Discount Fireworks

Discount Fireworks

4.0 1
by Over the Rhine
     
 

Discount Fireworks is a collection of Over the Rhine tunes taken from their entire recorded oeuvre. Latter-day fans will be delighted that there are cuts here from their IRS releases Till We Have Faces, Eve, and Patience. (Can reissues of the actual albums be far behind, since this is the first time these cuts have officially appearedSee more details below

Overview

Discount Fireworks is a collection of Over the Rhine tunes taken from their entire recorded oeuvre. Latter-day fans will be delighted that there are cuts here from their IRS releases Till We Have Faces, Eve, and Patience. (Can reissues of the actual albums be far behind, since this is the first time these cuts have officially appeared anywhere in over a decade?) The rest come from their Back Porch catalog, from Good Dog Bad Dog (originally self-issued) and Drunkard's Prayer to the classic Ohio and Films for Radio. First the bad news: Linford Detweiler's liner notes, with their self-conscious "literary device" of using the term "15 years" over and over again reek of conceit, self congratulation, and an insider's nod and wink that the band and its artful manner of crafting and delivering songs both live and on record have won them the respect of other artists and opening spots on tours. Yawn. These liners are so smug and cheesy they make even the most liberal-minded noncommittal listener want to dislike (a mild term) Over the Rhine before even hearing a note. On top of that, these "liner notes," which describe nothing, offer little in the way of general information, knowledge, explication, or even empathy for the listener. And to boot, there are three pages of them!!!!! There is an old saying from one of the great storytellers of the past who chided an acolyte to "show, don't tell." Detweiler would do well to take that advice next time there is anything he decides to tell the populace at large about OTR. Do it on your website, Linford, and let the music speak for itself. As for the good news, there is plenty: the songs chosen by Detweiler and his OTR partner, vocalist and songwriter Karin Bergquist, are a fine illustration of the band's development -- in reverse order but it works well here -- and how they've shown restraint and understatement in their recorded work, serving the song first. Old favorites like the truly moving, nearly heart-stopping Detweiler tune "Latter Days" and "Within Without," written by Detweiler and former OTR guitarist Ric Hordinski, hold up well. They stand tall with the newer material such as the lilting country music "Suitcase," where the sheer ache, anger, and grief in Bergquist's vocal are barely contained by Detweiler's keyboards and Will Sayles' whispering brushwork on the drums, and spill out in their own, "behind-a-closed-door" manner and thus become more revelatory. The shimmering trip-hop funk in Dido's "Give Me Strength," with loops and Jack Henderson's guitars, gives Bergquist the opportunity to moan and wail. What's shocking is that it feels like she wrote these words because she makes them her own; she soars over the sonic cacophony and holds it in check with the will of her vocal. Like OTR's best original material -- much of it is here -- it feels like poetry opening itself up to really sing. "Latter Days" needs to be mentioned once more, simply because with all the aesthetic and psychological rigors OTR have put themselves through to continue in an apathetic musical environment, they have never allowed this to clutter a song. Detweiler clearly wrote this song for Bergquist, and the dignity and restraint used to get such powerful lyrics across is worth celebrating. There is a consistency in OTR's music, from Patience and Eve (check "Sleep Baby Jane" for another example of how OTR are able to construct a tune around Bergquist's voice and her authority as a singer brings it all home to the band and grounds both lyric and music in the truth) straight on through to Ohio. This album of band-selected favorites is a showcase on how to incorporate everything from ragged and tried emotions, to hopes and broken dreams, to ambition and the sheer celebration of knowing you're alive into a song and do it so the music does "show" and not "tell." For those who've heard Over the Rhine's moniker bandied about in hushed whispers and barely contained enthusiasm, this is a brilliant place to start -- but listen to the music before reading those awful liners. If you've been unlucky enough to have come to the band later without being able to get your hands on the early records except in cassette and burned copies, here is a righteous taste -- along with the hope that those records will finally be reissued properly on CD (and hopefully on 180-gram vinyl, too). For the rest, for those of you who've been there from the beginning, this is still essential because it's the OTR faves mixtape that may differ from your own, and hearing these songs juxtaposed against one another is a new way of hearing them. Discount Fireworks is beautifully done -- musically and sequentially, that is.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/06/2007
Label:
Back Porch
UPC:
0094636492728
catalogNumber:
64927

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Over the Rhine   Primary Artist
Dave Perkins   Guitar
Linford Detweiler   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Drum Loop,Tack Piano
Don Heffington   Percussion,Drums
Ric Hordinski   Guitar,Mandolin
Byron House   Bass
Brad Jones   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar
Brian Kelley   Percussion,Drums
Pascal Gabriel   Keyboards
Vess Ruhtenberg   Electric Guitar
Mickey Grimm   Percussion,Drums
Kim Taylor   Acoustic Guitar,Harmony
Jason Wilbur   Electric Guitar
Rick Plant   Electric Guitar
Michael Aukofer   Dulcimer
Norman Johns   Cello
Will Sayles   Percussion,Drums
Devon Ashley   Drums
Peter Hicks   Electric Guitar
Mickey Paoletta   Pedal Steel Guitar,Slide Guitar
Jack Henderson   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Karen Bergquist   Piano,Vocals

Technical Credits

Dave Perkins   Producer
Linford Detweiler   Producer,Liner Notes,Loop,Cello Arrangement
Ric Hordinski   Producer
Brad Jones   Producer
Paul Mahern   Producer
Pascal Gabriel   Programming,Loop
Karen Bergquist   Producer

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