Why is John Fahey So Boring?

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I, like many of you, no longer think John Fahey is an interesting musician. He was a bloodless, soulless albino clone of Elizabeth Cotten. And he didn't even play his guitar upside-down!

Where I once was captivated by his hypnotic simplicity, now I am bored to actual tears by his banal repetitiousness.

Where eyebrows were once raised involuntarily at the clever placement of a "modern-sounding" chord, my stomach now heaves in disgust at his obviousness.

And where I was once astounded by his machine-like precision, I am now driven mad by his machine-like precision.

So, why is John Fahey's music so boring?

valdemar (nubbin), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 08:25 (fourteen years ago) link

you're thinking of fay vincent, you want ilb

j blount (papa la bas), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 08:43 (fourteen years ago) link

Fahey's music has a lot in common with drone - repetition, repetition, but the small changes in every go-round begin to make all the difference...

sean gramophone (Sean M), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 08:58 (fourteen years ago) link

He's boring because Sufjan is on his tribute album?

Stephen C (ihope), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 09:06 (fourteen years ago) link

"When a man is tired of John Fahey, he is tired of life."

Robert Johnson

Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 10:19 (fourteen years ago) link

Apparently Fahey was a big Die Hard fan. Never woulda figured him fo' a Brucenik.

Mestema (davidcorp), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 11:18 (fourteen years ago) link

There is a support group for the emotions you're experiencing. Don't give up hope.

Edward III (edward iii), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 14:37 (fourteen years ago) link

the sufjan track on the tribute album is actually pretty good! and i couldn't even listen to that sufjan album all the way through. he must be best in small doses.

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 14:38 (fourteen years ago) link

This is the first time I've ever seen some real dislike for Fahey, he's such a sacred cow. It's refreshing.

Ogmor Roundtrouser (Ogmor Roundtrouser), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 14:55 (fourteen years ago) link

Yes, next up: that fucking Harry Smith.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 14:56 (fourteen years ago) link

Followed by: Duke Ellington, boring bastard.

Excelsior Syndrum (noodle vague), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 14:59 (fourteen years ago) link

sandy bull? more like bullshit!

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:00 (fourteen years ago) link

Johann Sebastian Bollocks, innit?

Excelsior Syndrum (noodle vague), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:02 (fourteen years ago) link

How much can you do with an acoustic guitar, anyway?

save the robot (save the robot), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:03 (fourteen years ago) link

Not much at all, really.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:03 (fourteen years ago) link

Shirley Collins - talentless old bag

Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:19 (fourteen years ago) link

Dadaismus! You're crazy!

stew!, Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:23 (fourteen years ago) link

Oops, posted before I'd followed the gag back...
I'll get my coat.

stew!, Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:24 (fourteen years ago) link

Ha ha

Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:25 (fourteen years ago) link

i have like ten or twelve john fahey albums with no intention of stopping anytime soon.

Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:36 (fourteen years ago) link

the only concert where i ever fell asleep...

my name is john. i reside in chicago. (frankE), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:36 (fourteen years ago) link


cancer prone fat guy (dubplatestyle), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:37 (fourteen years ago) link

im just gonna sit here and shake my head

bb (bbrz), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:38 (fourteen years ago) link

I am now driven mad by his machine-like precision.

it is about the "wrong" notes.

cancer prone fat guy (dubplatestyle), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:38 (fourteen years ago) link

ok not reallyentirely, but still

cancer prone fat guy (dubplatestyle), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:39 (fourteen years ago) link

the only concert where i ever fell asleep...

Count yourself lucky JF didn't fall asleep himself

Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:39 (fourteen years ago) link

He was a bloodless, soulless albino clone of Elizabeth Cotten. And he didn't even play his guitar upside-down!

this sounds like something fahey might have written in his own liner notes.

a spectator bird (a spectator bird), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:40 (fourteen years ago) link

well, I think he's a little not-all-that. but I enjoy him and think he added something to the guitar vocabulary. I'm not a fan of Surfin' Stevens but his cut on "I Am the Resurrection" is nice, as is most of that record (I guess I like the Cul De Sac track "Portland Cement Factory" the best). I guess you could blame Fahey for Leo Kottke (who has his moments) too. just another confused bluesnik who probably should've stayed out of Mississippi (to just reduce it down to the most banal possible criticism!). I dunno, you need to ask Andy Beta about all this, he probably has as good a take on it as anyone I know.

and OK, I know Elizabeth Cotten's name from that Moaners CD that came out last year, but apart from that I know nothing about her.

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:44 (fourteen years ago) link

you need to know more immediately...get thee to the record store and put the dvd on yr netflix list

bb (bbrz), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 15:47 (fourteen years ago) link

Elizabeth Cotten is wonderful. Shake Sugaree is well known and much covered. Nothing can touch he original though. The allmusic entry on her has a decent biog. Wasn't she a housekeeper discovered by Alan Lomax or someone like that?

stew!, Tuesday, 10 January 2006 16:00 (fourteen years ago) link

11/25/98 Dear Ron, Regarding fame, fortune and Oregon I do wish I had more money. As for fame, it can go to your head and you can become full of yourself. This I was always afraid of and so it didn't happen to me. It began to happen to me once, way back around 1969. Fortunately I noticed it before anybody else did and I cut it out. So what I do is this --when I go to the venue, I become the entertainer John Fahey. But when I come off stage, I do not want adulation, I do not want to be worshipped. I just want to be treated like an average guy. So I refer to records by me as "Fahey records", "Fahey music", and so forth. So I don't have to speak of MY, ME, I, etc. and keep talking about myself all the time, which bores me and everybody else. While I recognize in the back of my mind that I am an occasionally brilliant guitar composer and arranger, innovator and player. I also know that I am not a great technician. Perhaps that is why I manage to keep some humility. So when people ask me how good I am, I usually cop to being brilliant, even better than that, but short of genius. But I say these things in an objective dispassionate manner because, you know, and I can't explain why, but being one of the greatest guitarists in the world simply is not very important to me. Oh, but if you took it away somehow I would be very unhappy. But not suicidal. I know many inferior guitarists who are very proud of the fact that they are as good as they are, when in fact they are only moderately good. They parade around in their egotism with their groupies and fans and lord it over their worshippers. I do not even laugh at this like others do because the relationship between entertainers and groupies is pathological. As soon as the groupie finds out that you make errors in everyday life like everybody else does and that you are human, they turn on you and hate you. This has happened to me. It can hurt a lot especially in the case of girls. As you know, I am very fond of these creatures. Once upon a time I fell in love with a groupie, a Chicago girl, not knowing she was a groupie. The usual thing happened and it was very painful to me. From a social perspective, I am looking for friends, not acolytes. Being worshipped is a horrible experience. As for the source of the music, I believe it comes from the unconscious; that there is no such thing as talent. There is simply a lot of hard work and more hard work and after that, more hard work. I believe Thomas Edison said that. The other thing in composition is opening up the unconscious. I am especially good at the latter because, as I told you, I was in psychoanalysis for eight or nine years. Most musicians I know cannot open up. They are too focused on the audience rather than on their own emotions, or they are too focused on technique or perhaps on both. When I play, I very quickly put myself into a light hypnotic trance and compose while playing, drawing directly from the emotions. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I am playing emotions and expressing them in a coherent public language called music. If you don't do that you sound stiff and uninspiring. Your friend, John Fahey

dan bunnybrain (dan bunnybrain), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 16:00 (fourteen years ago) link

his books are anything but boring, also.

Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 16:28 (fourteen years ago) link

trick question!

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 16:52 (fourteen years ago) link

it is about the "wrong" notes.

-- cancer prone fat guy (wt...), January 10th, 2006

what is?

,, Tuesday, 10 January 2006 17:00 (fourteen years ago) link

john fahey.

Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 17:01 (fourteen years ago) link

(x-post) - Great liner notes!

Elizabeth Cotton was adorable - check out the audience participation on her live CD on Arhoolie.

And I personally know of no remedy for falling out of love with the music of Fahey, or any other musician, for that matter. Sorry. (Why'd you like him in the first place?)

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 17:32 (fourteen years ago) link

Why'd you like him in the first place?

Because he was hip for a while perhaps?

Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 17:32 (fourteen years ago) link

I had lost my copy of The Yellow Princess...just found it again! yay!

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 17:38 (fourteen years ago) link

that's a good one! the one i listened to most recently was "i remember blind joe death." the firs cut on the second side is really interesting in its use of dissonance and really jarring rhythms.

Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 17:41 (fourteen years ago) link

Dadaismus: I was *never* hip, you silly old goose.

When I liked him I was a stupid young person who didn't know shit about music, like many of you. Now I am slightly less stupid and know three things about music, one of them being that John Fahey, like Minimalism, is boring. What's so interesting and hip about a guy who plays repetitious music like he's got no soul? He's a defanged, emasculated, sterile copycat of MS John Hurt. John Fahey Is Boring.

Oh, and thanks for posting Fahey's own words. What a bag of hot air. Thank god he's dead!

valdemar (nubbin), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 17:53 (fourteen years ago) link

I don't like City of Refuge that much though....too much crabwalkin!

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 17:55 (fourteen years ago) link

You weren't hip. John Fahey was. That's why you listened to him in the first place, see? (xpost)

Vicious Cop Kills Gentle Fool (Dada), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 18:01 (fourteen years ago) link

calling fahey's music soulless is grossly uninformed hyperbole.

Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 18:12 (fourteen years ago) link

Dadaismus: That's right I wasn't hip, I was dumb. John Fahey wasn't hip either, he was boring. He still is boring. Can you give me a reason to think he's either hip or boring or both?

valdemar (nubbin), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 18:13 (fourteen years ago) link

this is one boring-ass thread.

hstencil (hstencil), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 18:14 (fourteen years ago) link

Calling Fahey's music interesting or soulful is overblown overstatement.

valdemar (nubbin), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 18:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Ok, more talk about Fahey. It's good that there are people out there who dislike Fahey and the music community isn't all united in some meaningless sort of agreement about his excellence, but I am not in their camp. It's pointless to try and convince anyone to that Fahey is not boring. But I'll try and say a little bit about why I think he's so great.

Fahey produced an impressive variety of stuff and my feelings about it vary. If I'm not in the mood for Hitomi maybe I want to hear his dixieland stuff, or A Raga Called Pat, or The Oregon Capital Inn blah blah - he did a lot of different stuff! Seriously! And yet, maybe this is all my imaginings and projections, but I can sense the same determination behind it, the clear-headed, straight up emotionality and that killer sense of humour. Even (especially) with his writing. More than any one of his styles, or his status as an innovator or whatever, I'm mostly in love with the wonderful personality I feel behind it all. And when I listen to Sun Gonna Shine In My Backdoor Someday Blues I'm not listening to, as he describes it, a bitonal piece played in a John Hurt, ragtime finger-picking pattern style, I'm listening to... I don't know, something much trickier to word. More than any other music I feel this with Fahey. When I first heard him just after I turned 18 I was blown away by how ridiculously intuitive it seemed - it was so obvious, I couldn't believe I ever bothered with other music.

A lot of what's written about Fahey to convince you of his IMPORTANCE talks about how he was the first to do X or an exciting blend of country blues, 20th century classical, indian classical... blah blah. To me at least, it doesn't sound like that and it wouldn't be nearly as interesting if it did. All that seems incidental. The way I hear it (and I appreciate the subjectivity of all this), Fahey is trying to get to SOMETHING and all the technical details are just his way of getting to it. I guess that's it anyway, it's why I feel the same sorts of things listening to such a diverse range of music. It's not the language he's developed, but what he's saying with it.

Ogmor Roundtrouser (Ogmor Roundtrouser), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 18:20 (fourteen years ago) link


Excelsior Syndrum (noodle vague), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 18:20 (fourteen years ago) link

I just threw a rock into the pond, and it made small waves.. then they ended.

I'm so fucking proud of throwing that rock into the pond.

Those little waves just marched around in their own order, but in no way that anyone could have predicted.

Even though the pond got back to equilibrium in about 10 seconds, I have to say that, for a small while, I was fucking make waves in that pond. I threw the rock, the waves happened, they ended, and it was because of me.

Fuck you, pond. I would never hesitate to throw another rock in you.

Dom iNut (donut), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 18:22 (fourteen years ago) link

Are we going to debate what soul is again? I hope so. I hope it's also kind of racist and completely uninformed. I want some more of that.

And Leo Kotke rules so watch it, pals.

!~~~~11@@, Tuesday, 10 January 2006 18:23 (fourteen years ago) link

I think I heard there is a new edition of volume 2 coming out soon

Any idea where?

I still think the discographical detail of Vol. 1 is a little (okay a lot) OTT. But when I go through a period like this, where I literally can’t get enough of the guy, the reviews, letters and historical background in this is like shooting Fahey straight into my veins.

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 16 September 2019 01:28 (five months ago) link

Some days I wonder if “Funeral Song for Mississippi John Hurt” is the best thing he ever did. The transition to the B-section at 1’04” is just glorious.

On others, I feel like the man may have said it all with Blind Joe Death. I mean, those dissonances on “Sun Gonna Shine on My Back Door” ... or the melodic and rhythmic variation on “Sligo River Blues” ... in 1959? At twenty years old?


Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 16 September 2019 17:31 (five months ago) link

has there ever been a fahey albums poll? i have like, idk, fifteen albums and still kind of feel like i don't know THE DEFINITIVE one.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Monday, 16 September 2019 17:43 (five months ago) link

ahh, yes there has!

so, i see i have three of the top ten.


Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Monday, 16 September 2019 17:46 (five months ago) link

those results are demented. NTI are you thinking of running the big Fahey poll that you've had in the queue for years?

ogmor, Monday, 16 September 2019 18:26 (five months ago) link

I'd probably vote Red Cross if this was tomorrow (and I had to pick *one*). Or America.

Life is a meaningless nightmare of suffering...save string (Chinaski), Monday, 16 September 2019 18:39 (five months ago) link

of the ones i know, i'm partial to the yellow princess. the version of america i have is the two disc vinyl reissue that is still somehow abridged i guess?? but yeah: it's pretty solid.

gonna have a relisten of transfiguration of blind joe death right now!

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Monday, 16 September 2019 18:53 (five months ago) link

those results are demented. NTI are you thinking of running the big Fahey poll that you've had in the queue for years?

I’m not sure how I got signed up for that but in some ways, I’d love to. My problem is that I’ve never run a poll and have great anxiety about the idea of taking one on – much less one as complicated as Fahey. I mean, how do you even do tracks like “Wine and Roses” which also shows up as “The Red Pony” and “The Approaching of the Disco Void” among others.

And then you have all the medleys. It seems like it’d be wrong to score them individually but hell to cross-reference everything and them it that way ... but I’m open to thoughts.

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 16 September 2019 22:59 (five months ago) link

unpopular opinion: all fahey songs are the same song.

that song just so happens to be awesome is all.

but yeah, a fahey poll would be a gargantuan task.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Monday, 16 September 2019 23:20 (five months ago) link

uh you haven't heard Red Cross huh

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 17 September 2019 00:14 (five months ago) link

or City Of Refuge

or The Mill Pond


sleeve, Tuesday, 17 September 2019 00:38 (five months ago) link

I would treat different versions, renamings and live versions as remixes: aggregate scores but note which version gets what. mb have a side poll for medleys (tho quite what counts is ambiguous so I'd leave it open) (a cpl of medleys wld probably/hopefully show up in the main poll too). wonder if it would be worth sending out the bat signal to the Fahey Yahoo list, would be v intrigued to hear the opinions of ppl who have heard like 25+ Fahey albums

ogmor, Tuesday, 17 September 2019 07:37 (five months ago) link

as for fahey songs being the same, on one hand there is all sorts of disparate stuff being pulled together w/ fahey, even on the same song, that he normally doesn't get credited for & ppl will instead compare anyone who plays mellow alternating bass in an open tuning with notes played more or less at random over the top to fahey. on the other hand: i agree w/ austin and there's a good reason the first bit of guitar instruction in vampire vultures was to contemplate the notion of the eternal snake

ogmor, Tuesday, 17 September 2019 08:00 (five months ago) link

lol i was just making fun re: nti's observation of how difficult a fahey poll would be because of the numerous guises he put song into.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Tuesday, 17 September 2019 15:08 (five months ago) link

I do agree that there is a certain contemplative, searching spirit that remains present in his work regardless of external stylings

sleeve, Tuesday, 17 September 2019 15:28 (five months ago) link

three months pass...

Just was gifted The Transcendental Waterfall: Guitar Excursions 1962-67 (blue!) vinyl box of the first six records on 4 Men With Beards. Has really nice packaging reproducing the original Takoma records – thick cardboard sleeves, liner note inserts, a poster, postcard and green fluorescent(!) T-shirt. Takoma probably has my favorite label stickers too:


Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 24 December 2019 20:16 (two months ago) link


was sure this was a New Possibilty revive...it remains the only xmas music I can handle repeated listens of

Suggest Banshee (Hadrian VIII), Tuesday, 24 December 2019 21:04 (two months ago) link

@NTI: ISO pic of tshirt pls?

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 24 December 2019 21:26 (two months ago) link

How’s the sound on that set? I’ve heard not-great things about some of 4MWB’s reissues.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 24 December 2019 21:28 (two months ago) link

Awes thread, don't recall it! Thisun's good too Search and Destroy: John Fahey
For inst:
At a friend's urging, I've finally checked out some Faheytronica: part 1 of my first-listening notes:

after googling started with Requia, "Requiem For Molly," in four parts.
Part 1 turns out to be very handsome, perhaps courtly but not genteel solo guitar,
the other three parts include "sonic collages." as online sources put it ( with which he is assisted by music writer Barry Hansen, AKA Dr. Demento, maestro of the syndicated novelty radio show). "Collage" is especially appropriate because the news reel etc. bits sound like animated newspaper clippings, maybe wiggling envelopes sometimes, and mainly I like the way their contours and the pacing of placement---also the cadences and intonation of spoken word and other sounds, Hitler and bombers and so on, go with the guitar sound. Fahey said later he didn't like the results, though did consider this experiment a valuable "learning experience." It's not that different from other "underground" tracks you find on LPs of that era, '67 or so, in terms of choosing what we'd call samples, but I haven't heard any other American artist from that neck of the woods--the rock folk weirdo neck---who made it all work as this kind of ambient experience, social commentary and hipster humor aside, although I guess those might be in there too (first listening)

Probably better though--not as dependent on my own quirks/glosses of hearing----is "The Singing Bridge of Memphis Tennessee," from The Yellow Princess: much more sophisticated, in terms of no newsreel, newspaper clippings glued on, just what does indeed sound like a singing bridge---of steel guitar strings, various other metals used in constructing a bridge over a body of water, maybe some water effects pulled in, vibrations and whistles and other nice things (incl vocal?), all layered and merged, just attached and distinct enough. It's based in part on "Quill Blues" by Big Boy Cleveland, and may incl. some of that original recording (think I saw that statement or speculation somewhere)

The Epiphany of Glenn Jones is all over the place,
Conceptually I totally dig the opener, "Tuff, " right away, although the glacial zen groove trek had me nodding a bit, so it turns out even good drones can do that, h'mm.
"Gamelan Collage" different enough to keep me awake, but lost me sometimes,
"Maggie Campbell Blues" quite splendid courtship again,
"New Red Pony" is heavy smokey red rock, awright,
"Out Puppet Selves" is UFO Bebe Barron dub plate equiv of op art, which I like: if you're gonna go this way, bear down on the basic texture FX, awright again.
"Gamelan Guitar" like a real good dream I forget right after it's over (but I can go back again to this dream, yay).
This version of "Come On In My Kitchen" is discreetly tweaked, also tweeked, just enough to enhance it in ways prob unnec but v enjoyable.
"Magic Mountain" is back to the science fiction soundtrack, but much more varied than "Out Puppet Selves," and a little too soft-focus for me, so far.
The spoken word-based closers go on very long, though I like that, even though Fahey keeps ending up with nothing, even when the pretty lady persuades him to board the bus to scenic Exstinkyville, he eventually (very eventuallly) remembers "the basic dialectic of life," or some kind of dialectin and sings a hearty "No-o-o," then an equally hearty "Ye-e--e-s," continuing while the band makes noise around him.
Next will be City of Refuge, Womblive, The Mill Pond EP, located here and there, mostly posted track by track on YouTube. The albums I'm talking about above are all on Spotify, at least the version we get over here. (Meaning America; guy I was responding to is in Europe.)

― dow, Tuesday, 26 April 2016 22:25 (three years ago) link

Pt. 2, dammit! (Maybe some of this will sound better as I listen more; despite what I said toward the end, I did keep all of City and Womblife)(Snapped up The Mill Pond EP from WFMU)

Starting again with City of Refuge, which chronologically I should have listened to before Epiphany, which Glenn J. meant as a corrective to the former, to save his hero and help him find a way to say the new thing he was trying to say. Later, he also writes, he decided both albums what Fahey meant them to be: photographs of him at the time they were made. However, after hearing City, I gotta say, "Thanks GJ and Cul De Sac (and God I wish you could have pulled him back from Womblife, although The Mill Pond works fine")!---but I'm getting ahead of myself).
CoR: "Fanfare" is well-named: flourishes, with buzzy picking and strumming and chopping.
The second track seems more like tuning up and/or down, who cares, ditto for the title.
"City of Refuge I"' is 20-odd minutes long, first half feat. ominous peg-twisting and whatnot. The second turns up a skeletal pattern, then a sunny stroll-along, and then somewhat merges the two motifs, in a natural way: you go for a stroll, you and your shadow (not the song of that title, just the thing that happens). Wanders off somewhere, but with a good edit, hey.
"Chelsey Silver, Please Call Home" starts promisingly, the silvery Classic John, but gets a little too reliant on basic devices and reminds me that one reason he was trying new directions was diabetic nerve damage in fingers (ouch, ouch ouch just thinking about it)
Nevertheless, "City of Refuge III," with evocation of silver bells and chimes calling insistently over an earthly shuffle, is very fine, and the only one of these YouTubes I bothered to download.
Womblife has some kinda nice drone lullabys and doppler-shift x sealife imitations at times, but most of it's rubbish; I'd call it heavy new age, but not that heavy. "Juana" reverts to the more popular JF: crisp Spanishy morning sounds, cogent back and forth of a and b melodies, even underselling lyricism or at least fluidity, but another one that could use an edit: 12 minutes, jeez
The Mill Pond EP! Wasn't expecting much, but true avant garage, as Crocus Behemoth would put it, with vocal and other sweaty bristley Radio Shack Popular Mechanics bits and kits from Dad's abandoned workshop, returning via cyberTibet understages, more like whole underlives--- attention-grabbing/holding, viable moments and passages flashing by. Another scribble mentions " a good motif for soundtrack of Japanese folk-horror art film, or Roger Corman's remake, " and "Garbage" suggests more of the 50s UFO-huffing found on The Epiphany's "Out Puppet Selves," but also with traces of Hendrix emulating that kind of soundtrack,and suspense as the saucer reverb inches toward liftoff/spinoff. Some tracks may use elements of each other, and for the climax, Fahey seems to be chanting while eating his way through his guitar----which reminds me of Andy Beta's testimony, one of the very best of its kind and flavor:

(Later I remembered to tell him about delta-slider.)

― dow, Tuesday, 26 April 2016 22:29 (three years ago) link

great posts & 'Faheytronica' is a fine coinage

The Singing Bridge of Memphis Tennessee definitely has a straight sample from Quill Blues - https://youtu.be/kTdIMR9bGpM - & I think it's my favourite of these efforts, alongside A Raga Called Pat, though the guitar is still obviously the star of the latter

The Epiphany of Glenn Jones is probably the strangest Fahey album, it really is all over the place & I don't love most of it but Fahey's voice/monologue/dialectic on the last two tracks is just incredible to me, love the live recordings when his introductions become circuitous and oblique for the same reason & the trio recording where he reads from the liner notes to the first album, his voice has got that same heft

― ogmor, Wednesday, 27 April 2016 00:45 (three years ago) link

dow, Tuesday, 24 December 2019 21:55 (two months ago) link

How’s the sound on that set? I’ve heard not-great things about some of 4MWB’s reissues.

― Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat)

mine sounded fine for most of it, there were definitely a few single-rotation pressing flaws that distorted or crackled but I'd guess 99% of the actual music was totally clear

sleeve, Wednesday, 25 December 2019 00:33 (one month ago) link

Thanks, good to know!

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 25 December 2019 01:17 (one month ago) link

my box is really good pressing wise, sounds good to me... they weren't the highest fidelity recordings to begin with but I love how they sound

the ugly colored t-shirt is an awesome and dorky extra

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 25 December 2019 02:13 (one month ago) link

@NTI: ISO pic of tshirt pls?

the ugly colored t-shirt is an awesome and dorky extra

Ugly? Au contraire, mon frère ...

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 25 December 2019 06:29 (one month ago) link

Piss, I can’t get the link to work: https://photos.app.goo.gl/5pKzgC8zTpfDQz396

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 25 December 2019 06:34 (one month ago) link

Haha, awesome. I'd rock that for sure.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 25 December 2019 07:14 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

one for your next rave:


ymo sumac (NickB), Friday, 31 January 2020 10:40 (three weeks ago) link

(^ sligo river river blues in a lo-fi house style)

ymo sumac (NickB), Friday, 31 January 2020 10:41 (three weeks ago) link

(it's a bit naff tbh)

ymo sumac (NickB), Friday, 31 January 2020 10:41 (three weeks ago) link

(and yet...)

ymo sumac (NickB), Friday, 31 January 2020 10:43 (three weeks ago) link

lol that is kinda good.

tylerw, Friday, 31 January 2020 17:25 (three weeks ago) link

I'm into it

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 31 January 2020 19:22 (three weeks ago) link

had he lived a few more years would fahey have made a vaporwave record

tylerw, Friday, 31 January 2020 20:15 (three weeks ago) link

IDK, but "american primitive synthesizer" is a concept I have thought-experimented with

may the force leave us alone (zchyrs), Friday, 31 January 2020 21:40 (three weeks ago) link

^^ go straight to Sun Ra's "Space Probe"!

let's talk about gecs baby (sleeve), Friday, 31 January 2020 21:42 (three weeks ago) link

Re: "American primitive synthesizer" - https://hanklebury.bandcamp.com/album/delta-drone

ogmor, Friday, 31 January 2020 21:46 (three weeks ago) link

this sounds cool! is it ... real?

tylerw, Friday, 31 January 2020 22:00 (three weeks ago) link

oh haha, i see that it isn't. still sounds good!

"*Don't believe everything you read, folks. I'm just indulging in a little imaginative exercise with this project--HT"

tylerw, Friday, 31 January 2020 22:02 (three weeks ago) link

you need an inauthentic backstory to be authentically american primitive!

ogmor, Saturday, 1 February 2020 00:41 (three weeks ago) link

I think I mentioned my love of “Funeral Song for Mississippi John Hurt” upthread off Of Rivers and Religion – but I just realized that I think what I love most about it is the moment it changes to the B-section.

It has the same elated feeling of tension and release as (wait for it) James Brown’s “Sex Machine” (or a few years later,“There It Is”) – where the vamp of the verse just goes and goes and goes, building and building, before WHAM the modulation happens and the skies open and ... wow. It’s just a beautiful all-time moment for Fahey in a career that was really filled with them.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 6 February 2020 15:47 (two weeks ago) link

it's one of his best pieces, i personally love the herky jerky hi-fidelity version on 'of rivers and religion', close to definitive

global tetrahedron, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 00:24 (one week ago) link

Agreed -- I've been doing some modular synthesizer interpretations of Fahey tunes and am working off of the Requia version for this one, which has a completely different structure and starts with the B section. He doesn't get into the long, pedal-pointy A-section that leads the Of Rivers and Religion version until over two minutes in. It's a great piece all the same, but the tension and release I described upthread is totally different.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 13:13 (one week ago) link

they're both great and the contrast between them makes me appreciate both more. requia one has a more classical/flowing feel, the beginning is so light and gorgeous

ogmor, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 13:42 (one week ago) link

he had such a light touch in the 60s. it's so amazing to watch his picking hand on those 'guitar guitar' appearances

global tetrahedron, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 14:51 (one week ago) link

yeah he quite suddenly got a lot heavier sometime around 1969

ogmor, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 15:01 (one week ago) link

that can happen when all you do is sit around all day playing guitar

Evan, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 15:31 (one week ago) link

I wouldn't rule out the influence of alcohol either

ogmor, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 15:48 (one week ago) link

And trauma/mental illness

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 16:34 (one week ago) link

it's a rich tapestry!

tylerw, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 16:43 (one week ago) link

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