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Where's that noise coming from? Not this album


Thurston Moore

Trees Outside the Academy
(Ecstatic Piece)
Essential: "Fri/end"

Considering that guitarist Thurston Moore has made a career of cacophony, his new solo album, "Trees Outside the Academy," is something of a revelation. The riotous racket for which Moore's band Sonic Youth is deservedly revered is only hinted at here, replaced by small, often sublime melodies. Maybe a decade in western Massachusetts, where Moore moved with his wife, Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon, has softened this New York noisemaker. The CD, recorded last spring, is a collection of tunes that sound more groovy than gritty. (Think John Fahey.) Moore's droning acoustic is augmented by Mascis, who plays a restrained (for him) lead guitar on four songs, as well as violinist Samara Lubelski, vocalist Christina Carter, and Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley. For the moment, at least, Moore has set aside his devotion to dissonance to explore something folkier and more straightforward. [Mark Shanahan]

Thurston Moore performs at the Museum of Fine Arts' College Night Thursday. The show is free and open to college students with an ID.

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