257: “St James Infirmary” by Anat Cohen

Anat Cohen can eat the clarinet like no other clarinautist out there.[fist bump] for John Habel, Todd Steed, Paul Parris, and Chris Woodhull who put on Improvisations, a show that is local (to me) on radio station WUOT in Knoxville, TN. I can hear an hour and a half of badass jazz every weeknight on a technological horseshoe crab called “the radio” (or on the Internet, if you’re outside of tower-sight!).

I heard recently for the first time, clarinetist and more, Anat Cohen, on Improvisations, and I now pass the reference on to you. This is a live recording from Cohen’s Clarinetwork Live At The Village Vanguard (2010), a cover of the old blues staple “St James Infirmary.” That’s a folk song voiced by a man standing over the dead body of his only love. Blues blues with a white sheet on top.

If you dig what you hear, then it’s like we just connected some kind of meta-cognitive, cyber-synapse that makes us like hippie siblings reaching out to fist bump musical tastes across cyberspace.

Making connections like Chuck Woolery.


Song: St James Infirmary
Artist: Anat Cohen
Album: Clarinetwork Live At The Village Vanguard
Label: Anzic
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG
Watch: YouTube

256: “Tema De Los Golden Stars” by Los Golden Stars

Best picture available on the Internet. Awesome.For those of you like me, who didn’t even know there was a LESS than complete compilation of Peruvian underground music from a specific decade, I’m here to tell you that the MOST complete compilation of Peruvian underground music (1964-74) can be found on the Vampisoul label, based out of Spain (I think). It’s called Back to Peru, Vol 1 (2005) and you can experience it with minimal effort. Probably just some clickity clicking.

It’s remarkable what is out there for you to experience… Consider this: The world is bigger, EVEN, than the world’s largest collection of salt & pepper shakers, which is itself almost beyond the comprehension of the human mind. Name anything. ANY thing. There are salt & pepper shakers of that thing. Watermelon? Check. Disdain for the University of Alabama? Check. Thong underwear? Check. Dada-ism? Check. Porcine copulation? Check. Theory of Relativity? Check. Whatever. Whatever? Check.

There is data somewhere proving all this, and there are salt & pepper shakers representing that data. They’re just precious.

And should you choose, you may, in this wide wide world, listen to some 50-year-old Peruvian underground music, whilst seasoning your meals with whatever-damn-shaped seasoning dispensers you so desire.

As your host, I now suggest listening to “Tema De Los Golden Stars” by Los Golden Stars, a band whose promotional salt & pepper shakers I will now use to season my world famous Uncle Funk Lobster ‘n’ Cap’n Crunch Burritos… Just kidding. My burritos are perfect.


Song: Tema De Los Golden Stars
Artist: Los Golden Stars
Album: Back To Peru, Vol 1
Label: Vampisoul
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

255: “Variation Cybernetique: Rhythmic Pataphysic Part 1” by DJ Spooky

DJ Spooky, Mac DaddyIf you think drum loops and hip-hop bravado when you see the abbreviation “DJ” in the beginning of a musician’s name, then you might want to rattle your head around, and try to knock loose a few preconceptions.

One of my first encounters with DJ Spooky was his 2002 album, Optometry. On it, Spooky collaborated with a handful of avant-garde jazz musicians (Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Guillermo E. Brown and Joe McPhee). When I originally listened to the album, I was expecting some jazz-infused beat pageant, like DJ Logic was doing at the time. I was way off in my expectations. So when I first listened to it, I hated it. Shelved it. I hadn’t figured out the method it would take to successfully approach the music inside Optometry.

Some music you must approach in the same way you would approach a cat. The timing has to be right, or no good can come of it.

After some rattling in my head, my eyesight changed (or maybe I just knew a little better what I was looking at…), and Optometry made it into rotation.

Good kitty.

The samples in the track I’ve selected are recordings of mostly classical instruments, and their assembled form is nothing short of magnificent. It’s a sublime and stark beauty, like a towering cloud or the color-coded map of a viral outbreak. Beauty, stark or otherwise, is everywhere, if your eyes are healthy and focused.

Enjoy DJ Spooky’s “Variation Cybernetique: Rhythmic Pataphysic Part 1” the title of which explains the song much better than I ever could.

Song: Variation Cybernetique: Rhythmic Pataphysic Part 1
Artist: DJ Spooky
Album: Optometry
Label: Thirsty Ear
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify