Monday, October 10, 2011

While My Pencilina Gently Weeps

"The pencilina is an electric board zither played primarily by striking the strings with sticks; also by plucking and bowing." And musical instrument inventor/singer-songwriter Bradford Reed is, so far as I know, the world's only performer on this nifty instrument. It's a credit to his songwriting that I didn't know anything about this instrument when I first heard his music - I just liked the song.

Of this 1996 album, the Brooklynite writes, "A strictly live pencilina album. For better or worse I used to have a very purist approach to recording- It must be live. A 50/50 split of instrumental and vocal tunes." Yup, no other instruments - just the one-man-band doing his eccentric thing. Songs range from slightly dissonant,
possibly micro-tonal, plinkety-plunking, to actual catchy tunes. The slightly rough, unaffected singing makes Reed appear to be some sort of indie-rock Harry Partch.

Bradford Reed - "Live! At Home"

This album's going out of print, but he's got more for sale on his site. I recommend "Solo Live Songs" if, for no other reason, the excellent "She's A Rocket." And I can't believe I'm writing about someone from Brooklyn. I'm so trendy! Please forgive.


Disaster Amnesiac said...

Rad. Great tune, great concept. Floored!

illustrationISM.... said...

Bradford is so creative and eccentric!
Move over Robert Randolph!
Thanx for posting!