Portraits (cropped).jpg

Portraits

by Pale People

Pale People's second album was recorded in a basement. The band—a "Broadway punk" group, from a small city where bar bands rule—set up underground, guitar amp across the hall facing stairs, producers staring over a mess of electronics, trombone and toy piano ready by the wall, band sweaty and manic, beginning, with gusto, to make an honest-to-Jesus concept album. An album of strange and eccentric characters, framed and mounted. An elderly, demented preacher, for instance. A Tetris prodigy. A young pretty seeker of reality-TV glory. A dead mother; a living father; a bully, fate unknown. An acrobat who drives stupid men to madness. An old woman, dying alone. A young woman, dying alone. The band—three troubled music-students—told these stories in many languages: punk, chamber jazz, loony prog, midnight cabaret. They inflated their music with all the frustrated passion granted the children of "America's Rape Capital" (Missoula, Montana). No music from that place has ever sounded like this. No characters ever anywhere given a voice like this. From lamplight, from wheelchair, from happy-pills and beer, from the other side of the river, out from the underground and into your soft living head. Pale People present: Portraits.

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