Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Viva La Muerte - Savage Planet

MOG Post: 8/28/2007

I came across this just chance when keying in on MasonJar's post ... word 'die'. I wanted another word and typed 'muerte' - google gave me this. Sweet. My good friend ZeppoNoir loves Fantastic Planet, a 1973 animated film made English of the original French film, La Planète sauvage, directed by René Laloux. We remember most the cool surreal art of Roland Topor, who co-wrote that film with Laloux. In 1971, Roland did these drawings for a film by Arrabal entitled Viva la Muerte. I just love the tune and I love the imagery (and I just read that John Lennon loved the film). I like my surrealism and I like my Goya (and I love artsy, social statements). I must get this FILM NOIR ! would love to know more about these artists and that Fantastic Planet film - it's a favorite from my childhood. Please share some of your glorious insights with us ZeppoNoir. 8-)

Friday, August 24, 2007

"Fascinating Jim, Fascinating!"

MOG Post: 8/24/2007
Artist: Pink Floyd
Album: The Wall
Track: Is There Anybody Out There?
1979 Columbia Records

Wow! Did anybody catch this news in the paper this morning? Oddly - despite finding 'anything' I think The Univ of Minnesota has truly found something. Try and put your head around what these folks have newly put on the science table. UMN.EDU

The skies were beautiful here the other evening as I watched a 2 minute flyover of a just-separated International Space Station and STS -118. It blew me away - two huge human objects hurling across the cosmic backdrop like Venus or Jupiter. It was even better to watch the shuttle land the next morning; that little dot of light came into the Florida sunlight with 2 huge bangs and a flawless touchdown. We are getting places my friends. But in this little backwash of a galaxy, just how much bears some contemplation. Observations and combined thinking are really the next frontiers of travel - the real flight distances are just too staggering for we puny things.
I'm reminded of two quotations:

"What is it all but a worry of ants in the light of a million, million suns."
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

"What is inconceivable about the universe is that it is at all conceivable."
-Albert Einstein


MOG Post: 08/24/2007
Artist: Herbie Hancock
Album: Solid Steel Vol.1: DJ Food & D.K.
Track: "Nobu"
2001 Ninja Tune \Zen CD55

Please see my previous two posts. Just listen .. it's all in there:
yet another counterpoint for the recent explorations in boogin' it!
Speaking of musicians ... in context ... in time.

---> www.herbiehancock.com

Boog It & Swing It!

MOG Post: 08/24/2007
Artist: Duke Ellington
Album: Braggin' in Brass: The Immortal 1938 Year
Track: "Braggin' in Brass"
1938 (1989) Columbia B0013GQUT0

My last post was complete happenstance. I came across something new that just turned my crank and made me dance; I just had to share those cool sounds Mocean Worker is putting together (and he's already been quite prolific while I was sleeping). Golden oldies dance club remix fun? Naaaw, you player purist ... that's heretical! Well, I ask you: what is at all bad about experimenting with great old music to expose to an audience that would otherwise not give it a chance? Exactly. This is especially true if the new mix is done by a quality ear that knows the repertoire he's culling from. I've been particularly fond of the European trip-hop mixing (like James Braddell et al.). There are some real tasty soundscapes in that milieu if you like jazz and experimental beat musing. In this ever-present electronic age, I sometimes need that sweet floaty, mind-bending sound to help lull my day into bearable moments (and technical harmony always helps to woo the technology when you work on it..really). I'm a little like Herbie Hancock that way I guess. Moreover, it's just intelligent sound and good ear food on occasion.
There, now let's step back (forward?). I need to keep my old Music 340 class going ... I've been happily sussing out old tunes that sounded like/felt like that fresh "Shake Ya Boogie" tune. I have a pretty modest library so far in my days, so many things played well to the boogie idea (I could post at least 10 great original tunes/at least handy). Ahh time...
Early Duke Ellington was particularly great, and so was early Count Basie - so here are my humble offerings for your counterpoint listening pleasure.
Edward Kennedy Ellington (April 29, 1899–May 24, 1974), and William Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984), are quite frankly, outside of perhaps Louis Armstrong or Miles Dewey Davis III , quintessential American Jazz History 101. I don't think you can find me a more prolific or influential group of men; the prodigious, combined library is indelible to all genres of music and cultures. Court was truly in order for the decades they held the floor - just as they all are timeless and royal. Pure - yes (and you can swing a little with your boogie too). Duke-mix-a-lot and DJ-Count (blasphemous)! (So please click HERE for some righteous reading).
*Please note. In this < binary playback > , all of the instrumentation in the original 1938 recording is powered by unfeathered bipeds with analog devices. If I may..it's a big band..remember people mixing? It's a digital age (no kiddin' nano?) ... may you sample well and may the muse be with you. ;-P (And may you always keep a hep in your step)!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Yummy Sounds - Boog It!

MOG Post: 08/19/2007
Artist: Mocean Worker
Album: Cinco de MOWO!
Track: "Shake Ya Boogie"
2007 Mowo!, Inc. \B000QEILQK

I really enjoyed a post by dermahrk about Elvis Presley and The Beatles. A fantastic discussion ensued; I mentioned the overwhelming amount of music that we must sift through everyday. Gratefully, I've taken a lot of historical clues from many of my favorite artists over the years. These references constantly take me back in time - then I always find myself completely engrossed and adoring anything from around 1900-1950. I'm a nostalgia NUT - and I feel like I'm constantly finding really cool stuff from history that constantly tears me away from caring about anything new that's coming along. Like Carl Sagan and his references in Cosmos to reading the entire New York Public Library - there's only a bare % of it you could consume at a crushing 10hr-a-day pace for your entire lifetime! Whew! So, knowing that quite a bit of my music consumption is pretty much Beatle-related (like daily vitamins) ... that leaves little room for great explorations in a music world that had exploded exponentially since the (pardon) atom bomb! With that said, I really can appreciate the amalgamations that music has progressed into when I do catch new things. There's a new type of artist that has the digital ability to sample from a ..massive library of classic sound. This artist can not only pick up a wooden thingy that makes sound when 'played', he can hit a bank of electronic PCBs and cull sounds from thousands of wooden thingies and thousands of timbres and shades of each. Absolutely limitless potential for creativity ..or chaos.
< breathe >

I finally grabbed some time today to catch up on some NPR - All Songs Considered podcasts (outside of mog now my only sane way of getting 'new' sounds from reputable sources). Host Bob Boilen does a great job on that show - great conversations and cool music plays. I played the 6/28/07 broadcast and heard this sweet little tune called "Tickle It" by Mocean Worker. A quick search got me his website and I surfed well, catching this tune here forefront in video. Wow! Incredibly fun, inventive stuff. I'm so glad MOWO is already a MOG presence. Awesome! Enjoy .. I sure do. Sounds like this keeps a smile on your face and a hep in your step.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

King in the Land of Grace

MOG Post: 08/16/2007
Artist: Elvis Presley
Album: Elvis Gospel 1957-72: Known Only To Him
Track: "Peace In The Valley"

Rest In Peace, Elvis Aaron Presley
(January 8, 1935 - August 16, 1977)

Forty-two or Seventy-two

Odd how we make such a deal of the passing of an icon ... or at least the tragic day that they passed. I remember Yoko Ono making a plea for us to celebrate John Lennon's birthday on October 9, rather than relive the horror of December 8, 1980. Alas, we continue the vigils on the 'deathday' -healing being only the distance that time brings. It's been 30 years since Elvis Presley died. Like all of those tragically lost artists, it is amazing to think of what they would be doing if they were still alive. In my opinion, that's a bittersweet thought that taints the music you can listen too. Point is ..they're not, they can't, and all we have is the repertoire they left behind while they were here. We should play their music all year 'round and celebrate often. On those specific days, we light the candles and play their music with a little more emphasis ... hearing it with a little more sadness and sweetness.

Rest In Peace, Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 - August 16, 1977)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Stax o' melting wax!

MOG Post: 08/09/2007
Artist: Booker T. & The MG's
Album: The Best Of Booker T. & The MG's
Track: "Summertime"

Just recently we were chatting about favorite albums, and someone nicely suggested Porgy and Bess. Mind you, they were referring to the fabulous arrangement by Miles Davis and Gil Evans from 1958, not the original from 1933 by George Gershwin. "Summertime" was the first tune Gershwin wrote for his opera; outside of The Beatles "Yesterday", it's likely the most covered song ever done. I'm very fond of the Sarah Vaughan version myself, but this recent STAX Records special got me thinkin' (plus MasonJar has got me thinkin' cover tunes all nutty-like). I'm a huge fan of Booker T. & The MG's - the band cuts the standard on perfection. There's so much material to pick and choose from these guys, really, they are prolific and pervade every niche of the music scene. No doubt we all remember the MGs fondly behind Jake & Elwood Blues. They recently could be seen backing Joe Walsh at Eric Clapton's Crossroads guitar festival in Texas - solid man...rockin' solid.
Given the times and the heat 'round here this summer - seems fitting for a nice sloooo Hammond B-3 teased by Booker T. Jones to woo your cool meter. Want to chill some more with Steve Cropper? Check out his cool licks as well on Otis Redding's "Dock Of The Bay" Ahhhhhhhhh <--listen to this

Summertime, an' the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin' an' the cotton is high
Oh, Yo daddy's rich an' yo' ma is good lookin'
So hush, little baby, don't you cry
One of these mornin's, you goin' to rise up singin'
Then you'll spread yo' wings an' you'll take the sky
But till that mornin', there's a nothin' can harm you
With daddy & mammy standin' by

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Auto Club Cessnut

MOG Post: 08/08/2007
Artist: Slim Cessna's Auto Club
Album: American Country Music Changed Her Life
Track: "Help Me Make It (Through The Night)"

I had the fortune of working next to Slim Cessna back in 1998-1999. We teched Apple products on conjoining benches and shared lots of conversation and cigarette breaks. Those were great times. His distinct antics and demeanor were commensurate with the music that came out of him constantly (like yodeling around the shop). I remember mornings at work after many of those late night gigs or sessions ... it was nice to scream and yodel with the coffee and fix LaserWriter IIs. He needs to know that I remember him well: "I put the mog icon up for ya Slim, and I hope you don't mind that I share some performance of your band and some pics."
Check him out if he ever swings through your area - say howdy.
I selected this tune because of the good country roots and pedal steel: (for bronsonmusic); MasonJar has a great thread going about good cover tunes; and Wassonii started me on the pedal steel from Pete Drake (I think you and bronsonmusic will like the expeditious Glenn Taylor and his sounds here). ZeppoNoir, well sir, have some Kris Kristofferson - you'll probably dig everyone that's covered this very good song (with some controversy as well).
The Bluebird Theater here in Denver is a cool venue. I've noted seeing many groups there over the years - fantastic place to have a good beer. This live album was recorded as well during an infamous blizzard here on October 24, 1997. Crates of ale for the cold - hot-stompin' fire-brand country for your soul. Slim, I wish you and yours well!
See you at the show soon!
All The Best/Mac

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Roots (the Sun grows Apples)

MOG Post: 08/02/2007
Artist: Carl Perkins
Album: The Complete Sun Singles (Vol. 2)
Track: Blue Suede Shoes
1995 Bear Family Records

Did you catch some of the STAX Records history on PBS? Wow - good stuff! Memphis must have been one Happenin' Place in the 1950s. Gracious! Music on every corner; speakers blaring from storefront record houses and radio stations, or groups of fellas hovering falsetto everywhere. Incredible.
MOG is obviously about 'new' groups and new sounds (a very cool, global real-time, interactive forum). It's fascinating to contrast the exposure of "the new music" with times like 1950s Memphis, Tennessee. Try pitting today's musicians with those challenges of being heard. Better yet, imagine what that generation would have been able to do with today's technology. Nevermind ... stupid fantasy. Point is ... music is always "new" - it depends on when you hear it and the context that you are currently in (and both those factors change ... consistently).
There was a time when kids from Liverpool, England (IE, The Beatles - Apple) just soaked-up these Memphis recordings coming over on the ships. I can tell you, if John Lennon wanted to be Chuck Berry and Paul McCartney wanted to be Elvis, then George Harrison wanted to be Carl Perkins. The Beatles covered many of Carl's tunes in their early days. Years later Carl performed on Paul's album Tug of War. "George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Ringo Starr appeared with him on a television special taped in London, England, called "Carl Perkins and Friends: A Rockabilly Session". Perkins and his friends ended the session by singing his signature song, 30 years after its writing, which brought Perkins to tears." wikipedia.com.

This is his signature recording, Blue Suede Shoes, from 1955. All those Brit legends learned some guitar with this one folks. It's from that other Memphis label, Sun Records. You know ... Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley ... yeah, you know.
I love that the tune was written on a brown paper bag in a haste, after Carl saw a guy make his beautiful girl avoid his shoes at a dance. I love too that it's everywhere in rock 'n' roll - it's truly legendary.
Good music is always fresh. Remember - It really is all about the sound and how good it feels - not the money, the video, or the idol. Take off your brown suede boots! Let's Dance!