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Trees Outside the Academy

Thurston MooreAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Price: $9.40 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Thurston Moore - "Circulation"

Biography

Thurston Moore first saw Beck way back in the early 90s when Beck was mowing lawns with an amplified hand-push ill-blade mower at a backyard BBQ on Toul Avenue in Westwood L.A., a coconut’s throw from the 405 freeway. Beck only sang a couple of songs, both about TV destruction and toxic inhalants, before he lifted a German Shepherd over his head and threw it into the crowd. I was from ... Read more in Amazon's Thurston Moore Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 18, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ecstatic Peace
  • ASIN: B000UZ4FMY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,539 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Frozen Gtr
2. Shape Is In A Trance
3. Honest James
4. Silver>Blue
5. Fri/End
6. American Coffin
7. Wonderful Witches + Language Meanies
8. Off Work
9. Never Day
10. Free Noise Among Friends
11. Trees Outside the Academy
12. Thurston @13

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

For the most part, Thurston Moore's first solo endeavor since 1995's Psychic Hearts will allow the noise police to stay away. The Sonic Youth ringleader goes at it acoustically, far from his customary cacophonic experimentation, forming a venturesome trio with the Fleeting Skies' Samara Lubelski (violin) and SY's Steve Shelly (drums) and giving his lyrical verve the latitude it deserves. There's a euphonious, near pop-like palpability to tracks like "Frozen Guitar," "Fri/end," and "Honest James," the latter spurred on by the vocals of Christina Carter (The Charalambides) and a guitar intro pawned from the Byrds' "Feel a Whole Lot Better." The isolation of the quieter songs allows Moore's voice to flicker on lines such as "The pearl meets light/And the light gets lost" in the numbing "Silver Blue," or in "The Shape Is in a Trance," where he reveals "I'm not the one they called/But I showed up anyway." So did Dinosaur Jr's J. Mascis, whose notorious guitar heightens the volume on matching instrumentals: the daunting "American Coffin" and the six-minute title song, which ends bluntly before a final hidden track featuring a 13-year-old Moore making inordinate sounds with scissors, coins, and an aerosol can. --Scott Holter

Product Description

2007 album from the Sonic Youth mainman. It's Thurston's first solo outing since 1995's Psychic Hearts. Of course, Thurston's been releasing records here, there and everywhere mostly in the context of rowdy and rambunctious noise/improv escapades but this new one is killer diller songs! Unlike Psychic Hearts' skeletal trio rock, this new jammer, 12 years post, has a far fuller bouquet of sonic depth and proves this Sonic dude to have a very real songwriting life outside of the legendary Sonic Youth. This newborn disc is 12 songs long. Thurston recorded primarily on acoustic guitar and bass, laying down the core of the tunes with drummer compatriot Sonic Youth's Steve Shelly and violinist Samara Lubelski, a noted player from MV/EE and The Golden Road, Hall of Fame and other awesome gatherings as well as solo artiste.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
(12)
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Academy Fight Songs September 18, 2007
Format:Audio CD
("Trees Outside the Academy" by Thurston Moore)

Although Sonic Youth's eternally mopheaded guitar hero has been involved in numerous solo and collaborative projects since his last "major" solo effort, 1995's Psychic Hearts, much of that output hasn't been easy to come by, and usually involving torrents of free guitar noise. This is what some casual listeners would expect, but even many fans would be surprised by Thurston's latest effort, "Trees Outside the Academy," which is anchored by torrents of tightly composed acoustic guitar playing, often resulting in some of the most lovely songs he's ever composed.

Working from longtime friend J. Mascis' (of Dinosaur Jr.) home studio, and featuring a small group of collaborators including Mascis, SY's Steve Shelley on drums and violinist/solo artist Samara Lubelski, this certainly isn't the Thurston solo effort fans would hope for, but it's the one we get, and we should love it as such. "Psychic Hearts" was a spotty effort, featuring one of Thurston's best ever songs (the title track), and a lot of half baked efforts that grew out of the kind of songs the mothership band were doing at the time. The new album, therefore, will appeal to fans of recent SY albums such as Rather Ripped: that is, song-based rather than jammy, with strong melodies. Here Thurston is mainly playing acoustic guitar, but the songwriting is still clearly his, right down to the time changes. On a number of songs, J. Mascis does step in with his usual fiery electric guitar playing, so noise hasn't been abandoned altogether.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where Is Your Album Sucka? September 22, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Alright, all you people trying to knock Thurston Moore..He is probably twice your age. Musically he has done more than any of all of us sad bastards writing these reviews. I love the acoustic sounds. I love the throwback sounds. Good job. "Oh Is too acoustic" or "oh Im not used to this"--shave your hipster moustache and rock. All I know is that when I played this and made dinner -- dinner was fantastic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice Record September 19, 2007
Format:Audio CD
This is a very good, but not great, record. It's very complete - all the songs are very well defined and well-produced and, other than "Noice Among Friends," are fully formed songs rather than the unfocused ideas that populate Moore's other solo work. In fact, the early tracks, featuring mostly accoustic guitar and accompanyments from strings and female backing vocals, are some of the strongest Moore has ever put together. And they sound nothing like the faux-SY tracks on "Psychic Hearts."

This record is limited only in that, as it goes on, it feels more unfocused. It's basically a record for Moore or SY completists - probably won't win either any new fans. But if you like SY or Moore's other stuff, this one won't disappoint.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How solo should sound October 30, 2007
Format:Audio CD
The pitfalls of a solo effort that branches out from a well-known band are, I think, these: that the solo artist will sound too much like the band from which he comes, as if to prove that he is the band's defining artistic presence; or that the solo artist will sound too little like the band, raising the question of what the solo artist contributes to the band. Thurston Moore's Trees Outside the Academy steers clear of both: especially on the faster-tempo songs featuring the drumming of Sonic Youth bandmate Steve Shelby, the songs echo just enough of SY's controlled chaos without sounding as though they'd truly fit on a Sonic Youth album. Other slower-tempo songs, including arrangements with violin, would fit even less on a SY record, but establish Moore as a distinctive songwriting talent (if anyone had any doubts) -- these are songs that catch you early with strong hooks and melodies but continue to reward repeated listens. Despite a couple of noisy outliers, this is a fantastic group of songs, one that confirms Thurston Moore as a musical artist of the first rank. Just two:

"Frozen GTR" -- begins with a burst of violin whale song, affirming that Moore will be walking back and forth over the line between noise and music -- a line few dare.

"The Shape Is In a Trance" -- a brilliant arrangement of violin and acoustic guitar.

Fantastic songs.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hit and Miss October 15, 2012
Format:Audio CD
Much of this plays like a typical "solo" vanity project - somewhat forgettable. "Wonderful Witches" and "Frozen Guitar" are substantial and memorable though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Trees December 11, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Great mix of acoustic soulful songs with hard grunge electric ones.
Thurston is a creative genius!
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