Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Thurston Moore and Dennis Coffey are NOT Worth It.

Hey, I know that hymnal!

First up, my review of Thurston's Demolished Thoughts at PopMatters, excerpted below:

My word, this is a long, slow, dull, boring album. And not even in a good way. It’s not dull and boring in a way that’s theoretically cool, like whatever the most recent SYR release is. (Sonic Youth Play the Aleatoric Bell Music of Giacinto Scelsi, I think.) Nor is it long and slow in a way that invites ruminative longing for transcendence, like Alexi Murdoch’s recent folk stunner Towards the Sun.

No, Thurston Moore’s acoustic solo album, Demolished Thoughts, is just long, slow, dull, and boring like a Thurston Moore acoustic album. Thurston comes up with some pretty chords but then he strums ‘em into the ground. His guitar rhythms are stiff and repetitive—chop chop chop chop. He repeats his modestly attractive tunes in extremely square multiples of two. He and violinist Samara Lubelski trade off lines with exquisite tact and politeness—they might be Emily Post and Miss Manners sharing tea breads.

Ahem. Next up, my review of Dennis Coffey's Dennis Coffey, also at PopMatters, also excerpted below:

If you haven’t heard it in a while, put on Freda Payne’s 1970 hit “Band of Gold”—the one where she and her husband stay in separate rooms on their honeymoon—and listen to that opening guitar riff. THAT’s Dennis Coffey, and his riff’s steely wah-wah and flatted final note set the scene for all the shit that’s about to go down. That riff is the rising curtain, the operatic overture, the Bernard Herrmann title music to Payne’s horrific sex-deprived nightmare. It’s the darkness of a lonely room, filled with sadness, filled with gloom. Of course, it’s also a killer rock hook on an AM-radio soul hit; hence Coffey’s historical importance as a session guitarist...

So it’s a little disappointing when Dennis Coffey opens with… a pretty good bar-band funk workout. It’s got horns, congas, the works, but it’s all very polite. The guitar solo even stops to make room for the hackneyed horn fills, and everything just chugs along smoothly and competently. The band sure sounds well-rehearsed. They practically tell you to tip your waitress. Said opener is the spacily-titled “7th Galaxy”, which does very little to evoke astronomical netherworlds—Coffey could have named it “Motion Lotion” or “Crimestoppers are GO!!!” (these are just suggestions) and it would’ve had the same effect.

I'm silently judging you.

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