As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Thursday, December 14

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Transmission
« Finding Music The Old Fashioned Way Review: Fiery Furnaces, Widow City »

Review Tue Oct 09 2007

Review: Patrick Wolf, The Magic Position

wolf-the-magic-postion.jpg

Writing a review of Patrick Wolf is an infuriating task -- his music is endearingly fucked up, but pretentiously enough you don't know if you want to recommend his work or punch him the face. Previous efforts, like 2005's Wind in the Wires, hinted at greatness, but contained failures so spectacular they're almost good -- like "Tristan," which I still find myself listening to in the faint hope that I won't want to strangle the nearest person with eye makeup on when Wolf sings the ridiculous chorus hook.

On this year's The Magic Position, however, Wolf seems to have abandoned the angsty emo darkness that was his stock-in-trade and put out a pretty happy 13-track record. This isn't an opaque transition, by any means -- the title track contains the lyric "It's you who puts me in the magic position [to do a number of trite things] in a major key." So apparently dude's getting some. Good for him, and good for us, because the results of Patrick Wolf getting his dingle played with are eminently listenable. Tracks like "Accident and Emergency" and "(Let's Go) Get Lost" are dangerously cute at times, with twee Nintendo synths and sound effects layered over some funtime drum machines, and mopey numbers like "Augustine" retain the overindulgent art-school charm that made those old records interesting without inspiring guyliner-related homicide.

The transition in subject matter didn't affect Wolf's stylistic tendencies -- he still over-pronounces every word with an annoyingly affected rasp (yes, we know, you smoke and drink! You bad boy.) and his lyrics are the kind of stuff that would go over really well in a Morrissey fan club meeting, but it's much more charming this time around, for some reason -- like you have a little brother who just went Goth or something. You know it's dumb, but fucked if you don't have a pair of ten-year-old knee-high boots and a black trench in the closet yourself -- so who are you to judge? The Magic Position is full of similar potential, a uniquely accessible effort wrapped up in the tropes of previous identities. Who knows, maybe next time we'll get skater punk.

Patrick Wolf plays tonight at The Metro with Bishi. Doors at 6, show at 630. $15, all-ages

 
GB store
GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

Blogroll

  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
BackStage
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
ChicagoMusic.org
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
CHIRP
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
Daytrotter
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Do312
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
Gridface
The Hood Internet
Innerview
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pitchfork
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Songs:Illinois
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock

  Venues:

Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
B.L.U.E.S
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Constellation
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
FitzGerald's
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Martyrs'
Mayne Stage
Metro
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Rosa's
Schubas
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Smartbar
Subterranean
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Township
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Atavistic
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Hozac
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

GB store

Events

Featured Series














 

Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.


About Transmission

Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks, sarah@gapersblock.com
Transmission staff inbox: transmission@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15