Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Hank sure was a dapper fella, warn't he?
glisten: Blue CD 2

3. Hank Williams - "Blue Love In My Heart (Demo)"

Brian - Hank’s always been one of my favorites. Like Mr. Cash, it’s a voice ingrained in our minds…the very soul of sadness. So far this disc is about voices, and how those voices convey “blue”, I guess. The lyrics, as ever, are never complicated…they speak directly, and true. I have a different version of this song, but I like this version much more…the way the almost peppy guitar belies the voice behind it. Well done, Hank. Nashville misses you.

Pastor - I really haven't listened to much of Mr. Williams. This was pleasant, but it didn't blow me away.

Rob - Kinda boring, love song/heartache song that doesn't really feel like it has much behind it. doesn't leave me fullfilled =/

Juan - I want to say "The Real Thing," but what do I know?

Enough to recognize the real thing when you hear it, apparently.
Hank Williams Sr. always tastes like blood and hay to me.
Never could handle his son; never have listened to his grandson.
Am I missing out? Chris, y'wanna send me a little?

Buy "Alone With His Guitar," a collection of Williams demo tracks, from Amazon.
An entire disc of raw and rugged Hank. Not a bad place for a curious beginner to get started and an excellent gift for any of the blues and bluegrass fans in your life.
Visit Mercury Records official Hank site.
I own a copy of that Complete Box Set that I got from my father; it's a serious piece of work but by no means "complete". Check out this fansite for a listing of additional recordings not included and what amounts to the closest thing you can get to a total singles discography.
Visit the Alabama Hank Williams Museum.
Explore Hank's American Masters page.
Read this brief (and rare) Q+A interview with Hank.


4. Abbey Lincoln - "Afro Blue"

Juan - I like it. The horns remind me of the music in Kusturica's "Underground".

Brian - Great transition. I’m not familiar with Ms. Lincoln, only hearing her name in passing. She’s got that interesting Billie Holiday meets Nina Simone quality, with the Skokiaan-period Louis Armstrong horns. It’s a nice piece…a kinder, gentler song when faced with the previous songs. A little sexier, a little more hopeful.

Rob - The horn intro is great, but I wish they would have stuck with the blaring brass throughout the rest of the song. The trumpet solo near the end is the best part of the song while the lyrics don't do it for me until the last verse.

Pastor - Funny, but the first thing I thought of when Ms. Lincoln started singing was, "Her voice sounds like Neneh Cherry when she sang in Rip, Rig, and Panic.". I guess that that would make a bit of sense. She must have been steeped in stuff like this having Don Cherry as a step dad. I like the horns too - those guys can really play well quietly. You don't hear that often.

Abbey Lincoln's early albums are criminally underrated. I'm not a big fan of what she's putting out now, but her late 50's early 60's cuts with Max Roach are about as nice as anything I've ever heard.
I really like how the horns go a little off key at the 1:03 mark. That's Tommy Turrentine on trumpet there; he was known for playing with Roach but was also part of Lowell Fulson's band alongside Ray Charles.
Musta been one helluva show.

Buy "Abbey Is Blue", Lincoln's seminal '59 set, from Amazon.
A glorious album, top to bottom. Her covers of "Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise" and "Brother Where Are You?" are great; the astonishingly dark "Laugh Clown Laugh" ranks as one of my favorite jazz vocals of all time. To be cherished.
As long as I'm shilling, the two pack of "Abbey is Blue" and "Straight Ahead" for $25 is a hella nice bargain as well.
Read a long and fairly recent interview with Abbey.
Research this extensive and exacting Lincoln discography.
Listen to Abbey's NPR jazz profile.
See Abbey perform live at the NYC Blue Note, Sept. 2-5th.
I can't afford that kind of cover but if anybody would like to take me...

yet more late breaking name dropping news

Check out this NEW reuters article released over the weekend.

Some quotage:

"'Film companies and music companies are seeing that 18- to 35-year-olds who are smart and have money and buy everything online are almost entirely our audience,' says Chiore Sicha, editorial director of Gawker Media, a leading producer of blog content. 'Blogs have this shocking demographic that most magazines would kill for.'"

"'It's up to individual copyright owners to decide how their works should be distributed,' says a spokesperson for the Recording Industry Assn. of America. 'Those who choose an MP3 blog to boost attention -- that is their choice, because they're the ones making the decision, rather than some third-party profiteer deciding for them. In terms of piracy, it's an issue we're monitoring, and we could decide at any time to make this an enforcement priority.'"

Now I doubt that the RIAA is taking particular umbrage with my hyping of decades old Hank Williams and Abbey Lincoln tracks, but perhaps it's time some of us tried to open a dialogue with these fellows? Perhaps they should try opening a dialogue with us. Either way would be nice.

"Unreleased material from upcoming albums by Epic's Fiona Apple, Matador's Interpol and Elektra's Bjork have been posted on MP3 blogs in recent weeks without permission from the labels. The most trafficked MP3 blogs -- Fluxblog, Scenestars, TofuHut -- can draw thousands of visitors each day."

Some proofreading notes:

1) It's "The Tofu Hut", thank you.

2) We've yet to hit thousandS per day here. A really really good day is a thousand and I imagine Scenestars is along the same route.
Flux, on the other hand, there's your big money.

3) The Interpol and the Fiona tracks were RAPIDLY taken down when even the slightest breath of negativity from label or artist blew up. I feel QUITE sure that the Fiona was intentionally leaked; the Interpol somewhat less so. The Bjork is EVERYWHERE on the web; it was leaked to Pitchfork a long time ago and there's been a steady stream of leaks all over the place. Again, I believe this is intentional marketing; if not by the label then by the artist or the artist's friends. It's certainly not malicious.

Personally, I haven't posted anything by any of these artists. As usual, I'm out the pool when the cool kids get in.

I also would like to note that I agree with Matthew at Flux; it's a little silly that we're being viewed as some great amalgamated unit. That would be like expecting to see Jerry Springer on PBS and getting indignant when you don't.

Any publicity is good publicity in my eyes and I continue to be pleased to see our Q rating go up.

Does everybody understand that when this goes above ground and it becomes clear to the average 18-35 year old just how EASY and FUN and CHEAP it is to musicblog, that there will be THOUSANDS of these things popping up every month? This first and second generation of musicbloggers need to set some standards as to reasonable fair use and quality of posting so that when the floodgates open there will be an established understanding as to what's acceptable to the labels and what the average reader of these things demands, content-wise. Otherwise, apres moi, le deluge folks.

So far, I think we've done a good job of getting the stage set but it's still a young movement; the serious movers and shakers have only been posting for about two or three years, y'know?

Two or three years from now, the music industry is going to be VERY different and we may represent the first steps in a bold new direction; we may represent a serious issue of free speech versus copyright law; we may change the way music is distributed, period. It's an exciting time.