Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
Periodically I devote the entire hour of my Tuesday broadcast of "Give the Drummer Some" to a favorite music-sharing blog deserving wider recognition. I was chuffed to dedicate last night's show to the music obsessives' paradise Record Fiend, where reading the erudite, lovingly written portraits of lost recordings and forgotten artists is as sublime a diversion the Internet has to offer. Of course, there are great teetering mounds of vital albums—uniformly eccentric and essential—available for download as well.
When you visit, be sure to scroll back through Record Fiend's two and a half years of archived pages. Some of my favorite offerings include a thoughtful history of the Motor City psychfolkers Spike-Drivers; a epic series of posts championing Johnny Darrell here, here, here, here, here and here; and an exigesis of the long-lost LP The Legend of Sir Robert Charles Griggs (see this week's lead-off item, below). A celebration in word and sound, Record Fiend is music appreciation of the highest order.
With fiends like these...
Sir Robert Charles Griggs ~ "The Legend of Sir Robert Charles Griggs"
(Blogs: Record Fiend)
From Sir With Love
"The Legend of Sir Robert Charles Griggs is more a country album than anything else, and a delightfully bizarre one at that. With production from Gary S. Paxton and support from musicians like pedal steel guitarist Pete Drake and fiddler Doug Kershaw, it features a more traditional Nashville sound combined with psychedelic touches courtesy of a Moog synthesizer and sound effects. While some people might cringe at the very notion of the latter elements, I feel that they are used judiciously and enhance the performances instead of overwhelming them. Legend can best be appreciated as an artistic statement from a supremely talented sideman whose experiences with the music industry have left him disenchanted, to say the very least." (RF, at Record Fiend )
S.D. Burman ~ "Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi"
(Blog: Parties, Sarees and Melodies)
Real Men Dig Kishore Kumar
Inspired by the Marx Brothers' antics, this 1958 comedy is landmark in Indian cinema. The account "The Making of Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi," by Suguna Sundaram is almost as hysterical as the film apparently is. Read it here.
Universal Congress Of ~ "The Sad and Tragic Demise of Big Fine Hot Salty Black Wind"
(Blog: The Title Is Everything)
The Longer the Title, the Better
"Without a doubt one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated bands to grace this modern age, Universal Congress Of spawned from the wreckage of Joe Baiza's seminal jazz-punk group Saccharine Trust (who were signed to the venerable SST Records during its heyday). While they certainly bear some similarities to their forebears, Universal Congress Of dispense of the cryptic lyrical waxing in favor of a chimerical blend of jazz, funk and whatever else that grooves." (Commentary by te a fatige, at The Title Is Everything)
Dele Abiodun ~ "It's Time for Juju Music"
(Blog: The Growing Bin)
"It's Time for Juju Music was Dele Abiodun's first international release. King Sunny Ade and Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey were taking juju music to the world, so Dele Abiodun & His Top Hitters Band decided to take their own brand of highlife and funk inflected juju to an international audience, as well. There are 7 tracks on the LP, but you'll never notice a break until the end of the record. Both sides play as one track which is the way these bands perform live. They usually jam for hours, sometimes all night without a break." (Commentary by Zeroy, at The Growing Bin)
Rashied Ali & Frank Lowe ~ "Duo Exchange"
(Blog: Free the Music)
One of the Great Duet Recordings of any Genre, Ever
"Duo Exchange dates from 1972 and reveals Frank Lowe still in the process of purging the overt Coltrane-isms from his improvising. The two collectively extemporized compositions here are not mere sequels to the cosmological visions of Ali's 'other' saxophone-drums duet record, Coltrane's own Interstellar Space. If anything, "Exchange Part 1" and "Exchange Part 2" are less orchestral, less unrelenting, and less flowing than the performances from that earlier record. The scale of Duo Exchange is more human; though there are moments of anguish and triumph commensurate with those on Interstellar Space, the context here is very, very different. Of particular interest in these performances is just how Lowe responds to Ali's virtuosity, his split-second ability to free-associate shards of metric patterns and his kaleidoscopic sense of percussive coloration. Lowe often lets go of his phrases such that his notes somehow fall in those small open cells of silence in Ali's otherwise overpowering detail. The more closely one listens, the more it becomes obvious that Lowe is assembling a steady beat from the wailing pull of his tenor sax against the coruscating push of Ali's kit. In this setting, Lowe is the chorus—the rueful and wise narrative agent—and Ali the flamboyant actor personifying the tragically incongruous circumstances that befall the individual as they follow the trajectory of hubris. It is clear even from this brief recording (barely over half an hour in length) that Frank Lowe is one of the most unique of "free" players, as his playing demonstrates how deeply he comprehends the serious risks involved in his aesthetic. Frank Lowe's art is a super-realistic one, because it is an art open to life and life's endlessly proliferating decisions, each of which is possessed of an integrity and gravity that is to be honored." (By Joe Milazzo, at One Final Note )
Listen to my radio show Give the Drummer Some—Tuesdays 6-7pm, on WFMU and Fridays 9 to noon—on WFMU's web stream Give the Drummer Radio.
Send your email address to get on the mailing list for a weekly newsletter about the show, the stream and Mining the Audio Motherlode.
Check out every installment of Mining the Audio Motherlode