Into the Unknown

Navigating the Eastward Passage

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Little Grab Bag

Though I'd run through a quick list of some of the stuff that has been penetrating my personal space over the last few days (some of it uninvited) so here goes-

Birthright by James Blood Ulmer- this record has come as a surprise, as I was expecting full blown freako-jazz with wailing sax/trumpet/trombone/whatever but instead received some very laid back and mournful blues, perfect for summer evenings out on the porch (if I had one that is). Anyway, the track 'White Man's Jail' is the standout to me, just kinda taking me to that humid scene on the front porch somewhere in the Mississippi delta. As an aside, didn't Ulmer have some connection to Ornette Coleman (I have the Shape of Jazz to Come and was expecting a similar sound to that record)?

Sonic Youth by Sonic Youth- this first EP is just peerless, possibly my favouite release by the band (alongside Evol and Sister), you've got to love Kim's simple bass lines and the atmosphere being created within the sounds. It's even danceable, at least as far as SY go. Saw about 10 minutes of their appearance at T in the Park festival a number of years ago and they stunk (my mate will kill me for asying that) but nothing can tak away from their recorded legacy of the 80s.

Smile by Lily Allen- I can picture you all now exclaiming "what the £&$%" with this selection but bear with me. For any non-UK readers, this song is currently number 1 (I believe, I don't follow the charts for fairly obvious reasons) over here and is damn near unavoidable on mainstream radio (which I must confess to listening to in the car). Fortunately, at least for my sanity, I find this a bizarrely fitting tune for driving around in the summertime with its catchy lyrics and jaunty, reggae style backbeat (similar to 9-5 by the Ordinary Boys with Lady Sovereign which I also like, for the same reasons). I realise that I should be floged for this given my often strident feelings to anything remotely in the same ballpark as this but it floats my boat and makes me smile (pun only kind of intended).


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