Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Music Library: Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Rain Parade, Raincoats, Ramones, Randy Newman, Rangda, Rank and File, Rashied Ali, Ratatat, Raveonettes

The Raincoats

Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Rip, Rig and Panic (1965) and Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith (1967). Kirk was a crazy-great soloist, one whose combination of mysticism, speed, precision, and superhuman feats of musicianship have led to his fans being from across the music spectrum. Here, just check out this utterly amazing video.

Rain Parade - Emergency Third Rail Power Trip/Explosions in the Glass Palace (1983-84). The debut and follow-up EP from one of the Paisley Underground (meaning very slightly psychedelic power-pop) LA bands of the early 80s. Good stuff.

The Raincoats - The Raincoats (1980), Odyshape (1981), and Moving (1984). Impossibly great all female post-punk band. The best is the debut, which is also the roughest and most surprising, but the other two are not far behind. Here's their first single, which was later added to their debut album as the first track, fueled by a screaming overdriven electric violin.

The Ramones - The Ramones (1976), Leave Home (1977), Rocket To Russia (1977), Road To Ruin (1978), End Of The Century (1980), Pleasant Dreams (1981), Subterranean Jungle (1983), Too Tough To Die (1985), Animal Boy (1986), Halfway To Sanity (1987), Brain Drain (1989), Mondo Bizarro (1992), Acid Eaters (1994), ¡Adios Amigos! (1995), various non-album tracks. Haters like to say that the Ramones only had one song, but that's bullshit. It's true that the later albums get bogged down in formula, but every album has a few great songs. And it's also true that the Ramones, like all good pop bands with loud guitars, buried a lot of complexity under the surface. Listen for the 5/4 turnaround in "Rockaway Beach" between the chorus and the bridge at 0:40 and 1:20:

Or "Havana Beach," which hints at the bridge in the intro using chords that harmonize with the bridge chords, but are different:

I'm not saying it's prog, just that it's a lot more nuanced than people think. Also the song structure to "Pinhead" is unlike any other song ever.

Randy Newman - Sail Away (1972) and Good Old Boys (1974). I used to be down on Randy, but I'm coming around. I was not much of a fan, but enough people talked about his brilliance in a way that made me want to keep giving him shots. And so I did, but nothing happened for the longest time. Then, while listening to Sail Away for this project, I found myself unexpectedly moved by "God's Song." And I mean moved. It's about as powerful a song about religion and humanism as anyone has ever made. It is bleak and funny and utterly profound. So I'm coming around.

Rangda - False Flag (2010). Richard Bishop of the Sun City Girls, Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance and Comets On Fire, and Chris Corsano of all avant-garde projects, all making a big loud noise together. What's not to love?

Rank and File - Sundown (1982). Early cowpunk from the Kinman brothers of The Dils and Alejandro Escovedo on guitar. I really like how raucous the ACL crowd is in the video below.

Rashied Ali - New Directions In Modern Music (1973) and Rashied Ali Quintet (1973). A couple of fantastic albums led by the drummer who collaborated with Coltrane during his experimental final phase. The latter has James "Blood" Ulmer on guitar.

Ratatat - Classics (2006). All-instrumental album from a smartass electronica duo.

The Raveonettes - Lust Lust Lust (2007). Danish duo does Jesus & Mary Chain.


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