Age of Regrets
Steven Brant and the Phantoms - it smells fishy. Take that description, 'acoustic music with electric instruments.' It's self-contradictory. It's not even strictly true. Most of the instruments - piano, drums, guitar - are acoustic. What's this 'pop folk' thing? Didn't folk-rock go out with bell-bottoms and tie-dyes? (Okay, I know those clothes are coming back, but you know what I mean.) Their folkie friends call it pop and the pop dudes complain that it's too folk. And then there's the band, made up of people named Geist and Specter and Sceadu (pronounced 'shad-OH'). Are these guys real? For that matter, is Marion Specter even a guy? And why aren't their pictures on the albums? What are they hiding? Finally, what about the music? Like settling into a comfortable couch only to have a spring break loose and poke you in the butt. They obviously grew up in the 60s - not the psychedelic era, more like Buffalo Springfield meets Love. But they clearly live in the aughts or 00s or whatever we call this decade. They write about grown-up things, too, from grown-up love to growing older, without whining about it all. No, I take it back, they do whine a bit about aging, but they have rollicking fun doing so. No angst, just rueful acceptance you can dance to. (Anyone remember the frug?) Acoustic music with electric instruments. Phantoms indeed. Something is definitely fishy here. And catchy. And did I mention fun? Age of Regrets is acoustic music with electric instruments: that's what happens in the Age of Regrets. (If you play it backwards, it comes out 'Regrets of Age.' Or maybe 'Paul Is Dead'; playing CDs backwards is not something to try without proper training, on a closed course, with a professional driver.) The Age of Regrets is Shakespeare with a comb-over; with the confidence this would have given old Will, he'd surely not have poured his existential doubt into poor Hamlet. The Age of Regrets is Lincoln smoothing away those forehead wrinkles with Botox. He was clearly worried that the world would little note nor long remember what he said at Gettysburg; with a smooth forehead, that speech would have played much, much better on TV. Note: to check out Lincoln's wrinkles, take out a $5 bill. While you're at it, get another $5 out and send it in to get your own copy of Age of Regrets. In addition to 13 great tunes, you get cover art proving how much better Willie the Shake and Honest Abe would have looked had they not suffered from the Regrets of Age. You've got the Regrets of Age when... - Rockin' your baby all night long takes on a whole new meaning; learn to dance the Baby Rock. - You remember the Troggs, but folks say you're now doing the Mild Thing. - You acknowledge how hard you have to work at real relationships, caught up in the Day to Day Brutality of Love. And is there doubt that this is the Age of Regrets? - We used to welcome folks with open arms at Ellis Island. - We get caught up not in living but in searching for the Holy Grail. - We are witness to the horrors of 9/11; we are all at Ground Zero. So if Regrets of Age are keeping you awake in this Age of Regrets, we have the cure. Just take two tracks each night from Steven Brant and the Phantoms and call your lover in the morning. Age of Regrets is also great preventive medicine for those who don't yet suffer from Regrets of Age. Your mileage may vary. See dealer for VIN number. And do, please, try this at home.