Reading and Listening

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 10.44.02 PMHere’s what’s new for the ol’ book holes in the front of my head and music holes in the sides of my head. What are you putting in to your head and why?

Let’s start with the holdovers from the last update:

Reading:

I’m still reading Edward Abbey’s excellent  Desert Solitaire. No reason that it’s a holdover other than life getting in the way of me reading as much as I’d like.

Music:

It may not be their best material, but I’m still holding on to Massive Attack’s Ritual Spirit EP. Though maybe not a complete return to form, it’s exciting to hear the group building on without rehashing the formulas that have made them so great in the first place.

And, now on to WHAT’S NEW:

Reading:

The Soul Of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde.

I am not a Socialist but as a Christian, I am fascinated by any system that strives for fairness and equality. Unfortunately, that is often not socialism, as Wilde points out, with particular care to notice the system’s impact on artists. I have read this piece in the past but picked it up again with the rise of Bernie Sanders and some recent conversation with friends.

Music:

Off The Beaten Track by African Head Charge

Originally released in 1985 and recently reissued along with the group’s other first three releases. Fusing dub, afro, reggae, punk, funk and the kitchen sink, this is Adrian Sherwood set loose. Maybe not as immediately accessible as some of his solo material, Off The Beaten Track is my recommendation for an entry-point into the sometimes confusing world of African Head Charge. Glad to see this finally garnering some long overdue attention.

Old Factory EP by Chris Bathgate

What? New music from Chris Bathgate?! Yes, please. Here he is performing “Big Ghost” at an Habañero Collective house show in 2011:

Interludes For The Dead by Circles Around The Sun

Never intended as an album release, these two hours of music (including several 20-minute or more instrumental jams) came together when Justin Kreutzmann commissioned Neal Casal for five hours of music to accompany the intermission visuals of the Fare Thee Well mini tour. The music was such a hit that it was winnowed down to around two hours for commercial release. Challenged with the task of referencing, even revering but not mimicking the Dead, Neal Casal and his band definitely deliver.

Thought Rock Fish Scale by Nap Eyes

Sleepy indie rock fronted by a guy who sounds a lot like Lou Reed but in a good way. Paradise of Bachelors continues it’s winning streak.

The Ghosts of Highway 20 by Lucinda Williams

Though Ghosts may not greatly expand Williams’ sonic world, it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

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