“His Hands Are Normal” C-16
(Epic Sweep Records)

At first glance, it would seem that this band has a bordering-on-unhealthy obsession with the band Television.  But with a closer investigation and a couple listens, I find that Cookie Brooklyn & the Crumbs are the right kind of obsessed.  The cover is essentially a partial transcript of emails that detail the minutia regarding the stature of each of the members of Television.  I can’t tell if this is oral history or fan fiction, either way, it gets my attention.  Another aspect of this release that makes me smile is the cassette case’s indication of wear and most likely that it originally housed another tape.  Frugality, ingenuity and deep fandom/appreciation combine to form a unique creation.

Side 1 opens with "Tom, Richard and Richard", a call-and-response using Verlaine, Lloyd and Hell’s namesakes, and further exploring their assumed and actual heights.  This and “Is there logic in Pop?” are recordings from a show at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington, New Zealand, in 2013.  Judging from the audible applause and banter, The Crumbs have a sizable fan base.

The other side has tracks from two separate recording sessions, each documenting the band well into a groove, loose and relaxed.  The bass is dense like a stuffed animal, the drummer digs the toms and the guitar meanders on the dark side of Marquee Moon.  The lyrics and playing style tells me they like to have a good time, and would prefer the audience to dance. What originally sounded like someone else’s story turns out to be a vividly crafted narrative of its own.  I’m not sure whose hands are normal, but this was produced in an edition of thirty, and I now see that they are sold out. 

You can hear it at:

—Adam Padavano