Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
…SUVs rumble by with slow menace, the unstable nightclub bouncers of the automobile world. Page 145
They drive through residential blocks, broken up by parking lots and strip malls with low-yielding enterprises like cheap insurance brokerage, electrical repairs and pet supplies stores. Page 151
I just chose these two examples because I thought they were fun but also insightful. The first is just right on. No explanation needed. The second is more insightful I think. It's not only a simple encapsulation of our suburban sprawl, but also a deft comment on our so-called world class economy, which when you look behind the curtain, is nothing more than a marginal exchange of personal services on par with a third world nation. We just pass money around back and forth, luckily for us, there's a lot of it to pass. It's funny how someone that's not from here could see those strip malls that way, where as more Americans might not look close enough to realize most of the stores they support are essentially useless.
I don't necessarily think writers are smarter, they are just more observant than most people. Or perhaps, it's just that we feel the need to shout out into the world the things we see like Walt Whitman and later Alan Ginsberg suggested. Maybe we are just loudmouths yelling out the things most everyone else silently knows and accepts and shakes their heads hoping we'll shut up already. Sorry. We can't. It's biological.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Papercuts - You Can Have What You Want: Like fellow bay area band Skygreen Leopards, Papercuts plays a mellow blend of psychedelic folk. Though, not quite up to the level of Skygreen Leopards, I'm thoroughly enjoying this album. It's good sunshine trip to go on for a bit.
Tim Harden - The Best of Tim Harden: One of the '60s west coast folk rock pioneers, Tim Harden isn't much different from the others...acoustic guitar, political counter culture lyrics, etc. But that's not a bad thing. And Tim's deep voice burrows into every song and fills it with the weight of what he's saying. Some indie fans will recognize his song "Black Sheep Boy" from the Okkervil River cover of it (on the album of the same title). Your classic folk collection probably isn't complete with out some Tim Harden in it...at least, I don't feel like mine was.
Langhorne Slim - When the Sun's Gone Down: From the old guard to one of the new, Langhorne is a singer/songwriter with a Cat Stevens sound for the modern age. This album (from a few years ago) is a little more southern influenced than the latest one, but that's not a bad thing. Hopefully one day Langhorne, PA will be known for more than just being the home of Seasme Place.
Herman's Hermits - Introducing Herman's Hermits: One of the more forgotten (and least respected) bands of the British Invasion's first wave is Herman's Hermits. At the time, they were second only to the Beatles in popularity and listening to this first album, it's easy to hear why. Like all the British Invasion bands, there's a splattering of traditional American 50's rock n roll covers alongside original teen love ballads that are super catchy and thus Madchester was born.
Jeff Mangum - Orange Twin Field Works, Vol. 1: After Neutral Milk Hotel's demise, Jeff's musical direction took a different path. This is a collection of field recordings of Balkan folk music, bits and pieces spliced together into a wandering dream soundtrack. I bought this the week it came out (summer 2001) and didn't get it at all. Last week, I grew curious as my tastes have grown to like this kind of strange folk. Sure enough, it clicked this time. Certainly not for everyone but, but it actually doesn't stray too far from the sound compositions on NMH's early cassette album Invent Yourself a Shortcake.
Hala Strana - Fielding: This is album is responsible for my renewed interest in the above. A drone folk album that also incorporates some field recordings, this double album is one of those soundscape albums that I love to write to. Not as good as Natural Snow Buildings, but still top quality drone folk.
The Shadows of Knight - Back Door Men: American garage rock from 1966, this album can hold it's own to early Rolling Stones albums. Reminded me a lot the Ugly Ducklings, just great blues based garage rock.
The Supremes - A Bit of Liverpool: I'm used to hearing British Invasion bands interpreting Motown, so it was interesting to hear it the other way around. I picked this up on vinyl (for FREE) and it's a really fun record. The Supremes are always great and hearing them do some of my favorite songs was a blast.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Inna came running up in a fancy white sailor suit and hat with red ribbons.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Psychic TV - A Pagan Day: This experimental rock project dates from 1984 and is the mind-child of Genesis P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle fame. I'm not a TG or P-Orridge fan, but this one I'd heard good things about. I didn't really know what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised. I'd supposed it to be a kind of early industrial bore, but it's more on par with something like Television Personalities. Lo-Fi and listenable. There's melody and nothing grating about it. Definitely will get plenty of listens.
New Riders of the Purple Sage - Gypsy Cowboy: This band was recommended to me by my mom after we'd been talking about Gram Parsons. I picked this up on LP for $1 and that was steal. There's a definite Gram Parsons sound. This is a band of San Fran psychedelic musicians doing a California country record and it's great. "Death and Destruction" is an amazing tune.
Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick: I've been working my way through the Tull catalog ever since Aqualung lit the bulb inside my head some 8 years ago. There's some bands that once I get tuned into, I devour their catalog like a starving Jabberwocky...then there's bands that I take a slow path, stopping and savoring along the way. Tull is one of those, mostly because Aqualung and Stand Up are so perfect that I don't want to miss anything. I got Thick as a Brick last weekend, it's really the last of their good-period that I had yet to acquire. Now having listened to it, the only thing that comes to mind is WHAT WAS I WAITING FOR! This is prog perfection.