Song of the Day: Alvarius B “The Dinner Party”
When the off-kilter indie band, Sun City Girls, ended after close to 30 years following the tragic death of drummer/ pianist / spoken word artist/ general madman, Charles Gocher in 2007, the brothers, Alan and Richard Bishop who constituted the other 2/3rds of the band both struck out on solo careers. While both had dabbled with the odd solo album while Sun City Girls was still ongoing, both fully embraced change and forged their own unique musical path. While the pair continue to periodically reunite on various projects and on their Sun City Girls tribute project, the Brothers Unconnected, both have now forged extremely strong solo musical identities.
While Alan Bishop has worked on a number of different projects in recent years, including his Egyptian psych rock project, Invisible Hands and Indonesian pop project Koes Barat among others, much of his work has fallen into the indie/freak folk genre under the name Alvarius B. “The Dinner Party” is the lead-off cut from Bishop‘s 2011 LP as Alvarius B, Baroque Primitiva. Complete with a gorgeous, but also NSFW album cover, the album is one of Bishop‘s strongest across any of his various projects.
The song is built around a soft, Spanish-language vocal and gentle acoustic guitar work. One of the great things about Bishop is that, no matter how weird he gets, he still has a great ear for melody and turns in an absolutely stunning song here. The album as a whole combines acoustic indie-folk with widescreen, Morricone-inspired compositions. He even manages to squeeze in both a stirring Beach Boys and Nancy Sinatra cover for good measure.