First-Half Soundtrack 2017

  1. Magnetic Fields, “Wonder Where I’m From”
  2. The Creation, “Biff Bang Pow” (stereo version)
  3. Gorillaz (feat. Peven Everett). “Strobelite”
  4. Lowell Davidson Trio, “Strong Tears”
  5. Nicole Mitchell/Tomeka Reid/Mike Reed, “Light on the Path”
  6. Alice Coltrane, “Rama Rama”
  7. Kendrick Lamar, “Blood”
  8. On Fillmore, “Master Moon”
  9. Tom Ze, “Sexo”
  10. Jens Lekman, “To Know Your Mission”
  11. The XX, “Test Me”
  12. The New Pornographers, “Whiteout Conditions”
  13. Matthew Stevens, “Sparkle and Fade”
  14. Carl Craig, “Sandstorms” (from Versus)


Include all my faves? No.

All tracks considered standouts? Yes.

Fussed-over sequence? Nope — instinct and memory plus a few dabs of re-listening for the right track.

Everything released 2017? No, but pretty close.

Everything encountered first in 2017? No, but damn close.

Sweat Soundtrack #1

Two developments.

In Rome, the schedule pressured me into doing my workout first thing in the morning — before coffee even (changing clothes would have delayed the start of the day too much). Thought it would be painful, even a temptation to skip. Discovered there was really something to this business of eating nothing before exercise. Helped wake me up, dandy preparation for a long day of walking. So that’s what I have continued to do.

At home, I decided this week to make the soundtrack first thing in the morning strictly a crate dive into items not played for a goodly while (thrill of delighted rediscovery vs. yargh! what was I thinking?).

So, after the first entry, which was usual newie, here’s the list of oldies:


  1. The New Pornographers, Whiteout Conditions
  2. Stereolab, Sound-Dust (Elektra, 2007)
  3. Trans Am, Sex Change (Thrill Jockey, 2007)
  4. Various/DJ Christian Pronovost, Go Deep Miami 2005 (self-release) (a reminder of a highly eclectic dance scene from a dozen years ago in Miami, I have a couple other anthologies in this style and like them a great deal)
  5. Small Faces, The BBC Sessions (Fuel, 2000) (Rugged but right.)
  6. The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, Grounation (Dynamic Sound, 1990) (More peculiar and perfect each time I hear it.)
  7. Lanterna, Highways (Badman, 2004) (Closest thing to ambient and restful.)


Stuff in the Air That Came Out of Speakers Today #61

(After many partial plays of Rough Guide to Jug Band Blues.)

Mac Rebennack AKA Dr. John, Good Times in New Orleans 1958-1962 (Soul Jam, 2017) A collection of the good Dr.’s vintage studio work that I bought without remembering I had an earlier version of such a survey and played in an attempt to decide if I should ditch one or the other.

Khemmis, Hunted (Spin, 2016). Plugged by Motorhead head as something Doom fans should hear. I agree — fresh synthesis of everything Stoner and Doom from before without wretch-inducing lapses and, while songs are humorless, you can feel the love and comprehensive knowledge of the styles. Nothing feels long long long.

Bob Dylan, Nobel Prize Speech. Yep, as brilliant as everybody claims. Guy’s got a unique memory, seems to me — at my most credulous, I think he’s doing as much a bean-dump on the books as he is on his apprehension of rock, R&B and folk. These swirling spiels are what he retains and he polishes up only until it’s all in his own voice.

Dr. John, Storm Warning (The Early Sessions of Mac “Dr. John” Rebennack) (Jazzmine, 2004) See above. Well, chocomo fee nae nae — with a total 55 tracks between them (six or seven overlaps) the contrasting mood and texture of these collections makes them both worth keeping. The recent one has brighter, more detailed sound, this earlier one livelier mood and feels more like a Dr. John album.

Motorhead, Aftershock — Tour Edition (UDR, 2014). When I recently consulted the Motorhead head (see above) he said Aftershock was their best since the ’90s and said the live disc (“Best of the West Coast Tour 2014”) was either #1 or #2 of such programs. I donno about that, but it is exceptionally strong and highly recommended. The studio album is a deep–late-day triumph for Lemmy & crew — and the salute to him I’ve meant to do since the innocent days I thought his death would be the prime blow to the heart in 2016.


The Air Is Still and the Light Is Cool #20

(An exercise-session selection so enveloping I couldn’t keep track of my reps.)

Brian Eno, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (Island, 1975 — E.G. reissue, 2004)

Is this a rock and roll record? No, but how many orbits does it cross? How many times can Eno set up an atmosphere, prattle without getting you too concerned about the story and then seduce you with racket or hypno-beats? Ten times, maybe? This track seems to be about sex and this one an army adventure perhaps, but what do you need after “Burning Airlines Give You So Much More”? Wait — tell me again, what is Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland about?