Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Gemini Smackdown

So, some ass-bag broke into my car last night. They were kind enough to just break one of those little triangular windows, but then they went ahead and took my nice leather bag, which had, among other things, my cell phone, the 6-CD Complete Miles Davis On The Corner set, the excellent new Vashti Bunyon collection of early demos and singles, the Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival DVD, the new Robert Plant and Allison Krauss disc, something new from the Numero Group that I didn’t even get to crack into, a great disc of West African percussion, my tape recorder, note books, lots of odd scraps, and an excellent collection of wigged-out dub-soul doo-wop from Nathaniel Mayer called (I Want) Love and Affection (Not the House of Corrections). I’d been stewing on it for a while, meditating on the way that in a recording, over-focusing on certain details (the hand percussion in this case) can cause a peculiar kind of distortion, sort of the sonic equivalent of a fish-eye-lens effect. There’s a point of fixation, around which everything else becomes misshapen or out-of-proportion. It was also clear, after having recently watched a documentary on Stax Records highlighting the ways that Memphis soul was much more raw than Motown, their big competition. Mayer, too, was from Detroit, and while you wouldn’t mistake this for southern soul, his music had a strange raw, almost outsider art, quality to it. The disc is well worth tracking down if see it. And if you find some questionable character trying to sell you a used copy in or around Hartford, CT, let me know. They probably have lots of my other shit, too. (The mo-fos took my book-on-tape of Robinson Crusoe and my portable CD player, which had the righteous mix that Lefty had made for me for our aural travels in the Drift-o-tron this summer, too.) Lucky for me, I didn’t have much faith or hope in humanity left, so I don’t feel too terribly let down.
I just spent like 20 minutes on my knees, looking for a (should I say it?) Tower of Power record that I was gonna inflict on you all. Songs about crime and depleted oil reserves, from a record called Urban Renewal, sort of tying into Frankie Lee’s recent theme. But no luck. Couldn’t find it. There must be some sort of Gemini smackdown taking place, astrologically, these days, some moon in some planet’s house where it don’t belong.
As a fitting reflection of my dual nature, I’m posting some more John Phillips, someone about whom I have very conflicted feelings. These are from the completely mixed-bag collection of his solo outtakes and demos called Jack of Diamonds. Phillips makes me think of a sort of sexual predator version of Jim Croce - creepy right? - and there’s definitely objectionable strains of Don McLean in there, too. The list goes on – bad sax, bad scatting, bad congas, bad sentiments. But sometimes the taste transgressions get you somewhere.


Lefty said...

Ima burn you another copy of the Drift-o-tron mix, bub. That's a sad story. Ass-bag probably did you a favor with the Miles box set though. Dude's probably in the psych ward by now.

Frankie Lee said...

Jeez, that really sux. Freakin' jerk. I was just reading about the Miles set the other day...hope your week gets better soon.