~ FREE SHIPPING~ $7.99
Hello. I’ve been selling for over 10 years on that other site (you can check my feedback there; It's under the same ID as this one; over 3200 positives, 99.7%, and still active). But I thought I'd give this site a try.
Like all of my cds, this is an Original CD, with original inserts (NO CD-Rs or bootlegs).....
I'm not sure why, but the Canadians seem to beat us Americans at our own game on a fairly regular basis. One need look no further than The Band and its 80% Canuck cast for proof; their first two albums are near-perfect distillations of all that's great in classic American-born music forms. And this is to say nothing of Neil Young.
Presumably named after a line from Young's bleak masterpiece "On the Beach," Alone at the Microphone is the second full-length album from the Toronto-based band Royal City. Their debut, At Rush Hour the Cars, was a fragile, bummed out lo-fi bedroom folk gem. Simple, straightforward and exquisite-- even if some of the songs were interchangeable-- it served as the perfect holdover while Hayden lingered in self-imposed exile. But as promising as that album's high points were, hardly anyone could have anticipated this: a dark folk album that effectively ups the ante in the "old, weird America" category (to cop a phrase from Greil Marcus) and accomplishes what many faceless, home-bred groups of yokels have been trying to do for the past half-decade.
As far as acoustic-based indie folk goes, with its inherent restrictions and boundaries, this album is as good as it's bound to get, kids. Nearly every song on Alone is a finely detailed miniature, each one a new take on despair, loss and (occasionally) solace. Haunting and disturbing imagery is harnessed to beautiful melodies created on banjo, organ, and even steel drums, in addition to traditional rock instrumentation. Sometimes the lyrics are enough to make you wince, as on the stomping, ragged opening track "Bad Luck" where a line like, "I met you in the alley all covered in maggots," will just get dropped in there without much warning. Still, the gore never seems gratuitous, always serving the overall purpose of the songs.
The first of these songs, despite its rather cheerless title, presents probably the most hopeful moment on the album and its high-water mark. Short and simple, a chiming guitar figure accompanies singer Aaron Riches as he repeats the refrain, "Ray of light, a pedal in my room/ I will not go forth without you," to arresting effect. There is an almost religious quality to Riches' assertion-- after painting a bleak scene with "shit on the floor," the refrain becomes almost heartbreakingly hopeful. It brought me closer to tears than any song has been able to do in a long time. I can already envision coming back to it in years to come, and I can't remember the last time I thought that about a song.
"Rum Tobacco," the penultimate song on the album, is another musical exercise in build-up and release, but painted over a broader canvas. After a frustratingly slow start with Riches croaking along, the track finally bursts open with a crash of cymbals before being carried off by a slide guitar solo, then disappearing into a silent void for a good minute before exploding back again into a witches' chorus for the remaining third. It's one of those songs that takes a few listens before you know what twists and turns it's going to take.
"Spacey Basement" and "My Brother Is the Meatman" are really the only two missteps on the 11-song album. And they're not really even bad songs in themselves, it's just that they don't fit very well with the rest. Their lyrical shock tactics seem slightly affected compared to the sinister edge that characterizes the better songs here.
Still, even with these few weak moments, compared to Royal City's debut, Alone at the Microphone is a giant step in the right direction. I can't wait to hear what a few more years of touring does to this band. But even as it stands now, with this album, they prove that the best post-modern, devil-haunted, gothic Americana is currently being made by a pack of Canadians. And if there are any questions about authenticity, I give you four words: Music from Big Pink.
Performer Royal City
Title Alone At The Microphone
Genre Rock & Pop
1 Bad Luck
2 Under A Hollow Tree
3 My Brother Is The Meatman
4 Spacy Basement
5 Dank Is The Air Of Death And Loathing
6 Don't You
7 You Are The Vine
9 Blood And Faeces
10 Rum Tobacco
11 And Miriam Took A Timbrel In Her Hand
USED, but in great condition. NO scratches and NO signs of abuse or misuse.
Free Shipping in the US and Canada.
Multiple item discounts = $2 off each additional cds with your order
I can ship worldwide - Any country.
CDs can be shipped internationally for an additional $3 (with the jewel case); or for $2 (without the jewel case).
Please check-out my other items…..Take $2 off any additional CDs you add to your order!!!! eCrater’s checkout system doesn’t automatically figure the discounts, but as long as we know the total, we’ll be ok.
Payment must be received 14 days for US orders. Additional time extended for international orders
Well concealed USD
I can accept PAYPAL – but only if it is NOT A CREDIT/DEBIT CARD funded payment.
Personal Checks will be held 10 days before item is shipped; Money order and “other payment” items will be shipped immediately.
Any questions, Please feel free to email. Thanks. gxr100