Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Playlist--Special Revival Edition

Playlist -- Special Revival Edition. May 23, 2006

Matt Orel

every recording I could find of "Bring Them Home" and "Long Black Veil." I'm just about veiled out, Marijohn shoulda worn orange. Results I've been listening to will be up on my site (http://bruce.orel.ws/seegersessions/audio.html) tonight or tomorrow.

Fred Wilhelms

  • Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run (30th Anniversary Edition) [Columbia]
  • Irma Thomas - After the Rain [Rounder]
  • Various Artists - American Primitive, Vol. 2 (Prewar Revenants 1897-1939) [Revenant Records] - Music from some of the neighborhoods Harry Smith missed. John Fahey's last project.
  • Lost Country - Down On The Borderline [Cool Groove] My friend Jim Colegrove sent this one to me after I wrote to him about "American Primitive." "Borderline" may have the only other recorded version of "I've Got Your Ice Cold Nugrape." Honest music, well played.
  • Bargain bin special - "The Very Best of Soul" 10 CDs, 200 tracks, under $20. Some of the better known stuff is represented by re-recordings, but there are enough original and usually overlooked gems on each disk to still make this a lot of fun.

Susan Martinez


  • Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere [Atlantic]
  • Various Artists - Voices From the Frontline [Crosscheck]
  • Marit Larsen - Under the Surface [EMI Norway]
  • Dixie Chicks - Taking The Long Way [Sony]
  • Outkast - "The Mighty Oh" [Download]
  • DMX - "Lord Give Me A Sign" [Download]
  • The Fugees - "Foxy" [Download]
  • Nelly Furtado (ft. Timbaland) - "Promiscuous Girl" [Download]
  • The Pipettes - "Pull Shapes" [Download]
  • Soul Asylum - "Stand Up And Be Strong" [Download]

Stewart Francke

  • Chuck Berry - Rock 'n' Roll Rarities [1986 UMG] The Bible.
  • Chuck Berry - St. Louis to Liverpool [2003, MCA] The Other Bible.
  • Chuck Berry - The Chess Box [1988, Chess/UMG] The Bigger Other Bible.
  • Neil Young - Living With War [2006 Reprise] Good songs, first takes, ya know-hard rockin' Neil. In its way an answer to The Rising.
  • Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome [2006 Columbia] Not what I expected by a long shot. Complete artistic rejuvenation from the most important artist of our time. Rolls more than it rocks, like The Band on nitrogen. Songs of my youth, this time in color.
  • D'Angelo - Live at the Jazz Café [2000, Japanese import, Def Jam] When will there be something new from D'Angelo? This is him and his band pre-Voodoo with the drummer from The Roots. Killer.
  • Roy Hargrove - Nothing Serious [2006, Verve] His tone is as fine as his composing.
  • The Stylistics - The Best of the Stylistics [1990, Amherst] The only slow dances I recall were to their songs. Betcha By Golly Wow...
  • Liam Ó Maonlaí - Rian [2006, Rian Records]. Traditional Irish music from the voice of Hothouse Flowers. Songs he learned from his mother. Gets at something deep inside you.

Bill Glahn

  • Drive-By Truckers - A Blessing And A Curse [2006, New West] A little less Skynyrd influence this time, a little more Faces. Neither the lyrics nor the music jumps out in the same way it did on their best release, Decoration Day. It'll require closer listening before I have a clue what they're up to this time. But it's good enough to make the investment.
  • Terry Allen - Smokin' the Dummy/Bloodlines [1997, Sugarhill two-fer reissue]
  • Terry Allen - Salivation [1999, Sugarhill] Salivation is Allen unshackled. His take on Christianity is always interesting. Sacrilegious if you're a fundamentalist. Sacrilicious if you're not.
  • Mike Felton - Working demos [unreleased] Felton gears up for his follow-up to 2003's "Landfill." Edgier than his last batch of songs, his targets more focused. Depending on what songs make the final cut, themes might be "perdition in the promised land" or "gospel music for the unredeemed (or unredeemable)."

John Floyd

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Always Leave Them Wanting More

Craig Werner writes:

Charlie Parker stated the guiding principle for making CD mixes: "always leave them wanting more." I think of one artist mixes as missionary work. Given the number of students I encounter, I run into folks with surprising frequency who don't like (or, really, don't know) Ray Charles or Curtis or Merle Haggard or Mary J or Donny Hathaway. My experience is that most of them just need the intelligent introduction and that if they get it, they'll move ahead on their own. So I try to do a mix of a.) indispensable standards (no way you're doing Ray without What'd I Say or Curtis without People Get Ready); b.) my favorites of the non-quite-indispensables, chosen to reflect range of style; c.) almost always a sequence that points to influences (often cover versions or early songs--Los Lobos' mariachi suite, for example); d.) when it works, a live version or two (the keystones of my Sam Cooke mix are the Harlem Square, Copa, and Shrine performances); e.) some quirky shit even the afficionados aren't familiar with (I'm currently making a Chuck Berry mix and I'm putting on live versions of Route 66 and St. Louis Blues).

But the real key to a good mix is sequencing, transition, and meta-themes that are there for those who are looking. I like conversations between seemingly disparate styles a whole lot (bet that shocks everyone....). And I'll work pretty obsessively to find the transitions that have both a musical, historical and thematic logic to them. That provides a lot of possible paths into and through the sequences. My hope is that most of the listeners I'm proselytizing to will relate to one or another of those paths; and that listeners who are as aware as I am of the music will find them amusing and occasionally enlightening.

In a very real way, mixes are what I do instead of academic essays.....
--Craig Werner, May 20, 2006