BERGMAN, ERIC- Modern Phonography (rare 1978 private press ) DBL CDPATRON SAINTS
Rare 1978 folk rock private press solo album from Patron Saints mainman.
As part of Eric Bergman's exhaustive overview of his gentle but continual ramble through rock & roll life over the decades, the double-CD package of his two solo albums from the late '70s and early '80s lives up to the extensive work he did for various eras of the Patron Saints, not to mention Garrison.
Garrison feature throughout the first solo album, Modern Phonography, released in 1978 and including the song that would be Garrison's own sole release during their lifetime, "It's in de Blood." Bergman's ear for playful arrangements is evident throughout Modern Phonography, a brisk folk-rock album that Dan Fogelberg fans of the time might have found too spiky and most incipient new wavers too mellow, a record that finds its own logic. Sending Out Signals, surfacing four years later, embraced said new wave in its own understated way -- graphics feature computer typography and punch cards -- and is definitely a crisper, punchier album all around, as reflective of an older generation's embrace of newer possibilities, as everyone from the Police (a definite role model for songs like "You Can't Have Your Cake and Eat It Too") to Steve Miller showed around the same time. A slightly thin sound throughout betrays the low-budget circumstances, but Bergman and his collaborators give it all a fair bash and he sounds in fine voice. Each disc on the reissue contains a variety of bonus tracks, with the Modern Phonography cuts reaching back almost five years previously to include otherwise unheard songs via solo demos like "Borrowed Time" and "Fish Out of Water." The Sending Out Signals extras similarly reach back a touch, with a Garrison version of the title track recorded in 1979. AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett