Listed: Darin Gray + Entrance
Darin Gray is, literally and figuratively, a man who wears many hats. During the past year he has collaborated with Glenn Kotche as On Fillmore to record an album of etherial electronic-tinged jazz; He recorded a solo album, St. Louis Shuffle, that contained tones similar to those found on On Fillmore but this time they were complemented by a variety of low-toned rumbles, clicks, hums, and sometimes silence; And most recently recorded an angular, explosive rock album as part of the trio Grand Ulena. Grand Ulena's debut, Gateway to Dignity as well as Gray's St. Louis Shuffle are currently available on the Family Vineyard label. On Fillmore's recent self-titled album is available on Locust Music.
1. Glenn Kotche - Introducing (Quakebasket) – This one really threw me for a loop in a big way. I didn't know Glenn had this in him. Scary! Very beautiful, haunting and extremely twisted! Every place I think that the music is headed, it does the complete opposite. Part One of my must listens for anyone interested in where modern percussion is heading or has arrived.
2. Tim Barnes - All Acoustic (Quakebasket) – Heard Tim play with Chris Corsano opening for Loose Fur in NYC last December. AMAZING! Drug this one back out for yet another listen. Tim is a very giving, caring, and sharing musician (and person). It is very interesting for me to hear him alone just going at it with various percussion. Any group Tim plays in is all the better for it. Same with Glenn. But hearing them left to their own devices is really an enlightening thing for me. This is Part Two of my must listen percussion album.
3. Xmarsx – s/t (Atavistic) – Mars Williams! Spent half of this album thinking that Shimmy Disc Kramer had become a great guitarist, then it hit me that this is WAYNE Kramer of MC5 fame, swinging like crazy and matching Mars note for note. Kind of in the spirit of old Lounge Lizards but definitely in it's own bag.
4. Kent Kessler - Bull Fiddle (Okkadisk) – Kent finally makes a solo album. Can't believe he has waited this long. Hear Kent without all usual suspects blowing all over the top of him. Hear why he is the bass player in a city of great, great bassists. Deep, spiritual, and very inspiring. Hope he doesn't wait another 20 or so years.
5. Sonic Youth - Murray Street (Geffen) – My favorite Sonic Youth album since Daydream. The Borbetomagus moment might make my favorite since “Bad Moon”. Great songs, great recording, great everything.
6. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme: Deluxe Edition (Verve) – A must own for any music fan. Maybe even any human being. Music of the highest level. The live extra disc was the first jazz LP I ever bought. Probably 13. I thought it was THE Love Supreme for years. Dork I am.
7. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Master and Everyone (Drag City) – I have been listening to this one over and over at the record store I work at. Something in the music touches me deeply. Very sparse, with beautiful playing from Will and brother Paul. My favorite Oldham so far. A great continuation from I See a Darkness.
8. Toshimaru Nakamura – Vehicle (Cubic Music) – For those that think it has all been done: Wrong. Toshi comes strong with this whole zero input mixer thing. Alien, uncomfortable, quiet, jarring, thought-provoking etc... It is amazing to me that someone hasn't made this music before. Incredible!
9. Loose fur – s/t (Drag City) – Three friends making great music. I am kind of amazed that Jeff and Jim gave such great songs to this project and didn't save them for their own bands. Some of my favorite material or songs from all three of these guys. Biased I am, but I still love it. That last song is a mofo.
10. Chris Corsano / Paul Flaherty – The Hated Music (Ecstatic Yod) – Violent, over the top, painful, and yes possibly even dangerous playing from this duo. Paying close attention to timbre and the shifting dynamics between 10 and 11, these guys have a made a very lasting and great album.
Those who have seen Entrance perform rarely forget the experience. The former bassist for GSL-ers The Convocation Of..., Entrance (aka Guy Blakeslee), manages to sqeeze all of the noise, tension, and excitement of his previous band into one shiny guitar and a single howling voice. His primal-folk made him a favorite at Matt Sweeney's long-running open-mic night at Chicago's hideout during much of 2002. With a new record (The Kingdom of Heaven Must Be Taken By Storm) forthcoming on Tigerstyle Records, and a month of touring with Cat Power, 2003 is starting to look like a big year for Entrance.
1. Amps for Christ – Circuits (Vermiform) – Ancient English and eastern folk melodies soaked in electronic distortion with tabla drums and age old stories told plainly by a timeless voice....
2. Skip James – 1931 sessions (Matchbox) – From the moment I heard his voice, I have been unable to shake its echoes.
3. Bob Dylan – “Restless Farwell" (from Times They Are A-Changin’) – No academic philosopher or bogus priest has ever summed up as many abstract truths so personally or so universally.
4. – Devendra Banhart live – Hearing him every night for six weeks I never missed a single song.
5. Roscoe Holcomb – It is possible to be a soulful white blues singer, really!
6. Sandy Bull – A tape my friend has where Mr. Bull is improvising with a drummer, and they transform the song a million times (through telepathy) from a flamenco death march to an Indian raga to a solid pulsating drone and back again.... Some claim that the Batles' “Come Together” was about Sandy Bull, a wild cat.....
7. Six Organs of Admittance live – Ben Chasny (a.k.a. Six Organs...) performing in a living room in Santa Cruz, California, drawing everyone into the same trance and shaking the whole house with his stompin’ foot...
8. Walker & Jay show live – An old time music revue with banjo, bass, guitar and fiddle, they sing stories as old as the hills but make them resonate with the urgency of the present. An inspiring experience.
9. Quix*o*tic – Everything.
10. Son House – Live at Newport Juke Joint, 1965 – This is on a video you can get from the library (called Devil Got My Woman). Son House performs the most dramatic and intense blues, just one song, and the looks on the faces in the audience are transformed from easy going revelry to speechless awe and even tears.
By Dusted Magazine