Mo' Better Minimalism

Pine Tree (M Records)

By David Lilly

Repetition and change were walking down the street. Why, even engaging in public displays of affection they were. Observers noticed how well the seemingly odd couple complemented each other. The two strolled their way into a musical park where they ran into Lisa Carlon Underhill. And it was during that smiley, smiling Saturday afternoon of a song that I knew I would respond "yes" to each of the questions she asks in "I Wanna." That's one of the most fun CD welcoming committee tunes to reach my ears in a while.

From what I can tell, Pine Tree is the third CD by this little Louisville-based unit called Mandism. In simple terms, Mandism might be heard to have something of a low-rock Morphine influence, sans the sax ... sort of. What that means, primarily, is that Mandism is good, strange fun. Much credit (with a high interest rate, at least on my part) is due the Mandism rhythm section for providing such an eccentric and faithful foundation.

Some of the immediately aforementioned adjectives pave the way for discussion of the song, "Keanu." When it comes to the actor, Keanu Reeves, I'm the man who knows too little to be able to tell if this song has anything to do with him. However, I will admit to not knowing of anyone else by that name, so please conclusion your own draws. It's a quirky, entertaining little number.

During "No Wake, Bake, Shake," when our hero, Ms. Underhill, sings, "No wake, no bake, no shake/Can't shake you out of my mind/Legs and arms in a bind/ I know I'll never be free/ The past is a guard with a key," it can feel a bit depressing. However, an abrupt change to a lower key acts like squeezing humorous juice out of a brooding fruit.

Without completely giving away the ending, let's just say that "Stinky V Boy" is a lovely curveball that ruined a conductor's pitching arm. This is one Pine Tree without sap or needles; one you can explore whenever and however you choose. You'll find its roots and branches in the musical park over at style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 10pt; color: Blue">