Jesse Jarnow

recent spins

Product that has expired as product, too good not to mention.

Lothar and the Hand People – Lothar and the Hand People (1968)
I sometimes think I could only download psych LPs from 1968 and never run out. That’s not to say that they’re all really good. Some are mad generic. But Lothar and the Hand People’s self-titled debut is really good. Incredibly catchy (sounds like the Velvets sometimes), plenty weird (theremin, electronics). Top notch.

What Is!? – King Khan and His Shrines (2007)
Likewise, ’68 garage-psych revival bands seem a dime a dozen (or less, if one’s jacking wifi from the neighbors), but pretty much every song on What Is!? is a total winner. The organs are exactly right, the choruses even more so.

Stardust – Willie Nelson (1978)
I’m beginning what I imagine will be a long, fruitful relationship with the music of Willie Nelson. Besides the spare Crazy demos from ’59, this is what’s grabbed me most: Willie doing Tin Pan Alley standards. A stoned sweetness in the cosmic neighborhood of Ray Charles and Jerry Garcia and Richard Manuel (see below). Jah bless.

Whispering Pines: Live at the Getaway 1985 – Richard Manuel (rec. 1985, rel. 2002)
Been on a Music From Big Pink lately, fueled heavily by John Niven’s entry in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, whose central haunt is provided by the late Richard Manuel. Whispering Pines was recorded in a Florida club, six months before Manuel hung himself in a motel room. Played on a cocktail hour synth, the music is as distant and sweet as ever. Love the Ray Charles covers.

In My Own Time – Karen Dalton (1971)
Unfathomable loveliness. Billie Holiday with a banjo. Though Dalton despised the schmaltzed up studio arrangements—she was a Village folkie, after all–I think I love them. Her voice practically calls out for syrupy strings, for redeeming fantasias.