I Can't Be Bought

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Mirror/Dash's contribution to Three Lobed Recordings' Modern Containment series finds its two members -- Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, who have occasionally performed and released material under the name since the late '80s -- captured at a live show at a Scottish rock festival in late spring 2005. Consisting of one long track, I Can't Be Bought starts off quietly before soft guitar and Gordon's restrained voice steps gently to the fore. It doesn't have quite the intensity of Charalambides given the similar instrumentation, but there's the same haunted, strange feeling to the performance, which the slow, burning swell of improvised music gently stokes, Gordon's singing lost and forlorn. High keening feedback notes help herald a shift as Gordon eschews vocals for a full two-guitar duet with Moore, interplaying around each other into a section which almost sounds like a dying, mournful machine, at once fascinating and a little sad. Slightly muffled TV or radio broadcast samples lead into a calmer, more reflective section, fragmentary melodies and riffs taking shape amid more looming drones -- if anything, this part is what sounds most like Sonic Youth, at least as a possible song introduction if nothing else. When Gordon's vocals return, they're sung through extra effects, creating a disorienting feeling given the difference from the introductory part, the more so because the guitars sound so pristine in comparison, radio signal tones cutting through the muffled effect. The vocal effects fade away after a bit, returning her singing to more familiar realms, building into a dramatic conclusion of rising swells of feedback tones and her equally intense calls and cries, settling into one last low bit of skronk for an ending.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Mirror 37:35 Amazon
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