Smooth On The Edges: Alex De Grassi – Southern Exposure

Every now and then I try to give another shot to records that I gave up on, I try to keep it positive and time and after time find out what’s that little thing that may show up and turn me on.


Such record is Alex De GrassiSouthern Exposure‘ whom I had for many years but always felt careless about it for being too softy. That Winhdam Hill sound, isn’t always  easy to me. It often sound too ‘right’, no rough edges, no wrinklers, no scars.


But I fell in love with that record, and it was ’36′, the third track from this album, that really opened my ears.
Alex’s playing is gentle yet very confident. He produces rich sound out of a solo instrument and the compositions are recalls elements from Bright Size Life and Pierre Bensusan while you can hear a certain ‘Takoma’ background there in the back.
Very imaginary and beautiful. Highly recommended for guitar music fans.

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On Steve Gunn and Carton Boxes

It seems that everywhere I go, I bump into Steve Gunn‘s new excellent album Way Out Weather.
I’m now moving my flat so I’m living between carton boxes, lp’s, clothes, the entire 2002-2005 collection of Mojo magazine and more and more things. You know the feeling that you have way too much then you need? So I decided to get rid of lp’s and books that I don’t need. The rule is simple, if it hasn’t been played OR pulled from the shelf in the last four years – it’s out.

And so, Steve Gunn’s new album is the soundtrack that is played throughout the process, and time and time again I run that line in my head ‘your faith is savage and your mind is damage’ (Milly’s Garden). Such a brilliant song/ I go to the toilet with it, take dog out with it, it’s always there.

So yesterday I went to the record store to sell them some of those unplayed lp’s (Dylan’s Self Portrait, the last Quicksilver album, Casbah Rock by the Clash, CSNY 4 way Street (Israeli horrible print that sounds like one of that carton boxes the surrounds me) and more. I step into the store, and there you go, of course, they listen to Gunn new album, track no. 3. Of Course.

Returned home, made some soup, that line’s still stuck in my head. Took my smartphone, got an email from a friend. ‘man, you gotta check this cool album out’. You know what popped up when i clicked that YouTube link, right?


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Seven Little Anecdotes About Led Zeppelin 3

Led Zeppelin 3 is my favorite album of the band, who’s probably my all time favorite band. Does that make ’3′ my favorite album ever. No. But it still ranks VERY high in a constantly changing top ten list of fav albums.
This album was released today, Oct 5th 1970 and I thought I’d share couple of points about it.

Here are couple of random thoughts about the album:
Led Zeppelin 3












1. Folk – I didn’t know when I was 16 and first listened to it, that I’m into folk music. But this album always seemed so different and unique to me, that today I know it’s the blend of folk music into the riffs and distorted guitars. ‘Friends’ with his eastern vibe remained an all time classic for me.
2. Faults – Zeppelin is considered a band of professional musicians, session musicians who know how to play anything. But in their music they sometimes allowed themselves to stick to the killer take, even if the band was not playing ‘right’. Such example exists in Since I’ve Been Loving You, where Bonham sets a pretty slow tempo at the beginning and end it in a whole different, much faster tempo. Not sure that the plan.

3. Design – when I was 16, it was the CD era and I was living in Israel, where local vinyl prints were often made in the cheapest way possible. So not only it took me three years to realize that the CD I hold lacks a spinning wheel that was there in the LP version – it took another two years to actually see this wheel, because the Israeli print that I bought was, well, cheap, wheel-less print. Until this day, I have the cheap version and I don’t have the wheel. Give me a wheel.

4. My bass playing evolved thanks to constant playing of three bands – The Bealtes, Yes, and Zeppelin. For some reason, with Three, I mainly listened to the music but haven’t played JPJ’s riffs that much. I think it was the frustration of not getting it right when I tried playing Immigrant Song. Why didn’t I skip that song and went to play the other songs? I have no idea.

5. Being a fan of Bert Jansch and English folk music, I knew all about Jimmy Page’s ‘uber-influence’, surprisingly similar tunes that were published before by other people and were credited to him. But it was only couple of years ago that I heard that Gallows Pole was also ‘borrowed’.
(Check out the entire album, incredible pieces for 12 strings guitar)

6. Zeppelin had several annoying fillers. The end of Physical Graffiti, or their country rock wtf Hot Dog. But the worst of the worsts is the closure of Three – Hats Off To Roy Harper. Come on.

7. That’s The Way is one of the most beautiful songs someone ever written. And the part when the song enters in Almost Famous – well, it’s a moment of golden cinema.

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