Jesse Jarnow

recent spins

Though songs from these albums — all older stuff I’ve been digging — have and will likely continue to turn up in Frow Shows and various blog posts, the albums don’t easily lend themselves to mp3ification. Mostly, they’re just brilliant vibes.

And the Hits Just Keep on Comin’ – Michael Nesmith (1972)
The former Monkee, singing and playing acoustic guitar, is accompanied only by pedal steel legend Red Smith. The humor is wry, a backcountry depot in the land of Head and Elephant Parts.

Rev. Louis Overstreet with his sons and the congregation of St. Like’s Powerhouse Church of God in Christ (rec. 1962, rel. 1995)
Great gospel from Arhoolie, found in the FMU archives. There’s a lot here: some beautiful blues (“Two Little Fishes”), ecstatic chants (“Yeah Lord! Jesus Is Able”), and amazing vocals by Overstreet. The warm recording quality puts it totally over the top.

Wow/The Magick Fire Music – Jackie O Motherfucker (2000-2001)
Like a perfectly melodic middle ground between SYR-era Sonic Youth and ’72-’73 Dead jams. I suspect this is the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship. So much more to be had. Hooray for prolific collectives. (Word, Sancho.)

Quarteto Em Cy – Quarteto Em Cy (1972)
Apparently a pre-tropicalia vocal group, this self-titled disc from ’72 is damn well sublime, just endlessly pleasurable: girl group/Beatles harmonies and strange, lush arrangements. Not coming out of the rotation any time soon.

Valborgmassoafton – Yukio Yung (1991)
Wikipedia sez that dude is a crazy prolific mofo, and — from the sound of this disc alone — I believe it. It’s like Devo meets the Mothers. Delicious use of synths, adventurous at every turn, and never predictable: jazz solos with doubled kazoos, fuzzy baroque interludes, Residents-like dance breaks, alien chants… and somehow it all holds together. Maybe it’s the cassette hiss. (Thx, Mutant Sounds, check it there.)


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