Category Archives: Uncategorized

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

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This is a brand new album from a group of anarcho-psycho-banjo dudes that disappeared about a decade ago. Maybe everyone knows that. I have no idea. I really liked their late 90s stuff, this has a good title and good cover and probably some good end-times post-rock – something we’re all likely in the mood for on the eve of the potential election of Mitt freaking Romney.

I assume everyone has some way of getting this…? Here it is on Spotify: 

Dusty Springfield – Dusty in Memphis

I really want to start this blog back up again. I hope all the originals want to get back into it, but I also think maybe we could get some new people, too. It gave us a chance to hear albums in their entirety, delve into some context, listen to things we might never have heard otherwise, and will now provide a nice distraction from grading endless freshman rhetoric papers.

Adorable dress or weirdo nightgown?

My pick is Dusty Springfield’s Dusty in Memphis. It’s a highly regarded hall-of-famer type choice, and an album I’ve heard a lot about, but I still have never listened to the whole thing. It’s hard to move past “Son of a Preacher Man” (perfection), but supposedly the rest of the album lives up to the single.

She’s so pathetic! She sings lines like “Oh, baby, I’m begging you, Won’t you reach out for my dying soul?” and “Today I cannot borrow a minute of your tomorrow, But don’t let it cause you sorrow, Please, don’t forget about me now, baby” without any shame. She’s devastated, her voice wavers, she pleads with ex-boyfriends, and then she puts it out there – straight to the top of the Billboard list. Starlee Kine talks about how freeing Springfield’s honesty is in this This American Life episode.  Sometimes you don’t need to dance with “All the Single Ladies;” sometimes you need to fall down on your bed and cry with Dusty.

She’s British, but Dusty in Memphis was her effort to establish herself as a soul singer in America. Collaborating with Jerry Wexler and Arif Mardin on Atlantic Records and singing songs written by Carole King and Randy Newman, she seems to have solidified her place in American music. She – and this album, specifically- appears on top 100 lists all the time, for whatever that’s worth.

This download includes the original 11 tracks and some mono versions. It doesn’t include any of the many extra songs that appeared on any of the rereleases. Let me know if something goes wrong with the link and I can put up a password protected link.

Old Year Mix

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Here’s a mix I made.  Sounds like a good one to do drugs to, though I don’t touch ’em.  Works for video games.  Mainly I recommend headphones.  That’s why I call it the ’07 Headphones Mix.  Oh, all of the songs are either new releases last year or from albums reissued last year.  (Lee Perry, Bruce Haack, Der Plan, and Lubomyr Melnyk are the reissued songs.)  Try this to download:

http://rapidshare.com/files/80610553/VA__07_Headphones_Mix.rar.html

duke and john album

I’m sure there is lots about this out there.  You can find it as easily as I can.  1962.  Recorded very near the recording of Duke’s “Money Jungle”.  Very classy, but not boring.  The two play off of one another really well.  The first track may be favorite.  If you’ve not heard Coltrane, this is a good first.  I’ve not heard much Ellington, but I’d like to.  Any fans out there want to recommend some records?

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Also, everyone feel free to make a pick whenever you feel inspired.  I like this, and I hope people will jump in.  If not, I’ll keep picking.  Only one rule: Try to give each album one week from the posted date. 

Ray Charles – Modern Sounds in Country and Western

I’m going to be too lazy to go very in-depth with this one.  Here’s what I know: Once he made a name for himself, he signed a contract with ABC Paramount that included a full artistic freedom clause.  He used that freedom to produce this album, despite the fears of label executives that a genre cross-over would fail.  From what I’m hearing while I write this, those fears were unwarranted.  This is less a blending of two genres than it is a straight R & B record using songs that had previously been recorded as country.  The lyrics and song structures for the songs chosen (and probably most country songs at the time [and now, probably]) seem pretty easily transferrable from one style to another.  Here’s what this guy has to say about it.

Laurie Anderson – Big Science

I don’t know a lot about this album, except that I remember hearing O Superman years ago.  Lately, it’s become one of those recurring references.  Even before I heard that it was being rereleased, it seems like I kept hearing and reading hesuperman-11.gifr name and especially O Superman.  The song seems to have been given new significance since the September 11 attacks.  (It’s Sept 11 as I write this and that had nothing to do with my choosing Big Science.  But interesting anyway.)  Laurie Anderson herself seems like quite a piece of work. 

     “One of her most-cited performances, Duets on Ice, which she conducted in New York and other cities around the world, involved her playing violin along with a recording while wearing ice skates with the blades frozen into a block of ice; the performance ended only when the ice had melted away.”

Not bad.  I guess before Big Science she was known mainly for her performance art.  According to wiki, Big Science is musical segments from an 8-hour performance piece called United States Live.  Hmm…, I think I’ll stick to the 60 minute album. 

I searched for her on you tube, but didn’t find anything I wanted to post here.  O Superman might be the best song you’ve ever heard.  I hope the rest of this is just as good. 

Nina Nastasia – The Blackened Air

So I haven’t listened to this album at all yet. I haven’t really listened to any of her stuff all that much. But I like her voice. I guess that’s all there is to say, really. Oh yeah, she’s cool looking, I think:

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Anyway, pretty basic contemporary indie-folk pick (which is a kind of music I’ve really liked this past little while). I hope it works out.