Ketman | Ketman a Go Go

Lifted & Gifted (2010)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  May 19, 2010
3.5 3.5 Stars


The winking disconnect between Ketman’s promotional art (swingin’ young people from a half-century ago enjoying the pleasures of their hi-fi system; Twiggy types with black bars across their eyes) and Ketman’s music (lean, pugilistic rock with 1980s American punk in its rear-view mirror) is now a little less disconnect-y. The local band’s second proper full-length, Ketman a Go Go, transcends simple paradoxes by embracing the fringes of so-called “kitsch” culture, from surf and head music to the panache of Swinging London and ’60s-era foreign-film soundtracks.

Ketman’s live shows of late have been bolstered by an unruly horn section, and the mixture of Eastern European, New Orleans, and free-jazz idioms is prominent throughout. The result is an æsthetic that’s not without precedent, though it does defy expectation.

“Saint Jean,” “Celia Cooney,” and “The Fiji Mermaid” fashion a new language out of past vernaculars, all the while leaving the old definition of Ketman in the dust. This is another way of saying that Ketman a Go Go is the first Ketman album you can dance to — flailing excitedly, of course, and pleasantly mystified as to exactly how one should move to something as yet undefined.

Related: Myra Melford’s Be Bread | The Whole Tree Gone, Ape & Undu | Jaw & Order, Toro Y Moi | Causers Of This, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Arts,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BROWN BIRD | FITS OF REASON  |  March 18, 2013
    Brown Bird, a boundary-pushing Americana duo from Rhode Island, make music that touches upon that can't-put-my-finger-on-it amalgamation of past and future sounds.
  •   NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS | PUSH THE SKY AWAY  |  February 20, 2013
    Much like the similarly low-key The Boatman's Call , Cave's highly anticipated 15th album with the Bad Seeds manages the puzzling feat of making a great band seem inconsequential, if not entirely absent.
  •   SCOTT WALKER | BISH BOSCH  |  November 27, 2012
    Scott Walker's late-period about-face is one of the strangest in the annals of pop music.
    Bill Withers has always been the down-to-earth, odd-man-out of the '70s soul brothers: he's the one who came bearing a lunch box on the cover of his relaxed 1971 debut, Just as I Am .
  •   R.E.M. | DOCUMENT [25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION]  |  September 19, 2012
    Fans of R.E.M. enjoy arguing over which album was the band's true shark-jump, but 1987's Document was inarguably the end of a groundbreaking era.

 See all articles by: ZETH LUNDY