What are you listening to lately?

I haven’t been to a concert in a week, so I’m taking the opportunity to enjoy some new (and old) music, and ask my readers what they’ve got in the… CD player? iPod? Phone? Spotify? I don’t even know anymore! But whatever you’re playing, I want to hear it – head down to the comments and let us know what’s been in your ears!

Last week I got two new CDs from Downtown Music Gallery: John Zorn’s The Mysteries and Jon Madof’s Zion80, both from Zorn’s record label, Tzadik. They’re very different, but I love them both!

The Mysteries is performed by Carol Emanuel, Kenny Wollesen, and Bill Frisell. Like the other Gnostic Preludes recordings, it’s very delicate and beautiful. Listening to it early last week was helping me calm down from a very hectic few weeks. Here’s a sample track:

The Zion80 album is enormously fun – late last week I was listening to it on repeat again and again. I think it would be a great introduction to jazz music for someone who never got into the genre, it’s something anyone could enjoy.

This week I’ve been spending a lot of time with the new Ceramic Dog album, “Your Turn.” The official release date was a few days ago, and I’ve been listening to it a lot to get amped up for the CD release concert on Sunday. It’s an especially great album for being righteously pissed off, but it’s just a great album in general. I liked their first album, but I think this one is a real step up.

Tomorrow I’m planning on spending some listening time with the Ghost Train Orchestra, to warm up my ears for their concert tomorrow night at the Jalopy Theater in Brooklyn. I’m really excited about this show, they put on fantastic performances and I don’t get a chance to see them very often. Tomorrow I’m expecting to hear some new music from their upcoming album, but for now I’m listening to their debut record, Hothouse Stomp:

So tell me – what have you been listening to lately? Any recent releases or new bands you just discovered? Let’s hear it!

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4 Responses to What are you listening to lately?

  1. Roddus says:

    Hi Sarah, Thanks for the tracks above to listen to something new.

    I too have recently received a copy of John Zorn’s Mysteries CD. On first listen I Was a bit disappointed ,but on further study I have been really enjoying Bill Frissell’s wonderful guitar runs. It certainly is a very pleasant and laid-back affair.

    I have been attacking Zorns discography from both ends and also arriving this week was a CD copy of The Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet – Voodoo, which is a set of Sonny Clark numbers played by Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, Ray Drummond and Bobby Previte. The set is played fairly straight by the group and I am frankly blown away buy this CD.

    As we have very few concerts to go see here I get to spend more on CDs and another one that just arrived is Sun Ra’s Sound Sun Pleasure which is one of Ra’s set of jazz standards from the late 50s’ and is also an impressive effort.

    The final CD to roll in this week is an old favourite of classic rock from the Blue Oyster Cult- Fire of Unknown Origin. lightweight heavy metal with plenty of catchy tunes and guitar pyrotechnics.

    From My CD Archives I had dusted off my copy of AC/CD – High Voltage and loaded it onto my Itunes weekly playlist, Brilliant primal Blues rock.

    And back to John Zorn also from my CD archive THE BIG GUNDOWN: John Zorn plays the music of Ennio Morricone. Quite possibly the very best Zorn CD ever.

    A couple of music blogs whose posts I have been randomly sampling are Rare MP3 and Mutant Sounds. From Rare MP3 I sampled a mid 70s Prog outfit called Automatic Fine Tuning, mostly extended instrumentals with some impressive guitar.
    And from Mutant Sounds I checked out the disappointing “The Relative Band” Very chaotic Avant-Garde and not my thing.

    I write short semi literate reviews on my weekly listenings on m blog too.

    Anyhow, now I back to Voodoo, and it just swings!

    • Sarah V. says:

      Thanks for the comment! Yeah, I like The Big Gundown also, I love that version of “The Sicilian Clan” especially, and “The Ballad of Hank McCain”…

      I think the Mysteries album (and a lot of his similar work) can come off as a bit boring if you are not in the right mood for it, but if you are in the mood it’s just perfect… I badly needed something really mellow and calm last week and it was something I could really lose myself in.

  2. Denis says:

    Greetings from eastern France.

    Lately, I’m listening a lot to Plaistow. I won’t describe their music, since I’m bad at it, and It’s done much better here:
    http://archive.org/details/insub.dlt01.cdPlaistowLacrimosa
    They’re part of a well inspired collective of young French and Swiss musician http://www.insubordinations.net/releases.html which releases new material very frequently. Plaistow is definitely one of the best members of the collective.

    Hélène Labarrière Quartet – http://www.innacor.com/desordre.html
    This band has a lot of talent, and deserves to be better known. Guitarist Hasse Poulsen adds a nice touch of rock music on some songs. A bit like Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog with less electronics and less ‘madness’. Some more videos on youtube:

    Peter Brötzmann – Long Story Short : This is the boxset that was recorded in Wels 2011 that was curated by Peter Brötzmann for his 70th birthday. I was lucky enough to get some tickets to attend the festival. So it reminds me fond memories. The highlights are the Chicago Tentet with Michyo Yagi, his quartet with Bill Laswell, Hamid Drake and Maâllem Mokhtar Gania, and also DKV Trio (although the best part has been left out of the CDs)

    Finally, in a different genre, Swans (The Seer) is still rotating a lot. I was a bit disappointed by their concert a couple of weeks ago. This double CD is much better.

    • Sarah V. says:

      Thanks, Denis! I will check those out when I get a chance. (Seeing five concerts this week, so it might take me some time to get to it…!)

      I also saw the Swans on the current tour, but I haven’t heard the CD. I buy a lot more concert tickets than studio albums, I guess. I liked the first part of the concert, but I became ill and had to leave early, which was a shame… it takes a lot to make me leave a good concert, but I was feeling like I might pass out and I didn’t want to do that while leaning over the balcony railing 😉

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