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In the Village of the Apple Sun

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Album Review

To say that Anton Barbeau is influenced by British pop in the vein of the Kinks and the Beatles is like stating that rain drops are often wet. Barbeau wears these old-school rock staples like proud badges on the opening "This Is Why They Call Me Guru 7" and the trip-induced, heady and psychedelic-tinged "Mushroom Box, 1975." However, for each of these little jewels, there are some time wasters or interludes that add nothing to the record, including "Coffee Pot" and "Bane Edit (Sing Gypsy Sing!)." But these are forgivable when a pretty poppy ditty like "On a Bicycle Built for Bicycle 9" comes along, resembling the best of Matthew Sweet or Velvet Crush. Barbeau puts on a "Sgt. Pepper's" hat on for the quirky but effective "Murray Boots Are Conquering the World" and the spacy "The Bane of Your Existence Is My Name." Perhaps the highlight of the album is "Creep in the Garden," which has a certain aura to it, much like David Bowie in his "Space Odyssey" days. As for the title track, the artist is terribly sweet on the sugary song, which has a slightly darker, murky undercurrent. However, the one disappointment is "When I Was 46 in the Year 13" which doesn't seem to send the album to a new plateau.


Born: California

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The term "cult hero" was practically created for Anton Barbeau, whose offbeat yet tuneful guitar pop bears the stamp of predecessors like XTC and Robyn Hitchcock. In 1994, Anton Barbeau and the JoyBoys' debut album, The Horse's Tongue, won the SAMMIE Award (Sacramento, CA) for Album of the Year. In 1997, Barbeau's "Octagon" appeared on the Best of American Pop compilation Yellow Pills 4, alongside artists such as the Plimsouls, Material Issue, and Jason Falkner. In 1999, he released Antology, Vol....
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In the Village of the Apple Sun, Anton Barbeau
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