Replay: Thanksgiving's Thanksgiving (on Thanksgiving...)

Posted by Kells, November 26, 2009 06:30am | Post a Comment
Thanksgiving everyone! It's early (just after six am) and I'm baking apple-cranberry-pecan pie while Thanksgiving's self-titled collection of home recordings emanates quietly from the little boom-box on the kitchen table. Good thing they thought to include a CD inside the oh-so-pretty triple gatefold packaging that houses the gorge three LP set on red, white and blue vinyl that is Thanksgiving's Thanksgiving; for this I give thanks. I can't imagine managing three records and a turntable while trimming pie crust and chopping nuts --- I can't go for that, no, no can do. Still, I count myself grateful for having made an impulse purchase of this gem of an album a few years back, for it has become precious to me. 

I remember picking up my copy at Amoeba San Francisco on something of a whim and a whiff: obviously tangibly beautiful, it was in my hands and pricey but not too much so. The promise of lovely colored wax teased me into buying, along with the notion that I fancied the thing smelling of Elverum, for I was enjoying an all things Phil Elverum boom at the time (it's never really gone away, it ebbs and flows...). I would be a fool to pass it up, or so I thought. Though this crazed logic that plays the feeble minds of those swayed to swooning for pretty records and limited pressings once again held me rapt, I brook no regrets regarding this purchase because the songs are as excellent as the artwork they come packaged with. For this, again, I give thanks.

Drop the needle and the sound of rain builds song after song, here as percussion or there like a bassline, sometimes as an unavoidable background "noise" and other times seemingly manipulated to fit the flow of words, rhythm and overall feeling. No, this is not a holiday record for the whole family to sing along to. It's more like a gentle reminder that rainy days in winter are best spent indoors sound-tracking your log book. The use of drums, or rain on drums perhaps, stands out as an overall highlight on all three records, but most of all on the Fuck the World titled LP of the set. Incidentally, the individual titles of each of the three LPs sort of spell out a basic ode to Thanksgiving the holiday, I feel. Fuck the World, I Am Yours and Welcome Home Human could be perverted title-downwards into any number of enticing three-act holiday-centric scenarios; make a game of it while the bird, or whatever mock you've got, cooks in the oven and you just might have a box-office hit, but I digress. The collection of songs as a whole make for perfect early to midwinter listening on introspective days, like quiet lonely holidays, when mostly muddled or unintelligible lyrics don't matter except when skeins like "god knows I'm grateful to be alive" unravel in cold clarity in concert with the scent of fresh baked apples and cinnamon from the oven.

I don't really know much about Thanksgiving as an ensemble other than "they" are a guy called Adrian Orange (some or most of the time anyway) and a bunch of other folks including but not limited to Phil Elverum (who smells of records, or, strike that and reverse it), and related friends in the K/Marriage/RadRecords etc. family tree. The particular Thanksgiving record on the table, literally, at present is something of an exemplary work for artists associated with or branching from the aforementioned tree because it not only represents a successful attempt at raising the art of private journaling and lo-fi home recording to new appealing levels but also presents it in a fashion that leaves little fat to trim in that there be hardly any filler for fodder to fire in the critical canon. In short, it's a wintery folk record that is, in my kitchen opinion anyway, all good. Thanks!

Relevant Tags

Phil Elverum (3), Thanksgiving (21), Marriage Records (1), Vinyl (200), Home-recording (1), Folk (39), Adrian Orange (1), K Records (1), Winter (9)