Grasshopper and the Golden Crickets

Grasshopper and the Golden Crickets

The Orbit of Eternal Grace

Beggars Banquet

While we all sit on our hands waiting for a new Mercury Rev record, guitarist Grasshopper and flautist Suzanne Thorpe step out with a side project guaranteed to blow your mind. The woozy hip-hop beats and languid fuzz bass supporting “Silver Balloons” and the sweetly soporific “The Ballad of the One-Eyed Goldfish” set a hallucinatory tone for free spirited fun from beginning to end. Note a talent for clever wordplay, as “sympathy” is replaced with the acronym for the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers in the title of 29 seconds of signal static, “SMPTE for the Devil.” There’s actually a delightful range of instrumental selections strewn about: the title cut builds to a swirling crescendo of space music over a chorus of chirping crickets, “September Fool” captures the melancholy mood of the month that divides summer and fall and “Univac Bug Track” explores familiar drum and bass territory. “New York Avenue Playground” portrays a reminiscence of summer in the city that Lou Reed might have written. “Midnight Express” makes a pit stop in a smoky jazz club before Grasshopper and his Golden Crickets drop you gently down to earth again with a straightforward acoustic reprise of “NY Avenue… ” As sweet and ethereal as spun sugar, Orbit of Eternal Grace goofs off, gets experimental, and delivers some excellent pop music. Beggar’s Banquet, 580 Broadway, Suite 1004, New York NY 10012

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