Saturday, March 15, 2008

Andy Haas-HUMANITARIAN WAR CD; Radio I-Ching-THE FIRE KEEPS BURNING CD (both available through CD Baby)

I've been getting hold of a lotta CD and even vinyl wares as of late mostly from people who would like me to review their offerings on this webthing, and although I'd love to tell each and every one of you BLOG TO COMM readers about these various platters all in one great lump of a post frankly I don't have the time right now to get into all of this wondrous booty and do it justice. However when I do get a chance I will fill you in on what new listening pleasures I have been subject to, just so's alla you will have the grand opportunity to know which "hip" and "important" records there are out there for you to go out and scarf up before you're reduced to bidding $195.43 for 'em on ebay like I am with many musical mysteries of these past fiftysome years.

Here are a couple I got from none other than Dee Pop of Jazz at Jimmy's fame (and a few udder things) which I believe you all should know about lest you end up even more lumpen prole than I think you already are. And considering that one of these platters is from none other'n Pop's current group (or one of at least ten) while the other features a longtime bandmember in solo setting, what else would you expect Pop to send me...Jan Garber outtakes? HUMANITARIAN WAR is the solo one, and fellow Radio I-Chinger and Hanuman Ensemble player Andy Haas is the guy responsible for it. You may remember Haas from a number of places including his membership in the early eighties Canadian new wave hugga-bunches Martha and the Muffins amongst other things, but as any smart cookie knows right now he's into the avant garde jazz improv bag and man he sure does a good job of doing the one-man band gig without coming off like an effete snob! On HUMANITARIAN WAR, Haas does everything from electronics to fife and a number of more "ethnic" instruments inclulding the shofar. That would figure, because most of the time Haas sounds like the Bar Mitzvah boy blowing his ram horn...right in the middle of the Gaza Strip, but as in Radio I-Ching and the long-gone Hanuman Ensemble Haas doesn't
come off like some kid goof off making noise just to annoy the Mr. Wilson next door! Naw, he turns out a nice, entertaining and dare-I-say pleasant album that I sure can find stimulating, engaging and downrignt brainy even while reading old rock fanzines just-pre-beddy bye time!

True it can get a bit cacophonistic (yeah, I know there's no such word but it sure sounds swell!) and perhaps HUMANITARIAN WAR isn't for some of you meeker readers, but I find this solo improv with elements of jazz and rock tossed about a lot more exhilarating than a load of the one-man jackoff music that I used to get inundated with during the so-called glory days of cassette culture. And true, this disque is (believe-it-or-not) a politically conscious platter dealing with the ruins of war which makes the thing rather contemporary even though all of a sudden the Iraqi situarion's been bumped off the front pages and into the classifieds, but I'm sure anyone who reads this blog'll like it even if they tend to have some sorta hawkish streak embedded into their DNA. Nice motives with this 'un but hey Andy, how are you gonna sell these things when peace breaks out? Oh yeah, the way things are going you better have a thousand year supply'll be making more moolah once they stretch this thing out, savvy?

As one-third of Radio I-Ching, Haas has laid down a good ethno-electronic backdrop for this current-day avant/improv/jazz group that of course hasn't gotten nary a notice from the rock-headed press that's more concerned with Britney Whazername and all the rest of these new age Jenny Linds at the expense of real-life high energy music! Too bad, but that's no excuse for you to miss out on Radio I-Ching's latest endeavor, yet another great rock/jazz improv setting where Haas along with Don Fiorino and of course Mr. Dee Pop himself do their darndest to bring some of the best musical classics of the past up to date along with some original material that surely knows how to soothe more than savage beasts. Those you you who liked LAST KIND WORDS, Radio I-Ching's debut splatter from '06, will be sure to like this as well which has more of a mideast bent to it (perhaps keeping in line with Haas' war-themed disque?) that sounds strangely enough 1950s exotica even with the patented avant skeweredness jolting you back into lower Manhattan reality. Between Haas's saxophone and electronics (as well as "Piri", which Wikipedia defines more or less as a Korean oboe), Fiorino's various guitar and banjo pluckings and Pop's free drumming you're in store for a nice free musical excursion unheard since...those old cybercasts of the even newer jazz that we used to catch at the CBGB Lounge every Sunday night. (In fact, I could swear that a few of these numbers, perhaps the re-do of Captain Beefheart's "Abba Zabba" or even Alfred Neuman's "Moon Over Manakoora" sounded very similar to the long-missing Noisetet, another jazz-cum-rock group whose cybercasts at the CBGB Lounge were so intensely entertaining that I woulda sworn they coulda played the main stage and held their own!)

CD Baby has both of these available as well as the previous Radio I-Ching offering in case you, like me, tend to make procrastination a high art. All are highly recommended and perhaps a nice addition to your "all-encompassing" record/CD collection. Well, you can do worse, and if you do want to may I recommended a number of blogs out there than can just help you accomplish that task withough nary a drop of sweat?!?

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