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Compact Discs

Wha? Snow? Yes, a little tiny bit of snow outside. Hooray! 47) Psychedelic Demons: Volume 2 I picked this up in Iceland because I liked the cover and package design, and because I was in Iceland. Trance/Goa electro stuff, fun to listen to, fades into the background when you aren’t paying attention, already sounds curiously dated… I mean, geez, they’re using 1999 technology to make trippy dance music! Grandpa, shut it off! Xenomorph is the only artist I recognize, but like I said, it’s unobtrusive fun, and knowing the artists more intimately might make it more obtrusive. (bonus: this cd is bit of a collector’s item, apparently, selling for 20-30 eu… I also bought a set of playing cards in iceland, and a jump rope with carved wooden peni for handles (at the Phallological museum), though I gave those to someone for xmas.) 48) Brand New Immortals: Afro-Sheen Protein Piston This is one of those CDs that really should be good; the production is fine, the players all competent, the arrangements complex without being obnoxious, and the singer, David Ryan-Harris, has a rough, vaguely soulful voice and a hyphenated name. But it isn’t good, it’s boring. part of the problem…
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Back to it… CDs…

Lordy, lordy, I’ve listened to a few CDs but have had no time to list’em. Now I do! 43) Ned’s Atomic Dustbin: Some Furtive Years: A Ned’s Anthology Bands with 2 bass players, viva! The Dirtbombs are my new favorite 2 bass (and 2 drummer!) band, but Ned’s whatever ya call it were enjoyable as well, cartoonish in the UK style, airy and fast, pop-punk before such an idea became a kind of aural ipecac… Apparently, Ned’s was at the center of the Grebo subculture; I find the apparently constant need to differentiate oneself whilst finding others of like mind to share the effects of this need with quite funny, an endless parade of subcultures that seems a symptom of modernity–but who knows, perhaps medieval monks scalloped the hem of their robes to signal to others that, in fact, Corinthians was the best book of the Bible, no matter what the Abbot said. In another sense, these genre categories are simply a way to sort information… and now that I think back on it, I can’t remember any of the Ned’s songs I just listened to, just the sound, so I guess categorization is important. (bonus: ok, I can remember…
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Pre-election day CDs

Hmm, the seeqpod widget doesn’t work so good, maybe a link to the playslist in their main site would be better? Probably won’t make a difference, but here it is. Now then, on to business. 39) Musikás and Marta Sebestyen: Morning Star Lovely, aching, sparse, churning Hungarian folk music; Sebestyen’s voice has the mournful quality that so suits the harmonic minor group of pitches much Eastern European folk is played in (the “gypsy” scales…), the ones that hooked Bartók when he was a young composer. And of course the band is cool:; fiddle, viola, bass fiddle, dulcimer, a little mandolin, and something called a “hit-gardon,”which is precisely a cello that you hit with a stick, and also pluck with your finger, as a percussion instrument. “Gymesi dallamok” (Cry Only On Sundays). the most rousing track here, features two gardon bashers, and makes me want to drink plum brandy and shoot dice with the devil, or at least his cousin. (bonus: I was sure I heard Tuvan throat singing on one track, and sure enough, there it is in the liner notes, on a song representative of asian/hungarian cross-pollination, or perhaps shared origins, it’s not clear. But it is funky.) 40)…
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Boo, Cds!

The Shuttered Room is about to start, scary. I have to pick up the pace, averages to follow, and a sampling of this month’s cds via seeqpod. 36) Guided By Voices: Human Amusement at Hourly Rates (Best Of) 32 songs, on 1 cd. Nov 12 is Guided By Voices day in LA, apparently. Have a cocktail, shake your ass. Great pop, helicopters and bones of steel. I came late to the GBV party, not sure how I missed seeing them live, but what the hell. Enough singalong choruses, creative arrangement moves (within a pretty narrow double guitar, drum, bass frame), and memorable lyric bits (I am a scientist – I seek to understand me / All of my impurities and evils yet unknown /I am a journalist – I write to you to show you /I am an incurable / And nothing else behaves like me) to put the whole pop/punk/alternative rock shambling herd to shame. Apparently the four-hour DVD of their final show is a thing of beauty, but now is not the time for DVD’s… (bonus: the GBV database). 37) T Rex: Tank T Rex always makes me think of Ken, a guy I used to know who…
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CDs ya ya

And miles to go before I sleep… 34) Graham Parker: Human Soul A slew of great songs from the pub rock king’s post-Rumour period, this one came out just after Mona Lisa’s SIster, which I think I have somewhere. That Parker hasn’t had a zillion hits by now is evidence that humanity is a virus on the planet, or at least that record company execs are the descendents of human/reptile interbreeding. “Little Misunderstanding” and “Big Man on Paper” are my favorites this time through, Now is probably not the time to plan future music purchases, but man has this guy recorded a whole bunch of stuff I want to hear, including a collaboration with Kate Pierson of the B-52’s and Bill Janovitz on an album of lesser-known John Lennon/Paul McCartney compositions that had never been recorded by The Beatles, Hot damn! (bonus: Parker has also published 3 books, an illustrated sci fi novella, a collection of short stories, and something called The Other Life of Brian.) 35) Radiohead: Hail to the Thief Thom Yorke’s songwriting chops grew through Radiohead’s first 3 albums, and then spasmed a bit with Kid A, which is a good enough record but also sounds like…
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CDs…

Mas y mas! 31) Guiseppe Verde: Il Trovatore A typical Verde plot, baby gets thrown in the fire,  but is a mistaken identity: whoops, threw the WRONG BABY! Other baby grows up, loves lady, fights duel with SECRET BROTHER, later on secret brother sentences other baby to death, lady find out, poisons self, other baby and lady both dead and GYPSY tells secret brother: you are other baby’s brother! Ah-ha you just killed him now you FAIL! Some achingly beautiful solo pieces; there are 4 leads here, and each one gets at least one gorgeous solo bit. And, the Anvil Chorus! (bonus: this recording features Leontyne Price, one of my favorite opera singers; one of the few I can actually recognize on the radio) 32) Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan-Qawwal and Party: Shahen-Shah If they sang music like this in the church up the street, I would go every day, I would help with bake sales, I would wash the minister’s car. And it is religious music, ecstatic and swirling and improvisational and capable of making large crowds levitate. At least it felt like levitation, when I saw Khan-Qawwal and Party at the Brooklyn Academy of Music many years ago. A…
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CDs…

Crap, I miss a day or two and feel like my rent and power and phone bill and car note and ice cream sandwich bill are all due on the same day. Such pressure! Anyhow, to recap: I am listening to all the CDs in my house and blogging about them, and if I keep buying more, I will never die. Or I could move on to the LPs, 8-tracks…. 29) Digable Planets: reachin’ (a new refutation of time and place) When Christianity first started to solidify into a religion, there were three main ideologies that fought it out for dominance. And so it was with hip-hop in the late ’80s and early ’90s, when the Conscious/Native Tongues, Gangster, and Party-Pop subgenres duked it out for supremacy. Nobody won, of course; various strains just mutated and hybridized and gave birth to utter shit like Jay-Z, interesting shit like Def Jux, and of course, ODB. Digable Planets were hot for a minute, and this is a fun album, great jazzy basslines, minimal production, and lyrics that want to be smart and occasionally do rise above HBCU buzzword status. (bonus: “la femme fatale, ” a rap about keeping Roe v. Wade intact,…
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CDs…

I bought a CD at the Art Guild sale the other day. I really need to stop buying cd’s, but since the $ went to help the Art Guild, I can pretend I’m not so guilty of having a localized consumer tic: oh, look, cds… Oh well, at least the landfill is in my house. 26) Wolfmother: Wolfmother This really stinks, this music. I bought this CD at the Salvation Army for fifty cents, and I should probably hang it outside to scare squirells away from the garden. That would be worth fifty cents. I had heard of this band somewere, lord know where, the dying possum that is the recording industry probably hyped them into my cortex–out, damn spot, out! Basically, Wolfmother is three guys who are for 1970’s stoner rock what the group America is to Ralph Stanley. I remember an interview with Randy Newman where he was asked abuot America, and he said “they sound like some junior high kids writing songs about how they think they might have taken acid one time” (I’m paraphrasing). That also applies to Wolfmother, generic Black Oak Arkansas riffage overlayed with lyrics so stupid they’s be funny if it weren’t for…
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CDs a-go-gonna

I managed to listen to 4 cds in a row, grading papers and getting lost on the Scorgie’s Reunion site. I went to Scorgie’s a bunch, underaged mostly, either got through the bouncers with crap fake ID or waited outside the backdoor for someone to let me in. Once I was of age, they had become a comedy club, and for the most part I would rather eat earwax off a subway turnstile than watch comedians. There are a few exceptions, but now is not the time… 22) Bad Brains: Attitude Hell yes, Bad Brains had energy, compressed, molten energy, like no one else, even hardcore groups that played faster than them (i.e. DRI). They managed to put funk in hardcore, fused 2 kinds of energy, and then gave everyone whiplash by shifting all of a sudden to a reggae tune. This CD is a re-release of a cassette I bought from ROIR mailorder years ago… the fast and hard songs sound great, pressed tight as vienna sausage, and the reggae songs sound like shit. (bonus: HR with short hair.) 23) Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos: (the prosthetic cubans) I think that is the CD title, and not just…
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