Good Music We Can Know

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"An Allegorical Meaning Beyond Ordinary Usage From the Nature of a Flower": John Renbourn- The Lady and the Unicorn (1970)

I would love to say more about this sublime offering from John Renbourn but I have a headache like Phineas Gage on this fine day so I will be brief.  I have listened to this LP so many times and it never fails.  So beautiful, simple, and enduring. Especially exquisite is "Lamento di Tristan/La Rotta" which features, to wonderful effect, both sitar and glockenspiel.

"This record contains a variety of instrumental pieces including medieval music, folk tunes, and early classical music.... I have not presumed to reproduce early music as it would originally have been played, but hope nevertheless that the qualities of the music can be enjoyed, though interpreted as they are on more recent instruments."
-John Renbourn


PS: I'd like to sincerely express an enmity for everyone involved with the new Blogger interface.  Plainly and simply, I wish each one of you intense discomfort and dissatisfaction with your lives and life's work.  Go to hell, may your children resent you, and your funeral go wholly unattended. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Musica de el Campo: Roberto Cantoral- Hijo Malo (19??)

Hijo Malo, the Bad Son. Sterling old-school Mexican country music from the esteemed Roberto Cantoral. Shimmering guitars, a prairie echo, and that high lonesome wail-- the campesino yodel, a coyote call-- abound. Total Mexican cowboy stuff, and it wouldn't be wrong to compare it to something like Sons of the Pioneers or Gene Autry-- although there's a vitality and wildness here, along with a miles-deep romantic streak, that makes it rather especially invigorating. In its way, this is a pretty perfect record.

Especially excellent is the track "El Caballo" (which I had to put on one of the Jungle Shadows comps), with a sublime interplay between swirls of organ and cowboy yodels/coyote yips emerging from the murky quality in a very special alchemy, making it among the greatest songs of its type that I've ever heard-- although I hasten to point out that the rest of the record is consistent with "El Caballo" in terms of style and quality. Alas, mi español es muy malo, y solo tengo un poco poquito, so I can't speak to Mr. Cantoral's lyrical strengths in any helpful way. But the sound is so exactly right, my friends. Please enjoy.

Originally got this one, years ago, from this site. All the links are dead there now, but credit where it is due. Gracias, señor, whoever you are.


Speaking of Mexican music, I'm looking for a quality rip of Juan Manuel's Caballero- Songs of Old Mexico from the "Adventures in Sound" series. I have a torn-up vinyl copy that I treasure (it's a really good record, in my opinion), but it's no good to rip from. Help Brother Flash out if you can, friends.