonstrated is an understanding of the difference between a song and a good song.

(Future Farmer Recordings -- P.O. Box 225128, San Francisco, CA. 94122; http://www.futurefarmer.com/; Paleo -- http://www.paleo.ws/)
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Review by . Review posted Wednesday, January 17th, 2007. Filed under Reviews.

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