There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Side projects are often an outlet for the kind of unrestrained expression that’s not possible within a group context, but that’s not the case with Thurston Moore’s Psychic Hearts. The disc, on which Moore is joined by Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley and Mosquitoes guitarist Tim Foljahn, could easily be a Sonic Youth demo. The 15-song collection, while listenable enough, is a tad disappointing: It finds Moore summarizing the last 15 years of his career rather than trying to break new ground. Moore’s trademarks are all here—noisy, droning guitar; beat-poetry-influenced lyrics with pop culture references (“system chaos porno hate boss…poor Madonna I’m th’ man”); and songs with unconventional musical arrangements (notably the 20-minute instrumental “Elegy for All the Dead Rock Stars”). When Moore is able to blend his avant-garde and populist tendencies, as on “Ono Soul” and the title track, his talent shines—but too many of these cuts merely reiterate the guitarist’s past.