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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
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+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
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+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
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+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
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+ 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
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Thalia Zedek
Trust Not Those In Whom/ Without Some Touch Of Madness
Thrill Jockey

Thalia Zedek should be so well acclaimed by now that she's reached some sort of venerable status, but let's just be glad she isn't, and hasn't. Rather than resting back on ill-gotten laurels, content that her time in the sun has been and gone, Zedek is still shrouded in her aesthetic darkness, is still hungry, still driven; her music is still driven by the same ghosts that've haunted her throughout her career; her personal, passionate, painful take on some sort of art-rock "blues" is still driven by demons that've marked her work from Dangerous Birds through Uzi, Live Skull, Come, and, finally, onto her solo albums. When she sings "the ocean's thirst won't shrink" at the end of a profound couplet at the center of the storm that is "Sailor," it's easy to think of the metaphor extending to her own work; the allusions to Coleridge go by the wayside as Zedek sails on, forging further into an artistry whose passions haven't been satiated by time. The song itself is pure passion, Zedek's raw, ragged, vivid voice playing with old-timey high-seas imagery as Daniel Coughlin's drums — forever pushed to the fore — swell around her with splashing cymbals, and David Michael's viola flutters like the flags at the top of the mast quivering in whipping winds; there's a ferocity here that mirrors both the fury of nature and the determination of the men who fight it. It's loaded with tensions, tensions that're played out in fashions more profound than just tension/release; the song stops in lulls, then explodes, creating a sense of drama without turning to melodrama. It's the grandest moment on Trust Not Those in Whom/Without Some Touch of Madness, Zedek's curiously titled third solo longplayer, a disc that found her gathered trio heading north of the border to Montréal and entering the enclave of the Constellation collective, recording at the Hotel2Tango, place that's birthed all that Godspeed! gear. Having toured and joined in on jamborees with Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Molasses in recent seasons, Zedek is less dallying outsider, more visiting out-of-towner; and I'd hesitate to suggest that, as far as traded inspiration goes, the soldiers in the GY!BE army have drawn more from her, drawing inspiration from Zedek's quarter-century of marring artistic beauty and punk-rock spirit. And long may she sail.

by Anthony Carew

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