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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 01, 2005 - 08:26 am:   

?<?$ I think, should be made of the recent passing of Chris Whitley at the age of 45, not from an OD, as anyone who ever saw him might expect, but at home with his family of some lingering condition. With his unique vocals and electrified National Steel and outlaw songwriting style, Whitley was, in my opinion, was the most interesting of the contemporary bluesmen. His first album, Living With The Law, gave him a fleeting MTV presence, but thereafter he settled into the sort of niche to which eccentric talents are relegated. Whitley's recordings veered into rock, into jazz (he did an album with Martin, Modeski, and Wood and played as a sideman with Cassandra Wilson), but he always returned to his peculiar brand of the blues. I had the pleasure of seeing him four times, and each time I was overwhelmed by the performance. The strange melodic din that came from that Fender amp and National Steel was one of the most orginal sounds in music, and his songs could send chills through you. In the songs, he identified with the dregs of society, criminals and losers. He reminded me, at his best, as a contemporary Francois Villon -- I think he was that good. Songs like "Last Letter from Leavenworth" are as unforgettable as a Robert Johnson song. If you haven't heard him, check out Living With The Law or Warcrime Blues. If you know him, well, you know what a loss we've suffered.

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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 01, 2005 - 08:56 am:   

CHRIS WHITLEY (Buy CDs by this artist)
Living With the Law (Columbia) 1991
Poison Girl EP (Columbia) 1992
Din of Ecstasy (Work) 1995
Liberation or Death EP (Work) 1995
Terra Incognita (Work) 1997
Dirt Floor (Messenger) 1998
Live at Martyr's (Messenger) 2000
Perfect Day (Valley Entertainment) 2000
Rocket House (ATO) 2001
Long Way Around: An Anthology 1991-2001 (Columbia) 2002
Hotel Vast Horizon (Messenger) 2003
War Crime Blues (Messenger) 2004
Weed (Messenger) 2004
Soft Dangerous Shores (Messenger) 2005

Chris Whitley learned to play guitar while living in a log cabin in Vermont; the first album he bought was the Jimi Hendrix Experience's Smash Hits. That disparity helps to make sense of the stunning sweep of musical extremes Whitley made throughout the '90s and the first half of the '00s. The Houston native moved around a lot in his youth, including stays in Mexico and Belgium, where he was part of a techno-pop outfit. He returned to the US in the late '80s as something of a troubadour, reacting to his experiences overseas by concentrating on Dobro and acoustic guitar, developing his slide and finger-picking techniques.

Rootsy, dark and intense, Living With the Law is a magnificent debut. Whitley's fresh, dust-bowl balladry with modern grit gave a musical voice to angst a few months before Nirvana put the word in the collective teenage vocabulary. His spectral National steel guitar slide work is otherworldly, and his elastic vocals — gritty mumbles and falsetto yodels — can soothe or frighten, depending on a song's tone. The lyrical content — lovers sweating in sunbaked desert towns, drunken confessionals and violent confrontations between rivals of uncertain moral standing — tie Whitley to blues tradition, but the production by Daniel Lanois protégé Malcolm Burn is resolutely modern, reinforcing the big sky feeling with tremendous aural spaciousness but steering clear of too much airiness by grounding everything in Whitley’s earthy guitar. That said, it's the songwriting that really shines here. Adopting an outlaw persona, Whitley displays a knack for vivid, cinematic detail and chilling images ("Baby got a vision, child / Like a loaded gun / She use my body / Like carrion crow"). "Phone Call From Leavenworth" is a desolate one-character drama; "Big Sky Country" is a spiritual brimming with hope.

The Poison Girl EP shows what Whitley can do in a live setting. Half of the six songs were recorded solo in his living room, a perfect fit given the intimate nature of his material. The full-band tracks don't lose much of that feeling, either.

Whitley took a long break after Living With the Law — part of it spent in rehab — and emerged closer to the Hendrix side of his musical makeup on Din of Ecstasy. "Din" is the operative word: Whitley puts down the Dobro (most of the time), straps on a Stratocaster and lets wail with an electric rock fury steeped in classic rock influences and a variety of New York sounds from the Velvet Underground to Sonic Youth. (That Whitley covers the Jesus and Mary Chain's "Some Candy Talking" contributes to the album's Lou Reed aspect.) Dinosaur Jr is a touchstone for the song "Din," while "Know" and "Ultraglide" nod in the general direction of Seattle. Din of Ecstasy isn't entirely derivative: Whitley is a hot electric player, and the album retains his distinctive arranging touch in the fast funk groove of "O God My Heart Is Ready," the winding, hypnotic builds of "Guns & Dolls" and "WPL." "New Machine" shows he hasn't abandoned the first album's rootsiness, and his imagery is also intact, from the "red and yellow roses, nipple rings and tattoos" in "Narcotic Prayer" to the pagan sexual rites described in "WPL." A promo-only EP of the time, Liberation or Death, joined two album tracks with one of Whitley’s uncompromising mottos, “Liberation or Death.” When a man describes his art as “Visceral latitudes, logos and Eros, liberation or death,” you know he’s more than a mere craftsman.

The 90-second acoustic reverie “As Flat as the Earth” which opens Terra Incognita may have been meant to reassure the roots music aficionados alienated by Din of Ecstasy’s clatter and squawk, but “Automatic” is muscular rock and the Amelia Earhart tribute “Power Down” overlays Whitley’s songcraft with noisy effects. Much of the record evinces mechanical imagery in titles like “Gasket” and elliptical lyrics about steel and faulty airplanes, but the magnificent “Weightless” involves secrets untold, a lover betrayed, a “child falling from above helpless to your love” and being “lonelier than God.”

Continuing his unpredictable career arc, Whitley released Dirt Floor, recorded in a single winter's day back in his Vermont log cabin. He sings and plays guitar and banjo in what might be considered a live album without audience. The singing is clipped, slurred and crooned; the tempos uncertain. "From One Island to Another" opens jazzy and languid before turning mildly dissonant. "Altitude" is slashing country blues, the title track a striking and not entirely comforting folk gospel. The production is non-existent, but it’s an effective album, all 27 minutes of it. In "Indian Summer," Whitley sings lines that could be his outlook on life: "It's so hard to keep warm now / so easy to get burned."

While neither Live at Martyr’s nor Perfect Day, a collection of covers, is essential to anyone but diehard fans, each contains some remarkable moments. Whitley is a mercurial live performer, fiercely focused in one performance and sloppy and meandering in the next. Live at Martyr’s has a tightly wound “Home Is Where You Get Across,” a deliberate and poised medley of “Big Sky Country" and "Gasket” and a spindly cover of Kraftwerk’s “The Model.” “Serve You,” now a Whitley standard, gets its debut here. The live records are showcases for his idiosyncratic vocals, which range from a fluttery Jeff Buckley falsetto to a guttural blues bark, often in a single song. Perfect Day offers Lou Reed's title track, a couple of Dylan songs and blues classics by Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson and others. Billy Martin and Chris Wood (two-thirds of Medeski, Martin, and Wood) provide accompaniment.

Whitley shifted gears again for Rocket House, his first fully produced studio album in more than four years. The tape loops, turntable scratching and plucked banjo in “To Joy (Revolution of the Innocents)” are new to Whitley’s history of blurring genre boundaries. The subtly driving “Say Goodbye,” with its soaring chorus, is simply a great rock single that could have happily sat next to Coldplay on the radio. A studio incarnation of “Serve You,” sung with Whitley’s daughter Trixie, is a seemingly simple blues ballad gussied up by synthesizer bleeps and a guitar solo that could have been borrowed from another track. DJ Logic, Dave Matthews and Bruce Hornsby add notable levels of musical complexity and variety to the mix. One of the best, and most approachable, albums of Whitley’s prolific career.

Long Way Around: An Anthology 1991-2001 is a compilation of tracks originally released on four different labels. It combines some of the obvious highlights from Living With the Law, Din of Ecstasy, Terra Incognita and Dirt Floor with a few rarities, an intriguing demo medley of “Say Goodbye/Long Way Around” and an atmospheric Daniel Lanois remix of “Weightless.”

Whitley’s pace of production continued unabated with a full-band album and then, in rapid succession, two more intimate records in 2004, all recorded in Dresden, where Whitley has recently been based. His German sidemen, bassist Heiko Schramm and drummer Matthias Macht, are prominent on Hotel Vast Horizon. “Insurrection at Newtown” has a powerful rock groove from a pre-recorded drum track, and the title track is a partial return to the ambience of Living With the Law. “New Lost World” and “Blues for André” are jazzier in tone than most of Whitley’s work, mostly due to Macht’s simmering snare drumming and Schramm’s acoustic bass.

The solo acoustic Weed consists of remakes of older songs, including “Big Sky Country” and Din of Ecstasy’s “Narcotic Prayer.” What is most striking about these unadorned performances is the richness not only of Whitley’s guitar playing, but the vivid imagery of his impressionist lyrics. Whitley has a keen ear for startling and imaginative turns of phrase, and his singing is consistently inventive, with the fluidity and playful phrasings of a jazz artist. War Crime Blues, available only on the Internet or at shows, mixes recent compositions and covers. The thematically linked collection includes the Clash’s scathing anti-draft commentary “The Call Up” and the bitter title track. “Made From Dirt” and “Dead Cowboy Song,” both slashing acoustic blues, display Whitley’s trademark imagery (even some recycled past lyrics). Although it includes the fuzzed-up “God Left Town,” the album concludes with an a cappella rendition of the pop standard “Nature Boy.”

The Whitley parade continued on the dark and sexy Soft Dangerous Shores. The disc's dominant theme is the allure and fear of sexual intimacy, with subtexts of virus, violence and sacrifice. Malcolm Burn’s production gives Whitley’s guitar and voice — and the rhythm section of Schramm and Macht — a subtly shifting electronic foundation. The lyrics are more direct than usual for Whitley; in “City of Women” he muses, “I know these desires could kill me dead.” The steel guitar-plucked “As Day Is Long” could have been on Living With the Law, and it isn’t the only throwback here. The record also features a fully fleshed-out and mildly funky version of “Her Furious Angels” (from War Crime Blues); these production touches don’t serve the song as well. But “Last Million Miles” and “Fireroad (for Two)” get the balance right.

Chris Whitley died November 20, 2005 of complications from lung cancer. He was 45.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, December 01, 2005 - 12:22 pm:   

That sucks. I loved Chris Whitley!
JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 01, 2005 - 12:30 pm:   

Yup. Me, too.
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rwexler
Posted on Thursday, December 01, 2005 - 01:55 pm:   

I saw him once, circa Living with the Law, opening for John Campbell, another great National Steel player who died not that long after. Great performances from both. I haven't heard much of Whitley's recent stuff.

Robert
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 01, 2005 - 02:01 pm:   

He went down some wrong roads musically, but he was always trying new things and in this day and age that's admirable.

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Bill Reynolds/Socrates17
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 09:35 am:   

Henry Kaiser, who came up a couple of music threads ago, sent a fan post from Antarctica to Steph Swainston over at her place.
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Robert
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 10:30 am:   

I'm wondering if there was any great music I missed in 2005 (so I'm sort of fishing for "best of" lists that aren't the same indie rock stuff I see everywhere else).

I really enjoyed a few albums:

Baroness - Second (progressive sludge metal)
Anthony Curtis - Book of the Key (wild fusion)
Daniel Lanois - Belladonna (post rock?)
The Pineapple Thief - 10 Stories Down (British alternative/art rock)
Porcupine Tree - Deadwing (prog rock)
Ulver - Blood Inside (experimental/pop)

I enjoyed a few others:

Andrew Bird - The Mysterious Production of Eggs (indie rock)
Dälek - Absence (rap)
DJ Spooky & Dave Lombardo - Drums of Death (umm..hip-hop crossed with experimental thrash?)
Doves - Some Cities (alternative)
Miasma & the Carousel of Headless Horses - Perils (like a soundtrack to a classic horror film)
Spoon - Gimme Fiction (rock)
Yat-Kha - Re-Covers (Tuvan folk covers of classic rock)

I'm still ambivalent about Opeth. I hated the new Mars Volta.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 11:42 am:   

I've got some stuff may interest you, but I can't stop work, so I'll post tonight.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 06:39 pm:   

I mostly have been listening to jazz lately, but there's a some jazz that crosses into metal and you might want to check out drummer Jim Black's albums with Alas No Axis, "Splay" and "Alas No Axis."

Tim Berne's "The Shell Game," strikes me as a jazz player's view of heavy metal. Seriously bleak.

Also, Ellery Eskelin's "One Great Day" and 'Dissonant Characters" take a post-modern trio of tenor, drums, and accordion, and fuses jazz with influences like stereolab and Squarepusher.

Spring Heel Jack's 'Live" mixes live electronics with jazz players Han Bennink, Evan Parker, Matthew Shipp, and William Parker. Also J Spaceman from Spiritualized. They interpret slices from Miles Davis’s In A Silent Way.

Electronics guy Ikue Mori's album with jazz drummer Suzie Ibarra, "Death Ambient," is really creepy.

Don't know if you'll like any of these, but they're interesting sounds.
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Robert
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 07:54 am:   

Thanks, I listened to a few mp3's, but it's not exactly stuff that's thrilling me right now.

I finally ordered Baroness's first EP, along with Theta (seems to be the alternative/prog stuff I've been enjoying).
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 12:20 pm:   

Anyone like Nebula's Atomic Ritual? I'm ordering some albums and thinking of buying it.
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JTS
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 05:57 pm:   

Yeah, its not bad. Though I'd reccomend the new Clutch album over that if you haven't got it.
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Stephen
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 12:47 am:   

I think I heard the new Clutch album at a friends house not that long ago. Not completely sure. It sounded pretty good.

Ended up getting a Kyuss album I don't have instead.

Also heard the new Tom Waits album..
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Robert
Posted on Sunday, January 15, 2006 - 12:35 pm:   

I got the new Kayo Dot album - Dowsing Anenome with Copper Tongue. It's definitely not like any other band I've heard. I guess it could be called "post-rock", but I hate that term (since it means nothing).

It seems like contemporary classical music crossed with drone metal. There's some jazz influence, some vocals, but it's largely quiet stuff, except for some metal riffs, and some industrial soundscapes (and I don't mean industrial music, but more like harsh factory sounds).
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2006 - 03:41 pm:   

Soul legend, Wilson Pickett, died today from a heart attack at a hospital near his home in Virginia.  He was 64 years old.
 
Known as the "Wicked Pickett, " for his unique vocal style as well as his intensity on and off stage, the singer helped shaped modern Rhythm & Blues.

Born March 18, 1941 in Pratville, Alabama, his talents were weaned singing gospel in Southern Baptist churches.  As a teen, he moved to Detroit and was recruited by The Falcons, a vocal group that became a proving ground for future R&B stars, including Eddie Floyd and Sir Mack Rice.  Pickett's screaming gospel-fired lead vocals on "I Found A Love" brought The Falcons a major hit in 1962, and he soon left the group to pursue a solo career. 

Pickett rose to international fame in 1965 after signing with Atlantic Records and releasing the single "In The Midnight Hour," a song he co-wrote.  The power of his raw, sexual vocals matched with the tones of the deepest musicians from Stax and Muscle Shoals pumping behind him, quickly distinguished him from his peers, and he sustained a long string of hits throughout his career, including "Mustang Sally," "634-5789," "Funky Broadway," and "Land of 1000 Dances."

Pickett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, the same year he was introduced to younger audiences with the release of the movie, "The Commitments." Although he didn't actually appear in the film, the blockbuster film centered around the unsuccessful attempts of a fledgling Dublin soul band to meet and perform with Pickett, their idol.  He performed with the Commitments at the film premiers in Los Angeles and New York to rave reviews.

Pickett maintained a respected performing and recording career for more than 40 years, until health problems forced him to take a hiatus in 2005.  He received a Grammy nomination in 2000 for his power-packed album, "It's Harder Now," (Rounder/Bullseye Records, 1999). The album also garnered three WC Handy Awards, including Best Soul/Blues Male Artist of the Year. In December, 2004, two of his biggest hits, "Mustang Sally" and "In the Midnight Hour" were included in Rolling Stone Magazine's "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Times."

According to his long-time personal manager, Margo Lewis: "Wilson was a consummate entertainer.  He truly loved to perform, and when he took the stage, he would give the audience every last bit of energy in his body. The unique sound and quality of his voice only got better with age; singing his hits in their original keys well into his 60s. He influenced generations of singers and musicians. No matter what your age is, his records still pull you out of your seat onto the dance floor. Soulful and intense. That was Pickett, the music and the man."

Pickett is survived by his devoted fiancé Gail Webb, sons Lynderrick and Michael, daughters Veda and Saphan, as well as an extended family of loving brothers and sisters.

A viewing is being arranged in Virginia next week, and then he will be interred with his mother Lena in Louisville, KY.
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jk
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 07:16 pm:   

Hey Lucius, Ikue Mori is a girl. She was on the Death Ambient album with Fred Frith and Hideki on Tzadik also. And there was a second Death Ambient album on Tzadik that was pretty good too.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 07:41 pm:   

Thanks, JK....I'll look for the second album. Appreciate it.
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jk
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 07:51 pm:   

Lucius, you like Sun City Girls huh? Probably not too many people around here know them huh? Have you heard that 2cd Ennio Morricone set called Crime and Dissonance? The tracks were compiled by Alan Bishop from Sun City Girls, and it's all cool stuff from the early 70's, from obscure giallo movies. That one's been on heavy rotation with me.
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GabrielM
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 10:14 pm:   

That Ennio Morricone compilation is pretty darn good. All his weirder stuff.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 06:17 am:   

I saw Ennio conduct a concert of his recent compositions when I was in Rome last year. He is still as productive and interesting as ever.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 10:42 am:   

Couple of music-related TV notes:

We can be thankful that CBS euthanized "Love Monkey," the show that tried to make Tom "Ed" Cavanaugh a spokesman for aging music-conscious Xers. R.I.P.

Rumor has it that its next iteration will be "Rock Star: Van Halen." Believe it.
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Robert
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 05:24 am:   

Apparently it won't be Rock Star: Van Halen. It will be even worse: they're creating a band with Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Jason Newsted (Metallica/Voivod), and Gilby Clarke (Gn'R).

This actually makes me want to watch it. It sounds like it will be even more like watching a train wreck.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 08:55 am:   

Is there anything Tommy Lee won't do for attention?
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 12:46 pm:   

Last Friday, I was in a sickbed and had to blow off the Nikki Sudden/Thalia Zedek show at TT's in Cambridge, MA. I figured I'd have another shot. Just heard the news that Sudden passed away two nights later after a show at the Knitting Factory in NYC.

I was not so big of a Swell Maps fan, but I was a big devotee of the Jacobites, the electric folk combo he formed with Dave Kusworth. I thought that Sudden's music had a real lingering, crystalline quality that was indelible and unique among the various grunge and noise rockers of the past couple decades. He was recently enjoying a revival thanks to the reissue campaign of his new label, Secretly Canadian.

This is one of those small but significant cultural losses that really hurt, IMHO.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 01:13 pm:   

Correction: He died 10 days after I missed his show, not three. Not that it matters.
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 04:03 pm:   

I'm absolutely shocked. I have to say that I never realised Nicky Sudden was so active these days, and thanks for bringing it to attention, Dave. Like you, I never caught onto Swell Maps in a big way, though there are a couple of songs that stick out in my mind quite strongly. But Nicky Sudden was such an important figure, and very, very influential. A significant loss indeed.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 05:25 pm:   

I thought that the first Jacobites album was really different and unique for the time, a real breath of fresh air. That makes four chances I had to see him live and I never did, dammit.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 06:43 pm:   

Who's sickbed were you in, Dave?

You know anything about Nicki Sudden's solo stuff?
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 06:46 am:   

My own. A nasty virus that knocked me off my feet for 36 hours. Welcome back to the USA!

I kind of lost touch with Sudden in the early 90s, but when Secretly Canadian launched their reissue campaign, I went on a mini-rampage and bought a bunch of it on CD, Jacobites and solo. I regret to say that its been in mothballs for a couple of years, though, so I'm probably not fit to expound on Sudden's recent work. It was the early Jacobites stuff ("Silver Street," "Kings and Queen's," Robespierre's Velvet Basement, "Ambulance Station," "Pin Your Heart to Me") that really made the indelible impression.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 07:27 am:   

I might check out some of the new stuff. If so, I'll report. In Head On, the movie I watched, had a lot of eighties stuff, including a great Sisters of Mercy track with Ofra Haza on bckground vocals, Temple of Love. Can't say I was into the SoM, but that's a great track....
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 07:59 am:   

Andrew Eldritch tried to steal my girlfriend in college...I liked SoM, though, at least up until Black Planet.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 09:29 am:   

Well, hell. That more reason to buy the compilation... :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 12:12 pm:   

Eldritch probably would have gotten away with it, too, if one of the guys hadn't thrown up on himself in the van on the way over to the radio station...I still associate SoM with the smell of beer barf and the image of a twiggy, shirtless, proto-goth staggering down the hallway of McElroy Commons at BC.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 12:33 pm:   

Sounds like the All American Goth image....
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Robert
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 07:26 am:   

I saw Baroness live last night. They sound exactly like their CDs. It was just 45 minutes of nonstop metal with no breaks between songs. They started with an instrumental that was new, and then continued through both EPs. The songs from the first EP sounded a lot tighter.

The only bad thing was waiting through the first 3 bands that played before Baroness.
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Lucius s
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 08:15 am:   

"The only bad thing was waiting through the first 3 bands that played before Baroness."

Ain't it always the case.

I recall suffering through endless encores of a band who had brought all their friends to the gig -- The Band That Killed Silence -- and then listening to some avante garde girl named Mrs Muffin who played the violin and did spoken word stuff -- I finally couldn't take it anymore and left the club and missed the band I came to see, Sun City Girls.
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Robert
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 08:31 am:   

Yes, it's usual to have bad opening bands. Having five bands play in one night seems extreme. At least none were allowed encores.

There was another show like that I went to in Cleveland, but it had an even more bizarre mix of bands. A local death metal band opened, followed by some southern metal band. Then the band I wanted to see, The Gathering (experimental rock), followed by the Misfits. I couldn't make sense of the mix.

The worst opener I saw was Ball's Ball. They opened for Present (Belgian avant-garde rock/metal). BB sounded like random flailing on their instruments. The only time we knew a song had ended was because the trombone player said something. Finally, they started playing styrofoam with violin bows. It sounded like scraping fingernails across chalk boards.

One of the more interesting ideas I saw was when Opeth and Porcupine Tree toured together. They changed opening slots each night.
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Lucius s
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 08:51 am:   

Back in the back time, commonly had odd mixes of bands. I one saw Kieth Emerson's band The Nice opening for Spooky Tooth, Santana, and Johhny Winter. King Crimson opening for The Band (unfortunate, because after the sonic assault of KC, the Band sounded rinky tink. But the weirdest combination I ever saw was a folk act, Melanie, opening for Ornette Coleman at the Electric Circus in NYC.
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LS
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 08:52 am:   

clubs commonly had
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LS
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 08:57 am:   

Ball's Ball sounds a lot like Miss Muffin. Her violin playing was execrable and she read her spoken word shit from a child's coloring book, and then she was joined for a few numbers by a squealing sax player. It was agony.
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jk
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 10:58 am:   

I heard about a Sun City Girls gig where they did nothing but throw marshmallows on the floor, then proceed to stomp on them. It really pissed off a lot of people. I think it was early 90's when they were playing with Thinking Fellers Union.
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jk
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 11:01 am:   

Speaking of Sun City Girls, again, there's a new Sir Richard Bishop limited cd release on Latitudes that is called Fingering the Devil and it's supposed to be really good. I liked his first one on Revenant, Salvador Kali, so I'm going to try to pick it up. It's one of those absurdly limited edition type-things people in the noise scene are so found of right now. Guess they like seeing their stuff up on Ebay for ridiculous prices. As far as I know all the other Latitudes releases are sold out.
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ls
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 11:46 am:   

the Girls are prone to do thing like that -- they played the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, big crowd, and while one read aloud from Mein Kampf, another drove golf balls into the audience. Large crowds seem to bring this out in them. However, the gig I referred to was a real concert -- Miss Mufflin has a lot to answer for.
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LS
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 05:58 am:   

Anybody heard Lau Nau?
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 06:36 am:   

Worst opening act: the Impotent Sea Snakes from Atlanta. They opened for Flat Duo Jets. Lead singer was a dude in fishnet stockings who went out into the crowd handing out condoms. Onstage, an actual graffiti artist sprayed graffiti while the band played. No lie. This really happened, and since it was DC, nobody beat the crap out of them.

Anyone ever see the Virgin Prunes? That was the oddest headliner I ever saw...
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jk
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 10:08 am:   

Lau Nau is a Finnish psych-folk-type thing. It's pretty good if you like that sort of thing. Strange folky drone type stuff with ethereal vocals in Finnish. The Fonal label is full of Finnish stuff of that ilk. The girl from Lau Nau has some records on Fonal too.
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LS
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 10:18 am:   

Thanks JK...

Never saw the Virgin Prunes, but I saw Captain Beefheart open for the ELECTRIC Prunes.

The Band That Killed Silence and Miss Muffin....Ack.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 10:53 am:   

Beginning of Virgin Prunes' set was ten minutes of Dave-id Busarus jumping around on all fours in goth/tribal makeup, yelping like a dog.
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ls
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 11:46 am:   

Well, I give you ms muffin -- yelping like a dog would have been welcomed...
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 12:48 pm:   

Oh, c'mon...was she more tuneless than Cat Power?
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ls
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 01:03 pm:   

Yes.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 01:18 pm:   

Daaaaammmmnnnnn....
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Ls
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 02:02 pm:   

Yup. Plus she talked at length between each piece, this sort of faux-hip ramble that only she found amusing. I wished I had a blowgun.
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Bob K.
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 02:21 pm:   

Lucius, wasn't that Miss Murgatroid, the singer with the accordion, you're thinking of?
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LS
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 02:48 pm:   

Oh...yeah. Miss Murgatroid. I think her first name was Muffin,,,,, :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 04:48 pm:   

The kind of faux-hip ramble that Michelle Shocked patented, circa 1990?
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LS
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 06:35 pm:   

Oh, no. Much worse. like you know, it's almost something...you know, I mean it was originally a waltz, but then I cooked it with a little wine, and Evin came over and...(putters about the stage)...what I was saying?

Fuck you, from the crowd....

...only if you're wearing purple (tee hee). Oh, yeah. Evin came over and he said to add some paprika...


Get the picture?
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 06:40 am:   

Yeah. Ugh.
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Bob
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 10:31 am:   

I don't remember her being that bad, or maybe I mistook her rap for her acting as emcee. She did get some interesting sounds out of that squeezebox. What bugged me was the guy after her abusing a violin in the tradition of Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel . . .
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ls
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 10:39 am:   

You don't remember, huh? Well, I sure do.

That was Evin Kang who can actually play and has many albums. He was just acting in concert with her.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 12:40 pm:   

I have an old Ervynd Kang album! Now, if only I could remember the name or the label, I might actually sound smart.
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jk
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 01:36 pm:   

It's probably on Tzadik. I have one of his albums on Abduction, the Sun City Girls' label.
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LS
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 01:51 pm:   

Ervynd, Evin, Evian...he shouldn't have done that thing with Murgatroid....
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jk
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 07:18 pm:   

Anyone hear the Dying Ground album on Avant, Zorn's Japanese label? It's pretty cool, a power trio-type thing with Kang on violin, Hideki(sp?) on bass...can't remember the drummer. It's much noisier than the other stuff I've heard by him (Kang).
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LS
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 07:30 pm:   

That guy shows up at every outsider gig in the Seattle area, so I never felt compelled to buy his stuff.
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Robert
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 09:54 am:   

I was just sent this link regarding one of the potential contestants in Rock Star this year:
http://www.lambgoat.com/news/view.aspx?id=6450

I haven't heard this guy sing, but he was in Watchtower. I once heard somebody commenting that good metal singers should sound like they are in pain, or their voices should cause pain. Watchtower's other singers did both.

After this, I am more convinced this season will be a train wreck. I think I may watch it.
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jk
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 10:13 am:   

Was Watchtower a Jehovah's Witness metal band?
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 10:29 am:   

I agree with Robert--major train wreck! Can't wait!
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 10:34 am:   

Gawd, first Nikki Sudden, now Gene Pitney. His Greatest Hits was one of my first favorite albums. What a freakin' bummer.

Yeah, Rock Star is gonna blow. No question. Can you believe that Brutha J.D. and INXS are selling out venues?
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Robert
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 10:38 am:   

Heh. Watchtower wasn't a Jehovah's Witness band. I wonder if there ever was one. That may be one of the few religions without metal bands (I can't think of any Buddhist metal either).

Watchtower were progressive metal, and couldn't stick with one riff or in one time signature for more than a few seconds.
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 10:52 am:   

I read the notice -- it seems to suggest that one of the other contestants used to be with Voivoid?

I can't believe JD could sell out a flea circus.
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Robert
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 11:00 am:   

The new band they created for Season 2 has Jason Newstead on bass. He used to be in Metallica, and is now in Voivod.

Who was Rock Star more beneficial to, JD or INXS? JD went from nobody to selling out shows. INXS went from has-beens to selling out shows.
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 11:05 am:   

I mean it's a mutual benefit, I guess. Just the thought of watching that prancing asshole actually making it is enough to induce the dry heaves....
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 12:42 pm:   

...not to mention the thought of him planking Estella Warren.
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 01:33 pm:   

...Estella Warren must be dumb as a donut.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 02:13 pm:   

Yeah, but a delicious little cream-filled donut!
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 03:12 pm:   

I don't know, man. When I was playing, and it was nowhere near the groupie level of INXS, I got fucking tired of it. Sometimes the only reason I'd go off with a groupie was I was sick of sleeping six to a motel room with four other guys snoring and farting, and the women, they looked good enough, were either dump or extremely depressed, and that got really old. Like this one time, I went home with this girl who was Indian looking, tall, black hair, pretty. Her name, she said, was Legs. So we get to her place and it's a mess. There are empty Thorazine bottle all over and she's really glum, I know I'm nothing and you're a rock star and I don't mean nothin (This was in Sandusky, Ohio and they have a low standard for "rock star."). So anyway, the night went on as you might imagine, and finally, to cheer her up, I gave her some smack. It worked -- again, as you imagine-- and she perked up sufficiently so early in the morning she wanted to take me out to where she worked and show me "something weird." So she drove me out to Cedar Point, this amusement park on a lake, her place of employment. It was 5:30 AM and the sun was up and there were all these women in brown uniforms sweeping up the flies that came in off the lake into immense piles while on the PA Rod Stewart sang "Do you think I'm Sexy." It was, indeed, weird. We then drove back to Legs' apartment.

Now I realize my experience with Legs is somewhat different than JDs with Estella, but I submit it was essentially the same, that aside from the cachet one derives from doing Estella, there is no difference whatsoever...and frankly I got real tired of it real fast. And doubtless JD and Estella will weary of each other, and part as did Legs and I, though she did secure my address from the bar owner and write me several disturbing letters thereafter. So I have no envy at all, no wistful feeling, as regards JDs biblical knowledge of Estella. After all, he never new Legs and who's to say which of us is more fortunate, what with all cats being gray in the dark and etc. :-)
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jk
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 05:28 pm:   

It's finally coming out on May 15th, Scott Walker's new album The Drift! Anyone else looking forward to this? His third album in 26 years. He's almost as prolific as Bill Laswell and John Zorn.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 05:30 pm:   

Shows what I know. I thought smack had a depressive effect.
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 06:08 pm:   

Yeah, you don't care you're depressed..... :-) Why do you think people do heroin in the first place? They're depressed, they don't like where they're at in he world. And, anyway, that wasn't my point.

Scott Walker, huh? Never did get him. Heard the first album and went, huh? But that was awhile back. Maybe my tastes have changed.
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jk
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 06:47 pm:   

First Scott Walker album from 1967? If you heard his last album Tilt, from 1995, you would never guess it's the same person. The late 60's Scott Walker was more orchestral pop crooner stuff. Tilt, his last album from 1995, is really strange, almost industrial-operatic, with some really noisy bits, nothing like the 60's stuff, it's really out there, way more experimental. The songs were about South American torture, Eichmann(sp?), and other light-hearted topics. Tilt was awesome, can't wait for the new one!
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 06:55 pm:   

Gosh, that is different. I'll check em both out.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 06:25 am:   

I got Fire Escape in the Sky: The Godlike Genius of Scott Walker, but it was mostly for the rarity and the label and the Julian Cope connection. Can't say I really delved into the tuneage that much.
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LS
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 07:11 am:   

Def Leopard is releasing a covers album....

????
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Robert
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 07:33 am:   

In case anyone wants to listen to the music of Marty (Rock Star INXS):
http://www.myspace.com/martycasey
I can't seem to connect to any of the audio now (but that's not a bad thing).
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 07:55 am:   

I can top that: VH-1 is sponsoring a Def Leppard/Journey tour.


??????!!!!!!!

Rust never sleeps. Apparently, neither does mold.
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LS
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 08:18 am:   

Thanks, Robert

What's next, Dave? Paul Revere Does Dylan.
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PM
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 04:41 pm:   

the flaming lips are at war with the mystics...I think the mystics may be winning...
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Robert
Posted on Saturday, April 08, 2006 - 10:39 am:   

Are you sure it's not Yes that's at war with the mystics? The song I heard from the new Lips album sounded just like Yes.

Continuing with some of the music comments on the Good Movies thread, Area has some very interesting vocals. If you like them, you might also try Deus Ex Machina. They are a more recent Italian prog band with Latin lyrics. The singer takes a lot of cues from Area.
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jk
Posted on Saturday, April 08, 2006 - 11:04 am:   

I never could get into The Flaming Lips, to me that Wayne Coyne is just a big psychedelic poser. He seems like a nice enough guy, but the music just doesn't seem to have much content, to me. And what's with the fake blood? It's a shame someone like Richard Davies never made it as big as them, as he actually has talent (the Lips played as his back-up band at one point.)
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LS
Posted on Saturday, April 08, 2006 - 11:35 am:   

Deus Ex Machina...thanks, Robert.

As for the lips. I thought they're first couple of albums were okay, but they lost me thereafter.
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mike m
Posted on Saturday, April 08, 2006 - 01:12 pm:   

Deus ex Machina is excellent, their vocalist Alberto Piras is like half Stratos/half Robert Plant with a dash of Peter Hammill. They're now on the Cuneiform label, which is the label behind Wayside music. It's possible some of their albums are out of print, but De Republica is probably the best place to start if it's available.
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PM
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 08:29 am:   

Yes, the new lips is a potpourri of 70's snatches used in a manner not quite intended by their progenitors.

If one hated Yes then one will likely hate Yes even more or perhaps feel some pity toward Anderson as his vocal trademark is mangled.

And that's the point they can be melodic when they want to be and when they're not it's intentional.

And I have to give them some credit for advancing multi-channel audio with their last release.
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LS
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 09:45 am:   

I've have always said No to Yes.
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PM
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 04:15 pm:   

Well on track one not only are they playing around with Yes but they're doing the Bon Jovi schtick on the same track. A bit later on in the album the Bon Jovi schtick becomes Joe Walsh and any number of other 70s vocoders...

One can absolutely hate the music while still ponder the choices that were made and how they're able to "glue" it all together.

Oh and LS hope that your eye situation improves...
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ls
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 05:32 pm:   

Thanks, PM...
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 05:50 pm:   

i've liked the last three flaming lips albums a fair bit, actually. i picked up AT WAR WITH THE MYSTICS, and while it's no YOSHIMI BATTLES THE PINK ROBOTS, i actually quite like it.

i've also been listen to the new yeah yeah yeah album, SHOW YOUR BONES, which isn't too bad, either.
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Robert
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 06:53 pm:   

I like Yoshimi, and I've been thinking about picking up At War With the Mystics, but I figure if I wait a few months, I'll be able to find a used copy. I already spent too much for CDs recently because the stuff I really want has to be imported. I had to get the new Augie March from Australia, and Jeff Martin's Exile & the Kingdom was just shipped from Canada.
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ls
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 06:54 pm:   

Local band that getting some buzz and sounds good to me is Meanderthal. They have a song Jesus Stole My Hot Rod, which is great.

God, i miss punk!
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PM
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 09:14 pm:   

Wonder if they're thinking Ministry there...

Punk...that's a buzz word alright...never have I over a period of years heard so many want to claim that badge but yet...they're not punks!

And 'hardcore'...these days people think that you're talkin' rap!

I miss Bad Brains...

---returning to At War---I hope that they'll give it the multichannel treatment. Stereo has it's place but it's time for more music to embrace multichannel. With appropriate mixing it's rather immersive.
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 10:22 pm:   

robert,

the new augie march was pretty cool, i thought.
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Robert
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 06:45 am:   

Ben: I really like Moo, You Bloody Choir. It's my favorite 2006 release so far.

PM: How is the surround mix for the earlier Lips stuff? I only have one surround mix CD (Porcupine Tree - Deadwing). It's OK, but like a lot of movies, I find the surround mix to be disappointing. I expect more variation. I'd like to hear stranger surround mixes.
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PM
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 07:42 am:   

Yoshimi was released on DVD with 5.1 audio.

Granted if one hates the music then the use of surround sound isn't going to make it much better :-)

However one track in particular does an outstanding job of creating a circular sound as part of the mix actually circles around the speakers. It reads like a gimmick but it sounds phenomonal...

As far as I know the earlier material hasn't gotten the surround treatment.

And of course there's Zaireeka in its original format which is intended to be played on 4 audio systems simultaneously. Frankly, I'm glad they've compromised and just gone 5.1...
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Robert
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 08:01 am:   

I saw a 5.1 mix of Soft Bulletin.

Tribes of Neurot also did a recording to be played on multiple systems. They just did 2, but the sounds all came from processing insect noises. It was really creepy stuff.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 08:37 am:   

I have that Neurot record, but never really listened to it. Do I need to check it out?
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Robert
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 08:42 am:   

It's worth listening to, but probably not worth repeated listens.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 10:03 am:   

Yeah, I own a few of those. :-)
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 07:16 pm:   

robert: yeah, i've liked MOO, YOU BLOODY CHOIR a fair bit, but i have to admit, it has worn a bit thin on me as it has gone along. that's not a terrible thing--a lot of music does this, which is why i buy new music :-)

but i wouldn't call it my favourite thing of 2006 so far. a friend of mine sent me the clap your hands say yeah album, so it's either that, or the live beasts of bourbon album LOW LIFE which is just fucking awesome. captures their live stuff almost perfectly.

actually, it's probably the beasts of bourbon album.
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LS
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 07:49 pm:   

Beasts of Bourbon....now you're talking.
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Robert
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 06:27 am:   

I haven't gotten much 2006 music. Moo is one of the two 2006 release that lasted more than 2 weeks in my player. The other is Rodrigo y Gabriela. It's pretty cool flamenco with a lot of metal influences (all acoustic, but they're still metal riffs).
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 04:44 pm:   

The Flaming Lips have put their entire new album up on their website so you can listen before you buy. I'm not a Lips fan but I have liked a couple of their songs; and I appreciated the chance to give the whole thing a listen so I could decide if this one would change my mind.

On the other hand...Grandaddy. Some say they sound like the Lips, but for some reason the Lips (with a few exceptions) make my skin crawl.

Grandaddy's last album comes out in a month and then they disband without touring.
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 05:47 am:   

lucius: that beasts of bourbon live disc came out late last year. it's really fine stuff, man. better than the other live discs i've heard of theirs. and i had the chance to see them perform at the big day out, and they were just excellent. LOW LIFE is as close to their current live form as you're going to get without being there, i reckon.
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 06:03 am:   

I ordered it -- Thanks, Ben. Longtime Beasts fan.
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 03:18 pm:   

cool. i hope you dig it. when i saw them, brian hooper, the bass player, came out on a cane and with his foot in plaster. strangely, he didn't move much through the gig ;) but the music was cool, and perkins was is good form up front, as he always is.

perkins is a guy with a lot of range though. him and charlie own and don walker released a second of their bluesish-country albums last year, ALL IS FORGIVEN. it's only so-so, however, a bit like a light version of perkin's solo stuff (which charlie owen performs in anyhow).
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 04:43 pm:   

Yeah, I'm sure I'll like it -- like I said, I'm a long-time fan. I actually saw them once myself in New York. Great gig.
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Robert
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 06:16 am:   

At War with the Mystics finally hit a price I was willing to pay ($8 for a used copy). It's OK, but it sounds like the songs are there only to provide a framework for the production, the production comes first, and the songs come second. It should be the other way around, the songs should come first.
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Robert
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 06:58 am:   

I got the solo album by Jeff Martin (formerly from The Tea Party, which was my favorite band). It's nice acoustic rock, but misses the point on a few songs. Black Snake Blues is almost acoustic blues, but looses it when a backing choir is brought it. Lament starts as an Irish lament, but becomes a power ballad and sounds far too happy to be a lament. It's funny, because I've heard acoustic versions of both songs that are much better. I think the lesson is big production doesn't work well for blues and laments.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 11:00 am:   

I notice that Tom Verlaine has scheduled a rare stop here in DC. Does anyone follow his comings and goings? What does his solo show sound like these days?
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ls
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 11:13 am:   

Haven't kept up with him, myself.
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R.Wilder
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 11:33 am:   

Verlaine has two new solo records out, one instrumental, "Around," the other, "Songs and Other Things," with vocals. TV's Billy Fica and Fred Smith are along for the ride, along with Patti Smith drummer Jay Dee Daughterty. Haven't heard anything yet, but there might be samples at the Thrill Jockey site.

Saw Television a few years back at The Metro in Chicago, and it was transcendent rock. They only did the old stuff (no new stuff to do), but it was great.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 12:27 pm:   

The pairing of Verlaine and Thrill Jockey, I must say, interests me.
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jk
Posted on Saturday, April 15, 2006 - 03:08 pm:   

Anyone hear anything by Growing? I think they have a few releases on Kranky. I picked up an e.p. called His Return on Troubleman, which is pretty cool droning-ambient rock stuff. They set up a nice thick drone and proceeed to change the sound so it holds your attention, with weird flickering guitar parts morphing into a bit of noise at the end.
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Robert
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 07:48 am:   

Does anyone here have suggestions on flamenco and flamenco influenced rock?

I really like Rodrigo y Gabriela. They play intense metal influenced flamenco. Steve Stevens did a flamenco/rock album (Flamenco A Go Go), and had some flamenco influenced fusion with Tony Levin & Terry Bozzio.

A lot of the other flamenco I've heard sounds pretty new-agey.
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ls
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 08:04 am:   

Yeah, that's been my impression, though I haven't heard much...certainly nothing I'd recommend. Sorry.
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 10:05 am:   

Paco de Lucia is your man for traditional flamenco guitar, Robert. He’s done a couple of flamenco-jazz albums too, but his solo guitar albums are the best, and no new-agey stuff either. He’s also done a lot of collaboration with John McGlaughlin and Al Di Meolo, who both fit somewhere between jazz and rock but with a heavy flamenco influence. Not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for but you could give them a try. Porbably the best album the three of them did together is this one:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000002AHM/002-9102939-9736051?v=glance&n=5174

They've made a couple of other albums together but they're not so good and even get a bit new-agey. Hope this helps.
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Robert
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 10:22 am:   

I tried listening to Siroco at one point, but didn't care for it. Like many virtuoso players, I felt the playing was spectacular, but it felt like he focused too much on that and too little on making the songs interesting. After that, I've avoided Paco. Is his other work different from Siroco?


I've also been a bit tempted by Flametal. They play flamenco death metal.
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 11:09 am:   

I've always felt that de Lucia was all chops and not much soul. As far as purist flamenco tastes, I prefer the cruder but distinctly passionate playing of Manitas de Plata. I like DeMiola's work when he played with Miles, but his solo work leaves me cold. As for McClaughlin, I always liked his sideman work the best, as when he did a stint with The Tony Williams Lifetime....
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R.Wilder
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 12:02 pm:   

Lucius, if you mean Miles Davis, Al Di Meola didn't play with him; but he was in a fusion quartet with Buddy Miles. If Al was with Miles, it's not in any bio I can find.

His playing leaves me cold, too. Chops city.
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ls
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 12:09 pm:   

I'm pretty sure he played with Miles on and off in the 70s...Hmm. Who am I thinking of? Anyway, that's an even worse judgment on him. I don't know if he went to Berkely, but he's a typical Berkeley School of Music grad. All licks and no duende,
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ls
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 12:16 pm:   

Just received a video in the mail, an old Klaus Kinski scifi movie called Lifespan, with a soundtrack by Terry Riley -- should be interesting.
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Alistair
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 03:22 am:   

Totally agree about Manitas de Plata, Lucius. Forgot about him. He's much more gritty and raw than de Lucia. I have a couple of older de Lucia albums, though, that I think he must have done before getting too involved in all the fusion stuff and its less technical and much more melodic than later. Much better than later in fact. These would be albums from the sixties I think, but I only have them stored away on vinyl and can't remember their names.

Like you guys say, too, the music of McGlaughlin and di Miola gets so lost in mazes of technique that it almost ceases to be music. It's like listening to mathematical formulas or something. In a sense, they're too good for their own good, and being good just isn't good enough! I like de Meolo when he concentrates on playing something simple, and he's done some intersting world music-like stuff in recent years. The problem with listening to these sort of guitarists is that once the novelty of how brilliant they are as musicians wears off, you're left with very little at all.
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Alistair
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 03:24 am:   

Lucius, maybe you're thinking of McGlaughlin playing with Miles Davis. McGalughlin is one of the young up and comers that Miles assembled for Bitches Brew. I think he's on another couple of Miles' albums. But I'm sure also that Di Meolo has had stints with Miles Davis, maybe not on any recorded albums, though. But didn't Chick Coreo play a lot with Miles Davis, maybe on Bitches Brew as well? And Di Meolo and Chick Coreo are buddies and had a band with an atrocious name, Return to Forever, so it's likely Di Meolo played with Miles at some point, no?
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Robert
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 06:08 am:   

I've tried listening to di Meola, but wasn't fond of him. I do like McLaughlin though, at least in the early Mahavishnu Orchestra material. He was still a bit rough on that and played with more passion. On the later MO albums, he was more precise with his playing, and also more sterile.

Manitas de Plata sounds like he might be interesting.
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LS
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 06:20 am:   

Alastair, yeah, I have a couple of Manitas albums that I like to play when I drink red wine and want to stomp around. :-) I like McGlauglin a lot better than DiMeloa -- I loved him playing with the lifetime, Tony Williams, Jack Bruce, Larry Young, and with Miles...and the haze of time is closing in, but I'm almost certain I saw DiMeola with Miles in the 70's--I just assumed he had recorded with him. Chick Corea was, I think, part of the Bitch;s Brew Sessions... along with Williams and Larry Young, That whole mob was incestuous...
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jk
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 10:55 am:   

Anyone heard Julian Priester's Love, Love album? That was just reissued, and is supposed to be a great 70's electronics and jazz album, like Sextant by Herbie Hancock.
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ls
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 03:40 pm:   

Nope, haven't heard it. the title may have put me off. :-)
I'll look for it.
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Alistair
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 02:08 am:   

Hey, I wonder what would happen if you drank red wine and listened to the Love, Love album... Nah, let's not think about it.

This puts me in mind of Larry Coryell, who's also played alongside McGlaughlin and Di Meola and De Lucia etc. For me, he's the best among these guys, much more naturally gifted than technically awesome, and he's also done some great "mainstream" jazz albums as well fusion, and has a couple of great accoustic albums too.

Jk,you might be interested in checking out the eletronic jazz, funky fusion thing that Coryell did with The Eleventh House in the early seventies. It's crazy music and has a kind of humour about it, which makes it even more appealing. Check out the covers of their albums, like this one, and you can see that these guys meant business (note the guy on the bottom left. He may well be the first Klingon to feature in a human musical ensemble):

http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/the_eleventh_house/the_eleventh_house___l evel_one/
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ls
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 03:47 am:   

Definitely, Coryell was great...I think because he had a rock sensibility that kept hin grounded. I remember his band, the Free Spirit, and his playing on the Steve Marcus projects, Count's Rock Band and The Lord's Prayer -- I really love those records, though they're generally scorned by jazz purists. They also featured Miroslav Vitous, Herbie Hancock, Steve Smith, etc, and were produced by Herbie Mann, on whose Memphis Underground record Coryell played along with my personal favorite guitarista of the time, Sonny Sharrock. The first time I heard that weird double picking Sharrock did, it reminded me of the vocalist, Leon Thomas.
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GabrielM
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 08:41 am:   

For vocal flamenco, I really love the late Camaron de la Isla. There's a few classic collaborations he did with Paco de Lucia when they were younger, but I prefer his later stuff with Tomatito. He was a serious smoker and died of lung cancer in the early 90s. The smoking had quite an effect on his voice, making it deeper and raspier, but still incredibly soulful, like late Billie Holiday. There's some anthologies of his stuff availalbe in the US. He was also one of the first flamenco singers to use electric instruments.
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Ls
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 09:05 am:   

Thanks, Gabe. He sounds intriguing,
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jk
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 10:08 am:   

Yeah, Sharrock's a great guitarist. I like Ask the Ages, the album he did with Pharoah Sanders, produced by Laswell. And of course Last Exit were a great skronk band. I finally managed to find a Japanese copy of the self-titled Last Exit album recently.
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LS
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 10:54 am:   

I got all his records, from Black Woman and Paradise to Live in New York, the Last Exits, the black album that's essentially an in memoriam compilation. Wish there were going to be more.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 11:08 am:   

I only know Sharrock from Space Ghost - Coast to Coast, but that is truly badass.
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ls
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 11:17 am:   

Better hurry and catch that matinee, marc... :-)

Did he do the theme? Wow. Missed it.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 11:47 am:   

According to Wikipedia, the soundtrack for Space Ghost was his final project. I recognized his name from the credits.

Pavement also played a wicked version of the SG theme on one episode.
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ls
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 11:58 am:   

Shit, t hate to put down Space Ghost, but I kinda wish he'd done something else at the end.....
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mike m
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 01:36 pm:   

Love, Love is a killer. Roughly speaking if you think of Herbie Hancock's Sextant, and then Eddie Henderson's first two electric albums (Realization and Inside Out) as albums two and three of Sextant, than Love, Love could be the fourth album. There was apparently a lot of material left over when Mwandishi ended and the Head Hunters picked up.

Dig Coryell quite a bit as well, although he's pretty patchy, I tend to like most of his late 60s/early 70s albums. Live at the Village Gate has to be the current running favorite, due to its stripped down, raw Hendrixy vibe.

Corea was on Bitches Brew and I think he was either joined by Jarrett around then or soon after because the band had double keys until not long after the Isle of Wight gig. I've got a lot of live electric Miles shows, but nothing with Coryell, at least in the 70s.

As far as flamenco-influenced rock goes, there were a number of Spanish bands in the 70s doing this sort of thing. The most famous example is Triana, but there are others like Iman Califato Independiente, Mezquita, Cai, Alameda, the list goes on. From an American perspective there's the Sabicas album "Rock Encounter" with Joe Beck on guitar, but I don't think it ever made it to CD (while most of the Spanish bands have).

Favorite Sharrock has to be "Ask the Ages." I like his playing on some of the old Herbie Mann albums as well, although mostly just for his playing.
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jk
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 01:37 pm:   

Have you heard that Brute Force album that Sharrock is supposed to be all over?
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LS
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 02:17 pm:   

Now that one's new to me, JK.

My favorite Sharrock is still the first album -- my jaw was on the fucking floor, and I guess it still is, But Ask The Ages is up there.

Love Live at the Village Gate....
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Alistair
Posted on Monday, April 24, 2006 - 11:09 am:   

I've never heard Sharrock before. Sounds like I've been missing out on something good.
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LS
Posted on Monday, April 24, 2006 - 11:19 am:   

Oh, yeah. You should seek him out. Ask the Ages would be a good starting point. Then the first album.
If you like the less scholarly side of Coryell, I should think you'll like Sharrock.

Jeez, all this 70s stuff. Ever heard the Jazz Composer's Orchestra. The first album was outstanding. Coryell's on it, along with Cherry, the Bleys, pretty near everybody else...

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