December 24, 2011

Playlist Week of 12-24-11

John Fahey - The New Possibility

* Rebel: Violin Sonatas (Manze/Egarr/ter Linden) (Harmonia Mundi CD)
* Uccellini: Sonatas (Romanesca) (Harmonia Mundi CD)
* J.S. Bach: Sonatas & Partitas For Solo Violin (Holloway) (ECM 2CD)
* J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concertos (Academy of Ancient Music/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2SACD)
* Saint-Saens, et al.: A Hi-Fi Spectacular! (Boston Symphony/Munch) (RCA-Victor/Sony SACD)
* Eric Dolphy: Out To Lunch! (Blue Note/Music Matters 2-45RPM LP)
* Bobby Hutcherson: Happenings (Blue Note CD)
* Bobby Hutcherson: Oblique (Blue Note CD)
* Sam Rivers: The Complete Sam Rivers Blue Note Sessions (Blue Note/Mosaic 5LP)
* Sun Ra: Live At Montreux (Inner City 2LP/2CD)
* Sun Ra: Cosmos (Cobra/Spalax CD)
* Stanley Clarke: School Days (Epic/Friday Music LP)
* Bob Dylan: Blonde On Blonde (mono) (Columbia/Sundazed 2LP)
* Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour: “Christmas/New Year’s” (FM 2CDR)
* The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour Vol.2 (d.1) (Purple Chick fan/boot 2CDR)
* The Beatles: From Them To You (Purple Chick fan/boot CDR)
* Grateful Dead: Civic Center, Hartford, CT 5-10-80 (set 2) (d.1) (SBD 2CDR)
* Grateful Dead: Boston Garden, Boston, MA 9-24-93 (set 2) (SBD 3CDR)
* King Crimson: In The Court Of The Crimson King (DGM CD)†
* King Crimson: In The Wake Of Poseidon (DGM CD)†
* King Crimson: Lizard (DGM CD)†
* King Crimson: Islands (DGM CD)†
* King Crimson: Larks’ Tongues In Aspic (DGM CD)†
* Pink Floyd: The Dark Side Of The Moon (Experience Edition) (d.2) (Pinkfloyd/EMI CD)†
* Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (Experience Edition) (d.2) (Pinkfloyd/EMI CD)†
* Yes: Close To The Edge (Atlantic/Rhino CD)†
* Yes: Tales From Topographic Oceans (Atlantic/Rhino 2CD)†
* Big Star: #1 Record (Ardent/Classic LP)
* Fleetwood Mac: Rumours (Warner Bros. 2-45RPM LP)
* Elvis Costello: This Year’s Model (Columbia/Mobile Fidelity LP)
* Elvis Costello & The Attractions: Armed Forces (Columbia/Mobile Fidelity LP)
* Elvis Costello & The Attractions: Get Happy!! (Columbia/Mobile Fidelity 2-45RPM LP)
* U2: Achtung, Baby (Deluxe Edition) (d.1) (Island/Universal 2CD)†
* U2: Zooropa (Island CD)†
* Thurston Moore: Trees Outside The Academy (Ecstatic Peace CD)†
* Thurston Moore: Demolished Thoughts (Matador CD)†
* Jim O’Rourke: Insignificance (Drag City LP)
* Guided By Voices: Earthquake Glue (Matador CD)†
* Guided By Voices: “We Won’t Aplogize […]”/”The Unsinkable Fats Domino” (Matador 7”)
* Guided By Voices: “Doughnut For A Snowman” (Fire 7”EP)
* Guided By Voices: “Chocolate Boy” (GBV, Inc. 7”)
* Boredoms: Super Æ (Birdman CD)†
* Boredoms: Vision Creation Newsun (Birdman CD)†
* The Future Sound of London: The Isness (Hypnotic CD)†/‡
* Buckethead: Colma (CyberOctave CD)†
* Wilco: The Whole Love (dBpm/ANTI 2LP)
* Opeth: Deliverance (Koch CD)†
* Opeth: Damnation (Koch CD)†
* Opeth: Ghost Reveries (Roadrunner CD)†
* Opeth: Watershed (Roadrunner CD)(†)
* Opeth: Heritage (Roadrunner CD)(†)
* Mastodon: Leviathan (Relapse CD)†
* Mastodon: Blood Mountain (Reprise CD)†
* Mastodon: Crack The Skye (Reprise CD/2-45RPM LP)(†)
* Mastodon: The Hunter (Reprise 2-45RPM LP)

†=iPod
‡=car

Commentary:

I’m having a hard time getting into enforced cheeriness of the season. You see, this is the first Christmas without either of my parents. It’s a weird feeling. The whole Santa Claus thing is for children—and I am no one’s child anymore. Does that make me an adult? Oh dear…how depressing.

And, as you know, I have a conflicted relationship with Christmas music so that makes things even more difficult this time of year. But I found this nice clean copy of The New Possibility: John Fahey’s Guitar Soli Christmas Album, at a record show this summer and I figured if anyone could make listenable holiday music, it would be Fahey. It's been sitting in a pile on the floor ever since; I’ve been waiting for this moment to clean up this 1968 classic and give it a spin. Well, Fahey’s fingerpicked guitar fantasias on hoary old chestnuts like “Joy To The World,” “God Rest You Merry Gentlemen,” and “Silent Night” are truly astonishing—sublime, even. The tone is somber, if not downright sad, and therefore makes for the perfect Christmas record for the clinically depressed. Good stuff.

So, we carry on. We have our traditions, including listening to The Beatles Christmas Album, a collection of hilarious audio Christmas cards the Fab Four sent out to their fan club every year, from 1963-1969. Tracing their hyper-compressed history from cheeky, innocent fun to tripped-out hysteria, these recordings never fail to put a smile on my face. On the one hand, it’s kind of surprising these things were never reissued—and probably never will be—but on the other I can see why: they are just plain weird. That’s why I love them! In many ways, they are the most experimental recordings The Beatles ever made. Thankfully, decent-sounding “bootlegs” are readily available to the resourceful fan.

There’s a fire in the fireplace and The Beatles are on the stereo, making me laugh out loud. Lizzy and I plan to have a tasty dinner and get on with our holiday weekend. We are truly blessed and I am eternally grateful. Maybe being an “adult” is not so bad. Heck, perhaps I feel the Christmas spirit coming on! Best wishes to everyone out there in Blogville. See you tomorrow…

2 comments:

Garrett said...

I love Fahey. Where did you find this, Rodger? You're absolutely right. Merry Christmas

Rodger Coleman said...

I found the LP at a record show here in Nashville. The cover is sort of beat, but the vinyl is pristine. It's also available on CD, I believe. Merry Christmas and New Year to you, Garrett!