Monday, January 19, 2009

Waxing Poetics

Improbably, Norfolk's Waxing Poetics are back (baby)!

OK, they're not really back, but there has been a surprising amount of activity of late. Those who remember the WP know why that's exciting news. Those who have no idea about this band need to check them out. FWIW, their second album, Manakin Moon, is their most popular while the third album, Bed Time Stories, is my favorite: Bed Time Story is their experimental album, the musical definition of multiple personality disorder in terms of styles, and one of the darkest, most claustrophobic, paranoid albums I've ever heard.

Their long out of print albums -- Hermitage (1987), Manakin Moon (1988), Bed Time Story (1990) -- were made available for download via Amazon and iTunes last month. The downside is that the cover songs -- most notably, Brian Eno's "Needles in the Camel's Eye" and Wreckless Eric's "Semaphore Signals" -- are not available. It appears that the band bought back the rights to their albums and are releasing these themselves, which would explain why they opted to drop the covers. But on the upside, there are two previously unreleased bonus tracks available on Hermitage: "Happy Days" and "Jimmy Carter's Head" (which also went by the name "Different Lands") were both popular songs from the Poetics' fun live shows.

In addition to the digital re-release of the old albums, a shiny new website has also gone up that includes links to a batch of newly posted live videos, as well as MP3s of some of the bands and one-off projects that Dave Middleton and Paul Johnson (AKA Paul Tiers) have done up in NYC since the Poetics called it quits back in 1991 (save for the occassional reunion every other year or so back home in the Hampton Roads area).

I'm posting two of the better WP videos below. I believe that these have been created only recently, which only adds to my curiosity about the sudden activity of a long defunct band. It's probably just wishful thinking, but this just makes me wonder if something special, possibly new, is in the works from Paul, Dave, Sean, and Bill.

Watch Waxing Poetics - Jimmy Carter's Head in Music Videos | View More Free Videos Online at

Watch Waxing Poetics - Happy Days in Music Videos | View More Free Videos Online at


  1. I did it, downloaded all three albums from iTunes. Very catchy!

  2. Very cool! OK, we talked you into trying Waxing Poetics, now you really must take our FREE STRESS TEST!! Do it! Do it now! Join us, Nancy!!