- Free Popcorn - ole-342 - 1999-05-25
- emerge - - 1997-10-07
Brooklyn’s Lynnfield Pioneers know how to turn a party out. Their second full-length album, Free Popcorn, is the revelatory rump-roaster created specifically to get the stiffest of bootys shakin’ and bakin’. The trio of Dan Cook (vocals/keyboards), Mike Janson (guitar), and J.P. Jones (drums) have brought their much-discussed wide-ranging influences together under a groove as never before to produce a record intent on getting heads bobbin’ across the nation.
While 1997’s emerge was a surprising debut, introducing the Pioneers’ unsettling blend of urban influences, Free Popcorn is a shock. No other group in Matador’s history has made such a giant creative leap in such a short spell. They have come out of their self-imposed hibernation with a staggering EPIC of a rock ’n’ roll album. The group’s previously noted love of rock, funk, hip-hop, garage and punk has never made for a easy-to-pin-down combination--and those very contrasts are what make their second album so astounding. Is there any other band that can carry off the groove of "Chicken Strut"-era Meters with the intensity of the Fall, while recalling the Stones, ESG, Swell Maps, and Bo Diddley? Not by a long shot. And this record introduces bass guitar to the proceedings, to at last make for the full, deep- grooved realization of the hip-hopping, funky-spacey-sonic shit that has been bubbling toward the surface since their earliest recordings.
"If some of the original no-wave artists had a pogo friendly streak, they might’ve launched a sonic seducer like Lynnfield Pioneers." -- David Sprague, Request
"They play the ogran with the whole fist and don’t both er with that guitar-tuning shit much, but these Brooklynites’ taut, abrasive near-funk rhythms carry their savage little punk-rock talking blues." — Douglas Wolk, Village Voice
Described by someone as "agressively lo-fi with an occasionally funky edge" (which is why we’re writing the bio, not them), Brooklyn’s Lynnfield Pioneers require further explanation. Theirs is a carefully constructed form of fidelity; whether it is low or high is not for us to say. Were DMZ, Chain Gang, the Electric Eeels or the Seeds "lo-fi"? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t say it to their faces.
Your Flesh hailed last year’s awesome "Yo’s To Go" 7" as "the closest you’re ever gonna get to white soul music" which is as good a jumping off point as any. Stump keyboards/vocalist Dan Cook joins the slim pantheon of non-perpetrating crackers (i.e. James Chance, Big Boys, Crustified Dibbs) successfully getting down with their alienated, spastic selves. Powerhouse drummer J.P. Jones keeps the whole mess hurtling foward with a performance that’s garnered him a rep as one of the best trapsman in New York.
The Lynnfield Pioneers began in 1995 when roommates and old friends Mike Janson (guitar) and Dan Cook made a tape of riffs, rhymes and fragmented songs. The tape fell into the hands of neighbor Jones a few months later. That summer they recorded a single, The Newport EP at Jerry Teel’s Funhouse, releasing it on their own label, Lampshop. Live shows followed and to date, they’ve played with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Guitar Wolf, Strapping Fieldhands, Butter 08, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 and others. The "Yo’s To Go" single was followed by a third single earlier this year, both recorded by Greg Talenfeld and released on Lampshop. A CD compilation of the three singles, Lamp Comp EP, also came out earlier this year.
05/28/99 — Let’s say you and a friend are watching the NBA playoffs this weekend and during a time out, a commercial comes on for a certain wildly popular brand of shoe. Now in the commercial for this wildly popular brand of shoe, Kevin Garnett and Sharif Abdur-Rahim are teaching kids how to play basketball in a giant pool, and behind the action there’s a wildy funky beat. Let’s say your friend turns to you and asks, "Nevermind the commercial — Who’s behind that wildly funky beat?" You can turn to your friend and say, "Why, that’s the Lynnfield Pioneers with ’Time to Get Dumb.’ I’ve got the record right here." Then the both of you can turn off your TV and rock out to the wildly funky music.