Thursday, August 04, 2005

Langhoff Unpublished: Suzzy and Maggie Roche's Why the Long Face?

This represents my first unsuccessful attempt to get into Seattle Weekly; I never heard back from editor Michelangelo Matos. I enjoy the review quite a bit, mainly because it seems very light on its feet, even with the elaborate 7 Habits joke.

Suzzy & Maggie Roche
Why the Long Face
(Red House)

Amid the Folk Society syncopatin’ and self-deprecatin’ highlights of Why the Long Face, the second CD from the Roches-minus-sister-Terre, Suzzy cheerfully opines that she read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People only to discover she had none of the habits. I don’t believe her for a minute! I mean, New York folkies probably don’t Synergize or Begin With The End In Mind a whole lot, but I bet they Think Win/Win and always Seek First To Understand--they’re such Proactive sweethearts! (And their bluesy delivery on that Seven Habits song sure makes me wanna Sharpen My Saw, if you know what I mean!) The jig’s up--the Roche sisters are now busking for NY Arts Foundation grants instead of spare change, and have become, if not rich and famous, at least responsible adults; so their scatterbrained mode can start to seem disingenuous and set your teeth on edge. And when they Put First Things First and sing the words of a community prayer group or a kid with Asperger’s Syndrome or Brian Wilson, I’m tempted to set my CD player on pause. So instead I skip back to the first two songs, which are gorgeous, heartfelt, plainspoken acoustic chugalugs. Or ahead to the one where they sing bitonally, “Set down your key and trumpet/ Go have a dream and hump it.”

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