National Public Viking

Monday, December 04, 2006

Why don't my Nordic roots protect me from the cold?

|current sounds| Expo '70- Exquisite Lust

Are the Golden State Warriors still a basketball team? Who knows? I don't care enough to type it into my Google-bar. I'm not even sure why I've just thought of it. Were they ever a good franchise? All pointless questions with answers transcending levels of unimportance.

Mad props to Marvin and all of those involved in the Tiny Mix Tapes redesign. Doesn't look anything like the other music sites out there, which is saying a lot. Makes me wanna write more reviews so they'll appear all pretty-like on the inter-waves. Get ready for the year-end list blow-out on December 15 (I think). I'll post my top 30 albums of 2006 nearer to that date with a top 5 new "old" discoveries (all of which were recorded in the first five years of 1970).

I did end up getting to see Joanna Newsom some weeks back courtesy of Emilia's last minute hook-up (literally a woman handing her a free ticket with the caveat that she give to someone who'd appreciate it). Actually seeing her was a bit of a challenge as she's a wee thing and sits at a harp and the room was packed, but I gained a whole new respect for her during the show. Her new album, Ys, features the orchestral arrangements of the one and only Van Dyke Parks (most famously known for his lyrics on Pet Sounds). On tour, she's taken Parks's gorgeous score and re-arranged it for a small Appalacian folk ensemble. Absolutely stunning renditions. I'd love to hear a nice live bootleg from this tour.

I know I've seen other shows of recent... hrm... Eric Bachmann (sans the Crooked Fingers moniker), which makes the sixth time I've seen this man play live (first time as a solo act). DCist gave him a bad review (and for some reason, gave the wildly - and very drunk - "meh" Amy Millan, the latest in indie-rock frontwomen going country, a kind one). Their music reviewers are kind of idiots. Maybe I actually should have persued writing for DCist instead of giving up on neglectful editors.

Also saw some experimental folk guitarists: two underground cult legends, Max Ochs (of Takoma Records fame) and Peter Walker, and a considerably younger Jack Rose. The main draw, unfortunately, was for Rose. Don't get me wrong, his interpretation of the raga-folk as pioneered by his tour-mate Walker is inspired, and his new self-titled record of lap slide guitar work is among his best, but those who left after him really did themselves a disservice by missing out on Peter Walker. He told beautiful stories inbetween songs about his life being threatened in the caves of Spain if the flamenco guitar he'd been studying down the road wasn't good enough. Or how the steel-string acoustic he eventually brandished for some hypnotic raga-folk was sold to the folk singer Karen Dalton in 1972, and later bought it back from her in 1992. His warm eyes pierced the audience as he played - quite uncharacteristic of the usually intense, self-absorbed virtuoso player. Definitely made me look on what I'm doing as a musician now and wonder, "Why even bother?" and then continue on in contradiction.

Jamie and I love Heidi Klum way too much:


At 4:47 PM, Blogger christa t said...

lars, your palate for whimsy confuses me. but nevertheless, I'm glad you got to see j.n.


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