Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dream Record want List

When I first read Robert Crumb's comics, I was drawn straight away to the realistic cynicism of the everyday grind and loved the way he called records "sides". I was also gladdened to see he was another compiler of "Want Lists". I've always done it and currently have 3 lists running simultaneously:

1. Records To Buy - this will largely go unfulfilled as my desire far outstrips economic supply
2. Jazz To Look Out For - newly started this year. Names and albums i've picked up from reading books etc and hearing stuff on the 'Spill that might be worth checking out
3. Dream Record Want List - this one doesn't change much and consists of records that might not mean anything to anyone else but are either rare or i've just never been able to find a copy, they are held in mythic regard in my mind.

Here's the Top 5 from my Dream Record Want List:
1. Crime - "Hotwire My Heart"/ "Baby You're So Repulsive" (7")
2. Crime - "Murder By Guitar"/ "Frustration" (7")
3. Lightning Bolt - "Lightning Bolt" also called "The Yellow Album". (Original LP)
4. Badly Drawn Boy - "EP1" (7")
5. Raccoo-oo-oon/Woods - Split LP (10")

Now, surely i'm not the only 'Spiller that does this, am I?? Am I??! Not necessarily only records of course.


ejaydee said...

I was shopping for records yesterday, and cursed myself for remembering what was on my mental list. I knew I came in for Mos Def's The Ecstatic and Jay Stay Paid, but ended up with a different DIlla comp and some Brazilian music, as well as a Roy Ayers album, because I liked the cover and it has We Live In Brooklyn. I also have a dream list for shoes (all Nike), that I'll probably never wear. Right now I want to honour my love for Brazil by buying these:
Even though I never really liked wearing Air Max 1s.

nilpferd said...

I used to store things in the Amazon wish list, but I used to find that if stuff was in there too long I would just decide I didn't really want it after all. I normally decide pretty quickly if I want to buy something or not, and aside from Miles Davis boxed sets- and I'm pretty sated here, anyway- I'm usually able to pick up the stuff I want- mostly 60's and 70's jazz reissues- pretty cheaply.

I happen to be a nightmare to buy birthday presents for, incidentally.

ejaydee said...

Actually, that's a question I've been meaning to ask: Does anybody still receive music as gifts. My close ones have mostly given up, they assume I have everything. (I had to specifically mention the Kind Of Blue 50th Anniversary, as I would never have bought it myself).

ejaydee said...

I forgot the question mark:
Does anybody still receive music as gifts?

nilpferd said...

Sandra's sister once gave us a cd- I forget what was on it. I exchanged it in part value for a japanese import version of Weather Report's Tale Spinnin'. Win-win.
Mara gets cd's quite often- she likes most of them.
I always exchange birthday cds with my longest standing friend, we put compilations together with the best stuff we've discovered, or occasionally send whole albums. I've just sent him Five Peace Band and Erik Truffaz' Mexico, he sent me a Blue Note compilation and some Carmen McRae.

goneforeign said...

When I lived in LA I had a routine that I'd follow maybe twice a month, I'd drive to Santa Monica and go to Record Surplus on Pico Blvd, a huge record store that specialised in vinyl. It was all alphabetical by artist and I had a routine, a quick scan of the A's for either Adderley or Armstrong and then skipping through the entire collection looking for specifics and pulling 'em as I went, then back to the beginning and a leisurely scan through everything; I'd probably wind up with 30-40 albums which I'd take to the listening booth and check and they'd be narrowed down to maybe 15-20, I'd buy those.
I don't buy records much any more but occasionally I'll pop into the Last Record Store in Santa Rosa and I can't believe the prices they're asking for used vinyl, things I bought for $3-$4 are now selling in the $20+ range.
And back in the 60's I used to regularly stay with friends in Suffolk every summer in their old farmhouse, onetime I built a large rock garden with plants and flowers in a corner of their garden and for no obvious reason other than we were all fans I cast a concrete slab into which I inscribed into the surface 'The Robert Crumb Memorial Rockgarden' , about 6 months ago they sent me a photo of it, it's still there!
And a note for Nilp. I recently switched on my TV to an obscure channel and it was playing a video of the recording of Kind of Blue! I never knew that was videotaped, so I recorded about 20 mins of it.

tincanman said...

My drool lists usually involve gadgets. Sad, innit? I should be more of a people person. I know I should. But then, a solar-powered radio-controlled atomic calendar video watch never forgets your birthday.

Japanther said...

@ejay - same here. Everyone I know has completely given up keeping track of what I might not have and what I might want.

I remember giving my Dad a list of about 10 albums one christmas and telling him to pick the one he liked the sound of to buy for me.....I got Arab Strap!

Also I like the idea of a trainers want list. I had an American friend in Japan (female) who was obsessed by trainers and could talk about the intricacies of different variations of Nike for hours!

I should also point out that these lists are not merely in my head but written down in hard copy. They usually start with a scribble in a notebook, then i'll put into a file on the computer. If it's one of the Records To Buy or Jazz To Look out For that looks like a likely and imminent purchase, it gets written neatly on a Post-It and folded into my wallet.....slightly obsessive I know.....

Japanther said...

@nilpferd/GF/Ejay (Abahachi if you are there)

Any tips/recommendations that can be added to my Jazz To Look Out For list are more than welcome...

goneforeign said...

If you're not reading the weekly 'John Fordham on Jazz' in the Music section that would be worthwhile for ideas, he always has an audio sample.
Currently he's profiling Charlie Parker, look out for anything on Savoy or Dial.

saneshane said...


I have many notebooks with lists..
folders with scraps of paper, covers I like, review (don't take much notice of what people say.. just as an idea)

this goes for records, books, graphic novels, films, design, kids books for my son, present folders for my friends and family - I do good gifts!

But my organization is shit.

the sub - categories go:
good enough for
VINYL with free download of album.
CD - with special editions from record label.
CD - purchase (anywhere that's cheapest)
CD - order the library to get it (90 pence.. for a weeks rental)
DOWNLOAD - (I pay no more than 20p for a download)

bands really aren't trying hard enough if I have to download it!!

as for music/book/design presents for me..

it goes like this..
"what do you want?"
me: "this record"
" where from?
me "this label, this edition... oh I have an account. I'll use my card shall I.. I will look suprised honest"

nilpferd said...

Japanther- it depends what's already on your list.. although if you post the contents, no doubt the rest of us will spend so long arguing about it we'll forget to add anything new.. hard to just come up with some albums, but if you mention anything you particularly like or a musician you're curious about, I'll gladly make a few suggestions..

magicman said...

If you're looking for new jazz try Chopin ;-)

ejaydee said...

By the way, have you all seen American Splendor, the film based on Harvey Pekar's life? There's actually a good jazz tune on the soundtrack:

goneforeign said...

If I might go off topic for a minute:
I think it was TatYo who last week mentioned that he was reading Humph's 'Second Chorus', I responded by grabbing my copy and reading along.
I continued reading and was soon into the next chapter, 'Gentlemen of the Orchestra'. Can I suggest that he, [and everyone else hereabouts], read that chapter and also go to Spotty and select the appropriate cuts and play them as supplemental material to the text. I've just done this [with the vinyl] and it makes wonderful sense. Japanther, you should be taking notes.
For those without a copy of Second Chorus, Amazon can help.

goneforeign said...

OK, Re. 'What's good in Jazz" I just went to Amazon and did a Humph search, there's a book of his for one pound fifty 'The Best Of Jazz', I'd definitely trust his judgement, get it!

Japanther said...

Ejay - thanks for the link, cool stuff and I haven't seen the film yet. I meant to when it came out but never got around to it...will seek it out.

GF - thanks, I've seen his name in the bookshop Jazz section, so will definitely have a closer look. I'm reading an "autobiography" of Blue Note records at the moment, but it's pretty badly written and is intended for readers who are already aficionados, it's putting me off Blue Note a bit!
And I have been following the John Fordham posts...and taking notes!

Nilpferd - i'd be far too embarrassed to post the list, but i'm interested in literally ANYTHING that's not too twee and over-smooth. Completely subjective and personal picks and recommendations or albums of historic importance would be great. So far, I like what i've heard by Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderly and some free jazz stuff but was a wee bit underwhelmed by Charlie Parker (sorry Bird!)

nilpferd said...

OK, here are some totally subjective picks based on my own thread of discovery, which was kind of like throwing a stone into a pond whose centre was a 1959 compilation of jazz artists my father used to own.. these would be the albums I play most, from the fifties-sixties era..
Next to Kind of Blue, the first Miles Davis album I bought was "Milestones", from 1957. (q.v. my post sometime last year on the title track). Starting (very narrowly) with the other members of that band and looking at albums they brought out at a similar time, you could then consider Cannonball Adderley's "Things are getting better" and John Coltrane's "Giant Steps", which quickly leads you on to "My Favourite things", "Coltrane's sound", and his masterpiece, "A love supreme".
Kind of Blue itself adds pianist Bill Evans, whose "Everybody digs Bill Evans" and "Sunday at the Village Vanguard/Waltz for Debby" are the most essential recordings of a long and brilliant career.
Miles' progress after Kind of Blue was somewhat dogged by the search for a Coltrane replacement, although George Coleman played beautifully on "The complete concert- 1964". Davis' new band with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter then really took off in a new direction in the mid sixties for "ESP" and "Miles Smiles" (q.v. another of my posts from last year), before he started introducing electric instruments to the band.
Besides the two Shorter albums we discussed recently, Hancock's "Takin' off", "Maiden Voyage" and "Empyrean Isles" are essential hard-bop statements.
I'll leave the rest of Blue Note and Miles' considerable back catalogue untouched for the moment and look back to the fifties small groups- you should sample the so-called West coast sound, primarily Gerry Mulligan/Chet Bakers "The original Quartet", an innovative and melodic pianoless quartet, and Art Pepper's "Intensity" and "Meets the rhythm section", which pairs the lyrical alto saxophonist with players from Miles Davis' Milestones era band.
Equally important in a rhythmic sense is the Dave Brubeck quartet's "Time out", and you also need to have heard one of jazz's most important composers, Thelonius Monk- I would start with the "Complete Blue note recordings" from 1947-51, the recent release goes up to '58 and adds a concert with Coltrane.
The development of a more thematic thread to jazz owes a lot to Charles Mingus; start here with "Mingus ah-um" from 1959, Aba and Mnemonic would add "Pithecantus Erectus".
Other interesting and highly melodic trio albums of the mid to late fifties include Jimmy Giuffre's "The Jimmy Giuffre 3", and Oscar Peterson's "On the town with the Oscar Peterson trio".

I have to say I'm a bit behind on big bands and some of the great players of the fifties next to Parker, such as Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, and Bud Powell, and I'll leave vocalists for another time.

Sorry if this appears to be an incomprehensible waffle to some of you.

Japanther said...

Nilpferd - exactly the kind of thing I was hoping for! Thanks a lot, a couple of those suggestions are already on my list, but most aren't, so researching/searching for that lot should keep me busy for a while. Cheers!

nilpferd said...

You're welcome! Hope you find something to your liking in there.
Based on play-frequency I should add one more Blue Note album-
Grant Green- "the complete Sonny Clark quartets".

Blimpy said...

new sun araw mp3:

Japanther said...

cheers blimpy!

May1366 said...

Japanther - just noticed this and I'm vicariously excited by your Jazz to Look Out For list. nilpferd's covered quite a lot of fairly essential territory but if there's one name I'd recommend (forgive me if you've already discovered him) because he's a one-off, it's Rahsaan Roland Kirk (or just plain Roland Kirk). To describe him makes him sound like a circus freak: one of the stalwarts of Charles Mingus' groups, he was blind and constructed his unique sound as the result of a dream; he played three horns - one of which he'd invented - at the same time; or he'd play different parts of the same melody on two tenor saxes; or he'd sing through a flute. Musically, he touched on straight-ahead bebop, blues, soul (he did an insane, 12-minute version of I Say A Little Prayer) and free jazz, and there's even a little folk in places. The problem is knowing where to start - Rip, Rig and Panic, perhaps, or Blacknuss - but it's fair enough to take a lucky dip attitude because it's really the sound itself that'll blow you away (or, conceivably, put you off).

goneforeign said...

Don't miss the article about Wynton Marsalis in today's G [july 18th]

Japanther said...

@May - thanks! He sounds incredible, just my cup of bitter tea. consider Roland Kirk immediately put to the top of the "to look out for" list.