Nate has returned a permission slip signed by his parents, which means the “i hate kids like you” class field trip to see Phantogram tonight at the Bordello is on. In advance of the show, I thought I would drop our loyal readers a little review of Eyelid Movies, an album in which every song is distinct…in the worst way possible. I’ll explain below.
Phantogram (Anagram Hologram Parallelogram) is the Upstate NY duo of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, who, by all appearances, have raided Matt & Kim’s closets for their skimpiest wife beaters and tried to fashion an album inspired by Tropic Thunder’s parodic character Simple Jack. Oh, that’s “head movies,” huh? I get my head movies and my eyelid movies confused.
Either way, Eyelid Movies still comes off as a tale told by an idiot. That is to say, with its lack of continuity and the staggering quality differential between its good and bad songs, it makes you wonder how this album was even put together. Barthel’s bittersweet vocals are the driving force herein and when it recedes into the background, the album suffers. The formula of having tag team, male-female vocalists works for bands like Stars and Headlights, but it doesn’t work here. My suggestion: buy the outstanding, Barthel-led tracks, “As Far As I Can See,” “When I’m Small,” and “Mouthful of Diamonds,” skip the rest. And to the tune of Enrique Iglesias’s famous hit, start chanting “Barthel Mas.”
Best Tracks: “As Far As I Can See,” “When I’m Small,” and “Mouthful of Diamonds,”
Love Child of: Matt and Kim’s wife beaters, Little Dragon, Simple Jack-a-gram’s Head Movies, “A tale told by an idiot, full of sound a fury, signifying nothing” (that’s Shakespeare!) Hallucinogens, the Incriminating photos that caused Sarah Barthel to agree to let Josh Carter sing.
Best Listened To While: Dodging cars (Take a listen to Barthel’s “whoa” on When I’m Small below)
I hate kids like you collective rating: 2.5 out of 5 depictions of Simple Jack enjoying his head movies
Check out a video of "When I'm Small":