Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thurston Moore - Contained Chaos

Maybe it's because he's an icon of avant garde noise rock, the first artist that made me connect emotionally with the scrape and howl of noise. Or maybe it's because there really is something there in the music, beneath the surface, subtly placed, like a poet manipulating the reader with accent, line, and rhyme. Whatever it is, Thurston Moore's songs always carry a certain gravity for me, even when they're relatively spare, light, accented with strings, and not quite so experimental. Take Never Light (mp3), which is a tamed and beautiful acoustic song. At the two minute mark, there's a break consisting of violin with acoustic guitar strings struck firmly, which resolves at 2:17. As a SY fan, you can't help but imagine that section as a distorted guitar scream. That's part of the joy of his new solo album, Trees Outside the Academy. It's a gorgeous listen, steady and assured. You relax to it, but still, there's a part of you that braces for the chaos you know Thurston can unleash at any moment.

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