|June 16, 2014 | Found Images, Found Sounds
Plasmatics : Butcher Baby
Plasmatics : Butcher Baby
I was hanging around at the record store ( and I do mean THE record store, my favorite one, they don’t update their site very much but take a look, and maybe check their solid-gold 5-star stats ) the other day when a shipment from London UK’s Finders Keepers Records came in. I have a few other discs from this label, so I was like ” ooh, ooh, whadja get? ” – the owner of the shop turned around and spun this tune here, and I bought the record. I’m pretty good at music, but when that crazy fuzz guitar lick kicks in at 0:34, I can’t figure out how to count it – or, wait, is it in 10s? There’s more on the artist, the album, and the label here.
Selda Bagcan : Meydan Sizindir
I just like this because listening to it makes me feel like I’m in a 1970s movie.
Mexico City : last November, I was walking through the Zócalo : hold up, now – imagine a village square, like in a little town somewhere, and now imagine the square if it’s sized for a city of 20 million — okay, yeah, right? Massive, thousands of people walking around, selling stuff, trying to get work. There’s always some giant exhibition or festival going on there, and it’s amazing, and you should see it. But also there’s the Metropolitan Cathedral, which is the main church of all of Mexico, which is a country with like 96 million Catholics in it, so that’ll be a gigantic and imposing ( and ancient, and sinking into the swampy ground ) church. Also, the entire thing is built directly over the ruins of Aztec temples and the palace of Montezuma. There are often Aztec dance troupes performing, and people in full headdresses and feathers and sandals and the whole bit, performing purification rituals, and this is an amazing thing : they are Mexican Catholics who speak Spanish, but they are also Aztecs, who are preserving their culture. Can you imagine any other place where people would be allowed to perform pagan rituals in front of a grand Catholic cathedral? That’s the dual-nature magic of Mexico : the priests are descended from Aztecs too.
I was walking across this giant square, and the bells were ringing, and, who knows how old the bells are, but they sounded old. So many frequencies in the air, atoms colliding with atoms, humming – I recorded some of it on my phone, which, very low bit-rate, doesn’t do that day a lot of justice, but you can hear what I’m talking about.
Mercy : Fire Ball
My copy actually has a crack in it, but, you know, so?
And again, I didn’t have the record, but A. let me tape it off him. 2014? A. is still the hippest guy I know.
Flux Of Pink Indians : Neu Smell Poem / Tube Disaster
Every Mardi Gras day, towards the evening, we go to the corner of Decatur and Esplanade to see Suplecs play, and they play for hours, and they’ve been doing it for 13 years now.
Suplecs : Gotta Pain
Hey, if you’re in town, have a good time, don’t spend it all in one place; try to pace yourself (you don’t want to end the day sitting on a curb crying). If you’re not here in New Orleans, this is what it sounds like. Would you believe I found both of these 45s in a milk crate in an alley?
Professor Longhair : Big Chief Parts 1 & 2
I heard this somewhere the other day (umm .. oh yes, in one of those coffee shops where the young employees only listen to old music), and there was a Carnival parade going by (’tis the season), and I was looking at the bagel in front of me and thinking if you tried to serve this sad thing to someone in New York, there’d be trouble – ah, but anyway, it’s a cool song with a neat behind-the-beat herky-jerk guitar solo. This is obviously a very different band from the one they’d become a few years later, but I like how totally of-the-moment (the moment was 1977) it is, the singer affecting a swoopy Bryan Ferry vibrato, the band still very influenced by Roxy Music (the way they layer keys and sounds onto the ‘lift’ parts to make them more anthem-y, the 16th-note piano under the chorus, even the general shape of the melody, all very Roxy), but wrapped up in the choppy energy of punk (the guitars sound great, don’t they?).
Ultravox! : ROckWrok
Gosh, I still think that’s such a cool sound, you know?
He has played guitar in The Cramps, The Gun Club, and Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds : three enduring, important bands. He’s kinda burned into my head as a cool character because of the great photos on the cover of The Cramps’ 1981 Psychedelic Jungle LP, which I studied intently that year.
Today, I came across an internet radio show featuring an interview with him, and it’s a cool show ( The Pharmacy ) with lots of good music and wacky stuff. Me, I really just wanted to hear what Kid Congo had to say, so I made my own edit, which is just the interview, no tunes, which I am parking here, for a while. Or you can listen to the original, complete version here.
The Balfa Brothers : La Danse De Mardi Gras
It’s not Mardi Gras, not yet ( although it’s coming, and if you’re not working on your costume, you should at least have an idea of what you’re going to make ), but it’s nice here, on a winter Sunday. It’s in the mid-60s, and you have a funny situation on the street : people like me, children of the calamitous winters of the midwest, in t-shirts, walking with people who were born here, who are wearing hats and gloves.
There’s good light : neither the blazing, malevolent sun of New Orleans summers, nor the wan little egg-yolk that hangs limply in the Wisconsin sky in January. Church bells ring, 19th century bronze shimmering in the air. We drink coffee with chicory ( they tell me it’s an acquired taste, but I’ve always liked it ) and eat good things. We listen to Cajun music on WWOZ ( you can too ).
.. probably not up your alley, most of you ( in which case I’ll park this here for myself ), but as far as record producers go, I bet I spent more or the 1990s listening to Prince Paul’s work than anyone else.
Happy birthday to us.
Motörhead : Capricorn ( Alternate Version )
Skynyrd, Free bird solo, all by itself. Or, themselves, I guess. Is there anything I like more than a double- or triple-tracked guitar solo? Yeah, but not much.