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neumu
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 
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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
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+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
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+ 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
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+ 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
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+ 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
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+ 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
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Young People
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War Prayers
Dim Mak
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You could call it the persistence of silence. Few records have hung around on my stereo, of recent, for as long as Young People's second longplayer (which, at 24 minutes, ain't exactly lengthy), and perhaps this is because the Los Angelean-cum-Brooklynite trio know that silence is a rhythm, too, and, thus they cast it as the lead instrument on War Prayers. Well, like, almost. It's Katie Eastburn's singing that is placed out front of the band, and it's Katie Eastburn's singing that defines the band; she, in many respects, being the essence and existence of the band, itself, as entity. But, behind her, there are gaping holes of nothingness, and it's in this space that Young People's aesthetic is born; the desolate stretches of silence providing fertile grounds in which their strangely charming music grows. The band're basically making some sort of noisy rock-club take on postmodernist folk music, but they're certainly not folkies; their songs raze the wooded wonder and idyllic meadows of folk songs, tearing away all extraneous instrumentage and counterproductive counter-melodies, rendering their new-millennial landscapes in the most barren palettes: all traffic smog, fluorescent light buzz, and the lurch and grind of mechanized machinery. In rendering people's song in such grim depiction, Young People speak less of history, and more of this moment in time. Even this record's title takes its historical meaning — inspiration sourced from Civil War ballads — and gives it immediate topicality, these prayers now delivered as laments for the sanctioned belligerence currently reigning in the home of the brave. To the accompaniment of rudimentary percussion, squalls of noisy guitar, and, on rare occasions, some combination thereof, Eastburn sings lyrics inspired by folk songs, ballads, marches, war hymns, odes of praise, blues laments, and stage-musical soliloquies. But as she draws on the elements of popular song from the past couple hundred years, the singer doesn't evoke past peoples, past song forms, or past environs; rather, she evokes the current musical interest in such forms that has crept into even the most unlikely musician's repertoires of recent. With their noise guitar, avant-gardist approach, and predilection for setting Eastburn's spotlit singing on a stark stage, Young People are never going to resemble a Shirley & Dolly Collins record. As band, they are not romantics, yearning for a simpler time before the industrial revolution changed the face of modern society and the face of modern man. Their juxtaposition of these words, in this musical setting, in this time and place, is showing how such song form can be reinterpreted and reassembled in a strictly metropolitan setting, these words prayers for those living and working in the here and now, and not for those souls long lost.


by Anthony Carew




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