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The Friday Morning Listen – Electric Masada

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Last month, a Friday Morning Listen related the story of me and TheWife and a quick road trip for ice cream and CD’s. This of course turned into the “trailer trash confessional”, due to the presence of some Southern Culture On The Skids.

Here’s part of the story that you don’t know. It’s our sort of ritual for listening to new CD’s on a drive.

Usually, I’m doing the driving (TheWife doesn’t particularly enjoy driving, so I let her enjoy the scenery), so TheWife gets the chore of unwrapping the minty fresh discs. This is a good thing since she manages to do it with way less profanity than when I’m struggling with that bastardly plastic. After this we play the first (and sometimes second) track from each CD.

This is where it gets interesting.

I know from experience that, while putting up with my peculiarities in taste, TheWife will make attempts (however subtle) to avoid musical mayhem. This manifests itself in a sort of predictable ordering of the new music: from least to most scary. What I bought that day: John Zorn – Electric Masada, Dave Van Ronk – Two Sides Of Dave Van Ronk, Southern Culture On The Skids – Doublewide and Live, and Muddy Waters – Live at Newport.

Can you guess the order of play?

Muddy Waters->Dave Van Ronk->Southern Culture on the Skids->John Zorn. She seems to have a radar for these things, even when she couldn’t really tell you what the music was like. I suppose that “Electric Masada” might not sound pleasant? Dunno.

We really enjoyed all of the new tunes, but her enjoyment ended on Masada’s “Tekufah”. Recorded during Zorn’s 50th birthday celebration, the band (and its sound) is downright scary: Zorn’s sax, Marc Ribot (guitar), Jamie Saft (keyboards), Ikue Mori (laptop), Trevor Dunn (bass), Joey Baron (drums), Kenny Wollesen (drums), and Cyro Baptista on percussion. It’s big. No, it’s huge. Sort of like electric Miles, with Ribot taking on the freakout guitar of Pete Cosey…and with Mori adding all manner of disturbing squirgy electronic noises (No, “squirgy” isn’t a real word. Yes, it perfectly describes what’s going on here).

As the song went on, I could almost hear the thoughts in TheWife’s head as her optimistic outlook (“Well, it’s only one song”) transformed into despair. Sure, it was only one song, all fourteen minutes and thirty-three seconds of it. When it finally came to an end, I’d never seen her hand shoot out so fast to that eject button. Heh.

Ah, it was good for her. Honest.

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About Mark Saleski

  • And in honor of this and you going away for a week, I am dialing up Newport right now. One of a handful of great, indispensable live albums. My Friday is better already.

  • zingzing

    listening to naked city’s absinthe. damn straight. good music. creepy…

  • you know what i don’t have? kristalnackt (i know i screw up the spelling).

    i heard it once on the radio and the breaking glass segment was literally nauseating.

  • Newport….gotta stuff that one on the ipod before taking off.

  • I’m enjoying the hell out of it this afternoon. I want to go sit outside and listen to it where I can feel like I am sitting at a festival show.

    The “Mojo” workout is just fabulous and so is “Brand.”