Release Date: Sep 12, 2011
Record label: Strut
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Retro Swing
Just like last time out, the sticker on the outside reads "First new studio album in 10 years!," but this time August Darnell’s revival of his Kid Creole persona is a winning return to form with none of the forced fun of 2001’s Too Cool to Conga! Here the smart part of the Kid’s humor is played up, and the audience is eased into it with the surprisingly small “Stony and Cory,” an intimate and welcome example of the group’s "Cab Calloway in post-punk N. Y. C.
Of all the innovative artists tied to the downtown New York scene of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, August Darnell, aka Kid Creole of Kid Creole & the Coconuts, is one of the most overlooked and underrated. Songs such as “Endicott,” “Stool Pigeon,” and “I’m A Wonderful Thing, Baby” portray both Darnell’s commercial sensibilities and his gift for applying edgy flourishes to disco, funk, calypso, and myriad other genres. His ties with “mutant disco” label ZE Records ply him with an enviable amount of cred, and the level of theatricality he and the Coconuts brought to the scene is as refreshing as it is enjoyable.
Mark McGuire The young guitarist Mark McGuire, who plays in the band Emeralds but spends the off hours making his own recordings — dozens of them, sometimes in runs of under 100 — creates dense noise and sweet music too. Underneath his interest in 40-year-old, spaced-out German instrumental music — early Kraftwerk and Cluster and Popol Vuh — is a more purely strummy optimism. “Get Lost,” his new record on Editions Mego, is a crystallized and focused version of the sweeter stuff, much of it played on multitracked acoustic guitar with a bit of layered, droney vocals and analog synthesizer counterlines, twinkling and chugging.
Aside from appearing in samples in M.I.A.’s song “Sunshowers” and Ghostface Killah’s “Ghost Showers” as a member of Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, August Darnell has kept his womanizing alter ego, Kid Creole, under wraps for the last decade. His return to feel-good tropical pop funk, I Wake Up Screaming, sees the fedora-wearing 1980s star revitalizing his career with an updated and boisterously happy sound.