(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Sunday, October 13, 2002

This weekend's self-indulgence was the purchase of two great records:

1) "20 Years of Dischord," a 3-disk retrospective (1980-2000) of DC's homegrown punk label, with at least one cut from every band that has recorded for Dischord. Best known is Fugazi; others are great too. Some good loud noise, and an inspiring history of people who did it themselves.

2) "Dr. John Plays Mac Rebennack," finally reissued on CD with additional cuts. Fantastic solo piano in the New Orleans tradition. I had just been wondering, the other day while culling through LPs in preparation for an upcoming move, if anybody would ever put this out on CD. Turns out that it happened just in the last few weeks. Even if Dr. John's hipster gumbo stuff ("Right Place, Wrong Time") is a little too cute for you, this is pure artistry.

What these have in common -- in addition to (or as the cause of) being fantastic music -- is that they represent music as the expression of a certain community. It's not the least-common-denominator stuff, that gives you that same sort of feeling that you get when you're sitting in a Marriott on a business trip and can't remember for the life of you what city you're in. It is -- whether solo piano drawing on a community's history, or bands expressing what's going on in a community now -- music of a place. Both highly recommended.

These purchases almost made up for the trauma of having my child's picture (and mine) taken with Caillou yesterday morning. Caillou is bad enough as a saccharine cartoon figure; but standing next to someone in a creepy Caillou costume taller than me was highly disturbing. If you have, or are on track to have in the near future, a two- or three-year old, here's the deal: Caillou bad, Kipper good. Simple as that, really.

posted by sam 2:36 PM 0 comments


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