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Artist of the Month
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July 2016
Big Thief
"Masterpiece
"
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Throughout Masterpiece, the humbly sublime debut album from Brooklyn folk-rock quartet Big Thief, love braves through woe. As sung by the ever welcoming Adrienne Lenker, these painful yet vital songs near a height of beauty that reminds one of music’s transcendent power.

Following the nimble opener “Little Arrow,” the album starts its raw power with “Masterpiece” (streaming below), the rollicking single that deservedly drew attention a few months back with its panoramic view of searching souls. Like Bob Dylan’s generation-defining “Like a Rolling Stone” from the 1960s, this guitar-trickled song is both addicting and elegant, rough and pretty and, ultimately, lasting in its sheer soulfulness.

A series of lyrically vivid tracks named after potential lovers (“Paul” and “Randy,” for example) follows next, alongside guitar-winded cuts that briskly tackle such elusive motifs as romance and the transience of time, emitting an overall beatific aura in the process.

The type of record that has the possibility of transporting the listener to a calmer, perhaps better plain of existence, Masterpiece is not just the first offering from an intriguing new band but a preciously passionate work in and of itself. – Zach Weg

 
The 60's

Band of Gypsys

Bob Dylan

Bruce Haack

The Fugs

The Godz

Holy Modal Rounders

Velvet Underground
The 70's
Television
Patti Smith
The New York Dolls

The Ramones

The Talking Heads
Richard Hell
The Dead Boys
Blondie
Suicide
Lydia Lunch
DNA  
Mars
The Contortions  
The 80's
Afrika Bambaataa
Arto Lindsay
Bad Brains
Beastie Boys
Bruce Springsteen
The Feelies
The Fleshtones
Grandmaster Melle Mel
John Zorn
Laurie Anderson
Public Enemy
Run D.M.C.
Sonic Youth
Swans
They Might Be Giants
The 90's
A Tribe Called Quest
Cat Power

Jeff Buckley

The Magnetic Fields
Nas
The Notorious B.I.G.
Soul Coughing
Yo La Tengo
The 00's
The Strokes
Interpol
TV on The Radio
Fiery Furnaces
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Bravery
Animal Collective
Bright Eyes
Devendra Banhart
Moldy Peaches
Le Tigre
Liars
Blonde Redhead
Grizzly Bear
 

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scene blog

NYC CD of the Month: Clinical Trials - Live at The Studio on 11.11

NYC CD of the Month: Clinical Trials - Live at The Studio on 11.11

With their new EP "Bleed Me" the guitar/vocalist and drummer grrrl tandem Clinical Trials steps up the noise-rock formula through the addition of orchestral and industrial elements, boosted by confident performances and songwriting.
In the record's highlight track, the suspenseful and almost scary "Whip It", the band takes the bold step of adding an unnerving brass section to the more traditional harsh guitar and rumble-crash drum sound. The soaring female vocals start out in a controlled manner but by song's end have progressed to throat shredding screams, in an ever-growing, cathartic tension buildup. That's what rock'n'roll is all about right there... The second track "American Girl" - as tense as the previous one - touches on middle-eastern rhythms for the verses, adding alienating low-toned synth bends to the mix. "Sweet Machine" is more bass guitar heavy, with a clean lively drum sound positioned against breathy come-hither vocals. References to "beauty queens" and "satisfaction guaranteed" completes the sex-for-whatever scenario. "White Fence" makes use of found audio vocal snippets (made to sound like radio transmissions) leading into a vocal delivery that pays homage to Kurt Cobain's more confessional moments. Rich organ textures pad the sonic space as lyrical points are made about "cyanide moments." If only Frances Bean would make up with Courtney – they would probably enjoy checking out this band together.
Clinical Trials will be playing at The Studio at Webster Hall this Friday 11.11 in support of Texas indie grrls trio Girl In A Coma. - Dave Cromwell.

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