Weird, weird, weird coincidence: the sample of the woman singing at the beginning of “oh! how the dogs stack up” from Mogwai’s Come On Die Young is taken from a song used as an example of Native American music in my music cultures class. It is, in fact, a Zuni lullaby, in free meter using only two pitches. An interesting choice for a sample; I’d never noticed it before but when I was listening to the album last night it caught my ear immediately.
Looking over my list of albums released in 2000, I feel somewhat depressed. It has definitely not been a particularly great year. Although Azigza’s self-titled and Godspeed You Black Emperor!’s Lift Your Skinny Fists… mitigate things, overall it’s been pretty mediocre. White Willow gets some props as well for Sacrament, but overall it’s telling that one of my favorites from this year is a reissue: Thinking Plague’s Early Plague Years. Sigh… disappointing, especially after such a very strong 1999 (Duty Free Area, Rituale Alieno, Discus 1st, Kaka, The Hard Quest, and the list stretches on…).
The current issue of The Wire has a great primer on Balinese and Javanese gamelan recordings that might be of interest to listeners of more eclectic contemporary music. I’m going to have to check out a few of the recordings they list - as I stated before, I find some Balinese gamelan to be straight-up ass-kicking stuff.
Latest stroke of luck: I found a copy of Gentle Giant’s Three Friends for $5 at the local used CD store. No big deal, except that it’s the out-of-print pressing on the Line label. Not a bad find, I think…