Tuesday, June 19, 2018

“What are you listening to?”

“Is Bill Evans still 'On The Platter'?”

“Yes,” was my immediate reply, followed by a pause. “The others are not.”

“What are you listening to?” is my go-to icebreaker (“What do you do for a living?” and “What are you up to these days?” are average questions that fetch average answers). But when I was asked the question on Sunday, I found myself at a loss for words.

I am listening to a lot of blues these days, albums from the '60s that inspired the bands that once inspired me — “The Three Kings”: Albert King, B.B. King, Freddie King. It amounts to aspirational listening — I'm hoping to graduate from dog-paddling in the kiddie pool to doing the front crawl in the deep end. The listening isn't without pleasure, but the focus of attention on technique tends to keep me cool where once I was prone to fevers of passion.
"Michael rowed the boat ashore, ah-lay...[repositions fingers]...LOOO-yah!"
There are other albums making regular appearances on the “recently played” playlist: In Your Own Sweet Time by The Fratellis; Ámr by Ihsahn; some tracks from the recent Samantha Fish album (wup — we're back in the blues again). These days I'm recycling Led Zeppelin quite often, as well as the older Rush albums, with the occasional Clockwork Angels replay, just to keep it all in perspective.

But mostly I'm listening to podcasts — lots and lots of podcasts. About which, more later...

4 comments:

Rory A.A. Hinton said...

Bill is always on my platter. Sundays are reserved for him (for obvious discographical reasons, among others).

Darrell Reimer said...

Sundays -- yes. It's a rare weekend when he isn't enlisted to put things in proper alignment.

Yahmdallah said...

I was gonna compile a list of songs I've procured lately, but since they're mostly older songs of the jangly, major key, uptempo sort, it seems gratuitous. However, my song scythe these days consists of:

1. Songs my eldest daughter finds, because our tastes align about 80%. (Internal cheering, playing music during her childhood had the affect I'd hoped!)

2. When playing (free) Pandora on the main system, I'll take a picture of the screen when a song rolls by that I like and don't already have. Since we all have our phones nearby, this is the least amount of effort way to accomplish what used to require a pen and paper.

3. I've found a new genre I really like called "Lo-fi Hip Hop." It's essentially hip hop drum loops, samples played cleverly around that frame, and mostly references to older songs, like torch songs and anything with a short, dramatic vocal. It's relaxing and groovy. To experience it yourself, go to youtube and search for the string above; look for the "live" label and turn it up a bit. It has a lot of bass, which I love.

Whisky Prajer said...

Cool lead -- thanks! Reminds me of the 'Mushroom Jazz' I was listening to, back in the Aughts.