Remember Noble Pilcher, the entomologist in The Silence Of The Lambs whom Clarice semi-flirted with amid discussions of deaths’-head moths? I thought of him while playing Share This Place, which is more or less a record about bugs. Wait, it’s not a record, it’s a ‘song cycle.’ Brought to you by Mirah, your basic Jewish lesbian acousti-sprite, and something called Spectratone International, your basic thrumming, forest-foraging Black Cat Orchestra spinoff. Light up your pasty skin, Pilcher, cause when Clarice isn’t catching crooks, she curls up (maybe) with a nice concept album. (About vermin.)
Beloved as she is by chicks in horn-rims, nothing in Mirah’s vaguely interesting oeuvre till now suggested she’d ever write lyrics brought to you by J.Henri Fabre, or any other 19th-century naturalist, for that matter. Although her best song, the reverb-drenched “La Familia” from 2000’s You Think It’s Like This But Really It’s Like This included the line “if we sleep together/would you be my friend forever” which is sort of naturalistic I guess. But here’s Mirah applying typically Ariel-like vocals to the migratory habits of lawn flamingos—wait, that was the title of a one-act a guy wrote in my playwriting class couple years back. Make that the migratory, and mating, habits of insects. Because bugs are people, too.
Truthfully Share This Place: Stories & Observations is the score to a suite of stop-motion films by Britta Johnson. Also truthfully, it’s a big bore. (I know it’s hard to believe.) That’s no knock on stop-motion animation or on orchestral-pop, both of which can stop you in your tracks, but the songs here are dead, dead, dead (you might even say squashed like a bug in the ground). All of them incorporate elements of Middle-earth-style psychedelia with lots of accordion, an instrument my mom knows how to play, incidentally. Garfield and Jon once had a wonderful conversation about the accordion and its inventor (according to the joke) being executed, which prompted something snarky from Garfield about the existence of real justice, after all. At any rate it may be very sweet to postulate about the stress of being an ant, and trot out titles like “Gestation Of The Sacred Beetle” and “Ecdysis” (which is the molting of the cuticula in arthropods, dummy) but my ears seldom have time for sweetness, unless it’s Jimmy Eat World. Share This Place: Stories & Observations is anthropomorphization for people who don’t stop at kissing kitten paws and giving miniature Schnauzers names like Nigel. It’s also for people who go to fairs and form circles around the Andean dudes with their creepy pipes. Maybe it’s for you, but it’s not for me.
J. Henri Fabre – Bramble-Bees And Others
Thomas Harris – The Silence Of The Lambs
Enya – The Memory Of Trees