Inhuman Swill : Music : Page 8

Heads or tail?

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I'm not sure which would be worse to receive—a head in a box, or, um, something else in a box.

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I've just been listening to some Gordon Lightfoot. I'm not familiar with his œuvre beyond the three of four biggest hits, so I was a little puzzled when I heard him singing about the "ghosts of gay porn."

Ah. I learn from the track listing that it's the "Ghosts of Cape Horn." Well, that casts the song in a different light.

Funny enunciation you've got there, Gord.

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My main contribution to this evening's CD Mix of the Month Club for March is Into the Lens, a celebration of the great photography in which so many CDMOM-ers seem to indulge.

I'm feeling some urgency about these terrific little get-togethers, since there are only four left to go before moving day, so I'm sneaking in all the extra mixes I can. This time around the just-because-I'm-leaving-soon bonus mix is Four by Four: Four Letter Words from Four Letter Artists, the second volume of my four-volume Four Letter Words series.

There's also great news, in that our CDMOM mom, Lisa, had her baby Sienna yesterday. I feel like we're all aunts and uncles. Congratulations to Lisa and Yves, and to Sienna who will grow up with great parents and lots of good music around.

(The story so far.)

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When colossi walked the earth

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Speaking of saxophone colossi, it turns out that one of Bret Primack's gigs these days is tagging along with Sonny Rollins and producing a monthly video podcast. Check this out, you jazz fans:

The Sonny Rollins Podcast
My somewhat cheeky "Sci-Fi Colossus" icon here is based on the cover of the classic 1956 Sonny Rollins album Saxophone Colossus. The man is now 76, and still going strong.
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Since I forgot to burn a promised DVD for David Bowie fan [info]steelbrassnwood before the episode vanished from our DVR, I went digging through YouTube to find this hilarious scene from the BBC/HBO series Extras. ([info]rajankhanna, I know you're a Bowie fan too). I knew it had to be there somewhere.

Do you watch Extras? If not, you should. To set the scene, Ricky Gervais plays the star of a popular new lowbrow sitcom, but he can't enjoy his success because he knows he sold out. He and his entourage have just had to leave the VIP area of a trendy club to make way for David Bowie:

This song has been stuck in our heads for weeks. (Pug, pug! Pug, pug!)

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Michael Brecker memorial

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[info]steelbrassnwood hipped me to a Michael Brecker memorial service taking place this evening at Town Hall in Manhattan from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Doors open at 5:15. All friends and fans are invited to attend.

More info Even more info
I won't be able to go myself, but I sure wish I could.

Clicking around following Brecker links this morning, I ran across a very nice tribute video at, which happens to have been done by Bret Primack, a jazz journalist I used to work with back in the halcyon days of N2K. My first Web job in the big city! Can't believe it's been ten years since I took that job.

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Okay, Greg's news about Rush is pretty damn cool, but how about this?

The Police at Madison Square Garden

(Yes, I know, sounds like the Republican National Convention, but hey.)

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The Mozart of porn

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Via Andrew Lienhard...

Attention, lovers of '70s electrofunk and/or same-era porn. German composer Klaus Harmony's soundtracks are for you!

And I'm talking to you, [info]asphalteden.

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I am unable to attend tomorrow night's February CD Mix of the Month Club, since I'll be in Utah at my grandfather's memorial service. But I'm sending my mix, Tenor of the Times, along to the meeting in my absence. The disc is a tribute to Michael Brecker, my favorite saxophonist of the past quarter-century. (Sharp-eared listeners will realize that this disc follows the same program as my tribute in ShunnCast #37.)

Brecker was one of the most prolific and influential tenor saxophonists of the late 20th century. A consummate session player, he appeared on as many as a thousand pop, rock, funk, and jazz recordings, often together with his older brother, trumpeter Randy Brecker. He played with the likes of James Taylor, Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, Elton John, Billy Joel, Steely Dan, Parliament, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, Chic, and Frank Zappa, not to mention such jazz legends as Horace Silver, Charles Mingus, Herbie Mann, Chet Baker, Don Cherry, Dave Brubeck, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Chick Corea, and Jaco Pastorius.

His own groups included Dreams, Steps Ahead, and the popular Brecker Brothers, a jazz-funk outfit he and Randy led together. Besides innovating on the tenor, Mike helped pioneer the EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument), which he employed to great effect on Paul Simon's The Rhythm of the Saints. Beginning in 1987, he cut a successful string of solo albums with collaborators like Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, Charlie Haden, Dave Holland, and Larry Goldings, emerging as one of the giants of the modern jazz scene. Along the way, he picked up eleven Grammys.

Mike was diagnosed with the blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome in 2005, and though a global search for a stem cell donor turned up no exact matches, his plight prompted thousands to sign up with the International Bone Marrow Registry. He underwent an experimental partial matching stem cell transplant late that year, but not with the hoped-for results. On January 13, 2007, he died of complications from leukemia in New York City. He was 57.

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ShunnCast #37

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Epidode #37 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill, as threatened, pays tribute to late jazz great Michael Brecker. A special all-music edition!

See also [info]shunncast.

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William Shunn