Posted by: Johnny Loftus on July 3, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Patti Smith & Kevin Shields, The Coral Sea (PASK, 2008)

MP3: “Track 03”

That’s Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine fame and general noisemaking fantasticness accompanying Patti Smith on electric guitar throughout these spoken word interpretations of her 1996 book The Coral Sea. And over this two-disc set compiled from two performances in London in 2005 and 2006, his input is a whirring, sighing, and remarkably human supporting anchor to the singular force of listening to the most celebrated laureate of the rock era tell you a story. Now, we all know Smith might have, you know, once had a little crush on Neil Young’s right hand. And that might by why this set dovetails so nicely into Dead Man, Young’s murky and sinister-awesome soundtrack to the 1995 Jim Jarmusch film of the same name. That was a dark black movie. But it was also bright and strange, like the flash-bang exposure of an Old West daguerreotype. Young’s solo guitar musings followed suit, as does Shields’ work for Coral Sea. It’s revealing, otherworldly, hopeful, and often harrowing listening to Smith describe the life journey of her friend and fellow artist Robert Mapplethorpe. She can be cryptic, but also lucid and incredibly pointed. And as powerful as her words are, as effortlessly as she projects the spirit of her subject, The Choral Sea is also highly listenable, a true collaboration between two artists it’s philosophically and perhaps legally impossible to fuck with. Top of game, both. — Johnny Loftus

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Posted by: Johnny Loftus on June 3, 2008 at 11:00 am

Band of Horses, “No One’s Gonna Love You” (Sub Pop, 2008)

The guitar line lingers like an endless fog, and the vocal is Band of Horses‘ typical sweetness and plaint, its indie sensibilities tempered with the set jaw and idealism of Neil Young. “No one’s gonna love you…” goes Read more

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