January 2015

Parrot & Paperback

Happiest Music of the Year

"As far as happy music is concerned, one cannot go wrong with a parrot and a paperback. This simple, gleeful concept is something that no one had thought of before. In subsequent years, we'll hear a glut of parrot and paperback albums, and we'll look back and reminisce about the day when it all began."

A Closer Listen, 12/13/2015

"Few recordings are truly one of a kind… Now joining this elite group is the latest EP from R. Weis, who over the past three decades has lost none of his experimental streak and has shed none of his joy.

"…R. Weis manipulates the sounds of an African Grey Parrot named Congo along with the sound of a dropped book (about the Congo, of course).  While millions of musicians have dreamt of one day composing a parrot and paperback EP, Weis is the only one to ever go through with it.  Why have so many others failed before him?  Perhaps it is the daunting nature of such a project.  First, one needs access to a parrot.  Next, one must make difficult decisions: hardback or paperback?  Floor or table?  Will the dropped paperback upset the parrot?  Should the two be recorded in different rooms?  What if the parrot requests a rider?

"If anyone were to tackle such a project, it was going to be Weis.  After all, he'd already laid the groundwork with the classic "Dog Choir" in 2003.  (What howls!  What harmonies!).  It's a wonder he waited so long to return to this sort of music, although 2011's "Casserole and Singing Bowl" and "Plastic Foil Rubber" came close.  With the percussive "Parrot & Paperback," Weis matches the timbre of artists including Modified Toy Orchestra, Weerthof and Twink, but with a major difference: a parrot is not a toy.

"...And here's the great thing: "Parrot & Paperback" is actually worth the fish… Weis brings the hard beats - yes, one can dance to this and by God we want remixes…

"…we suggest that you buy a copy today.  Otherwise, years from now, you'll be ruing the missed opportunity and having the darndest time recalling the name of that "parrot and paperback" thing you read about once.  What was it called again?  Act now and spare yourself the future pain."

A Closer Listen, 4/1/2015

"The highly manipulated sounds lie somewhere between industrial, noise and Steve Reich-style soundscape composition.  Cool in concept, and generally a fun listen in its execution -- two things that don't always coincide in this field.  Weis is an underappreciated local treasure, known more in the art world than the music scene; he's worth a second look if you're interested in exploring the outer reaches of what we call music."  

Pittsburgh City Paper, 1/28/2015

Follow me on Mastadon