Growing pains

Wax Tablet
By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  February 1, 2012

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• Among the stacks of new local releases coming out this winter, we were stoked to find a new offering by the pastoral plucker MICA JONES. Jones ties the final ribbons on a new 10-song LP titled Gualamata this week — and judging by the samples available, the record is a pretty compelling meld of indie-blues and lushly arranged psychpop. Gualamata is Jones's first release since 2006's Moglie, which attempted the same bridge of styles through a much more lo-fi lens. Hopefully this guy's got some players lined up — these tracks would be really something to hear live. Look for Gualamata (and a couple other local releases) on the young label Straw Hat Recordings (strawhatrecordings.bandcamp.com).

• We thought last Monday's THURSTON MOORE show at SPACE would have sold out months ago, but as the buzz built around the bend of the weekend, it eventually did. Though they hail from just outside our readership, MMOSS (from Barrington, New Hampshire) showed a Portland crowd how relevant they can be to our lives, coursing through a dizzying set of complex and ballsy psych. Thoroughly dug the last track, a 20-minute kraut-plod during which Rachel, the band's flautist/organist, used her entire torso to coax delightfully violent sounds from the keys. We ain't afraid to say it — Mmoss grow on you. Check out any of their several releases at their bandcamp. Gotta admit, we had a romantic idea that Thurston would perform starkly alone, but the band he brought out — featuring players from Hush Arbors, Sunburned Hand of the Man, and Godspeed You Black Emperor — was much better. Thurston played half the night's fare on a 12-string, which should speak to how lush and downright musical his more recent stuff is. We hold Psychic Hearts in high regard, too, and thankfully, he and his band pulled off a few of the skronkier tracks from that archive. It's not worth dwelling on, but the elephant in the room — look it up — only made the night's offerings a little more dramatic. "Queen Bee and Her Pals," Psychic Hearts's title track, and "Fri/End" came through with a little more emotional weight than they otherwise might have. Thurston's followers hail from all denominations of rock fans, and it was a lovely night spent with a full house of noise bozos, nodding art students, and graybeards alike.

• Local folk composer Rob Cimitile releases a six-song EP this week through his BUILDER OF THE HOUSE moniker. On I Am a Tidal Wave, Cimitile employs a host of local musicians, and impressively navigates many avenues in the folk neighborhood, from upbeat bluegrass to Jack Johnson-y melodrama, though at his most compelling, his songs fall adhere to patient, plaintive, wistful arrangements which recall the finer moments of Nick Drake, only less dead. Look for Tidal Wave, the first official BotH release, at builderofthehouse.bandcamp.com.

  Topics: New England Music News , Thurston Moore, Thurston Moore, MMOSS,  More more >
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