Before we begin, I would like to point out that this review is completely absurd. You should know it’s absurd and completely unnecessary. You should know that the music it discusses is also completely absurd and silly.
But, most importantly, you should know that, due to an oppressively absurd job and a solid week of rain, I have listened to this album and have found, or believe I have found, something intelligent and important. Or maybe I think it’s intelligent, when, in reality, it is some stale or half-baked truth that exists in the collective consciousness of 20-something college grads or Americans in general.
But most likely, this is just some pseudo-intellectual masturbation all over a quirky little bedroom-pop-band. Anyway, The Endless Bummer’s album “Modern American Calypsos for Voice and Computer” is a charming album that you should listen to alone.
The Endless Bummer is just David B. and Natalie S. and a computer that produces 8 bit music that is distinctly calypso. As the computer beeps, boops and crunches, David and Natalie sing pleasant little tunes that are similar in style and structure of traditional calypso with more modern American subject matters such as hipster girls, Wednesday nights, municipal participation and baseball. It’s cute. It’s fun. It’s totally quirky. But, if you’ll indulge me, I don’t really feel comfortable leaving this album to be just another quirky pile of bullshit.
Music, as I see it, is a visceral art form that inspires visceral experiences. I see you kids listening to all your electronic-house-dub-trance and you aren’t thinking. You’re feeling the music, coked out on ecstasy and just dancing, expressing some sort of sexuality that will always terrify me. Same thing goes for calypso and every other genre of music ever created ever.
But I am going to stand here and tell you that The Endless Bummer transcends (or tries to transcend) or tricks me into thinking that it transcends the primeval emotional tempest that is only human. Instead, like an educational album for children, “Modern American Calypsos for Voice and Computer” shells out information about various cultures that we as Americans have persecuted, felt bad about persecuting, pretended to learn about and care for and, in turn, bastardized.
Ok, this is getting ridiculous for a 500-word music review for a college newspaper. Does it make any sense? Can you follow my argument? Or am I so incompetent after hours of inadvertently inhaling Comet brand toilet cleanser that I can’t write a cohesive and relevant review for some pop album?
It really is a fun little album. One of my friends told me a story about how he got a school bus full of children to sing “Boring but Beautiful” on a field trip. It’s that simple and fun.
But the majority of the songs are about some indigenous or sovereign peoples and the ways in which they are relevant to America. “Itacan of Lakota” and “Nanavut,” for example, pleasantly detail the ways in which we and they must legally view and understand them and us.
Possibly the most blatant self-aware, absurdist view of America and its international role is “Baseball in China.” Essentially, the song (I would like to believe) argues that the only thing that America has to contribute to the world is it’s comically important national pastime (See “The Great American Novel” by Philip Roth).
But this is all ridiculous. It’s a cute album for hipsters. It’s silly. The band even thinks so. The second half of the album is just the first half, except as if played off a tape recorder in a puddle of rain water. Why would you do that if you wanted people to take you seriously? I guess, the best piece of advice this album has to offer is to “make the most of your life, go out on a Wednesday night.” Maybe that’ll help?