“The Western”

A few years ago, I co-hosted a show at my college radio station called Morning Wood. It was a morning show, and the general premise was to play all sorts of music that featured woodwinds. We had one simple rule: no ska. But we expanded the premise to include brass or really any instrument that “you put your mouth on and blow.” We also made a guideline to focus more on 70s and 80s rock than jazz or orchestral music, but we played virtually everything.

Our main source of material was the station’s own extensive LP library. Because of the domination of the CD in the past 20 years, and now the digital age, most of the records in the station were promotional material from the late 70s to the early 90s. My co-host and I would grab a random record from the stacks, judge it by its cover, then search the liner notes for the list of instrumentation and look for flutes, flugelhorns, saxophones, kazoos, etc. Through this process, I discovered some artists who are now all-time favorites, like Bongwater, Split Enz, Sparks, and Woo. Woo’s It’s Cosy Inside was one of the albums we discovered, and it featured subtle flute-sounding tones on a few of the tracks that, due to our perpetually loose guidelines, qualified it for the show.

Now, out of seemingly nowhere, Drag City reissued It’s Cosy Inside earlier this month, and I am thrilled that the world will discover this magical record. Originally released on Independent Project Records in 1989, It’s Cosy Inside is Woo’s sophomore release. Woo consists of two brothers, Mark and Clive Ives, who created music that sounded both ahead of its time and timeless. On their website, Woo call their music “nostalgic guitar music,” but it can sometimes sound like contemporary indie soft rockers such as Grizzly Bear, Department of Eagles, or Ducktails. “The Western” is a good example of just that aesthetic, which you can find out for yourself by hitting that sideways triangle below.

• Woo: http://www.woo-music.co.uk
• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com/products/its-cosy-inside

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.