Good lord last week was busier than I thought when it came to work, and then when I went home I either had committments or didn’t want to write much or anything. So hurrah for what may or may not be a brief Sunday recharge. Anyway:

So the other day along with some other goods from the fine folks at Time-Lag I had ordered and received the home-made CDR by this couple in Maine called Visitations. And I mean homemade — it’s a blue sorta felty envelope stitched together with red thread, with a small piece of velcro to hold the flap shut and a glue-created “VISITATIONS” slip of clear paperish stuff including with the otherwise unmarked disc itself. And then on the other hand there’s the (in the UK at least) apparently heavily hyped upcoming debut album by Annie, currently floating along through various electronic channels and the new single of whose is discussed on ILM and yet again there.

What connects them? Theoretically nothing, but now that I’m listening to the Annie album, something does — the sense (the illusion?) of something crafted at home for one’s own amusement first and foremost. Both albums in their own distinct way strike me as celebrations of a place and time and state of mind, projected forward to here and now, and enjoyably so. The first thing I thought of when the Annie album fully kicked in was Tom Tom Club, like that slow-and-easy-and-danceable aesthetic from the first album or so was suddenly drop-kicked two decades up with no worries. Not an exact comparison and I’m sure others have made it but that’s what I liked about this album, the more so because I’m actually not the world’s biggest fan of Tom Tom Club anyway (a couple of singles okay but then again Talking Heads in general never lit my fire). But this Annie album, now this is great, I’ll happily be listening to this again down to the handclaps on “The Greatest Hit.” And it has synths and digital beats and really sometimes that’s ALL I will never need, anywhere. It’s so lively.

Visitations, meanwhile, I’m just sorta waiting for someone somewhere to do something like “Hey, a couple who have a band! And they’re sorta halfway affiliated with all that New Weird New England New Folk Newness of the New Sunburned Hand of the Banhart aren’t they?” I really know NOTHING about them so I can’t claim to know what they’ve listened to or what inspirations they have or what they want to do exactly except, well, fill up a CDR with a lot of different songs and compositions and performances that all nicely blend and/or slam into each other, I seem to recall. There were acoustic campfire semijams and droned-out psych-noise of the backwoods variety (some days I think that if Pelt didn’t exist they’d have to be invented from the way that so many people this year have suddenly been talking about that approach) and odd little experiments and the whole thing actually reminds me suddenly of what lo-fi was promising ten years ago but couldn’t deliver on for a damn most of the time, a lot of different things to be done because you could do them and put them out yourself and nobody could stop you, and because I admit I like CDRs more than homemade tapes I have much more sympathy with Visitations’ approach than those of possible forebears.

And they both sound great on late summer afternoons, I found. Very handy.