CALIFONE - Sometimes Good Weather Follows Bad People (2000) for Rex
"nobody cross-pollinates the blues, folk music and broken electronic instruments like califone... from the carcass of red red meat comes a series of gorgeous and personal hymnals delivered with the electro-rustic vocabulary of one of america's most original bands... "
Artwork By [Design] - Jeremy Yoder/Bass - Rob Warmowski (tracks: 8) , Tim Hurley (tracks: 3, 7) /Drums - Ben Massarella (tracks: 8, 10) , Tim Hurley (tracks: 3, 14) /Drums [Wire Drum] - Tim Hurley (tracks: 4, 13)/Effects [Space Echo] - Ben Massarella (tracks: 3, 7) /Effects [Turntable] - Califone (tracks: 7)/Electric Piano - Tim Rutili (tracks: 3) /Guitar - Seth Cohen (tracks: 1) , Tim Hurley (tracks: 4, 13) , Tim Rutili (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 to 14) /Guitar [Treated] - Tim Rutili (tracks: 6)/Keyboards - Tim Rutili (tracks: 8) /Mixed By - Brian Deck (tracks: 1 to 3) , Warren Defever (tracks: 7)/Organ - Tim Rutili (tracks: 5, 7, 12, 14) /Organ [Pump] - Tim Hurley (tracks: 10) /Percussion - Ben Massarella (tracks: 1, 3, 5 to 7) , Brian Deck (tracks: 12) , Tim Hurley (tracks: 4, 10, 13) /Percussion [Trash Can] - Ben Massarella (tracks: 4, 13) /Piano - Tim Rutili (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 13)/Programmed By - Brian Deck (tracks: 8, 12) , Tim Hurley (tracks: 1, 3, 6, 7, 10, 14) /Recorded By - Brian Deck (tracks: 1, 4, 5, 8, 11 to 14) , Tim Hurley (tracks: 6, 9, 10) , Warren Defever (tracks: 3, 7) /Shaker - Tim Rutili (tracks: 14) /Songwriter - Tim Rutili (tracks: 1 to 7, 10, 13) /Steel Drums - Brian Deck (tracks: 8) , Tim Rutili (tracks: 2)/ Synthesizer - Tim Hurley (tracks: 2, 3, 6, 7) , Tim Rutili (tracks: 12, 14) /Vocals - Tim Hurley (tracks: 9) , Tim Rutili (tracks: 1 to 5, 7 to 14)
#1 to #7 originally appeared on Califone (EP1), released in February 1999 on Perishable Records.#8 to #12 originally appeared on Califone (EP2), released in March 2000 on Road Cone.
01 On The Steeple (5:03)
02 Silvermine Pictures (2:31)
03 Pastry Sharp (4:30)
04 To Hush A Sick Transmission (2:13)
05 Dime Fangs (2:55)
06 Red Food Old Heat (0:37)
07 Down The Eisenhower Sun Up W/Mule (6:08)
08 Electric Fence (6:34)
09 St. Martha Let It Fold (3:09)
10 Beneath The Yachtsman (4:03)
11 Don't Let Me Die Nervous (3:00)
12 Dock Boggs (4:37)
13 To Hush A Sick Transmission [Unedit] (2:20)
14 When The Snakehandler Slips (4:55)
Links to download :
In the beginning, it was this: electro-rustic sonic dreams emerging from the fog like a ghost, one hand holding a bag of rusty nails and dirt, another a pack of tarot cards with paintings of car crashes, electric nuns and foaming midget horses.
These are the 12 songs first heard on the self-titled EP released by Perishable/Flydaddy in 1998 and on the other self-titled EP released on Road Cone in 2000. Now that both releases are out of print, it's time to make Califone's early music - plus two bonus tracks - available again. It's uniquely American folk churned up by noisy machines, with damnation and redemption unearthed in equal measure.
Califone's music makes implicit sense even as their cavalcade of circus freaks throw reason out the window. Tim Rutili's sleepy-eyed vocals luxuriously drape stark guitar figures; live and programmed percussion leans into the dreamy haze of an electric piano; layers of loops and subconscious transmissions echo the heady disorientation you feel when you get inside the lyrics. And oh yeah, did I mention how this stuff is completely, instantly engaging? It resolves the grand and the personal without a whit of tension, and in the process delivers a confounding, deep beauty that is ever-necessary. Now is the time, as it always was.
"This was a long-needed release, with a few added tracks. This is Califone in the early stages, easily hinting that RRM was a thing of the past, and the bright future to come."
"This is a compilation of two Califone's EPs, and it has some REALLY good stuff on here, some more psychadelic than their other stuff. The only thing is, this doesn't flow quite like Roomsound, their last album, but it still is good.
A number of songs stand out, such as "On the Steeple...," "Dime Fangs," "Down the Eisenhower...," and "Don't Let Me Die Nervous." But my favorite song definitely has to be "Electric Fence," though I can't truly say why. I just know I need to hear it more often than any other song here.
If you're new to Califone, I would suggest buying Roomsound first, and then, if you decide you like them, get this one."
"The Chicago-based ambient neo-folk band Califone was formed way back in the late 90s by two musicians (Brian Deck and Tim Hurley) and two pasta dishes, Rutili and Massarella, and rose from the ashes of another respected Chicago blues-rock outfit, Red Red Meat. Subsequent to that band's breakup, the four remaining members pulled a Voltron and came back hard, but with a new and innovative musical approach: blending southwestern Americana, blues, and bleak, rugged folk with updated, atmospheric percussion and drum programming. The result was at once unique and compelling. Good Weather Follows Bad People is the condensed, environmentally friendly reissue of Califone's first two critically acclaimed EPs, with the addition of two unreleased bonus tracks.
The first seven tracks are drawn from Califone's self-titled 1998 debut EP for the defunct indie label Flydaddy. Among the highlights are... well, all of them. Yes, each of these seven are damn near golden, including the damp, bass-heavy opener, "On the Steeple with the Shakes," the punchy, rustic folk of "Silvermine Pictures," and the lonely, emotive distance and sparseness of the guitar and piano riffing on "Dime Fangs." Tracks 8-12 are culled from the band's second EP, a 1999 Road Cone effort. The EP was less mood and composition-oriented than the debut, actually employing discernable songwriting elements like hummable choruses and bridges, as on "St. Martha Let It Fold" and the quasi-pop of "Beneath the Yachtsman." Still, though, the same innovative approach remained, solidified by Rutili's restrained and expressive vocal grit.
Being as it is a re-release, the question for fanatics is whether the two bonus tracks are enough to warrant another purchase. The answer for fanatics is no, they're not. One of them is a retread of "To Hush a Sick Transmission," already the least listenable track on the debut EP. The closer is "When the Snakehandler Slips," a dark, aggressive, full-band tune featuring more tempo and fuzzy distortion in everything-- vocals, guitar, and bass. It's a decent track, but by no means indispensable. Newcomers, on the other hand, will find Good Weather to be a perfect starting point.
-Brad Haywood, April 11th, 2002"