Thursday, February 17, 2011

good bits

excellent bit from Idiot's Guide on Woebot's Chunks (also enjoyed Loki's Demdike-underwhelmedment bit from recently)


talking of heterodoxy, really enjoyed this bit of branching-off-from-the-rockcrit-herd by SFJ on Let England Shake... i don't even know if i agree, it's just nice to see, and a great performance (and also good to reminded why we were so taken with PJ in the first place, back when she rocked so hard and so raw)


more heterodoxy: over at the collective 70s blog, following Phil Knight's recent-ish great bit on Free, now a triffic bit from him on Jeff Beck as a forgotten, written-out-of-history great... (What next? Rea-praise-als of Santana? 10 Years After?). The standard view on Beck is that "great guitarist who's never made a great record" line, so it's interesting to get a different take. Faint memories of digging "Jizz Whizz" by Beck Bogert & Appice made me dig out the Beckology box set (there was a time when Columbia/Epic Legacy were bizarrely profligate with box sets, if you were on the mailing list you'd just get them, which explains why I possess a Ted Nugent box, an Earth Wind and Fire box, etc). I'd almost forgotten the existence of the Yardbirds. When I was first getting into Sixties music (in 1982 or so), the Yardbirds seemed like some ultimate quintessence-of-epoch type group: "For Your Love", "Shapes of Things", "Heartful of Soul", "Over Under Sideways Down". But then later on they started to seem sort of characterless (as with so many of those British beat mid-60s combos, their frontman Keith Relf never really got beyond Doing the Job Well Enough), they seemed almost like the brainchild of some Sixties Committee.


lovely bit on Ariel Pink and the aesthetics of lo-fi from Derek Walmsley over at the Mire. Yes I must admit, as superb as Before Today is--and despite the added enjoyment factor of the record as a kind of conceptual/narrative-arc/closing-of-the-circle triumph--I still prefer the Doldrums/Worn Copy/House Arrest sound. Such a cornucopia of supersaturated, distressed,irradiated textures and tones... song-fragments... strange codas.... irruptions.. defects and detours... . The poptastic bits stick in the memory, such that you forget all the noisespace and ambient lagoons, like "Foilly Foibles/Gold", which is coming from a Twin Infinitives type place... how much of it comes from psych and noise s well as yacht rock and Henley & Oates... and just the sheer variety.... when I put on House Arrest, I'm always freshly taken by surprise by the things tucked away at the back end, like "Oceans of Weep" and the extraordinary 9 minutes of "Netherlands"...