Editor’s note: In the Readings section of Issue # 38, published in August 1994, Mark Tierney curated the following selection of music reviews under the headline: “Recomm Endo (Worthy Recordings).” While there was no long-range plan at the time, Mark’s idea would eventually morph into our semi-regular music/movie/book/etc. review column now known as Recommendo.
Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention — “Weasels Ripped My Flesh”
This may be old hat for many people, but I seem to be one of those sheltered folks that has discovered genius only after genius has died. If you think Miles Davis invented jazz-rock fusion, Frank Zappa may or may not have done it first. Funny and weird, like life is.
Mazzy Star — “So Tonight That I Might See”
Spare and spacey psychedelia; often dreamlike, sometimes nightmarish, cops form Velvets and Doors in some places, Zeppelin in others, covers love (“Five String Serenade”), has pretty, languid vocals by Hope Sandoval and stands up to repeated listenings.
“Dazed and Confused” soundtrack
This one may as well be on K-tel records and air ads during mid-afternoon “Baretta” reruns. I originally listened to this music not as an active and practicing degenerate but as apprentice. Everyone’s got their own version of this mid-seventies classic rock soundtrack; mine includes Slade’s “Gudbuy T’ Jane,” “Radar Love” by Golden Earring and “Sweet Jane” from the “Rock and Roll Animal” album (Lou Reed). What’s yours include? Best twelve songs wins a prize or something. Must be over 30 [Make that 50, now that we’ve advanced the calendar 20 years. —Ed.] to enter.
Space Grace — “Secret Response”
Trio intensity not for the faint of heart — fierce improvisation, free of time or tonal center — bass, drums and assorted wind instruments (tenor sax, bass clarinet and others played by Peter Brotzmann). Screams like hell boiling over.
Cell — “Living Room”
Guitar music dipping into an old trick bag and pulling out Stones riffs, surf drumming and Neil Young leads — and screening them through a nineties sensibility with the resulting mutation being new and good heavy rock and roll.
Ass Ponys — “Grim”
Country twisted tales featuring strange and beautiful characters who murder one another, fall in love, mourn, become obese, carve names in their legs, have children with fur, etc. etc. etc. It’s good. I like it.
Squid — “Squid!”
Spastic punk funk with trumpet and bone — kinda herky jerky with macho guitar as played by some mountain bikers.
Hole — “Live Through This”
Beautiful and timeless pop tunes of the highest order. Unbelievable — Courtney Love is the new Carole King, the new Cole Porter.
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