Monday, May 16, 2011

Collectin' Dust

"Hello, my name's Howard and I'm a record collector."

As absurd as acquiring material possessions ultimately still can bring much cheesey pleasure. I still derive much pleasure and shallow satisfaction from acquiring musical recordings via the most convenient and practical formats possible. Having piled up a buncha CDs -- I'm stickin' with that format as much as possible. I've allotted "X" amount of living space to my "working collection" which boxes stack up in the basement (up on bricks to clear the annual basement flooding). I periodically purge, but carefully as I always feel the fool when rebuying CDs for whatever reason -- when I realize that I actually WANT that music after all having discarded the disc previously -- or because (shamefully) I forgot I already had it.

All those disclaimers being stated -- one of the major impetuses to acquiring music I've come across lately is the HBO series "Treme" which I do enjoy immensely as previously stated. Their use of music is adroit, their taste and knowledge of the singular current state and DEEP history of it is intoxicating and, to me, addictive.

I've had a lotta fun hunting up the music I've been exposed to thru the show and spent TOO MUCH time recently in such searching. So, I'm sharing my homework with you based on the latest "Treme Explained" column from the New Orleans Times Picayune - you can read the column here:

I will state that, to date, you can often find great bargains buying things used or new from the discounters trading at Amazon Marketplace. If you've got the time I'm sure you can find other outlets to get this stuff from. And let us not forget the mighty Louisiana Music Factory on Decatur Street in NOLA. Who also sell online via

So here's some relevant passages and then links to the shizz:

"Delmond drops the needle on "Tom Cat Blues," a Jelly Roll Morton and Joe "King" Oliver duet recorded in 1924. Bach. Stravinsky. Brothers totin' barges and liftin' bales. Pops. "
(He's playing the Milestone, 2 LP vinyl release which is currently available on CD)

"Raymond Weber has a steady gig with Dumpstaphunk, which conflicted with his shooting schedule on "Treme." "
(this is an AMAZING band led by Ivan Neville - Aaron's son; this link is to their first EP which is 100% guaranteed great from start to finish - This coulda been the follow up to Fishbone's "The Reality of My Surroundings.")

""Les Ognons" by the Baby Dodds Trio, a cut on the "Jazz a la Creole" album Antoine attempted to save before evacuating in season's one's finale flashback, plays as the filmmaker (played by Yolonda Ross) tours the Backstreet Cultural Museum with Albert and Sylvester Francis"
(originally I bought this for the version of "Indian Red" - allegedly one of the first adaptations of Mardi Gras Indian chants to pop format but DAMN this whole thing is so utterly seductive, from the Hot Jazz [I actually prefer their version of Jelly Roll Morton's "Wolverine Blues" to any of his I've heard] that opens it to the rollicking vocal Jazz tunes sung in French to the 4 high-stepping Indian numbers that finish the set -- the best make-out music since Edith Piaf)

"While he sews, Delmond listens to a 1938 recording by (Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress) of Jelly Roll Morton describing Mardi Gras Indians traditions."
(since Delmond is spinning vinyl I'd imagine this is from the 12 LP series released decades ago; but all that material and more remastered for this CD box that also includes Lomax's oral history on Morton, much material taken from Jelly Roll's remembrances recorded here -- If there ever was a "mind movie" worth experiencing this box is THAT. To hear Morton's living testimony to life in the 19th century is an extraordinary experience; his story-telling is incredibly vivid and rich in small details, depicting a way of life that is long departed and wonderfully exotic. AND YET, many elements have survived to this day in popular culture -- just not recognized as stemming from sources over a century old. I can think of no more lovely experience than sitting on the back porch on a hot day, listening to this from start to finish sipping cold wine or beer).

In the studio, Aunt Mimi does that bounce dance while Katey Red prepares to record. Katey and "the rappers you see in episode two (Big Freedia and Sissy Nobby) are the three most prominent 'sissy bounce,' or openly gay, MCs on the scene,"
(it's shocking how expensive CDs of this are! $30, $60! AND MORE. As much as I love physical product the price differential between this download-only compilation and buying CDs is just TOO huge. This "Bounce Essentials" is pretty prime stuff. Immediately appealing, highly distinctive. Unique to New Orleans. It's fast paced, relentless and the rhythmic invention in the rapping (often with multiple rappers creating nicely complex cross rhythms) makes this -- to my ears -- some of the most refreshing music coming out of the hip hop tradition in a long time.)

(and here's a best of from Big Freedia -- if you think you can predict what one of the top "Sissy" MCs is gonna sound like and what he'll rap about, prepare to be shocked)

(And there's nothing in this episode that comes from this set but alot of the vintage [50's, early 60's] R&B and rock 'n' roll [the kinda stuff that would one day inspire Elvis Presley and a generation of white rock 'n' roll tributists] and music of that ilk is contained on this 4 CD box set that you can still find NEW for $13 + shipping - "Cosimo Matassa Story")

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