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Laughing Stock of Indie Rock Import

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 28 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Arena Rock Recording Co.
  • ASIN: B0002VEPBC
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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1. Yadda Yadda Yadda No. 1
2. Round Figure, A
3. The Boxer
4. Honkey Donkey
5. You're Ugly
6. Hot Diggity Dog Run Run Run
7. Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like An Egyptian
8. My B-Sides Rock Your World
9. On An Ordinary Day
10. The Show Master
11. Take That Gum Out!
12. You've Got Me

Product Description

Solex ~ Laughing Stock Of Indie Rock

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars [Solex: Laughing Stock of Indie Rock] Eyeopening, unfocused March 19 2005
By jqr - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a bubbly, lively record with plenty of good beats, plenty of weird and thoughtful lyrics (not printed in the booklet, but available on the internet), and plenty of strange samples that you may never have heard before. For those of you who are newcomers to Solex's sonic stew, it involves collecting samples from long-forgotten records and re-recording them or using them directly.

I was prepped to like this record; it's her first one in a couple of years, on a new label, at that. But it didn't hit me over the head the way "Pick Up" or "Solex vs. the Hitmeister" did.

Listening to "The Boxer," you hear a catchy beat played on electric guitar with trap drum and Solex's trademark squeaky, down-in-the-mix voice, with lyrics that are largely incomprehensible because they don't scan or rhyme; it's as if she's singing a little prose story. Then in the middle is dropped in what sounds like the soundtrack to some video-game-console boxing game.

Mostly, "Laughing Stock" features guitars and trap drums and bass, with little electronic accents here and there. The rhythm parts sound herky-jerky, as if a single song's guitar track comes from four or six other records; the verse is played as if it was one record, then the chorus sounds like a second one, and the bridge a third, then the out-chorus a fourth.

It's an eyeopening sound, to mix a metaphor the way Solex might. But it's hard for me to imagine this as the soundtrack to any particular activity or emotion. Where her first two albums just insinuated themselves into everything I did: driving, working out, drinking coffee, going to sleep, et al., this one just doesn't seem to harness any particular kind of energy. It's just guitars and crazy lyrics and odd sonic textures that sound sampled but probably aren't. It still deserves four stars for the sheer imagination and creativity involved, but a fifth star awaits a Solex record with the same kind of brain-reshaping sonic awareness that "Hitmeister" and "Pick Up" conjured.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Esselink Oct. 6 2004
By Dan Mohr - Published on
Format: Audio CD
A new Solex album (The Laughing Stock Of Indie Rock being the first in three years) is a treat and a gift. Elisabeth Esselink (aka Solex) builds her songs out of "found sounds" and samples from used CDs and taped bootlegs in the basement of her Amsterdam CD shop, and the result is music the likes of which almost no one else is making right now - pop music that challenges the head while simultaneously moving both the heart and feet! The Detroit Metro Times describes Esselink's music as "heavy orchestral cartoon music for carports; William Burroughs as Bugs Bunny; like 'Fantasia' for 60s delinquents, a strong dose of freakout fun."

Esselink's songs, not to mention her coy, mischevious voice and prankish, crafty lyrics, are often compared to that of Bjork and Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori. While the latter band has long since broken up, and Mrs. Gudmundsdottir has spent her last two albums meandering about in search of a memorable melody or rhythm, Solex has proudly carried along the tradition of tightly crafted, idiosyncratic, and utterly winning pop. Her last three brilliant albums on the Matador label (which inexcusably dropped her from their label for being too eccentric - !?) were masterpieces of warped, kitschy dementia, head-spinning originality, and delightful sounds. To listen to a Solex song or a Solex album is to literally be wrapped up in and hanging on every moment, every note, every outrageously creative and unexpected direction and detour, texture and effect - all the while having great fun figuring out how to dance to the damned things!

Whereas her previous albums often consisted in large part of inspired sonic experiments carried out over a number of minutes, The Laughing Stock of Indie Rock (Arrco) is probably Esselink's finest collection of purely constructed SONGS; indeed, verse/chorus/verse structure is prevalent throughout the whole disc. "The Boxer" and "Take That Gum Out!" are more giddily toe-tapping and genuinely radio-rotation-worthy than anything on Bjork's highly hyped latest 'Medulla' album. "Yadda Yadda Yadda No. 1" re-imagines Cibo Matto's trip-hop as performed by a Cajun horn ensemble at the world's most demented Mardi Gras. "Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like An Egyptian," in Esselink's words, conjures up a line dance between the Bangles and Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian - imagine a country/alt tiki torch procession and you're almost there. (Out of the entire set, only "You're Ugly" and "On An Ordinary Day" fall into, well, a sort of ordinariness - which is an adjective otherwise impossible to apply to Solex's gleefully unorthodox musical strategies.) Album closer "You've Got Me" recalls the sweeping and hypnotic ambient lyricism found on Yo La Tengo's masterful 2003 'Summer Sun' LP; over a gorgeously ethereal backdrop of piano, drum brushing, glittering keyboard samples and guitar noodling, Esselink softly croons and wails while a 'mystery guest' (actually one Mr. Stuart Brown of Australia) recites a spoken word tome, "Nobody told you/how to unfold your love." It may just be the most beautiful music Solex has ever created; if you count yourself as a pop music romantic, it will unquestionably break your heart into a million blissful, shimmering pieces.
5.0 out of 5 stars 700 miles from here! <wink> Oct. 26 2004
By Metalgazer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
She's done it again! A totally chill stream of tunes that will boggle the brainstem while at the same time massaging it - this album is like candy, baby -- sweetness! If you are new to Solex, this is as good a place to start as any. But definately PICK-UP the back catalogue if you dig 'the laughing stock..."

Solex crafts tripped-out sound cubes that when placed on the eardrum melt into colorful beat vibrations and dissolve into your consciousness. If you're up for the absorbtion, her smooth vocals and playful bubbles of sound-waves will prove to be your cup of tea. One might sit about with a flask of brandy or cognac to sipple upon while spinning a disc from this wonderland-wiz. I mean, she's from Amsterdam, so its gotta be somewhat off-the-wall.

Not sure if this is trip-hop, experimental, indie rock, dance or somewhere in between....its just SOLEX. And I can't wait to see her live in Chapel Hill next month. I think I'll wear a shirt that says "Jack Daniels" and a hat that says "I love you".
2.0 out of 5 stars really awkward May 12 2007
By C. Stewart - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I love her voice and the drums are cool, but the music is so awkward. It sounds like she made it with Mario Paint (if anybody knows what I'm talking about). It has a very disjointed unorganized flow. My favorite track is #8 My B-Sides Rock Your World and that is only because of the trippy chorus "hello boy." If Miss Solex were to get herself educated on composition I believe she could craft a very nice tune.
4.0 out of 5 stars Solex Time! Sept. 18 2008
By L. Raymond - Published on
Format: Audio CD
If Primus was an indie rock band fronted by a lady, they would be something like solex. I personally have really enjoyed the quirky and kinda crazy album. And I think the title speaks for itself, "The Laughing Stock of Indie Rock"