Monday, September 12, 2005

weekend discoveries

I was over at Henry's for a bit of a session with he and his brother Richard on Saturday - drums, bass and saz - quite a good workout on the fretboard. Richard's bass playing just keeps getting better. Henry's wife Lucy joined in with some additional percussion for a while.

Henry also mentioned a few interesting-sounding things coming up at The Phoenix soon: The Parallax Beat Brothers (percussionist Pete Lockett with electronic innovator Scanner), The Philip Clemo Band, Acoustic Ladyland and The Bays. The Bays sounded particularly interesting, as they're an entirely live, entirely improvised phenomenon with a dedicated fan-base and a "no product"/"performance is the art" ethos. I checked out their website and really liked the concept. There was a free download available of a set they played in Haifa last January. Listening to it wasn't quite as exciting as reading about the concept behind the group - it's very much dance-oriented, and although it's all live drums, guitar, bass and keyboards, I kept forgetting I wasn't listening to an eclectic DJ set. Still, I think I shall check them out when they pass through Exeter. It's nice to know someone else has realised that trying to sell recorded music as a product has just about had its day.

Vicky and I took a load of stuff to the local recycling centre on Sunday, and I found a few gems amongst the old vinyl there - The Cardiacs Big Ship E.P. as well as three mint-condition LP's of 13th-17th century music by an ensemble called The Consort of Musicke. Quite a bargain at 10p each! Despite my enthusiasm for that period of European music, I've decided that the commonly-used description "Early Music" is just as ridiculous as "World Music", considering that we now know humans were playing wind instruments at least 45,000 years ago.

"If anyone's aware of anything which isn't 'world music', then please get in touch - I'd be very keen to hear it." (John Peel, paraphrased, early 1990's)

The rest of that afternoon was spent painting window frames, listening to Coltrane and Tom Waits (Raindogs is a great album to paint to, I discovered!)


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