The Hope Six Demolition Project

PJ-Harvey---The-Hope-Six-Demolition-Project-(2016)

 

My birthday came early this year with the April release of PJ Harvey’s 11th album The Hope Six Demolition Project. Once again, Polly Jean removes the frills, glam and make-up and gets down in the dirt to tackle some fairly squalid subject matter. Harvey strikes uneasy chords combining avant-garde jazz saxophone wales with her signature guitar and drums on songs like Ministry of Defense and The Wheel. She also creates moving spiritual chants on songs like Chain of Keys and River Anacostia.  Hope Six is raw, hard hitting filled with stark bitting lyrical imagery. It takes you to the abject poverty and destruction of the middle east, through the ruins of Kosovo and Afghanistan and then drops you right down Near the Memorials To Vietnam and Lincoln in the heart of our own decaying capital – Washington DC. This album is not just good, it is serious good, heavy stuff delivered with PJ Harvey style and tenacity.

“Wade in the water, God’s gonna trouble the water…”

If you prefer your alternative pop sweet and sugar coated, this is not for you. The Hope Six Demolition Project goes down like a stiff drink and it is by far my favorite album of 2016. It’s volatile cloth is cut very much in the same vein as Lou Reed’s New York. It will move you and open your eyes no matter how rose colored your glasses may be. Stream it for yourself and see. Enjoy!

 

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Hot Rats

HotRats

 

In 69 Frank Zappa fires the Mothers of Invention and creates one of the first rock-jazz albums.

Hot Rats
01 – Peaches En Regalia
02 – Willie The Pimp
03 – Son Of Mr. Green Genes
04 – Little Umbrellas
05 – The Gumbo Variations
06 – It Must Be A Camel

Not enough? How about Chunga’s Revenge

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Can’t Buy a Thrill

SteelyDan-Cant_Buy_a_Thrill

 

I went and saw Steely Dan this past weekend. What can I tell ya? What a show! Fagen and Becker sound better than ever. With so many great songs to choose from, “Bodhisattva” remains the centerpiece of Steely Dan’s live shows. I can see why. They had the crowd up on their feet with that one. All in all, with a 13 piece band including backing vocals by the Danettes there was plenty of sound to go around the set list that included four from Aja, three from Gaucho, three from Countdown to Ecstasy, but only two from their debut. I think I got to go back, Jack and Do It Again.

Today’s Runner is Can’t Buy a Thrill from 1972. With its Zappa like cover art ala Uncle Meat, this album is a tightly constructed recording of finely written pop tunes including hits; Reeling in the Years, Dirty Work, Kings and Midnight Cruiser to name a few.

“You’ve been telling me you were a genius since you were 17, In all the time I’ve known you, I still don’t know what you mean. The weekend at the collage didn’t turn out like you planned, the things they pass for knowledge I can’t understand.”

Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva, Look out!

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In A Silent Way

miles-in-a-silent-way

 

It’s About That Time . . . to put on some Miles.

One album, Two songs
Shhh / Peaceful
In A Silent Way / It’s About That Time

1968/69 – This is the pivotal album in which Miles transitions to electric instruments, adding to his quintet a third keyboardist, Joe Zawinul, and John McLaughlin’s electric guitar. Davis, influenced at this time by Hendricks and Sly and the Family Stone, here lays the groundwork for his transformation into the 1970’s, fusing jazz with rock to create the funkier grooving sound that would take him through the next decade.

Run / Bike / Enjoy!

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Sco-Mule

Sco-Mule

 

 

If you like guitars, Rock, and Jazz you’re gonna love this! Today’s runner is Sco-Mule. Veteran southern rockers – Gov’t Mule team up with jazz guitar great – John Scofield for a live performance reminiscent of a classic Jeff Beck show.

There is something for everyone in this collaboration. Warren Haynes brings the rocking blues while Scofield swings and bops and together they cook great interpretations of Wayne Shorter’s Tom Thumb, James Brown as well as originals by both these two guitar masters. Add in some funky keyboard work by Dan Matrazzo, and the late Allen Woody’s concrete bass and you have a recipe for a gritty, soulful performance. Kind Of Bird!

Reserve this one for one of those long runs. It clocks in at 2-1/2 hours of hard bopping, foot pounding swagger and strut!

Enjoy it, and then buy it!

SCO-MULE
1-Hottentot
2-Tom Thumb
3-Doing It To Death
4-Birth of the Mule
5-Sco-Mule
6-Kind of Bird

1-Pass the Peas
2-Devil Likes It Slow
3-Hottentot (Alternate Version)
4-Kind of Bird (Alternate Version)
5-Afro Blue

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aja

SteelyDan-aja

 

In Today’s Runner, Becker and Fagen work the guitar, drums, and saxophone into a beautifully textured exotic island jewel. Aja from start to finish paints a portrait as lush as the sugar cane and coffee fields which spread across the western hills of Maui, and like the ocean, I could listen to it and run on and on forever…

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