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The Friday Morning Listen

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First posted on Mark Is Cranky:

Yesterday, during the morning and very early afternoon, it rained cats, dogs & sea turtles around here. Now, you might think that this kind of slop might put the breaks on vacation activity. Nah. Remember, book and music people look at the days in terms of opportunities. I’m reading that new Barry Miles/Frank Zappa bio…when can I fit in the next chapter..etc.

Well, yesterday was trip-to-LL Bean day. You will not be surprised to find out that I happen to know of a very fine record store not too far from Freeport, Maine. Bull Moose Music up in Brunswick has been there a long time and used to be one of my favorites back when a close friend lived up there. After the Bean experience we slogged up Route 1. One of the goals of this music trip was to plug some holes in my collection. That is, pick up some records that I’ve always wanted but somehow manage to have avoided through the years. Note that not all of the purchases fit this category. Here are the results:

Seasons in the Abyss – Slayer

My recent listening experience (and review) of DJ Spooky’s Drums of Death piqued my interest in drummer Dave Lombardo of Slayer. Blogcritic Tom Johnson recommended this particular record. Thanks Tom, it’s one giant pile of bone-crunching, noisy fun. It’s got that Rick Rubin/American Recordings ‘smack’ going on. I listened to it very early this morning (2AM) while getting in a chapter of that Zappa bio.

Sympathique – Pink Martini

Yes, very different from Slayer and the object of my aural affections this morning. Pink Martini is a very erudite and loungy group. I became addicted to them during my great lounge phase (hello Esquivel!) of a coupla years ago. Their dreamy version of “Que Sera Sera” is really going well with the morning coffee.

Shaft – Isaac Hayes

What I really wanted here was Hot Buttered Soul, which they didn’t have in stock. Since I had no Isaac Hayes at all…well, why not?!! Many, many years before “Chocolate Salty Balls”, Hayes was putting out some fine music.

Battlefield of Armagideon – Lee Scratch Perry

Again, no Perry in the collection. Every time I read an article about the guy, I think I’ve made a grave error.

Love,Angel,Music,Baby – Gwen Stefani

Yea, it’s ear candy. But it’s great ear candy. Gwen pays tribute to the dance music she loved as a kid. I can’t argue with that. Plus, she’s illegally cute. (The wife was not pleased with this purchase)

Petra Haden & Bill Frisell

I’m still more or less blown away by what Petra Haden did with The Who Sell Out. It’s unbelievable. This record wanted to be in my collection because of the Bill Frisell connection. I knew I’d get around to it sooner or later, but Haden moved it near the top of the list. What a voice. I even forgive her for covering Coldplay.

Part Two:

So, wet from the trip and tired from the shopping, we headed back through town past the boiling Androscoggin river and had a nice lunch at the Brunswick Diner (hey, if it’s good enough for Tim Sample, it’s good enough for us!). On the way back to Portland, the skies began to clear. Oh yea, finally time to walk around the downtown. I found a parking spot at one end of the Old Port section and we headed up the hill to, oh yes, the Portland branch of Bull Moose Music. Should I? Sure, why not?

Hot Buttered Soul – Isaac Hayes

I’ve not rectified my no-Isaac Hayes problem. Dang, this is a fine record. Gotta love the 12-minute version of “Walk On By”. Plus…”Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic”? What’s not to love?!

Blues – Chuck Berry

It’s tough to find non-compilation Chuck Berry records in stores. Want a copy of The Great 28? No problem. Want Chuck Berry Is On Top? Good luck. This collection of late-50’s blues tunes shows the more sensitive side of Berry. Worth the price for “Wee Wee Hours” alone.

Are You Experienced? – Jimi Hendrix Experience

I’ve never owned this on any type of media. Not vinyl, not 8-track…nothin’. I can’t explain it. It just never happened. And, every so often I’ll hear the grinding arpeggios of the title track and think, “What the hell am I doin’?!!”

Looking For America – The Carla Bley Big Band

Bley is a freaking genius and force of nature when she composes for her big band. The suite revolving around the Star Spangled Banner is a killer.

No more record shopping today. I’m whooped.

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About Mark Saleski


    Mark, that Slayer record is one of my 3 perfect 30 minute or so slabs of heavy perfection, along with Hatebreed’s “Satisfaction is the Death of Desire” and Helmet’s “Meantime”-All Killer, and No Filler!

  • Mark, I’m actually astonished you didn’t already own Are You Experienced! You should check out the big 4-disc Experience boxset, I think it’s actually more fun hearing these songs in the much more raw, sometimes flawed, format the box presents. That, Blues and the two Band of Gypsies discs are actually the most listened to stuff of his I own, but my favorite Hendrix tune is, and likely always will be, “Spanish Castle Magic.” It was the Live at Winterland version that won me over . . . and speaking of that one, when will that be reissued and, hopefully, expanded?!

  • Oh, and I’m glad you liked Slayer. It’s a charmer of an album – the tuneless yelling and unrepentent pummelling aggression make for a beautiful, cathartic experience.

  • yep, it was pretty funny…i had just finished writing up a review of the new Springsteen, put down my pad and picked up the Zappa bio….while listening to slayer at around 1:30 in the morning.