Favorite Video of the Week: Ornette Coleman

Ornette Coleman-Times Square

In the early 90s, mainly due to the influence of my cooler hipper friends and because of the bands we were listening to at the time, I became a semi-follower of the free jazz genre. I can’t say I really enjoyed listening to most of the records I collected but there was something about the music that kept me interested. I think it was the moment when the dissonant chaos turned into discordant melody – it was those little hooks that always pulled me in.

Ornette Coleman was one of my favorite free jazz artists, I tried my best to get into the stylings of musicians like the Brötzmanns but I admit, it’s the fellas from this side of the world I found more palatable. Eric Dolphy and improv master Pharoah Sanders are also favorites.

I love this clip and how the song starts off funky and we’re all thinking it’s time to shake your booty but then quickly turns into Coleman’s notorious all over the place crazy sax. If Los Angeles is to be represented by a type of jazz, I say Ornette Coleman would be the sound of the city with a little Poncho Sanchez thrown in for good measure.

By the way, as I was writing this post and listening to Ornette Coleman, a friend walked by and asked “What happened? Did your computer freeze?” referring to the song. Har har.

Dog Faced Hermans-Timebomb

Bonus! A song by Dog Faced Hermans who were one of the bands I mentioned earlier that were very influenced by Ornette Coleman and who through their music, led me to the world of free jazz. Seeing Dog Faced Hermans play live was an unforgettable experience.

Una Palabra Muy Fuerte

Another oldie from the myspace files:


We were eating in Chico’s and this “Hispanic Businessman” type was sitting alone trying to pick up on the waitress. He was putting on airs and trying to teach her English vocabulary. Surprisingly, she seemed kinda interested in his bullshit. He then told her with great authority and seriousness: “La palabra ‘keen’ es una palabra muy fuerte!” I guess he was “keen” on her and attempting to impress her with his colloquial English. It seemed such a ridiculous thing to say but to this day, whenever I hear or say the word “keen” it has to be followed by “es una palabra muy fuerte.” Does this mean I have a mild form of Tourette’s?

Favorite Video of the Week: When I Grow Up

When I Grow Up from Fever Ray on Vimeo.

Another fine video from Fever Ray, they’ve been doling them out to us in recent months. I was crazy about the first single from the album If I had a Heart, which was Video of the Week back in February and every month or so  a new one appears.

I was fortunate to see Fever Ray play live this past week and it was quite a memorable show. It was difficult to focus on the stage as there was a huge amount of fog, smoke and incense released during the performance and bright lasers emanating from the stage.  Karin Dreijer Andersson was dressed in some kind of costume that from my vantage point looked like a cross between the character Tina from the Eightball comic and a Scandinavian version of Sigmund the Sea Monster. I think it was deer pelts and maybe some horns.  There was much energy in the performance but of the subdued variety and the low deep bass that seem to accompany every song rattled me to my core. Quite honestly, I felt is if I could have easily slipped into a trance and perhaps that was the effect they were going for. All hail the Church of Fever Ray!

For a better review see here.

Also check out The Sound of Indie to hear a live version of When I Grow Up.

If you like the Fever Ray video’s, you might want to check out the film ‘Let the Right One In‘ a story of vampire children and sadists set in Sweden. Stark and beautiful. See the trailer below.

Let the Right One In

Mysterious Found Note

(click on image for larger size)

I found this slip of paper in a 1907 book called ‘Historia Patria’ from Mexico. I had been curious about what language the note was written in and asked about it a few years ago when I was blogging on Myspace (gasp!). A friend did his best to try and make out the script and used this nifty website to try and determine the language. http://www.unicode.org/charts/

My theory now is that is was written by someone who was trying to copy letters out of a book and probably was not accustomed to using a writing instrument. I can imagine someone picking this book up and attempting to write without instruction. The strange gnarled letters was their interpretation of what they saw on the page.