Tuesday, May 28, 2013
I very recently learned about Korla Pandit, from fellow pioneer of the mind Don Mangus -- check out Don's Pandit article on his blog, It Only Hurts When I Smirk.
Pandit's story is interesting stuff (see Don's blog for the details), so when I found The Universal Language of Music Volume 3 in Vintage Freak's dollar room the other day, I jumped at it -- especially when I saw it was signed by the man himself, in black marker: "Best wishes to Ray/Korla Pandit/1979/Friday 13th." Cool!
Funny enough, when I checked out the album on discogs, the comment/review, from 2011, said:
"Does anyone know how common autographed copies of this record are?"
To which someone responded:
"Common enough - as a private release (usual trend to this homemade market) the items was "personalised" this way..."
O well, I'm still proud of it, especially since it only has one skip, and was only a buck. You can buy it from Amazon "new" at $25 or used starting at $4.00.
You can hear Pandit's The Universal Language of Music Vol. 1 over at the sadly extinct music blog Dinosaur Gardens. Dino Gardens sez Volume One was published 1954. Discogs doesn't give a year for Vol. 3, but it's got a cover of Spinning Wheel (released in '69) on it so it was put out sometime in the 70s, maybe as late as '79, since that's when Pandit's autograph is dated on the cover. The cover of "Spinning Wheel" is rockin' and I'd love to share it on here too, but unfortunately that's where the one skip is. #firstworldproblems. He also covers Lara's Theme from Dr. Zhivago, but the rest of the songs are his. Here's Tone Power!, written by Pandit, "Creating orchestral sounds on the electronic organ and piano," per the vinyl's centerpiece. It's pretty funky.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
"Panacea marks a slight departure for the band, with almost exclusive emphasis on acoustic instruments and live performance - for both the EP's tracks and the video for 10-4 where we recorded live vocals in the epic reverberance of the Greenwich Foot Tunnel under the Thames. The performances for Panacea were captured in our house in Brixton and our studio in New Cross, South London.
We're delighted to follow up our sophomore album, Glimmerers, with this live EP, both as a sidestep in style and a stepping stone to our next full album which is due later this year."
I like this EP. Pretty, mellow, short songs. Enjoy!
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
Here's what WATW's website has to say about them:
"We Are The West uses sound and space to create an experience that is welcoming and honest. The Los Angeles-based duo has recorded in storm drains and shipping containers, performed on sheep farms and in abandoned convents, and now hosts a concert series in the underground parking garage of an office building in Santa Monica the Saturday night before each full moon. This spring they release the second in a four-part album of recordings, this installment handcrafted with love and care in a barn in Western New York during the summer months. Next month they release the second in a four part album of recordings."
The wife and I recently went to see James McCartney (Sir Paul's son), who is doing a tour with just himself and whom we assume is his man-servant. McCartney played folk guitar and piano ballads and, while technically proficient, his songs really lacked melody and, just as important, conviction -- most of them featuring vague lyrics about butterflies, rainbows, or butterflies and rainbows. We felt it was particularly bad, but others in the crowd seemed into it.
The three tracks on We Are The West's EP II, while operating in the same folk mileu, are the exact opposite of what Son-of-Paul was doing the other night. The sound is melodic, wide open, and haunting, and the singer has a sincere, distinctive voice. While McCartney may have been sincere (although at one point he freely admitted his songs weren't really about anything), the only thing distinctive about his voice was that it was often pitchy.
I don't mean to rant about James McCartney, we just really didn't care for it. We Are The West, on the other hand, is cool stuff, so give it a listen!