Out of the woods
I should have said this Monday, but big ups to Jon for carrying the weight of the blog last week. I needed the break as various and sundry --the paid job, the search for a new "career" and all the little blooming, blossoming, sprouting allergens--have been sucking the sap from me. Even now I can't claim to be fully back, but slowly, slowly...
Something musical has got me all giddy and spring fluttery, though. Remember the wild men's movement? Middle-class white guys banging drums in the woods and getting weepy about their daddys? Maybe if they'd had these two Massachusetts boys who call themselves Chas. Mtn. supplying the music, wild men would be more than a cultural footnote. On their messy, spectacular album Hugs (US, UK), Chas. Mtn. kick up cathartic everyman energy with irritated, glitchy techno-folk, confused, droney prog murk and dozens of other sounds to sketch universally uncomfortable moods. Dirty and disoriented/ing, the song "Deep Safety" could have been recorded anytime in the past 40 years by hippies or hipsters, idiots or savants. Or, in this case, slightly touched, partly tame wild men tapping hurts, kicking up psychic leaves, proffering ragged handclap beats and a secret language of fury and wonder.
Deep Safety - Chas. Mtn.
Our Wild Disease - Chas. Mtn.
"Our Wild Disease" is one of several tracks, album and demo, for download on Chas. Mtn.'s MySpace.
Ever since I suffered through Mona Lisa Smile (run! hide!) on cable a few weeks ago, I've had Irving Berlin's "What'll I Do?" lodged in my noggin. Allmusic logs 252 appearances of the song by everyone from Chet Baker to Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra to Sarah Vaughn, Regis Philbin to Cher. Alison Kraus sings the version in the movie, and since I'll be damned if I'm going to pay money for the soundtrack, a couple other super renditions surely will do ya:
What'll I Do - Ruth Brown
What'll I Do - Harry Nilsson
Before I forget, be sure to check out Contrast Podcast 5. It's yet another fine effort from a group of international mp3 bloggers and engineered by Tim of Face of Today.