An exquisitely crisp, clear December morning requires music of an equally elegant articulation. Real Estate has managed to press a stunningly appropriate album for just such a day.
I understand that you’re apt to know: this album was released in October! But hear me out, Real Estate is based within the frigid eastern state of New Jersey.. and, i’m just guessing here, but isn’t a Jersey October pretty similar to a San Francisco, December. I believe is is quite possible that the entire album was predicated on just such a day.
The album itself is pure, as if an early a Tears for Fears album was completely stripped of everything but a floating melody. And it’s certainly hip, stirring together cozy surf-esque guitars and European monochromatic vocals.
Anyway, if you find yourself awake early on a sun warmed, lace-doily, December 31st, queue up some Real Estate and pour yourself a drink from the hip, stir.
To choose a favorite show from within the ever expanding catalog of live Phish shows requires one of two things: either an intimate knowledge spanning venues, playlists, recording quality, audience involvement, and on and on and on… or, nothing. It is completely acceptable to choose a favorite based solely on the fact that you were there or it reminds you of a nostalgic place and time.
The latest official release just happens to coincide with some of my earliest Phish concerts and in that respect, some of my favorite shows. Still a year before Trey becomes a serious loop-a-holic (which is fantastic) and a year or so after the chess-match shows of my brother’s day, the Hampton/Winston-Salem box set covers three consecutive nights, over eight hours of music, in which only one song was repeated: the all instrumental Black-Eyed Katy. BEK debuted just 9 days earlier and has only been played a total of 7 times over the years.
This suite is certainly not for beginners – those who are new to the scene will undoubtably prefer to start with a little Billy Breathes or Slip, Stitch & Pass, but for those who know how to both noodle and meatstick well, … … you probably already own this album. And while most of my collection consists of west-coast Phish, it is always nice to pad the middle years with east-coast gems such as the Hampton/Winston-Salem shows. Besides, where else are you going to find a 26 minute Haley’s Comet?
Once you get past Maria (pronounced mar-eye-ah), possibly one of my least favorite songs on earth, 1969’s Paint Your Wagon should be considered “one of the greatest musicals of all time”. Take this clip for example:
Now, some people don’t like California as much as the rest of us, but it seems to me that Lee Marvin is using iron-clad logic here.
Cover photo by Baron Wolman for Secret Seven Records.
Tiny Tim was, perhaps at the same time, both a mad-man and a genius. …depending on your tastes. Lucky for us, TT recordings once thought lost forever have been tracked down and presented in all of their dusty glory.
San Francisco’s Secret Seven Records has compiled a limited edition LP, Lost & Found: 1963-1974 which shows off 17 unreleased tracks of split-personality Tiny Tim eccentricity.
Tiny Tim’s music is mesmerizing, part gleeful school girl – part gypsy story time – part 1920’s jukebox remix, and it draws the listener into a carefully concocted cartoon bizarro world. While Tiny Tim (aka Herbert Khaury) was certainly a strange man, he is none-the-less distinctly talented. His most recent album is deserving of a listen or two, hurray for Secret Seven for putting together a fantastic collection for us.
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