Alexander's Dark Band
Music to Stand by the Fireplace To (n / a)
Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., June 13, 2008
Alexander's Dark BandMusic to Stand by the Fireplace To
Floating beyond the standard rubric of lyrically quirky indie pop, Alexander's Dark Band demonstrates the power of thoughtful arrangements in moving novel narratives toward individual distinction. Named for the unlit sky between two rainbows, the kitchen-sink symphonic sextet colors a half-serious/half-kidding approach that wouldn't be entirely out of place in a Christopher Guest mockumentary. Following an overture that sets a relatively unassuming musical tone, "Tarzan" documents the frayed existence of a celebrity has-been through telltale observations, like having an autographed photo on the dry cleaner's wall. Then "Pico" recounts the all-too-short saga of a baby chick purchased at a flea market. These tragicomic social commentaries evoke a local chamber music take on the Flaming Lips, while the oddball affinity in "Unicorns" leans toward Kimya Dawson. Although Fireplace contains somber passages to balance out the whimsy, the sixtysomething man wearing a thong at Barton Springs pool in "The Big Whisper" is the take-home image you won't soon forget.