Sunday, July 03, 2005

Whither Coltrane? Monk? Mingus?

So, last night I went to the Lobo and watched Guitar Defamation League and TheShotgun.

GDL's this grunge/Floyd/Zappa/math-rock bass & drums duo, that are a total blast. The fact that they got all of that sound out of those two instruments, and not only made it sound good, but also kickass is pretty amazing.

And while it's easy to dismiss TheShotgun as more of the male-female guitar'n'drums garage rock "genre" that's been mighty popular lately (I'm sure you know who I mean), they added a fresh touch of fast, hard rock to the proceedings, and had me nodding my head enough to purchase a CD. They're still young, but with some more time under their belt, they'll become their own entity and maybe someone at the Stranger will find them cute enough (they are awful goddamn cute) to become the next big local thing for A&R reps to latch onto. I'd love to see them open for Ms. Led or summat. (Go with a smaller label, kids!)

Now that I'm done pretending that I know what the fuck I'm talking about, I have to confess, when the kids broke out with some blues riffs, I couldn't help but remember where that shit came from, and the bittersweet fact that, these days, the music is being kept alive by the descendants of the people that caused the need for that music.*

When the White Stripes cover St. James Infirmary Blues on their first album, it's celebratory because not only is it a faithful cover, it's kinda kickass too. The only hope I have is that it leads folks to listen to the original recordings (I'm most familiar with Cab Calloway's version), because that is where the shit's at.

I guess the only thing I really have to say about all of this is that I don't care about the melanin, just, for gods' sake, do it right. I'm grateful it's being done well, because I'd hate to think of the alternative.

"Light Jazz," or "Jazz Fusion," for example. It's certainly light, I'll give it that much. The phrase jazz fusion was coined by Miles Davis, around the time of Bitches Brew, and the difference between Bitches Brew and this...It's not even worth talking about.

However, calling it jazz is a misnomer the likes of which hasn't been seen since Turk 182 was advertised as a thriller. ('Cause, you know, that was a long time ago. Really. When was the last time Timothy Hutton was a lead in anything? The answer is right here.)

Do you know who listens to this crap? Aging fucking yuppies, that's who. Them and refugees, for some godforsaken reason. I know because the shuttle I take to and from work is filled with both, and I made the assumption that it was being played for the SUV crowd. No, later in the day, when I'm the only one on the shuttle, the driver will switch it from NPR to light jazz.

The mind yahtzees. These are people who come from places where Fela Kuti would be popular, and now they're listening to Kenny G. Or whoever is popular in that realm these days, who cares? David Sanborn, whatever.

I don't want to ask them why, seeing as they are the ones driving, and if you spend an entire day dealing with downtown Seattle traffic, you can listen to whatever you want, if you ask me.

But's just disgusting. And, seeing that I'm up here already, I'm just going to go off on the Jazz scene in this town.

What the fuck is it with you people? Do me a favor, go to Bud's Jazz Records, in Pioneer Square, and ask him to get you some bebop, or hard bop, okay? He'll set you right.

Because, apparently, the only jazz Seattle knows is soft bop (this style is best exemplified by Dave Brubeck's Time Out and Miles Davis's Kind of Blue), which is nice and all, but not all the time! Now, can we listen to something that really swings? Huh?

Hell, can we have a location that's not overpriced playing something other than yet another cover of Summertime? Do you think this can be done? I'm sure I'm not the only one thirsting for this. Get with it, people.

Okay, the ringing in my ears has subsided to the point where I can go to sleep now.

Have a good 4th, folks!

*To be fair, TheShotgun consists of a white kid and a mixed kid. ________________________________________________________________

PS--Listened to the TheShotgun CD, and the production's pretty tight on it, so they are better live than on the CD but not by much. Impressive.

Also, they cover the Beatles' Yer Blues, for which I need to thank them for reminding me that the blues have been appropriated for at least as long as the Fab Four and the Stones have been around.




At 7:51 PM, Blogger the beige one said...

Not quite sure what happened, but pal Rob corrected me by saying that Timothy Hutton did indeed have a lead after 1985, in this film.

My reply is simply that any non-zombie Romero movie, particularly if written by Stephen King, does not count. It smells of desperate attempt at a comeback.

I wish I knew what happened to your comment though.

At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dood. You need to come to Boston and hang with me at work. For reals. -Rood1

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Deni said...

Hey man, Turk 182 had me on the edge of my seat mutherfucker.

Hutton was also the lead in one of the greatest movies ever, Beautiful Girls in 1996

At 4:57 PM, Blogger the beige one said...

all right, I will grant you Beautiful Girls, which I never saw, because, you know, I have testicles.

However, that's 11 years in between leading gigs, man...and how long since?

have you tried to see Turk 182 since back then, man? whooo. Ice Pirates aged better.


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