Saturday, February 21, 2009

2:22 (A Mix)

Here's my mix of songs that are 2:22 long. It's just a zip folder of mp3s but here is the tracklist. Mostly tried to keep it halfway consistent throughout and applicable for some sort of social gathering (not that anyone is going to listen to this in that way) but I think it's pretty good. 30 songs, though I guess I should have narrowed it to 22. silly me. it's almost all rock n roll, soul, country/rockabilly and a couple punkish songs. Some of the mp3s come out as 2:23, but they are actually 2:22 in length when they play. Itunes is just weird sometimes. again, i didn't retag because i just did this pretty quick for fun, so if you add these files to your itunes or whatever, just add them to a playlist in this order.

1. bullion - i just wasn't made for these times
2. al green - ride sally ride (single edit)
3. rufus thomas - i think i made a boo boo
4. jr. walker & the all-stars - do the boomerang
5. them - just a little bit
6. herbie duncan - hot lips baby
7. boyd bennett - move
8. patsy cline - stop, look & listen
9. speedy west & jimmy bryant - old joe clark
10. meat puppets - buckethead
11. blondie - hanging on the telephone
12. the clean - billy two
13. the rolling stones - rip this joint
14. johnny thunders & heartbreakers - baby talk
15. lizzy mercier descloux - wawa
16. the rumblers - clap hands
17. james bell & the turner brothers - the funky buzzard
18. the bar-kays - soul finger
19. sly & the family stone - everyday people
20. the soul seven - the cissy's thang
21. mel & tim - ain't love wonderful
22. the pretty things - there will never be another day
23. the animals - baby let me take you home
24. lightnin' hopkins - my little kewpie doll (bad boogie)
25. johnny cash - blistered
26. wanda jackson - tongue tied
27. the troggs - come now
28. the kinks - animals in the zoo
29. billy nichols - london social degree
30. the beatles - no reply

Download Here

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tarun Bhattacharya - Kirvani (1996)

Picked this up during one of my many visits to the university library. Didn't really expect much based on the gaudy cover, but it's pretty fantastic. Obviously, I don't know much about the musicians or anything else, so I'll type up the liner notes, which give light to it. Bear with me.

The Santur
An Indian adaptation of a stringed instrument found in Iran, turkey and elsewhere in the Middle East, the santur resembles a western hammered dulcimer, and is known technically as a box zither. The instrument contains up to one hundred strings and was developed and popularized on the Indian concert stage single-handedly by the Kashmiri musician Shivkumar Sharma, who remains the senior practitioner today. The challenge of the fixed pitch santur is to capture, as far as possible, a musical style based on traditional vocal music. Continuing the tradition of adaptation, Tarun has made some modifications to his instrument in both structure and technique.

Musical Influences
Tarun's own music education illustrates a multidirectional flow of diverse influences. Surrounded as he was by music (both is parents played the sitar) he began by playing
tabla, the predominant percussion instrument of North India. As his interest in santur developed, he studied with his father's teacher, Calcutta's Pandit Dulal Roy, knowna s a performer on santur and the rare jaltarang (a series of water-tuned china bowls). Finally, Tarun chose as his ultimate mentor the world renowned Pandit Ravi Shankar, the sitarist who in turn had studied with legendary Ustad Allaudin Khan (1862-1972). Allaudin Khan performed on the sarod, but he was an exceptionally versatile musician who taught more than a generation of India's senior masters on a variety of instruments.

This Recording
The performances on this CD include two South Indian (Carnatic)
ragas played in North Indian style: Kirvani and Hamsa Dhwani. The Northern and Southern traditions share common historical and theoretical roots; both are based on ragas (melodic structures) and talas (rhythmic structures), but each is distinctly different in performance style, musical instruments, and ornamentation.

Track 1: Rag Kirvani
Rag Kirvani is the first selection, and its scale is the same as the western harmonic minor scale - seven notes, with flatted third and sixth. The first sounds we hear are a series of two-note chords innovatively plucked with the fingernails. These are followed by a downward cascading strumming on the full scale which introduces a brief alap, or non-rhythmic introduction. Following the crispness of his plucked notes, Tarun's continuous light hammering on the strings draws out the melody of the alap almost in a whisper. In developing the lower octave, Tarun demonstrates his innovative use of variable pitch: he has added a lower string to the instrument which he presses down and releases with one hand to create glides and sliding sounds otherwise impossible on the santur. In the continua-alap, Tarun explores the harmonic characteristic of Kirvani, often skipping notes in a type of arpeggio structure which recurs throughout the performance.
After an
alap of approximately nine minutes which ascends all the way up to the top of the third octave, Tarun introduces a composition (gat) in a medium japtal rhythmic cycle (10 beats counted as 3-2-3-2). Bikram Ghosh (son of the renowned tabla master Shankar Ghosh) introduces the tala with a subtle and delightful improvisation which emphasizes the fluidity of the variably-pitched left hand drum, or bayan. The two performers, Tarun in the lead, then proceed to blend aspects of the raga with the assymetry of the tala in a sensitive and dramatic interaction. Tarun sometimes tempers bright tones by damping (lightly touching the strings) with the free hand. Both musicians, in their respective and joint improvisations, reveal their exceptional virtuosity and youthful energy.
Beginning at around nineteen and a half minutes, the performers begin the conclusion of the
raga with a fast gat in tintal (sixteen beats), and a vigorous dialogue in the techniques known as sath sangat (playing the same complex rhythmic patterns together) and saval-javab (question and answer), in which one performer echoes the improvisations of the other. Once again, Tarun fully explores the tonal colors of the santur with a combination of open, muted, delicate and vigorous sounds, striking with the santur's delicate twin hammers. One of the final stages of the performance is the climactic section known as jhala, in which a sort of floating melody line is alternated with a rapid repeated striking of the tonic/drone strings.
A final
saval-javab brings Rag Kirvani to its final jhala, and concludes with a thundering chakardar tihai, a cadential rhythmic pattern of three subdivisions which is repeated three times in closure.

As is customary in North Indian music after an extended performance of a serious raga, the musicians conclude with light classical pieces:

Track 2: Misra Anandi
The second piece is Misra Anandi, equivalent to the western major scale with a romantic ornamentation of a full range of accidental notes. A brief alap introduces a lyrical composition in the eight-beat tala known as kaharva. A final alap-like structure recounts the basic melodic structure of the raga.

Track 3: Folk Tune From Assam
The third piece is a beautiful Assamese folk tune, played in a scale parallel to a western major scale and with a light-hearted six-beat rhythm (
tala) known as dadra.

Track 4: Rag Hamsa Dhwani
The recording concludes with a brief rendition of Rag Hamsa Dhwani, a pentatonic Carnatic
raga. The scale does not use the fourth and sixth notes, and the remaining notes are played in the western major scale. After a brief alap, the musicians share a composition in medium fast ektal, a twelve-beat cycle. The variations here are simple and more traditional than those in the opening raga, and after a simple tihai, Tarun concludes this recording with a refined, sweet and gentle ending.

Awesome. Enjoy.

Download Here

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Etta Baker - One-Dime Blues (1991)

Etta Baker was one of the most important and revered musicians of all time that created music in the Piedmont Blues style. For those unknown, the Piedmont blues is a finger-picking blues style that typically alternates bass strings plucked by the thumb that supports the melody on the rest of the strings. The effect is much more in line with the white string bands of the Appalachian region than with Delta Blues. The very fact that Etta Baker is so important an influential (she taught the style to Taj Mahal and Bob Dylan just to name two), is perhaps most remarkable because of the 35-year gap between her first recording in 1956, and this recording of 20 songs that came out in 1991.

The album is primarily focused on traditional and public domain blues songs and rags, and it heavily leans on instrumental numbers. However, Etta does sing on a few tracks and the aging in her voice lends something special to these songs.

You can listen to much of this album and think it is someone like a Jack Rose or John Fahey or many of the other famous ragtime guitarists that we think of, but something about the way that Etta plays just makes it connect on a whole level. It's really really beautiful and well...American.

I meant to post this on February 7th, when I uploaded it but I waited. It's great and everyone should download it.

Download Here
Etta Baker Wiki

Friday, February 6, 2009

Muddy Waters - Real Folk Blues & More Real Folk Blues

So I'm taking this class this semester about the history of Rock N Roll. You know, the same one that all the stoner kids and liberal arts students like me have to take so we can just talk about Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull. Playing, but I needed some extra credits, so I figured why not. It's proved to be pretty damn worthless so far (pre rock n' roll though, so bonus points), but it has definitely inspired me to pull out some old blues records the last few days and here are two of the best.

To me, there is no way that Muddy Waters' early Chess recordings are not the most direct link to that classic rock n roll sound. These two records compile some of those early recordings (I think like 1947-1962?) And it's just great. You know Muddy obviously, the guitar, the band, the AAB verses. It's that classics Chicago blues sound, a true American sound if there ever was one. It's pretty essential to listen to this stuff every now and then and just remember how great the original electric sound is.

Classic, obviously.

Download Real Folk Blues Here
Download More Real Folk Blues Here

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mississippi Records

Mississippi Records is a store on said street in Portland. Very cool shop, but the coolest part about the owners is the label they run. Reissuing compilations of rare music and unheralded albums, the label was really taken off in the last years putting out super limited runs that get sold out almost immediately. Over at hipinion, I've (with the help of a few) uploaded most of their catalogue, and while I feel bad for bootlegging a cool label, oh well. Here's a few of their records.

Last Kind Words (1926-1953)
Great compilation of old blues from some familiar names, but mostly those unfamiliar.
Download Here

Lipa Kodi Ya City Council
Possibly my favorite compilation on the label (though actually probably not), this is a great collection of African highlife music mostly. Great for a sunny day.
Download Here

George Coleman - Bongo Joe
Some records you can't attach a label to. This is one of those records. Originally released in '69 (best year in music if you didn't know), this album is some sort of demented blues records played almost solely on steel drums. Screams, shouts, croaks, whistles, whatever. Blow your mind.
Download Here