Eric Apoe And They | Book Of Puzzles

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Folk: Modern Folk World: Western European Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Book Of Puzzles

by Eric Apoe And They

Europeon and american roots, folk, blues, jazz.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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1. Russian Roulette Eric Apoe and THEY
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3:47 $0.99
2. There's A Pill Eric Apoe and THEY
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3:28 $0.99
3. Times Of Trouble Eric Apoe and THEY
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4:03 $0.99
4. Tinfoil Mardi Gras Eric Apoe and THEY
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5:25 $0.99
5. Old Part Of Town Eric Apoe and THEY
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3:50 $0.99
6. Bluebird Eric Apoe and THEY
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5:55 $0.99
7. The Mind Control Waltz Eric Apoe and THEY
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3:23 $0.99
8. Brokenhearted Blackbird Eric Apoe and THEY
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5:26 $0.99
9. Synagogue Lullaby Eric Apoe and THEY
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3:08 $0.99
10. Dark Side Of The Moon Eric Apoe and THEY
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4:07 $0.99
11. Book Of Puzzles Eric Apoe and THEY
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6:08 $0.99
12. Stranger In Your Own Hometown Eric Apoe and Ron Davies
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2:53 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Eric Apoe


Seattle songwriter Eric Apoe started in the music business as a drummer for Cajun fiddler Doug Kershaw, with whom he toured the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Later signed as a staff writer for Warner-Chappell, his music was championed by Tom Dowd and John Hammond Sr.

In Seattle, Apoe has released three albums with his band, They. The latest, "Radioation," is culled from live radio appearances on KEXP and NPR's KUOW. His previous release, "Dream Asylum," includes four songs co-produced by Soundgarden/Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron. A new song, "The Bag" was recently released on a compilation to benefit Northwest Harvest.

Currently the subject of a documentary-in-progress by film makers Stanford Wilson and James Buchanan, Apoe is readying material for his fourth release.

A staple of Seattle's underground, his music encompasses rock, jazz, folk, classical, and world traditions. With poetic force and humorous paradox, Apoe is a Leonard Cohen for the Age of Unreality.

A welcome return for the iconoclastic singer-songwriter. There's both trouble and beauty on this release ("Times Of Trouble" is one of Apoe's best songs with its pipes), mad circus waltzes, a gritty voice, and disturbing images. He's one of the most powerful troubadours performing, and an ace, imaginative band does his work full justice. Like the best wines, Apoe ages superbly.
Chris Nickson/ Music Critic/London England


Reviews


to write a review

Chris Rich

Eric once again bucks the trends.
Eric Apoe: Book of Puzzles.

Eric goes against the grain and defies the tide far more effectively than King Canute.

Ordinarily, in the course of music biz output dreamed up by idiot execs nostalgic for Sinatra money, the gruel of it all kills the signed artist with a continuous diminishing of output quality following the first release.

A majestic few like XTC find ways to upend this inexorable trend but most eventually fall flat and become pitiful cartoons of their once mighty selves by the time release 3 launches as the major label contract demand makes wrecks of them.

Mr. Apoe surely demolishes this and, like Coltrane, actually gets better with each emerging release. But then he puts his work out on his own timetable rather than being a slave to some corporate monstrosity that went obsolete after Elvis.

Book of Puzzles is a clear example of this bucked trend. My god it is magnificent.

Allow me to help you get an impressionistic sense of the run of songs.

Eric is frightfully gifted and knows more than the average bear of the many ways the humble song can be crafted. And his bandmates are among the many neglected geniuses of preposterous Seattle, (more on that later).

Russian Roulette. Here we are in a sidewalk Paris Cafe listening to an honest heir to Jacque Brel describe the narcissistic conned horror of what passes for much of modern american life.

There's A Pill. The lucid commentary moves to the medication many grab to cope with the above that merely poisons them. Think Porgy and Bess and the sway of it all as you wonder why so many people end up conned into wasting money on Prozac so the Merck world can wax fat at your expense.

Times of Trouble. This has a wonderful Celt lilt to it, especially to a part irishman who knows what 'the troubles' meant to your average O'Casey during the horrific civil war between the IRA and the Black and Tans in the 1920's. We are in a different world of trouble now fed by corporate greed gone crazy.

Tinfoil Mardi Gras. There is a reggaeish two step beat that is also faithful to early New Orleans music. Eric addresses the hollow bill of goods many have bought with little to show for it beyond maxxd out credit cards and horrific debt.

Old Part of Town. This is another masterful Brel thing that may well reflect Apoe's yearning for the honest Seattle Beatnick days of his youth in an amazing coffeehouse with an unpronouncable welsh name, the Llahngaelhyn, where people like Coltrane were eager guests. It's now a stupid pizza dump.

Bluebird. It's Eric having fun with an old saw idiom tossing icon word units about midnight trains, willow trees and what have you with a great ensemble interplay between saxophone and violin.

Mind Control Waltz. This could readily be a great olde english style 'music hall' song with just piano and voice at a slightly faster tempo. And once again he handles a 'political song' in a way that rolls easily along in a way that readily improves on Dylan's more sophomoric, if great ' Masters Of War'.

Brokenhearted Blackbird. This run of poetic subtleties is further enhanced by a bit of stunning clarinet work.

Synagogue Lullaby. From Eric himself .."the Synagogue Lullaby...is in part a vision I had from the Synagogue bench in my basement of a child orphaned by the holocaust and her only memory of her mother is a melody but could never remember it till she just hummed it from out of the past .."

Dark Side of The Moon could be representitive of many boomer songs by such as Springsteen with a bit more clout and a better slow burn than many comparables far more acclaimed.

Book of Puzzle carries Eric's sound poetic wordplay and sense of crafty fun. It also has a two steppish reggae or cajun rhythm with room for the band to make some compelling little sonic vignettes.

Stranger in Your Own Hometown is an added, low fi duet between Eric and a now gone friend, Ron Davies, who wrote songs for Joan Baez and David Bowie. It is hauntingly charming and appropriate to what I'm about to tell you, good reader, below.

Eric is old enough to have seen many of his colleagues, Tim Hardin, Townes Van Zandt and Mr Davies pass away without that much to show for it

Words for the band. These people, every one of them, are part of a group of profoundly talented unpretentious souls who were tossed in a callous trashcan when worthless subpop used market hype to define a mythic empty Seattle held together by the rotting remnants of hapless wonderful Kid Cobain's long gone carcass. Beyond the obvious prodigy they readily apply to this work, I know little about their broader lives here.

That is beside the point. I do know Ollie Klomp, who was present at the birth of Grunge in a funny band called Grunttruck while the subpop usurpers were sucking the fun life out of the town's main college radio station, now called KEXP, to aggrandize themselves.

They took a college kid fun thing and made it into a commercial radio station with rotation set ups and other happy horseshit to scam money. It's still pretty pitiful to any ear familiar with the fun that college radio is supposed to be. It's a dim west backwater, go figure.

Conclusion. Eric has often been unfairly compared to another old colleague, Tom Waits, by lazy clods who can't see below a surface of vaguely similar voice timbre. Waits is actually a toned down clone of the majestic, disturbing Captain Beefheart.

I respect and like the fellow but haven't found any urgent need to include him in my noise pile. You see, Waits is like a glory boy fighter pilot in World War Two, lots of flash but not much burn. Eric is like the ground grunts who actually won the war.

Unnotticed by glib corporate scribblers, ignored by subpop mafia morons in his homeworld as they rush to grub money and left to fend for himself as an honest working stiff, he's also an exemplary husband and father in a world where these things are sadly rare.

Seattles music scene is a cutthroat conveyor belt that belies the community spirit I knew and loved in Boston and New York, a dumb mercantile hype fed oligarchy in the dim west.

This probably added to Cobains rush to a marriage with a shotgun shell.


And oddly, new crops of kids are beginning to find him and like what they hear. Young or old, you will do well to give this guy a listen.