Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Music, man

The other night Small Fish over at Scratch Padding had this idea that I should write about my cd purchases for the week. Well, why not? A regular feature...

I've been on a pretty strict music purchase plan for a few years now, ever since I went to see a movie with Willis and ran in quickly to check out some now long defunct U District disk shop. I came out thirty seconds later $75 poorer with a pile of forgetables, including a Bryan MacLean solo album and something by Pink Fairies that I listened to twice. Fiscal discipline, the realization that I had a lifetime's
supply of tunes anwyay, and the Buddhist understanding that my hunger was insatiable, I decided to buy just two cd's a week. That went on for a few years with
the occasional cheat, then I switched to one used/one new cd a week. Then, until a few weeks ago, for well over a year I did a good job sticking to one new one a week (unless I walked into Wall of Sound--those guys always talk me into danger without even trying). Now I'm back to one new and one used per week. That allows me to keep up on the new releases (yeah, "keep up", ha) and also expand the back-collection with random elements. So far so good. Of course last week I bought three cd's. Though they were all used, and one was a "scuff" for $2.50. So I'm alright. Right?

This was a total surprise. I think I thougt at first these guys were the Danielson Famille (subjects of an intriguing article in The Believer sometime last year), then I think I just liked the cover art. So it was a whim. All praises to whim! This album is great. I read that they get lumped in with Devendra and the freek folk scene but that's just one more argument against lumpin'. Sure, they have some folk elements and, sure they're weird . But the guy's voice is a lot less willfully strange than DB's and the electronic elements bring things somewhere much more dynamic than the labels imply. This band knows how to use the studio to epic effect--how many groups manage to sound like Incredible String Band and a bearable Radiohead all on the same track? There's also some Byrds in there, I'd say. I like it.

I'd been looking for some Hariprasad ever since re-reading my notebooks from India, finding the word "essential" scrawled next to his name. A mysterious Frenchman I met at the Woodstock Cafe in Puri (a beach shack "restaurant" run by Santos and Jungleman) named Jean-Paul, one of those lucky Europeans who makes a shady living and gets to live in India three months a year, recommended him. I figured he knew his music--he'd seen Love in London their first time around. I don't know jack about Indian music, but this guy is considered one of the greats, and it's proven a nice alternative to the same old sitar drone. A steal at $2.50!

You already know how you feel about this one. If you hate reggae, move on. I'm more of a dub and rocksteady fan myself, but a nice collection of American soul
covers by the second-tier geniuses of '70's Kingston is great for mix discs and loading up the Mp3 player. Good summer music. And fify tracks on three discs for $15? A steal.


At 12:48 PM, Blogger dup said...

I hope this column continues!

At 1:59 PM, Blogger Ash said...

Yes, great idea! :)

At 7:59 AM, Anonymous jjs said...

I agree, I love it. We want to know!

Soon you'll have to buy the condo next store and use it like a shed, to store all those cds. (cd's?)

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Small Fish said...

Thank you thank you thanks... I'm sicking of finding new music through faceless/souless XM DJ's - now I have Peter.

btw - have you listened to what plays when you click the handicap link next to the word verification? it's musical in a lost sort of way.

At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But how is the new Tool album?


At 3:48 PM, Anonymous momster said...

Pete! Jon and I figured out a way you could earn extra income that would cover the cost of your cds. Start a web site with your reviews of music. Many people would benefit from your expertise and the advertising would pay for your music purchases! We'll even design it for you! Just say the word.


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