Friday, June 26, 2009

Peter Stampfel et al at Frankford Gardens 6/27/09


Spurred by a tip from the redoubtable TG the TA, the Prof set out for a destination indicated in an item in Arthur Magazine online. The item promised a concert by Peter Stampfel at a location called Frankford Gardens so the Prof pointed the GPS at the designated address and found himself cruising the main drag in Fishtown, Philly (or is that Phistown, Filly?) and circling the block a few times until he spotted the tiny sign on the gate asking for a donation for the concert. The Prof opened the gate and suddenly felt he wasn't in Kansas anymore for he beheld a rich green prospect--lawn, overhanging boughs, little groves in some corners dotted with benches, and patio for a performing area festooned with strings of electric lights. Where the holy modal rounder was I?
Surrounded by chatting shiny happy people of all ages, the Prof tossed his donation in the indicated bowl (encouraged by a friendly nod from one of the hosts) and made his way toward the speakers in front of the stage area. The pleasantly dislocated sensations continued abetted by the sounds issuing forth from the electromagnetic field--was that gamelan? A little later there was some Indian music, gospel sermonizing, highland piping and fiddling, something that sounded like a comedy record from Middle Europe, and a whole lot more that this world music fanatic couldn't ID fast enough.
Turns out the DJ for the pre-concert entertainment was Ian Nagoski, composer and record shop owner (True Vine in Baltimore) and 78 rpm maven, who curated the wonderful compilation of 20's and 30's 78s from around the world Black Mirror. He sat in front of two discmen with a wallet of CDRs containing digital transfers from his shellac collection and segued from country to country, genre to genre, lost label to lost label. With his mane of flowing hair and trim beard he looked like a cross between Lord Byron and Alan Lomax. When the prof got to talk to him later near the improvised little merch table covered with a dozen CDR comps, he found Ian to be a charming and alarmingly knowledgable


Set List:

First Set

One Night When I Got Drunk
Chevrolet 6
Days of '49
Will Your Dog Catch a Rabbit
Donald Trump
Great Day
Hang It on the Wall
There'll Be No Distinction/ White Man's World
Last Chance/ Carpe Diem
Simple Tune/ Nobody Knows the Troubles I've Seen
The Tea Song
Gallows Pole
Old Dog Blue
I Will Survive

Second Set

Georgia Stomp
Buckwheat Girls
John Henry
Golden Slippers
I Wish I Was a Single Girl Again
When I Was Young
Happy Rolling Cowboy
Bayside Tavern
Wake Up, Jacob
Ain't That Trouble in Mind
John Johanna
Hey on the Island

Friday, June 19, 2009

Senegal Flash

Dedicated to the amazing Jake-ola bound for Columbia U to represent Senegal.
(Details in the expanded post tomorrow.)


Orchestra Baobab
Roots and Fruit (Earl years)
N'Wolof (1970-1)
On Verra Ca (1978)
Bamba (1980-81)
Pirates Choice (1982)
Specialists in All Styles (2002)
Made in Dakar (2008)
Etoile de Dakar with Youssou N'Dour and El Hadji Faye
Absa Gueye (Volume 1) Recorded in 1979 at Jandeer Nightclub.
Thiapatholy (Volume 2) Recorded in 1980 at Studio Sangomar.
Lay Suma Lay (Volume 3) Recorded in 1981 at Studio Sangomar.
Khaley Etoile (Volume 4) Recorded in 1981, '82 at Studio Sangomar in Dakar.
All are out of print but can be found with a little scrounging on the net.
Recommended alternative: The Rough Guide to Youssou N'Dour and Etoile de Dakar.

African Pearls 4: Senegal: The Teranga Spirit (Double CD. First disc features traditional music.
Second features early pop recordings.
African Pearls 8: Senegal 70 Musical Effervescence (Double CD. The place to start!)
Senegal Flash: Kaolack
Senegal Flash: Banjul
Senegal Flash: Ziginchor
Senegal Flash: Louga
Senegal Flash: Dakar
Senegal Flash: Mdar

The Senegal Flash series on Syllart is spectacular, out of print, and expensive if you can find any of the CDs. Syllart is re-releasing a lot of Congolese music, so perhaps they'll get around to this one day.
The African Pearls are best acquired from Sterns African Music. Best price and fast shipping.

And don't forget the astonishing compilation The Music in My Head (and its less amazing sequel) selected by Mark Hudson to his novel about Dakar's music scene. The book and Volume 1 are out of print, but check here and here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy Bloomsday

Stately, plump Prof came from his stairhead this morning to gaze upon a sodden New Jersey, so he's not sure if he'll be celebrating Ulysses by attending the annual reading of the novel by actors, local celebreties, profs, and amateurs in front of the Rosenbach Museum & Library where the manuscript resides. (Check out the coolest blog a library ever had.) Above is a picture of Joyce in Sylvia Beach's bookshop Shakespeare & Company, Paris which first published Ulysses.

Below is a self-portrait by Prof Pal Josh Levitas who has been exploring the ineluctable modality of the visible (at least that if no more, thought through his eyes) through the developing graphic novel at Ulysses Seen working with Robert Berry and Mike Barsanti. (Have I got the details of this shoutout right, Josh?) (Update: Eustace Tilley has his eyes on Ulysses Seen as well.)

Below is a portrait of another Ulysses fan...

(Click on pic to see a larger Marilyn.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wussy at Main Street Music, Manayunk, PA 6/14/09

One of America's great bands and a Prof favorite, Cincinatti's Wussy have come through again with their third fine album. The Prof was dismayed that toiling in the groves of academe would prevent him from seeing them in Brooklyn with TG the TA, but lo! their website informed him they'd be setting up for free practically in his backyard. More details to come in an expanded version of this post. Meanwhile, here are the facts, ma'am.
Set List:

Little Paper Birds
Gone Missing
Death by Misadventure
Muscle Cars
Funeral Dress


Funeral Dress (2006)
Left for Dead (2007)
Cure for Rigor Mortis (EP) (2008)
Wussy (2009)

All on Shake It Records. I recommend you go to the Shake It Records site to purchase the band's CDs. Call them up and they'll cheerfully ship you product at the lowest cost in very quickly. If you want the whole catologue for even cheaper (and I highly recommend that), you can get the first two CD's bundled together (click here) and the EP and the latest CD (click here).

More Links!: The band's website is
Good reviews by The Dean.
Philadelphia City Paper's blurb.
Ken Tucker on NPR 6/21.