Liking semi-obscure bands is a mixed blessing. If they’re well represented on the web they’re likely to have a free sample or two. However, if they’re too obscure you can barely find any reference to them at all.
One other band I thought I’d mention, although precious little of them is on the web and no free music I can see, is The Receptionists.
The group is comprised of three women whose recording studios apparently consisted of largely of Vassar dorm rooms, and whose instruments of choice are guitar, accordian, bells, mandolin, and xylophone, supplimented with a large dose of whistle.
The Receptionists instrumental sound is a dissonent cacophony and reminds me alot of the NPR clip years back where a group of musicians made music on whittled out vegetables. On top of that their vocals are usually an off-key monotone.
But somehow with The Receptionists all the discord seems to fit together brilliantly. It’s like these girls really know their stuff but got bored perfecting the craft, maybe got larangitis, and one of ’em said, “Hey, let’s just break out the veggies and jam a bit.” And that was fine with everyone else.
This is a bit of an exaggeration though. There are a few of their songs that wouldn’t sound totally out of place in the medieval-reenacting female folk singer repitoire.
On Raphsody only their song Soren Loved Regina (apparently a reference to Soren Kierkegaard’s relationship with Regina Olsen) is available, and that only on a compilation “American Pop Style”. Cashing in a gift certificate recently netted me their only available Album The Last Letter, though supposedly there’s another set of their songs out there under the title of Keep Your Secrets.
Of the songs on The Last Letter, probably the most accessible is The Piracy of Saint Philomena, backed by accordion accompanyment. A few, like Soren Loved Regina and In Love Again are sweet. And others like the Laundry Song and Stamp Song are amusingly wrought micro-ballads about the ironies and injustices of life.
Unfortunately though it looks like their latest recordings on the Last Letter album were done in 1997. And since the first few pages of google searches turn up only a smattering of cursory reviews and advertisements for their work, I think it’s safe and sad to say that The Receptionists are now defunct.