Thursday, February 11, 2010

Un, Deux, Trois...

If your link-in to the Cedar Blog has dumped you onto this post, be sure to take a moment and read Mama E Dub's contribution just below. I mean it. Scoot. I'll wait.

I loved seeing the Herb Alpert cover shot. His records were the bridge from my family's musical influences to my own path. I owned the first eight TJB albums, and their theme to the original 'Casino Royale' movie remains my favorite track of theirs. One day last summer I purchased a nice clean copy of the 'Whipped Cream and Other Delights' mono LP at a garage sale for fifty cents. I'll try to refrain from playing 'scratch-off and win' with this one.

'World music that rocks.' That was a bell-ringer. I don't seek much in the 'hard trad' category, and I am definitely not a 'field recordings' type. But there is a global music itch that I can never seem to adequately scratch: call it 'worldbeat that rocks.' So many hybrids frustrate me, none more so than the Buddha Bar types. The first disc is always chill stuff, which I do like in moderation but is so pervasive. The second disc is dance-floor worldbeat, generally bathed in technotics. Meh.

What I'm after can be embodied in the best works by, say, Transglobal Underground, Garmarna, or Rachid Taha. Obviously I'm no purist, but give me some edge that doesn't rely on BPM. For all my explorations, I find this the single most difficult micro-culture to crack.


One more response to Ms. Dub's post: I was going back-and-forth with whether it was time to get off the nostalgia train for awhile, but she gave me my answer: one more ride won't hurt.

The Beatles have often turned up on these pages as a touchstone in the writers' music appreciation development. In the first two years of their popularity I actively disliked them; I thought of them as superficial teen sensations. It would be another two years before I became an active fan. But one interstital event jolted me into realizing that they and other popular culture icons might have something going on after all.

When I was in 6th grade, our little rural school's faculty was blessed with one Sandra Kurtzig, who taught our class French for an hour a day. I didn't pick up much and her face was lost to memory until the other day, when a friend sent me a class picture with her in it. The sight triggered a remembrance: one day in early 1966, she built an hour around 'Michelle,' a song from the recently-released 'Rubber Soul.' And toward the end of the class, the record was flipped over and we heard 'It's Only Love,' 'Girl,' and 'I'm Looking Through You' in succession. In those moments, I was forced to reassess.

Merci, Mlle Kurtzig. Bonne chance.

(Hmmm...I wonder what she would have made of Fabienne Delsol?)


Got thinking about the albums I most wish had made it onto CD when the format was in its heyday and labels were raiding their vaults. Here are my 10 (OK, 11) in alpha order:

1. The Brains -- 'Electronic Eden'
2. Durocs S/T
3. Johnny Hodges -- 'Sandy's Gone'
4. Reggie Knighton -- S/T (hearing 'VD Got to Idi' inspired this)
5. Kirsty MacColl -- 'Desperate Character'
6. Peter Miller & the Wildcats -- 'Pre-CBS'
7. Swimming Pool Q's -- S/T
8. David Werner -- S/T
9. Barrence Whitfield & the Savages -- S/T and 'Dig Yourself'
10. Scott Wilk & the Walls -- S/T


Next week: we set the Wayback Machine for a return trip to the 21st century. Cheers.


casanguinet said...

"(Hmmm...I wonder what she would have made of Fabienne Delsol?)"
Or Serge Gainsbourg?

Seriously, Ms. Fevers - super great post. The nostalgia train is my favorite ride.

Mama E Dub said...

Hmm. Your French teacher looks a bit like Karen Carpenter.

Thanks for the plugs, Feves, it was fun to write about the fam.