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07-19-2011, 07:32 AM
Hey! Where'd all these cobwebs come from? Not much traffic around here lately. Or I should say, even less than usual :sosp:

Got some old Opal on this morning from their Early Recordings, David Roback and Kendra Smith from 1983-1987. Kind of hard to find nowadays, but lots of good music here for fans of that 80s psychedelia that later became Mazzy Star, with Kendra replaced by Hope.

Listened to some Joe Henry from his Blood from Stars CD a couple years back, and like that one quite a bit, though I don't usually listen to the whole thing like I do with my favorite Fuse or Scar. I guess the musical style on the later releases doesn't fit his voice quite as well, so gets a bit tiring, or maybe too pronounced. In any case, some of it does harken back to those simpler days.

Like Swimming by Morphine got a listen, and maybe not their best, but still pretty nice. I think this was their big label debut, but not really much different from the earlier ones, maybe a little less distinctive, and with some added production elements and fuller sound.

Power, Corruption & Lies by New Order got my weekly listen, not sure when this started to happen, but I've had a revitalized interest in early New Order lately and this is the top of the line for me. The original SON 15 CD here, don't really need the double CD remaster collectors edition, though I do have it, and it really doesn't sound bad at all, not totally compressed to death or anything like that. But the original still just sounds perfectly right to me.

Portishead's Roseland NYC Live was in there too, just the first half. Always liked this one, kind of a different perspective on the songs with the string backing and somewhat changed arrangements, more stylized and even more big screen cinematic, though sometimes not too different. Heard they are set for a big North American tour soon, first since the late 90s I think. Seems odd to hear the audience applause after the songs, listening to a band like Portishead is normally such a private affair :)

Jean Michel Jarre Zoolook came out for a listen last weekend. Funny, I never listen to anything else by Jarre, but love this one.

Listened to Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot for the first time in a long time, and smiled a lot.

Same thing with Cheap Trick's debut. Great stuff.

Anybody else out there? Hello ......

07-19-2011, 08:53 AM
Funny...I just pulled out some Jean Michel Jarre last night, Oxeygene here though. Played it right after some Tangerine Dream and before that some Kraftwerk. Getting my old school electronic fix I guess. Was playing a bunch of Eno's Ambient series stuff in a couple days before.

I haven't pulled out much New Order for a while, but now I may have to. Power, Corruption and Lies is one of my all-time most listened to albums probably. Great stuff. I'm not gonna say New Order is better than Joy Division, but I will say I go back and listen to them more often.

Also been playing the stack of vinyl I mentioned in another thread, Mountains, Mind Spiders, Barn Owl, Sleigh Bells, Black Keys.

Also have seen a couple people mention that Jeff the Brotherhood: We Are the Champions around here and I gave that a listen yesterday and really liked it. Was kind of in the background, so will want to pay more attention, but just a quick listen had me digging that one, lots of good catchy guitar riffs. Also played White Wires WWII for some guitar fun...and spun M.O.T.O.: Raw power after seeing them play over the weekend.

This morning went with some Thievery Corporation: Sounds from the Thievery Hi Fi. The debut doesn't have the same lushness as Mirror Conspiracy and the rest of their albums, it's a much more spartan vibe while still mining the world rhythms they are known for. When I'm in the mood, this more minimal thing sounds right to me. I guess wanting less is no surprise after listening to some Plastikman last week as well.

07-19-2011, 09:54 AM
New Order is regular summer fare in these parts...Power, Corruption, and Lies, Substance, and Low Life all capture the season for me. The gritty Gibson...the dusty analog synth and maudlin basslines...they all encapsulate a certain dark joie de vivre...

This Tuesday has been about some old friends hitting the tray...Richmond Fontaine's Thirteen Cities and Cooder & Ketner's Mambo Sinuendo and Van Morison's No Guru, No Method, No Teacher all have made the rotation.

I'm struck by the inclusion of the Venezuelan folk tune "Caballo Viejo" on Mambo. It's a neo-classic song of the real south...that hemisphere of maracas and marimbas and congos. Again, something to capture that feeling of some vague impending happening in the humid air.

For Van fans I can't recommend enough the 96K/24 Bit remastered versions that came out at the beginning of this century...never overwhelming and never an ostentatious presentation of technological accomplishment, just a polishing of some masterful work.

07-19-2011, 12:54 PM
Whilst enjoying a nice Racer 5 IPA and #6 Blue Label on my patio last night, I dusted off the most excellent 'Hope and Adams' by Wheat, something I hadn't heard in many months, along with Love's 'Forever Changes', then the under-appreciated 'Behind the Music' by the Swedish band The Soundtrack of Our Lives. What a great trio that turned out to be.

07-19-2011, 02:46 PM
A bunch of hi-res DVD-Audio R.E.M. for me:

Out Of Time (all 24-bit/192kHz)


Automatic For The People (24-bit/48kHz)

07-19-2011, 05:27 PM
Finally broke from my fusion binge to sample some other types of music.

The Cars: Move Like This - very good album, kinda picking up where they left off. Better than 1986's Door To Door, but lacking what you might call a hit (if there was such a thing as one anymore). Solid, but not great. If yer nostalgic for this sound, go for it, but this is an '80s album in the '00s. Todd Rundgren ran afoul of Ric Ocasek for his venture with The New Cars (w/ two original Cars members in tow, both present here as well) which is a shame because Todd's contributions would have been great here. One of them, Not Tonight, surely would have been bonafide single (hypothetically speaking of course). Todd (back in '06) wrote three tunes in the Cars aesthetic and he absolutley nailed it. TR's voice is still in good shape too. Ocasek does do well, but does show his age here and there.

Yes: Fly From Here - speaking of '80s albums, the return of the Drama line-up, as it were. Not as stone-cold '80s wave as Drama, but not as energetic either. Again, good, but not great. Benoit David (yeah, that's his name) is a dead ringer for Trevor Horn's vox (Horn if you recall/care, the singer on Drama and the producer here) and Geoff Downes on keys, this is another nostalgia trip. They do swerve into adult contemporary territory on a few songs, but nothing here to be ashamed of really. No Jon Anderson, so no nods to harmonic convergence, mother earth, or flowers that worship the sun. Nothing too twee (althought Chris Squire tries) but nothing that really rocks either. Good vocal harmonies (prolly thanx to auto-tune) and Steve Howe's playing hasn't sounded this good since the Keys To Ascension studio stuff. No epics, though there is an attempt at a side long suite. At least Horn is savvy enough not to conjoin them to tightly, knowing the market for downloading and that most of the playback will be on MP3 players anyway. Solid B+ effort, as long as there weren't any expectations to begin with.

I also revisited some 2010 releases on my other MP3 player rotation in the car. Other than the two releases mentioned above I have pirchased NO other 2011 releases. Not that I haven't wanted too. I needs to watch my spending, as I'm getting laid off soon, but I find I'm just not that interested in a lot of what I've sampled thus far. I have a glut of albums from the last 5 years spending spree that just don't "do it" for me right now. Maybe that'll change. I'm trying to stave off any Stalin-esque purging of my collection, because I've done that in the past and regretted it. Most of my music purchases in the past year have been jazz related (50s vintage and '70s/'80s fusion). I ain't even bought any prog! (of course, fusion is kinda proggy innit).

07-19-2011, 05:49 PM
Checking out a couple of new things today:
Yuck! - s/t

These buzzy kids channel late 90s-early 2000s Superchunk pretty well but like that era of Superchunk it sometimes gets a little too earnestly midtempo for me. Still, the crunchier, rocking-er numbers like "Georgia" or "The Wall" are some of the most deliriously catchy cuts I've heard in this vein since last year's Dom EP. If throwback indie grunge-pop is yr bag you could do a lot worse.
How to Dress Well - Love Remains

I'm not enough of a connoisseur of dubstep to know if saying this reminds me of Burial is like saying Washington apples remind me of Florida oranges, but it's definitely in that same pastiche-y, trashy R&B-influenced vein. For a couple of tracks this sounded really great but I tired of it quickly. A few moments later in the album caught my attention again so maybe a subsequent listen will give me more to latch on to.
Khaira Arby - Timbuktu Tarab

So so good. I guess Ms. Arby is a huge star in her native Mali but this is her first disc to be available stateside. I saw her last week in Minneapolis and she's a commanding presence, able to let her band stretch out and then pull them in with an intense focus reminiscent of Fela Kuti (although she doesn't sing in English). Her guitarist Dramane Touré is some hot **** for sure. This is nothing short of great, rollicking desert blues mixed with traditional rhythms and Arab call-style choruses.
Shabazz Palaces - s/t EP, Of Light EP, Black Up

The jury's still out on this one for me. The claustrophobic production worked really well but after a few tracks I wasn't really hooked. Then it picked up some and I ended up listening all the way through three records. There are a fair amount of interesting ideas at work here but they're not always developed. The stuff I liked best was the more abstract, twisty lyricism and intricate rapping and the stuff that didn't really work for me was the endless talking tracks and the more straightforward "repping our blue collar work ethic, besting sucka emcees, can't keep us down" stuff. Still, this is an interesting counterbalance to the nihilistic Oddfuture or scattershot Lil' B stuff dominating edgier hip-hop. It's intelligent but unpredictable at its best, easy to nod heads to but still defiantly experimental.


07-20-2011, 08:04 AM
...I dusted off the most excellent 'Hope and Adams' by Wheat

Yea, it is a nice record, ripped it not long ago to my computer and it's still sitting nearby. The image I tagged it with isn't very good, and I'm too lazy to run the cover through the scanner and all that, so I was just recently searching google images for a better image and came across this picture below of the vinyl. Didn't even know about it, but I guess there was a tiny EU release back in the day. This one is only asking $90, but see another for $162!

I remember a few years ago recommending the CD to a buddy over at head-fi, maybe too enthusiastically as you know I'm sometimes prone to do, and turns out it was OOP and going for ridiculous prices, so he picked up a JPN copy for still kind of a ridiculous price. I felt kind of bad ...

Hope (and adams) it was worth it to him, but I do love it, so the remorse was short-lived.

07-20-2011, 10:33 AM
Got some old Opal on this morning from their Early Recordings, David Roback and Kendra Smith from 1983-1987. Kind of hard to find nowadays, but lots of good music here for fans of that 80s psychedelia that later became Mazzy Star, with Kendra replaced by Hope...

Brigit on Sunday (

Pat D
07-24-2011, 02:38 PM
Those of us who have the recordings of Bach's 6 Brandenburg Concertos by Karl Ristenpart and the Chamber of the Saar (early '60s) seem to value them highly. I was afraid to play them too often for fear of damaging the Nonesuch LPs, and usually listened to the excellent recordings by Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert from 1982.

I recently got Ristenpart's and the COS's CD box set with the Art of the Fugue (, the 4 Orchestral Suites, the 6 Brandenburg Concertos, and some miscellaneous concertos, Accord 465 893-2. The cover is in French, but don't worry, there are notes in English in the CD booklet.

The Brandenburgs are quite wonderful and the sound is great. The performances have an easy, relaxed and fun feel, very well played but not so obviously precise as Pinnock. I have always enjoyed them. I find it difficult to explain just why I like them so much but they are sincere and unpretentious. In the 6th Concerto, the performers include Jean-Pierre Rampal, flute, and Robert Veyron-Lacroix, harpsichord.

They play the orchestration of the Art of the Fugue ( made for them by Marcel Bitsch and Claude Pascal. It's certainly beautiful stuff, and is said to be musically very profound, up there with Bach's A Musical Offering. The liner notes say it received a Grand prix du disque in 1967.

The 4 Orchestral Suites were recorded a few years earlier in 1961. The recording is pretty good, though the upper strings sound a little thin, which can be ameliorated with some treble cut (the "Tilt" control is one reason I got a Quad 44 preamp in the early '90s). They are quite well done. Maurice Andre, trumpet, appears in the 3rd Suite. I prefer them to the modern digital recordings by Roy Goodman and the Brandenburg Consort, though I might give a slight edge to the old recordings by Menuhin and the Bath Festival Chamber Orchestra on two Seraphim LPs--or maybe not, it's close.

I also got the complete Tchaikovsky Symphonies recorded by Mariss Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestral in a Chandos box set, quite a famous recording. I had never gotten the first 3 symphonies, and the price was right. so I got the whole set. I haven't listened to it very often, but the performances seem to be at least as good as any others I have ever heard. The sound quality is excellent.