Friday, March 04, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week

1. Notekillers, Notekillers, Notekillers - Live footage on Youtube, the new album, the last single, the Ecstatic Peace comp. All of it. Inspiring, invigorating, and essential.

2. Mcphee, Corsano, Crespo, Starpoli - Speaking of invigorating, while watching these guys jam at The Flywheel this week: I felt at one with the universe, AND I felt incredible happiness for the people playing, AND I felt an incredible warmth for the people, places, and things of my newly adopted homeland of Western Massachusetts (I actually FELT homeland security in a real and tangible way), AND I witnessed and thought about the endless possibilities of human creativity, and I went home thinking that there were so many things I wanted to do and create and try. All for 8 bucks! And I wasn't even drunk!

3. Hobart Smith - Blue Ridge Legacy - This is one of the greatest collections of music that I own. My tendency is to put it on and then keep it on for the day. I always hear something new. Hobart Smith was a brilliant singer, guitarist, fiddler, banjo player, and pianist, and all of his talents are highlighted on this disc. If you are a Notekillers fan, you might want to check out his "Unidentified Electric Guitar Tune".

4. Sugar Plant - Happy/Trance Mellow - One of the most accurate album titles I can think of. Extended dream psych explorations that I never tire of. One of my favorite albums of the 90's.

5. The Faith Healers UK - Imaginary Friend - Another shout-out to the 90's! This is grunge that I can get behind. I was never a big fan of actual grunge. Oh, sure, Nirvana were catchy, but its telling that when I first heard Nirvana, I said to a friend: "Wait, is this a new Squirrel Bait album!?" I dug that First Mudhoney EP a bunch too. But if I'm gonna go in that direction I am more likely to pull out some Feedtime or some Wipers or some Scratch Acid. Or even Kyuss. or Ministry! Remember when Ministry were cool? Okay, I don't listen to Ministry much anymore, and they weren't really grunge, but I am gonna find my copy of Twitch when I get home. No, when I think of grunge I can't help but think about bad cover art, and horrible lyrics, and bad band names, and the lack of humor. Scratch Acid were hilarious! And they could wipe the floor musically and heavy-wise with most seattle-esque nod-rockers. Anyway, I've always really dug Th Faith Healers albums I own. I did get rid of my Silverfish albums though, I think.

6. Nunslaughter - Demoslaughter - Now THIS is grunge. Holy toledo, this stuff sounds like it was scraped off of some horrible slaughterhouse floor and set on fire and THEN put on tape. I don't even know what to say. This is metal, but I almost feel like I should be recommending it to Whitehouse fans or something.

7. Crushers Killers Destroyers! - Shifty Records compilation from a few years back. If there was/is a better sludge label than Shifty, you let me know. This comp features the deathless likes of Mugwart, Goatsblood, Molehill, Fistula, and Sloth. Absolutely no redeeming social values. Its bad for you. It will make you go blind.

8. Booker Ervin - Setting The Pace - The CD I have actually combines Setting The Pace and The Trance. Setting The Pace's two tracks feature the tandem Booker Ervin/Dexter Gordon sax attack and I could listen to them play together forever. This is the kind of mid-60's stuff that doesn't get the sexy ink that a lot of other jazz of that era gets, but, man, is it ever addictive! And just thoroughly enjoyable. And the Jaki Byard/Reggie Workman/Alan Dawson rhythm interplay is worth the price of a CD all by itself. These are four very long jams and there is never a dull moment.

9. The Beatnuts - I love The Beatnuts!

10. Eduard Tubin - Requiem For Fallen Soldiers - This is some troo kult Estonian modern classical that is deep and dark and rich. With the martial drumming and trumpets and choir and spooky organ all elevating the mood to high Gothic, you gotta wonder why anyone would need to own an album by Death in June. But I've always kinda wondered about that anyway. My copy of this piece in on the BIS label and also includes The Retreating Soldier's Song and Ave Maria. I can't say I'm very familiar with Tubin's symphonic work, but this choral material is my kinda thing. Plus, the guy playing tympani is named Helmut Sitar! My new favorite name!


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