August 24, 2003

Pistol for Ringo "Solid State Neo-Hedonist"

Dear Mark Everett,

Okay now, Mr. 'E.' You can fool me once, but you can't fool me twice. I really thought MC Honky was indeed an older man making feel-good music, but I've been informed that he is, indeed, you. I wondered why nobody saw the two of you together on the recent Eels tour, but that's beside the point. See, I think you're at it again, and this time, you're a four-piece "band" named Pistol for Ringo. Apparently Shootenanny! wasn't the only thing you've been working on. I know it's you, Mark. "Nothing Equates to a Saturday" is not only the kind of song title you'd come up with, but it really sounds like your voice, too. And, really, who else would make a mellow, relaxing lounge version of "I Am The Fly?"

But I'll indulge you in your game, Mark. Okay, so you're a band now, and this is your 'debut' record. It's a great one, by the way. I shouldn't really complain, though. I don't understand why it is you've decided to draw attention away from your really wonderful songs by throwing in little clips of found sounds and experimental whatnot between the bigger 'songs'. Sure, some of them are cool, but some of them are annoying, and they draw away from what you're best at, guys: the songs. Between the samples of big band records, girls talking in pretentious poetic voices, noises and various and sundry whatnot are some really good songs.

Actually, I'm being a little bit too hard on you, Mark. I think you've certainly made a great record; in fact, Solid State Neo-Hedonist is much better than Souljacker and Shootenanny!combined. I know that I've hit the repeat button after hearing "Nothing Equates to a Saturday," "Hero," "I Am the Fly" (a brilliant cover version, by the way!) and "Complicated," so I guess you're doing something right. Personally, I like the fact that your songs are smart but not obnoxious, arty, yet without any pretentiousness. You've really struck a chord with this one, and I hope you kind of get it together for your next record. You could learn a lot from Solid State Neo-Hedonist, my friend.

Joseph Kyle

PS. Okay, so just in case you aren't really Mark Everett, and are a band who simply have discovered the wonderful powers of the Fountain of Everett--it doesn't really matter. Solid State Neo-Hedonist is a pretty fun record, full of odd sounds, pretty strong and enjoyable pop songs, and a fun attitude. There's nothing finer than that, is there?

--Joseph Kyle

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