That sequence from Paul Gilbert to Kaki King to Genesis was highly motivational. I was a little perturbed when I had to stop at a red light during the most dramatic part of Woke Up, but those are the breaks of running on public roads. This wasn’t shuffle, but something I threw together quickly a few hours before the run. In fact, I had forgotten what I selected, so that only added to the delight. I don’t know if I’ll use this again for running, but I’ll probably just listen it again on some other occasion because it all killer, no filler.
The idea is to take no more than 1/2 hour of your time and present you with four or five songs that have been on my mind, for whatever reason. With the blog entry, I will tell you what I was thinking in presenting these songs in this order. As always, you are free to comment and discuss. In addition, I ask that you contact me privately if you would like information on how to obtain any of these selections or the albums from which they are drawn.
Tangerine Dream – Bondy Parade (5:20) from the Tangerine Tree bootleg series (#37). This recording is from a live performance in Sydney in 1982. Despite Tangerine Dream’s reputation as being “new age” or “head music” (what is that?), I find this excerpt to be a funky little groove. The guitar solo is a bit tentative, but this gives an excellent flavor of how the band had shifted from improvisational to a more song-oriented approach.
SBB – Walkin’ Round The Autumn Town (4:00) from Live in Koln 1979. This is a great instrumental intro that shows how SBB, usually considered more of a jazz fusion act, really used groove-style improvisation that seems to go well with the Tangerine Dream track. Skzerk’s keyboard solo reminds me why I have such deep and abiding love for analog synthesizers.
Black Bonzo – Sudden Changer (4:30) from Operation Manual: The Guillotine Model Drama 2009. This band came into my life from a recommendation on the internet. I have only corresponded with this person online, but there was such strong musical affinity to begin with that I dove into Black Bonzo and was hooked right away. As a contrast from the previous twi tracks, this includes a vocal performance and, while decidedly prog, this has very strong rock elements. Black Bonzo does so many things so well.
Spock’s Beard – The Gypsy (7:30) from Day for Night 1999. This make a nice match for Sudden Changer, despite being ten years older. Spock’s Beard, even today, reminds us that we shouldn’t leave the “rock” out of prog rock. There are so many beloved Spock’s Beard songs, this is an often overlooked gem from the height of the Neal Morse era.
I came across this gifted artist quite randomly, and yet he has a shocking affinity for some of my favorite music ever recorded. Time has been kind to Miles Davis’ electric period (1969-1975), even though that body of work was not well thought of upon release. During my college career (1990-1994), that era of music became the most important signpost on a musical journey that continues to this day. What I learned from listing to ‘In a Silent Way’, ‘Jack Johnson’ and ‘Dark Magus’ shaped the person I have become, both musically and otherwise. I still routinely return to those and other recordings and find more undiscovered nuance of melody, rhythm and groove.
And in much the same way that Simone Rosetti’s The Watch has absolutely nailed the Gabriel-era Genesis, Collignon has uncovered a similar resonance with that extraordinary time in the career of Miles Davis. His latest release is Shangri-Tunkashi-La and it is a pure delight. Firstly, it is readily available on iTunes, which surprised and delighted me. Second, the renditions of Bitches Brew, Billy Preston, It’s About That Time, and others are not replicas of the originals, but incorporate the jubilant spirit of improvisation which was such an important part of how those compositions came into the world.
The record is now favorably reviewed in English, has gorgeous cover art and can be downloaded by anyone with an iTunes account. All that remains is a North American tour schedule. Hope springs eternal.
Scott Henderson, picking up some of that much-needed endorsement cash.
I had always known that Scott Henderson had played with Zawinul, but never really gave it much thought. Weather report was and explicitly NO-GUITAR outfit. On the other hand, starting with the one time I saw Zawinul’s band in ’97, I’ve known that he always has young and talented guitarists as part of the supporting ensemble. I don’t know anything about the solo work of Amit Chatterjee, or some Jozy’s other guitar players. I do know that Henderson’s body of work is successful in both popularity and critical acclaim. Plus he has a king-size honker. Here’s the track that’s changing my mind. This is Carnavalito from the 1989 live album ‘Black Water’. I have heard several version of this song, but only just discovered this one while going through some old data DVD’s. Check out the Discipline-era King Crimson vibe at the very beginning of this track.
Transatlantic on Saturday night was amazing. The crappy cameraphone pictures are posted in my previous entry. Now Em has returned from Moab and we’re heading down to JazzFest. The music is everywhere. Even now, I’m tying up some loose ends so I can be out of the office for three days while I listen to the new Grateful Dead release of J.F.K. Stadium 7/7/89, a show I attended. It sounds almost as good as it did on that beautiful Summer day 21 years ago.
And then there are these two songs I have obsessing over. For no reason in particular.
Rollings Stones – Under My Thumb from the Expanded ‘Get Yer Ya-Yas Out’ [audio:http://mpomy.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/2-03-Under-My-Thumb.mp3|titles=2-03 Under My Thumb]
Jerry Garcia – Gommorah from a solo acoustic bootleg [audio:http://mpomy.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/04-Gommorah.mp3|titles=04 Gommorah]
Cover bands. Tribute bands. “Experiences.” Do not get me started! Have you never wanted to do something creative? Something that was truly yours? Do you see your job as, essentially, one of impersonation? The only passion that really comes across to the audience is the passion for perfection. At best, the performers disappear, or, as is often the case, wear costumes. But part of it is still an exercise in impersonation.
But I am a good one to talk. Let us not even, for the moment, mention the dozens of shows by a certain Genesis tribute band that I have witnessed. As an audience member I delight in the opportunity to see something I never had the opportunity to witness the first time around. And, taken on its merits, the performance is inspiring – sound, vision, composition. But here’s the sick part: I also have audio-only recordings of tribute bands! Why not just listen to the original? That’s the thing I’ve been listening to for twenty-five years!
But that’s just it. After all this time, I’m looking for something different, another level of genius. And when that raw material is in another’s hands, the possibility for “interpretation” or variation is dangerously prominent.
Well, The Watch is your cure for the common tribute band. Part of what motivated Genesis (a BIG part) was the desire/need to write music. That push to be creative, to do something new, was, no doubt, a big part of what moved the real Genesis on stage. The Musical Box has never had that. New music has always been explicitly excluded from their mandate. The Watch, on the other hand, has four studio albums of original material and a live album of that material. They are established original artists. They have also created two Genesis programs that perfectly imitate the dominating force of Foxtrot and Nursery Cryme. Those records have had a profound, though often overlooked, influence on music throughout Europe, North America and South America.
Will The Watch have that kind of impact? I don’t think so, but one never knows. The point is that they are making the music that they want to make, and while it is overwhelmingly influenced by Gabriel-era Genesis, it is also their own. Or is this what Genesis would have sounded like if that remarkable quintet had never disbanded? That’s a fanboy question for the ages.
For now, I count myself very lucky to have come across this band from Milan. Thirty-eight years ago, Genesis was looking for a break with a live show that they new was good, but it wasn’t getting through outside England. Italy was a home for Genesis when they were on the road. Now, it seems, Genesis has become a musical home for a few gifted musicians from Italy.
I have ordered The Watch’s two most recent titles from Amazon – Primitive and Planet Earth. I also want to thank Sommutante for having an amazing music blog. It’s in Portuguese, but it’s pretty easy to see he’s pretty hip. And I don’t recommend Google Translate. Just listen to the music.
The idea of social networking mixed with music is something I’ve been doing since before the Internet existed. In high school and college, I often made connections with people based solely on a shared love of music. And then we would start the process of sharing and educating and expanding. It goes on and on to this day and, hopefully, for the rest of my life.
So the idea of a computer-based social network platforms based around music is a no-brainer. But I’ve also been a bit slow on the uptake for how these platforms work. I never had a MySpace page and my troubles with Facebook are well-documented.
Things changed a bit when I got brave enough to start posting on the Progarchives forum. This was a great idea for (a) wasting time and (b) getting news about prog fast. I wasn’t looking to make friends and didn’t. Some of the other posters had a display at the bottom of their posts which showed what they were listening to. In order to do the same thing, I got an account with Last.fm. This looked a lot like Facebook, so i dodn’t get into the social aspect – no friending for me. But at least it cataloged all my listening habits, which I thought was pretty cool. But there was one more step getting that information integrated with the ‘signature’. Apparently, I had to join something called Twitter.
So, in March of 2008, I created a Twitter account, solely for the purpose of making images like this one. Between March of ’08 and June of ’09, I tweeted exactly ten times. Since then, it’s been about 560. Suffice to say, I like Twitter. It’s beautifully disorganized; the users make the rules; there are no ads; and it’s a good syndication tool for blog posts and other important pieces of information.
So this brings me to the recent discovery of Blip.fm. It’s not perfect. It has ads (ugh!), it runs slow, the musical selections are surprisingly limited, and the posting of track on my various websites (and Twitter) is not nearly as elegant as what I can do with Grooveshark. But where as Grooveshark is useful and more comprehensive, Blip.fm is downright fun.
It’s a game. You’re a DJ and you’re trying to get listeners. In that regard it’s a bit like Facebook and Twitter with ‘friends’ and ‘followers’, but there is an extra element of silliness at Blip – ‘credits’ and ‘props’. In addition to seeking listeners, I’m also seeking props. Other users (DJs) give me props if they like my selection. I can get credits by getting props (1 = 1) or by getting other DJs to reBlip my selections. So, I’m looking for artists with similar taste, or with taste I want to learn more about (I’ve discover Chali 2na!), and I’m bouncing around, blipping selections, re-blipping, giving out props, adding listeners to my favorite DJs list and hoping to get added to others.
So far, I’ve connected with some pretty impressive musical tastes and I’ve even accumulated a few props and listeners. It’s all good fun, and it’s built to look like Twitter, so the interface is pretty easy for me to get started. I still need to have continuous playing (listen while you search) and an iPhone app and more complete selections (like Grooveshark), but I’m still having a blast. Wanna see what I been blippin’?
This is a project I have been thinking about ever since I started to collect the incredible mixes available over at ParisDJs. And while those folks have mad performance skills behind the turntable, I have had to settle for a very deliberate (and slow) process of compilation and tweaking using Apple Logic 8. I am, however quite pleased with the overall sequence, levels and imaging of the music. I’ve only taken liberties to enliven some of the older recordings and keep overall volume constant.
The good folks at ParisDJs present their mixes as a single file, and I’ve done the same here. In selecting these tracks, the only unifying theme was to have ‘all killer, no filler’, and hopefully to present you with things you mostly have not heard. The selections span forty years and come from numerous styles (Jazz, Prog, Rock, Electronica, etc.) and regions (Canada, Brazil, France, India, UK, US, Poland, Sweden). Future mixes will be more focused by genre and/or artist. There are definitely Zappa and Tangerine Dream mixes in the pipeline.
Feel free to stream right here (Hostrocket has hooked me up with LOTS of bandwith) or download and enjoy at your leisure. Two of these titles are found on full length items posted at Blogerantz, so I’ve included the links. Here’s what we got:
1. Invocation/nonsense – Mpomy (2009)
2. 10538 Overture – Electric Light Orchestra (from The Electric Light Orchestra (No Answer) 1971)
3. Get Your Snack On – Amon Tobin (from Supermodified 2000)
4. Hummin’ – Cannonball Adderley (from The Country Preacher 1969)
5. Willie – Cat Power (from FM broadcast of Cat Power & the Memphis Rhythm Band, Berlin June 11, 2006)
6. Malandro Quando Vaza – The Ipanemas (from the collection Gilles Peterson Brazilika 2009)
7. Transfert – Sylbat (from Mara 2008)
8. Sunrise – SBB (from Iron Curtain 2009)
9. On and On – Gungfly (from Please Be Quiet 2009)
10. Pasanana’s Love – Trilok Gurtu (from broadcast (?) of North Sea Jazz Festival, July 2002)
11. High Water (For Charley Patton) – Bob Dylan (from the collection Tell Tale Signs 2008, but the recording is from 2003)
Let’s get #musicmonday started off just right with the flat-out coolest music gadget. Go ahead, play with that browser! WARNING – very addictive!!
Tons of great new music came in this weekend:
Paris DJs are smokin’ with a Hip-Hop/Reggae mix that is the perfect way to start your monday off with a BANG! About one-half hour of all solid mixes, featuring Ghostface Killah and People Under the Stairs
Cult / Hare Krishna inspired music from ile Oxumare, including Santana and Alice Coltrane;
If you pre-0rder the new Transatlantic record Whirlwind from RadiantRecords, you get a download of their take on ‘Return of the Giant Hogweed’ (courtesy Spleen Arcana‘s Tweet feed). This is a great marketing move because the track is righteous and many proggers hate to wait;
Recently off the Dime – Bruce Springsteen 1973 (either radio or soundboard) and ELP Santiago ’93 – brilliant quality right of the radio!
Stephen Stills has two release coming shortly; the first is a collection of Manassas outtakes, and, since the two studio albums are tremendous, this will be a must-have. The other is a recent concert from the UK where the Stills featured solo-acoustic and full band renditions from throughout his career. The live set is not expected until mid October, but the Manassas title is available starting tomorrow. Here’s a taste of what the first Manassas record sounded like:
There’s all kinds of other stuff going on, including Philly budget, house hunting, a guest post/letter about some totally screwed up aspects of the state budget, Formula 1 racing going crazy, but maybe coming to New York City (?!!) and I’m finally starting to piece together my own mixtape #1 using Apple Logic.
More on all that good stuff later. For now, we got one more music post – the link for ya! Check out the latest talent brewing over at Fretbuzz.net.