Friday, February 18, 2005


John Coltrane- Blue Train

Lord knows there are reams and reams of criticism out there on this record. The only thing that I can add is that I’ve listened to 'Blue Train' more than any other jazz CD.

Come- Gently Down The Stream

I would think that part of the goal is to produce records that are not easily described or pigeonholed. This disc is phenomenal in that way- guitars swirl and play off of each other but it’s certainly not a guitar record (or is it? See, that’s the thing,) and it’s not really a blues record even though that signifier is tossed out in a song title. The songs are very dense and well played, dual vocals for similar moods, solid rhythm. Occasional poppiness, though never a reliance on any sort of genre or set structure to carry the weight.

Compound Red- Always A Pleasure

That damn e word again, but not really. See, that was the thing in the mid-nineties, as it is right now, I’m sure: similar graphic schemes and dichotomies made the playing field very flat, in a lot of ways, sort of neutering bands based on their design layout and band names. So even though I saw Compound Red and know that they’re actually pretty good, an off kilter rock band with poppy guitar sensibilities, I forgot, and easily, what they sounded like because I a) saw them play with the Promise Ring and Stricken for Catherine (Emo city! Hello!) and b) because their album cover has that look about it, that slick/kinda smarmy-in-retrospect graphic design that looks like it’s off of a page of Punk Planet, using like one of five approved fonts and a bunch of dots. The danger, I suppose, of affiliating with a movement, even in passing.


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