Monday, April 14, 2008

Question and Answer

Hello to all of the dedicated readers of this blog. I am requesting some ideas from you guys on how to make this blog a place that is more like a music community. When I first started Eclectic Grooves back in October of 2006, I had delusions of grandeur that it could become a thriving community for music junkies to share their thoughts/ideas about music. However after being in operation over a year-and-a-half, this has not been the case. Now, I realize that generally people download music and forget where they got it from later, and that leaving a comment doesn't even cross their minds. But, I have to say that the ratio of comments to downloads is pitiful lately. There has been two comments posted on the Ornette Coleman live show I posted on here, and it has been downloaded over 200 times. How am I supposed to know what you think of the music if you aren't leaving comments?

I know that other blogs like And It Don't Stop and Hippedetrippi have decided to go private with an invite-only basis for visitors. The idea is that you let 30 or so visitors in at a time which creates a community of like-minded listeners. I don't know if this is the right answer for me, but I might consider it if people like the idea. I would prefer to keep things the way they are, because I want to share music with as many people as possible.

A couple friennds of mine said that they loved the blog, but they couldn't figure out how to listen to the music. Typically I use file-sharing services like Sharebee, Massmirror or Mediafire to upload the music, because I don't have the money and resources to have my own file server. I realize that it would be much simpler to right click on the file and download it, but I am not at that stage yet. I will start uploading zip files for entire albums, since I have received feedback from some folks saying that they didn't know how to unzip a .rar file. Also I have uploaded single songs in the Box widget in the top left hand corner. If anyone has other suggestions for presenting the music on here, I am definitely open to suggestions.

I am looking to my dedicated readers for thoughts/suggestions on how to create more of a community of people who are interested in learning more about music and sharing their thoughts on their favorite bands, record labels, local scenes, etc. I have every intention of continuing on here, but receiving more comments will definitely inspire me to post more frequently. There won't be any new posts on here until I start receiving some feedback from you guys on the topics at hand.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Whirling Dervish Cocktail Mix

I don't think this has ever happened since I've started this blog, but I am posting for the second time today. The previous post was more of a re-up anyway, so here you go. As I was compiling this mix, I didn't realize that almost all of the artists were from a foreign country. I just happen to listen to a lot of international music and the flow of this mix went in that direction.

Here is the tracklist for the mix:

Whirling Dervish Cocktail

1) Tambu- Hear When De Duppy Ba- 1:50 (Jamaica)- Short bursts of melodic chanting and tribal drumming that make you feel like you are in the middle of a drum circle in the jungles of Africa
2) Tobacco feat Aesop Rock- Dirt- 4:03 (America)- Producer of Black Moth Super Rainbow recruits the master of verbal linguistics, Aesop Rock, to add hip-hop flavor to this distorted electro-rock music
3) Melt Banana- Like a White Bat in a Box, Dead Matters Go On- 3:34 (Japan)- hyper speed punk-pop excursion from this experimental band from Japan
4) Volcano the Bear- The Colour of My Find- 6:13 (England)- an intoxicating mix of ambient soundscapes, acoustic guitars and noise bubbling just below the surface from these purveyors of experimental noise
5) Al Maghrib Gnawa- Mmuna- 6:32 (Morocco)- like riding a camel through the desert at dawn while a spectrum of infinite light surrounds you. Absolutely mesmerizing
6) Edib Akbayram- Ince Ince Bir Kar Yagar- 3:33- (Turkey)- Turkish psychedelic rock with funky breakbeats and mind bending guitar solos that draw from traditional Turkish music as well as psychedelic rock like 13th Floor Elevators and
7) Melvin Jackson- Dance of the Dervish- 6:45 (America)- this is a nightmarish aural acid trip that mixes jazz with psych rock and comes up with something that resembles Eugene Mc Daniels at his trippiest
8) Bablicon- Anne on an Infibulus- 5:43 (America) - Jeremy Barnes from the Elephant 6 collective's famed Neutral Milk Hotel carves out a fascinating aural collage of free jazz, post rock, and electro-acoustic sound patterns on this track
9) Mustafa Kandirali- Pristina Oyun Havasi- 3:45 (Turkey) - classic Turkish clarinetist whose work was featured on the famous"How to Make Your Husband a Sultan" belly dance record comes crashing through the gates with cacophonous notes of fury that sounds like a mix between Fanfare Ciocarlia and John Coltrane
10) Arnaud Rodrigues- Som Do Paulinho- 3:41 (Brazil) The former member of the goofball tropicalia group Baiano & Os Novos Caetanos delivers a calm and breezy Tropicalia song with an eclectic mix of female vocals, whistling, fuzz guitar and a funky bassline.
11) Ton Steine Scherben- Schritt fur Schritt ins Paradies- 6:53 (Germany)- one of the catchiest songs in recent memory that actually reminds me of a German version of Lynyrd Skynrd's "Sweet Home Alabama". And, believe it or not, this is a good thing.
12) Wali and the Afro Caravan- Arcane Message- 7:52 (America) - percussion heavy afro jazz from Texas with mystical flutes and tribal rhythms
13) Plastic People of the Universe- P.F.- 5:01 (Czech Republic)- experimental improvisational rock from this Czech collective that seems to have inspired everyone from Pere Ubu to the Sun City Girls
14) The Thing- Awake Nu- 5:06 (Sweden) - This track assaults the listener from the get-go with a no-holds barred barrage of cacophonous saxophones coupled with a rhythm section that doesn't know the meaning of slow.
15) Ivo Papasov- Hristianova Kopanitsa- 3:29 (Bulgaria) Bulgarian wedding music that is so fast-paced, you don't even realize it has passed you by. Do not listen to this while driving or operating heavy machinery.
16) Mandinga and Tambu- Ya Ya Dempo- 2:04 (Jamaica)- another track from the Drums of Defiance compilation of Jamaican music to bookend this compilation of mostly international tracks. This one features hand drums and vocal chanting similar to the first track on this compilation.

Whirling Dervish Cocktail Part 1 and Part 2

Sonic Explorations of the Varitone

I am going to try to correlate two events that have happened recently in my life, even though they don't really have anything to do with each other. Throughout my life, people have told me that I have a strong intuitive sense about people, places and things around me. For example, I could always tell when a girlfriend was about to break up with me, or when someone close to me was in trouble. Granted, if your significant other hasn't called you in days, and is seeming distant when you are together, that's obviously a tell-tale sign that something is wrong.

But, the intuition I have is not as simple as that. After two weeks of obsessively listening to the music of Eddie Harris, I decided to write a post dedicated to his mastery of the Selmer varitone saxophone. Two days later, I notice that he is one of the main features in the latest Wax Poetics, and I hadn't heard about him being featured or read the article. Is this a coincidence? Maybe, but this isn't the first time something like this has happened, as a similar event happened two days ago.

I have been working a contract as an IT/helpdesk technician for just a little under two months. During the last week, I had been diligently multitasking to keep the customers happy and stay above water. There seemed to be a little tension amongst the team members, because we were all trying to get caught up with our projects. However, this behavior didnt seem to be anything out of the ordinary for a fastpaced IT environment. But, I could sense that my co-workers were acting distant, and I even verbalized this to one of the other temporary employees. I said, "It seems to me like our days are numbered". Sure enough.. two days later and the contract ends abruptly with no explanation. It was supposed to be a year contract, but they decided to pull the plug on the deal early.

Without further ado, let's get on to the music.

For those of you who don't know, I am a regular writer/contributor for the blog Ear Fuzz. I posted this review on Ear Fuzz a month ago, but the tracks were removed after two weeks due to server constraints. Here is a link to the original post with the tracks re-uploaded here.

Your comments are always appreciated!

Eddie Harris: Eddie Sings the Blues
From: Eddie Sings the Blues [Atlantic, 1972]

Eddie Harris: "Silver Cycles and Smoke Signals
From: Silver Cycles [Atlantic, 1969]

Eddie Harris: It's Crazy and Theme In Search of a T.V. Commercial
From: Plug Me In [Atlantic, 1968]

Eddie Harris: Listen Here and Sham Time
From: The Electrifying Eddie Harris [Atlantic, 1968]

Don Patterson with Sonny Stitt: Donny Brook
From: Donny Brook [Prestige, 1969]

Landon "Sonny" Cox: Chocolate Candy
From: 45 [Bell Records, 1969]

Jerome Richardson: Soul Cry Part One and Soul Cry Part Two
From: 45 [Verve, 1968]