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April 16, 2010


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Ben Sachs

I saw Burma in concert last weekend, and they floored me as always. Playing in a band myself (and roughly half the age of Mssrs. Miller, Conley, and Prescott) I find their live show thoroughly humbling.

Also, Glenn, have you ever seen Miller play with the Alloy Orchestra?

Glenn Kenny

Ben, I have, although it was a while ago. At Prospect Park, for a Buster Keaton program. Really great and fun.

Chuck Stephens

Glenn, were you at the CBGB Big Black/Volcano Suns where Peter Prescott had to fill in for Albini's drum machine when it went up in smoke after the third tune? The only gig they ever played with a live drummer, or rather, the only song: an incendiary Kerosene.

Glenn Kenny

Good God, Chuck, I believe I was.


"Don't Forget Our Sunday Date" is my fave song from the Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings. That's the one I'd always put on mix tapes/CDs. Another song I always used to include was "Strange" by Galaxie 500. Thus I was startled/amused by the song's inclusion in GREENBERG. That's exactly the tune a character with Greenberg's backstory would put on a mix CD. I was also impressed by the fact that Ben Stiller and Greta Gerwig do not connect over shared musical tastes in the movie. In a different, perhaps lesser film this would've been the case.

Nathan Kerr

It has somewhat amazed me how vital Mission of Burma have been since the comeback a view years ago. I saw them at the Pitchfork festival back in 2006 and they left every other act that weekend in their wake; including Art Brut by the way. Seeing as how they first broke up the first time around before I was even born, it has something cool to witness.

Glenn, with forward thinking guitar music being an obvious favorite, I was wondering what your thoughts on Sonny Sharrock were. "Ask the Ages" has been a favorite for a good many years not to mention the countless other collaborations and projects.

James Keepnews

Burma = awesome. Up to and including today -- had no idea some ostensibly knowledgeable commentators could even remotely consider their reformation as "a misplaced nostalgia trip". That's a demonstrably misplaced critical diss.

Loves me some Sonny, also, to be sure. "Ask the Ages" is absolutely the late-period peak, as it would be anybody's period peak where Messers. Sanders, Moffett and Jones are concerned -- and I'm sorry I missed Pharaoh's rare appearance at Birdland the other week. Anyone else catch it?

It's slightly amazing to me how "Ask" and all Mr. Laswell's fine production work in the early 90's (e.g., Jonas Hellborg's "The Word" with the one-two punch of the Soldier String Quartet and Tony Williams, anyone?) on the late, lamented Axion are very rare and not a little pricey, accordingly. Last I looked, "Ask" on CD goes for about $40 an up at some online sources.

Glenn Kenny

Love/loved Sharrock. Always a great show, even when he had that upstate-based band with the well-meaning but unapposite keyboard player Dave Snider—Dee's brother, I was told. Met the man in 1992; Stereo Review, where I was working at the time, had awarded "Ask The Ages" one of its "Albums of the Year" prizes, and I gave him the plaque, or whatever it was, after a show at Tramps, I think it was. AN incredibly sweet guy. Miss seeing/hearing him really bad; being able to see him play on a regular basis was one of the best things about living in Manhattan back then. Miss Derek something awful too.

James Russell

Immortal... DEATH metal? I think they might have issues with that designation... In fairness to them, I saw a documentary on black metal a couple of years ago and one of the Immortal boys was interviewed in it. In full corpsepaint and costume (I think it was shot just before or after they'd done a gig), he seemed to have a fairly good appreciation of the ridiculousness of what he was doing, which was more than could be said for anyone else in the film.


i've been listening to those louis armstrong sessions alot lately. also jelly roll morton's rca victor recordings. i blame treme. great stuff though. i'm not sure louis is the greatest trumpeter, but surely modern music was born right there.

Glenn Kenny

@ James Russell: I don't mean to cast aspersions...but if Immortal's not you-know-what-metal, what would you call it. I understand that designations are a little tricky these days, because of the more, um, psychotic metal practitioners in the north, but what would you call Immortal's genre?


Aren't Immortal black metal, whether or not they've torched any churches?

James Russell

I'd call them black metal, given that I don't think they've ever described themselves as anything else.

Talking of psychotic northern metal practitioners, Burzum has a new album out. Quite good, too.

Glenn Kenny

Thanks James. Correction made. Sometimes I'm just not as up on the terminology/nomenclature as I ought to be. That's what I get for not reading their interviews...

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