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If you could wear out CDs (maybe you can...), I would certainly have worn this one out by now: "Green Chimneys: The Music of Thelonious Monk" Andy Summers (RCA Victor/BMG 1999). Andy Summers was the guitarist in The Police, one of my favorite bands. I heard "Evidence" from this CD on the radio and thought for a second it was John Scofield. I ordered the CD soon afterward and have been playing it regularly ever since.


I like anything by the guitarist John Scofield. I discovered his work in the late Eighties, long after he had left Miles Davis and Chic Corea and had launched his solo career. The album that got me was "Still Warm," which is still one of my favorites.

Posts in “Recordings”

June 6, 2006

Tune Me Up

I don’t often ask for your help, but I’m getting desperate. I have a credit of $14.01 at the iTunes Music Store. And I don’t know what to do with it.

When iTunes debuted, I bought one song just to try it out. Since then, nothing. We’re talking years going by here, so this new credit situation has me paralyzed with indecision. That’s why I’m asking for your help. Help me use up this credit.

There are only two rules:

  1. There are no rules.
  2. See Rule 1.

(I always wanted to do that.)

The real rules: Leave one song title (and the artist) in a comment or drop me an email. (If you want to post anonymously, just enter a bogus name and email address in the comment.) Don’t worry if the song’s not actually available through iTMS, although that would be ideal, since I will buy the first 14 songs recommended (in the unlikely event I get 14).

Please pick something that you love, and not something that you think I might like. My brother-in-law has made me some mixes that have included gems I never would have found on my own (Fountains of Wayne and Hindu Rodeo just to name two). That’s the point here. I am expecting to be surprised and delighted by your choices. The song doesn’t have to be obscure. Chances are, if it was recorded in the last 15 years, I haven’t heard it.

If our positions were reversed, here’s what I would select: Quilombo by Gilberto Gil or anything from Los Amigos Invisibles’ “The New Sound of the Venezuelan Gozadera”; how about Quiero Desintegrar a Tu Novio. Decisions, decisions.

If you can, please avoid choosing any jazz or Brazilian music, or anything by the two artists I love unconditionally and get everything they put out, John Scofield and Susan Werner.

I stand to discover some wonderful music from this exercise. You on the other hand, get nothing out of this. Nothing, that is, except my undying admiration for your good taste.

Thanks to Anne for the clever post title. Who knows, this might turn into one of those meme thingies.


UPDATE June 7: Cha-ching! You’ve helped me spend $6.93 so far; only $7.08 to go. As I suspected, I have heard of only three of the bands. So far the list is a little Wilco-heavy, but that’s OK, as I have observed that all the cool kids like Wilco. Thanks to those who have participated so far.

UPDATE June 8: After two days, I have 8 recommendations. By my calculations, that means everybody who reads this blog participated. I still have $6.09 left to spend, so feel free to add a recommendation by way of the comments whenever you happen to read this.

UPDATE June 11: I still have some choices to make as you can see from the playlist below... and there’s only one dollar left in the kitty.

UPDATE June 13: Although I still have two songs to chose, my credit is spent. Thanks, everyone. Again, if you are coming in late to this thread, feel free to add your recommendation by way of the comments. Funky, there will be a review of the tunes forthcoming. Please allow two to four weeks for delivery. Void where prohibited.

Here’s the final playlist:

  1. “How Long Have You Been Stoned” by Over the Rhine [Howard]
  2. “Sunken Treasure” by Wilco [Stacey]
  3. “Come on Home” by Everything but the Girl [Ellen]
  4. "I'm the Man Who Loves You” by Wilco [Mark]
  5. “Side” by Travis [Funky Dung]
  6. “Jesus” by Page France [Tom] (not available at iTMS; substituted “Rhythm” from “Come, I’m a Lion!”)
  7. “Sanibel” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young [James]
  8. “El Cerrito Place” by Charlie Robison [Frank]
  9. “America” by Hamilton Camp [Marisa]
  10. Something by Ben Vaughn... (I will choose) [Yoko]
  11. “Where Have All The Rude Boys Gone?” by Ted Leo & the Pharmacists [Mrs. Harridan]
  12. “Jack the Ripper” by Morrissey [picturegrl]
  13. Something from “Observatory” by Julia Dollison [John]
  14. “And We Danced” by The Hooters [Anne Marie]


Well, I don't know the iTunes catalog so well, but I'll assume you can get just about anything there, right?

If so, I suggest "How Long Have You Been Stoned" by Over the Rhine. It's on the media player as I type and I've always enjoyed it quite a bit. (Over the Rhine also has a couple free downloads of other songs on their site, as well as a handful over in Paste's free mp3 collection.)

Good luck with the hunt for new music!

Audience participation! I love it! I've going to break the non-rules and give you a few:
"Hold On, Hold On" or "Favorite" by Neko Case (the first one is a new track of hers; the second is my all-time favorite Neko Case song)
"Sunken Treasure" by Wilco
"Let It Ride" by Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
"Sascha" by Jolie Holland
"Autumn Sweater" by Yo La Tengo

I also have to say ... Over the Rhine is a Cincinnati band that I've been following since I was a freshman in college and they were just getting started playing in college dive bars. I love them and love that they got a plug by one of your readers!

oh - like "the best music you aren't listening to" concept? October Project, Katydids (rather old, 80's?), Everything But the Girl (older stuff - radical style shift @ 10 years ago, not bad, but...), Julia Fordham (I know more of her older, but she didn't have a radical style shift), Rachael Sage.

Best blurbing I can do: OP/ethereal, Katydids/catchy pop rock edge, EBTG bluesy pop, JFbluesy as well I guess, RP/"chick music" ethereal/rock hybrid

If I think of more (I'm sure there's at least one I should be putting and am brain farting on - there always is with me), I'll add...

After a lot of soul searching, I'm going with Wilco's "I'm the Man Who Loves You." Two versions are available on iTunes - the live version's good, but I'd suggest the original from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Thanks for the opportunity to school you!

"Side" by Travis (album: Invisible Band)

Right now "Jesus" by Page France is on heavy rotation on my iPod.

Sanibel by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

The Lee Shore by Crosby, Stills & Nash.
The two versions available on the iTunes Music Store are live. I prefer the version on disc 2 of the Box Set (not available through iTunes).
Lee Shore

I'm a little late to the party, but I'd like to recommend El Cerrito Place by Charlie Robison (husband of Emily, her of Dixie Chicks fame).

I would buy Hamilton Camp's version of the Simon and Garfunkel song "America." Hamilton Camp went by the name Bob Camp for the first chunk of his career, and was one of the first, influential folkies.

I've never used iTunes, and I don't listen to much music made in the last 15 years, so I don't know if my suggestions will be much good, but the wacky things I love to listen to are:
1. Anything by Ben Vaughn
2. Urlicht by Uri Caine (that's the album name.)

I will second Stacey's Neko Case recommendation - she's really good. And I personally recommend "Where Have All The Rude Boys Gone?" by Ted Leo & the pharmacists, off of Hearts of Oak. Not sure if it's on iTunes, though.

Can't wait to hear what's on the full list!

I'm in a heavy British mood since I'm applying for my passport soon, so the following are in heavy rotation for me:

This is the World Calling by Bob Geldof
Jack the Ripper by Morrissey
Eurotrash Girl by Cracker
Hands Away by Interpol
In a Big Country by Big Country

(I understand that NONE of these may suit your taste. That's just what I'M listening to. :-)

I'll chime in with my current favorite: Julia Dollison's "Observatory". I read about Julia on Terry Teachout's blog ( On "Observatory", she makes her own the jazz standards "All the Things You Are" and "Night and Day", adds her own interpretation to Rufus Wainwright's "Poses", and pens wonderful originals such as "Forward, Like So" and "Observatory". I've been hitting the repeat button.

Be sure to write a post reviewing the songs you bought. :)

how about the hooters "and we danced"?

every time that song plays, I can still see the video in my mind - and the old exton drive-in that is no more....(sigh)

The Trapeze Swinger - Iron and Wine

Better late than never I say.

October 19, 2005

Abbey Road???

I confess I haven’t been following WXPN’s countdown of the 885 All Time Greatest Albums (which ended recently), but I was curious about the top ten. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the top of the list is so shamelessly boomer-centric, but I can’t work up any bile about it, nor should I, being a boomer myself. For their part, XPN plays plenty of new music; it’s only these contests that reveal the true nature of the station’s demographics. Still, I was surprised that so many XPN listeners are practically geriatric. I mean, do the kids today really think the Beatles were the greatest band ever?

October 12, 2005

Monk and Coltrane at Carnegie Hall

Last week, NPR’s Robert Siegel interviewed Larry Applebaum of the Library of Congress about a new release by pianist Thelonious Monk and saxophonist John Coltrane made in 1957 at Carnegie Hall. Although the concert was recorded for broadcast, the tapes were never aired and have languished until earlier this year.

The fragments I heard were characteristic of each players’ style, but with an extra dimension that was electrifying. Monk was his usual angular and pointillistic self, while Coltrane was the opposite, spinning unbroken strands of melody to fill every available space. I think Carnegie Hall inspired them, and it didn’t hurt that many of their distinguished peers were listening in the wings. I mention this only because jazz festivals can bring out the worst in players. Larger venues and enthusiastic audiences often encourage musicians to engage in bombastic overplaying, or what Wynton Marsalis calls “housin’” (showboating to please the audience). This group had way too much taste for that. They were definitely on though.

As great as the music was, that’s not what made my ears twitch. It was the sound—full, clear, balanced, and present. During the course of the interview, Robert Siegel even commented on the fidelity, and the interview turned a corner to discuss the engineering. The concert was recorded by a staff engineer at the Voice of America named Harry Hochberg, who recorded many of their jazz programs. He did a superb job. Harry, wherever you are, I salute you.

July 11, 2005

CD Review

Hmm. Round. Shiny. Aerodynamic. Whee!