It is a measure of our times that the deplorables evoke an earnest, political singer/songwriter singing truth to power by simply recounting the sadness of these same times, and doing so like a female Woody Guthrie. essential
Angel was last year’s Courtney Barnett. Except at this point, she’s a musical chameleon mining all sorts of styles birthed before she was, or, working out loud what a grunge chanteuse might sound like. My Woman is a strong record, yet I think it will end up being a table setter.
At this point, Jeff Tweedy and Wilco own the stage.
last year kicked off with a spectacular record by Ms. Rodriguez.
A second record with Chip Taylor Red Dog tracks gets back to the duo’s dependable, grown-up folk rock.
Re-release of Bon Iver in Japan added a bonus disc of live performances from last year. Stellar. This set on the day before the last of day of the year is just as good.
His 2016 release 22, a million is quite good, but not as sharp as this concert.
With respect to my own musical background, and so with regard for my own influences, Pauline Oliveros stood with Thelonious Monk as the second-to-none inspirations for my music. Although it is crucial to fold in the handful of other critical influences, the odd couple of Monk and Oliveros key the two driving principles, Oliveros’s deep listening, and, Monk’s absolute improv.
The first Deep listening Band record changed my musical life.
Deep Listening Institute (DLI) promotes the music and Deep Listening practice of pioneer composer Pauline Oliveros, providing a unique approach to music, literature, art, meditation, technology and healing. DLI fosters creative innovation across boundaries and across abilities, among artists and audience, musicians and non-musicians, healers and the physically or cognitively challenged, and children of all ages. This ever-growing community of musicians, artists, scientists and certified Deep Listening practitioners strives for a heightened consciousness of the world of sound and the sound of the world.
The Gilded Palace of Sin isn’t strictly a country rock record. But when Parsons chose to mix the country with whatever else, he did it so well that it drew the ire of the Nashville establishment who felt that Parson’s music was a stain on the wholesomeness of pure country music. A sort of hippie invasion, if you will. Looking back, it’s funny to think about. Not only Nashville’s revulsion at Parson as an unsavory character—because there were no unsavory characters in country music—but also because country rock and country pop now dominate a large section of the consumer music market. That sort of genre blending, the country aesthetic mixed with dance beats or rock riffs, is a flower off the tree of Parson’s Cosmic American Music. Although I’m not so sure he would be happy with the dumb-downed legacy that is the current state of country music. American it is. Cosmic it is not.
Counterbalance No. 153: Flying Burrito Brothers’ ‘The Gilded Palace of Sin’ by Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger
The Guilded Palace of Sin remains for me, after forty-six years, one of my favorite pop records of all time, certainly in the top five.
I put the following compact disc in my car player and listened to it twice.
The hook for me, once again, was Sneaky Pete Kleinow’s pedal steel magic. His playing reinforces my own sense that The Burrito Brothers were a psychedelic country band, with Sneaky’s shapeshifting steel fronting the lead guitar aesthetic with its leaps between swirly chorus-effect and bandsaw fuzz.
Plus, marvels of lip-synch and stand-up pedal steel.
Sneaky Pete also anchored The Flying Burrito Brothers on tour.
Calgary, August 1970
There are some fine audio-only concerts from 1970 on youtube.
Seattle Pop Festival – July 27, 1969
December 6, 1970 – Lyceum Ballroom – London, England
Over the past week I’ve unveiled some of the music that brought me satisfaction and, often, extraordinary moments of sonic alignment–which is how great music strikes me, and, has struck me for forty-five years.
Nowadays it is clear that musical culture in the USA revolves around everybody being their own mix master. Almost all the music mentioned in the previous week’s post can be sampled via Spotify or Pandora. It can be purchased at iTunes or Amazon or GooglePlay, yet the best place to purchase it, is at the artist’s web site–where such an opportunity exists.
The following is my ordering of my very favorite releases from last year. This evaluation isn’t intended to parse artistic merit. It just serves my desire to name Wussy the album of the year, and to put their superb Attica in the company of other peerless examples of vital musical artistry.
12 ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS – 2014
1. Wussy – Attica |buy direct| ***record of the year***
2. The Swans – To Be Kind |buy direct|
3. Sam Newsome – The Straight Horn of Africa A Path to Liberation (Art of the Soprano, V2) |buy Amazon|
4. Noura Mint Seymali (Mauritania) – Tzenni |buy direct|
5. D’Angelo & The Vanguard – Black Messiah |buy Amazon|
6. Hassan Hakmoun (Morocco) – Unity |buy Amazon|
7. Tisziji Munoz – Taking You Out There! Live |buy direct|
8. Irma Thomas – Full Time Woman (The Lost Cotillion Album)
|buy Lousiana Music Factory|
9. Aya Nishina – Flora [from 2013] |buy|
10.The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream |buy direct|
11.Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds In Country Music |buy direct|
12.FKA Twigs – LP1 |buy Amazon|
Special Mention – Archival Discovery of the Year
John Coltrane – Offering – Live at Temple University |buy Resonance Records|
They sound like a merger of The Band’s earthiness and The Replacements’ garage power.
Great songs hammered home by musicians wholly devoted to do the hammering.
Wussy – Attica!
The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream
Arial Pink – Pom Pom
Ex Hex – Rips
The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers
Sloan – Commonwealth
Bell Gardens – Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions
FKA Twigs – LP1
Amy LaVere – Runaway’s Diary
Alison May – Loved Dark
Grouper – Ruins
Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds In Country Music
Amelia White – Old Postcard
Angaleena Presley – American Middle Class
Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn – Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Billy Joe Shaver – Long in the Tooth
OLD HIPPIES – “OLD-TIMER’S DIVISION”
The Both – The Both (Amy Mann & Ted Leo)
various artists – Link Of Chain A Songwriters Tribute To Chris Smither
Jon Dee Graham – Do Not Forget
Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems
The Velvet Underground / live
R.E.M. – Complete Rarities I.R.S. 1982-1987
Love – Black Beauty
The 13th Floor Elevators – Live Evolution Lost
Grateful Dead – 1972-11-18 Houston, TX
Grateful Dead – Dave’s Pick’s Volume 10 1969-12-12 Thelma, LA Dec 12 1969
Bob Dylan & the Band – The Complete Basement Tapes
The Velvet Underground / s.t.
Improvisation – call it jazz, if you must
Sam Newsome – The Straight Horn of Africa A Path to Liberation (Art of the Soprano, V2)
Tisziji Munoz – Taking You Out There! Live
Chicago/Sao Paulo Underground Feat. Pharoah Sanders – Pharoah & The Underground
Notes – The best improv sounds for itself. It takes me more than a year to absorb the rich experiments. Especially with the field of improv, it is what I happen to be dealing with as a listener in the moment that comes to the fore and comes to be favored. Still, compelled by the year-end project to give some shape to my most glorious preferences, it was straight forward to elevate Mr. Newsome and Mr. Munoz & Mr. Sanders and Mr. Mazurek to the top rank. I spent the most time with Tisziji Munoz, simply by virtue of his prolific delivery of entire recordings and partial recordings on eMusic. By my count he put out twelve new recordings. Their quality is uniformly excellent. He is a stirring improviser, but of course so are Sam Newsome, and the ageless Pharoah Sanders. The only possible conclusion is that 2014 was a year for reviving the feel of John Coltrane.
Keith Jarrett & Charlie Haden – Last Dance
Oliver Lake – Heard the Organ Trio
Jason Ajemian – Folklords
Ken Vandermark Duos and Trios – Nine Ways to Read a Bridge
Steve Lehman Octet – Mise En Abi?me
Ideal Bread – Beating The Teens
Roscoe Mitchell with Craig Taborn, Kikanju Baku – Conversations I/Conversations II
Jemeel Moondoc – The Zookeeper’s House
Jochen Rueckert – We Make the Rules
Orrin Evans & Captain Black Big Band – Mother’s Touch
Sonny Simmons & Moksha Samnyasin – Nomadic
Tisziji Munoz – Omega Nebula-The Afterlife
Abdullah Ibrahim – The Song Is My Story
Sam Newsome – The Solo Concert – Plays Monk and Ellington
George Lewis, Wadada Leo Smith, John Zorn – Sonic Rivers
Keith Jarrett Trio – Somewhere
John Coltrane – Offering – Live at Temple University
Miles Davis – The Unissued Cafe Bohemia Broadcasts
Miles Davis – Plugged Nickel Complete
Clifford Brown – The Blue Note Recordings