April 3, 2010

Playlist Week of 4-03-10

* Marais: Sonnerie de Sainte-Geneviève du Mont (Harnoncourt) (Harmonia Mundi CD)
* Rebel: Violin Sonatas (Manze/Egarr/ter Linden) (Harmonia Mundi CD)
* Vivaldi: Cello Sonatas (ter Linden/Mortensen) (Brilliant Classics 2CD)
* Scriabin: The Complete Preludes (Piers Lane) (Hyperion 2CD)
* Reger: String Quartet, Op.121/Clarinet Quintet, Op.146 (Drolc/Leister) (DG CD)
* Boulez: Rituel/Eclat/Multiples (BBC Symphony/Ens. InterContemp.) (Boulez) (Sony CD)
* Wynonie Harris (w/Sun Ra): Studio recordings, Nashville, March 1946 (78RPM>CDR)
* Sun Ra: Paris, France 11-29-71 (FM CDR)
* Sun Ra: Calling Planet Earth (DA Music/Freedom CD)
* Kip Hanrahan: Coup de Tête (American Clavé LP)
* David Torn’s Prezens: Stadtgarten, Cologne, Germany 1-10-08 (AUD 2CDR)
* Praxis: Warszawa (Innerrhythmic CD)
* Charged: Live (Innerrhythmic CD)
* Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde (mono) (Columbia/Sundazed 2LP)
* Rolling Stones: Some Girls (Rolling Stones/Virgin LP)
* The Mothers of Invention: Uncle Meat (Bizarre/Reprise 2LP)
* Grateful Dead: Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, CA 5-19-66 (SBD CDR)
* Grateful Dead, et al.: Festival Express Train, July 1970 (AUD CDR)
* Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks Vol.36: The Spectrum Philadelphia, PA 9-21-72 (GD 4CD)
* Grateful Dead: Civic Center, Providence, RI 9-09-87 (SBD 2CDR)
* Jerry Garcia Band: After Midnight: Kean College, Union, NJ 2-28-80 (GD/Rhino 3CD)
* Can: Soundtracks (Spoon SACD)
* Henry Cow/Slapp Happy: In Praise of Learning (original mix) (Red Records LP)
* Henry Cow: Western Culture (Interzone LP)
* Neil Young: After the Gold Rush (Reprise LP)
* Lucinda Williams: Essence (Lost Highway CD)
* Peter Frampton: Frampton Comes Alive! (Deluxe Edition) (A&M/Universal 2CD)
* The Style Council: Internationalists (Geffen LP)
* Cocteau Twins: Love’s Easy Tears (4AD/Capitol CDEP)
* Cocteau Twins: Victorialand (4AD/Capitol CD)
* Future Sound of London: From the Archives, Vol.1 (Passion CD)
* Aphex Twin: Analogue Bubblebath 5 (vinyl test pressing>CDR)
* Radiohead: Kid A (Capitol CD)
* Radiohead: In Rainbows (TBD CD)
* Palace Music: Lost Blues and Other Songs (Drag City 1.5LP)
* Sonic Youth: The Eternal (Matador 2LP)
* Pavement: Wowee Zowee! (Deluxe Edition) (Matador 2CD)
* Guided By Voices: Half Smiles of the Decomposed (Matador LP)
* Robert Pollard: We All Got Out of the Army (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Circus Devils: Mother Skinny (Happy Jack Rock Records LP)
* Wilco: Kicking Television: Live in Chicago (Nonesuch 2CD)


Woke up early this morning to thunder, lightning and heavy rain -- a perfect stay-at-home day, I thought. I made some coffee and settled into the legendary Dick’s Picks 36, which contains the entire Grateful Dead concert from the Spectrum on September 21, 1972. At almost five hours, this is one of the longest shows they ever played -- but it’s also one of the best they ever played. The musicianship and singing is relaxed yet tightly woven, slowly building up to a climactic forty-five minute “Dark Star>Morning Dew” sequence that is just stunning in its inventiveness and graceful passion. That the band continues to play for another hour and half after this breathtaking tour de force is just the cherry on top. By the end of it all, the sun was shining. It was turning into a beautiful day! How about that? This was the very last Dick’s Pick, released in 2005 before the move to Rhino -- 9-21-72 was rightfully one of Dick Latvala’s favorite shows and it was finally released as a final tribute to the late great Vaultmeister, who died in 1999. Most of the Dick’s Picks series are way out of print and command absurd prices on eBay; but this one is apparently still available directly from dead.net and at less than thirty dollars is a real bargain for four CDs jam-packed with of some of the best music the Dead ever played. This one needs to be heard by more than just hardcore Deadheads -- get yours before they’re all gone and hear for yourself what they sounded like on a really, really good night.


Speaking of great live bands, Wilco is one of ‘em. But Kicking Television, their one and only live album recorded in May of 2005 is merely very good. The sound quality is exquisite, revealing the details of the songs’ many intricate arrangements and orchestrations -- but the performances feel a little stiff, at least compared to the numerous “bootleg” recordings I have heard from the period. Interestingly, a DVD was planned to coincide with this release, but was abruptly cancelled. I wonder if the presence of a film crew contributed to the rather restrained performances? Wilco continued to push forward with the DVD project, culminating in last year’s Ashes of American Flags, a truly great “road film” which manages to capture the power and glory of Wilco at their absolute peak. Don’t get me wrong, Kicking Television is a fine album, but the DVD is the real deal. In fact, forget all their albums; Ashes of American Flags is where it’s at. Like the Grateful Dead, Wilco is steeped in old-timey Americana and utilize top-shelf musicianship to realize a heartfelt fusion music that touches on jazz, punk, noise and whatever else strikes their fancy. And like the Dead, on stage is where it happens, not in the studio.


Speaking of live albums, I am unapologetic regarding my fondness for Frampton Comes Alive! There I said it. This record was inescapable when it came out in 1976 -- my sister had a copy which I surreptitiously listened to without telling anybody. But, you know what? “Lines on My Face,” “Show Me the Way,” “Baby, I Love Your Way,” and (perhaps to a lesser extent) “Do You Feel Like We Do” are all great songs and Frampton himself is a pretty decent guitarist to boot. Sure it’s cheesy, but sometimes the stinkiest cheese is the most delectable -- if you have a taste for cheese.


Sam said...

You are a brave man! I enjoyed Humble Pie, especially the live double album, but by the time Frampton split off on his own I'd had enough. There was a time when you couldn't escape these three acts on the radio: Peter Frampton, the Eagles, and Fleetwood Mac. I don't miss those late-night drives, desperate to find ANYthing of value on my Cutlass's battered radio, only to find yet another spin of "Show me the way" or "Witchy woman." Thanks for dredging up some horrible memories, Rodger! :)

Sam said...

Here's my lists for last week. Highlights of my listening:
1. Our CD "Eras"--the base tracks were already solid, but what you did with all the overdubs and remixes is amazing! Especially love the guitar work in the fourth track--wailing!
2. "Nefertiti"--I just can't stop listening to this every night. Jimmy Lyons is really hitting it for me right now. Bird, I think, would've loved it.

Playlist 2010-04-05

*Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music vol. 4: Fourth a-chronology 1937-2005, disc 2
*Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music vol. 5: Fifth a-chronology 1920-2007
*Art Ensemble of Chicago: 1980-08-31 Chicago Jazz Festival (CDR)
*Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost, disc 1
*Anthony Braxton: Six Compositions: Quartet (Antilles)
*Anthony Braxton/Malachi Favors/Don Moye: 1984-05-07 Pavia, Italy (CDR)
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Eras
*Mahavishnu Orchestra: The Inner Mounting Flame, side 2
*Sun Ra: Disco 3000: The Complete Milan Concert 1978 (Art Yard)
*Sun Ra: Detroit Jazz Center, disc 17 (1980-12-30) (CDR)
*Cecil Taylor: Nefertiti, the Beautiful One Has Come
*Cecil Taylor: Unit Structures
*Cecil Taylor: Conquistador!
*Cecil Taylor: Student Studies
*Cecil Taylor Unit: 1966-10-16 Stuttgart (CDR) afternoon concert
*David S. Ware Quartets: Live in the World
*Chris Bell: I Am the Cosmos
*Big Star: Third/Sister Lovers
*Arthur Conley & the Sweaters: Recorded Live in Amsterdam
*Bill Fay: compilation CD
*The Feelies: Crazy Rhythms
*Grateful Dead: 1970-02-02 Fox Theatre, St. Louis (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1970-02-08 Fillmore West (CDR)
*Emitt Rhodes: Emitt Rhodes
*Todd Rundgren: compilation CD
*Gary Wilson: You Think You Really Know Me

Reading log 2010-04-05

*The Complete Frontline Combat (EC) (started)
*The Complete Mad, vol. 1 (EC) (finished)
*Bolano, Roberto. 2666 (in progress)
*Larson, Gary. The Complete Far Side (in progress)
*A New Literary History of America (ed. Greil Marcus & Werner Sollors) (in progress)
*Palmer, Robert. Blues and Chaos (in progress)

Rodger Coleman said...

Part of the problem is that I am a little bit younger than you. When Frampton Comes Alive came out, I had no idea about Humble Pie. It was just THERE. Same with the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac to an extent. I no longer have any Eagles albums (I have considered scrounging around for used LPs -- I'd pay a dollar for a clean "Hotel California"). But I do have a taste for Fleetwood Mac. I have "Rumours" on DVD-Audio. It sounds amazing! ;-)