Saturday, September 13, 2008

Album Review: David Grubbs

David Grubbs -'An Optimist Notes The Dust.' (Drag City)

This album has been described by its' creator as 'A step into the void.' It's fitting that it's out on Drag City, a label visionary enough to release music such as this. It's more surprising to read in the accompanying sleevenotes that it was mostly recorded in Brooklyn, bteween November and March. A surprise, as the sound and feeling David Grubbs evokes are hot, hazey, dusty summer days. The ones that are inland, that make you tired and yet, are somehow really beautiful.*

Then, looking further at the sleevenotes, it transpires that additional recording was made by Paul Oldham in Kentucky in July 2007 'on a day that hit a record 105 degrees before thunderstorms came, turned the sky green and thrashed the cornfields.'

While something as unique as this record is hard to compare to many other artists (hence the allusions, in true British style, to the weather), think Slint circa Spiderland, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy circa Master and Everyone. Third track 'Holy Fool Music' is perhaps the most different sounding track on the album, my notes reading that it evokes Pavement and prime-era Sonic Youth, with a hint of Led Zeppelin circa Physical Graffitti.

David Grubbs' music is something other, something special. Check this album out to hear it. I think I've exhausted my thesaurus.


David Grubbs -'An Optimist Declines (edit).' mp3 [taken from the Drag City page]

An Optimist Notes The Dust is released on September 29, 2008

David Grubbs' mySpace

* Mind you, Transformer was recorded in London.


FiL said...

David Grubbs was a couple of years ahead of me at uni, and we both had DJ slots at our college radio station. He wouldn't remember me at all, but we did exchange a few pleasantries. I remember him telling me about going to a Butthole Surfers gig while on acid. They set the drumkit alight and while everyone was freaking out he just watched the pretty, pretty flames. He also has a nickel intolerance.

Erm, not sure this adds much, but it did give me a chance to show off, so cheers for that.

P.S. He started off in a pretty good hardcore band called Squirrel Bait.

Ed said...

'I'm not sure this adds much' ..oh, I don't know!

Hadn't heard his music before this, but I do want to investigate more now...