Monthly Archives: February 2003

Going to see Nancy Sinatra tonight. Should be cool!

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Esther and I went to see Beck last night at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ. I’m happy to report that it was really an incredible show. The venue is small – around 200 people at full capacity (which there certainly was last night). Performing with a small band that featured drums, bass, two guitars and keyboards, Beck performed mostly songs from his latest album, Sea Change. The sound they made was pretty amazing, with the blend of acoustic guitar sounds melding well with the rest of the instrumentation. For fun, the band played a medley in the encore that featured ‘It’s gettin’ hot in here’, ‘Boyfriend’ and Prince’s ‘Erotic City’. This doesn’t sound like something I’d particularly go for, but in the context of an electrifying live show, it was pretty amazing.

The whole thing made me want to play my (electro) acoustic guitar more, and as a result, I think I will use it for my gig this Friday (8pm sharp, Rififi. Be there!).

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Live Show

Not much is new, although I should really stop buying CDs. Misty Roses will be playing a show next Friday, February 21st, at 8pm at Cinema Classics with San Serac. Do come along.

Compilation - Wes Montgomery: 'Talkin' Verve' (CD; Verve; 1964-1966)
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This is a nice compilation. My Wes Montgomery collection is rather sparse. It's not that I don't like him. in fact, I think a lot of his stuff is pretty cool. I think it's just that there's so much of it out there that it's hard to know what to buy. I have one A&M album on vinyl, A day in the life, which I really like, but the other late album I have, Road song, is a little shmaltzy for me.

This collection contains material that is exclusively from 1964 to 1966, and on this evidence, it sounds like this was a very strong period for Montgomery.

The arrangers are all top class: Johnny Pate, Don Sebesky, Claus Ogerman (only one track, alas!), and Oliver Nelson. The musicians are also excellent, including Ray Barretto, Grady Tate, and Ron Carter.

Almost all the tracks are nicely recorded, fairly poppy instrumentals with a gentle groove. To me, one track really stands out, and that's '13 (aka death march)', composed by my hero Gary McFarland. It features Jimmy Smith on organ, and has a great cinematic feel (not surprising, since the original tune is from a soundtrack), and great use of percussion that gives it a very cool and slightly funky feel, kind of like Lalo Schifrin.

For me, other highlights include 'sunny', 'tequila' (I admit it, I like pretty much all the tracks on which Ray Barretto plays the conga) and 'Bumpin' on sunset' (with Ogerman's shimmering strings). But there really isn't a bad track among the 16 here, and it's well worth picking up the disc if you see it at a good price.

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Into the Sky!

Alright! Misty Roses just made their first appearance on the radio. Thanks to Terre T at WFMU!

Colin Blunstone: 'One Year' (CD; Sony; 1971)
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This is pretty cool stuff. Blunstone was the singer with the Zombies. I assume this is his first solo record following the band's split. It's an interesting mix of pensive pop. The production on it is a bit 70s pop for my taste, and things end up sounding very slightly Elton John-like at times. But overall, it just falls on the right side of that MOR sound, and I come away liking it. Blunstone's voice is very pretty, and saves a lot of the songs. 'She loves the way they love her' is a very cool opener. 'Say you don't mind' is a Bowie-like finale. More on this when I have a chance.

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I went on another CD spree on the weekend. No time to input everything, but there were a few things!

Compilation: 'Brazilica' (CD; Talkin Loud; 1964-1978)
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I had volume 2. I had to get volume 1. I'm the kind of person that marketing people dream about. It's actually pretty good, although some of the tracks are now very familiar (e.g. 'crickets sing for anamaria' by Marcos Valle and 'mas que nada' by Jorge Ben).

UPDATE. My, this compilation is really rather good.

As I said, there's a lot of stuff on here that I had already, but the other stuff is exceptionally interesting, with some very cool and rather strange/jazzy chord progressions.

Here is a track listing:

Sergio Mendez & Brazil '77 - After Sunrise (3:08)
Tamba Trio - Barumba (2:49)
Dom Um - Birimbau (2:41)
Milton Nascimento - Vera Cruz (3:09)
Gilberto Gil - Roda (2:40)
Meirelles E Os Copa 5 - Solo (1:41)
Marcos Valle - Crickets Sing For Anamaria (2:08)
Baden Powell - Blues A Volente (8:54)
Joyce - Adam Adam (2:00)
Elis Regina - Tereza Sabe Sambar (3:29)
Tamba Trio - Tamba (2:41)
Sergio Mendez & Brazil '77 - Zanzibar (5:03)
Edu Lobo - Upa Neguinho (2:17)
Jorge Ben - Mas Que Nada (2:58)
Joao Donato - Tudo Tom (3:20)
Marcos Resende & Index - Vidigal (4:58)

Sparklehorse: 'It's a Wonderful Life' (CD; Capitol; 2001)
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I finally found this album used. Do you think perhaps I'm a cheapskate? It seems pretty good. I have a strong, but undeveloped interest in the band. I am a huge fan of some of the tracks on 'good morning spider' (in particular, 'sunshine'). This album also seems to have several strong tracks. 'Gold day' sounds kind of like a slightly more thoughtful Pavement with strings.

In general, the record achieves a very cool mood, through the use of some interesting recording techniques and sound effects. The instrumentation consists mostly of acoustic guitars, drums, bass, organ sounds and (sometimes) strings. The vocals are quiet and slightly spooky and whispering.

I will have to give this a more thorough review and listen in the future, but it sounds very promising.

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