Friday, May 31, 2019

Finnegan Again

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I'm doing it. I'm taking the plunge and rereading Finnegans Wake. I first read it in the '80s and it was a mind-blowing experience. This time, I am reading the Oxford World's Classics edition, edited by Robbert-Jan Henkes and Erik Bindervoet, and I am also reading along with the massive recording of the whole book as read by Patrick Healy. Reading it this way adds a whole other dimension to the experience, seeing the  words and hearing one aspect of them aloud at the same time, especially with Healy's strong Irish accent. He reads at a pretty pace, so it's pretty bracing to immerse yourself in this world this way. But as quick as it might go this way, it's still a long laborious read.... laborious in a good way. It's big fun. Even so, this book will be appearing on my Reading Lists "in progress" for quite some time, I'm sure!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Playlist, Week of 2019-05-26

Al Jackson Jr.'s drum set at the Stax Museum

Ever since visiting the Stax Museum earlier this month, I've been on a Carla Thomas kick... what a voice... the true Queen of Soul... still catching up to the greatness of the drumming of Al Jackson Jr., one of my all-time favorites and a major inspiration... that solid whack on the snare... the always clever but also always suitable bass drum patterns... the perfect accompaniment to great singers... I also have a soft spot in my heart for Chaka Khan, whose work with Rufus was uneven, due to the material... but their album Ask Rufus is a solid masterpiece... and "Sweet Thing" still slays me...

Playlist 2019-05-27:

*Art Ensemble of Chicago with Don Pullen: Fundamental Destiny
*Art Ensemble of Chicago: We Are on the Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration (disc 1)
*Anthony Braxton/Milford Graves/William Parker: Beyond Quantum
*Stephan Crump/Ingrid Laubrock/Cory Smythe: Channels
*Elder Ones: From Untruth
*Duke Ellington and His Orchestra: The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24 (discs 1, 2)
*Fred Hersch: Point in Time
*Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House: 2016-11-12 Wels, Austria (CDR)
*Archie Shepp and the Full Moon Ensemble: Live in Antibes (discs 1, 2)
*Tyshawn Sorey: Pillars (discs 1, 2, 3)
*Sun Ra: Soundtrack to the Film “Space Is the Place”
*Sun Ra and His Astro Infinity Arkestra: Pathways to Unknown Worlds (Remastered 2019)
*Sun Ra: Solo Keyboards, Minnesota, 1978
*Craig Taborn Junk Magic: 2008-08-24 Saalfelden (CDR)
*David Torn/Tim Berne/Ches Smith: Sun Of Goldfinger
*Blast: Wire Stitched Ears
*Butthole Surfers: Hairway to Steven
*Dirty Projectors: Lamp Lit Prose
*Dr. Dog: Critical Equation
*Funkadelic: Free Your Mind…
*Hüsker Dü: New Day Rising
*Mars Volta: Tremulant
*Muffins: Air Fiction
*New York Dolls: New York Dolls
*Rascals: Time Peace: The Rascals Greatest Hits
*Rascals: The Island of Real
*Rufus: From Rags to Rufus
*Rufus: Rufusized
*Rufus: Ask Rufus
*Rufus: Street Player
*Chris Squire: Fish Out of Water
*Carla Thomas: Gee Whiz: The Best of Carla Thomas
*Carla Thomas: Carla
*Carla Thomas: Comfort Me
*Carla Thomas: Hidden Gems
*Traffic: Traffic
*U.S. Maple: Sang Phat Editor
*U.S. Maple: Talker
*Edgar Winter's White Trash: Edgar Winter's White Trash
*Brian Wilson: Imagination

Reading List, Week of 2019-05-26

A re-revision of my reading plan, more solidified now (for now): finish up John Le Carré (new one coming out in October), read the rest of Ian Rankin, read the rest of N.K. Jemisin, re-read all of Ross Macdonald, get to the new James Ellroy (out any old time now), more Shakespeare (I'm thinking King John and Midsummer's Night Dream after I re-re-re-read Romeo and Juliet), a smattering of poetry (contemporary and otherwise, thinking Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and William Carlos Williams), plus slowly re-reading Finnegans Wake, then.... Malazan!

Reading List 2019-05-27:

*Colan, Gene, et al. Essential Tomb of Dracula, Vol. 1 (started)
*Le Carré, John. A Delicate Truth (started)
*Stein, Gertrude. Tender Buttons (started)
*Barry, Lynda. What It Is (finished)
*Macdonald, Ross. The Moving Target (reread/finished)
*Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet (Arden 3rd series, ed. René Weis) (reread/finished)
*Nelson, Paul, and Kevin Avery with Jeff Wong. It's All One Case: The Illustrated Ross MacDonald Archives. (in progress)

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Space Is the Place at the Byrd


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I was pleased to be asked to speak at a special screening of the Sun Ra film Space Is the Place last night at the Byrd Theatre (no relation!) here in RVA. I gave a brief five-minute introduction, babbling on about the film and its music, with special attention paid to my favorite scene (pictured above), Ra being driven around Oakland with that crazy, great 7/8 vamp playing (you can find it, titled "Jimmy Fey Interviews Ra," on the CD in the 40th anniversary edition of the movie). The version screened was a special Blu-Ray disc in 4K resolution, sent to the Byrd directly from Jim Newman, the film's producer, himself. It looked fantastic on the big screen, and sounded fantastic as well. I came away with an even deeper appreciation of how successful the film is at conveying Ra's messages to humanity, while also being a snappy rock-and-roll film hinging on the suspense of whether the big concert will take place (spoiler alert: it does--after which the earth explodes!). Not to worry--all is well on the Sun Ra Mothership. What a gas!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Playlist, Week of 2019-05-19

In a world of abstract dreams, do words have a place?

Playlist 2019-05-20:

*AMM: 1988-01 BBC Maida Vale Studios (CDR)
*AMM: The Inexhaustible Document
*Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost (disc 2)
*Anthony Braxton: Sextet (Parker) 1993 (disc 5)
*Nels Cline Singers: Instrumentals
*Rodger Coleman: Soundcloud selections
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: 2019-05-02 Nashville (rough mix wav)
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: 2019-05-03  Nashville (rough mix wav)
*Barry Guy/Marilyn Crispell/Paul Lytton: Ithaca
*Hieroglyphic Being/J.I.T.U. Ahn-Sahm-Buhl: We Are Not the First
*Vijay Iyer/Craig Taborn: The Transitory Poems
*Steve Miller/Lol Coxhill: "The Story So Far​.​.​." ".​.​.​Oh Really?" (disc 1)
*Roscoe Mitchell/Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra: Ride the Wind
*Naked City: Absinthe
*Archie Shepp: Fire Music
*Archie Shepp: The Way Ahead
*Tyshawn Sorey: Pillars (disc 3)
*Sun Ra: Sun Song [Jazz by Sun Ra Vol. 1]
*Sun Ra and His Arkestra: Jazz in Silhouette
*Cecil Taylor Tentet: 1992-08-28 Saalfelden (CDR)
*Thing: Boot!
*Various artists: chrONiclEs 1: O.N.E. Free Improvised Chamber Music 2003-2004
*John Zorn/Simulacrum: Simulacrum
*3-2-1: Improvisations (1984): Longer than 3-2-1
*David Bowie: David Live (disc 1)
*David Bowie: Station to Station
*Al Bowlly: Proud of You
*Brecker Brothers: Sneakin' Up Behind You (selections)
*Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings (disc 10)
*Experimental Audio Research: Phenomena 256
*Al Green: Al Green Gets Next to You
*King Crimson: Live in Newcastle
*Thurston Moore/John Moloney: Caught on Tape - Full Speed
*OOIOO: Taiga
*Pink Floyd: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
*Tito Puente: The Complete 78s: Vol. 3 (disc 2)
*Tito Puente: The Complete 78s: Vol. 4 (disc 1)
*Rufus: Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan
*Various artists: Welcome to the Tiki Room (CDR)
*Neil Young: Lesser Known Gems (CDR compilation) (disc 2)

Reading List, Week of 2019-05-19

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Reading List: 2019-05-20:

*Barry, Lynda. What It Is (started)
*Macdonald, Ross. The Moving Target (reread/started)
*Mullen, Harryette. Trimmings (finished)
*Rankin, Ian. Dead Souls (finished)
*Nelson, Paul, and Kevin Avery with Jeff Wong. It's All One Case: The Illustrated Ross MacDonald Archives. (in progress)
*Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet (Arden 3rd series, ed. René Weis) (reread/in progress)

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

RIP Garry Martin 1954-2019

RIP, Garry. Garry taught me to play drums. Garry got me to go see Jimi Hendrix and Soft Machine with him in 1968. I grew up with the Beatles with Garry. My first band was his band. He was a fantastic guitarist and a wonderful friend. Goddam, I hate to see him go. Suffice it to say this blog wouldn't be here without him. I'll miss him.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Playlist, Week of 2019-05-12

Another mammoth recording session with Rodger Coleman! Over three hours of over-the-top electronics, noise, and free improvising... big fun...

Playlist 2019-05-13:

*Anthony Braxton: Sextet (Parker) 1993 (disc 4)
*Rodger Coleman/Sam Byrd: Who Doesn't Fade?
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: 2019-05-02 Nashville (rough mix wav)
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: 2019-05-03  Nashville (rough mix wav)
*Flaga: Flaga (Zorn/Masada Book Two: The Book of Angels Vol. 27)
*RAIC: Lamentations
*Tom Rainey Trio: Hotel Grief
*Soft Machine: 5
*Sun Ra & His Solar-Myth Arkestra: The Solar-Myth Approach (Vol. 1)
*Alex Ward Item 10: Volition (Live At Cafe Oto)
*Jimi Hendrix: Both Sides of the Sky
*Rufus: Ask Rufus
*Various artists: Exotica for Monty (CDR) (disc 2)

Reading List, Week of 2019-05-12

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Reading List: 2019-05-13:

*Mullen, Harryette. Trimmings (started)
*Nelson, Paul, and Kevin Avery with Jeff Wong. It's All One Case: The Illustrated Ross MacDonald Archives. (started)
*Rankin, Ian. Dead Souls (started)
*Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet (Arden 3rd series, ed. René Weis) (reread/started)
*Rankin, Ian. The Hanging Garden (started/finished)
*Sorrentino, Gilbert. Aberration of Starlight (reread/started/finished)

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Playlist, Week of 2019-05-05

Mostly traveling music....

Playlist 2019-05-06:

*Marshall Allen/Danny Ray Thompson/Jamie Saft/Trevor Dunn/Balazs Pandi/Roswell Rudd: Ceremonial Healing
*AMM: Laminal (disc 3)
*Eric Dolphy: Far Cry
*Jimmy Ghaphery/Gary Rouzer/Sam Byrd/Robert Andrew Scott: 2019-03-30 Richmond (Rouzer edit) (wav)
*Marilyn Crispell: 2003-01-13 Cologne (CDR)
*Jackie McLean: One Step Beyond
*Charles Mingus: The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
*New Ting: 2019-04-22 "Leaving Thirsty" (wav)
*New Ting: 2019-04-29 "Unsettling Salted" (wav)
*David Sancious And Tone: Transformation (The Speed Of Love)
*Soft Machine: Third
*Sun Ra: Of Abstract Dreams
*Cecil Taylor: Love for Sale
*Cecil Taylor: New York City R&B
*Cecil Taylor: Conquistador! (side 1)
*Various artists: History of Electronic/Electroacoustic Music (CDR compilation) (disc 29)
*Weather Report: Weather Report
*Emerson Lake & Palmer: Tarkus (side 1)
*Emerson Lake & Palmer: Brain Salad Surgery
*Grateful Dead: One From The Vault (disc 2)
*Guided By Voices:  selections (Magic Jukebox playlist)
*Guided By Voices: Warp and Woof
*Jimi Hendrix: Both Sides of the Sky
*Horse Lords: Interventions (side 1)
*Korekyojin: Korekyojin
*Muffins: Manna/Mirage
*National Health: National Health
*National Health: Of Queues and Cures
*Todd Rundgren/Emil Nikolaisen/Hans-Peter Lindstrom: Runddans
**Talk Talk: Laughing Stock
*Upsetters: Super Ape

Reading List, Week of 2019-05-05

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Reading List 2019-05-06:

*Burt, Stephen. The Poem Is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them (finished)