21

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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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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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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16

043: The Left Banke, ‘Pretty Ballerina’

A precious, delicate flower from 1966.
Baroque & roll.

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3

038: Van Morrison, ‘Astral Weeks’

The legendary summer of 1968, one of the finest pieces of music I’ve had the great honor and pleasure to embrace – Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks”.

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212: Bon Iver (Justin Vernon), ‘Towers’

Justin Vernon sure knows how to impale an earworm on a melodic hook. Let’s hope he gets engaged enough to catch the big one.

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1

045: Julie London, ‘Bye Bye, Blackbird’

In which Jeff recalls how Julie London enticed him into basshood.

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