***This is the second in a series of band & album reviews. Thursday is one of the worst days of the week, right after Mon/Tue/Wed/Sun/Sat, but hopefully expanding your mind with fresh, musically related blog posts will help. If not, there’s always Facebook.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw Arakacha, it was in the small city of Cirtu in Southern Argentina in the basement of a sarcastic dairy farmer. I could tell he was sarcastic because he kept declaring his love for soy products, which as anyone knows is the dairy farmer’s biggest competition. But I diverge.
Anyway, Arakacha was on the last leg of their South America tour and appeared to have gotten into a carton of blueberries before the show, unless there’s some other way to stain your face blue that I don’t know about. I’d heard they were wild but wow, they really knocked the socks off of every single person in the place. It was kind of a small space, and all 11 members of Arakacha were in one tiny corner, including their two trombonists who were so close that they occasionally pulled the slide on the others trombone by accident. It was very erotic.
If you haven’t seen them play, you’ll have to do your best to imagine 11 of the rowdiest people you’ve ever met all together in a small room and sugared up on cases upon cases of Coca-Cola. Which was weird because they kept dropping in banter that was clearly sales-y references to Pepsi-Cola that made me wonder who was paying them.
Their sound is singularly interesting because of the odd instrumentation. Laney Janey Paine plays a mean set of bongos, hair all akimbo, slamming her paws down heavily to create booming thumps. On the electric ski slide persimmon is Black Peter, who’s been playing persimmons well over 40 years, since his infant days in New York City on Avenue B. The leader of the pack, ostensibly, is Andrew W.K., a commonly known savage musician of the worst kind. This album perfectly represents his dark genius. On songs like “Kitty Ricks” and “Filmador” the band takes a more aggressive approach to tyke-hop, with lyrics such as “3 wheels gonna rule your town unless it’s 2 pm because that’s when we nap” and “I had a thing that I was really liking but then I got distracted by this other thing.”
Overall, the album holds up well given it’s advanced age (it’s in 5th grade now). It’s both riotous and abstract at the same time, and I would recommend climbing a large mountain before listening to it, otherwise you will likely be motivated by the album to climb a large mountain.
4 grains of salt out of 5 grains of salt