Tuesday, April 26, 2011

music diary project, day four, five, & six

Friday, April 8th
Another quiet day, despite receiving another Reckless mailorder during the week.

(3:30p) Flying Saucer Attack - New Lands
I seriously cannot get enough Flying Saucer Attack lately---to the point where I went and filled in their discography via mail-ordering used discs. Here, leader David Pearce's vision has never been so loud-yet-hushed. Massed clouds of distortion float just above the surface; a stunning achievement in avant-garde pop.

Make no mistake, this is pop. Mellow, acoustic slow jam cloaked in gritty disguise, thick coat of static.

(7:00p) First half of my March mix.
Heading to the beginning of a bro-down with former roommates/current compadres Andy & Tyler...I was driving Amelia's car across town on one of the nicest days of the year, I couldn't help but try out my tape-dubbed copy of this mix. I already wrote about it at the above check it out there.

Saturday, April 9th
Woke up early on a friend's house, and drove through thick sheets of rain back home to look for a suit for a wedding with my younger brother. Later in the day, post-tacos, were rejoined by friends, spun some jams while finishing the last of my Yuengling haul (Black & Tan, of course) from the Florida Christmas roadtrip. In-between, viewed the cult-classic (and by cult, I mean an estimated 10 people around the globe) Norm MacDonald vehicle, Dirty Work.

Don Rickles, in the finest comedy cameo known to man. Did I mention bit roles for Chris Farley, Chevy Chase, John Goodman? A veritable smorgasbord.

(8:30a) Second half of my March mix.

(4:00p) Yo la Tengo - I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One
What else can I say about this record that hasn't been said? Yes, it's their masterpiece (though I firmly believe And Nothing... and Electr-o-Pura are close rivals); yes, it flirts with many subgenres (long feedback-pieces, jazz-inflected pop, unabashed alt-guitar worship, strummy acoustic Neil Young-esque pieces, clattering organ drone, percussion-oriented RnB/funk-lite...); yes it is funny, warm, emotionally involved, witty...damn. I just got a used vinyl of this, complete with the humorous faux-Matador releases. Where else did you think Condo Fucks came from?

(5:00p) Neil Young - Rust Never Sleeps
I didn't really get into Young till my mid-20s. Unlike many of my peers, I never remember my parents listening to him, probably due to the fact that they were teenagers in the mid-60s, and by the time Young was a mega-star, I'm pretty sure my parents had stopped buying records, trying instead to buy groceries for two young kids. This record is plaintive, and well-spoken (excepting the awful record cover); I feel like the acoustic/electric dichotomy between Side A and Side B work really well with this record. Partial to the acoustic side, lately.

Pure-voiced live version of "Sugar Mountain", complete with frequency-cutting, glorious harmonica.

(10:30p) the Rolling Stones - Goat's Head Soup
By this time, we'd downed the Yuengling, walked out into the dusk for a sixer of Coors Banquet tallboys (something very satisfying about the name of that beer), and returned to chew the fat about early musical experiences. Before heading out to the watering hole down the street, my buzzed brain needed some get-up/wake-up vibes, and Goat's Head Soup never disappoints. My second favorite Stones record, and one that is overlooked despite its plenitude of squelchy riffs, blown-out vocals, all the while exuding grime, sex, and excess. If you don't know it, you should!

Sunday, April 10th

(10:30a) Al Green - Greatest Hits
A tradition at Bloomington's Tracks, perhaps not started by record-shilling associate Mike H., though he certainly instructed me in the Ways. Tracks opened early on Sundays...earlier than any other non-breakfast or worship-serving place. The law of the land was that you had to at least break-in the morning with the Reverend...Al Green. Can't go wrong with most of his hits collections, one of which we would bust out with regularity. Some of the best memories of the store are coming in with a slight hangover, riding my bike under the Spring-canopied streets, and propping the door open, blasting the Reverend to the Canaanites in the street while the breeze mingled and cut-through the constant haze of Nag Champa. Almost makes me wistful for bygone days.

Not on Greatest Hits, but one of my lesser-known favorites. And yes, Al Green was an attempt to rectify the hangover induced by Saturday night's booze banquet.

(2:40p) Various Artists - Studio Roots 2
Another fine, fine compilation from the folks at Soul Jazz. This record connects to another Bloomington spring memory. At some point at tracks, I began digging into the equally-fantastic Trojan compilations, which the manager had burned copies of sitting in the promo drawer. Still in "professional musician" mode, I had bought with my meager savings (and help from my parents) a used VW Passat Wagon, with which I could cart around all my gear AND my P.A. system. Before that car shit the bed, I enjoyed a brief spring with the windows down and my first ever in-car CD-player. With the crabapples and dogwoods in full, fragrant bloom, I drove over to the Secretly Canadian warehouse to pick up some used CD sleeves to recycle for the Everything, Now! hand-painted Bible Universe edition, blasting the Trojan Dub compilation the whole time. It was the year's first near-70-degree day, and reggae had finally clicked. Sometimes understanding art is all about having a context in which to experience it fully; being young, enjoying warm weather, and thinking about upcoming artistic endeavours...I was not yet of the world, instead, I was floating somewhere above. Every Spring since, when warm weather first comes 'round the bend, I know it's reggae season again.

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