Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-03-07 - 1:16 a.m.

Maybe the Trane fixed the virus – maybe it was the avocados.

I am looking at the Jackson Browne compilation against the Refuge DVD. His style of writing holds up more successfully in the sound world of the mid-80s – and he is able to factor world music more easily into his concerns. But eventually they both get across the authorities.

JB produces 2 albums of material in the 90s. (Walk the Dog and Light the Light is 1993 - the same year that Live at Sine appeared which certainly woke me up.)

I suppose there is a refocusing on the guitar and its possibilities in the 90s – the voice, the writing, the guitar technique were all part of the magic of J Buckley.

There is an issue about the positioning relative to the technology – artists l0ike Bill Viola, Laurie Anderson and Cindy Sherman are driven by an artistic impulse which suits new expensive technology – you might say the same about the Refuge tour. Staying with that technology often means accommodating to sponsorship. Indeed part of the 80s revolution was switching from public to private sponsorship. The poets were the first to feel the blast of that.

Guitars are low cost – volumes and globalization see to that. Britart and Britpop make an alliance and so Jackson’s 90s stuff sounds modern and edgey – and under Clinton he can say more of what he thinks. How long will take to find the higher power moving in me – just works and punches it weight – power in the song I sang alone. Power in the parataxis he uses in the structure. Power reaching across through Patti Smith to P J Harvey – esp on the City and the Sea. At the same time it reaches back – say to Rod’s finest hour with Maggie May and Reason to Believe.

Whereas Miss M – say in the late 70s – uses rock as a root for personal liberation – an ideology which is taken over by Thatcher/Reagan to sanctify the market. None of which says that she doesn’t find other resources – but that when she points back to the 50s in the imagery of Shadows and Lights, these days it looks like a sketch for a commercial. But maybe all that says is that these days her position in the culture is totally anomalous – whereas when you see the vid of her on TV in the 60s – her position is misleadingly clear.

The late live Laura Nyro albums are just purity – voices and piano chords. Not the same as Travelogue with Billy Preston and Wayne Shorter doing fills.

That’s one hell of a question Alice Coltrane poses – does sound ever get to truth?

Jackson does wandering stranger effectively.

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