* Hesperion XXI, et al. (Savall): Hispania & Japan: Dialogues (Alia Vox SACD)
* Grant Green: Idle Moments (Blue Note CD)
* Herbie Hancock: “Blow Up” (Original Soundtrack) (MGM/4 Men With Beards LP)
* Herbie Hancock: Secrets (Columbia LP)
* Herbie Hancock: Sunlight (Columbia LP)
* Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks Vol.25 (5-11-78) (selections) (GDP 4HDCD)
* Affinity: Affinity (Vertigo/Lilith 2LP/CD)
* Kylesa: To Walk A Middle Course (Prosthetic/Alternative Tentacles LP)
* Opeth: Morningrise (Candlelight CD)†
* Opeth: My Arms, Your Hearse (Candlelight CD)†
* Opeth: Still Life (Peaceville/Icarus CD)†/‡
* Opeth: Blackwater Park (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†/‡
* Opeth: Deliverance (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†/‡
* Opeth: Damnation (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†/‡
* Opeth: Heritage (Roadrunner CD/DVD)†/‡
* Anathema: Weather Systems (The End 2LP)
* Baroness: Yellow & Green (Relapse)
* Pelican: Australasia (Hydra Head 2-45RPM LP)
* Pelican: The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw (Hydra Head CD)†
* Pelican: What We All Come To Need (Southern Lord CD)†
* Chris Fosyth: Kenzo Deluxe (Northern Spy CD)
* Astra: The Weirding (Rise Above/Metal Blade CD)
* Astra: The Black Chord (Rise Above/Metal Blade CD)
Short playlist this week! We traveled to Northern California to visit Lizzy’s family and the only music I listened to was on the plane (briefly) or in the car driving up the coast to The Sea Ranch. I made that drive several years ago in a minivan (!) and, since it was going to be just the two of us, I insisted we rent a nice car this time—a very nice car, as it turned out: a (slightly dinged-up) Mercedes C300. Now that might sound extravagant but, let me tell you: it’s a treacherous, three-hour drive up CA Route 1, a narrow, two-lane road with hairpin turns, gut-wrenching switchbacks and terrifying views of the ocean plunging five-hundred feet below—besides, it was only about a hundred bucks more than a Toyota Camry, so why not enjoy the ride?
Having never driven a Mercedes before (I'm actually a Honda kinda guy), I was mystified by the needlessly complicated technology; a simple thing like adjusting the seat was extraordinarily difficult (here's a tip: you only get five minutes from the time the door closes). I spent at least twenty minutes sitting in the airport parking lot just trying to figure out how to play music from my iPod—and totally failed. The owner’s manual was completely useless! What the hell? Am I stupid? We hit the road listening to “Chill” on Sirius while I pondered the problem. I eventually figured out how to change the channel to “Classic Vinyl.” Much better. Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. A bit later, I pulled over. Let’s see if this works: press this button, turn this knob—and voila! iPod! We cranked up some Opeth and kept motoring. Other than the stupidly quirky audio system, the car drove like a dream—and it made a potentially scary trip into a most pleasurable joyride. Well worth it.
ANYWAY, it was a fabulous trip; so quiet and peaceful, contemplating the water and the edge of the world. We had gorgeous weather, sunny and sixty-five degrees—a much needed relief from the horrendous heat-wave we’re having here in Nashville. It is such a beautiful —yet desolate—landscape, so different from the mid-Atlantic region—and it was teeming with wildlife! We saw several different kinds of seabirds, Western blue jays, zillions of barn swallows, gaggles of wild turkeys, lots and lots of deer—we even saw a gray fox amble across the back porch one evening. Of course, I took a bunch of photographs and you can check them out on my Flickr Photostream, if you’re interested in seeing the place. Ultimately, it was a true blessing to get to be with family I had not seen in a very long time—I think they had come to doubt my very existence!
So, not much writing on the blog these days—but don’t worry: there are some exciting things coming up on the horizon. Stay tuned.