Friday, November 21, 2008

Music Library: Bill Evans, Bill Frisell, Bill Hicks, Bill Laswell, Bill Lloyd, Bill Monroe, Arthur Lee, Belle & Sebastian


Arthur Lee - Vindicator and Black Beauty. In which Arthur Lee leaves the Psychedelic Ranger persona behind and attempts to become Arthur Lee, Black Rock God. He even succeeds on some tracks. Black Beauty is a bootleg including sessions for the unreleased album of the same name plus a handful of Lee's pre-Love tracks.

Belle & Sebastian - Push Barman To Open Old Wounds. This is a collection of tracks from B&S's many, many EPs. I already had all the songs on the first disc, so I bought the second disc only from eMusic. I like the songs on this better than some of its contemporary B&S music, at least in the listen or two I've had.

And onward, through the library:

Bill Evans Trio - Everybody Digs Bill Evans. Without investigating Mr. Evans' references, I am convinced that the assertion on this album is true. He's played on so many of my favorite jazz albums that I'm surprised that this is the only album I have that's credited to the man.

Bill Frisell - Nashville. Country music for people who listen to NPR and hate rednecks. NOTE: not actually country. Kinda dull, too.

Bill Hicks - a few random bits plus Philosophy: The Best of Bill Hicks. Comedy albums are not my forte. I like them more in theory than practice. Take the work of Mr. Hicks: he cracks me up, but a goodly chunk of stand-up humor is surprise, and repetition kills surprise, as you know. The diminishing returns means that I bought this and listened to it a couple of times, and I laugh at it when it's been a while since the last time I listened to it, but that's about it.

Bill Laswell - Dub Meltdown, Sacred System - Nagual Site, Radioaxiom: A Dub Transmission, and Asana OHM Shanti. Laswell's an interesting guy. I like his bands, Material and Last Exit. I like his restless experimentalism. This stuff, though, bores me senseless. Take the first album, Dub Meltdown. I really like Lee "Scratch" Perry and King Tubby and other dub pioneers, but Laswell's take on dub sounds like it was fun to record, and there's a bunch of talent in the room (Jah Wobble & Bernie Worrell, among many others), but they can't translate the fun they're having to the listener. Maybe it's just this listener being cranky. I mean, it's not without any merit; I could see maybe working out to this music. But with Perry & Tubby, not to mention most anything on the Trojan Dub boxes, you can feel your senses reeling when you listen as if you had been partaking of their crazy-making drugs of choice. With Laswell, it's all brain, no weed. Sacred System is a similar attempt to explore a different culture, in this case Indian music. Radioaxiom is an attempt to drive me insane with dull, go-nowhere music. Asana etc. actually did drive me insane and I'm currently writing this from the Austin State Mental Hospital. Much of this will be deleted.

Bill Lloyd - "The Lottery Song." Cover of a Harry Nilsson track, I think. I like Bill Lloyd, who has a power-pop heart, although he mostly plays country-oriented music.

Bill Monroe - The Essential Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys (1945-1949) and The Essential Bill Monroe and the Monroe Brothers. What can one man say about Bill Monroe? Especially when trying to talk about two near-identically named collections that feature entirely different tracks. Well, they're both essential.


Austin 3:02 PM, December 01, 2008  

re: Bill Evans. Allow me to recommend the album he did with Stan Getz. You'd think this combination would be mellower than expensive whiskey, but the drummer is Elvin Jones, and that dude just doesn't DO mellow.

Anyway, it's called either "Bill Evans and Stan Getz" or "Stan Getz and Bill Evans."

Hayden Childs 11:58 AM, December 02, 2008  

That sounds phenomenal! I'll check it out post-haste.

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