Boom Box: Brent Bagwell of the Eastern Seaboard

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Brent Bagwell and the other members of the Eastern Seaboard claim a lineage of both punk and jazz, but the New York trio definitely emphasizes the jazz side of the equation—particularly the late-1960s golden age of free jazz, with swirling rhythms and far-out saxophone improvisation. Here’s what Bagwell’s been listening to lately.

Xiu Xiu, The Air Force (5 Rue Christine, 2006)

I recently caught them live and it was one of the best shows I’ve seen in years. Really, I’ve been listening to their entire output, but damn, I can’t get “Hello From Eau Claire” out of my head. In a good way.

Art Tatum and Buddy DeFranco, The Tatum Group Masterpieces, Vol. 7 (Pablo, 1990)

Man, I love Art Tatum. Having his way with harmony. And then to hear two people do this in such an ecstatic and crazed outpouring of melody.

Calabi Yau, “Elitist” (Lunchbox, 2008)

Damn, man, it’s fitting that one of the most endlessly fascinating bands I’ve ever heard would be named for some theoretical physics shit. Their two-guitars-plus-awesome-drums lineup will activate the potential energy in the listener every time. How can something be so far out and so catchy?

Pink Floyd, Animals (Columbia, 1977)

I hadn’t listened to this LP in years and now I think it’s the best thing they ever did. Like Bob Dylan, I only like Pink Floyd when they’re at their meanest (“and it’s too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw around”) and most political—no schoolboy whining, thanks. And it plays great as a complete record—perfect length.

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