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.

Stuff in the Air That Came Out of Speakers Today #64: Catching Up with Brad Mehldau Trio

Seymour Reads the Constitution (Nonesuch) came out more than two months ago, but it got lost in a pile until this weekend. Wish I had the smarts to take it to Montana, or at least Montreal. I thought this same group’s Bach project earlier this year worked as music but was emotionally opaque. This set churns and simmers with the despair, anxiety and outrage apt in these times while it makes the Beach Boys’ “Friends” and Paul McCartney’s “Great Day” into full-bore jazz workouts the way so many others try and fail to achieve, then throws in amazing reworkings of a pair of my favorite players and writers, Elmo Hope (“De-Dah”) and Sam Rivers (“Beatrice”).

But the apex is that the title tune original goes on such a slightly melancholic frolic. You should read Mehldau’s explanation of how the number came about, though it does involving talking about dreams and the death of Seymour Hoffman.

(Still) R.I.P.: The Pelvis

(Still) R.I.P. The Pelvis

Some people call it the album for only the most devoted Presley fans.

I won’t go that far (these good-is-bad-is-outside-in propositions give me sorassisis), but I will agree with Marcus that it is “perversely listenable.”

And you’ll pry my copy (the only one I ever saw and way more than I could sanely afford at the time) from my cold, dead, peanut-butter stained hands.

[EDIT]: This turned up during vinyl filing this afternoon (Aug. 22) and … uh … don’t hate me … but I continue to believe “There’s No Room To Rhumba in a Sports Car” is quite a clever novelty, and seems mostest ridiculousest in this context. Now, the “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” indeed must have been written by the Martian authors of “How To Eat Humans.”

Three Biggest Music Mysteries …

… that I also consider counterproductive for the music they concern.

  1. This weird, pious atmosphere that keeps attaching itself to pre-electric country blues. This is sacred stuff, man, esp. treasured because “non-commercial.” Reminds me of the worst aspects of the early-’60s folk revival. Didn’t Bob Dylan point out that that sort of reverence was a dead end?
  2. A closely related effect applies internationally. That the purest, noncommercial folk forms from the most isolated corners of the land are the true music of the place. Genius innovations from city performers are just tainted junk.
  3. The only time anybody wants to play, listen to, or write about reggae and offshoots is during the hottest weeks of the summer.

Peaceful Moment on the Edge

Easygoing day … recycled Egg BBQ .. as long a walk as we could take in the strong sun … leisurely Red Sox Game and French Open win by new fave Tommy Fleetwood … try to feel down into it because, for about the last 10 years a strange uneasiness has settled over this week for me. Long, long ago I heard that some wag said “After the Fourth of July, yer on a greased chute to Thanksgiving.” Except now instead of “heheh,” feel a little shiver. This is the final week were I don’t sense Old Dad Winter lurking somewhere just beyond the horizon.