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another in an infrequent series…
John Zorn – Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston) – Wednesday, April 16
This show (which unfortunately I couldn’t bring my camera into; Zorn did not approve any media passes) was a very rare Boston visit by the MacArthur grant winner. It was supposed to be URI CAINE playing piano from the second batch of songs in the Masada songbook (Azazel), and then Zorn conducting the familiar (and brilliant) string trio of MARK FELDMAN (violin), GREG COHEN (bass) and ERIK FRIEDLANDER (cello). Due to unforeseen circumstances, both Erik and Uri had to cancel, so as due a proper improvisationalist, Zorn enlisted drummer KENNY WOLLESON to play with Cohen and himself on sax as a trio, while Greg opened the show with pianist SILVIE COURVOISIER. Brilliant, inventive playing. I could listen to his stuff for a long, long time and never tire of it, and he has quite a knack of attracting massively talented players to play with him.
The Mountain Goats – “Lovecraft in Brooklyn” from Heretic Pride (4AD)
I’m fairly indifferent to JOHN DARNIELLE’s music (his writing is another story; he’s a brilliant essayist) but this song on his newest album caught my ear. Too bad it wasn’t included in the recent live set I saw.
Sun City Girls – You’re Never Alone With a Cigarette (Abduction)
One of the most prolific outsider musical outfits that has ever graced this country, and now via this volume (entitled volume 1, and there’s certainly enough to fill at least two more) one can hear some of the long gone seven inch singles that the brothers Bishop and Gocher lovingly crafted, just for you, the dear listener. Aside from the material already released on scarce singles such as Eye Mohini, it features two unreleased tracks, and a reworked and fantastic version of “Sev Acher” which was also on the Valentines From Matahari LP.
Flying Canyon – Flying Canyon (Soft Abuse)
CAYCE LINDNER tragically ended his life last year, but left this achingly beautiful record to remember him by. Augmented by GLENN DONALDSON of the Jewelled Antler collective, it’s a fragile item, like the casing of a chrysalis.
Buddy Miles Express – Expressway to Your Skull (Mercury)
After Buddy died a few months ago, all I really knew of him is that he played drums with JIMI HENDRIX‘’s Band of Gypsys. Well, a friend of mine pressed this hot little CD into my hand, and what a great chunk of rock funk this is. Plus, now I know where THURSTON MOORE may have cribbed the song title from.
The Folk Spectre – The Blackest Medicine (Woodsist)
I’m kind of a sucker for simple, black and white album art, and this silk-screened number caught my eye immediately. It’s PETE NOLAN of MAJIK MARKER fame (or infamy, as it might be), but in a stripped down mood. Languorous, plodding, not always in tune…not the usual adjectives which would have you rush out in a buying frenzy, but it’s a grower.
White Denim – Workout Holiday (RCRD LBL)
Remember when rock wasn’t a contrived act, or a stab at what might be popular? These guys do. A refreshing listen.
Cloudland Canyon – “Krautwerk” from Lie in Light (Kranky)
Gotta love when a band is so upfront about their influences, and plays it into a good pun at the same time.
Kilslug – Church (Boston) – Thursday, May 16, 2008
Long-time Boston sludge metal band Kilslug plays a rare show in support of AxCx’s 20th anniversary show. Larry Lifeless and crew stole the show for me, a fantastic low-brow look on life and religion. The cardboard Burger King crown was just a plus. Photos can be seen here
Urge Overkill – “Emmaline” from The Supersonic Storybook (Touch and Go)
Excellent cover from ‘70s funk band HOT CHOCOLATE, best known for “Everyone’s a Winner.” The intro itself is out and out brilliance, before the narrative turns to the sad, unfulfilled starchasing dreams of Emmaline. Unfortunately, UO did not play this when I recently saw them.
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