Thursday, December 14, 2006

Personal Best

Inspired by the very thoughtful annual lists compiled by Nick Hennies, I am going to provide my growing readership (hoping to get it up to 4 by 2009!) with an edifying glimpse into my year as a music consumer.

I don't think I bought 10 CDs of newly produced music this year, so I will have to list music that I heard for the first time in 2006. But then, I don't have much to say about most of these records in particular... so here is my edited list.

9. Harry Pussy "Fuck You" Tour Only 12" (1997)

Throught the magic of filesharing, I have been able to catch up on a lot of the underground American, Japanese, and NZ noise that I missed the first time. I basically enjoy a lot of it, but the fact that I have an old computer without a hi-speed USB connection, and an ipod that is always at 29.9999 GBs with irreplaceable Ernest Tubb bootlegs means that I delete most of it. Of course there are a few things that one finds that are absolutely life-changing, such as the music of Harry Pussy. It is basically the antidepressant I have always dreamed of. I swear it would make even otherwise unthinkable tasks, like getting a flu shot or going to Burlington Coat Factory fun.

I don't believe they are on youtube so here is some caroliner rainbow,another one of the reasons to go to the barricades to protect p2p music swapping:

8. Mats Gustafsson "Solos for Contrabass Saxophone" (Table of the Elements 10", 2004)

Whoa... what a great record.

The video below is not Mats. It appears to be some sort of kung fu comedian. Speaking of which, Jackie Chan's "Drunken Master" was on TV the other day, and was as incredible as I remembered. Especially when the kung fu council holds an earnest council debating the pros and cons of drunk boxing.

Nevertheless, kung fu man is demonstrating the massive contrabass saxophone. More or less phallic than a tenor saxophone. Is hugeness emasculating? Are sumo wrestlers considered sexy? Or sexless? What about Gerard Depardieu? Prediction for 2007: massive backlash in hipsterville against manorexia. Oddly enough, kung fu man seems to have a Swedish or Norwegian accent. One doesn't always think of the martial arts as a scandivian phenomenon.

7. Scorpions "Lonesome Crow" (1972)

Until I got totally plastered with a Franciscan friar in full habit at a local Olive Garden-knockoff last Friday night, drinking beer with Tetuzi Amkiyama at Ginny's Little Longhorn with Cogburn in June was the hands-down winner of the best clashing cultures alchohol night of 2006. Akiyama and I had a great conversation about critically neglected 70s rock guitarists, (my personal obsession, shared I think by Aaron Russell, is always Uli Jon Roth) wherein he hipped me onto the pleasures of early 70s UFO, Pink Fairies, and Scorpions. "Lonesome Crow" is just an utterly sublime fucking record. Thanks, Tetuzi!

6. Judee Sill "Heart Food" (Geffen, 1973)

I am prety sure that I am the last passenger on the Judee Sill boat. I did hear this record in "soundscapes" record store on College Street when it was first reissued, but it was ruined for me because the manorexic guy who worked there started frothing at the mouth about Sill's "crazy life"-- you know, that toxic hipster disease of fetishizing "outsiderness"-- talking about how she had been a "prostitute" and a "jesus freak." God, what a bunch of fascists those dudes are, yes? Once again, the magic of the electronic potluck party allowed me to get lots of Judee Sill for the first time. Besides Mother Hen's eponymous lp, "Heart Food" is probably my favorite singer-songwriter music of the 1970s. And Buddy Emmons, my favorite pedal steel player ever, plays on it. Was Jim O'Rourke responsible for the Judee Sill reissues? How much of my musical taste since 1997 has been subtly shaped by JO'R? Why does this make me sort of uncomfortable?

5. Mastodon "Blood Mountain" (Warner Bros., 2006)

Yeah, everybody loves Mastodon. For good reason. They really are quite heavy.

Urgh, DragonForce I had such high hopes for you on the basis of this video. I really hoped the band would be just these weird sounds and guitar faces. Unfortunately, your music is terrible. But I cannot hate any guitar hero named Herman Li. On the contrary, I must love him.

1. Eric Chenaux "Dull Lights" (Constellation, 2006)

Of course this is the best record of 2006. It is off the chain.

No youtube of Eric so far as I know. So here is a movie that I think he would like. I am sure that Atticus books wouldn't mind a few minutes of Steeleye Span either, right? In my dreams, one day Eric and I will tour the world under the name The Zambellis.

Great list. I have tried hard to like the Eric Chenaux record as much as you and, while I do really enjoy it, am having trouble listening to it and not thinking, "I'd rather be listening to Souled American."

It's not that they sound alike really, but I guess when it comes to my weird, vaguely country, rhythmically ambiguous underground experimental rock music I like to go straight to the source.

Love the youtube links.
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i like Judee Sill and had never heard her before. thanks for learning me...
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