Monday, January 3, 2011

Guru Guru - Dance of the Flames (1974)

A guitar-driven Krautrock record from the Mani Neumeier-led Guru Guru; which is notable because Neumeier was one of the better drummers in the Kosmiche scene so for him to sort of step back and allow his supporting cast to shine here makes this record altogether more special.

This was the only record guitarist Houschäng Nejadapour recorded with the band, and his contributions are pretty spectacular- his playing borders on spine-tingling fusion jazz a la John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra before giving way to straight up Krauty motorik and world music excursions.

Prepare to have your faces melted. Off.

Yeasayer - Live at Ancienne Belgique (2010)

Holy shit this is so good. If you haven't hopped on the Yeasayer bandwagon yet, stop fucking around and get on it. Seriously. Not only are they one of the most interesting bands of the last few years in terms of experimenting with sound, they're also one of the most listenable (I know that word "experimenting" can be a huge turn-off for ears, but trust me- totally accessible).

The sound quality of this show is pretty amazing and the fans are respectful and attentive as well. Mad props to my homie Edo and his Know Your Conjurer blog for giving me the heads up on this awesome live concert, go there now and say what up, and download away- crazy sounds from way out on his blog as well as his radio show.

Here's some live Yeasayer- check out some of the re-worked versions of the songs from both All Hour Cymbals and Odd Blood.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart - Bongo Fury (1975)

This is beyond "required listening". Two legends; one at the apex of his career, one at the nadir. Zappa was selling out arenas and Beefheart couldn't get anyone to play with him (the entire Magic Band up and quit on him in '74, due to his "abusive behavior"). Needless to say, Beefheart couldn't get a gig at a dive bar and Frank felt he owed him (they've been friends since high school). The two geniuses had a pretty strained relationship around this time; they were both on "ego trips" says former Zappa drummer Jimmy Carl Black, with Beef mostly drawing sketches on-stage of Zappa and Frank in turn hating the Captain's work ethic (Zappa was a notorious workhorse).

This album is notable also for the lineup featured; it's at the intersection of two of Frank's greatest bands- blending the early 70's incarnation with Napoleon Murphy Brock and Chester Thompson with the late 70's era band with Terry Bozzio and the Fowler brothers.

One of my favorite records of the mid-1970s; listen to the Captain ramble nonsense over fantastic Zappa art rock compositions. Enjoy!