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CDs Nuts 

One Day As a Lion
One Day as a Lion

A quick skim of the Rage Against the Machine lyric books will tell you, frontman Zach de la Rocha’s purpose statements are visceral, preaching general anger and indignation to both the downtrodden and the fratboy. By that standard, One Day as a Lion, the eponymous EP from his latest project, is nearly as effective as The Battle of Los Angeles. Former Mars Volta percussionist Jon Theodore’s drums are adequate, but de la Rocha’s industrial keyboard grind seems a mediocre stand-in for Tom Morello’s doomsday guitar. “Ocean View” benefits from de la Rocha’s underused singing voice, but opener “Wild International,” skillfully utilizing RATM-forbidden electronic manipulation, is the only real shock.

Live @ MOMA
Sigur Rós
(Current TV)

This concert film, shot at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, is less an extension of that majestic, trippy music than an unrequested glimpse at the awkward musicians behind the curtain. Will your enjoyment of the Rós’s alien soundscape be destroyed by the eye-rolling violinists, uncomfortably dressed in glittery fairy costumes and yarn wigs, or the middle-age band geeks, their hairy paunches stuffed into marching uniforms? Probably not, but once you get a load of lead singer Jónsi Birgisson’s strained falsetto face, you might pick a new band to soundtrack your no-pants parties. But, it’s available free at, so fans should at least fast-forward to glorious drum-circle closer “Gobbledigook.”

Day - Night

Restoration Project
(Undercover Culture Music)

Producer David Liang strips the English (and most of the human) vocals from tracks on earlier Project albums, and the music is infitely better and more omni-cultural for it. Not surprisingly, his knack for blending traditional Chinese instruments with dance beats, cabaret jazz, and Headhunters key loops (check “The Bund,” “Bubbling Well Alley”) only fully emerges when those lackluster vocalists shut up. The remaining instrumentals and abstract vocals sometimes verge on New Age naptime, but the many highlights (“Avenue Joffree,” “Call Me Home,” “McmxxXVIi”) achieve an organic beauty and an ancient grandeur that electronics shouldn’t be capable of.

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January 12, 2022

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