Thursday, December 09, 2010

Listening

Stopped at Doc's on the way back from checking my blood pressure at CVS (ah, decrepitude!). My thought was that if I was going to buy anything, it had to be good enough to make it worth foregoing a run on the way home. Stumbled into a copy of Strange Meeting by Power Tools, the record Bill Frisell made with Melvin Gibbs and Ronald Shannon Jackson in 1987. You can hear a lot of what Nels Cline's doing now in Frisell's F/X-laden atmospherics. It wasn't long after that the guitarist abandoned this direction for something more, for want of a better phrase, NPR-friendly. While it's not as bracing as the more guitar-heavy records Shannon cut with the Decoding Society (Red Warrior, Raven Roc) or (Heaven knows) Last Exit, it's still nice to have in the collection, second-line cover of "Unchained Melody" and all. Scratch another one from the want list.



Came home to find a mailbox overflowing with goodies, some of which I ordered and some of which my sister-in-law in Seattle ordered for Christmas prezzies from an Amazon wish list I'd forgotten I had (thanks, Cari and family!).

I once found The Best of the Chocolate Watch Band at CD Warehouse for three bucks, and the cat there told me he didn't think he'd ever sell it. I let it go at HPB one of the times in the past decade when I was selling all my stuff, but my sweetie won't let me do that now, and I'm gradually re-acquiring all of the gooduns I let go back then. These guys were the most archetypal of Nuggets-era American garage psych bands, and they were totally manipulated in the studio by their producer, Ed Cobb, who'd previously produced the Standells, a band that could only have existed in Hollywood (their lineup included an ex-Mouseketeer and the brother of the guy that played Riff in West Side Story). Lead singer Dave Aguilar had the best vocal sneer this side of Jagger or Van Morrison, and the musos (studio cats more often than not) blended early Rolling Stones influences with Eastern exoticism, fuzz 'n' feedback nicely. A big influence on both the Nervebreakers and the Nomads, my two favorite bands whose names begin with the letter "N."

Larry Harrison originally sold me Pachuco Cadaver by the Jack and Jim Show, a collection of Captain Beefheart covers by avant-garde uber-weirdo Eugene Chadbourne and ex-Mothers of Invention/Magic Band drummer the late Jimmy Carl Black ("the Indian of the group") back in the late '90s, when Beefheart reissues were starting to appear along with things like the I May Be Hungry But I Sure Ain't Weird collection of Strictly Personal outtakes, the Rhino compilation, the Revenant box set, Mike Barnes and Bill Harkleroad's books, etc. Pachuco Cadaver sounds like nothing more than the Beefheart canon performed by a gang of psychotic hillbillies, with a guest appearance by the Sun Ra Arkestra when their bus breaks down in the Ozarks. I like it real much, and will have to remember to play it for T. Horn the next time he's over (not that he gives two shits for Beefheart).



I'm still digesting Gutter Tactics, the 2009 album by experimental/political hip-hop duo Dalek (sorry, fellas, but I can't make an umlaut on this keyboard). More to follow.

ADDENDUM: These guys (Dalek and his collaborator Octopus) sound like Pinkish Black if they were a hip-hop band. The sound is oppressive and ominous, opening with Malcolm X's chickens coming home to roost and a scathing indictment of America's crimes, terror by the light of the CRT, warfare as the paradigm for any human interaction. This is as far from, say, Public Enemy's ethnocentric but hopeful rants as P.E. was from Kurtis Blow and "The Real Roxanne." But the dread isn't all-pervasive, or it'd lose its edge. Going to be spending a lot of time with this in the days to come.

2 Comments:

Blogger Grubbermeister said...

Hope the blood pressure was within normal parameters, and albums can become an adequate substitute for bacon stir fry. I'm not suggesting that you eat vinyl, which I'm sure that if you did high blood pressure would be the least of your problems...

9:42 AM  
Blogger The Stash Dauber said...

Didn't Phil Spector say that? "Let them eat vinyl!"

4:54 PM  

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