Music Review One: Fool's Gold
The album opens with a cantina scene. SURPRISE! It’s a party. For you. Look, they’re bringing a cake, and this is the song they are singing as they shove too-sweet vanilla cake from the box into your mouth, smearing a rainbow of sprinkle-dyed frosting across your face. You wish: I wish I was in a small island country, with moonshine, dominoes, and donkeys. You think: Actually I am at a bar, there aren’t that many attractive men here. At least the music is good. And you retreat back into yourself and start dancing.
Was that you’re first Fool’s Gold experience? That was my fantasy first Fool’s Gold experience. Actually, the first song on the album is called Surprise Hotel, not surprise party. The repetitive gleeful, sincere, shamanistic melodies of their first, debut album will transport you to your favorite birthday party fantasy. You think you understand: I know what he’s singing. He’s singing to me. He’s singing about how I feel. Then you realize he is singing another language. The familiar serenades that you were making up words to continue. You continue to make up words. You start thinking of intricate dance choreographies that will go with the next song: Nadine. But you thought he was singing “love it to be not so” or “love to peanut so.” You know he sings neither, but you nevertheless connect with the music. You wish you wore your full African outfit, headdress and all.
For a moment you think you are having an authentic afro-pop experience. You think, I am at the 1985 Live Aid Concert. This band went on just after U2. You start clapping. Clapping! Such a basal human urge! People have been clapping since the dawn of time. Now you are clapping. And singing. You can’t help it. You don’t know the lyrics, but you sing anyway, or hum, or both. Sing and hum. Yeah. Sometimes they just hum too. A band of hummers. You continue the fantasy that you are at the 1985 Live Aid Concert.
Later in the album, you begin to think: Wait, am I at a the 1985 Live Aid concert, or is this a coke inspired dance floor fantasy that I have concocted in the last 30 minutes as I have been coked out of my mind and dancing my ass off with that not-so-attractive also coked-up sweaty guy I met in the line for the bathroom?
So you once again turn inwards and chant the with the next song: Poseidon. And you dance like you are in the sea, pretending to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid. And you are one with the tides of the ocean....
Today, I was very lucky in the morning to get the new Fool's Gold album straight to my email (I'm such a bad blog writer, I don't even know what it's called- maybe they haven't named it yet?).
Anyways, if you didn't have the pleasure of watching FG for weeks on end at their residency at the Echo in LA last April, please note the greatness of the band called Fool's Gold. Conjuring the spirit of David Byrne impersonating the best of Fela Kuti and other Afro-pop All Stars, this gay group of gentlemen (and one lady) enthuse audiences time after time (I literally think I've seen them play about 14 times and I still enjoy the show in a genuine "I'm having a lot of fun" sense...). They have a few wonderful wonderful songs, perfect for dancing, cleaning, working, driving, partying, flipping pancakes, or any other more elaborate fantasy that you may want to conjure up.
Luke Top sings in Hebrew, which is totally hot– in general, guys singing in other languages is hot– and everyone else who plays in the band emulates the "way-groovy", good vibes. The best thing about this band is that it is so large (oscillating between 8 and 12 people) that it will inevitably remain a party band. Though much of the essence of Fool's Gold is the gimmick (that's why they're called Fool's Gold, right?)– the mysterious Hebrew lyrics – the Talking Heads circa Tom Tom Club super-party vibe – the classic beats of Afro-pop – the appeal of cute hipster boys playing world music in linen suites – the music remains very catchy and a great pick. Fave tracks: Nadine, Poseidon.
Unfortunately, the only song for MP3 download on the web is the previously linked surprise hotel, which I like, but is not my favorite, favorite, but since I don't want to poach sales, I won't post any more. Perhaps they will post more on their myspace. Album set to release September....