(Lane Steinberg) NOEL COWARD'S GHOST - Peyote Marching Songs, Vol. 1

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Rare Lane Steinberg(the Wind) project from 1994. Not Lame sold a lot of these in he mid 90s.

“The first Noel Coward’s Ghost record was a complete break from formal pop structures”, explains Steinberg, “I tried to do something completely unique, and I succeeded on some level. Most importantly, I amused myself!” The critics stumbled over each other to find unique metaphors to describe the music. Lane: “My favorite was Frank Zappa & the Zombies making a Left Banke album”.

Lane Steinberg, until now best known as the producer behind an ear-boggling string of Cheepskate and Shane Faubert albums, suddenly commits to disc his very own self-built sound-shrine to all of his, and hopefully your, fave pillars of past musical mayhem. Sounds like a fun way to spend 43:16 (or, in Lane's case, two or three years), huh?

But whereas "The Lovely Maiden Voygle" may imply a Zappa/Zombies collaboration (Yikes!), and "Media Blitz" sounds as if the Quiet Beatle lent a slide guitar solo to Andy Partridge (ouch!!), Lane bravely rises above mere hat-tipping to concoct a work that somehow, against all apparent oddities, stands unique in its execution and its vision. For example, he can so easily swing from High Llamaesque tone poetry ("A Ghost In Wexford Terrace") to good ol' P.Harum-style r'n'r ("Excuses") and even have time for a damned-if-it-shouldn't-be-a-Top-40-smasherooni ("What's Wrong With Who Cares?") along the way.

Sure, like all the best things musical and otherwise in life, this album's a challenge at times, so wonderfully dense is its aural landscaping. But I heartily suggest you suit up and dig in nonetheless and hopefully Volume Two will be along any time now.
----Gary Pig Gold, 9/99