TONIGHT LET’S ALL MAKE LOVE IN LONDON AS IF IT WERE THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND AND ONE.’ – ALLEN GINSBERG. 1967
Well, did’ja? Did any of the predictions for 2001 come true? Other than my prediction from last year’s PoOp that ‘It’ll all end in tears’ and that Bush would have us all in concentration camps, et cetera.
Life has resumed, PoOp is back in bloom, and the horrors of Sept. 11 are behind us now. Are they? At first I was unsure of whether to continue with PoOp, but then I decided that yes, I’ll go with it, and to give my friend who died in Windows On The World a virtual vote in my PoOp list by putting his favorite, Bob Dylan, on it.
I had two faverave gigs this year, and rather than squaring them off against each other, I thought it best to create two separate awards
FAVORITE DANCE OF THE YEAR
IABAS. the Hudson Valley’s own Brazilian powerhouse band, presided over a stamping dance party at New World Home Cooking on August 30. They also appeared several times at the Bardavon. These ladies are ready for the big time!
FAVORITE CONCERT OF THE YEAR
Anonymous 4> which also has roots in the Hudson Valley (in Piermont), was a group who I hadn’t really noticed before, although I had listened to some of their Medieval and Renaissance song cycles. But they sounded breath-takingly powerful and clear at their August 17 concert at 5t. Gregory’s Church (right down the road from New World – this stretch of road had some good karma in August!) John Cale should be producing these ladies, instead of wasting his time with the Medieval Babes.
SOME OTHER IRIE BASHMENTS: Mostly it’s the same folks who keep keepin’ on and bringing on the good times. So here’s a word up to Ari Up, The Holy Modal Rounders and The Du-Tels, Gary Lucas, Jeb Loy Nichols, Kid Creole and The Coconuts, and Mike Seeger for putting on good shows this year. And Rhino in NewPaltz must be given props for the fine Freedy Johnson set in the store in August. Loved the cover of ‘Love Goes Where My Rosemary 6oes”.
Transg1obal Underground had a good portion of the audience dancing in their seats at their Prospect Park gig in July. I got to see Adrian Sherwood remix a TGU track in his studio when I visited London this summer (…but it hasn’t been released yet). Special respect to Battlefield Band who stopped by the Town Crier in December, and filled the night with rockin’ bagpipe jams all night long; and to Michael Hurley and The Chabs (not the Chads…) who put on a chuggin’ folk boogie show at the Colabergh Lodge in Croton-Harmon, including a special tribute to Juice Newton!
Also I note the passing of some venues this past year – Flying Saucer in Kingston, Wetlands in NYC, and the World Trade Center plaza, which used to host some of the best gigs (and they were free, too!). This summer alone I caught Mitch Ryder and The Box Tops (Alex Chilton still on his best behavior!)
ON THE RADIO: As usual Vassar’s WVKR, 91.3, is still the best in the valley, and shout- outs must go to Geet Mala with Padma (now on cable TV, too!), to the Polka shows with Mike and Terry and with John Sogan, and to my favorite, reggaespectrum.com with Dexy B and Supa T for the best in reggae and rocksteady! The Fancy Broccoli show is pretty cool too.
BOOKS REPORT (music books only)
Not really taken by many music books this year – slim pickin’s. I’ll note that The Da Capo Best Music Writing 2001 book edited by Nick Hornby contains “The Rock Snob’s Dictionary”, which all PoOpers should getta kick outta.
Worth checking is Lloyd Bradley’s Bass Culture – When Reggae Was King, which kind of fills in the background for those who got a kick outta last year’s Dave Katz book on Lee Perry. Unless you like academic analysis of textual, semiotic levels of influences. I’d avoid Norman C. Stuizoff’s book, Wake the Town and Tell the People – Dancehall Culture in Jamaica. The Katz and Bradley books are much better.
BRISTOL STOMP One used book that I got a big kick out of was Phil Johnson’s Straight Outa Bristol – Massive Attack, Portishead, Tricky and the Roots of Trip-Hop (Scepter l997, found in London). As I started to read it, I decided to accompany the reading with the actual sounds in question, so I pulled all of my old Pop Group and Glaxo Babies and Rip Rig & Panic and Maximum Joy and Pigbag and Mark Stewart and Gary Clail records off the shelf, plus the Smith & Mighty and Roni Size drum’n’bass stuff that I had never taken a liking to, not to mention the musicians mentioned in the title, and, by golly, when I was done I found that I finally “got” drum’n’bass, which you woulda thought I’da got ages ago since I like On-U and trip-hop and so forth. So now I listen to all of the latest Ninja Tune and Dope on Plastic stuff and I’m hip to it, so don’t write me off (yet).