Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Meg Baird and Blues Control.
Listed: Meg Baird + Blues Control
Meg Baird might be the most talented female singer-songwriter of 2007, but you've probably never heard her. Actually, you probably have heard her, as she known to most as a member of Philadelphia ren-fair folk ensemble Espers. Below the Espers radar, and all along, Baird has been nursing a solo career, as well as recording songs and playing shows with her sister as the aptly named Baird Sisters. Meg Baird will release two solo records in the next few months. The first is a collaborative effort with Helena Espivall, and the second is her proper solo debut (to be released by the venerable Drag City label). Both are comprised mostly of covers of traditional and unheard modern folk songs.
1. Blues Control
If you haven’t already spent some time falling really hard for the duo of Lea Cho and Russ Waterhouse, then you are probably kicking yourself/about to fall in love. Their brand new release on Holy Mountain is a great ride that hits at my tender blues harp soft spots. Things feels so much more exciting with these deck captains.
2. The Groundhogs - Thank Christ for the Bomb
The opening chord sequence to Ship on the Ocean is dark and spare, cleansing and perfect. Galvanizing music.
3. Fraser & Debolt - With Ian Guenther
I have already made my love for this record very plain by covering a track from it, but if I were ever inclined to bury a record in a garden plot, it would certainly be this earthy treasure.
4. John Martyn - One World/Small Hours
With so much “island damage” in the air, I seem to gravitate towards this sublime variant.
5. Carolanne Pegg - s/t
Can I spend a summer in Clancy's Song?
6. Terry Allen - Lubbock (On Everything)
So imaginative it’s scary. One track in particular offers one of the best double entendres I've heard and an enhanced subject of LA alienation via the grounded lens of an imaginary state of Okalahoma. There are distinct shades of Michael Hurley (who of course remains an understood top ten at all times) in the approach.
7. Hovhaness: Fred the Cat/Marvin Rosen (Marvin Rosen, Piano)
When pointless mental compression makes it feel impossible to remember the names of people, facts and places, this collection of pieces helps me feel like I can remember the precise names of every point along the invisible line that connects the edge of the landscape with the windowpane.
8. Laura Nyro
Despite how much her work walks out onto a precipice and pushes into an outsider territory, Laura Nyro’s performances miraculously land on the straight side--maybe it’s a measure of the deeply generous and true drive to communicate lodged in their core.
9. Heron - Heron/Lord and Master
Bless field recording and genuine “flowing into everything” pastoral romanticism. After you’ve walked with the melter of everything, how is it possible to let go?
10. Claudette Miller - Tonight Is The Night
Pure, lovely giving nature anticipation that something unimaginably wonderful is going to grow out of it all.
(After overwhelmingly over-personalizing all of this phenomenal music, I really do hope it inspires some time revisiting or discovering the real thing.)
Blues Control is the duo of Russ Waterhouse and Lea Cho. Russ fucks with shit on a table, and Lea helps it all make sense on the keys. Russ helped establish No Fun Fest way back in 2004, before it sucked (kidding!). But seriously, Blues Control has a "good times" type of vibe that distances itself from a lot of the noisefuckey these days. They have a new album coming out on Holy Mountain any day now, and if it comes close to their 12" on Woodsist, it'll probably be year-end material. We can't wait. Here's a review of that 12" from Doug Mosurak's Still Single column:
"Mesmerizing duo of Russ Waterhouse and Lea Cho on an assortment of keyboards, cassettes, electronics and guitar. This is where dub hits Krautrock and tiny melodies rock back and forth inside your brain. This is where the drum loop to Bell Biv Devoe's "Poison" achieves a density previously unheard of. Playful, exploratory longform jams that reverberate on and on flesh out the languid minutes one must spend examining this music's beautifully bare contours. So dank, it should come with a towel, toilet paper roll and fabric softener sheet to stuff in there. A compliment to green lives everywhere. Edition of 500, silkscreened sleeve. With another album coming out this summer (on Holy Mountain), I'm of the opinion that Blues Control will be the outfit that brings noise over to the norms. Album of the year candidate, no doubt."
Oh, and do go see No Fun this weekend. Seriously, it's a good time.
Ten $1 Records and Tapes
1. Klaus Wiese - Uranus
Classic recording of Tibetan singing bowls from the 90s. Are they electronics? This doesn't go anywhere or do much of anything, but it doesn't need to. Apparently Klaus played tabla in Popol Vuh. Nice photo of his swami eating a banana. Purchased at Megapol Music.
2. Bijelo Dugme - Eto! Bas Hocu!
Bought this gem at European Music & Video. They're no Gordi, but Bijelo Dugme were the biggest Slavic rock band of the 70s, and they sold out NYC's Roseland not long ago. Big juicy lips...Sparks meets Styx.
3. Soft Machine - Rock Storia E Musica compilation
Ever tour for 2 weeks with only noise tapes in the van? We found this tape in Italy and played it non-stop from that point forward. Crucial morale booster.
4. Bread - Guitar Man
Only 50 cents at a Salvation Army next to a Pizza Hut in Missouri. Amazing artwork. Listened to it amidst the madness in Austin. Lonnie called it "make out music." Goes down smooth.
5. Rory Gallagher - Blueprint
Talk about guitar men...damn...Rory, the Irish Erkin Koray. His licks were so hot that women were peeling their clothes off at the Isle of Wight. The man inspires fanatics - just last year there was a movement to rename "Cork International Airport" to "Cork Rory Gallagher Airport." Found this at Plan 9.
6. Fever Tree - Another Time, Another Place
Another Plan 9 score. The blond, denim-clad dude pulled this out from behind the counter after seeing my other purchases. Classic 2nd-tier Texas psych. The A-side maintains a steady bar-band vibe (Seger style), while the B-side meanders in and out of pretty, melancholy psych-folk with jazzy interludes.
7. Nature's Creations - Rainforest / 100% Nature Sounds
Contempo department store field recordings for white collar bachelor pads. Sounds like cracked electronics. Better than the David Tudor record of the same name.
8. Tony McPhee's Groundhogs - Who Said Cherry Red?
Tragic, but compelling 90s "live" recording of a dubious nature...actually sounds like Tony jamming over midi tracks and canned applause. Just awful. Found at the Walpole Mall.
9. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - American Dream
This should help anyone get over their fear of 80s AOR rock production. It may not top Danny Kootch, but there are great songs here, and choice touches like the synthesized pan flute. As of 2006, CSNY are the best live band in the world. A Richmond thrift store score.
Hammer Black Sheep + Aldo Nova - Aldo Nova
Two tied for last. Got 'em at the Christian thrift store across the highway from the one above...both are prime examples of New York Keyboard Rock. Positive arena vibes dominate the Aldo Nova...Napoleon complex action, proto-Jovi. Jan Hammer's Hammer rocks, but with no guitars. You'd never know the difference!
By Dusted Magazine