Thursday, 25 August 2011

El Hombre De La Puerta Trasera

I don't really need to add anything, do I?

El Peso (Uno Por Señorita Levy)

Two sounds that you just can't fucking touch, Aretha Franklin's voice and Duane Allman's guitar. Combined, you've pretty much got perfection, and everyone needs a li'l perfect something in their world. So, without further ado, here they are...

You gotta love the way Aretha just destroys that poor microphone. The engineer was probably shitting 'emselves.

Monday, 22 August 2011

El Toro Arenoso Pt.1

Sandy Bull. One of the finest and most original guitarists America has ever produced, and for my money anyway, by far and way the best of the first wave of the so-called "American primitives*". "Blend", the appositely titled opening track to his first LP, Fantasias For Guitar & Banjo (Vanguard) is a twenty-odd minute dialogue between Bull's extraordinary acoustic guitar and the unstoppable invention of Billy Higgins' drumkit and assorted percussives, which manages to absorb modal jazz, blues, Indian, Middle-Eastern and Nubian influences into it's untouchable whole, at times coming on like a psychedelic acoustic Bo Diddley jamming with Can in a souk. And this was in 1963.

Yes, you did read that right, 1963. In the same fucking year as the fucking Beatles wheedled and whined their insipid way into the world's consciousness, and Coltrane was still a year or so away from A Love Supreme and tentatively dipping his toe into freer, more turbulent waters, Sandy Bull was... somewhere else, somewhere new, somewhere better. It's one of those records that's just too damn early, too fucking far ahead of the pack, that it seems to sit outside of the normal timeline, like a digital watch accidentally dropped in 1920 by a careless time-traveller. If this had fuzz on the guitar, it would be the exact music that Jerry Garcia and Jorma Kaukonen were trying so fucking hard to make in 1968. Those free-flying raga-tinged freakouts that came a few years down the line? They started here, and very few have ever come close.

More on the eclectic, erratic, eccentric genius of Mr Bull very soon, for now, I'll leave you with the full version of Blend for yr delectation, delight and other words beginning with "d".

*What a fucking stupid term for playing the acoustic guitar. I can't decide what I hate about it most; it's utter meaningless in the face of the sheer harmonic and technical sophistication that musicians like Jack Rose or (in his early days at least) Leo Kottke employed to conjour such dense, complex clouds of sound from their instruments**, or it's semantic and lexical dubiousness, reeking as it does of such lovely concepts as "noble savage" and the like, the term's implied presumption that music rooted in folk, blues or early country is somehow backward and unsophisticated. I don't care that the sainted John Fahey himself*** coined the term, apparently in homage to the French Primitive painters, it still rankles with me, with it's aura of condescension and it's unwitting borderline offensiveness. It displays that same fucking patronising 50s/60s attitude as all those sniffy white folk fans who got all up in a froth when black people dared to play the blues on electric guitars because it wasn't "authentic". It's all fucking folk music, get over yrselves, and yr silly fucking ideas.

**Go and listen to Jack Rose's Raag Manifestos and tell me there's anything primitive about this music. Well, you can if you like, but you'd be wrong and I'd probably just tell you to fuck off.

***Sarcasm. Of the heavy handed kind.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Bestia Excelente Catorce

The armadillo, nature's Transformer. This one has the astonishing ability to transform itself into an unconvincing giant walnut. Larger specimens should be approached with extreme caution as they tend to roll up into minature Death Stars and destroy rebel planets. 

Not all armadillos are Transformers though, some of them are mates of Mick Farren.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

La Resaca

In lieu of being capable of saying anything even vaguely coherent or sensible, due to a severe lack of sleep over the previous few days, I advise you to follow this link and immerse yrself in the wild and wooly sounds of this years Tinderbox Festival, which can be found here.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Vuestro Prado Va A Morir

Let's face it, the words "bass solo*", don't really inspire a feeling of deep joy, conjuring up either lengthy, complex, wildly self-indulgent prog-wankery, or lengthy, complex, wildly self-indulgent fusion-widdling, and worse, names like Chris Squire, Stanley Clarke**, and (sorry, I feel sick) Jaco fucking Pastorius*** spring into my head, and I don't want them there. To precis my thesis, bass solos, in the main, are fucking shit.

There are exceptions of course, not fucking many I grant you, but there are. And here's one of 'em, courtesy of the one and only Lemmy. It doesn't go on for fucking ever, it isn't ludicrously complicated, but it does, and this is crucial, rock like a fucking big limestone block, which as far as I'm concerned, is the whole fucking point. So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, once again I give you Motörhead, with one of my personal favourites, Stay Clean.

*I specifically mean bass guitar here, I have no fucking problem with double bass solos, which is a whole other, tastier kind of cake.

**Who can be one hell of a double bassist, as his work in tandem with Cecil McBee in Pharoah Sanders' bands proves. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of his electric playing which is just horrible and sounds like a completely different musician.

***Possibly the single most overrated musician in the history of music.

Jueves Oraciones

Oh yes, this month's Outer Church looks rather fine, as does it's rather progtastic flyer, so you should come down and have yr brain kneaded until yr head feels all bendy with that squiggly sonic soup glooping in yr ears. I'm djing too, and fuck knows what kind of head-wreckery I'll dig out for this one, but I can promise sounds to delight the many-angled ones who dwell behind the higher-dimensional curtains...