Saturday, July 19, 2008

afternoon soundtrack with elipses

I was hanging at some friends' house this afternoon, commanding the soundtrack with stuff that was on my phone. Some of this I have talked about at length, so I will skip it, but it made for a compelling stream of music with cohesive flow like I planned it.

Steve Reich - Daniel Variations

This led to a conversation about the early minimalists and Terry was trying to think of the keyboard player that helped champion this music. I offered La Monte Young and Terry Riley, which fit his description of "big hippie" and "wild hair" but neither of them were it. It vexed him so that he had to go upstairs and look it up, and shortly returned announcing...

Yes - Fragile

My wife and I had a Yes moment not too long ago. She mentioned that they were very popular in San Luis Obispo where she used to live because one of them bought a house there, and members of Yes were always hanging around. Yes was a band I never got into, fearing that I might never get back out but we dialed up some Yes as we sat around. At the 425-minute mark of "Cans and Brahms" during one of Mr Wakeman's prodigious solos, she remarked, "Man, Yes, don't hold back!" to which I responded, "Well, the band isn't called Maybe or Perhaps..."

Funkadelic - Maggot Brain
While I no longer deny Yes from my life, the languid afternoon called for markedly more funk. This also needed playing because somehow neither of them had ever heard his record. Everyone needs to hear this record, especially "Wars of Armageddon" at the end, collapsing prog and funk and acid rock and sound collage and the end of flower power into a nin-minute fire-fight, culminating with an atom bomb, thunder, a human heratbeat and a mysterious whipser of "It's a fat funky person..."

Sly and the Family Stone - There's a Riot Goin' On
prompting to pick out a skinny funky person, one who embodied Funkadelic's cosmic paranoia on a personal scale, crafting beautiful spare music while waiting for the cops to kick down he door.

1 comment:

  1. You hit the nail on the head with your description of There's a Riot Goin' On. Some have called it Sly's "cocaine soundtrack." I write about this and more in my book Sly: the Lives of Sylvester Stewart and Sly Stone. I hope you'll check it out.