What can I say about the man, the legend, John Fahey?
I guess I can say that the legend of Blind Joe Death carries true today just much as it did yesterday. I will say that his contribution to blues is often understated. The truth is that his unique take, his very west coast inspired take, his contemporary American take without question cements Fahey as one of the 20th century’s most inspiring and most compelling blues enthusiasts and influences. He did some crazy mind-boggling things and he was in Salem, Oregon–where I went to Willamette University. Salem has a tremendous music scene and always has–a strong portion of the Portland music scene originated in Salem–how’s that for some waaaaaa news? Back to Fahey, one would not typically pick this small capital city as laying claim to hosting the latter life of one of the most mysterious and inspired blues and Americana musicians of our day and age–even if the latter years were fairly dark for Fahey. The truth is that his unique type of finger picking has a ghostly beauty that most cannot capture or achieve–it was the essence of Fahey that made his music so remarkable.
His inventions for acoustic and electric strings are the stuff of legend. I mean, numbers don’t lie– Fahey has 30 albums, and “his presence has unsettled audiences from here to Tasmania.” He was also an avid painter, inventor and dark humorist with a pen just as ferocious as his guitar. This ramble on the legend does not do justice to Fahey’s unique musical vision, adaptations and contributions to the music of America. If you don’t know the man, go check him out now. He died some years ago but his memory will not go unforgotten.
Enjoy today’s tribute to Fahey and Blind Joe Death.
I’m keeping this brief, pre-war jazz and cinematic jazz is the bee’s knees.
Sex Mob has embraced a more ambitious mission than many: to revive the adventurous spirit of pre-war jazz. Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti is their take on this revival. (Sex mob plays Fellini: The Music of Nino Rota)
This is one of the hottest experimental no-wave rarities I’ve come across
Elodie Lauten was born in Paris, Franc and came from a Jazz family. Errol Parker. When she hit her 20’s, she moved to NYC and rolled around with none other than Allan Ginsberg. She managed to make her way through the artistic elite including adventures with Arthur Russell. She moved into the world of composition as she matured as a musician. But this “Chase/Détective Privé” is a self-released EP. Her a french/english hybrid mystery titled Chase/Détective Privé. The EP end with a side that is composed of an extended reggae cut called “Mister Pip.”
Mariano Rodriguez from Bariloche Patagonia, Argentina–wow! His album, Praise the Road is Jaw droppingly beautiful slide steel, strut and picking. I recently stumbled into this immensely talented musician and have not taken him off the music cycle yet. His technique, authentic and open-minded sound is reminiscent of so many American appalachian to delta roots, British isles’ folk, latin excursions and desert blues musicians before him. But damn, Rodriguez has no problem falling into this pantheon of historically talented musicians. Rodriguez is a force unto himself and hails from the Imaginational Anthem school of guitar.
There is a folklore out there that has spanned generations internationally, from the oceanic explorers to the westward migration in the states, from Che in South and Central America to Kerouac and the beats, and from the loose-footed traveler to the romanticized road-trip, there has always been a mythos around the idea of the open road. The open road represents freedom, exploration, personal reflection, no-limits, an unknown, inspiration, confusion and a place for discovery (external and internal).
This latest album by Argentinean guitarist Mariano Rodriguez pays tribute to this long tradition of open road inspired arts, music, writing and folklore. This album is guitar, banjo, organ, and Jew’s harp and tells complex stories of discovery without words.
Rodriguez’s songs are exploratory, memory riddled paintings that have a creative curation that I think is the musical expressionistic equivalent of famed Argentinian Author, Jorge Luis Borges. Every corner of this gorgeous music has possibility.
Enjoy today’s knock-out killing it jam. Also Check out the full album, Cypress Shadow by him below. The whole album is amazing but track 2 and 10 really resonate for me..
Who’s launched into 2014 with possibility? There are certainly some bands out there who have emerged. But for my money, The Acid is the most promising of those that have emerged. This contemplative and curiously rich trio came out of nowhere with a mesmerizing 4-track debut EP. This band has what I can only describe as an almost cinematic and certainly exploratory free-form driven electronic atmospheric sound that has gorgeous possibility and is complimented by powerful but subtle beautiful voices and harmonies. Singer and songwriter RY X is part of The Acid; these guys have a cool future that I’m excited to see unfold. “Basic Instinct” is a killing track and the video is slowmo awesomeness.
Wow and about time! Just learned about this vocal psych star. Who is Claudine? She’s some kind of cosmic intergalactic kind of awesome. Imagine the offspring of straight dry delivery Nico and playful Deefhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki. That’s French Claudine. Sad news is that she murdered her husband but was only convicted of a lesser crime and walked. So probably not the best person to be idolizing. But that said, in the 60s and 70s, she spun out some amazing tracks like this chilled out Stones cover of, “Let’s Spend The Night Together.” Anyway, her song was not credited by “Blurred Lines” and it should have been. Typical Jamerism is all I’m saying. So where does her music leave you? I’d say it leaves you on a beach in Bermuda, depressed but optimistic that the day ahead has sweet lovepportunity on the horizon.
Devo was a pioneer rock crew that drifted through punk, art rock, post-punk and new wave. Sadly, Devo guitarist Bob Casale died yesterday. He was known by fans as “Bob 2” since he played alongside guitarist Bob Mothersbaugh. Devo will forever be remembered for their contribution to the pantheon of music greats. Today’s jamz are in honor of Bob Casale– a music visionary.
Well you can all breath a sigh of relief. Pioneer garage psych rock band Thee Oh Sees are back and will be releasing a new LP this Spring. A few months back they announced a hiatus. In the music world that can mean what it is or that can mean, we’re breaking up. It was instigated by Thee Oh Sees front man, John Dwyer, but thankfully this amazing band is going nowhere but back to enjoying life and making amazing music.
Their new LP will hit April 29 on Castle Face Records. This album promises to be amazing and will feature cameos by several Castle Face musicians. Anyway, this is great for all of you out there, who like me, are fans of everything Thee Oh Sees are and have done for music history.
The album Drop is not streaming yet but a teaser has been released called, “Penetrating Eye.” This album will have fuzzed out jams and heavy cuts as this band carves out their unique and unwaveringly adaptive style. Somewhere between paranoid and chaotic with a dash of pensive is what to expect.
Dig this absurdly hot jam and thank the music gods Thee Oh Sees hiatus was short lived.
Look–sometimes you’ve just gotta get some surf rock inspired, repetitive jamz on to push you through a long night’s works and a presentation on making the case for sustainability in the fishing rod industry. And well–The Bobby Fuller Four is really doing it for me today. “Let her dance” is one of those songs you want on repeat non-stop. Just saying…
Wow and Damn, Angel Olson arrives back with a gorgeous and driving powerful jam. What is there not to love about Olson. Her voice is howling with haunting notes throughout her debut single off her upcoming sophomore album, Burn Your Fire For No Witness. “Hi-Five” lands on your ears like a song ghostly and seductive whisper but with deep sarcasm and hard hitting wit overlays . Every track off her album is full of curiously oppositional moods. Olson doesn’t settle for a single experience. She takes the listeners on a voyage through despair, crazed enthusiasm and mellow relaxation. She expresses some kind of tragic disposition which is not entirely clear and not entirely common to many musicians. Her knack for capturing human essence does not go unnoticed and is in perfection on “Hi-Five.” This album and this song stings with energy at every turn. Not to mention this video is gorgeous and a perfect 1960’s tribute. Her seduction oozes throughout this lonely and enchanting song. This is a brilliantl musical interpretation and she is smoldering with honest sound that will leave you hitting repeat.