What Am I Listening to Now?

Things have been busy. As such, the iPod has not had as much use of late. For the past week or so I had two CDs loaded: Arne Domnerus Jazz At The Pawnshop and Reggae Jamdown: The R.A.S. Tapes. Needless to say, these two sets do not complement each other.

Jazz At The Pawnshop is another disc I learned of from the Mad Batter in the mid-1980s. I like jazz, but I know little about it. All I know is this band moves and I love it! It’s been more than 20 years since I first heard this and I still pull it out. It was definitely in heavy rotation on my shifts. It should be on everyone’s playlist.

The R.A.S. Tapes was purchased long ago as well. I like reggae and this was my attempt to branch out away from Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and all the other “standard” reggae artists. I’ve always enjoyed Edi Fitzroy’s version of Hotel California. The entire disc is a fun listen to, but there are no dominant standouts.

Once I pulled those off, I loaded Nirvana’s Unplugged in New York and Traffic’s Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys. Perhaps these two CDs are not the polar opposites of the previous two, but they are definitely different.

In the early 90s I tried to get into Nirvana. I purchased a few of their CDs. I never quite got onboard. I recall watching the Unplugged show. I enjoyed that series. Anyhow, not having listened to much Nirvana in the intervening years, something stood out while listening to this. Namely, the lyrics suck.

I need an easy friend

Come dowsed in mud, soaked in bleach
As I want you to be
As a trend, as a friend, as an old memoria

I’m on my time with everyone
I have very bad posture

I think I’m dumb (repeated over and over and over and over)

What else should I say
Everyone is gay

I suspect Nirvana will not be on my playlist for a while. It just didn’t do anything for me.

The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys is a classic that has been my musical rotation for decades.  I grew up listening to Traffic and am particularly fond of this album and the title song.  Traffic, for me, was the perfect nexus of various musical styles that produced some awesome music at a time when rock and roll thrived.

The title song is a very slow jazzy tune that just encapsulates the listener.  At 11:35, it seems short.  Needless to say it doesn’t get much radio play.

Not to be lost, however, are some other very good songs.  Hidden Treasure and Rock & Roll Stew really provide good contrasts to the lengthy title song.  The album ends with Rainmaker, a psychedelic tour de force.  Traffic was a band that seems somewhat forgotten, but is among the heavyweights of the late 60s-early 70s.

Today, I reached back to Traffic’s era again for some more psychedelia.  This time we re-visit Winterland, Bill Graham’s musical arena that served as San Francisco’s venue of an era.  The Grateful Dead were the house band and anybody and everybody played here until it closed at the end of ’78.

For today’s listening pleasure, I fired up  Jimi Hendrix’s Live At Winterland. “Fired” is the correct word. This set is a compilation of a three-night run The Experience played in October ’68.  The breakout of what song came from what show can be found here.

Not getting too hung up on the lack of a complete show, I thoroughly enjoyed the pick me up first thing this morning given I dragged myself into work.

The hits are here: Fire, Manic Depression, Foxey Lady, Hey Joe, and Purple Haze. In addition, we are treated to a cover of a new song . . . Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love. There is also an electrified version of the 60’s hit Wild Thing.

One really gets the flavor of The Experience from this set.  There is still no one who plays guitar like Jimi did.  He was unbelievably talented.  Awesome stuff.

Also blogged on this date . . .

One thought on “What Am I Listening to Now?”

  1. That Jimi sounds nice! especially since I haven’t listened to him in soooo long. I’ve also got a wicked hankering for some Traffic now, as well. Good stuff!

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