DRESSED TO KILL: Covered in Bees.
You remember Moes Haven? That duo from Manchester, New Hampshire? We told you about them a couple years back. In the year 2006, they pledged to write an album every single day. And from what I can tell, they actually did it. You can't actually listen to every single one unless you go to their house or something, but you can buy an album from each of the 12 months of that year off their Web site, and they act like they made it to the finish line (see "Celebrating a Year-Long Effort — Alone," by Jeff Inglis, January 26, 2007).
Now they say they're not going to release another album until 2012, but if you send them an e-mail with some instructions, they'll write a song about you and send it to you, free of charge.
From NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to the RPM Challenge (record an album in February) to the 48-hour Film Project, these constricted periods of time for art are somewhat in vogue lately, as though writing a novel or making a film or recording an album wasn't hard enough on your own pace. As long as no one acts like you get bonus points for doing things quickly, I'm all for it.
As any weekly column writer can tell you, there's something to be said for deadline. Sometimes, perseverating over a piece of art, refining and polishing until it's perfect, can rob a thing of its spontaneity, of its fun. Of course, sometimes tossing something off results in something that sounds tossed off and just sucks. But every once in a while, you strike a little bit of gold.
Covered in Bees — who named themselves after an Eddie Izzard bit, after all — have never taken themselves too seriously, have a ton of talent and experience, play a style of music (fast punk and rock) that's not known for its complexity, and are therefore well suited to taking a whack at this 24-hour album concept. So, on May 3 they got together in their practice space with friend and engineer Jason LaFrance and composed some rules for themselves: no songs longer than four minutes, everything written and recorded in 24 hours, all artwork done that day, too, something recorded every 59 minutes, and, finally, at least something makes the record from the last hour.
Now, November 8, they release the results.
However, in case you're not satisfied with the 19 tracks they laid down that day (11 or 12 might be accurately called "songs;" the rest are skits or very short song pieces), they also deliver on 24 Hour Album 10 demos for their next album and three live cuts. So, you get 32 tracks that add up to just under an hour of material. If nothing else, the Bees deliver plenty of bang for your buck.
So, is there anything here you actually want to listen to more than once? Well, on one level, it works as a comedy album. The skits are fairly entertaining, a few of them centered around a "dude" who gets fired for showing up late to work and sparking a "doobie." Later, he offers said doobie to a bear, who strenuously declines.