Andy Ferro – Short Stories

 

Very quietly and surreptitiously did Andy Ferro, guitarist and occasional vocalist for Ranch Ghost, slide out a modest, self-recorded batch of songs this winter. The details are scant, but over beignets this last Fat Tuesday, Ferro made something along the lines of comment about how the songs come from a place of Tea and optimism and not Red Wine and pith…whatever that means. It sounds to everyone else like the dude just held himself hostage for a season and put his nose to the grindstone and we are looking at the residuals.

The tunes are simple, well-written, and contain a British sensibility that tongues with the American “blues”- a style that is becoming a sort-of calling card of Mr. Ferro’s.

Birth your own babies and let this collection of jams hold you over until that Ranch Ghost record finally sees the light of day.

 

 

Jorge Ben Jor – A Tábua de Esmeralda

 

On all the levels of communicating that music can do, emotional buoyancy is probably the most effervescent – and maybe the most glorious – of them all. With lyrics, you can follow a narrative or wander with their signs; a groove, the body can move and communicate with a different type of meaningful-exploration. However, when an album just comes to envelop you in its own intangibility to the point of understanding it as a real and concrete feeling, you pay attention. It doesn’t matter what is actually said, how instruments are played or parts executed. It bleeds over into a world where the intention shines through, thus becoming a damn good listen.

So, when it comes to the Brazilian Jorge Ben Jor and his incredible album A Tábua de Esmeralda (The Emerald Tablet), it seems obvious to point out that – for me at least – this record has these hard-to-describe qualities in spades. Ben Jor is not unknown by any stretch, nor is this record, but that is all still relative to your geo-positioning. Quite a great deal of writing exists on him already: from his prolific output, to him suing Rod Stew-Art for nabbing the chorus for “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” from his “Taj Mahal” (off of the equally brilliant, brazilian/african rhythmical-hybrid Ãfrica Brasil). What I find appealing about this album from the angle of writing about it is its place both in the chronology/ethos of Tropicália specifically (and MPB in general), as well as Mr. Ben Jor’s body of work.

A Tábua de Esmeralda has the wonderful exploratory elements of his Tropicália comrades (Gil, Gal, Veloso, etc.) and their oeuvre, and the “genre” is hands down one of the most interesting creative endeavors in my opinion, the “anthropofagia” being an oddly-perfect precursor to globalism for better and for worse. However, A Tábua de Esmeralda stays closer to conventionality, sonically speaking. Ben Jor seems wonderfully comfortable as a populist to a degree (having an album almost entirely dedicated to hermetic mysticism alongside jams that become soccer-stadium rattlers is a rare career-feat indeed). It’s rooted in Brazil, is Brazilian, but reaches beyond itself, depersonalizing the listener (regardless of their understanding of Portuguese) and allows for a healthy dose of – well – fun.

And plain and simple, this record is fun. It conjures up languid images of hammocks and a healthy buzz, the bed of a lover, or the quieter moments with yourself as you ponder what to have for breakfast. There is playful banter tucked in the background of songs. All the while, the actual “content” of the album is exploring emotional, political and spiritual paths rarely traveled down with such dexterity. Jorge Ben Jor, without a trace of irony, embraces love and life, pain and suffering, and ponders through mythologies as old as the Upanishads: what it means to be alive and – more importantly – living. Alchemists, literal in their description, are eventually located within the heart of the self, Hermes Trismegisto acting as a handy guide, then seen and sung about in instances of stillness (“Cinco Minutos”), the stars in tandem with human folly (“Errare Humanum Est”), and a narrator tortured by malicious thoughts couched in a deep desire for their lover (“Menina Mulher Da Pele Preta”).

From what I can tell, these are all themes that permeate Jorge Ben Jor’s songs at different times and on different albums. However, in my opinion, A Tábua de Esmeralda reaches a particular distillation that is poised and balanced in a way quite unlike any other album of his. And in the midst of an album soaked in love and spiritual exploration, there’s a song solely dedicated to the shit-flipping admiration of a neck tie. C’mon. A Tábua de Esmeralda is such a grand synthesis of clarity and levity, it’s almost alchemistic in scope.

Jorge Ben Jor – Menina Mulher da Pele Preta
Jorge Ben Jor – Zumbi

Chess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get oriented for the 2015 chess season by revisiting the great match that was the 2014 culmination between Magnus Carlsen – “The Mozart of Chess” – and India’s first grandmaster (and the only player to win titles in all playing formats) Viswanathan Anand.

2014 FIDE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

 

Chess problems demand from the composer the same virtues that characterize all worthwhile art: originality, invention, conciseness, harmony, complexity, and splendid insincerity.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Poems and Problems, 1969


 

Mt. Mover :: A Return

Fly Golden Eagle – QUARTZ

Couldn’t be more full of fire to help announce/bring to bear the new record by Fly Golden Eagle: QUARTZ.
ATO Records and Dine Alone Records (Canada), hats off to you as well. We appreciate you.

Perhaps one day we’ll write more about the swirling, groovy, second-most-abundant-mineral-on-planet-earth-and-the-number-one-record-for-your-ears known as Quartz. For now, grab yourself a turn table, a cassette deck, a pair of “Beats by Dre”, a CD player, some Wi-Fi – whatever you feel – and enjoy the galloping stroll that is QUARTZ.

Cheers.

BUY QUARTZ AT YOUR LOCAL RECORD STORE IF YOU CAN. DEMAND IT IF YOU CAN’T.

Otherwise:

HERE

HERE

HERE

MAY DAY

MAY DAY – A Memorial Day mix at FooBar by Blacktooth Records by Blacktooth Records on Mixcloud

Quichenight – Room Temperature

 

Good tunes, good ideas, lo-fidelity, great melodies, even better playing, and bitchin’ album font. Can only mean a new album from Quichenight.

Album drops September 27th and I haven’t heard beyond what the bot has afforded the GP, but I trust Brett more than I trust most pop-purveyors with high intellects, so go on with your bad self and pre-order it here.

I’ve got a quicheful, easy feeling…


<a href=”http://quichenight.bandcamp.com/album/room-temperature” _mce_href=”http://quichenight.bandcamp.com/album/room-temperature”>Room Temperature by Quichenight</a>

Nina Simone – You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To (Live at Newport, 1960)

 

It’s all grey here in Nashville on this Sunday. People are going to church, selling drugs, going for jogs, and Nina’s right: you would be so nice to come home to. Cole Porter’s joint doesn’t get done much better than this.

Nina Simone – You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To

Lo! The Gods! – SIDNEY H. SIME

BLACKTOOTH RECORDS PRESENTS: Chrome Pony – You Are the Pisces EP

The brothers Chrome Pony (again, with added juice) slow down, groove harder and are at home with dynamics on their new EP. If you’ve listened to their hazy-yet-bellicose tunes in the past, be prepared, for the darkness of life has revealed yet further corners to round, breeding maturity – as is its wont. Yet even as these tunes bounce along with an ameliorable step, they are not settled. One does not realize the divinity (pisces) within at no cost, and it’s still time to synch up the laces, strap on the sweat bands and take it to the hole. “Naked I came and naked I’ll stay for you.” It’s a worthwhile dictum.

Personal and data to be found below.

CHROME PONY – YOU ARE THE PISCES <click!>

 

All songs written and performed by Chrome Pony and friends

Produced by Chrome Pony

Co-Produced by Andrija Tokic

Chrome Pony is :

Tyler Davis : Guitar/Vocals

Kyle Davis : Drums/Percussion/Vocals

Jon Gottschalk : Bass/BGV

Additional Musicians :

Ricardo Alessio : Organ 1 & 4

Peter Keys : Organ/Farfisa on 2 & 3

Jem Cohen : Background Vocals

additional background vocals on “Road Dope” : Ricardo Alessio, Kim Mikula, Jon Gottschalk, Kyle Davis

Recorded at The Bomb Shelter Studio B by Troy Dison and Andrija Tokic

Mixed by Andrija Tokic at The Bomb Shelter

Mastered by John Baldwin at John Baldwin Mastering

Blacktooth Records