Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Jack Johnson Sessions are so Good

No not that Jack Johnson, that Jack Johnson.

"Wow, Miles Davis invented Grindcore." - The Breetard

Saturday, December 29, 2007

One Snazzy Joint

So a couple nights ago I spent some quality time with the breetard and our parents and we were lucky enough to have gotten tickets to Dizzy's Club in Manhattan as a Christmas gift (yeah Grandma). I'd never been to the place before and was pretty blown away. It's a real small place, with a slightly raised stage, and the wall behind the stage is entirely glass, looking out over the city. The tickets didn't say who was going to be performing so it was a nice surprise when we got there that it was actually someone I'm familiar with, Paquito D'Rivera. He played with an ensemble of 6, plus a bandoneon player on several songs. Although all the instrumentalists were extremely talented, the bass player stood out for me as the virtuoso of the group (outside of D'Rivera himself). During one piece he played two extremely complex counterpoint melodies at once, using each hand to hammer-on the notes. The percussion was phenomenal as well. The set player was amazingly technical in his playing and the auxillary percussionists did a great job of blending their sounds with his, playing more drums, chimes, bells, and other little noisemakers than I could count. The trumpet / trombone player had a style very similar to D'Rivera's sax playing, very fast and highly melodic, with few sweeping notes and lots of staccato. Although he was playing mostly a background role, the pianist really shone on the slower pieces and one of the later up tempo songs. There was a section where he and the bandoneon took the center stage playing off of each other that was one of the high points of the show. D'Rivera himself still blew them all away, playing swirling complex melodies as if it was the most natural thing a person could do.

Unfortunately, he was not wearing this outfit.

Not only is D'Rivera an amazing sax player, but he was completely comfortable on stage talking to the crowd. He didn't overdo it with the talking, but threw in a couple stories about Gillespie, who he worked with from a very early point in his career, and background information on the pieces they played and the different genres they crossed. Monday is D'Rivera's last night at the club, and I'd guess it was sold out, but if you can get there by any means, It comes highly reccomended from yours truly. Even if you have a chance to see him elsewhere, or see someone else at Dizzy's, I'd say both would be enjoyable experiences.

"Guataca City" (to David Amram) by Paquito D'Rivera
This song's a great example of the style of most of his set. Upbeat, complex melodies. Awesome.

In other news, I've listened to "Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes" by Paul Simon at least 5 times today. I hope everyone keeps in mind how great a song that is. How great the whole graceland album is, even.

"Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes" by Paul Simon

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Heeeeee is 1-3-8

I don't think I've ever made a secret of the fact that I love the Misfits.

Even though the band was finished before I was even born, I've loved them since the first time I heard them, sometime back in Grade School. When I first started playing my guitar with bands in people's basements, we played Black Sabbath and the Misfits. If I really stop to think about it, I'll always put Glenn Danzig in my top 5 vocalists. Sometimes I even think about getting a misfits tattoo. But not this one...

I came across this today while trolling the internet for hookers and I am dumbfounded by it on so many levels. I can't even imagine what this guy is going to do for the rest of his life. He's pretty much resigned himself to being in movies like Dee Snider's "Strangeland" for the rest of his life. Or he could be one of the gang-bangers in the first Batman movie that had Chris O'Donnell. Remember those magnificient neon bastards?

Now there's a face that won't have trouble finding a job. Unless it's in a hit movie.

I feel like even the members of the various groups that have used the Misfits name would see this guy and say, "Errr, maybe a bit overboard... mmm?"

I don't care if this song is about killing babies and violent sex with the listener's mother. The first time I heard this song, I knew by the end of the first two bars that it was a beautiful song. It really is.

Probably the most artful use of the phrase "Masturbate Me" to ever be used in conjunction with a historical analysis of the JFK assassination.

If you can listen to this song and "Last Caress" and tell me that Danzig doesn't have ridiculous chops as a vocalist, then you can go straight to purgatory.

This live track is hilarious. Take notice of how Henry doesn't seem to have a consistent handle on the lyrics and devotes himself instead to wordless screaming. In all fairness, this was recorded during a time period when Rollins was supposedly ingesting tons of Acid.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Ghost, plus Art of the Mix

So... new Ghostface with a titty-delicious album cover. It must be good, right? Maybe. I avoided putting my commentary out right when I first heard the album, as to not jump the gun on hasty opinions, but more than a week or so later, I'm still not sure how I feel. It bears definite similarities to fishscale, but while fishscale branched out with the far out sounds on tracks like Just Blaze's "The Champ", Pete Rock's "Dogs of War", and DOOM's "Underwater", The Big Doe Rehab is relatively narrow in the scope of its sound and lacking in big gun producers.

The production is heavily dipped in a classic R&B sound. Two appearances from the Rhythm Roots All-Stars take things in the direction of latin funk and afrobeat, but both appearances are saved for skits, not songs. I'm not entirely sure what to think of Ghost's flow on the album either. Previously, he's used a slow calm voice for smoother R&B tracks. Here we see him spitting in the hype shouted style he normally reserves for more bombastic cuts. It provides an interesting dynamic between the vocals and the beat, but it also leaves the listener wondering how much time and thought went into the album as a whole. Final verdict, Ghostface on a bad day is still Ghostface. This is an album I'll definitely keep in rotation, but it's not destined to become one of the Wu Tang classics.

One of the tracks that stands out for me is "Shakey Dog Starring Lolita" feat. Raekwon. The track is a sequel of sorts to "Shakey Dog" off of Fishscale and is one of the few times on the album where it seems like Ghost's flow was well matched to the track. He goes a bit off the deep end towards the end of the track, though.

In Other News,
I've recently gotten into the website Art of the Mix. Users post up the tracklists of their own mixes (mp3, CD, minidisc, or mix tape) and share feedback with each other. There are a TON of wack mixes on here, but I've also come across some interesting stuff, like A Danceable Solution to Teenage Revolution and Babylon's Burning Vol. 1. My first contribution to the site went up today (you can see it here) and I decided I'd share it here with you folks. The zip file contains all the tracks from side A and side B, albeit out of order. Here's the tracklisting for those of you too lazy to click over to AOTM.

Download, Cigarbox Guitars Volume 3, Riot Riot Fight

Side A

1. "Start the Riot" by Atari Teenage Riot
2. "I Feel Like Dying" by Lil' Wayne
3. "Silver Rocket" by Sonic Youth
4. "Indecision Time" by Hüsker Dü
5. "Atmosphere" by Joy Division
6. "What's the Latest?" by Riff-Raff
7. "Lighters" by Plow United
8. "Never as Tired as When I'm Waking Up" by LCD Soundsystem
9. "Lightworks" by J Dilla Jay Dee
10. "Ain't the Devil Happy" by Jeru tha Damaja
11. "Dead Flowers" by the Rolling Stones
12. "Remainder" by Rites of Spring
13. "Purgatory" by Indecision
14. "Natural's Not In It" (from the Peel Sessions) by Gang of Four

Side B

1. "Bonjour Jeune Fille" by The Blow
2. "A Dream" (Blockhead Remix) by Donny Hathaway
3. "Patience" by Rites of Spring
4. "Me and You" by Egg Hunt
5. "USA" by Reagan Youth
6. "Work, Part II" feat. Big L by Gang Starr
7. "Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards" by Billy Bragg
8. "House of Cards" by Radiohead
9. "Pass This On" by the Knife
10. "Be Good" by Tokyo Police Club
11. "Las Cruces Jail" by Two Gallants
12. "Banned in D.C." by Bad Brains
13. "Donuts (outro)" by J Dilla Jay Dee
14. "Workonit" by J Dilla Jay Dee
15. "Minor Threat" by Minor Threat

I know it might not seem like it, but Atari Teenage Riot into Lil' Wayne sounds SO GOOD.