Black Flag, Maria Bethania & More: My Albums of the Week #28

I would consider myself an “albums guy” and my taste in music is very varied. In this new feature, I list the albums that I listened to most intensely during the week. The list will include albums old and new, and the number of albums listened to every week will most likely vary on a week-to-week basis.

Various Artists
Dengue Fever Presents Electric Cambodia: 14 Rare Gems From Cambodia’s Past
(Minky, 2010) ⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Dara Chom Chan – Give Me One Kiss // 2 – Pan Ron – Don’t Speak // 3 – Pan Ron – Jombang Jet // 4 – Ros Sereysothea – Flowers in the Pond // 5 – Ros Sereysothea – Shave Your Beard // 6 – Pan Ron – I Will Marry You // 7 – Ros Sereysothea – I Want to Shout // 8 – Sinn Sisamouth and Pan Ron – Jasmine Girl // 9 – Pan Ron – I Want to Be Your Lover // 10 – unknown artist – Hope to Meet You // 11 – Pan Ron – Snaeha // 12 – Ros Sereysothea – I Will Starve Myself to Death // 13 – Pan Ron – unknown title // 14 – Ros Sereysothea – Cold Sky

’60s Cambodian rock-pop is super transcendental, a meeting of culture. I have long been fascinated with Ros Sereysothea, one of the country’s greatest music stars at the time. She, like many of her contemporaries, disappeared shortly after the rise of the Khmer Rouge and not much is known about what happened to her. This is a beginners’ set into the music. I can’t stand the modern instrumentation being recorded over the original archive material. It sounds horrible. A proper work of restoration would have been far more beneficial.

 

Black Flag
Damaged
(SST, 1981) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Rise Above // 2 – Spray Paint // 3 – Six Pack // 4 – What I See // 5 – TV Party // 6 – Thirsty and Miserable // 7 – Police Story // 8 – Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie // 9 – Depression // 10 – Room 13 // 11 – Damaged II // 12 – No More // 13 – Padded Cell // 14 – Life of Pain // 15 – Damaged I

Fierce! One of the best punk rock albums of its day and one of the quintessential LA punk scene records. Henry Rollins is a force of nature. I have no idea how he was able to sing like that for years. He sounds damaged and possessed. The garage-style makes Damaged sound all the more aggressive. But there’s also legitimate creativity to go with the energy. There’s both form and content.

 

Krokodil
Getting Up for the Morning
(Ballicus, 1972) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Marzipan // 2 – And I Know // 3 – Rabatz // 4 – Was There a Time // 5 – Schooldays // 6 – Song No.2 (Thoughts Under Bad Conditions) // 7 – The 12th of March

I’d like to recommend Krokodil to Julian Casablancas, who apparently hates blues-rock. Whatever. I’ve always been critical of anyone easily dismissing any music genre in that way. Krokodil for instance, is as exciting as it gets, even within this much-maligned music genre. Expanding on the form with their penchant for melody and excellent soloing, as well as a hint of psychedelia. By the way… they are from Switzerland. I don’t know why, but that to me makes them that extra bit defiant.

 

Maria Bethânia
Pássaro da manhã
(Philips, 1977) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Texto de Fernando Pessoa c/ fundo musical “Até pensei” // 2 – Tigresa // 3 – Texto de Fauzi Arap c/ fundo musical “Jogo de damas” / Um jeito estúpido de te amar // 4 – Começaria tudo outra vez // 5 – Promessa // 6 – Gente // 7 – Texto de Maria Bethânia / Há um Deus // 8 – Terezinha // 9 – Cabocla Jurema / Por causa desta cabocia // 10 – Texto de Clarice Lispector c/ fundo musical “Um índio” / O que será (À flor da terrra)

Maria Bethania’s super charismatic, energetic vocal skills lend themselves well to this program of early MPB compositions and a couple of spoken-word poetry too. Along with the earlier Passaro Proibido, which I have yet to revisit, this was a one-two punch that established her reputation as a central figure of the new school of Brazilian music.

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