Recent comments

  • The Greatest Albums Ever   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Bley's arrangements on Liberation Music Orchestra are truly wonderful. As far as arrangement goes, she's one of the very finest I've ever heard, reminding me of John Cale's magnificent and crucial contributions to Nico and VU albums. She really brings out the best in each composition. Her own compositions though... tbh I don't find them too impressive. The Bley-composed interludes on LMO are nice but have nothing on the Haden and Coleman compositions and Spanish folk songs (which she arranged almost perfectly). Her Escalator over the Hill compositions sound like simple platforms that enable her to create very ambitious and complex arrangements. This is where she reminds of Zappa: the impressive mathematics are canceled out by the lack of core substance (imagine all Escalator compositions stripped of arrangements and performed by a pianist) and the extremely high level of ambition and stylistic fusion (which is way above even Mingus, as you pointed out) reads as a general indifference toward the source material and a general lack of emotional investment in them. To me Escalator functions as a magnificent essay on the late 60's music, one of the most comprehensive and detailed ever. Still, a great essay about art is not necessarily a great piece of art in itself. All of this being said, I like the album a lot and maybe some day it'll end up in my top 20 like you. Who knows. Funny comparison: Ramones was a much more innovative album that launched the last great universal movement in rock music, and the band had no idea or intention about the impact that their "dumb" little album would have. It's been a decade and I still listen to that album for sheer pleasure and it still holds up like A Love Supreme or VU & Nico. Sometimes less is more.

  • The Greatest Rock Band Poll   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I love Slint. Always wished they had more albums, although their members have done seriously amazing things in Tortoise, The For Carnation and other bands. Who would your 4 other choices be?

  • The Greatest Rock Band Poll   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Shoot, I didn't know you could put more than one. I just put Slint, because I was so happy to see them on the list, and they are one of my personal favorite bands (especially for post rock). Great selection!

  • Favorite Rock Albums   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Thanks for the explanation. Spiderland is a stunning album and a very worthy choice. I'm very familiar with Scaruffi too. I too heard about many of the more obscure choices through his site/lists.

  • Favorite Rock Albums   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Thanks! I was updating my other lists so much that I had kept comments disabled, but they're enabled again. Thanks for letting me know.

    I think Spiderland is my favorite, because for me, it has unlimited replay value. I've listened to it probably more than 200 times over the past two years, about twice a week. I just naturally did that, because I so often felt like hearing it. It got better and better after each listen, and it had a certain mystique that made me want to learn more about it. After a while I bought the remastered CD version, since it came with the "Breadcrumb Trail" documentary. Such a fascinating movie that helped contextualize the album... And yet I wanted to know more, so I read Scott Tennant's 33 1/3 of the album, which was also terrific. In the past two years, I've listened to Spiderland in all sorts of moods, and my interpretations of the lyrics have evolved a lot. Even though the album has introduced me to some more of my favorite bands, relatives of Slint such as Tortoise, The For Carnation, and Papa M, it remains a landmark album for me that I still listen to as often as I ever have.

    I'm glad to see we have so much overlap in our lists! I heard about many of these albums from Scaruffi. Have you read his lists? While I respect his as proposed lists of "greatest" albums, mine is much more of a personal favorites that is not so concrete. I don't want to say that Slint is greater than Joanna Newsom or anyone; it's more based off of how much I listened to certain albums and how they've made me feel.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2016)   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Haha! One big happy family :-)

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2016)   2 weeks 5 days ago

    And now for some really strange coincidences...... Television's Tom Verlaine dated Patti Smith, while their Richard Hell married Patty Smyth (some other new wave singer). Television replaced Hell on bass with Fred Smith (of Blondie) while Patti later married Fred Sonic Smith (of the MC5).

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2016)   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Yea, LA Blues is more comparable to something off of Kick Out the Jams.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2016)   2 weeks 5 days ago

    I agree. Weird how they seem to be compared a lot.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2016)   2 weeks 6 days ago

    LA Blues is an awesome burst of crazed, free form violence. I'm not sure what Id rate it but its not enough for 7.3+. There are much better (or, perhaps just longer) free form-esque violent tracks, namely in the world of jazz.

    Radio Ethiopia is much more significant (to me) due to the evocative and emotional evolution of each of its parts. Her voice goes through several stages of disgust and witch-like incantations, the guitars play in "turntable like" frenzy amongst other thrusting rhythms and spasms encircling the song in a polyrhythmic cohesion with her vocals (could be likened to a witch casting her spell over and over). Its instrumental elements keep elevating her vocals into increasing depths of shamanistic violence until the song breaks into a state of metaphysical, descending struggle, an elongated death scene.

    The track Radio Ethiopia/Abyssinia is anywhere between 7.5/10 and 7.8/10, while LA Blues is unlikely to be given much consideration for my songs/tracks list (as long as it remains a cut off point of 7.3/10)

  • Favorite Rock Albums   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Great list! So many of my favorites. What makes Spiderland your #1?

    Do you know that your other lists dont allow comments?

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2016)   2 weeks 6 days ago

    What do you think of the Stooges "L.A. Blues" viz a viz Patti Smith's "Radio Ethiopia"?

  • Most Comedic Depth (Film)   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Yeah, that's a great choice. Holy Grail too. I need to revisit them but both should probably get on here.

  • Most Comedic Depth (Film)   3 weeks 5 hours ago

    Life of Brain had so much comedic depth that I completely drowned halfway through it.

  • The Greatest Albums Ever   3 weeks 12 hours ago

    Thanks, Ill have to check that out. Another Bley collaboration, always a good sign :-)

  • The Greatest Albums Ever   3 weeks 15 hours ago

    Liberation Music Orchestra is great, but I personally prefer Dream Keeper. Haden's bass playing is hypnotic and the melodies are unforgettable. I find myself humming the music even though I haven't heard the album in months.

  • The Greatest Albums Ever   3 weeks 2 days ago

    I can see why you might consider them self-indulgent. Bley and Zappa have composed at least equally elaborate and complexly organized compositions as the artists you named. They're all pretty much in the same class to these ears. Bley's works still sound completely revolutionary, even if that revolution hasn't caught on too much and is still ahead of its time (in other words, I think we agree that she didn't really achieve widespread influence...). Few are aware that she beat Davis to the punch by 2 years with regards to jazz-rock fusions (Genuine Tong Funeral). Escalator Over the Hill far surpassed even Mingus' greatest ambitions (doesn't mean it's "better" than Black Saint) in matching/surpassing the compositional audacity, scope and emotional outpouring of the greatest classical works. I'm really glad you're digging Liberation Music Orchestra. Another one of Bley's greatest contributions.

  • Movies I'm waiting for on Netflix/TV/somewhere   3 weeks 3 days ago

    I have lots of lists of films I'm planning to see at one time or another (mostly another). This is just all those lists combined, making it easier for me to search while reading tv programs or new additions to Netflix.

  • The Greatest Albums Ever   3 weeks 3 days ago

    It works! Thanks. And yes, I'm from "outside the US". I'd say Bley (and Zappa) is an acquired taste for someone without much knowledge and interest in avant-jazz and polystylism. On the other hand, they can sound rather simple and self-indulgent (specially Zappa) compared to Coltrane, Coleman, Mingus, Beefheart, VU, Monk, Davis and quite a few other experimental musicians who shaped the future of jazz and rock with their best work. Considering the bigger picture, I think they found and developed their own specific niches rather than being musical leaders whose work could achieve widespread influence and fundamentally-redefine future music in the sense of structure and purpose. I have to say I'll probably end up agreeing with you about Liberation Music Orchestra deserving a place on my list though. I'm listening to it right now. It's a really amazing piece of work.

  • The Greatest Albums Ever   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Maybe you get something different where your from (outside the US?), but the links work fine from my end. Here it is on

    Hopefully it works, but if not, oh well...

    Yes, Bley (and Zappa) is certainly an acquired taste...

  • The Greatest Albums Ever   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Man this is taking too long to find. Apparently the YouTube link doesn't work and Tidido doesn't have that album but has others (great website btw, thanks for letting me know about it). So far I've liked like all the stuff I've heard by Charlie Haden. Hope I find Liberation Music Orchestra soon.

    About your reference points: I dig Even the Sounds Shine a lot. Carla Bley on the other hand has never been one of my favorite artists, although I acknowledge her as a great composer in her own right. Escalator leaves me a bit cold the way a lot Zappa's albums do. Both have a knack for implementing small ideas on grand scales, resulting in music that constantly sounds a bit impersonal (specially in Zappa's case) despite all the different dynamics and stylistic fusions and whatnot. Credit is due for being among the very first to do this kind of polystylism, but not for being the best at it.

  • Movies I'm waiting for on Netflix/TV/somewhere   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Well, that's just no fair!

  • Movies I'm waiting for on Netflix/TV/somewhere   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Netflix doesn't have a DVD delivery service where I live. I suspect some of these movies are available on either Youtube or the Internet Archive, I haven't looked through there yet.

  • Movies I'm waiting for on Netflix/TV/somewhere   3 weeks 3 days ago

    The Quite Duel is on YouTube at I just watched a few days ago.

  • Movies I'm waiting for on Netflix/TV/somewhere   3 weeks 3 days ago

    This is why I subscribe to the DVD delivery service. Many of these titles are available there. I caught myself thinking "I own that, I own that" and then realized that won't do YOU any good!