CD Review : Brian Olive : Two of Everything

Brian Olive’s latest album keeps bringing Kelley Stoltz to mind. Would this be the case for a listener who isn’t a former (and possibly future) DJ? And if I’ve been doing blogs that include a lot of V-Jing, doesn’t that mean I’ve been, basically DJing (but with words between most of the videos) for some time now?

If you think this is getting too analytical, I’m relieved to hear it – me, too. Olive’s music deserves more than that. Even if you, or I, were relatively ignorant of Olive before hearing Two of Everything. And if, when you saw his pic on the cover, he came across as an exceedingly pale, rather undistinguished person. And if the first two tracks don’t seem that exciting, although they do show that Olive is actually making the “psychedelic” sound touted by every third garage band, whether the term really makes sense for them or not. “Go On Easy” would be just the trick for a bunch of mushroom-imbibers stranded in the woods without any other source of audio stimulation.

Olive also has a sense of glam (as proferred by T. Rex, and by seminal Bowie).  But, before you (or I) get all excited, I’m not talking about that level of groundbreaking genius. Nor are we talking about such stunning dynamics. Still, Olive manages a more-than-respectable lode of personal expression mixed with psychedelic and glam influences. It doesn’t hurt that he has his own Mick Ronson (Mike Weinel) on lead guitar. Or that the Sights’ David Shettler is pounding the skins, and The Black Keys’ Olive and Dan Auerbach produced.

When Olive hits pay dirt; syncing inspiration, groove, and feeling, he’s someone to watch – live, if possible. The sense that he’s utterly sincere in his messages  – “all is one,” in “Traveling,” for instance – and that he isn’t just recreating late ‘60s ideals  ‘cause it’s fun, trendy, or an excuse to wear striped trousers – well, it’s endearing, often with (someone smacking) a tambourine. The group-energy vibe feels pretty authentic. That’s as much a part of the psychedelic thing as the music.

Course, if you had the good fortune of making it to the Bonnaroo Fest, and can remember what happened, you probably know all, or most of this.

Strange Attractor by Brian Olive

-Post by Mary Leary

  • LBD

    June 23, 2011 [ 3:39 pm ]

    I’m curious, these exceeding expectations you place on today’s musicians (that live in a different time and place than those that you uphold as the greatest)…If not Brian Olive, then who, being a current musician, meets your expectations?

  • Mary

    June 23, 2011 [ 4:09 pm ]

    Hey, there, I just love good music – regardless of age, time, or place. Re: contemporary artists, I think Brian’s very talented. In a similar (at all) genre, some of my current favorites are Thee Oh Sees, Sonny Smith, Unnatural Helpers, The Clutters… If contemporary musicians are inspired by/got at least part of their template from earlier representations of a genre, the comparisons do tend to come up, at least as points of reference. I’ve also found that if I don’t jump up and down and scream about everything that’s at all good, I have more credibility. You know, kind of like those teachers who give everyone a gold star – the gold stars lose meaning.

  • Alive Naturalsound Records » Blog Archive » Main Page

    July 9, 2011 [ 1:06 am ]

    [...] stranded in the woods without any other source of audio stimulation. – Mary Leary / MOKB [...]

  • Mike

    September 6, 2011 [ 3:59 pm ]

    Just caught Brian at Zazoo’s this past weekend. Freakin’ fantastic.

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