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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Damon & Naomi On Tour With Kurihara
Song To The Siren: Live In San Sebastian

Damon & Naomi are sweet, nice, beautiful people who make sweet, nice, beautiful music. The thought doesn't seem that staggering until you play context-seeking rock-journalista and look around the rest of the pop-cultural canon and find how few folk such qualities actually apply to. Released as half of a two disc CD/DVD set that also features Naomi Yang's genial video tour diary, this recording of a show played Live in San Sebastian finds Damon & Naomi, diffident live performers at best, in absolutely sterling form. They deliver a set largely populated by tracks from their brilliant Damon & Naomi With Ghost long-player, with Ghost's own Michio Kurihara on hand on tour to lace his limber electric-guitar playing over the pair's misty, majestic melancholia. In this setting, Kurihara serves as a catalyst, helping to draw the folkie duo out of their shy shell. The insularity of their quiet craft often seems an exercise in indulgent romanticism, but with Kurihara stoking the psychedelic spirit that Damon & Naomi made their name from as the rhythm section in Galaxie 500 and then Magic Hour, the gentle sparks of this collaborative union keep the set smoldering glowingly.

As is their practice, the set revolves around "The Navigator," Damon Krukowski's ode to the vagaries of live performing, which was the band's first single before turning up again at the centre of their third album Playback Singers. The pair manage to reaffirm one's faith in the humble wonder of their weepy, winsome, soft-pop evocation of acid-folk. In this version, songs like "The Great Wall" and "Tanka" use Kurihara's guitar to great effect, unfolding into heaving psychedelic mantras born only from two guitars and bass. Without drums, the pair march forward on the percussive qualities of Krukowski's acoustic strums, whether they ring ragged as bold rhythm, or just softly tread through the chords, as on his impassioned version of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren," in which Yang joins in vocal harmony so resplendent it serves as the set's titular number, the song's sentiment a summation of the pair's oblatory musical sentimentalism.

by Anthony Carew

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