Saturday, August 14, 2010

HurdAudio Rotation: The Storytellers

Terry Riley/Kronos Quartet: Cadenza On The Night Plain. 1988. Gramavision: R2 79444.

David Harrington: violin
John Sherba: violin
Hank Dutt: viola
Joan Jeanrenaud: cello

Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector
G Song
Mythic Birds Waltz
Cadenza on the Night Plain
(dedicated to Dr. Margaret Lyon)

Few composers can take on the role of shaman and spin a fine yarn out of a chamber music ensemble. Right from the opening strains from Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector this is music that has held me in thrall for more than two decades now. It has often been my road music of choice on long journeys and has long since become one of those studio recordings that I'm completely bonded to. It succeeds in an area that Terry Riley never gets nearly enough credit: arranging. This is narrative, story-driven music that plunges the ensemble through some inventive turns with a rare ability to bring equal attention to the large form and small details of its construction.

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog: Party Intellectuals. 2008. Yellowbird: yeb-7707 2.

Marc Ribot: guitar, vocals
Ches Smith: drums, percussion, electronics, vocals
Shahzad Ismaily: bass, vocals, moog

Janice Cruz: additional vocals
Martin Verajano: additional percussion
Jenni Quilter: additional vocals

Setting the tone with a deviously un-Doors-like take on "Break On Through," Ceramic Dog sets out to bring equal parts party and intellect to Party Intellectuals. Along the way it delivers some wide ranging punches that frequently hit their mark with both fun and fury. A power trio that isn't afraid to surf or take a sideways stab at multiple genres. All of it with Marc Ribot's unerring sense of soul.

The Zs: untitled. 2003. Ricecontrol: 10. (Single sided vinyl)

Alex Hoskins: drums
Brad Wentworth: drums
Charlie Looker: guitar
Matthew Hough: guitar
Alex Mincek: saxophone
Sam Hillmer: saxophone


A quick dose of the manic precision and obsessive musical qualities of the Zs. The reinforced sonic dissonance of a garage band combined with the rhythmic tightness of a Berkeley student wood shedding in a practice module. The Zs demonstrate a compatibility of extremes. An aesthetic that finds humanity by keeping it tightly wound up.

No comments: