The Wire Orchestra: MT6 Island
"Yo, this raccoon ate our potato rolls," one dude complains to another. "What's up with that?" his companion asks, mock-incredulously, before both dudes launch wholeheartedly into the sort of primal, Iron John-esque sing-song that'd draw worried looks at home. MT6 Island--the latest dispatch from Wire Orchestra--is less a traditional album than a recording of two soused brohomies cracking each other up while effing around with a broken acoustic guitar on a Hart Miller Island camping trip. Island and last summer's genre-goulash Corinridinheedinridintrombone are about as different as night and day.
Live Wires Bdoptical and Alex Strama peel off a rambling string of untitled moments--one hesitates to term them skits--that range from vaguely coherent to incomprehensibly random. They cycle unevenly through various dialects. They batter objects like drum circle participants or horses on cobblestone streets. They bellow nonsense like mental patients as detuned strings are fingered. They improvise an expletive-laden hillbilly tune about an interloping raccoon--"See you, raccoon, in the distance"--then drive the creature away with shouts. There are Marble Valley-esque raps about animals, a R.E.M.-ish joint about nothing much at all, and out-of-nowhere references to surf-folkie Jack Johnson and Short Circuit's Johnny 5. An aborted go at Elliott Smith's "Miss Misery" segues into a fumbling of Weezer's "Hash Pipe." Long stretches of ambient noise--birdcall-flecked and otherwise--churn by, as if the tape recorder were left running after the pair passed out.
There's a sense of eavesdropping that arrives when listening to Island's warts-and-all tomfoolery. Yet that feeling is edged aside by jealousy and a yearning for the sleepless childhood nights spent in leaky tents and gnat-infested cabins of yore.