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Flare

Circa + Reissue CD

Reissue with bonus tracks. Led by songwriter/multi-instrumentalist LD Beghtol (LD & the New Criticism, Magnetic Fields, moth wranglers, etc.) and Mother West studio chief Charles Newman, New York-based band Flare began in 1996 as mostly-acoustic string ensemble with an open-door policy that allowed other musicians to participate in live shows and recordings as mutually desired. Flare started minimal: one naysayer marvelled in print that it took seven people to make so little noise. Then things really got out of hand. The first edition of Circa, Flare's second album-actually a six-track EP-was released by the now-defunct label Subliminal Violence in November of 2000. Long out of print, the original version documented Flare in a very experimental phase, turning away from the guitar-based sounds that dominated their first release, Bottom (Tamper, 1998) towards more lush, orchestral arrangements, with a focus on keyboards, obscure instruments, and a structural use of strings. "Triumph of the pig people" introduced the baritone ukulele (Beghtol's instrument of record) to the mix, along with the massed vocals that color much of Circa; the cinematic, piano-based title track features even more. "Measure of a man" shows Flare in an almost gospel mood, while "Item: June 16th"-based on Jeff Eugenides' novel, The Virgin Suicides-features a lute-like 5/4 riff plus Marxophones, serialist piano and backwards backing vocals (copped from the opening track). Flare's cover of Kid Montana's obscure "Anywhere (like the moon)" was a popular part of the band’s live act at that time; in the studio, it grew even more bittersweet with the addition of even more strings and a majestic martial snare. "Save me, save me"-another essay in broken metre and odd instrumentation-helped define the the course for Flare's subsequent recordings. The additional tracks now added to the original EP to make the full-length Circa+ were recorded during the same sessions, with more or less the same personnel. "Lovesick" is an unreleased reinvention of a much-beloved Lisa Germano track made for a failed tribute album, circa 1999. "Scared Me" was released on the CD that accompanied issue #11 of British music magazine Comes with a Smile (Autumn 2002); another mix was considered for inclusion on Flare's Hung (Le Grand Magistery, 2004), but was passed over. "Where's the boy that I once knew?" was written to order for Gail O'Hara's CF Mixtape 1 (Enchante, 2001), a disc assembled to promote her zine Chickfactor and its newly-launched website (www.chickfactor.com), and "Some Words On Parting" was recorded for the UK-only compilation A Wish on a Star, released on Tracy Lee Jackson's influential Dreamy Records in 2002. Track list: 1. Triumph Of The Pig People 2. Circa 3. Measure Of A Man 4. Item: June 16th 5. Anywhere (Like The Moon) 6. Save Me, Save Me 7. Lovesick 8. Where's The Boy That I Once Knew? 9. Scared Me (Lost Weekend Mix) 10. Some Words On Parting
item # 3809
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