A.V. Club's favorite Milwaukee music of 2008: Farms In Trouble and The Trusty Knife
Our look back at the year's musical bright spots continues with two records from Riverwest
Throughout the year we hear a lot of local records at Decider HQ. Some of them are good, a lot of them aren’t, and a select few never leave the CD player. This week we're looking back at records that belong in the last category. Today, we cheat a little and look at two records from Riverwest label Activities Recordings: Farms In Trouble's The Gas Station Soundtrack and The Trusty Knife's self-titled debut.
The Riverwest-based Activities Recording Group had a great 2008, emerging as the city’s one-stop shop for top-flight indie pop. First, the label released The Gas Station Soundtrack by Farms In Trouble, a loose-limbed side project for members of local indie-scene stars The Candliers and The Trusty Knife (along with pals in Nothing In That Drawer and Scrimshaw). Drawing on Guided By Voices, Elephant 6, and Captain Beefheart, Farms In Trouble’s debut full-length alternates between concise blasts of melodic bliss and meandering sonic collages over 28 tracks (which, like GBV’s 28-song Alien Lanes, last just over 40 minutes). It’s a thrilling, ramshackle record that feels all the more precious because it never quite falls apart. Then came the even better full-length debut from The Trusty Knife, a charming collection of good-time pop-rock songs that splits the difference between Elvis Presley and Elvis Costello. Here's the video for "It's All Built In," a standout track from The Trusty Knife, along with downloadable MP3s for The Trusty Knife's "Now You See Me Now You Don't" and "My Beautiful Baby Born Inside Out" by Farms In Trouble.
Download "Now You See Me Now You Don't" here.
Download "My Beautiful Baby Born Inside Out" here.