From the mail bins...

yosef ben porat

As revealed to me at, Yosef’s story is an epic journey through the shadows of middle-life drudgery. Yosef had lost it all in 2001. His home, his family: it all went down the drain in a flash. He doesn’t elaborate as to how he lost it all, or what “all� meant (did his wife pass away? did she dump him?), but we’re told that he succumbed to alcoholism afterwards.

One day, as he was driving down an unnamed freeway and feeling morbidly depressed, his eyes went out suddenly. It was as if someone reached into Yosef’s brain and flicked a lightswitch off. And there he was, driving down Highway 666 without the slightest notion of direction. After cruising unharmed for a miraculous three minutes, despair sank its teeth into Yosef and he called out to a higher being for salvation. And wouldn’t you know it, he inexplicably regained his eyesight and pulled into the nearest 7-11. You can interpret this in many ways. But for Yosef, it meant he needed to pull his shit together and write an album titled Magistic Soul (apparently, it also meant he had to buy a King Arthur ensemble from the Dollar Store).

I read Yosef’s story and thought it was the strangest thing because the same thing happened to me…except in reverse. My story began with Magistic Soul. I popped it into my CD player while driving through the neighborhood. Two songs in, I went blind. Somehow I managed to get home, but when I got there I found that my wife and children had left me.

Ok, I feel bad for putting the guy down like this. Yosef is actually a decent musician. He practically “[wrote] and arranged� the entire album himself, plus he’s pretty deft on classical guitar. I’m not sure where his roots are grounded but the old fashioned stuff is actually enjoyable. It’s when he starts “modernizing� himself, with porno-basslines and Phil Collins-inspired lyrics, that he becomes that wedding singer everyone feels embarrassed for.

pat fritchey

I originally thought that End of the Week was a “best of� compilation because the songs were written over a 15 year span (as indicated on the back of the CD). But after some thinking, I realized that it just meant Pat took 15 years to write this album. Sure, there’s a whopping 21 tracks. But then again, they’re usually less than 2 minutes long and sound as if they were recorded in a bathroom with a hand-me-down guitar and a Yamaha keyboard. Plus the lyrics are sparse and repetitious. I think Fritchey fans are feeling let down, even more so than the Guns N’ Roses followers who are waiting 10 years just to find out how shitty Chinese Democracy is. And what’s with the album cover? Pat explains himself on Myspace: “i had to duck or bumped my head on the end of the week.� Sure Pat, sure.

Pat falls in love:
Bossa Nova Girl
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