The READIN Family Album
Me and Sylvia, smiling for the camera (August 2005)


Jeremy's journal

To write is to translate. It will always be, even when we're writing in our own language.

José Saramago

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Sunday, September 9th, 2007

🦋 Unfunkked

The Apostropher has posted a mix tape that is better than good. Dig that Al Green.

posted afternoon of September 9th, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about Music

Saturday, November third, 2007

🦋 The Apostrophunk

I've been listening to various tracks from the Apostropher's latest mix tape here and there for the past week or so; this morning I gave it my first deep listen, listening to all the tracks in order, and really paying attention. Verdict: good stuff, a productive use of your time. This is fantastic music for walking around, it would be great for working to (like house cleaning, woodworking, gardening kind of thing I'm talking about, not office work -- it would be difficult to keep your mind on your spreadsheet.) I have never heard a lot of this music -- highlights for me were "Little Walter Rides Again" by Medeski, Scofield, Martin and Wood, the Memphis Horns, the Bill Frisell tracks, and Bettye LaVette who to my ear sounds uncannily like Janis Joplin. (And what d'ya know, her latest album is called Take Another Little Piece of my Heart.)

posted evening of November third, 2007: Respond

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

🦋 Ooh, nice!

The latest mix tape from the Apostropher is online! Good stuff. And once again, totally new territory for me.

posted evening of November 17th, 2007: Respond

Friday, December 28th, 2007

🦋 Friday Random 10

  1. "Oceanside", Robyn Hitchcock, Live at the Cambridge Folk Festival. Not produced as well as the version on Perspex Island and I think they are playing at a faster tempo.
  2. "Keep on the Sunny Side", Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Will the Circle be Unbroken. Can't say much about this. It is totally unironic and is Maybelle Carter's signature piece; I love it but it brings back unpleasant childhood sing-along memories.
  3. "Penny Lane", Robyn Hitchcock. Lousy. I ought to take this concert off my iPod, there is no reason to keep it. The banter following the song -- "One of the things that really distinguished the '60s from the present was that they didn't have these things that say 'if you like that, try this!'" -- struck me as kind of humorous but not really up to RH banter standards.
  4. "Rukus Juice Blues", Big Bill Broonzy. Awesome. Broonzy says "rookus", not "ruckus"; at first I thought he was talking about "ruby juice".
  5. "Birds in Perspex", Robyn Hitchcock LCFF. Maybe my favorite RH song ever. But again, not up to the level of the album version -- this record could probably come off the iPod as well. It is impossible not to sing along with "come alive" even though I'm in public, sitting on a bench on the street.
  6. "Pretty Little Dog", Critton Hollow String Band. Instrumental. Just right after #5. (from the "String Theory" compilation)
  7. "This is the Last Time I'll Say Goodbye", The Sirens -- from the Apostropher's Don't Bogart That Groove compilation. I hadn't noticed before what a remarkable song this instrumental piece is. The music has a really structural feeling to it like it's building a walled passageway that you travel through -- the notes are textural elements in the structure. This has to maybe have something to do with percussion -- I've gotten the same feeling from some tracks on Perspex Island that have really strong drums.
  8. "Johnny B. Goode", The Dead 2/27/77 -- this random set is trending toward songs that are totally characteristic of their performers.
  9. "Mambo Dominica", David Murray Latin Big Band, from Don't Bogart That Groove. "Cute but corny" is my initial reaction. As I listen to it for a while (it is a very long song), I start to hear the horns more individually, less as part of a mass of sound, which is pleasant. This would be good music for walking.
  10. "Each of her Silver Wands", Robyn Hitchcock 3/14/97 Knitting Factory. I don't know this song. It sounds like it could be pretty good but like he hasn't really written it yet at this performance. Very short.

The combination of numbers 1, 5, and 7 inspired me to listen to Perspex Island, which I had not in a while. It sure gets to me -- this is my favorite record of the year. When "Birds in Perspex" came on I had to run outside to avoid embarrassing myself by singing "come alive" in the Avery Fischer Hall lobby.

...Can I analyse the structure of "Birds in Perspex"? That is sort of what I wanted to do during my Song by Song project but I don't think it really came across. Every line of that song just really touches my heart -- the lyrics to be sure and the way they fall across the canvas of music. When Andy Metcalfe came in at the end singing "birds in perspex, come alive" it actually startled me that the person singing on the recording was not myself.

posted evening of December 28th, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about random tunes

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

🦋 Mister, You Can Have my Mix

So I put together a mix tape of some of the music I particularly like. If you'd be interested I could make you a copy (assuming I'm calculating correctly that not a whole lot of people will be interested) -- just drop me a line and let me know where to send it. Track list and notes available on request; it's a mix of old-time blues and country, and music by Robyn Hitchcock. They go together better than you might expect.

posted evening of January 12th, 2008: 4 responses

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

🦋 Gender and Music

Hmm, so I was walking along today and realized there's only one track out of 24 on my mix tape that's by a female artist, and two more with female backup musicians. That seems kind of improperly balanced, I ought to make an effort to listen to more women musicians.

posted evening of January 13th, 2008: Respond

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

🦋 Polk Salad Annie

Jerry raises in comments the legitimate point that "Polk-Salad Annie" by Tony Joe White is a fantastic song. Here is a video of White singing it in 1969.

posted evening of January 19th, 2008: 1 response

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

🦋 Play it any way you wanta

Listening now to Unfunkked 3 and I gotta say, the instrumental part in Sugar Pie DeSanto's "Soulful Dress" is absolutely genius. Now watch out there, boys.

...Also: Maxayn's version of "Can't Always Get What You Want" is beautiful. Ellen says of the tape in general, "Listening to it just makes you feel better!"

posted afternoon of January 20th, 2008: Respond

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

🦋 Bob's Mix

I bought a record at Starbucks! I feel so dirty! But listen, it's a really good record: Bob Dylan, Music That Matters to Me -- a mix of tracks Bob has put together as representative of what he's listening to these days. (In the excellent liner notes, he says, "Some people have favorite songs, but I have songs of the minute -- songs that I'm listening to right now. And if you ask me about one of those songs a year from now, I might not even remember who did it, but at the moment it's everything to me.... I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.")

The track list is just great. I think I've only ever heard 5 or fewer of the 16 tracks previously -- and many of the performers I had never heard of before today -- there is blues, country, reggae, Hawai'ian, jazz and more. And what really makes the record -- what makes me happy to have it and want to listen to it as a record, rather than as a collection of songs, is Dylan's commentary. The liner notes are a small booklet, with one long paragraph for each song, and they are frankly much better writing than I have oherwise seen from Dylan's pen. The way they are written gives you a sense you're listening to him speak, and he's in a really good, congenial mood, grinning and saying "Now listen to this one, it's gonna blow your mind!"

Listening to the first song, "Do Unto Others", is funny because the opening riff is exactly the same as "Back in the USSR" -- Dylan says he thinks John Lennon probably heard the recording at a party sometime and forgot about it -- Ellen asked Sylvia if she knew what the lyric "they say, do unto others/ what you would have them do unto you" means; Sylvia nodded and said, in a bored-little-girl tone, "Yeah, what goes around comes around...."

Full track listing below the fold, mainly because I could not find it online anywhere.

posted evening of March 26th, 2008: Respond
➳ More posts about Sylvia

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

🦋 Funk

The Apostropher has a new mix tape on line, along with a collection of links to his previous mixes.

posted evening of April 19th, 2008: Respond

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