Friday, January 23, 2015
The Free Box Tapes #11, 12, & 13: Fusion, Essays, and 90s Indie Pop
The eleventh and twelfth Free Box Tapes were home recordings; lucky number 13 is a genuine indie-label commercial cassette tape.
Weather Report: Heavy Weather (1976) / Return to Forever, Romantic Warrior (1976)
Sixty-Four Words: The Weather Report side let out an ungodly garble. I rewound the Return to Forever side, and it seemed to be the epitome of what many people my age are thinking of when they say they don’t like jazz: slick, sterile, and self-indulgent virtuosity. Prog-rock without the rock, perhaps. But I could only give it one listen, and then the tape seized up terminally.
Disposition: Is in the landfill by now .
Sixty-Four Words: This is “Journey to The Fluted Mountain,” essays by a Julie Davis about the hike she took on the Colorado Trail with her dog and some goats. (!) These are the kind of kitchen-sink pieces where any given new paragraph might begin “the Navaho people believe that…” Competent writing in an undemanding form, and probably more than you need to know about Julie Davis.
Disposition: I would be happy to send this tape to anyone who felt like listening to some essays.
My Sister Jane: Pain in the Middle (1992)
Sixty-Four Words: A jangly and more-or-less intentionally lo-fi guitar pop album that would not have been out of place in the famous early 1980s Athens, Georgia music scene. That’s a good sound! I bet I would have really liked this band live. The recording quality is not quite radio-friendly, but the album grows on me, especially since I noticed that there’s a song in 7/4 time.
Disposition: Isn’t it funny that 1992 is 22 years in the past? I shall keep this tape out of mild affection.