Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Silence, Ocampo, Underemployment, Boredom, etc...

Okay, okay, so it's been quite some time since I last posted, and I extend my deepest apologies. I've had equal parts too much and not enough on my hands these days, with a lot of distraction in between.

To put it mildly, I've been on a journey inward as of late, reading Dostoyevski's "The Double" and interpreting John Cage's "Silence", (snagged a 2nd edition for almost nothing, and, as far as overarching experimental texts go, is totally gear), and bouncing ideas for long form fiction around inside my troubled and troubling brain. Looks like Mr. A hit the nail an the head.

Another thing I've been struggling with is the apparent attack on album blogs lately and the subsequent and senseless postings of the same handful of records on different sites. I mean, c'mon, nobody listened to Jade Warrior thirty years ago and nobody wants to listen to them now. My intent has always been to bring you new things and, yes, I am grateful for those solitary sages who have turned me on to things I had never heard of before, regardless of how "sad" some people may view the whole sharity network thing.

In addition to all this, my good friend and little "sister" Chouette and I had an argument about a month ago about the merits and evils of album blogging. She being a promoter, (and behind the Beirut hub-bub. BUY IT!!!!), fails to see the benefit of free press and word of mouth buzz created by blogs like this. Needless to say, inner turmoil abounds.

Well, as things tend to go in this media saturated world of ours, I was pouring over the work of one of my favorite artists, Manuel Ocampo, when an old lesson occurred to me. Most great artist/revolutionaries/groundbreakers are often misunderstood in their day, (like, jeez, think about the SLA), and it takes awhile before the rest of the world wises up. So, fuck it, right?

To make up for your patience and well wishes, I'm more than doubling my usual offerings for this post, and have some tasty surprises in store for you soon. Namely, a couple handcrafted mixes of the avant jazz variety to help fill the gap left by the demise of Jazz Pour Tout. A new look is in the works as well as a donation button, being that I am a struggling artist/writer myself. Obviously I'd use the extra scratch to pick up new music to pass along to all of you, but I'm not gonna lie and say that some of said dough won't end up going to an even higher cause, my rent.

On with the show...

Brightblack Morning Light came out of nowhere this year with their opiated hippie soul psych out on Matador, creatively titled Brightblack Morning Light. I would have had the pleasure of catching them live a few weeks back if it wasn't for a female related meltdown compounded by a minor drug binge. Whatever, this album has me chanting along, crystal in hand before the first track is through, and I don't even buy into that kinda shit.

Before Ta Det Lugnt stopped the whole world in it's tracks, Gustav Ejstes had been getting his outre fusion tree hugging on for a long time, and 1999-2001 highlights some of Dungen's more free form Scandinavian freak out. After repeated listens, I dig this one way more than the more recent pop song oriented stuff.

In honor of This Heat's long awaited mail order only box set, I thought I'd drop the classic Repeat on you. Remixed and re-assembled from earlier works, the music on Repeat gives further depth to This Heat's unmistakable sound. You need this one.

Droning out of New Zealand, Birchville Cat Motel conjure up an eerie vibe on Chi Vampires, consisting of four really, really long pieces that'll put you in orbit. Perfect soundtrack to the end of any chemically indulgent night.

According to the Great Druid Julien Cope, Le Stelle di Mario Schifano is the closest European equivalent to the first VU records "multi-media experience anti-hippie freak out helmed by an acclaimed artist that had almost nothing to do with it save painting the cover art". The first track takes about five minutes to get rolling, but the second side is pure bliss. Time to get out those headphones, kiddies.

Function's Matt Nicholson has strung together one of the most unfocused yet wholly beautiful records that I've heard in a long time. The Secret Miracle Fountain was recorded with the help of thirty of his closest friends in over ten countries over several years, and it sounds like it. From lo-fi shoe gazing to glitched out folktronics, this one keeps bringing more to your head with every spin. Well worth the effort.

Finally, another tip of the hat to the now defunct JPT, perhaps my all time favorite skronking jazz classic, Pharoah Sanders' Tauhid. This slab has it all, and by all I mean Sonny Sharrock. If you don't have this, you haven't used your ears yet.

So that's that. Listen deeply, and next time I promise to ramble on a bit more about cultural interests before getting down to the tunes. And thanks to all who left a concerned comment, the love is definitely felt.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Bottled sunshine, by request...

As a reward for scoring a job at the Warhol, Ms. J finally gets her Tropicalia comp....

And I suppose I am getting a tiny bit excited about seeing Os Mutantes at the end of next month.

Psych-O-Tropic Uno *another handcrafted assemblage from me to all of you*

Monday, June 05, 2006

On the Devil's day...

Tomorrow morning, the first thing you all need to do to make your 06/06/06 worthwhile is to head to your fave independent record store and buy Bardo Pond's new record, Ticket Crystals. The next thing on your list, make way to wherever you buy or rent DVDs and get your hands on a copy of The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things. That's right, Asia Argento's adaptation of JT Leroy's brutal semi-autobiographical account of growing up as the cross-dressing son of a trailer park whore has finally found distribution after almost two years. Go support art that makes a difference.

Speaking of, I watched Woody Allen's Match Point with Mon Chaton while she was in town over the last fortnight, and although I am not a fan of Allen's non-comedic work, he hit this one way out of the park. Scarlett Johansson is almost perfect, and the story/plot would fit alongside Hitchcock's best films. We also caught Art School Confidential, which was every bit as good as Ghost World, Terry Zwigoff & Dan Clowes previous collaboration.

Besides catching up with the Kitten, I also got a new job and have decided to move in with Cash Money at the end of this month, simultaneously increasing my income and slashing my bills in half. Movin' on up and shit.

Okay, kids. Here comes the good part...

Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice turn out records more often then some people shower, and Gipsy Freedom is not only their newest, but quite likely the most fully formed and alluring set to date. Free jazzer Daniel Carter punches the clock and adds some inspired reed-work, giving some weight to the whole swirling psych meritage. This record has spent a lot of time spinning around my place recently, especially in those creepy crawling hours after midnight.

The Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood have only one thing on their mind, and that's making yours melt. Somewhere between folk and Krautrock influenced freak outs, Animal Speak sticks to the inside of your skull and slowly starts moving things around to it's liking, leaving you with an odd feeling of displacement. This is one of their many CDR releases, and rumor has it that they will be putting out an official release soon. Keep your fingers crossed and watch your back.