Tuesday, October 26, 2004
glistening by the numbers: FOUR
Coleman Hawkins - "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover"
41: weird- just came across this song for the first time on an old banjo album the day I got the cd in the mail. it's better on banjo but still smarmy.
Lee: Nice, smooth rendition. Once again, the arrangement is tasteful and pleasant. Not surprisingly, it reminds me of Stan Getz or Vince Guaraldi. I've listened to a lot of jazz over the years, and I find this kind to the most enjoyable. Must be my old age.
Jamie: Jazz vet jumps on the bossa nova bandwagon and doesn't fall off, even if it's not far removed from Stan Getz. The type of tune to listen to while driving along a beach or through a quiet country pasture - I have a habit of imagining music coupled with where I am as background for movie scenes/title sequences.
Rosecrans: Samba never fails to sound pleasant, but can it sound astounding? This is not astounding; this is a very pleasant-sounding fad that sold millions of records worldwide. I'm waiting for the day I hear ASTOUNDING samba. Still, Hawkins's solo is killer.
David: This is true easy listening - nice enough when its on, forgotten as soon as its ended. The sort of stuff they play in bookshops...
This is EXTREMELY late era Hawkins and is hardly indicative of his range but it _does_ highlight his tremendous versatility and mastery of the instrument... plus it's a real feel-good song.
And maybe a little corny as well, but something this soft and huggable should always be welcome in your life.
That little chord progression flutter on the sax part for "I-I-I-I'm looking over... a four-leaf-clover" is sweet like molasses.
Buy the newly remastered "Desafinado: Bossa Nova and Jazz Samba" from Amazon.
The early sixties offered a host of Jazzsters climbing up on the then popular Bossa Nova train. Miles, Sonny Rollins and Cannonball Adderly were among the many who horned in on Stan Getz's phenomenally popular American reimagining of the Bossa Nova; Hawkins' take is awfully endearing.
Read more about the origins of the Bossa Nova in this extensive piece, featuring an excellent recommended discography and a collection of translated songs.
Learn more about sax legend Coleman Hawkins and then listen to some vintage tunage, via realaudio; all thanks to the Red Hot Jazz Archive.
"According to a cereal personality test... people who prefer this cereal usually become accountants, Internal Revenue Service auditors, librarians who work at the reference desk or low lever government bureaucrats that stagnate in a dead end position."
Four Vagabonds - "Four Buddies"
This WWII era song presages The Deer Hunter (mind the MIDI) with a sad and soulful tune about old neighbors and pals trudging on to war, perhaps never to return.
Unfortunately, this human orchestra extravaganza is still grimly appropriate.
The Four Vagabonds are quite possibly my alltime favorite band. They're definitely in the top ten.
Buy "The Four Vagabonds Volume III: 1943" direct from Document (if you're in Europe) or from Amazon if you're in the states.
All three volumes of the set are great but I do feel obliged to warn that this third volume is filled with tracks where the Vagabonds act as backup vocalists to a generic female crooner named "Janine". Her treacly style does NOTHING to improve upon the 4 Vags dulcet tones; you'd be better suited starting with the first volume in the series and buying more once it lodges in your ear.
Read MUCH more about the Four Vagabonds in this extensive history of the band.
"Wherever I go, he goes too..."
Explore the archives of "My War", the blog of an American soldier in Iraq.
Meeting the Neighbors
Stereogum is best known on the blogosphere as an arbiter of one-stop-shopping-up-to-the-minute pop culture; the VH1 vet's site has long been a cornucopia of Britney and Olsen twin sitings. More recently, his comments box on a post addressing the Ashlee Simpson affair currently clocks in at over two hundred pithy blurbs.
While Stereogum's unique brand of celebrity schadenfreude is almost always good for a laugh, we here at th' Hut are more excited by his habit of regularly releasing new and noteworthy tracks to the hipster masses. While these cuts do tend to lean toward an indie sound that rarely does much for me, Scott's certainly not above throwing some wild cards into the deck.
Recent offerings include music from The Long Winters, Herbie Hancock, The Shins and The Handsome Boy Modeling School.
Baby, hit me one more time.
Hey Internet readers! I'm Scott from Stereogum, where you’ll find links to hott new indie rock MP3s and embarrassing photos of Britney Spears.
Where did the name of your blog originate from?
It’s from “Radio #1,” a song from one of my favorite bands, Air. I like how it conveys the idea behind my site (songs in the context of pop culture).
What are the criteria you judge a song by to decide if it's post-worthy?
It’s all based on personal preference. I have to love the song. The exception is if I post something because it’s funny or newsworthy (e.g., Britney raps). I do have a few self-imposed rules for posting. First, I generally only post from indie bands … a group like U2 doesn’t need any help from MP3 blogs. Second, if there’s a new album I want to help promote, and the band is offering an MP3 from it, I try to defer to that song choice instead of choosing my favorite track. The goal is to get the labels to accept the value of giving potential buyers a taste of the album; I want to work with them, not piss them off. In the same way, I try not to give away more than one track from an album. If you like the track I’ve shared and wanna hear more, go buy the album. I’m also big on posting remixes and mashups … stuff people wouldn’t hear otherwise.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
“Burying Song” by Hem. Or “Dress Sexy At My Funeral” by Smog.
What do you do for kicks when you're not posting?
Inevitably, I’m doing something related to music. Right now I’m answering these questions while burning CDs and watching a Brian Wilson documentary on Showtime. Then I’ll play guitar, read Uncut, and wait for my fiancée to come home and drag me outside for fresh air.
Do you have a favorite music critic?
Most music journalism is so pretentious. However, I’m a fan of Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield and Spin’s Chuck Klosterman, two critics with unique voices who use humor to get their point across. Their writing isn’t formulaic.
Do you consider yourself a "music journalist"?
Sometimes, but at least the reader can form his/her own opinion about the music by listening to the sample MP3 I post. Print mags don’t allow for that, which is why the blogs are vital for discovering new music if you don’t want to risk $15 on a new album. Moreover, the major music magazines trip over each other writing the same tired shit about Eminem, whereas the bloggers can write about any obscure artist they want.
Is there any genre of music that you dismiss out of hand?
Metal. I even like country more than metal.
Which critical darling do you find most overrated?
Who's the most overlooked genius in the music industry?
Recommend three other musicblog sites.
1. Fluxblog is the king. Great for bizarre Europop.
2. The Catbird Seat streams a monthly mix that’s turned me on to countless new bands.
3. Largehearted Boy is very eclectic, and you’re bound to find something you like.
Do you really think that posting music effectively promotes sales of the album?
Without a doubt. I think a band like Arcade Fire wouldn’t be “flavor of the month” if the buzz had not first spread on the influential MP3 blogs. Franz Ferdinand and the Killers also have fanatical online fanbases; they released this year’s breakout rock CDs, even though MP3s were freely traded for months before the albums were in stores.
Are you a proud member of the iPod Nation?
I take it everywhere. It’s probably my fifth or sixth MP3 player. I bought the Rio 300 as soon as it came out, and I’ve been upgrading as often as possible ever since.
Pick one musician and one question. Who is it and what do you ask?
I would ask Sting if he’s aware how much he sucks these days. He used to be my favorite songwriter. I’m really disappointed in everything he’s done since The Soul Cages.
Do you ever get obsessive about collecting music?
I’ve always been obsessive about collecting and organizing music (yes, my CDs are alphabetized). It was hard enough finally making a full transition from tapes to CDs … now I’ve got thousands of MP3s to deal with. I’m anal with the ID3 tags to a point - I want every track to have the correct song name, album title, and year. Thank god for CDDB … I spent countless hours doing that stuff manually in the early days of digital music.
Drop on by betterPropaganda and pick out a track to hype.
RJD2 - “Exotic Talk”
Since We Last Spoke is one of the best albums of 2004. RJD2 is like a poppier DJ Shadow. It’s ambient soul with a rock twist; and the way he seamlessly mixes genres is great proof of DJing as art.
I suppose it's old news now, but new investigations by the NY DA into label payola could mean more labels look to the net to distribute their music. Do you suppose blog-ola laws will ever be in the offing?
So what the hell was that Mary Cheney ish about anyway?
Let Frank Rich break it down for you and then go read excerpts from Lynne Cheney's steamy "Sisters".
Oddio Overplay's Halloween Spooktacular is absolutely AMAZING.
I have a serious weakness for novelty tracks; this is like manna from heaven.
They like us in France.
Read about it here.
Les blogs sont tenus par des furieux et des maniaques, ça va du fils d'un historien de la musique noire américaine (The Tofu Hut)....
Heh. "Musique noire américaine" sounds like you're ordering a plate of hominy grits confit.
In fixing up the massive blogroll, I ran into a few gems that deserve fresh hype:
The Box, a French hip hop archive offers cuts from Busy Bee, EPMD and Stetsasonic; Bubblegum Machine simply don't stop bringing NOTHING but prime rib; Ecclectric City has astonishing content but unreadable type (CHANGE YER FONTCOLOR DEWD!!!!) and sleevenotes appears to be making rumbling noises.
Props to Catchdubs for catching a winner.
Don't miss the message board.
M4Robots post (Spiderman Special!) to follow; I'll let you know when it drops.
File Under "My God, these are REAL people writing out there": Jon's Jail Journal.
I don't pretend to understand the circumstances of his incarceration but the stories listed here are pretty shocking stuff.
Heartbreaking note: Jon's family informs me that he does not have access to music in prison. Try and imagine living YEARS of your life without a song. It literally makes my head hurt.
Stop by, read up and leave Jon a note.