Wednesday, February 4, 2009

O, the Shame of Shleeping

but as long as I'm hovering around its periphery, uh, yooowanna some tracks?

Deltron 3030, "Time Keeps on Slipping," Deltron 3030 (2000): I actually know neither this track nor this record particularly well (just hearing it for the first time), but I appreciate the sort of dusty, airy mood of surreal resignation on this'un ... in terms of mood, it reminds me of the moments of druggy calm on the early Funkadelic records, speaking of which--

Funkadelic, "I'll Stay," Standing on the Verge of Getting It On (1974): One of my favorite moments from the Parliament-Funkadelic catalogue. The very concept of George Clinton and his work has long since faded into a reified frat-boy irony, often participated in by a reified hipster irony, but for the whole of the '70s, Clinton and his cadre were making visionary, genre-spanning music (let's not forget the audacity of race boundaries in that formulation) that was perhaps the first to seize on James Brown's post-R&B music as a philosophical and hermeneutic system as well as some fonky shit. Lest we forget, Eddie Hazel (on this cut) and his successor Michael Hampton could smoke virtually any White-boy post-blues guitar hero--seriously, dig either one of them on any rendition of "Maggot Brain" and try to tell me that Eric Clapton is some heavy shit.

Soft Machine, "Bundles" and "Floating World" [live], both later released on Bundles (1975): I wouldn't rate this version of the group anywhere near the Ratledge/Hopper/Wyatt/Dean incarnation in terms of innovation or idiosyncrasy (embedding is disabled on this, for some reason, but watch them murk Paris in 1970 here), but I do think this is a particularly nice duo of pieces, and it's always a privilege to hear Allan Holdsworth during the brief era in which he had some grit (though even at this early stage he displays his chronic inability to shut the fuck up); he eventually got technically fluid beyond a point that permitted him to keep the musicality of his playing in the forefront of his mind and ended up firmly in ehhhhhh-ville (sometime between Gong's Gazeuse! and his first solo discs, perhaps).

Emitt Rhodes, "With My Face on the Floor," Emitt Rhodes (1970): Hey, it's popmusik. Rhodes was the frontman for California sunshine-psych group the Merry-Go-Round, best remembered for the so-so "Live" but better represented by the brilliant "You're a Very Lovely Woman" (a sort of orchestral-pop tango melodrama: dig here), and wrote, played, and recorded everything on this brilliant eponymous LP. Pop fans of every stripe need this shit, and you'll have to steal it or pay $40 for a Japanese import CD, because of course you would never download it.

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