Monday, February 15, 2010

Shrimp Boat - Cavale

Label: Bar/None
Year: 1993

You can file this one under; "shit I rarely listen to, but always enjoy when I do". Most record stores will actually have a divider placard with that actual category on it, if not, your local record store sucks, and you should really think about punching the manager square in the throat.
So, why wouldn't I ordinarily listen to this you might ask? Two reasons really, both of which I am happy to relay to you.
Number one: I have a very real and irrational hatred of woodwind instruments being involved in my rocking. Not that Shrimp Boat is necessarily "rocking" per se, but you understand. This band employs the saxophone on occasion, and while I can't fully condone it, I am also willing to let it slide on account of it adding a (begrudgingly) interesting counterpoint to some of the gentler rhythms on the record.
Number two: I have a very real and irrational hatred of jazz music, and it's influence on rock music. Again, Shrimp Boat is barely a "rock band", but they wind some fairly significant smooth jazz quiet storms all up into my grill via their guitar lines, and against my better judgement, I have to say, they are both soothing and intoxicating. The only other contemporary band I can think of that has gotten away with as egregious a slow jam under the guise of indie rock would have to be Karate. Am I getting soft?
So, regardless of my prejudices (not including the one I have about Gypsies), Shrimp Boat makes it work and delivers a relaxing, cohesive album that is...well, it's just truly delightful. It's dog gone delightful.
Band members Sam Prekop and Eric Claridge went on to form The Sea And Cake, which is most likely the only post-Shrimp Boat you would care about. I personally don't care about The Sea and Cake, but maybe you do, or will. Whatever, it's a free country, you can do what you want, so long as you follow by those rules I listed up above.
In fact, you might just need to consult with me before you do anything really, cause I have a lot of arbitrary rules I'm going to need you all to abide by.


James Joyce said...

Man - I never thought I would find Shrimp Boat posted on this blog. I always thought of this as Sam Prekop's "college band", but I'll give it another shot. I don't think I ever heard this particular album.

Anonymous said...

i know what you mean about Karate. so smooth, and yet i shouldn't be enjoying this!

James Joyce said...

I'm a big fan of the first Sea and Cake album, and this album is like hearing a prelude to that one. Of course the guitar and drums are a bit amateur, but you can't compete when John McEntire and Archer Prewitt take over your duties in the next band. I like that Sam Prekop's vocal style has that almost Black Francis/Jonathan Richman quirkiness of the first S&K album, before he started his whispered crooning that is all over their later albums. I like this vocal style much better.

Shrimp Boat also has that late 80's midwestern jangle present in bands like Great Plains, etc. Reminds me of something that would have been on Homestead.

STJ said...

I feel the need to defend Karate. Slow, most of the time, sure, but it's not in a put you to sleep, snoozy "Low" sort of way. There's lyrics. And angst. Lots of angst.

Anonymous said...


So awesome.

If there's any band out there today that's carrying on in Shrimp Boat's tradition, it's Born Ruffians.

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