24 October 2013

I've moved / Przenosiny

Hey, this blog has been dead for a long, long time, but if you're a Pole, check NoweAteny, czyli blog literacki. ;)

12 August 2010

Fats Domino - Fats Domino Swings

Fats Domino legacy begs for a deluxe treatment. A kind of "Complete Sessions" box with not only his best known takes, but lesser-known gems. Every one of his cuts is special, Fats just has this special something. One of my favorite collections of his early hits is called Fats Domino Swings (12.000.000 Records). Catchy title.

It's got most of his best known works: "Blue Monday", "I'm Walking", "I'm In Love Again", "The Fat Man" and of course "Blueberry Hill" - my favorite. "Though we're apart, you're part of me still", sung in his beautiful, calm and soothingly cheerful voice is priceless. This track is a special classic, even Led Zeppelin covered it live. Not that their version matters anything. Omitted is "I'm Ready", but I've got more of his disks and many of the songs are duplicated on some, but I never could tire of them. And one can buy them very cheap (which is a great, but a great shame too).

Fats plays piano, behind him shines the best New Orleans horn section you could dream of, I don't know if even Otis Redding's ensemble could rival those guys. Upbeat, uptempo tracks with one or two ballads, yeah, that's what me likes. Almost as much as digging into his quite unknown work and finding awesome tracks I've never heard before. He really recorded plenty of them.

Check out a small part of lyrics to "Bo Weevil": "on Saturday night / where I was born / down on the farm / guitar plinking / and we started drinking / till the break of dawn" - this is genuine good time music.

11 August 2010

Ry Cooder - I, Flathead

Ry Cooder is a man to admire. Master guitarist, musicologist and archivist, open-minded producer, guy behind Buena Vista Social Club. He taught Keith Richards about open tunings which resulted in the Stones' best work. He recorded a great soundtrack to Paris, Texas which he built on one riff by Blind Willie Johnson. And I, Flathead is his most recent release which closes a trilogy released on Nonesuch Records (Chavez Ravine and My Name Is Buddy).

I, Flathead is a concept album and there's a book included which I haven't read and I doubt I'll ever will. I like particular songs, particular sounds, I know this album is great, but it's beyond my tastes. Just with titles like "Johnny Cash", "Can I Smoke In Here?" and "Steel Guitar Heaven" it should be one of the releases of the year. Well no, it's not for me. I just can't really get into world music. It ruins things for me. If Cooder decided to record a stricte blues album, I'm sure I'd fall for him.

But his inspirations are much wider and more interesting for most, making me a kind of musical outcast. Listening to the Stooges, Gram Parsons and Miles Davis in a row is still a step before Cooder's music! His explorations of American music are clearly not for me, at least for now. Or maybe I'll take a listen to his "Boomer's Story"... While I love Tom Waits, this albums owns too much to him with all those crazy and weird sounds.

But even on I, Flathead there are moments. Not to mention great songs on his previous, quite similar albums, Chavez Ravine and My Name Is Buddy. Check out "Poor Man's Shangri-La" and some others, you'll know. I, Flathead is an album I wouldn't really mind listening with some friends at a party, but only in case we were all baked beyond recognition. ;^)

10 August 2010

The Stooges - 1970: the Complete Fun House Sessions

Punk as we love it. It's 1970, the Stones are at their peak, the Beatles are gone. The Stooges are simple, nihilistic, absurd, shocking, good, and they even know what they want. As the AllMusic review states, this is the true way to separate the Stooges fans from truly obsessed. I quite like Fun House, 8-CD set with complete sessions (!) is even better. Just because I love so those "session recordings" and I love hearing how the band develops. But it's all in theory... Now as we get back to the album, it sucks a little. Still love.

So, there are 30 takes of "Loose", which is one of my favorite Stooges songs. The thing is, all of those takes are almost the same, no kidding. I can say if it's an early or late take, but hell, they are the same. And there are only 2 songs that didn't make the album (one of them is blues so I'm all hot for it anyway, it's called "Slidin' the Blues"). I can even forgive them for bad jokes, I can't forget them the variety which is, I'm estimating, at zero level.

Every good band should have a set like this, showing it bare, with no special effects or production tricks, just messing around, being true. It's really fascinating. And punk is fun. Really. What else you've got to hear? "Louie Louie" by the Stooges.

09 August 2010

Gram Parsons - Sacred Hearts & Fallen Angels (the Gram Parsons Anthology)

While I just can't enjoy most of the country records, I find it great to put on Jerry Lee or Johnny Cash from time to time. If I was allowed to listen to only one country album though, I'm sure it'd be a Gram Parsons compilation, Sacred Hearts & Fallen Angels. What a fucking great album - and I'm not very much into compilations myself, but this LP is wonderful, diverse and absolutely enough to fall in love with Gram. A classic.

We've got two CDs of the International Submarine Band, a little Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons & the Fallen Angels and the man himself solo. We've got "She", "Hickory Wind", "Love Hurts" and "Sleepless Nights". Country and country rock can't, just can't get better. There are some really rare pearls I've never heard, well, never even heard of, that are just awesome. Gram was a very special guy and a very special story, and it's all there.

Recommended to everyone, not only fans of country. If you heard the Stones do "Dead Flowers" you can have a slight vision of what's to come on Sacred Hearts & Fallen Angels.