Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Rows and floes of angel hair...

Mr. Keyz recently mentioned that I am obsessed with Balearic and I have to tell you, it's true! I am obsessed with it as a concept, beyond even music, I mean. I associate the Balearic vibe with being a hippy type who's all laid back about stuff and wishes they lived in a grass hut on a tropical beach. I reckon this is a fair association after seeing More by Barbet Schroeder, because Ibiza really was all about being a hippy about stuff, once upon a time. The crazy part is when someone tries to define what Balearic music is, it's really easy to irritate a club loving Manc by proclaiming that such and such a track is Balearic, when in fact the cannon of Balearic music states that the song in question does not meet the criteria according to the Great Charter of 1990, etc, etc. To me it symbolises dance music that is beyond the rules of what we've managed codify on dance floors across the world. When I was a young man Balearic meant one thing and that was freedom. I thought that Saint Etienne was Balearic and I still do. It has been pointed out that only stuff that Alfredo played could really be called Balearic. But the point is that Alfredo seemed to be saying that it was okay to play stuff that was just... cool... and fun... and people are... like... all happy. Both of these tracks are Balearic according to a shop in Manchester, so if you have any complaints refer them to the Vinyl Exchange. The first track is by Joni Mitchell. Mr Keyz lent me a documentary this weekend about Joni's life. Not a lot of people know how great Joni is. There was a song about her on Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth called Hey Joni. I never really understood why until I read somewhere that Thurston and Lee had been greatly influenced by her need to find new chords which resulted in her constant use of alternate tunings. Being a former worshiper at the altar of The Youth I've always been aware of how important alternate tunings are to the sound of Sonic Youth. The thing is that when you actually listen to Joni explain how she came to the point where she started retuning her guitar you realise that you're listening to someone explain how they were forced to find a new language of sound to express what was going on inside their mind. The track Dreamland is from the album (Don Juan's Reckless Daughter) that caused Charles Mingus to call Joni up and request that they work together. Yup, he called her. This track could be classed as world music, which some people credit Joni with inventing. The next song is a really interesting because besides being a Balearic classic (according to the shop in Manchester) it sounds a whole lot like another Joni Mitchell composition, Woodstock. Joni actually missed Woodstock because it would have been too difficult to get her into the festival to perform. So she watched it on TV and wrote the awesome anthem that was covered by Cosby, Stills, Nash and Young on Deja Vu. This track sounds like a tribute to that song to a certain extent, with some nifty synth work at the end. We are stardust, we are golden. Ventura highway in the sunshine, MKRGK.



1 comment:

chris keys said...

Hey Chris, thanks for your first post and let me officially welcome u to A.N.O.E :) Very glad to have u on board.