Tuesday, December 16, 2008

WINTERLUDE, WINTERLUDE











All photos from the Chicago area, taken this week, lifted from the WGN Weather Center Blog!

Great winter-time listening today and tonight - every album has been a perfect soundtrack for a December-in-Chicago deep freeze that has lasted for basically three weeks now (one of the Top 20 coldest winter starts in the last 150 years... something like that... wait, just figured it out, it's Chicago's "13th snowiest open to a cold season since 1884," to be exact). It's been snowing all day and we're at 4 to 5 inches right now, at 9:19PM. And, of course, I've been listening to music all day too, starting at 7:30 AM and still going strong, and this is how it looks:

EXCEPTER: Dusted Desert Island Dozen podcast, thanks to Kick to Kill blog for the reminder... what better way to start a day at work in a freezing basement than on a virtual technicolor beach...
GROUPER: Dragging A Dead Deer Up The Hill (TYPE) So good... 1970's sweet lady folk rock + 2000's dream noise + 1600's chorale music that indeed sounds like its transmitting directly from the sky over some still frozen planet.
THE CHILLS: 5 songs, Pink Frost and Rolling Moon 7-inches (FLYING NUN) Two or three completely separate times this year I've come across someone saying that "Pink Frost" by The Chills is a great song. I took note, of course, but I've always been more of a post-Xpressway NZ head and ended up never hearing the band or song until today when one of the ladies at work was playing this great sparse eerie driving post-punk mood-pop... I asked her who it was and she didn't know, it wasn't her mix... I googled some lyrics, "I'm so scared" and "Now she's dead," which seemed a little too generic to be effective but there it was anyway at the top of the results: "Pink Frost." Good thing I had finally gotten around to downloading it a couple weeks ago because some blog had posted rips of these two early singles (1984 and 1982 respectively)...
DONOVAN QUINN: October Lanterns (PUISSANT) Apparently this is a sold-out edition-of-1oo CDR-only release... I got this from a blog too and it's pretty good, with a rather grim and cold downbeat folk-rock atmosphere, certainly part of the If I Could Only Remember My Name lineage... although I wonder if he's been listening to the even colder (East Coast) Peter Kelley LPs or those modern-day Kelley acolytes from Chi-town, you know, Jim Collins, Tommy Roundtree, Arian Sample, C.C., Boots, Snake, Remus... Terry... those guys. The label on the other hand says "a bit off-key and folky, and calls to mind the recorded works of Treacy and Kusworth at their most dour..."
GRATEFUL DEAD: Dick's Picks #11 (GRATEFUL DEAD RECORDS) September 27, 1972 at the Stanley Theater in Jersey City. For all the warm California breeze in their music, it's just as easy to imagine it as frozen glinting ice... Ice Nine, in fact....
VELVET UNDERGROUND: 3rd (VERVE) Haven't listened to this in ages, still love it so much...
SOULED AMERICAN: Around the Horn (ROUGH TRADE) HAVE listened to this in ages, still love it so much...
THE CHILLS, those five songs again, perfect while waiting for the bus as snow falls in 20 degree weather. And then, back home:
JOHN FAHEY: The New Possibility LP (TAKOMA) and....
VINCE GUARALDI TRIO: A Charlie Brown Christmas CD (FANTASY) A couple of December staples for those evenings gathered 'round the hearth (i.e. radiator).
CURRENT AMNESIA: Pull On The Floor Board CDR (LEAF LEAF) Great edition-of-3o CDR of chilled and distant electroacoustic improvisational New Brunswick atmosphere... this dude is one-half of Car Commercials but this is much more calm and beautiful stuff...
BLACK TIME: Double Negative CD (IN THE RED) Brand new album by loud booming weird-fi British prole-punks.... didn't put it on intentionally but it was in the player after the Current Amnesia and, with its deep black design scheme, loud but cold amp tones, and general Northern England smokestack winter attitude, it certainly fit the bleak December bill. Dunno if the songwriting is gonna grab me yet or not, but I'll definitely be coming back for the wild production techniques and overall sound...
THE CHILLS, just "Pink Frost" this time, twice...
DARKTHRONE: Transilvanian Hunger CD (PEACEVILLE) "So cold...."
MILES DAVIS: Live in Copenhagen, 1969, a stunning series of Youtubes posted by the Ideologic blog (scroll down a bit)... everyone in the band is great, other than the utterly commanding MD presence I'm really digging Corea and DeJohnette especially.... no other band really sounds like this, chilly and fiery at the same time... "lonely fire," as one of their own titles put it (on the Big Fun album)...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey- Maybe you know this already but Donovan Quinn used to record solo stuff under the name Verdure. I play on one of his early CDs (The Telescope Dreampatterns). He's also in the Skygreen Leopards. He's a good dude, glad you found him.

After lots of thought I do think "Around the Horn" is the best Souled American record. Such beautiful songs. They were transitioning into super slo-mo misery mode but you still have a chugger like "Six Feet of Snow." Best of both worlds.

All best to you and family- have great holiday times.

-Derek

Larry said...

Hey D, happy holidays to you too - I do remember an article on Verdure in an old Ptolemaic Terrascope, with a great track on the CD that came with it... wasn't his dad in that 60s/70s band Country Weather that was also featured in the mag/comp? I'll have to dig it out...

Around the Horn really is the perfect midpoint album for Souled American... things are getting very slow but yeah, the songs are more beautiful than they are dismal... maybe someday you'll get a chance to listen to it late at night while watching snow fall out the window... way things are going, maybe you'll get to this winter without leaving Cali!

Derek said...

Pink Frost is so Goth. "Oh no" at the end.

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