Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Tarantula Dinner Party-Have a Seat

February 1, 2005

tarantuladinnerpartyBand Name: Tarantula Dinner Party

Album Name: Have a Seat

Best element: A good introduction to the Friendly Psychic Records sound.
Genre: Subdued Pop

Website: http://www.friendlypsychicsmusic.com/tdp.html

Label name: Friendly Psychics Music (www.friendlypsychicsmusic.com)
Band e-mail: info@friendlypsychicsmusic.com

Friendly Psychics Music is actually just three very productive men: John Wenzel, Chris Jones, and Dan Miller. All of the records that are released on Friendly Psychics are somehow touched by one or more of these three, whether it’s the fleshed-out urban pop/folk of Upstate, the rolling psychedelia of Wicked Immigrant, Tarantula Dinner Party’s subdued pop, or any other band that pops out of the Psychics’ vault. Out of all the incarnations, I’m pretty sure that I like Tarantula Dinner Party the least.

I’m pretty sure that TDP is also the sparsest of all the incarnations. Occasionally relying on only guitars and minimal inclusions of other instruments, this release is hanging on threads to begin with, and unfortunately, those threads give way, as the guitars just aren’t enough to support this release. Subsequently, this EP goes flat.

The release is flat because it sounds flat- not tonewise, but tunewise. It sounds as if someone has stomped all over the spark that resided in these songs, relegating them to backroads roadkill. None of them particularly jump out at me as interesting- through various listens to this album, it just doesn’t grow on me like Wicked Immigrant’s mesmerizing landscapes do. When you’re in company with some astoundingly unique-yet-accessible Friendly Psychics releases, it needs to be stellar- and Tarantula Dinner Party just doesn’t cut it. “Flea Market Priest” is nice and smooth, but it’s nothing memorable- “You’re So Right” just doesn’t have the punch that makes Upstate so enjoyable.

This is the first Friendly Psychics release that I have not thoroughly enjoyed- I would have to say that “The Siege Committee” is the only track that really made me interested in this album. Go listen to “Reunion of Cynics” by Wicked Immigrant- it’s much better, and falls into mostly the same genre.

-Stephen Carradini

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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