Get Baked with The Sea and Cake's Moonlight Butterfly

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Listen to this while high: The Sea and Cake's Moonlight Butterfly.

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Behind the buzz: The Sara Lee of indie pop, known and loved for their steady line in aural confections, Chicago-based The Sea and Cake return with Moonlight Butterfly, their ninth studio confection since their self-titled 1994 debut. The charm of this post-rock assortment latest isn't in its novelty, since the band has put up successful effort to be unlike any other eccentric in a landscape nearly petrified with them. It's better to experience this album as one more barrow-load from beloved bakers of dainties.

Today's weed: Earth OG, the dizzying vertical properties of which make it a complete misnomer.

Soap Bubbles in Amber: "Covers" opens the proceedings with a jangling om and settles into a Byrdsy meditative jangle. Sam Prekop's papery voice (indie rock's recycling of Whispering Bill Anderson) makes few demands on the listener in its tentative gestures toward feeling before the song gently groans to a stop like an elderly Bentley. Apart from the fans who've muched down S & C's catalog this past fright-ridden decade, "Lyric" would appeal to the sensitive types I see crowding the Oldies section at Amoeba on the Haight, thumbing over Emitt Rhodes CDs with that Ark of the Covenant look on their pasty mugs. The title track is a stately synth march that capers along for a while in sub-Alan Parsons manner. "Up on the North Shore" wafts by like a country breeze, decorated with about as many subtle caresses, but "Inn Keeping," clocking in at over 10 minutes, is an extended impressionist daydream, approaching such masterpieces of insubstantiality as "Track Goes By" by The High Llamas. The finale is "Monday," a slight piece of skylit gossamer that would fit right well atop Mickey Dolenz tonsils on any post-Nesmith Monkees LP. A mere six tracks may look off-putting to purse-pinching consumers, but oldtime stoners are likely own at least two hundred oldtimey prog albums with even fewer songs.

Psychoactive verdict: If your idea of a nirvanic after-work experience is crashing on the couch pulling bong to Paul McCartney's Red Rose Speedway, this is your gateway to new worlds of enchanting piffle.


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