This just in: Travis Morrison is teaming up with Sonic Youth, the Flaming Lips, and Liz Phair for the "Pitchfork Hates Us!" tour. Okay, not really, but Mr. Morrison did just join the elite circle of artists who've earned a coveted "0.0" album review from that online arbiter of all that is indie-rock cool. Does his solo debut album, Travistan, really "break new ground for terrible," as per Pitchfork's ratings system? Of course not. One suspects much of the critical hostility directed at Morrison is payback for calling it quits with the old band he fronted -- Washington D.C.'s much-worshiped The Dismemberment Plan -- at the height of their post-punky powers to embark on a different, most definitely eclectic musical route. Travistan is more playful, more lyrically head-scratching (in a good way), and much more synth and electronic-based than the D-Plan's attack; the singer/multi-instrumentalist and his band are said to tumble extra funky live these days. Ultimately it's up to you to judge, but I say Morrison is more hero than zero.
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