The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, August 1, 2008, Music


The Glowing City (Autobus)

Bill Baird treads on a slightly different plane, like Peter Sellers in Being There, yet always is aware of the ludicrous world around him. His music slips between frustrated flailing at our modern, media-blitzed existence and the comical embrace of it to both obscure and expose himself. The Glowing City wrangles the eccentric turns of Baird's earlier lo-fi cassettes and CD-Rs, serving as an 18-track clearinghouse and statement of Sunset's finally dawning with coherent vision. Re-recordings "Your Eyes Are Mirrors" and "New York Love" are beautifully textured arrangements of keys and horns that match Baird's more subtle vocal touch. The pop of "Theme From 'A Perfect Light Awaits Me'" and "Twenty-Four Karat Soul," plus dueting female vocals on the cabaret-ish "When Perfect Flames Expire," are Baird at his best, while the throbbing "Graveyard Dog" and its touches of ambient found sounds and climaxing bursts retain his experimental playfulness and collective-styled exuberance.


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