Monday, May 23, 2011

Thurston Moore

Demolished Thoughts

Matador Records

Moore’s new solo album is quieter, softer, and gentler than his last solo outing Trees Outside the Academy. With acoustic guitars, violins, and many other muted instruments, the form is simple. Moore’s lyrics are clearly about relationships, including “Circulation” which may be about how much he loves Kim Gordon.

The mood could be described with adjectives that are rarely used about Thurston’s albums or indeed Sonic Youth: soothing and comforting. It’s like having a deeply felt, long conversation with a good friend, who is also a good listener. And it is that which turns Thoughts from sounding like a great follow up to Trees, to something more stunning. His last solo album was great. too. The understated emotions here are sweet and wonderful, usually that wouldn’t be associated with Moore or Sonic Youth. If the album sounds melancholy in places, that just adds to its meaning….kind, loving, caring and even a bit cheery. It’s lovely. []

Andrea Weiss

Friendly Fires


XL Recordings

Pala is an excellent updating of the new romantic movement. Duran Duran seems to be the source the band draws on the most. However, Duran Duran wrote better lyrics, whereas Friendly Fires dosen’t cut any deeper than, say ,Naked Eyes. This makes Pala wonderful as light entertainment, and great for the dance floor. So put this on, do the twirl, and just feel good all over. []

Andrea Weiss

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Shivers


Silence breaks Records

If Rufus Wainwright had been influenced by indie and garage rock, rather than opera and his parents’ folk music, he would have been the Shivers, the duo Keith Zarritllo (vocals and guitar) and Jo Schornikow (keyboards) from Queens NYC.

They have released four albums, More being their latest, since they formed in 2001. Using their savings to record in an analog studio in Manchester, England, they serve up ten tasty songs steeped in garage and indie rock, with a bit of Leonard Cohen-style writing for extra lyrical content. A really good album, with a lot of charm, smarts, and musical action. Solid all the way around, and a lot of fun to listen to. []

Andrea Weiss

Pantha Du Prince

XL Versions of Black Noise

Rough Trade Records

This album reworks 2010's Black Noise into straightforward amibient techno, ready for the dance floor. It's a relief from the original's clattering rhythms and clunky melodies.

The best remakes on this collection are Four Tet’s version of “Stick to My Side,” and Animal Collective’s version of “Welt Am Draht .” They are the best ones for dancing and "Welt Am Draht" is also good meditation music. It's the best composition here.[]

Andrea Weiss

Micachu and The Shapes

Chopped and Screwed

Rough Trade Records

The band's off-kilter melodies are the saving grace of this collaboration between Micachu and The Shapes and the London Sinfonietta. These are melodies that keep the music from going off the rails. There is more dissonance than usual for modern classical music, and it brings the music to a screeching halt.

These melodies are a tribute to the woozy, codeine-infused music of a Houston DJ named Screw, who died of a codeine overdose 11 years ago. They are also the curse here. Classical music, even modern music, hip-hop, and the art pop of the Shapes don’t mesh. They are apples and oranges. Since this is a recording of a concert, perhaps seeing the performance live would have helped. The recording as it stands works best as a great way to end an annoying party. This music will clear a room in one minute flat. For that matter, the most important lyric here is: “Even if I turn my back/twist my head until I snap.”


Andrea Weiss


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