25 August 2005

Heard your name the other day...

I really dug Sonic Youth's song "Karen Koltrane" when I first purchased A Thousand Leaves. In its exposition it has moments like Steve Reich's "Electric Counterpoint" [Amazon]. In fact, A Thousand Leaves as a whole--despite some insightful sarcasm--is no slouch of an album: "Female Mechanic Now On Duty" had that "Swimsuit Issue" fuck-you vibe thatletsfaceit is what we all love about Kim Gordon--women should get that pissed off at times. And the coda/B-section is nice. I was comfortable with the familiar structure of pieces like "Wildflower Soul" with its deft return to the opening riff, but, and I hate to say this, I wouldn't recommend the final disintigration of "Ineffable Me" on anyone. They're at their most art brut/expressionist there, and it's a difficult style to absorb.

I guess that's like complaining about death metal, but you see what I mean. Anyway, on the much-maligned Murray Street, they have what I've always assumed to be "Karen Koltrane"'s pair: "Karen Revisited." Duh. I often revisit that pair of songs--even if the 7 minutes of guitar noise closing out the 11-minute "Revisited" is sometimes a little too much to take.

a thousand leaves

I hadn't really realized (not so consciously) how unnerving the cover art is. The symbols are all there, and yeah I get it, but I guess there were a few things I missed. Although it, again, reminds me of one of my drawing teachers critiquing my (somewhat) anguished style in college: "You're young and you're going through changes, that's coming out in your art." Since then, it's been difficult to appreciate such brutal artwork (no matter how deeply ingrained it is).

Anyway, the two "Karen"s are a good listen all the same.

[ posted by sstrader on 25 August 2005 at 12:19:56 AM in Music ]