Hawaii. I want to go to Hawaii.
I bought several CDs in Academy today. It is an incredible store. I shouldn’t be buying so many new things. I’m moving soon. But I can’t help it. I figure it’s likely to be some time before I work one block from a store as good as that. So I continue to go in there.
Slightly less miserable weather today! Is this weblog interesting?
Gary McFarland: 'Does the sun really shine on the moon?' (CD; DCC; 1968)
Les Paul and Mary Ford: 'The Fabulous Les Paul and Mary Ford' (CD; Columbia; 1965)
A wonderful record. There are only 10 tracks, including standards like 'Am I blue', 'The poor people of Paris' and 'Deed I do'. All have that mix of sounds that I find so intoxicating - spare, lazy, arrangments; nicely recorded and spooky sounding vocals; and good song choices.
I have to buy the Les and Mary box set.
Nancy Sinatra: 'Boots' (CD; Sundazed; 1966)
Compilation - Percy Faith: 'Joy/Day by day' (CD; Collectables; 1972)
The Carpenters: 'Ticket to Ride' (CD; A&M; 1968)
Compilation - Willie Bobo: 'Uno dos tres/1-2-3' (CD; Verve; 1965-1966)
A couple of very tasty items arrived for me today. Alas, I haven’t had time to listen to either as much as I would like, but they have certainly brightened my day.
Les Masques: 'Brasilian Sound' (CD; Dare-Dare; 1968)
There are some tasty tracks on here. This is vocal pop-jazz, like a mix between Les Double Six, Brasil '66 and Novi Singers, but sung in French like the Double Six. There's one standout track, 'il faut tenir', which has been compiled a few times. Almost all of the songs are originals in a bossa nova style, rather like the Novi Singers' Bossa Nova album.
More on this when I have listened to it more.
Compilation - Walter Wanderley: 'The Fantastic Walter Wanderley, Boss of the Bossa Nova' (CD; Motor; 1964-1969)
A sumptuously packaged and beautifully designed 2CD set from Motor music, which I have coveted for some time.
I have most of Walter's Verve albums, but not much of his Brazilian stuff. There is a CD of each, and they both sound incredible. On the Brazilian disc, a standout track is 'deixa isso pra la', a bizarre, percussive song in which female vocalists seem to rap out some words repeatedly. The American cuts are very well chosen, with selections in duet with Astrud Gilberto and Luiz Henrique as well as cuts from each of his Verve albums in his own name.
More on this soon.
Not much is new, but Musical Taste reached the milestone of 1000 tracks recommended (and over 300 users). Thanks to everyone for getting involved.
Now that I’ve got rid of all my jewel cases (someone nice came to pick them up yesterday), I am allowing myself to buy a few more. Does that make sense? Probably not. Still, they seem remarkably small without that clunky box.
I just posted one of the many compilations I’ve put together recently to Art of the Mix. I finally got around to making a compilation of modern stuff recently. In my head, I have only a handful of CDs from the last few years, but in reality, I have several dozen (quite a few of which I had barely listened to). From these, I picked 16 tracks and mixed them onto one disc. Here’s the track listing:
- Amon Tobin – Nightlife
- Boards of Canada – Music is Math
- Air – Caramel Prisoner
- Goldfrapp – Felt Mountain
- Ali N Askin – Un Bacio
- Cibo Matto – Sugar Water
- Bebel Gilberto – Tanto Tempo
- Bertrand Burgalat – TSOM
- Mundo Civilizado – Arto Lindsay
- Gerardo Frisina – Captivation
- Fantastic Plastic Machine – Black Dada
- Bob Sinclar – You are Beautiful
- DJ Me DJ You – Spa
- Stratus – L’Hotel Particulier
- Bent – I love my man
- DJ Food – Minetoka
Apparently Howard Johnson’s in Times Square is going to be closing at some point in the near future – the space has been put up for rent. It will be a sad day. The food there is unspeakably dreadful, but the atmosphere is incredible, and I’ve sat at the cocktail lounge dozens of times. Seated on a brown bar stool, there is pretty much nothing in you line of vision that would tell you you’re not in the 1970s. It definitely beats Toys R Us as a midtown meeting place… The links here are all taken from a fascinating site, http://www.autoage.org/, America’s landmark: under the orange roof, dedicated to Howard Johnson’s diners and hotels
You probably already know this, but Basic Hip‘s latest offering is astounding – a 3-track exotic wordless-vocal masterpiece by Phil Moore, with Leda Annest. The vocals are soaring, over the top, and theremin-like. The backings are exquisite (this was 1958, and has that great dense 50s pop orchestral sound to it). Incredible stuff!
Well, I’ve taken almost all of my CDs out of their jewel cases. A kind member of the exotica list is going to drive over and take the empty cases off my hands. Around 200 discs will now fit in a shoebox. This is pretty handy.
Lalo Schifrin: 'Black Widow' (CD; CTI; 1976)
Schifrin doing disco is entertaining, as you might have expected. I find the title track a little boring, but the familiar 'Flamingo,' a favorite tune of mine, stands up rather well. There's a Doobie Brothers-style electric guitar and a strict beat. The tune is carried by electric piano and synthesizer.
'Quiet Village' is fun as well, with a big beat and a cheesy bassline. The tune isn't very obvious or recognizable in this arrangement. There are some nice wordless vocal touches, but overall, this is a much more abstract 'quiet village' than the classic disco take recorded a couple of years later by the Ritchie Family. Schifrin chose some great tunes for this album, and this CD reissue includes some extra tracks, 'Frenesi,' 'Tabu,' and 'Con alma.'
'Moonglow/theme from Picnic,' another great tune, is quite good, with some great moody electric piano work, but I'm not really into that CTI saxophone sound that appears in the middle. 'Jaws' is dramatic and fun, but I can imagine it was more gripping during the summer that the film was a hit (when is a remake due?)
All in all, there's some fun stuff on this disc, but for me, it becomes old rather quickly. It's not hard to hear why the bonus tracks were not included on the original LP. They are even more noodley than the original tracks! That's not to say this isn't a good record. But it's not exactly to my taste.
Happy new year everyone…
I’m celebrating by disgarding my CD jewel cases. The way I see it, there’s no point in me paying to ship them anywhere, so I’m starting to crack them open, placing the inlays along with the disc in an individual bag (I bought 1000 of them from Bags Unlimited).
The coming of another year has also made people more aware that copyright law in Europe is different from copyright law in the USA. This interesting New York Times article includes a nice summation from Lawrence Lessig (who seems to say things in a way that is very quoteable):
“When works enter the public domain, the consequence is extraordinary variety and lower costs,” said Professor Lawrence Lessig of Stanford University Law School, who argued a challenge to a 1998 extension of the United States copyright law before the Supreme Court.
The Callas recordings, for example, “will be taken and put into a million different content spheres,” he said, adding, “they will be encouraged and sold in ways not done now.”
This is all the more true because of the Internet, he said. Once copyrighted works pass into the public domain, Professor Lessig said, “a wide range of copies — high quality and low — will quickly be available, always and for free.” He sees even this scenario as beneficial. “People ask, how could you ever compete with free?” he said. “Think: Perrier, or Poland Spring.”