Marnie Stern

Marnie Stern

Marnie Stern. Where have you been all my life? Listening to the first moments of guitar-ninja Marnie Stern’s most recent album was like eating deep fried Oreos for the first time — “Holy bejeezus! How have I not gorged myself on these before?!?” — and I have Pitchfork’s new “Over/Under” series to thank for the revelation. I’d never heard of Stern, and watched her episode completely on a whim (OK, so the series’ name made me think it was about gambling, and the thought of Pitchfork employees gambling was amusing to me for some reason. As in, what would hipsters gamble on? Please leave any theories you may have in the comments below). Turns out, “Over/Under” asks famous musicians to decide if random things, like “Guitar Center Sales Dudes” and the TV show Lost, are overrated or underrated. After hearing her thoughts on Lost’s disappointing finale, penis size and Ryan Gosling, I headed to Spotify to give her self-titled album a try. Cue the deep fried Oreos. The opening seconds of “For Ash” were so explosive and chaotic and pleasing, and my mind immediately started soaking in the sound like a happy, overstimulated sponge. Stern’s music combines the technically-demanding practice of guitar tapping with constantly shifting rhythms to create colorful and exhilarating songs that transcend their technicality and make you want to scream “This is crazy and I love it!” See what I mean by trying out “For Ash” below, her episode of “Over/Under” here, and if you like what you hear, grab her eponymous album from iTunes here.

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