Thursday, July 22, 2004

A golden orb spider waves bye-bye

arachnaglisten: Spider CD 9

22. Herbie Hancock - "Spider"

Tuwa: Eh. Someone's cup of tea, but not mine.

Brian: Cuica and Hancock what could be better. Thank you Miles Davis.

Mason: so far there's nothing even remotely spidery about this track

...excepting the title, of course. One of the last of the classic Headhunters sets. Hancock just rips this apart.

Buy "Secrets" from Amazon.
Completists will also find this track on Hancock's ludicrously designed Box set. Great music there; the packaging is a senseless mess.
Herbie's official site
"What is the concept of Herbie's Improvised Line?"
Excellent fansite


23. Raffi - "Spider on the Floor"

Tuwa: The singer must be tied to his chair, playing guitar with his feet. Else why sing about it?

Brian: No. No. Noooooo. This is harmful to children and everyone else. As my daughter said, "Insulting and stupid."

Mason: i thought it was the who for a second. there's something very very disturbing about this. it may as well be xiu xiu or something.

Mason, that's fucking AWESOME: the xiu xiu/raffi connection revealed at last!

Buy "Singable Songs for the Very Young" from Amazon.
I missed the whole "Raffi is hateworthy" thing, so I'm not precisely sure where the negativity comes from...
Care to hear Raffi's song for the Dalai Lama?
Look, how can you hold any enmity for the man who brought us bananaphone and consequently badgeranaphone?!?

Use in moderation, both animated and live action.

Lil' Spidey say BYE BYE!

That's it for Spider Glisten. Hope it met with your approval. Thanks again to our guest reviewers! Comments, suggestions for missed songs, exuberance or whatever else you've got can fit comfortably in the comments section.

spiffy: ray

So here's the trailer to Ray. Let's compare what it sets you up to expect against Charles' autobiography, Brother Ray.

Ray: Ray is born sighted in a poor but idyllic countryside shack and goes blind as a child, but is taught how to learn to get around by his saintly mother.

Brother Ray: Pretty much dead on, except Ray considered himself lucky enough to have TWO mothers, his birth mother and his absent father's first wife. I wonder if the film will decide to smooth over that detail as too complex?
The doctors did indeed tell Ray and his moms that there was nothing they could do. Ray lost one of his eyes in his teens; he never got a definitive answer on what the reason was, even as an adult.
Ray: Ray is first taught to play the piano by an old kindly black man in a juke joint.

Brother Ray: Accurate. The man's name was Wylie Pitman.
Ray: Ray tries to break through to the big time by demanding his own band from his reticent management.

Brother Ray: Again, spot on. Big bands were expensive and difficult to maintain and Ray had to fight to get his first combo and fight again for his first big band, even after he had proven star power.
Ray: Angry churchgoers condemn Ray's combination of gospel and juke joint music (file under: modern soul) as dragging the church through the mud, but Ray don't give a damn.

Brother Ray: Pretty much so. Ray says in his book that it never gave him pause, but he certainly did catch some shit.
Ray: "He feels her wrist cause he figures that's the way to tell if she's good lookin' or not."

Brother Ray: Lifted verbatim from the book. Ray wasn't just a notorious womanizer, he was THE notorious womanizer.
Ray: Ray's wife confronts him over his addiction to heroin.

Brother Ray: Hold on there, Smokey. Ray emphatically states that his wife, B., NEVER confronted him about his drug use and that he went to extremes to keep it away from her line of sight. Furthermore, Ray isn't especially concerned with "addiction":

I used various shit regularly for sixteen or seventeen years, and I certainly wouldn't encourage a single soul to start fucking with dope. But it may surprise some people to learn that I have no horror stories to tell. Sorry, but I just don't. Lots of what's portrayed at the movies or on TV is pure fantasy to me. Maybe other cats have gone through it; I haven't. I don't mean I wasn't sick now and then... 'cause I was. I'd hit a dry period and go through the same convulsions as any other junkie. For the most part, though, I had myself under control. There wasn't anything I could see destroying me, not as long as I was still managing my own affairs and able to play music.
Ray: Ray is dragged down by cops and tearfully faces his attorney who tells him he'll "do what he can, but..."

Brother Ray: Ray was busted about three times; the third time was the serious one and it forced him to clean up his act. None of those busts involved struggles with the cops and although the charges on the last bust were enough to send him to jail (the first two didn't stick), the extenuating circumstances of his complete cold turkey quit (and another twist or two that I won't ruin for you) were enough to see Ray put on a five year probation. Basically, he walked.
Ray: Ray is called "the innovator of soul".

Brother Ray: Ray was never too hot on those kind of comments.

Even today, I'm called "Ray Charles, the blues singer" or "Ray Charles, the soul singer." And this is after twenty years of singing damn near everything!
Ray: Ray confronts his record label, asking for the masters to his own music and is roundly shot down and told "that's a better deal than we gave Sinatra".

Brother Ray: Here's the quote from the book on the subject:

By the end of 1959, I had changed labels, left Atlantic and gone with ABC. It was a tough move for me - I loved the Atlantic people - but it was probably the smartest money decision of my life. ABC made an offer to my manager and booking agent which was hard to pass up. They told me that in addition to 5 percent of the royalties - high at the time - they'd give me 7 1/2 cents of every dime's worth of profit for my services as producer of my own material. And I also had the guarantee that I would ultimately own all my master tapes which I recorded for the label.

So it looks as if they're going to play up the race card and the drug card for the sake of dramatic tension and bullshit up certain elements that have no business being bullshitted up. Still and all, Jamie Foxx is AMAZINGLY right on as Ray and he's due for a breakout performance.

I'm looking forward to it.