CHRIS WEISMAN "Beatleboro"
(OSR Tapes)

Brattleboro VT's Blanche Blanche Blanche is one of my favorite contemporary bands.  They are the duo of singer Sarah Smith and keyboardist Zach Phillips (who also runs OSR).  They play melodically complex but catchy pop songs about relationships and other life-type stuff.  The songwriting on 2wice 2wins is just as good as on their Night People debut, but there has been an enormous upswing in the production and recording quality.  If you haven't looked into these guys yet you're really missing out on one of the freshest new things in sound today.  This is the kind of music that should be enjoyed by way more than the 100 people who could possibly own this cassette.  While the instrumental parts may share some similarities with today's top sounds (who am I kidding? this is like if Frank Zappa or 10cc put out a tape on NNA), the vocals are completely unadorned with all that needless digital gobbledegook so prevalent in today's DIY marketplace.  Don't freak out, that's the sound of a real human voice! Get used to it, because BBB has four LPs and at least one more cassette coming out in 2012.  The B-side here contains music by Zach's solo project Bruce Hart which plays out like a slightly more expansive version of the BBB backing tracks, but with male vocals.  His tape on Not Not Fun was one of my favorites from last year and this release is just as good.  The sounds are more hazy in the Hartland, but this is a perfect companion piece.

Beatleboro is a nice amalgam of the fleshed out pop of the Fresh Sip tape (soon to be a 2LP from Feeding Tube - read my review here) and the more somber and skeletal songs on the recent Transparency 2CD.  These tunes are bursting with weirdo background vocals, bass lines and all sorts of guitars, keyboards & percussions, topped with Chris Weisman's dreamy multi-tracked voice.  Though some mild comparisons could be drawn to Lennon-McCartney, Weisman's pop-koans are entirely unique.  There's got to be something in the water in Brattleboro, because it consistently produces some of the finest music of this new century.  It's a shame that there aren't too many shows in town and none of these acts really tour, as they could surely take the world by storm with a little elbow grease.  Well you'll just have to bring the music to you then, won't you?  If you're in Southern Vermont or Western Massachusetts hit Chris up for a guitar lesson, or if you're far away, buy his book of oddball music scales here.  Also read Zach's interview with Chris here.

Get 'em here:

Although these two releases are listed as OSR 001 and 002, Zach has already put out a handful of great tapes on this label over the last few years: Horse Boys, Big French, Heat Wilson... Good luck finding those.