When Jay Farrar made the highly enjoyable Sebastopol last year he had too many songs, so he saved them for this five-song EP, which features four previously unreleased songs as well as a remix of “Damn Shame” by Tom Rothrock, who has worked with R.L. Burnside and Beck in the past, although regrettably not at the same time. His recasting of “Shame” adds a bit of drum punch and a nifty slide guitar breakdown, but isn’t exactly essential. Something strange about remixing Farrar music anyway, isn’t it? The remaining cuts follow along with the pattern of experimentation that Sebastopol used so well – strange wordplay, dense patterns of sound and Farrar’s eternally bemused and nasal whine. “Dues” is a nifty rocker (or as close as Jay comes, away) with a scorching guitar solo, and “Kind Of Madness” seems to have something to do with a man cutting off his arm and saving it in a freezer. Not exactly Carter Family territory, but we all know Farrar has moved past his alt-country past into a boho sound assembler. Works for me.
Artemis Records: http://www.artemisrecords.com