CDs worth owning in the age of Itunes! 15 Favorite obscure CDs!


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ALAN MOORE : THE MOON AND SERPENT GRAND EGYPTIAN THEATRE OF MARVELS -A fantastic CD, oral dissection and tour of London of the Id. Alan Moore is analogous to Shakespeare in that like Shakespeare he is one of the greatest writers of a castigated medium (Shakespeare worked in the, during his life, little respected medium of plays, mass entertainment for the mobs; and Moore works in the medium of comic books/graphic novels), and arguably is not fully understood or appreciated out of that medium in his lifetime. His spoken word CDs are some of the most amazing and compelling, combining his love of topics but strange and obscure, married to his voice, which is one of the greatest and most haunting voices of our age. Moon & Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels

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DEATH : FOR THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE – Rock/Proto-Punk – Turned on to this CD by the wonderful documentary A BAND CALLED DEATH. A great documentary and a great CD. For the Whole World to See

ABRAHAM BURTON QUARTET : CAUSE AND EFFECT – Was turned onto this CD by Amiri Baraka when I met him a few years back and bought his excellent hardcover book DIGGING THE AFRO AMERICAN SOUL OF CLASSICAL AMERICAN MUSIC. Cause and EffectDigging: The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music

CHE : NOT LIKE THEM – Caught this artist live performance years ago, and got this CD direct from him. It still remains one of the best CDs I own. An amazing performer who brings together Neo-soul, R&B, Rock, and some genres not invented yet, in a fun, head bobbing package.

TAALAM ACEY : BLUES RESURGENCE – Another artist I caught live, and got this CD direct from him. One of the greatest spoken word CDs. Blues Resurgence

MARK GROSS : RIDDLE OF THE SPHINX – I heard him play his title track in a dive bar, somewhere on the edge of the world, and purchased. A great purchase as it is one of the best Jazz Cds I’ve ever heard. Riddle of the Sphinx

AWADAGIN PRATT : A LONG WAY FROM NORMAL- My gold standard for classical piano CDs are the great Glenn Gould’s BACH THE GOLDBERG VARIATIONS released by CBS Records and this lesser known, but no less great, album by Awadagin Pratt. A must own. Plays Liszt/Franck/Brahms/Bach

PARIS : THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT/SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY – I added these two CDs as one, because even though they are separated by decades, they are linked at the hip, by a fervor that is both mired in specific times, yet oddly time resistant. And a delivery… unequaled. The Devil Made Me Do It

TERRY CALLIER : SPEAK YOUR PEACE – Speak Your Peace

QUINCY JONES : IN COLD BLOOD – Soundtrack. Why on earth would anyone ever want the sound track to a movie? When I was young it made no sense to me. And to be truthful, for most movies and soundtracks I still feel that way. I’ve listened to a lot of not especially interesting soundtrack Records and CDs. And then one day I put on the LP to Cold Blood by Quincy Jones, a young Quincy Jones before he became the manager for the King of Pop, and settled into making pop and r&b albums. This young Quincy Jones was pushing how music could be used to elicit feelings and tell stories, and during the late 60s early 70s created some of the most experimental and haunting music ever conceived. IN COLD BLOOD remains the seminal instrumental work done not just by Quincy Jones, but by anyone. It was the first soundtrack album to open my eyes to the fact that the soundtrack can be a work of art onto itself. IN COLD BLOOD (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK LP, 1968)

JERRY GOLDSMITH : PLANET OF THE APES – Jerry Goldsmith has created mountains of Sound tracks, I don’t know if he has ever been more experimental or better than here. Planet Of The Apes: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Also Featuring Music From Escape From The Planet Of The Apes

JIMMY WILSON : FUTURE HISTORY – Future History

DON PEYOTE : BETWEEN WORLDS – A lot of people turn up their nose at the term New Age, rightly or wrongly I don’t know. What I do know is I’m in love with binaural effects, and CDs that, using just a headphone, can recreate a 360 degree environment. BETWEEN WORLDS does that brilliantly. A great CD to read or drift off to. Between Worlds with Hemi-Sync

STEVE USCHER : LA GUITARRA TROPICAL –

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IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE : REVOLUTIONARY VOL 2 – I have oft praised this CD. It should be required listening by people who want to hear what rap can be like… when it is about more than self grandizement and debasement.

Well hope you enjoyed that list of essential obscure CDs. Now I’m sure most of you in this age of Itunes have ditched your walkman, so how, you ask, do you play these cds? Well thankfully there are nice, compact, cost effective devices that allow you to take not only your cds but your dvds and other media with you when on the move. Here’s a link to one:

Sylvania Portable DVD Player SDVD7027-C, 7-Inch, Swivel Screen, Black

Enjoy!


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The Best of EC Artist Edition Vol 1 Hardcover – 2013

 

EC Comics is arguably the finest line of comics ever produced. Whether it was science fiction or war, crime or horror, their entire line stood head and shoulders above the rest of the comics on the newsstands. Now IDW Publishing is pleased to present an Artist’s Edition unlike any other, featuring the best stories by the brightest stars of EC Comics. Remember these classics? 50 Girls 50 by Al Williamson and Frank Frazetta, The Corpse on the Imjin by Harvey Kurtzman, The Flying Machine by Bernie Krigstein, Touch and Go by Johnny Craig, Judgment Day by Joe Orlando. All these plus more! And a stunning cover gallery crammed with glorious EC goodness! Brought to you by the same team responsible for the Eisner Award-winning Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor: Artist’s Edition and David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition.

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New-York Historical Society New York City in 3D In The Gilded Age: A Book Plus Stereoscopic Viewer and 50 3D Photos from the Turn of the Century Paperback – June 3, 2014

Be transported to New York during the Gilded Age and experience daily life in one of the world’s most vibrant cities through mesmerizing, contemporary 3D photography and exciting tales of the time.

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New-York Historical Society New York City in 3D In The Gilded Age: A Book Plus Stereoscopic Viewer and 50 3D Photos from the Turn of the Century

 

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Paris in 3D in the Belle Époque: A Book Plus Steroeoscopic Viewer and 34 3D Photos Paperback – April 14, 2015

 

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Gustave Dore 1832-1883: Master of Imagination Hardcover – June 10, 2014

The diverse oeuvre of Gustave Doré—illustrations, paintings, sculpture—combines with biography and critical essays and attests to the artist’s enduring impact on contemporary culture. Proclaimed “the most illustrious of illustrators,” Gustave Doré is best known for his engravings, which appeared in editions of the Bible, Dante’s Inferno, Poe’s The Raven, The Adventures of Don Quixote, and even in Hollywood, from King Kong to Seven. Yet the extent of his genius remains largely unknown. Here, along with his renowned illustrations, his paintings and sculptures are also examined, bringing to light the rich diversity of his talent. Using watercolor, vivid oil paint, or sculpture, he demonstrated mastery in a vast scope of media, and in treatments ranging from monumental historical tableaux to landscapes to modest compositions. His work transcended techniques and eras, covering an inexhaustible range of subjects from Europe to the United States to Russia and revealing his insatiable curiosity. This comprehensive monograph accompanies an exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris from February 18–May 11 and at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa from June 12–September 14, 2014.

Gustave Dore 1832-1883: Master of Imagination – Price it Here!

THE POINT OF NO RETURN or All I Ever Knew of God REVISITED

This is a post first published over two years ago.

It got a couple hits recently.

I read it, having not read it in over two years… and I thought it said things that still need saying.

And I think it manages… to still say them well.

I don’t recycle posts, as I’m long-winded enough, and insane enough that I always have topics for my rage or my reason. But this post seemed… especially timely to me, and worth the limelight… one more time.

Without further ado:

I’m not a fan of profanity, be it the n word, c word, b word, whatever. I don’t have a knee jerk reaction to profanity, I just think your language defines you and yours, and sometimes it traps… you and yours.

So that said, I’m not a huge fan of rap.

More precisely, I don’t like what it has become. I don’t like hip-hop. I don’t like this glamorization of ignorance, this pretense of hardness by too many men who own nothing.

Not even themselves.

You want to be a tough guy. You have a wife, you love her till the stars go dim, you have kids… you raise em right. You teach them to walk with their head held high.

You do this, you do these things, in this world… where you can be broken for walking out your door, if you can do these things in such a world.. that makes you a tough guy. How well or how badly the women in your life live, mothers, sisters, wives, friends, daughters… these things define a man.

Not simply screaming, not cursing,not defiling… but striving, sometimes crudely, sometimes failingly… toward something better for you and yours, in a world that is increasingly not about better.

Those definitions of “tough guy” and “man” are hard ones, and I have met very few, myself included, who rate them.

But sometimes the attempt is enough, the striving earnestly toward those ideals…the striving even though victory not promised, and defeat virtually assured. The attempt to succeed, even when every day you fail… has value.

Once upon a time, rap was filled with men, with tough guys who screamed… for the love. BDP, PUBLIC ENEMY, PARIS, ERIC B, TERMINATOR X, even NWA. And of course the fathers of Rap, men like THE LAST POETS and GIL HERON.

But that was when rap was coming from the streets, rather than the board offices of SONY and TIMEWARNER. Corporate mobs who promoted their Gangsta Rap to the exclusion of all else, who take every virtue and twist it till it’s a vice.

That is America defined.

It is that place, where all virtues are twisted until they are vices.

Blues and Rock, vilified colored music, until they could paint it white… and sell it… and call it Elvis. Rap, same thing. Vilified urban music, until they could paint it white… and sell it ….and call it Eminem.

They can replicate the noise, but somewhere the heart is lost.

They, commercial America- the sellers of standards, have a way of only glorifying the worst.

It really is, about co-opting and corrupting any positive movements… before they can grow.

Which is why more people know the name Eminem than Paris, know Rocky than Joe Frazier, know Arnold Swarzenegger than the man he executed… Stanley Tookie Williams; because America is that place where they sell the lie, when the truth is the wrong color.

So the best stuff in America, will never make the top 40 in America. They don’t play it on the radio, or show it on the TV, or teach it in the schools.

The best stuff in America, the worthy stuff, the positive stuff, you have to hunt for, but it’s worth the hunt.

So I hate Sony Rap, and Time Warner Rap, and Corporate America defined rap. But I love real rap, rap about waking you up, from pervasive nightmares. Conscious rap. Spoken Word. Hip Hop. Call it what you will. I love the people who are still making it, people who are out their… still screaming…”WAKE UP!”

A few that you won’t hear on the radio, but you really should do everything in your power to hunt up, are:

PARIS of course, anything by this soldier, this… prophet of rage. Who for three decades… has held the line. Has held the goddamn line. His DEVIL MADE ME DO IT is one of the great albums of all time.

The usual suspects of Public Enemy, BDP, mentioned above. Also Rage Against the Machine.

And one I want to introduce you to is IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE:REVOLUTIONARY VOL II. I picked it up because of Mumia Abu Jamal, his words on it.

I love courage in people, I love people who speak to you in these volatile times not of sneakers, or cars, or hos… but of volatile times. This CD all the songs are good, some better, some worse (again I can only deal with so much profanity), but there is one song… that is exceptional. And it is worth having the CD for this single song.

I know when I hear something great, and something true, because we live in a nation and a world, where both greatness and truth… are endangered commodities.

So when I hear them…

When I hear these disused concepts… combined… it’s a beautiful thing. I get chills. I listened to THE POINT OF NO RETURN the first song on this CD, the song in question, … and it gave me chills.

I love people who will rage, RAGE…not against you,but FOR YOU! Who will bleed their guts out, rip their flesh off, for the mildest hope… that they can save you, that they can… wake you up.

A lot of people talk about God, and those who talk about him the most, typically know him the least.

Bible thumpers give me a swift pain, I’ve never met one who didn’t lie himself to sleep.

All I’ve ever known of God, any real proof, comes from people who are always outnumbered and always outgunned. Comes from the voice of… sinners and saints. And whether it’s a 16 year old Palestinian girl eulogizing friends who blew themselves up, because their death was all they had left to fight with,… or a man on death row, for not sitting down…. still standing up, or young men on a mic who have watched their neighborhoods become occupied cities and decide to speak against it… whoever the voice comes from, when it’s both great and true… it brings me to my knees.

And those are moments when I believe in God.

That some people, can go on in a world such as this… and still care so deeply, about anything. Those are moments that spur you to want to make a difference, be a better man, make a better world.

Give you the desire to fight hard… one… more…. moment.

That for me, is all I know of God.

And those moments are rare things. And listening to this song was one of them.

I had thought there were no more prophets of rage.

I have never been so glad to be wrong.

Pick up the CD, listen to the song, and if it gives you chills. Share it with a friend, and make your world a better place.

Try.