Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Adam Frank/Sam Shalabi – Overpass! A Melodrama

To live in one city for any amount of time is to eventually become both it’s defender and/or critic depending on circumstance. Overpass! is Adam Frank’s multi-personality dichotomous love/hate letter for Vancouver. Rather than a song-cycle Frank, a teacher of American Lit at UBC, chooses a sort of radio play, or melodrama as he describes it, supported by music from Montreal’s Sam Shalabi. The narrative centers upon the experience of Vancouver through the eyes of newcomer Antonia, a kind of toughly modernist version of Alice through the looking glass. She interacts with Merv, assistant to the city engineer and voices of architects, publishers and even the sound engineer provide various facts, figures, feelings on the peccadilloes Vancouver’s haphazard modernization. These eventually focus in on the overpass in question. Shalabi’s music, played by a small rock ensemble, by necessity remains in the background; occasionally driving the energy of the story or alternately pooling to mirror the difficulty of progress. While specific to Vancouver, Overpass! can speak to anyone who suddenly tunes in to their urban surrounding and what makes it work, or fail to.

(Alien8 Recordings)

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