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Reviews and Ratings
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reviewed Anyway What Time Did You Get Up This .... March 13, 2010
posted in Music Matters
Anyway What Time Did You Get Up This Morning
Whoa! For years this wasn't carried here. I accidentally stumbled across it while trying to link someone to my review of their other album, We Pray the Brooze. This one though, Anyway What Time Did you …
A Red Cherry on a White-tiled Floor: Selected
A couple years ago after sending in the customer reply card from a previous Copper Canyon Press book, I began receiving their good old-fashioned mailed newsletter. Inside one of those was a snip from …
reviewed We Shall Remain. January 31, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
We Shall Remain
We Shall Remain is one of the greatest documentaries I have ever seen. From the stories themselves, to the footage and reenactments, to Benjamin Bratt's narration. I hope schools across the country are …
reviewed American Primitive 2. December 24, 2009
posted in Music Matters
American Primitive 2
There's plenty to be said about plenty of the sides contained herein. Sometimes my reviews go on forever but for this one I feel like just a few words can validate the power of the entire experience. …
reviewed Oceanic Art. November 13, 2009
Oceanic Art
I lucked into this book sometime in mid 2008. I found it in one of those shops with the big yellow and black "discount books" signs. I'd never heard of it, never seen it before, and ended up buying it …
reviewed We Pray The Brooze. November 12, 2009
We Pray The Brooze
For whatever reasons, America likes to make fun of the peoples of eastern Asia. Whether from China, Korea, Japan, etc... it doesn't make much difference. So here we have a band where the core member is …
reviewed The Little House on the Prairie (2005). November 09, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
The Little House on the Prairie (2005)
How closely does this follow the books? I don't know. My sister had all the books when we were kids but I never read them. Now I will.    What did I like about this? Why will I read …
reviewed Prince of Truth (Dig). October 06, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Prince of Truth (Dig)
Frightening and fragile. Loud, murderous and innocent. Prince of Truth is tremendous. Via the magic of pre-ordering from Constellation a couple months ago I've had this album for 11 days. Prince of Truth. …
reviewed The Tracey Fragments (2008). August 31, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
The Tracey Fragments (2008)
Shards of cubist consciousness flicker, dance, fade, sparkle.    Phantoms of inner life move across the screen, killed by the brute physical realities of outer life, silenced out of …
reviewed Southern Journey, Vol. 1: Voices From.... August 23, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Southern Journey, Vol. 1: Voices From The American
Context context context. The number of Southern Journey discs you own affects the way you'll think about the series as a whole. One of my problems with the series has always been the repeats. The Deep …
reviewed The Music Of Kentucky: Early American.... August 23, 2009
posted in Music Matters
The Music Of Kentucky: Early American Rural
For some reason I don't think of this disc as a full 5-Star classic like its sister cd, Music Of Kentucky: Early American Rural Classics 1927-1937 even though I listen to it just as often and remain in …
reviewed In Sacred Trust: The 1963 Fleming Bro.... August 20, 2009
posted in Music Matters
In Sacred Trust: The 1963 Fleming Brown Tapes
... I believe that's how I remember John Cohen describing Wade Ward's best banjo playing in a set of liner-notes. It's a most appropriate tag for Hobart Smith found as he is here in october of 1963 on …
reviewed Southern Journey, Vol. 7: Ozark Front.... August 19, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Southern Journey, Vol. 7: Ozark Frontier - Ballads
Recorded by Alan Lomax in the Mountain View and Timbo area(s) of Arkansas from 10/2 - 10/9/59, Mike Seeger's recent death brought me back to this disc. Why? In one name, Almeda Riddle. Since this is either …
reviewed The Carter Family: 1927-1934. August 18, 2009
posted in Music Matters
The Carter Family: 1927-1934
I consider this review to be part of my little series of rural, mountain, old-timey and pre-war country music reviews in tribute to Mike Seeger who recently died. While he didn't have anything to do with …
reviewed Music Of Kentucky: Early American Rur.... August 16, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Music Of Kentucky: Early American Rural Classics
The impetus for my review is two-fold. 1: Mike Seeger's death sparked me to write reviews I've meant to get to for ages. 2: I just saw a flawed Aaron Copland documentary. I didn't write the name down …
reviewed Country Blues: Complete Early Recordings. August 15, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Country Blues: Complete Early Recordings
Mike Seeger's death hit me hard but has also made this a beautiful week for me. Whether his own music, field recordings or music of others in and around the world of music he loved and lived, I've spent …
reviewed Dock Boggs: His Folkways Years 1963-1968. August 14, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Dock Boggs: His Folkways Years 1963-1968
Mike Seeger's recent death has spurned me into writing some reviews I've wanted to write for years but hadn't yet gotten to. Maybe there's no more fitting tribute to Mike than to say he was the guy who …
reviewed Close To Home: Old Time Music From Mi.... August 11, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Close To Home: Old Time Music From Mike Seeger's
With Mike Seeger's death on 8/7/09, we've lost someone who did a great deal to help America discover America. A real America made up of people who worked hard, played and sang hard, lived what they sang …
reviewed Southern Banjo Sounds. August 10, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Southern Banjo Sounds
One great musician, many banjos. Think of this as a Tone Poems or Tone Poems III: The Sounds of the Great Slide & Resophonic Instruments with banjos and vocals, had Mike ever made a Tone Poems.    Sad …
reviewed Masters of Old Time Country Autoharp. August 09, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Masters of Old Time Country Autoharp
Less than 24 hours ago I stumbled onto mention of the death of Mike Seeger. Hoping it was ill-informed internet babble I went searching, only to find it to be true. Sadness set in.    Though …
reviewed Ultimate Frog. August 03, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Ultimate Frog
"Be formless, shapeless like water." Bruce Lee's famous quote is a perfect description for what happens when Jim McAuley picks up an acoustic guitar. I've seen the quote where he is called "an American …
reviewed Charango & Songs From Cuzco. July 06, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Charango & Songs From Cuzco
Is it a guitar? No! Is it a ukelele? No! Is it a mandolin? No! It's the charango! This little gem of an instrument with 5 double-strung courses was first introduced to me via several of Bob Brozman's …
reviewed Abacabok. June 18, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Abacabok
Spending the past week with Oumou Sangare's beautiful new Seya has spurned me into action. I've had Tartit's Abacabok for too long to go any longer without reviewing it.    There are …
reviewed Samulnori - The Definitive Collection. June 16, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Samulnori - The Definitive Collection
Get this! New, used, whatever. One way or another, I think you're going to want it.    I put some time and effort into picking the right handful of cds to put on my Christmas list. …
reviewed Seya. June 11, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Seya
Oumou has turned a corner. At one point she blurs out lower, rapid fire lines that have the effect of a psychedelic Malian cattle auctioneer. Gone is the syrupy veneer of Laban's (the Africa-only release …
reviewed The Ill-Tempered Piano. June 08, 2009
The Ill-Tempered Piano
Claustrophobic beehive music.  Sad dreams of a lone pianist in a post-Apocalyptic piano factory.  Wagon wheels on cobblestones.  Dark Age church bells clanging out across …
reviewed Vignes. May 25, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Vignes
Information first: the Acoustic Guitar Trio - Vignes is Nels Cline, Jim McAuley and Rod Poole recorded in concert on 7/26/03 and released by the Italian label, Long Song Records.    Freely …
reviewed Bulgaria: Music of the Shepherds Trad.... February 25, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Bulgaria: Music of the Shepherds Tradition
A month or so ago I listened to Anthology of Traditional Songs and Dances from for the first time in quite a while. It blew me away and I've been bingeing on my Bulgarian discs ever since. What's so magical …
reviewed Coward. February 21, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Coward
Introspective and spacious (but not spacey), Nels Cline's Coward at times seems to pull from nearly everything he's done previously, while also perhaps pointing to some of the places he'll take us in …
reviewed At the Cafe Bohemia. February 09, 2009
posted in Music Matters
At the Cafe Bohemia
11/23/55 at the Cafe Bohemia... smoke in the air... glasses clanking... a small crowd of finely tuned listeners hoping to hear something memorable. Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley, Doug Watkins, Horace Silver …
reviewed Firebirds. February 02, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Firebirds
As with The Cry! (and along with my renewed obsession with Sonny Simmons in the wake of his Introducing Black Jack Pleasanton boxed set), my review has been sparked by recently finding out Prince Lasha …
reviewed Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sust.... January 27, 2009
Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability
This book's impact on you will vary depending on your level of familiarity with the topic in general. I think The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream and The Party's …
reviewed First Kill Your Family: Child Soldier.... January 26, 2009
First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda
This topic is important, misunderstood and too little known. Your average American can more easily find out where Lindsey Lohan ate lunch yesterday than find information regarding the various ongoing …
reviewed Duo Milano. January 22, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Duo Milano
Yesterday while looking forward to Nels Cline's upcoming Coward (releases on 2/10/09 but unavailable for a product link here) I decided Nels and Elliott Sharp's Duo Milano needs to be reviewed first.   &nb …
The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes
Maybe I'm just hopeful on this day, but this seemed like as good a time as any to review this book. While some are dated and some are time-capsule, many of the best poems collected herein (all the poems …
reviewed Freedom Suite. January 19, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Freedom Suite
Because it has been weighing so heavily on my mind (and is the reason I'm writing this review now), in the "comment" section below this review I am going to cut-and-paste the information regarding David's …
The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde
Stars, stars, how many stars to give? Had I reviewed this book several years ago I'd have given 5 stars. In the interim, Corn Meal Dance finally pushed me into checking out Directed by Desire: The Collected …
reviewed Borrowed Arms. January 14, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Borrowed Arms
If you have 2 Foot Yard and like it, dislike it, love it or are indifferent, get Borrowed Arms. I like the first one and love bits of it but also feel it's uneven. Plus from checking in on its reviews …
reviewed Cry. January 08, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Cry
With the quality of the songs, and the level at which Prince Lasha, Sonny Simmons, Gary Peacock, Mark Proctor and Gene Stone perform on this 1962 album, I have a feeling that anyone who reviews this album …
reviewed The Complete Machine Gun Sessions (1968). January 02, 2009
posted in Music Matters
The Complete Machine Gun Sessions (1968)
Not that I was even born when this came out (studio tracks recorded in 5/68, live one [Track 6] on 3/24/68) but I consider the first 3 tracks to be 37ish minutes of some of the most important music recorded …
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