playlist from 9-12-2010

1. Holiday by Tom Jones.  From Mr. Jones, 2002, V2.

The Mr. Jones album was really popular in Europe in 2003, where Tom Jones continues to have almost the same level of popularity he enjoyed here in the 60s/70s.  This album was never released in the US, but I was fortunate to pick up a copy of this record--and hear tracks from it blasting from practically every other store--during a trip to Italy that spring.

Maybe they should've marketed this record differently for US markets--rather than call it a Tom Jones record, maybe it's a new Fugees record with TJ on vocals?  Really, that's what it sounds like--those undulating postreggae rhythms one expects from Wyclef Jean are all over this album, and it sounds truly phenomenal.

Here's the video for the lead track from the album.  It's a keeper, for a multitude of both serious and ironic reasons:

2. Act Of Being Polite and N-Err-Gee (Crisis Blues) by Amy Denio and Ubzub. From Eyesore: A Stab At The Residents, 1996, Vaccination Records.

I love lots of music from Amy Denio's career--solo albums, her early work with Curlew, the Tone Dogs, and the Science Group, etc.  This track, though, hit me from left field back in '96, as the most beautiful and haunting track on a Residents tribute album already loaded with talent.  Denio really breathes some space and "human feel" into the Residents, a feat I wasn't sure was possible before hearing this album.  Great arrangement, great performance, etc etc etc.

3. Hambu Hodo by Renaldo & The Loaf. From The Elbow is Taboo, 1987, Some Bizarre.

While I'm in Residents territory, here's one of my favorite tracks from Renaldo & the Loaf, the duo who was signed to the Residents Ralph Records label in 1981 for the release of Songs for Swinging Larvae. This isn't one of my favorite Renaldo & the Loaf tracks, but somehow I thought it would be really complimentary to the Denio track--more human feel and playfullness in a genre that often became rigid and inhuman. 

If you like this track, though, definitely get into more Renaldo--their albums are mostly "organic" instruments and voice captured on tape, in contrast to the synthesizer-based work of the Residents. Yet they manage to make some amazingly synth and sample-sounding music with their modest instruments, especially impressive when considered in their time period. And the vocals on all of their albums are fantastic in a mind-altering overdubbed sort of way.

Here's one of my favorite Renaldo & the Loaf tracks in video form, but a warning: the video is fairly disturbing. And I suppose music like this, that's so uncomfortable on so many levels, should feature uncomfortable videos, too.

4. The Elmination Of Incompentence by The Flying Luttenbachers From Infection And Decline, 2002 Troubleman Unlimited

I'm a big fan of the Flying Luttenbachers "brutal prog" compositional period, which extends roughly from this album through 2007's Incarceration by Abstraction. Drummer Weasel Walter composed a series of records made of increasingly sophisticated classically-influenced figures, but performed them with the intensity of a free jazz loft-fest and the tone and attitude of a metal band. There really wasn't anything to compare them to at their best--kind of a Conlon Nancarrow meets Gorguts or something?

This album featured a trio configuration, which included Lincoln native Jonathan Hischke on "air bass," assumedly the higher-pitched sections of bass playing compared to the "earth bass" of Alex Perkolup.

Walter, who was a major figure in Chicago's No Wave scene, wrote and performed the "brutal prog" music mostly from California. Now he's moved on to NYC, where he's focussed on free improvisation. Though he's good at everything he does, I must admit that I really wish he'd continue with the Luttenbachers.

5. Tartine De Contrebasse by Igorrr. From Poisson Soluble, 2010 Impulsive Art (first official release).

I was delighted to receive the 2-LP Igorrr release a couple of weeks ago, after its long journey from Greece.  Continued listenings have yet to disappoint.  Check out this post for some more observation on Igorrr and this release.
6. Bodies In Motion by Laurie Anderson.  From Homeland, 2010, Nonesuch.

I wish that I would have followed Laurie Anderson's career more carefully over the years.  Every time I hear something of hers, I find that I have to stop and listen.  And maybe that's a general feature of her music: it forces you to slow down, sit down, meet it up close and at its own pace, and breathe a bit before parting ways.  This track is no different, even though it has more of a mid-tempo Bill Laswell vibe in the percussion treatments than most of her work, and it features the signature "I'm on somebody's pop record" reverbed-out sax squawks of John Zorn in the back of the mix.

Here's somebody's video for the track:

No comments:

Post a Comment