As we begin another fall semester with another Fall Membership Drive, I am struck by how much of a blessing it is to be part of the WDBX community. What a privilege it is to be able to share this wonderful music with our listeners!
We begun the show tonight with a few tracks from Dredg. This fine band from San Francisco has made St. Louis a regular part of their tour itinerary, and they do do a wonderful show. We did three songs from them: Hung Over on a Tuesday (from 2005’s Catch Without Arms), I Don’t Know and Pariah (both from The Parrot, The Pariah and the Delusion, from 2009).
I do enjoy the opportunity to play some big band when the inspiration hits – big band is a big part of my technical background. We started the set with a few from the great bandleader and showman from the early big band era, Cab Calloway – Minnie the Moocher, The Man from Harlem and Harlem Camp Meeting. Extending the Big Band set a bit, we then heard a couple songs from the great trumpeter-turned-bandleader, Harry James, his Two O’Clock Jump (inspired by Count Basie’s One O’Clock Jump) and ‘Taint What You Do (It’s The Way That Cha Do It), both of which naturally featured strong trumpet lines. We then heard a couple of classic Benny Goodman tunes, Stompin’ At The Savoy and These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You), before concluding the big band set with a couple Glenn Miller classics, Pennsylvania 6-5000 and In The Mood.
I received word this week of the issue of a remastered version of a classic bit of electronica, the Art of Noise‘s (Who’s Afraid of?) The Art of Noise. This innovative recording, which introduced some of the same sampling technology that is still used today, helped demonstrate the creative potential for electronic music while simultaneously creating some wonderfully memorable music. Interestingly enough, the Art of Noise’s roots rest in the one hit group The Buggles, whose song and video “Video Killed The Radio Star” was the first video played on MTV. While I’ve not yet been able to acquire the remaster for the Art of Noise album (which apparently contains quite a bit of bonus material), it is still worthwhile to hear some of the material that is currently available to me. Tonight we heard Close (To the Edit) and Moments in Love.
Next we heard a lovely set of piano pieces by Erik Satie, his Gnossiennes. Composed relatively early in his career in 1890, these works serve as a scintillating example of how beauty can be found in simplicity. Satie was a bit of an eccentric, yet at the same time he was a man who completely devoted himself to the pursuit of an aesthetic ideal, the very sort of aesthetic achieved in the finely sculpted notes of this piece. There are many classical composers who are widely celebrated, but I think that Satie may be one of the more under-appreciated of composers. Indeed, his work might be considered to be a direct ancestor to some of the numerous varieties of low-key works (i.e. ambient music) which are made today. Tonight’s music comes from a lovely 2008 recording from Claire Chevallier on the harmonia mundi label.
One of the best live recordings from the mid-80s was U2’s “Live Under a Blood Red Sky”. The recording was actually an EP, a condensation of a larger feature that was recorded for broadcast on MTV, which was recently packaged with the remastered EP for a deluxe edition. For many folks, this is how they became aware, and turned on to, U2, when they viewed the video broadcast. Indeed, the performances of songs such as Sunday Bloody Sunday, Electric Co and New Year’s Day are considered definitive for these songs, years after the fact. Tonight we heard Gloria, 11 O’Clock Tick Tock and I Will Follow.
We closed tonight’s show with a couple songs from Neil Young, Old Man and Down By The River.