the mystery of John Fahey’s Grammy (and 4 other unrelated albums)

The worst thing about writing is editing, I find writing easy but actually sitting down and editing takes quite a bit longer.

Anyways, let’s try one album at a time?

John Fahey – America

John Fahey is pretty great and under-rated for all he’s done for archiving blues and folk music, let alone his own music. His story is really sad, he died semi-homeless in Salem, Oregon, his Grammy for writing about folk music was stolen, and it sounds like he was a pretty severe alcoholic in general. He painted and one of his paintings was used as the cover for the final Sonic Youth album. It’s sad that he’s unknown in most regards, but that’s kind of the standard for the blues I guess.

I do wonder where his Grammy ended up. Google says you can’t sell a Grammy, and that they aren’t worth melting down. Is it just sitting on the shelf of a house in the forests of Marion/Polk county somewhere? Hopefully it’s found some day, and wasn’t just tossed into the river or forest when his car was broken into.

C Cat Trance – Screaming Ghosts

This seems to be Medium Medium with arabic instrumentation and aesthetic? It’s funky as heck, I really like it. I can only compare it to 23 Skidoo.

  • Shake The Mind
  • She Steals Cars
A Primary Industry – 50 Hertz

Sounds a lot like early Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance, that sort of post punk + female vocals + drum machines. “Ultramarine” is a very good album, it’s probably better than this but I this showed up on my list and I hadn’t heard it, it seems to be demos or related to it somehow.

Nature and Organisation – Beauty Reaps the Blood of Solitude

I think this has to be the ultimate acoustic neofolk album? next to maybe “Earth Covers Earth” by Current 93. It’s very folksy and only goes into heavy industrial on one track – the rest is all acoustic. The cover of Willow’s Song from Wicker Man is probably the best on the album, the rest of it sounds like a Current 93 album for obvious reasons.

Destroy All Monsters – Self Titled

This is great, I really like the guitar on this. I think I learned about this band from this Cows video: – then he mentions Kraftwerk and the host says he’s surprised, lol. there’s a longer Destroy All Monsters 74-76 set I need to listen too, although it doesn’t seem like actual songs compared to this.

  • Bored
  • Goin’ to Lose

That’s all for now. I’ve got a few more focused topics I should write about after I get through my next set of posts:

  • Microtonality, and tips and tricks for playing fretless guitar.
  • Interesting uses of drum machines outside of pure electronic music
  • 303 bass lines
  • interesting rhythmic music
  • amazing bands with really awful names
  • bands who changed styles completely
  • list of songs with clean harmonics on the level of Jaco’s “Continuum”

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