Re: [thewire] Digest Number 1594
- prema, talk to me soooN! i must sleep!
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Sent: Sunday, September 08, 2002 7:46 PM
Subject: [thewire] Digest Number 1594
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1. "Musical Artists Not Made For This Economy"
From: "A.S. Van Dorston" <anthony@...>
Date: Sun, 08 Sep 2002 14:17:01 -0500
From: "A.S. Van Dorston" <anthony@...>
Subject: "Musical Artists Not Made For This Economy"
Olias Nil of the recently defunct The Fire Show wrote a nice tribute to
seven artists who deserved a bigger audience than they had -- The Velvet
Underground, The Fall, Robert Wyatt, Public Image Ltd., Arto Lindsay (DNA,
Ambitious Lovers & solo), The Birthday Party and This Heat.
What should we add to that list?
Captain Beefheart: Often misunderstood with Trout Mask Replica as a Zappa
protege delving in weirdness for weirdness' sake, on parts of Lick My
Decals, Clear Spot, Shiny Beast, Doc At The Radar Station and Ice Cream For
Crow Beefheart was actually as lucid, sharp, terse and powerful as anything
in post-punk's oeuvre.
Sun Ra: Wrongly written off as a loony by many jazz fans, Sun Ra mastered
big band jazz in the 50s and went on to be a pioneer in avant-garde jazz,
was a mentor to John Gilmore who was just as good as players like Archie
Shepp and Ornette Coleman, and a body of work larger than Duke Ellington
and Miles Davis combined.
James Blood Ulmer: A protégé of Ornette Coleman, hugely influenced by Jimi
Hendrix, his unique mix of jazz, blues, rock and avant-garde was hard to
pigeonhole, and he never fully got the acclaim he deserved. Even
Beefheart's later albums had more influence among the post-punk crowd than
Ulmer's Tales Of Captain Black (1978), Are You Glad To Be In America?
(1980), Free Lancing (1981), Black Rock (1982), Odyssey (1983).
Fela Kuti: Often maligned by critics for his somewhat rudimentary horn
playing, and James Brown influence, Fela deserved far more respect than
that. Inventing Afro-Beat is nothing to sneeze at, he was a dynamo
performer and band leader, and was regularly beaten and jailed for his
outspoken politics. Who's willing to go through that for their art these
Tom Zé: Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil founded Tropicália and were jailed
and deported by the corrupt Brazilian dictatorship. But along with Os
Mutantes, Zé gave the Tropicálistas their wildly anarchic, creative
edge. The classically trained trickster was presumed missing/in hiding in
the 70s, but actually he made four of his most brilliant albums -- Se O
Caso É Chorar (1972), Todos os Olhos (1973), Estudando o Samba (1975), and
Correio da Estação do Brás (1978). It wasn't until David Byrne reissued a
compilation in 1989 that more than a handful of people heard of him.
Roy Harper: A former folkie who was pals with Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin
(who paid tribute to him on "Hats Off To Harper" on III), he put out a
string of stunning albums that were unknown to the mainstream audiences of
both bands, and is just now are starting to show influences on people like
Jim O'Rourke. On Stormcock ('71), "The Same Old Rock" features some hot
guitar playing by Jimmy Page (playing under the pseudonym S. Flavius
Mercurius). Lifemask ('73), Valentine ('74) and HQ ('75) are increasingly
Peter Hammill: Like Robert Wyatt, Robert Fripp and Fred Frith, Hammill is a
prog player (Van Der Graaf Generator) who transcended the genre in his solo
albums: Nadir's Big Chance ('74), Over ('75), and The Future Now ('78) are
dark, intense albums. John Lydon cited him as an influence along with Can
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