another in a never ending post: new-to-me music that has blared from my speakers recently...
I don't know, maybe this project is on hiatus. I can't seem to get back into the groove, and have been stuck near to the end of the “S” section for a while. Fun while it lasted, perhaps I'll have another burst of attention for the quixotic project at a later time. Part of the problem was that I kept getting new CDs for letters already finished, such as a bunch of Neil Young albums in the last few weeks.
Anyway, without further pointless preamble:
Sergio Mendes Brasilileiro
Bought on the basis of the one song I heard, and loved, “What is This?”
From the liner notes -
Vai Quem Vem is once more spotlighted in “What is This?”, in which the group member Carmen Alice offers up a Bahian-style rap song, sung in English. With the rhythms played on surdos, berimbau, and other Brazilian instruments, and Sergio on synthesizer, Carmen offers up a song about her hometown Salvador neighborhood of Candial. “It's their reading of the American rap style,” says Sergio. [Well, rap style of 1991] “In Bahia, they hear everything - rap, reggae, merengue - and adapt it. Carmen's song is so raw and pure, I thought the simplicity and purity of it were really interesting. It's very Bahian.”
Spectacular song. Rest of the album is a sleek, sweet, rhythmic, danceable collection of Brazilian pop that will probably get you laid. One of these years, am going to make it to Brazil (not during carnival), eat fresh fruit, and loll on the beach.
Stills Young Band Long May You Run
Always stayed away from this album because of the reaming reviews, but decided to waste my money anyway. Only have listened once, and other than the title track (featured on the spectacular compilation, Decade), have heard these only once. Somewhat better than I expected, though some cringe-inducing lyrics, such as by Stephen Stills in Make Love to You, probably cocaine and California-Cowboy related. Thanks the godz, the Eagles were never popular. Err, I mean, the song, Midnight on the Bay is making me poke my ears out. Still, on balance, not bad. B.
Landing on Water
Maybe I'm a phallo-guitar-centric rocker whose opinion can be ignored, but damn, the drums are turned up way too high on this album, and are not that interesting in the first place. Bleh. The drums on Brasileiro are worth study: the drums on Landing on Water need to be mixed way down.
1986 was the year of the Drum apparently. Strangely enough, I graduated Wm. B. Travis High School that year, and out of the blue, an old classmate emailed me asking if I was attending my 20th class reunion. Sorry, Karen, probably not. I hate those sorts of kibbutzy functions: all, hey, how are you, what's new, how've ya been, blah blah blah. I'm anti-blah blah these days. Misanthrope, yes, cocktail party aficionado, no. Especially with folk like Mark Wolf and Bobby Pounds putting on the festivities. There are a few people I'd like to see, but t'aint much.
Anyway, Landing on Water's Hippy Dream is pretty fun, with lines like:
Another flower child goes to seed
In an ether-filled room of meat-hooks
It's so ugly
Well, alrighty then. At least I bought this CD used.
Tom Ze Estudando O Pagode
As I've written before, one of the best-est concerts I ever attended was a Tom Ze show, supported by Tortoise. Performance Art Rock you could dance to. Anyway, his latest album is subtitled “Excercises in Induced Harmony” (sic), I think, referring to songs with more than one tonal center of reference: a play of simultaneities. Sung all in Brazilian, so who the frack knows. Liner notes provide english translation, but don't always have those handy. I do at the moment, but David Bryne is right - album art is waiting for the great leap forward now that the gatefold LP is dead.
Seriously, Tom Ze even at the age of 70 is so full-to-the-brim of interesting ideas, his CD booklet cannot contain them all. I guess Estudando O Pagode is an Dada opera, or similar. Dense and intriguing enough to merit further study: ask me in a year or two to explain it. Right now, I'm just dancing. Recommended. A-
Neko Case Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
beautifully rich contralto voice, moody melancholic-tinged songs with a sharp, varied band (Sadies, Garth Hudson formerly of the Band, Calexico and others). What's not to love? A-
Drive-By Truckers A Blessing and a Curse
like this line:
Cocaine rich comes quick and that's why the small dicks have it all from Gravity's Gone.
Not every song is good though, perhaps will grow on me, perhaps not. Even hear some Glen Frey in the vocal inflection of Aftermath USA. Eeew. Not as good as previous DBT albums. B.
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