Saturday, November 28, 2009


Here's 53 more short-form write-ups of things I listened to in November and the latter half of October. You're welcome.

Jesse Elder, The Winding Shell: earnest, assiduous, utterly passionless. The jazz equivalent of a New Yorker short story, or a term paper.

V/A, Can You Dig It?: 2CD blaxploitation soundtrack comp on Soul Jazz, packaged with a 100-page book and Pam Grier on the cover. A must.

V/A, Freedom, Rhythm & Sound: this month's other Soul Jazz comp, this one devoted to revolutionary free jazz. AEOC, A. Shepp, Sun Ra, etc.

McCoy Tyner, Tender Moments: Could it be? A better nonet session than Andrew Hill's Passing Ships? Maybe; PS doesn't have Lee Morgan.

Morbid Angel, Gateways To Annihilation: Crushingly heavy, like Swans with blast beats & guitar solos. Perfect rainy day death metal.

Hatebreed, For The Lions: A covers album, proving that they can learn and play good songs, they just can't WRITE any.

V/A, The Harmonic Series: A Compilation Of Musical Works In Just Intonation: Does what it says on the package. Mmm, droney.

Danzig, s/t: Guess we'll never see an ATP-style reunion (John Christ, where art thou?). But 21 years later, this still kicks so much ass.

Nazareth, Hair Of The Dog: Since Jay-Z killed Autotune, that means we can bring back the '70s-style talk box, right? Great, thanks!

Borbetomagus, Snuff Jazz: Reissued with two bonus tracks a year or so back, 'cause the public was clamoring for more. Skrrrrrrrronk!!!

Electric Wizard, Supercoven: When Jus Osborn shrieks the title phrase, it's almost like he's woken from his stupor for a second.

Bill Dixon, Vade Mecum II: Dixon + more than one bassist always = awesome. Perfect autumn music.

Nicki Minaj, Sucka Free: Lil Wayne protege straddles the line between inspired and annoying more capably than her patron has in years.

Bill Dixon, November 1981: See earlier comments re Dixon and multiple bassists.

Supersilent, 9: Three Norwegians with Hammond organs form a Tangerine Dream tribute band, focusing on Zeit and Atem.

Whipping Boy, Subcreature: The Fucked Years 1981-1983: Primitive but adorably earnest hardcore from that cranky Oxbow guy.

Afgrund, Vid Helvetets Grindar: Thrashy grind from a bunch of really, really pissed-off Swedes.

Oppressor, Solstice Of Oppression: 1994 debut CD by a decent tech-death band from Chicago. I heard their second CD (of 3), 1996's Agony, when it was new but lost track of them by the following year. I did get to see them live once, though. Between songs, the vocalist spoke in a somewhat high-pitched barely post-adolescent voice with a flat Midwestern accent, and he said things like, "Hey guys, we're Oppressor from Chicago, how's it going? This is a song off our new album; it's called [assumes ultra-guttural Death Metal Voice] I AM DARKNESS" [song begins]. It's that kind of hilarious awesomeness that keeps me coming back to death metal.

Throwdown, Deathless: Still blatantly imitating Pantera, they're now ripping off Down and Mudvayne too. Progress?

Black Army Jacket, 222: Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrind.

Suffocation, The Close Of A Chapter: Live In Quebec City: Close your eyes and you can picture vocalist Frank Mullen doing spirit fingers.

Miles Davis, The Complete On The Corner Sessions, Disc 3: Nasty guitars abound, but it's the keyboards on this set that are truly insane.

The Gates Of Slumber, Suffer No Guilt: Killin' power metal/biker doom. No idea how any Wino fan can complain about this guy's vocals.

Gama Bomb, Tales From The Grave In Space: High-speed retro thrash with piercing power metal-y vocals. Worth every penny I paid.

Chickenfoot, s/t: A supergroup, just like Them Crooked Vultures. Except, you know, good.

Fred Anderson, Staying In The Game: Chi saxman's phrasing, tone identifiable within 10 seconds. Telling his albums apart - not as easy.

The Black Dahlia Murder, Deflorate: Terrible cover, terrible title, forgettable songs. Some ace guitar solos, though.

Wadada Leo Smith, Spiritual Dimensions: 2CD set, 1 acoustic, 1 very much not. Kicking off a marathon of this uniquely awesome player.

Listening to more Wadada Leo Smith. Now it's Luminous Axis - The Caravans Of Winter And Summer on Tzadik. Trumpet + laptop(s). Excellent.

Rihanna, Rated R: Grace Jones's Warm Leatherette turns 30 next year. This album, OTOH, won't be remembered 30 minutes after it ends.

La Oreja de Van Gogh, Nuestra Casa a la Izquierda del Tiempo: Re-recordings of old songs w/orchestra and new lead vocalist.

Isis, Live V: A 2006 UK run-through of Oceanic in its entirety. It's gotten trippier, less heavy over time. Kinda works, I guess.

Thin Lizzy, Are You Ready?: Live DVD, filmed in '81. Includes exactly 1 song from Renegade, the album they were touring to promote.

Metallica, Live in the '80s: 4LP boot. Go ahead, tell me Hetfield's vocals were better in the old days. Any :30 of this proves you wrong.

W.A.S.P., Inside The Electric Circus: I like the first 2 LPs, but always ignored this one. My mistake. Includes a solid Uriah Heep cover.

American Sixgun, The Devil In Your Bones: Rawk 'n' roll on metalcore label Eulogy from kids too young to remember Junkyard.

Suicide, Live 1977-1978: Most maddening/awesome box since the Fun House Sessions. Nothing'll make your eyeball twitch like live Suicide.

Stray From The Path, Make Your Own History: like a teenaged Unsane with Zack de la Rocha up front, if that was a good thing.

Revocation, Existence Is Futile: Not as long as there are baby metal bands this fucking awesome, it's not. (Sorry, couldn't not do it.)

Dark Funeral, Angelus Exuro pro Eternus: So boring and clich├ęd, so utterly generic I can't even think of something snarky to say about it.

Point Blank, Point Blank: Texas heavy blues-rawk from '76. Pre-MTV ZZ Top crossed w/Molly Hatchet. Guaranteed never to make any NPR lists.

Sonny Burgess, The Arkansas Wild Man: Sun rockabilly w/a trumpet player. Earns its title better than almost any other CD I can think of.

Squash Bowels, Grindvirus: This has songs called "Abhorrently Stinking Rich Man" and "Shit Oneself." Do I love it? How could anyone not?

Die Like A Dog, Aoyama Crows: Unstoppable grooves meet exquisitely controlled skronk. Saturday afternoon bounce-off-the-walls music.

Norah Jones, The Fall: I'm sure she's a nice person, but this is the most enervated, inessential non-black metal disc I've heard all year.

Circle, Rakennus: crazed trance-metal freakouts with bonus blues harmonica. Recorded live somewhere, sometime.

Elf, Trying To Burn The Sun: Ronnie James Dio trying to be Ronnie Van Zant, with a pretty kick-ass boogie band behind him.

Kousokuya, 1st: Like Fushitsusha, if Fushitsusha was a rock band.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Broken Arrow: Roaring stoner-doom riffs; half-assed choruses; endless one-chord solos. Perversely awesome.

Acid Mothers Temple etc., Live In Japan: a double-drummer lineup from 2001. Guitars more Sonic Youth than Frank Marino, but crash 'n' boom aplenty.

Wayne Escoffery, Uptown: sax/guitar/organ/drums groove-jazz action. Does this "move The Music forward"? No, and I don't give a shit.

The Resurrection Sorrow, Hour Of The Wolf: Churning, sludgy stoner-doom riffage + Rob Zombie impersonator = best NYC metal band of '10?

Ornette Coleman, Beauty Is A Rare Thing, Disc 1 of 6: When in doubt (about anything), listen to Ornette Coleman.

1 comment:

Matt said...

I like these. Keep em coming. Just bought the blaxploitation comp last night on Amazon after reading Pitchfork review. Glad to know you endorse it too.