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David Grubbs - The Plain Where The Palace Stood (Drag City)

8 April 2013

David Grubbs is a master of experimental music. With his long, storied, and interesting discography, that he’s obtained cult status and respect is well-deserved. The Plain Where The Palace Stood is his first new solo album in years, and, true to form, it’s a lovely little outing. This offering is largely instrumental, with the instrumentals ranging from soft, gentle John Fahey style picking (“Second Salutation”) to noisier, heavier fare that reminds that he was one-half of 90s experimentalists Gastr Del Sol (“Abracadabrant,” “Super-Adequate”). Grubbs does sing, but his voice is an acquired taste; sometimes the more abstract vocal turns are interesting (“The Hesitation Waltz,” “Fugitive Colors”), and the more surreal moments of “I Started to Live When My Barber Died” takes a few listens to fully appreciate. Best advice for this one? Wait until it’s a cold, gray, rainy day, because The Plain Where The Palace Stood will lighten up the room and warm your heart.