Bar / None Records
Ah, these kids these days — unable to drive cars in Los Angeles, creating flash mobs to promo their music, grinding down a stairwell on a skateboard balanced between soft dreamy pop and unpleasant “Found Noise” and “Experimental” audio.
Emperor X seems to be a single guy named Chad Matheny, and his website is one of those annoying places that takes control of your browser and you can never back out of it. Hate the website, but love the music; that’s how it goes these days. Once you get through that riff of opening noise he launches into a gorgeous song that takes competent and in-tune acoustic guitar playing and mixes it with silly, nonsensical, and emotionally deep lyrics that are very likely good enough to get published in a slim volume of poetry. True, “The Magnetic Media Practices of Rural Pakistan” isn’t a song I’d pull out on a first date, but “Canada Day” is. It opens with some 1970s singer-songwriter acoustics and takes us on a vacation from Windsor to Detroit and square into the arms of pure love. That one I’d pull out on a first date.
Let’s run though the standard Ink 19 Indie Pop Checklist:
Eco-friendly DIY esthetic?
Clever lyrics larded with obscure pop culture references?
Double… oh… Just what do you think? It’s 2011 already, and obscure pop cultural references are all we have left of Western Society. It’s not like we’re going to turn off our iPhones and sit though “The Barber of Seville” or “Die Fledermaus.” Get with the plan, dOoDz! This guy is both HIP and LISTENABLE.
God knows there are enough bands out there that can’t even pull off one of those stunts. Appreciate him for that, if nothing else.