The Show Is The Rainbow, The Show Is The Rainbow

The Show Is The Rainbow, The Show Is The Rainbow

That Darren Keen, he’s a wily one. Hailing from Omaha, NE, by way of Lincoln, Keen seems like the only act in Omaha not on Saddle Creek, and he is doing his damndest to make sure you don’t mistake him for one of the litany of Conor Oberst disciples he shares a city with. And it’s a smart move. It’s difficult, I’d imagine, to get noticed in a town when Saddle-Creekers seem to be everywhere, but on The Show Is The Rainbow, Keen screams his way through ten songs, begging you to try and ignore him. You can’t.

On “Up a Creek Without a Saddle,” (which isn’t on this record but is still interesting enough to note), Keen beefs with Oberst in ways that are often hilarious, sometimes even rather silly, but to nit-pick would be to miss the point. Keen is making his mark. One piece of advice, though, Darren: if you want to separate yourself from bands on Saddle Creek, for the love of Pete, stop touring with them. But that’s neither here nor there — on to the record review.

On this self-titled full-length on S.A.F. Records, Keen (the singular man behind The Show is the Rainbow) is trying to get noticed. On “I Am the Decline,” he fretfully shouts (and raps, smooth it out) that he wants to be bigger than Jesus (which might be another jab at Oberst; who, let’s face it, is bigger than Jesus, and why not?), but realizes that, until a major label comes calling, his screams are futile.

“Do the Skinny” laments the fact that girls these days only want to dance with boys who can wear girl’s jeans, while “Safe Art” and “Waiting Not Working” both intelligently address the growing divide between popular music and art, telling us all that art is dying because gas prices are rising. Yeah, this dude’s angry. Or maybe just ironic. I can’t decide. But at just under 30 minutes (for 12 songs! Who the, what the…), The Song Is The Rainbow is a brilliantly catchy dance record that might just make you interested again.

(S.A.F. Records -- P.O. Box 1876, Aptos, CA. 95001; http://www.safrecords.com/; The Show Is The Rainbow -- http://www.theshowistherainbow.com/)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Thursday, August 14th, 2008. Filed under Reviews.

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