Friday, September 05, 2008

French Quarter - French Quarter

You know the soft rain that patters on roof or window of your apartment, if you’re from Arizona probably not. I’m not talking about the torrential down pore that tares palm trees apart and bends street signs; those are Monsoons. I’m talking about the rain that creep in and just lingers; you use words like drizzle to describe it, put on Nick Drake vinyls and grab a blanket to cuddle up next to a fire, only not in Arizona. Maybe that’s why French Quarter (Stephen Steinbrink) the Arizona based one man band has crafted an album that embody those rainy days that are so few and far between.

The self-titled album from French Quarter will probably not be on many top 10 lists this year; it has even managed to fly under the radar of pitchfork. However, this doesn’t concern me much; I don’t take loads of stock in pitchforks opinion anyway. I generally try to let you know a since of how an album makes me feel, suggesting only that you buy it and then judge for yourself.

Here it is: this album is beautiful in so many ways. From the distant rhythm of “bold with fire” to the beautiful silence wove in the sinew of “for andy”. And that is just the musical side. Lyrically Stephen Steinbrink has twisted a confidence within his words that would astound even a seasoned lyricist; and then you find out that he’s only 19 and you think you’ve found the fountain of youth resting beneath a cactus in Arizona. (Truth is, between Stephen, Teague Cullen, Kelly Sheridan, Bri White and James Fella you just might have. These musician, all from Tempe's Distant Colony area, are some of the biggest kept secret in Arizona/music scene... so shh, don't tell anyone, there will be more on them later.)

I never thought I could feel so much peace in an album that radiates such contentment. Maybe this is the new youthful cry, “but all hope it is not gone, it’s not wicked and it’s not wrong, it’s just deep inside your pocket or deep inside your song.” What a breath of fresh air; when Chris Carrabba (Dashboard Confessional, age 33) and Jim Adkins (Jimmy Eat World, age 32) are still singing about teen make outs in the back seat. Not that Jim and Chris didn’t have their place in the scene but lets all take a moment to acknowledge something exiting and beautiful in French Quarter.

And when it’s still hotter then hell in September and I’m dying for a calm rain storm, I can close my eyes and imagine the drops of rain dancing on my window, the paths of water skipping from one to the other on their decent and like a home made scarf I can wrap French Quarter around my neck and be content with life.

For you enjoyment: Bold With Fire

French Quarter has a lot of CD-R's, Vinyl's and Tapes available through,
these different record labels, but if all else fails, send a letter to Stephen and he'll get you what ever you need and want, or at least get you in contact with someone who can.

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