Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Disparate Listening

These are just a couple of things that have grabbed my attention lately. When something makes my ears perk up, when i think 'i need to hear that again', that is how i seperate the signal from noise. So its all kind of random, and are certainly not the only albums that have stood my hair on end and set my neurons on fire, just a small representation.

Photobucket Some more down 'n out country folk music, this one being recorded in Tucson, Az. Subsequently, tumbleweeds of harmonica, mandolin, accordion, trumpet, and pedal steel breeze across this album, framing its miniature stories of dashed hopes, daily life, triumphs and tragedies. Principle song-writer Willy Vlautin seems like a decent guy in a despicable world, with the creative prowess to capture those details. What sets this apart from other, more stale, musicians in the singer/songwriter stable is the crystal clear production, brimming with mood and ambience, as seen in the ominous pulse of 'El Tiradito'. Sounding sometimes like Calexico or Giant Sand, (Howe Gelb provides some sounds), and sometimes like the hushed solo work of Mark Kozelek, this album stirs yr thoughts, stimulates yr brain, and begs to be listened to again and again.
Richmond Fontaine - Thirteen Cities

Photobucket I've been listening to this for a couple of years, but sort of stumbled upon it again recently, and its stark beauty struck me in the throat, as it always does. This is a couple living in the woods of Finland, making music in a log cabin in the woods, and i will not begrudge them their idyllic eden. Their music comes from the womblike mind-meld possible from spending an incredible amount of time together. They really seem to live their art. I was reminded, hearing this again, of listening to this in the greyhound station in St. Louis; sitting on an old pew, thinking about carnivals. As soon, as i took off my headphones, i began having a conversation with some guy about working for the carnival, apparently he was on his way, in search of work. One of those miraculous coincidences possible, riding the Gdog. I also include this, in that i wrote a complete review recently, that i'm actually rather proud of, so i thought i'd point it out to y'all.
Mi and L'au - s/t Read Full Review

Photobucket This is a solo joint from James Ferraro, half of the noise freaks The Skaters. This is some of the first of the new incarnation of cassette freak-out music, and i am utterly fond of what they're all doing. This record is a lovely chunk of heavenly harmonies, celestial chorus accompanied by Reichian marimba loops, going down smooth as chinese silk for the 35 minutes split across 2 sides. What actually made me want to put this up is it has the most seamless side-flip that i have ever heard, enough to make me do a double-take. This is eternal music, suitable for all-night looping, letting it coil up and down yr nervous system. James Ferraro is providing the soundtrack to a new new age movement, with band names like Nirvana, Pacific Temple Rat Band, on and on; exotic and transcendental, but also down and dirty, for all the kids on the dance-floor.
James Ferraro - Marble Surf

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