Is it me or does Thurston Moore sound happy on his new album? Is that why he calls it The Best Day (Matador)? He doesn’t sound festive as if he’s ready to put on some beads and dance throughout New Orleans during Mardi Gras but it just sounds like someone who is ready to party a bit. The lyrics are not as harsh as previous efforts and yet the poetry and metaphors he uses still has the same kind of textures he has always been known for. Plus, you begin an album with an eight minute song only to go into an eleven minute one, that’s a full side of music at the beginning of an album.
Regardless of what his mood is, The Best Way just sounds like the kind of project Moore fans have been waiting for since the days of Sonic Youth, and while he has been loved for exploring different sounds and textures throughout his career, these songs sound like he’s an all new man willing to rock out in a ballsy manner while retaining the perception of the integrity people pour all over him. Normally, his previous music has been compared to other Sonic Youth albums but this could be compared to anything from Wilco to Weezer, all without sarcasm. It may sound odd to say what Moore had created is a fun album, as it may make people wonder what the hell happened, but it just sounds incredibly good, something a wide range of people can and should appreciate. I’m not saying he’s going to jam with John Mayer anytime soon but whatever he calls this phase he’s in, I’m glad he was able to capture it.
Virginia Wing are a trio whose music sounds like an updated continuation of the works of Cocteau Twins or Lush, partly due to
the vocals of Alice Merida Richards but also due to the musicianship of Sebastian Truskolaski and Sam Pillay. Together, Measures Of Joy are the measures of their collective joy, which explores different types of emotions to make their points and be able to explore the world and themselves through their magical journeys. If you simply listen to the music and melodies of Richards’ voice, you will be caught up in the emotions expressed and simply feel it in that context alone. However, listen to the lyrics and you’ll be taken in places you may not have expected before. Listen to it again and you may find yourself elsewhere with each listen. What I also like is that the songs are adventurous, not only on an individual basis but as a collective so that one song will not sound like a continuous tapestry. The textures are heard and felt, which may make you want to put this on repeat in an awake state as well as in a dream. Wonderful album.
Powell has been making music for about five years, including a small amount of EP’s and singles but for those who haven’t been able to check them out, 11-14 (Diagonal) is the best place to begin. The album is a compilation of 18 songs, running at 92 minutes, where new fans are able to discover his fascinating electronic music sounds like compositions in the making, but there aren’t spots where any of the perceived gaps sound wasteful. There are portions of these songs where he gets into a bit of a minimalistic approach due to how he gets into moments of repetition but it becomes passionate drones that are easy to get caught up before you realize you too are a part of his music. You’ll want to hear more projects from him in the future, and then imagine hearing him in any project to your liking. I’d love to be able to see/hear where he goes with this.
Balance (Clean Feed) begins in a very free form manner, where all of the musicians in the Joe Morris Quartet play in a scattered manner, unsure of where to go but knowing that they’re going is part of the adventure. Eventually, they all get into a slightly polished manner but Balance is not an album for those who are solely into proper jazz, or at least jazz within some sense of structure. The music here has structure but it takes a number fo songs to get to proper form, if there is form and if it is proper. If you know of the musicians, you know about their capabilities, and each of them go under and over them in every second of each song.
Cool Hunting Video: Mark Mothersbaugh's Synth Collection from Cool Hunting on Vimeo.
From the Cool Hunting channel on Vimeo comes a great video of all of the synthesizers and keyboards Mark Mothersbaugh has in his collection. Some of you know him as one of the men of Devo, while others may recognize the name as the one who wrote music for Rugrats, Pee Wee’s Playhouse, or The Lego Movie. If you sing a song about a cherished poodole, it’s okay. Now you’re able to see part of his madness, a/k/a creations.
A 3-song 7″ is on its way for those who want their death and black metal raw and ugly. This one is a split effort between Funerary Box and Vickers and to be released by the Give Praise label. Funerary Box get three songs to themselves while Vickers dish out for morsels. You can order the record directly from Give Praise by clicking here or representing the home of Funerary Box an d Vickers, order from Kentucky by writing to