Kit Mix #172: Neal Morgan

I consider all of these songs to be masterpieces in some form or another (foremost among them for me: Where Are My Panties? (Interlude), Lullaby, Maine Ek Kwab Sa Dekha), and they’re connected and collected here because each has come to my attention or resurfaced in my life in the last six months. I have far too much to say about any one of them, let alone all of them, so, since Open Up Your Heart happens to be playing at this exact moment, lemme tell you. 

This is a gorgeous song of course but this recording in particular is what I’m after. It’s that shimmering rare example in which I/you can hear what it sounds like when a drummer embodies a special, unmistakable confluence of light/passion/joy/harmony/command while bringing a song to life. This is a drummer in full Csikszentmihalyian flow. When everything is working. Everything feels fluid and lyrical yet sturdy and precise. You’re driving and insistent but nothing is overwrought. Color and melody and also form and structure. Scalpel and hatchet. Those times really do exist, those flow times. And it feels and sounds beautiful! The crazy thing is how unmistakable the sound is that comes from someone having the experience. It’s: “oh damn this is good, I have the hot hand here / let me at ‘em / I can’t miss / holy shit this thing is taking off”. Time doesn’t exist. There’s little to no narrator of the experience in your mind. Ordinarily you hope to bump into the good feeling and then you spend the rest of the song chasing and trying to relocate that feeling. You find it, then try again and again. But sometimes there’s no chase, it’s all just happening. And there’s one hiccup moment, maybe you can hear it, that’s almost, like, proof that the state is real. At some point, the mind creeps in in a “it’s wild this is really feeling this good, will it continue even if I’m now thinking about it?” kind of way, and then the spell is broken. But he’s popped out for a moment and gets right back inside. Sometimes you can’t get back in, it depends on so many variables. The drummer here is Willie Cantu. I DJ’d on a radio station in Colorado last winter and played this piece and my friend sent me a message reminding me that Cantu is the father of one of our friends from high school. What are the odds. Oh and I hadn’t realized the connection between the title of this song and what must have been Cantu’s experience playing it here until writing that last sentence, that’s pretty cool serendipity too.

Is it true you only see desire as a sylph-figured creature who changes her mind?

Neal Morgan
October 2019

Robert Wyatt - Heaps of Sheeps

Prefab Sprout - Desire As

Where Are My Panties? (Interlude)

Saloli - Lullabye

Kate Bush - Houdini

Arthur Russell - Eli

Harry Nilsson - Dayton Ohio 1903

The Louvin Brothers - Pray for Me

Pradeep Kumar - Hum to Albele Mazdoor

Bobbie Gentry - Courtyard

Chandrani Mukherjee - Swarg Se Sunder (slow)

Rufus Wainwright - Vibrate

Pulse Emitter - A Cyclone of Leaves

Mahendra Kapoor - Maine Ek Khwab Sa Dekha

Buck Owens - Open Up Your Heart

Randy Newman - Tickle Me

Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou - Homesickness

Marvin Gaye - Your Precious Love

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