Wednesday, June 30, 2010

6.30.2010, ftw

i'm the guy that wears the same clothes everyday. it's probably a hangover from being in the military, when the only sartorial decision i had to make on a daily basis was "green or blue?"

these days, my winter uniform is black pants (i haven't owned a pair of bluejeans since ca. 1986), black thermal shirt (who knew they made 'em in black? thanks, jon teague), black band T-shirt and/or dark colored pullover optional, black or athletic shoes. my summer uniform is khaki pants or shorts (i own one pair, which are splattered with paint), white T-shirt or old man undershirt (when i turned 40, i switched from tighty whities and white T-shirts to boxers and old man undershirts, which i refuse to call "wife beaters" for obvious reasons), athletic shoes.

for occasions when a button-down shirt is required, i wear one of the following, depending on the occasion: 1) the baggy brown checkered shirt, 2) the pastel blue shirt aimee bought me to take on the road with nathan brown, or 3) the black velveteen shirt (a.k.a. "the funeral shirt"). i only put shit on my head when it's necessary for protection: knitted watch cap in winter, yellow bandana in summer.

and they say i'm unimaginative.

my scrawl in the fw weekly

a review i penned of merkin's cd scatology is in this week's paper and online now.

Dennis Gonzalez/Yells At Eels featuring Louis Moholo-Moholo - "Cape of Storms"

Yells At Eels' latest release, their second for Ayler Records (and an actual physical CD, unusual for that label), teams trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez, his fiery sons, and saxman Tim Green with South African-born/London expat drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo, with whom Dennis first recorded in 1987. Recorded in Dallas (amid the city's biggest snowstorm in 30 years) and New Orleans, Cape of Storms showcases a band whose performances are becoming ever more subtle and intricately detailed.

Stefan Gonzalez plays a lot of tuned percussion here -- sounding at different times like Bobby Hutcherson on a classic '60s Blue Note side (the opening track is a dedication by Dennis to obscuro post-bop vibist Walt Dickerson), Balinese gamelan filtered through Don Cherry, or Japanese music filtered through Harry Partch -- as well as churning up welters of polyrhythmic fury while playing double drums with Moholo-Moholo, an early influence. Stefan also composed three of the album's ten tunes.

His brother Aaron is continues to impress equally on arco or pizzicato bass. Father Dennis is becoming less reluctant to flaunt his trumpet mastery, alternating virtuosic flurries of notes with bittersweet, ruminative passages. While it's thrilling to hear the great Moholo-Moholo here, at this point, the main attraction of a new Yells At Eels recording is the anticipation of hearing how the improvisational dialogue between Gonzalez pere et fils will have evolved since last hearing.

stoogeaphilia @ 7th haven, 6.27.2010

from the asian media crew. hurley steps out, and we demonstrate that we don't dissolve in daylight:

from linc campbell. i like how bored the guy in the tanktop looks:

from chris phonpituck. raymond and i both have the nervebreakers on our shirts (not discernable in pics), while hembree provides the button-down fulcrum to our black-and-white-T balance:

everyone agrees it was a good set. thanks to jimmy moore and the haven staff, and to the italian kid for inviting us to play. now, back to the shed to learn some new toonage. see you in september!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

meet harper lee

...the to kill a mockingbird author. from the daily mail.

Monday, June 28, 2010

mr. charlie

remember ray reed singing this song at the swing club, and wes race sometimes flowing verse over it. good times.

original jeff beck group b**tlegs

who knew there were so many of these damn things?

6.27.2010, ftw

played our last stoogeshow of the season for the fw weekly music awards showcase at 7th haven, in the heart of what i suppose is now called the "7th street corridor." saw lotsa folks we know, as well as lots we don't. my sweetie had a seat in the window behind the soundguy and she said it was packed all the way back. i figured we'd clear the room, or at least have crickets 'cos the burning hotels were playing lola's at the same time. different crowds, i guess. missed seeing the dangits because they were across the street at the pour house at the same time we were at the haven.

jimmy moore, who owns the haven, is a real good fella, and cara cassaday who tends bar there is a fave of the stoogeband. (ask jon teague to tell you the "kerry von ehrich dream" story sometime.) teague had just played lola's with pinkish black, and he let hembree and lee allen use tommy atkins' beloved sunn 300T. ray was on the mend from having his spleen out the week before; it didn't seem to affect his performance at all. i was particularly gratified to see blues papa james hinkle watching from the patio behind us, and johnny trashpockets from e.t.a., who we wanna do shows with when we come back in the fall. we played a good set, and my sweetie 'n' i were home not long after the sun set.

today: hello kitty waffles with daughter and granddaughter, work, then dinner chez the outlaw chef, who has the same berfday as me. it's gonna be a goodun.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

a dream

i was back at my parents' house on long island, cutting the grass with barber shears at 3am when i heard voices around the other side of the house. three men with a ladder were trying to get in through a second floor window. i caught one and was trying to hit him. he had shaving cream on his face.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

6.26.2010, ftw

somehow got a "civilian" weekend again. going to darrin and laura's wedding this evening, and playing a stoogeshow tom'w. this morning i went through all the boxes of cd's but was unable to find the jeff beck boots i wanted to burn for augie r., or the wreck room jam ones i wanted to burn for b-rock. feh. but i did shitcan a bunch of junk cd's i'd never listen to, salvage the cases, and earmark another stack for an hpb run. divestiture is good.

ADDENDUM: found _another_ box of cd's, in which i discovered the two jeff beck bootlegs and a couple of the wreck room jam discs i wanna burn for augie r. and b-rock, so now i have another project for after the weekend.

my sweetie took me to doc's and flying fish for my (early) b-day, and i copped julius hemphill coon bid'ness on arista freedom, billy hart enchance on horizon, jimi at winterland (which got me listening to his music again back in '86; didn't realize ryko had done a vinyl versh), and savoy brown a step further (which brought back memories of what i did instead of going to the watkins glen festival back in '73, when i thought there was going to be a hipi rockfest in upstate noo yawk every year for the rest of my life). not only that, she found a nina simone 2cd comp with _everything_ on it, and a beasties' paul's boutique and a sinead o'connor alb she'll undoubtedly enjoy listening to. hooray!

i'm now older than i ever thought about being, but hopefully not as old as i'm going to get.

Friday, June 25, 2010

sleep. sub oslo. austin. 9.10.2010.

at the mohawk. good luck getting tixxx.

i run with the jaguar

another thrift art video, from frank artsmarter's youtube channel.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"a love supreme" live in ftw

bassist extraordinaire paul unger sends:

A Love Supreme: Tribute to John Coltrane

Thursday, July 8th, 9 PM at the Scat Jazz Lounge in downtown Fort Worth.

Fort Worth Symphony’s, Paul Unger, and International jazz star Shelley Carrol (Sheryl Crow, Duke Ellington) will recreate John Coltrane’s seminal jazz album, “A Love Supreme”.

A Love Supreme is often listed amongst the greatest jazz albums of all time and its influence has been extensive and diverse. Musicians ranging from John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana to Bono of U2, have singled out the influence of the album on their own work. It is unique in its overt intention to be a spirtual album. Broadly representative of a personal struggle for purity, it expresses the artist’s deep gratitude as he admits to his talent and instrument as being owned not by him but to a spiritual higher power.

As a testament to the recording’s historic significance, the manuscript for the album is one of the National Museum of American History’s “treasures of American History”, part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear the entire “A Love Supreme” suite performed live along with other works by John Coltrane.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

my scrawl in the fw weekly

i wrote some of the music awards blurbs in this week's cover story...if memory serves, for "hard rock," "heavy metal," "live performance," "venue," and brian forella in the "hall of fame" corner, where jon teague also penned a few words on tommy atkins.

pssst! hey, kid! wanna stream or download HIO's last two live sets?

t. horn just uploaded them here. look for "HIO, 1919 Hemphill 06182010" and "HIO, phoenix project 06192010."

what is punk?

twenty-five definitions. from flavorwire.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

peter laughner - "take the guitar player for a ride"

wish i hadn't let somebody "borrow" this cd a few years ago.

tupelo chain sex

'80s l.a. "new wave" band w/don "sugarcane" harris. found their lp at hpb and it ain't half bad.

6.22.2010, ftw

i love the shuffle feature in itunes. it's interesting to hear HIO, joe and the sonic dirt from madagascar, and PFFFFT! tracks mixed in with gunslingers, mott the hoople, neil young, ornette coleman, ed kuepper, lightnin' hopkins, sun kil moon, etc. we have a ton of music in there that i'd forgotten.

sugarcane harris

randy resnick, who played rhythm guitar with don "sugarcane" harris in the band pure food & drug act, maintains this website with pics and audio clips of the great r&b singer-violinist who had r&b hits in the '50s as part of the duo don & dewey (with dewey terry) and contributed to three of fz's best '60s albums (burnt weenie sandwich, weasels ripped my flesh, and hot rats). pf&da was basically dewey, harvey mandel, and john mayall's riddim section. their 1970 epic album is worth seeking out, and includes a version of this beatlesong.

a postmodern analysis of "mary poppins"

from the rumpus. this guy should get out more.

Monday, June 21, 2010

i impersonate an artist, then auggie intervenes

t. horn shot and edited this for the 10th anniversary thrift art show, which we missed by playing 1919 hemphill last friday. the fire next time.

a li'l black flag history

via arthur.

6.21.2010, ftw

1) midnight sez, "i'm a bombay. that's the housecat that looks like a little panther."

2) i'm the guy that wears the same clothes everyday.

6.20.2010, ftw

yesterday i dreamed i was at work and a customer was lambasting me because no one had called him about a product from another department i'd taken his order for and passed on to them. he came and sought me out and was asking me, "don't you know who i am?" when the alarm went off. i don't know which is more disturbing, that i'm dreaming about work or that i remembered the dream, which i almost never do. wound up being a good day, though: lunch with oldest daughter, dinner with middle daughter and oldest grandchild. my sweetie fixed nice herbed chicken cutlets, spinach salad, and fresh fruit. now i'm reading graphic novels (and one college paper) courtesy of the recent graduate. maybe i'll even run this morning.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

HIO musings

1) we were total assholes to rockstar it and show up at 1919 an hour and a half late. al rios was cool, though, and even asked us back. bless him. that shit won't happen again.

2) clear spot was an edifying listen, but doggebi took the show. terry and i were talking about how luis longoria makes his tabletop guitar sound like anything but a guitar. (i'm a little more guitaristic, prolly because i love percussive sounds and pulse.) his brother spike the percussionist drums like a composer, in the manner of early tony williams or ronald shannon jackson. michelle yom uses her breath to achieve interesting percussion effects on her flute. almost enough to make me sorry i'm not going to make the houston/austin shows next month.

3) big marcus definitely gets "most valuable player" for showing up saturday night after being dogbit on the face and hand the night before. i've never known a classically trained muso who's so flexible in his approach and willing to try new things on the spur of the moment, even in the context of a public performance. kudos!

4) hickey is the heart of HIO. his solo work as joe and the sonic dirt from madagascar shows that he knows how to structure and arrange music, and he gets a great recorded sound as an engineer. his minimalist contributions to HIO elicit more audience comments than any other element of our performance. and he's one of the naturally funniest people i've ever known -- an immeasurable asset in this drinking club masquerading as a band.

5) terry horn has a work ethic like no creative person i've ever known (although completion is not his strong suit). he's inspired me to change the way i think about playing music in all contexts, not just HIO. i'm glad he got a gig teaching art at eastern hills high school next fall.

6) i refuse to investigate the history of improv beyond reading derek bailey's book (thanks, herb) because i'm uninterested in learning the syntax and conventions of the genre. what i strive for in HIO is to take what i know about music-making in a general way and apply it to the situation at hand, using whatever tools t. horn has provided for this purpose. i think this is in accord with his intent, as he's told me that he keeps building instruments in order to change the way HIO sounds. i think our process -- which basically consists of being comfortable interacting with each other socially, listening and responding to each other without ego onstage -- is sound. at least it pleases us.


7) we're changing the title of our box set from a box of hentai to revisionist history. if you buy one, you'll get all of our recordings _that we like_ at the time t. horn puts it together.

stoogeaphilia pics from the burrito project benefit

riyad elmasri posted a bunch of pics of the li'l stoogeband from our last show on his myspace thingy. i like the way we look like ice monsters in the solarized ones.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

6.19.2010, dallas/ftw

another good HIO show, this time at the phoenix project. big marcus got bit on the face by a dog at his wife's boarding kennel after post-gig drinkie-talkie last night, so no 'bone tonight. instead, he played cbg, kalimba, and small instruments. sounded fine -- particularly when he bowed the kalimba and diddley bow. had to jet before the other bands played, since t. horn's leaving for montgomery at some ungodly hour, but got a great like-minded vibe from both doggebi and clear spot, and look forward to doing more shows with them in the future (although i won't be on board for the july 9-10 dates in houston/austin; those will be terry with local cats he knows). always good to see the gonzalez brothers, too; aaron was playing with MFM tonight.

before the gig, terry and i went to a viet joint jessicka from phoenix project recommended -- viet nam on bryan street. had great banh mi bi (shredded pork sammitches with lotsa cilantro, jalapeno, carrot, and rice noodles on a baguette), very tasty and satisfying and only $3.25 a throw.

back home now, listening to jimi's first rays on sweet sweet vinyl with my one true love and cats. life's good.

pssst! hey, kid! wanna hear the jeff beck group at the fillmore east in '68?

stream it here.

6.19.2010, ftw

happy my sweetie's back from her conference in san antonio.

great night at 1919 hemphill last night (with beers at the b&b before 'n' after). on this occasion, HIO was hickey, terry, big marcus (on small instruments as well as 'bone) and myself. out-of-towners doggebi (flute with loops/trap drummer who deftly switched between brushes/mallets/sticks, from houston) and clear spot (tabletop guitar, 'puter, and drums, from austin/dallas/ftw) melted my mind. tonight we get to do it again at the phoenix project in dallas.

in the listening queue: 1919 compilation cd, new album from ohio poetry-rock dood dan mcguire that i've had for a couple months now, and jimi's first rays of the new rising sun on wonderful 180 gram vinyl that arrived in the mail in a pizza box. doc's had it for $45; i found it on amazon for $12.

Friday, June 18, 2010

fred 'n' patti @ the second chance, a2, 1978

talkin' 'bout their generation. i love the screaming cacophony of feedback. thanks to lou ridsdale for the link.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

research and development 2006-2009

new "singles comp" from joe and the sonic dirt from madagascar. download it free here.

old and new dreams

this is the band yae reminds me of sometimes...alumni from the original ornette quartet plus fort worthian dewey redman on tenor. sad all but charlie haden are gone now. glad i got to see 'em at town hall in '79.

yells at eels w/gaika james @ the kessler, 6.11.2010

dennis gonzalez told me they were told they'd hit at 10p. it was after midnight before they started. they opened with my favorite song of theirs, "document for toshinori kondo." and then the sit-in guy on 'bone started to solo.

we had to cut out soon after that, but watching this makes me wish we hadn't. i think the overused word "epic" applies here.

j.b. lenoir

r.i.p. gary shider

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

going to see yes

when i was 16 or 17, a guy tried to sell me a bag of heroin in the parking lot of the nassau veteran's memorial coliseum in hempstead, long island. i was going to see yes, the chirpy english progsters. his exact words to me were, "i hear the yeth be a ba-a-a-ad gwoup to thee doin' HAIR-oahhhn." true story.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

6.15.2010, ftw

cacophonous and unmelodic though it may be, "smoking cigarette blues" by les rallizes denudes is also _instantly recognizable_ when it comes up in my itunes random scramble, sounding like elvin jones ca. meditations jamming with the lax jet noise that roger mcguinn used to so love to listen to.

my sweetie leaves today for a four-day conference in san antonio.

Monday, June 14, 2010

duane madden @ southwest shootout finals

damn, wish i'd been there saturday.

Southwest Shootout 2010

Some of you who read my scrawl regularly might be surprised to see Jeff Liles' vids from the Southwest Shootout 2010 regional poetry slam posted here, as I'm not generally a fan of spoken word performance. But I was floored by Dallas poet Jason Carney's performance at the Kessler in Oak Cliff back in March, so I was motivated to check out at least one night of this two-night event at the Kessler last weekend (had to work the following night, unfortunately). And I'm always happy to be proven wrong, if it means I get to experience some transformational art.

Slam poetry, they say, was originated by Marc Smith in Chicago in the '80s. ("WHO CARES?") Poets recite their own works and are rated by five pre-selected audience members on a scale of 1-10 (to one decimal place), with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. High and low scores are discounted, so a perfect score is 30. Judges are instructed to weigh the poem and the delivery equally. Audiences are encouraged to respond, but not to the extent where they drown out the performance. ("RESPECT THE POET!")

When my sweetie and I arrived at the Kess after dinner at a Salvadoran place up the street and a visit to Cliff Notes bookstore, which also serves as the Kessler's box office, the teams and solo poets were being assigned slots. There'd be two bouts each in the big and small rooms, a 4x4 (four rounds with four teams) in the big and a 3x3 (three rounds with three teams) in the little, plus two "head-to-heads" with indie poets in each room following the team bouts. Jeff Liles said that the event had already set an attendance record for the Kess, and would set a bar sales record -- all with a fill-in bar staff.

We took seats up in the balcony and dug the jams that two DJs from Hip Hop Helps Heal were spinning. I wound up being a judge for bouts in both the big and little rooms, drafted by co-host Ryler Dustin, a Washington State native now living and pursuing his MFA in Houston, and then by a cat whose name I didn't catch when I went to buy a beer between bouts. Ryler was also the "sacrificial poet" -- the one who gets up before the competition starts to allow the judges to "calibrate" their scoring -- before the bout in the big room. (Because I was scoring, I didn't catch many of the poets' names -- mea culpa.)

Of the teams that competed in that bout, the one from Killeen seemed strongest to me, poet for poet, although they wound up taking second place to hosts Dallas Grind. Their two most memorable entries were one by a cat that reminded me of Mike Guinn who used to host the old Black Dog Tavern slams here in the Fort -- cat definitely seemed like the father-figure of the team. His poem was about a mother with Alzheimer's, a topic that definitely resonated for my sweetie 'n' me. The other one that made a big impression was one by the husband of a deployed soldier (at least that was the perspective he took in his poem, and unusual but very evocative one). If it brings me to tears, I reckon it's working.

For the preliminaries, Dallas Grind's Carney chose a lighter, comedic piece about his kids which I'd heard him recite before -- fun, but not as impactful as others in his trick bag (the one in the vid I reposted earlier, for example). His teammate Stephen Sargent had a powerful delivery, but also 'fessed up to being a preacher's kid, which let you know where it was coming from. The team from Oklahoma City, led by ultimate indy champ Melissa May, seemed a little heavy on the "he/she done me wrong" kind of poems that are my least favorite, along with "me and my pen against the world" poems (the poetry equivalent of bands writing songs about being in bands -- equally silly IMO).

Austin TheySpeak, a young team fielded by the Texas Youth Word Collective, were on fire with passion, which sometimes made their performances shrill. (Hopefully their preparation for their next competition will include working on how to adjust the mic.) They favored group performances; I almost missed the point of one piece which was a dialogue between a student and a teacher because the young man in the teacher role used the same voice and inflections he had reciting a more confessional piece earlier. In the last round, they used four voices, which only made many of the words unintelligible.

In the indy head-to-heads, most memorable was Gus Wood, who wasn't on the floor when his name was called but made up for it with a moving tribute to Vincent Price (kid likes to eulogize his role models). As MC, Denise Jolly did a sterling job of keeping the energy high and making sure the poets' efforts were recognized.

I was a little worried when the second bout in the little room got started -- acoustics didn't seem as good as in the big room (no Paul Quigg sound mix, for one thing); both the sacrificial poet's verse and the MC's intro were nearly inaudible over the sound of someone (a poet, I think -- ironic, in the non-Alanis Morisette sense) ordering a drink. Fortunately, both sound and lighting improved as the bout progressed, with teams from Ozark, Atlanta, and "Parts Unknown" butting heads.

Ozark immediately impressed with a fella who went through about ten characters in the span of...10 seconds over the 3:10 allowed for each performance, which wound up costing his team 10 points off their total score. He gave the uncomfortable sensation (probably unfounded) of being the kind of cat who might get dusted and do a similar metamorphosis every weekend. Also worthy was a group piece which pitted a classic rock fan against a metalhead. (You got the impression that the two poets that performed it were cast counter to type, too.) Atlanta was the most cerebral team overall, and two of their poets were responsible for one of the evening's best group performances, which overlaid military metaphors over the "he done me wrong" theme.

In the indy head-to-heads, young soldier (or ex-GI) Madden overcame an Ozark competitor by taking "she done me wrong" to a very different place. Dain Michael Down from "Parts Unknown" showed savvy as a competitor, winning out over an Atlanta poet whom I felt was stronger overall by closing with a deeply personal piece that was more impactful.

Tough being a judge, but also a privilege, and I promise to stop running away whenever I hear spoken word mentioned. At its best, slam combines the most affecting aspects of great literature and great theater. And it rawks.

jason carney @ southwest shootout finals

Sunday, June 13, 2010

jimmy stewart/HIO - "i wanna be your dog"

creepy in a residents-like way, here's mr. it's a wonderful life's take on the stooges classic, with backing hilarity/mixology by HIO. a sort of mr. smith goes to detroit.

gus wood @ southwest shootout finals

another one i missed. damn.

freddy king

madden @ southwest shootout 2010 finals

from the kessler theater, saturday night. if you don't think you like spoken word, dig this. if it doesn't get to you, you've got no heart to get to.

HIO's new secret weapon

brit label picks up johnny thunders torch

this just in from easy action records:

Everyone at Easy Action is proud to announce we will be working alongside the Johnny Thunders Estate / Beta Petrol in producing a catalogue of Johnny Thunders recordings on an exclusive imprint called Chatterbox. We have had great success with our relationship with the Stooges & Iggy Pop as well as producing high quality box sets and albums by T.Rex, Steve Marriott and the MC5.

Outside of Jungle Records, who have done a sterling job for Thunders fans - above and beyond the call of duty, and of course Warners ‘So Alone’ album, we will be looking at compiling a boxed set of unreleased material from 1975 onwards. We will also be
re-issuing and re-mastering certain albums that have been out of print for some time. Reels of tape have been located already!

As fans, we want the profile of Johnny Thunders to return to the rock n roll music and fragile acoustic performances that he delivered.

We promise to produce highly packaged product and will liaise with fans to ensure we deliver exactly what they (and we) want on CD, LP, 7” and digitally.

Beta Petrol now have an archive of amazing photos, many unseen. With the official merchandise company “Don’t mess with us “ providing quality T shirts etc, we can at last provide quality Johnny Thunders goods and hopefully bury all the cheap and vile product that has escaped over the years.


Carlton P Sandercock
Easy Action

my scrawl on the i-94 bar

a (brief) review i penned of the new rocket from the tombs single on smog veil records is here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

6.12.2010, ftw

quite a week. tuesday: book release party for my pal josh alan friedman's new "autobiographical novel" black cracker at a gentleman's club in dallas, and i got to meet robert wilonsky, who's awful damn tall for a journo. thursday: bison burgers and HIO drinkie-talkie, including guest appearances by jimmy stewart and carl sagan. (t. horn has audio which i'm hoping he'll post later.) friday: walkies with t. horn, dancing with kids in wheelchairs (and my sweetie) at the jo kelly school prom, HIO lunchie-talkie at lisa's fried chicken, and crate-diggin' at doc's records, followed by a nap. after that: dinner at a salvadoran place down the street from the kessler in oak cliff, and judging two rounds of the southwest shootout 2010 regional poetry slam, which continues tonight at the kess (although i'll be shilling po' 'n' lo' at the market). you should go, however. the quality of the poets is uniformly high, and five or six of the pieces i heard last night knocked me flat on my ass. even if you're not a spoken word fan, i defy you not to be moved by some of these poets' words and presences.

Friday, June 11, 2010

6.10.2010, ftw

i waited on a lady at work yesterday who reminded me a lot of my mom and i really couldn't do anything to help her. a down thought.

on the other hand, HIO drinkie-talkie last night included bison burgers, cats that look like hitler, a lot of hank williams, and jimmy stewart singing "i wanna be your dog." hooray!

the johnny cash project

here's a music vid of johnny cash in which every frame was drawn by a different person. cool.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

allegiance - a new musical

my middle dtr pulled my coat to this -- a musical about the japanese-american internment in ww2, set to open in nyc in 2012. ya'll know i don't make pilgrimages to see bands anymore, but i'd consider planning a trip to the apple to see this.

hey baby(s)

my pick for jimi's greatest song...

guru guru

from teague. there were many interesting consequences of the '60s, some of which took place in germany.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

fela! the musical

almost too good to be true...

whole lotta hank unearthed

sixteen discs containing 143 performances by hank williams, broadcast on nashville radio in 72 15-minute segments in 1951? yes, please! from the wsj.

love the album? drink the beer!

ladies and gentlement, dogfish head's bitches brew. good thing they didn't try this with raw power.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

say "thank you," jimmy

6.8.2010, ftw

my sub to the big takeover just ran out, and i realized that i actually prefer the writing in razorcake, so i might oughtta send those folks money for a sub instead of renewing. i also passed on paul trynka's iggy bio at hpb the other day. it's odd, but i don't feel compelled to read that story again.

ADDENDUM: midnight tasted the bto cover and declared it "yummy."

thrift art's 10th anniversary show @ gallery 414, 6.19.2010

i'll be playing in dallas with HIO that night, but on friday, 6.19.2010, the place to be in ftw is gallery 414 for the 10th anniversary of "frank artsmarter's" thrift art extravaganza. i was one of a handful of peeps whom "frank" asked to contribute a short video for the show, which t. horn shot/edited, with augnicio del gato making his debut in a speaking role. as always, it'll be the art event of the season, if only in terms of fun.

ADDENDUM: sorry, frank, you're right -- it's _saturday_.

pssst! hey, kid! wanna hear james williamson's boarding school band?

here's "louie, louie." and here's "gloria."

ADDENDUM: but wait! james just put five songs online at reverbnation. hooray!

Monday, June 07, 2010

melvin van peebles

this cat kinda defines "renaissance man." from vice.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

john mclaughlin talks to robert fripp

from musician, july 1982, via arthur.

cat hiccups and farts at the same time

ian mclagan

damn! i missed this guy at dan's silver leaf in denton _again_ last night.

A bunch more good jazz (or whatevah) records

Back to the Clean Feed stack...

Dutch cornetist Eric Boeren's Song for Tracy the Turtle - Live at Jazz Brugge 2004 is a disc that fairly wallows in its Ornettitude, and that's a good thing. You have to go back to Old and New Dreams to find a band as imbued with the spirit of the pre-Dancing In Your Head Coleman units as Boeren's 4tet. Not only do they cover four, count 'em, _four_ classic-but-not-overdone O.C. compositions ("Mr. and Mrs. People," "Free," "Moon Inhabitants," and "The Legend of Bebop"), they also essay Ornettish originals, replete with hummable, bluesy unison heads, like "A Fuzzphony" and "Soft Nose." Boeren individuates most when he blows a muted horn, while Michael Moore shines on both alto and Eb clarinet. Departures include the amorphously open-ended title track (which kicks off the set), and the lovely laments "Memo" and "Memories of You" (the latter a Eubie Blake composition, of all things). I'll also admit to being a sucker for CDs with pictures of turtles on the cover, especially when executed as exquisitely as Clean Feed's sleeves always are.

Perhaps recent listens to Bob Stewart with Arthur Blythe's '70s "tuba band" put me in a receptive mood to hear Evil Things by TGB, a tuba-guitar-drums power trio (I do believe the acronym stands for the Portuguese spellings of the instruments' names). On tuba, Sergio Carolino is an agile soloist; at times, listening to his rides is an experience akin to watching a portly man doing handsprings and cartwheels. Guitarist Mario Delgado is equally splendid on acoustic, electric, dobro, and fretless instruments (dig his taffy-pull long tones on the latter instrument on the curiously bluesy "George Harrison"). His range is represented by the material the trio covers, which ranges from proto-metal (Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan" and Deep Purple's "The Mule," which serves as a segue out of whirlwind drummer Alexandre Frazao's solo on "Nameloc") to country-jazz (Hank Garland's vehicle "Close Your Eyes" starts out as a tango before erupting into surf-ska frenzy). The program runs the gamut from Gateway Trio-style exploration to Red-era King Crimson menace (there's even a little grindcore Cookie Monster vocalismo from Paulo Ramos on "Aleister Crowley"). A stunning surprise.

Delgado's also a key element on two bassplayer-led sessions. On Labirinto, Dave Hollandesque bassist-composer Carlos Barretto leads a trio, Lokomotiv, with the guitarist and drummer Jose Salgueiro. Delgado explores more tones and textures than the average guitar-slinger would think to in the course of a single session, reinforcing the impression of himself as a European Nels Cline, while the trio reminds you of everything you liked about fusion and ECM back in the '70s. Leader Barretto's arco work is particularly gorgeous. Carlos Bica's Materia Prima opens with the surf-blues of "D.C." -- with a riff straight out of Jimi's "Voodoo Chile" -- before settling into a program of very stylish chamber jazz that includes covers of tunes by Marc Ribot (another discernable influence on Delgado) and Ry Cooder. Bica's own compositions are moody, atmospheric soundscapes that evoke cinematic images, like John Zorn at his best.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

syd in decline

Friday, June 04, 2010

A whole bunch of good jazz records

I've been remiss in reviewing stuff the past couple of months, so this weekend I plan to listen my way through the massive stack of discs here on my desk, starting with the last _two_ releases from estimable Portuguese label Clean Feed.

Most titanic among their recent offerings is Soulstorm, a double CD's worth of improvisatory dialogue between the first-time trio of Brazilian-born tenorman Ivo Perelman, cellist Daniel Levin, and bassist Torbjorn Zetterberg, recorded in a single afternoon and evening's worth of unbridled inspiration. The players are conversant enough in the language of their instruments and skilled enough in the art of listening that their inaugural collaboration sounds like the work of a seasoned group. The pieces take their time unfolding -- most are over ten minutes long and "Plaza Maua" runs 24:34 -- and are magnificently detailed, nuanced, and shaded. Over the course of the two discs, the musicians cover the whole spectrum of emotions, their interplay often recalling that of Ornette's '60s bands with David Izenzon, or his more recent two-bass lineup. There's a whole universe of music encapsulated in the 1's and 0's on these shiny silver discs.

Saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock is heard to good advantage on two new Clean Feed trio releases. Pool School finds her in the company of leader/drummer Tom Rainey and guitarist Mary Halvorson. Rainey's a familiar of Julius Hemphill acolyte Tim Berne and a most cerebral percussionist, last heard by me on Ash and Tabula, an electronics-heavy trio recording with Nels Cline and Andrea Parkins. Halvorson's an alum of Berne and Anthony Braxton's bands, capable of a nasty, skronky, Sonny Sharrock-like attack. Laubrock's main axe is soprano, but she plays a lot of tenor here, as well, her sound infused with dark melancholy. On Paradoxical Frog, she plays tenor exclusively and collaborates with pianist Kris Davis and monster drummer Tyshawn Sorey; imagine if Tony Williams instead of Sunny Murray had accompanied Cecil Taylor and Jimmy Lyons at the Cafe Montmartre in '62. All three of these musicians are composers first, and it shows in their interaction. The ringer in the set is "Homograph," a 12-minute-plus example of extreme minimalism.

Dual Identity is the name of a quintet co-led by altoists Rudresh Mahanthappa and Steve Lehman. Mahanthappa's best known for his association with pianist Vijay Iyer, with whom Lehman's also worked in the cooperative trio Fieldwork. Also on board is guitarist Liberty Ellman, playing a semi-hollow electric rather than the flat-top acoustic he employs with Henry Threadgill's Zooid. The two saxes harmonize, play contrapuntal lines, and intertwine their solo voices the way Arthur Blythe and David Murray did on Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition. Ellman comps like early John McLaughlin and provides a rich-toned third solo voice. Matt Brewer's a supportive bassist, while Damion Reid's a crisp, propulsive drummer. The live recording is impeccable.

Octal: Book Two is a solo recording of performances on a prototype eight-string guitar/bass by composer/multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp. For someone who's exploring all the possibilities of his instruments, including atonal and percussive sounds, Sharp can be relentless, sending seemingly endless chains of notes cascading over each other, leaving nary a second of empty space. In other pieces, you can hear his orchestral concepts (in the liner notes, he references post-quantum physics and string theory), while elsewhere, he sounds like Robert Fripp and Tony Levin from the early '80s edition of King Crimson embodied in a single musician, which can be quite frightening! On the closing "Inverted Fields," he uses an eBow and feedback to wring multiple tonal voices from the same instrument. A rigorous and challenging program that rewards repeated listenings.

(To be continued...)

ADDENDUM: Perhaps the term "jazz" is outdated. Perhaps something like "improvised music" or "creative music" would be more apropos for the recordings reviewed here -- particularly the Elliott Sharp. Or would that be too much hair-splitting? Dunno.

6.4.2010, ftw

warmer running in the mornings, but there's still a nice breeze and it's cool in the shade. i'm only in it for the endorphin buzz anyway. not hung up on time distance, but just about the only activity that really makes me lose myself in the moment anymore is playing music: automatically executing the part i learned on six beers while going apeshit in the stoogeband; remembering what i know in a general way about what music is to do something damn near like it with whatever mr. horn brings in HIO.

re-reading guralnick's feel like going home. the opening chapter reminds me of how t. horn says elvis and the beatles "weren't important." while i'm a fan of neither, i don't think you can underestimate their cultural significance -- they were much more than popularizers of others' songs and innovations (from carl perkins and big mama thornton to stockhausen and terry riley). then again, aside from fashion and marketing, how fundamentally different from the eisenhower era is this country in 2010? discuss.

continuing to listen my way through the last two clean feed releases, plus various odds 'n' sods. to review tom'w: double cd of sax-cello-bass trio led by ivo perelman; solo 8-string guitar/bass by elliott sharp; saxophonist ingrid laubrock in trios with drummers tyshawn sorey and tom rainey, pianist kris davis, and _nasty_ guitarist mary halvorson; and a group co-led by altoists rudresh mahanthappa and steve lehman, with guitarist liberty ellman on board. yeah!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

6.3.2010, ftw

nice surprise last night: got to see my oldest grandchild, even though she considers everything we have to eat in our house "squeezil." hoping to see her again while she's staying with her aunt.

lightning last night appears to have fucked with the caller id, the landline phone (both of which now have blank displays) and the modem (which is being replaced on the dsl provider's dime).

like having time to run before work. hit the bricks a little later this a.m. than yesterday so had sun in my eyes up to university drive. saw some stripling kids headed for the thomas place rec center. baggin' it? maybe i shouldn't assume based on what i woulda been doing at age 13.

continuing to work my way through the review stack. when i have six winners, i'll blog 'em. (no local angle, so might be a tough sell to the fw weekly. feh.)

bands i wanna hear: china kills girls (whose burrito bene set i missed because i am superannuated and enfeebled) and dragoon (steedo's voxxx with augie's drums -- need i say more?).

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

6.2.2010, ftw

got an early run in, showered, did the floors (pizza with my middle daughter tonight!), and now i'm starting to cull through the huge backlog of review cd's i've had sitting on my desk for weeks. scrawl to follow, after a couple of days of listening (at least)...

faces - "maybe i'm amazed"

my sweetie shared this with me, and now i share it with you. was there ever a sweeter, more soulful band than this? i think not.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

pssst! hey, kid! wanna hear joey carter play monk?

it's at the central library at 6:30p on 6.17.2010. and it's free!

elvis took acid

looks like an old lineup...the new drummer looks kinda like a young johnny depp, and kicks 'em harder than the dude in these vids.

new podcast episode is up!

hadn't done one of these in awhile.

muddy when his mojo was working

by the time i saw him, age and a car wreck had slowed him, but here he is in his late prime at the 1960 newport jazz festival. i particularly like when he does an impromptu dance with james cotton, who couldn't have seen that coming.