Night Music: Benjamin Booker, “Violent Shiver”

I happened on this article in the Guardian today about a new generation of blues rock players who say they learned the blues at least in part from listening to Jack White. Like a game of telephone, mistakes are made.

That’s not really what I mean. Each of the three bands talked about in the story combine modern and old sounds in interesting ways. Benjamin Booker stands out to me, because I could see his mix turning into excellent songs. Right now, this one is probably the best, and it has some excellent drumming and interesting bass playing and Booker is pretty laid back about making some fast and pounding noises with his guitar.

He’s got that diffident voice thing going on, which is too bad, but there’s way more good here than bad. It just isn’t fully baked yet. For instance, Paul Schaffer’s organ part is a nice addition.

You should watch the D.D Dumbo clip, in which an Australian named Oliver Perry one-man bands things using loops, playing African guitar styles (which were at least in part derived from African guitarists listening to Lightning Hopkins), making art rock blues that support his arty vocals and more droney/chanty than catchy melodies. But it’s a cool sound that reminds me to listen to that Dirty Projector’s album I like so much (which nails all the vocal-mix-melody-abstraction issues this music is just starting to explore).

4 thoughts on “Night Music: Benjamin Booker, “Violent Shiver”

  1. Can’t figure out who is more pretentious, Oliver Perry or the little band of just-right-looking hipster fans he handpicked to groove to his pretentious song. Lucky I wasn’t driving that big bus that drives past the alley. (The setup is so pretentious too. “We’re just hanging out at this trendy cool little backyard party. Ooh, look, there’s Dumbo playing some pretentious music! Let’s groove! Don’t let your beanie fall off! Or your horn-rimmed glasses!”)

  2. Continuing:

    Beanie Boy – “And we are so hip and aware, appreciating the music of other cultures!”

    Horn-Rim Girl – “Yes. I can feel the plight of all African peoples in this song!”

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