Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Well, I finally went and dood what I told you that I was going to dood and stuffed my recent Forced Exposure order with a whole stinkin' slew of Loren Mazzacane Connors disques. Unfortunately most of the ones I had selected weren't in stock (FE has a habit of failing to delete certain items from their online catalog long after they've sold out ne'er to be restocked again) but i did manage to latch onto a few which I gotta admit have brightened up a comparatively dismal autumn lacking in gorgeous high energy wonderment to keep my mind occupied between mulching leaves and "winterizing" the place. Sure is a change in attitude from a good twenny or so years back when I thought this MazzaCane guy was just the latest in a long line of artsy decadents getting hyped by the equally artsy decadent types at your favorite "'zine" in between rants for the latest in amerindie codswallop and oh-so-pertinent political piousness above and beyond the call of Lenin.

It would take a few dozen Meltzers to sift through the 90+ recordings that Connors has released since the seventies and be it far from me to tackle this herculean task. How about if you just settle for these recent acquisitions instead which I think give a good cross section of the entire Connors oeuvre at its varied best. And by best I mean that I was actually able to keep myself glued to the baby boom box through these releases and in one sitting as well, and that's more than I could say for those extremely brittle and irritating Connors sides that Bob Forward sent me awhile back which I thought were way beyond the ken of BTC comprehension to really enjoy (at least during this time in my life when I could use a little more security and comfiness). Though don't be too discouraged Bob, since I get the feeling that I will be spinnin' and slappin' knee to those platters you sent once these recent gobble ups have made their way through my aural intestinal tract and have settled in like a tasty hunk of macaroni and cheese.

Of the batch I find IN TWILIGHT (Alien8) the most engaging, probably because I have already been enamored ot the first of these two tracks when it appeared on Youtube under the title "The Hymn of the North Star" (scroll down, as they say). I find this live rendition to be every bit as elegant and as stark as THE MARBLE INDEX and other music made for the introspective bedroom creep in all of us. The cavernous live sound also helps, giving off the aura that this was recorded in some school gym to an audience of about ten artsy types who clap in approval even though this stuff is about as alien to them as paying taxes or wiping up afterwards. The duo with bassist Matthew Heyner recorded live at NYC's Cooler (presented here as "Part 2") is gloriously cacophonous but part of the "whole" I guess as Connors approaches atonal acid freakrock territory whilst Heyner more or less keeps up with his 3-D John Cale sound slabs. Fans of the Bruce Anderson/Dale Sophiea O-Type and solo recordings would undoubtedly understand the sound shards and distortion extant. An outta-the-way surprise from a man whose backlog of recordings contain a lotta surprises that I'm sure even I haven't thought up yet.

Based on the Hans Christian Andersen weeper, THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL (Road Cone) is one platter that you think would turn me off given the intense subject matter. Actually, no. Connors plays slow and burning intense on the electric here and for all I care this one could be about Dave Lang's cootie infestation 'stead of the soon to be cadaver of a child. At times an Andrew Burnes helps out on guitar while a Neel Murgai handles a daf (think a large tambourine that sounds like a thunder sheet) giving Connors' playing a little added (and perhaps "psychedelic") push. Another interesting feather in the already pluckful cap of the one called MazzaCane.

Forgive me if the Connors Cee-Dee repackages of the albums done in conjunction with vocalist Kath Bloom don't exactly excite me the way they would you, but I just can't abide by what I'm sure the likes of Billy Miller would call hippie mewlings no matter how chic it might be with some of you ex-punks out there. Sheesh, I know that maybe there is some "worth" and "value" to these '84 recordings (RESTLESS FAITHFUL DESPERATE/MOONLIGHT on the Chapter Music/St. Joan imprint) but I'm not quite buying the acoustic blues folk stylings of Connors backing Bloom's post-Joni/Joanie warbles. Hokay, I know that I'm supposed to be a more open-minded fellow or at least everybody is telling me that I should be, and even some of my fave stalwarts like Nick Kent and Peter Laughner were apt to delve deep into these waters many of us would find tepid so I will say this...some nice guitar tweeks here thanks to Connors and at times the emotive nature can be interesting enough, but I get enough fiber in my breakfast cereal without having to hear a femme folkie feel like being a li'l neurotic these days.

But surprisingly enough I really cozied up to THE ENCHANTED FOREST (Secretly Canadian) done in conjunction with a Suzanne Langille whose breathy moans conjure up (aural) visions of Patty Waters on her softer yet intensely tingling numbers. Yet another concept disque of sorts based on the book and movie of the same name, this is one not to be scared away from considering the three strikes against it; subject matter, concept of it being a "concept album" and in a folkie idiom. Frankly the film (starring Edmund Lowe) looks like one of those snoozers that I'd sit through in order to watch the cartoon that would fill the hour out but this one has Connors oozing magnificent is standardly dischordant tones while Langille moans (as opposed to warbles) way deeper and more soothing than Bloom; definitely a better match up of talent. Unlike the Connors/Bloom pairing this isn't Saturday morning at five AM College Radio folkie fodder between the dulcimer twanging froth! And the lyrics for once are enveloping enough to make you wanna know, heck even care what she's singing! (Also hot on the BTC Hit Parade is CRUCIBLE [Black Label, dist. by Forced Exposure] with Langille on occasional warble and Connors playing sublime and nervy making a good soundtrack for one of my bouts with death mirror staring.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris,
If you haven't od'd on all those Loren's by now, and haven't heard "The Departing of a Dream" that's my personal favorite. Reminds me of Miles Davis's "He loved Him Madly" for some reason. I'm keeping up with your writing. Great piece on O Rex, Flaming Groovies, etc etc too.
Steve P (DSL,12CD,JAS)