Friday, June 03, 2005
  Men (and women) at Work

Architecture in Helsinki: "The Cemetary"

Architecture in Helsinki: "It's 5!"

My reggae outfit just got back from a short tour opening up the new 'hot' band. Their songs are lodged so far into my brain that I feel moved to post them up on the old internet mp3 blog. Hillary, Zig, Rob, Crox, Ice, and especially Crews-- I can't see why you guys wouldn't like them. Dark already likes them. They don't have any blazing guitar solos, so I'm not sure if OJ'll like em (did you actually like the masters?).

In their consistently great reviews, they garner plenty of comparisons to the Fiery Furnaces. The similarity I can see is that I'd catagorize both as indie pop/prog, but other than that I don't see it. AIH works with a much broader palette, and on their new album they try just about everything, as heard on 'Cemetary', the live favorite. They've got eight band members who switch it up like nothing the world has ever seen. On 'Cemetary', the main drummer goes and grabs the main singer's guitar. A guy who primarily play trombone and percussion goes behind the drum kit and turns out to be a better drummer than the regular drummer. The singer goes and plays one of the two keyboards. And then there's another keyboard player, a bass player, a guitar player, a trombone player, and a trumpet player. Other instruments played live are the bongos (sometimes by me when I was too drunk to stay off stage), melodica, clarinet, tuba, glockenspiel, recorder, saxophone and acoustic guitar.

What I think of more than Fiery Furnaces is Smile. If you don't know Smile that well, just think 'Good Vibrations'. Similar to that song, these are cut up into tons of totally different parts using completly different sets of instruments and then seemlessly woven together. 'It'5!' starts off with a vocal a cappella. Then after a few seconds it breaks into the verse, then another type of verse thing, then the chorus, then a bridge, then another bridge. then a stop. then another verse, alternate verse, a different version of the chorus which is drawn out into a horn part into half the second bridge and it's over. Two minutes and 7 seconds.

Finally, a tour story as recounted in an e-mail:

One night the guy that played before us played a cover of 'fly like an eagle', so i was drunkenly inspired to try out a completely random coverand solicited the crowd for requests. someone shouted 'under pressure' so we were going to do it but fucking drew couldn't figure out the two-note bassline and we had to abort the mission. i apologized for our lack of ability to jam. then when architecture played, they looked at me and said "this one's for sean" and played a perfect cover of 'ice ice baby'. they knew all the words and everything. they made us look like dogshit, man. so then we kept talking about a duel between 'big bird' and 'big lord' (the singer of aih and gabe, respectively) on stage. big lord wasn't into it because he thought they'd figure out a way to sabotage us.

we had been having them come on stage with all their trombones and trumpets and shit and play along to 'coupla smokees' to end the set every night. so the last night in seattle i called them up on stage to play it, and they're all standing there with us, ready to jam, and i say into the microphone "the duel ends now" and we break into 'land down under' by men at work. fucking obliterated them. we learned it in the van while they were soundchecking that day.
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