Musical Chairs, January 2011

Posted on January 6, 2011 – 1:20 AM | by OldManFoster
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Midtown expat Anton Barbeau started recording and releasing his own cassette-albums long before he’d left high school; his newest, Psychedelic Mynde of Moses (reviewed here) is something like his 25th (!) release. A mainstay of Sac’s musical scene since the mid eighties, Barbeau stunned many when he up and moved to England half a decade ago.  Since then Barbeau has thrived in anglophile bliss, playing all over Europe, often in the company of his musical heroes.  We asked Anton for his five favorite releases of the new millennium.  He gave us six:

Many of the albums that have hit me hardest in recent years were all released when I was too young to know better. 666 by Aphrodite’s Child and Carnival in Babylon by Amon Duul II  both came out in 1972, when I was 5. It’s not that I live for the good old days, I just don’t get out much! Still, here are a few “new” disks I dearly love…

Stornoway – Beachcomber’s Windowsill

Even if Zorbing was the only thing they’d done, these Oxford lads would still go to Heaven in the end. And if there IS no Heaven, I have a feeling there’s one being built now just for this track. But the rest of the album is as good – lovely, moving songs performed with intuitive grace and color.

XTC – Wasp Star

Ok, this sneaks in on the ordinal/cardinal line, innit! These guys have been one of my faves since I was a teenager, and Andy Partridge was the man whose songwriting  knocked me off my Ultravox/OMD-loving horse way back when. I think this album is as great as any of their best, and there’s a sort of Goddess-glee peeping out of these tracks. “The Wheel and the Maypole” is pure pop at its most cosmic.

Onda Vaga – Fuerte Y Caliente

We had a night off in Berlin and wandered into a little bar. These guys were mid-set, un-amplified, with a mostly-Spanish crowd going crazy. It was one of those precious moments when you know you’ve been pushed or pulled to be exactly where you are. And the album holds that moment still!

George Harrison – Brainwashed

GH knew he was dying when he made this, but it’s his life that you hear and feel here. Perhaps the title track makes a good match to Stornoway’s “Battery Human” as a reminder that life isn’t made up of screens and networks and play counts and friend counts and bit-rates etc. We forget this constantly, as though we’re built not to remember who we really are. George knew, though, and he teases and teaches and laughs his way through the messy maze of death and life and brings us this wee piece of anamnestic rock! Hare Krishna!

Brain Donor – Peace Love and Fuck

In slight contrast to dear George comes Julian Cope and co. I’m a huge Cope fan, yet I have to admit I’ve lost track in recent days of his current rokka. Bit too dearth-metal for me. But I got turned onto Brain Donor a couple years back and just loved it. Pure dumb/smart/dumb riff rock, coming direct from the Source.

Bob Dylan – Love and Theft

I do think “new” Bob Dylan, sounding older here than anyone could ever actually be, is writing songs more subtle and more powerful than we deserve It’s as though he’s written a better bible and put it to music with a junky/tight blues band behind him. There’s a holiness in that hoarse voice that does me in.

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