Monday, December 13, 2010


1) The Nomads - Showdown 2 - The 90's [sic]: Double CD compilation on Sympathy for the Record Industry, focusing on the albums Sonically Speaking, Powerstrip, and Cold Hard Facts of Life, plus single, compilation, and 20th-anniversary-live-at-Hultsfred-festival-with-special-guests tracks. I can't get over what a great band this is.

2) dalek - Abandoned Language: More apocalyptic experimental hip-hop, but a little too much to take this morning, as the vibe is a little too reminiscent of Inception, which we saw last night. (Thanks to my big sis for this and the next.)

3) Fred Frith - Step Across the Border: Beautifully photographed B&W documentary of the avant-garde muso ca. '88-'89. Inspiring viewing of a cat who's clearly tuned into the music of everyday life. Makes me want to play with HIO, and the little couple in the train station at the end reminds me of me and my sweetie in about 20 or 30 years. Nathan Brown once said that Frith's '60s band Henry Cow was "like Zappa without all the bullshit," and I'm inclined to agree. Fred even recorded with the Ensemble Modern.

4) Allen Lowe - Jews In Hell: Radical Jewish Acculturation: Double CD of uber weirdness by a guy I first became aware of from an article in one of Francis Davis' books. In the '90s, Lowe briefly headed a cultural organization for the city of New Haven, CT, while playing free jazz saxophone on the side. He's a musicologist of some note, penning the tomes American Pop: From Minstrel to Mojo On Record, 1893-1956 and That Devilin' Tune: A Jazz History, 1900-1950, and curating expansive CD anthologies of pop, jazz, and blues that are like a millennial Harry Smith anthology. As if that weren't enough, he also plays guitar and cut this out-jazz opus with co-conspirators including Marc Ribot and Matthew Shipp. Recent spins of Eugene Chadbourne primed me for this.


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