Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TVD Class of '76 | 'School Days' by Stanley Clarke

Jeff from AM, Then FM returns with another dip into the '70's box of LPs:

Back in the '70s in our part of Wisconsin, beer was our regular vice, but we did sample other substances from time to time.

Likewise, rock was our regular sound, but we did sample other vibes from time to time.

"School Days," the 1976 album by jazz bassist Stanley Clarke was one such vibe.

I'm not all that knowledgeable about jazz, so let's just call this record the place where rock meets funk meets jazz. That will have to do.

I may not be able to deconstruct it, but I have long enjoyed it -- from the memorable three-note bass riff that opens "School Days" to the tribal-sounding percussion on "The Dancer" to the triple-guitar attack and funky horns on "Hot Fun."

Stanley Clarke - School Days (Mp3)
Stanley Clarke - The Dancer (Mp3)
Stanley Clarke - Hot Fun (Mp3)

"School Days" is out of print but is available digitally.

A TVD Special Event | Story/Stereo

TVD's special Story/Stereo event in advance of Friday night's convergence of music and the written word at the Writer's Center in Bethesda continues with Roofwalker's drummer, Elmer Sharp with a flashback or three:

"As a kid in the 70s and early 80s, my dad played bass in a band nearly every weekend. The band was always in the garage practicing for shows and my sisters and I would go out and dance to songs from Booker T. & The MG's and Sly & The Family Stone. 
I’m the one screaming on the left. 


In high school I listened mostly to hip hop like Eric B. & Rakim, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, Digable Planets. My dad got me a Pearl electronic drum kit. It was just like the one that the Rick Allen used to play in Def Leppard. I got my acoustic kit some time latter and started taking drum lessons. I pretty much horrified my instructor when I would bring RUN DMC tapes in say I want to learn to play this song. He would cringe and say "well… back to Welcome to the Jungle.” 
I think because I was forced into playing songs I didn't appreciate at the time, I didn't really get into rock music until later when I started listening to bands like My Bloody Valentine, The Stone Roses, Slowdive and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Most of this music was a consequence of my friend Sean buying Going Blank Again by Ride for me from the local Sam Goody. What a great record. I got Nowhere following that and became totally hooked. Nowhere is still one of my favorite albums, and I have been a huge fan of shoegaze and experimental rock ever since.

Not too long following, I became a little distant from music, not really exploring new bands or even playing my own instrument. I went on a road trip to NY for New Years Eve in 2001 and was sitting around in a friend’s apartment. He put on Sigur Ros and it completely blew my mind. I remember very clearly listening to "Svefn-g-englar". The gentle drumming and soaring guitars fit my personality perfectly and brought everything back which I love about music. It’s something that's not forced upon you but very easily grabs you. It made me wonder what this was and what was being said. I ended up eventually finding English translations for the lyrics and found beautiful poetry in every word."

Ride - Kaleidoscope (Mp3)
Sigur Ros - Svefn-g-englar (Mp3)