Sunday, December 23, 2007

Loren Mazzacane Connors "Portrait of a Soul" mp3s
Vince Guaraldi Trio "A Charlie Brown Christmas" CD
Low "Christmas" mp3s
various Sesame Street clips on YouTube
Grateful Dead "Dick's Picks Vol. 11" mp3s
"The Snowman" on YouTube
Gate "The Dew Line" mp3s
1978 Bob Dylan Playboy interview

It's always nice, every couple weeks when I need parenting to be nothing but easy, to sit the kids on my lap at the computer and hit up YouTube for nothing but Sesame Street, muppets or live animals. The "related videos" always deliver.... Got a few new Dick's Pick's to go through, awesome -- Vol. 11 is a 1972 show from Jersey City with a 30-minute "Dark Star." I went to that track first, and couldn't believe it when after 30 minutes of fragile feather-light dream-float Lesh suddenly blunders right into the "Cumberland Blues" bassline at full speed and volume....the band has no choice but to fall in, and they proceed to play the shit out of the song. On the other hand, in keeping with the Dead's inimitable and constant tightrope walk between awesome and terrible, the wanna-be CSN harmonies are SO BAD on "Uncle John's Band." They nailed it in the studio on Workingman's and American Beauty and then blew it live forever thereafter. Lesh was probably a worse on-stage singer than Donna. (Show me one non-horrible live version of "Box of Rain.") Speaking of YouTube fantasies, we were checking out Frosty the Snowman and one of the related links that caught the kids' eyes was a 30-minute cartoon called The Snowman, based on the book by Raymond Briggs. I hadn't heard of it, but we watched it, and it was mind-blowingly magical. Turns out it's considered one of the greatest childrens films in the history of England, as it goddamn should be. Check it out.... hadn't listened to The Dew Line in a few years. I've always considered it the best Gate album. Still nothing else quite like the way his ultra-crude clanking loops mass up into thick bleak hazes. When all hope is gone, a sad loop says so much.....I read the Dylan interview here -- he says some great stuff right towards the beginning, talking about where he comes from in upper Minnesota: "Well, in the winter, everything was still, nothing moved. Eight months of that. You can put it together. You can have some amazing hallucinogenic experiences doing nothing but looking out your window. There is also the summer, when it gets hot and sticky and the air is very metallic. There is a lot of Indian spirit. The earth there is unusual, filled with ore. So there is something happening that is hard to define. There is a magnetic attraction there. Maybe thousands and thousands of years ago, some planet bumped into the land there. There is a great spiritual quality throughout the Midwest. Very subtle, very strong, and that is where I grew up." I've lived in the Midwest since age 4 and I couldn't agree more....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

shit my dad refers to lesh as young frankenstein

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