Philadelphia City Paper
October 18, 2001


Somewhere between the majestic heights of symphonic pop and the long lolling flatlands of slowcore lies the expansive land of Idaho, home to Jeff Martin and his inspired webs of gauzy, evocative music. While in the past Martin’s been occasionally prone to loose-limbed lattices of tightrope guitar soaring in wisps high above the composition, this homemade four-string guitar player’s newest record, Levitate, settles into a comforting earthbound shuffle given ballast and momentum by increased piano backing. A classically trained pianist, Martin devotes more time than ever to his childhood instrument, and the result is a veritable glass menagerie of casually stunning musical figures, as well as the warmest and most relaxed moments his laconic, downbeat baritone has produced to date. Like the subtle beauty of Low with the pulse of Mark Kozelek minus the Drakian melodrama, Idaho drifts by with the understated intensity of a rock-inspired Spoon River Anthology.

—Chris Parker

Thu., Oct. 18, 9 p.m., $7, with La Guardia, Asteroid #4 and The Court and Spark (see Geoff Matis’ review of The Court and Spark’s Bless You), at The Khyber, 56 S. Second St., 215-238-5888.

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