CD Review: Cape Dory [2011]

Release: 01/2010
Label: Fat Possum

1. “Take Me Somewhere” – A
2. “Long Boat Pass” – A
3. “Cape Dory” – B
4. “Marathon” – B+
5. “Bimini Bay” – A-
6. “South Carolina” – A-
7. “Pigeon” – A-
8. “Seafarer” – A
9. “Baltimore” – A-
10. “Waterbirds” – A-

Comments: This band’s back story has been blogged about and blogged about and blogged about some more. Their music has been written about just as much, too. So how is the music, since that’s all we care about?…well pretty good.  It’s kind of like Best Coast if Best Coast was folkier and surfier. Cape Dory is pretty all-around surfy. Minimal surf, though, not hectic. That should be noted. The girl singer (what’s her face!) in Tennis can do some fine stretching of her vocal cords. The first song on here isn’t illustrious in the sense of musical creativity/expansion, but it’s merely a light pop song to be enjoyed. Her voice is like that of trad/mod pop singer, but she really packs the punches better and possesses that innocent-but-really-pretty quality. I’m a sucker for the drum beat on “Long Boat Pass” and the surf guitar twang. Don’t twang and surf go well together? That said, how much shore line can we take, damn it?! Not all is awesome (rarely is everything); some of the techniques are pretty tired a la “sha la la sha la la” on “Cape Dory” for instance. On “Bimini Bay,” Tennis brings to mind the stripped down, laid-back nature of label-mates Walkmen’s 2010 LP Lisbon. This aesthetic carries on deep into the second half of the record. Another album I’d compare this to purely based on the metric of ambition is Teen Dream. ‘Course that was one of the best things that I heard last year and this does not match up to that record, BUT compositionally and sonically Cape Dory similarly sounds so natural and free-flowing. I can’t really praise it enough for that. At the end of the day, the hype that Tennis has received seems well warranted. Their take on girl group/oldies revivalism is unique nowadays and will probably stay around for a while.

Grade: A- (90)

Tennis plays Great Scott on February 28.

Lee Ronaldo’s Tennis Injury…

…causes Sonic Youth to postpone their West Coast Tour.

Sonic Youth News
Sonic Youth regretfully announce that guitarist Lee Ranaldo has fractured his left wrist — requiring the band to reschedule portions of their upcoming west coast tour to the following new dates:

Mon Jan 04 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theater
Tue Jan 05 – Phoenix, AZ – Marquee Theater
Thu Jan 07 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
Fri Jan 08 – Pomona, CA – Fox Theater
Sat Jan 09 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern

Tickets for the original dates will be honored or, if necessary, refunds will be made available at the point of purchase.
Two of the band’s planned Fall appearances will NOT be rescheduled, however – September 26 in Santa Barbara and October 4 at The Austin City Limits Festival. Refunds for the Santa Barbara performance will be available at the point of purchase. More ticket information on the calendar page.

Lee fractured his wrist while playing tennis. Please join us in wishing him a quick and thorough recovery.

Andy Murray Loses In Staggering Upset

And now, some tennis news!

Playing an oddly listless match while exhibiting the body language of a man undergoing a tax audit, No. 2 seed Andy Murray was battered by No. 16 Marin Cilic in a stunning 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 fourth-round loss on Tuesday that produced a rare men’s upset in the United States Open.

Perhaps more surprising than the result, though, was how it happened. Murray, who used to have a reputation for moping when things went poorly, had climbed to the top of the rankings on his ability to adjust mid-match and create ways to win. But in this match, Murray’s game disintegrated as Cilic, an up-and-coming 20-year-old from Croatia, plowed through the match without showing any emotion.

“It just got away from me,” Murray said. “I couldn’t get myself back in the match. I couldn’t find any way to get into the games and he was dominating the points.”

Murray had come into the tournament looking strong, having won one of the two hard-court warm-up tournaments — in Montreal with a victory over Juan Martin del Potro — and losing to No. 1 Roger Federer in the semifinals of the other in Cincinnati.

But his game had no bite and after Cilic overcame some errors early in the match, he turned all of his varied weapons on a mystified Murray.

The match started slowly, with errors on both sides until they reached 5-5 in the first set. There, Murray played a horrible service game, double-faulting to 0-40 and Cilic converted his first break. He then held off Murray’s attempt to break and grabbed the first set.

“I returned poorly and he served well,” Murray said. “That was really the difference. Once he got that first set, he hit the ball really well and started playing really aggressive.”

Murray visibly sagged after that swing of events and Cilic pounced on his growing vulnerability, breaking Murray in the first game of the second set.

From there, it became a march to Murray’s demise. He hung his head, swung his racket in frustration and swore to no one in particular after one Cilic mis-hit dropped in for a point. After the second set loss, Murray threw his racket to the ground.

From there, Cilic kept his all-business expression and never let Murray back into the match. He was painting the lines with forehand winners while Murray struggled to keep his forehand in the court. Murray never adjusted his game or tried any new tactics, other than growing continually more annoyed at what was happening.

Serving at 2-4 in the third set and defeat seemingly inevitable, Murray played perhaps his most dispirited game, flubbing a forehand into the net to get broken a final time. Cilic served out the set with ease and the upset was complete.

Cilic was not the most likely candidate to pull off this upset. Though on the rise at age 20, having reached his No. 17 ranking, he had never beaten a top-three player. While he is a strong server, it has never been a true weapon in top-tier matches. Against Murray, though, he had 10 aces and faced few challenges on his service games.

Now, he draws del Potro in the quarterfinals after del Potro advanced with a dominating 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Juan Carlos Ferrero in their fourth-round match.