In another era, David Vandervelde
would have added the Michigan State marching band and a couple of Philharmonics to his solo album, The Moonstation House Band
. As it is, he includes (and plays) everything else: electric sitar, bells, space echo, a suitcase of maracas and some circuit-bending burble all tied together with a voice that resembles T. Rex's Marc Bolan waking-and-baking to Terry Jacks' "Seasons in the Sun." Vandervelde's Secretly Canadian labelmate, Richard Swift
, prefers his trips through the Old Weird America, like Stephin Merritt chased down Tin Pan Alley by tap dancers and ragtime trombonists. They're both post-modern pop artists, which means that they're both formalists for whom the pure pleasure of musical invention is the best personal statement. If you've had your fill of confessional singer-strummers, you might take a chance on this indie, hip-kid double bill.