September 28th, 2009
And I ain’t talkin’ no weather pattern. You’re familiar with Kyp Malone, lead guitarist for TV on the Radio and winner of LeDoux’s illustrious Top Beard’s of 2008 contest, right? Good. And I’m sure you’ll recall the excellent record (cool it, haters) he and his bandmates put out earlier this year, not to mention TVOTR’s other acclaimed albums? Great. Well, the man with the careful fingers and the urgent, warbling falsetto has a side job now, one that he’s dubbed Rain Machine. One where he plays nearly all the instruments and whose self-titled debut was recorded in California, including Malone’s former Bay Area stomping grounds. At first glance, it purports to be a daring, emotive venture into the spacious confines of jazz, blues, rock and afro-beat.
I haven’t heard the entire record, so I can’t expound on its likely creative breadth and varied nuance, but given Malone’s previous output, you can rest assured that it’ll be anything but boring. “Give Blood”, the first track released, is evocative of a grungier TVOTR song, with a few odd changes, frantic lyrics and a primal male/female refrain. Malone even goes so far as to inject a verse inspired (hopefully) by Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover”. It’s good, but I like the other available track more. “Smiling Black Faces” unwinds slowly, with a heartbeat and a hovering guitar. The crescendo is slow, but the climax is exultant.
In the fairly interesting Rain Machine bio put out by Anti-, Malone says, in relation to his TVOTR duties, “there’s a different freedom that comes with doing something by yourself, and I think this album reflects that.” As someone who’s a fan of TVOTR’s expressive liberties, and innovative weirdos in general, I can certainly appreciate the change of direction. See him and his band defy objection at Neumos, October 1st.
With Diane Cluck
Doors at 8 pm
Advance tickets on sale now at: www.ticketswest.com, Moe Bar, select QFCs, Rudy’s Barbershops