Thurston Moore – “Demolished Thoughts”

Thurston Moore’s (of Sonic Youth fame) third solo effort, “Demolished Thoughts”, is simply lovely. Quickly emerging as one of my favorite albums this year. Produced by Beck, the effort is being coined acoustic folk. But don’t let the wimpy genre fool you.  His music still has the same intensity you would expect from a Sonic Youth tune, just unplugged, and dusted with a little Beck fairy dust for ambience. An intoxicating combination.

The album features Thurston on guitar and vocals, Samara Lubelski on violin, Mary Lattimore on harp, Beck on synths, vocals and bass, and Joey Waronker on percussion, among others. Thurston will be stopping through the Bay Area with Kurt Vile for two shows next month. Hello!  Mark your calendars and reserve your seats for July 25 at The New Parish in Oakland and July 26 at Great American Music Hall in SF. In the meantime, enjoy this Take Away show from La Blogotheque.

The Morning Benders – “Japan Echo” Benefit EP

Last week The Morning Benders were supposed to play their very first show in Tokyo, Japan. That didn’t happen for obvious reasons. In support of the terrible disaster, they’ve put together an EP of unreleased material. Visit their site to donate and download.

Japan Echo EP (日本・エコー) Tracklisting:

1. Cold War (Star Slinger Remix)
2. Better In Blue
3. Hand Me Downs (Wild Nothing Remix)
4. Excuses (RAC Remix)
5. Mason Jar (Twin Sister Remix)
6. Wet Cement (Aislyn Remix)
7. Little Riot
8. Promises (Star Slinger Remix)

That Ghost – Songs Out Here

Artist: That Ghost
Album: Songs Out Here
Homeland: Santa Rosa, CA
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Featured Tracks: “To Like You” [audio]

Some might say that the one man band of Ryan Schmale, known as That Ghost, might be somewhat of a boy genius. Having self released three albums before he was seventeen would certainly classify him as ambitious. The now 21-year-old has recorded and is about to release his fifth album, Songs Out Here, on Two Syllable Records. Written partially on the grounds of author Jack London’s Bay Area estate, all the instruments on the recording were played by Schmale himself.

Stuck in My Head: Guitaro – “Chateau 100”

Artist: Guitaro
Album: JJ’s Crystal Palace
Homeland: Vancouver, BC
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Featured Track: “Chateau 100”

“Come Get Sums”

Space disco aptly describes the sound of this Vancouver-based trio’s new release, JJ’s Crystal Palace. Headphone candy is more like it. I’ve been walking around in a silent disco for the better part of a month now. The group, who’ve been kicking around for more than decade with numerous EPs to show for it, are back from a six year hiatus with this, their second full length album. What started out as a heavy shoegaze act has evolved into a sound that’s very reminiscent of Air. The shoegaze influence is still there, like a backdrop or base note, but layered with lush boy/girl pop harmonies and trippy synth grooves. I’m digging it.

Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride

Artist: The Black Ryder
Album: Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride
Homeland: Australia
Genre: Shoegaze
Label: Mexican Summer
Track: “Let it Go”

Australian shoegazers, The Black Ryder, released their debut LP “Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride” on Mexican Summer earlier this year. A great title that conjures up the work and ethos of Hunter S. Thomspon. A good parallel because both are deliciously distorted. The band is scheduled to make their live debut in San Francisco Thursday, December 2 at 330 Ritch as part of Popscene. It’s a free show so get there early!

Album of the Week: Sun Airway

Artist: Sun Airway
Album: Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier
Label: Dead Oceans
RIYL: Here We Go Magic, Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective
Featured Tracks: Put the Days Away”

“Oh, Naoko”

The debut album from this Philadelphia-based quintet has been on heavy rotation since seeing them live at the Independent this past Friday in support of Lower Dens and Bear in Heaven. It’s not often that the very first band blows you away, but they did. I was immediately hooked by their atmospheric and hazy sound. It’s the kind ethereal soundscape you want to wrap yourself up and get lost in.  And believe me, I’ve been doing just that. All weekend. However, it wasn’t until I had the fortune of sitting in on a recording session (thanks to @yourstrulysf – you’re awesome!), did my focus move from the macro experience  of the lush soundscape (created by sound sculptor Patrick Marsceill) to the beautiful songwriting and vocals of  Jon Barthmus. Truly incredible. You’ll be hearing more from this band, for sure. Do yourself a favor and add this album to your ‘must haves’ of 2010.