What's Playing On My Stereo? - Week 2
I saw this photo on the internet, and I couldn't resist using it for presenting my weekly feature What's Playing On My Stereo. I hope the person who posted the original photo doesn't come after me with a vengeance, but that's a chance I am willing to take.
Before I posted the first episode of this series, I had been listening to the same CD's for three weeks straight. So, I had the opportunity to really sink into the sounds that I was presenting to you. Unfortunately, I haven't had the luxury of listening to these in great length, so the reviews will be more like quick takes.
From: S/T [ File13, 2003]
First, I am featuring a couple tracks from Philadelphia's merry pranksters Need New Body. I remember hearing this back when I worked at Music Millennium, but I must have filed it away in my "too weird to break out just any day" pile. The sounds of post-rock, electronic, free jazz, rock, avant garde and folk are all thrown into a blender to achieve the scattershot feel of this record. The midtempo post-rock groove on "Tittiepop" slowly unfolds into squalling free-jazz with wordless rambling, while the rhythm section maintains a steady pounding beat. On the epic "Gamble On/Banji," the ten piece collective manages to capture the sound of a circus band who really wants to be playing a twisted hybrid of folk and jazz. This record is stylistically all over the map, so it should appeal to adventurous music listeners as well as those who simply appreciate catchy songs.
Rowena and Yorric
From: Outlander [Warner Bros, 1970]
Meic Stevens is the Welsh equivalent of Bob Dylan mixed with a little bit of Syd Barrett and Nick Drake. "Rowena" is the opening track on the album and it clearly sets the tone for the rest of the record with exuberant vocals, dynamic piano playing and psychedelic fuzz guitar. At the end of the song, he is practically channeling Robert Plant's orgasmic cries during the climax part on Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love". Clocking in at nearly nine minutes long, "Yorric," is undoubtedly the centerpiece of this magical record. With a mystical flute carrying the main melody over the top of an enchanting blend of tabla and sitar, Stevens succesfully evokes the feeling of walking along an endless path in the vast wilderness of another world. Once this records grabs hold of your attention, you won't be able to peel yourself away from the stereo.