not sure if you've heard of the wrecking crew, but you've definitely heard them.
the subject of a recent, fascinating and fun documentary, the wrecking crew was 15-20 (depending on who's counting) of the best session musicians in la from the 60s to mid-70s.
you thought you were hearing the beach boys, the association, the tijuana brass, the monkees, and the byrds, but you were hearing folks like drummers hal blaine, jim gordon, jim keltner, earl palmer; guitarists tommy tedesco, bass player carole kaye, keyboardist leon russell...frequently jazz musicians, who were paid to play tight, solid, innovative rock grooves.
for one show every month on "deep tracks" i'll go deeply into a particular year of music, focusing on the most creative and long-lasting music from that year; on another show i'll play long, extended, improvised tracks that take the time to deeply explore their music and playing; on another show i'll explore the best of a particular genre or artist; and on another show i'll play creative ambient music for you to enjoy and transcend to--letting your awareness go deeper....
this week, enjoy vedic ambience...
50 years ago was the height of pop music.
dozens of artists, whose names we still revere, were at the top of their game.
this weeks will be the beginning of a 5-week review of the best music released in 1965. i'll go alphabetically, beginning with the animals, the beach boys, the beatles, the byrds, the dave clark five, donovan, bob dylan, tom jones, the kinks, the lovin' spoonful, manfred mann, roger miller, otis redding, the righteous brothers, the rolling stones, sonny & cher, the temptations, the who, the yardbirds, and the zombies.
these won't be the elevator musak tunes you've heard 1000 times, but songs that'll be playing in your head til next week when i'll continue with my review of 1965.
this week we go deep into extended, improvised performances by the kings of genre: the red hot chili peppers, neil young, the grateful dead, umphrey's mcgee, and buckethead. (sorry if you were expecting nostalgic elevator music; this won't be it.)
one of the more interesting tracks is an out-take from an album released 40 years ago, featuring shri chimnoy disciples and cajones-bursting guitarists, carlos santana & john mclaughlin [pictured]. i'll play an ecstatic unreleased version of john coltrane's jam, "a love supreme."
also fun for its locality is umphrey's mcgee's live track recorded at their 2004 concert in iowa city.
deep into the indie sounds of some amazing groups:
lots of great vocals: sonia dada (pictured) with african vocal sensibilities, the shins mysterious "sea legs," the temper trap, new johnny cash, tantric, stateless, frou frou (aka imogen heap).
most memorable is leonard cohen's stunning "here it is"--a dickensian review of one's life from the other side:
here you are hurried, & here you are gone;
and here is the love it’s all built upon.
may everyone live, and may everyone die.
hello my love, and my love, goodbye.
this week we go deep into some heavy tracks.
i'll play a brand new song by umphrey's mcgee--their brilliant cover of the beatles' "i want you (she's so heavey)--a heavy song to begin with, but only made heavier by these heavyweight musicians. it was all recorded just before their des moines concert last summer, in abbey road studios. that and their song "puppet strings" will knock your socks off (with lyrics that go deep into the issue of how to live your life):
It's not like there's a book for this or something you could read;
'Cause I’ve looked around.
And I tried to fill these holes with other roles I never learned to play.
It seems like they always falter,
But how the hell should I know?
and then i'll play 3 heavies from the 1969 album featuring amazing musicians, fuse. they were trailblazers in heavy, virtuosic music, as were the amboy dukes, before ted nugent went off his rails and became an insane redneck.
but then i'll change styles while keeping the heaviness coming with "laughing gas" by germany's juno reactor.
the highlight however will be the 23:00 vanilla fudge live masterpiece "break song," featuring--at least in my mind--bass player, tim bogert.
as winter lingers, thursday night (and sunday morning) will be one last time to put the last of the logs on, close your eyes and go deep within.... this week's music will help you transcend.
i'm featuring the deepest trippiest, and most musical and magical musique from british producer ott, austrian duo tosca, british magicians shpongle, norwegian duo royksopp, and (a beautiful modern version of a classique piece by) french ambient composer claude debussy.
these are musical journeys that you won't want to miss.
this week, extended tracks from the allman brothers, wishbone ash, miles davis...
physicist steven hawking tells the story of bertrand russell giving a lecture on the latest astronomical discoveries in cosmology, including the birth of the universe, the galaxies, and our planet revolving amidst our solar system. in the back of the room, a curandera shaman woman stands up and says it's simpler than that, because "the world is supported on the back of a giant turtle." russell, in his best rationalist response, asks, "and what's supporting the turtle?" she says, "another turtle." when russell asks what's supporting that turtle, the shaman replies simply, "it's turtles all the way down."
that description of infinity is the title of country singer sturgill simpson's 2014 track "turtles all the way down." it's not your usual country content.
this week i'll play other songs you may not have heard from the year 2014, including songs by jazz-fusion bassist flying lotus, elbow, the war on drugs, u2, the foo fighters, broken bells, and tycho.
the psychedelic musical wave of the late 60s has peaked, but its influence lives on. in fact psychedelic music is alive and well today.
this week i'll share psychedelic sounds from the last few years.
to the left is/are tame impala. tripster yes, and they can play, write, and sing with anyone.
still based on recreating the experiences of psychedelic experiences, you may be surprised to hear psychedelic tracks from artists as diverse as r&b sylist janelle monae and country-western uber outlaw, sturgill simpson. not to mention new music from classic trippers, pink floyd.