Exposé Online banner

Jack o' the Clock — How Are We Doing, and Who Will Tell Us?
(Bandcamp no#, 2011, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01

How Are We Doing, and Who Will Tell Us? Cover art

The East Bay area (Oakland and surrounding) has produced some interesting musical hybrids of late. A lot of that no doubt has to do with Fred Frith’s involvement with the esteemed Mills College, where many of the musicians involved in this musical renaissance have ties. Enter Jack o’ the Clock, a five-piece led by Damon Waitkus, who plays guitar, banjo, piano, flute, ukelin, hammer dulcimer, and sings. This is their second release. Other members provide additional voices (male and female), violins, bass, banjo, trombone, psaltery, flute, recorder, accordion, bassoon, drums, and percussion, as well as field recordings to the mix. Their sound might nominally be called experimental folk, as acoustic instruments tend to dominate, and the compositions – odd as they sometimes may seem – are song oriented, yet they are pushing those limits out in every direction, be it 20th Century classical, Americana, chamber, progressive rock, medieval music, just about anything one might imagine. For example in one section of the ten-minute “First of the Year,” Beach Boys-like harmonies mix with chugging metal rhythms flanked by beautiful classical-inspired melodies courtesy of violin and bassoon. Field recordings and sound effects mix freely with their inventive arrangements, where almost anything becomes possible, yet always remains listenable. Normally around this part of a review I would offer some reference points or comparisons, but in this case that would be futile. There’s an amazing amount of originality in these twelve tracks, and those looking for some intrepid, barrier-breaking music would do well to start here.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Jack o' the Clock

More info
http://jackotheclock.bandcamp.com/album/how-are-we-doing-and-who-will-tell-us

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ray Weston - This Is My Halo – Ray Weston is best known as the long time voice of Echolyn. After the band broke up Weston took some time to gather his wits about him, work out his musical demons, and prepare himself for the next...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues