Thursday, October 29, 2009

Music Library: Archie Shepp, Danielson, Dirty Projectors, Electric Wizard, Elizabeth Cotten, The Fall

Whew! Another round of catch-up!

Archie Shepp - The Magic of Ju-Ju (1967). Sounding somewhat like Coltrane's final albums, the first track on this album is 18+ minutes of Shepp chasing his bliss while a small army of drummers provides a polyrhythmic foundation. When the rest of the band joins with bass and two more horns, Shepp sounds just as driven and intense. Top-freakin'-notch.

Danielson - When It Comes To You I'm Lazy single (2006). This has a different mix of the title song from Ships. A better one, actually, and I thought the album version was pretty great. The b-side is another little gem called "Goody Goody."

Dirty Projectors - Rise Above (2007). A friend suggested this to me. I haven't been on the Dirty Projectors bandwagon. Although I heard a couple of singles on the KEXP podcast that piqued my interest a bit, I was a little concerned that the afrobeat feel on these songs would strike me as empty as Vampire Weekend on a full-length. But this album, an attempt to recreate Black Flag's Damaged from memory as a somewhat-oversung worldbeat-pop-folk thing, is pretty damn creative and fun. I should have checked them out earlier.

Electric Wizard - Come My Fanatics... (1997) and Witchcult Today (2007). I raved about Electric Wizard's 2000 album Dopethrone way back when I was writing about the Es. Come My Fanatics... was their second album, but apparently the first to capture the psychedelic heaviness that led to Dopethrone. It is indeed heavy as only a space-and-witches opera could be, with a sound like Black Sabbath on downers. The original rhythm section left Electric Wizard in 2003, and the only remaining member, guitarist Jus Oborn, recruited three more musicians to replace them, including a second guitarist. Witchcult Today is the second release by the expanded version of Electric Wizard, and it seems similar in some ways to the earlier three-piece EW, but there's something else there that's pretty interesting, too. So, maybe not as great as their heyday, but pretty damn good, anyway.

Elizabeth Cotten - Shake Sugaree (1965). Utterly delightful album by the fingerstyle guitarist with her daughter singing on a few tracks. I prefer Cotten's own aged voice, but her daughter sang beautifully. Many tracks are instrumentals, showing off that often-imitated-but-rarely-matched Cotten picking. There's also a few tracks with Cotten on banjo, where her style translates to something quite similar to that of Dock Boggs.

The Fall - Country On The Click (2003) and The Fall Vs. 2003 EP (2003). The former of these is the early version of the album eventually titled The Real New Fall LP, which was released in 2004. This one was leaked to the Internet early and contains some early mixes of the songs (only three are the same). You can read about the differences on the Wikipedia page. I quite like The Real New Fall LP, but I like these alternate versions, too. The Fall Vs. 2003 EP has a song from Country On The Click and the reworked, renamed version from The Real New Fall LP, and is thus totally redundant for my collection.


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