FAME Review: Chaise Lounge - Dot Dot Dot
Chaise Lounge - Dot Dot Dot

Dot Dot Dot

Chaise Lounge

Modern Songbook Records - MSR-005

Available from the Chaise Lounge online store.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Don't let the Dot Dot Dot CD title or the non-descript moderne cover artwork fool you, Chaise Lounge doesn't engage in Kraftwerky bleep blopp music nor synth-drenched electronica, nor even minimalist glitch but instead a return to the groovy elder cool of the 50s and before. Not the zany looniness of Spike Jones but the cut-up hipsterism of Louis Prima and ilk, much more mannered and urbane than Jones but just as enjoyable in its own way. There's plenty of swing, era jazz, jivin' jump, and that sort of thing, all of it led by a cat named, now get this, Charlie Barnett. Yep, just one little 't' away from the great Charlie Barnet of bygone fame.

The song Dot Dot Dot isn't about any dot.com, it's not an ellipsis, nor even a sing-song redundancy but a reference to Morse code, an element of the S.O.S. distress signal, here applied to a metaphorical ship sinking in the sea of love, a way hip cut with Marilyn Older singing in her perennially slinky, sultry, sexy near-babydoll voice beside five highly talented and letter perfect instrumentalists (clarinet, trombone, drums, guitar, bass). Older's sensuality would make a bishop sweat bullets, grow red in the face, and kick out a stained-glass window, but Barnett (guitar, piano, accordion, tenor banjo) and the boys ice the situation back down, putting the hold-on to the go-on as Father Flaherty hip-sways a little jig back to the sacristy to doff the vestments and deck out in reet pleat and pompadour.

Apparently the concert audience favorite is The Coolest Car, an infectious tune, but I'm going for I Just Want All of my Stuff, just as humorous but of the sort that drives home what happens when two lovers meet, love, lose, split, part, and get down to brass tacks:

I just want all my stuff
My TV and my Xbox and the records I love
You can keep your dreams
And your precious self esteem
I just want all of my stuff

…and, man o man, I think Barnett was listening in on a couple of my own romantic flame-outs. Everything's not all grins 'n giggles, though, as Split in Two (Wreckage) is a dead-set serious ballad of a marriage gone terribly wrong, sung in a light wistful tone but weighted down with confusion and memories, the good against the bad, wondering what the heck happened. This is the penultimate number, a superb and thoughtful but heart-panged track, just before a speedy instrumental version of Old Man River closes everything out.

Track List:

  • The Coolest Car (Charlie Barnett)
  • It's Always You (Charlie Barnett)
  • Cool (Bernstein / Sondheim)
  • I Just Want All of My Stuff (Charlie Barnett)
  • Let's Face the Music and Dance (Irving Berlin)
  • The Best Part of My Losing Streak (Charlie Barnett)
  • Dot Dot Dot (Charlie Barnett)
  • Via Con Me (Paulo Conte)
  • Stereo Check-Out (Charlie Barnett)
  • I'm Always Waiting On You (Charlie Barnett)
  • Senor Hueso (Charlie Barnett)
  • Little Blue Man (Charlie Barnett)
  • Split in Two (Wreckage)
  • Old Man River (Hammerstien / Kern)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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