Friday, April 04, 2008

Psalm One Bio:Chemistry II:Esters and Essays CD
Bob Dylan Oh Mercy
Bach The 6 Cello Suites (by Pablo Casals)
Parliament Mothership Connection
Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet
Sex Vid Tania
Sex Vid Nests
Sex Vid Live cassette
La Düsseldorf s/t
Lamborghini Crystal Little Deuce Coupe T.V. Dinners
Chronicles Volume One by Bob Dylan
Pete Maravich on YouTube
Food For Animals on YouTube

Psalm One is a rapper from Chicago and some of her stuff is great - check out "Dubblewood Pipe" and "A Girl Named You" and "Needs" and more from this 2005 album. Intellectual but casual, deep thoughts in a playful wordy style, loose-limbed and bouncy production... One thing though, listening to the whole album a couple times, I can't help but be distracted by what seems to be the double-tracking of all of her vocals. She does some cool call-and-response with it and some cool sung choruses ("A Girl Named You" is great) but as an albumwide thing it just doesn't feel quite right to me, like the art of mic controlling is meant to be done by one person at a time, and when it comes down to the actual lyrical flow of the verses, overdubs should be used sparingly. But who am I to set ground rules... this is some forward-looking shit. The best is "Dubblewood Pipe," I love the way she starts it out saying "Oh shit... I'll never go platinum with this one... it's cool though... if you're listening to this, god bless you..." Finally checked out Dylan's Oh Mercy after reading about it in his Chronicles memoir a couple years ago, in that great "making of" section that actually made Daniel Lanois seem interesting (especially having just learned about Lanois's connection with Simply Saucer... next I'm gonna find out he sat in with the Nihilist Spasm Band a couple times, sheez). It is indeed a good album, underrated (it has to be, it's a 1980s Dylan album), and the song "What Was It You Wanted," along with at least a couple others, is amazing. I think Parliament/Funkadelic, if we're to think of both bands' discographies as coming from one overriding unit, is one of the Top 5 American bands of all time, and Mothership Connection is certainly one of their most crucial statements. George Clinton's rap on the song "P. Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)" is amazing enough 30 years later on some deluxe box set reissue or iPod playlist, but you have to imagine it as it was coming out of AM and FM radio speakers in 1976, being heard for the first time in cars, in bars, in living rooms and bedrooms in the black communites. White radio stations sure as hell didn't play it, it would've been like putting psychedelic drugs directly into the drinking water. I can't believe how good Beggars Banquet is sounding right now, once you get past "Sympathy For The Devil" (which like say "Stairway to Heaven" is an amazing song now owned and rendered meaningless by corporate classic rock radio) you've got the beautiful "No Expectations," the sublime "Parachute Woman," "Jigsaw Puzzle" ambling along for over 6 minutes, "Street Fighting Man" (possibly the greatest Phil Spector production there never was, let's hear it for producer Jimmy Miller as he begins an amazing run of what are in many's opinion the best four Stones records and a fifth that is no slouch), "Prodigal Son" with its "that's no way to get along" hook, the ridiculous "Stray Cat Blues," "Factory Girl" (straight-up one of the prettiest songs ever), and oh man "Salt of the Earth," THAT'S one of the prettiest songs ever. All incredible songs - actually the only one I left off was "Dear Doctor," might as well throw that in too - can you imagine playing this record back when "Sympathy" was still completely potent? Can you imagine them playing this whole album in its entirety at next year's All Tomorrow's Parties as part of the exciting new Don't Look Back series? (I would not go.) Definitely impressed with Sex Vid - Tania is excellent, but I'd say Nests shows a pretty hefty jump even farther forward. I love the way they use the "I Wanna Be Your Dog" riff for the song "Always Home," it's a great EP closer and the moment they make the riff their own is the "tapped oooouuuutt" hook. (I mean my mp3 says it's called "Always Home," I don't have the vinyl but I'm looking.) It's the perfect evolution of the Stooges' sentiment, now with more ennui, blasted out at an even slower grinding downtempo pace, like we've been your dogs for almost 40 years now and we are fucking tapped out on all these scraps we're getting (steady pizza, internet, sex vids, window unit air conditioning, etc). Their live cassette which came out in 2007 (and can still be downloaded with band permission here) has a version of it too, actually titled "Tapped Out." It also has the Dead C cover "Bad Politics." Right now I'm finding "Time" from the first La Dusseldorf album to be the perfect song to play in memory of Klaus Dinger (1946-2008). Man, this Lamborghini Crystal... the first ten times it came up on shuffle over the last few months I couldn't stand it. Only recently did I start to grudgingly appreciate it. Tonight is actually the first time I've tried to sit down and listen to it from the beginning, and I am in fact finding it AMAZING, though not necessarily in a good way. Maybe stupefying is a better word, that music could be this weird, nervous, wiggy, dusted, delirious, and bizarrely recorded... it sounds like its coming from a TV speaker set on very low volume as the blurry image flickers at 3AM, and yes, what's playing somewhere under all the bad reception or 6th-generation videotape-dub is indeed an R-rated and nearly nudity-free made-for-cable late-night movie set in a suburban ocean community with fast cars, sexy girls, heroic cops, beach bonfires, and possibly even extreme sand volleyball, taking place 15 years in the past or 15 years in the future, the choice is yours. Stupefyingly amazing, this release is way too long, two 30-minute sides of non-stop music, I might not be able to finish Side A let alone the whole thing, but I am bizarrely fascinated enough that I really do wanna check out the record I think they have forthcoming on Holy Mountain. Pulled the aforementioned Chronicles back out to reread the Oh Mercy section and was reminded of Dylan's reverie over Pistol Pete Maravich (he wrote the Oh Mercy outtake "Dignity" in one day upon hearing on the morning news that Maravich had died) : "He was something to see - mop of brown hair, floppy socks - the holy terror of the basketball world - high flyin' - magician of the court." This sent me to YouTube for proof and I definitely got some (don't miss the elbow pass demonstration about halfway through this, I'm with Red Auerbach on that one...):

And here's a different type of flow that I checked out a couple nights ago, it's still haunting me:


pallcast said...

Bad Politics' - is Yo La Tengo song. The Dead C. covered it for their single.

Larry said...

Dead C version (1988):

Yo La Tengo version (1995):

Anonymous said...

No way in hell is bad politics a Yo La Tengo song. They wish....

snatchface said...

i think (hope) that dude was kidding

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