Thursday, July 28, 2011

M. Mucci - The Secret is Knowing When to Close Your Eyes

It's rare these days to find an expert guitar recording without added studio embellishment. Canadian Michael Mucci graced our listening ears with last year’s lush and acoustic-heavy Time Lost, a refreshing take on the American primitive technique. This follow-up cassette is limited to just 100 copies, making the singular and gentle electric guitar vignettes that emerge seem all the more personal. (Don’t fret*, digital copies are available.) The Secret is Knowing When to Close Your Eyes is an ode to the beaches and culture of Malta, and the ease with which one feels a true sense of home in a gorgeous yet humbling environment. With a nod to Loren Connors’ style of play, M. Mucci captures a truly emotional and honest performance, not one of extreme emotional highs and lows, but one of tranquility and comfort. A title like “The Calm of Knowing What is Going to Happen Next“ reflects the guitar player’s fragility and confidence. A detectably bittersweet tone is found in “The Three Cities”, but the resounding feeling of peaceful composure is featured in the title track, where notes and chords sculpt a lovely offering of gratitude. The Secret is Knowing When to Close Your Eyes is a wonderful 25-minute album for holding still.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Caretaker - An empty bliss beyond this World

This album is exceptional. Read my review, of which I am somewhat proud.

If you play this for a room of unsuspecting friends, they may quickly remark how much they enjoy it, but as Kirby's movements start to play out and mysteriously disappear, something odd may unfold in their souls. You may have given your guests the gift of second guessing, misplaced nostalgia, and temporary mental illness - even bliss! If this suggestion is a bit much, consider An empty bliss beyond this World as the perfect soundtrack choice for your haunted house this Halloween. I know it will be playing in mine, daring children and adults alike to question this reality and spend a moment in their own halls of horror.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Years Of Rice And Salt - Nothing of Cities

This record is simply joyful. I wrote a review.

To sound “happy” on record takes confidence, and Years of Rice and Salt have it in spades. This album is strong from start to finish, weaving traditional post-rock, experimental stanzas, folky gaeity, triumphant singalongs, emotive journeying and seamless instrumental interplay. Perhaps it is the band's attempt at conjuring an imagined future, a statement implying that change is possible. To behold these songs in a place where cities play no part is the perfect strategy. Nothing of Cities is a celebration of life and sound.

Nothing of Cities (2011) by Years of Rice and Salt