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50 jazz records #01: Charlie Parker – Broadcast Performances Vol. 2


Here’s the deal: I’ll never be able to listen to music the same way I did when I was a teenager. I’ll never absorb it the same way; memorize it; learn it. Two factors, the first one is obvious: i’ve listened to way more music now, it’s way easier to listen to even more music now, and the real world obviously intrudes and i don’t get to put on the headphones and stare at the ceiling while listening to music very often. The other reason (perhaps even the other side of the same coin) is that I’ve been purchasing more and more jazz LPs. This mostly lyric-less form is obviously harder to memorize… longer compositions, less structure, more solos and improvisation, plus I don’t play any instruments, so I’m not able to approach these records from that angle. And I love it. It makes sense to me, and I trust my ear and, well, I’m happy it’s where I am as a listener right now. But I do feel like I’m not quite getting under the hood of some of these recordings.

This project is an attempt to dig a little deeper into it all. Sure, I know the players and the labels and the producers and writers, at least superficially. But do I know the chronology, the precedents, the reasons why? No. I do not. And sadly, I’m certain in most cases that I’ll never know. I’m not going to become an expert (thankfully, I’m not really trying to become one), but I’d like to be at least 99th percentile, you know?

That’s the origins of this project: It’s not to educate you, it’s to educate me. But I may as well post some of the results in the chance it helps connect the dots for anybody else out there.

I started with a simple idea: identify 50 of the most important players in jazz. I made the list off the top of my head. The first 30-35 were easy. Those came down as fast as I could type. Then the next 10 took maybe 5 more minutes. Then I looked at some of the recent purchases; scanned the collection. Expanded the list to 70-75 players, then whittled it back down to 50. Are there omissions or arguable choices? Of course. One of my criteria was that I had to own at least one LP by each of the players on my list, so I’ve missed some things just for that dumb reason. And I did willfully pick a wider date range of releases than I probably needed to, simply to get a wider window to explore.

Then I went and picked one LP from each of those folks. This is, of course, a fool’s mission with jazz: Max Roach plays on hundreds of records, not just “Max Roach” records. But I set the rule: whether talking about Ron Carter or Don Cherry or John Coltrane, the LP I selected had to be originally attributed to that player as the artist on the cover/spine.

I also didn’t necessarily pick the best or most well-known title by each artist. First, I don’t own every record, so I was just using what I have. And secondly, there’s already plenty written about “Kind Of Blue” or “Monk’s Dream” or “A Night in Tunisia” or “Saxophone Colossus.” I highly doubt I have anything to add to that canon.

I pulled the 50 LPs out of the stacks, then I arranged them chronologically by “primary recording date.” Which means I’m already fudging the numbers. What I have now is a pile of 50 albums ranked in order from oldest to newest by recording date (NOT release date).

I want to learn more about the world the recordings were created in. I want to understand them better, and I want understand popular and other music better. I want to put them in context in their own time, so that I can hopefully better understand them in the context of my own time.


Some notes about what you are about to read before we proceed any further: some of what is going to follow may actually, non-intuitively, be a bit subjective. Firstly, finding accurate release dates and publication dates is sometimes a bit sketchy, so I’ll be using the best guess of those who edit wikipedia pages and write blogs and such. Secondly, I’m going to be doing the picking, and while i do not have an agenda (or at least I don’t believe I have one just yet), I may be drawn to items which seem to be related or potentially can be woven into a bit of a narrative. Then again, perhaps not. I won’t know until I do the researching surrounding each set of dates. That’s part of the discovery of the context of these works. I don’t claim to be able to thoroughly understand or dissect the zeitgeist of a few certain days 34-66 years ago, but I should hope you wouldn’t believe anybody that claims they can really do so. I wasn’t there for any of these recording sessions… I don’t know what access (or care) any of these players or producers had for current events, film, popular music, architecture, etc. But what i’m trying to do is simply list some things that they MIGHT have known or been paying attention to, or merely at least have been exposed to. I’m not going to say “here’s a New Yorker article Charlie Parker would have read” nor am i going to conclude that Charlie Parker would have known the significance the founding of North Korea would have for world politics, well, up to this day (and obviously further into the future than I can predict). But I can know that on certain dates certain articles were published prominently in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Harper’s. I can tell you that on certain days certain songs were #1 in their respective charts (and here I’m going to need to be subjective again… if one song was #1 for ten weeks, and then bumped from #1 on the date i’m looking for, well… I’m probably going to conclude that the bumped song is actually “the biggest song in the USA before the recording session”. Perhaps that isn’t the most accurate distinction, but I ask this: which song is probably more likely to be hummed by somebody walking down the street or heard on the radio more times? I’m willing to wager it’s the song that was just #1 for ten weeks in a row.)

Books, architecture… who knows, really? I don’t. Just making some guesses, and obviously looking back at architecture with 34-66 years of hindsight is a lot easier than trying to imagine new buildings as they were built and how they were held by those that viewed them. Would the opening of a store in San Francisco been reported (and pictured) anywhere in NYC within the next few months? I can tell you this: Frank Lloyd Wright is mentioned 4 times in the New York Times in 1948, and only once was it really to do about any of his designs (November 19, 1948): http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00D16FF3D5E167B93CBA8178AD95F4C8485F9. And even then it didn’t show a picture of the planned theatre, but just a description of it. (and some grandiose statements from Frank Lloyd Wright: “Before a small, informal gathering of architects, designers, theatrical producers and actors at the Plaza Hotel, Mr. Wright described the first theatre [design] of his long career as the solution of physical problems that have beset the stage for centuries and as the probable answer to its survival in the face of being ‘done to death by the movies.’”). Thanks for saving live theater, Frank Lloyd Wright! So: am I going to go down the first rabbit hole only to find yet ANOTHER smaller rabbit hole (attempting to not just find out what important architecture was created in the weeks/months before the recording session, but also attempt to figure out if that architecture was trumpeted/heralded/critiqued/publicized in any way that the players may have come across)? To be clear, my answer is “Fuck no.” At best, I’m setting up the pins; it’s up to you or somebody else to knock ‘em down.

A further note about recording session dates: While many jazz records were recorded in a single session in a single day, sometimes some extra songs from another session are used, or the LP is otherwise filled-out. I’m going to list the recording of the record under the date on which the majority of the music was recorded. I’m not going by release date for these purposes… While I’m interested in the release dates of these records, what I’m really trying to explore here is the CONTEXT of these works. There’s that word “context” again. One of those words that is actually a bit difficult to explain, but you absolutely know it when you see it. The definition of context is: “the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs.” Synonyms are: “environment” and “setting”. So, i’m using it wrong, as I’m talking about the PRESUMED interrelated conditions in which these recordings were created. Context, minus authority. In other words: the internet.

That just went full circle, didn’t it?


#01: Charlie Parker – Broadcast Performances Vol. 2

 

Charlie Parker – Broadcast Performances Vol. 2 - stock photo     Charlie Parker – Broadcast Performances Vol. 2 - my LP


                           Artist: Charlie Parker
                           Album: Broadcast Performances Vol. 2
                           Primary Recording Date: September 4th, 1948 (I already made an exception to the “primary recording date” rule here… most of this record was recorded on January 1st, 1949, but since these recordings were originally live radio broadcasts, and not a studio recording session, I felt it made the most sense to use the earliest date.)
                           Players: Charlie Parker (alto saxophone), Curly Russell (bass), Tommy Potter (bass), Joe Harris (drums), Max Roach (drums), Al Haig (piano), Tadd Dameron (piano), Kenny Dorham (trumpet), Miles Davis (trumpet)
                           Original release information: ESP-Disk (I’m fiddling with the digital files here, fyi. ESP originally released 14 LPs of these live Charlie Parker recordings. Later, Savoy released various CDs of the same recordings. I’ve taken the exact songs/takes which are on the LP, extracted them from the Savoy CDs, and placed them into the digital files below. If you are looking to purchase these digital works, you should search for “Charlie Parker: The Complete Live Performances On Savoy (4-cd Set)”
                           Download: here

                           Where Purchased: Gimme Gimme Records in 2005 (I think)
                           City/State: New York, NY
                           Price: $8 (approx)

                           #1 song on the pop charts: “Twelfth Street Rag” – Pee Wee Hunt
                           #1 song on the R&B charts: “I Can’t Go On Without You” – Bull Moose Jackson and His Buffalo Bearcats
                           #1 song on the country charts: “Bouquet Of Roses” – Eddy Arnold

                           Most popular movie: “Johnny Belinda” – released September 14, 1948, this film with a rape as part of the subject matter is widely considered to be the first Hollywood film for which the “Motion Picture Production Code” restrictions on the subject were modified, allowing the film to be made. Although released ten days after the first recording date on this LP, I’m guessing it’s possible there may have already been some advertising and controversy brewing about this film. “Sorry, Wrong Number” was released on September 1st, and “That Lady in Ermine” was released August 24th, both of which were in the Top 20 grossing films of 1948.

                           Most popular fiction book: “The Naked and the Dead” – Norman Mailer
                           Most popular non-fiction book: “The Gathering Storm” – Winston Churchill

                           Most popular radio program: “The Walter Winchell Show”, a combination of entertainment gossip and political name-calling.
                           Most popular TV show: Television was still very much in its infancy… the most popular program on TV was “The Original Amateur Hour” on the (then) major DuMont Television Network. It’s worth noting that a show called “Toast Of The Town” first aired over the summer, which would eventually be known as “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

                           Big/recent New York Times headline / news story: This article: WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 — The United States Government, it was revealed today, has undertaken a basic review of its reparations policy in Germany to determine whether it is entirely consistent with the objectives of the European Recovery Program (disturbing the United Kingdom and France).
                           Timely New Yorker article(s): “A Letter From Paris” about French agriculture after Germany’s defeat and a story about the usage of the term “red herring” and the US House Of Representatives Committee On Un-American Activities.
                           Timely Harper’s article(s): An analysis of Thomas E. Dewey’s nomination for president by the Republican Party.
                           A Note About the above NY Times, New Yorker, and Harper’s links: You must be a subscriber and login to each of these publications to see the articles.

                           Other significant news highlight(s): In China, the Communist CPC party assume a dominant position in the Chinese Civil War (it will take another year to finally end the fighting and fully come into power). The USA and Soviet Union can’t decide how best to handle Korea, and eventually the “temporary” north/south split of the country at the 38th parallel starts to become more permanent. On August 15, 1948 the Republic of Korea (South Korea) is announced, while on September 9, 1948, a communist regime, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), was proclaimed under Kim Il Sung.
                           Other significant news highlight(s): Babe Ruth dies on August 16, 1948.
                           Other significant news highlight(s): August 25, 1948: The House Un-American Activities Committee holds its first-ever televised congressional hearing, featuring what has come to be known as “Confrontation Day” between Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss.

                           Recent architectural achievements: The VC Morris Gift Shop in San Francisco, designed in 1948 by Frank Lloyd Wright. Although the design of the Guggenheim Museum was already finished in 1948, this was the first opportunity to actually build the internal ramp design.

                           Listening Environment: home
                           Time: 1:11 AM, Wednesday, May 14th, 2014
                           Beverage: PBR
                           Weather: cool, overcast night
                           Notes: I’ve been working on setting up this project for almost a year. Let’s see how long it actually takes me to do the damn posts, now.


 

Track Listing:

52nd Street Theme
Koko
Bebop
Slow Boat To China
Ornithology
Groovin’ High
East Of The Sun & West Of The Moon
Cheryl

So… This is a pretty horrible place to start this project. Originally live radio broadcasts, these weren’t meant to be an album or an album session in any way. Also, Symphony Syd introduces songs and conducts interviews, and as it was done live, you don’t get any uninterrupted full songs.

But, what you do get is some smoking bop from the “Metropolitan Bop’ra House” that was meant to be entertaining and immediate. And it sure is.

There’s a Max Roach drum solo in “Koko” that is about as sloppy as it gets. Charlie Parker sounds up front and showy. Everybody gets their turn, but these are the equivalent to the 3:05 power pop songs of 1940′s jazz.

My highlight is Symphony Syd asking Charlie Parker “It more or less puts bop in a more or less commercial sort of a groove, don’t you think?” and Charlie responding “Well, if you want to take it that way. But I mean, bop is just a title; i mean it’s all still music.” You think you invented the idea of accusing somebody a sell-out? You didn’t.

Nothing on this is essential, but to hear some solid versions of “Slow Boat To China” and “Ornithology” and “52nd Street Theme”, as actually performed in front of a live party audience in 1948… well… that’s alright by me. It’s short… just 8 songs and they go by fast. I’ve listened all the way through multiple times just now. This record is so damn inessential, it’s essential. Understand?

 


50 jazz records in context: The 50 Titles


Here’s the full list of the 50 titles I’m going to be using for this project. Are they the best or most important titles by all of these artists? No. Am I saying these are the 50 greatest jazz performers of all time? No. The most important? Also no. Should I have included Duke Ellington instead of Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard instead of Steve Lacy, ANYBODY instead of Patty Waters? Perhaps. But I wanted to include some surprises, exclude some obvious choices, look into some slightly-off-the-beaten-path recordings. I’m sure if I did this project 5 years ago it would have looked very different; 5 years from now it would also be different. This is a slice in time… It may have been done differently at a different time, but it’s accurate for what it is, and it’s set in stone. Honestly, I’ve already put over 100 hours into this project, and I haven’t even started writing or posting anything yet (nor, most importantly, LISTENING TO ANY MUSIC. duh).

So, yeah… Here’s the list I’m using (year is the year of the primary recording date… these ARE listed chronologically. Once they are each posted, you’ll be able to see the exact [when known] recording dates).

01. Charlie ParkerBroadcast Performances Vol. 2 (1948)
02. Bud Powell – The Amazing Bud Powell, Volume 2 (1953)
03. Miles Davis – ‘Round About Midnight (1955)
04. Mal Waldron Quintet – Mal-1 (1956)
05. Sonny Rollins – Volume 1 (1956)
06. Thelonious Monk And Gerry Mulligan – Mulligan Meets Monk (1957)
07. Cannonball Adderley – Somethin’ Else (1958)
08. Lou Donaldson – Blues Walk (1958)
09. Thelonious Monk – Misterioso (1958)
10. Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – At The Jazz Corner Of The World Vol. 1 (1959)
11. John Coltrane – Giant Steps (1959)
12. Ornette Coleman – The Shape Of Jazz To Come (1959)
13. Wes Montgomery – The Incredible Jazz Guitar Of Wes Montgomery (1960)
14. Sam Jones – The Soul Society (1960)
15. Philly Joe Jones – Philly Joe’s Beat (1960)
16. John Coltrane & Don Cherry – The Avant-Garde (1960)
17. Paul Chambers – 1st Bassman (1961)
18. Oscar Peterson Trio – Affinity (1962)
19. Charles Mingus – Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (1963)
20. Hank Mobley – The Turnaround! (1963)
21. Herbie Hancock – My Point Of View (1963)
22. Bill Evans Trio – At Shelly’s Manne-Hole (1963)
23. The Art Farmer Quartet Featuring Jim Hall – “Live” At The Half-Note (1963)
24. Lee Morgan – Search For The New Land (1964)
25. The New Stan Getz Quartet Featuring Astrud Gilberto – Getz Au Go Go (1964)
26. Sonny Stitt – Soul People (1964)
27. Pharoah Sanders Quintet – Pharoah Sanders Quintet (1964)
28. Grant Green – Talkin’ About (1964)
29. Shirley Scott – Everybody Loves A Lover (1964)
30. Sun Ra – The Heliocentric Worlds Of Sun Ra, Vol. 1 (1965)
31. Max Roach – Drums Unlimited (1965)
32. Patty Waters – Sings (1965)
33. Yusef Lateef – A flat, G Flat And C (1966)
34. Elvin Jones – Midnight Walk (1966)
35. Cecil Taylor – Unit Structures (1966)
36. Gabor Szabo – Jazz Raga (1966)
37. Marion Brown – Three For Shepp (1966)
38. Wayne Shorter – Schizophrenia (1967)
39. Archie Shepp – The Magic Of Ju-Ju (1967)
40. Charlie Haden – Liberation Music Orchestra (1969)
40. Sunny Murray – Hommage To Africa (1969)
42. Alice Coltrane – Journey In Satchidananda (1970)
43. Alphonse Mouzon – The Essence Of Mystery (1972)
44. Hampton Hawes – Playin’ In The Yard (1973)
45. Milt Jackson – Olinga (1974)
46. Phil Woods – Musique Du Bois (1974)
47. Ron Carter – Spanish Blue (1974)
48. Steve Lacy – Trickles (1976)
49. Old And New Dreams – Old And New Dreams (1979)
50. The Art Ensemble Of Chicago – Urban Bushmen (1980)


i tell ya it was bad advice… & TONIGHT – Mountain High and Chris Newmyer DJ set!

NP: “Take My Advice”Kurt Vile. A bit longer playlist this time than usual, but there’s a lot of ground I wanted to cover. Kurt Vile starts us off nicely.
NP: “Advice to Medics”Sun Ra and His Arkestra. Lovely little piece.
NP: “A Word of Advice”Th’ Faith Healers. As if I ever need an excuse to listen to Th’ Faith Healers.
NP: “Don’t Touch My Bikini”The Halo Benders. Remember when going to a show was fun?
NP: “Advice On Arrest”The Desperate Bicycles. Always earnest. Funny how my only other real knowledge of the S.P.G. is from the “Young Ones.”
NP: “Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face)”Adam & The Ants. Peel Session recorded 35 years ago next week. Feel old?
NP: “Young Pussy Advisor”Chevy Heston. Always good for a fantastic song under 75 seconds in length.
NP: “Form And File”Archers Of Loaf. The next song is the reason I made this playlist. But this is the first song I wanted to add because of it.
NP: “Bad Advice”Protomartyr. As I said… This song is the reason for this entire playlist. The new Protomartyr record is freaking fantastic. A gargantuan leap forward. They still tick the Mission Of Burma / Wire / Fall / Husker Du / Pere Ubu boxes, but they’ve added an element of 1983 College Rock that’s really textural and lovely. Hints of Felt, R.E.M., Gang Of Four… I liked them before, but I was wholly unprepared for what they’ve done. Best record I’ve heard in a long long time.
NP: “Maybe Partying Will Help”Minutemen. And how can Protomartyr not make me think at least a little bit of Minutemen?
NP: “Good Advices”R.E.M.. This was the second song I thought of to put on this playlist, right after Archers Of Loaf.
NP: “Advice to the Graduate”Silver Jews. Some more college rock? Glad you asked!
NP: “Don’t Let Our Youth Go to Waste”Galaxie 500. Epic and beautiful. Still gives me goosebumps 25 years later.
NP: “Handsome Men”Rock Plaza Central. Any time I hear anything about elections or polls or surveys, I immediately think of this song.
NP: “Some Good Advice”Bill Fay. Seriously… some good advice..
NP: “Don’t Fall in Love if You Want to Die in Peace”Comet Gain. When twee was also sometimes beautiful. I should have also included that Radiolaria song from their first 7″… Didn’t realize that until just this second.
NP: “Don’t Go to Strangers”Etta Jones. Found a copy of this LP recently in Cleveland for a very fair price. It’s a great listen.
NP: “Advisory Committee”Mirah. I really need to go back and get all the Mirah albums. Note to self.
NP: “Don’t Go Home With Your Hard-On”Leonard Cohen. From “Death Of A Ladies’ Man.” A bit inessential, nice to hear Leonard having a bit of fun.
NP: “Advice to Schoolgirls”S.E. Rogie. From Sierra Leone, S.E. Rogie didn’t get to make many records, but they deserve to be heard by more folks..
NP: “Don’t Open The Door To Strangers”The Church. This is another song that I thought of immediately for this playlist, although it obviously sounds nothing at all like Protomartyr.
NP: “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White”The Standells. It’s true: sometimes good guys DON’T wear white.
NP: “Never Lose That Feeling / Never Learn”Swervedriver. Went back down the Swervedriver rabbit hole again recently. Happens every couple of years. Always loved this b-side / compilation track version.
NP: ITUNES_STREAMITUNES USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: WINAMP_STREAMWINAMP (and WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER and REALPLAYER) USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: SOUNDCLOUDSOUNDCLOUD – stream the entire playlist on soundcloud.
NP: PODCASTPODCAST of all of the above songs. [98.5 MB, 86:05 minutes]
NP: RAR_FILE.RAR file of all of the above songs. [121.0 MB]


 

Hey!

I’m DJ’ing tonight, and new 30 Milkshakes client Mountain High are making their NYC debut!

9:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Passenger Bar
Williamsburg

Here’s the Facebook event info.


i left that gal in dallas; i wound up in maine…

NP: “If I Could Only Fly (studio)”Blaze Foley. As almost always, it’s been forever since I’ve done one of these. So long that I can’t even necessarily remember why I picked some of the songs. There’s always a list in a .txt file; a directory with a pile of .mp3s. And perhaps some “notes.” But then it’s also a strange kind of lovely surprise. I open up the directory and sometimes think “I remember that” or, more interestingly, “I don’t remember that AT ALL.” This song is neither of those extremes, but I do remember when I became a bit obsessed with it a couple of months ago. For fans of Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, etc. Also, anybody that wants to hear a sad heartbreaking story of bad business deals, horrible luck, and shitty mistakes (think Badfinger, Townes Van Zandt) would do themselves a favor by doing some research on Blaze Foley.
NP: “Special”Violent Femmes. I woke up one morning with “special, special, what do you get? another day older and deeper in debt” stuck in my head. Now that I’ve listened to the song about 17 more times in the last 48 hours, I suspect that’s going to happen again sometime soon.
NP: “It’s All In My Head”Teenage Fanclub. Sublimely beautiful Teenage Fanclub song.
NP: “Wasted”Metz. Perhaps the hottest show I’ve been to in the last 5 years was a Parquet Courts show in a garage in Omaha last summer. But the second hottest show was Metz at Shea Stadium.
NP: “Concrete”New Bad Things. New Bad Things recently did a one-off reunion show in Portland, and, while I knew I wouldn’t do it, I did give it at least a fairytale daydream thought of trying to go. Miss this band terribly. Everything that was good about American Indie Rock in the early 90′s.
NP: “Rovin’ Gambler”Hank Thompson. The Central PA thrift stores haven’t been offering up many used LP gems for the last year or so, but I did find a couple of very nice old Kitty Wells and Hank Thompson LPs a couple of months ago. Happy to have ‘em.
NP: “That’ll Be the Day”The Bunch. This is one of my favorite Sandy Denny recordings. I’m not going to say this was “casually tossed off”, nor was it necessarily a hootenanny, but this record by The Bunch is lots of Fairport Convention folks and related folkies having a bit of fun. I really like this arrangement a lot, and Sandy Denny shows that she would have been a hell of a rock n roll singer if she had wanted to be.
NP: “Dance To The Music”Keef Hartley. Keef Hartley is one of those mysterious things for an LP record collector dork: I don’t even necessarily like the guy or know that much about him, and then one day I realize I have four original import Deram LPs of his. Strange. Inessential. But here it is.
NP: “Ebony Godfather”Joe Thomas. This, however, is one of those times I love being an LP record collector dork. Found a perfectly playable copy of this for $8 recently, when it normally sells for $25-$30. Simple pleasures. And it’s pretty damn good, too.
NP: “On Giving Up”High Places. Picked up a copy of this LP marked down somewhere for cheap. I hadn’t actually heard it, and it’s better than I thought it would be. This is my favorite song from it.
NP: “If I Could Only Fly (live)”Blaze Foley. Remember when I said I became a bit obsessed with this song? Well, yeah… I did. The first version above is a studio recording for an album. This here is a live version.
NP: “Santa Cruz Mountains”Eddie Callahan. Recently re-issued, this breezy California LP would be a classic if only more people have heard it.
NP: “Tears”Teenage Fanclub. A piano based Teenage Fanclub track. Also lovely. Was listening to a lot of Teenage Fanclub as I finally found a few of the LPs I had been missing. Now if only I could find a copy of “Songs From Northern Britain” for under $50, I’d have the whole set.
NP: “Around The Corner”The Evens. I missed every show of Amy and Ian last year, including one in Harrisburg, PA that I really should have made my way back to. A mistake.
NP: “I’m Through With Love”Lorez Alexandria. I found absolutely mint copies of two of the Lorez Impulse LPs a couple of months ago, and just couldn’t put them back. There’s something about those original mono Impulses… when the corners are crisp and liners are clean, they’re just about the most beautiful records you’ll ever hold. It’s hard to put them down.
NP: “If I Could Only Fly (demo)”Blaze Foley. And here’s a demo version of this song. Really lets you grasp the splendor and the depth of a song when you listen to it in all of its arrangements (there’s also a wonderful cover by Merle Haggard a couple of years ago which you should track down). A great song is a great song, in almost every format/arrangement/version. I think I’m back to being obsessed.
NP: ITUNES_STREAMITUNES USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: WINAMP_STREAMWINAMP (and WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER and REALPLAYER) USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: SOUNDCLOUDSOUNDCLOUD – stream the entire playlist on soundcloud.
NP: PODCASTPODCAST of all of the above songs. [68.7 MB, 60:05 minutes]
NP: RAR_FILE.RAR file of all of the above songs. [108.0 MB]

NR: Jay Kirk’s excellent piece “Bartók’s Monster” (about Béla Bartók and his recording trips through Transylvania) in the October issue of Harper’s that I just finally got around to reading. Unfortunately, the article is only available to subscribers, but I’ve downloaded the pdf. I’m not going to upload it, but if you’d like a copy, just email me and I’ll send it to you. Highly recommended… It’s actually worth the hassle.

NW: True Detective, Winter Olympics (not enough Biathalon!), “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?”, “Her”, “The Invisible Woman”, “Inside Llewyn Davis”, “Nebraska”, “Dallas Buyers Club”, “American Hustle”, etc. Attempting to get caught up.

NE: Sushi in LA, pizza in NYC. The way it should be.

ND: Narragansett tallboys and 12-year Elijah Craig manhattans.


he made me feel like i could play the guitar…

NP: “Since Yesterday”Strawberry Switchblade. If this isn’t stuck in your head all day, then you probably never liked the Darling Buds.
NP: “Threnody For Sharon Tate”Freddie Hubbard – Ihlan Mimaroglu. And if this doesn’t scare the bejeezus out of you, you’ve probably watched way too many Italian horror flicks.
NP: “Broken Cigarettes”Glocca Morra. If this gets stuck in your head, you must be pretty emo.
NP: “I Don’t Dare”Marsha Malamet. If you ever buy an LP just for the cover art, this is a pretty good place to start. It’s called “Coney Island Winter,” and that’s an appropriate name for this sometimes sparse, sometimes bleak (and other times over-orchestrated or showtune-y) record. There’s not much on the internet about this album, but what is throws around the names Kate Bush, Judy Collins, Carole King, Judee Sill, etc. Not bad company.
NP: “Structures For Sound – Pièces Nouvelles”Bernard & François Baschet. Purchased this gorgeous 10″ at Good Records a couple of months ago. Magical and surreal, the packaging and “new” instruments are perhaps actually better than the music within, but so glad to know about this.
NP: “It’s Choade My Dear”Connan Mockasin. This came out of left field. I don’t even know how to describe it. Just listen.
NP: “The Riddle”Jacco Gardner. Catchy as all hell. And pretty good, to boot.
NP: “Ask Me No Questions”Bridget St. John. If you only download one song from this list, make it this one. Nico, Beat Happening, Leonard Cohen, Bridget St. John… stark and haunting.
NP: “Holiday And Sport”Sone. Catchiest song of the 90′s? Maybe.
NP: “Wrong”Big Ups. Look for a new album from these NYC punks soon. Hot damn.
NP: “Growin’ Up American”The Colors. Downtown power pop punk from 1980. Anybody out there has this “Rave It Up” 45 for sale… let me know! (fun trivia: Robert Vickers, later of the Go-Betweens, was in The Colors!)
NP: “Scratch My Skin”Mushy. The solo electronic project of one Valentina Fanigliulo from Rome, Italy. Lush and beautiful.
NP: “Morgenspaziergang”Kraftwerk. The english translation of this song title is “A Morning Stroll”, or something along those lines. To go for a wander in the morning, basically. So damn pleasant it’s almost painful.
NP: “Numb”Andy Stott. Perhaps a bit too bombastic, this still touches on some things i really like. Worth a listen or five.
NP: “Stained Glass House”Shy Hunters. Blonde Redhead and Glass Rock fans take note. Indigo Street first came to my attention as part of the improv rock/jazz/dance collab Aye Aye Rabbit… she wields a mean axe, and has some serious vocal chops, too. Mandatory listening. And, hey! Big props to me… fully half of this playlist could be called contemporary. Amazing!
NP: “ITUNES_STREAM”ITUNES USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: “WINAMP_STREAM”WINAMP (and WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER and REALPLAYER) USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: “SOUNDCLOUD”SOUNDCLOUD – stream the entire playlist on soundcloud. Actually… don’t bother! I’m impressed with Soundcloud’s ability to find and remove copyrighted material. Wouldn’t let me upload this one. Will try again next time!
NP: “PODCAST”PODCAST of all of the above songs. [67.7 MB, 59:09 minutes]
NP: “RAR_FILE”.RAR file of all of the above songs. [117.0 MB]

NR: I really should have mentioned this sooner, but Chris Eaton (of Rock Plaza Central) released his third novel, “Chris Eaton, A Biography” a few months back. I know how schmaltzy this sounds, but it really is a delight to read.
NR: It was time… I finally re-read “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace. Even better than the first time, but guess what? The overwhelming desire upon finishing it? Yep… to read the damn thing AGAIN. Fuck.
NR: About halfway through Stendhal’s “The Red And The Black.” I can’t figure out if I like it or not.

NW: I watched the entire Breaking Bad series in under 6 weeks, so that I was able to watch the finale within 36 hours of it airing. And, surprise… it was worth it. No spoilers here, but… best music synch ever? Probably!
NW: “The Conversation”. 1974 Francis Ford Coppola movie that was presented on TCM the other night by Gilbert Gottfried. Fantastic movie that’s equal parts Three Days Of The Condor, Blow Out, and Sneakers (not that that movie should be in the same category as these others mentioned.) Best thing i’ve stumbled upon in a long long time. Speaking of Sneakers, Gilbert had a great line while talking to Robert Osborne… something along the lines of “your viewers are tuning in and saying ‘What happened to this guy? He used to interview Robert Redford, and now he’s stuck with Gilbert Gottfried?’”
NW: “The Pit And The Pendulum”. Vincent Price movie that TCM showed on Halloween night, while avoiding leaving the house in the East Village. It started out promising… a bit of the Name Of The Rose, a bit of the Wicker Man (before either of those two movies, of course), but ran out of gas a bit. Still, an impressive attempt at turning a psychological short story into a feature film.

NE: It’s been a long time since the last one of these, so i guess let’s do some highlights of the last six months? A hell of a good curry at Karma Asian in Denver.
NE: Vegan tomato soup and caesar salad, with some vegan poutine on the side, at The Owlery in Bloomington, IN.
NE: A grouse at St. John in London (as well as a delightfully simple cheese-and-chutney sandwich at the bar while waiting to be seated). Finally got to go here!
NE: Raspberry and ricotta pancakes, with berry and liqourice compote and creme fraiche, at The Modern Pantry in London.
NE: A simple lunch at Le Rouge et le Verre wine store in Paris.
NE: Mon Vieil Ami in Paris – A lovely chanterelle mushroom dish and for an entree a breast of veal. Perhaps a small notch down from the other time I dined there, but it’s still a real favorite destination restaurant for me.
NE: Waffle with jam and whipped cream at Mokka Kaffi in Reykjavik. I’ve been dreaming about this ever since.
NE: Artichoke and bufala mozzarella ravioli in a brown butter sage sauce at the Gioia Restaurante in the Palacio Duhau in Buenos Aires. Sadly, La Vineria de Gualterio Bolívar was closed the only time I could have gone. I need to go back.
NE: Cheeseburger and onion rings from Old Town Bar.

ND: Coffee milkshake at Davey’s in the East Village.
ND: Coffee milkshake at Ronnybrook Farm in Chelsea Market.
ND: Vanilla milkshake w/ 2 shots of espresso at Sundaes And Cones in the East Village.
ND: Yuengling and Shiner Bock.


 

Any good shows coming up? Let me know! I need to get out more.

 


lingers dark in the bark of the dogwood tree…

NP: “JC Auto”Sugar. I’ve been on a bit of a Sugar jag, even before these re-issues were announced/released. Highly recommend these deluxe re-issues with the entire live concert sets and tons of BBC sessions as extras. Anybody with an original 12″ of the Beaster EP, please get in touch… I’ll hook you up. Fierce.
NP: “Guilty Conscience”NEVER. New Jersey band that self-released an EP and then basically withered/imploded. Works well with the Sugar. And will work for any Failure fans out there.
NP: “Evening Return”Hood. Early Hood was a mighty beast. Pretty much everything that was good about home recording and the slacker/DIY/underground aesthetic.
NP: “A Place In The Sun”The Triffids. This song has been haunting me for the last year. Finally remembering to put it on one of these dang playlists. I bet the Go-Betweens were jealous as hell when they first heard this.
NP: “The Summer December Starts”Empress. This is what made me listen to the old Hood, actually… Found this Scottish Empress’s LP (there are quite a few bands named Empress) in the dollar bin at Princeton Record Exchange… It’s a record i’ve wanted since it came out almost 10 years ago, and I woulda paid 12 to 15 times as much, probably. This is one of the prettiest songs you will ever hear.
NP: “Dogwood”Terry Allen. Terry Allen just released his first new album in, basically, a generation. It’s caused me to become absolutely obsessed with his debut album “Juarez”. Imagine if Guy Clark had written “Fiestas + Fiascos” instead of Craig Finn. Do me a favor and when you are done with this, go and listen to the entire “Juarez” album in it’s entirety.
NP: “You Don’t Tell Me What To Do”Kris Kristofferson. And one of the best songwriters of all time released a new album at the end of last year, and I finally listened to it six months later. Not his finest work (how could it be, really?), but there’s some awfully nice stuff on it.
NP: “Frightened”The Fall. Woozy. Decidedly woozy. So good.
NP: “Get It When I Want It”Candi Staton. Oh, man… this just slays. For fans of Laura Lee, Betty Wright, etc.
NP: “Little Mama”Luis Gasca. There’s a copy of this in the bin at Academy that says something along the lines of “Despite the fact that Carlos Santana plays on this, this is a damn fine record.” Very true. This isn’t as fun as that Ramsey Lewis “Do Whatever Sets You Free” track i posted a ways back, but it’s definitely in the same ballpark.
NP: “Chicken Fat”Mel Brown. I’m a bit of a sucker for some (sorta cheesy) instrumental guitar funk. Mel Brown nails it with regularity.
NP: “Silver Spring”Speedy Ortiz. Bettie Serveert fans pay attention. That’s all I’m going to say.
NP: “Tonite”Les Rita Mitsouko. Some serious Bowie-channeling from these French new-wavers.
NP: “Emergency Human Blood Courier”Terry Allen. This is from the new Terry Allen album. Best record of 2013 so far… Nothing else is even close.
NP: “Belmont Girl Is Mad At Me”The Trypes. That Terry Allen song made me think of this previously-unreleased Trypes song, which just came out on the “Music For Neighbors” compilation. Mesmorizing. This one’s going to be in your head in a week, and you’ll have a hard time remembering what it is. Good luck.
NP: “ITUNES_STREAM”ITUNES USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: “WINAMP_STREAM”WINAMP (and WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER and REALPLAYER) USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: “SOUNDCLOUD”SOUNDCLOUD – stream the entire playlist on soundcloud.
NP: “PODCAST”PODCAST of all of the above songs. [70.6 MB, 61:44 minutes]
NP: “RAR_FILE”.RAR file of all of the above songs. [106.0 MB]

NR: The sad and frustratring life story of Shulamith Firestone, best known as the author of “The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution” in 1970, in last week’s New Yorker, as written by Susan Faludi.
NR: Short fiction by T. Coraghessan Boyle in the same issue of the New Yorker, “The Night of the Satellite.”

NW: Almost done with The West Wing season 4 (for the, what, 4th or 5th time through?)… starting into Sports Night, but it’s going to be hard to get past the laugh track.
NW: And the season finale of the newly-canceled Touch. I’m not sure where they would have gone with it for another season, but it’s still sad to know it’s over. Not even remotely the best thing I’ve ever seen, but it was definitely better than its ratings. And by being canceled, it means that 24 has been tapped to start again, which really can’t at all be a good thing.

NE: Even more Potbelly’s wrecks (with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies).
NE: Fried chicken from the Redhead.
NE: Lunchtime burritos at Dos Toros and donuts from Peter Pan.
NE: As always, another outstanding meal at Lavagna.
NE: Hot Kitchen!

ND: Happy Hour margaritas at Rosa Mexicano.
ND: A lovely Lambrusco at dinner at In Vino, but I have completely forgotten the name of the producer.


 

What are you up to on Wednesday and Thursday and Saturday? Come to one of these shows:

Wednesday, May 15 – No Joy / Heaven at Mercury Lounge (early show)
Thursday, May 16 – No Joy / Weekend at Glasslands
Saturday, May 18 – The Feelies at Bell House

 


 
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and Sam just LOVES stereo component sets…

NP: “It’s Too Late”The Jim Carroll Band. There’s a Parquet Courts song that sounds like a Jim Carroll Band song, so it made me go back to give this one a listen. I remember hearing this in high school and thinking that this was punk fucking rock. It’s not… it’s just snotty rock and roll, but i guess so were the Ramones and the Sex Pistols, eh?
NP: “Teenage Life”Cowboys. Did you know Mark Eitzel used to be in a punk band as a teenager in Ohio? He was. And this is that band.
NP: “All My Life”Naked Skinnies. And after Cowboys broke up, and before Mark moved to San Francisco and formed American Music Club, he also did a 7″ as part of the band The Naked Skinnies. It’s a nice monotone unsettling song, both badly produced and perfectly produced. A bit of a revelation for me, truthfully. For those of you that are nerds about this sort of thing, the one-and-only Naked Skinnies single came out on Naked House records, a “label” (i’m pretty sure it’s the only Naked House release) run by Ron House, better known by lots of folks as the former frontman of Great Plains (check out these records on Homestead if you ever find them [usually cheaply] in the used bin!) and Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, and pretty much a Columbus, OH legend.
NP: “No Chance”Fresh Color. Following the above theme… Did you ever hear Fresh Color, the Swiss punk band that had Dieter Meier do vocals on this song, before he formed Yello? Now’s your chance. And it’s probably your only chance, as you ain’t gonna find the original 7″ easily: it sells for $100-$200.
NP: “Human Being”Coloured Balls. Fun stuff. Has just been re-issued. Did Danzig rip off the end of this song? Probably not, but… Maybe.
NP: “You Are a Lion, I Am a Lamb”Ex Cops. And, hey… how about SOMETHING made within the last 30 years, eh? Good new stuff from NYC’s Ex Cops.
NP: “Take Me As I Am”Denise & Co.. A nice old tune from one of the “Girls In The Garage” comps.
NP: “I Want to Be Happy”Sammy Davis Jr.. Cheesy, yes. But fun enough every now and then.
NP: “One Has My Name The Other Has My Heart”Nat King Cole. Schmaltzy, but well done.
NP: “Ballad For New Souls”Muhal Richard Abrams. Really lovely. Everything in its right place. Chicago cat that’s played with Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, and lots of good folks.
NP: “In Memory Of My Seasons”Joseph Jarman/Famoudou Don Moye. Did you even notice the segue from the previous song? If you didn’t I’m doing something right. Art Ensemble of Chicago guys out on their own. They’ve also played with Muhal Richard Abrams above.
NP: “Denise”Nat Adderley. If there’s ever a 70′s sitcom about Denise, this will absolutely HAVE to be the theme song.
NP: “The Back Seat Of My Car”Paul & Linda McCartney. Been giving “RAM” a few listens lately, with all the hubbub over the monstrous (and apparently masterful) reissue. And, damn… yeah… it’s a great record! Shocking!
NP: “These Are The J.B.’s”The J.B.’s. Bought a Mexican copy of this LP in the El Chopo flea market in Mexico City recently. Used records there were tremendously overpriced, but I did find a decent copy of this, a Mexican pressing of the first B-52′s (“contiene ‘El Rock De La Langosta’”), and a Babe Ruth LP for decent enough prices that i bought them mostly so that i could say, yes, that i bought them at the El Chopo flea market in Mexico City. (Note the mental segueway from “We could end up in Mexico City” in the Paul & Linda song above).
NP: “The Meeting Place”Wanda Robinson. A spoken-poetry flute jam record from Baltimore in 1971. A beautifully packaged LP that i bought recently without bothering to listen to or doing any research. One look and I knew it was going to be pretty special. There was a lot of flute this playlist, huh?
NP: “Die Life”The Soft Moon. A bit of a palate-cleanser at the end of things. You are now free to pursue other listening.
NP: “ITUNES_STREAM”ITUNES USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: “WINAMP_STREAM”WINAMP (and WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER and REALPLAYER) USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: “PODCAST”PODCAST of all of the above songs. [70.3 MB, 61:24 minutes]
NP: “RAR_FILE”.RAR file of all of the above songs. [119.0 MB]

NR: Pam Coloff’s award-nominated long-form journalism in Texas Monthly Magazine. One confirmed case of wrongful murder conviction, and another that sure seems like it. Here, here, and here. Essential (and scary) reading. Remind me to not be in the wrong place at the wrong time in Texas any time soon!

NW: Revisiting The West Wing season 3 and 4… and a lot of college basketball. Good thing it’s baseball season now!

NE: Even more Potbelly’s wrecks (with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies).
NE: Panera Bread. Lots of Panera Bread.
NE: Calabrese pizza at Nicoletta. Damn. REALLY good. and try the soft serve gelato with espresso caramel sauce for desert!

ND: Milkshakes from Sundaes And Cones, Veselka, The Satellite Room in DC.
ND: Yuengling and Evan Williams. Simple and easy and great. no complaints.


 

Slower than i wanted, but SXSW and some Feelies shows slowed me down… Here’s a new one!

 


 
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it’s no river at all… it’s a tidal estuary.

NP: “Help”Sonny Okosuns. Nigerian High Life is often quite enjoyable, but there’s something especially, um, special about Sonny. With a healthy dose of Memphis soul and Jamaican reggae, he brings a bit of warmth to the genre that is sometimes lacking. Vinyl rip of this 1976 Nigerian gem… sadly, not from my own LP.
NP: “Hotel Alyssa-Soussie, Tunisia”Sabu Martinez. 1973′s Afro Temple is the record that’s going to change your mind about “latin jazz”.
NP: “The Deacon”Brute Force. Pretty slamming 1970 LP on Herbie Mann’s Embryo Records… featuring Sonny Sharrock on a bunch of tracks. Picked this up recently at Co-op 87, and couldn’t be happier about it.
NP: “Heaven Sent”M’Boom. This is a record i’m pretty sure I will never be lucky enough to own, but… I’ll keep looking. Check out the M’Boom performances on Soul! on PBS in 1971.
NP: “Loops and Sequences”American Contemporary Music Ensemble, Clarice Jensen & Timothy Andres. JOSEPH BYRD: NYC 1960-1963 is the first commercial recording of the concert music of composer Joseph Byrd. Joseph was also the founder of The United States Of America… I’m a huge fan of that LP which was released by Columbia in 1968… it’s one of my prized possessions in the stacks (thanks, Gimme Gimme… RIP NYC location… may you do well in LA!). ACME features the esteemed Clarice Jensen on cello. Highly recommended new release!
NP: “Don’t Ever Look Back”Autre Ne Veut. I missed the show last week, but I’ve been giving the record a few listens, before that Pitchfork Best New Music stamp came along, naturally.
NP: “Thin White Line”Avengers. A nice 7″ purchase from last year… Dug it out again recently.
NP: “Invention Is A National Treasure”Vitreous Humor. Delving back in time to the still-great Vitreous Humor.
NP: “Diet”Au Pairs. Denise grabbed a copy of this 7″ at The Record Grouch recently. Far better versions than the album takes of these tracks!
NP: “Caster of Worthless Spells”Parquet Courts. Parquet Courts are the only new band of the last two years that I’ve given even remotely a fuck about. Some of that is to do with the fact that I’ve listened to less new music in the last two years than since I was 14, for sure, but… A lot of that is to do with the fact that Parquet Courts are pretty damn great. This song isn’t remotely their best… it’s just the one I wanted to put on the playlist. Go see them.
NP: “Afternoon Of A Georgia Faun”Marion Brown. 1970 LP. I had an earlier Marion Brown record that I had really lusted after and thoroughly enjoyed, so when I found this LP in Denver this fall on tour for $10, I grabbed it without bothering to even listen. Finally listened to it last month (having a pile of hundreds of records on my floor that I’ve acquired over the last year and have yet to actually play), and I was unprepared for it’s awesomeness. If you are at all a fan of Laughingstock-era Talk Talk or Harry Partch or Cecil Taylor or Stomu Yamashta or Patty Waters or those insane Sonny Sharrock solo albums or even Dungen, you *may* find this enjoyable. Or you will find it to be winded, bloated, blathering, meandering, useless, and completely inessential. One or the other!
NP: “Country Boy”John Lee Hooker. Finally got a copy of “It Serve You Right To Suffer” on LP, and, well… it just sounds perfect.
NP: “Let Him Roll”Guy Clark. And the same day/store in Denver where I picked up the Marion Brown above, I also picked up the first two Guy Clark LPs in absolutely perfect condition. That was a good day. Besides the perhaps cringe-worthy non-PC refrain, this is still one hell of a sad song.
NP: “ITUNES_STREAM”ITUNES USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: “WINAMP_STREAM”WINAMP (and WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER and REALPLAYER) USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: “PODCAST”PODCAST of all of the above songs. [80.5 MB, 70:18 minutes]
NP: “RAR_FILE”.RAR file of all of the above songs. [144.0 MB]

NR: Fun story of crazy pickpocket Apollo Robbins.
NR: Actually reading “Dharma Bums” after finding a copy laying on the street. Not really my mindset, but… I am enjoying it from a storytelling point of view.
NR: Best short fiction I’ve read in a long time in last month’s Harper’s: “The Hidden Person” by Salvatore Scibona.
NR: This week’s New Yorker article on Eric Cantor that doesn’t really make any attempts to hide the fact that he must be a major weenie: “If Cantor had had his way, he would have been in Guadeloupe. ‘My whole family went on a cruise, and I couldn’t go,’ he told me, glumly; he had to stay in Washington to deal with the fiscal-cliff crisis. His wife, Diana, said, ‘This was our twenty-third anniversary, and he missed my fiftieth-birthday cruise also.’”
NR: Slightly harrowing history of “anesthesia awareness” in last month’s Atlantic Monthly.
NR: Which reminded me of this old New Yorker article about people presumed to be in vegetative states and the uses of MRIs to potentially identify patients that can possibly be brought out of that state.

NW: Revisiting Moonlighting… Dune, Body Love (arty French porno from 1977 featuring a soundtrack by Klaus Schulze (who, coincidentally has an album entitled “Dune”) and starring Catherine Ringer (later to become the lead singer of French new wave band Les Rita Mitsouko), Man Of The West, The Lusty Men (coincidentally NOT a porno), Make-Out With Violence, the first four Hal Hartley movies (The Unbelievable Truth, Trust, Surviving Desire, Simple Men), Funeral Procession Of Roses at the MoMa (holy hell this was good), the first three Die Hards (gonna watch the 4th before going to see the 5th), Buffalo 66, and a couple of dozen others I can’t even think of off the top of my head.

NE: More Potbelly’s wrecks than you can shake a stick at.
NE: Pappardelle with braised rabbit and moroccan olives at Lavagna.

ND: Lots of Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout left over from the Ra Ra Riot show at Webster Hall in January.
ND: George T. Stagg. Have been hitting the Stagg a bit after showing some SERIOUS restraint over the last year. Didn’t get another one this fall, dammit.


 

After much time off from this, I’m going to give it a bit more of a go in 2013. fingers crossed!

 


 
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and I can hardly see your face, it’s all covered with Noxema.

NP: “Lover Come Back To Me”Chet Atkins & Les Paul. Chester and Lester… You pretty much can’t go wrong. Don’t skip this one when you find it in the Goodwill LP bin, it’s worth all 50 pennies.
NP: “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right”Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs. 1968 Flatt & Scruggs album “Changin’ Times” has them taking on Pete Seeger, Bobbie Gentry, and Woodie Guthrie compositions, as well as five songs by Dylan. Not for the bluegrass purist, but I still find it an enjoyable listen.
NP: “Snake Drive”Tav Falco’s Panther Burns. Hard to pick just one Panther Burns song… It’s really such a diabolical mood thing. Grab an entire record and give it a listen (if you can get through it).
NP: “Germfree Adolescents”X-Ray Spex. This playlist was actually compiled in April, and then put in this sequence soon after that. In other words, before Poly Styrene’s passing. I thought about taking the song out, but it was meant to be here.
NP: “Bacteria”Archers of Loaf. One of my favorite Archers songs ever. There was actually a minute when I thought there was a chance to put this song out on Self-Starter, but it didn’t happen. Again… song was picked when AOL announced they were doing dates this summer. Couldn’t believe it when they actually played it at Music Hall Of Williamsburg.
NP: “Freight Train”Elizabeth Cotten. I heard an absolutely incredible ukelele version of this song sung by a woman whose name I never learned on tour a couple of years ago, and I still think of it sometimes. This original ain’t too bad, either.
NP: “Don’t Call Him A Cowboy”Conway Twitty. Good advice to all the ladies out there.
NP: “You Are in My Vision”Tubeway Army. Was this song in a car commercial or something recently? It just popped into my head one day, i guess for no reason.
NP: “Over the Edge”Dead Moon. I went through a real Dead Moon phase last winter… Listened to a bunch of records, over and over. And then never put anything on a playlist. It was time to fix that.
NP: “Motoroller Scalatron”Stereolab. Ditto with Stereolab. Anybody got a copy of Transient Random Noise Bursts on LP that you’re looking to get rid of? I got $25 for ya right over here.
NP: “Can You Believe It”Keith Cross & Peter Ross. The bonus track to the CD reissue of an impossible-to-find LP… Truthfully, there are better songs on the album, but this is the song I wanted to put on the playlist. I know somebody who says he wants one of songs from the album played at his funeral, and I assure you he’s serious.
NP: “We Can Swing Together”Lindisfarne. Lindisfarne was one of the bigger bands in the UK in the 70′s. History hasn’t treated them very well. They’re not amazing, but… They should at least be better known than they are.
NP: “Audrey”Mike Heron. Incredible String Band front man’s first solo album includes guests like John Cale, Ronnie Lane, Keith Moon, Richard Thompson, and Pete Townshend. Not too shabby. Doesn’t hurt that the album’s pretty damn great, too.
NP: “Thoughts Of You”Dennis Wilson. Pacific Ocean Blue. You either drink the Kool-Aid or you don’t. I have.
NP: “Early In The Mornin’”22 with Little Red, Tangle Eye, & Hard Hair. From the “Negro Prison Songs” LP… Alan Lomax recordings made in 1947 at the Mississippi State Penitentiary. All acapella and sorta uncredited (“Prisoner 22?”, “Hard Hair”, etc.), it’s a pretty amazing listen.
NP: “Sunday Noon”Mandrake Memorial. Weird Philly psych on Poppy from 1968/69. Seemed like as good of a last song as any.
NP: “ITUNES_STREAM”ITUNES USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: “WINAMP_STREAM”WINAMP (and WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER and REALPLAYER) USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: “PODCAST”PODCAST of all of the above songs. [72.0 MB, 62:54 minutes]
NP: “RAR_FILE”.RAR file of all of the above songs. [85.2 MB]

NR: Finished “Steppenwolf” by Hermann Hesse. I’m going through a big Modern Library reading (and buying) phase. How had i never read this before? So good.

NW: Baseball. Man, I don’t even know who I’m rooting for. Weird, weird baseball this year.

NE: Chihuahua dogs and tater tots from Crif Dogs.
NE: Fried chicken at The Redhead.
NE: General Tso’s Chicken from Hot Kitchen, new decent chinese place in the East Village.

ND: Centennial Rye, hand-smuggled from Canada. Maybe the best bottle of $25 whiskey I’ve ever had. Glad i bought five of them!
ND: Leftover cans of Tecate from a Peter Bjorn And John show in Toronto, I think? Sometime that feels like a lifetime ago.


 

Not much to say… Enjoy!

 


 
please hit me via email at nyc_AT_selfstarterfoundation.com if you’d like on the mailing list for when there’s a new post (or… configure your RSS-reader… this blog should be compatible, but i don’t use the things myself) or check me out on facebook / twitter (barf), where i will be including these updates, too.

 


it can never grow another son like the one who warmed me my days after rain and warmed my breath, my life’s blood…

NP: “Do Whatever Sets You Free”Ramsey Lewis. So, last week’s playlist was a semi-girlie affair… this week’s is the semi-boyish foil… Originally conceived as a collection of vinyl purchased over the last few months, there are a couple of exceptions… and I lead off with one of them. I don’t actually own this fun and funky Ramsey Lewis live album on vinyl yet, but there’s an auction ending on ebay tomorrow and I’d appreciate it if you don’t try to outbid me.
NP: “Veteran’s Day Poppy”Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band. Have been in a big Beefheart phase, and then word came of Don Van Vliet’s sad passing… There’s a lot of Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band material out there (and a lot of confusion as to whether it’s an “And” or an “&”… even on their own covers), but it’s really worth it to try to dive in anyway. Some records are better than others, sure, but… just pick one and give it a listen. It’s that simple. RIP.
NP: “Salat Anbi”Maleem Abdellah Ghania with Pharoah Sanders. Another non-LP track… 2 out of 3 already against the grain! But… I’m definitely 3-for-3 on the “boy playlist” goal, that’s for sure. There are some much-more difficult tracks on “The Trance of Seven Colors” record than this one, but I highly recommend it. I believe it’s CD and .mp3 only.
NP: “Montana Train”Paz Lenchantin. Paz from The Entrance Band’s solo album is so gorgeous that there aren’t really words for it.
NP: “Craigie Hill”Dick Gaughan. Reine from Dungen got the Dick Gaughan “Handful Of Earth” LP for $6 or $8 in Burlington. I had never heard it, but he played it for me when we got back to NYC, and it’s pretty great. So i started looking for a copy. I just didn’t expect to find it for 50 cents in the weird garage at the East Village flea market. I also didn’t expect it to have a $.99 pricetag on it from Academy! Such a weird score. Anyway… none of that helps to explain the sublime rural beauty and heartbreak of this record.
NP: “Highway Wolf”Dungen. It’s not often one gets a song named for them… But the new Dungen 7″ (on Jack White’s Third Man Records) has this live improv jam on the b-side, and they called it “Highway Wolf”, which is their nickname for me. Rad.
NP: “Song For An Uncertain Lady”Randy Burns. I bought this not knowing anything about it other than it had a cool cover and it was an old ESP record. For $15, that’s enough in my book. I’m really glad I did.
NP: “Requiem For John Hurt”John Fahey. Another find at Record Surplus in LA… Really pristine copy, still in shrink, of one of Fahey’s Vanguard records “Requia”, still with a Licorice Pizza pricetag on it. Feels like some sort of digger badge of honor, that pricetag.
NP: “Love Call”Ornette Coleman. Hot damn.
NP: “Final Countdown”Europe. Re-watched Arrested Development in a pretty-short 2 month frenzy this winter. Can’t get this song out of your head sometimes.
NP: “Horses”Bronze. First song from the self-released Bronze EP… Best new band in Brooklyn? Seems likely.
NP: “Here Come The Fleas”White Noise. The companion piece to that Broadcast song from last week’s girlie playlist… This is sometimes considered the first avant-garde synthesizer record, or punk rock electronic record, or whatever hyperbole you want to say about it. It’s from 1969, and, well… i picked the silliest track from the damn thing, so I probably should have represented this album’s complexity and beauty in a little better light. Oh, well… It made for a good playlist closer.
NP: “ITUNES_STREAM”ITUNES USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: “WINAMP_STREAM”WINAMP (and WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER and REALPLAYER) USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: “PODCAST”PODCAST of all of the above songs. [71.9 MB, 62:50 minutes]
NP: “RAR_FILE”.RAR file of all of the above songs. [114.0 MB]

NR: Finished “Arrowsmith” by Sinclair Lewis. And it was as beautiful and amazing as i thought (and feared) it would be. Best $8 i’ve spent in a long long time. Which also means it’s about time I’ve mentioned one of the shining stars of “the new East Village”: Mast Books, on Ave. A between 4th and 5th. Located where Etherea Records used to be, This guy (I don’t know him) has opened a really solid used bookstore the likes of which haven’t been seen in NYC for a long long time. Highly recommended… Makes living in Manhattan still worthwhile.

NW: Nothing! (Wish I had seen that Kansas vs. Kansas State game last week, tho!)

NE: Green salad with mustard vinaigrette topped with walnuts, steak entrée and steak frites at Le Relais de Venise. Ummm… it’s the only thing you CAN order at Le Relais de Venise. With Le Vacherin du Relais for dessert.
NE: 2 bratwursts with 3 kinds of mustard, sauerkraut, bread, and fries. With a pint of Franziskaner Hefeweizen. $17 plus tax and tip at Studio Square in Queens. Weird place… giant beer garden, actually pretty good food and reasonable prices, and about 20 beers on tap… but then it’s often populated by exactly the people you left behind in whatever dumb-fucking-suburban-mall-going-place you tried for years to escape, plus investment bankers! And, strangely, yesterday, there was also some sort of meeting or membership drive of some brooklyn biker gang? Huh.
NE: Fried short-rib pierogies with applesauce and sour cream at Veselka. They’ve been on the specials menu for a month… What the hell made me wait so long to try them? Wow.
NE: Mexican nachos with mixed beans at Paquito’s.

ND: Many Red Stripe and shots of Jameson outdoors at The Boxcar Lounge in the East Village. Remember that one day when it was like 60 degrees? That was great.
ND: Half a shot of Patron XO Cafe at Studio Square. 70 proof tequila coffee liqueur.


 

special announcement! i’m back on the DJ wagon, at least for the month!

Every Wednesday in February i have been DJing happy hour at Lit, from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM. I will again this week, as in previous weeks, be spinning exclusively from vinyl 7″‘s released between 1985 and 1999.

For the fourth week, this Wednesday, February 23rd, i will play only records by artist names starting with the letters T-Z. And I won’t lie to you… this is the narrowest band, in terms of sheer number of 7″‘s that I own, of the alphabet, so it could get interesting!

We’re talking about Teenage Fanclub, Unwound, Velocity Girl, The Wedding Present, Young Fresh Fellows, Zonic Shockum, etc. if you know me, you know what i like, so… come on out if you want to have a beer.

With your bartender Donovan and your owner Erik!

Here’s the Facebook Event Page.

Lit Lounge
93 2nd Ave.
New York, NY

I really hope you can make it!

 


 
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