Thursday, April 12, 2012

Too weak to fully undress.
Yo, check this Bill Callahan set in NY last summer. Guitar wizardry and hoots from the crowd, etc. We should all aspire to something along these lines.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Just to see your face, you know it makes me feel aces.

I'm crazy busy, but here's a quick round-up. First, Henry's Dress. I listened to their half of their split 7"with Rocketship about 100 times on the way home from work today. It was hard not to. The songs are brainy charmers, exactly as noisy and poppy and oddly arranged as I want them to be. I have yet to hear a band (from any era) do it this well. Also, if there's a previously unknown/secret '90s influence on Dick Snare, I think HD are probably it? Also, where the hell are the exhaustive, beautifully-packaged Henry's Dress reissues already? SLUMBERLAND?

Henry's Dress - "Over 21"
Henry's Dress - "Can't Make It Move"

I could be wrong, but I think maybe everyone should be obsessed with Chet Baker. If you need a place to start, check out Bruce Weber's documentary, Let's Get Lost. I just found out you can watch the whole thing here.  DO IT.  Then maybe you'll be like me, and the most listened-to album on your iTunes will be Chet, his album from 1950 whatever. It's hard to care about modern music when you hear Chet. You imagine smoky parallel worlds, and everything is dreamy and slow. It's music for the world as it should be, even if it's just your own world right there in your room, or right there with someone. Like, why is anyone not listening to "Alone Together"? Maybe you have something against West Coast jazz, or you hear this and think "sentimental dad music" or Frasier or something. I won't go overboard here. I'll just say there's so much more to it than that.

Chet Baker - "Alone Together"
Chet Baker - "If You Could See Me Now"
Chet Baker - "Tis Autumn"

I was reading John Jeremiah Sullivan's Pulphead the other day (which is an excellent book, at least after the piece on the Christian Rock festival, which I didn't finish), and finally got through the essay about the Southern Death Cult cave paintings and moved onto the "Unknown Bards" piece, and got really excited to hear Geeshie Wiley's "Last Kind Words Blues". Then, after finding it on YouTube, I realized I'd already heard it, nearly 15 years ago, while watching Crumb on my parents' couch at three in the morning. But holy hell, what a song.

 Lastly: I've been listening to Felt a lot. I'm not a Felt scholar, so I won't get into their history. They have a lot of records, kind of intimidating. I remember reading this interview with Lawrence Hayward a few years ago, and that was enough for me to download Forever Breathes The Lonely Word. Now I'm on to Absolute Classic Masterpieces, which is in the Hall of Fame of Titles. The songs I keep going back to (or can't keep from hearing in my head) are "Sunlight Bathed The Golden Glow" and "Crystal Ball".  Everyone's got a thing for '80s Brit stuff, right? Stuff that's a little too precious, but you don't care? This is one of those things, great and jangly (those guitars!), wussy sing-talking and weirdly on-point lyrics, somehow radical and stately.

Felt - "Sunlight Bathed The Golden Glow"
Felt - "Crystal Ball"
Felt - "The World Is As Soft As Lace"