in rotation

2 Nov

Professor Longhair

My favorite section of the Chicago Reader is In Rotation, one of those things where a music critic writes about his or her favorite three things, then passes the assignment on to some other small-time celebrity, who then finds one more person.

This past week I read about the definitive version of Professor Longhair’s New Orleans parade song, “Big Chief,” New Belgium’s Clutch beer (named for the band from Germantown, Maryland), the bizarre work of modern composer and architect Iannis Xenakis, and alleged revivals in psych-rock and goth.

It’s always like this, obscure stuff I usually haven’t heard of—and probably don’t care much about—but somehow it’s enjoyable anyway. Probably the lack of fanfare. Each item is just fifty words long, too short to make many claims. The brevity makes it easy to digest as well as more compelling, free from swampy contexts.

It’s the opposite of what I usually advocate for, and maybe that’s why I like it so much. Nine musical experiences from three different folks, all before the next train stop. It’s a nice way to keep in touch.

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