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SoundGround >> Guitar god Nels Cline


9/25/11 2:18 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 09/25/11 4:04 PM
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Well... at least when it comes to the Torsos, you liked what was in the middle of that sandwich! They always surprise me, and I like the arsenal of sounds on guitar, the outside -ear, and the rhythmic conception of the band as a whole. I find it just steamrollers my expectations every time.

I've got lots of friends who are what seems to me overly precious about how Hendrix is covered. And if you have a Hendrix original, it's going to be hard to find a reason to cover something on a recording. It's not like he could write a tune but wasn't a good performer!!! But the covers I like least are those that do it straightest. Because then you really have to ask why. SRV's Voodoo Child is one -- I agree. I don't know about Little Wing -- but that was edited together by Jimmy Vaughan from something like 20 minutes of noodling after SRV died. Don't know what to say about it being "repetitive" or what. I do like it, but it's a piece by committee. I like Melvin Taylor's "Voodoo Child" because he finds a different way to make it psychedelic. A good friend of mine hated it because it's all shreddy, like he heard ego-competition with Jimi. Horses for courses.

Torsos covers, on the other hand, I like across the board. That, and even more, the Beatles' "Dig a Pony" they cover in ways that stretch new shapes. So their Little Wing is not trying to be Hendrix. Intensity by other means. I laugh at the "warped-record sound" description -- that was my first impression of EVERYTHING I heard from Fuze. I thought he ended phrases yanking on that whammy bar... even when playing slow Gershwin! Anyway enough of that... that's sort of a range of things within one band, just thought you'd like to know about it. You'd probably hate XTC's cover of All Along the Watchtower, too... but it's unhinged, and sounds like they don't want to do it like Hendrix. Or Dylan. Since I have the Hendrix and Dylan, I'm happy with that. And a different intensity, by different means, again.

Temple is pretty good -- I have their record and that Hendrix tribute record, in fact. But what I like least about it is McCready. At 0:58, bridging out of that first intro section, he sounds like he's playing Sweet Home Alabama slowed down a bit... and that's the loping riff for the song under the vocals throughout. I kinda don't like anything he does, though. I mean whenever I've tried, I haven't. I like Cornell a whole lot though.

I'll get to those Miles later, too -- I actually did get to the first bunch (RIP)... which were really a blast to listen to. Sorry that stuff is gone.
10/1/11 8:34 PM
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hugomma
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Edited: 10/01/11 9:35 PM
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Okay, back from another week of corporate training.

"Overly precious" when it comes to Jimi covers is a nice way to put it. Part of the problem for me is that the original versions, as well as killer live versions from Jimi himself, are so engrained in my psyche that it's hard for me to hear past them. The SHT version was pretty radical, & again, I could see myself changing my mind about it in the future, if I can just get past the original version of it.

It's definitely not the outside-ness of the playing. You get an idea of how much I love outside playing, skronk, etc...it's just a matter of not comparing SHT's "Little Wing" to Jimi's.

"Sweet Home Alabama"? Oh man, LOL. Did you have to ruin it for me? Now every fucking time I hear that version of "Hey Baby...", I'm gonna think about Sweet Home Alabama". Goddamn you, Ali...

I agree wholeheartedly about Mike McCready, though. He's pretty lame, & I've never really liked him or Pearl Jam. I did like the tone he got on that version on "Sweet Home", I mean "Hey Baby...". His UniVibe sound on that is die for. But yeah, he's not particularly inspiring as a player.

I'm not overly precious or cunty with Beatles covers, though. I tried hunting down "Dig a Pony & found this instead (embedding disabled):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEpoqbAMIJw

I think you'll appreciate it. Fuckin' Fuze, man, check out the licks on 9:12-9:29...& that base player... 
10/1/11 8:48 PM
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hugomma
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Edited: 10/01/11 9:01 PM
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Well, for once you were wrong: I LOVED this version of "...Watchtower". It managed to make me forget Hendrix's version while it was playing. Dylan's version's great too, but Hendrix is the one that would get me out of the coma. I listed to the studio version 1st, & then found this, which you may not have heard.

This is angry nerd shit along the lines of The Talking Heads, & I mean that with the utmost respect.

I don't know much about these guys, other than "Dear God", which I thought was great, & "The Mayor of Simpleton", which I though was okay. 
10/1/11 9:29 PM
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hugomma
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Jimi himself, jammin' out "Hey Baby" & "...Watchtower", live in Copenhagen, 1970.
10/2/11 9:40 AM
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Ali
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Edited: 10/02/11 9:46 AM
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That's cool -- I'd not seen that XTC performance. I have the studio version on disk -- what babies they were back then. BTW, I'm not a huge fan of their albums, but they have a bag of psychedelic pop gems. And some angry-nerd shit, especially earlier on. Some transitional fossils left along the way -- so they have a few great songs on most albums. "Mayor of Simpleton" (which I like probably more than you) is a slightly more domesticated example of the psych-pop sound.

That Jimi is just a treat. Wow! Just sends me very, very far away. It's good just to be reminded.

And yeah on the Fiuczynski video you couldn't embed -- that's not Torsos; that's a recent project, his trio, which he calls Kif Express. I have recordings, never saw that video, once again. Thanks for hipping me to that chit! And yeah, at 9:12 onward... as you pointed out... instantly it couldn't be someone else.

And "Dig A Pony" by SHTorsos live can be heard, at least, here: http://grooveshark.com/#/s/Dig+A+Pony/3GL3yK?src=5
2/26/12 12:49 PM
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Ali
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This wasn't even on youtube when the thread first lived; but bringing it full circle (or almost full)...

Nels Cline and drummer Greg Bendian did the whole album "Interstellar Space" by John Coltrane (with Rashied Ali on drums -- also a duo record). This is one section:

2/26/12 12:51 PM
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Ali
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And the first time I was aware of Cline was back in the early 90s, a year or two after his second record, which was called "Silencer". (I think it was his second, anyway, under his own name). Here's one tune that caught my ear:

2/26/12 10:27 PM
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hugomma
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Great find, thanks Ali. I hear this different now after all the Sun Ra, Cherry, Ornette, Ulmer, etc. On "Mags" I hear a thread that goes back through modal jazz, onto free jazz, & 80's post punk.

Great playing all around, to many great moments (& tones) to single out from the eclectic Mr. Cline.
2/28/12 4:25 PM
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DasBeaver
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I finally made it through the first two pages and page 8.
Is there a Coles note version of this thread?

Nels is all over the place. A really gifted player who seems to run the gamut yet stay grounded to his 'sound.' I was pretty impressed with the J Mascis clip on page 1 as well, what a tone!
2/28/12 4:50 PM
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hugomma
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DasBeaver - Is there a Coles note version of this thread?
Yeah: Nels Cline & Bill Frisell are gods, & we are not :-)

Seriously, if you like Frisell at all (or think that you might like him) it's worth going through the entire thread.  There's other cool shit that pops up along the way as well.  This thread will keep you awake at work for weeks.
 
3/1/12 10:03 AM
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DasBeaver
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I didn't need eight pages to tell me that!
Alright, I'll keep chipping away at it.
3/1/12 10:30 AM
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Ali
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You caught most of the Cline on those few pages... that was a pretty wide ranging conversation (or bully pulpit).

Don't force yourself to chip away. But maybe you'll have fun, at least! (And Hugo's various descriptions just slay me).
3/2/12 12:22 AM
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Ali
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Cosey is ridiculous. So great, so hard to find on record.

Thanks for posting those.

BTW, if you want to get semi-academic about all this... there's a great essay, in two parts, on The Electric Miles, which Greg Tate wrote, which really goes into Cosey qua Cosey. It's in his book "Flyboy in the Buttermilk". But might be available online somewhere, I don't know for sure.
2/22/13 7:28 AM
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Ali
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Frisell, guesting on Jakob Bro's "Nightcap"
(This is from a documentary called "Weightless", which is about the making of an album called "Balladeering". Bro is a young Dutch guy who got the gig playing for Paul Motian. Evidently was regarded highly enough that his record featured Lee Konitz, alto sax; Paul Motian, drums; and, as here, Bill Frisell on 2nd guitar).

2/22/13 10:21 AM
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hugomma
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Edited: 02/22/13 11:12 AM
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Ali - Frisell, guesting on Jakob Bro's "Nightcap"
(This is from a documentary called "Weightless", which is about the making of an album called "Balladeering". Bro is a young Dutch guy who got the gig playing for Paul Motian. Evidently was regarded highly enough that his record featured Lee Konitz, alto sax; Paul Motian, drums; and, as here, Bill Frisell on 2nd guitar).

 

Thanks for posting this Ali.  Will check it out later.  Seeing the thread that started it all (for me, at least) is like seeing one of my relatives from Peru.  

 


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