November 20, 2010

Playlist Week of 11-20-10

* Vivaldi: “Manchester” Sonatas (Romanesca) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)
* Venice Baroque Orchestra (Marcon/Carmignola): Concerto Italiano (Archiv Produktion CD)
* Boulez: The Three Piano Sonatas (Jumppanen) (Deutsche Grammophon 20/21 CD)
* Louis Armstrong: Hot Fives and Sevens, Vol.1 (JSP CD)
* John Coltrane: The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings (Impulse! 4CD)
* Sun Ra: Pathways to Unknown Worlds + Friendly Love (Evidence CD)
* Sun Ra: The Singles (d.2) (selections) (Evidence 2CD)
* Henry Threadgill’s Zooid: This Brings Us To, Vol.1 (Pi CD)
* Henry Threadgill’s Zooid: This Brings Us To, Vol.2 (Pi CD)
* Myra Melford’s Trio M: Old Custom House, Tampere, Finland 10-31-09 (FM CDR)
* Myra Melford’s The Same River Twice: Willisau, Switzerland 9-03-95 (FM CDR)
* Scanner with The Post Modern Jazz Quartet: Blink of an Eye (Thirsty Ear CD)
* The Beatles: The Beatles (a/k/a The White Album) (2009 mono) (Apple/EMI 2CD)
* The Beatles: Let It Be (2009) (Apple/EMI CD)
* The Beatles: Abbey Road (2009) (Apple/EMI CD)
* Grateful Dead: Road Trips Vol.4, No.1: Big Rock Pow-Wow ’69 (GDP/Rhino 3CD)
* Grateful Dead: Formerly The Warlocks (Hampton, VA Oct. 1989) (selections) (GDP/Rhino 6CD) †/‡
* Van Morrison: Days Like This (Polydor CD)
* Emmylou Harris: Wrecking Ball (Warner Bros. CD) †/‡
* Tom Waits: Glitter and Doom (Live) (Anti 2LP)
* Yes: Tales From Topographic Oceans (Atlantic/Rhino 2CD)
* Yes: Relayer (Atlantic/Rhino CD)
* Yes: Going for the One (Atlantic/Rhino CD)
* Genesis: Abacab (Atlantic LP)
* Genesis: Genesis (Atlantic LP)
* Robyn Hitchcock: Eye (Expanded Edition) (Yep Roc CD)
* Robyn Hitchcock: While Thatcher Mauled Britain (Yep Roc 2CD)
* Buckethead: Colma (CyberOctave CD)†/‡



Great googly-moogly, it’s another Grateful Dead Road Trips—just in time for the holidays! This time we go back to May 1969, to the “Big Rock Pow Wow” held on the Seminole Indian Reservation in Hollywood, Florida. In March, Jim Morrison had been arrested on obscenity charges in Miami after the infamous Doors concert wherein he allegedly “exposed himself” to the audience. Accordingly, rock concerts were cancelled en masse, particularly in Florida, where the Dead were scheduled to play at the “Expanded Spiritual Music Concert” over Easter weekend. A typically hippie solution was found via connections with the Indian chiefs at the nearby reservation, where neither local police nor federal agents had any jurisdiction. A three-day festival was scheduled, headlined by the Grateful Dead on the first two nights. Being “The Sunshine State,” there were multi-gallon jugs of free orange juice available backstage and, given the presence of not only Timothy Leary but also Owsley “Bear” Stanley (who ran the Dead’s soundboard and made this recording)—not mention the total absence of cops—you can imagine what happened next.

It was a different era, that’s for sure. To be honest, this kind of super-intense, teeth-grindingly psychedelic stuff is not really my favorite. I know that makes me a bad (or at least suspect) Deadhead, but I just can’t get beyond the atrocious intonation of the guitars and weirdly affected singing style—but, moreover, the severely constricted repertoire gets old for me fast. And here we have two takes of “Turn On Your Lovelight” totaling more than an hour and it is just a bit too much of a (sort of) good thing. One Internet wag accused Pigpen’s blues stylings as being near to “blackface minstrelsy” and, while that is perhaps going (way) too far, I have to admit that the schtick can wear a little thin. Nevertheless, the “Dark Star>St. Stephen>The Eleven” sequence features some sublime playing and there is a taste of what was to come with a touching rendition of the traditional folk song, “He Was a Friend of Mine” that has an authentic country & western flavor. Even so, I doubt I’ll be pulling this off the shelf very often. Of course, your mileage may vary. Only available from


Sam said...

What was always great, to me, about the old versions of "Lovelight" is not Pigpen's schtick, which does wear thin, but the instrumental interludes in between, when they really get rollickin' and rollin' and Jerry kicks in on overdrive--that's what I listen for. Still, like you say, an hour's a bit much! I think I have an old sound board of this floating around--I should dig it out. As you know, I actually love the old psychedelic stuff, wonky guitar intonation and all.

Sam said...

Here's my lists for last week!

Playlist 2010-11-22

*Beethoven: The Late String Quartets (Emerson String Quartet) disc 2
*Stockhausen, Karlheinz. BBC Symphony Orchestra 2009-08-02 Stockhausen Day, London (CDR) disc 1
*Art Ensemble of Chicago: 1979-07-22 Nervi, Italy (CDR)
*Art Ensemble of Chicago: Full Force
*Anthony Braxton/Roscoe Mitchell: 1978-07-12 Pisa, Italy (CDR)
*Anthony Braxton Ensemble: 2006-06-10 Kerava, Finland (CDR)
*John Coltrane Quintet: 1966-07-17 Kobe, Japan (CDR) disc 2
*Sun Ra: College Tour Vol. 1: The Complete Nothing Is... disc 2
*Sun Ra: Live at Slug's Saloon (Transparency) disc 5
*Sun Ra: Pathways to Unknown Worlds/Friendly Love
*Sun Ra: A Quiet Place in the Universe
*Animal Collective: Feels
*Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti: Before Today
*Beatles: Unsurpassed Broadcasts, 2nd ed. (CDR) Vol. 9
*Beatles: Hard Day's Night (2009 stereo remaster)
*Beatles: Beatles For Sale (2009 stereo remaster)
*Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour (2009 mono remaster)
*Circulatory System: Circulatory System
*Gerbils: Battle of Electricity
*Grateful Dead: 1972-11-26 San Antonio (CDR) "Dark Star > Me & Bobby McGee"
*High Llamas: Cold and Bouncy
*High Llamas: Buzzle Bee
*Instruments: Billions of Photographs
*Led Zeppelin: Live at Blueberry Hill (boot CDR) disc 1
*Mars Volta: Frances the Mute
*Panda Bear: Person Pitch
*Various artists: The Stax Story (disc 1)
*Yes: 1974-02-18 Madison Square Garden, disc 1 ("Tales" side 4) (CDR)

Reading log 2010-11-22

*Canniff, Milton. The Compete Color Terry & the Pirates Vol. 1 1934-1935 (started)
*LaBossiere, Michael C. 42 Fallacies (For Free) (started)
*Larsson, Steig. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (started)
*Barth, John. The Development (finished)
*Bate, Jonathan. "The Case for the Folio." (started/finished)
*King, Stephen. Full Dark, No Stars (finished)
*Moore, Steven. The Novel: An Alternative History: Beginnings to 1600 (in progress)