This is my weekly reminder to tune in to Sinking Radio this Friday from Noon to 2:00 PM on LittleRadio.com. Each week, the hosts play an official You Set the Scene pick. My pick for this week's show is Frankel's "Ticket Machine."
If you've seen Earlimart in the past year or so, there's a good chance you've seen Michael Orendy playing bass with them. It shouldn't be news to longtime readers of the blog that Orendy records solo stuff under the name Frankel. A few of you might even remember that Frankel's last record, Lullaby for the Passerby, was number four on my list of best local releases of 2007. (Looking back on it, that list holds up surprisingly well, but that's another story.)
When I heard Orendy had a new record on the way, it immediately went on my list of most anticipated records for 2009. According to the Frankel Myspace page, Anonymity Is the New Fame will finally be available June 23rd on the Aquarium Drunkard's Autumn Tone Records.
Frankel's first record drew comparisons to Harry Nilsson and Lennon/McCartney, while I compared it to Richard Swift and Andrew Bird. Those influences are muted this time around. The new songs are a little less bouncy pop and a little more fuzzy folk.
I'm not one of those guys that throws around Elliott Smith comparisons (or "Elliot Smith" as most people still spell it - sorry, it's an anal retentive pet peeve), but the first two tracks on Anonymity Is the New Fame, brought Smith to mind in a very positive way. Subject wise, the lyrics are nothing like Smith's. It's more a case of how the vocals, piano and acoustic guitar are recorded on a few of the songs.
When you listen, forget my Elliott Smith comparisons. As he proved on Lullaby for the Passerby, Orendy's a very talented songwriter/artist in his own right. It never comes off as emulation, just influence.
This record will, once again, most likely end up very high on my list of best of 2009.....