Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Mark Fosson and Nick Castro.
Listed: Mark Fosson + Nick Castro
Continuing their tradition of only unearthing and reissuing the cream of the crop, Drag City struck gold yet again when it dug up the record that guitarist Mark Fosson recorded for Takoma Records way back when. The Los Angeles guitarist was all but lost to time, but come July when it is (re)released, his dexterous and lovely plucking will be available for all to enjoy. The apple doesn't fall far from the Takoma tree, and Fosson's tunes will appeal to anyone who has found themselves lost in a John Fahey or Jack Rose-induced trance. Hope to see you there.
The 9 records that twisted me the most:
1. George Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue
This was one of my Mom’s records I discovered when I was about 8 years old. I played it non-stop for about 2 months until one day it mysteriously vanished!
2. Congo Percussion
My aunt Mary gave me this for Christmas when I was 10. I don’t know where the hell she found it, but it was the strangest thing I’d ever heard. Killer grooves on very strange instruments. If anyone has a copy of this one call me!
3. The Beatles - "From Me To You/There’s A Place"
My dad used to buy the used 45’s off the jukeboxes in the very fine establishments he frequented! This was definitely the coolest one he brought home. It was months before anyone had heard of them. To say I was a Beatle freak is putting it mildly…they’re definitely the reason I became a musician.
4. Jefferson Airplane - Embryonic Journey
I put this on the turntable and was thinking it was a really great album when all of a sudden “Embryonic Journey” jumped out and I knew I’d never be the same. Finger-picked acoustic guitar…nothing better!
5. Anthology Of American Folk Music
I used to listen to this in the college library. Missed a lot of classes that way…another reason I’m a musician!
6. The Stanley Brothers - Rank Stranger
My all-time favorite song. They were one of the first live acts I saw and I remember the guitar player’s strings looked as big as bridge cables and the sweat was just flying off his forehead. Listening to this song gives me the same feeling as having car trouble in Harlan, Kentucky just as the sun is setting with about two bucks in your pocket and absolutely no gas stations in sight. I know.
7. Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks
I think I like this one because nearly every song is in open-tuning, which I had just started to discover. Lyrics aren’t bad either.
I got an introduction to 3 great guitarists with this one. I honestly wore the needle right through the record! And of course this one led to everything these guys had ever recorded and most importantly to…………….
9. Leo Kottke - Armadillo
After listening to Kottke/Lang/Fahey I searched for everything Takoma Records had released and found this…an absolute gem. All I know is it was less than 24 hours before I had bought my first 12-string!
I can't remember the last time I've seen the word 'folk' without its recent companion 'freak' attached to it, but the press surrounding West Coast psychedelic folk artist Nick Castro is no exception. Perhaps in this case it is a bit more warrented than others. The fairly prolific Castro has released a handful of records over the past year, including his latest, Come Into Our House.
1. Marta Sebestyen - Muzsikas
Both Martha and Muszikas have done so much for Hungarian music in the western world. This record is an absolute must for anyone even remotely into the female voice. In fact, for anyone into beautiful music, this is it. Now she is a soccer mom in San Francisco, but never mind that...beauty I say.
2. Sweeney's Men - ST
Everything you could want from a modern folk record is here. Has many of my favorite tunes on it including Willy O' Winsbury, House Carpenter, Reynard the Fox, and Dance to Your Daddy. They only made two albums and this is their first. Andy Irvine, Johnny Moynihan and Terry Woods all had succesful solo careers later and could also be spotted in Planxty, Dr. Strangely Strange, The Woods Band, and Steeleye Span (and unfortunately also the Pogues but don't judge on that, maybe we're just missing something).
3. E. Koestyara & Group Gapura - Sangkala - This is a "modern" Indonesian record from 1985 that uses ancient gamelan instruments and Degung song forms. It is not like any gamelan LP you have ever heard. Hyper-realistic sounds and dripping with funky rhythms.
3. Idjah Hadidjah & Jugala Ensemble - TONGGERET
Another of the modernistic Indonesian releases from the eighties. This is Sundanese Jaipong but this lady could also be the Siouxsie of Indonesia. Again all acoustic which is a peculiar thing for modern pop music (using the term loosely here) which I've only really noticed also in Brazilian music. This record is still very influenced by classical song forms. She can also be heard singing in Gugum's' Jugala group. A very dark shade of Indonesia, scary stuff.
4. Bonga, Tiao et Jo Maka - Racines De L'Angola Au Bresil
Bonga has the voice. He is huge in Angola and I believe he was also a futbol star there or some type of sports figure. I don't know, go google it..all I know is that THIS is what you put on when the ladies arrive, not that R Kelly record (c'mon boys, that's played out, don't settle for mediocrity, be an orginal). This is his Brazil-meets-Angola-crossover-mish-mash-eclectic-bugaloo in a blender. It works!
5. Tucker Zimmerman - S/T
I have the Autogram version. I say this because I believe that there are a few Tucker LPs that are self-tited and are actually totally different records. Tucker records are really hard to find so I don't much about it, I could be mistaken, again if you really care: Google. His songs are twisted and funny while rocking and strumming. Great simple instrumentation. Sort of a singer-songwriter Velvet Underground of sorts. "No Love Lost" is a classic song as good as anything Roy Harper or Roy Orbison ever slung out. He is living in Belgium and still playing. I really want to meet him.
6. Elly & Rikkert Zuiderveld - Maarten en het witte paard - What a good-looking couple. You want to love them for that alone but when you hear the record...wait...how have I never heard of this before? Incredible String Band of Holland? This record is a dream of a dream. Like something that never existed other than in that dream and then you awaken only to find it actually sitting there on your turntable. In point of fact there isn't so much mystique to the duo in Holland where they had a TV show in the 60's and a million later albums (most of them suck, sorry, they turned into Christers later on) with only the first 5 or so being worth pursuing. One of my all-time favorite groups ever, to me this surpasses Dr. Strangely Strange and sits right next to ISB without breaking a sweat. Did I mention how good-looking they are?
7. Lackey & Sweeney - Junk Store Songs for Sale
OK, so I am really into male/female duos, go figure, I have Wendy you know. I am also into metallic inks, this record has both. Anyhow, this one also has some great tunes and I love to listen to it when I have to do things I hate like washing a cup just so I can make more coffee (hippie speedballs, yum). This was on Ian A. Anderson's Village Thing records as was Wizz Jones, Chris Thompson, Sun Also Rises, Tucker Zimmerman etc...
8. Michael Hurley & Pals - Armchair Boogie
Sorry Chris Smith, I know we said we'd trade for the Simply Saucer LP but...uh...this has the comic book and everything. Didn't I score one of these for you already when you were in LA? You need two? That's what this record does to people. It can turn friends on friends and cause so much unrest in the world of nerdly record seekers. Obviously "The Werewolf" is a lonely cry of horror and sympathy which has affected people across many oceans. Check out the Barry Dransfield version of this tune on his S/T LP. Dransfield also opens his record with it.
9. V/A - Lower Caste Religious Music From India - Monks, Tranvestites, Midwives and Folksingers - Old Lyrichord LP
Funky funky funky. Sounds not so good but...funky funky funky. Not for the light at heart.
10. Swamp Dogg - Total Destruction To Your Mind
Greatest "psychedelic" soul LP I know of. Yes Swamp Dogg will Dust Your Head Color Red in a Synthetic World while drinking Sal-A-Faster. Best liner notes on a record ever, even better than Roy Harper's. Crazy lyrics about reality and beyond and songs including "Mama's Baby, Daddy's Maybe" & "Redneck". The cover features the Dogg atop a broken down trailer in his skivvies with a scholar's graduation hat on, some white socks pulled up high and beatle boots. You also have to check the covers of his later albums "Rat On!" (where he is riding a giant rat) & "I'm Not Selling Out, I'm Buying In"
By Dusted Magazine