Pete Francis and the Moldy Peaches:

MiMi Yeh

One of the best parts of this job is getting your mail. It can either be Christmas or Halloween depending on who is sending it. My favorite part, however, is music. I listen to just about anything. Part of it is the fact that I was exposed to so many different types while I was growing up.

Discovering new local bands is just one of the perks of working for a college paper, since I receive several CDs a week to review. I sat down this weekend to listen to two in particular: The Moldy Peaches’ self-entitled album and Pete Francis’ “So They Say”. The former is currently rotting away on my desk and the latter has been moved to my CD player.

Take fourth grade lyrics, basic two-chord variations, nonexistent pitch, and poor recording quality and you have Kimya Dawson and Adam Green, the dunderhead duo known as the Moldy Peaches.

These self-labeled scions of “anti-folk” get their rocks off singing about drug addiction in the song “Who’s Got the Crack?” with the lyrics “Who’s got the crack/ I am a goat/In a moat/With a boat”. To be generous and call their “style” punk-folk is like calling any tone-deaf hack with an acoustic guitar a musician.

Their attempt at making music in the cheekily humorous “Downloading Porn with Dave” (“Paid a 70 year old hooker to make out with me/Now the get high shack is just a memory/Downloading porn with Davo/Downloading porn with Davo”) merely calls attention to the undercurrent of junior-high rebellion and bathroom humor.

After listening to it once, I concluded that this CD will only be of use as a coaster.

Just as I was about to chalk it up to an hour’s worth of wasted time, I put in Pete Francis’ CD. Suffice to say anything after that lyrical water torture would be better, or so I hoped. I was not disappointed.

Pete Francis combines poetical lyrics with a soothing, deep baritone, a one-man band equivalent to local favorites Guster and Granian. His style of accoustic rock leans more towards blues, however, in songs like “Father Rose” and “Burning the River”. The simplistic current to this album is refreshing, bearing the mark of his New England roots.

“Sometimes I take lines from different poems I’ve written and put them together,” Francis says. “I don’t really have any rules when I’m writing a song. I usually start some of the words, if I have a few of them, and improvise the rest. This is where a song usually begins for me.”

Pete Francis will be playing on September 27th at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston. I highly recommend going to see the show.