Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lee Gull

For years, the Pacific Northwest has fostered a vibrant, famous scene. Artists from the likes of Mudhoney and Nirvana, and the offspring of the grunge explosion, as well as diverse acts like Elliott Smith, Carissa's Wierd, Minus the Bear, Botch ,The Kidcrash, just to name a small few, leave just about no genre unturned. Record labels like K Records, brainchild of Calvin Johnson, have put out records from important independents artists for years, including Phil Elverum (The Microphones/Mount Eerie), Modest Mouse, Kimya Dawson, Karl Blau, Little Wings, Mirah, The Blow, and Jason Anderson.

The K Records family has spawned it's own quiet revolution in the Pacific Northwest over the past decade and a half, nowhere near as renowned as the grunge movement of the early '90's, but, in the eyes of some, far more important. On his debut record under the name Lee Gull, Lee Baggett, musical companion of K's own Kyle Field (Little Wings) as well as a member of the band Be Gulls, stakes his claim as an important songwriter in his own right.

The songs on Burn'r are not even comparable to the more existential, introspective laments of Baggett's peers Elverum, Field, Johnson, and more recently, Adrian Orange. They are mostly upbeat, jangly, lo-fi psychedelic pop gems that sound like they could have been the result of Neil Young fucking around in the garage on the 4 track after getting too stoned. They retain a hazy, fuzzy quality that doesn't take away from the quality of the music, but rather adds to it, and brings to mind not only artists like Young and Crazy Horse, but Will Oldham and associate Kyle Field, as well (if they dropped acid and decided to write more guitar solos). Songs like "Clover Hill", the album's opener, showcase Baggett's knack for witty, clever, and catchy songwriting. The music is jammy and fun, complete with guitar solos that never seem too overdone. Burn'r is without a doubt one of the most slept-on records to be released, not only in 2008, but of the decade. This guy has only 48 listeners on Last.fm!

Download this, and then buy Burn'r from Marriage Records or one his other releases People in a Position to Know.

Unfortunately, this is the only release I have by Lee Baggett. I know he has put out several other records, including a split with Little Wings. If anyonse has these please leave a comment or post a link in the C-Box!

Here's a video of what would appear to be Kyle Field and Lee Baggett playing frisbee while "Where Does the Damage Lie?" plays in the background:

Lee Gull "Where does the damage lay?" from greg olin on Vimeo.

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Lee Gull Burn'r

Burn'r (2008)

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