When Chrissie Hynde heard Bob Dylan’s “Murder Most Foul,” the 17-minute elegy he had recorded about John F. Kennedy and surprise-released in late March, she was caught by surprise. “It really knocked me sideways,” she says “It’s so magnificent.” Like everyone, she was in what she describes as an “odd frame of mind” due to the pandemic-related lockdowns that had […]CHRISSIE HYNDE & JAMES WALBOURNE (The Pretenders) – ” Dylan Lockdown Series “ — The Fat Angel Sings
Month: July 2020
[Documentary] Mafia Underboss Sammy Garavano Breaks Silence After 20 Years
Thanks to my friend Mark, who has a eye for amazing podcasts, for this documentary. Sammy “The Bull” Garavano was one of the most feared mob bosses in history, and this talk he has with Patrick Bet-David of Valutainment is two hours of thoughts on criminality, sociology, modern politics and what he has in store for the future. It’s a tour-de-force of brutal common sense.
[Music] Txema González ~ Insularum — a closer listen
Thanks to our friends at A Closer Listen, a blog we wholeheartedly recommend reading. We’re back in business, though we ask that you expect few posts until September. By then, we will have finished our move to Brno, Czechia.
It’s rare that we encounter an album devoid of liner notes. We assume the moniker of the Portuguese artist is a pseudonym, as Google lists Txema González as a cycling masseur who died in Seville a decade ago. We feel on firmer footing with the title; insularum means island, while the cover and second track title refer to a […]Txema González ~ Insularum — a closer listen
[Music] Yoshiko Sai – Taklamakan
A late night of doing paperwork for an upcoming trip to Hungary and move to Czechia brought me to this absolute gem of a folk-prog album. Yoshiko Sai released a few albums in the mid-1970s which were not well-received at the time, but listeners’ tastes have finally caught up with her mellow, trippy, slightly psychedelic songs.
Dissecting Table – Between Life and Death — NOISEXTRA
Japanese industrial psychosis plows through the wastelands in the form of Dissecting Table’s “Between Life and Death.” We are fully on board for Ichiro Tsuji’s unique industrial art and have a blast digging into his post apocalyptic sounds. Hop into a flamethrower-equipped car and crank this dystopian masterpiece. Everyday is one more day of insanity.…Dissecting Table – Between Life and Death — NOISEXTRA
[Music] Marianne Blok – “Salut à toi, soleil” – Le Coq D’Or (Rimski-Korsakov)
Sunday evening listening. This is an aria from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s beloved work, Le Coq d’Or, sung by Dutch coloratura soprano Marianne Blok.
[Music] Various Artists – Meticulous Midgets Magazine 2020
Meticulous Midgets is a magazine out of Russia who did me one of the kindest honors by doing a sketch on the blog. I am delighted to return the favor by covering their survey on not only the Russian electronic, avant-garde, experimental and indie music, but a few tracks from the United States, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Croatia, The Netherlands and Great Britain as well. This is a compilation whose broad scope equals that of my colleague Raffaele from Unexplained Sounds Group.
I expected to hear good headphone music, and I am happy to say that the comp delivers handsomely. There are three standout tracks for me:
The whole comp makes for solid listening, but just by hearing these three tracks, you can hear the depth and scope of the sort of music Meticulous Midgets covers. They have made a fan out of me.
[Music] Kamancello – Of Shadows
Raphael Weintraub-Browne is a friend of our blog, and it’s a pleasure to present you with his latest work. The project, Kamancello, is quite a bit different from the last album reviewed, as Weintraub-Browne has recorded a wholly improvised album with Shahriyar Jamshidi, a Iranian Kurd who plays the kamancheh. I will pay these two a very high compliment, as the closest record I can compare it to is with the work of Kayhan Kalhor while working with the New York-based ensemble Brooklyn Rider. It might even be a bit darker, a touch more Western-leaning, but cinematic in scope, and so wonderfully well-recorded.
Glorious listening, absolutely.
[Music] H.J. Ayala – Haïku
Our friend Hector Javier (H.J.) Ayala hasn’t appeared on the blog for a while, but we rectify this issue today. He continues to create improvisational gems, with a nod to artists like Derek Bailey informing this release.
[Music] 周杰倫 Jay Chou – Mojito
As with American pop, Mexican pop, Korean pop and most pop around the world, Chinese pop (C-Pop) generally makes me want to vomit in a way which would make Linda Blair in The Exorcist shriek in terror. With that being said, however, I give props to Taiwanese (or Chinese, depending on whom you talk to) artist Jay Chou (周杰倫).
Mojito, his latest hit, has busted charts in China, and just might have the possibility of crossing over in Europe, the U.S. and Latin America. He mixed his version of C-Pop with Cuban music, making a song that flows rather nicely. Chou is actually noted for being revolutionary in the Chinese music business as being able to blend Western and Eastern music into a cocktail that isn’t saccharine or cheesy.
This is probably the best modern pop song to come out of China in the last 10 years, at least to my taste. It’s my hope that with Chou’s rather brave (for China) mixing of cultures that producers there will start implementing more and more culture-blending in their music scene.
I thank my former student, Alyssa, who kindly introduced me to his music recently. One of the great benefits of teaching in China was to have students like her introduce me to part of the popular culture I would have otherwise missed. I’m indebted to her, and to all my kids who were kind enough to help keep me in the loop in Beijing.