Matt Valentine and Erika Elder live nearby, and I know a guy who plays with them sometimes (but not on this one), and I see Erika at the co-op once in a while though we don’t know each other. I just know what she looks like. Anyway, we’re not friends or anything, but it seems kind of like a victory for the home team when they put out an album as good as Barn Nova which continues to move away from the really pastoral, Incredible String Band-ish folk raga end of things, into a more rock-centric, Neil Young-ish kind of territory. Oh, yeah, and another local hero, J Mascis plays guitar and drums on the album, so that’s fun, too.
Here’s a bit from my Blurt review:
Even backwoods mystics like to rock out once in a while. With Barn Nova, Matt Valentine and Erika Elder move further away from the Basho/Fahey axis of finger-picked primitivism, closer to Neil Young's amplified guitar anarchy. They get a boost, on "Summer Magic," from J. Mascis, his guitar wheeling and spiraling against slow, shuffling blues and incense-scented chants. Dropping Frampton-esque bends and pull-offs, cranking Crazy Horse-ish turmoil, Mascis puts the "wild" back in this duo's imagined wilderness. But even without Mascis, as on epic "Bedroom Eyes," Valentine approximates the heat and ferocity of Young's fiery dirges, carving arcs of distortion not unlike those on "Down By the River" or "Southern Man."
There’s a track on my mix from yesterday. Here’s “Summer Magic” which is the one with J.