Thursday, November 4, 2010

TVD Previews the next Story/Stereo with Devin Ocampo

Story/Stereo, the brilliant (and free!) convergence of words and music at Bethesda's Writer's Center returns with a new edition tomorrow night (11/5) with readings from Doreen Baingana and Alison Pelegrin and music from Medications' Devin Ocampo.

It's been somewhat of a tradition in advance of these evenings to spend some time with the musicians on the bill. This time around Devin spills the beans on one of his favorite records of all time.

And it's a bit of a surprise.

One of my favorite records of all time is Prefab Sprout's first LP "Swoon." It's a record that I'm almost embarrassed about loving because, at first, it seems comical and dated to those that didn't grow up with it. In some ways, it's a typical 80's over-produced English pop record (which was to be hammered home with the subsequent Thomas Dolby produced records) but to my ears it had punk attitude and swagger.

Mostly because the odd time signatures and unconventional song structures took me by surprise and seemed a middle finger to the average listener. The singer, Paddy McAloon, also had this voice that felt at times uncomfortable, but always cool.

His melodies were anything but normal and the bizarre way he approached vocal dynamics and word play just killed me. The closest comparison for me would be Shudder To Think and I actually think I initially liked Shudder because they sounded kinda like Prefab.

Honestly, most people I play this for don't get it at all and either think it's un-listenable or just way too cheesy. One person who did get it immediately and who has been one of the few that I can share this fascination with is Chad Molter. This record probably informed our music as much as any other and is almost a dirty little secret that we both shared all these years.

Prefab Sprout - Cue Fanfare (Mp3)

Prefab Sprout - Green Isaac I (Mp3)
Prefab Sprout - Couldn't Bear to Be Special (Mp3)
Prefab Sprout - I Never Play Basketball Now (Mp3)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm a HUGE Prefab Sprout fan. Paddy and his crew never received the recognition they deserved. I have all their music and a couple of live bootlegs. Thanks for the post!