February 27, 2010

Playlist Week of 2-27-10

* Marais: Sonnerie de Sainte-Geneviève du Mont (Harnoncourt) (Harmonia Mundi CD)
* Buxtehude: Sonatas, Op.1 (Holloway/Mortensen/ter Linden) (Naxos CD)
* Geminiani: Cello Sonatas, Op.5 (ter Linden/Mortensen) (Brilliant Classics CD)
* Vivaldi: La Stravaganza, Op.4 (Arte Dei Suonatori/Podger) (Channel Classics 2SACD)
* Veracini: Sonatas (Holloway/Mortensen/ter Linden) (ECM CD)
* Handel: 12 Solo Sonatas, Op.1 (AAM/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)
* Handel: Trio Sonatas, Op.2 & Op.5 (AAM/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)
* J.S. Bach: Solo & Double Violin Concertos (AAM/Manze/Podger) (Harmonia Mundi SACD)
* Berg: Chamber Symphony, etc. (BBC Symphony, et al./Boulez) (Sony CD)
* Miles Davis: In Person at the Blackhawk, San Francisco (d.1-2) (Columbia/Legacy 4CD)
* Sun Ra: Dramaten, Stockholm 10-12-71 (FM CDR)
* Sun Ra: Helsinki, Finland 10-14-71 (FM 2CDR)
* Anthony Braxton/Milford Graves/William Parker: Beyond Quantum (Tzadik CD)
* Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: The Eleventh Hour (ECM CD)
* Peter Brotzmann Octet: The Complete Machine Gun Sessions (Atavistic CD)
* Mat Maneri: Blue Deco (Thirsty Ear CD)
* Mat Maneri: Pentagon (Thirsty Ear CD)
* Joe Morris & Mat Maneri: [soul search] (AUM Fidelity CD)
* Matthew Shipp: 4D (Thirsty Ear CD)
* David Torn/Mick Karn/Terry Bozzio: Polytown (CMP CD)
* David Torn’s Prezens: Clef Club of Jazz, Philadelphia, PA 5-19-07 (AUD CDR)
* The Beatles: Help! (mono) (Apple/EMI CD)
* The Beatles: Rubber Soul (U.S. stereo) (Capitol CD)
* Bob Dylan: Planet Waves (Columbia SACD)
* Johnny Cash: American VI: Ain’t No Grave (American CD)
* Sly & The Family Stone: There’s a Riot Going On (Epic/Sundazed LP)
* Grateful Dead: Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA 6-16-85 (SBD 3CDR)
* Jerry Garcia Band: Merriweather Post Pavilion September 1&2, 1989 (Pure Jerry 4CD)
* Santana: Caravanserei (Columbia/Legacy CD)
* Mahavishnu Orchestra: Visions of the Emerald Beyond (Columbia LP) (wlp!)
* John McLaughlin: Electric Guitarist (Columbia LP)
* Big Star: Keep an Eye on the Sky (d.3) (Rhino 4CD)
* Tom Petty: Wildflowers (Warner Bros. CD)
* R.E.M.: Fables of the Reconstruction (IRS LP)
* Guided By Voices: The Grand Hour (Scat 7”EP)
* Guided By Voices: Static Airplane Jive (City Slang/Luna CDEP)
* Guided By Voices: Get Out of My Stations (Siltbreeze 7”EP)
* Guided By Voices: Fast Japanese Spin Cycle (Engine 7”EP)
* Guided By Voices: Clown Prince of the Menthol Trailer (Domino/Luna CDEP)
* Robert Pollard: We All Got Out of the Army (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Boston Spaceships: Zero to 99 (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Buckethead: Day of the Robot (Submeta CD)
* People (Mary Halvorson & Kevin Shea): People (I & Ear LP)
* Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino CD)
* Animal Collective: Fall Be Kind (Domino CDEP)


I had to undergo fairly intensive oral surgery on Wednesday morning, which left me in rough shape for the remainder of the week (although I did go back to work yesterday). I felt quite a bit better this morning and since it was such a beautiful day, I decided I just had to get out of the house. What could be more fun than a visit my favorite record store, Grimey’s New & Pre-Loved Music? I’ve gushed about Grimey’s on this blog in the past, and I just can’t help but do so again. They don’t normally carry all the weirdo avant-garde jazz or classical stuff I’m into but I did pick up Matthew Shipp’s new solo piano CD on Thirsty Ear and found Mary Halvorson’s rock band, People’s, first LP in the used bins for three bucks – sealed! – so you just never know what you might find if you dig around. No, what makes Grimey’s so special are the people. Hip, indie record stores are notorious for their surly and snobbish employees, but the folks at Grimey’s are genuinely friendly and helpful, making it a supremely pleasant place to hang out and shop. These are people who love their job and their giddy enthusiasm for all kinds of music is contagious. While many record stores are going out of business along with the steady decline of the recording industry, Grimey’s appears to be thriving. Every time I go in, there is a crowd of people, young and old, male and female, digging the vibes and buying records by the handful. Obviously, I am not the only one who loves the Grimey’s experience so much that they will go out of their way to support the store, even in the depths of this horrible recession. Taped onto the cash register is this panel from Charles Schulz’s Peanuts, with the caption, “Schroeder Gets It:”

Indeed. Just walking into Grimey’s and being greeted with big smile and “hello” is enough to brighten anyone’s day; bringing home some new records is just a bonus. I *heart* Grimey’s!


Other treasures I found in the racks: Johnny Cash’s final album on American is as sublime as all the rest, but the intense focus on impending death makes it a mournful, almost morbid listening experience. That is, I suppose, the point. The one Cash original, “I Corinthians 15:55,” is both a reverent take on scripture and a love song to his recently deceased wife, June Carter Cash, and his performance is deeply moving. +++ I’m still on the fence regarding Animal Collective, so I decided to check out their latest EP, which is more of the same but still oddly compelling. Will keep listening. +++ Finally, I happened upon a white-label-promo of the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s 1975 LP, Visions of the Emerald Beyond. I loved this album when I was kid, but got rid of it in a fit of hipster pique. I bought the CD at one point, but thought it sounded crummy compared to how I remembered the LP sounding so I sold it off as well. I still have a soft spot for John McLaughlin and this album in particular, so when I saw that this copy was in decent condition, my heart leapt with excitement. You see, white-label promo albums were limited first pressings which were sent to radio stations and often have superior sound quality to subsequent regular pressings. After a thorough cleaning, I have to say that is the case here. Aside from a tiny bit of surface noise, it sounded great! This is jazz-rock-fusion at its most bombastic and overblown, but gosh it was fun to hear again after all these years.


Speaking of record stores, Record Store Day 2010 is April 17th. Mark your calendars!


Sam said...

Wow--"Visions of the Emerald beyond" was the reason for my stopping listening seriously to McLaughlin. I used to have it, and also got rid of it. Wasn't Gayle Moran on that? Man. I might almost be too scared to ever listen to that again! heh heh

Here's my lists from the past week:

Playlist 2010-03-01

*Schoenberg: Kammersymphonie, Op. 9 (Ens. Intercontemp./Boulez) (CDR)
*Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers: The Big Beat
*Anthony Braxton: Nine Compositions (DVD) 2003, tracks 2-7
*Anthony Braxton 12 + 1tet : 2009-11-05 Vancouver (CDR)
*New Loft: 2010-01-27 Live at the Bossa Bistro, DC (wav)
*New Loft: 2010-01-27 Live at the Bossa Bistro, DC (mp3)
*New Loft: 2010-02-17: "The Five" and "On Top of the Five" (wav)
*Wayne Shorter: Adam's Apple
*Sun Ra: Intergalactic Research (The Lost Reel Collection vol. 2)
*Sun Ra: Universe in Blue
*Sun Ra: 1971-10-14 Helsinki (CDR)
*Sun Ra: Calling Planet Earth (1971-12-05 Copenhagen)
*Sun Ra: The Antique Blacks (Art Yard)
*Sun Ra: Somewhere Over the Rainbow
*Sun Ra: 1979-05-05 Fairgrounds, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (CDR)
*Sun Ra: 1979-05-06 Fairgrounds, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (CDR)
*Sun Ra: Dance of Innocent Passion
*Cecil Taylor & Tony Oxley: 2009-10-04 Antwerp, set 2 (CDR)
*Acid Mothers Temple: Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
*James Brown: Live at the Apollo Volume II (Deluxe Edition), disc 2
*Jeff Byrd: Snag (selections)
*Grateful Dead: 1969-11-07 Fillmore West (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1969-12-04 Fillmore West (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1969-12-11 Thelma Theater, LA (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1970-05-15 Fillmore East (CDR) late show, part 2
*Grateful Dead: 1987-09 selections (cassette compilation)
*Hatfield & the North: BBC Top Gear 1974-04-02 & 1974-12-04/French TV (boot cassette)
*Jackie Mittoo & the Soul Brothers: Last Train to Skaville
*Tito Puente: The Essential Tito Puente
*Praxis: Transmutation Live
*Dionne Warwick: The Dionne Warwick Collection: Her All-Time Greatest Hits
*Yes: Tales From Topographic Oceans (2003 remaster) disc 2

Reading log 2010-03-01

*The Complete Weird Science (EC) (in progress)
*Larson, Gary. The Complete Far Side (in progress)
*Musil, Robert. Man Without Qualities (in progress)
*A New Literary History of America (ed. Greil Marcus & Werner Sollors) (in progress)
*Wallace, David Foster. Consider the Lobster (in progress)

Rodger Coleman said...

Re: "Visions of the Emerald Beyond."What can I say? I loved that record as a kid! They also had the Return to Forever live box in mint condition -- I loved that too when I was a kid, but I don't wanna hear it again. So it goes.

What about "Transmutation Live"? That's a pretty over-the-top record, but, you're right, no Gayle Moran!

I see you've been listening to Acid Mothers Temple...what do you think? I really wanted to like them when I heard them (mostly live stuff), but it always left me feeling kinda disappointed. Any recommendations? Their discography is huge.

Sam said...

The RTF live box! I used to have that too! Scawy---very, very scawy! (The music, I mean, not the fact that we both used to own that box!)

"Transmutation Live" is an awesome record, yes, for me the best Praxis--love the blend of heavy metal pyrotechnics with space-funk and scratching. But, yes, no Gayle Moran. Funny, that.

Acid Mothers Temple: I only have the two I've listed. I find them quite enjoyable--over the top psychedelia with some great guitar work and a kind of Gong/wacko sensibility. A little bit goes a long way, though--it's difficult going to get through an entire disc in one go. That being said, I prefer the "Melting Paraiso U.F.O." disc in part because it's just got one long 50+-minute track that builds and mutates in interesting ways. Beyond that, I know next to nothing about them. My buddy Cal turned me on to them, but my listening has not gone beyond those two discs, and they may be enough for now.

A guy in the music library here thought I might be interested in another Japanese improvisational group, so I checked it out but haven't gotten through it yet: Taj Mahal Travellers "Live in Stockholm 1971." In spite of their name, they've nothing to do with good ol' Taj Mahal. They evidently did lots of hours-long space improvisations--sounds right up my alley! Anyway, I'll let you know more after I absorb this 2-CD set.