Rick Weaver – The Secular Arm

Cassette and digital release on 5/19/17.

C36 – blue tape with black imprints. Pro-dubbed chrome plus cassette. 2-sided 3-panel J-Card with album artwork by Max.

As a nomadic mainstay of the American DIY circuit, Rick Weaver has accrued a mythology of tall tales, wild gigs, and madcap ideas, confounding listeners both solo (formerly under the Dinner Music moniker) and as a member of the chaotic cassette manipulation trio Form A Log. The Secular Arm, Weaver’s first solo release on Hausu Mountain, follows 2016’s Form A Log / Moth Cock split LP (HAUSMO31). The album zooms into a vision of twisted baroque composition cobbled together from shards of exotica, library music, and a big ole “?”-shaped style unique to Weaver’s idiosyncrasies. Animated by layered organ and guitar lines, lurching percussion patterns, and his own vocals, Weaver’s tracks play out like soundtracks to vaudeville skits or black-and-white cartoons broadcasted from an alternate history of the 20th century. He populates his songs with onomatopoeic bursts of activity, sudden shifts in atmosphere, and single serving characters sketched out in sounds as much as words. Though they feature instrumentation akin to rock and informal domestic music making (guitars, home organs, brass), Rick Weaver’s compositions skew closer to the progressive funhouse worlds of The Residents or Oingo Boingo, pumped full of tonal juxtapositions and deadpan humor. The Secular Arm showcases a complex musical mind that seeks to surprise, challenge, and entertain itself along with us – Weaver’s locomotive barrels down the track, and we hang on breathlessly to the rails.