Jimi Hendrix – “People, Hell and Angels” (2013)

March 7, 2013 at 8:17 am (Jimi Hendrix, Music, Reviews & Articles)

A great review by Ted Scheinman of a new Hendrix collection that came out this week. This comes from Slant magazine, Feb. 28th…

People, Hell and Angels isn’t a jumble of Jimi Hendrix B-sides, nor does it feature half-formed songs given the ProTools treatment. And there isn’t a single “live” track to be found on the album. (Robert Christgau wrote in 1986 that “after years of repackaging, only suckers and acolytes get hot for another live Hendrix album.” Christgau was not an acolyte.) In fact, People, Hell and Angels delivers crisper delights than 2010’s Valleys of Neptune, interpolating less obvious (and far less accessible) material while also standing as a well-crafted, deftly paced album in its own right. The longest song runs less than seven minutes—a quantifiable indication of the album’s unthreatening nature, and a testament to the good sense of Eddie Kramer (Hendrix’s George Martin and the engineering sage behind the new album).

Recorded, sometimes in secret, between March, 1968 and December, 1969, People, Hell and Angels comprises 12 tracks that pop with an electricity born of Hendrix’s sense of forward motion—in his capital-A art, but also in his own playing and ability to galvanize a rotating band of non-Experience types, including Stephen Stills, Lonnie Youngblood, Rocky Isaac, plus perennial accomplices Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, and Buddy Miles. In other words: 19 Great Performances this ain’t, and thank God. Instead, we get airtight playing and new, consistently interesting material—plus more than a glimpse of the musical space toward which Jimi was feeling his way. This is Hendrix shifting into funk, but also minimalism-as-maximalism via virility and volume—that is, in the vein of Sabbath and Zeppelin (two bands forever indebted to Hendrix), People, Hell and Angels contains a quartet of songs each built on a single one- or two-string monster riff. Chord changes matter about as much here as they do on Bitches Brew. Read the rest of this entry »

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President Obama’s Weekly Address (March 2, 2013)

March 7, 2013 at 8:10 am (Life & Politics)

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