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Album of the Day 4/3/11

Every day, our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues all the way to #1. Sunday’s album was #667:

Jefferson Airplane – After Bathing at Baxter’s

The bass player owns this album. Jack Casady’s growling, spiraling climbs, slinking funky rhythm and burning chords defined the Airplane at peak altitude, 1968. Add to that Paul Kantner’s stinging rhythm, Jorma Kaukonen’s crazed, jagged twelve-string leads, Spencer Dryden’s jazz-influenced drumming and Grace Slick’s presence (on the wane at this point) and you have a psychedelic rock classic. Kaukonen’s anxious ballad The Last Wall of the Castle, Slick’s darkly hypnotic James Joyce homage, Rejoyce and Kantner’s ferociously incisive Young Girl Sunday Blues are all great cuts. So is Two Heads, pulsing along on Casady’s bass chords. Watch Her Ride and Wild Tyme are slamming upbeat numbers; The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil a big crowd-pleaser and Won’t You Try/Saturday Afternoon a reversion to the folk-rock of Surrealistic Pillow. There’s also the woozy instrumental Spare Chaynge, which sounds like Jorma and Jack jamming out after way too much ganja, forgetting that the tape was rolling. It was also the last good studio album the band did. Here’s a random torrent.

April 4, 2011 Posted by | lists, Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 2/5/09

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Thursday’s is #538:

The Great Society – Darkly Smiling

This was Grace Slick’s band before she joined Jefferson Airplane in 1967. By far the best song they ever did, Slick’s vocals on this gorgeously dark, jangly garage-rock smash are a little wobbly, but it’s the melody that slams you upside the head. Her (soon-to-be ex-) husband Darby Slick’s casually crescendoing guitar strumming into the chorus is absolutely killer. Originally from a posthumous double live album from 1970 (the band’s only official release) , it’s surprisingly available at the usual sites.

February 5, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment