Monday, June 11, 2018

Music Week

Music: current count 29818 [29786] rated (+32), 344 [339] unrated (+5).

Not much to say about music this week. Just sort of feeling my way around the new computer. One thing I noticed is that it's much easier to go straight to a download/stream from email now that I'm doing both on the same machine. In particular, I used to get a lot of CDs from the world music publicist Rock Paper Scissors, but for the last few years all they've sent was email, which I almost never dealt with. But a couple records below (Diali Cissokho, Ginkgoa, Parliament) came out of their mail. I also made a point of thumbing through the July issue of Downbeat and looking up most of the reviewed records I didn't receive. Neither of those strategies led to great discoveries, but they did turn up some pretty good records.

Overall count for the week was solid. Most likely it will fall off next week, as we're expecting company for a big event on Wednesday, 4:30-7:00 PM, at McKnight Art Center on the campus of Wichita State University: Sacred Space Exhibition Reception. This is a set of seven large portals: doorways opening to views of the world through various prisms of religion. The artwork was originally constructed and painted back in 2002, under the direction of the late Diane Thomas Lincoln, with my sister, Kathy Hull, taking a major role. I have write ups and some pictures from the original development and exhibit here. The artwork has been in storage for much of the intervening time. Before her fatal accident this spring, my sister had campaigned to remount the exhibit, and she conspired with my nephew Mike Hull to produce a documentary on the work. This project won't come off quite as originally intended, but Mike will be here to film what he can, and we'll try to be helpful.

The exhibit will be on view, free to the public, 9 A.M.-5 P.M. at the Clayton Staples Gallery, second floor of McKnight Art Center West, through August 31, 2018.

Coincidentally, I just heard this week that another of Kathy's major projects -- a mural based on the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration on the south side of a laundromat at Arkansas and 25th St N here in Wichita -- is going to be painted over sometime soon. I only found one Google image search picture, here, as it was being painted (Linda Jordan left, Kathy right). I also have a finished photo in my archives, as well as a picture of Kathy holding her sketch in front of the work-in-progress which at the time appeared in the Wichita Eagle. Ram Lama Hull posted a couple more recent photos on Facebook: here and here. Ram commented:

My mother, who died in March, was the designer and lead artist for the mural back in 2006. . . . In honor of and respect for my mother, please give the owner of the building peace.

Now that I'm back in communication with the building's owner, I will be looking for a new place to recreate the mural. The new mural that will be taking its place at 25th and Arkansas will celebrate the cycles of life and the women in the community, both of which are things my mother found important.

Mike has already photographed a lot of Kathy's art, and I expect he will be doing more this week, including some "last shots" of the mural.

Actually, I guess I do have a couple of brief notes on music. Michael Tatum has been doing one of those "10 records in 10 days" things on Facebook. His first three picks recapitulate my own evolving tastes in the years just before I started writing rock crit: The Byrds, Sweetheart of the Rodeo; Rhino's disco compilation, Turn the Beat Around (1974-1978); and Roxy Music, Siren. I would have picked Stranded, and tried to work in Al Green, I'm Still in Love With You, and Brinsley Schwarz's New Favourites, but Michael is definitely onto something. Given that I've archived his work in the past, I've started to squirrel away these new posts.

I'll also note that Robert Christgau's latest Expert Witness has two A records that I gave very solid A- grades to some time back: Parquet Courts: Wide Awaaaaake!, and No Age: Snares Like a Haircut. I see now that I screwed up the news roll notice for that post -- sorry about that. I've been making slow progress fixing my local copy of the website, but I'm still a long ways away from being able to do a general update. (Same, really, for my own websites.)

I'll also note that I played the new Lily Allen album (No Shame) a half-dozen times today without being able to grade it A-. May still happen: I've decided to back off and give it some time, but it's clearly not going to be my album of the year, as her last two were. Not that I don't still adore her, but only a few songs reinforce that (like "Waste"). On the other hand, a couple songs are very bland, and "Cake" is way too much of a cliché. And only on the last play did it sink in that "Three" is meant to be in the voice of her daughter. Sure, makes sense that way, but doesn't sound right.

New records rated this week:

  • Courtney Barnett: Tell Me How You Really Feel (2018, Mom + Pop Music): [r]: B+(***)
  • Jamie Baum Septet+: Bridges (2018, Sunnyside): [4]: B+(*)
  • Bombino: Deran (2018, Partisan): [r]: B+(***)
  • Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba: Routes (2018, Twelve/Eight): [dl]: B+(***)
  • Detroit Bop Quintet: Two Birds (2014 [2018], TQM, EP): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Fatoumata Diawara: Fenfo: Something to Say (2018, Shanachie): [r]: B+(**)
  • Elina Duni: Partir (2017 [2018], ECM): [r]: B+(*)
  • Enemy: Enemy (2016 [2018], Edition): [r]: B+(**)
  • Román Filiú: Quarteria (2018, Sunnyside): [r]: B+(*)
  • Erik Friedlander: Artemisia (2017 [2018], Skipstone): [r]: B+(**)
  • Tia Fuller: Diamond Cut (2018, Mack Avenue): [r]: B+(*)
  • Ginkgoa: One Time (2018, self-released, EP): [dl]: B+(**)
  • Vinny Golia/Steph Richards/Bert Turetzky: Trio Music (2017 [2018], PfMentum): [bc]: B+(*)
  • Gene Jackson Trio NuYorx: Power of Love (2017 [2018], Whirlwind): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Nellie McKay: Sister Orchid (2018, Palmetto): [r]: B+(**)
  • Brad Mehldau: After Bach (2017 [2018, Nonesuch): [r]: B
  • Brad Mehldau: Seymour Reads the Constitution! (2018, Nonesuch): [r]: B+(*)
  • Parliament: Medicaid Fraud Dogg (2018, C Kunspyruhzy): [r]: B
  • Jure Pukl/Matija Dedic: Hybrid (2016 [2017], Whirlwind): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Jure Pukl: Doubtless (2017 [2018], Whirlwind): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Joshua Redman/Ron Miles/Scott Colley/Brian Blade: Still Dreaming (2018, Nonesuch): [r]: B+(**)
  • Stephanie Richards: Fullmoon (2018, Relative Pitch): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Chris Thile/Brad Mehldau: Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau (2017, Nonesuch): [r]: B-
  • Sidi Touré: Toubalbero (2018, Thrill Jockey): [r]: B+(**)
  • Joshua Trinidad: In November (2015 [2018], RareNoise): [cdr]: B+(*)

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

  • Anthony Braxton: The Essential Anthony Braxton: The Arista Years (1974-80 [2018], Arista/Legacy): [r]: A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Best Country Blues You've Never Heard (1927-36 [2018], World Music Network): [r]: B+(***)
  • Esbjörn Svensson Trio: E.S.T. Live in London (2005 [2018], ACT, 2CD): [r]: B+(**)

Old music rated this week:

  • Sidi Touré: Hoga (1996, Sterns Africa): [r]: B+(***)
  • Sidi Touré: Alafia (2013, Thrill Jockey): [r]: B+(**)
  • Whirl: Revolving Rapidly Around an Axis (2014 [2015], Den): [bc]: B+(**)

Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Tucker Antell: Grime Scene (OA2): June 15
  • Jarod Bufe: New Spaces (OA2): June 15
  • The End: The End (RareNoise): advance, June 29
  • Pete McCann: Pay for It on the Other Side (McCannis Music): July 20
  • Marieann Meringolo: Between Yesterday and Tomorrow: The Songs of Alan & Marilyn Bergman (Blujazz)
  • Dori Rubbicco: Stage Door Live! (Whaling City Sound)
  • The Jamie Saft Quartet: Blue Dream (RareNoise): advance, June 29
  • Rafal Sarnecki: Climbing Trees (Outside In Music): July 27
  • Jerry Vivino: Coast to Coast (Blujazz)
  • Kobie Watkins Grouptet: Movement (Origin): June 15

Daily Log

Miscellaneous Album Notes:

  • The Rough Guide to the Best Country Blues You've Never Heard (1927-36 [2018], World Music Network): B+(***)