Is C.S. Yeh at SXSW? He Should Be...
C.S. Yeh, or C. Spencer Yeh, or Burning Star Core, or however you know him has never been heard like this. His latest 7” for De Stijl, modestly stamped with his mug in 3-D colors, and unassumingly released with the shortened moniker, contains two of the more enlightening pop songs you’ll hear all year. Rumor has it Yeh is much more a fan of radio gaga than he is the avant-garde, though it’s capable to love both with equal affinity – so this single makes complete sense. “In the Blink of an Eye” begins as a brittle, tempered take on Television (were they Verlaine’s secret demos) but soon begins to roll into a character that more resembles Bowie post-punk-(Tin Machine)-glam swagger (were he to actually make intriguing electronic music in the ‘90s). Yeh shows his sonic prowess here, putting most bedroom dancefloor “visionaries” to shame in one song. Bradford Cox beware. This isn’t Spector-Vision, yet “In the Blink of an Eye” contains all of the evolving elements of a Top 40 hit stranded in time.
Deeper, and much more telling is “Condo Stress,” Yeh’s downer dinner ballad. The grand piano loneliness immediately conjures Leon Russell or Randy Newman – though Yeh might be going for Lou Reed alone with his thoughts. Keep in mind, this is if Scott Walker decided to loan his shadow. Yet there is chintz to the way it plays on the turntable. It’s an instant standard. Something that could flip at a Waffle House or a Supper Club through infinity. Do you get where I’m getting at. Yeh’s brief and glorious mocking of his own secret fantasies to be a pop songwriter equate to one of the best singles I’ve heard in this young decade. I’m a Burning Star Core-nerd like anyone else, but let’s cheer that Yeh gives us an album of his fever dreams.
Go Buy One.
Sub. Ref. of this moment