Fascination Abounds

Anything At All

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Faves of 2014

In no particular order:

Julian Bream Classical Guitar Anthology: 42 Disc box of albums unavailable for years plus two DVDs. He is my favorite classical guitarist, and this is the motherlode.

Richard Thompson- Electric
Another great example of his playing and song writing. He has grown into his voice, and his writing still stings for the lost, hopeless, hopeful and desperate. I think it might be his best in ten years, and that’s saying something.

The Staves- I think this was just released here just this year, but wow! Their voices, their harmonies! It’s three sisters from England. Great vocals, great lyrics. They only sound like themselves.

Invisible Hands- Alvarius B and his Cairo based band together again! Insightful, scathing, melodic, powerful, beautiful. Fans of Sun City Girls must check this out!

Einstuerzende Neubauten-Lament.
OK, hands down my favorite. It’s not yet released in North America, don’t ask me why. This disc looks back to WWI because they were asked to, but it also surveys the band’s own history. They have always lived on the fringes, and that is where the research goes as well. They sought out the unknown stories, and obscure angles which played right into the rich history of the band itself. Blixa makes a point of pointing towards the future: one war begets another, and it never ceases. So the Neubauten never completely stop; never stay the same. They come back refreshed ever anew still the same but still something new, unexpected.

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Days and Weeks Go By

I often struggle to figure out the here. The now. Well, don’t we all? The past often feels like a weight around our necks pulling us down into the blackness. If the now is suffocating, and the past is drowning us then where can we truly stand?  Really?!

Strangely, well, not really, for me, this got me thinking about music I loved growing up. The strands, ties and parallels are simply complex but visceral. Maybe foundational. If you feel lost, look to an attempt at a foundation however murky or soupy.

The Pink Panther (Soundtrack to the original movie)- Henry Mancini had a gift! He was both sophisticated and childlike in his composing and outlook. This is rare indeed. He could compose for both David Niven and Peter Sellers within the same framework, and he could imagine a pink panther within the greatest, most valuable diamond. I heard it! On the record! As a child, and it stays with me today!

Luciano Pavarotti- O Holy Night. Well, Christmas just passed in a flash, and I had a lovely one. Pav is never not a part of Christmas, and his album is full of songs about Christ and believing and faith and falling to rise again! And I believe in this, well really, zero percent, but the music, the voice, I cannot live without it. My mother had this record, and I have owned it on tape and CD. I listen every year!

I was in high school, 1986, 1987, or so, French Club. I was studying, and we had a side walk sale. I had heard Carpenters’ Christmas music for years without fail. Someone else had brought it, Christmas Portrait. $.50. I decided I had to have it. It was new and familiar, comforting and strange, my gateway to my eventual love of The Carpenters. They were soft and comfortable, but odd and strange too. Not so easy if you dug deep enough, and dig I did; deep enough to know, to see.

to be continued tomorrow. . . .

Happy New Year!

Review of My Latest Release.

Review of My Latest Release.

This is maybe a difficult album to listen to, but I am immensely proud of it, and I hope some of you might find it a welcome addition to your music collection.  

New pages and music.

I have not posted here in awhile because I was busy with posting musical content elsewhere. I also recorded an album with a friend (his album is great), and I’ve done a bit of travelling here and there in the interim while plotting out moves for my own next releases.

http://chrisandersen.bandcamp.com

 

click on the recommendations link to hear my friend Josh’s record that we made, and stay tuned for future words and sounds you might want to hear!

 

Good Morning!

The world is full of sounds and smells and tastes and visions. My senses are never bored, and there is always something new to experience. This blog will cover all that I find fascinating. This, of course, might not always be a good thing because it often fascinates me how human beings can be so awful towards one another.

 

Mostly though, I would like to focus on the enjoyable. This might entail a new album, a good meal, a delicious bottle of wine. There might be a post about an upcoming event in which I will be involved. I might share a recipe or there might be a story about attempting to bake something new. 

 

I hope those of you who find this blog will enjoy it in the spirit it is meant, and maybe someone will actually find something useful in it as well. 

 

Thank you.

My Albums

Just as I have embarked upon a brand new blog today, I also opened a new music page today featuring a number of my own recordings available for streaming and downloading.

First, a single called ‘Being Alive Isn’t Livng’, is a melancholy little tune I love that used to infuriate a former bandmate because of its key signature. It features metal percussion, Fender Bass VI, and a singing, sighing, feedbacking tapestry in the background.

Then, there are two albums I made at different times in my life. The first is entitled, ‘Nothing New’ whose conception came about while on a long rambling walk in San Francisco. It is a long rambling journey of its own as if traveling from place to place and time to time. The electric guitar is the thru line in all of this even as the obvious bits change around it. There are no spoken bits, but there is a song with wine glasses and metal/water percussion and lots of altered sounds. And at the end a bit of piano, again, with electric guitar flitting at the edges of the frames.

Finally, there is ‘Sick Day’. Indeed, I was a bit sick. In my head, in my supposed soul; every fiber of my being felt stuck and useless. I literally called in sick to work and plugged in my guitar. The title track is the result. That is the essence of how I felt:  that noise and cacophony, the ebbing and flowing. As one might surmise from the first track, ‘Hotter Heads Will Prevail’, some of my troubles stemmed from a beautiful woman whom I loved. Of course, as we all know, sometimes love is not enough. There are so many levels, tangents, diversions and distractions to this life. Relationships of every stripe are hard work to maintain. We make mistakes we hope we can learn from. We hope they can forgive. More importantly, we hope we can forgive.

The last track is perhaps the most difficult, But for me, it was the road towards freedom. I call it ‘Meditation’, but really it was almost medication against the dreaded curse of inertia. I think I was probably channeling a bit of the ‘Grundstück’ hex of The Einstürzende Neubauten, but sometimes that is what we need is a little magic to get us through. Or is that a whole other can of worms best left unopened.

I hope someone who hears something here is simply moved or touched. If you wish to listen multiple times and download, well, then I am honored and thank you!

http://chrisandersen.bandcamp.com

Thanks for reading.