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
1. The Allman Brothers- At Fillmore East expanded original live material with the original mixes restored, which includes parts that were added to Eat a Peach if I'm not mistaken.
2. Lynyrd Skynyrd- One More From the Road- Original concert running order restored. Added unreleased songs. Allen Collins Free Bird intro restored. Cameron Crowe's liner notes.
3. R.E.M.- Murmur- Added disc includes a complete and energetic live show from Larry's Hideaway Toronto,1983.
4. SY- Daydream Nation- A masterpiece plus a live show of that masterpiece equals eargasm!!!
5. SY- Dirty- Lots of extras , demo's, B-sides.
6. Pavement- Slanted & Enchanted Luxe and Reduxe- Words can't describe the extras here. Pretty much their entire output pre CRCR.
7. Pavement- CRCR- lots of extras and demos from these sessions. Like Xgau said for the Pavement completists, I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam.
Also, hi Joris! Welcome!
I'd read the Wyman piece when it was written because he sent it to me, but had forgotten how good it was. I don't really agree with his musical assessments--not at at all convinced BB and LIB represent some kind of transcendent peak, (somewhat melodramatic) song structures be damned. But as a piece of writing it's a total tour de force.
For me the crucial writing on The Rolling Stones was a cover essay by Paul Williams in the glossy mid-'70s Crawdaddy that came out while I was in high school. Framed as a response to Anthony Scaduto's Everybody's Lucifer, it supplied the necessary historical context (in an disarmingly personal way) and had a great list of recommended tracks (like "Who's Driving Your Plane"!).
Up and Down With the Rolling Stones by Tony Sanchez is a great read. I almost missed it because of its reputation.
Thank You Duke, brilliant stuff - My favorite "Jagger quote" is:
"Keith's rancor is almost entirely based on the fact that it was not, in the end, easy to keep the appearances of what in the public mind is the Rolling Stones, and the process wasn't always pretty. But I did it, and, among other things, to this day it is hardly in the public mind that Keith Richards hasn't written a significant rock 'n' roll song in nearly 35 years.
For that I get Keith's book."
Apparently Izzy Stradlin forgot the riff to "Rocket Queen" and can't be bothered to re-learn it. What a moron.
I prefer to think that the "Welcome to the Jungle" riff has come to life and is threatening to bust some kneecaps if the reunion takes place.
I figured I wanted to dedicate the rest of my existence (to) creating source material so that someone else can have something to sample in 2040 once this becomes a dated record. I'm just trying to create the soulful records that will still be used.
and how about this one!!:
Amy Winehouse . . . we spent a lot of time on Skype talking about crazy ideas and she schooled me about Sarah Vaughan. I schooled her about J Dilla. And she was like, "All right, we're going to start a super group. You, me, Mos (Def) and Raphael Saadiq." (my emphasis)
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.