I am not in Spain

by Jefferson Pitcher

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And indeed, Jefferson Pitcher was not in Spain when he recorded this album (instead he was nearer his home base of Berkeley), but the country serves as a sonic theme and backdrop for the album's dozen songs, with Pitcher and his backing band exploring a series of often theatrical numbers that seem to emerge from a fusion of the aesthetics of Ennio Morricone and Calexico, only oriented around low-key acoustic guitar rock melodies. Pitcher's soft, contemplative singing details a variety of sometimes cryptic scenarios, while the musical details on many of the songs -- flamenco guitar flourishes, the feeling of zoning out in the heat suggested by soft electronic drones -- add to the atmosphere without completely forcing it or creating simple pastiche or parody. Other touches show Pitcher's interest in non-pristine recordings -- the rough moments of vocal and electronic distortion on "The Insomniac" and the chaotic swirl of heavily flanged guitar concluding "Poor Boy" disrupt the seemingly straightforward songs -- but there's plenty of perfect sharpness, too. Consider the delicate-as-heck guitar part that concludes "Of the Perfect," set aside cymbal washes in the background, or the ghost of the Cocteau Twins' guitar cascade and soft violin on "The German City," as lovely a summer sunset shoegaze number as any yet recorded and released. It's not a full concept album as such -- songs like "Denmark" and the calm-then-storming "Georgia at Least" show broader geographical ranges than the Iberian peninsula, though Spain is directly invoked in the latter's chorus, but the fact that the album ends with a spoken word selection from the work of Federico García Lorca makes as clear a sign of intent as any. -Ned Raggett, All Music

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released January 1, 2005

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Jefferson Pitcher

Jefferson Pitcher is a guitarist and composer whose work has twice been featured on NPR's All Things Considered and has been well reviewed by Pitchfork, The Melbourne Sun, Prefix, Blurt, Harp and more. His music is available on Standard Recording Co., Digitalis Recordings, Camera Obscura, Tape Drift, Moonpalace , Dutch East India, Words on Music, and Tract Records. ... more

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