September 4, 2010

Playlist Week of 9-04-10

* J.S. Bach: Mass in B minor (Monteverdi Choir/English Baroque/Gardiner) (Archiv Prod. 2CD)
* J.S. Bach: The Works for Lute (Kirchhof) (Sony Classical 2CD)
* Pachelbel: Canons and Gigues (London Baroque) (Harmonia Mundi CD)†
* Handel: Solo Sonatas, Op.1 (AAM/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)†
* Handel: Trio Sonatas, Op.2 & Op.5 (AAM/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)†
* Vivaldi: “Manchester” Sonatas (Romanesca) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)†
* Vivaldi: Cello Sonatas (ter Linden/Mortensen) (Brilliant Classics 2CD)†
* Geminiani: Cello Sonatas, Op.5 (ter Linden/Mortensen) (Brilliant Classics CD)†
* Schoenberg: Ewartung, Op.17 (BBC Symphony Orch./Martin/Boulez) (Sony Classical CD)
* Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire, Op.21 (InterContemporain/Minton/Boulez) (Sony Classical CD)
* Miles Davis & John Coltrane: The Complete Columbia Recordings (d.6) (Columbia 6CD)
* Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Studio Recordings (d.1-3) (Columbia 6CD)
* Miles Davis: In Person at the Blackhawk (Columbia 4CD)
* Miles Davis: At Carnegie Hall (Columbia 2 CD)
* Miles Davis: Seven Steps: The Complete Recordings 1963-1964 (d.1-2) (Columbia 7CD)
* Sun Ra: The Mystery Board (live Nov. 2 or 3, 1972) (SBD/boot 2CDR)
* Sun Ra: The Shadows Took Shape (Lost Reel Collection, Vol.3) (Transparency 2CD)
* Muhal Richard Abrams/George Lewis/Roscoe Mitchell: Streaming (Pi CD)
* Anthony Braxton: 9 Compositions (Iridium) 2006 (d.9) (Firehouse 12 9CD+DVD)
* Mary Halvorson Trio: Willisau 8-25-10 (FM CDR)
* Pat Metheny Group: Still Life (Talking) (Geffen CD)†
* Pat Metheny Group: Letter From Home (Geffen CD)†
* Pat Metheny Group: We Live Here (Geffen CD)†
* Bill Frisell: Good Dog, Happy Man (Nonesuch CD)†
* Ekstasis: Wake Up and Dream (CyberOctave CD)‡
* Bill Laswell: Dub Chamber 3 (ROIR CD)‡
* Bill Laswell: Version 2 Version: A Dub Transmission (ROIR CD)‡
* Deltron 3030: The Instrumentals (ARK CD)‡
* Grateful Dead: Road Trips, Vol.3 No.3 (Fillmore E. 5-15-70) (d.1-3) (GD/Rhino 3+1CD)
* Grateful Dead: The Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack (Oct. 1974) (d.1) (GD 5CD)‡
* Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks, Vol.3 (Pembroke Pines, FL 5-22-77) (GD 2CD)‡
* Grateful Dead: Onadaga Co. Civic Center, Syracuse, NY 4-08-82 (set 2) (SBD 2CDR)‡
* Los Lobos: This Time (Hollywood/MFSL SACD)
* Robert Pollard: Moses On a Snail (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Boston Spaceships: Brown Submarine (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Boston Spaceships: The Planets Are Blasted (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Boston Spaceships: Zero to 99 (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Boston Spaceships: Our Cubehouse Still Rocks (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Boston Spaceships: “Headache Revolution” (side B) (HJRR 7”EP)
* Boston Spaceships: Camera Found the Raygun (Jackpot 7”EP)
* Boston Spaceships: Licking Stamps and Drinking Shitty Coffee: Live in Atlanta (APC 2LP)
* Animal Collective: “Peacebone” (Domino CDEP)
* Animal Collective: Water Curses (Domino CDEP)
* Panda Bear: Person Pitch (Paw Tracks CD)



This big news on the Robert Pollard front is, of course, the reunion of the so-called “classic line-up” of Guided By Voices for an extended tour this fall. If I were twenty years younger (or even ten), I would definitely be making travel arrangements to see Bob rock out with his old bandmates. But I am an old fart who would rather stay home and listen to records. And, of course, there is the distinct possibility this reunion will go the way of many other such ventures and be something of a disappointment. Pollard explicitly abandoned the road at the end of 2004 when he ceremoniously disbanded GBV (vividly captured on The Electrifying Conclusion DVD) and has only sporadically performed live ever since. Even so, I love the idea of these guys enjoying a victory lap, whatever its artistic merits.

All that is not to say Pollard is resting on his laurels—god, no. Barely two months after the release of a particularly strong solo album, Moses On a Snail, Pollard’s semi-real band, Boston Spaceships, has just released their fourth album in three years weirdly entitled, Our Cubehouse Still Rocks, and it’s easily their most satisfying outing yet. This one makes good on the promise of last year’s Zero to 99, which was a merely half-great record. Here Pollard has penned some of his most fully developed and downright catchiest songs in years and he sings them with the kind of intensity and conviction that has been for the most part absent on the ad hoc Spaceships’s previous albums. Rather than tossing off a bunch of half-baked songs and phoning them in long distance, Pollard sounds confident and committed, delivering a spectacular vocal performance that brings to mind the glory days of GBV. I know I tend to blindly praise everything Pollard puts out, but, take my word for it: Our Cubehouse Still Rocks is an outstanding effort which should not be overlooked in all the brouhaha surrounding the big reunion tour. 1990s nostalgia is one thing, but the truth is: Pollard remains a vital creative force in 2010. If that was ever in doubt, just have a listen.


Sam said...

Hope you're having a great 3-day weekend! I see a lot of Miles in your list--I've been digging through the Plugged Nickel myself and, contrary to received critical opinion (Blumenthal's excellent liner notes notwithstanding), I find Miles's playing to be top-notch and way on his game.

Here's my list for last week:

Playlist 2010-09-06

*Anthony Braxton Large Ensemble: 2010-04-29 Wesleyan (CDR) disc 1
*Miles Davis: 1964-07-12 Tokyo (CDR)
*Miles Davis: The Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel 1965 (discs 4, 5, 6)
*Miles Davis: Bitches Brew, side 1
*Charles Mingus: Mingus Dynasty
*Sonny Sharrock: Black Woman
*Sun Ra: College Tour Vol. 1: The Complete Nothing Is... disc 2
*Sun Ra: The Shadows Took Shape (The Lost Reel Collection vol. 3)
*Sun Ra: New Steps
*Cecil Taylor/Bill Dixon/Tony Oxley (Victo)
*Cecil Taylor & the Sound Vision Orchestra: 2002-06-20 Knitting Factory (CDR)
*Henry Threadgill & Zooid: 2010-05-14 Rome (CDR) disc 2
*Animal Collective: Strawberry Jam
*Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti: Before Today
*Beatles: Beatles For Sale (2009 stereo remaster)
*Big Star: Third/Sister Lovers
*Grateful Dead: 1972-11-19 Houston (CDR)
*Residents: Not Available
*Rolling Stones: 12 X 5
*Rolling Stones: Out of Our Heads
*Rolling Stones: Genuine Black Box (disc 2)
*Rolling Stones: Unreleased Vol. 1 & 2 1963-1966 (boot CDR)

Reading log 2010-09-06

*Marlantes, Karl. Matterhorn (started)
*Vowell, Sarah: Radio On (finished)
*Barth, John. Book of Ten Nights and a Night (in progress)
*Larson, Gary. The Complete Far Side (in progress)
*Tanner, Tony. Prefaces to Shakespeare (in progress)
*Theobald, Lewis. Double Falsehood (Arden Shakespeare ed.) (in progress)

Rodger Coleman said...

Yes, I'm making my way through the Miles stuff in roughly chronological order. Such great music. I wish the Plugged Nickel set sounded better, but the playing is incredible -- yes, including Miles. I was blown away by the extroversion of his playing on the Blackhawk stuff. And yet his ballad playing continued to get even more abstract. Amazing.

BTW: The stereo Beatles For Sale gets my award for most improved re-master. Sounds incredible!

Sam said...

Yes, "Beatles for sale" really benefits from the remastering, especially in stereo. So does "Revolver"--great stuff. I find myself returning more and more to "Beatles for sale"--it's really underrated.