New Music | Friday Roll Out: Kim Gordon, Meatbodies, Jad Fair, Purest Form, Moor Mother

If Jad Fair has never been someone who’s always been somewhat of a confusing entity then I don’t know who is. The first time I saw him playing in a band was when he fronted Mosquito, which also featured Steve Shelly and Tim Foljahn. He’s just released his 100 Songs: A Master Class In Songwriting (Kill Rock Stars) which is literally compiled of 100 songs. Given most songs don’t go past the 1-minute mark and Fair is about making an art statement through his work here. He sets his poetry sometimes around music or his own vocal loops. Honestly, I’m not quite sure what to make of it all but even the 30-second tracks here make me smile and sometimes laugh. There’s a fascination with zombies that’s for sure, and he sometimes looks at how the world is a mess, friendship, and more. And that’s all I have to say about that. He’s also just released another 100-song album called Film Music as well.

It’s the evolution of music, that sometimes reverts back to the lost sounds of the past but pushes the envelope much further than it’s gone before. LA’s Purest Form follows a path laid out by groups like Atari Teenage Riot with its middle finger aimed at an industry that reluctantly embraces it. It’s punk, it’s metal, and it goes further than EDM, instead traversing the land of EBM (electronic body music). It’s just landed with its 3-song self-titled EP and there’s an obvious fury to its music with “Self Destruction” taking on a much quicker-paced industrial aspect which would make even Al Jourgensen proud. But it ends much too quickly at just one second over the two-minute mark. “Optics” explodes into a ferocious angst-filled rager while “Broke” stretches across mosh pits turning into dance explosions. It leaves your body confused but you won’t be able to stop flailing and dancing all at once. We’re here for it!

Darkness covers the landscape in which Moor Mother traverses on her latest release The Great Bailout (ANTI-) through evocative prose as well as through her signature vocal delivery. There is no one quite like Moor Mother as she mines uncharted territory contemporaries aren’t willing to even walk through. Just one listen to the challenging “GUILTY (featuring Lonnie Holley and Raia Was)” at almost 10 minutes long, the melancholic movements are delivered with the prowess of the more astute of masters as strings collide with piano and what sounds like a harpsichord. The song drifts and time is never the issue, just a construct of man in order to help give something meaning within a particular frame. While there are an additional 9 tracks, THIS is possibly one of Moor Mother’s most epic constructs in music.


There aren’t any sordid stories behind Meatbodies, the project created by Chad Ubovich (Ty Segal, Fuzz, Mikal Cronin) back in 2011, instead allowed the Cronin bassist the ability to create something all his own with the help of a few other musicians. The story now follows its follows its main songwriter’s struggles to create something fresh and new. The band just released its fourth long-player Flora Ocean Tiger Bloom (In The Red), a lengthy release of dreamy psych-pop that probably glitters more than the band expected.

That glitter seems to serve as the glue that holds this new release together as the band finds solace through repetition as many songs purr through sometimes 6 or 7-minute songs, hypnotizing listeners into submission. That’s describing the band in the most uncomplicated way, but there’s enough depth within every track to dive in deeper than the deepest Jacques Cousteau has ever been. You don’t have to take mine or anyone else’s word on that, just listen to the blissful “HOLE,” with its spacious fuzzed-out guitars drifting around as the psychedelia enraptures listeners well into the 6-minute mark but it’s interesting as Ubovich sings “Hole inside your heart” more than one time consecutively and doesn’t hit the same melody twice. You’ll be hard-pressed not to play this just once, twice, or 20 times over. It’s definitely easy to get caught up with what and how Meatbodies presents its music. You might get lost within the swirling distortion of its guitars like on “They Came Down,” with more patterns that are continual in structure but you’re allowed to capture the essence. The rhythm section is never scattershot but quite the opposite with its infectious melody. Things seem to come to a head with “Move,” which is directed in one singular motion with what seems like just a few notes with Ubovich’s words riding the crest of its wave, again notably doing something unique with the way he enunciates certain words, emphasizing syllables that aren’t there. The music shifts partly down the way before returning to the same pattern it followed to begin with at almost 7 and a half minutes, it never releases your attention.

It’s easy to become enamored with Flora Ocean Tiger Bloom because the band never forces anything on you, instead allowing the gradual pull of each song, probably like a blackhole does. The only difference there is you’ll welcome Flora Ocean Tiger Bloom, without threat of being torn apart into an unknown. It’s just that comforting.


Innovation never stops and yes, there is the possibility to be indistinguishable from one thing and another. Normally there’s a connection between something you used to do to what you’re doing now. The trick is to sometimes flip that script in order to show one’s own diversity and ability to manipulate art into what you want it to be, all the while allowing your essence to linger all around it. Once you do that, all bets are off.

It all leads us back to Kim Gordon, the former Sonic Youth bassist/vocalist who was partly responsible for changing the way we listen to music in general. Back in 2019 she released No Home Record which deconstructed sounds as she saw fit. Now she’s released her second solo album The Collective (Matador) – her 2022 At Issue with Loren Connors isn’t one I’m including here – and things may never be the same again. While songs may be art driven, that takes nothing away from their sonic potency and vivid forcefulness. It seems this album has its moments where it defies classification, cross-pollinating genres, effectively creating something new and invigorating. The opening “BYE BYE” meshes together an array of sounds clashing over a deep luscious rhythm that drips with energy. Gordon is obviously a beatsmith that will have you wondering who she’ll be producing for next. Then there’s “The Candy House” which is full-frontal directness, again offering up beats that are unique with a captivating melody strewn across as other sounds crash around it. She knows what she’s doing, cooing through with a variety of effected vocal tricks. But its “I Don’t Miss My Mind” that strikes with sparks flying all around it, as Gordon unwittingly dives into art-rap territory, giving off semblances of Sensational and even Antipop Consortium. Does it work? Well, for fucks sake, yes it does! The moody elements strewn across are blissfully & unwavering creating a sonic sculpture that’s destined to destroy everything in its path. This right here, cements a legacy that’s far from one dimensional. But things don’t end there.

Guitars crash against drum machines on “It’s Dark Inside,” as a stormy bassline makes its way in, as we subconsciously follow along even when it’s not there. The rhythm sometimes sputters out but always returns. While it may sound disjointed, it all comes together eventually. It’s what we love to call a beautiful catastrophe. It’s dreamy and may seem as if it’s all over the place but it’s the distanced noise in the background that’s intriguing as feedback slides in and out. And when Gordon sings “It’s dark inside” there’s an eerie feel to it but it’s inviting. “Psychedelic Orgasm” seems to move from quivering dissonance mixed with a thick bass end to angelically melodicism and back again. It’s a wild journey. “Shelf Warmer” moves back in with an enticing rhythm you can sink your teeth into, with minimal instrumentation suited for the additional percussion drawn around it.

With The Collective, a 70-year-old Kim Gordon can still deliver material that can and will stand the test of time. The well hasn’t run dry of ideas, in fact, it’s overflowing and we’re all still in for more years to come. As “Believers” blares in the background here, I’m glad she invited us all to listen in. Can you say Gordon is living in the future? Yeah, she’s still way ahead of her time.