Monday, February 16, 2009
Buddy Guy - Stone Crazy! (lala) Being unable to mask my nature as a white male music nerd, my relationship to the blues is that I tend to spend more time talking about it than listening to it, but lately there has been a corrective shift in my soundtrack compulsions. It is spring (here it is anyway) and the blues is fundamentally sex music and Buddy Guy's elastic, searing tones and pleading for that good stuff mixes well with flowers stretching in shockingly conscious self-display and the air laden with pollen and all of Mother Nature's pheremonal charms. The review on AMG says "Purists may want to look elsewhere" and well, I've seen what they got over there, and I'd rather make time with what they got over here. The 8-minute "Outskirts of Town" is what it's all about, and by it, I mean "it."
Otis Rush - Cold Day in Hell (lala) Now that is a man's album cover! AMG seems to get pissed when blues performers go off-script, citing this is an album with "incredibly indulgent moments" I don't know why I am harping on AMG, as if they were a final say-so, but geez, what do you squares want? Does the orgasmic, sweating rictus of Otis Rush on the cover above imply that there will be a moment of this record not in service to his indulgences? I wish more artists did what they wanted to do to me in deference to what they surmise I want. Or at least came off that way. Isn't that how it works? Focusing on quantifiable results belies an misunderstanding of the ways of booty. This band on this album lurches toward climax like a pack of wild dogs in a dark alley cornering prey: cautious, hungry, yet certain to get there in some fashion. Dante could take some tips on infernal travelogues from Otis Rush. That society woman wants to eat steak and chicken while he eats plain ol' kittlin' stew! Cold!
Bobby "Blue" Bland - Dreamer (lala) Consider the case of the contemptuous Yolanda of Charleston, who foresakes Bobby "Blue" Bland, who lays and lays and lays his body down, who leaves him in this wilderness with no money down, continually with neither resolution nor explanation. You would think Bland would see the failures in this relationship, but no, he pleads his queries until he is physically choking on them at the end. Why does he do it? Indulgence, that's why. It's why Yolanda does it, why Otis does it, why you do it, I do it, birds, bees everything down to the smallest cold-hearted triflin' quark chasing another in the ether of matter's theoretical sub-minutiae.