Monday, July 02, 2007

Pre-July 4th Catching Up

Taking my own sweet time writing... so here are a few random mutterings to get back up to speed... indulge me...

First off, I was psyched to find this clip of the delightful Amy Rigby posted on YouTube this week. From a recent trip to the States from France (where she's been living this past year), playing a Chicago house party while standing in mulch (or so she describes it in her blog), making an acoustic run through her bittersweet "As Is" (from the excellent Middlescence):

And, hey, as long as I was visiting ye ol' Tube, ran a Yo La Tengo search (something one must do every month or so to see what pops up)... here's a fine concert clip from 2003. I'll be catching them at a benefit show in San Francisco later this summer, which is really all I need to help me through a particularly arduous few months at work:

Anyway, speaking of my favorite female singers (see Amy Rigby, above), there are a few must-own archival releases hitting the streets this summer just waiting for you to grab. The late great Judee Sill, an early 70's West Coast folkie who is only now getting the recognition she should have had 30 years ago, is captured in some newly-unearthed BBC recordings from 1972 & 1973. Her odd blend of spirituality and inner pain, filtered through one of the more distinctive set of pipes around, is truly breathtaking. (If you don't have it, by all means pick up The Asylum Years, which compiles the two amazing albums she recorded before her untimely drug-related demise, plus plenty of alternative takes.)

Also getting special treatment this month -- Bay Area indie superstar Barbara Manning, whose early solo work from the late 80s & early 90s is being repackaged as a 3-cd box set with loads of bonus tracks and nice packaging. Some largely acoustic alt.folk-rock, plus some forays into more electric straight-ahead pop rock (but from the angle of a woman with a far more developed and interesting taste in music than your prototypical singer-songwriter). You can buy it at Parasol Records online. (Then go out and buy all her other albums, particularly her amazing work with the SF Seals -- Barbara is one of the coolest figures in 90s indie rock; give her the attention she deserves!)


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