Geoff Farina is best known as the singer for Karate, a band that loosely works through super-spacious, blues-inflected songs. On this, his solo record, Farina layers jazz guitar and oblique lyricisms that evoke dusty highways, empty Laundromats, and sparsely populated beaches. Man, this record sounds like Melbourne, Florida. Or Palm Bay. Or thousands of suburbs, the kind of place where you find a half-decent job and end up getting rooted down, partially because you can’t give up the little you’ve built up, and partly because you could give less of a fuck where you piss the rest of your life away. “Part rust and part disturbing daughter pushes you away/There’s dust and leaks and coincidence, tenements in Billings, and in Butte, soon in tents/Call the janitor and raise the rents.” Farina reminds me of William Carlos Williams and John Steinbeck; he has sensitivity towards detail in American life, and a definite social conscience. I have a feeling that this CD goes well with apple pie.
Southern Records, PO Box 577375, Chicago, IL 60657; http://www.southern.com