I’ve always been a Wilco fan, but their 20th Anniversary news and compilations have me digging back through their catalog, especially the rarities box set “Alpha Mike Foxtrot.” Since Spotify doesn’t have that available, I just picked what I think is one of their greatest moments, the song “Impossible Germany.” Nels Cline is a beast, and this song absolutely kills live.
Fullness of Wind (Variation On ‘The Canon in D Major’ by Johann Pachelbel) – Brian Eno
I get in these kicks where I become obsessed by a band or artists for a few weeks at a time and listen to little else. It usually involves a lot of time on Spotify and a lot of time at Mad World Records or Recycled Books buying whatever I can. Right now, my obsession is Brian Eno, especially his albums with Robert Fripp. Since Fripp doesn’t allow his music on digital services, I decided to choose this track from one of my favorite Eno records. It’s basically a deconstruction of sorts of Pachelbel’s Canon, which has become pretty tired due to it’s being overplayed at just about every wedding ever. Eno spends all of Side 2 of Discreet Music pondering this piece, examining it from different angles and looping various parts and instruments. It becomes a meditation, and the absolute beauty of the original piece shows through again. This track in particular just kills me. I can’t even move when it’s on.
1000 Deaths – D’Angelo
I just got done saying I’m obsessed with Eno at the moment, but I spent a lot of time with this album last week, too. I think this album is a masterpiece, but I don’t know that much about music. Of all the songs on the album, this one hooks me the most. The drums…man, that drum track. Those sounds. That sloppy false start under the taped sermon (very Eno/My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts IMO). How staccato everything is. How far behind the beat everything is. I just can’t get to the bottom of it. I’ll probably spend next week with it too.
You Can Have The Crown – Sturgill Simpson
I’ve heard this name flying around a lot lately as THE alternative to the absolutely worthless dreck that country music has sunk to, but I only recently checked him out. While I think his new album, “Metamodern Sounds Of Country Music” is a pretty big statement, I chose to highlight “You Can Have The Crown” of his previous album “High Top Mountain.” It’s just a fun, raging good ol’ country track that does offer an alternative to the crap Nashville’s pooping out, although it does sound a little heavy on the Waylon soundalike bit. If you’ve also heard the name and were wondering what the buzz was about, start with this track then move on to the new album.
Dress It Up, Better Have It All – Bob Dylan and The Band
Volumes have been written about Bob Dylan and The Basement Tapes. While they’ve been available in various bootleg forms for decades, the recent official release of ALL the Basement Tapes recordings is a landmark event. These recordings spawned so many varied things, from legitimate home recording to the concept of circulating bootleg recordings to the genre of alt-country. They’re just as weird, funny, and vital today as they were 40-odd years ago. Take a listen.