12 O'Clock Track: Listening to Of Montreal, thinking of Lou | Bleader

12 O'Clock Track: Listening to Of Montreal, thinking of Lou

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I've spent the past several days listening to Of Montreal's new album, Lousy With Sylvianbriar, on repeat and just really enjoying that principal member Kevin Barnes gave up the Prince ghost and decided to make some more charming, jangly 60s pop via Athens, Georgia, circa the late 90s. All the old influences are there: David Bowie, Ray Davies. Conspicuously absent, however, are the rest of the band's longtime members, including Bryan Poole (aka the Late B.P. Helium) and keyboardist/perennial fan favorite Dottie Alexander. A friend and Athenian shared with me an unconfirmed rumor about the band's unceremonious breakup at Barnes's hand, which would be a real shock because musicians are never egoists or assholes.

Then, yesterday, Lou Reed passed away. (Maybe that segue was intentional, maybe it wasn't.) Amid the fantastic, sesquipedalian tangle of Barnes's lyrics, this line stood out: "You can't defy the defining flaw of your generation."

Reed died of liver disease (he had a transplant in May), little-to-no doubt a result of years of alcohol and drug abuse. A defining flaw of his generation if ever there was one. Incidentally, the track on which the line appears reminds me a little bit of one of my favorite Reed songs in its tempo, twangy guitars, and slow simplicity. Not to mention that Reed's delicious egoism is on full display.

"Amphibian Days" is today's 12 O'Clock Track. An added gift: Lou Reed's "A Gift." Of Montreal plays Lincoln Hall on Wednesday.

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