Musicology 101 by Bob

Reflecting upon 1993 brings to mind a few of my favorite record releases. Here are a few presented in random order.

  1. Painful!, Yo La Tengo (Matador)
    Iím at a loss to describe this album. Youíll just have to listen to it, to hear how good it really is.

  2. Mo-Di, Mouth Music (Rykodisc)
    A remarkable fusion of Gaelic Scotland with the polyrhythms of Africa.

  3. Into The Labyrinth, Dead Can Dance (4AD)
    Often described as medieval music fronted by Frank Sinatra sound-alike. Canít get any cooler than that. Checkout some of their older material too!

  4. Cure For Pain, Morphine (Rykodisc)
    Just two words for this CD: Exceptionally Cool!

  5. Gypsy Boogaloo, Willie and Lord (Mesa)
    I heard this while in Schoolkids and was hooked. It is a blending of tango, jazz, Cajun, and Tex-Mex.

  6. Visiting Your Planet, Naked Soul (Scotti Bros.)
    Pearl Jam, Nirvana; Forget them. Buy this instead.

  7. Three Flew Over the Cuckooís Nest, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones (Warner Bros.)
    A jazz album with a banjo! Incredible! I read once that he entertained his friends in school by playing Led Zeppelin tunes on his banjo.

  8. Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements, Stereolab (Elektra)
    Ambient noise mixed with bubble gum pop music at its finest.

  9. Diminutive Mysteries (Mostly Hemphill), Tim Berne (Polydor)
    Avant-garde jazz with one of its best practitioners. Another one to check out his older material.

  10. The First Day, David Sylvian and Robert Fripp (Virgin)
    A marriage made in heaven by two underrated artists, David Sylvian (formerly of Japan) and Robert Fripp (formerly of King Crimson). I mentioned the former groups so you can check them out and become enlightened.

  11. Perfectly Good Guitar, John Hiat (A&M)
    Hey its time to learn about this man. The most under appreciated singer/songwriter this side of Bonnie Raitt.

  12. Mercury, American Music Club (Reprise)
    A powerful compelling album from singer/songwriter Mark Eitzec. This band deserves your attention.

  13. Frank Black, Frank Black (Elektra)
    He said he did not want to make this album a Pixie sound alike. Well you canít always be right. Good thing too!

There you have it, A Bakerís Dozen. My apologies to Kate Bush, Rickie Lee Jones, Ranch Romance, U2, Dwight Yoakum, and Redd Kross who for one reason or another I left them off the list.

I would also like to pay tribute to Frank Zappa, who passed away in December. Through his wide variety of musical styles on the 60 plus albums that he release in his lifetime, I was able to open my mind to different musical forms. He unlocked my ears from the traditional sounds of Rock Ďní Roll and he was a great guitar player too! Some of my favorite Zappa albums include Freakout, Hot Rats, Uncle Meat, Weasels Ripped My Flesh, The Grand Wazoo, One Size Fits All, Absolutely Free, Sheik Yerbouti, Chungaís Revenge, and the Grammy winning Jazz From Hell. A great artist who was vastly under appreciated. Thank You Frank! And remember to keep your ears open you never know when you might hear something you like.

B.S.


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