Saturday, August 18, 2018
Friday, August 17, 2018
Linder Valley is one of the field recording pseudonyms that I publish under. The only thing I added to "Jazz in the Wild" is a dose of reverb. This is one of my favorite field recordings. It's got so much going on: the rain drops, the gutters emptying, the distant highway drone, and all the other occasional sounds. There's no "stereo mix" here - it was recorded that way.
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
They are/were kind of a vaguely shoegaze-y band out of Omaha, NE, and released their album in 2012.
And then... nothing!
Somehow, I discovered Conduits in 2014 or 2015 and added them to a playlist. I thought the whole album was excellent! Why wasn't this released on a slightly larger indie label? Was it even shopped around?
At the time, they had hardly any plays on Spotify. Today, this track has over a million streams! It must have made it into some playlist, but the rest of the album's tracks are sitting in the tens of thousands, so people haven't gotten that deep yet.
What happened to this band? It's great to see their music is finding an audience - ever so slowly. If this had been released 20 or 30 or 40 years ago the music never would have made it outside of Omaha. People would be crate digging and buy it just for that album artwork, and then be surprised at how good the music is.
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
I've always referred to Hall & Oates as "Superior Dentist Office Music" - they were everywhere in the 70s and 80s: AM radio, FM radio, MTV, and especially in waiting rooms. There was a lot of crap and schlock being played back then, but I never hated Hall & Oates. It was kind of a relief to hear one of their tunes every now and then, even though I wasn't a fan to any degree. Their heavy-handed 80s production, good tunes, and blue-eyed soul styling somehow worked well on the crappy, tinny speakers of the day. Today, every now and then, I'll hear one of their songs in a store or in a waiting room, and it just makes me smile: "This is superior dentist office music!" - and it's meant as a total compliment.
Monday, August 13, 2018
"Element of Light" was one of the tapes stuck in my car's cassette player in 1986, and while "Airspace" is lovely and one of my all time faves, I'm always drawn to "Winchester". It's so British, oddly collegiate, but oh so dreamy and timeless. The bass grabs your attention, but check out those drums.
"This is Winchester..."
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Dave Douglas played my town's jazz festival in 2015, but I wasn't aware of him at the time and I discovered the High Risk album not long after he and his band were here and likely played tracks from this album. I've been kicking myself ever since. The blend of jazz and electronics really works here, and in the future I hope this album will be rediscovered by more people as the masterpiece I think it is.
Three years after initial release and this track doesn't even have 17,000 streams on Spotify (!) And how many of those were me? Quite a few...
Saturday, August 11, 2018
"Put it in a picture, hide it in a story. I don't want to know about..."
I was never into Slowdive at all in the 90s when they were around. After their initial breakup, I had heard subsequent band Mojave 3 a few times, but the style was different. And yet, I found their 2017 reunion album to be outstanding from start to finish.
Friday, August 10, 2018
I've stuck with him over the decades, even buying that CD of him and Jan Bang moving boxes around on a floor. That wasn't my thing, but this, based on an Emily Dickinson poem, is a classic. And it's hiding on what is essentially a rework of one of his most difficult albums. You never know what is hanging around unless you dig deep.
"They 'noticed' me, they noticed me..."
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
My favorite jazz album is "The Scene Changes" by Bud Powell. How many times have I listened to this album since I discovered it in the late 1980s? And yet there's always something new waiting for me. Some jazz people say that Powell's later stuff doesn't hold a candle to his pre-hospitalization tracks of the 40s, but I don't know. This just connects with me.
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Budd thinks back to a particular piece called ‘Jane 14’ (from his forthcoming album, tentatively titled Jane 12-21), “I had injured my leg,” he says. “I could scarcely walk at all, and I did a piece with multiple wine glasses only, and that’s all there is to ‘Jane 14’.
“I recorded it laying on the couch with my leg in the air to get the blood flowing correctly, and no piano, nothing, just these wine glasses. And at random went through them six times, so I had a fairly thick track of just these random wine glass sounds – being hit by little teeny screwdrivers or thumbnails. I had no idea what was going to happen. So I have two and a half minutes, that was long enough for me, I got bored.
- FACT Magazine (title of the track in question is corrected here from the original interview)
Monday, August 6, 2018
When Translucence + Drift Music came out, in 2003, I had to buy it as a UK 2xCD import. It was probably the last "import" I ever bought. What a foreign concept that has become.
Also, nobody owned this record back then.
And yet, in 2018, the streamers carry it for all to hear.
As of this writing, "Subtext" has over 25 million streams. Yay! That's a victory for this kind of music.
Sunday, August 5, 2018
Saturday, August 4, 2018
"Its influences are diverse and it emerged out of nowhere and led to nothing" said a review of Ultravox's Systems of Romance at the Head Heritage site. That describes it perfectly. I didn't explore John Foxx-era Ultravox until recent years, and it's touch and go for me, but there's something incredibly special about "I Can't Stay Long" - a band giving it's all in every capacity - the lyric, the vocal, the guitar work, the bass line, the driving beat... everything. And it did lead to nothing - the original band broke up after this album. This wasn't even a single! And yet, 40 years later, I think it's awesome. A true classic.