Laughter

the human race has one really effective weapon

some record shelves


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The Monthly List: October’s Top 11

Coltrane and Ali playing together

photo of John Coltrane and Rashied Ali by Omar Kharem

I put the monthly list together approximately every four weeks to review the records I’ve enjoyed most in that time. I hear at least 50 or 60 new records (EPs and singles included) every month thanks to my job, but this list isn’t restricted to new music. It’s just a way for me to keep track of what I like and listen to the most, new and old. Albums may repeat themselves from month to month and links are provided for anyone interested in checking the music out themselves (check out the “Get Music” links at the bottom of this page too). This month there are 11 records on the list, eight of them new and three of them from last month. Of the eight new titles, three of them are eMego titles. I have a bunch of new Erstwhile and Gravity Wave cued up for listening too, but haven’t gotten around to all of them yet. That’s what I’ve been listening to the most since November started. Formats listed are the ones I own. Releases may be available in other formats.

October’s 11, in no particular order:

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Brotzmann playing a huge sax


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Morning Wake-Up Call: Peter Brötzmann’s “Machine Gun”

The Peter Brötzmann feature in this month’s issue of Wire magazine has me busting my copy of Machine Gun out again—and admiring the first decent Wire cover in ages. Machine Gun sounds better to me now than it did when I first heard it 14 or 15 years ago, when I was 15 or 16 years old. I remember hearing the opening saxophone blast for the first time and laughing, both out of surprise and because it delivered exactly what the album title promised: a scary, rapid fire blast built up from three saxophonists, two bassists, two drummers, and a lonely pianist. Brötzmann’s intensity and volume is mentioned in nearly every review his music gets (for good reason), but there’s a lot of great humor and subtlety folded into his music too: listen long enough to the song below and you’ll hear what sounds like a riot passing through a football game at a university. The Complete Machine Gun Sessions is currently out of print, but according to the Atavistic website you can find it at places like iTunes or eMusic. Recommended listening.