New Larkin Grimm - Ride That Cyclone - Review
Brandon | stereogum.com
She has a powerfully assured voice...
Larkin Grimm was raised in Memphis in The Holy Order Of MANS until the cult disbanded and her parents relocated with her to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia. We're told she's itinerant these days, spending the warmer months living outdoors in the woods, but she hunkered down in NYC earlier this summer (at least for the time being). I mention her travels, because the propulsive, galloping "Ride That Cyclone" comes off like the march of restless body. Somehow, it also ushers in a fall breeze. (It feels like Grimm wrote and recorded the new record in the most autumnal conditions possible -- changing leaves, colder breezes, early-season wood fires). "Ride That Cyclone"'s the second track on Parplar, her first album for Michael Gira's Young God (he co-produced the collection with Grimm, too, and encouraged her and her work early on). She has a powerfully assured voice, which she compliments with acoustic guitar, banjo, dulcimer, Chinese harp, an old keyboard. Listen:
Larkin Grimm - "Ride That Cyclone" (MP3)
This is clearly the work of more than one person. She's also backed by labelmates Fire On Fire, who add double bass, accordion, banjo, percussion, guitars, and background vocals, among others on trumpet, viola, trombone etc. It's a whirl of sound. Grimm was an early member of Dirty Projectors (she met/had a close relationship with Dave Longstreth while at Yale on a full scholarship to study art) and clearly enjoys collaboration, but despite the large backing cast, this collection is clearly her own. Grimm's earlier self-recorded albums aren't as densely composed. They're worth tracking down. You can find Harpoon and The Last Tree via Secret Eye. You'll also hear more at her MySpace. Where you can read her thoughts, like this post titled "Patti Smith, Horses":
Horses is the sexiest record I have ever heard. I was getting really deep into the monastic lifestyle ... I was a born again virgin. I was giving it up to Jesus. I had repented for my sins. I hadn't brought myself to orgasm since the beginning of August. But I put on this record as I was going to sleep a couple of days ago, and I couldn't help myself.
One problem with the underground music scene now is that a lot of the more radical kids are afraid to be sexy, because sex has become such a nightmarish tool of capitalism. We know that John McCain is staring at Sarah Palin's ass while she is making speeches and he is thinking about Pamela Anderson, or thinking about a billboard he saw with Gisele Bundchen on it as his limo was driving him into the city high on codeine. And the whole universe is contained in this moment, and we can see it all. We know how we have been manipulated, but are not sure what to do about it.
Then we have Obama, a eunuch for President. I greatly prefer Jesse Jackson's crazy rainbow fist.
There is an idea in magick that sex is the most powerful energy you can use to make a spell work. You get a million men masturbating for your cause, and there you have some real power being generated. You have to watch where your energy is going, and who is taking it. Because this is real, we are nothing but energy. Out of all the things I have learned in my life, that's the most important and true knowledge, having an awareness of the energy flow in the universe, and within my own body, and that it is all the same, but I can will it to move.
This economy crash, which happened on my birthday, that was the best birthday present ever. I have been waiting for this moment, you know. It is a great moment.
Parplar is out 10/28 via Young God.