The Air Is Still And The Light Is Cool #27

One of the most satisfying surprises you can get from a music collection is pulling out a release you haven’t played for, well, a lot longer than you might have imagined, and though it’s highly respected in general and you know you like it, there’s a beauty and depth you haven’t noticed before. The album fits with you and times better than ever.

I’ve been on a quest to identify records that generate deep, intelligent peace (gosh, I wonder why). While it’s too old to put in a new review, I have to give my blog prize to

The Pearl by Harold Budd/Brian Eno (with Daniel Lanois), Editions EG, 1984.

You stay alert and want to follow all the way through the 42 minutes. Really does take you on a trip, scene to scene, second to second. Sensuous as much as smart, kinetic as much as still.

R.I.P.: Dr. Larry Martin

Which is what we called him when I took his BU disinformation class in 1979.

As you can tell, very witty, yet made sharp, even corrosive points. One story I remember is that he mentioned learning Elvis Presley songs on acoustic guitar “so young people would trust us at parties.”

One of the most informative and enlightening classes I ever attended.

Stuff in the Air That Came Out of Speakers Today #66: Swamp Dogg

The album features another of his classic frank-and-practical titles: Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune (Joyful Noise). Only gotten through all the way once, but I have this to say already —

Remember that album Hard Again by Muddy Waters? Far as I’m concerned this is Swamp Again by a 75-year-old and if anything a more urgent and inspired re-creation of the wildman you love to love. Outrageous (and moving) kickoff: utter electrofunk reading of “Answer Me, My Love.”

I’d buy it for the sardonic-surreal liner notes.

And the photo of Dogg that shows he’s not flourishing because he’s in killer shape.

First, Last and Only Beach Soundtrack for 2018

(This was played driving to and from. Listening to music on the beach is like reading a book at the movies. All titles hugely recommended.)

  1. The High Strung, Get the Guests (Park the Van, 2007)
  2. Jain, Zanaka (Spookland)
  3. The Mekons 77, it is twice blessed (Slow)
  4. Sarazino, Everyday Salama (Cumbancha, 2012)
  5. Rachid Taha, Tekitoi (Wrasse, 2004)
  6. Zak Trojano, Wolf Trees (self-released, 2018) I am very sorry it took me so long to recognize the graceful sway and the elegant storytelling of these songs. Certainly in my Top 5 self-releases of the year. Not merely pretty. Not sedate or retro. Check this out.

R.I.P.: Rachid Taha

My ideal political and fusionist international performer. I snatched up everything I could find by him and he was a regular on the house soundtrack. I could not begin to improve on this guide to his albums, not least because I agree with nearly every point. Stinks to lose the fighters. Do a show with Joe Strummer in Paradise tonight, Rachid. He was seven years younger than me.