To Cargo, earlier this week, for what I think might have been one of my favourite gigs of the year. I wrote about Xylouris White and their "Goats" album a few weeks ago, but even that excellent record was scant preparation for Jim White and George Xylouris' incandescent live show.
To Cargo, earlier this week, for what I think might have been one of my favourite gigs of the year. I wrote about Xylouris White and their “Goats” album a few weeks ago, but even that excellent record was scant preparation for Jim White and George Xylouris’ incandescent live show.
As I tried to explain in that last blog, the roots here are in Cretan folk music, a fact emphasised by the large number of Greek people singing along and, eventually, dancing. Live, though, I kept thinking a lot about Sandy Bull’s duels with Billy Higgins; a sense of folk music being stretched into dynamic new shapes by the rolling explosions of a jazz drummer.
As the songs ebbed and flowed for ten minutes or more, Xylouris and White would hold each other in locked stares. White would raise a drumstick, spin another, mouth some kind of teasing encouragement, and accelerate his playing into something approaching hardcore velocity. Xylouris would respond with a bout of shredding on his lute that reminded me eventually of Sonny Sharrock. Sat hunched over the lute, his playing was so fierce that he ended up having to take a mid-set break, for ten minutes, to change two broken strings. It was all pretty amazing, really.
Here’s this week’s playlist, anyhow. The presence of a new Sun Kil Moon track reminds me to plug the new Uncut, just out in the UK, with my long new Kozelek interview in there. I should also get round to putting together my own 100+ Best Albums Of 2014 list in the next week or so. Bear with me…
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1 Africa Express Presents… – Terry Riley’s In C (Transgressive)
2 Cornershop – Hold On It’s Easy (Ample Play)
3 Ghostface Killah – Double Cross (Feat. AZ) (Tommy Boy)
5 Xylouris White – Goats (Other Music)
6 Schneider Kacirek – Shadows Documents (Bureau B)
7 Sun Kil Moon – The Possum (www.sunkilmoon.com)
8 Duke Garwood – Heavy Love (Heavenly)
9 Various Artists – When I Reach That Heavenly Shore: Unearthly Black Gospel 1926-1936 (Tompkins Square)
10 Brian Eno – Neroli (Thinking Music Part IV) (All Saints)
11 Bitchin’ Bajas – Bitchin’ Bajas (Drag City)
12 The Clang Group – The Clang Group EP (Domino)
13 Silk Rhodes – Silk Rhodes (Stones Throw)
14 David Holmes – ’71: Original Soundtrack (Touch Sensitive)
15 The Pop Group – Citizen Zombie (Freaks R Us)
16 Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear (Bella Union)
17 Curtis Harding – Soul Power (Anti-)
19 Public Service Broadcasting – The Race For Space (Test Card)
20 Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass (Spacebomb)
21 Frazey Ford – Indian Ocean (Nettwerk)
22 Tigran Hamasyan, – Mockroot (Nonesuch)
23 Various Artists – Black Fire! New Spirits! Radical And Revolutionary Jazz In The USA 1967-82 (Soul Jazz)
24 Elephant Micah – Where In Our Woods (Western Vinyl)
Picture: Manolis Mathioudakis