Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
With summer now kicking sand in the face of spring, I thought I'd take a lazy, hazy approach to this week's Mining the Audio Motherlode. Rather than get all overheated digging around for downloads, I've poured a chilled beverage and taken a long, cool look back at the past half-year of offerings in order to compile a list of my absolute must-haves, so far, for 2010. Agree with my picks? Let me know your faves in Comments below.
Inspired by this weekly endeavor, I am starting up a 24-hour stream—Streaming the Audio Motherlode—that will feature all the amazing sounds presented here—and a mountain of MP3s more. My radio show, Give the Drummer Some, will air live on the stream, too, every Friday, 9 to noon. Click here to get on the Motherlode mailing list.
The Good Foot
For those of us who weren't hanging out in Lusaka during the 1970s, right now is surely the golden age for lovers of Zambian fuzzadelica. Reissues of killer Zam-rock artists—Ngozi Family, Chrissy Zebby Tembo, The Peace, Witch, Amanaz, to name a few—have been coming fast and furious over the past couple of years, but one album yet to get the 180-gram vinyl treatment is this heartfelt effort from Blackfoot. Run don't walk to snag this Afro-pop marvel.
Jackson C. Frank ~ “Blues Run the Game”
(Blog: Standing at the Crossroads)
Do You Believe in Tragic
From my Favorites of 2004 page: "The horrible-but-true story of Jackson C. Frank is a nearly unendurable tale of bad luck, heartbreak and illness. The only balm is wallowing in Frank's tunes of incandescent melancholia. The survivor of a Buffalo schoolhouse fire that killed most of his classmates, Frank took up guitar during his long hospitalization. A decade later he would head to London and become, for a tragically short stretch, the golden boy of the Soho folk set."
Johnny Zamot ~ "Tell It Like It Is"
(Blog: Hippy Djkit)
Hooray for Bollywood
Speaking of steaming, give this dastardly boogaloo from percussion maestro Johnny Zamot a spin. His combo features trombone genius Mark Weinstein and Sun Ra sideman Pat Patrick. (Patrick, the father of the current governor of Massachusetts, was previously mentioned in Volume 10 of Mining the Audio Motherlode).
Twilight Nuages ~ "Twilight Nuages"
(Blog: Mutant Sounds)
From the album: Life Goes On, Love Goes On (mp3)
Minor Basement Pop Miracle
Surely the coolest high school music teacher ever, William M. Lastomirsky gathered some of his students together in 1977 to record some songs he'd written. With zero pretension and a million miles of heart, this utterly beguiling collection of home-taped mini-masterpieces was the result.
Don Pullen ~ "Jazz a Confronto 21"
From the album: Love to Hate (mp3)
The Church of Pullen
Tender and tenacious, Don Pullen's piano playing was a physical act of love. This 1975 recording for the Italian label Horo was Pullen's first release as a leader.
Pedro Santos ~ "Krishnanda"
(Blog: Brazilian Nuggets)
From the album: Dentro Da Selva (mp3)
Prepare Thyself for a Mystery
This completely unclassifiable artifact from obscure Brazilian percussionist Pedro Santos opens with strains of mariachi horns and closes with kitschy, catchy faux-African marimba noodling. The intoxicating totality of Krishnanda's myriad bossa/raga/exotica elements makes it surely one of CBS's most enigmatic releases of 1968.
Beatles Besotted Cincinattians
Don't confuse the 1970 Fairport-ish trio Jade from Westminster, U.K. (whose lovely Fly on Strange Wings is also posted at Tyme-Machine) with this Fab Four–infused foursome from Cincinnatti—also called Jade, also from 1970. This cheery DIY effort is shotful with lush harmonies, perky clavinets, shimmering guitars and psych-y studio trickery. For the latter, look no further than vertigo-inducing "My Mary" (see MP3, above) which turns backmasking on its ear.
Werdi Sentana ~ "Jegog: The Bamboo Gamelan of Bali"
(Blog: Lucky Psychic Hut)
[For more jegog, visit this previous Mining the Audio Motherlode]
Unlike Anything You've Ever Heard
The largest bamboo stalks on earth are found only on the islands of western Bali, which also happens to be home to 99% of the world's jegog gamelan orchestras. Up to 10 feet in length, the massive jegog, the lowest instrument in the ensemble, takes two people to play and creates otherwordly low-pitched resonations that you feel before you hear. It's like giving your solar plexus an enema.
Conscientious Objections from Blues King
Records with covers this fabulous rarely live up to expectations. This one lives, baby, it really lives.
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