Saturday, June 27, 2009

New and Extended 2009 Mix

For a while now, I have found myself appreciating longer songs more and more. This is news only in that, as a member of the '70's punk rock and post punk generation, long songs were anathema. They were part of what we were rebelling against. Long songs meant Yes and ELP and the Grateful fucking Dead. Short songs (aka singles) were where it was at. And, except for a few exceptions over the years (like Public Image Ltd, Metal Box), I have pretty much stayed true to that thinking. But in the last few years, I've discovered many longer (five or more minutes) songs that I've enjoyed immensely, even after repeated listenings.
Most of them come from, directly or indirectly, some genre of dance music, particularly from those composers and musicians who have been using dance music as a jumping off point to explore more conceptually adventurous ideas.
I have a couple of theories about why I find myself drawn more and more to longer compositions:
One of the reasons may be that, as more and more musicians themselves abandon the same prejudices I had, and have become more interested in longer forms, they have therefore concentrated more on how to make them interesting. Another, more mundane reason, may be that I now do most of my listening mainly on headphones, the textures, arrangements progressions over the course of a composition become more important, and longer songs lend themselves to these aspects of the composition.
Here is the Playlist:
1. Phoenix - Lisztomania (Classixx Version) 5:02
2. Windsurf - Bird of Paradise (Studio Version) 13.57
3. Isis - Handing of the Host 10:43
4. Seefeel - Plainsong 7:44
5. The Field - The More I Do 8:33
6. The Honeydrips - Fall From a Height-The Field Way (Remix by the Field)
7. A Mountain of One - Your Love Over Gold 6:39
8. Lewis and Clarke - Light Time 7:22

The Mix:
New and Extended Mix

Sculpture by David Smith

Sky Saxon RIP

Lost in the hysteria surrounding the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson was the passing of Sky Saxon, 71, former lead singer and bass player for the Seeds, the LA-based proto-typical '60's garage punk band. His death should not go unnoticed.
The Seeds were one of my early rock and roll infatuations (after Love and before Cream). I bought their first album mainly because they looked incredibly cool on the cover, but then discovered the power of their buzz saw guitars and Saxon's eternally petulant voice. The second album, Web of Sound, expanded on the nastiness of the first album, and, particularly in the writing, demonstrated that they were more than one-hit wonders. (Unfortunately, the band never lived up to the potential of those two albums, releasing first a bad blues album then a "flower power" album, before disintegrating.) Saxon later became a member of a West Coast spiritual cult. He would sporadically perform and release albums either under his own name or as the Seeds right up to the time of his death.
All these years later, listening to those early Seeds albums, it's easy to reconnect to the anger and exultation of adolescence.
The Seeds - Mr. Farmer
The Seeds - Can't Seem to Make You Mine
The Seeds - Up In Her Room