Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Great Moments in Dallas History

Tum Tum Caprice Muzik (2007)

Fila Fresh Crew Tuffest Man Alive (1988?)
This was the DOC's first group before he left Dallas behind for NWA, forever being considered a west coast rapper by the uninformed.

Nemesis Munchies for your Bass (1991)
This is a serious classic. Yes the lyrics and delivery are less than stellar but it still sounds amazing. I remember really loving the whole album as a kid and wish I still had my CD version.

New Years 2009 Addendum

dearest readers,

My deepest apologies but I realized just yesterday that the mixtape I posted has a fatal flaw - the flying lotus song may not be able to play since i 'legally' purchased it. Sadly I won't be able to correct this till I am back in brooklyn which will be in the new year. Do what you wish but I didn't spent hours upon hours obsessing over it to have a song not play.

In the meantime get Clipse's new mixtape road to till the casket drops. It is amazing. But you probably already knew that.

Monday, December 22, 2008

New Years 2009

It's a New Years Mixtape! Strolling through the 2,900 or so songs I added to my iTunes this year in order to prepare this mix yielded some interesting surprises including; a renewed interest in American music or at least music sang in the English language (as opposed to Portuguese), a deeper focus on early American blues and mid 20th century Soul and Funk, as well as an overall obsession with the unending complexities and beauty of the human voice in song. A 'best of-year in review' is on the way wherein I will elaborate more but in the meantime please enjoy!

New Years 2009
1. amon duul II freak out requiem III
2. davy graham both sides now
3. flower travelin' band heaven and hell
4. flying lotus BNG GNG
5. black sabbath supernaut
6. joy & the hit kids run away
7. merry clayton country road
8. judson moore everybody push and pull
9. wale (w/bun b, pusha t) the feature heavy song
10. lil wayne phone home
11. scientist the voodoo curse*
12. nathanial mayer
dancing mood
13. the walker brothers i can't let that happen to you
14. roberta flack compared to what
15. brownie mcghee/sonny terry better day
16. the beach boys feeling flows
17. arthur russell close my eyes
18. shivkumar sharma, brijbushank kabra, haripreasad chaurasia bhoop ghara-dadra
19 doris i wish i knew

*big shout out to rude boy number one Augustus and the whole bushwick dub massive!

Monday, December 8, 2008

L' Enfant Assasin des Mouches

About a week ago, I had a dream that after taking part in a Pig Butchering class at Brooklyn Kitchen I found myself in the store cutting up a human being. Within the dream there seemed to be nothing strange or out of the ordinary about this. The human body in question was a headless male figure. With a long boning knife I started cutting it up as it lay on the floor. Similar to a normal animal butchering, the man had already been drained of his blood. Removing the arms and deftly carving into it was in no way gross or bloody even if I was slightly self-conscious in the dream. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized the human was wearing jeans and a blue sweater. Anyone who has seen me in the last few months knows this outfit has been my winter uniform. (For the record I have two of the same exact blue sweater)

In 1972, after creating music with Serge Gainsbourg including the 1970 arguable masterpiece Histoire de Melody Nelson, French composer Jean Claude Vannier made one of the most glorious, delirious, and baffling albums of the last half century. L’Enfant Assassin des Mouches, (The Child Killer of Flies) is a stunning and tightly composed pastiche of musique concrete, film score, carnival waltz, psychedelic rock, free jazz, lounge, etc. And be certain a great deal of emphasis should be placed on that “etc.” An instrumental concept album of sorts that seems to revolve, as best as I understand it, around a young child and his descent into an underground kingdom of flies, wherein after a great deal of struggle, the child is eventually murdered and consumed by the flies. And while this operatic narrative is only suggested within the French titles and linear notes, a sense of the grotesque and violent lurks just beneath the absurdist pop compositions.

The album often gets referred to as ‘difficult,’ and to the extent that it denotes abrasive or harsh sounds it is quite misleading. The majority of the compositions are melodic, beautiful, and straightforward. But like a dream in which every scene may be mundane and realistic, the whole narrative is still impossible to describe, and the more one attempts to do so, the faster it slips away. No matter how many times I listen to this record, it remains ever elusive and hard to put into words. It feels distant and foreign upon each listen; and in the surreal pop fantasia there is always something new to discover. Later in the week, JeffH was kind enough to give me a tarot reading, a fantastic and informative exploration. All the details are too personal and complex to share here but the 5 Cups card came up as the card that signified how others see me.

Both this card and the cover of L’Enfant Assassin des Mouches depict a lone figure starring off into the void; wishing for what could have been, confronting the bad choices that lead them there, and feeling overwhelmed by the weight of infinite possibilities before them.

Jean Claude Vannier
L’Enfant Assassin des Mouches (1972)

Jean Claude Vannier
L' Enfant la Mouche Les Allumettes (1971)
Don't ask me to explain it but this is perhaps my favorite video ever.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

MC Breed. Rest in Peace.

MC Breed Ain't No Future in Yo Frontin' (1991)
I'm two weeks late on this but I just found out Flint, Michigan rapper MC Breed died on November 22, 2008. As long as this blog has existed I've wanted to post this video. I was 11 when it came out and it was a very seminal moment in my appreciation of music. There was something very distinct about Breed, it struck me as very different than everything else I had been listening to then. For some reason I was convinced he was a Dallas area rapper. I suppose this is because he didn't neatly align himself with either the West or East coast, which was incredibly rare at the time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Odetta. Rest in Peace.

An immensely sad day. Discovering the voice of Odetta was at once thrilling and made me full of regret, regret that until that moment I had unknowingly encountered so many singers that took so much from her and paled in comparison, most notably Bob Dylan. This album of Odetta singing Dylan's songs is a bit ironic as such but still absolutely heavenly.
Odetta - Odetta Sings Dylan (1965)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fall Breaks and Back to Winter

When I was getting my masters degree in London, I wrote a paper exploring the architectural dimensions of silence, which was partially spurred by parents separating at the time. The essay covered lots of different topics including the contrasting nature of noise. One framework the essay suggested is that a large city, beyond just making a lot of noise, creates within us a desire to make more noise; noise as a kind of defensive space of protection. In contrast the open desert's fundamental sonic character is silence and as such it has a historical connotation to 'truth' or 'god.'

As the temperature drops and the leaves slowly change I've somewhat similarly been thinking about the sonic character of the different seasons. While such a thing is thoroughly subjective I can't help think we have legitimate collective pyscho-sonic impressions of the seasons. There are cliches of courses; bells, carols, etc. But there is something more elusive that a season produces spatially and sonically.

For the better part of the summer for instance, my ipod was exclusively full of chopped and screwed music, the slowed pace being a perfect match for the heat. In no way is it surprising that the hot, muggy, and insufferably humid city of Houston gave birth to such music. While DJ Screw sounds excellent to my ears anywhere, it's geographical or at least season specific music.

I don't have any definitive theories to posit regarding the relationship between sound and winter, but I put together a mix that begins to approach winter's sonic nature, even if I don't really know what that is. It's definitely a moody, slow, greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts mix so perhaps wait till your in such a state to fully appreciate it. It does seem that rather than a shared energy or melody, each song has a specific sonic tonality; each crisp note seems to rest in a space of thick ether.

Fall Breaks
1. jim o'rourke fall breaks and back to winter
2. sam prekop the company
3. nino rota rugiada sui ranocchi
4. the united states of america cloud song
5. broadcast valerie
6. alice coltrane my favorite things
7. thomas felmann radeln
8. makoto kawabata & richard youngs blue
9. jeff alexander & bonnie beecher come wander with me*
10. francoise hardy la maison
11. jonas bering wissant
12. johnny smith yesterdays
13. catherine howe up north

*This song is actually from The Twilight Zone episode #154 Come Wander with Me. Air put it on their Late Night Tales mix. I still remember the first time I heard it; it absolutely made the rest of the world fade into the background. You may also recognize it from some d-bag's movie.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Murakami was the Rage

A retrospective of photographer William Eggelston, Democratic Camera: Photographs and Videos 1961 - 2008, just opened at the Whitney. Included in the large exhibition is the series Los Alamos, which I wrote about in 2005 when it was shown at the Dallas Museum of Art. You can find it here. Rereading it again, I think the Haruki Murakami comparison still holds up well against Eggelston's aesthetic, even if the piece itself is a bit awkwardly sentimental.

Graffito on Jackson Street, Brooklyn

In the last few months leading up to the election, the buildings of Brooklyn have exploded with a great deal of Pro-Obama grafitti. This has been amazing but overlooked in this frenzy has been some truly transformative and singular grafitti going up at the corner of Jackson and Manhattan Ave. in Williamsburg. Below are some images I captured on my phone. In all seriousness this stuff is fantastically baffling, mostly notable is "Tom Hanks? More Like Tom Hunks." I welcome any explanations, interpretations, and comments.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

For A Day Like Today

Lee Hazlewood & Suzi Jane Hokom For A Day Like Today (1970)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Nelson Angelo e Joyce (1972)

Space. Spacey. Atmosphere. Atmospheric. These are perhaps some of the most often used adjectives when people try to describe music. While there seems to be a consensus about what we collectively recognize as space or atmosphere within a sonic recording, these often interchangeable qualities become increasingly elusive as you try to actually locate them.

We take it for granted daily, as it has become so naturalized, but a microphone, and what it does, strikes me as a truly fantastical and almost alien device. A standard microphone takes the sound waves within a given field and converts them in into a single electric signal. Through a similar but reverse process, that signal can then get turned into sound waves through a loud speaker, thus producing a new sonic space within a larger one.
Bizarre and straight forward.

Yet the history of recorded sound has within it a long and complicated narrative of continually refining, synthesizing, and omitting certain sounds from the original sonic field; of essentially creating a fiction from the given. In early blues records, it is as if the air itself is a sonic layer upon which everything else rests. As history marched forward, technology lessened this unwanted effect. Concurrently, artificial reverb and other such effects are used to give a recording a sense of space and presence. Today a standard pop record is like eating at a fast food restaurant; everything is processed to the point of being hollowed out of content and coated with a saccharine after taste.

In the late 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s, at least to my ear, a sonic equilibrium of sorts was reached wherein one could hear the music clearly as well as the acoustic space in which it was recorded. I remember once reading an interview with Joe Boyd (producer of Nick Drake, Vashti Bunyan, ISB) where he indicated that good production is to actually minimize the idea that it was even produced in the first place, to give the listener the impression of being right there in the room with the performance; he said something to the effect that ‘you do a lot of work to become invisible.’

This is all to say that at its core, a microphone captures an architectonic space that includes unmarked ambiences beyond our perception. Continuing this conceptual trajectory long enough, and forsaking prohibiting critical orthodoxy enough to let thought take flight, it isn’t hard to recognize that the processes of a microphone mirror that of consciousness itself; or at least what it is to be properly 'human.' Among a multitude of possibilities, such a parable certainly contextualizes and expands the phenomenon of ‘feedback.’

I wasn’t always so aware of the dimensions of sonic space and sonic fictions. After spending my life consumed by electronic based music, I became infatuated with folk music (or free-folk) around 2004. This is rather mundane as everyone else also was at the time. Unlike a lot of other eager listeners though, this wasn’t a personal revision, I had never really listened to folk at all before or given much thought to acoustic based music. I can say without any shame, Vashti Bunyan’s Just Another Diamond Day was particularly transformative.

With a bit a critical distance, it occurred to me that this interest in acoustic music wasn’t solely based in song or melody, or even the loosely defined concurrent political nostalgia of the time. Beyond the melodies and the narratives, I found a new sonic texture. In such recordings, one hears acoustic space, the natural echoes within the room. Around the frequencies of the guitar are the resonances and reverberations of the specific sonic milieu; a very present and physical void. This excited me as much as anything.

In contrast, Electronic music from Kraftwerk to Mantronix to Kompakt Records, has no space within it; it’s electronic sound within an air tight vacuum. This goes some way in explaining why it is ‘Alien’ music (I don’t use this term derogatively, but in the positive Afro-Futurist sense.) It is Alien precisely because it offers no space for the human to rest peacefully in; it forces itself on your consciousness. The warm reverb of Italio Disco and the echoed kick drums of Drum N Bass music offered slight variations but traces of the alien are always there. This is among many other things, its radical and transformative power; its deliberate transcendence of conventional acoustic space (hence why its head music, hip-hop headz, etc.)

Just Ice - Mantronix Cold Getting Dumb

I don’t mean to prescribe such an easy binary, or to suggest that one is better than the other: I love both of these amorphous tendencies within music. And in fact, this whole discussion of space started because I wanted to share one of my absolute favorite ‘atmospheric’ records, Nelson Angelo e Joyce (1972).

Nelson Angelo was already a notable musician within Milton Nascimento's legendary Clube da Esquina when he meet Joyce, an equally successful bossa-nova singer. The two meet, fell in love, and made this record in 1972. Fulfilling Boyd's axiom, you feel like your in the room with them, with a couple madly, if only briefly, in love. The floating open ended melodies are some of the most beautiful and lovely I have ever heard, and it is an absolute favorite in the Perez-O'Rourke household.

The invaluable Loronix has a copy HERE, I urge you to give it a listen.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hit Book. Tricks. Treats

I was unable to attend the making of HIT BOOK - TRICKS TREATS, which is a shame, because it is fantastic.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

School Play

Note: I was in my first school play in first grade. It was a Thanksgiving themed little number wherein I played a native american (though that term was not used at the time). While none of the native americans had speaking lines, there was a memorable scene involving a peace pipe.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Few Recent Acquisitions

I first became aware of New York MC Jean Grae at the Intonation Music Festival in Chicago in 2005. She was in the DJ Tent with Will Oldham: an odd but rewarding combination. At the after party that night at the Hideout, I ended up sitting next to her and El-P, I couldn't help eavesdropping but didn't come away with much good dirt. Despite being impressed I never really pursued her music until the other day, downloading her new album with production duo Blue Sky Black Death, titled Evil Jeanius.

Don't let the awful title fool you, its quite good. While Jean Grae is solid, BSBD's production really makes it a keeper; its a crisp mix between Antipop Constortium and 90's era RZA, but with a greater attention to sonic depth and texture. While not perfect, I recommend. Check the Rhime has a copy HERE

Way old at this point, but the Deerhunter blog posted mixes by Animal Collective members Panda Bear, Geologist, and Avey Tare. Who are you to resist?
And then there is this-Guy Skornik Ils Viennent Du Futur! from 1980, posted by the invaluable Mutant Sounds.

Last night I had a dream I was doing all kinds of pharmaceutical and psychedelic drugs. After wondering around a party, I found myself in a small room that looked like it had been spray painted by illiterate 12 year olds. I was standing in the room by myself but was deep in a flash back to a concert I had seen in the very same room. At the concert I was in a equally drug induced haze. I don't remember what bands played but this album captures that specific psychic soundscape as best I can imagine. Quite possibly the strangest thing I have ever heard, an equally nightmarish and utopian pop journey only a Frenchman from 1980 could make. Dig.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Electronic Glossolalia. 90s/00s Nostalgia.

Purchased High Places' new self titled album on Thrill Jockey today and I am quite smitten. This is encouraging as I've been feeling remiss about not listening to enough 'new' music lately. It also confirmed a trend I have noticed in contemporary avant-rock/free folk; a conscious or perhaps unconscious homage to late 1990s/early 2000s click-n-cut style electronica, or what was shamefully called IDM (intelligent dance music).

I'm quite enjoying this short-term-memory retro-ism. Its been making me feel nostalgic (and only slightly embarrassed) about my college days. While young white men with guitars were all the rage (even more so after 9/11) I voraciously consumed a great deal of music from the record labels TigerBeat6, Morr Music, Carpark and Hefty among others. I put together a few sweet jams, old and new alike. Listening to Cex, Slicker, Marumari, etc. again reminds me of living in Sunset Park and getting all stoked to be voting for Ralph Nader in 2000, his election feeling entirely possible for one brief moment.

Perhaps there is some inscrutable and bizarre historic correlation to be etched out between collective fetishes for melodic low tempo dance music and pre-election anxiety, I don't know. I just hope the results are better this time around. Until election day High Places will be constant rotation, soothing my frightening psyche.

Electronic Glossolalia
1. yacht 'so post em all' (2007)
2. paavoharju 'kevatrumpu' (2008)
3. slicker 'bindusky' (1998)
4. high places 'namer' (2008)
5. valet 'streets' (2008)
6. cex 'theme song to cex' (2000)
7. e-vax 'glacier' (2000)
8. kid cudi 'heaven at nite' (2008)
9. cex 'callmewhenyouneedsome' (2001?)
10. high places 'a field guide' (2008)
11. marumari 'untitled' (1999)
12. high places 'from stardust to sentience' (2008)
-Jams are not in order, my apologies.

Image: High Places courtesy of the amazing Todd Seelie

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Electrifying Mojo. Detroit. Rock Lobster.

It probably comes as no surprise, but my favorite moments on the internet are the things that are as far removed from the internet as possible. Which is a clumsy way of saying, the internet gets better the closer it gets to tangible relationships, computer-less experiences, and pre-internet histories (NisN and RI embody this perhaps better than anyone). I've done some time writing and researching about purely virtual/internet phenomenon and I can only describe it as an awkward tautological depression.

As great as the interweb is, it's comforting to know so many things still exist within histories outside its purview. In particular, I have been wanting to write about Charles "The Eletricfying Mojo" Johnson and unless my research skills fail me, little is available other than a poorly written wiki page and some brief bios. A seminal Detroit DJ from the 1970s to the 1990s, the Electrifying Mojo was first a DJ in Vietnam where he was exposed to a myriad of global sounds. When he got back to Detroit, he had a nightly show and introduced the youth of Detroit to all of these diverse sounds, not least of which was Kraftwerk. All the founders of Detroit Techno (Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Derick May, Carl Craig, et al.) site him as a major influence.

My initial search for the Electrifying Mojo came from a quote I read from 'Mad' Mike Banks, ringleader of the Detroit Techno and Afro-Futurist collective Underground Resistance - "I think he ended gang warfare in Detroit with one band. A lot of guys will know what I'm talking about. That summer (1978) the gang warfare was at a height and Mojo would get on the radio and ask for peace, pray for peace, and then drop the B52s, man. "Rock Lobster". Truthfully, you can't be too much of a tough guy while doing the rock lobster."

While the accuracy of this statement is open to debate, the sentiment behind it is remarkable and embodies the way sonic narratives, including the most absurd and wonderful pop music, can activate new social realities.

Images: Ruins of Detroit courtesy of Yves Marchand & Roman Meffre.


New HIT BOOK is up! (Perhaps the best one yet!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Posthumous Florist

I know a blog has rarely, if ever, been used to complain or critique's one job, or the institution of labor in general, so forgive this departure into a path seldom traveled by the multitudes.

Yesterday I was reminded of a dream I had before moving back to New York in February of 2006. I think I have written about it before so forgive me if this is repetitive for some of you. In the dream, I was working with a large group of friendly enough strangers. We were in a large field, in a single file line, picking flowers, each of us making a bouquet. While this sounds like a leisurely activity, it was very clear that this bouquet was highly important and I took this task seriously and with the utmost diligence. At the same time, I was in a good mood and enjoying this communal 'labor.' After a while I had put together an impressive and beautiful arrangement of flowers. From the field we moved to a smaller enclosed area, still in single file line. I don't know how, but at some point it become startlingly apparent to me that the bouquet I put together was for my own grave and that I was already dead.

Initially freaked, this ended up being one of my favorite dreams ever as it ultimately signified putting to death a former part of myself. And anyone who knew me when I was living in Texas after grad school in London knows that this was certainly a self that needed to die. Though I have haven't had a similar dream since, I am hoping that my actions yesterday (walking out on a terrible job) will similarly put to death a part of me that has been lingering around for far too long.

In a further vulgar display of banality, I put together some sweet jams related to my feelings about 'jobs' and the experience as a whole. It was hard to resist some of the more obvious inclusions (lee dorsey working on the coal mine, NIN head like a hole, temple of the dog hunger strike and any number of kinks songs). If nothing else, it made me realize that for some reason I associate being malcontent at a job with singers' named 'Lee.'

Posthumous Florist
1. lee hazlewood pray them bars away*
2. soft machine hope for happiness
3. skip bifferty money man
4. doris waiting at the station
5. lee dorsey who's gonna help brother get further
6. gamers in exile I am a decent man
7. the 24-carat gold food stamps
8. the people's victory orchestra and chorus a long way from home
9. lee hazlewood wait till next year
10. townes van zandt waitin around to die
11. beck forcefield
12. gorky's zygotic mynci shore light
13. the free design going back
14. lee dorsey a mellow goodtime
15. purple image marching to a different drummer

technically a song about prison but I think it is apt.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest (1956-66) Pt. 2

Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon Steal Away to Jesus

Bessie Jones & Children from the Downtown Community School I'm Gonna Lay Down my Life for my Lord

Malvina Reynolds No Hold in my Head

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Minimalism, Early 1990s

Del 'Catch A Bad One' (1993)

Scarface 'Money and the Power' (1992)

Mobb Deep 'Shook Ones Pt. II' (1995)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Festival Rock y Ruedas de Avándaro, 1971

In early May of this year, Kindling and I went to watch her sister graduate from the fine institution of RISD. I was terribly sick and finding myself at a college party the first night I attempted to counteract my sickness with a healthy amount of George Dickel Whiskey. Anyone familiar with this product will know that this didn't work. I am intimately familiar with hangovers but I have never felt worse than I did the next day. As such, the commencement speech by Lauri Anderson that morning was less than exhilarating.
In all honesty I've never meet a more charming family but making it through a celebratory dinner with the O'Rourkes that evening was challenging. At any rate, all weekend, for reasons that I think are clear, the phrase Mexican Hippie pervaded my already sensitive consciousness.
Festival Rock y Ruedas de Avándaro, September 11th & 12th, 1971. Toluca, Estado de Mexico.
Rock y Ruedas performers Los Dug Dugs
Get it Here

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Cosmic Body, 1975

For our 1 year anniversary (June 22) Molly got me several incredible gifts, one of which was this bafflingly amazing book, The Cosmic Body: The Creative Evolution of Intelligent Energy by Peter Davis. Apparently she had to haggle quite a bit at Spoonbill & Sugartown as it was originally not priced. While mostly new age philosophy (and poetry), the visuals leave me speechless. Though I haven't fully read it, in my brief overview I can't help notice how much Deleuze & Guattari often mirror the ramblings of new age California hippies, or rather teachings of the "cosmic life energy tradition" as noted on the back of the book.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wah Lay

Put this in the category of posts that should of happened two months ago- I finally got around to downloading Wale's The Mixtape about Nothing and I haven't stop listening to it since. Far too much in there to write about so I will suggest that in the off chance you don't already have it, get it now! Especially if you love Kanye but feel his cleverness (or his ghostwriters') far outshines his delivery and it always leaves you a bit disappointed (as it does me). The Kramer, his song about the Michael Richards incident is particularly brilliant; Wale manages to tackle the subject and the n-word deftly while avoiding the usual trappings. A mixtape themed around Seinfeld with Bun B, Pusha T, Lil Wayne, and Chris Partlow (Wale's cousin) shout outs is already aces but Wale's verses alone are extraordinary.
Wale - The Mixtape about Nothing (2008) Part 1. Part 2.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Twins. Prayers. Rejoice.

To mark this special day, I put a few songs together about twins, children, prayers, and overall rejoice! Its a pretty standard dmp affair; the usual suspects are represented (clipse, ac, dp's) and some personal 'oldies' came out of hiding (manitoba, solvent). To say some if it is twee is an understatement but I suppose that is only fitting. Here is the intended song order. Once in iTunes they will probably be out of order (sorry) so may be adjust the track numbers, but feel free to enjoy it however you see fit!

Prayers for Twins
1. we all together - children
2. manitoba - kids you'll move mountains
3. velvet underground - i'm sticking with you
4. dirty projectors - two young sheeps
5. animal collective - we tigers
6. clipse - young boy
7. solvent - tonka truck
8. the people's victory orchestra and chorus - children's anthem (let us sing a love song)
9. odetta - this little light of mine
10. malvina reynolds - love is something (the magic penny)
11. free design - lullaby
12. this heat - sleep

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest (1965-66) Pt. 1

In the mid 1960's Pete Seeger hosted a low budget television program, Rainbow Quest, in which he invited various blues, folk, and old-time musicians to perform. The Johnny Cash appearance gets a lot of play, but it is the performances by Elizabeth Cotton, Reverend Gary Davis, and Mississippi John Hurt that are absolute treasurers. While this is truly a singular moment in American history, my hope is that we will soon see Kanye West's Rainbow Quest with a similarly low budget. Don't sleep!

Mississippi John Hurt You Got to Walk that Lonesome Valley

Reverend Gary Davis
Oh Glory, How Happy I Am (With two young Hippies watching, Donovan & Shawn Phillips. The song doesn't get going until a few minutes in, but don't miss it. )

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee Easy Rider

Elizabeth Cotton Freight Train

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Latest Reasons for Pushing Forward

Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista (2008)
Heavy Eye of the Sun - II (2006)
Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice - Gipsy Freedom (2006)
Valet - Naked Acid (2008)
Mississippi John Hurt - Today! (1966)
It amazes me that at the age of 28 I am just discovering the music of Mississippi John Hurt. Every song on this record is an exceptional auditory space.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Compulsory Lil Weezy Post (with Lean)

I really should have posted this Tuesday when Tha Carter III dropped but oh well. Irrational as it may be, I feel a responsibility to post about Lil Wayne this week. The hype has been realdiculous and surely haters will hate but there's no denying his talent. While not the "Best Rapper Alive" I think Lil Wayne is certainly in the top 5. In my 20 plus years of listening to Hip Hop, no rapper has ever approximated Weezy's melodic delivery and complex inflections. While this throwed version of I Feel Like Dying comes dangerously close to being cheeseball, I can't help but find it hypnotic. All praise Weezy!
PS An obscene amount of Lil Wayne recordings can be found HERE

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hairdryer Peace, 2008

Lately it strikes me that language fails miserably when attempting to describe or muse on Noise/Psych music. From reading blogs and reviews, I can reach no other conclusion. All too often they are filled with cliches like "totally damaged" "psych bombs" "sonic noise fuck-fest" "pure headfuck" etc.

This might well be for the best. After all, psychedelia and the concurrent search for transcendental bliss inherent to noise music, is in many regards a rejection of modernity's adherence to logocentrism, historic linearity, rationalism, and individualism. The more meaningless the terms to describe the experience, the more important actually listening and experiencing is.

And let me be the first to admit, these meaningless cliches don't deter my interest. After being thoroughly inundated, I spend several weeks trying to track down a copy of The Hospitals new garage/noise 'album of the year' Hairdryer Peace, no easy task given that only 500 LPs were self pressed and sold out immediately. Last week I finally located a digital copy. In searching, my favorite description of the record came from a comment left on a blog - "They don't make acid strong enough for these jams. fuckin sick."

LSD or not, this record feels quite special, spectacular in fact. Rather than tell you how "ass blasting" it is, I will forsake language and post a few pictures related to the tracks. The more adventurous among you can obtain a copy HERE.
The Hospitals
A1 Hairdryer Peace
A2 Getting out of Bed
A6 Sour Hawaii
B2 Animals Act Natural
B7 Don't Die