Spring 2012 Mix

Spring has sprung and that’s as good a reason as any to offer to my readers & friends a mix of some of the music that I’ve been jamming lately.

Woods – Skull – 2011 Summer Tour Split 7″ (Woodsist 2011)
The Cosmic Dead – The Spaceman – Psychonaut (self-released 2011)
David Bromberg – Diamond Lil – Demon In Disguise (Columbia 1972)
Matt Valentine – Hit The Trails – What I Became (Woodsist 2011)
Megafaun – These Words – Megafaun (Hometapes 2011)
Alexander ‘Skip’ Spence – Little Hands – Oar (Columbia 1969)
John Hartford – Back In The Goodle Days – Aereo-plain (Warner Brothers 1971)
Flaming Lips with Neon Indian – Is David Bowie Dying? – s/t (EP) (Warner Brothers/Lovely Sorts Of Death 2011)
Woodsman – Inside Outside – Rare Forms (Lefse/Firetalk 2011)
Brian Eno – St. Elmo’s Fire – Another Green World (Island 1975)
Akron/Family – Sun Will Shine – Set Em Wild Set Em Free (Dead Oceans 2009)

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Rediscovering Oar

Chatting with a friend the other day, we stumbled onto the topic of ‘legendary’ or ‘landmark’ records. We made little distinction between those two labels and that of ‘infamous’ but a few titles tumbled out onto the table. “Pet Sounds” was one of the first and, when my friend noted that he hadn’t dug it for years after first listening until he learned more about its genesis, I expressed a bit of shock and countered with a confession of my own.

“A classic album stands up on its own whether you know its history or even like the music. Hell, you couldn’t have gotten me to like My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless” back in the 90’s but I could tell that they were doing something powerful on there.”

(That’s true. In the mid-nineties, while I was expanding my musical vocabulary with older music across the boards of rock, pop, jazz, and folk, I neglected much of the contemporary material. I’ve been working to rectify this over the past ten years.)

As our discussion progressed, he asked me about Alexander ‘Skip’ Spence’s acclaimed solo record, “Oar”. Was it really a masterpiece as he’d often heard? Who was Skip Spence, anyway? Continue reading