unnamedSince 2005, Tompkins Square’s Imaginational Anthem compilations have offered essential overviews of the rich American Primitive/guitar soli landscape, highlighting the cream of the diverse post-Fahey crop. Label head honcho Josh Rosenthal; put together the first several volumes, but he’s handed over the reins to the musicians themselves. The latest volume was curated by Amarillo, TX-based guitarist Hayden Pedigo (whose Five Steps LP was a 2014 favorite), and it’s a dazzling kaleidoscope of six-string (and sometimes 12-string) sounds, from Norberto Lobo’s bewitching nocturne to Dylan Golden Aycock’s spacious, cosmic ramble. An early standout is Kyle Fosburgh’s lovely tune, “The Great North American Wilderness.” The Minnesota-based player is one of the principals behind Grass-Tops Recording, the label that has released two fantastic Robbie Basho reissues recently. Basho’s spirit is strong in Fosburgh’s contribution to Vol. 7, with its chiming harmonics and sublime, ascending lines. All in all, the latest Imaginational Anthem proves that the possibilities of the acoustic guitar are nowhere near exhausted.  words / t wilcox

Kyle Fosburgh :: The Great North American Wilderness

Welcome to the second installment of an ongoing series with Pickathon, showcasing footage from the Galaxy Barn located at Pendarvis Farm in Oregon. Woods played twice that weekend, once…on the Woods Stage, out in the woods, and once here, inside the barn.

nazz-hello-its-me-sgc-3

The languid Nazz original from 1968, to be re-recorded four years later by a solo Todd Rundgren on his third solo lp, Something/Anything.

Nazz :: Hello, It’s Me

Neil Young

In 2013 we highlighted Neil Young’s “Pushed It Over The End”, culled from a 1974 performance captured at the now-defunct, long running NYC club, The Bottom Line. Below is that evening in its entirety – a gig I imagine is on the short list for the ongoing Shakey archival series.

Download: Neil Young :: Live At The Bottom Line – NYC, 1974 (zipped folder, external link)

Tracklisting after the jump…

mickey newbury

Brush off these dusty masterpieces and harlequin melodies and listen for the Bluebird Special off in the distance. Let this companion supply you with the American reflections and southern meditations that took this Texas native to Nashville —  to write songs that would forever change country music.

Mickey Newbury – A Companion Piece

This is making the rounds…and for good reason. Talking Heads performing live at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ, Fall of 1980, in support of the just released Remain In Light.

Related: Talking Heads :: Live In Rome, 1980 (Full Concert)

51+WYQAXKfLTerry Allen’s 1975 debut, Jaurez, is a story of a Texican Badman. It’s a western pastoral told through timeless songs and gentle orchestrations covered in dusty ragweed and a thurderstorm here and there.  Here, Allen weaves a finely woven tapestry of American outlaw adventure, sex and violence, with characters ranging from sailors and prostitutes to mad-men and rock-riders. Very few concept albums drum up and maintain the sincerity and reverence that Juarez encapsulates.

In addition to superbly chronicling a story of time, place and blacktop, from San Diego to Juarez (by way of Cortez) , Allen pinpoints feeling, with slow-moving ballads like “Dogwood” and “Honeymoon in Cortez” that envelop the listener in the sensationally bleak daydreams and love affairs on the road while songs like “Border Palace” and “The Radio… and the Road” make clear the emotional restlessness brought on by this criminal journey. The ebb and flow of these conflicting paces imbibes the listener with almost as much anxiety as the characters, and by the middle of the album there is an ineffable craving to get back to Juarez and to leave the asphalt steaming all the way. Because, in the words of the man himself,  “Today’s rainbow is tomorrow’s tamale.” words / p dufrene

Terry Allen :: Cortez Sail
Terry Allen :: Dogwood

Television_at_CBGBOur weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice, every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 372: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Fugazi – Lusty Scripps ++ Mission Of Burma – New Disco ++ Disappears – Gone Completely ++ The Damned – Neat Neat Neat ++ The Fall – A Lot of Wind ++ England’s Glory – Shattered Illusions ++ Parquet Courts – You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now ++ Wire – Ex Lion Tamer ++ Ultimate Painting – Talking Central Park Blues ++ Real Estate – Fake Blues ++ Family Portrait – Mega Secrets ++ King Khan & The Shrines – No Regrets ++ The Babies – Meet Me In The City ++ Exploding Hearts – Black And Blue (alt mix) ++ Television Personalities – Part Time Punks ++ The Raincoats – Lola ++ Ian Dury – Clevor Trevor ++ Blur – Blue Jeans ++ Amen Dunes – Spirits Are Parted ++ Jimmie Spheeris – Come Back ++ Loose Fur – Answers To Your Questions ++ Jackson C Frank – Blues Run The Game ++ Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – A Sucker’s Evening (live) ++ Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Master And Everyone (live) ++ Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Pushkin (live) ++ Jessica Pratt – Strange Melody ++ Black Sabbath – Planet Caravan ++ Merit Hemmingson – Brudmarsch efter Florsen i Burs ++ Steve Gunn – Way Out Weather ++ Sonic Youth – The Empty Page (acoustic) ++ Sonic Youth – Disconnection Notice (acoustic) ++ Sonic Youth – Rain On Tin (acoustic) ++ Television – Live 1978

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.
_________________________________________________________________________________

willis-earl-beal-770

“Like a waking dream…located somewhere between blue midnight and grey dawn”

While the above quote describes Willis Earl Beal’s self-released 2014 collection, Experiments in Time, it can easily be applied to Beal’s latest vehicle as well — the minimalist film Memphis, written and directed by Tim Sutton. Shot on a low budget and quietly released in 2014, the semi-autobiographical Memphis is a beautifully vivid experiment in naturalistic observation.

Filmed on location, Memphis stars Beal as a musician who struggles not only with his music, but with his faith, commitments and acceptance of reality. Much of the film feels improvised, as it wanders through the character’s hometown and life, peeking in on conversations with the people that occupy both. Like a waking dream, the film is hypnotic; a kind of meandering, existential gospel. It features Beal’s inimitable original music, as well as some inspired music supervision courtesy of Sutton, whose deep, spot-on crate digging paints ghostly breaths of dusty gospel and soul into an already hazy landscape.

Shirley Ann Lee :: Stop Look & Listen

Heard twice throughout the film is “Stop Look & Listen,” a raw, cool-handed gospel strut from Shirley Ann Lee, one of the stars of Numero Group’s 2009 compilation, Local Customs: Downriver Revival. Also heard in the film in a briefer, yet no less affecting, cue is that record’s otherworldly and transformative opener “There’s a Light.” Lee’s raspy voice and raw, fervent energy make her something of a spiritual godmother to Beal.

Bobby “Blue” Bland :: I’ll Take Care of You

Poignantly setting the tone is Bobby “Blue” Bland’s mesmerizing “I’ll Take Care of You,” a moody gem of psychedelic soul. Scoring a self-destructive cycle of the film’s transient lovers, the tune blares over a sequence of slow-dancing tavern gloom, all screeching organ, late-night empty bar minor chords and Bobby’s deep and doleful vocals. It’s a smooth dose of downbeat soul against a dark and mysterious cool – neon but out of focus. Beal ultimately dances alone.

Beal’s own music hovers through the gray dawn as well, specifically three cuts from his 2013, highly underrated, sophomore LP Nobody Knows (an absolutely gorgeous and fascinating record). “Too Dry to Cry,” a rusted outsider blues stomp, serves as the film’s de facto theme song. And with good reason: Its gritty veneer thinly masks thoughts of masculine insecurity. That desperation resonates with the genre-subverting uncertainty of the film’s anti-hero, like a 21st century southern blues version of Warren Beatty’s John McCabe.

The phantom, full moon hymn “Everything Unwinds” is among Beal’s most striking and enigmatic work. Barely audible guitar, Beal’s smoke-smooth vocals and a heady, atmospheric organ sound like a (very) late night drive on an empty road, nothing but fog and invisibility ahead. The lyrics put that poetry into verse: “Full moon breeze/there’s gold in your eyes/I’m staring at the glass/and slipping at the lines/mirrors in mind/show reflections of time/as everything unwinds.”

Willis Earl Beal :: Everything Unwinds

Lastly, “Blue Escape,” a somber, piano-based ballad with mournful, reedy, intertwining strings and muted female backup singers, is tender and overcast. Beal sings, “Kiss the statue/that you will see/brought to life/by your whispering.” Though supporting tracks from Lee and Bland help drive the narrative, it’s rightfully Beal’s strange musical aura that permeates the air of Memphis. The music becomes the player – a subconscious that expresses the thoughts and emotions that Beal’s character cannot. words / c depasquale