Edicts of Nancy

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Sister Nancy Beth's vinyl countdown

You can be forgiven for thinking that your beloved Sister Nancy Beth was Raptured away to the Sweet Hereafter, Christians, but I have in fact been deeply engrossed with The Lord's work: digitizing my collection of LPs.

Loyal Nancy-Cons will recall that I attempted this back in June, but because Satan had installed a particularly weak pre-amp in my turntable, my efforts were largely in vain. Jesus must have seen how much pleasure the iPod Shuffle we won two weeks ago at Ghetto Pavilions has given me -- I now spend my time on the subway listening to my collection of 45 minute long stonerific hymns rather than questioning the patriotism of my fellow passengers -- so He worked another of His miracles and whipped up that turntable that connects to a USB port that I've been coveting.

There was a slight learning curve for the software, but it's been pretty much full tilt ahead since last Thursday. I was going to undertake this systematically, starting with my A's and working through the alphabet, but Temptation got the better of Sister Nancy Beth and I'm doing this as the impulse strikes me. Here's what's made the cut so far:

Chet Atkins - "The Last Thing on My Mind." I don't expect anyone reading this to have ever seen Stroszek, but as Bruno the retard, Eva the hooker, and Scheitz the midget head expectantly into America's Heartland in their oversized domestic model sedan, this is the song that welcomes them to their new lives of manufactured housing, menial labor, and credit card debt. God Bless America!

Oren Ambarchi - Stacte.3. I'm pretty sure this is the one that made me abandon alphabetical order and pick them out as my capricious whims dictate. Side 1: plinkity guitar noodling. Yawn. Side 2: Organum-like bowed cymbal (usually a good thing, only in this instance, it's not) followed by some cool oscillator-like tones that overlap and mesh with other sounds. It was visually interesting to see this song play out on the screen, since it looked like this:

For reference, pretty much everything else looks like this:


Grouper - Cover the Windows and the Walls. This came out earlier this year and may very well be Sister Nancy Beth's favorite album of 2007. I'm not sure what motivates somebody to release something on vinyl only in this day and age, since being able to actually listen to an LP presents quite a hurdle for the average person to clear. My cynical side thinks it may be a way to outsmart file-sharers (damn kids), but I also suspect it's a test of my loyalty as a fan. Regardless of the efforts it took, it was worth it, because the lovely and talented Miss Grouper makes some of the most glorious psychedelia around. Enjoy the Heavenly sounds of one woman and her effects pedals here, here, and especially here. Glory!

Christina Carter - Bastard Wing. A woman sings like a fallen angel and hammers away at an abandoned piano in a Houston boathouse while geckos, birds, and salamanders chirp and croak in the background. This is an amazing record by a singular talent. It's a shame it won't be heard by more people.

Mirror - Nights. Side one is a steel drum gently accompanying the the shifting pitch of an overhead propeller craft; side two is the sound of an orchestral string section being sucked into a whirlpool. My favorite record ever!

I've also done the powerline and refrigerator hum duets of JMJ Trio's In the Absence of the Third and K-Group & Omit's Storage, the damaged-beyond-recognition folk of Leslie Q's Presque Vu!, the sidelong chord organ and pedal steel blissouts/freakouts Charalmbides' IN CR EA SE, their more mannered (but not much) Market Square, and Mirror's singing bowl-heavy Under the Sun, all of which will be sweetening my morning commute this coming week. For those of you who are bored by these types of entries: The novelty of this exercise is wearing off and I'm beginning to feel a little fried from all my time in front of a computer, so Christian Outrage should resume shortly. Praise Him!



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