Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Jason Collett / Idols of Exile / Rating: 7.6

The record humbly takes its place in history's queue: Perhaps not what BSS fans are looking for, but, weighed against the impulse for continuity instead of disjunction, deeply satisfying.

Feeling sentimental for the past is not in my nature but every now and then a record comes along that makes me wish I still worked at a record store. I suppose the feeling I miss is something similar to that of a religious zealot who has shown another the light. Turning on a customer to a record you know they will love but would have never discovered on their own is an intoxicating combination of excitement and power. Call me crazy but I honestly feel passionate about connecting the right record to the right person and as I put this idea into text I suppose it is a very point of inspiration that drives me to post on this blog every day. Sure I want to right what I feel Pitchfork has wronged but the other giant part of it is passing along information that hopefully will connect these orphan records to the right parents.

Hipsters don’t need to be steered toward Jason Collett because they have undoubtedly read about him in a music publication, one blog or another, or have stumbled across his music while looking for a Broken Social Scene record. Who I would like to direct towards JC (the religious comment fits even better now, ha!) are the folks over 40 who patiently wait for the next Dylan, Petty, Neil Young, Ray Davies, _______ insert rock/blues/country legendary singer/guitar players here.

Talented songwriting aside, Jason Collett’s playing, his back up band, and the overall production of his record seamlessly piece together a thing of timeless graceful beauty that we have come to expect from only the legends of the rock community. In fact Idols of Exile capture the kind of heartfelt story telling artists like Ryan Adams & Tweedy haven’t come close to in years.

To further my faith… Mr. Collett and Leslie Feist pull off an even more stunning performance live. I actually felt shame for all the “rock” bands I have paid to see play in the past; bands that gave their shot at the rock and missed the hoop completely… and I am the bigger jerk for accepting it as the norm. I think for some reason with indie rock comes a lowered expectation of the material executed live; meaning we take passion in the place of perfection, rather than believing we can have both. Collett / Feist have on stage personality that is massive, the kind of greatness one might expect from a stadium show in need of larger than life gestures and all the right in-between banter. I know Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell are aiming to be the next Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra but it is Collett and Feist who recreate the sexy push and pull of male/female chemistry the best duets are made of.

There are few indie rockers I am willing to file under star quality but Jason Collett does better than come close, he is. A PFM 7.6 rating ain’t bad but Idols of Exile is an 8+ to the girl in me who can’t stand behind a counter at a record store and tell you all this face to face.

PS: Let me remind you that I am not a Broken Social Scene or much of a classic rocker so my love for this record comes as a total surprise to myself. I even suspect it will make my end of the year favorites list .