Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Things we like (songs and other things for insane times)

With a tip o' the lid to Kevin Ayers.

1) The Move Magnetic Waves of Sound -- Yet another comp by the estimable Brummers, with the added bonus of a DVD that includes three songs by the original five-piece from Beat Beat Beat (including a definitive "I Can Hear the Grass Grow") and the complete Colour Me Pop session (proving, if there was any doubt, that Trevor Burton was one flash bastard). Sure, it's all on Youtube, but I hate watching things on the puter as much as I hate reading PDFs.

2) Wadada Leo Smith Ten Freedom Summers -- Currently, I'm three months into a music-buying moratorium, but right after New Year's, I saw an Amazon deal on this I couldn't pass up. (Yes, I know, Stuff Central is evil. But too damn convenient.) While I need to listen a lot more to analyze in depth, I'll say that the contrast between the small jazz group (with one or two drummers) and chamber orchestra is seamless, and that the music is as immediately satisfying as anything I've heard recently.

3) Playing. Having had two Stoogeaphilia shows in as many months, in February I finally got to play synth and guitar improv with Jon Teague -- who leaves for Europe with Pinkish Black in April, then hits the west coast -- the end of February. We'd only been talking about it for like ten years. Maybe we'll even do it in public sometime. Recording with Brokegrove Lads the end of the month, then looking forward to my 60th (!) birthday show with the li'l Stooge band the end of June, and accompanying the jam at the Texas Dance Improvisation Festival at TCU in September. If I can contrive playing opportunities for all the other months, I'll consider 2017 a success in one area, at least.

4) Anticipation. Is making me late, is keeping me waiting...for April 22, when Pretties for You NYC performs the first Alice Cooper LP in its entahrty at Good Records in Dallas; April 28-30, when I Am Not Your Negro screens at the Modern Art Museum here; and TBD, when Tsi'iibil Chaaltun, double vinyl from Dennis Gonzalez's Ataraxia Trio drops. Also, sometime in November or December, the opening of Panther City Vinyl, which my old, dear friend, gifted visual artist and old school record man Dan Lightner will operate in a spot on Magnolia that's currently under construction. All I ever need is something to look forward to.

5) Divestiture. Getting rid of some records and CDs to eliminate some (but not all) duplication where I had both formats. Discovered a McCoy Tyner LP I thought I'd given away (actually I think I did, I just bought another copy) and a promo CD that was sent to me a couple of years ago, when I was too busy to write about it.

6) Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism (which an estimable Brit scribe of my online acquaintance referrred to as "trendy") is disturbingly relevant these days. It seems all I need to do after getting my daily fix of outrage via the headlines is open her book and some particularly apropos passage will appear. F'rinstance: "The outstanding negative quality of the totalitarian elite is that it never stops to think about the world as it really is and never compares the lies with reality. Its most cherished value, correspondingly, is loyalty to the Leader, who, like a talisman, assures the ultimate victory of lie and fiction over truth and reality." I'm hoping to have her finished in time to start a Baldwin binge around the time I Am Not Your Negro screens at the Modern next month.


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