Thursday, June 14, 2018

Sorrow III - Colin Stetson (2016)

Picked up a copy of Colin Stetson's Sorrow: a reimagining of Górecki's 3rd Symphony, based on a long obsession with that piece. I don't know that it's completely successful - I don't know if I'm troubled because the decisions are bad, or because they aren't decisions I would make - but it's worth listening to, and thinking about. I tend to like it best when it strays furthest from the source material, as it does above. I also like the way it doesn't sound quite "right" somehow, like a doom metal version but oddly voiced.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Napalm Death '88 recording, remixed 2011.

This kills.

01. From the Ashes....
02. Changing Colours
03. Re-Adress the Problem
04. Retreat to Nowhere
05. Scum
06. Stalemate
07. Understanding
08. Multinational Corporations Pt. 2
09. Life

Credits from the split flexi :
Recorded at Birdsong studios, Worcester 19/12/88
Mixed 20/12/88
Engineered by Steve Bird
Produced by Napalm Death

Remixed 2011 by Steve Bird (it seems).

Saturday, May 26, 2018

HBD Tom T. Hall!

Holy crap! We almost forgot Tom T Hall's birthday (a day late as this posts)! Mr. Hall, a relentless humanist voice in country music, was born in Olive Hill, KY, on May 25th, 1936.

I much prefer the studio version of "I Washed My Face in the Morning Dew", but I just had to share the cheese of that live appearance on the Del Reeves show. Special bonus features: Nashville super studio pickin' and grinnin', Del Reeves doing a yeoman's job on the high harmony until Tom throws the key change at him and he just gives up, and, of course, the real stars of the show, Del's cigarette and lime green suit! 


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Friday, May 18, 2018

A Todd Rundgren Playlist? Why the Hell Not?

Things have slowed to a crawl here temporarily due to computer issues, as well as various projects requiring extra attention. It is only a matter of time before things get ramped back up - I figure the end of July at the absolute latest - but things will be a bit sporadic until then. Those who have been following the blog for the last year (we are 5 days away from the year anniversary of the inaugural post!) know that I moved away from the photo-heavy post-a-day gig I was running last September, and though I could go back to that, seeing that I could do the heavy lifting for photo reblogging on my phone, I don't see the point. So, accept my apologies, and understand that I do plan to get back to work once I get my laptop back and healthy.
Recently a friend put out the call for Todd Rundgren recommendations on facebook. It was good timing for me: I have been sifting through classical records for months now, almost at the exclusion of other types of music, and Rundgren sounded like a decent antidote. I started by recommending a few albums that I lived with from back in the day . . . but of course I couldn't leave well enough alone, so I had to put together a Spotify playlist. This one I managed to keep in the neighborhood of a very reasonable three hours, the same timing as most of my old WQAX shifts.

I think Todd Rundgren is a genius on the level of an Alex Chilton - different, but equally brilliant - but he doesn't have the same hipster cred as Chilton because he was a relentlessly professional musician . . . sometimes "professional" to the point of being a hack. I remember seeing a Rundgren show at some Dave & Busters prototype bar in Indianapolis back in the early 90s: there he was on stage with a white electrified baby grand piano playing to backing tapes while local news anchors and polyester suburbanites aging out of young adulthood circulated the room and the pop-a-shot machines jangled through between song breaks. Rundgren himself was even tempered, gracious in a subdued way, and collected his paycheck with the quiet dignity of a road-weary pro on his way back to the motel to rest up before hitting Cincinnati the next night. More recently, he has shown up as a professor of rock at both my post-secondary education stops (Notre Dame and Indiana University). And, as far as I know, he has never stopped putting out records, even if the last one I bothered listening to more than once was released all the way back in 1982.

Putting together a playlist involves a vision of sorts: I wanted to fairly represent Rundgren, but since his career is swimming in cheese that I don't necessarily want to listen to, it is obviously weighted to the early part of his career, and to music which veers a little bit more toward his "eccentric" side. I included some verging-on-treacly pop like "Can We Still Be Friends?", "Set Me Free", and even (gulp) "Bang the Drum All Day", alongside some of the most sublime pop ever written ("Hello, It's Me" - even with its vaguely creepy 70s vibe - "I Saw The Light", "Couldn't I Just Tell You", "We Gotta Get You a Woman", etc.), totally legit Philly soul ("Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel"), and more glam/psychedelia than you can shake a stick at. Though Rundgren can be the most uneven of rockers - anyone as prolific as him is going to have everything out on display, good and bad - at his best, though he may have a few equals, there is no one better at 70s white-boy pop . . . and that includes Chilton.

So, here's the playlist. Enjoy!