Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Listening Booth, week 12, 2011

Freelance writing doesn't make for a good living these days, as you may know, especially when your main focus is jazz. My only real outlet on jazz have been non-profit magazines. And so, the economic situation isn't good. Add to that, I got some news yesterday regarding my academic prospects that left me totally deflated.

Now, this is not a personal blog, but I'm saying this because for the time being I'm not sure I'm in the mood to write much on these pages, even though I have things to say about Bob Geldof's rant at SXSW (the monoculture's been dead for decades, Bob) and the Smithsonian's new jazz anthology (have a listen to last week's NY Times popcast. EDIT: or read Ben Ratliff's excellent piece here, which draws in the Martin William's "curated" Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz (which I have, btw.)). Hopefully, things will sort themselves out, one way or the other, but until then expect no frequent updates (may add to the 2011-list, though). No words here, just grades.

  • The Baseball Project: Volume 2: High & Inside (Yep Rock) (7/10)*
  • Hayes Carll: KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories) (Lost Highway) (7/10)*
  • Honey Ear Trio: Steampunk Serenade (Foxhaven Records) - Sax, bass, drums trio. Got this just recently. Sounds great, juxtaposes calmness and skronk, and it may benefit from more plays. (7/10)*
  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: Belong (Slumberland) (7/10) *
  • Lucinda Williams: Blessed (Lost Highways) - Picks: "Seing Black", "Convince Me" (6/10)*

* Grades are tentative, based on three or four listens, though quite often a few more. Much of the writing is done during listens, and should be considered notes more than final reviews.

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