Yet another innovative and intelligent R&B release from Gilles Peterson's Brownswood imprint, Offering for Anxious is the first full-length album by Gary, Indiana-raised singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Diggs Duke. Calling his album a “full-length” as opposed to a “long player” is more fitting, as the entire 10 song suite clocks in under 30 minutes (with only one song exceeding 3 minutes). But regardless, Duke’s unmistakably musical compositions are conveyed with as much patience as potency, traversing extended instrumental passages and melodic verses with grace and sophistication, like an organic mini-opus of handclaps, horn arrangements, and soft-spoken poetry.
Our monthly concentration at Maria’s Community Bar this Sunday December 15th will be a program of Polish music from the mid to late 60s, a scouring stimulated by studies for the forthcoming reel-to-reel tape program at Sportsman’s Club on Western Ave (set to open this weekend). The vintage Polski gems we gathered for our Sunday set at Maria’s span the gypsy garage beginnings of Blackout and Czerwone Gitary to the time when progressive geniuses like Marek Grechuta and Czeslaw Niemen were annoying communist officials with long hair and creative syntheses of traditional Eastern European classical and psychedelic rock and roll. Visual accompaniment will be a reel of gorgeously staged TVP Kultura studio music videos from the same era. Please join us in Bridgeport this Sunday night for a week-capping lager and life-changing listen to the best music you’ve never heard.
PROG POLSKI at Maria’s Community Bar (960 W 31st St, Chicago, IL), Sunday December 15th, 2013, from 9pm to 2am.
Photo credit: Dan Mohr
This Tuesday, Over/Out sojourns one mile north from our usual Tour DeVille to the hazy stained-glass flush of Chicago’s Innertown Pub. We’ll travel with compatriots, namely Son of Fire String Ensemble, a new group led by Chicago 6-string savant, Bill MacKay.
Son of Fire String Ensemble is a guitar and bass quartet featuring the guitar work of MacKay, Matthew Schneider and the tandem bass guitars of Matt Lux and Jeff Greene. Over/Out will be sidling up next to and conclude with Innertown Pub's on-the-regular Tuesday night jam session curated by Chicago bassist, composer and gracious host Eli Namay.
MacKay's recent successes include a number of strikingly lucid compositions on Darts & Arrows' latest, Eyes of the Carnival, and a serendipitous stringed collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Leroy Bach. We’re honored to witness the gestation of yet another determined project under MacKay's supervision. We hope you'll join us this week at Innertown Pub (1935 W Thomas St, Chicago, Ill) at 10pm.
This last month of 2013, we are proud to close the year’s Collection Selection series at Trenchermen with a casual DJ set by another prime exemplar of the music/hospitality industry crossover, Sophie Burton, whose earliest Chicago operations were with legendary local music family Empty Bottle Presents, on her way to current FOH shifting at Big Star and The Dawson. A couple weeks ago, the enthusiastically literate collector gave us a nice glimpse into the library she’s amassed between New Mexico, Seattle, and Chicago; a fine stockpile pre-viewable below and audible at her live DJ set on Monday December 16th, 2013.
We’ll start with the first record Burton ever purchased, Jimmy Rushing's Five Feet of Soul, which she still has yet to open. She first heard Rushing’s sad soul belting at a young age via her mother.
Burton inherited a ton of great music from her mother, including this classic by the late singing poet Gil Scott-Heron.
Her father was a musician, also a record collector, and the source of her copy of The Velvet Underground and Nico. She finds it amazing that he was able to refrain from peeling the banana.
Burton has preference for collecting records that come with detailed liners, art, info, etc. Her co-worker Dan from Big Star says “if it comes with reading material, it’s a Sophie record.”
Detailed inserts drew her to a handful of Parliament records, a band notorious for conceptual collectible artwork. Burton especially digs the comic characters in The Motor Booty Affair.
And of course, the grand villain of the Parliament/Funkadelic universe, Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk, who’s sole existing purpose was to kill the funk. Burton got her hands on this poster (and the mint copy of Funkentelechy vs. The Placebo Syndrome that contained it) by trading an ex-Empty Bottle colleague who was dying for a rare YACHT record she happened across. I think we can all agree Burton got the far longer end of the stick in this deal.
A reflection of her affinity for records as experiential learning tools, her favorite store in Seattle (where she lived for 3 years) was Neptune Records, whose owner stuck all sorts of educational info on the dust covers. Fyi, this “1st press” is an old MGM-released Hank Williams record.
Burton played this burning Count Basie big band record for me, which has a misprint on the front cover (apparently unacceptable for the previous owner, who aggressively scratched out the incorrect date with pencil).
We went on a typo tangent; she also owns an Otis Redding record that credits “Nick” Jagger as the writer of “Satisfaction.” This one was also corrected by a previous owner.
And a Canadian pressing of Ride The Lightning that includes the long lost Metallica B side “For Whom the Bells Toll.” Not corrected.
Before we go, please enjoy Sam Cooke looking creepy as hell wearing an orange sherbet-colored cardigan on the cover of this 1988 Pair Records reissue.
Collection Selection, vinyl listening party at Trenchermen (2039 W North Ave, Chicago, IL), one Monday monthly from 830pm-midnight.
Poetry is part of everything. You can’t have a really good work if it’s not touched by poetry. Poetry manifests itself in millions of ways: as rhythm, metaphor, mood. Sometimes it’s a type of emotional outpouring or necessity that’s not expressed through characters but through feelings. To me, poetry is the tragic sense of man. It’s a way of seeing things in the most complete way, the most absolute, and, to a certain extent, the most perfect. Where there’s no poetry, there’s no beauty, and without beauty no kind of artistic work can exist.
Christopher Bennett - House of Sound (2013)
"I spent time in record stores, vintage stereo repair shops, vintage retail shops, and people’s houses photographing and having conversations about why they listen to music the way they do and how it affects their lives. Some have made careers, some a hobby and some want nothing more than to listen, but for all of them, myself included, it is an important part of our lives in some way.
I have shot spaces in Portland, Seattle, New York, and Berlin and I find that these ideals hold true from coast to coast to places afar. The love, passion and obsession for listening is a common thread that runs through all of the people and shops; these connect us all together to the moment we first felt the sound.”
Ben Greenman writes about the Wrecking Crew, a “loosely affiliated assembly of musicians,” and the subject of a documentary, “We Got Good At It”: http://nyr.kr/1c9Het4
“Rarely credited on record, the Wrecking Crew nevertheless played for, with, and in the service of nearly every prominent American pop performer of the decade, to the point that it’s probably easier to make a list of the acts it didn’t support.”