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Sounds of the Week #8

August 1, 2013

Welcome once again to Sounds of the Week, the weekly musical musings of members of the Justseeds cooperative. This week some Big Blood, Cerberus Shoal, Sandy Bull and the Fear of Smell.

Sound Notes From Roger:
I recently ran across this wonderful object from my early punk years:

It’s a pretty silly spoken-word thing from a great hardcore compilation put out by Vermiform records in the 90’s. It sums up so much about what I really liked about punk rock- specifically the fact that the best of it was all about making fun of shit that sucked to diminish that shit’s power over us. If you can make something funny, or if you can make it ridiculous, you triumph over it more effectively than if you address it with righteous refusal and moral superiority. When punk became just another version of hippie behavioral codes it started to lose my attention and woe, these days there’s not so much of this funny, irreligious, scurrilous sarcastic horseshit about. What there is instead is great political hip-hop like Killer Mike from Atlanta- this song about Reagan and American conservatism is making my summer louder than normal- Great song.
Something else I recently came across is the work of Sandy Bull, an astonishingly virtuosic stringed-instrument specialist who was part of the 60’s folk-revival scene and played a lot of shows with all of the more well known stars of the era and then vanished into the ether under a cloud of drug abuse and a fundamental lack of interest in self-promotion for pecuniary purposes. His music incorporates a stunning array of global musical traditions, layering on top of each other the chord progressions and structures from musics developed a world apart. I saw a film about him directed by his daughter KC Bull at the Little Axe record shop in Portland a couple weeks ago and was amazed that I’d never heard of him before. Hopefully she’ll tour the film around more because it is chock full of spectacular performances and haunting, glowing testimony as to his prowess from a cavalcade of awestruck musical luminaries. Check out this early and TOTALLY IMPROVISED track, “Blend”:
Sound Notes From Pete:
I think I listened to this 10 times today at least:

I was initially intrigued by this band hearing they were former members of Cerberus Shoal whose Farewell to Hightide album is still one of my favorites:

I thought of Cerebus Shoal as the predesessor to the sound that Godspeed took off with, though I suppose a number of bands were getting there, I remember a friend telling me about them playing a basement show in Milwaukee where they had people in the “band” making paintings and drawings during the set, trying to bridge that visual and audio line… I saw them a few years later and it wasn’t so great, it was more of an abstract jam session but they’ve always intrigued me because of this album. So when I heard of Big Blood, through a second hand recommendation from Erik Ruin, I immediately checked them out and was hooked by this song:

also digging this cover of She Sells Sanctuary, so good:

There are a bunch of Big Blood Recordings you can check out here:

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