Thursday, April 28, 2011

road the bronx.

So the University that shunned her because of race awarded her an honorary degree and now her work is being celebrated at the Bronx museum. Sweet redemption for 96 year old artist Elizabeth Catlett. Her political and social activism coupled with her extraordinary artwork made Miss Catlett a defining figure of the 1960s. Check out the slideshow on the left hand side.

Monday, April 25, 2011

canned rain.

I've never really been a fan of Canned Heat. Not because I don't prefer them, but because I unintentionally skipped over them. But today I picked up a collaborative album they did with none other than John Lee Hooker called Hooker n' Heat. Oh man! It's bluesy, guitar driven, signature hooker vocals, etc..The outtakes are included between tracks which I really enjoyed. I've never been into the over produced sound of certain albums, same why I'm not into polished pieces on NPR, for example (this was my favorite npr show for awhile. total guerrilla radio). "Mistakes" are a part of that process, so their inclusion on albums is a natural and organic experience. Did i mention i got this for 50 cents? Just wanted to brag about that for a second.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

See this.

I'm no expert on the history of gospel music. I do wish I was more knowledgeable about the influential artists of that genre, it's conception, impact, etc. I will eventually start digging into it, but for now, I'll rejoice and shout.

Speaking of documentaries, The new Lee 'Scratch' Perry documentary, The Upsetter: the life and music of Lee Perry was fantastic. Great raw and rare footage of one of the most celebrated and innovative musical minds we will know. Calling him eccentric would be mostly accurate, but it's refreshing to see someone live by their own personal and social code. He's constantly entertaining and seems to have found comfort and happiness after a long ride in the music business. See it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Safe Inside The Day / Baby Dee

This song really breaks me, I love every piece of it. She will be performing in Detroit at Cliff Bell's(some of the best acoustics in the city) in May. I wish you all could be here! But wherever you are, and you happen to see Baby Dee will be in your neck of the woods, jump on it. You won't regret it. Thankfully for us Detroiters, she will be accompanied by these gentlemen.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

vinyl support

So it's the day after Record Store Day and i'm still beaming about my finds! I found alot of classic records I didn't own. Harvest by Neil Young was just one staple I didn't own and I was happy to snag it for a buck! I've been really loving avant garde jazz saxophonist Archie Shepp. I wasn't entirely familiar with his discography so i grabbed a duet with Philly Joe Jones recorded in Europe. Two lengthy tracks that i didn't completely fall in love with, but it forced me to research a few of Shepp's albums that i probably should have grabbed when given the opportunity. Thankfully, Detroit has a neighborhood shop(People's is one of the best) with a helpful owner who will gladly save this for me!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Levon and Dave


I've been waiting for this music documentary to be released nationally, but it seems that's a longshot for now. It was orginally screened at SXSW last year to some great reviews. My move to Baltimore will inch me closer to a midnight ramble in Woodstock, NY. I vow before 2012 to experience Levon Helm live.

Speaking of music documentaries, I just watched The Foo Fighters documentary, "Back and Forth." I have a solid and mostly nostalgic crush on Dave Grohl. Though I'm not a big fan of their music, there was a certain time, post Nirvana, that Dave Grohl really made an imprint on my generation. He's an insanely talented drummer with endless knowledge about music. He's a great interview-honest, witty and entirely endearing. I recommend it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Count Five - Pretty Big Mouth

hmmm, any possibility of this actually happening? a reunion show would be a sweet wish come true but these brothers love to not get along. who knows.

Man, it's a good day. even if my downstairs pipes are leaking and my landlord is "busy". 60s garage rockers Count Five make it all better.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chadbourne and Nakatani

Hey all.

I've been preoccupied the last few days (but i can't think at the moment exactly what the hell i've been doing!). I do remember this. Eugene Chadbourne and Tatsuya Nakatani come from two different worlds. One is a distinguished percussionist and the other is a skilled banjo player. One of the most organic, improvised musical events i've experienced in a long time. Nakatani used every aspect of the drum and incorporated bowls, a violin bow- literally, whatever object he desired. It was an intimate ode to sound and how we can experiment with it. It's truly without limit. It was also a first time visit to The Scarab Club- a place i've been wanting to visit for years. It couldn't have been a more perfect spot for this freeform evening.

Romantic and emotional and other times quirky and jovial. One of the best times I've had in the city. I will miss that about Detroit. I hope these same type of traveling musicians will make a stop in Baltimore.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Beat me outta me

I have to admit, I didn't know this song until long after Kurt Cobain's death. I'm not sure how i missed it (uhh, it was the b-side to smells like teen spirit). I must have been so focused on teen spirit that i completely ignored everything else, at least musically.

It is absolutely one of their best songs. The 90s were so good to us(except for the fashion).

Always missed.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

how much for those?

This lady needs to get it together.

In other news, Elizabeth Taylor's love letters to her first love William Pawley are being sold. Really, love letters? I realize nothing is sacred anymore. That's been made painfully clear every time I hear a Beatles tune attached to laundry detergent or Marvin Gaye's face on a hennessey ad- But can we just keep certain things private, Mr. Pawley? He sold these at his own discretion and that's fine,but i wonder what kind of monetary value he put on them and why? How is it possible to peruse through dozens maybe hundreds of letters from someone you dearly loved and feel content with discarding them? I have many questions here.

Is it too much to ask that I want this retired older gentleman to keep them in a little box he stores in the attic and every year on the day they met, glance back at what they used to have?

I'm hopeful.

and i didn't forget about the anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death. I've been searching for a good video all day. stay tuned.

Monday, April 4, 2011

a little bit of funk.

The melding of funk and soul is a beautiful relationship. Though a funked up smooth ballad from the early 60s is a bit confusing on first listen. A smooth balladeer wants to tell his lady he loves her, but there's a compulsion to dance for that love too. All those elements combine to make these five tracks a little piece of soul/funk heaven. Not to mention they are all inspired by James Brown. Trust me, these tracks will do so much more than make you move.

"Tell her". dammit, that's soul.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1, 1984

distant lover...come back.

It's been a long time since Marvin Gaye has been gone. 27 years, to be exact. He is the main reason I began exploring and loving soul music and i think that sentiment is shared with many people. I thank him for that. I began comparing every singer I heard thereafter to him. The pitch, the emotion, the lyrics- No one had it the way Marvin did. When he sang, he meant it. He wanted lovers to come back, desired the woman he couldn't keep and the world to listen to his troubled mind.

Unfortunate, tragic, mind blowing. All in all, he left too soon.

one of my personal favorites.