Saturday, March 30, 2019

Daniel Martin Moore
Archives Vol. 2
Sofaburn Records/OK Recordings

Moore wanted to make an album of traditional folk songs, mostly love songs, and the result is more or less a home recording. A guitar, one mic, sometimes he whistles, and on "Jubilee," other voices and him stomping his feet and clapping. But the effect is never old-fashioned, stark, or purist. Instead, these songs are timeless, exuberant, and the love songs have a sweet innocence to them. I don’t have a favorite here. All of them are great, all of them have something to recommend them, say, for relaxing, winding down the day, a gentle greeting to the day, and for any quiet time.

Andrea Weiss

Friday, March 22, 2019

Drone Butch Blues
Your Heart Breaks
Sofaburn Records

The title comes from Leslie Feinberg’s groundbreaking novel, Stone Butch Blues, and the concept is simple: get a drone going and layer acoustic guitars and other folk instruments on top. Quiet, understated, but still enough in the foreground to be more than accompaniment, this isn’t a typical folk music album or a typical women’s music album. It’s more like Ferron, who was women’s music at its most straightforwardly punky, not quirky like Two Nice Girls, and like Ferron, wonderful to listen to. 

Trans/queer musician/filmmaker Clyde Petersen is Your Heart Breaks, with an all hands on deck cast, including Kimya Dawson, Karl Blau, Lori Goldstein, Dylan Carlson, and on "Our Forbidden Country," Kelley Deal, who sounds terrific. The others are equally terrific. Lyrically, this is angrier, darker, and punkier than Ferron, but punk at its most liberating best. It's also sweet, loving, friendly, sincere, heartfelt, unironic, and on the love songs like "Wanting To Stay," bittersweet. Anthems like "Keep On Living" and "Our Forbidden Country" coexist with love songs like "Stay" and autobiographical songs like "Late Nights In The Lab," and it all sounds great, and better than most women’s music.

The lyrics are inspired by a bibliography of queer writing, all of which I recommend for what the past was like and where the future may lead. The one I recommend the most is the book which helped me come out, Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle, the first lesbian-themed best seller, the first lesbian-themed book to have the attitude “yes I’m a lesbian, and if you have a problem with that, that’s you’re problem, not mine.”

If you’re just coming out, buy this album. If you are out and want something adventurous, buy this. If you’re straight and want to know more, buy this. And just anyone who wants a great album, buy this.

Andrea Weiss

Saturday, March 2, 2019


The Bangles, The Dream Syndicate, The Three O’ Clock, Rain Parade
Yep Roc

3X4 is the reunion of a scene, the Paisley Underground, the 80s garage psych scene based in L.A. These four bands created some incredible music then, and now with this tribute. Three songs each by four bands, all covers of each other's bands. The overall effect is ultra-trippy adult psych, not old or sedate, but smart, sensible, and really well played. And a note here, if all you’ve ever heard from the Bangles are their hits, check this comp out to hear what they really are--a great garage/psych band with two underrated guitarists in Vicki Peterson and Susanna Hoffs. 

Each track on this album has a lot to recommend it, but here are the highlights for me. 
Bangles: Vicki Peterson seething all over the Dream Syndicate’s "That’s What You Always Say," and their pure pop take on The Three O’ Clock’s "Jet Fighter."  

Dream Syndicate: The guitars on the Rain Parade’s "You Are My Friend" and the Bangles' "Hero Takes A Fall." I like the wryness of Wynn’s singing on "Hero." In  a World CafĂ© interview with Vicki Peterson, Steve Wynn, and the Three O’ Clock’s Danny Benair, Wynn and Peterson admitted that "Hero" was partly about Steve. And he was okay with it too, expressing regret for various ways he’d acted when he was young. 

Rain Parade: The Three O’ Clock’s "As Real Is Real," and The Dream Syndicate’s "When You Smile." Nicely super trippy. 

The Three O’ Clock: The Dream Syndicate’s "Tell Me When It’s Over," and The Rain Parade’s "What She’s Done To Your Mind." These are the most punk and garage rock of the covers. 

In the end, this is a trip worth taking, mind expanding, rewarding, and if you like the covers, get their albums. They’re worth it too. 

 Andrea Weiss


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