This week, my guest on Something Different, Giorgio the Centenarian, managed to dig up something very different indeed. For those of you that don't know, every week, on the Thursday edition of Something Different, I send someone into our CD library to see what they can find. This often yields music none of us would have ever otherwise listened to, and so, I've resigned myself to looking into the artists we discover, and publishing my findings here.
Bran Van 3000 is a self-described "alternative rock collective," based out of Montreal. Founded in 1994, by James D Salvio and E.P. Bergen, the band, excuse me, the collective, does a little bit of rap, electronica, rock, and what's been described as "Neo-Soul." They tend to incorporate background studio chatter into their mix, and their music very rarely conforms to any traditional genre. They move deftly between electronica, indie, hip-hop, and soul inspirations, sometimes right in the middle of a song.
This brings me to my biggest issue with the group, which I'm sure is more a matter of personal preference. Perhaps it's because I'm a weenie, but I find their sound too inaccessible for me to enjoy right off the bat. The nebulous nature of a lot of their work is simply too complex to fully appreciate on a single, or even a couple of listens. All at the same time, they very obviously have a lot of technical talent, and the sheer variety involved in their songwriting makes them worth a look, even if super artsy things like this aren't normally your cup of tea. Some of their songs are actually genuinely groovy, like "Astounded," off of their 2001 album Discosis . What makes them interesting is the breadth of their repertoire, style-wise, and I highly recommend giving them a listen.
For more new discoveries like this one, tune in to Something Different, every Tuesday and Thursday from 8 to 9 P.M.
Photo credit: Google, labeled for reuse