Inhuman Swill : Music : Page 5

February's CD mix of the month

| No Comments
            

My virtual contribution to February's CD Mix of the Month club was The Answers That You Want: Rockin' Straight from '70 to '74.

(The story so far.)

Full entry

January's CD mix of the month

| No Comments
            

The CD Mix of the Month Club unofficially went out for karaoke Tuesday night, and I was there! My contribution, in regret at having missed their Chicago New Year's Eve show, was A Spoonful of Secrets: E.P.'s, Singles, B-Sides & Radio Tracks from Spoon.

(The story so far.)

Full entry
            

I heard this Saul Williams album, produced by Trent Reznor, reviewed this morning on "Sound Opinions," and I had to pony up the five bucks to hear the whole thing. It's essentially self-released and available online only. I don't like music companies telling me what to listen to any more than Saul Williams likes them telling him how he should sound. Check it out.

[Apparently LiveJournal won't let me embed the Flash app that would allow you to preview the album here, so you'll have to head over there directly.]

Full entry

Stairway to Liverpool

| No Comments
            

I'm sure everyone in the universe is linking to this today, but I can't stop watching this YouTube video from The Beatnix, an Australian Beatles cover band. It's from an alternate universe where the young mop-tops wrote and recorded "Stairway to Heaven" in 1964:

Via the Tube Junkie blog at New York Magazine, via Brenda from CDMOM.

Full entry

December's CD mix of the month

| No Comments
            

The CD Mix of the Month Club went bowling in Brooklyn for their December mixer, the lucky bastards. My contribution-in-absentia was We Are, and I surely wish we were.

(The story so far.)

Full entry

November's CD mix of the month

| No Comments
            

My contribution-in-absentia to the November CD Mix of the Month Club was Good Head.

(The story so far.)

Full entry

iTunes observation

| No Comments
            

Not to be a stick in the mud, but just because "fuck" and "shit" are bleeped out doesn't necessarily mean a song is "clean."

Full entry

October's CD mix of the month

| No Comments
            

In New York City, they had a non-mix mixer. In Chicago, for Halloween, we had Vampires, Mummies, and the Goalie Host. These are the things that terrify me the most.

(The story so far.)

Full entry

ShunnCast #49

| No Comments
            

Epidode #49 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill, in an outtake from THE ACCIDENTAL TERRORIST, recounts the fate of the modest vinyl collection he'd amassed before leaving on his mission. Also, freethought is vigorously defended, in the context of gay weddings and dying fathers.

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=49

See also [info]shunncast.

Full entry
            

The Bad Plus
Sunday evening Laura and I went to see jazz trio The Bad Plus play at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. First of all, that theater on Lincoln Avenue is a great place to see a show—comforable, intimate, and acoustically welcoming (though it would be even better if people weren't coming in late all the time and if the ushers would keep their voices down). Second, I knew I liked these guys on wax, but holy shit they're great live.

The Bad Plus are masters of intricate time signatures, with an interplay that seems (clich´ though it is to say) telepathic. Ethan Iverson on piano hardly breaks a sweat, indeed hardly moves, as his two hands blur off in opposite directions performing contrary tasks and pounding out dangerous decibels, only to jump up from his seat just when you think he's too cool for school. Reed Anderson anchors things in the middle with a fat, woody bass sound that gives the music a fulcrum even as it hares off in unexpected directions. But the real show is drummer David King, who looks improbably awkward holding a pair of sticks but still manages to emulate the world's craziest clock mechanism, holding the beat in his teeth while it seems to explode with a flurry of jabs and kicks in every impossible directions, maybe even at right angles to spacetime itself. Laura said, "I've never understood before this how drums could be a voice of their own."

The band was excruciatingly tight, nowhere moreso than on their cover of the Ornette Coleman/Pat Metheny freakout "Song X," with its nervewracking periods of long silence. The originals were idiosyncratic and strong—and it was nice to be able to match each of the three players with his compositions in person—and the rock covers, including "Life on Mars?" and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," turned the source material inside out to expose the pulsing life inside to the light. (Was that sweat they wiped off their faces, or was it blood?) One of two enthusiastically received encore numbers was Neil Young's "Heart of Gold." You could have heard a pin drop as the players took their hands off their instruments and sang the chorus in sweetly hushed three-part harmony. A startlement on top of a surprise wrapped in citrus rind.

The Bad Plus are justly famed for their cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and while I'm sure many in the audience were hoping to hear it, my only mild disappointment was that they didn't play their version of "Tom Sawyer," from their new album Prog. But maybe that's for the best. Having heard Rush play it two weeks earlier, and with the harmonic disturbances still lingering in the ether, The Bad Plus adding their take might have set up sympathetic vibrations of awesome that would have melted Chicago to a plain of bratwurst-colored glass. We should simply give thanks for the miracles we did witness, and lived to tell.

Full entry
The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

Archives