Monday, July 6, 2009

"mystery space element"

Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra - On Jupiter (listen) Someone reccomended this CD to me at the record store this weekend. Not quite the interstellar journey the cover might imply, this is the fusion groove side of Sun Ra, a hazy lopey funk slowly dipping like a line string from here to Way Out There, the line bending off into darkness with its terminus merely assumed. The frayed end of the line might be floating out in space, or it might be forever uncoiling, OR it might be attached to a post belonging to our mirror selves on the other side of the universe and the line gets more and more taut as the universe expands. When it reaches the tension limit, it is hard to say what will happen. Will the universe stop expanding, held in check by the line, or will it cause a dimple in the continuum, forming the basis of a wormhole through which we will one day travel the spaceways?

I don't know if I've heard Sun Ra and his fellow voyagers get this funky before. It is like listening to Earth, Wind, Fire & "mystery space element"

The Commodores - Caught in the Act (listen) One needs no special occasion to jam on some Commodores, but the group reformed and reportedly tore the roof off the Superdome at the Essence Music Festival this weekend.

801 - 801 Live (listen) Much as I love Brian Eno in his many guises, I've avoided the 801 material over the years fearing it to be a prog mess, and fears resolved! It is a prog mess! But a good one! A 1975 progressive supergroup covering "Tomorrow Never Knows" seems the most terrible idea ever, but they kinda pull it off. Brian Eno was such an engaging lead singer then, so calm and bemused against the big architecture being erected behind him.

Should this half-hearted but earnest endorsement pique your interest, a super-expanded edition of this comes out in August.

Liars - Drums Not Dead (listen) Ages ago, back in 2007, this somber little angst-grinder of a record was all the rage, but I couldn't really get into it. It felt like it wanted to be something it couldn't reach, and was bummed about it. Listening to it is not unlike watching a kid continually jumping, failing to get a hold of his kite stuck in a tree. It still sounds like that a little, but there is a sub-ironic zeal to it that sounds perfect after the 801 crew raged through Eno's "Third Uncle"

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