March, 2005: Tunes Sunni's Spinning
What do you get when Frank Zappa and Rush collide -- and there's a sideswipe of King Crimson tossed into the mix? You get Primus! And if you think that blend sounds weird, well, we've just begun. The band wanders from country-inspired twang, complete with banjo, to muddy grunge with Les Claypool's signature bass slaps, to tasty metal riffs, and beyond, and manages to sound fresh and interesting in every area. Even better, many of their songs have anti-state themes (e.g., Sgt. Baker, Electric Uncle Sam, Power Mad, and DMV; others are solidly individualistic (Eleven, The Antipop, Seas of Cheese, and Nature Boy are good examples). The releases I've been queuing up most often are Sailing the Seas of Cheese, Antipop, and Pork Soda. Primus isn't for everyone, but if you like quirky rock, and you're willing to give them a few listens, they might be for you.
Crosby, Stills, & Nash's boxed set, 4 is also getting heavy play. Truthfully, I don't listen to it all -- I've created a playlist of the songs I like best from it and enjoy that regularly. Those tunes include the standards (Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, Carry On, Wooden Ships), but also their more politically-oriented material, such as Immigration Man, Military Madness, Man in the Mirror, and Cathedral. And I always close out with my favorite CSN song, Dark Star.
The Gipsy Kings' music is a recent discovery, prompted by a friend's recommendation. I have their Greatest Hits release, and it never fails to lift my spirits and set my toes tapping. As the name suggests, it's gypsy music -- heavy on guitar, syncopated rhythms, and usually not in English. Another release is titled Love and Liberte -- doesn't that say enough? This music is wonderful stuff, and I'm going to add more to my collection as soon as I can.