Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Singing Saw At Christmastime

I received quite a few 2008 releases for Christmas from assorted family and friends. This was a Christmas present from my daughter Josie (with some help from Amazon.com).

Up until a month ago, I never knew this CD existed. Usually I would head over to Randy's Rodeo (now Hip Christmas) and download their list of new releases before the 2008 shopping season began. Due to my hectic schedule, I wasn't able to do that this year and learned about this CD from my friend Stubbyfears at FaLaLaLaLa.com.

Many places online credit this album to Julian Koster, the indie pop leader of the group The Music Tapes. Koster has been a major player with the Elephant 6 Recording Co., which spawned many indie bands in the 1990s. In addition to the singing saw, Julian plays banjo, mandolin, Wandering Genie, the Moog synthesizer, and the accordian.

To quote Koster from the liner notes:

"Singing Saws sing all by themselves. The idea that a Human Being could play one, as one might a cello or tuba, is a common and understandable misconception, as this illusion is encouraged and cultivated by the Saws themselves."

Co-producing the album with Koster is Nesey Gallons, who also encouraged the Saws to recreate flawless versions of songs take after take. No tempermental band members here, no trashed studios, no egos bruised.

Needless to say, a track review of an entire album of Christmas music done with singing saws is pointless. The album contains twelve Christmas songs, ranging from standards ("Silent Night", "The First Noel") to classic Christmas pop ("Frosty The Snowman", "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town").

The album is great fun. It doesn't get old after repeated listenings but shouldn't be played around dogs or any glass that's delicate to sonic and subsonic frequencies.

Thanks my darling daughter Josie for this CD. It will have a place of honor next to the Christmas albums played on power tools, banjos, rubber bands, kazoos, player pianos, bagpipes, steel drums, and various animal noises.



Michelle said...

Do you know the musical saw Christmas album 'Hark! an Angel Sings'? It's on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hark-Angel-Sings-Natalia-Paruz/dp/B0002XZZ5U/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

CaptainOT said...

Michelle - Nice find! Adding that one to my wish list!

Thanks for letting me know!