Mixin’ With the Castanets
Filed under: Mixin' With Series,Mixtapes | Posted by: jody
With summer in full swing, even us working types have had our share of crazy weekends and I for one could use some mellow time. Jesse Ainslie of The Castanets has just given us the perfect anecdote with his “Top 10 Songs With Which To Slow.” With tunes by Lucinda Williams, Black Sabbath, Willie Nelson, Charles Mingus and more, this music is perfect for lazing around the house and just letting yourself take it easy. The Castanets are currently gearing up for the release of their 4th full length record, City of Refuge, to be released October 7th on Asthmatic Kitty. It is the result of the three weeks that head Castanet, Ray Raposa, spent alone in a Nevada Desert motel room. Stay tuned for more info on that upcoming release. Also, be sure to check out Jesse’s other project, Barghest.
1. Lucinda Williams- “Ventura”
This is one of the classic interminable isolation songs, driving alone by the sea, incapable of finding even the barest substinence, nothing works: not drugs nor food, not sleep nor song – a cotton mouth swamp air mosquito cloud of obscure gray hovers between you and all
2. Virgin Forest- “Only Birds”
Once, in answer to a question concerning “sad songs” and why he wrote them, Townes Van Zandt distinguished his songs from sad songs – these songs are hopeless – hopeless without any self pity or remorse, no doubt or fear about the impenetrable, uncontrollable, volatility of Future without Hope
3. Earth- “Tethered to the Pole Star”
Those opening harmonics are like an Invocation of Aoede. And from there one may float the river, one may become the ever toiling vessel of Charon.
4. Black Sabbath- “Solitude”
Seriously, Master Of Reality is an amazing album title, one of the best. The artwork looks like the opening credits of Scooby Doo, But this song nails it…
5. Willie Nelson- “She Thinks I Still Care”
Straight up break up tune – along the lines of two other George Jones hits, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “The Grand Tour,” this is one of those surprise ending kind of country tunes… verses about how sad you are, or in this case how over it, punctuated with a one liner that changes the whole tone of the song to a more depressing note. I like these songs because they tell me a story, focus and clear the mind of the accumulated rubble, hear somebody else’s tale.
6. Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.- “The Tales of Solar Sail ~ Dark Stars In The Dazzling Sky”
Just listen to it. This song is like a half hour freak out – sounds like they gave each band member a different chemical substance to embibe and went for it. The whole history of radio broadcast from the Big Bang to The Shadow that knows the evil that lurks in the hearts of men, the rotations of spheres within spheres – the void and the howl it swallows.
7. Bernard Herrmann- “Prelude, Rooftop”
Here we find the earliest master of metal at his most clear. His harmonic understanding of fear, anxiety, and bondage is perfect; from string sections to fuzz boxes, from tympanies to trap kits, from lunar strains on the waves to train wrecks in the machine shops of Brighton, Bernard culled the soul of Kafka and foresaw the coming schizophrenic paranoia of the later 20th century and every movie score since has been in some way a burnt offering to the Russian Jew from Canarsie whose magic aided the Master of Suspense in his dark schemes
8. Charles Mingus- “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”
This melody is beautiful. The first note of the solo will steal your breath and weight your heart. Real Cool, the way they used to say.
9. Viking Moses- “Surrounding Skin”
This song is kind of terrifying – filled with hate and compassion in equal doses. The sound a train breaking glass in its gears. I see this decaying force and the force exhaled by the consuming mold.
10. Nina Simone- “Since I Fell For You”
1945 classic jazz standard by Buddy Jones. This version is from the record Nina Simone Sings The Blues, which is played perfectly by her band. This one just stands out, her style and gentle seduction are contained in the voice of sorrow. Good for calming hot blood.
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