Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists determined by our favorite artists. This week: finger-plucker Jack Rose and lost soul Casiotone For The Painfully Alone.
Listed: Jack Rose + Casiotone For The Painfully Alone
Ever since John Fahey established himself as a true icon and timeless artist in the history of guitar rags, many imitators and influencees have come and gone, but perhaps none have channeled his spirit, talent, creativity, and soul quite like Jack Rose. But make no mistake (and don't read into that 'imitator' remark too far'): Rose is no rip-off artist. His records have been released in small bursts, both as a solo artist and as a member of psych-folk (for lack of a better generalization) ensemble Pelt. Last year's solo album, Kensington Blues (VHF) was a breakout of sorts, popping up on a variety of year-end lists (including a number at this very website), and elevating his status considerably. Rose wanders the country (and world, at that) on a regular and irregular basis, but if you missed him on his recent jaunt last week, your best shot at seeing him live will likely be at the upcoming South by Southwest festival in Austin. Dusted attendees will see you there, front and center.
1. Magik Markers - Arthur Festival
The most electrifying performance I saw in '05, sounded like the godz backing up Janis Joplin.
2. Excepter - Throne
My favorite record from '05. Reminds me of the best parts of mauve sideshow mixed with rhBand ur drone.
3. The Doors
It's a recent and horrible habit thatís been buried in my subconscious for years, now in full bloom. Went out and bought all of the records again this year. I'm now moving on with boots and live recordings. God help me.
4. John Fahey - The Great Santa Barbara Oil Slick
One of the best fahey records ever released. Because of the amazing fidelity, I realized I was playing his songs wrong. This record really helped me with the recording and writing of Kensington Blues. Here he is at the top of his game, which the Tasmania LP and various gig tapes only hinted at.
5. Endless Boogie
After many years of gigs and practice these dirtbags finally released their debut lpís. Worth the wait and totally great.
6. Zia M. Dagar - Raga Yaman
The sound of glaciers moving. My favorite raga of all time and it is the inspiration for my composition, "Yaman Blues" on Opium Musick. I listened to this raga every night before bed while I was composing the songs for the lp. The alap alone is 30 mins and tablas are absent altogether. The amount of concentration itís takes to play this slow and precise is astounding.
Early 20th century greek music of the urban poor. Glenn Jones introduced me to this stuff and I'm crazy about it. Most of the songs are about hash, prostitution, prison and sex. The music was made by greek expatriates expelled from turkey after the country's war with Greece in the early 20th century. This is not the tourist music that most people associate with Greece. Lots of polyrhythm, gapped scales, microtones and has been called the greek equivalent of country blues.
8. Brooke Seitensons
Brooke Seitensons of the Espers was one of my early supporters with the solo guitar thing. She had me at many of her loft shows in the early oughts, which helped me greatly in getting over my stage fright and getting my early material together. She's a great guitar player and the duet guitar style sheís developed with Meg Baird is complex and totally unique.
9. Donald Miller
The most innovative electric guitarist in the last 30 years and is responsible directly or indirectly for a lot of the noise music that has gained a higher profile in recent years. Most well known for his work in the group Borbetomagus, he's also magnificent 12 string acoustic picker as well. Hopefully he has a solo gtr record finished or in the works.
Casiotone For The Painfully Alone
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone is the musical alias of 28 year old American film school drop-out Owen Ashworth. His disjointed, forlorn songs of various fidelities have found their way onto a variety of records, most of which have been released by Tomlab. His most recent releases mark bookends to his career: Etiquette, his newly recorded record, finds Ashworth "removing the focus from a decidedly utilitarlian aesthetic," but, to these ears, not deviating too far from his relatively unique, and familier sound. His other release compiles two early records, Pockey Symphonies for Lonesome Subway Cars and Answering Machine Music. Ashworth's progress, which recently included a move to Chicago, can be tracked at his website: cftpaforever.livejournal.com.
1. Kiki Smith
I went to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for one last look around before my recent move to Chicago, and the Kiki Smith exhibition totally blew my mind. Bronze deer and wolves birthing adult women, a metal quilt cast from an entire body's worth of skin, a horse-haired wax hermaphrodite crouched on a wall... Kiki Smith's sculptures look like props from the most twisted Japanese horror movie, but in the most righteously right-on way possible. I don't really know how to talk about art, but I was deeply affected by Kiki Smith's work. And I'm pretty sure I saw David Byrne unlocking his bicycle outside the museum while I was on my way in.
2. Phil'z Coffee (3101 24th St, San Francisco, CA)
I love my friends and I love my family but I don't miss anybody like I miss Phil. Seriously the best coffee of my life. There used to be an enormous portrait of Howlin' Wolf over the counter, which I took to be a direct reference to the Muddy Waters coffee chain that predominates the neighborhood. I'll take The Wolf over Muddy any day of the week, and I'll bet you Phil would, too. You Mission busters don't know how lucky you are to have this place and I will always fix my coffee with cardamom and mint from now on.
3. Devin The Dude - "Doobie Ashtray" (Screwed & Chopped Version)
This is one of the most satisfyingly sad sack pieces of music I have ever heard in my life. The most for real dude in all of Houston nearly brought my brother and me to tears while driving my van and all of my things through West Texas on our way to Chicago. I don't want to give away the ending if you haven't heard the song before, but I can tell you that it is infinitely more triumphant in slow motion. We actually cheered for the dude. Goddamn I wish this were a Casiotone song.
4. Weakling - Dead As Dreams
This is another album that we listened to on our way to Chicago. Massive! Ice is tough and everything, but there should really be more Southwest-themed black metal, because Weakling was the perfect midnight soundtrack for endless miles of rocky cliffs and scrub brush. My brother played air guitar along to nearly all 20:39 of the title track. I tried my hardest to make him feel self-conscious about it, but dude refused to be embarrassed. Because it's fucking Weakling. P.S. Immediately after listening to this song, we stopped to get gas and stretch our legs and I found a dead coyote in a field. I swear it's the truth.
5. The Impressions
There's something about a caseless, unrewound Greatest Hits of The Impressions tape on the floor of a car that just screams, "I'm a mobius strip full of positivity and it's time for you to play me, motherfucker." This hasn't left my van's tape deck since I got to town last week, and has become the perfect soundtrack for one man's search for a best taqueria in Chicago.
6. La Pasadita (1132, 1140 and 1141 N. Ashland, Chicago, IL)
And I found it. Boom. Three different restaurants on the same block, and I've already eaten at all of them. $2 for delicious chile rellenos, and the barbacoa is totally perfect. Hello, lunch forever.
7. Columbo - Season 2 on DVD
This was a Christmas gift from Jenny Herbinson, who sings on some of the new Casiotone album. I'd never owned TV on a DVD before, and it feels like cheating time. Those poor suckers in the 70's had to wait months to watch all of these episodes, and I tore through it in a week. Hooray for the future.
8. Oscillating Innards - live at Enemy 1/14/06 (Chicago, IL)
Yes, this is my brother's project, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that this was one of the best performances I'd seen in a long time. Using a cookie tin full of springs, an E-bow, and a salvaged car fender complete with Illinois license plate as his source material, baby brother built a cyclone of brutal, textured noise that translated as both eloquent and deeply emotional. This guy impresses me in ways that Mom and Pop will never get.
9. Arthur Russell - World Of Echo
I believe that some records were meant to be listened to from the next room. Putting this CD on the boom box in the kitchen and laying on the living room couch with a good book makes my new apartment feel like the world's most laid back sound art installation.
10. Chico Marx's piano solo in Animal Crackers
I love all of the Marx brothers? musical numbers, but this hit meespecially hard the other night. NASA should send this in a space capsule to the aliens along with Phil'z Coffee and hard math equations and the Mona Lisa or whatever.
By Dusted Magazine