JAMES ARTHUR / ALICJA TROUT: “Go West Old Bastards” b/w “Close Ur Eyes”: 7”

Musical genres are word corrals. For people new to a genre, or mere consumers, they’re helpful. Garage rock. To me, as a term—it’s almost as meaningless because it’s so vast and has such a rich and continuing heritage. Then there are the compartments in the corrals. The subgenres. They use hyphens and the hyphens cordon off smaller chunks of musical landscape. Mummies-inspired-proto-Crypt-rock. Gunk-punk. That sort of thing. But, as a music lover and an American who loves wide open spaces, I give thanks to artists like James Arthur and Alicja Trout. Instead of can’t-turn-around-in-this-cage, I’m-going-to-die-in-here, veal-fattening pens of much of corporate-sponsored garage rock today, these two are on wildly different trips. James Arthur: best instrumental soundtrack to a movie that hasn’t been made. I would like that movie to have a robot, a monkey, and a cowperson. Alicja: for those familiar with her work in Mouse Rocket and Alicja Pop, she sounds like a deconstructed “New Rose” Damned, sung with palpable heart, open artful stitches, and wide-open wonderment. Excellent pairing.

 –todd (Spacecase, spacecaserecords.com, [email protected])