Monday, September 11, 2017


Music Week

Music: Current count 28650 [28627] rated (+23), 376 [369] unrated (+7).

Light count, mostly because I missed three days from the middle of the week -- would have been much lower had I not hit Rhapsody hard on the weekend. On Wednesday, I took a long day trip to see my extraordinary cousins in Independence, KS. Left around noon, and got back after midnight. Actually, night before I made a chocolate cake for the occasion (much to the disappointment of those hoping for a my mother's legendary coconut cake, but I had so little time I went with simple and surefire). Friday I cooked a Turkish dinner for seven (if you're interested, I did a brain dump in the notebook). Thursday I had a doctor's appointment, then went shopping, and finally started cooking. Worn out after that, and aggravated by a couple stupid kitchen mishaps (plus a couple pieces of technology that completely discredit my reputation as a smart shopper).

Many of the records below came from Phil Overeem's latest 2017-to-date list: only things I haven't heard there now are the two AUM Fidelity jazz releases (William Parker and David S. Ware), Obnox: Niggative Approach (only 4/12 cuts on Bandcamp), and the Nots' single (or so I assume). Public Enemy was available as a free download for a week or so, but that's dried up and the only copy I found was on YouTube. Could be that more plays might raise it a notch -- ditto for Shabazz Palaces -- but I'd say odds are equal that they wouldn't. The worst, no surprise, were Dylan's songbook albums: the 2016 one was on Overeem's 2016 list but I hadn't noticed it on Napster until now.

My grade breakdown from Overeem's list: 20 A-, 14 ***, 17 **, 11 *, 3 B, 1 C+, 4 unheard. This week's only A- record comes from his list, a case where Ghana and Mozambique meet somewhere in Europe. I don't have a breakdown for how many I actually have CDs for -- probably not many (ok, 5, all but one jazz).

Haven't done anything on the jazz guides in 2-3 weeks, so my hopes of wrapping them up -- first draft, just raw collection -- by the end of the month are pretty slim. I've been stuck 29% of the way through Post-2000 Jazz, which leaves me with 1638 more artists in the file (plus 173 deferred groups), plus some relatively minor (but hard to estimate) mop up. No idea how long that will take, but the obvious answer is forever if I don't get started again.


I thought I had posted the first two links below, where various former writers and other workers at the Village Voice write about the past on the occasion of the Voice terminating its print edition, but they were still stuck in my scratch file. The others continue the thread.


I was reminded of the anniversary of 9/11/2001 today by a small article in the Eagle and a couple of items on the comics page. Theme was "never forget." So why the fuck is that? What exactly have sixteen years of obsessing over the outrage, picking at the scab, and flailing at our supposed enemies gotten us? We would have been better off to have treated it like a bad hurricane: grieved, consoled, rebuilt, moved on. And it's not as if Americans never forget. They had already forgotten why the people who hijacked and crashed those planes did so, leaving them with no better understanding of what happened than "hate our freedoms" and "axis of evil." Indeed, most Americans have forgotten lots of big things, like slavery and genocide against Indians, so why not this? The only real reason is that some people have agendas that exploit memory. Bush and company saw 9/11 as their ticket to launch a vast and endless war to reassert neocon supremacy. Most Democrats had compatible agendas, based largely on their supposed superiority at winning wars (e.g., Peter Beinart's book, The Good Fight: Why Liberals -- and Only Liberals -- Can Win the War on Terror).

This fetish of victimhood on 9/11 mocks our annual remembrance of the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor: both supposedly signify how an innocent and peace-loving people got dragged into war by a dastardly attack on a "day of infamy," but Americans in 2001 could hardly be described as innocent or peace-loving -- certainly not by anyone aware of the US Defense budget. The other WWII event we still celebrate isn't the end of the war: it's D-Day, when US troops landed in France -- not nearly the turning point of the war that the Soviet victory at Stalingrad was, but the best we can lay claim to. The agenda of Pearl Harbor + D-Day is to make us feel good about war, and pass those Defense budgets. (Peace people also remember Hiroshima, and again there is an agenda: to remind us that nuclear holocaust is still a real possibility.)

For once, I'm not alone in voicing these views. See: Paul Krugman: The Day Nothing Changed.


New records rated this week:

  • Django Bates: Saluting Sgt. Pepper (2016 [2017], Edition): [r]: B
  • Joo Barradas: Directions (2017, Inner Circle Music): [r]: B+(**)
  • Black Lips: Satan's Graffiti or God's Art (2017, Vice): [r]: B+(*)
  • Action Bronson: Blue Chips 7000 (2017, Vice/Atlantic): [r]: B+(**)
  • Don Bryant: Don't Give Up on Love (2017, Fat Possum): [r]: B+(*)
  • Brian Charette Circuit Bent Organ Trio: Krrent (2017, Dim Mak): [r]: B+(*)
  • Damaged Bug: Bunker Funk (2017, Castle Face): [r]: B
  • Dave Douglas With the Westerlies and Anwar Marshall: Little Giant Still Life (2016 [2017], Greenleaf Music): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Mike Downes: Root Structure (2016 [2017], Addo): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Bob Dylan: Fallen Angels (2016, Columbia): [r]: C+
  • Bob Dylan: Triplicate (2017, Columbia, 3CD): [r]: C+
  • Erica Falls: Home Grown (2017, self-released): [r]: B+(**)
  • Gato Preto: Tempo (2017, Unique): [r]: A-
  • Garland Jeffreys: 14 Steps to Harlem (2017, Luna Park): [r]: B+(*)
  • LCD Soundsystem: American Dream (2017, DFA/Columbia): [r]: B+(**)
  • David Lopato: Gendhing for a Spirit Rising (2017, Global Coolant, 2CD): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Public Enemy: Nothing Is Quick in the Desert (2017, Enemy): [yt]: B+(***)
  • Shabazz Palaces: Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star (2017, Sub Pop): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Shabazz Palaces: Quazarz vs. the Jealous Machines (2017, Sub Pop): [bc]: B+(**)

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries rated this week:

  • James Luther Dickinson: I'm Just Dead I'm Not Gone (Lazarus Edition) (2006 [2017], Memphis International): [r]: B+(***)
  • Joe King Kologbo & the High Grace: Sugar Daddy (1980 [2017], Strut): [r]: B+(***)
  • Shina Williams & His African Percussionists: Agboju Logun (1984 [2017], Strut, EP): [r]: B+(*)
  • Neil Young: Hitchhiker (1976 [2017], Reprise): [r]: B+(***)
  • Zare 74: The African Artists (1974 [2017], Wrasse, 2CD): [r]: B+(**)

Old music rated this week:

  • Bulbul: Hirn Fein Hacken (2014, Exile on Mainstream): [r]: B+(**)
  • David S. Ware: Live in the Netherlands (1997 [2001], Splasc(H)): [r]: B+(**)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Richard X Bennett: Experiments With Truth (Ropeadope)
  • Richard X Bennett: What Is Now (Ropeadope)
  • Florian Hoefner: Coldwater Stories (Origin): September 15
  • Emi Meyer: Monochrome (Origin): September 15
  • Debbie Poryes Trio: Loving Hank (OA2): September 15
  • Nestor Torres: Jazz Flute Traditions (Alfi): September 15
  • Ken Wiley: Jazz Horn Redux (Krug Park Music)