I always liked this one for relatively mysterious reasons. And this seems longer ago than it was, somehow. Anyway, this never really caught on, but it’s still online, so here you are.
[From “This Week’s Finds,” December 17-23,2006]
“The Vague Angels of Vagary” – Vague Angels
Even though this came out in March and has nothing whatever to do with Christmas or the holiday season of any kind, I like featuring a song by a band named Vague Angels this week. It seems like all we can hope for these days, and maybe all we actually need. And never mind any of that: this free-flowing, structure-free song is itself extraordinarily cool. Rolling firmly to a strong yet elusive train-like rhythm, “The Vague Angels of Vagary” seems, well, vaguely to be about trains, and journeys, and searches. NYC-based singer/songwriter/novelist Chris Leo (brother of Ted) speak-sings the odd but engaging lyrics like Lou Reed with a higher voice and no leather jacket; he seems more bemused by what he sees that pissed off. What hooks me with this one: the energetic, good-natured, descending guitar riff that keeps the song afloat–relentlessly it climbs back to its apex and spills yet again downward while Leo goes on about train track tundras and the WPA and the MTA. “The Vague Angels of Vagary” is from the CD Let’s Duke It Out At Kilkenny Katz’ (yes there’s that weird floating apostrophe in the title), released earlier in the year by Pretty Activity. The MP3 is via the Pretty Activity site; thanks to the Deli for the head’s up.
ADDENDUM: It doesn’t seem that the Vague Angels have been up to anything since 2006. According to a busy and difficult to read MySpace page, Chris Leo put out a solo album under his own name in 2009, but there is no other sign of it on the web. Leo had his own blog for a while but hasn’t posted since January 2009. He may currently be living in Italy. He is still Ted Leo’s brother.