Yesterday NPR aired a good feature on Tony Schwartz. While every obituary spotlights the daisy ad he created for the 1964 LBJ campaign, the music he compiled and self recorded ought to be the real legacy.



Last but not least in today's trio of music documentaries I'm looking forward to is Kasper Collin's somewhat mysterious film about Albert Ayler. While the film has played in numerous cities across the US and in Europe, I always seem to miss it, whether I'm out of town or working or just a little too late to the party. Which is why I'm excited that Mr. Collin has announced that "My Name Is Albert Ayler" will be available on DVD this fall.


While The Monks can hardly be considered truly obscure, they are indeed overlooked and neglected by the music-buying-public at large. Over a year ago, Play Loud! Films announced they were working on a documentary about everyone's favorite tonsured servicemen, but despite having its world-wide theatrical debut in Germany in late '07, the film has yet to show up stateside. Play Loud! also recently announced that due to filming of a new, undisclosed project, they are pushing back the DVD release, which is sort of a drag. I thought I'd post the trailer, just remind folks to keeps their eyes and ears open for news on the film's US debut.

For more info, head over to the Play Loud! website.


I just came across the trailer for the upcoming Raymond Scott documentary. Directed by his son, Stan Warnow, the work in progress will examine the life and work of an innovator whose career spanned from the big band era to early electronic music, with a detour to the Looney Tunes studio in between. Scott never actually composed for cartoons, but his loopy, outer-world compositions were licensed and adapted by Carl Stalling for dozens (if not hundreds) of classic 'toons featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig, among others. Check out the trailer below.

For more information about Scott and the film, go here.

Documentary Trailer for RAYMOND SCOTT: ON TO SOMETHING from Stan Warnow on Vimeo.





Mississippi Records opened right around the time I first moved to Portland. During those watershed years (moved away from home, went to school, dropped out, etc.) the store functioned as a gentle reeducation. I took some of my first tentative steps into reggae, jazz, blues, without any of the easy distractions of lavish but clumsy CD reissues or the momentary indie rock fĂȘted. There was never any antagonism for the hours I spent browsing and listening, often without purchasing anything, nor any of the requisite snobbery or weirdly aggressive indie rock promotion-- Sleater Kinney covering every square inch-- just a bunch of good records.

The place does a number of things every record store ought to-- there is a listening station without any officious demands of collateral, a daily rotating section of new arrivals, and a deceptively manageable volume of well organized and fairly priced records. Eric the owner is an amiable, totally without pretense, righteous man who I secretly worship (secret's out--thanks Internet!). Add to this impeccable curatorial powers and aesthetic judgment* His label of the same name has released several handsomely packaged records over the last few years, both compilations and reissues as well as some local Portland artists. Nearly everything is stellar and otherwise impossible to find or outlandishly expensive. So without any further goofy adulation here are some links to two releases.

First, the exceptional compilation of gospel Life is a Problem

And perhaps my favorite, Love is Love a compilation of songs from throughout Africa, many originally appearing on the wonderful and long out of print Original Music release Africa Dances.

*The whole aesthetic package is money including the lovely hand painted window The sign gives you an idea of the shop's politick in a contentious neighborhood.