Review ·

Guitarist Mark Nelson just keeps cranking out the solo projects, a testament to his passion if not his judgment. While such a high volume of output (this is at least his tenth release, in addition to his work with Labradford) makes some chaff inevitable -- read on, Ryan Adams -- White Bird Release is a solid, completely contained work. Nelson chose a small but broad idea and explored its depths fully.


The titles of the nine songs are pieces of one long quote: "'There can be no thought of finishing, for "aiming at the stars" both literally and figuratively is a problem to occupy generations, so that no matter how much progress one makes there is always the thrill of just beginning,' Dr. Robert Goddard in a letter to H.G. Wells, 1932." The centerpiece is the almost ten-minute-long “In a Letter to H.G. Wells, 1932.” That track ends the record with a driving note of expanding noise that, in jarring contrast to the set as a whole, abruptly cuts off.


Like the quote, White Bird Release evokes a sense of longing, and it does so with atmospheric, hermetic electronics and rhythms that are sublty tinged with Native American motifs. Nelson’s barely audible vocals and airy guitars create a minmalist but not lo-fi atmosphere -- suitable for meditation but with a drive to action. Whatever spiritual space is created here, it is not complacent. That the loudest sonic bursts are saved for the end suggests a continuation of that escalating emotion.


White Bird Release is ambitious, being as it is both inclusive and deeply interior. Nelson muses on an idea meant to be a private moment between visionaries. He proves that a simple path can be found anywhere -- and can lead to surprising places.

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Various Artists - Dark Was the Night The Coathangers Scramble

Pan American creates great minimalim. Here is my poem inspired by a track om Quiet City

Lights of little towns
Wide feets and open eyes
On the bridge
Heartbeats from below
I know, I know
I am a watchman in uniform
The bow plough dark ocean
Small stars port side
You live there
In the lights of little towns
Alf Axum (

Alf Axum

You are a weird guy, fella.

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"Shakespeare hates your emo poems"
-A Wise T-shirt

/site_media/uploads/images/users/Al/batmulletjpg.jpg Al

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