The Catalog Expands

Hello and thanks for dropping by the blog! I have a habit of seeking out good music (boy does that sound loaded) i.e. music I like. I search new and old bands, performers, and styles. Of late I have heard a plethora of previously unreleased tracks, lost sessions, recordings held by estates etc. from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith, and just yesterday a Led Zeppelin track from the BBC. The one release (from Squirrel Thing Recordings) which prompted me to even write about this phenomena, the proverbial straw which broke the camels back of my mind, is an album of Molly Drake (Nick Drakes mother!) singing at the piano. It’s clearly a home recording and the tunes are of a certain era, 1950’s, they are short, poetic, insightful, and sometimes sad. There’s definitely an old timey feel to these songs. The apple did not fall far from the tree, you can hear that Nick was clearly listening to his mothers musings. It might also explain his propensity for alternate tunings on the guitar which some say is a way to approximate a piano range. There’s a very human tradition of generations introducing/instructing/passing down songs, bands, types of music to their juniors. I’m sure there are Rock families, Folk families, Classical families, Punk families, Country families… Beatles or Stones, Rush or Yes, and countless variations within. I heard Mississippi John Hurt, BB King, Simon and Garfunkel, classical and opera from my mother, Frank Sinatra, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young from my father, Jimi Hendrix, Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Stranglers, Yes from my brother, Joni Mitchell, George Harrison, Neil Diamond from my sister. The Beatles and Bob Dylan were around and I don’t know who to credit with those. I remember checking out Who albums from the library on my own. There’s a strange pride which accompanies the uncovering of a lost or unheralded track. I took great pride in finding Prince and Tom Waits when I was in highschool. I am ashamed though that I shunned The Replacements early on (apologies to Nicole Blackman who tried to convert me)…I was shocked that someone had the audacity to use “Let It Be” as an album title! heh Oh boy was I wrong, I’ve since come around 180 degrees. When I “discovered” Rodriguez years ago on the excellent web source,, before the movie about him came out, I was over the moon. I went to see him play at The Bowery with a full band the first time he came here after Light In The Attic re-released his album, Cold Fact, and have seen him basically every time since he’s returned to NYC. He’s a very generous performer and person. But imagine my surprise when I met someone at Keenan’s Piano Bar (long-gone open mic spot in Inwood) who had heard of Rodriguez!! It was like a shared secret. Music is too important to not be shared. As long as there are people driven to make things in earnest from their specific vision and circumstance there will be someone in the future who will eventually uncover and hopefully appreciate. In this way, the catalog extends forwards and backwards at once, dig? Have a great week! -p


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s