Saturday, February 01, 2014

Things we like

1) Jelly Roll Morton - Self-titled five CD compendium of all his 1926-30 recordings, remastered by John R.T. Davies. After hearing Davies' work on the Louis Armstrong Hot Fives and Sevens, I decided it was time to hear Morton, whom I only knew as refracted by Mingus ("My Jelly Roll Soul") and Henry Threadgill (Air Lore), in the same way I waited until I was 40 to read Huck Finn and Moby Dick. Time well spent.

2) Gentle Giant - Giant In the Box DVD - I'm not a prog fan per se, but I remember being hugely impressed by their complex music, multi-instrumental facility, and outrageous ham showmanship when I saw 'em live at Avery Fisher in the late '70s, and this video, which includes an ace concert filmed for Belgian TV, a piece of another one from the U.S. In Concert series, as well as a B&W interview with some live snippets that's marred by overdubbed Italian translation, has all of that. Makes me wanna seek out their BBC Sight and Sound performance from '78 that's also DVD-available.

3) The Stooges and Funhouse - The second discs of the Rhino remastered 2CD versions. As a result of playing in Stoogeaphilia, I no longer hear these albums as a sonic bath, but rather, as playing forms, which has made it less enjoyable for me to listen to the familiar original records. The alternate takes on the extra discs are just-enough-but-not-too-much (cf. the Complete Funhouse Sessions box I sold after getting shitcanned from RadioShack): John Cale mixes and longer guitar solos on the debut album songs, Billy Cheatham's wrestling announcements and two good alternate takes of the title song from Funhouse. I feel alright.

4) Brokegrove Lads - Listening to Britt Robisheaux's "song mixes" while waiting for Hickey to write lyrics and record vocals, and T. Valderas to do the final sequencing and psychedelicizing. Not half bad, if I do say so myself.

5) Los Lobos - Kiko (20th Anniversary Edition) - The great album by the band I consider the best America produced in the '80s.


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