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From Waylon To Wu-Tang (James)

October 14, 2016

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Jeremy Murray and the team at 1886 Management keep on coming up with winning concepts.

The flagship of Murray and Co.’s fleet is The Blackheart, a whiskey soaked blueberry in the tomato soup of Rainey Street. Proof and Cooper, the team’s fried chicken shack out near Hamilton Pool draws inspiration from California desert destination Pappy and Harriet’s. The team’s newest concept, Kitty Cohen’s, is the best of the 1970s — a little bit Woodstock, a little bit Palm Springs — where you can sip shareable punches poolside, tickle the ivories on a baby grand piano, or belly up to the bar and request a record off the shelves.

Late last month, Murray invited me out to Kitty Cohen’s to play some tunes and “guest bartend.” The latter pretty much consisted of cracking open iced cold yellow bellys and pouring shots of tequila; one for you, one for me. The former, pulling records off the shelf. Cohen’s is curating a respectable, and growing, record collection behind the bar, AM radio’s greatest hits. A good time was had by all, so far as I remember, so we’re doing it again this month, on Halloween weekend. Sunday, October 30, I’ll crack beers and play some music. A dash of yacht rock, a heavy dose of cocaine bender soundtrack material, some disco, outlaw country and proto punk, and a couple of Halloween-themed tracks for a laugh — songs I’d like to think Kitty would like if she waltzed into the bar, ordered a Dickell rye, neat, and sparked a heater.

Here’s a sneak preview playlist courtesy.

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From Waylon To Wu-Tang (James)

September 14, 2012

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Fun Fun Fun Fest is right around the corner! Explosions In The Sky headlining the festival in 2007 is probably one of my favorite Fx3 moments, so I’m stoked to see them returning to a much bigger and badder event.

Speaking of Explosions In The Sky, they’re fantastic. Post-rock, instrumental rock, instruMETAL … whatever it is Explosions In The Sky do, they do it well.  It’s not all about them, though, so this week’s playlist is Top Ten Instrumental Bands Not Named Explosions In The Sky.

OK, it’s not really 10, it’s 15. But Eagle Claw and The Calm Blue Sea count as one, both being from Austin. Same for Irish bands Adebisi Shank and And So I Watch You From Before. And Toe and LITE are both from Japan. Pelican and Russian Circles are both from Chicago and I think they used to share a practice room. Mogwai and Mono are the godfathers of instrumental post rock shit (see also: Slint, Swervedriver, Godspeed You! Black Emperor). From Monuments To Masses was once described as DJ Shadow performing with Fugazi. This playlist is all over the place musically, but it’s instrumental all the way through.

Several bands on this weeks playlist have new records coming out — everyone should be stoked about new music from Caspian, Eagle Claw, and The Calm Blue Sea. But here’s some old stuff in the meantime.

Oh, also, I had the idea for this post before the devastating news that Hydra Head Records is closing its doors after 20 years of putting out some amazing and influential records – records that for sure influenced some if not all of the bands on this playlist. One of the best DIY record labels around. Pouring some out for the homies. RIP Hydra Head Records.

:Mono – Ashes In The Snow: (Hymn To The Immortal Wind)
:Mogwai – Daphne And The Brain: (Hawk Is Howling)
:Caspian – Malacoda: (Tertia)
:And So I Watch You From Afar – A Little Bit Of Solidarity Goes A Long Way: (Self Titled)
:Adebisi Shank – Interntaional Dreambeat: (This Is The Second Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank)
:From Monuments To Masses – Checksum: (On Little Known Frequencies)
:Maserati – No More Sages: (Passages)
:Toe – Path: (Songs, Ideas We Forget)
:LITE – Infinite Mirror: (Phantasia)
:Irepress – Barrageo: (Sol Eye Sea I)
:Russian Circles – Harper Lewis: (Station)
:Pelican – City Of Echoes: (Self Titled)
:Calm Blue Sea – We Happy Few: (Self Titled)
:Eagle Claw – Helm: (Poacher)
:Ghosts And Vodka – Its All About Right Then: (Addicts And Drunks)

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From Waylon To Wu-Tang (James)

August 10, 2012

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Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue is one of the most iconic records in American music, on par with Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller – meaning that, like those other records, it’s available at Urban Outfitters across the country, purchasable by hip college guys and girls everywhere. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it’s probably fair to say Kind of Blue is not only the one Miles Davis record some of these kids know, but quite possibly the only jazz record in their uber-hip vinyl collections. Kind of Blue is nothing short of amazing – but “the most important album in the history of jazz” is just one milestone in Davis’ perpetually groundbreaking career.

This month’s playlist is called 10 Essential Songs by Miles Davis not on Kind of Blue. Some of the trumpeters best cuts are on this playlist. Sivad, off the Live-Evil album, is bombastic funk culled from multiple nights of live jams at Washington D.C.’s Cellar Door and then cut-and-pasted into new tracks in the pre-Ableton fashion of actually cutting and pasting tape reels in the studio (by Davis and longtime producer Teo Macero).

Frelon Brun (Filles de Kilimanjaro, 1968) is probably one of my favorite jazz recordings ever. In hindsight, we know that Miles would eventually embrace electronic instrumentation, changing the face of jazz music (hell, all music) with the game-changing Bitches Brew record. but in 1968, Miles himself didn’t know that – on Filles (and Miles in the Sky, released the same year) you hear the trumpeter and the equally iconic Herbie Hancock first toying with the idea of “going electric.”

There’s also a couple cuts here from Miles’ second great quintet: Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter. Nefertiti, Water Babies, Miles in the Sky … if Miles Davis was a boxer (actually, Miles was a boxer), these albums were his left-handed jabs, softening up his adversary before cold clocking ‘em with the right hook of Bitches Brew, Get Up With It, and On the Corner.

:Miles Davis – Honky Tonk:  (Get Up With It, 1974)
:Miles Davis – Wili (Part 1):  (Dark Magus: Live at Carnegie Hall, 1974)
:Miles Davis – Sivad:  (Live-Evil, 1970)
:Miles Davis – Nefertiti:  (Nefertiti, 1968)
:Miles Davis – Frelon Brun (Brown Hornet):  (Filles de Kilimanjaro, 1968)
:Miles Davis – Splash:  (Water Babies, 1967)
:Miles Davis – Willie Nelson:  (Black Beauty: Live at Fillmore West, 1973)
:Miles Davis – Great Expectations:  (Big Fun, 1970)
:Miles Davis – Paraphernalia:  (Miles in the Sky, 1968)
:Miles Davis – On The Corner – Thinkin’ Of One Thing Doin’ Another – Vote For Miles:  (On the Corner, 1972)

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