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randwolf

Recent listening

The political news is, as I imagine my readers know, horrible. So what to write? Obviously some short CD reviews! These were what I found at Everyday Music, over a period of a few weeks; I've had this journal entry half-finished for a while, and decided to finally push this entry out, before it loses all relevance to my life.

Flutar: Dreams of Suchitlán (available from CD Baby, king of the long tail)
The Nahua word in the title caught my attention (Suchitlán means "town of flowers"), and it sounded good enough buy. It was more than good enough. Flutar is a DC-area duo, Joseph Cunliffe, flautist & Giorgia Cavallaro, guitarist. Dreams contains a mix of folk and new music. It's quite lovely, and some of the combinations of music and instrumentation are surreal; imagine English country dances played by an Andean flute and classical guitar.

Crosby Stills and Nash: Daylight Again
Buffalo Springfield (or is that Crosby Stills Nash and Furey?), Buffalo Springfield Again
Bought in a fit of '60s nostalgia, these two CDs contain some truly wonderful songs, and some real clinkers. They bracket Crosby Stills Nash and Young's period of fame and influence. The CDs (these were albums, once) combines driving rock rhythms, blues, country, and European melodies, and elliptical, literate lyrics (elliptical was pretty common, literate much less so). All the Buffalo Springfield (this was the second) albums were important 1960s recordings, setting the stage for the politic- and culture-defining songs of Crosby Stills Nash and Young. Daylight Again was recorded long after that heady period, but still has a few genuinely powerful songs (two hits: Wasted on the Way and Southern Cross: "The truth you might be running from is so small/But it's as big as the promise, the promise of a coming day") and a lot of forgettable material. I'm glad to have these bits of my past back, but I am put very much in mind of Leslie Fish's "Chickasaw Mountain", nominally about Phil Ochs, but which might serve as an epitaph for so many excellent 1960s musicians: "Sang to the end of the war/And not a moment more."

The Corrs, Talk on Corners
And now for something completely different: near-current top 40. The Corrs (three Irish sisters and a brother: Sharon, Caroline, Andrea and Jim Corr) write and perform bouncy dance music. I'm a sucker for this stuff, if it's at all well done, and this is very well done: Andrea Corr has an extraordinary voice, and they are all very good performers. The song lyrics are mostly pretty good love songs directed at young women, and the music sometimes dissolves into reels and jigs. Best things on this album as far as I am concerned, though, are the covers of Stevie Nicks's Dreams and Jimi Hendrix's Little Wing; the performances and musical depth of the band members, especially Andrea Corr's singing and Sharon Corr's fiddling, make these two very different rock standards shine.

Maybe something more political or more personal next time--right now I need to be going to bed.


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