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Arts and Culture

How Can That Be Possible?

More free musical awesomeness, this time from Karen Boekbinder.

By Thom Wong 26 Aug 2010 | TheTyee.ca

Thom Wong writes regularly about music for The Tyee. He can also be found ruminating about the state of menswear at The Sunday Best.

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And if there's anything we can do for you Ms. Boekbinder, you just say the word!

It starts with a simple hand clap, that soon adds foot-tapping and a more complicated rhythm until Kim Boekbinder begins her tale of The Impossible Girl. Your ears will have been conditioned by years of indie rock and Coldplay to wait for the inevitable swell of strings or thrum of guitars after this spare intro, but nothing is forthcoming. For one minute and 22 seconds Boekbinder holds your interest with nothing more than hands and feet and voice.

The Impossible Girl, an "album in four parts", is available on Boekbinder's site for free, which raises the interesting question of whether you should review (or criticize) free things. If an elementary school fair gives you a free hot dog, it's a little cynical to complain that it's lukewarm on a soggy bun. On the other hand, if a restaurant offering free sushi starts felling people with suspect tuna, I'd want some irate blogger to let me know. I've negotiated this dilemma by sending a few dollars Boekbinder's way, and I encourage you to do so as well. What you'll get for your pennies are four tightly woven pop gems.

Along with the fantastic titular track -- which will stay bumping around inside your head for days -- you'll get "Open/Avocado", a quietly pulsing love song that begins with guitar and horns but quickly sounds like a computer dying. "Come give me your heart,' Boekbinder sings, "I will grow it in a jar on the windowsill."

"Gypsy" is steeped in the trumpet and fiddle of the title, perhaps to too great a degree, but you'll forgive Boekbinder her clichés in return for her enthusiasm. "Big Easy" follows a similar format, prominently featuring a drunken trumpet and Boekbinder's best torch-song vocals. It's on this song that you'll finally realize just how well she can sing, building excitement for the next three parts.

And if you don't realize this, well, it was free.  [Tyee]

Read more: Music

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