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  The Blossom Filled Streets  
  Drag City  
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I bought this CD after seeing Movietone in concert. In the review of the show, i predicted that even though i thought them weaker than opening act Japancakes in a live sense, i would enjoy the Movietone CD more. Boy, was i right! Just for fun, go ahead and read my review of the Japancakes EP i got at the same time as this CD.

To sum up, i loved Japancakes live, but hated their EP. Live, i thought that Movietone were kinda dull. And yet i love this CD. However, even as i was seeing them perform i thought (through too many birthday beers) that the music was brilliant, but too minimal for a crowded basement full of drunk music fans.

It just didn't translate to the place.

Maybe, had i been in the right frame of mind, they could have transcended the limitations of The Eyedrum and filled the place with their beautiful minimalism, much like The For Carnation were able to do at The Echo Lounge. Or maybe the fact that Movietone did not achieve such transcendence has to do more with the place. I'm not too sure. However, i would like to point out that The For Carnation album is a good comparison to this disc. Minimal, quiet, and beautiful.

Movietone are very minimal and quiet. And yet, they are the midway point between the avante-jazz percussion of Tortoise and the string drones of Godspeed You Black Emperor! combined with the breathy vocals of Portishead. Oh, and throw some piano into the mix as well, just for fun.

Offhand, this might not sound like such a good idea. But it works. It really does. The music is light and sparse, with each instrument exploring its own turf. This makes for some really neat sonic textures. Consider Year Ending, which is a song of simple keyboard, guitar, and clarinet drones played over and over and over. It is simply beautiful, and builds to a wonderful crescendo. Or how about Porthcurno, which is another beautiful song of light piano and Kate Wright's sultry mellow voice. Or Night In These Rooms, which features an acoustic guitar strumming in a forcefull, almost western or mexican fashion over clarinet and keyboard noodling all covered with Kate's voice.

Movietone do a wonderful job of combining the various sounds to make interesting texture. And yet, i think what they are trying to do is describe space. And action. Get it? MOVIE. TONE. See, they are trying to describe things with sound. I'm not so sure that i "get" all of what they are describing as accurately as i could. I really just like to sit, listen, and let my mind flow.

This is a great album for sitting around late at night and just listening. There is so much going on in the songs that i recommend using headphones to catch each and every nuance. Just sit there, and let Movietone paint their sonic pictures for you. There are lots of neat places in this CD to explore.

Which brings me back to the Movietone concert. Since what they do is describe space, i have come to believe that the low quality of the "place" they were playing in (which is, basically, a run down basement) affected the show in a bad way. Maybe next time they play Atlanta it will be in a better venue. They would be amazing in, say, Smith's Olde Bar.

Anyway, i highly recommend this CD. Great listening.

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