Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Dust Blows Forward And The Dust Blows Back

Let me see now. Where was I. Ah, yes. Captain Beefheart.

"Tropical Hot Dog Night" is the one Beefheart song that even our boys can recognise. It exists on an endless playlist of 2,000-odd songs, of every hue, that I put on whenever I get a chance. (Which is not often.) It is a timeless kind of song, as are most of Beefheart's, in the sense that they exist outside of any particularly recognisable era. It is the thing that made him great, and that even Tom Waits, who tries as hard as anybody to position himself outside of the world in which he lives, can't quite manage in quite the same way.

What is interesting to me is how many virtual column inches have been filled with the Captain since his death, surely in no kind of proportion to how often people actually listen to his music. Take me, for example. "Trout Mask Replica" has been a fixture of my record collection for twenty-odd years, and it is easily one of my most cherished vinyl artyfacts, and yet it has sat on the turntable relatively little over that time. (In terms of playability, I have to say that I lean towards "Safe As Milk" and "Clear Spot". They lack the towering, over-stretching ambition of "TMR", but you can hum along to them.)

As usual, Sasha Frere-Jones writes some of the best words about Beefheart's legacy. And Reynolds gives good YouTube.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sun's going down, like a big bald head

The last two instalments in Eno's "Seven Sessions on a Milk Sea" album-promo series are now up, here and here. Whilst I am not going to be as quick as others to write off the new album, I am troubled by the fact that I am troubled by it. It starts off well, but my early impression is that the wheels fall off about one-third of the way through. I might be missing the point. (I didn't like "The Drop" much, either, except for the final, sublime track.) I intend to come back to it many times with a view to adjusting my score.

Meanwhile these clips demonstrate a sense of vitality, of the joy of music making, that doesn't really come through in the finished album. Says me, as of now.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Filmworks Haiku Series Kicks Its Last

Mercifully, these will be the final two entries.

"Filmworks XXII: The Last Supper".

Liturgical Zorn:
Not what I was expecting;
Beautifully done.

"Filmworks XXIII: el General".

I just love it when
Marc Ribot does his Spanish
Moriccone thing.

Next up in The Zorn Report: the three-quarter-time report from his 2010 record-a-month marathon.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Song of the day

"Circumspect Penelope", by Look Blue Go Purple. If you ask me, LBGP have never sounded as good, or as contemporary, as they do right now. Let the revival begin!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Song of the day

"Lucy Brown", by Black Mountain. A song that demonstrates yet another strand in the musical fabric of this immensely talented band. This time, there is a strong glam / RAK Records element, which takes it away from their usual hard rock template, while the lyrics, about how it's such a drag when your "mom" finds your "stash", suggest the song would have been right at home on the soundtrack to one of the earlier Richard Linklater films.

And it's on a Sub Pop Singles Club seven-inch, yeah? Just like the good old days.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

No Hassle

Am I the only person on this planet who actually likes Robyn's "Dancehall Queen"? Heck, every time she gets written about on the Internet even now, months after this particular song first appeared, the writer seems to go out of his or her way to diss this song. It's so unfair. Anyway, it now has a video. Watch it here. (Possibly not safe for, y'know, work. Okay, seriously not.)