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Movie MusicRobert Devereux39 07-11-03  08:15 pm
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JeffV
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 07:20 pm:   

I really love music--mostly alternative, rock, pop, some country, some techno, some experimental. Everything from Tom Waits to Echo & the Bunnymen, Nick Cave to Nick Drake to Nick Heyward. XTC. The Kinks. Midnight Oil. Radiohead. Scott Walker. Hannah Fury. Beck. The Faint. Camper Van Beethoven, Dream Syndicate, Peter Gabriel, Cave Dogs, Split Endz, The Loud Family, Robyn Hitchcock, etc. I'd like to use this thread for what you like and why. Descriptions and comparisons are good--who might other people reading these postings not have heard of but enjoy. Really, sometimes all that saves a story or a novella I'm working on is the right music. Afghan Whigs saved Veniss Underground, along with The Tindersticks' first album. I've got to have the right soundtrack, maybe because when you listen to music, you're interacting with something that's got a direct line to your emotions. And the best fiction tries to do that, too, although it's always impeded by the words. Or, sometimes, it's because you're up really late and the world is dark but precise, the dark not really making shadows, but making things more specific, narrowing down your focus. And somehow listening to music then, at that time, is also a narrowing of the focus--but one that simultaneously opens up your internal vision.

So, don't just list stuff--why do you love it. I'd rather see two entries where you say why than a list of 20 bands that tells me nothing.

Here're mine, recently:

Songs of Ohia - The Magnolia Electric CD
- I'd never heard of these guys before, but then I caught the song "Almost Was Good Enough" from this CD on the radio, and it just clicked. Like the best Neil Young mixed with some kind of country Radiohead. The kind of thing you could imagine listening to on a lonely state road past midnight, with no other cars in sight and just your own headlights to see by. With enough of a raw edge.

Matt Suggs, Golden Days Before They End
- This guy is just great country-rock-pop. There are hints of the Kinks on here, but also of Bob Dylan. The songs are beautifully put together, concise but not cold. I wrote most of "The City," a new story, to this. And some of the new novel, Shriek: An Afterword.

The Anniversary, Your Majesty
- Their first CD was "emo" but their second, Your Majesty, is just the best Beatles-inspired power pop I've ever heard. The melodies, the changes in the music in each song--breath-taking. I've listened to this CD almost 100 times now and I never get tired of it. Destined to be a classic. Again, a great one to write to--it gives you lots of energy.

Also got to mention a couple of older songs--The Loud Family's "Blackness, Blackness," off of their Attractive Nuisance CD is just a lovely piece of melodic nihilism--it's taken me through Shriek: An Afterword as well. Stunning. And the whole Aion CD by Dead Can Dance. I wrote "The Cage" to that--and much else. Whenever I just am too tired or uninspired with the writing, I put this CD in and no matter what I start to write.
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Mastadge
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 07:27 pm:   

Recently, as always, I've been listening to much Beethoven, Holst, Dvorak. Why? Because I love it! Also some Prokofief for variety.

Right now, I'm listening to the soundtrack for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country by Cliff Eidelman, because I'm trying to juggle three different papers: one on Modernism, one on Moby-Dick, and one on my grandfather, and the background noise is helping me to keep my thoughts flowing despite my extraordinary tiredness.

I'm thinking of switching soon to Poledouris' Conan the Barbarian score, perhaps, or Starship Troopers.
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Luís Rodrigues
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 08:09 pm:   

Recent and not-so-recent music:

FELT MOUNTAIN, Goldfrapp (five months and I still haven't tired of it)
THE GOOD SON, Nick Cave
THE ESSENTIAL LEONARD COHEN, Leonard Cohen
BORIS VIAN CHANTE BORIS VIAN, Boris Vian
FRESH FRUIT FOR ROTTING VEGETABLES, Dead Kennedys
WAITING ON A THIN LINE, Guano Apes

Cheers,
Luís
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JeffV
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 08:21 pm:   

Okay, 12 demerits for you, Luis. I want to know WHY you like the music. Not just a list. Or I'll bring out the Rotating Meerkat. He stands 12 feet tall and has breath like a slaughterhouse.

:-)

JeffV
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Luís Rodrigues
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 08:35 pm:   

Sorry, sorry, I misread you! Anyway, I avoid commenting on the music I like, because I don't trust my tastes when it comes to that.

Vian is funny, and has great pacifist songs that seem very appropriate in our present day.

Cohen is more a mood thing, helps me concentrate on whatever I'm doing. Same for Nick Cave (great lyrics) and Goldfrapp (great and *weird*) . . . I like depressing stuff. For weird stuff, I also go to Throwing Muses and The Breeders, by the way.

Guano Apes . . . shit lyrics, but great music. It's a novelty thing, the album just came out -- it'll get old soon, I suspect.

Now keep that meerkat away from me!

Cheers,
Luís
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JeffV
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 08:50 pm:   

LOL!! I'm surprised you didn't rip my head off...Thanks--I didn't know about Vian.

JeffV
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Luís Rodrigues
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 09:11 pm:   

Jeff,

I can't rip your head off, not until that meerkat of yours goes away.

Vian is *very* funny, I should have said. Pity my French is so lame, I struggle to understand all the lyrics, but I can see (hear?) it's brilliant stuff nonetheless.

Cheers, Luís
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 09:20 pm:   

Hmmm, I'll list a couple, although I listen to everything from KORN, Deftones, Sting, Barenaked Ladies, Paganini, Miles Davis, to Mariachi music.

Here are some of my most favorite:

Rollins Band--The End of Silence (A very powerful recording from the hardest working guy in hard rock. Rollins Band music is very blues-influenced and can be jammy at times, but on the whole, it's probably not the most interesting stuff out there. Ditto with Rollins lyrics. I like it I think due to Rollins personal intensity. Here's a guy who went from managing a Haagen Das ice cream to singing for Black Flag and then starting his own band, publishing company, and record label. That's damn impressive. Also, Rollins puts on the most amazing live show I've ever seen. Their next album has the song "Liar" on it [a 'love' song wherein the song's protagonist tells someone else they will fall in love and everything will be perfect: 'You wanna know why? 'Cause I'm a liar!' Hee hee. The strongest song on this album is "Low Self-Opinion," something I related to immediately. Rollins will never be mistaken for a singer, but there is a power and humanity in his voice that is matchless.)

Barenaked Ladies--Gordon [tie]
Barenaked Ladies--Stunt [tie] (I didn't start listening to them until I went and saw them in concert a summer ago. Great show. Great music. A bunch of guys who don't take themselves too seriously, but at the same time, write some of the most clever lyrics and interesting little songs I've heard this side of Violent Femmes or They Might be Giants. There's a personal feeling/connection with the storied in their songs that I don't get from 99% of the music I listen to. Fave song on Gordon "This is Me in Grade 9" [about freshman year in high school] Fave song from Stunt "Call and Answer" [a very poignant song about a man who loves someone so much that he will always be there for them despite their failings, but perhaps this time he's been pushed too far...I guess the story of a person who really fall in love with another person and got hurt; not very original in concept, but it is execution])

Charlie Hunter Trio--Bing Bing Bing (Heralded as one of the great young stars of modern Jazz [he's 32] Charlie is one of the most amazing guitar players out there. He plays the guitar and bass lines at the same time on his custom-made 8 string guitar. This album is one of his earliest and most accessible. He's more recently delved into moody, trippy slow jazz that flows from one song to the next. Great background music, but nothing for a road trip. This album kicks off with my favorite jazz tune: "Greasy Granny")

Queens of the Stone Age--Songs for the Deaf (Among the new wave of 'Stoner Rock' that's out there along with bands like Fu Machu, Mondo Generator, and Atomic Bitchwax. They've progressed from their first album [which sounds like a band I had in college called Dark Prophet] to one of the best hard rock outfits out there. They have clever lyrics, hooky songs, and lots of loud noise. It helps that Dave Groehl [Nirvana, Foo Fighters] is their drummer. "No One Knows" has been on the air waves much as of lately, but really there are no duds in the first six or seven songs. Big crunchy guitar and bass.)

James Brown--20 Greatest Hits (I don't think I need to explain this one, but I'll just say that when I put this on, I literally HAVE to get up and dance to it.)

Nelly--Nellyville (Who saw this coming? The track "Hot in Herre" moves me the way James Brown does. He hails from St. Louis, and if you know the styles, he's a blend of East Coast and West Coast rap styles. He also mixes in something a little unique that must come from St. Louis blues tradition.)

Soul Coughing-antyhing (This is my guilty pleasure. Nonsense atonal rhyme lyrics with Devo-esque music. I love it. "Super Bon Bon" and "The Idiot Kings" have some great grooves to them. I love stuff with a great bass groove.)

Faith No More--King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime (Like any Mike Patton project [Mr. Bungle, Dillinger Escape Plan, Fantomas, Tomahawk] this goes from heart-achingly beautiful ballads to ear-splitting head bangers. I think Mr. Patton is the most versatile singer in rock today. He can scream so awfully that it makes the listener's throat hurt and on the next song he sings as well as any singer you like. He does it live, too. I saw them about five times in concert and was always impressed by their performance. Almost every song on this disc is a winner: Gentle Art of Making Enemies," [Patton is very strong-opinioned and doesn't care who hears them; during their Grammy performance he finished flopping on the stage like a dying fish while spitting fake blood; performing in the MTV studios one day, he kept the band playing so the VJs couldn't talk and when they finally could, he thanked them for bringing him on their crappy set] "Cuckoo for Caca," [I'm not sure what this song is about, but it seems to be about the love of...caca] "Ugly in the Morning," [about how crappy you look in the morning...at the end Patton is screaming the titular phrase with such frenzy you can't even tell what he's saying] "Digging the Grave," [about the doldrums of everyday life] "Take this Bottle," [a country ballad from the point of view of an alcoholic] and "What a Day" [at this point I can't remember what this is about...] are the strongest tracks. If only the next albums "Sitting Naked in Front of the Computer" [a song about a man's love of internet porn] had been on this one instead, this album would be perfect.)

Just started to get into stuff like Massive Attack and Telepopmusik, but don't own anything so I can't offer any explanations. It's mood oriented.

I think that's enough for now. Like I said, I listen to a lot of music.

JK
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 11:11 pm:   

King for a Day is one of my favorite albums of all time. And I too am a Patton fan.

I have mostly boring taste in music. I have very few albums post-1992, which is the high-water mark for music for me.

I listen to a LOT of:

XTC - Anything, but particularly Oranges and Lemons, Black Sea, Drums & Wires and Skylarking (my absolute favorite album, of any band, of all time).

Tom Petty - Mostly greatest hits.

Faith No More - I'm a post-Chuck kind of guy. I like pre-Patton FNM, but not as much as post-Chuck. To my mind, Faith No More got better with every album, but yeah, King for a Day has got to be my favorite.

Tom Waits - Everyfuckingthing, but my favorites (if I had to pick 'em) are Rain Dogs, Bone Machine and Mule Variations. The guy is incredible.

Lots of various industrial, mostly EBM-style stuff. I like very few full albums, but have a load of self-made compilation cd's from my club days. Hate Dept, FLA, Noise Unit, Wumpscut, 16 Volt, etc, etc, etc. Soft spot for ClockDVA.

Dire Straits - Lots of them. Mark Knopler is ten times the guitarist that he gets credit for.

Led Zeppelin - I listen to enough Zep to make most of you bleed rectally. All Zep all goddamn day, you hear me?

Infectious Grooves - Mostly "It's the plague that makes your booty move, it's the Infectious Grooves!" A Suicidal Tendancies side project, with enough slap bass to make your head come apart. Groovy.

I love bass, funky ass slap bass particularly. A lot of Primus, that kind of thing.

And John is right, Super Bon Bon will force you to get your monkey groove on, even if you're like me, and have been born without soul.

Now and again I get my Nick Cave or Leonard Cohen on, but not that often. I really like half of Cave's stuff, the other half makes me yak, and it's never a complete album. Cohen is either great or dull, depending on the song. I have the same problem with Pink Floyd.

Boatloads of generic late-80's/early-90's alternate stuff. Dave Kendall was my guru for many years.

New wave, on the other hand, makes me want to recreate the last two pages of Apt Pupil. And for those keeping score, not that's not a good thing. New wave was fine at the time, but please, please PLEASE FUCKING STOP WITH IT ALGODAMNREADY!

Jason
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GabrielM
Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 08:34 am:   

XTC's SKYLARKING is certainly among my top ten of all time. Just fabulous.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 08:34 am:   

I could write far too much on this - music is my main passion. I'll try to keep this short.

Current favorites:

Jeff Buckley: I am always in awe of his voice. Simply one of the best voices I've ever heard.

The Gathering - Souvenirs: This album is beautiful dream pop (other albums can be quite different). It's got a good deal of sonic experimentation going on, and gorgeous female vocals. I like it because it sets a good atmosphere and I love the vocals.

Golgotha - Symphony in Extremis: Pretentious progressive metal done by one man. It's got cheesy keyboard sounds trying to emulate an orchestra, which normally I would hate. But I just have to enjoy somebody who writes a metal album in 4 symphonic movements (one titled Holocaust in A Minor) and has lyrics dealing with
moral issues of tyranny. There's something about the ambition of doing this which makes it appealing.

Lacrimosa - Elodia: Take a gothic metal band (with male and female vocals, mostly sung in German) and add a real orchestra and choir. While the results could be bad, they've studied enough classical to actually make good use of the orchestra, making for the best blending of metal and symphony I've heard.

Star of Ash - Iter.Viator: Vaguely gothic experimental music. I like how the singer can make really violent and disturbing lyrics sound so beautiful. I like how the lyrics conjure very vivid images. It provided the perfect soundtrack for reading Maldoror Abroad. Not really surprising since the woman behind Star of Ash lists surrealist and decadent authors as strong influences on her music.

Thought Industry - Short Wave on a Cold Day: I like stuff that is catchy, but still is lush and has weirdness. This qualifies for that. Plus, it's got the most bizarre rock lyrics I've heard.

Ulver - Perdition City: After reading Perdido Street Station, I started thinking about music where the idea of the city plays as strong a role. I imagined some mix of electronics and jazz, something that evoked the feeling of being surrounded by people but still alienated, something rhythmic but with the varying rhythms cities have. Then I found Perdition City and it fit exactly what I had been imagining.
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Neil Williamson
Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 08:52 am:   

Jason - if you haven't checked two of the more recent XTC cuts, Wasp Star and Apple Venus, I urge you to do so.

With you all the way on Waits and Zep, btw.
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Matthew Martens
Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 08:53 am:   

Very recently:

Autechre - Draft

They may no longer be quite at the cutting edge of micro-processed/ultra-reticulated electronica, but i'll be damned if Autechre don't still live right next to it. And, Boards of Canada and a few others notwithstanding, they're just the best at it. The ghosts inside this dauntingly complex machinery of beats and bleeps are as delicate, haunting, and beautiful as any in music today.

Prefuse 73 - One Word Extinguisher

Best work yet from Prefuse. Disembodied hip-hop, cut-up and furiously tossed sound-poetry, melancholy arcs of IDM melody, and consistently compelling, disarming and jarring beatcraft.

Michael Nyman - String Quartets 2,3,4

Mushy minimalist makes inroads into listenability. Quite nice, actually.

Greg Weeks - Slightly West

Sort of Nick Drake circa Five Leaves Left meets Pink Floyd circa More and Obscured By Clouds. Wonderful stuff.

Mum - Finally We Are No One
Sigur Ros - ()

Two champions of chill Icelandic grandeur. Mum are more on the electronica tip, but with Seefeel/Cocteau Twins-esque vocals (sort of). Sigur Ros you all probably know. Glacial guitar-based dream-rock with gibberish falsetto vocals. An acquired taste: slow, mostly sad, self-indulgent ... um, often magnificent anyway.

lots of other stuff.

--Matthew

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Neil Williamson
Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 09:14 am:   

Current fads for me:

Flower Kings and Spock's Beard - going through a but of a prog renaissance at the moment. It's just fun to lots of widdly synth stuff again without only a little emarrassment.

Ryan Adams - just this side of alt country. I got two of his recent albums, and they're just packed with solid, if slightly wistful, tunes.

Tom McRae - as above, but make that *very bloody* wistful. Hey, I like wistful.

Grant Green - marvellous, jazz funk guitar work. Three tracks written and arranged by Dave Matthews - almost half an hour of glorious noodling.

Mad Melancholy Monkey Mind - met Mark Rich at WFC, and came home with this CD. Good tunes, sharp rock guitar. Nice and simple.

Miles Davis - Porgy and Bess. Simply majestic working of the Gershwin score. Summertime, for me, is one of the very best songs ever written, and Davis' rendition (along with Janis Joplin's) defines how it should sound.

Some classical stuff - Albinoni, Satie, Chopin and Mahler. I find even tempered tunes with no words less distracting for writing.

Above all that, early 70s singer songwriters because they've influenced me most musically, and Tom Waits because he is who he is.
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 09:42 am:   

Right now, I'm listening to a lot of Three Mile Pilot, mostly because I've gotten a bit tired of The Black Heart Procession and Pinback, who basically do one sound each and do it very well, and decided to trace their genealogy back a bit. I'm finding Three Mile Pilot to be a little uneven, but generally more interesting in their diversity; though it may seem out of place (not to mention a bit cliched), if there's one word I'd use to describe their music, it'd be "organic".

That aside, Modest Mouse. I think their appeal is best summed up (not in my words but a friend's, roughly quoted) as a working class attitude interspersed with hints of metaphysics. Eccentric and good.
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JeffV
Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 09:48 am:   

I love Three Mile Pilot! Great stuff. I didn't know Pinback was descended from them.

JeffV
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 11:09 am:   

Well, it is. :-) And yes, I'm aware of your fondness for them. I actually saw your review of some Three Mile Pilot album or other (ironically enough considering that you made mention of forgetting the name of the other album you thought was brilliant, I myself can't remember which album you were commenting on) while poking around Amazon's music section; I was reading the FanMet interview with you on Album Zutique at the same time and thinking, "What a coincidence!.

Do you like Pinback as well, then?

-

Another band I'm listening to a lot is the Delgados. I purchased HATE a while ago and Peloton just today, and they are excellent. In attempting to describe them, I suspect that I lack sufficient music knowledge to know what comparisons to draw. All I can say is that they're damn good, with a very pure sort of sound completely unlike any other indie band I've heard.
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jonathan briggs
Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 04:08 pm:   

The Afghan Whigs are amazing. I got a chance to see them live at Tipitina's in New Orleans a few years back when they showcased new stuff from the not-then-released "1965" album. I had been hiking thru swamps all day and was so tired, I could hardly feel my feet. Yet as soon as they started playing, I was right out in the middle of the crowd, jumping up and down like a maniac for what felt like a three-hour concert. They had a horn section and a trio of backup singers and generated this incredible wave of energy that just kept building and getting more intense (this is startin to sound dirty). Greg Dulli is the consummate decadent rock 'n' roll frontman. One of the greatest shows I've ever been to. And a couple years later, I found out the guy I work for is the Afghan bassist's father (never got to meet the band or anything tho).

When I moved to DC, I started getting into all the arty egghead punk bands that abound out here. The best, I think, is The Dismemberment Plan. They wrestle beautiful pop tunes out of discordant noise. Riffs that act like mental peanut butter and stick to the roof of yer mind. You'll be humming for days. Sadly, they just broke up, but they have four CDs out, the best of which is "Emergency & I," in my opinion.

Modest Mouse and Ugly Casanova are cool, too. Good sloppy emo-ish stuff. As lonesome and ruminative as a walk thru a redwood forest on a rainy day.
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AnneS
Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 11:32 pm:   

I spend as much money on music as I do on books and my CD collection is rather large. My musical tastes lean toward the alt country (whatever that is*) side of the spectrum. I love the singer/songwriters the best. I’ve always been one to listen to the words of songs and clever well written songs win me every time. Almost as important is the music itself and the singer/band. I prefer music to be melodic most of all, though not too “pop”. blues, rock, folk, acoustic as well as electric, though not techno, which I find mindless and boring.

Some Favorites
Ryan Adams/Whiskeytown – a wonderful singer and his songs have an edgy brilliance with sometimes startling lyrics. “Gold” has to be my favorite (though not all of it) of his solo albums though I first fell in love with his voice back in the Whiskeytown days.

Steve Earle – another great singer/songwriter – he has written some of the best songs I’ve ever heard. Last year’s “Jerusalem” is a wonderfully angry record very appropriate for the times we live in.

Gillian Welch - exquisite old time sound, fantastic lyrics, beautifully simple and surprisingly ornate acoustic accompaniments by David Rawlings.

Lucinda Williams – great songs, agonisingly personal with that oh so soulful voice of hers. I still have to give her latest “World Without Tears” a proper listen, but I feel it is not as good as “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road”.

Patty Griffin – an outstanding voice, a beautiful song writer.

Mary Gauthier – remarkable songs about losers, drifters junkies, somehow uplifting sung with a dark precise voice..

Recent acquisitions:
Kathleen Edwards – a female version of Ryan Adams has been accused of copying Lucinda, though personally I think she is very different, more rock’n roll with sharp sassy lyrics. Also Leonard Cohen “Ten New Songs” an addictive dreamy perfectly arranged piece, Caitlin Cary “I’m staying Out” as good, if not better than her first record; .another ex Whiskeytown artist with a more folky version of the Whiskeytown sound.

And that’s just for starters

* A term from my favorite music magazine “No Depression”
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 04:21 am:   

I've been listening to a lot of Japanese psychedelia lately. Acid Temple Mothers, Ghost...most of the albums are rather schizophrenic, tracks ranging from acoustic reveries to a lot of screaming, I find it stirs up my head up in a good way to hear this stuff in the morning.

When I'm working I often listen to old roots reggae. The Abyssinians, in particular, have a nice groove that rocks me along. Sometimes old death metal, Bathory et al, and just good ol' devil music like the Nefilim achieves a similar effect. .Sometimes things get weird. A few days ago I played Aretha's version of "Jumping Jack Flash" over and over for a few hours. Also stoner rock. Much prefer Kyuss to the band they became, Queens of the New Stone Age. Whatever does the trick.

For pleasure recently I'm listening to Johnny Dowd, who was first marketed as an alt country act, but in reality is kind of an American Gothic figure with blood on his pitchfork who channels various losers and lowlives and burn-outs. Less pretentious and ultimately more affecting than Tom Waits. A real treasure. Also a K Records blues garage band out of Spokane -- Gossip. Has a great female singer. Jazz. The greatest extant Jazz pianist, Matthew Shipp, like Cecil Taylor with a more melodic sensibility.
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 05:02 am:   

music for the moment:

the flaming lips, yoshimi battles the pink robots. bright, energetic, an album about a japanese girl battling pink robots, and songs where someone is screaming... it shouldn't work, but it does.

my morning jacket. i can't recommend an album, because i don't have one. you can't buy their stuff over here, so i've downloaded a slew of it. a mix of the blues and folk and with a singer who has a voice that just aches with emotion.

kaito. again, can't find their album over here. british pub pop. fast, energetic.

refused, the shape of punk to come. they made one album, and then half of them went and became the international noise conspiracy, but this is an excellent punk album. loud, angry, defiant, everything punk should be. (and the international noise conspiracy, if anyone gets the chance, are excellent live.)

set fire to flames. their first album, which, if memory serves, is self titled. (they've a second album which i will get soon.) anyhow, they're made up with a few people from godspeed you! black emperor, and this album was recorded over a three day peroid in a house, with the sounds of creaking ropes, traffic intermixed with an array of instruments. dark and lovely.
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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 05:03 am:   

Lately I've been catching up on the Belle & Sebastian stuff I haven't heard.

I went out and got three of their albums: Tigermilk (bittersweet songs), The Boy with the Arab Strap (almost as good) and Storytelling (the soundtrack of the Todd Sondolz film with the same title: great in some parts but contrived and annoying in others).

I love Belle & Sebastian!
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iotar
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 05:24 am:   

Lucius: You've been listening to Ghost? Their Lama Rabi Rabi is absolutely brilliant. Another japanese pscyh band worth checking out is Angel in'Heavy Syrup - female trio with mad guitar led soundscapes worthy of Germany in the early seventies. Also: Damon & Naomi's live album with Michio Kurihara is quite brilliant. Excellent cover of Tim Buckley's Song to the Siren - as if the world needed another one!

Rhys: Belle & Sebastian are *so* good. Especially Tigermilk. The State That I Am In is my song for getting drunk and silly - as if I needed an excuse!
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PeterW
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 10:51 am:   

Hear, hear for Lama Rabi Rabi! Ghost could almost be a Japanese version of Daevid Allen's Gong, maybe crossed with Can. Thanks for the other refs, iotar and Lucius. Johnny Dowd seems to be up my alley, as I'm a Tom Waits fan (but think that he's sometimes just weird for weirdness's sake)

One artist I've barely been able to pull out of my CD player (a rare occurrence for me) lately is Richard Buckner. His "The Hill" is an astounding take on some of E.L. Master's "Spoon River" vignettes, and his latest, "Impasse", is just brilliant. Don't know who to compare him with, but I think he deserves a place in the pantheon of great "singer-songwriters".

Besides that, these days it's Dylan, Giant Sand, Robyn Hitchcock and the Soft Boys.
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PeterW
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 10:56 am:   

Neglected to mention Loud Family/Game Theory, XTC (esp. Skylarking and English Settlement) and the incredible Finno-Swedish roots-rock combo Hedningarna (their "Karelia Visa" in particular).
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 12:26 pm:   

Iotar, I've got all of Ghost, I think, and the Damon And Naomi, but I'll check out Angel In'Heavy Syrup. Sounds cool. Actually, I've been listening to a lot of weird Asian stuff lately. Malaysian reggae, old SIngapore pyschedelia from the 60s -- if you're interested, there's a sampler of this latter available from Forced Exposure called Steam Kodok, which is pretty strange.

Peter, if you check out Johnny Dowd, it's best to do it chronologically, Start with the first album, The Wrong Side of Memphis, and work your way up. I think he's only got four albums available (not counting a live one he sells only at concerts). But if you see him playing in your area, it;s worth the trip. Most unusual.
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 12:35 pm:   

Listening to Rahsaan Roland Kirk right now - blind jazz man could play any wind instrument and commonly performed on THREE HORNS AT ONCE. A great deal of Miles Davis lately, especially the very thick, dark and funky afro-afro music from the early seventies: Bitches' Brew, Pangaea, and Dark Magus. I was fortunate enough to see Sun Ra perform before he left this world for Saturn; his band still plays now and then. What gets me about all these guys - the way they created little pocket universes around themselves as a way of keeping out of despair, and as a way of making a deeply rich and life-affirming music.

Nonjazzwise - Boards of Canada was mentioned above, and I think they're the best thing since sliced bread. Not that I'm on a seventies kick, but their music takes me back to the sounds and the sort of ghostly, bittersweet feelings I remember from that time, without being nostalgic (in the usual sense of the word). Their latest album, "Geogaddi", is their best.
Meat Beat Manifesto has always been amazing. The "Paradise Now" mix off the single "Now" was instrumental in my writing the DS, and no one else quite has Jack's feel for hallucinogenia. Latest record rather weak; "Satyricon" is the best album, I'd say.
Scorn started out in a place that didn't interest me, passed through a zone that made them indispensible to me, then went off in another direction and lost me again. But in that zone - Evanescent, Ellipsis, and Gyral - they were the untouchable gods of Death Dub.
Wire are untouchable gods, period. No one writes nonsense better than they do, I don't think anyone could. Somehow, they've managed to bridge an avant-garde surrealist sensibility with punk and with electronic music, without contrivance. They got going around 1977, they have a new album out now, and a deep ocean of all kinds of fascinating music in between.
My Bloody Valentine's album "Loveless" is a desert island disk. It's transcendent; for dreaminess, for bitterness, for joy.
I've been checking out Richard H. Kirk in his various pseudonyms for years now; his best record he actually recorded under his own name - "Virtual State." That's another special record, bright, high rhythmic.
Naked City's two worthwhile albums (to be ruthlessly critical) are "Grand Guignol" - a seventeen-minute sound poem, followed by eight classical pieces by Ives, Debussey, Scriabin that are truly brilliantly orchestrated, followed by over thirty screamingly insane thrash cuts averaging a minute or so in length. But their best is and always must be "Absinthe", a series of harrowing, Verlaine-inspired sound poems, nightmares, deliria, mental disintegrations.

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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 12:59 pm:   

Roland Kirk - I never thought somebody could play three horns at once until I heard him.

I've only begun my exploration of Miles Davis. I love Bitches Brew, but the other CD I was told to buy was A Kind of Blue, and that didn't interest me as much. I've been a bit unsure what to try next.
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Matthew Martens
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 01:46 pm:   

Michael C. mentioned My Bloody Valentine's Loveless -- one of my desert island discs as well. For those of us who wonder what kind of music Kevin Shields might be making today if he were still bothering with such things, I think Manitoba's new one, Up In Flames, may provide an answer. Which means it's kind of essential.
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 02:15 pm:   

Just a little note about Kevin Shields - he has contributed guitar treatments to certain (but not all) recordings by Experimental Audio Research (EAR), including their minimalist album "The Koner Experiment".
A rumor in circulation for a while - you may have heard it - holds that Mr. S. submitted six hours of demo-type tapes to MBV's record label a few years back, some one thing or other has prevented the emergence of this material. I wish it were possible to buoy other people up psychically.

Also, I was remiss in failing to mention New Order. Their first albums after the transition from Joy Division are gems - "Movement" and "Power Corruption and Lies", "Video 586". I find some people are prone to dismiss them, and after a certain point their music does kind of peter out, but what you are listening to on these earlier records is a BAND. They play together with a freedom and a mutual sensibility that amounts to real communication.

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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 03:14 pm:   

Robert, I think if you like Bitches Brew, you oughta go into the Dark Magus-Panagea era of Miles. I just wrote a 1200 word piece on Dark Magus for an anthology of essays on jazz trying to explain why I think it's a brilliant record, and I'm not sure I made any sense, but I do think that. (Maybe I'll post it on my board.) However, the pre-Bitches Brew Miles made some great albums. I've always preferred his live stuff from that era, because the studio albums seemed to clean up the music too much -- there's a five or six CD set (too lazy to get up from the computer and check) Live At the Five Spot that 's pretty amazing.
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Matthew Martens
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 04:53 pm:   

Re: New Order -- yes. I love them up to and including 1985's Low Life.

Kevin Shields has also done some fine stuff as MBV in recent-ish years, particularly a 16' remix for Mogwai, from a double-CD of remixes the title of which presently escapes me. I remember reading about those hours of demo material in a Simon Reynolds piece for AP some years back. I seem to recall Shields himself not wanting to release any of it, thinking it was too Loveless-esque (!).
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iotar
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 05:11 pm:   

Lucius: Steam Kodok sounds fucking excellent. Have you heard and An Chang Project or Hirayasu and Brozman?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 05:57 pm:   

Iotar: Naw, man. I've heard OF Brozman, but know nothing about the other two. What's the story.
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Luke Brown
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 11:10 pm:   

Discovering good music when you live in Tasmania is very hard (almost as hard as discovering good fiction), so I've enjoyed reading these posts. I'm not very good at describing the reasons why I like certain music, perhaps because music appreciation is often so intuitive. Nevertheless, here are my current favourite albums and the reasons for their illustrious status:

Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights
Pounding rhythm and spiky guitars invokes a blend of Echo and The Bunnymen, Mission of Burma, and Joy Division. Paul Banks' song writing is melancholy and personal, and he sings with lovely deep and detached voicals that certainly recall Ian Curtis. I haven't been able to get this out of my Walkman for days. There is something intoxicating about music this dark and desperate. Reminds me of David Lynch films.

...Trail of Dead - Source Tags and Codes
The obvious comparisons are Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine. This major label debut is a utterly brilliant epic rock album, intricate and reflective as well as gripping and raw. Surreal segues seperate rock anthems, while distorted guitars, thrashing drums and pounding bass lines are accompanied by gorgeous strings, piano and brass. Also has a song called 'Baudelaire' - what more do you want?

Múm - Finally We Are No One
Some moments are like Boards of Canada, while others remind me of Tortoise's landmark 'Djed.' Majestic synths, crackly drum-machine percussion, sampled silence, and crystalline vocals. They recorded this in a remote lighthouse off the coast of Iceland and you can feel a sense of isolation in the music. Its childlike bewilderment has a fairytale quality.

Augie March - Strange Bird
Not only the best Australian album, but also one of the best albums of last year. Nick Drake and Nick Cave are obvious influences. Glenn Richards has a genius for songwriting that surpasses even Will Oldham, with evocative imagery and tender emotion, and his voice is beautiful. The music is not really folk, not really dream pop, and not really post-rock, and is so hard to label, except to say that it is wonderful. Please give this Melbourne band a listen.
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iotar
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 05:05 am:   

Bob Brozman and Takashi Hirayasu play a fusion of Okinawan and Japanese Pacific Island music combined with Hawaiian guitar and an infectious sense of fun. Just the two of them - recording at Hirayasu's Okinawan home with an array of guitars and sanshins. The story goes that when they first met Brozman couldn't speak japanese and Hirayasu couldn't speak english... I'll stop there before I break into a "music is a universal language" love story, but anyway they're quite brilliant.

An Chang Project is a Tokyo based band. Featuring Jun Yasuba, Yoshie Uno and Natsuki Hattori most of whom played at one time or another in Shisars who are a Okinawan girl grunge-pop act. An Chang take the same irreverent and often very weird take on sanshin-based Pacific melodies, add harmony vocals and some seriously fucked effects-box guitar noise and come up trumps!

The whole Okinawan sound seems to veer from manic sing-song choruses to hauntingly beautiful open harmonies - infectious stuff. And you've got to love any music that has songs called "Prayer for a good catch of animals"!
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 05:23 am:   

Now that I think of it I 've heard some Brozman stuff -- he played with an Hawaiian guy. I just order the An Chan project. Sounds great. Thanks.
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iotar
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 06:05 am:   

Hope you enjoy it!

BTW: I understand you've spent quite a lot of time in South America. Do you know much about the 60s South American Garage Psych scene? I heard some good stuff by the Peruvian band Traffic Sound and have been meaning to investigate this area in greater depth.
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Peter
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 08:53 am:   

As there's been some psych sub-context here, I'll mention The Bevis Frond, an act fronted by one Nick Saloman. Remarkable for his fluid, Hendrixian acid-jam style and great hooks. If one's into this sort of thing, I'd recommend starting off with one of his earlier efforts, perhaps "Triptych" or "Inner Marshland", which have just been re-released. His later efforts have focused more on songwriting, with less extended jamming.

And I neglected to provide a descriptive take on Hedningarna. The "Heathens" start with traditional Swedish/Finnish folk music, amp it, bass it, distort it, then lace it with gruff male (Swedish) and strident/searing female (Finnish) vocals. The Finnish vocalists are reminiscent of the Bulgarian women singers that were popular some time back, but ratchet it up to infinity, sounding like nothing so much as angels on PCP, their voices darting and swooping like harpies over a fresh kill. With its alternately dissonant and melodic underpinning, and the strange, shifting rhythms, their music is an evocation of shamanic symbols buried deep in the collective psyche. Unsettling, weird, beautiful, otherworldly, and all-around intense. Need I say it's not for the timid? Recommendations: anything but the first eponymous album, but esp. "Karelia Visa", "Tra" and "Kaksi".

And I'll second Michael Cisco's rave on Wire, esp. "Pink Flag", "154", "Bell is a Cup" and "IBTABA" (this --surprisingly-- as it is ostensibly dance mixes). Uncategorizable: I like that...

While I'm going on, I'll mention that Cocteau Twins ("Treasure", "Blue Bell Knoll", "Victorialand") and Dead Can Dance ("Aion", -eponymous-, "Within the Realm of a Dying Sun") are never far from my CD player, for much the same reasons as Wire and Hedningarna: utter evocative otherworldliness.
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GabrielM
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 10:21 am:   

>>Do you know much about the 60s South American Garage Psych scene?

Well, I assume you know about Os Mutantes from Brazil, no? Indispensable.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 10:56 am:   

Iotar, my life is so peripatetic, most of my CDs and albums are scattered about the country. But I do have a number of less than worldfamous Latin American psych, but I'm going to have to rack my brain. Traffic Sound doesn't sound familiar. Where you can find them? Recently I've been listening to a good bit of contemporary Latin American stuff, my favorite being Cafe Tacuba, an unbelievably eclectic band from Mexico. I'm sure you're familiar with Os Mutantes, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Aterciopelados (their early punky stuff is great)...but when I go back East this summer, I'll dig through my stored stuff and see what I can find. Argentina had a tremendous number of great psych bands. An old girlfriend of mine fronted on --she lived up near Iguazu Falls, where THE MISSION was filmed. Great place to drop acid. Anyway, I'll see what I can dig up. Lately I've been reduced to exploring what I find on the Forced Exposure site as far as pysch. They usually feature lots of old American psych bands -- there's a Texas band I just ordered that sounds interesting, Josefus-- and also feature lost of old German, Australian, and Italian stuff from that period, some of which is godawful, but some of it good.

Anyway, if by chance you haven't heard Cafe Tacuba, well, there's not exactly psych, but they're pretty amazing. I'd recommend the albums RE and GRAN EXITOS.
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iotar
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 11:45 am:   

Lucius: I've only heard a few Traffic Sound tracks on WFMU - I believe they've been reissued by some small label but they're pretty difficult to find. And no: I hadn't heard about most of that stuff, with the exception of Os Mutantes, so that'll give me a few leads to follow up.

Peter: Nick Salomon is one of our locals here in Walthamstow - I used to live just around the road from the Woronzow HQ. I've seen David Tibet on the tube at Walthamstow Central and I saw Tony Hill from High Tide on a bus going from Stratford to Leytonstone.

Yup, Waltham Forest is a mini-psychedelic Mecca!
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GabrielM
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 02:27 pm:   

RE from Cafe Tacuba is a great album. I just love that little song "El Aparato" about being kidnapped by a UFO. Lately I've been getting into their more experimental work on REVES/YOSOY. As far as Los Aterciopelados I thought their last album, GOZO PODEROSO, was just wonderful, although quite different and less edgy than its predecessors. More folk rock than punk. I now hear it played in restaurants, which is rather disturbing....
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Peter
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 02:51 pm:   

Iotar: no kidding, Walthamstowe? I feel I know the place after such prolonged exposure to the Bevis Frond. I'm jealous...
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 03:12 pm:   

Gabe, I've got all of Cafe Tacuba's stuff...even that new EP. If I have a favorite band at the moment, they're it just because of their adventurousness. Takes some neds to keep changing personalities as extremely as they do. Laibach used to do that, and they were another of my favorites. I like Gozo Poderoso okay, but I must admit I like their earlier stuff better. I'm gonna dig through my CDs this weekend and see what else I can find in that vein.

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Scott Thomas
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 08:18 pm:   

Hi Jeff,

I like this music area, and how you start it off. I can very much relate to your use of music in the writing process. Your tastes in music are far-ranging and very interesting by the way!

Over the years my favorites have changed. As a teen I loved Cat Stevens, and I still think his stuff is amazingly creative and diverse. In younger days I loved Jim Croce, Elton John, then later, Springsteen, The Doors and then Elvis Costello. Elvis is so brilliant!!! I've also been big on Nirvana and REM. The French film score composer Phillipe Sarde's work is heart-wrenchingly emotional and achingly good. I'm also very fond of the music score to SENSE AND SENSIBILITY by Patrick Doyle. Nick Drake and Nick Cave are also impressive.

Most inspiring to my writing in recent years (going back ten years or so) has been the folk music from the British Isles, mostly Robin Williamson who was the main force of the 60s group The Incredible String Band. If Dylan Thomas had been a singer, he would have been much like Williamson, I suspect. He's a true bard with a great sense of Celtic spirit and music and an agonizingly brilliant use of language, not to mention his idiosyncratic voice and skill with instruments. He's a fantastic harper.

Another Celtic harper, Turlough O'Carolan, who wrote in the 1700s, left a lovely and haunting body of tunes. His Farewell to Music, written on the eve of his death, contains all the intensity and pathos of a final wave meeting a rocky shore. Williamson (who plays a mean fiddle) does a fascinating treatment of that tune.

There are other folk people I love (and have played while writing), ranging from Bill Morrissey to Stan Rogers and Steeleye Span, Dick Gaughan, Country Joe McDonald (his album WAR, WAR, WAR which contains song versions of Robert Service's World War 1 poetry) Archie Fisher, not to mention Enya and Loreena McKennett (spelling?). Must not forget a fond mention of the late Dave VanRonk. But...

Were I to tip the hat of my writing heart to any one individual, it would have to be the classical performer Arcangelo Corelli, who invented the concerto. An amazing violinist in his day (1653-1713), Corelli created the most amazing music...haunting and lovely and lively. I have earnest awe for the works of Corelli and am humbled to find that someone could tap so powerfully and elegantly into the great mystery of creativity. When I write there's a very good chance I'm listening to recordings of his brilliance.

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Richard Calder
Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 07:35 am:   

Scott --

Corelli? Hmm. You're a man of taste. There's a wonderful new 2-CD collection of the sonatas out on Harmonia Mundi. At the moment, I'm listening to quite a bit of D. Scarlatti -- he's one of my all-time favourite composers -- in particular, a relatively new CD by the French harpsichordist Christophe Rousset --all flashing Toledo steel, fandangos and manic fingerwork. Scarlatti was much in my mind when I was writing 'Malignos'. Whenever I listen to him I always seem to think of Zorro and the chase sequence from Borowczyk's 'La Bete'...
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Des
Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 11:27 am:   

Vivaldi beats Corelli and Scarlatti into a red cassock! Des
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Richard Calder
Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 12:15 pm:   

He certainly had the best job ...
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Daniel Read
Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 02:31 pm:   

This has been a good thread so far, Jeff. You've hit on one of my favorite subjects. I'll do my best to contribute without getting too long winded and esoteric--but I usually don't do such a good job restraining myself.

Like many people who have already posted, my tastes are fairly eclectic. I'll run it down by category (in no particular order):

* Jazz: Miles Davis is my absolute favorite in this category. I could go on for pages about my affection for this man's music, but I'll try a short list of reasons: the sound of his horn moves me; he had brilliant and daring musical ideas; he always put together astonishingly good bands; he didn't take no shit; he did his own thing his own way without compromise.

I'm very partial to pre-1975 jazz, from be-bop through Mile's electric period and fusion when it was good. So many favorites to list: Coltrane, Monk, Ellington, Dolphy, Coleman, Mingus, Clifford Brown, Bird, Weather Report (pre-Jaco), Mahavishnu Orchestra. There are really only three contemporary jazz artists that come to mind as people that I pay attention to closely: Medeski, Martin, and Wood; the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey; and Garaj Mahal. These guys are definitely all in the fusion category, with some jam band crossover, but MMW can lay down some mean accoustic piano trio, like accoustic jazz has not been played in decades.

I will add another entry to the jazz category, since I don't quite no where else to put them: Steely Dan. Is anyone else here a big Steely Dan fan? God damn, the brilliant music these guys produced still gives me chills after hundreds of listens, and always makes me feel happy and warm. "The Royal Scam," "Pretzel Logic," "Katy Lied," "Aja"--the lyrics, the writing, the arrangements--damn...

BTW, referring back to an earlier post from Lucius, in terms of recommendations for live 60's Miles Davis, my recommendation is the "Live at the Plugged Nickel" stuff from 1964. If you are a hardcore Miles head like me, I can't recommend the 8 disc box set highly enough. For the casual listener, the "Highlights from Live at the Plugged Nickel" single disc is a wonderful substitute for the box set. This recording is from early in this quintet's timeline, and mostly consists of tunes from Davis's standard repetoire. Drummer Tony Williams was about eighteen at this point and one of the most exciting drummers before or since. He and bassist Ron Carter create an elasticity with the time that is so cool.

The whole band (Williams, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Short, and Carter) is very young, and you can really tell that their youth and fresh ideas energize the seasoned Davis. The Plugged Nickel was evidently a very small club. The imtimacy of the recording is remarkable. You feel like you're sitting right there, mere feet from one of the greatest jazz bands of all time. It's especially rewarding with the headphones on. You can hear the cash register ching-ing, glasses clinking, people laughing.

* Heavy Metal: I love heavy metal (certain sub-genres of it anyway). I love the release of angst and tension that I get from listening to it. I love that it is so often over the top yet completely lacking any irony. Emotionally speaking, I get the same high from listening to a masterwork such as Slayer's "South of Heaven" or Mastodon's "Remission" that I do from listening to one of Mile's great band's riding the edge of the safety zone.

I am particularly partial to certain breeds of 80's metal, though I am into a select few 90's and contemporary metal bands. From the 80's: Slayer, Exodus, Kreator, Destruction, Laaz Rockit, Death, Testament, Megadeth, Overkill, At War, Metalica, King Diamond (!), Anthrax, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and so many more. One thing I love about 80's speed metal and thrash is all of the nuclear fear and apocalyptic imagery.

The 90's list is short: Death, Tool, Opeth. As far as contemporary metal bands, my absolute favorite right now is Mastodon--just saw them last night as a matter of fact. Brilliant, scary-good progressive metal. I can't recommend it strongly enough. Another band I'm really into lately is Opeth. They are a Swedish melodic death metal band. They really have their own thing that no one else can claim similarity to. Equal parts death metal, Pink Floyd, and King Crimson. Of course I'm a big Tool fan. These guys are at the height of their powers right now. "Lateralus" is a masterpiece. They are carrying the art rock mantle like no one else.

* Punk rock: I'm partial to 80's punk rock bands like the Bad Brains, the Cro-Mags, Minor Threat, the Dead Kennedy's, and Big Black. (Anyone else here a Steve Albini fan?) I love great punk rock for many of the same reasons I love great metal, but punk rock has a different sensibility--the focus is less on having perfect chops and executing on music greatness, and more on capturing an emotion. It's a great release of angst, and at its best is a lot of fun.

* Alt-rock: once again, I'm partial to 80's and early 90's stuff, before alternative went corporate, but there are still plenty of alt-rock bands that I really like. I think what I love about alt-rock is that just about anything goes. Bands pull from such a diverse mix of influences--from classical, to classic rock, to jazz, to easy listening and soft rock, to funk, to punk rock, to metal--and experimentalism and risk-taking are prevalent. The spectrum of bands that fit into the alt-rock category is pretty wide; I'm most into bands in the pre-grunge, psychedelic, and noise realms. Favorites: Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Jane's Addiction, the Flaming Lips, the Smashing Pumpkins, Walk Mink, the Butthole Surfers, Scratch Acid, Primus, the Jesus Lizard, Shelac.

Is anyone else here a Melvins fan? The Melvins are one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. When I look back on the 90's, to me they were the greatest rock and roll band of that decade (with Fugazi the closest competition), and even now they are at the height of their powers.

(Shit, this thing is getting really long...)

* Classic rock: in the interest of brevity: The Who (an all-time favorite since childhood), Hendrix, Zeppelin, Cream, the Stones, the Beatles.

* Prog rock: ah, prog rock, I miss you. There are so few bands still doing righteous progressive art rock (one I can recommend, though, is Atlanta band Solution Science Systems). The great time of prog rock was the early to mid seventies. My favorite prog band is King Crimson, especially 1973-era King Crimson, with Bill Bruford on drums. Does anyone have the newly remastered and expanded release of "USA" on CD? Take "USA" and put it with a live or studio version of Genesis's 1974 masterpiece "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" and you have prog rock at its finest. We can't forget Yes, or Rush either.

* Hip-hop: I'm very picky about the rap that I like. The main criteria that I use is that it has to be musically interesting, has to contain novel musical ideas. The all time greatest is Public Enemy. They're still releasing good material, but it has to be hard to live in the shadow of their masterpieces "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back," "Fear of a Black Planet," and "Yo, Bum Rush the Show." I also love the Beastie Boys. "Paul's Boutique" is a remarkable achievement. I like a lot of old school 80's stuff: Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, KRS One, Erik B and Rakhim. I really like the early 90's bands Tribe Called Quest and Diggable Planets. Two contemporary favorites: Kool Keith (aka Dr. Octagon, aka Dr. Dooom) and Jurassic 5.

Damn, I better stop there. Sorry for the long post. If you read this far, thanks. Comments welcome, of course.

Dan
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Tamar
Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 02:32 pm:   

I've been listening to Charles Mingus quite a lot lately and John Coltrane. Strictly chillout music on an evening, nothing to do with the writing. We've really got into jazz lately and the classical CDs hardly get a look-in any more. Odd, it seems difficult to move between the two. David Murray is a saxophonist we heard in Leeds last year and I love his CD 'Like a Kiss That Never Ends.' When I got Miles Davis' 'Kind of Blue' last year I wondered how I'd lived without it so long.

Bach puts my mind and emotions in order and helps me write (I never play music when I'm writing though - it would interfere with the rhythm of the language for me - actually I keep ear plugs in my desk drawer). Glenn Gould playing The Well-Tempered Clavier is an ultimate marriage of passion and control (wish the guy wouldn't hum along, though!). Also the cello suites - cleansing, beautiful.

I might play fun and corny stuff like The Eagles or Hot Chocolate's greatest hits to chill out to when I'm cooking dinner on a Friday night.

The next thing I'd like to get is a CD of Gershon Serota, the early 20th century cantor, singing Jewish liturgical pieces, that I found on Amazon. Electrifying. These guys were like opera stars in their day. Apparently he came to give a concert in Leeds once and hardly anyone turned up. "That's the last time I go to Leeds," he said.

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Daniel Read
Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 04:04 pm:   

Also, I can't believe I forgot to mention the late, great Frank Zappa. Along with Duke Ellington and Miles Davis, one of the greatest band leaders and composers of the twentieth century. He did it all, never compromising, and he played a hell of a mean guitar.

Dan
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 04:29 pm:   

I second the FZ vote.

Just yesterday, picked up an album that has instantaneously become one of my all timers - GEORGE RUSSELL's ELECTRONIC SONATA FOR SOULS LOVED BY NATURE (1968). It most closely resembles the electro-Miles of Bitches' Brew etc, but with somewhat more structure. Miles is Brewing up a single, new sound, while Russell is travelling through different sounds as directed by a single sensibility. Anyway, it's available on disc, from Soul Note.
Really digging the new Wire album as well, the first, as WIRE proper, in - twelve years?

SCOTT THOMAS - If you can find it, you might like this Harmonia Mundi disc called "Goostly Psalmes", recorded by His Majestie's Clerkes. It's all Anglo-American choral music from the sixteenth century through the nineteenth, and includes some truly magnificent material from William Billings. "Death May Dissolve My Body Now" is the high point, for me. I'd imagine you'd have to order it.
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Daniel Read
Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 06:14 pm:   

Michael, thanks for the recommendation of that George Russell record. I had heard his name before, but really did not know anything about him. I just checked out some samples from "Electronic Sonata" on Amazon. Very interesting. I think I might have to grab that. The page for that record had an "Also Recommended" link to a 1960 Russell record called "Stratusphunk" that I'm listening to samples from right now. Also very interesting.

Dan
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GabrielM
Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 07:29 pm:   

>>but MMW can lay down some mean accoustic piano trio, like accoustic jazz has not been played in decades.

I like MMW as well, but have you heard the acoustic piano trio BAD PLUS, with their jazz covers of Nirvana and Blondie? I think they're one of the most interesting trios to come along in a while....

Although I love horns, to be honest...I'm a Coltrane fan first and foremost.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 07:31 pm:   

Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved By Nature was the first Russell I owned -- it was recorded with the Terje Rypdal Group, which then included Jan Garbarek. I originally bought the album because I was a fan of Rypdal's guitar work, and that led me to listen to a lot of Russell.

I liked Zappa as well, but I always listened more to his old cohort Captain Beefheart,

I like Wire as well, but of that entire late 80s, early 90s indie scene, the bands I listen to most are Spacemen Three and Savage Republic -- they've just reformed and are coming to Portland, so I'm pretty stoked.
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JeffV
Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 09:25 pm:   

All fascinating stuff. I definitely have some new CDs to buy.

I have to say that I'm really looking forward to the new Starlight Mints release, due out May 20th. These guys are pretty strange--strange pop rock, with unexpected time changes and melodies. Also brilliant in concert.

JeffV
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iotar
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 03:29 am:   

Lucius: Hurrah for the Spacemen! Yes, Spacemen 3 ruined my late teens - one of the great drone bands and you've just gotta love those fake American accents! Preferred the early Sound of Confusion and Perfect Prescription vibe to the later Recurring sound.

Loop were good too. Darker and more industrial than the Spacemen - their frontman went on to form Main who did some very abstracted guitar noise constructions.

And I can't help feeling that with this trajectory we're heading back towards Neu! and their pioneering guitar minimalism

Dan: Yeah, I'm a big Butthole Surfers fan - Locust Abortion Technician is one nasty fucker of an album. Have you seen the Blind Eye Sees All video? I believe it has been reissued on DVD.

I like the Shellac singles that came out before the first album and some of the first album was good - especially The Dog and Pony Show but I haven't really kept up with them since then.

Ever come across a death metal (black metal? I'm not sure about the distinctions) band called Bathory? The did an amazing track called Equimanthorn.
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paulw
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 04:04 am:   

Oh yeah -- Spacemen 3! And their successor (or one of them) Spiritualized, which over the past year has become probably my favorite band. I saw them live last year here in NY -- a ferocious guitar attack, relentless drone, druggy passion. "Taking drugs to make music to take drugs to . . ." Yes!

Also Built to Spill, including Doug Martsch's latest solo release.

And has anyone heard of a band charmingly called The Lee Harvey Oswald Band? Their album, Blastronaut, is the best album Ziggy-era Bowie never made . . . Dead-on musically, with hilarious lyrics: "I'm full of beer and I'm hung like a steer so come on baby, climb on . . ." From the great song "Rocket 69."
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paulw
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 04:20 am:   

Oops!

I forgot to add this dependable source of new (at least to me!) music -- it's also great stuff to write to, if you've got a fast connection:

www.drugmusic.com
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Liz Williams
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 05:27 am:   

I have Tori Amos' Scarlet's Walk' on at the moment - her latest and probably greatest. Very polished. Also a lot of Aimee Mann, REM, Ten Thousand Maniacs - good background stuff. If I want revving up a bit, then it's the White Stripes, Lou Reed, Patti Smith (in moderation) or Elvis Costello. Occasionally Dexy's Midnight Runners, Jefferson Airplane, Bowie, Fleetwood Mac or Jethro Tull if I am in nostalgic mood.

Also Cuban, Latin and Iranian music - I have a current thing about Sussan Deyhim's Madman of God, which is Sufic. and sounds like it comes from Mars.

I go through phases. Seem to play a lot of Celtic stuff in the autumn.

The only local live band I will put myself out for at the moment is an Aussie-French combination called the Lovegods, who kick ass (you heard it here first).
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 07:31 am:   

Liz:

I quite like Aimee Mann (what does it say about me that that's the only one I can comment on out of all the bands/performers mentioned on this thread? {answer: I have some CD ordering to do}). She reminds me of Lisa Germano—mainly the relentless melancholy, I suppose—who I haven't been listening to enough lately. Slide is a lovely little album.

-

I just discovered Mogwai, which reminds me a lot of Tortoise (whose seminal Millions Now Living Will Never Die is in my bedroom CD-player right now). I'm still trying to figure out if I really like their music or if I merely feel obliged to because of the aforementioned fact and their connection with The Delgados' label, whose name escapes my memory. It's certainly interesting, at any rate.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 07:42 am:   

Iotar,
Anybody who names an album Taking Drugs to Make Music To Take Drugs By gets my vote. But yeah, Perfect Prescription was fantastic. Loop was cool, too. And I'm right with you on Bathory. I'm not deep into death metal, but I have this one old Bathory album I keep digging out of the stacks and playing. Can't recall the name, but it has cheesy illos of Nordic warriors on the CD book. And I haven't ever gotten over the Butthole Surfer's version of "Hurdy Gurdy Man." Maybe the funniest cover ever.

Paul, I'll have to check out Lee Harvey. I wonder if they'll have a greatest hit album. I saw SPiritualized last year in Seattle. Pretty great. Built to Splll started getting to poppy for me, but maybe I should getback and check out the Martsch solo.

Tamar, if you like David Murray you oughta check out his Japanese releases on DIW. Ballads. Songs For Bass Clarinet. And etc. I"ve got almost everything he's done, and I think those DIW records are superior to his American recordings.

Is anybody out there into Matthew Shipp? He's an amazing jazz keyboard guy who has lately been messing with electronica. His last album Equilibrium is worth checking out.
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Daniel Read
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 08:23 am:   

Iotar and Lucius: I know of Bathory, but confess that I have not heard them. I just found a copy of "Under the Sign: The Sign of the Black Mark" used at djangomusic.com, and it has the track "Equimanthorn". I look forward to checking it out. As a 1986 release, it's right there in the period of metal I like the best. Lucius, I wonder if the one you have is called "Hammerheart," from 1995? It has Nordic warriors on the cover. According to some reviewers on Amazon, that is their best one. I put that one on my list also.

Iotar: "Locust Abortion Technician" is probably my favorite Butthole Surfers record. "22 Going on 23" is such a great song--so wrong, yet so brilliant and hilarious. And indeed, their cover of "Hurdy Gurdy Man" is awesome, but I love their "covers" of "American Woman" and "Sweet Leaf" (called "Sweat Loaf") even more.

Lucius: I recently purchased Shipp's "Equilibrium" and also an earlier one called "Nu Bop". I like a lot of what he is doing, but I wish the records were more even instead of going back and forth between styles so dramatically. I'm going to keep listening, though.

Dan
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Daniel Read
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 08:38 am:   

Also, Gabriel, thanks for the recommendation of Bad Plus. I'm checking out the samples on Amazon right now...

Dan
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 08:47 am:   

Daniel - quite a long post, but it's nice to see some of those names pop up. I'll already be looking for the Miles Davis discs Lucius recommended, I'll keep the ones you mention in mind too.

Metal is also a big love of mine, Tool and Opeth being particular favorites. Ulver did release an album blending black metal and acoustic folk, and there are some Opeth-like moments. While Ulver's mix of the two predates Opeth's mix of them, I do enjoy Opeth more for the meandering, but still good song-writing.

Ulver's a band that really fascinates me - they release 1-2 CDs in one style, then do something entirely different. Black metal, folk, techno, industrial, dark ambient and some work that fits into no genres. Plus, the singer manages to sound like a different person in each incarnation. I've heard black metal shrieks and growls, beautiful folk singing, something akin to Gregorian chant, low gothic vocals, soul, higher range prog metal vocals, and on some new clips I've heard, it sounds like he's had some opera training. I never know what to expect when the singer works on a CD, I only know to expect it to be good.

Prog rock I'm kind of ambivalent towards. On one hand, there are amazing bands like King Crimson. On the other, there are too many bands that just do endless and pointless soloing. I'd rather listen to a band that can take the prog mindset and craft it into good songs. In this regard, Porcupine Tree and Marillion are favorites of mine.

Overall, I vacillate between listening to the catchy stuff with elaborate arrangements (like Porcupine Tree or the Tea Party) and listening to more experimental rock (like Ulver or Godspeed You Black Emperor). I like King Crimson because I can get both, depending on which CD I listen to.


Lately, my desire has been to get some good modern classical composers. I really like George Crumb, and I've seen Arvo Part's name pop up in a few places recently, and it sounds like I'd enjoy his work.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 09:26 am:   

Dan,

Yup. Hammerheart is the one. It is a great album. Now I'm going to look for Under the Sign.

Matthew Shipp, who's an acquaintance of mine through boxing (he's making a movie called Jazz and Boxing), is in a transition stage with his music. So, yeah, his albums are demonstrating that. He's spotty, but when he's on it's amazing. I saw the David Ware Quarter a few years back and they were doing a version of "Autumn Leaves" and Shipp tore off this solo that fucking changed my world about the jazz piano. The album version under Ware's name isn't as good, but it's still amazing. After I heard that I got interested in him and ended up meeting him in NYC. I think he's moving into a place that musically is going to be amazing.

Now I'm really unhappy -- I've never the BS version of American Woman. :-)
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John Klima
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 09:44 am:   

Metal is a favorite of mine, too. I cut my teeth (after I spit all the hair of Ratt, Motley Crue, and Cinderella out) on bands like Metallica, Anthrax, Exodus, Helloween, Laaz Rockit (glad to see someone else even know who they are!), Powermad, Flotsam & Jetsam, Anthrax, Megadeth, etc. Saw lots and lots of shows growing up. If you want to know anything about heavy metal go to: http://www.bnrmetal.com/
It's the most complete page on heavy metal on the web.

I heartily second Dan's "Live at the Plugged Nickel" recommendation. It's phenomenal stuff. I don't like a lot of jazz post 1961. I don't know what it is. There is very little fusion jazz I can stand at all. I borrowed "Bitches Brew" from someone I knew and almost threw it out rather than return it. I was really disappointed. It seemed like something to put on to cover up other noise, but not something I'd want to listen to on its own (but I feel that way about Pink Floyd [if you grew up near Milwaukee, the two rock systems played about one Floyd song for every four other artists they played, so I got REAL sick of them; I now appreciate what they did, and quite enjoy "Meddle"] so what can you expect from me?). People are always trying to get me to listen to Frisell, Sharp, etc., but there's so little of their stuff I like. I got into Zorn for a while, but I recently took my dozen or so Zorn discs and burned one disc's worth of stuff that I like.

I have "Doo-Bop," Davis' last album, it's an interesting hip-hop/jazz fusion, but not something I listen to very often. I like Jaco Pastorious, but that's mostly due to his phenomally scary talent more than my love of the actual music. They just remastered his solo album and it's fantastic. After I heard him when I was about 14 and playing bass in a garage bands, I wanted to make my bass into a coffee table or something becasue I would never be that good.

I was recently checking out some Melvins stuff and they seem to rock pretty good, any recs on what to get first? I tried Fantomas, and didn't care for it. This last weekend I picked up Stereomud's new album. They are totally nu-metal (Korn, Godsmack, POD, etc.) but their singer can carry a tune. They even have harmonies on the choruses! Checked out Aphex Twin's "26 Cuts for Cash," a remix album, or, a two-disc set of songs that were remixed by the guy behind Aphex Twin. I actually thought about picking it up, but couldn't force the $30 out of my pocket at the time.

I spent an hour at a B&N listening station hitting the "Similar Artists" button and seeing where it took me. I had to laugh when I went to Henry Rollins (the Rollins Band was not listed as an artist, but Henry had two listings: spoken word, and rock, go figure) and when I hit "Similar Artists" it listed: Henry Rollins and nothing else. I laughed out loud at that.

JK
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 10:01 am:   

Robert,

bot Opeth and Ulver sound like bands I'd be interested in. Any recommendations on where to start with them? I see that Ulver has a best of album. Wpuld that be a wise choice?
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 11:39 am:   

Lucius - Ulver doesn't really have a best of album. The closest is they have a new remix album. It's not the typical "add techno beats" or "change the volume of one track" remixes, but thoroughly re-arranging older tracks, done by a lot of noise and experimental artists.

The best starting point really depends on what you want. My favorites (and the ones I started with) are Perdition City (described by me earlier on this page) and Themes From William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell. That one is 2 CDs of experimental industrial, all the lyrics are taken from Blake's poetry.

The only CD I'll warn you away from is Nattens Madrigal, which has the worst sound I've heard on any disc. The music might be good, but I can't tell because it sounds so terrible.


For Opeth, Blackwater Park is my favorite disc. But many of their CDs (Morningrise, Still Life and Deliverance) don't stray too far from the sound. I just think Blackwater has a slight edge in songwriting.
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Daniel Read
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 04:11 pm:   

Wow, lot's of great stuff to respond too...

I second Robert's recommendation of Blackwater Park. As a matter of fact, I was just raving to a friend of mine on Opeth, and to give him a listen to what they sound like, I uploaded MP3s of Blackwater Part to my web site. Anyone who would like to check it outm, send me an e-mail and I'll send you a link. I was planning to delete the tracks in a couple weeks, but I'd be happy to share them in the meantime. My only request would be that if you dig it and keep listening to it, buy a copy. :-) I'm actually going to see Opeth Monday night. Can't wait.

Robert, I'll have to keep and eye out for Ulver. Definitely sounds unique. Also, there is absolutely no shortage of bad prog rock out there. ;-) It's inevitable given it's appeal to chops geeks who lack restraint and songwriting skills. But when it's done right...

Lucius, I'll definitely be keeping an eye on Matthew Shipp. His playing style is quite unique, and his sound also--maybe his sound comes partly from the way he tunes the piano? To my untrained ear, there is something unique about the way the piano sounds when he's playing it. Have you heard that Anti-pop Consortium collaboration he did recently? What did you think of it?

John, you pulled out some great additional bands there. Powermad! My brother is a big fan of that record. I month or so ago I re-acquired Laaz Rockit's Know Your Enemy after a long period without it, and it has not left my CD changer since. Flotsam and Jetsam had a couple of nice records. I like both Doomsday for the Deceiver and No Place for Disgrace. Helloween's another good one. I always enjoyed the supreme cheesiness of both installments of Keeper of the Seven Keys. Which Fantomas did you hear? The Director's Cut record is quite nice, but definitely obnoxious.

There are so many great Melvins records, along with a few mediocre ones and a couple that are just too extreme into the noise realm to bother with. You can't go wrong with any of these (in the particular order): Houdini, Stoner Witch, Hostile Ambient Takeover, Stag, Lysol, The Maggot, Bullhead, Honky, Electroretard, and 26 Songs (recently re-released early stuff). To hear a different, more "alternative" side to them, check out The Bootlicker. Indeed, the Melvins can rock your face off, but they have a transcendent quality I can't quite describe--not dissimilar to the transcendency of the Butthole Surfers. The songwriting is brilliant, and they take tons of risks. King Buzzo is one of my favorite guitarists, and no one plays the drums like Dale Crover.

I love the BNR Metal site. I go there all the time to look up stuff I remember or just to bop around and discover new bands.

Dan

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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 07:22 pm:   

Robert, thanks for the guidance re Ulver and Opeth.

Dan, haven't heard the Anti-Pop Consortium thing yet, but I will. I'm going to be doing a piece on Shipp and the labels have sent me copies of everything he's ever done.

I'm getting a lot of free albums lately. I'm doing another piece on ESP Records and just got their entire catalogue, which includes a lot of crap, but also has seminal recordings, like Albert Aylers Spiits and Bells, Ornette Coleman's Town Hall Concert, the Henry Grimes Trio (Grimes being one of my favorite bassists, having this dark earthy tone and sort of primitive bowing style), etc. etc., and also a lot of weird stuff like Patty Waters. Her recording of "Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair" may be the greatest room-clearing device ever manufactured. Basically it consists of Patty screaming with apparent ever-increasing desperation the word "black" over and over against dischords by pianist Burton Greene.

Also just got this incredible album called Champeta Criolla. It's basically Peruvian soukous music. Black Peruvian sailors bring back African cassettes, which are then reinterpreted by Peruvian. Really great stuff.
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paulw
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 03:09 am:   

Greatest room-clearing devices, Part II (let us remember that it is often not a bad thing to have this ability! Also, there are room-clearing devices that get everyone out, and then there are what you might call neutron room-clearers that only get rid of those who do not share your musical tastes.):

"Sonic Attack" -- Hawkwind: "In the case of Sonic Attack, there will be bleeding from orifices; you will feel the need to vomit . . ."

"The Beast" -- Aphrodite's Child: "I am, I was, I am to come I was, I am, I was . . ." (repeat in maniac sexually crazed gibbering voices for 15 minutes as drums bash relentlessly in the background).

"Metal Machine Music" -- Lou Reed.





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Lucius
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 04:27 am:   

The Aphrodite's Child thing sounds like it's Steve Roach influenced. He did a loop of a street preacher on one album saying, "It's gonna rain,' over and over, with changing inflection, which had grear room-clearing power.

I've never tried it, but I've always felt that Neil DIamond's "I Am, I Said," might have similar potentials.
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paulw
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 04:40 am:   

Yes, but the problem with stuff like the Diamond (also Manilow, Madonna, etc.) is that they are also room-fillers . . .

Speaking of Neil Diamond, the ex-frontman for the Archers of Loaf, Eric Bachmann, channels his voice uncannily in his new project, Crooked Fingers, who've just released their 3rd CD: Red Devil Dawn. Much better music, though.
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Daniel Read
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 08:09 am:   

One of my favorite "room clearers" is the song "Don't" from Dinosaur Jr's album Bug. It's about eight minutes of gloriously loud and obnoxious feeback from J's guitar, with J screaming over and over "Why...why don't you like me?" Love it.

Dan
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Matthew Martens
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 08:36 am:   

Sorry to be a pedant, but Lucius meant Steve Reich, of course, not Steve Roach! I can definitely see how "It's Gonna Rain," along with just about any other early Reich, before his turn to more "romantic" material in the late 1970s, might clear your average room full of humans. Even the later, relatively pretty stuff of his, like "Octet" and "Music for 18 Musicians" used to drive my poor family almost to tears.

Roach, on the other hand, is harmless enough: he's worked just about every imaginable angle on ambient music during the last, oh, twenty-odd years. More room calming than clearing. On the other hand, some of his stuff does get rather sinister in a yawning cosmic void sort of way.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 09:15 am:   

Matthew, yup, Reich. My typing and brain suck at 4AM.

Dan, I kinda liked "Don't". WIsh I wasn't such a techno-primitive so I could digitize Patty Waters. It's a real cat-strangling.
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 04:16 pm:   

Another of my omissions demanding immediate rectification: MORTON FELDMAN is my favorite American composer, and he wrote well too (Exact Change has a collection of his material called Give My Regards to Eighth Street). Working at present on the Poe chapter of my dissertation, and nothing goes with Poe like Feldman.

I should mention Alfred Schnittke, whose crazy viola concerto is an all-time favorite, alongside the Rite of Spring. My best friend is absolutely nuts for Penderecki, and went to the trouble of procuring the original Polish recordings of his works. So, I've been gradually learning my Penderecki and Ligeti.

On a totally different note, speaking of good covers - I'd put the REVOLTING COCKS' version of Olivia Newton-John's "Let's Get Physical" on the short list of the short list.
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jonathan briggs
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 04:59 pm:   

One of my favorite cover tunes of all time is The Gourds' "Gin & Juice." Piss-yer-pants funny. You've been warned.
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jonathan briggs
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 05:06 pm:   

Also, The Replicants, kind of a Tool spinoff band, have an album of excellent cover tunes.

But the all-time greatest cover on my list has to be Killdozer's "American Pie." Excrutiating.
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Scott Thomas
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 07:33 pm:   

Richard and Michael -- Thanks to you both!

I know I've left out legions of people worthy of mention, for example... Dead Can Dance. One of their recordings in particular stands out, but I can't recall the title off the top of my noggin. Tom Paxton has done some wonderful songs (Now That I've Taken My Life!) and some of his anti-war things are brilliant and biting. My wife turned me on to Richard Thompson, Sinatra and Dwight Yokum.
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paulw
Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 - 03:10 am:   

For covers -- what about the Residents' American Composers series? Stars and Hank Forever -- one side the music of Sousa, the other Hank Williams (the creepiest version of Cawliga you will ever hear). My favorite is The King and Eye -- mesmerizingly wierd interpretations of Elvis. And early in their career, they did a hilarious take on Jailhouse Rock.

They do a pretty warped cover of Satisfaction, too.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 - 04:08 am:   

Covers. There are so many great ones. A few I think of this morning: Laibach's EP Sympathy For The Devil, which contains half a dozen versions of the song. Also their cover of Jesus Christ Superstar. Elvis Hitler's Ballad of the Green Beret. Jon Spencer's All Shook Up. But I guess my favorite cover all time, just for its theatricality, will always remain Sid Vicious' My Way.
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Iain Rowan
Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 - 05:46 am:   

Oh god, where to begin.

In no particular order.

My homebrew ska compilation: Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals, Dandy Livingstone, Desmond Dekker, the Skatalites and on and on. Definitely one to take to the desert island. Nothing makes me feel in a better mood than listening to this CD. Happy, happy music, even when it's about sad things.

My homebrew 70's funk thing, which sounds like a soundtrack for a film about pimps in big leather hats. Curtis Mayfield, Isacc Hayes, James Brown and others. Can't listen to it on my minidisc if I'm walking along for fear I will start strutting without realising it and bring humiliation on myself.

Pavement. Old old favourites. Shame Stephen Malkmus's solo album didn't *quite* have it. They managed to throw out classic song after classic song while always sounding as if they weren't really trying and were just messing around. Miles ahead of much furrow-browed, earnest, chest-beating indie rock. Yes, the Stereophonics, I mean you.

The Only Ones. British band of the late seventies, lead by the singer/songwriter Peter Perrett. Can never understand why they weren't bigger. Another Girl Another Planet is up there with Teenage Kicks and Ever Fallen In Love as perfect three minute post-punk pop.

Iggy. From the Stooges through to New Values, because I think he went off the boil after that and never quite got it back. But the rest...ah, the rest. Very hard to hear without wanting to jump around like a loon. Am uncertain what pact Iggy made with the devil that would explain the fact that he is still alive.

Steve Reich. Mentioned up thread, I think. My five year old son loves Different Trains. I find it all hypnotic, compelling, and most people seem to hate it. Takes me to another place, in a way that much music fails to do.

John Tavener. Tinged by his Russian Orthodox beliefs, soaked through with religion, but achingly beautiful minimalist classical music even to this unbeliever.

Red Hot Chili Peppers. I've been listening to By The Way a lot in the last four weeks, and I love it. Gurning loons reveal a desperately sweet side, more songwriting talent than most gave them credit for.

70's New York new wave compilation. Richard Hell, Television, Ramones, Talking Heads et al. Still sounds good now, and shows where bands like the Strokes are coming from.

The Triffids. Lovelorn, romantic, Australian band. David McComb was a hugely underrated songwriter. Bury Me Deep In Love and Blinded By The Light are gorgeous. Save What You Can is one of the saddest songs I have heard. I only found out the other day that McComb had died a couple of years ago. Great shame.
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Des
Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 - 08:09 am:   

Re Steve Reich, I once saw a performance of his Desert Music at the London Proms in the early eighties (?) preceded by a talk by the composer. Unforgettable. I have been bombarding my family with Reich and Philip Glass for about 20 years now! I believe 'Akhnaten' by Glass is one of the greatest operas (alongside Wagner's Parsifal).
Anyone heard Reich's Different Trains (that *is* Reich isn't it?).
Des
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RFW
Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 - 09:23 am:   

Covers. I'll second Sid Vicious "My Way." Also Husker Du doing the Mary Tyler Moore theme song.

Iain: I haven't heard any Triffids in years. I have something on tape somewhere. I'll have to dig it out. I'm with you on Television. Marquee Moon is still an amazing record.

Robert
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 - 09:57 am:   

Covers: The Cure's Purple Haze.

Here's something I listen to with great enjoyment every now and again. It's an album where Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass composed pieces for each other. It's called Passages and it's very cool to hear how they interpreted the other composer's work.

JK
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Peter
Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 - 12:01 pm:   

Lucius: Savage Republic? I thought I was the only person who listened to them... Best damn album jackets of all time, whatever one thinks of their version of neo-primitivism. Interestingly, Ethan Port was in the WTC on 9/11.

Incidentally, for anyone who is into the paisley underground stuff as I am (Rain Parade, Dream Syndicate, Three O'Clock, True West), Green on Red's seminal "Gravity Talks" is now available on CD: dusty, wind-swept psych/grunge w/a groooovy organ underpinning.
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iotar
Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 - 02:02 pm:   

Des: Yup, Different Trains is Reich. Heard it used on an interesting radio play on Radio 3 on a Sunday a few weeks back.

Because we always do - I should of course mention the (whirlwind holocaust) legend that is Napalm Death. Especially the first two albums.

John: I've got Passages - bloody marvellous album!
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RFW
Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 - 03:14 pm:   

I'll have to try out some of the stuff being mentioned. I just can't afford to buy much music so I only want things that I'll be listening to for years. So many things sound good only for a short time, or are over-hyped crap.

Has anyone heard of Bright Eyes? Album called Lifted. It’s a band from Omaha, Nebraska that’s gotten a lot of press. The guy who leads it also has a band called Desaparecidos that’s supposed to be great. I've been wanting to see what they're like.

Things that have held up for me over the years:

Television--Marquee Moon.

Just about any Tom Waits, especially the ones Jason mentioned way up near the top of the list.

Townes Van Zandt--Live at the Old Quarter. He's an incredible songwriter who never sounded good in the studio, but there are various live records that capture him better. This one, just him on acoustic guitar, was recorded in a small club in Houston in the early '70 and has some of his best material and worst jokes.

Minutemen--Double Nickels On The Dime. Mid '80s release by LA punk/indie band. Two record set that distils everything they'd been doing up to that point, short bursts of rhythmic noise and working class politics.

Uncle Tupelo--No Depression. They help start the whole alt-country thing, but they didn't do it on purpose.

Attila the Stockbroker. He’s an unrepentant punk from England, doing a combination of spoken word and what he calls renaissancecore (renaissance music and punk rock--which actually works). I’ve never encountered anyone else who’s even heard of him.

Robert
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Daniel Read
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 12:19 pm:   

Robert, good call on the Minutemen.

Iain, you mentioned some good stuff I missed, particularly The Stooges and The Talking Heads. I hear the reunited Stooges are playing some shows, and might do a tour. I saw Iggy a couple years ago, and he can still rock just fine. I omitted a "funk" section from my long post because it was already too long, but I'm glad you mentioned it. I'm a big P-Funk fan (Maggot Brain, Mothership Connection, Clones of Dr. Funkenstein, The Motor Booty Afair, Ozmium--beautiful), and of course you gotta love James Brown.

Lucius, since you're here, and since we're talking music, I've always wondered if there was any kind of interesting story behind Sonic Youth's use of the drawings from your novel Green Eyes in the liner notes of their album Sister. How did that come about? Did they contact you about it, or just let the record company get permission from the publisher? Also, are you a fan of that record?

Thanks,
Dan
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 12:39 pm:   

Dan, I don't know if it's interesting, but Thurston wrote me a letter when I was in NYC saying, as I recall, something on the order of, "Hey, Lucius... y'know, Green Eyes, uh...I'm not too sure." And then went on to ask if he could use the drawings. We had a brief correspondence. I used to run into the band at this restaurant they frequented -- somewhere downtown, not far from the Nyorican Cafe, where a lot performance art happens. They seemed like interesting people. Yeah, I thought Sisters was great. Liked it better than Daydream Nation.

As to Iggy, the bass player in one of my Ann Arbor bands was a guy named Richard Spang, who went to school with Iggy, and Iggy used to come over to our practice room sometimes and nod out. Never said much. Richard's other claim to fame was that his sister Laurette played Cassiopeia on Battletstar Galactica. When she was in Michigan she used to go to all our gigs.

Peter: Thanks for the Ethan Port link. I don't know too many people who like Savage Republic, but they do it for me, especially Jamahiriya and Ceremonial.
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paulw
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 01:19 pm:   

I'll say it again, Lucius: "You are a god among insects!"
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RFW
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 01:32 pm:   

I listened to some Savage Republic in college, but haven't heard anything about them in a long time. I'll add it to the list.

Daydream Nation is my favorite Sonic Youth. Not sure if I've ever heard Sister. Had no idea they used stuff from Green Eyes...

Robert
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 01:36 pm:   

Paul, which statement of mine inspires this comment? That I knew the Socialator or met Iggy and Thurston? Me, I was much more impressed by Laurette.
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paulw
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 03:06 pm:   

Iggy and Thurston. Especially Iggy. What can I say? I still play the hell out of The Idiot, Lust for Life, and Raw Power.

By the way, I realized belatedly that my comment could have been interpreted as suggesting that you were some kind of insect god. That was not my intention. Just to set the record straight, as far as I know, this is not the case.
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JeffV
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 03:29 pm:   

Re Bright Eyes--I've heard their stuff. I liked it, but it wasn't until I saw them in concert that I thought they were great. They were pretty amazing--the material came alive.

JeffV
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stuart pope
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 03:50 pm:   

Lucius, Iotar & Pete - If ever there was a harmonic convergence of the music you've been referencing of late, it was Terrastock 5 in Boston this past October. Ghost, Acid Temple Mothers, Damon & Naomi, Bevis Frond, Sonic Youth and more (including the amazing Norwegian combo, Motorpsycho) - all under one giant mushroom cap of a club (The Axis, appropriately) jamming away in an atmosphere awash in love, peace and poetry.

And speaking of which, the Love, Peace and Poetry CD series is a great place to start for South American and Asian psychedelia. Anyway, if you haven't attended before, the Terrastock experience is unique in its musical and social appeal and is held, roughly, every year and a half or so. I've been to 2, 3, 4, and 5, in San Francisco, London, Seattle and Boston, respectively. Always something special.

Currently spinning on my CD player is the glorious re-issue of the eponymous '60s psych classic by Kak and the almost mainstream yet still lysergically wonderful "Behind the Music" by Sweden's finest, The Soundtrack of Our Lives. I saw them play live in an unannounced show at the Viper Room here in L.A. three weeks ago and my mind is still blown. Highly recommended.
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Peter
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 05:23 pm:   

I'll have to second Stu's vote on Soundtrack of Our Lives. A seamless blend of punk, hardrock and psych, extra chunky and with no MSG.

And yeah Lucius, Savage Republic's Jamahiriya is terrific. And I'd seen those figures on SY's Sister, but never made the connection w/Green Eyes! I'd have to say that Daydream Nation is far-and-away my favorite of SY's output; probably the only "noise-rock" album I can listen to multiple times serially in complete absorption. For me, DN defines, then occupies, a time-space continuum uniquely its own.

And an interesting bit of trivia regarding Steve Reich: he's Jonathan Carroll's (half-) brother.
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Matthew Martens
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 06:27 pm:   

Wow, that *is* an interesting piece of trivia. the reich/carroll connection, that is. a nifty thing to know.

As for SY, I agree that DN is the peak of their output, though Sister comes awfully close, and Evol just behind that. They were on a hell of a roll with those three records, released between 1986 and '88. I remember reading a piece about Voivod in Spin in 1989 suggesting that their 'Nothingface' album was, next to SY's DN, the quintessential musical analog to cyberpunk fiction. I was just starting to read Gibson and Sterling at about that time, and I listened to both Voivod and SY with that idea in mind. It seemed to fit, however superficially. As did films like Cronenberg's Scanners and Videodrome, with which I was somewhat obsessed at the time. Ah, to be 18 again.

Re: Bright Eyes. Another "band" (or project or whatever) in a similar vein, but I think even better, is Badly Drawn Boy. Have they been mentioned? My fave indie-pop band of late, or perhaps second to Belle & Sebastian.
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JeffV
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 06:40 pm:   

Anyone like Scott Walker's Tilt CD? One of the oddest, most haunting things I've ever listened to.

Re Badly Drawn Boy--I don't see the parallel to Bright Eyes. BE's ragged indie angst with some nice melodies lumped in. Badly Drawn is pure pop pleasure.

jEff
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 08:04 pm:   

Paul -- Insect god is good. Yeah, I still play Lust for Life some. I also have fondness for the songs TV Eye and 1969, because I saw Iggy perform them at the old Eastown theater in Detroit and enact some profound weirdness.

Peter, I just like the songs on Sister. I don't know. It's a close call for me.

Stu, I'm gonna be looking out for Terrastock. Sounds awesome. I've only heard a couple of tracks from Soundtrack and they were a little poppy for my tastes; but maybe that was just the cuts I happened to hear.

Robert, I really like Desaparecidos. The lyrics are a little politically simplistic, but they're rockier than Bright Eyes, and I approve of that.
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Matthew Martens
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 07:07 am:   

Well, Badly Drawn Boy are a more straightforward pop experience now than they used to be, you're right. the first album and early singles are pretty ragged, and fuck around with sound and structure in ways that made me think of early '90s Inland Empire bands like Goosewind or even the first Smog album. Crucial difference being the gorgeous melodies. I guess the connection with Bright Eyes is the combination of a certain kind of indie preciousness and prettiness with DIY experimentalism. But Bright Eyes, too, has become more elaborate and polished in terms of arrangement and production in recent work. There, too, I prefer the early material.

Again, in a ballpark not too far away, how about The Microphones? The Glow Pt.II is a masterpiece of delicate, shimmering indie-pop that is also pretty friggin out there at times -- undermining luscious melodies with noise and soundplay, locking into minimalist grooves, dissolving into ambient drift. Which puts me in mind of Hood, come to think of it ...
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RFW
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 07:33 am:   

Total Sound Group Direct Action Committee--The Party Platform...Our Schedule is Change! Soulful organ and bluesy distortion. Raw stuff. It's the latest project from Tim Kerr, guitarist for long-gone punk-funk group the Big Boys. Somewhat similar to his Lord High Fixtures (and with the same vocalist), but not quite as noisy (though still plenty noisy).

I also recently bought a couple of cds of things I had on lp.

Gang of Four--Entertainment, which I bought when it came out in the U.S. in the summer of 1980. It's only available on cd here as a British import. I've listened to it a lot over the years, and it still holds up. The cd includes the songs from an ep that came out between Entertainment and their second album.

Meat Puppets II, reissued with bonus material. Would have been better without the bonus material, which is pretty weak. And overall, it doesn't hold up for me. Liked it a lot back when it came out, but not so much now.

Robert
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Peter
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 08:07 am:   

Does anyone have some good starting recommendations for Bright Eyes/Desaparecidos albums?

Jeff: just listened to Loud Family's 'Blackness, Blackness' again, and yeah, that is a wonderful bit of songcraft. And as much as I like Loud Family --particularly "Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things"-- I prefer Scott Miller's Game Theory output. "Lolita Nation" esp. is a landmark album, but sadly long OOP. His attempt to impose a kind of nonlinear joycean structure on it is apparent, but doesn't detract from the music an iota.

And Matthew: I'd heard that Daydream Nation/cyberpunk analogy also, and I completely agree with it. Of course "The Sprawl" is an obvious prompt for this kind of comparison, but it fits.
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Iain Rowan
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 08:23 am:   

Robert - I haven't thought about Attila the Stockbroker in years. For some reason, when I was about 16, everyone I knew had a dodgy tape copy of his first album, Ranting At The Nation (More Poems About Flat Fish and Russians) and knew most of it off by heart.

And jumping on this train of thought without buying a ticket, thinking of Attila makes me think of an album that introduced me to a lot of stuff I liked, all of which reminds me of being 17-19. Pillows And Prayers was a sampler for Cherry Red records, and as well as an Attila track, it had songs by the very good, if very odd, Monochrome Set, the gorgeous Plain Sailing by Tracey Thorn (later of Everything But The Girl), Felt, Eyeless in Gaza, and um, Quentin Crisp.

If I hear any of these records now, I am instantly transported back in time, Proust style, only with more guitars and fewer biscuits.

To add to the original list, now that I have thought about it some more: Nick Drake. Not the best thing if you are feeling low, it has to be said, and listening to the records in sequence I think you can really hear the man falling apart. Black Dog is simply the most chilling of songs.
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Claude Lalumière
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 01:15 pm:   

Jeff et al.
I need music to get me writing. Less important once I'm really in the groove of a particular piece of writing, but it's essential to get me going. And earphones won't do, too physically distracting.
I bring that up because my companion needs absolute silence to write -- our different needs in that respect are a bit of a problem. But we manage. I wish she could at least tolerate music with no vocals... but, alas, no.
My tastes range widely, but I'd like to address some of the musicians that have popped up so far.
XTC: love their early stuff. Everything up to and including "Dear God" is fabulous. But the rest of SKYLARKING bored me to death, ditto everything else they've produced since. It ain't rock & roll anymore -- not enough anger, not enough sex.
Tom Waits: Yup, he's just amazing. Love BONE MACHINE most of all. "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" is one of my anthems.
Led Zeppelin: I run hot and cold. Like the early bluesy stuff most of all. Hate -- absolutely hate -- "Stairway to Heaven".
Miles Davis: no suprises here. KIND OF BLUE is sublimely beautiful and moving; it paved the way for the even more sublime and work John Coltrane would do in its wake. I fail to connect with BITCHES BREW -- seems endlessly dull to me. I do like his final live album, LIVEA AROUND THE WORLD quite a bit though.
"classical": not much into the old standards. Some Bach is okay (if unexciting), but Mozart, Beethoven et al. just bore me. I like the early 20th-century composers, Stravinsky, Bartok, Debussy --- they're both wilder and subtler.
Gillian Welch: HELL AMONG THE YEARLINGS is a nihilistic gem: stark and unforgiving. Her follow-up, TIME (THE REVELATOR) was too fluffy, though.
Naked City: I've got the the TORTURE GARDEN/LENG TCH'E double set; I especially love TORTURE GARDEN's dense and condensed sonic assaults, both violent and funny.
King Crimson: aside from the three quartet albums from the 1980s (DISCIPLINE, etc.) I find their studio albums rather lifeless. However, their live albums just explode with energy. That goes to include the Sylvian/Fripp albums (which Fripp wanted to consider an incarnation of King Crimson, but Sylvian refused) -- the studio album just sits there, and yet on the live album DAMAGE (and on the bootleg A NEW DREAM) the music comes alive.
Glass/Shankar -- PASSAGES: a pleasantly unusual fusion. It doesn't set off fireworks, but it's interesting nonetheless.
Iggy Pop & The Stooges: Iggy is god. RAW POWER is the greatest fucking rock & roll album of all time. "Search and Destroy" is the greatest rock & roll song of all time. RAW POWER is exactly what the title announces, and I love every savage moment of it.
Okay --- That was long. That's my round-up of reactions. Coming soon: other favourites not mentioned (or barely mentioned) on this thread yet. And maybe something about why I hate Sgt. Pepper's.
Claude
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Luke Brown
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 11:07 pm:   

Re Scott Walker: I love this guy! I've not listened to Tilt, but I've heard others say good things about it. Scott Walker Sings Jaques Brel was instrumental in getting me to sit down and actually write my honours dissertation last year. Brel was a Belgian singer/songwriter after Walker's own heart who also told psychologically incisive stories of unremarkable lives. I love the way Walker is interested in blending romanticism with the mundane. To me, his songs are soundtracks to minature black comedies.
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Claude Lalumière
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 07:22 am:   

Just as I'm wary of genre labels in fiction, so I tend to find genrification is detrimental to music. When Jeff VanderMeer says that he "doesn't like jazz" (I think in the "Miles" thread that spun off from this one over on Lucius's board), I find that he's making the same kind of broad and unfair generalization that people do when they say "I hate that sci-fi stuff".
So with that intro about the dangers of genrification, here's the jazz that I like most (well, today at least), in alphabetical order:
ARABIAN WALTZ by Rabih Abou-Khalil
The best of the oud player's crossgenre explorations; his own arabian jazz trio teaming up wiht the Balanescu String Quartet
THE ITALIAN SESSIONS by Chet Baker
I don't like Baker's singing, but I love his trumpet playing, so I'm always happy to come across an instrumental album by him. And this one is sublime. Includes a heartbreaking rendition of "Somewhere over the Rainbow"
ORNETTE COLEMAN
in the mid 1980s I attended a concert by Ornette Coleman and his band Prime Time. It was probably the most intense musical experience of my life.
None of the studio albums come even close to capturing the uninhibited intensity of that live concert
JOHN COLTRANE
...is my favourite musician. The later Atlantic years, most of the Impulse! material, and most of all the sublimely intense live albums reach deep into my gut; harsh and painful beauty
THE ILLINOIS CONCERT by Eric Dolphy
In this amazing live set, Dolphy attains heights of intensity worthy of John Coltrane
KIND OF BLUE by Miles Davis
both John Coltrane and Bill Evans are part of the ensemble that brought to life Davis's most profoundly beautiful set of music
JAN GARBAREK
His later stuff has devolved into sappy new-age melodious pap. Nevetheless, his early albums displayed a stark melancholy accentuated by bursts of manic energy and stridently mournful dissonances. For a good sampling of his early work, see the compilation WORKS
KRONOS QUARTET
I love how this string quartet fucks with people's expectations of genre in music. They've recorded two superb jazz albums: THE MUSIC OF BILL EVANS and MONK SUITE -- both of which cut to the heart of these respective pianists' oeuvre, diluting the essence of what made them so radically interesting in a way none of their own recordings ever captured so well
THE LOUNGE LIZARDS
John Lurie's postmodern, ultracool, radically sublime foray into jazz. I love this band.
MASADA
What if Ornette Coleman had been Jewish? John Zorn (sax & composer) -- along with cohorts Dave Douglas (trumpet), Greg Cohen (bass), and Joey Baron (drums) -- play radical klezmer while playing and sounding like Coleman's original quartet. Savage, funny, transcendant. Many, many studio and live albums, all great. There are also Masada offshoots into chamber music and other genres that are quite good but not as robust as the jazz quartet.
UNCOMMON RITUAL by Edgar Meyer
Bass player Meyer is joined by Béla Fleck and Mike Marshall in the most energetic and robust of his genrebending experiments. This album is a string-lover's delight --- classical, jazz, and bluegrass all combine to incredibly passionate effect. His other such albums (often with Yoyo Ma) don't measure up.
Oranj Symphonette PLAYS MANCINI
The debut album by this quartet contains the best interpretation of Mancini's music ever
BETWEEN HEAVEN & EARTH, by Andy Statman
Transcendantly beautiful. What if John Coltrane had been Jewish? Statman is an amazing clarinetist
SOLSTICE, by Ralph Towner
The best "solo" album by the guitarist from Oregon. Filled with passionately lyrical flights of fancy and robust rhythms. With Jan Garbarek on sax, Ebeerhard Weber on bass & cello, and Jon Christensen on drums. Towner got the same band together again on SOLSTICE: SOUND AND SHADOWS, but they failed to recapture the magic
COLLIN WALCOTT
...died tragically in a car accident in Germany in 1984. Oregon's sitarist and tabla player. His solo albums -- fusions or indian music, jazz, and sometimes other sources -- are eerily moving. I especially love CLOUD DANCE
SPY vs SPY by John Zorn
Hardcore -- i.e., superfast and superloud -- reinterpretations of Ornette Coleman classics: e.g., 10-minute tunes are condensed into 90 seconds of maniacial frenzy. One of my all-time favourite albums. Raw, violent, primal.

that's it for jazz -- more later!

ps to Luke: I also love Jacques Brel. I've got the 10-CD box set of the complete Brel.
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JeffV
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 07:33 am:   

LOL! I don't like jazz. I've listened to about 20 different jazz musicians and hated every one of them. But Dan Read is going to try to convert me.

I also don't think that someone who says they don't like SF and Fantasy is necessarily displaying a prejudice. They may genuinely not like all non-realistic fiction.

Nice list, though.

JeffV
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Claude Lalumière
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 07:38 am:   

Jeff V--
What I mean mostly is that so many different kinds of music are labelled jazz -- many of which I'm not fond of -- that "I don't like jazz" seems to me to be an almost meaningless statement.
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JeffV
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 08:25 am:   

It's not meaningless to me! LOL!

JeffV
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GabrielM
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 09:15 am:   

"JOHN COLTRANE...is my favourite musician."

And mine! I just recently picked up the new anniversary rerelease of A LOVE SUPREME, which comes with a live version of the piece played at Antibes. Wonderful stuff. I actually already had a bootleg of the Antibes concert, but the new version apparently comes with a newly found section, although I haven't really figured out which it is.

I like Statman as well. Unfortunate he's not better known. He plays around New York a good deal, I try to catch him from time to time.

UNCOMMON RITUAL is a great album. Meyer blows me away, both as a musician as well as a composer. I try to buy anything of his I can get my hands on. I've been listening to the violin concerto he wrote for Hilary Hahn lately. And to his transposition of the Bach cello suites for double bass, which is sublime.
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Claude Lalumière
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 09:39 am:   

Gabriel--
My absolute favourite album of all time is the box set of Coltrane's Complete 1961 Live at the Village Vanguard.
My favourite studio albums of his are THE COMPLETE AFRICA/BRASS SESSIONS and the posthumously released STELLAR REGIONS.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 09:56 am:   

I've seen Ornete live on several occasions, the first time at a small club in Detroit during the early seventies, playing with Dewey Redman, Ed Blackwell, and Charlie Haden, and I'll second Claude's remark that live Ornette is super intense. Part of that concert, he played electric violin, and it was not a novelty thing -- it was flat out amazing. Like a violin storm.

On the subject of favorite musicians, I love Colttane, Coleman, Davis, Dolphy, Mingus, Pharoah Sanders, Albert Ayler, Captain Beefheart, Babba Maal, and etc. But my absolute two favorite musicians are Don Cherry and Egberto Gismonti.

Cherry, who was Coleman's trumpet player for years, was THE pioneer figure in the development of what's now called World Music. He played all over the world with indigent musicians and incorporated Japanese, Turkish, African, and other musics into his work. His albums in the 70s, starting wih the incredible Eternal Rhythm, are landmarks. It astonishes me he's not more appreciated and that so much of his music remains OP. Some of his small groupls, like Codona with Colin Walcott, made truly beautuful music.

Gismonti is a Brazillian guitarist (also pianist) who plays ten string guitars he builds himself and manages at times to sound like a guitar ensemble. In recent years he's turned to orchestral work that I don't care for as much, but his early albums, Danca do Cabecas, Sol de meia Dia, Solo, Sanfona, and so on, are abolutely mind-blowing. He's always been best, in my view, in a small group. His duet albums with percussionist Nana Vasconcellos are brilliant, as is his duet with Charlie Haden live from the Montreal Jazz Festival.

Claude mentions he doesn't like Sargeant Pepper and say's he'll explain why he didn't
like it. My reason is simple -- my parents loved it and I wasn't about to embrace anything my mom and dad started tapping their feet to.
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Liz Williams
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 10:17 am:   

Attila the Stockbroker is living in my neck of the woods and AFAIK is running a small local arts centre which has a beer festival every year. Still doing lots of weird shit, apparently.
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Claude Lalumière
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 10:27 am:   

I'll second Lucius's admiration of Don Cherry. I especially enjoy the Codona albums and THE SONET RECORDINGS.
And, yes, a "storm" is an accurate description of my experience hearing Ornette play live. The music hit me like raging winds.
Sgt. Pepper's:
To me it is emblematic of what went wrong with rock music. All that endless studio trickery and tweaking. Just go in the fucking studio and play the goddamn song. Play it a few times. Release the best track. No everdubs. No crap. Just music. Musicians playing together and off each other.
Overproduction leads to this impression that there's this platonic ideal of any given song instead of thinking of recorded music a captured moment or performance.
That said, I realize that good music is being made in this post-Sgt Pepper mode. And I even like a lot of it. But there's a persistent voice inside me that keeps whispering "but it could be so much better if..."
And that is partly responsible for my strong preference for concert albums. Later, I might list my favourite concert albums -- regardless of genre.
For me studio albums are too often a pale shadow of the real thing.
I don't go to concerts as much as I used to, alas. For one thing, many of the acts I want to see play in smoking venues, and my tolerance for cigarette smoke is lower than ever; for another, prices have gone completely insane in the last decade or so.
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paulw
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 03:46 pm:   

Now that smoking is illegal everywhere in NY, which even I, a non-smoker, feel is pretty stupid, I can at least attend concerts again without suffering through tobacco poisoning the next day.
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JeffV
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 04:58 pm:   

Anyone heard the soundtrack to the original (English) movie Get Carter? I hear it's great. The movie, of course, is brilliant.

Actually, I'm gonna move this question to a separate thread for movie music--this thread is long as it is.

JeffV.
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DeSelby
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 09:43 am:   

My favorite recent album is Departure Lounge's Too Late to Die Young. First saw them open and support RHitchcock. Great, great album that feels like an album not just a collection of singles (a pet peeve). Actually two others who have opened for Robyn that I continue to like a lot are Jill Sobule and Kelley Hogan. Beck's Mutations, the Go-Betweens (newly reissued!), Can, Super Furry Animals, Peter Blegvad, Richard Thompson, Waits, the criminally underappreciated early Kinks albums (Face to Face, Arthur, TVGPS, etc.). Masada & Dave Douglas, Yo La Tengo, Arto Lindsay. There is a ton of good stuff out there now (like Eleni Mandell) although it's almost impossible to find out about it.

Best Concert Album Vote : Too Late To Stop Now by Van Morrison. Hands down, im my opinion.
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DeSelby
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 10:12 am:   

Sorry to interject myself into the conversation and fail miserably to answer the question WHY. I was looking for an overlying theme to my selections but I don't know that I can find one. Certainly many of them are very unique and that's a big part of it. There's only one Hitchcock or Blegvad or Waits. They're the antidote to the karoke American Idol. As singers they pay attention to the words instead of stuffing as many trills into a phrase as possible. As one interview described Waits, "Whitney Houston may have the better pipes, but he's the better singer". Now that I think about it, those three are three of the most 'literary' musicians I can think of (although RH is more visual) and you can add Ray Davies to that. Waits used to pretty much write short stories and sing them on his earlier albums. The Go-Between are unpredictable. Rarely can you imagine what the next line will be and there are little hiccups in the tempo and add chords.The Super Furry Animals? Well, if you can get Paul McCartney to munch celery on one of your songs, that pretty much proves your greatness as far as I'm concerned. Richard Thompson is the soundtrack to the London 'underground' and one of the very few guitarists worth listening to (especially when he played with David Thomas of Pere Ubu). Can I add Vic Chesnutt:

And so all you observers, in your scrutiny
Don't count my scars like tree rings
My jisaw disposition, it's piecemeal properties
are either smoked or honey cured
By the panic pure.
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j:osh
Posted on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 11:36 am:   

if you listen to only a few bands before you die, these should be among them . . .

dredg - leitmotif & el cielo are both brilliant concept albums full of musical experiments that actually work. a rock band that utilizes a steel guitar and a vocalist who can sing through a trumpet. i've seen this band multiple times and their show is consistently improving . . . they will never stop . . .

sigur ros - saw this band mentioned above, great music to write to. absolutely the best live show i've ever witnessed, this band taps into some otherworldly level of emotion that fills the room . . . i was speechless . . .

woven - this is the only electronic/organic band i've ever heard that blends the two seamlessly. they don't use any loops or sequences, instead they have two drummers on electronic kits. when i saw this band, they improvised a song during their sound check that was incredible.

other bands that are freaky-good: godspeed you black emperor, radiohead (of course), tool (of course), the post, voyager one, the mars volta (i haven't been able to keep this one out of my cd player since i bought it), far, failure, year of the rabbit (ken andrews from failure's new band - excellent), unkle, tweaker, prick, meg lee chin . . . that's all i have for now . . .
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 03:50 pm:   

J:osh - Dredg is very cool, one of the better bands I've found this year. Check out the "Very" thread for more comments on Dredg and Mars Volta.

For electronic/organic music, the band that really got me interested in electronics is the Tea Party. Transmission was the first industrial album I heard that was truly organic (the loops were either self made, or taken from Middle Eastern folk music). If you like Dredg, there's a good chance you'd like them.

I've been obsessed with Talk Talk recently. Not their early new-wave stuff, but their last 2 albums, Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock. Both are excellent examples of mellow experimental rock, and it strikes me they could be a big influence on Sigur Ros. I think these two discs may be the best CDs I've picked up this year.

My other main listening lately is Ulver's new EP, A Quick Fix of Melancholy. Gone are most of the electronic beats, I can't describe it better than their press release "Chamber music for the fucked and locked-up."
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 07:50 am:   

Check out this article:

http://news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,7231642%255E13762,00.html

Fungal growths affecting how CDs play.
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j:osh
Posted on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 12:36 pm:   

speaking of talk talk, the guy from that band (whose name escapes me) and beth gibbons from portishead are doing three shows in october. two in new york and one in denver. i have my denver tickets on the way, should be a great show . . .

i also forgot to mention elbow . . . i have been obsessing over this band quite a bit lately. they sound like what i think coldplay would sound like if they truly cared about their music. they have that down-tempo brit rock atmosphere, but the lyrics are far more sincere, sometimes creepy. the music is nicely explorative and they generate some incredible feelings throughout the cd (asleep in the back).
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Saturday, September 13, 2003 - 04:32 am:   

Are you thinking of O Rang? It's made of of former Talk Talk members, and I believe Beth Gibbons sang on their album (which I still need to get).

Elbow is very good. I'm annoyed that their new CD seems like it will be delayed by a few months in the US.
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Mike S.
Posted on Saturday, September 13, 2003 - 12:39 pm:   

You know who I like? Phantom Planet. They're becoming pretty popular these days, but they deserve it. Really poppy stuff; sounds like if Ben Folds was from Britain and added a few guitars to the BFF. Or, from a different perspective, Teenage Fanclub if they were from California.

Mike, master of the useless comparisons
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j:osh
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 11:17 am:   

back to beth gibbons & talk talk . . . nope, not o rang, but beth gibbons & rustin' mann (pseudonym of guy who's name still escapes me . . .). they made a record together last year (i think) called "out of season" and it's just now being released in the us.

i may be wrong about the address, but i think it's http://www.bethgibbons.com
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 12:03 pm:   

OK. I did a bit of digging and found that Rustin' Mann is Paul Webb. Too badd this tour isn't coming near me.
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Forrest
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 12:22 pm:   

Claude said: "KRONOS QUARTET
I love how this string quartet fucks with people's expectations of genre in music. They've recorded two superb jazz albums: THE MUSIC OF BILL EVANS and MONK SUITE -- both of which cut to the heart of these respective pianists' oeuvre, diluting the essence of what made them so radically interesting in a way none of their own recordings ever captured so well"

Not to mention their rendition of "Purple Haze" - incredible!

Forrest
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GabrielM
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 12:51 pm:   

Beth Gibbons -- yes, I have tickets to hear her sing in Brooklyn a week from Saturday!
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 07:25 am:   

Another fungus related music article:

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/09/30/1064819933075.html

A Czech composer claims to hear mushrooms singing. Anybody heard Vaclav Halek's work? I'm interested in checking him out now.
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Claude Lalumière
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 04:28 pm:   

Forrest:
re: Purple Haze / Kronos Quartet
They do indeed perform a mean "Purple Haze".
Did you know there are two versions? There's a heavier (and, to my mind, superior) version on the compilation "Released/Unreleased".
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JV
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 05:29 pm:   

Of course mushrooms sing. They sing especially well in butter, in a frying pan.

Jeff
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 05:25 am:   

I don't think they use mushrooms, but there is an ensemble called the Vienna Vegitable Orchestra. They play exclusively on instruments made out of vegitables. It has an odd techno sound to it.
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Forrest
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 09:22 am:   

Claude:

I haven't heard the "Released/Unreleased" version. I'll have to pick that up at the library and give it a listen. Still, my top three Kronos CDs are:

1: Early Music
2: Salome Dances for Peace
3: Black Angels

Yeah, I'm really into their darker stuff.

Forrest
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Claude Lalumière
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 09:55 am:   

Forrest:
My top 3 Kronos CDs:

1. Early Music (one of my fave CDs ever)
2. The Music of Bill Evans
3. Monk Suite
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des
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 10:18 am:   

The Kronos Quartet playing 'Dracula' film music is one of my favorite pieces of SQ music ever, comparable with Beethoven's Late SQs. Des
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Forrest
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 10:52 am:   

Hmm. I think I'll have to bust out the Early Music CD in a moment. I'm listening to Jean-Luc Ponty right now.

Forrest
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j:osh
Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 10:23 am:   

hey gabrielm, what did you think of the beth gibbons show?
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GabrielM
Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 12:22 pm:   

I thought it was very good. Almost all of her material was taken from the new CD, which I had only bought that day, so I didn't know it that well. But it didn't detract. Her new material has more of a torch song aspect that emphasizes the voice, which was fine by me. The band was very tight, and included Utley (from Portishead) on guitar. She smoked, she sang, she didn't talk very much. My only complaint was that the show was a bit on the short side.
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Neddal Ayad
Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 03:33 pm:   

It looks like I'm coming to this thread a bit late. You all are into some great music. If I had to get into my fav. artists and *why,* I'd be writing all day - and you'd all have to do a whole lot of scrolling, so here's what's on and around my desk:

The Hidden Hand - Divine Propaganda: Those of you into Stoner Rock may be familiar with Wino's (singer/guitar player) previous bands St. Vitus, The Obsessed, and Spirit Caravan. Hidden Hand are similar to late period Obsessed, the punkier stuff. For those of you who've never heard them - How to describe Wino? Roll Lemmy, Ozzy, Tony Iommi, Greg Ginn, and John McLaughlin into one guy and you have Wino. Hidden Hand sound like a band fronted by that composite guy.
/link{http://www.thehiddenhand.com/}

Nina Nastasia - Run To Ruin: Most of the music I like falls into one of two categories,
Loud/Abrasive or Sad/Quiet. Nina Nastasia's music is definitely on the sad/quiet side of things. Some people would call her stuff folk, some would call it alt.county, a few people might make a stretch and call it slowcore. I call it good. This record was produced by Alweenie and Jim White from the Dirty Three plays drums/percussion. If you like Gillian Welch's darker stuff or Neko Case, you'll probably like this.
/link{http://www.southern.com/southern/band/NASTA/}

Mick Harris and Matryn Bates - Murder Ballads 3xcd set: Traditional songs about murder, incest, and other fun stuff reworked into dark ambient soundscapes by Scorn's Mick Harris and Eyeless in Gaza's Martyn Bates. Jeff mentioned Scott Walker's "Tilt." (It blows my mind that a major label released that record.) Harris' backing tracks have a similar vibe to the stuff on that album. Bates voice is amazing - fragile w/out sounding weak.

Robert Belfour - Pushin'My Luck: Great old-school sounding delta blues.
/link{http://www.fatpossum.com}

Mississippi Fred MacDowell - Stakebone Slide Guitar: Just Fred MacDowell and an electric guitar sounding bigger than an orchestra.

The Stooges - Funhouse: On my list of albums everyone should own. Dirty, sleazy, raw - everything rock 'n' roll should be.

Khanate - s/t: Heavy to the point of ridiculousness. They make the Melvins seem like Slayer. A friend saw them live recently and said the drummer would hit the snare once every 30 seconds or so. The singer sounds like the guy from Darkthrone - if the guy from Darkthrone was in the habit of gargling bits of shredded metal.
link/{http://www.southernlord.com}

Thrones - Sperm Whale: Speaking of the Melvins. This is ex-Melvin Joe Preston doing some solo weirdness. The guy is a freak. He tours in a van by himself. His rig consists of a bunch of drums machines, keyboards, big-ass bass cabinets, basses, etc... He loads all that stuff in and out by himself. The music...heavy like a grizzly bear, psychedelic as an octopus, and tough as an armadillo.
link/{http://www.killrockstars.com/bands/factsheets/thrones/}

Federation X - American Folk Horror and X-Patriot
One of the best American bands going. An odd hybrid of the MC5, the Birthday Party, Led Zeppelin, and Shellac.
link/{http://www.geocities.com/federationxonline/indexone.html}

Various Artists - Hand/Eye 2xcd compilation:
Disclosure::: I do press for and my band has a record coming out on the label that released this comp., so feel free to take everything I say about this w/a grain of salt. Wit that out of the way - There's all kinds of weirdness on here. It's a survey of the acid/psychedelic and wyrd folk scene that seems to be getting some attention as of late. There are a lot of bands on here doing a bunch of different things - straight up folk, goth pagan weirdness, full on psychedelia, drones. Some of the contributors: Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO, Pelt, Stone Breath, Fursaxa, Mason Jones, Martyn Bates, and Amps for Christ.
link/{http://www.somedarkholler.com}
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j:osh
Posted on Saturday, October 25, 2003 - 12:31 pm:   

sounds similar to the denver show, i thought it was amazing. i'd had the cd for a couple weeks before the show, so i had a decent grasp on the songs. i never got to see portishead, so this was my 1st time experiencing her voice live . . . incredible. i agree with your comments on the band as well . . . they were great . . .
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - 12:44 pm:   

Nicholas - lately I've been listening to Amore del Tropico by the Black Heart Procession. I really like it, and am curious how their other work compares.


Besides BHP, I've been on a Django Reinhardt kick lately. I really like the way he plays guitar, it's this nice mix of styles (jazz, flamenco and some other stuff I'm not too familiar with). In my spare time, I'm trying to learn some of his songs on guitar (I haven't gotten very far yet).
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - 01:35 pm:   

I actually like the previous CDs by Black Heart Procession better, all three of them. As well as their original incarnation, Three Mile Pilot. All great stuff. And I think some of the Three Mile Pilot went off to form Pinback, another great band.

Jeff
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - 02:10 pm:   

Two bands I've been digging recently:

The Kings of Leon - This is what would happen if the Strokes were from Alabama and grew up listening to Skynyrd. Straight-ahead, free-spirited garage rock, with no self-consciousness and no pretensiousness; very rare these days.

HIM - Moody, melodramatic European goth band. Their single "Join Me in Death", one of the catchiest suicide songs I've ever heard, is just starting to climb the charts in the U.S. Their album RAZORBLADE ROMANCE has a great cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game."
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Neddal
Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - 02:57 pm:   

Robert, Jeff...
The BHP/3MP thing just clicked. There is a pile of band-authorized BHP/3MP stuff here:
http://www.mp3it.com/browse.php

-N
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 07:00 am:   

Hmm, after listening to those mp3s, I think the earlier albums might not be as enjoyable for me. I really liked the lush, romantic feel of Amore, and that seems to be missing on the earlier songs I heard.
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Will
Posted on Friday, February 27, 2004 - 02:31 pm:   

Right now I'm listening to a lot of hip-hop.

I second Dan's recommendation of Kool Keith and the Dr. Octagon project. Bizarre free-associative and really, really dirty (but in a James Joyce kind of way rather than a Howard Stern kind of way)

Deltron 3030 is another rich + layered hip-hop record and it is piled thick with SF references.

Mike Ladd's stuff is all great, I've only heard scattered tracks so I can't point you towards an album.

The cool thing about the underground hip-hop scene is that artists keep creating and destroying musical identities to pursue particular obsessions. It reminds me of the classic jazz era in that sense.

I'm also listening to a lot of indy country and my staple obscure psych records.

If anyone's interested (and has a PC, broadband, and a whole lot of music on your computer). I use a program called foldershare which is an invite only, encrypted file-sharing program. I would love to share my library (30 gigs and growing) with a controlled group of people and sample others (and yes I will eventually buy a CD if I love it). See foldershare.com for details,

Drop me a line if interested

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Chris Dodson
Posted on Friday, February 27, 2004 - 10:08 pm:   

Will, I notice you said you're listening to a lot of indy country. Have you ever heard Sixteen Horsepower? They're sort of a Southern Gothic band, with a lot of moody bluegrass stylings and surreal, doom-laden lyrics filled with Bible quotes, stuff an insane preacher might scream about in a backwoods church on Sunday morning.

Every time I meet an alt-country fan, I try to turn them on to Sixteen Horsepower. Check 'em out if it sounds interesting. I think their best album is THE SECRET SOUTH; best song is "Praying Arm Lane."
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Will
Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2004 - 10:05 am:   

That does sound up my alley. I will check them out

Indy country-wise, I am into everything Neko Case has ever touched, the Drive-by Truckers (almost novelty songs, but too damn good), Kelly Hogan, The Flatlanders...and that's all that's coming to mind at the moment.
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stuff
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 06:32 am:   

Most of what I'd recommend has been mentioned already, so I'll just throw in one particular favourite.

The Butterflies of Love - a band that it took me a while to welcome fully but now have taken up residence in the cosiest corners of my inner being. Drawing comparisons to the Velvet Underground at the their most melodic (sometimes early REM), very East Coast, they happen to possess two of the greatest unheard voices and a bassist who knows his bass more intimately than Don Quixote knew the female anatomy, and with more productive results I've sure.

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Robert Devereux
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 10:59 am:   

I finally picked up the Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man CD. It's good stuff, mostly folk with atmospheric synths. I really like the atmosphere of the music, very melancholy and haunting.

Two other CDs that have me fascinated lately are South - With the Tides which is a nice dream-pop CD, and Orphaned Land - Mabool. Their an Israeli metal band who at times almost sound like a metal version of Dead Can Dance. It's very Eastern influenced metal. I always love Middle Eastern influences in rock music, and OL do a nice job of this.
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bryan scott cederberg
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:36 pm:   

the best stuff i've bought recently...

stone breath 'the silver skein unwound'
folk music. pure moss on the bones of our ancestors.

animal collective 'sung tongs'
pychedelic pop folk. the forest has a sun tan.

peter grudzien 'the unicorn'
mystical country music. mythic and gay.

damien youth 'strangers'
overlooked singer songwriter from hammond, la. this guy is making classic music today.

keith hudson 'playing it cool and playing it right'
a dub sly stoned out of his mind. loopy guitar.

joanna newsom 'the milk-eyed mender'
a girl and her harp. a talking children's book.

exuma 'exuma'
this man has magic. he talks to spirits.

devendra banhart 'rejoicing in the hands'
amazing folk record. heady playful lyrics.

aesop rock 'bazooka tooth'
layer after layer of cerebral hip hop. great production.

of montreal 'satanic panic in the attic'
a great cartoon of a record. smooth production.

iron and wine 'the creek drank the cradle'
porch sip. rocking chair wine.
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j:smith
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 02:39 am:   

though i don't generally like much hip-hop, i must say that aesop rock is pretty decent.

robert, i'm glad you finally picked up the beth gibbons & rustin' man . . . great stuff.

lately i've been getting into the new tweaker cd, which is essentially chris vrenna (ex-nin) and random guests including will oldham, david sylvian & robert smith among others . . .

aereogramme: incredible genre-hopping music that fits somewhere in the middle of radiohead, a perfect circle, sigur ros, godspeed you black emperor & mogwai . . . i think . . . i don't know, they do it all & they do it well . . .

oceansize: new british rock band with a ton of potential. heavier than a lot of stuff i've been listening to, but not really metal . . .

seeded skies: unsigned instrumental band from somewhere on the west coast. extremely talented, not afraid to meander into uncharted atmospheres . . . they have songs available for download at their site - seededskies.com i believe. they still sound very much like a band that has not yet blossomed, but there is something there to keep an eye on . . .

other than that, i still haven't bought the new elbow, pj harvey or unkle cd's yet, but those will be my next targets . . .
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bryan scott cederberg
Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 06:46 pm:   

if you really want to pick up a mind blowing cd, get 'blueberry boat' by the fiery furnaces.
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Jeffrey Thomas
Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 09:03 pm:   

JV said: "And the whole Aion CD by Dead Can Dance. I wrote "The Cage" to that--and much else. Whenever I just am too tired or uninspired with the writing, I put this CD in and no matter what I start to write."

Ahh - I've written to that CD many times, myself -- one of my favorites! Two strange CDs I've been writing to, for the past year or so, are Lustmord's METAVOID (Michael Cisco introduced me to Lustmord) and, of all things, the soundtrack CD that comes with the videogame SILENT HILL 3 (music by Akira Yamaoka). Lately I've been listening to Yo-Yo Ma's very melancholy music for CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. And the ERASERHEAD soundtrack with its "Dance Mix". Also, I love Seal's voice, so I've been listening to his latest CD, SEAL IV. His "Prayer for the Dying" (2nd album?) is among my favorites songs...

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stuff
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 02:05 am:   

The cd I've been finding it hard to take out of my stereo for the last few months has been:

The New Pornographers - The Electric Version
Very simply put, every song on the cd is a straight up poptastic classic. A supergroup collaboration led by A C Newman (whose new solo cd "The Slow Wonder" is next on my shopping list).
These are songs. SONGS, if you know what I mean.
These guys take a melody to bed and show it a real good time.

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stuff
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 02:15 am:   

I should say, download a couple of tracks from matadorrecords.com to hear the above. Very much worthwhile.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 08:34 am:   

Any message board that can namecheck Martyn Bates and Lustmord needs little input from me!

If you guys dig Bates, I would just recommend every second of recorded music ever laid down by Eyeless in Gaza. Amazing stuff.

Also, if you're in the market for good ecstatic instrumental music, try Austin, TX's Explosions in the Sky. Fantastic.
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N/A
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 03:47 pm:   

This may be of interest to the Lustmord fans...
Lustmord + Melvins = ??
http://tinyurl.com/42u3p
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neil a
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 08:10 am:   

That wasn't me, but I kind of dig the Melvins.
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bryan
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 09:09 am:   

lots of good music recommendations of this thread:

http://www.nightshadebooks.com/discus/messages/29/2777.html?1090460944
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 07:01 pm:   

Lately, I've been listening to a lot of Elliott Smith's work. I love his mix of melacholy folk with beautifully orchestrated pop. I consider XO and Figure 8 to be pop masterpieces. I'm still getting familiar with his posthalmus release.

I've probably played his stuff more than anybody else this year.


One of the bands I recently discovered is Hope of the States. Imagine cutting a Godspeed You Black Emperor song into 5 minute segments, then changing them into more traditional rock songs, complete with vocals. The result might be something like these guys. They have some of the same style of orchestration and dymanics.
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JV
Posted on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 06:40 am:   

I might add that whoever recommended Augie March--thanks. I originally didn't like the CD much when I picked it up, and sold it back in. But on a whim, I bought a used copy last week and, now, having in the meantime, listened to a lot of very different stuff, really, really like it.

JeffV
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al duncan
Posted on Saturday, October 30, 2004 - 10:01 am:   

You mentioned Nick Cave up on your first post, Jeff. Have you picked up the latest (double) album, Abbatoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus? Absolutely tremendous. I wasn't terribly hot on Nocturama after the wonderful No More Shall We Part, but this is right up there with the best of his stuff, I reckon. I highly recommend it.
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JV
Posted on Saturday, October 30, 2004 - 10:45 am:   

Al:

Yeah--I love the latest one! Nocturama sucked compared to No More Shall We. But the new one is excellent.

JeffV
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Saturday, October 30, 2004 - 08:59 pm:   

Cave's always been one of those people I was familiar with, but never felt I needed to buy. I changed my mind after hearing a track from Abattoir Blues, and bought it as soon as I could. I'll have to pay more attention to his other stuff at some point.
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Luís
Posted on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 02:07 am:   

I agree with you people, Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus is stone cold brilliant.
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JV
Posted on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 08:04 am:   

I'm giving Nick Cave a general thread on my board--see the main threads--and moving the discussion there.

Cave's one of my favorites of all time, and it's a suitable excuse for discussion that it's halloween.

JeffV
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, November 01, 2004 - 06:55 am:   

Hey guys, you might be interested in the new album comming out by A Perfect Circle. It has some covers of some classic protest songs. Anyway you should check out the video of Imagine, a cover of John Lennons' classic song. Go to www.aperfectcircle.com, and go to the music section and pick watch. I think this video is very powerful; a more modern feel. There is also an interview with Maynard about the video.
Let me know what you think of this video.
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Rill Holbrook
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 11:48 pm:   

Jeff V,
Let me introduce myself by first saying "Namaste", it's an Indian term that means when you are at one with the universe and I am at one with the universe; we are one, we are equal.That's the "basic" meaning of the term as short as I can explain it. Anyway,I, Ms. Rill Holbrook would like to ask a favor from you. I'm hoping you can be of assistance to me for a good intention and just out of kindness from one person to another. It's a long story, but I'll try to keep it short. On May 30, 2002 I was in an almost fatal accident. I was bitten 5 times by venemous pit vipers (moccasins) in Louisiana (It happened in May which is the height of the breeding season for mocassins,& when they mate it's one female hosting numerous males, they call it a mating ball (like andacondas)). I was picking wildflowers for my MOM near the bank of a bayou in Louisiana, didn't see the mating ball due to leaves, debris, etc. I was in a desolate location & didn't have a cell phone. I attempted to drive myself to the hospital (which was only 15 minutes away) but was going in & out of consciousness while in route & eventually passed out completely while driving, my vehicle went off the road into a ditch and hit head on with a cement culvert. I was not wearing my seat belt (I normally always wear my seat belt) but was driving an older vehicle that didn't have air bags. Therefore, I aquired Severe Traumatic Injuries from the head on impact with the culvert as well as the Severe Envenomation. I was in a coma & on the ventilator for 2 weeks. (My family was at the hospital 24 hours a day because they were expecting me to die). I received incompetent medical care at the hospital & due to that I am still in treatment ( a series of reconstructive surgeries need to be done). On May 30, 2005 it will be 3 years exactly that I have been undergoing treatment/surgeries for my injuries. Anyway, what I am hoping you will help me with is getting in contact with Mark Knopler (an address to write to him would be great or whatever you can come up with). The reason: I finally found compatent surgeons to help me through this ordeal. And as you know most Physicians have everything they basically want. But while in the operating room before I went under, the radio was on, & I heard Dr. Craig Bradner (one of the operating physicians) say "Let's find something better than that!", so I asked him, since you're getting ready to rebrake my jaw & do major surgery on me, who would you like to be listening to while your operating on me? He stated, Dire Straits. (He's really into music like you and I). And he and another physician that has taken over my case are absolutely wonderful. I wanted to do something special for them due to the fact that no other physicians wanted to take my case due to the severity of the injuries & the difficulty of treating them. (Crazy, Huh?)Well anyway, I'd like to get in to contact somehow with Mark Knopler to request a favor from him. I'd like to get (or purchase if I need to) some C.D.'s from him with his signature on them, you know, To: Dr. Craig Brandner from Mark Knopler. That's the only thing that I could possibly afford and I know that Dr. Brandner would absolutely "wig out" if I could do this for him to show my gratitude because he's done and continues to do so much for me. Do you think this is possible? Any help that you can assist me in getting this done would be so ever grateful, & I would be so humbled by your help. My next operation will be coming up in April of 2005, & I would love to bring a signed copy of a Mark Knopler CD to him in the operating room while he's performing surgery on me. Please let me know what we can do to get this initiated. Even if you can't help, please let me know! Just you taking the time to read this message is a gratitude in itself. Namaste, Rill
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JV
Posted on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 05:56 am:   

Rill:

Sorry to hear about this situation. Unfortunately, I don't know Mark Knopler or how to get in touch with him. Try http://www.google.com. Perhaps you'll find an email address of his management.

Best,

JeffV
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A well-wisher
Posted on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 01:32 pm:   

Rill: his name is actually Mark KNOPFLER - this may help you with your search.

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