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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

December 02, 2005

This week #3

This week I've been listening to the following:

a) Benny Goodman (CD 3) - You know why I like jazz? Because it's emotionally neutral. In some respects it's very shallow. You can engage without becoming involved.

b) The Kentucky Colonels - Appalachian swing - Banjos and acoustics. If you want to know what this is mostly like try saying the word "ding-er" over and over again as fast as you can. This has Clarence White on acoustic, who later went on to join the Byrds and was variously involved in stuff with Gram Parsons.

One of the things I love about music is that it can take you to different times and places. In the space of two CDs I was taken from 1930s New York to 1960s Southern States.

c) Dire Straits - dire straits. I'd forgotten just how top notch a guitarist Mark Knopfler could be. Indeed I am at risk of inappropriately calling him underrated. Lots of different playing styles on this CD. And the classic musician's song Sultans of Swing. None of the 80s pap that he did, and for which he is famous. Depressing stuff.

d) Joan Baez - Diamonds and Rust - I'm going to be harsh about this. I can't criticise her for any sort of lack of talent or anything, but I have three comments about this album: first, I got the feeling that she was very much still living in the shadow of... Goddamit there is even a track where she does an impersonation of Dylan; second, this is somewhere between Joni Mitchell and Cliff Richard; third, I'm never sure whether a one-man-and-his-guitar sort of person always translates well to a full blown studio and production. It can be like giving children a big pile of sweets - the result is sometimes just a pile of puke.

e) Kyuss - Blues for the red sun - As a child, when you were feeling particularly traumatised, did you like to curl up in a ball, sucking your thumb, and lean up against the washing machine whenever it was on?

No? Don't bother listening to this album then.

f) Roots of Hendrix - free with Mojo magazine. Supposedly a compilation of tracks that were influential to guitarist Jimi Hendrix. I'm not sure - I couldn't detect a link between most of this stuff and his style of music. However, in its own right, a decent enough collection of 50s/60s blues stuff (Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, etc).

And that's it.


  • when you say jazz is "emotionally neutral", do you mean stuff without singing on it? if so, i know what you mean. it not, then i suppose i don't.

    i wasn't so keen on instrumental stuff when i was younger. the voice made me feel like someone was there. nowadays i prefer it.

    By Blogger dog, at 4:23 am  

  • Yes I do mean stuff without singing on it.

    yeah, you're right about instrumentals. I hadn't thought it through that far, but that is what is both good and bad about them: there's no ghost in the machine.

    By Blogger SimonHolyHoses, at 4:31 am  

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