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Jim O'Rourke The Visitor

For the first recorded peep out of Jim O’Rourke in years, we’re treated to The Visitor, an ornate, 38-minute mini-orchestral piece played entirely by O’Rourke himself. A former member of Gastr del Sol and Sonic Youth, O’Rourke has assumed a number of musical guises in the past, and this time out he crafts a pastoral instrumental glide through his own musical past. Beginning with fingerpicked guitar, it gradually incorporates banjo, piano, pedal-steel guitar, and clarinet in gently shapeshifting, increasingly somber motions. It’s occasionally evocative of 1997’s acoustic guitar-centric Bad Timing, but it all feels fresh, sprightly, and timeless. Available on CD and LP but not as an MP3 download, and he politely requests that you “listen on speakers, loud.”

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