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Music Reviews

New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra – “Grace and Beauty ” – [Delmark]

David Richoux   1/15/2005   CD, Jazz

While Ragtime was not invented in New Orleans, it was very popular and was a major part of the development of jazz in that city. John Robichaux (Row be show) had a band and did a lot of ragtime arrangements in the early 20th century. In 1965 these charts were found and a band was formed in 1967 to play them. The musicians on this 1967-1970 recording also played in the early Preservation Hall bands in the ’60s and some were playing jazz in the 1930s and ’40s.
Not a slick band (check out the New England Ragtime Conservatory band if you want polish) – there is some problem with intonation and the pace is a bit ragged, but these are some sweet tunes. All instrumental and of an era that will not come round again… *review by David Richoux

Jackson, Franz & the Salty Dog – “Yellow Fire ” – [Delmark]

David Richoux   1/15/2005   CD, Jazz

A recent recording (not a reissue) of the Salty Dogs, a Chicago style trad band from Purdue that has been around since the late 1950s! Still playing great music (most of the tunes on this CD could have been heard in some Chicago jazz joints since the early 1920s) this is just great, swinging, driving, hot jazz. Some good vocals, just a bit of hokum – but check them out!
*review by David Richoux

Beebe, Jim – Chicago Jazz – “Saturday Night Function ” – [Delmark]

David Richoux   1/15/2005   CD, Jazz

2 LPs in one CD, a bargain pack of great Chicago Style traditional jazz recorded in the late 1970s with an all-star lineup of musicians from the mid-west and west coast. Trombonist Jim Beebe had a great deal of experience before these sessions and the band definitely knows what it is all about. There are two trumpets (or trumpet/cornet) for that unmistakable King Oliver-Louis Armstrong style lead line. There are a lot of different looks here, from boogie-woogie to slow blues, swingers to New Orleans jazz standards. Some well placed vocals, but the important part is how this band really cooks, regardless of the line-up.
*review by David Richoux

Bukowski, Charles Readings, SF ?73 and Iowa City ’73 [N/A]

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library, CD

2 CDs of beat poetry from one of the masters. In his tired, gravely voice, Bukowski holds forth on sex, death, oppression, and whatever else comes to mind. No track titles on the CD, so I made some up after listening. For the most part each CD is a contiguous recording that was divided up into tracks. Whoever did this did a pretty lazy job of picking where to start tracks. Sometimes he will say the title of a poem on the end of the previous track. The sound quality is poor, but you can always understand what he is saying.
I *think* Disk 1, tracks 3-12 are the San Francisco recording (the sound quality is different and there is no discernable audience noise). The first 2 tracks of the 1st disc and the entire 2nd disc sound like they are from the same recording, which I assume is the Iowa City recording. It’s all good and heavy, drop the proverbial needle anywhere and let a couple tracks play (but watch for language!).
Language: Disc 1 – 3, 5, 7, 10
Disc 2 – 1, 3, 7, 8, 11, 16, 19, 20
Stingray

Apostle of Hustle – “Folkloric Feel” [Arts and Crafts]

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library, CD

This three-piece (plus guests) out of Canada delivers well written and produced psychedelic folk. There’s just a touch of electronics and feedback on some tracks. There are some Latin-folk influences (lead singer Andrew Whiteman had recently returned from a trip to Cuba where he learned to play the tres (a Cuban guitar)), especially on tracks 3, 7, 8, and 10. The sound is melodic and shimmery, and the production has resulted in an appealingly full sound.
Favorites: 1 (Prog-rock-influenced folk jam), 3 (great, but still mellow use of bongos and tamborine), 7 (a Latin-influenced contra style ballad), 8 (laid back swing beat, longuey vocals).
Track 11 is a :37 second long very quiet shimmery little chord.
Language: 3 (‘shit?), 4 (‘fuck’),
Stingray

Reverend Glasseye – “Happy End and Begin” [Music for Cats]

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library

Reverend Glasseye gives us an all-too-short 5 tracks of organ heavy gypsy folk rock. There are klezmer and Irish folk influences here. It’s the sort of music you could imagine a bar full of people singing along to at 1 in the morning. The instrumentation is very thick, with reeds, a trumpet, organ, guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. My favorites are 1 and 4, but they are all great!
Notes: Track 10 ends with about 7 minutes of ocean waves and seagulls.
Stingray

Man Man – “Man Man” [Ace Fu]

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library

Seemingly a normal man, but with all the powers of a man, it’s Man Man, answering the question: What if Frank Zappa had assembled an ensemble that included Tom Waits on lead vocals? This CD features Honus Honus? gravely vocals in front of an ensemble that includes percussion, horns, piano, guitar, synthesizer, violin, and a children’s chorus (track 1 only). Circus, folk, and klezmer influences combine to make something that is both unique and groovy. It’s cool. Check it out!
Favorites: 1, 3, 7 (instrumental), 9
Notes: Track 10 ends with about 7 minutes of ocean waves and seagulls.
Stingray

14 Year Old Girls – “Strategy Guide” [Retard Disco]

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library, CD

Imagine that Devo were a bunch of nerds. OK, fine, Devo are a bunch of nerds, but imagine that they were obsessed with video games and gamer culture rather than, umm, whatever it is they were obsessed with. Songs about Megaman, Pac Man, Wario, Tomb Raider, et al. The music is catchy, sometimes punky electro-pop with male and female vocals. It’s well produced and fun, and the lyrics are often quite brilliant. All the songs are very short (none over 2 minutes), but the breaks between the tracks are very short, so you can let it track through and play a couple of them. If you have time, the liner notes are quite hilarious.
Favorites: 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 18, 21, 22, 24, 25
Language: 3 (‘fucking?), 5 (‘fucking?), 14 (‘shit?), 26 (‘fucking?)
Stingray

Aroah – “The Last Laugh” [Acuarela]

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library, CD

Aroah is lead by Irene Rodriguez a Spanish female singer/songwriter. This album predominantly features her clear, simple voice and acoustic guitar work with occasional appearances by drums, flute, and electric guitar, but always sublimated to the voice and acoustic guitar. She is clearly strongly influenced by John Fahey (and says as much on her website). All songs are in English (including the one with the Spanish name) and she has no discernable accent).
Language: 12 (‘fuck’, though she says it so gently I had to listen a couple times to make sure that’s what she was really saying)
Stingray

99 Hooker?s – “Generica”

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library, CD

Sexually charged beat poetry rants over a bed of bass, guitar, samples, and occasional reeds singing over the top. The words aren’t sung so much as spoken in time. The rants are directed variously at Hollywood (7), religion (3,8), redneck America (4), and, umm, miscellaneous. I really like the last track, but it is quite long. From the label’s copy: ’99 Hooker’s Generica is to pop music as crank is to Michelob?.
Members of Note: M2 (of Chemical Brothers), Donald Miller, Ray Sage.
Language: 3 (‘shit?), 4 (‘fuck’), 6 (‘motherfuckers?), 8 (‘shit?)
Oh yeah, the punctuation is correct. ?99 Hooker? is the name of the band leader.
Stingray

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