Wednesday, January 31

Ideal Free Distribution CD available now

I first posted morsels from Ideal Free Distribution back in April '06, and in the meantime they have recorded, mastered, and officially released their self-titled debut album (with Apples in Stereo/Marbles/Ulysses mastermind Robert Schneider tweaking knobs). It came out yesterday on Happy Happy Birthday To Me (who I swear aren't paying me for all this promo lately) and is now shipping.

The band traces its roots back nearly a decade, and at least one song on the album has been a work in progress for nearly half that time. Ideal Free Distribution are from Lexington, Kentucky, and play a throwback brand of psychedelic pop. With its retro leanings, this is an album that seems as if it's proper medium would be vinyl spinning at 33 1/3 RPM rather than a shiny plastic disc. The band skillfully navigates the sonic landscape explored decades before by The Kinks, The Byrds, The Yardbirds, and other such rock royalty. In fact, the gallery of influences on their MySpace page resembles what could easily be a psych-pop wing of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The opening "Apples and Oranges" and "Saturday Drive" sound as fresh (though retro) as they did when I first heard them months ago. Several songs are also obviously inspired by the current state of world politics, with "The American Myth" and "Red Letter Days" most explicitly express frustration with the current political situation. However, the lyrical content is not solely focused on matters of war, peace, and politics. "Nine on a Side" seems more concerned with The National Pastime than more serious matters, and notably also features some of the album's spaciest moments (along with a fat bassline, harpsichord, and sitar). The bouncy "Mr. Wilson" and rocker "Son of a Gun" also strike me as standout tracks.

"New Madrid, 1811" wins my heart not just because it is both menacing and melodic, but also because it references the famous New Madrid Earthquake. My affection isn't as morbid as it may seem -- I spent my high school years living in the New Madrid Seismic Zone well aware of the massive earthquake nearly two centuries prior. Here are two tracks from the Ideal Free Distribution for your listening pleasure:

Ideal Free Distribution - New Madrid, 1811
Ideal Free Distribution - Apples and Oranges

You can visit the band's official site or MySpace page for more info, and their CD can be purchased from HHBTM via mail order.

Ideal Free Distribution has also done a music video for "New Madrid, 1811" posted here thanks to Google Video:

Not a bad way to end the month, eh?


Blogger samantha fay said...

wow rich, i never knew you had such a personal connection to new madrid.
isn't it great when songs reference horrible disasters of yore? "new york mining disaster 1941" being the other that comes to mind. there's just something so interesting and heartbreaking about a song humanizing an occurrence like that. i guess it makes you feel that much closer to the situation.
well, anyway!

7:50 PM

Blogger Rich said...

Wilco's "New Madrid" references the same although it also hits on Ivan Browning's incorrect prediction of a repeat in the early 1990s.

Thank goodness *that* didn't happen.

BTW, I lived within 40-80 miles of New Madrid, right along the Mississippi River, for about a decade.

8:36 PM

Blogger aa said...

i am LOVING ifd.
i've been listening to "apples and oranges" over and over and over again...

12:16 AM


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