Album Mini-review: Anton Barbeau — Magic Act
Often swimming in the quirkier end of the power pop pool, the prolific Anton Barbeau most recently made a pair of albums fronting Three Minute Tease; there he applied his own personal spin to the music, bending the sound made by Robyn Hitchcock‘s former band mates (Andy Metcalfe, Morris Windsor) toward his own unique aesthetic. Magic Act is more of an assortment, with solo-made tracks alongside tunes featuring Metcalfe, Windsor, XTC‘s Colin Moulding, The Corner Laughers‘ Karla Kane and other like-minded musicians. After Antronica, his delightful 2014 side trip into krautrock electronica, Magic Act finds the Sacramento native (now based in old East Berlin) putting his melodic skills on brilliant display. The musical polymath’s adventurousness – plus an ever-present psychedelic haze – informs all twelve tracks, but Barbeau’s inerrant knack for tunefulness makes Magic Act supremely accessible. And that’s the cleverest trick of all.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.