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049: Chrysalis (J. Spider Barbour), ‘Summer in Your Savage Eyes’

This week’s SoTW is long, even by my shaggy dog standards. What can you do? It’s a long story, spanning 45 years. It spins the strange tale of an obscure artist, his music, J. Spider Barbour and his band Chrysalis. The story as I tell it is full of detours, tangents, and irrelevancies; so don’t expect a “well-made” dramatic storyline here. Only a bizarre chain of events in which real life and fantasy intertwine in their ironic and inextricable way.

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3

037: Lee Konitz, ‘Alone Together’ (w. Charlie Haden & Brad Mehldau)

In which Jeff tells about his 3-hour shmooze with his favorite living jazz musician.

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6

053: The Beatles, ‘In My Life’

Even though they misinterpreted the song, who can deny it’s one of the greatest, ever?

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1

010: Charles Mingus, ‘Remember Rockefeller at Attica’

Opening cuts–those songs that look the room’s silence right in the eye and say, ‘Stand back man, watch this!’ Beethoven’s Fifth. George’s ‘Hard Day’s Night’. This Mingus gem.

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3

216: Billie Holiday, ‘God Bless the Child’

Billie Holiday, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin—their pain, their music, and us.

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5

215: Joni Mitchell, ‘Blue’

A close reading of the harrowingly intimate Joni Mitchell masterpiece, ‘Blue’.

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5

214: The Beatles, ‘You’re Gonna Lose That Girl’

I hadn’t seen “Help!” since 1965, but nothing’s changed. The Beatles were the coolest humans ever born, making the finest music of our times.

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4

030: The Bulgarian State Radio and Television Women’s Choir (Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares) – ‘Pilentze Pee’

Bulgarian folk music predates our European tradition!! It wasn’t affected by early polyphony; it remained duophonic long after the Europeans Renaissanced. The singers use throat resonance to hold a steady pitch for 5 minutes. It’s full of modal scales, dissonant harmonies (abundant second, seventh, and ninth intervals). And if you’ll give it a chance, you just might find that it really is quite enchanting.

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