Thurston Moore / Phil X. Milstein Duo
Songs We Taught the Lord Volume 1 [LP; Feeding Tube]

Thurston Moore teams up with the Phil X. Milstein Duo for a session at the Iron Horse in Massachusetts somewhere, in 1996, which sounds tasty enough on its own. Factor in also that there was obviously magic in the air, and you have the genesis of Songs We Taught the Lord, a live document, the first of two, that fills up the speakers with a relentless march of string mutilation, sampled memories, and no-wave sensibilities. You’ve heard a few solo-guitar records that trod similar ground, from Moore and others, but the seamless integration of techniques between the well-matched outfits sets this LP apart, its subtleties even more flattering to the ear than its overt gestures. Whenever the drilling of the guitars lets up, an underbelly of beauty is glimpsed, often so briefly it’s maddening. That said, Moore is in fine form here, jiving all over his instrument voraciously and with the soul and thoroughness we’ve come to expect. That’s Side A. Side B starts with another delightful lil’ grip of samples, but the power tools never are too far off with this gang, especially back in 96. It’s funny though; just when you think you’re about to get the Black & Decker through the ear, mellowwwwwwwwness pervades, and ghostly whisps of sound cry out from smoky shores like lost souls, and the climax of this experiment so far is reached. FUCKING INCREDIBLE, AAAAAGH. Songs We Taught the Lord is enough to make even a seasoned connoisseur take a second glimpse with a blush, Moore and Milstein funneling a lot of art into a relatively short span of time. The vinyl also is marbled and lovely, I may add; probably limited too. I’m guessing they might even be sold out so, you know, if they’re not do what you gotta do.

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