Monday, August 25, 2008

Kendra Smith - Five Ways of Disappearing (1995)

By Request:

While an inferior and far more inconsistent album than 'The Guild of Temporal Adventurers,' I'd say that Kendra Smith's first and only full-length is still worth a listen for fans of her uniquely skewed and eclectic brand of songcraft. It's a noteworthy album if only for the fact that it was Smith's final release before her self-imposed retreat from the music industry and, by and large, society as well, presumably still living without electricity in her small cabin in the woods of Northern California. - Ariel

Picking up with real studio effort (Smith co-produced with Uberman), Five Ways of Disappearing is the most ambitious and successful undertaking of Smith's career. Both a strong recapitulation and a brave relaunch, the album has it all: quiet Velvety obsessions ("Get There"), cerebral songdom ("Aurelia," "Space Unadorned"), trancey rock ("Drunken Boat"), trad folk ("Maggots"), Kurt Weill's Berlin ("Bohemian Zebulon"), folk-rock ("Valley of the Morning Sun"), new wavey bubblegum ("In Your Head") and one of the best acoustic Led Zeppelin imitations in recent memory ("Bold Marauder"). No two tracks have much in common beyond Smith's enervated singing; even when she might just be aiming to sound ordinary, the record comes off appealingly offbeat. Though some songs are amiss, precious or overly derivative, as a personal sampler, Five Ways of Disappearing is an impressive — and colorful — achievement.

[Karen Schoemer/Ira Robbins]



Anonymous said...

Thank you for this last sign of life of beautiful Kendra. Surely this isnt such a classic like "Guild of..." or "Early recordings", but some songs (e.g. Bohemian zebulon, Get there, Bold marauder) are going straight to my heart. Such a cool voice.


Hank said...

Wonderful, I've been wanting to hear this.

Just found your blog, and I must say, you seem to have a lot of stuff that's right up my street.

I'm really going to enjoy looking through your archives!

Many thanks!

Bang Bang said...

This blog leads the way!

Peter said...

Thanks for this! Very kind of you...however I am having a problem with Mediafire (and only with this download - the others work fine. I am getting this error message: "Too many redirects occurred trying to open (the file). This might occur if you open a page that is redirected to open another page which then is redirected to open the original page."

It seems others are getting it, though...?

As for NZ, I love it here, but you know at the very time I was at a cafe uploading that Kiwi psych comp, my van and everything I own (except the laptop which was with me) was being stolen! Right in broad daylight from a "safe" residential street in a rather posh 'hood. So I was devastated by that. Mostly over losing personal, sentimental items like a shirt a friend made me before I left, etc. My van was high-mileage, dented and with a wobbly wheel, but it was "home". Can't imagine who would want it. There were several nicer ones, including one exact same model, on the street that day.

But a couple days have passed and I refuse to let it bring me down!

Are you in NZ? Where?

Ariel said...

Try this one:

If that doesn’t work, I’ll try Megaupload. I’d hate to disappoint you in your quest for human contact, but I’m very much on the opposite side of the world at the moment. I wish all of these albums were from my personal collection! So sorry to hear about your van; I do hope that everything works out. So, stay positive—to be so horribly trite—and I eagerly look forward to the second (first?) installment of the Kiwi psych comp. So many gems on there. Thanks for your excellent blog!

ken said...

I lost this cd years ago while gettin' my daily exercise at the gym and have been keeping an eye out for it ever since. Thanks for bringing my search to a conclusion. said...

I found a lot of helpful info here!

Anonymous said...

link dead.
reupload please!