From The Desk Of Mercury Rev: “Sound Art: Beyond Music Between Categories” By Alan Licht

The Light In YouMercury Rev’s 10th full-length and first in seven years—picks up where 2008’s Snowflake Midnight left off, with stalwart founders Jonathan Donahue and Grasshopper drawing inspiration from nature and the Rubik’s Cube of love in equal measure. There is a strong autumnal vibe about the affair—a modern Days Of Future Passed, complete with sweeping orchestral touches and wistful remembrances by the fistful. When the band’s “psychedelic rock and blue-eyed soul” finds its groove, it’s still a breathless wonder to behold. Mercury Rev will be guest editing all week. Read out MAGNET Classics feature on the band’s Yerself Is Steam.


Grasshopper: Alan Licht was always a favorite guitarist of mine. I would often see him playing back in the early ’90s with Love Child in NYC’s Lower East Side clubs like The Spiral on Houston Street, etc. He has gone onto many other projects, including playing guitar with Lee Ranaldo in Lee’s band. Sound Art is a book about sound reflecting physical space, and the special place where noise and visual art collide. Among many other subjects, Sound Art explores and connects ways in which: 1950’s experimental tape recordings, the music and visual art of Christian Marclay, Brian Eno, La Monte Young, John Cage, Tony Conrad (whom I studied with at SUNY Buffalo) and the no-wave movement (to name just a few) intersect and inform sound, music and noise that is contained both in inner and outer space (in your brain and in the physical space you vibrate within). The book’s sleeve says, “Sound Art’s roots can be found in the experimental work of the Italian Futurists, DADA, and later the Fluxus Group.” Inspirational! This great book, with exquisite graphics and an included CD, can be used as a springboard for the reader to dive more deeply into exploring the beauty and majesty of sound as art! Mercury Rev has always tried to explore the space beyond music and between categories, so this book is a must for us!