Stranded In Stereo's review of the Right Rock EP:
"I’m leery of anything crowned with the adjective magical. In psychology magical thinking is a belief in nonscientific causal reasoning, including ESP, card tricks, omens, karma, homeopathic medicine, evangelical Christianity, and other forms of irrational thinking. Beyond childhood, there is a correlation between psychosis and magical thinking. There are also clear correlations between magical thinking and both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Obsessive compulsives adopt magical thinking to evade the stress of considering negative outcomes.
I should admit now the album is only an EP, but these are three beefy tracks coming in at a cumulative 17 minutes and 24 seconds. Ultimately I find no guile herein. Each track builds slowly towards uncertainty. We dress ourselves in words, armed and overheard. The album begins with indistinct tones, part theremin and part oramics. The noodling guitars enter, but suddenly cease. They recess and reconvene. They’re a cipher in the sea. In their most coherent moments I am reminded most of Phaser, in their slowest, most arrhythmic lulls I think of the kitsch sci-fi movies of the ‘50s.
The album rattles to life like a loose phono jack and then continues like a living 60 Hz ground hum, vibrating on until you cut the power. They pulsate like little stoned amoeba living inside Morton Subotnick’s brain stem. Tracks combine synthesizer bongo effects interspersed with ray-gun noises and echo effects, which is indescribable in its emotional connotation. The last track, for example, is devoid of traditional instruments, consisting entirely of hum, reverb and echo sounds that are entirely clarisonus if still indistinct.
What the record lacks is record crackle, a little dirt in the grooves, a yellowed paper sleeve, and a water-stained, 1950s Living Sound™ jacket. Inside the three tracks there is very little existing to ground the record or to make it material and mortal. It is not laid open the benign indifference of the universe. It stands instead, short in stature, but immune to all of us." - Jose Fritz
Track review from MP3 HUGGER (Ireland):
Great name for a band eh? Only if what they produce lives up to it I guess. Well, take a deep and relief filled phew then because ‘Right Rock’ is equal parts wondrous and outlandish. Led by T Thurston (who has already been on our doorsteps playing with Casiotone For The Painfully Alone in Whelan’s!) this is a small operation with big ambitions. 'Right Rock' (taken from the EP of the same name) is utterly challenging, frequently impenetrable but worth persisting with to uncover the goodies that surely lie beneath. You'll struggle to hang your hat on any obvious hooks but over 4 minutes ‘Right Rock’ somehow paints an audio canvass that amounts to nothing less than devastating. I really can’t explain how it provokes such happiness inside of me, all I know is that it does and for that I am very thankful." - KD
"Droning pieces soaked in overtones and ambiguously religio-weirdy lyrics. Depressing 80's dance music thrown in to tie the package together in the best way possible." - Single Girl, Married Girl Records. Philadelphia, PA. 2008.
Review of Brooklyn show w/ Katie Stelmanis; Catcall; Tirra Lirra; Brando Skirts from Impose Magazine:
"Chicago’s Magical, Beautiful play, odd, submerged synth-pop, full of electronic washes and watery reverb trails that go a long way towards substantiating their genre claims of dub and punk. Well, if they’re punk, it’s more in the post-punk-falling-a-way-into-new-wave manner, but the production is decidely dubby in a way few rock bands are. It’s mostly pretty languid music for slow-rolling seas but they know how to catch the ear with quick tempo increases at key moments as well." - Nate Dorr, 2008
From the almighty and heavy BLASTITUDE! (make sure you read all the back issues):
"Magical, Beautiful has released a new three-song CD EP called The Right Rock on his/their own I Hear A New World label. Apparently the whole thing was conceived and written while M,B main-man T. Thurston was on a family Caribbean cruise, fueled by the endless waves and complimentary mojitos. So, we get a tuneful and wordy white-guy island lilt that immediately made me think of Van Dyke Parks's Discover America but that notion was just as quickly confounded by long stark electronic instrumental passages. Quick and intriguing sui generis listen, I've spun it three times today." - Larry "Fuzz-o" Dolman, 2008
Click here for Gaper's Block's 2008 profile/write-up of M,B.
From 66.6FM WBLSTD radio program, 2008:
Okay, the reggae tunes are in there via the new Magical, Beautiful mix CDR release, Nearer My God In Spring, on his/their own I Hear A New World label, catalog number IHAN07 in a sweet chipboard case-thing, and I'm telling you, this mix is incredible, it's been in my player for like three weeks now. Just good tunes. Like the man says in the liner notes: "Thank you musicians & sound engineers for this wondrous music. This is great inspiration & beauty."
Lengthy, 2007 interview from What To Wear During An Orange Alert is here.
"Magical, Beautiful is T Thurston from Orange County, CA and now Chicago, IL. He has played in Head of Femur and Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, and writes and records his own music under the M,B name, although tonight's choice "Winterlude Winterlude" is a live mix he made, named after the Dylan song from New Morning (included), in which he DJ's some favorite records right into the board then zips it all up into an 11-track zip file and throws it up on mediafire. He does include a couple Magical, Beautiful tracks, one of 'em a wild improvisation where he lays down some of his neo-classical piano chops in a duo with a free trombonist that goes down in a dubby live-mix haze, with the remainder filled in by the likes of Eric Copeland, Holger Czukay, Keith Hudson, Arthur Russell, Brian Eno, D.A.F., Cornelius (I had forgotten about this Matador recording artist, it's a good track!), and more, all continuous-mixed. It's a very good mix, he gave it a catalog number on his label and it deserves one." Larry "Fuzz-o" Dolman (from BLASTITUDE, 2008
Show review from "Mostly Certain About Music", 2008:
"Last night I went to the Empty Bottle (convenient, as it's spitting distance from my apartment) to see Magical, Beautiful; Brilliant Pebbles; and Black Moth Super Rainbow, and I don't really have much to say about it other than keep an eye out for Magical, Beautiful. Yeah, will you? Please do. They sounded dreamy but not glazed-eyed dreamy. Full dreamy. Distinct dreamy. Maybe dreamy is not the right word. As for the sound in general at the Bottle? Muddy, maybe."
From Blastitude #27's "put the ipod on shuffle and have a conversation about what comes up"-type column: D: And this next thing sounds like FREE FOLK. Hmm. Really not sure who it is. Goofy sounds. Old-timey sounds. It's kinda waltzy. [Singing starts.] Oh man, this is really quirky. This is practically Elephant 6. But not quite, there's something a little more laid back about it. Oh, he's singing "I hear a new world calling me..." Is this a Joe Meek song? D: I don't know... D: This is probably Magical, Beautiful, covering a Joe Meek song... D: It is Magical, Beautiful, you are correct. D: This is pretty impressive. It's got that woozy Magical, Beautiful feeling. The slide guitar and stuff like that. Okay, we've got this damn iPod, time to put it to use... jump to the artist Joe Meek and see if we can hear the original. I know I have it on here. D: Coming up right........now. D: Oh wow. This is super weird. D: Insane. D: Literally! I was just reading about Joe Meek, and I didn't know any of that stuff, how he like, I don't know, killed his neighbor or something? D: Whoah, I didn't know that. D: He did, he freaked out and killed some innocent stranger and then killed himself I think. D: Let's see... [Wiki strikes again].... yep, in 1967, at age 37, he used a shotgun to kill his landlady and then killed himself. D: Sigh. Well, the Magical, Beautiful version was pretty cool. D: Yeah, it's actually a more fleshed-out version. D: Yeah, Meek's version is amazing but it's kind of all sound effects. What's this, just the next song on the Meek album? D: Yeah, it's called "Orbit Around The Moon." D: I like the surf stuff. D: Yeah, well his biggest hit was "Telstar" by The Tornadoes... or was it "Tornado" by The Telstars? [wiki wiki wiki wiki] Okay, it's "Telstar" by The Tornadoes. D: That's gotta be surf. D: Yeah, there's a link here on the Wikipedia page for you to listen to a snippet of the song, but I can't get it to work. It's an "ogg" file. D: Yeah, I don't mess around with those. At least not yet. I finally messed around with a FLAC the other day. That was kinda silly. "CD quality!" D: I thought CDs were supposed to suck, man.... D: Totally! I love it when I see an album ripped at like 120.... it's like some full-length deluxe CD reissue with bonus tracks, and the whole thing is like 39 megs. Alright, this is pretty rad, but let's get back to shuffle here.... adios, crazy Joe Meek.... D: Yeah, I think "Entry of the Globbots" is a good track to go out on... D: Wow, listen to those chipmunks chattering.... D: Yeah, I mean.... you know, nothing but respect for the victim and her family, but... [points to speaker] didn't they hear the warning signs??"
From The Poverty Jet Set (Philadelphia):
""Magical, Beautiful is [a] band [that] my buddy Chris Keener [is in], whom I met years ago at True/False in Columbia, Missouri, his home town. He now lives in Chicago and collaborates with these fellas. We went to see them play at a small house show they booked, and I was blown away. Dueling synths, deep drums and what might be described as Joy Division-style vocals."
From Baltimore City Paper's review of 10.15.08's show @ The Windupspace:
"Chicago trio Magical, Beautiful was the only touring band on the bill, as well as the only full band. Playing in an unusual configuration of a drummer and two synth players, with one of the keyboardists switching to bass guitar on certain songs, Magical, Beautiful has a dark, densely textured sound. But it felt like that sound would've been better served by more expressive vocals than the low monotone provided by one of the keyboard players. Still, the tune the band introduced as "a new song" was by far the highlight of its set, with tighter polyrhythms and deeper bass grooves than any of the band's other material, indicating that Magical, Beautiful may still be in the process of hitting its stride." - Al Shipley. (Yeah? I'll show you "hitting a stride".)
------------------- From some boring dude's website, 2007:
"Emil Svanängen and Loney, Dear came to the Lakeshore Theater on Friday night, where local Chicago band Magical, Beautiful opened. Magical, Beautiful’s performance had it’s moments… one such moment being the number where T Thurston performed while a young woman tap danced the percussion part in a sailor’s outfit (not to mention on a platform with the title ‘Miss Rene’ on it). If nothing else it was entertaining."
--------------------- Some dude that goes to Berklee School Of Music was right, (amazingly!): this was a shitty-ass set, 2007:
"Chicago local Magical, Beautiful started off the night with a solo set. He played guitar and sang before switching over to piano and singing. It seemed that he was a very competent instrumentalist, and I think he really knew his way around the piano. As for his singing abilities...he needs to keep working. If his voice had been better then the music might have been alright."
Stuff related to Magical, Beautiful:
From All Music's review of Head Of Femur's "great plains" (2008):
"....Creating a lushness to the sound, a flash of excitement, or a twist in style, the strings and brass remain integral to Femur's studio sound. If they're the glorious accents, then keyboardist T Thurston is much of the main course. He gives "Where's the Fire" its proggy feel, "Plains" and the insistent "Open the Door Lucille" their barrelling R&B flavor, "Wagons" and "By the Red Fire" a gorgeous, classical edge, while sending "River" coursing into outer space....." - Jo-Ann Greene
From Billboard's review of "great plains":
".....Having about sixteen performers on the album doesn't hurt in terms of making everything sound as full as it does, of course, though it's a few key folks who seem to stand out here, notably T Thurston on piano and other keyboards, while the core players hold the line as before...." - Ned Raggett