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The Friday Morning Listen

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First posted on Mark Is Cranky:

The first record listened to on the morning that will close out the last pre-vacation work day, well….it’s an important one. It may be called into service as the “wheeee, I’m freeeeee!!!”-listen later that day. But the trick is to find something that’ll fit in both spaces.

I failed.

What I really, really had a hankerin’ for this morning was Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisted. That momumental record starts off with a single snare crack opening one of the greatest songs ever recorded, “Like A Rolling Stone”. I never tire of it.

But, due to the somewhat sloppy nature of my CD/LP filing “system” (I put things away when I find the time, which lately has been harder to find than some of my orphaned socks), my copy appears to be hiding somewhere. Rather than spin up some big fib about how much I enjoyed Highway 61 on the way in, I went for a two-fer: one for the way in, the other for the Fred Flintstone takeoff.

Anthony Braxton’s Creative Orchestra Music shows what Braxon can do in a big band (sort of) context. To use a snarky reviewer MusicDescriptionGenerator trick, this music sounds like a big band dropping acid and then watching either Saturday morning cartoons or Dark Shadows re-runs. It’s energetic, it’s spooky, it’s funny, it’s….well, there’s not a lot of large ensemble music this quirky. And, it’s surprisingly accessible. If you’ve never heard Braxon before, starting here might not be a bad idea.

Now, the ride home needs to have that special kick. That roll-down-the-windows-and-let-er-rip kinda thing. In the past, the Ramones have fit the bill. I mighta gone there if this was summer vacation. Instead, Mr. Tom Waits is first going to announce to the world how he’s “Big in Japan”. By the time I get to the grinding “Get Behind The Mule”, I will have passed the converted mills, lumber yard (no, not that one), farmstands, the used bookstore, the quarter horse ranch and the hemp jewelry store. It will be…time.

(Next week’s Listen just might come from a place that I have so far sneered at: one ‘o them coffee and internet cafes. We’ll see.)

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