Archive for January, 2007
As the first two titles from YETI Publications near completion, the first one's now up on Amazon and ready for pre-order: Russian Lover by Jana Martin. It's a collection of short stories from the upstate-New York-based writer.
Also, Greil Marcus is writing the introduction to our second title, out late Spring/ early summer: Kill All Your Darlings by Luc Sante. And Patrick Barber is designing the cover just now, which has a sweet painting on it by Francesco Clemente.
The other two YETI titles which will be out at the end of the year, Mike Doughty's Eritrean photo book and Tara Jane O'Neil's art book will both be 6" by 6" full color hardcover titles with CDs inside them. Rachel Carns has signed on to design those.
Pre-order Jana's book at a sweet discount here.
Well the Music Appreciation Society people are AWESOME and the event was sort of a d.i.y. sweet, Canadian mini-pop conference. I am also psyched about the Seattle Art Museum's sculpture park -- it's free and a pretty nifty use of public space. Lily concluded a month's long search for jeans that fit at the Seattle Rack, we both saw some friends and I only had one cup of Vivace, but I guess I just feel like I get coffee at least as good as that here in Portland every day so I do not need to go all the way out of the way simply to drink down a cup of ristretto in five seconds.
The image up there is by Jason T. Miles and Tony Remple, a two color job done at Zak Sally's awesome La Mano Press. You can buy it off of Jason's blog for ONLY SIX BUCKS, if I read correctly.
PS: I have no way to post or host files right now so no music for a bit -- and eventually this blog will go over to the YETI site sometime this year but will of course post messages saying that here when that happens, OK.
Ack, links not working today for some reason so go here for Jason T. Miles' site yes: http://drinkmeink.blogspot.com/
Hope you had a groovy MLK day. Me, I guess I have a sinus cold? Man this thing is weird because I only have a few symptoms. Makes it hard to get work done, but then so did the actual snow which fell and stuck on the ground this morning -- several inches worth, very rare for Portland! I'ts still a winter wonderland outside, now -- the stuff stayed stuck!
My girl and I ventured out this afternoon as her school was cancelled (though she didn't know until she got there this AM, and it took her many hours to figure out none of the buses were working properly as despite the fact it began snowing at 3 or 4 this morning not a one had chains on their tires so she took the light rail home instead which leaves off a mile and a half away). It's weird how I was able to not feel sick for that hour and a half we went outside: angels were made, snowballs flung, feet slipped and slid, hooray.
So, of course since I'm illing I start flipping around on YouTube looking at the Yardbirds and the Move and Fred McDowell and Rev. Louis Overstreet and Rev. Charlie Jackson. I only give YT a few more months before all this great content disappears; it's too good to last, you know? Anyway, I love this clip of the Swan Silvertone Singers. Seeing Claude Jeter and Louis Johnson pass the mic back and forth like that is amazing. I really really would love to see more. I've watched this a dozen times already, holy frijole.
I'm headed to Seattle this weekend to participate in this thing happening Saturday, January 20th, at 2 PM in the Henry Auditorium. Unfortunately it's $8 for Henry Members / $10 General: A Listening Event and Panel Discussion with Rodney Graham and Special Guests. “Join artist/musician Rodney Graham, The Music Appreciation Society’s Kathy Slade and Brady Cranfield, and special guests Rich Jensen, Mike McGonigal, and Meghan Seling as they trade opinions on choice picks from popular music and art.”
So, near as I can tell, I'll play a song and talk about it for fifteen minutes or so and then these other folks (all famous Vancouver artistes in town for their Fri. night show at the Henry, plus Rich from the most excellent Clear Cut Press, and surely you know Meghan from theStranger) will do the same thing. And after that we'll talk/ argue/panel-ize about music and art or something? I hope it will be fun and not at all friggin' Sarah Vowell/ McSweeney's-y despite the thing being called what it is, which to me sounds pretty Sarah Vowell/ McSweeney's-y, but maybe it's that I've had a sinus headache for two days, and am perhaps a tad grumpy as a result.
My song will be the BEST of course. It was recorded almost exactly eighty years ago and consists of voice, guitar and finger cymbals. If you live in Seattle and want to stop by and pelt me with popcorn, please do so. If you live in Seattle but do not want to spend ten bucks to go to this thing, I do not fault you, one bit. I mean, if it were me, I'd be still asleep at 2PM on Saturday... Or watching a matinee of Children of Men to try to catch more of the details in the newspapers-on-the-wall scene.
I'm writing 'cause now that the Loveless book is finally out, I'm starting on the next one, on sanctifiedd blues.
Aside from a few chapters here and there in histories of blues or gospel (most notably/ excellently in Paul Oliver's Songsters & Saints) I've had trouble finding much info. about this type of stuff. There's not a single book that addresses sanctified blues. So, I'm starting to write one about it, myself. I do not pretend to be an expert on this material, FYI; I just have to know more about it and do not see any other way, really.
In the case of a dozen or so artists, there is quite a bit known, of course: Washington Phillips thanks to Michael Corcoran, and in the cases of Rev. Louis Overstreet and Bishop Perry Tillis I myself was able to find people to talk to about them/ their work. But with, say, Luther Magby, whose sole 78 is mind-bending, I can't find more than a few sentences here and there.
I'm thinking of calling the thing 'BUKED & SCORNED: The YETI Field Guide to Sanctified Blues & Gritty Gospel, 1922-Present (yeah, unwieldy/ unoriginal title, I know). The format will be that of a classic field guide: color innards, rounded pages, plastic cover, everything (there will be other 'Field Guides,' including a photo-heavy guide to 'American ruins' - old and abandoned factories, hospitals etc., with info. on how to break into them and spelunk about). The plan is to have an awesome introductory 80 minute disc with the book, the gospel blues one I mean.
I'm really psyched about it. At first I felt like maybe I'd bitten off more than I could chew. But now I'm just breaking it down into little entries and starting on them, with help from the little bits of info. found on places like the liners on the back of the Origin's fabulous In the Spirit LP collections or inside the essential book Blues & Gospel Records 1890-1943.
Not sure if there is much interest/ audience in this, but it seems like Fahey's excellent (if poorly titled) American Primitive Vol. 1 sold pretty well. So maybe there is some sort of audience? We'll see.
Following's the raw list of artists that I'm starting with. I know it's long. I know this post is already long. I know it will take me longer to get this thing done than I think it will. But if anyone has suggestions about other artists to consider, or has xeroxes of articles about any of these peeps from old issues of Livin' Blues or anything, I'll totally love you for that info. and pay for xeroxes, whatever... I will love you and pay you! (What's that called again?)
Just groping about in the dark to find stuff out. Here's my working artist list: sanctified blues musicians/ players of raw bluesy gospel/ guitar evangelists/ bluesy streetcorner gospel shouters/ predominantly blues musicians who also recorded & performed significant songs of a spiritual bent.Elder Charles Beck
Richard "Rabbit" Brown
Rev. Pearly Brown
Elder Richard Bryant
Sam Butler AKA "Bo Weavil Jackson"
Rev. E.D. Campbell
the Campbell Brothers
Clarence Clay & William Scott
Rev. Edward Clayborn "the Guitar Evangelist"
Dennis Crumpton & Robert Summers
Rev. Gary Davis
Blind Willie Davis
Thomas A. Dorsey
Duckett & Norwood
Brother Willie Eason
Brother Claude Ely
Sister Callie Fancy
Rev. Lonnie Farris
Blind Mamie Forehand
Rev. J.M. Gates
Aubrey Ghent (how much of the 'Sacred Steel' artists, if any, to include?)
Blind Roosevelt Graves
Blind Arvella Gray
Holy Ghost Sanctified Singers
William "Blind Willie" Harris
Eddie Head & His Family
Jessie Mae Hemphill
Jessie May Hill
Mississippi John Hurt
Rev. Charlie Jackson
Blind Lemon Jefferson
Rev. A. Johnson
Blind Willie Johnson
Prof. Johnson & His Gospel Singers
Elder Otis Jones
Alfred G. Kanes
Louisville Sanctified Singers
Rev. Moses Mason
Mississippi Fred McDowell
Rev. F.W. McGee
Memphis Sanctified Singers
Sister Mary M. Nelson
Blind Gussie Nesbit
Rev. Louis Overstreet
Charley Patton AKA Elder J.J. Hadley
Sister Lottie Peavy
Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Singers (? – not sure how much to enter into preacher and congregation type artists – whether to just use a few who are really bluesy or just to forego them entirely?)
Rev. D.C. Rice
Homer Quincy Smith
Rev. Utah Smith
William & Versey Smith
Blind Joe Taggart
Sister Ola Mae Terrell
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Two Gospel Keys
Bishop Perry Tillis
Rev. I.B. Ware (with Wife and Son)
Rev. Charles White AKA James Butler
Bukka White AKA Washington White