Thomas Anderson – The Moon in Transit

January 01, 1970

(Out There)


It’s been six years since Oklahoma-to-Texas-and-back (and
forth) singer/songwriter Thomas Anderson released a record, and as fans can
tell you, that’s too damn long (if typical). The Moon in Transit isn’t new music per se, as its dozen songs are
drawn from 13 years’ worth of four-track archives. But nothing here was
re-recorded for any of Anderson’s full-blown studio productions, so it’s new to


Shorn of a band, Anderson’s hyper-literate rock sounds
pretty much the same as it does in studio – these aren’t solo acoustic
sketches, but fully arranged songs, with electric guitars, keys and a drum
machine. Anderson is smart enough to know what shades of color to use in
painting his archival sketches and deliberate wordplay, giving the historical
fantasy “Lunch With Nefertiti” the right outdoor café shimmer, the small town
ennui of “Doin’ Donuts” the proper heavyfooted slog and the transgressive
reminiscence “Uncle Betty” the correct childlike innocence. With interests
drawing as much from 19th century history as 20th century
pop culture, Anderson
never runs out of ideas. He adds a big dollop of horror film imagery to the
otherwise whimsical “Frankenstein Blues,” pays tribute to an aging groupie in
“Miss Theresa” and tells the story of the Donner Party in the epic “The
Cascades of Oregon.”


With a Howard Zinn-meets-Lou Reed vision and self-confident
craft, Anderson
makes these demo recordings as fully realized and compelling as anything a
studio budget would have afforded.



Cascades of Oregon,”
“Uncle Betty,” “Lunch With Nefertiti” MICHAEL TOLAND




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