Music Reviews

Twittering Machine

Live @ WREK 6/5/01

The name Twittering Machine conjures up an image of Paul Klee’s mechanical birds singing perhaps a random arrangement of notes or cacophony of noise. The four members of this Atlanta experimental band are neither twittering nor mechanical. The music is subtle, soothing, and well orchestrated between accordion, cello, guitar, and drums.

The five songs recorded at radio station WREK switch between Latin dance grooves and melancholic torch songs. Beth Moon’s vocals fall somewhere between the plaintive Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies and Natalie Merchant. The lead off track, “Birds,” mixes the tempos sometimes sounding Continental and at other times like a tango. Each member of the band brings in their own backgrounds and flavors, but the four musicians do not struggle against each other. The sad songs “Dust” and “Sail” move smoothly around Beth’s vocals. “Bones” could easily fit in as accompaniment for an old Fellini film.

Twittering Machine is definitely creating music unheard of in the local scene. A little too unconventional for the Borders Bookstore music series, but so far removed from the mainstream that shows in the neighborhood bar will never happen. It makes sense to go on independent radio and record the show. Like chamber music for the chronically depressed, Live @ WREK will make Twittering Machine a standout band in the Southeast.

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