Friday, November 16, 2007


The latest from the purveyor of all things CD is Amoeba Records' Gram Parsons with the Flying Burrito Brothers, Live at the Avalon Ballroom 1969, complete with liner notes by Miss Pamela (and how excited are we to discover that she has a new book? very excited). It's taken from the amazing Grateful Dead vaults--the Flying Burrito Brothers opened for the Dead that night, and what I would give to have been at that show!

It's funny how Gram gets rediscovered every few years, but I suppose he is so fundamental that it's just going to keep happening. You don't need to subscribe to the great man theory of history to say that Gram was a crucial, perhaps the crucial, link in the chain that led us to Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, the Jayhawks, basically alt-country as we know and love it today. This live recording actually sounds super-country to my ears, and the word that keeps coming to mind as I listen to it is "pretty," which I think has become a totally debased word, but really does have something to mean.

Why pretty instead of beautiful? Because there's something light about these songs. Eh, that's not right either, because I don't mean anything flimsy, which light seems to evoke in this context. And I don't want to go down the overworked road of beautiful, lovely, sweet. I've been thinking about this CD for two days now, and I still can't find the words, which is very unusual for me.

I'll just say that it is a total pleasure to listen to, if you have any investment in this strand of music history, but also for itself.


jackie said...

Two things:

* I'm jealous that you own the Miss Pamela books. I want.

* I'm very intrigued by the CD, and I am ashamed to admit that I was introduced to Gram Parsons by my college boyfriend when Evan Dando did a bunch of Gram covers.

thatgirl said...

Thanks for the rec!