Thursday, December 4, 2008

in the sky

more than any other time of year the holiday season is the most musical. of course there's the ubiquitous holiday music - holiday music is fine as long as: it is not overdone, it doesn't start getting played before december, and as long as it isn't warped into a bad impression of itself. since this is the traditional gift-giving, gift-receiving season doesn't it seem as if there is an increase in new musical releases? maybe there is no seasonal spike, it's just clever marketing - a gift of a cd can be a perfect gift. music (and books) are the exception to my on-going resolve to try to only give gifts made by hand (be they my hands or the hands of another local craftsperson/artist).

here are three 'new releases' that are at the top of my giving (getting?) list this year:

pete seeger at 89 - released in september, this album is a must have for any serious folkie or seeger fan. I like this reviewer's take.
the works
by jonatha brooke. I first heard of this recording on weekend edition. brooke continues the effort to set to music and record previously unpublished woodie guthrie songs. guthrie left behind an incredible treasure trove of songs written, but never recorded. I was first made aware of this project ten years ago when billy bragg and wilco got together and released mermaid avenue. as a diehard billy and woody fan, I know I was the first on my block to get this album. a few years later the boys released mermaid avenue volume II.

come darkness, come light: twelve songs of christmas by mary chapin carpenter. yesterday diane rehm interviewed mary and featured several of the tunes on this album - I was totally smitten. if you missed the show you can listen to the interview by following the links here.

yesterday I posted a small tribute to odetta. this got me thinking of other wonderful musicians and sages who are no longer with us. did you know today is the anniversary of frank zappa's death? geez, I miss frank zappa. how can you not love someone who said this:
We are engaged in a low key war against apathy. A lot of what we do is designed to annoy people to the point where they might just for a second question enough of their environment to do something about it. As long as they don't feel their environment and don't worry about it they're not going to do anything to change it. Something's got to be done before America scarfs up the world and shits on it.

here's a vid (and the source of the quote above) from a 1968 bbc broadcast of frank and the mothers of invention.

photo: red wall, lofty pennsylvania, 2008


R.L. Bourges said...

yay, Frank! yay, Frank! Yay! (be back later for the links)

Merle Sneed said...

Two thoughts.

Frank wondered about the US scarfing up the world. It seems the opposite is happening.

In our store they are playing non-stop Christmas music. By Christmas I may be suicidal.

Saretta said...

Excellent Zappa quote!

Megan said...

Ooh, no time now but I will definitely follow those links later on today!

I am starting a petition to have The Waitresses "Christmas Wrapping" permanently removed from world consiousness...

tut-tut said...

Christmas music is my favorite, especially medieval, something my mother used to call "that mournful music." I have the MC Carpenter. Beautiful photo on the cover. Gives me shivers (of delight).

As for van the ups man's album, I don't know what is up. I will let you know if it appears, which it soon should.

K. said...

Download Jorma Kaukonen's Christmas. It's my favorite contemporary Christmas album. Also, Emmylou Harris' Light of the Stable is very nice.

jude said...

miss him too. you gotta.

Reya Mellicker said...

Awww FRANK!! How cool to see the vid.

You are so cool, Ms. Mouse!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

rlb - yay, yay!

merle - maybe someone should throw a sabot at the music system at the store! I don't even want to think of the possibility of you being suicidal!

saretta - indeed

megan - had to refresh my memory as to that song. I don't think it's nearly as bad as that annoying chipmunk christmas song or that john denver song about daddy getting drunk! (btw, the waitresses are from the cleveland area! unfortunately patty, who sang the song died in 1996. r.i.p. learning this makes me like it a little more - the sympathy factor no doubt)

tut - I too am fond of really, really old christmas tunes.... this weekend's project is to locate the stash of christmas cd's and load them into our cd system (luddites that we are here on ave c, we are ipod-less)

k - thanks for the recommendations - you know, you are one of musical gurus! can't believe we don't have that emmy lou harris album. ah so many albums, so little money.

jude - gotta, gotta!

reya - back at ya!

Squirrel said...

I'm with Merle. Don't leave home unless you want to hear Christmas music --I was waiting for an RX and the LOUD hliday music nearly drove me to wait outside in the cold for my meds.

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I was sort of late coming around to Mary Chapin Carpenter and still don't know that much of her work but love her song "Twilight". A couple of years ago I heard her explain the inspiration for it being walking with her dogs and cats at the end of the day. It's a wonderfully pleasant celebration of the enormous joy of small pleasures.

Anonymous said...

war on apathy. not that anyone will ever do anything about it.

Megan said...

Oh man. Now I feel bad. How about I change my campaign to 'Santa Baby' ?


lettuce said...

lovely lovely photo kim!