Friday, January 15, 2010

Bill Corrigan - Noodlin' (Holy Cheever Church Records CS)

Alright, back on the band wagon so to speak. Or at least still got a hand on, even if my feet are dragging across the prairie like a roadrunner in heat. Spurred back to it by a few new packages though, one from Holy Cheever and the other from the new-to-here Goaty Tapes. Plus I've got a hankering for more Stunned stuff, so here goes. Got this package today from Riggs and I couldn't not throw on the dude I hadn't heard of, especially with that cover of the dapper looking crusty on the ivories. Had to be good, and so it is.

Turns out Bill Corrigan is another Michigan lad doing what Michiganers do best, aka redefining weirdo outsider music and playing stuff entirely removed from any scene to speak of. Seems the defining characteristic of Michigan's outsider output these days is simply that they don't sound like any of the other outsider output, which is really saying something in these days of Skaters rip-offs and drone after drone after done done done. Not that I'm not a sucker for all that, but the Big Mitten has a knack for fitting my lobes like a glove.

As far as I can tell, Corrigan's thing is to do more or less improvised pieces on acoustic piano; no effects, no preparations, no nothing. Just tinkly (and Corrigan hit the nail on the head here) noodlin'. Though that term doesn't quite get to the heart of this stuff, because rather than engaging in practiced groovology or over exerted wankery, Corrigan writhes about in a fairly limited space, allowing lines to build and mesh in a haphazard but rather restrained manner. It's a refined sort of internal logic that sounds completely controlled despite only snippets appearing to come from any compositional world we here on earth are accustomed to. Yet still, each brief diddy here has a bluesy, piano bar feel to it. Riggs gets right to the point in dropping Conlon Nancarrow here, but it seems to be equal parts stride pianist gone afield. Killer stuff, listenable and together as hell but baffling in its fresh, smattered approach to a well worn instrument. Let's see more, Bill. Killer stuff.

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