The Newsletter. No. 3: muse, musings, and wtf does the root “mus” mean?

follow me for a sec

I was talking to Stacey the other day about how the greatest things in life, to me, are the things that consume your existence when you’re in it. These things include sex, music, reading, writing, etc. It’s one reason why I hate when people interrupt me while I’m doing any of these things. When I’m interrupted I’m violently yanked back into this reality world. And not everything in the reality world is as pleasurable as my non-reality worlds. But I’m learning to be thankful for the lessons reality world grants me. It makes me a stronger reality person who is more appreciative of his non-reality world activities.

on to the music.

The Internet – Ego Death

ego death – a complete loss of subjective self-identity

I’ve lost hope in opening the minds of those who can’t listen to music newer than 1975. One strange commonality I’ve discovered in that group is that many of them have a huge obsession with Led Zeppelin. They literally can’t get the Led out. Jon Bonham died in 1980, but if Jimmy Page or Robert Plant are any indication, there wasn’t much of a musical point in his existence past 1980. I guess the first song off of Plant’s album with Allison Krauss was good, but that’s pretty much all I can think of. I’ve never actually listened to Physical Graffiti, but it’s not like anyone has ever sat me down and been like, “Dude this album is so great. You MUST listen.” Keeping that in mind, I’m further cemented in my belief that we shouldn’t grasp the idea that there was any good to come from Jon Bonham’s hypothetically surviving 1980. Or from the projection that Led Zeppelin’s music was following. Regardless,  I wish people would stop acting like new music all sucks.
The Internet is a group I stumbled on through Spotify’s discover playlist feature. Another group who found success through OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolfgang Kill them All for those not in-the-know), Ego Death signifies all the good that’s coming from new artists. This is another group I’d point out to the naysayers who can’t admit there’s good music that’s come to fruition in the past five to ten years.

Yusef Lateef – Psychicemotus

What needs to be said beyond “jazz flute?”  Seriously.

This album is a spiritual journey. Two of the four albums on this list NEED to be listened to as a whole, and this is one of them. (The other one being I heard you twice the first time.)

There’s some funkiness, a cover of Satie’s Gymnopedie No. 1, and a Monk-like piano piece to close the album. In many ways I feel nostalgic listening to Psychicemotus and this is weird because I didn’t grow up listening to jazz so I’m not sure where these feelings come from. I’ll have to reflect and get back to you on what I find out.

Jimi Hendrix – People, Hell, and Angels

My dear friend Ian Blackwood introduced me to the second track off this album way back when. Up until recently I hadn’t listened to the whole album and I wouldn’t really necessarily recommend you do either. But the gems that do exist, namely “Somewhere,” “Easy Blues,” and “Villanova Junction Blues,” are largely unrecognized gold flakes that help to further Jimi’s catalog.
While those three tracks are the most accessible of the album, they still might not appeal to general music enthusiasts. The mixes are raw and unpolished. The songwriting is largely incomplete or loosely composed. But these are all the untarnished versions of songs that Hendrix had brewing before his death. And the rawness of the tracks might be what appeals to me most. It also features Steven Stills from CSNY playing some bass for a couple tracks. If you ask me, that’s pretty neat.

Branford Marsalis – I Heard You Twice the First Time

In 1992 Marsalis won a Grammy for “Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group” for this album. Setting the music aside for a second, this album is interesting to me for two reasons.
First, like classical, most people don’t listen to jazz outside of academics, those who study music, and a small percentage of music enthusiasts. This makes me wonder what jazz artists think about Grammy’s. I think the Grammy’s are pretty stupid, especially considering how they’re picked and the air of pretension that surrounds anything called an “academy.”
The second thing that interests me is this: a song off of J. Cole’s latest, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, tipped me off to this album and its journey through the different styles of blues throughout history. What’s peculiar about this sample is that Cole sampled “Berta, Berta”–a slave spiritual that was recorded by Marsalis to sound like a chain gang working on a railroad in pre-1863 America–in his song G.O.M.D. You might wonder, “What’s that stand for?” For fun, take a few guesses then highlight the blank space below to find out the answer.

|Get off My Dick|

More than I wonder what Marsalis thinks about the Grammy’s, I wonder what Marsalis thinks about being sampled in such a gloriously titled song. Funny thing is, telling someone to “get off my dick” is just a more explicit way of telling someone off, as opposed to the more subtle “I heard you twice the first time.” So Marsalis and Cole aren’t separated by such great lengths after all!

YouTube Gem of the month:

ze Wood Brothers new song “I got Loaded.” Performed live from one of those cool live performance videos.This one’s in Louisiana and gives me all the feels. Love this shit. Yummmmmmm.

‘And up in the clouds I can imagine UFO’s joke with themselves, laughing and sayin, “Those people so up tight. They sure know how to make a mess.”‘

— Jimi Hendrix


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