From my press release info sheet on Blitzen Trapper:
â€œThe album was recorded and arranged by the band themselves, using a dizzying variety of techniques and media, including a secret process learned from friendly extraterrestrialsâ€
It is the year 2000, and apt for such a spacey sounding year that happens to be at the turn of a millennium, some aliens came to visit Earth. The Country Bear Jamboree were the first â€œbeingsâ€ to come in contact with these friendly, and clearly super-intelligent, extra-terrestrials. These aliens took the Country Bear Jamboree to be representatives of humanity, and in turn, took humanity to be very stupid. Then again, they were the ones trying to talk to animatronic bears. Nevertheless, “humanityâ€™s” seemingly irrational predilection towards doing the same things, saying the same things, and playing the same bad music over and over and over again was something that baffled these visitors. They wanted to show “humanity” the benefits of doing something different for a change. It took a while, but these aliens, through the wisdom they bestowed, transformed “humanity” into real men. The Country Bears were no longer limited the incipient patterns that fell out of their mouths and clanged out of their instruments, but could now think and act as rational beings that do get bored from time to time, and as such, be interesting creatures that explore new possibilities, change things up. The Country Bear Jamboree was now to be known as Blitzen Trapper; a band of men, not humanity, as the aliens saw it. Satisfied with themselves, the aliens dusted themselves off and flew away in the flying saucer to continue looking for their flying cup that got lost somewhere in the Milky Way.
Blitzen Trapper took the teachings of these aliens to heart and produced 3 albums, Wild Mountain Nation being latest one of them. Wild Mountain Nation is an album that certainly keeps to the aliensâ€™ precept of â€œChange Things Up.â€ The sound of the album never gets stale as it is constantly changing. Not one track on the album can be confused with another, for each one is distinct, so distinct that I wonder if it isnâ€™t another band playing from track to track. Iâ€™m sure that thatâ€™s not the case though, because through all of the otherworldly wisdom, I can still hear the herky-jerky animated energy of the animatronic Country Bears creaking through the album.
Blitzen Trapper did not let themselves become over-refined by cutting themselves off from their deepest and most erratic roots. They still feed a sporadically mechanical energy up and down and over and into their music, a little bit of â€œhumanityâ€ that the extra-terrestrials did not erase. This spasmodic energy unites all of the music in the album, but at the same time diversifies it by constantly changing things up from song to song. Only something with such raw energy like Blitzen Trapper could make the musical and stylistic leaps from song to song made in Wild Mountain Nation. In this respect, the Country Bearsâ€™ quick and scruffy and occasionally creepy aura allows the aliensâ€™ teachings to exist on a plane never thought possible by any alien creature, for they do not have the â€œhumanityâ€ of the Blitzen Trapperâ€™s eclectic electric energy.
This is, of course, a theory.
Beck – One Foot in the Grave
Wilco – A.M.
The Shaky Hands – The Shaky Hands