Coiffeur — Guarida
from Conquista de lo inútil (2013)
Was surfing through the revamped (and more frequently updated) mp3 blog over at dublab yesterday and came across this amazing dance number from Argentinian artist Coiffeur, aka Guillermo Alonso.
Starts out slow, yes, but you owe it to yourself to stick around until the synth beat drops, about two minutes in. He owns this beat so hard it’s tough to imagine that he used to play classical guitar accompanied by cellos and violins.
You can stream, but not download/buy, the album at bandcamp.
Helado Negro — Las Preguntas
from Island Universe Story Two (2013)
Saw Helado Negro a few weeks ago* and I’ve been listening to him nonstop ever since. I’d heard a track of his years ago at To The Maxxx, but never paid him mind—mainly because I had no idea he was regularly releasing music and playing shows in my backyard.
Well that’s all changed now, folks. All I listen to day in and day out is my main man Helado. Highly recommend you hightail it over to bandcamp to pick up some of his very economically priced albums. Ultimately, it’s up to you: do you wanna buy that latte, or do you wanna go for an affogato, with a little Helado? Indeed.
*Helado shared the bill with Dylan III, who is pretty much Patrick Bateman incarnate, jamming on a Casio—but I’ll save that story for another time.
Sid Selvidge — That’s How I Got To Memphis
from The Oxford American Southern Music CD - Tennessee (2013)
It’s been a while since I’ve had a Country Sunday. But a friend just lent me a copy of the latest CD from the Oxford American, the literary magazine, and seemed a fitting opportunity. Some amazing southern gems on there, like this gentle Tom T. Hall cover, performed by Memphis songwriter Sid Selvidge, first released on his 2010 album I Should Be Blue.
I’d never heard of Selvidge before encountering him on this release, and maybe that was partly his own doing. “I could have been a disco artist,” he said. “I could have been Milli Vanilli.” But he said he chose to steer clear of the limelight, despite offers from big record companies. He passed away last year.
If you like this, stay tuned, because in just a few weeks Omnivore Recordings will be re-releasing Selvidge’s 1975 classic The Cold of the Morning.
Julianna Barwick @ Our Lady of Lebanon Church, Brooklyn
Ilaiyaraaja feat. Uma Ramanan — Aathaadi Allikudi
from Thendral Sudum (1989)
Smoking disco synth track from the 1989 Kollywood film Thendral Sudum, directed by Manobala. I don’t know how Ilaiyaraaja comes up with these Casio-cool beats but he’s a master of the game. Uma Ramanan is a playback singer from Tamil Nadu—she scored many of her biggest hits singing on his compositions.
If the cover looks familiar, it’s because Bombay Connection ripped the movie poster for their Ilaiyaraaja comp a few years back, Fire Star. This track didn’t make the cut, but the compilation is well worth the price of admission! (I found this track on another lower-budget Ilaiyaraaja comp called Disco Beats)
Also highly recommended: the movie sequence for this song.
Helado Negro @ Silent Barn last night. He’s got it.
Mark McGuire @ Baby’s All Right, Brooklyn
Mark McGuire — In Search of the Miraculous
from Along the Way (2014)
Mark McGuire (ex-Emeralds) is set to release a new album of loop-laden guitar jams—a la Dustin Wong—on the Japanese label Inpartmaint, Inc. Here’s a preview. Hear the whole thing, and read an interview with McGuire, at The Fader.
NYC folks: peep some of these jams live tomorrow night at Baby’s All Right in S. Williamsburg, and Saturday at the Body Actualized Center in Bushwick.
Sadistics — Blue Curacao
from We Are Just Taking Off (1978)
If you expect anything more serious sounding from a song called ‘Blue Curacao,’ you’re kidding yourself. A beautiful masterpiece of Japanese tropical fusion by the Sadistics, the last men standing in the Sadistic Mika Band after Kazuhiko Kato and his wife Mika left.
Even though Kato ditched the Sadistics, these guys are nothing to sniff at. Lead guitarist is flashy bebopper Masayoshi Takanaka, who absolutely loves to use chorus, and YMO drummer slash drum machine Yukihiro Takahashi keeps it steady.
Len Chandler — Shadow Dream Chaser of Rainbows
from Len Chandler (1967)
Len Chandler was one of the big boys of the Greenwich Village folk scene back in the day, the guy everyone knew, the guy younger folkies ripped off (Dylan lifted the melody for ‘The Death of Emmett Till’ from Chandler’s unrecorded tune ‘The Bus Driver,’ about a crash in Colorado that killed 27 kids.)
After a performance one night at the Gaslight, he landed a songwriting gig for Detroit television. When he returned to the Village, as Denise Sullivan writes, the folk movement was going full steam. He performed with Joan Baez and Dylan at the March on Washington; Martin Luther King Jr. borrowed the phrase “Keep on keepin’ on” from one of Chandler’s tunes in Broadside; and Langston Hughes sent him a telegram to tell him his songs and poems were “wonderful.” Chandler even landed a record deal with notorious star-maker John Hammond at Columbia Records.
Yet he never became a household name like the others. He thought Columbia Records never upheld its end of the deal to distribute and back this album. Or maybe it was simply that Chandler was interested in more than record deals and studio sessions—he was busy writing tunes about the black power movement (Black sheep in the country / Black sheep in the town / Black sheep doesn’t have half a chance / With so many wolves around / You got to walk with the black panther / That’s all you gotta do / Cause when you’re walking with a big black cat / No wolves are gonna bother you) and he later joined Jane Fonda’s anti-war song troupe.
Today, there’s not much music to judge him by, but what little he recorded is worth a listen. Take a gander at Play it Again Max, and read Sullivan’s excellent writing on Chandler in her book Keep on Pushing—it’s full of well researched tales of this unsung star of the 60s folk scene.
Anne Briggs — Blackwater Side
from Anne Briggs (1971)
Voice like an angel.
The best-known version is a 1952 BBC Archive recording by an Irish Traveller, Mary Doran. Doran’s version was taught to the singer Anne Briggs by A.L. Lloyd. Anne Briggs in turn taught it to singer/guitarist Bert Jansch.
Early in 1965, Briggs and Jansch were performing regularly together in folk clubs and spent most of the daytime at a friend’s flat, collaborating on new songs and the development of complex guitar accompaniments for traditional songs. Anne Briggs has noted that “Everybody up to that point was accompanying traditional songs in a very […] three-chord way. […] It was why I always sang unaccompanied […] but seeing Bert’s freedom from chords, I suddenly realized—this chord stuff, you don’t need it.”
Reading Room of Bible Science