Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
Hunting for music is pretty much a constant enterprise for me these days. In an effort to supply my weekly Motherlodes, twice-weekly radio shows and the 24-hour webstream Give the Drummer Radio (listen), I now spend more time scouring music blogs than I care to admit. If, like me, you try to keep tabs on a long list of music-sharing sites, I can't recommend highly enough the use of an aggregating device to manage the madness.
There may well be a better tool out there, but I'm satisfied with Google's Reader, through which I regularly follow nearly 500 blogs. Google Reader is RSS-feed aggregator that pulls all new posts from blogs you've subscribed to into one location. Instead of carpal tunneling your way from blog to blog in search of audible treasure, simply add each new blog you discover to the Reader's subscription manager and let the blog posts come to you. Every time a blog publishes a new post, the item shows up in the Reader's window. If the item is of no interest, simply disregard it. If you can't live without it, you can click right over to the original post. If it appears worth a later look, "star" the item and it gets saved in a special queue.
I'm actually rather proud of myself. You see, for the first time in over a year I've reduced the number of posts in my reader's "starred items" queue below the 10,000 mark! That represents ten thousand downloadable albums—going back well over a year—that I'm pretty sure I'm going to want to add to my hard drive. (OK, forget most of what I said about managing the madness.) Getting as backed up as I have could be a problem, especially since so many blogs and their DL links are getting deleted on a daily basis. One brilliant feature of the Reader is that it captures the cached page of blogs you subscribe to, so even if a blog has been deleted, you may still have access to its pages and links. This little trick has saved me countless times.
Of course you could decide to eschew all this and leave the blog slogging to me. No sweat. Just be sure to visit the Motherlode every Wednesday to see what's popped up in my reader. (And be sure to get on the mailing list for my newsletter in which I share additional download links not included here.)
Method to the madness...
Sly Stone ~ "Recorded in San Francisco: 1964-67"
(Blog: Hippy Djkit)
"Early works from Sly. Rare issue on Sculpture label with many early singles during 1964-67 in San Francisco, pulls together a mixture of pre-Sly and the Family Stone efforts. Sly used many electronic gadgets including clavinet, and essential drum breaks and organ on the cut "Rock Dirge." In terms of quality the ten tracks cover a wide spectrum, ranging from the surprisingly good "Take My Advice" and the unique Broadway-meets-rock "Life of Future & Fame" to the interesting 1950s flavored instrumental "Hi Love," a cover of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man'' and the raw demo "Rock Dirge." Sly's spoken work cover of "Deck of Cards," "I Ain't Got Nobody" was eventually released as the first Sly and the Family Stone single." (DJ Fanis, at Hippy Djkit)
Various ~ "Bulawayo Jazz"
(Blog: Freedom Blues)
The Mind Is a Terrible thing to Waste
"The Bulawayo sound centered on the alto sax playing lead, usually as part of a front line that included tenor sax and trumpet. Strummed banjos and acoustic guitars, double bass or tubas and trombones playing the bass parts, and occasionally pianos and violins, made up the rest of the ensembles. Jazz aficionados may hear echoes of early New Orleans and Kansas City styles in some of the tracks. But the raw material is African folk music or original compositions based on traditional sources, not the blues and Tin Pan Alley pop tunes that fed early American jazz. This is distinctly African jazz, as fans of later artists like the South African saxophonist Dudu Pukwana will immediately recognize." (From a review by George De Stefano, at RootsWorld)
Augustyn Bloch ~ "Unusual Sounds: The Brain"
(Blog: Continuo's Weblog)
This Is Your Brain, on Vinyl
"Subtitled 'The Brain,' [this] second volume, published 1982, collects short sound experiments in the field of contemporary music and musique concrète. Traditional acoustic instruments like piano, flute, trumpet and percussion, are mingled into an unsettling sonic brewage thanks to primitive electronic devices and radical sound treatments. Bloch favors inside the piano playing and percussion sounds from the piano’s structure, while flute parts are usually graced with generous doses of reverb. Several tracks use heavily slowed down or distorted metronome sounds, in a kind of Pierre Schaeffer abstract études from the 1950s – the same process is applied to shrilling cat meows on track #15. Elsewhere, seriously paranoid synthesizer interjections reinstate the menacing atmosphere pervading in the track titles, while some piano parts recall Krzysztof Komeda’s Rosemary’s Baby soundtrack. A fantastic LP, by any standard." (Commentary by Continuo)
Jun Togawa ~ "Togawa Legend Self Select Best & Rare 1979-2008"
(Blog: The Incessant Noise)
She Survived Guernica
"There is a feeling I've had ever since childhood: that there exist many different "worlds" and I was born in the wrong one, a world I don't quite fit into. I've felt this strong feeling of wrongness all through my life. There is no space for me in this world. Every time I believe I've finally found my place, someone comes to me and says "Go away! You're not supposed to be here." I mean, I have always had this kind of feeling. I had a lot of trouble communicating with other children. The discipline was extremely strict in my family. I was not allowed go out freely with friends. So, I tried not to make friends. If I did, because I couldn't play with them outside like a normal child they would hate me. This made me turn away from the ordinary life of a child even more. The world of music and theater is what I finally came to live in." (From an interview with Jun here)
Vincent Gémignani ~ "Modern Pop Percussion"
(Blog: Free Défendu)
Everything But the Kitschy Sink
"These tracks were written for the Comédie Française for performances of the French adaptation of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" a the first Chateauvallon theatre festival in 1970, under the direction of J. Gilbert. This session was interprated with the help of the best french musicians and was recorded on vinyl." (Comment left at Discogs.com )
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