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The Doors’ John Densmore Talks About the Band’s Ugly Feud | Music News | Rolling Stone

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Earlier today…

Based on courtroom transcripts, Densmore works up a cautionary tale of the ugly collision of art and money. Densmore writes that the opposing legal team attacked his character and labeled him un-American and a communist for not taking the Cadillac deal. "They tried to convince the jury I was an eco-terrorist because I am involved with a handful of peaceful, credible environmental organizations," said Densmore, who was once arrested with Bonnie Raitt for protesting the cutting down of old-growth trees. "I couldn’t believe some of things I heard them say. I felt betrayed, hurt and very alone. . . Now, you can probably google my name and al Qaeda will come up. Great, let’s go to Abu Ghraib! It was really disturbing." During the trial, several musicians  –including Raitt, Neil Young, Eddie Vedder, Tom Petty, Tom Waits and Randy Newman – all showed support for Densmore.

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The Doors’ John Densmore Talks About the Band’s Ugly Feud | Music News | Rolling Stone
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Written by eggplant

May 10th, 2013 at 8:17 am

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Miles Davis: The Bootleg Series, Volume 2: Live in Europe 1969

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miles davis with  john and yoko

miles davis with john and yoko

Earlier today…

“It was really a bad motherfucker,” Miles Davis wrote in his autobiography of the live band he led in 1969. With somewhat less panache, Davis completists have pegged the group the Lost Quintet, since, unlike the two longstanding Davis five-pieces that preceded it, this one never made a proper studio recording. All of the members– saxophonist Wayne Shorter, keyboardist Chick Corea, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette– appear on 1970’s landmark Bitches Brew and other scattered sessions from the time, but only as part of larger ensembles; until now, if you wanted to hear them as a stripped-down unit, you had to consult imports, bootlegs and YouTube. This second installment in the Miles Davis Bootleg Series, which follows an excellent 2011 set focusing on the trumpeter’s prior working band, gives us three complete Lost Quintet gigs, plus the majority of a fourth, on three CDs and one DVD.  It’s a real trove, and not just because this lineup is relatively obscure

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Miles Davis: The Bootleg Series, Volume 2: Live in Europe 1969
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Written by eggplant

February 9th, 2013 at 7:48 am

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Why Kraftwerk are still among the world’s most influential bands

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Kraftwerk - Electric Cafe

Earlier today…

David Bowie adored Kraftwerk, writing the track V-2 Schneider for his 1977 album Heroes (the band would namecheck him back on Trans-Europe Express). African American DJs also found an odd kinship with the Germans. Keen to find a new musical language, they were familiar with the urban sounds Kraftwerk were using; 1978’s The Robots became particularly influential on the dancefloor, and in the burgeoning B-Boy and breakdancing scenes. Afrika Bambaataa fused the melody of Trans-Europe Express and the rhythm of 1981’s Numbers to create Planet Rock, one of hip-hop’s pioneering tracks. Trailblazing electro group Cybotron used a loop from 1977’s Hall of Mirrors; its founder, Juan Atkins, would create techno, and from there came modern dance culture.

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Why Kraftwerk are still among the world’s most influential band
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Written by eggplant

January 27th, 2013 at 11:24 am

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Republished at From Mono to Stereo and Beyond, Part 2 | The Science of Rock ‘n’ Roll

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Stereo Sanctity

My photo, Stereo Sanctity, was used to illustrate this post

Stereo records were introduced in 1958.  The two-channel listening experience (stereophonic sound) proved to be so popular that within ten years almost all record labels stopped producing mono records.

In 1952, Emory Cook introduced a form of stereo record is introduced involving the left and right channels cut into parallel grooves on the record and played with a special double stylus.  About 25 records were made for this system.

In November 1957, Sidney Frey, the president of Westrex, demonstrated stereo records that used the same principles as Blumfein’s 1933 patent.  The following March, the first four mass-produced stereo albums were released to the general public:  Marching Along with the Dukes of Dixieland Volume 3, Lionel by Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra, Johnny Puleo and his Harmonica Gang and a disc of train effects entitled Railroad: Sound of a Vanishing Era.

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From Mono to Stereo and Beyond, Part 2 | The Science of Rock ‘n’ Roll

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Written by eggplant

October 15th, 2012 at 4:37 pm

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‘Love for Levon,’ Tribute to Helm at Izod Center – NYTimes.com

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Earlier, I read…

Even in an arena it was a cozy event. Dozens of luminaries from rock, soul and country — among them Gregg Allman, Jakob Dylan, Bruce Hornsby, Mavis Staples, John Prine, Joan Osborne, John Hiatt, Jorma Kaukonen and Ray La Montagne — were backed by the Levon Helm Band. It’s now led by the guitarist and fiddler Larry Campbell and, Mr. Campbell announced, renamed the Midnight Ramble Band. Fondly, fervently and with few displays of vanity, they sang Band songs and songs from Mr. Helm’s 2007 solo album, “Dirt Farmer” …Roger Waters — the non-American on the bill — gave another “Dirt Farmer” song, “Wide River to Cross,” the kind of stately, overwhelming crescendos he used in Pink Floyd. Mr. Waters had brought a red baseball cap that Mr. Helm impulsively gave him in 1990, and it hung on a microphone stand — a relic and down-home talisman — as the entire lineup gathered to sing “The Weight,” belting its tales of comic woe like a family anthem.

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‘Love for Levon,’ Tribute to Helm at Izod Center – NYTimes.com
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Written by eggplant

October 5th, 2012 at 9:32 pm

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Fender Aims to Stay Plugged In Amid Changing Music Trends – NYTimes.com

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IN 1948, a radio repairman named Leo Fender took a piece of ash, bolted on a length of maple and attached an electronic transducer.
You know the rest, even if you don’t know you know the rest.

You’ve heard it — in the guitar riffs of Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Bruce Springsteen, Mark Knopfler, Kurt Cobain and on and on.

It’s the sound of a Fender electric guitar. Mr. Fender’s company, now known as the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, is the world’s largest maker of guitars. Its Stratocaster, which made its debut in 1954, is still a top seller. For many, the Strat’s cutting tone and sexy, double-cutaway curves mean rock ’n’ roll.

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Fender Aims to Stay Plugged In Amid Changing Music Trends – NYTimes.com

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September 30th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

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I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down | MetaFilter

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Johnny Cash once called 1968 the happiest year of his life. It was the year his masterpiece At Folsom Prison came out, the year he was named the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, and the year he married the love of his life, June Carter. So it was a fortunate time for a young filmmaker named Robert Elfstrom to meet up with Cash for the making of a documentary. Elfstrom traveled with Cash for several months in late 1968 and early 1969. The resulting film, Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music, is a revealing look at Cash, his creative process and his ties to family.

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I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down | MetaFilter

Written by eggplant

September 29th, 2012 at 9:45 am

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Best Songs for The Rapture

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The End of the World Is Nigh

I’m sure I’m missing a few songs since this playlist took about ten minutes to compile, but here’s a good start for an End of the World Party soundtrack.

  1. Minutemen- God Bows to Math
    Double Nickels on the Dime
  2. Jimi Hendrix Experience- …And The Gods Made Love
    Electric Ladyland
  3. Sun Kil Moon- Jesus Christ Was An Only Child
    Tiny Cities
  4. Dandy Warhols- Godless
    Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia
  5. Big Star- Jesus Christ
    Keep an Eye on the Sky
  6. Pogues- If I Should Fall From Grace With God
    If I Should Fall From Grace With God
  7. Billy Joe Shaver- Jesus Christ, What A Man
    Old Five and Dimers Like Me
  8. Fahey, John- In Christ There Is No East Or West
    John Fahey, Peter Lang, Leo Kottke
  9. Sloan- It’s Not the End of the World
    Never Hear the End of it
  10. A.A. Bondy- World Without End
    American Hearts
  11. Jello Biafra Mojo Nixon- Jesus Was A Terrorist
    Sky Is Falling & I Want My Mommy
  12. Count Basie- Dark Rapture
    Ken Burns Jazz: Count Basie
  13. Rolling Stones- I Just Want To See His Face
    Exile On Main Street
  14. Minutemen- Jesus And Tequila
    Double Nickels On The Dime
  15. Stills, Stephen- Jesus Gave Love Away For Free
    Manassas
  16. Byrds- Jesus Is Just Alright
    Live At Royal Albert Hall 1971
  17. Of Montreal- Rapture Rapes the Muses
    Satanic Panic in the Attic
  18. Josh White- Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed
    Uncut – April 2008 – When The Levee Breaks
  19. CAKE- Jesus Wrote A Blank Check
    Motorcade Of Generosity
  20. Sonic Youth- Do You Believe In Rapture?
    Rather Ripped
  21. Johnson, Blind Willie- Jesus Is Coming Soon
    The Complete Blind Willie Johnson
  22. Drive-By Truckers- Too Much Sex (Too Little Jesus)
    Alabama Ass Whuppin’
  23. A.A. Bondy- Rapture (Sweet Rapture)
    American Hearts
  24. Cash, Johnny- Personal Jesus
    American IV: The Man Comes Around
  25. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds- Jesus Of The Moon
    Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
  26. Little Feat- Brides Of Jesus
    Little Feat
  27. Johnson, Blind Willie- If It Had Not Been For Jesus
    The Complete Blind Willie Johnson
  28. The Velvet Underground- Jesus
    The Velvet Underground
  29. Super Furry Animals- It’s Not the End of the World?
    Rings Around the World
  30. Costello, Elvis- Waiting For The End Of The World
    My Aim Is True
  31. Friedman, Kinky- They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore
    Old Testaments & New Revelations
  32. Sun Ra- It’s After The End Of The World
    Soundtrack To The Film: Space Is The Place
  33. The Blind Boys of Mississippi- Jesus Gave Me Water
    Theme Time Radio Hour – 23 – Water
  34. ZZ Top- Jesus Just Left Chicago
    Tres Hombres
  35. Vaselines, The- Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam
    The Way Of The Vaselines
  36. Sill, Judee- Jesus Was A Cross Maker
    Judee Sill
  37. Rivers, Boyd- Jesus Is On The Mainline
    Living Country Blues – Mississippi Moan
  38. Kurt Vile- Jesus Fever
    Smoke Ring For My Halo
  39. Wilco- Jesus, etc.
    Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
  40. Waits, Tom- Chocolate Jesus
    Mule Variations
  41. Norman Greenbaum- Spirit in the Sky
    Spirit in the Sky
  42. R.E.M.- It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
    Document
  43. Lennon, John- God
    Plastic Ono Band
  44. Elton John- Where To Now St. Peter?
    Tumbleweed Connection
  45. U2- Until The End Of The World
    Until The End Of The World
  46. Green Day- East Jesus Nowhere
    21st Century Breakdown
  47. Dandy Warhols- Hard On For Jesus
    Dandy Warhols Come Down
  48. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds- (I’ll Love You) Till The End Of The World
    Until The End Of The World
  49. Circle Jerks- Killing For Jesus
    Wonderful
  50. Beulah- Me And Jesus Dont Talk Anymore
    Yoko
  51. Rebirth Brass Band- Glory, Glory/Jesus On The Mainline
    We Come To Party
  52. Depeche Mode- Personal Jesus
    Best
  53. Blondie- Rapture
    Autoamerican
  54. Spacemen 3- Walkin’ With Jesus (Sound Of Confusion)
    The Singles
  55. Prine, John- Jesus The Missing Years
    The Missing Years
  56. Cohen, Leonard- The Future
    The Future
  57. Coup- Me And Jesus The Pimp In A ’79 Granada Last Night
    Steal This Double Album
  58. Jethro Tull- My God
    Aqualung
  59. Flaming Lips- Jesus Shootin’ Heroin
    Hear It Is The Flaming Lips
  60. Green Day- Jesus Of Suburbia / City Of The Damned / I Don’t Care / Dearly Beloved / Tales Of Another Broken Home
    American Idiot

What it is

What else should I add?

Wordle: Rapture Ridicule part 2

Written by Seth Anderson

May 21st, 2011 at 10:04 am

The Pope Finished Reading Keith Richards Life

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The Pope reading Keith Richards autobioThe Pope finished reading Keith Richards autobio, Life.

I did too.

I’ve consistently done a horrible job memorializing the books I read and films I watch1 because I’m a damn lazy blogger. Before I started working for myself, which coincidentally was also before the omnipresent distraction of the internet and Netflix, I easily consumed five or ten books a week, every week, for years and years without fail. Those days are gone, but still, I do manage to read a few dozen books a year, too bad I haven’t been more diligent about recording which ones.

Films aren’t so hard – I don’t have a moral objection to posting the blurb about movie with a sentence or two of my own reaction, and in fact, expect to see more of those sorts of blog posts in 2011, but book posts are more difficult.

I assume part of the problem is that I always am juggling ten or fifteen books at any given moment: I keep a stash of books in most places I might snatch a moment or two of leisure time – office(s), bedroom, living room, camera bag, iPad, wherever. Unfortunately, this often translates into me *not* finishing books nearly as often as I finish.

Also, since I have fond memories of being a history student at UT, I catch myself wanting to delve a little too deeply into my reviews, instead of tossing out a few thoughts. I’ve had a blog since 20032, so know myself well enough to be cognizant that long posts are rarely completed. Nobody is issuing me a grade based on the profundity of my thoughts, I need to stop pretending .

Long winded intro aside, new year, new rules. Well, attempted new rules. Check back in a few months, and see.

—————-

Keith Richards and James Fox wrote Life, an enjoyable romp through the 1960’s, 1970’s, and beyond through the eyes of the most interesting member of the Rolling Stones. Richards frequently claims the reason he survived his decade of being a junky was because he was never greedy about trying to “get more high”, but a few pages later, Richards is so out of it, he’s nodding off while driving a carload of people. Internal contradictions, and unreliable narrator, in other words. Some of Life is a bit self-serving, especially when Richards boasts of his drug-induced stamina, and some is cringe-worthy such as when describing his relations with women met on tour, but fun nonetheless. By the mid-1980’s, Richards runs out of interesting things to say, and the last chapter is even worse – less recollection directly from Keef and more from various compatriots in his circle, or his son, Marlon.

Patience please

No matter, the Rolling Stones made three great, desert island records,3  another near great album,4 and a bunch of great songs on various other albums, or as singles, and Keith Richards would be a fun dude to be buddies with, if you could handle it. If they would have broken up as they released Tattoo You, I’d respect them a lot more, since nothing released since then5 has been much good. I cannot really criticize musicians for continuing to do what they love, we’ll just say I’m not interested in the current incarnation of the Stones.

Liz Phair:

He’s been a global avatar of wish fulfillment for over four decades and managed to eke more waking hours out of a 24-hour day than perhaps any other creature alive (thanks, Merck cocaine and amphetamines!). As Keith puts it: “For many years I slept, on average, twice a week. This means that I have been conscious for at least three lifetimes.”

You better believe it. This cat put the joie in joie de vivre. As the legendary guitarist for the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards has done more, been more and seen more than you or I will ever dream of, and reading his autobiography, “Life,” should awaken (if you have a pulse and an I.Q. north of 100) a little bit of the rock star in you.

“If you want to get to the top, you’ve got to start at the bottom,” he says, “same with anything.” Born in 1943 to parents who met as factory workers, Keith was raised in Dartford, an industrial suburb of London. Through the marshes behind the many “lunatic asylums” that seemed to populate Dartford in disproportionate numbers, Keith learned what it felt like to be helpless and afraid, serving as a daily punching bag for bullies on his way home from school. By the time he fought back and won, he’d discovered a fury in himself for which he would later become infamous. The plight of the underdog was his passionate crusade, and anyone or anything that represented injustice in his eyes was fair game. Kate Moss recounts a hilarious anecdote from 1998 in which Keith, sidestepping the festivities of his daughter Angela’s wedding at his manor house, Redlands, finds he’s short some spring onions he laid on a chopping block while fixing himself a light nosh of bangers and mash. When the thieving guest totters into the kitchen with the greens playfully tucked behind his ears, Keith grabs two sabers from the mantelpiece and goes chasing after the poor guy in a homicidal rage. I won’t even touch on the incident involving shepherd’s pie.

(click to continue reading Book Review – Life – By Keith Richards – NYTimes.com.)

Janet Maslin:

It is 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time in the New York office of Keith Richards’s manager, a place that might look ordinary if every wall and shelf were not crammed with some of the world’s most glorious rock ’n’ roll memorabilia. Mr. Richards has a 3 o’clock appointment. “Come on in, he’ll be here in a minute,” an assistant says — and here he comes in a minute, at 3:01. This from a man who once prided himself for operating on Keith Time, as in: the security staff ate the shepherd’s pie that Keith wanted in his dressing room? Then everyone in this packed stadium can bloody well wait. The Rolling Stones don’t play until another shepherd’s pie shows up.

Chalk up the promptness to the man’s new incarnation: he is now Keith Richards, distinguished author. True, he is far from the only rock star to turn memoirist, and far from the only Rolling Stone to write a book about himself — very much about himself. The raven-haired Ron Wood wrote “Ronnie,” in which he described Brian Jones as “me in a blond wig.” Bill Wyman, the band’s retired bass player and bean counter, wrote “Stone Alone,” in which not a 15-shilling demo disc went unmentioned. Now Mr. Richards has written the keeper: “Life,” a big, fierce, game-changing account of the Stones’ nearly half-century-long adventure.

“It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done,” he says about the book. “I’d rather make 10 records.”

(click to continue reading As Keith Richards Remembers It, and He Says He Remembers It All – NYTimes.com.)

Michiko Kakutani:

For legions of Rolling Stones fans, Keith Richards is not only the heart and soul of the world’s greatest rock ’n’ roll band, he’s also the very avatar of rebellion: the desperado, the buccaneer, the poète maudit, the soul survivor and main offender, the torn and frayed outlaw, and the coolest dude on the planet, named both No. 1 on the rock stars most-likely-to-die list and the one life form (besides the cockroach) capable of surviving nuclear war.

Halfway through his electrifying new memoir, “Life,” Keith Richards writes about the consequences of fame: the nearly complete loss of privacy and the weirdness of being mythologized by fans as a sort of folk-hero renegade.

“I can’t untie the threads of how much I played up to the part that was written for me,” he says. “I mean the skull ring and the broken tooth and the kohl. Is it half and half? I think in a way your persona, your image, as it used to be known, is like a ball and chain. People think I’m still a goddamn junkie. It’s 30 years since I gave up the dope! Image is like a long shadow. Even when the sun goes down, you can see it.”

(click to continue reading ‘Life,’ Keith Richards’s Memoir – NYTimes.com.)

You get the idea…

For me, the gossip about Mick Jagger’s “tiny todger”, and Brian Jones beating Anita Pallenberg and that Chuck Berry was kind of a dick, and so on, was less interesting than discussion about the music. Keith Richards figuring out open string tuning, for instance, or that multi-track recording is less interesting than pointing microphones at the wall and collecting what bounced off it.

Footnotes:
  1. unlike Geoff for instance []
  2. or maybe 2004 []
  3. Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, and Sticky FIngers – by my estimation []
  4. Exile on Mainstreet – as much as I love this album, I listen to it less than the other three classics mentioned previously []
  5. that I’ve heard, anyway []

Written by Seth Anderson

January 4th, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Posted in Music,Suggestions

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Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb

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This looks rather interesting

Roscoe Holcomb is one of the giant iconic figures in American traditional music. He personified the “high lonesome sound” so celebrated and admired today for its powerful and haunting effect. His style of singing and his brilliant banjo and guitar playing transport the listener straight back to the earliest roots of American music, a style that remained vital in his native eastern Kentucky long after disappearing everywhere else. Although Roscoe died in 1981, his masterful performances have only gained in recognition and respect since then. This DVD gathers together 2 documentaries about Roscoe made by filmmaker John Cohen and classic performances captured in the 1960s. It presents a comprehensive overview of Roscoe’s great and varied artistry as well as offering an incisive and intimate portrait of the man himself and his background and environment.

(click to continue reading Amazon.com: Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb: Roscoe Holcomb: Movies & TV.)

ABC published this:

Odds are you haven’t heard of Roscoe Holcomb. If you’re a fan of American music, though, his is most certainly a voice worth hearing.

Holcomb was the “high lonesome” singer of eastern Kentucky, a man whom performers from John Cohen to Bob Dylan to Eric Clapton revered as a source of spare, original mountain music and the hardship behind it. His voice, which reached almost into falsetto at times, told of work and pain and wondering — stoicism and emotion delivered by a man on a porch with his banjo and the traditions within him.

In the early 1960s, Cohen, a musician and historian, traveled to Kentucky to film a stark, black-and-white movie about Holcomb called “The High Lonesome Sound.” It helped propel the aging Holcomb into a career that took him away from manual labor and, for a time, into a world of performance where people appreciated him for his music.

Now, Cohen has taken unused footage from that session and several others to create a compelling new movie, “Roscoe Holcomb From Daisy, Kentucky.” It is the anchor of a definitive new DVD called “The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb” that also features other rare video of performances and a copy of the original 1962 movie.

Quiet, introspective and moody, the new film reveals a man trying to make sense of his life and his music — a kind of music that Dylan referred to as “an untamed sense of control.” In long, lingering clips around Holcomb’s house, interspersed with performances, he comes across as a man lost in time, figuring himself out. In short: authenticity, the kind that any Nashville wannabe today would hand over his pickup and his hound to acquire.

(click to continue reading Review: DVD Revisits a ‘High Lonesome’ Musician – ABC News.)

Written by Seth Anderson

December 19th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Busker – Marble Arch Station

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Busker - Marble Arch Station
Busker – Marble Arch Station, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

Marble Arch, London

Playing either Bob Dylan or Radiohead, can’t remember.

Written by swanksalot

December 9th, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Posted in Music,Photography

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New Herman Leonard Book – Jazz

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photograph © Herman Leonard –1 Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington at the Downbeat Club

I’ve always loved this photo, especially Duke Ellington’s expression of unmitigated joy…

Duke Ellington sits at the piano in a blackened theater, a brilliant shaft of light casting him in heroic silhouette.

Billie Holiday (sic – actually this is Ella Fitzgerald) stands before the microphone, lips slightly parted – as if in mid-phrase – smoke billowing softly behind her.

Oscar Peterson performs in close quarters with bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis, Peterson’s hands a blur above the keys of his piano.

The black-and-white images could be the work of only one man, Herman Leonard, perhaps the most revered jazz photographer of the 20th Century and the subject of an exquisitely produced new book, “Jazz ” (Bloomsbury, $65). Though not the first, and probably not the last, published collection of Leonard’s photographs, “Jazz” captures the textural sumptuousness of Leonard’s photography, while crystallizing his personal philosophy about the music.

Leonard, in other words, chose to celebrate the jazz life, rather than demonize it. While many jazz lensmen sensationalized the dark side of jazz – as in those ghastly photos of a drug-ravaged Chet Baker toward the end of his life – Leonard went in the opposite direction. To him, jazz musicians were to be admired, not scorned or pitied. He saw poetry where others saw melodrama; he portrayed romance where others focused on decay.

(click to continue reading A new collection of Herman Leonard’s photography, ‘Jazz,’ portrays the music in a heroic light – chicagotribune.com.)

Footnotes:
  1. Tribune typo labeled this woman as Billie Holiday []

Written by Seth Anderson

December 7th, 2010 at 11:05 am

Bad photo of my new didgeridoo

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Bad photo of my new didgeridoo
Bad photo of my new didgeridoo, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

Sleep apnea begone!

Throat Exercises Relieve Sleep Apnea

Seemingly operated on the same sort of principle as a shofar1, but more difficult to get a good solid sound, probably because the mouth opening is wider. Still pretty fun, though tiring.

Footnotes:
  1. Shofar explained at Wikipedia []

Written by swanksalot

June 1st, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Posted in Music,Photography

Tagged with ,

The Rolling Stones forbidden documentary

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We’ve discussed Cocksucker Blues before,1 but apparently if you are wealthy enough2 to purchase the Super Deluxe package release of Exile On Main Street, you’ll be able to see snippets from Cocksucker Blues:

Exile On Main St Dlx

It’s hard to know what the Stones expected from [Robert ] Frank, whose previous films, including the Beat landmark “Pull My Daisy” (1959), showed little interest in conventional narrative of either the fiction or nonfiction variety. (At one point, Frank theorized he was chosen because his friend Danny Seymour, who appears in the film, was adept at procuring hard drugs, which made him a valuable commodity in the Stones’ circle.) In any case, the Stones didn’t like what they saw — or at the very least considered it unwise to release. According to one account, Jagger told Frank he liked the film but worried that “if it shows in America, we’ll never be allowed in the country again.” The band successfully sued to prevent the release of “Cocksucker Blues,” with showings limited to those at which Frank was physically present (a requirement that has been slightly loosened in recent years as the 85-year-old Frank’s ability to travel has been curtailed). Video was verboten as well, of course, although VHS bootlegs and now Internet downloads have always been within the reach of the curious and determined. It’s also made appearances on various streaming video sites, although its tenure is inevitably short-lived.

“Cocksucker Blues” is infamous for its scenes of debauchery, like an incipient orgy on the Stones’ private plane where women shriek as their shirts are pulled off and Jagger and Richards bang instruments like a satanic house band. (Carefully edited snippets appear on the “Exile” DVD, although the Glimmer Twins now seem to preside over a mild outbreak of tickle fighting.) But such spectacles would hardly have damaged the reputation of a band whose image was based in excess. And besides, the Stones are absent for many of the movie’s most notorious scenes, including those in which unidentified hangers-on stick needles in their arm and a sperm-spattered naked woman sprawls on a hotel bed and fingers her crotch in postcoital reverie.

What was perhaps more damaging — and, to the outside observer, most intriguing — is just how dull the life of the world’s biggest rock ‘n’ roll band could be. At times, Frank goes out of his way to portray the drudgery of life on the road, as when he intercuts footage of a couple shooting up in a hotel room with scenes of Keith Richards quietly playing cards. In one sublime sequence, included on the “Exile” DVD, a lugubrious Richards makes a slurred and unsuccessful attempt to order a bowl of fruit from a woman in a Southern hotel.

There’s concert footage as well, much of it astonishing; many fans regard the 1972 tour as the Stones’ finest hour. It’s a shame the “Exile” DVD only shows us the second half of their duet with Stevie Wonder, who toured as their opening act, picking up with “Satisfaction” but omitting the segue out of Wonder’s “Uptight (Everything’s Alright).” But the vividly colored stage performances only heighten the dolorous feel of the black-and-white behind-the-scenes footage. In his novel “Underworld,” whose third section is named for the film, Don DeLillo described it thus: “The camera phalanx in the tunnels. People sitting around, two people asleep in a lump or tripped out or they could be unnoticeably dead, the endless noisy boredom of the tour — tunnels and runways.”

(click to continue reading The Rolling Stones’ forbidden documentary – Documentaries – Salon.com.)

Footnotes:
  1. Wikipedia entry []
  2. or a big enough Rolling Stones fan []

Written by Seth Anderson

May 23rd, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Pat Metheny discusses Kenny G

without comments

Duly noted. And, ouch, that’s gotta sting a little.

Not long ago, Kenny G put out a recording where he overdubbed himself on top of a 30+ year old Louis Armstrong record, the track “What a Wonderful World”. With this single move, Kenny G became one of the few people on earth I can say that I really can’t use at all – as a man, for his incredible arrogance to even consider such a thing, and as a musician, for presuming to share the stage with the single most important figure in our music.

This type of musical necrophilia – the technique of overdubbing on the preexisting tracks of already dead performers – was weird when Natalie Cole did it with her dad on “Unforgettable” a few years ago, but it was her dad. When Tony Bennett did it with Billie Holiday it was bizarre, but we are talking about two of the greatest singers of the 20th century who were on roughly the same level of artistic accomplishment. When Larry Coryell presumed to overdub himself on top of a Wes Montgomery track, I lost a lot of the respect that I ever had for him – and I have to seriously question the fact that I did have respect for someone who could turn out to have such unbelievably bad taste and be that disrespectful to one of my personal heroes.

But when Kenny G decided that it was appropriate for him to defile the music of the man who is probably the greatest jazz musician that has ever lived by spewing his lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing all over one of the great Louis’s tracks (even one of his lesser ones), he did something that I would not have imagined possible. He, in one move, through his unbelievably pretentious and calloused musical decision to embark on this most cynical of musical paths, shit all over the graves of all the musicians past and present who have risked their lives by going out there on the road for years and years developing their own music inspired by the standards of grace that Louis Armstrong brought to every single note he played over an amazing lifetime as a musician. By disrespecting Louis, his legacy and by default, everyone who has ever tried to do something positive with improvised music and what it can be, Kenny G has created a new low point in modern culture – something that we all should be totally embarrassed about – and afraid of. We ignore this, “let it slide”, at our own peril.

His callous disregard for the larger issues of what this crass gesture implies is exacerbated by the fact that the only reason he possibly have for doing something this inherently wrong (on both human and musical terms) was for the record sales and the money it would bring.

Since that record came out – in protest, as insignificant as it may be, I encourage everyone to boycott Kenny G recordings, concerts and anything he is associated with. If asked about Kenny G, I will diss him and his music with the same passion that is in evidence in this little essay.

(click to continue reading JazzOasis.com – Pat Metheny on Kenny G.)

Louis Armstrong is an American hero, Kenny G, not so much…

Via Aaron Cohen, Kottke guest blogger.

Written by Seth Anderson

May 21st, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Posted in Music

Tagged with , ,