Sunday, March 13, 2016


Good god I love Thin Lizzy more than ever. Somehow it took me until really just a year or two ago to finally listen to the Eric Bell albums in depth, and they're so goddamn good I made a Spotify playlist called "THIN LIZZY - BEST OF THE ERIC BELL YEARS," which includes my favorite album tracks, as well as non-LP tracks, all in more or less chronological order as released from 1971 through 1973, all with Eric Bell on guitar. I swear I'm on the verge of tears during at least every other song. You might find opening track "Honesty Is No Excuse" to be kind of a slow (and mellotron-laden) start, but it's Phil at his majesticly vulnerable best and how about that delayed drum entrance; know that they had more pronounced folk/blues/jazz/Celtic overtones as a trio with Eric Bell, which were buffed out by more metallic riffage after he left; not that Bell couldn't get heavy, which you'll hear if you hang in there for "Return of the Farmer's Son," which Phil sings the hell out of over a downright Sabbathian groove. Another current fave is Vagabonds-era B-side "Cruisin' in the Lizzymobile," which is such a funky band theme song ("crui-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-ooh-uh-ooh-ooh-uh-uisin"), and also an awestruck ode to LSD. The way Phil trades off the vocal with Bell gets me every single time, especially when the latter sings "Don't complain / You may never feel like this again..."

Saturday, March 12, 2016


The baddest-ass Nina Simone clip on YouTube is whichever one you saw last. Especially if it's "Be My Husband."

I'm in that camp that says that every month, not just February, is Black History Month, and every month, not just March, is Women's History Month, but hey, it is March, so how about some music by another Black Woman?

And now for something not necessarily completely different, here's some music by a white man, footage of the late Arthur Russell performing songs from World of Echo, filmed by Phill Niblock:

Over an hour of Russell/Niblock footage, in fact:

A person on the internet was just talking about Marion Brown's Sweet Earth Flying, which reminded me that it's my favorite Marion Brown LP. (Special thanks to Why Not? and Afternoon of a Georgia Faun.) I already knew this, but listened today for the first time in years and it sounds better than ever. I had forgotten that both Muhal Richard Abrams and Paul Bley are in the band on dualing electric and acoustic pianos, sometimes doing a little Silent Waying and Bitches Brewing, even some Lawrence of Newarking on organ, but mostly doing their own sweet and strange thing. The 5-minute solo electric piano intro by Paul Bley makes it easy to imagine our sweet earth flying from say a hundred miles away, while Brown's darkly gentle and pensive alto and soprano saxophone solos introduce the element of unstable gravity. Another AACM member, and founding member of Air, Steve McCall is on drums... a couple guys I haven't heard of, James Jefferson and Bill Hasson are on bass and percussion (and narration) respectively. The record label is Impulse! and the year of release is 1974.

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