Chad VanGaalen / photo by David Greenwald
For the second installment of Altin Village & Mine Records “Green Corridor” series, the label enlisted tour partners Chad VanGaalen and Xiu Xiu. Xiu Xiu’s contribution is a miserable 20-minute performance art piece but the Chad side is stunning. VanGaalen’s recent electric-oriented Diaper Island was the first of his albums to come a few breaths short of blowing me away, but Green Corridor II finds him in all his experimental acoustic glory. “Your Own Minds End” is a gritty, ramshackle rocker; “Evening Sun” is one of his most peculiar ballads — it sounds like a music box quietly going crazy; “I Want You Back” goes effectively punk and so on. There’s little here that isn’t captivating. VanGaalen’s relative non-fame even among the experimental set remains a mystery to me — maybe being on Sub Pop keeps him from being a patron saint to the Ad Hoc kids — but few artists are making music as vividly, accessibly individualistic.