MARNIE STERN-“In Advance of the Broken Arm”

Believe the hype.

Marnie Stern has created 2008’s best rock record so far. You’ll be hearing a lot about here soon, particularly after her performance at SXSW where, alone on the stage with a guitar and an iPod, she shattered and shredded, tore and floored her audience. (From what I hear, anyway, not having been there myself.)

In Advance of the Broken Arm, her debut, is phenomenal from the first cut. The lead track, Vibrational Match, begins where Baba O’Reilly ends—with whirling synthesizer and guitar loops slamming into each other in a noisy, punky dervish. But where The Who fade out, Marnie fades in, speak-shouting over the din vaguely psychedelic phrases like, “Non-physical to physical!” and “Trust your perceptions!” ending with, “Matter! Light! And Energy! I am in it! I am in it!”

Accompanying her are Zach Hill (of Hella) and by John-Reed Thompson, but the real star is the gal herself. The album sounds like it was made on an 8-track in her basement, like Cody Chestnutt’s brilliant debut or Beck’s early work. It’s clearly all her, organic and powerful. “Every Single Line Means Something,” the most straightforward tune on the album, proves Ms. Stern is the new Joan Jett. “Plato’s F—ed Up Cave” could easily be a Yeah Yeah Yeahs tune, and although Marnie doesn’t have Karen O’s hit-you-in-your-gut voice, she more than makes up for it with orchestration that’s way more complex and interesting than anything off of the (excellent) ’06 YYYs release, “Show Your Bones.” With Courtney Love making bedroom pop and most of the male rockers channeling Bruce Springsteen (I’m looking at you, Win Butler and Brandon Flowers!), it’s great to have someone giving a modern spin on the ‘70s hard rock sounds of Iggy Pop, the Pistols, The Who, and Mountain. And a little Rush. Even some Metallica. Basically: Music driven by powerhouse guitar licks and bulldozer rhythm.

Interview with Marnie

Precious Metal

Put All Your Eggs In One Basket …


Yo La Tengo

March 6 2007

Tastes, then a zip:

1. Sudden Organ (7:23)
2. I Should Have Known Better (3:10)
3. Pass The Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind (13:29)
4. Decora (3:29)
5. Last Days of Disco (9:39)
6. The Weakest Part (2:59)
7. Beanbag Chair (4:35)
8. What Can I Say [NRBQ] (3:13)
9. Mr. Tough (4:05)
10. Song For Mahila (4:09)
11. I Feel Like Going Home (4:55)
’12. Sugarcube (4:25)
13. Drug Test (3:59)
14. Little Honda [Beach Boys] (10:19)
15. Watch Out For Me Ronnie (2:57)
16. The Story Of Yo La Tengo (18:20)
17. Gentle Hour [Snapper] (5:08)
18. I Wanna Be Your Lover [Bob Dylan] (3:59) **
19. Big Day Coming (3:44)
20. Anything Could Happen [The Clean] (2:58) **
21. Somebody’s In Love [Sun Ra/Cosmic Rays] (2:39)
** with David Kilgour and Alan Haig

Unzip for pleasure!

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