It's been a busy week.  I've been playing open mics in preparation for my show this Thursday at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3.  You can buy tickets and find out more about the show here.

I thought I was going to be able to share some pretty big news tonight about some changes in my life...but, alas, the soonest I can speak publicly about it is now tomorrow...so you'll have to be patient, and wait for next week's installment.

I know I'm mostly speaking to myself here...but I'm OK with that.  My therapist assures me it's compleeeeeeetly normal.

 

078: DJ Shadow - Endtroducing..... (1996)

I was turned on to this record back in 2000 by a DJ friend of mine.  I fell in love with it then--it was unlike anything I'd ever heard.  The combination of spoken word, sound collage, scratching, and the general hip-hop vibe (without any rap) was very new to me then.

DJ Shadow's scavenging has become legendary.  He did a segment in the documentary "Scratch" that was pretty fascinating.  I especially love his comment about how these piles of records (in his favorite local used vinyl shop) represents all of the broken dreams of artists who, at one point, believed they were the best.  And now, few of them are still making music.  It's this humility of his that I really respect.

I also read the 33 1/3 volume dedicated to this record--in my attempt to single-handedly keep this publisher in business.  

I really enjoyed learning about DJ Shadow (Josh Davis) in his developmental years.  He was so far ahead of the curve on this cut-and-paste sound that became more prevalent in the early 2000's (i.e. The Avalanches and RJD2).  This book was great about detailing each step in his evolution from early hip-hop enthusiast to hobbyist to start-up to innovative professional.  The book was the first I've read in the series that was really mostly an interview transcript--most of the words directly from conversations with Davis.

As for the music, I really enjoyed listening to it again this week.  The tracks I love:

  • Building Steam With a Grain of Salt
  • Changeling
  • What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 4)
  • Stem/Long Stem
  • Mutual Slump
  • Midnight in a Perfect World
  • What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 1 -- Blue Sky Revisit)

077: Derek and The Dominos -- Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs (1970)


I had never heard this record...and to be honest, the first time I heard it, there was little to no love.  I read somewhere that one of the notable aspects of this album was how understated it was...but I thought it was a dueling guitar record--too much going on.

That feeling subsided a bit on subsequent listenings--but I would never call this record understated.

It's a damn long album at 76 minutes.  On my busy weeks--that just gets me cranky from the start.

Songs I do like:

  • Keep On Growing
  • I Am Yours
  • Layla

 

Verdict

I really like Endtroducing.  I came to understand and appreciate DJ Shadow (Josh Davis) more this week by reading the 33 1/3 book and by watching his segment on the Scratch documentary.  He is a very thoughtful and capable artist.  I do think he pioneered the cut-and-paste thing, and paved the way for other acts I love like The Avalanches (self-titled) and RJD2 (Deadringer) and Lemon Jelly (Lost Horizons).  

I guess this project has definitively confirmed for me that I do not like Blues.  Perhaps one day my view will change...and honestly, I hope it will...I want to be one those guys that's really into the blues...I'm just not there yet.

Up Next

075: De La Soul -- 3 Feet High & Rising (1989)
071: Wilco -- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)

Want to listen ahead, or see some posts you may have missed?  Check out the full list of the 100 Greatest Albums here.

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