Ty Segall, La Luz, Axis:Sova | Thalia Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Tue., Sept. 23, 7 p.m. 2014
It seems like the more prolific Ty Segall becomes, the better his music gets. His albums often reflect sounds or formats he wants to explore—stripped-down, mostly acoustic songs on Sleeper; trashy, rude collaborations with his pal Tim Presley of White Fence on Hair; full-band recordings on Slaughterhouse. But on the new Manipulator (Drag City) the king of west-coast underground rock finally seems to assess the scorched but fertile landscape behind him. As he often does, he sings all the leads and plays most of the instrumental parts (though string players make unexpected appearances on a few songs), and the double album’s patchwork of aesthetics isn’t new to him either: he combines delicate ballads (where his increasingly gorgeous falsetto singing rivals that of John Lennon) with fuzzed-out rockers (where the influence of T. Rex has never been more apparent). But Manipulator has 17 songs—a half dozen or so more than usual—and Segall executes them with more skill, precision, and attention to detail than anything on his previous records, all without diluting the fiery immediacy that makes his music so exciting. The grooves are hard and deep, the guitars are distorted and serrated, and the vocals are soulful, nuanced, and tuneful. Manipulator is the most complete picture so far of Segall’s talents—and the best rock album I’ve heard all year. —Peter Margasak
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