Rocking the Vaults
Karantamba: Ndigal (Teranga Beat)
Gambian guitarist Bai Janha is best known as the leader of Guelewar, whose murky 2011-reissued Halleli N'Dakarou is slotted "psych" because some striver scored himself an organ. Much better this previously unreleased testament of Janha's last band, recorded in 1984 by the Malian-Danish bassist Moussa Diallo during Karantamba's residence at his club in Thiès, 35 miles east of Dakar. The personnel are unidentified young proteges of Janha who I surmise are mostly Senegalese, because no matter what Janha does or doesn't call it, these kids are playing some kind of mbalax‑-Islamic singing over sabar drums rattling away, horns adding sour decoration and commentary, Janha wailing. There was only one Étoile de Dakar. But this is a find, well-rehearsed yet bold and untamed. A MINUS
The Rolling Stones: Some Girls: Deluxe Edition (Universal Republic)
A major album, you knew that. But my grade is for the bonus disc, which‑-as I'd never have guessed after those drab Exile extras‑- has dibs on major as well. It outstrips not just It's Only Rock 'n Roll and Goats Head Soup but Tattoo You and probably Emotional Rescue (which several advisors insist I revisit). Where the regular album is musically quirky and lyrically either risky ("Some Girls," "Far Away Eyes") or generalized ("Respectable," "Beast of Burden," damn right "When the Whip Comes Down"), the bonus disc is musically classic-Stones and lyrically small-scale, including NYC specifics that warm my heart. Beginning with the Stu-does-Jerry-Lee bootleg fave "Claudine" and ending with the atypically near-political "Petrol Blues," its star player is a horny guy who just got divorced‑-a familiar character the classic Stones were made for. Mick's Hank Williams cover trumps Keith's Waylon Jennings cover. His Freddy Cannon cover trumps them both. A MINUS
P. S. Daydream Nation is my sixth fave album of all time.
(i know cause senor Eddy told me so)
What a great record...
That said, and just to get Edgar's back (from a few pages ago): I too continue to find "Faraway Eyes" a grotesque bit of class/regional minstrelsy--we fought this one out on EW some months back--and I'm pretty sure I was on the Losing End.
But this new release has me thinking thoughts about how much greater Some Girls would have been (for me anyway) with "You Win Again" in the spot where "Faraway Eyes" is.
One thing I love about Wussy and a lot of great rock and roll is that even if they are just singing about a bridge, a fair, or a flashlight, it feels like they're really singing about something much bigger and more significant.Absolutely. I think their best material is comparable to prime Richard & Linda Thompson ("Wall of Death," say, or "When I Get to the Border") in that it can be interpreted on multiple levels.
C***sucker Blues is On Youtube in 10 parts. Not sure if any of it's censored.Good to know, John. Although if it's anything like I've heard, I'd be surprised if it hasn't been edited. Anyway, I aim to find out, so thanks.
Innocuous? Not at all. When I saw that title in college it was the main reason I wanted to see it.Oh, that word. (Aren't there more than four letters in it?) Anyway, I've never seen C---sucker Blues, either, but have long wanted to. Have never known it to be available anywhere, though, legally or not.
So when Lisa sings “it’s the end of you” and maybe you is just the bridge.
The tallest bridge in Ohio is the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge which crosses the Little Miami River. According to Wikipedia,
“The Little Miami Scenic Trail passes under the bridges on the east bank, close to river level, providing an impressive view from below. Trail users, especially first-timers, may stop to gaze before proceeding. There is no sign on the trail to identify the bridges nor give their height. There is no obvious path to ascend to the rim of the gorge from below the bridges, so trail users view the bridges from only one perspective.”
This makes me think of the line “the sky breaks in two”. And from the Cincinnati Enquirer,
“Sometime next summer, Ohio's highest bridge will be blown to bits.”
So when Lisa sings “it’s the end of you” and maybe you is just the bridge. It also fits with the "ruins", "rocks" and "falling". One thing I love about Wussy and a lot of great rock and roll is that even if they are just singing about a bridge, a fair, or a flashlight, it feels like they're really singing about something much bigger and more significant. It's up to the listener to make their own connections to the bigger thing.
In addition, I found a one-page Wussy article in the Needle by Michael Pelusi magazine which is available online at http://goo.gl/kEHeT. In fact, it may be the same article Ryan mentioned earlier from Magnet Magazine. It talks about “Magnolia” and Cassie Gaines. It also has Chuck describing “Grand Champion Steer, as ”going to the fair with somebody you’re really digging and you just know that it’s unraveling”.
xoxoxoxo, Cam! (speaking of which, who else watched all three One Direction featured videos under Music News?)
P. S. Daydream Nation is my sixth fave album of all time. But the Deluxe Edition live tracks found their way to my trash after two listens. Sooo don't get 99.99999463627% of deluxe editions, box sets, etc.
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.
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