Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Eight Seconds: Almacantar (1986)

An almacantar is a device that is used to observe celestial bodies that pass along a plane that is parallel to the horizontal plane. In other words, it measures altitude. It's an interesting choice for an album title and the good news is that the album graphics make good reference to the instrument. Some record covers seem to have been made in complete ignorance of the album and song titles.

I first heard this band when the single Kiss You (When it's Dangerous) came out. I quickly found out that the band was from Ottawa. I was absolutely stunned to learn that this, their debut, was produced by Rupert Hine. How could that have been, I wondered?

I had already heard Thinkman's The Formula and Rupert Hine's Immunity, Waving Not Drowning, and The Wildest Wish to Fly and just could not believe that an unknown band from Canada could have managed to attract Rupert Hine as a producer. If I remember correctly, I think that someone sent Hine a copy of the band's first EP and he decided that he wanted to produce the band. It's an interesting story, but it still means that there are really only two good tracks on the record: the aforementioned Kiss You (When it's Dangerous) and Where's Bula, which I really think ought to be Where's Bula? OK, if pressed, I might also include Sincere as a good track.

Oh, and one other thing I should mention, if I can trust information from the deep recesses of my brain. I seem to recall that the name of the band came indirectly from Andy Warhol who apparently made a statement that his argument that everyone gets 15 minutes of fame should really have been eight seconds of fame. I wonder if I remembered that correctly? I think I heard this as part of a radio interview with the band.

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