Sunday, August 31, 2008
When I was very young I was duly 'enlisted' in Sunday School. This weekly activity was not to my taste, but since it presented my mum and dad with the opportunity to enjoy some time alone, there really was no alternative on the menu.
Since I was too small to reach the coat hooks in the tiny anteroom outside the main hall - where we children were forced to colour in pictures of Jesus distributing loaves and fishes with crayon and pencil - I would naturally clamber up onto the bench to retrieve my Sunday Best when each session drew to an eagerly anticipated close. I could scarcely wait to grab my woolen jacket and get the fuck out of there.
This was all fine until an elder or Churchwarden caught me stepping up there in my outdoor shoes. His face, already florid, reddened some more. Quivering hairs protruded from each nostril. He smelled of stale tobacco; the faintly sour odour of an old man's resentment with his lot and mostly everyone in the world.
He bawled at me until his eyes clouded over behind his spectacles, and the spittle flew from between his teeth.
With the benefit of hindsight, I think it safe to surmise he was juiced. On the Trinity alone or Teacher's blended whisky. Or a madly shaken cocktail of all four.
At the age of three and a bit, this was all too much. The baby Jesus' father's wrath and the sulfur pits maybe waiting to consume me. Seriously. No kidding. The lunatic ranted on in this prehistoric fashion for several minutes. Fire and brimstone. This and that. He didn't lay a hand on me; he didn't need to. It was not a telling off. It was an Old Testament sermon complete with babbling in tongues.
He was probably originally from the Islands. All that crap is still very much in vogue there.
Naturally, I fled home in floods of tears. With trembling lip and heaving chest I wasted no time in telling my parents what the Sunday School Man had said. I was full of shame at my crybaby sobbing and just as indignant. No doubt my dad was pissed off at the prospect of perhaps giving up his Sunday morning sleep-in, but to his credit he went straight down there and threatened to give that bastard a beating. I did not go back there for several halcyon weeks.
So. Here is an alternative Sunday School exercise for you all: listen carefully to the following versions of the same song, then compare and contrast in no fewer than three hundred words.
▼ THE STOOGES: NO FUN from "The Stooges" LP (Elektra) 1969 (US)
▼ SEX PISTOLS: NO FUN from "Pretty Vacant b/w No Fun" 45 (Virgin) 1977 (UK)
BUY THE STOOGES RHINO DELUXE EDITION
BUY SEX BOX 1: SEX PISTOLS 3 x CD
john cooper clarke strikes a ridiculously cool pose, 1977.
inner sleeve, "suspended sentence" ep. TOSH 103.
I've posted on JCC previously over on Art Decade - although the files have since lapsed - and made mention of him here.
As I wrote at the time, "John Cooper Clarke first released an EP on the Manchester based label Rabid Records in 1977, backed by a coterie of musicians named the Curious Yellows." Produced by Martin Zero for the "Criminal Gramaphone Company", with artwork by Kirk Van Gough Studios, "The Innocents" EP caught my ear like a fish hook whipping off my indecently turned cheek.
☚ this is what happens when you pogo round your bedroom without due care and attention.
In equal measures punk poet and stand-up comedian, Clarke had few peers. Londoner, Patrick Fitzgerald tried in earnest to give him a neighbourly run for his money, but he lacked Clarke's sparkling wit. And twisted mastery of language.
As a result, I suspect, of HBO's clever placement of "Evidently Chickentown" over the closing credits
to an episode from the final series of "The Sopranos", Clarke has enjoyed something of a renaissance of late. If anyone is deserving of rediscovery it is he. It's not just down to the sick, mischievous wordplay and razor blade insight. The music too worms deep under the skin and starts an itch which refuses to fade with time, especially on his 1980 album, "Snap, Crackle & Bop" - performed with The Invisible Girls, Martin Hannet and Steve Hopkins - which ought to have cemented his reputation internationally once and for all.
The first song here is for Löst Jimmy. I make no apologies for 're-upping' the other cuts, or for finally featuring "Chickentown".
▼ JOHN COOPER CLARKE & THE CURIOUS YELLOWS: PSYCLE SLUTS (PARTS ONE & TWO) from "Innocents" EP (Rabid) 1977 (UK)
▼ JOHN COOPER CLARKE & THE INVISIBLE GIRLS: EVIDENTLY CHICKENTOWN from "Snap, Crackle & Bop" LP (CBS) 1980 (UK)
▼ JOHN COOPER CLARKE & THE INVISIBLE GIRLS: THIRTY SIX HOURS from "Snap, Crackle & Bop" LP (CBS) 1980 (UK)
▼ JOHN COOPER CLARKE & THE INVISIBLE GIRLS: BEASLEY STREET from "Snap, Crackle & Bop" LP (CBS) 1980 (UK)
▼ JOHN COOPER CLARKE & THE INVISIBLE GIRLS: SLEEPWALK from "Snap, Crackle & Bop" LP (CBS) 1980 (UK)
PURCHASE WORD OF MOUTH: THE BEST OF JOHN COOPER CLARKE
JCC PREVIOUSLY ON ART DECADE
JOHN COOPER CLARKE: OFFICIAL WEBSITE
Saturday, August 30, 2008
detail from "a drunk embrace".
illustration by ib, 1992.
It struck me a good while back - I can't remember precisely when - that I've yet to feature anything by Tom Waits. That in itself could be deemed unforgivable.
I intend to remedy that right fucking here and now. Especially in light of those references to adenoidal mules and Lee Marvin a post back.
Written by Tom with a little help from Kathleen Brennan. Produced by Joe Marquez.
I may even have been listening to this the night I splashed out some ink for the above illustration. I do recall with a certain fuzzy intimacy that I was drunk as a skunk. The first song is as fittingly maudlin as anything Waits had done previously, and really only works if the listener has walked into a door.
It's a bit like the ink sketch itself. I think I'd been flicking through a magazine on contemporary photography at the time, so it really only works on the level that it was incredibly quick to knock off. The marks are interesting but I can't claim credit for the pose.
Sometimes I like it, and other times I think it's shit.
This morning when I logged in to remind myself on what I'd posted last night it was the latter. Blame it on the cold virus, not Cain.
▼ TOM WAITS: LITTLE RAIN (FOR CLYDE) from "Bone Machine" LP (Island) 1992 (US)
▼ TOM WAITS: IN THE COLOSSEUM from "Bone Machine" LP (Island) 1992 (US)
BUY BONE MACHINE
sire SASD-7520, 1976.
ramones in london, 1977.
If only to feature one of the most striking LP jackets ever to be found in a record shop. How could I not ? My cold is worsening by the minute, and I now sound uncannily like a cross between Joey Ramone and Lee Marvin if such an abomination is conceivable.
Sort of like an adenoidal mule. Or a variation thereof.
It's a tad redundant to post any sonic outings by Ramones these days, but what the f@ck. Even young women digging for gold in the San Pornando Valley now regularly make appearances in Ramones t-shirts, such is their lamentable ubiquity. Or so I've been informed.
These demos are new to me. I don't get out much. They are possibly even better than the original LP versions.
Produced by Craig Leon and T. Erdelyi. Recorded at Plaza Sound, Radio City Music Hall, New York.
▼ RAMONES: CHAIN SAW from "Ramones" LP (Sire) 1976 (US)
▼ RAMONES: JUDY IS A PUNK (DEMO) from "Ramones" LP (Sire) 1976 (US)
▼ RAMONES: NOW I WANNA SNIFF SOME GLUE (DEMO) from "Ramones" LP (Sire) 1976 (US)
BUY RAMONES REMASTERED + BONUS TRACKS
1976: CITY OF GLASGOW BANS RAMONES LP
original heartbreakers. left to right:
jerry nolan; richard hell; walter lure; johnny thunders.
"I never liked Richard Hell's versions of the songs we played, but Richard was in another world.
It's not hard to find people like that in the industry, but he considered himself to be the only thing that was like serious art. His attitude really kept you away from a lot of his stuff. Some of the songs were good, and the lyrics were great. He was a funny guy. I just never really wanted to follow him around because he was an obnoxious idiot."
Bob Gruen (Photographer for 'Rock Scene Magazine'):
"Richard Hell was a junkie who got out of bed with his hair messed up. He didn't notice, and everyone thought he looked good. He is credited with the idea of holding clothes together with safety-pins. The way I understand the story is that a girlfriend was angry with him and cut up all his clothes. He wanted to go out that night and he had nothing to wear, so he put his clothes together with safety-pins. Malcolm McLaren happened to be in the club that night and saw it and thought it was a fantastic style, 'a fascinating style' as Malcolm put it."
From 'Punk", 2001, Cassell & Co Publishing. Compiled by Stephen Colgrave and Chris Sullivan.
PREVIOUSLY: NEW YORK DOLL ; LOST VALLEY (OF THE DOLLS) ;
(I BELONG TO THE) BLANK GENERATION ; THE NEON BOYS
Friday, August 29, 2008
hot air press: all the way to glasgow from hartford, connecticut.
It's official. It is Friday afternoon, I've paid my telephone line rental, and I'm in good spirits.
Not only that, I just received the vinyl copy of Mammoth Hunter's outrageously good single through the mail; and even better, it arrived in one piece! Just to confuse you, I've elected to post a scan of the inside of the box it came in - I'm pleased to see the guys at Hot Air Press are keen to play their part when it comes to recycling.
As mentioned previously from the sneak preview on One Base On An Overthrow, not only does it sound great, but the packaging too is aesthetically beautiful. I don't like to come across as too much of a butterfly collector, but - well - it's damn pretty.
One thing I neglected to mention. My turntable is dead. Kaput. If anybody out there can be of assistance, I'd really appreciate it if somebody could e-mail me a link to an decent MP3 of side 2, just so I can finally listen to "new track 2"
at long last. This is cutting edge reportage, brothers and sisters; either that, or I am simply so relieved I still have an internet connection to assail you from on a daily basis that I'm havering. My mouth is running.
Hot air, people, hot air.
HOT AIR PRESS
origami "stag" beetle, folded from one uncut sheet.
by artist, robert j. lang. thanks, jon!
Well, August is drawing to a close, and here in Caledonia the summer is long gone; just a hint of awful humidity in the air one minute - cold rain the next. The Romans were unable to conquer the Pictish tribes. Agricola - under the command of his emperor, Hadrian - just did his best to wall us in. Fortifications were duly erected stretching from the River Clyde in the west to the River Forth in the east. We've spent the last 2,000 years trying to get back out.
Summer is such a f@cking tease here in prison.
I am looking forward to the return of Art Decade, proper. There is a double wedding of sorts going down in New York City. As I understand it, Mike was due to tie the knot in August. I do not know the precise date. Your guess is as good as mine. I am surmising that since Mike did not make his usual weekly live set contribution to Art Decade last Saturday the exchange of vows may already have gone down.
If that is the case, I'd like to raise the glass aloft once more.
He has made an excellent job of manning the fort single-handed this last month or so. Especially when you consider seriously life-changing events are afoot.
Of course, there are still three more days before August - after Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor - passes the baton onto September, and should I omit to pay my telephone bill before the weekend is out, SibLINGSHOT ON THE BLEACHERS will go straight to jail. We're already walking wounded.
▼ BOB DYLAN: ROMANCE IN DURANGO from "Desire" LP (Columbia) 1975 (US)
▼ BOB DYLAN: BLACK DIAMOND BAY from "Desire" LP (Columbia) 1975 (US)
hernando de soto bridge, memphis.
Witten by Bob Hilliard and Burt Bacharach. Recorded at American Studios, Memphis, Tennessee on Friday, 21 February, 1969.
Originally recorded by Chuck Jackson in 1962.
▼ ELVIS PRESLEY: ANY DAY NOW from "In The Ghetto b/w Any Day Now" 45 (RCA) 1969 (US)
PURCHASE FROM ELVIS IN MEMPHIS
Thursday, August 28, 2008
"louisiana swamp house". photograph by arrian binnings, 2004.
louisiana swamplands. photograph by mike boothes, 2004.
So. Shreveport, Louisiana is not exactly located in the heart of the Cajun swamplands, I am aware.
Or at least I am now, having looked it up on Wikipedia. Shrevesport is, in fact, Louisiana's third largest city and home to the "Louisiana Hayride" weekly radio show; which ran from 1948 - 1960 and helped launch the careers of Hank Williams and Elvis Presley, among others, and prompted the young Hasil Adkins to begin experimenting on chicken wire strung makeshift instruments back home in Boone County, West Virginia as a child.
Written by Hank Williams, Sr - 'Luke the Drifter' - in 1952, one year before his death in the back seat of a Cadillac somewhere on the road between Knoxville , Tennessee and Oak Hill, West Virginia.
Twenty-nine years of age, Williams had intravenously administered a cocktail of Vitamin B-12 and morphine. There was no whiskey beside him on that back seat. A few empty beer cans only. And the hastily scribbled lyric to an unfinished song.
▼ THE RESIDENTS: JAMBALAYA (ON THE BAYOU) from "Stars & Hank Forever: The American Composers Series, vol. II" LP (Ralph) 1986 (US)
PURCHASE STARS & HANK FOREVER REMASTERED
HASIL ADKINS ON ART DECADE
A poem inspired by Beer N. Hockey:
Last night must have been
for falling asleep on the couch.
I do this habitually -
when Rosa is not around to
bark at me
and cajole -
and my back is no longer
supple enough to withstand this
At least you came to with beer
on the table - if warm and flat.
I was roused this morning
by a movie
channel preview running endlessly
on a loop.
Mel Gibson with a saltire
painted on his face, shrieking on
Braveheart, be damned.
What's the pain of ceremonial
compared with waking up
on the couch
at 7:00 AM and staggering
into the kitchen
to make a nine-year-old his
"the vision of saint eustace" by pisanello, 1395 - 1455.
mr. punch, or pulcinella; lord of misrule.
The 16th century puppet figures of Punch and Judy loom large in Russell Hoban's 1980 fable, "Riddley Walker"; grotesques which weave their analogous tale through the dark arteries of a blasted Albion haunted by sinister lurking charcoal burners and feral dogs in his post-apocalyptic parable of atom and eve and the chase to resurrect the working knowledge of the littlest "adam" who lies at the heart of the wood.
"The Punch and Judy show can trace its roots to the 16th century to the Italian commedia dell'arte. The figure of Punch derives from the Neapolitan stock character of Pulcinella, which was Anglicized to Punchinello. He is a manifestation of the Lord of Misrule and Trickster figures of deep-rooted mythologies."
From Ocelot Factory on Russell Hoban:
"Riddley WaIker is set in an unspecified, post-apocolyptic era in the future, when dogs have become humanity's enemies, and history is a rubble of allegory. It's told in a language that recalls the "smashed mess of mottage" of Finnegan's Wake, but Mr. Hoban's inventiveness guarantees that the language of Riddley is his own creation. Gutteral yet eloquent, we hear in it echoes of rudimentary English (and a tendency toward sagas) that evoke Beowulf, mixed with remnants of the technological catchphrases and political jargon of the 20th Century."
My friend, Gus, sent me an MP3 a while back from Trees - "Streets Of Derry"- along with a suitably cryptic reference to it being a remix; it is perfectly feasible that the original recording has been tampered with in some fashion, or it may simply be the remastered version. I do not know. He did not elaborate. I am not familiar with either the group or the album, but there is a very similar vibe to Fairport Convention at work here. A hallucinogenic echo in its electricity which crackles and drags like a clubfoot on carpet.
Very possibly, the Incredible String - or even Third Ear - Band would have been more relevant to the Russell Hoban theme which has been bubbling under for some time now, but since I have featured more than a little from those two groups of late, this shall do nicely.
The intertwined electric and acoustic guitars of Barry Clarke and David Costa succeed in taking the track far from where it might easily have slumbered. Cilia Humphris, while an accomplished vocalist, plays second fiddle to the sum of its parts. The first few minutes only set the stage.
A coiled snake on a tree stump. The Ardship of Cambry.
▼ TREES: STREETS OF DERRY from "On The Shore" LP (CBS) 1970 (UK)
PURCHASE ON THE SHORE
BUY RIDDLEY WALKER
OR ORDER IT FROM YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I used to think if I ever got a gig on hospital radio it would be fun to feature The Residents on a Wednesday afternoon as part of a mid-week therapy playlist.
Then I discovered Jandek.
"The Residents supposedly hail from Shreveport, Louisiana, where they met in high school in the 1960s. In 1966, members headed west to San Francisco, California. After their truck broke down in San Mateo, they decided to remain there. Like all information pertaining to the early days of the band, this is provided by The Cryptic Corporation and may or may not be invented."
Here are two key moments from The Residents' 1978 release on Ralph Records. Who are these crazy kids, anyhow ? I was always too dim to figure it out. Answers on the back of a postcard, please.
▼ THE RESIDENTS: SINISTER EXAGGERATOR from "Duck Stab / Buster & Glen" LP (Ralph) 1978 (US)
▼ THE RESIDENTS: BLUE ROSEBUDS from "Duck Stab / Buster & Glen" LP (Ralph) 1978 (US)
PURCHASE DUCK STAB / BUSTER & GLEN
THE RESIDENTS OFFICIAL WEB SITE
"horses in the snow".
Produced by John Cale at Electric Lady Studios under the watchful ghost of Jimi Hendrix. Written by Patti Smith, after Chris Kenner.
"horses" era patti by robert mapplethorpe, 1975.
We Three guitar by Tom Verlaine and Allen Lanier. And Jimi makes four.
▼ PATTI SMITH: LAND: HORSES / LAND OF A THOUSAND DANCES / LA MER (DE) from "Horses" LP (Arista) 1975 (US)
PURCHASE HORSES REMASTERED
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
design by ib, with original "creem" logo by r. crumb.
Here's 2/6 tracks I cribbed from the evergreen WFMU about a year ago from a "... rare bootleg of Lester Bangs and Peter Laughner jamming in Creem's offices in 1975 or 1976."
To quote myself (because I am a shamelessly self-promoting aged f@cker) from a comment I left over there at the time:
"Oustanding snapshot of two perpetual delinquent Peter Pans taking the Velvets for a stroll off the leash. I'd love to know if there were motes of dust dancing in the sun streaming through the office windows, or if the sun outside was wan and wintry..."
☚ lester conway bangs poses for kate simon.
(perhaps the t-shirt reads best as a message from beyond the grave:
"last of the shite bloggers")
For those of you familiar with Lester's writing for Creem magazine out of Detroit through the 70s, and his tragically doomed solo project with The Delinquents, this jam is a joyously received treat. Lester started out freelance for "Rolling Stone" in 1969, but was 'canned' by editor, Jan Wenner four years further down the line for a negative and "disrespectful" review of some old hippie group who went down a storm at Woodstock. Lester was quite often negative - especially and contrarily with regard to artists he held in the greatest esteem - but he was never less than entertaining.
Anyone who suggests otherwise is either running on empty so far as humour is concerned or is a good deal more clinically depressed than Lester ever was.
Thank you to WFMU's Lukas for the original post.
▼ LESTER BANGS & PETER LAUGHNER: SEVENTEEN from "The Creem Office Sessions: 1975/6" MP3 (WFMU) 2007 (US)
▼ LESTER BANGS & PETER LAUGHNER: LESTER RAY from "The Creem Office Sessions: 1975/6" MP3 (WFMU) 2007 (US)
PURCHASE PSYCHOTIC REACTIONS & CARBURETOR DUNG
Tom Herman: guitar
Scott Krauss: drums
Tony Maimone: bass
Allen Ravenstine: synthesizer
David Thomas: vocals
After guitarist, Peter Laughner was forced to leave Pere Ubu as a result of serious health issues, the Cleveland group signed to Blank Records. Recording sessions were initiated in November, 1977. The result was their first long player, "The Modern Dance", released in 1978.
As essential as their first two singles.
What with the Beijing Olympics drawing to a close, I felt "Chinese Radiation" might be appropriate. I'm hoping I won't be compelled to post Georgia Satellites any time soon for much the same kind of reason.
▼ PERE UBU: CHINESE RADIATION from "The Modern Dance" LP (Blank) 1978 (US)
▼ PERE UBU: SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY from "The Modern Dance" LP (Blank) 1978 (US)
BUY THE MODERN DANCE REMASTERED
UBU PROJEX: BUYER'S GUIDE TO PERE UBU
here is a box... a mystery box.
"Here is a box,
a musical box...
Wound up and ready to play.
But this box can hide
a secret inside,
Can you guess what's in it
- Briant Cant.
Freddie Phillips was commissioned to produce this music for a childrens' tv series on the BBC in 1966. With a script narrated by Brian Cant, "Camberwick Green" and the "Trumpton" series ran on repeat well into the 1980s and was Britain's unintentionally hallucinogenic "Twilight Zone" for three generations of children under the age of five.
The broadcasting bastion of traditional moral values, the BBC was babysitter to the nation. An institution of Orwellian proportions; entrusted with the wellfare of the young and vulnerable. That's not to suggest that there was anything inherently sinister with these particular programmes. There was, however - during the 1950s and 60s in particular - a unique edge to childrens' tv as produced in Europe which draws from a deep well of culturally informed fairytale and folklore. Those individuals directly involved in developing this tiny area of programming, too, were pretty much allowed creative free reign in return for successfully bringing in their production on a miniscule budget. Like their independent counterparts in the music industry, the end result was, more often than not, inspired and defiantly original.
A pioneering exponent of multitrack recording technique, Phillips - who enjoyed a formal career in a number of highly regarded European orchestras in tandem with his work for radio and television - was responsible not just for the accompanying music but for the provision of the equipment on which to record it:
"...putting the M&E tracks together, to meet a deadline, followed by longer days feeding them to Brian Cant (who didn't read music) in the recording cubicle through ear-phones.
Gordon Murray (creator and director in charge) called his contributors his "Cottage Industries" and that is what we were. All animation was done in a "small back room" as, I believe, were the set designs. An upstairs room in my house was divided by sound-proof partitions; two thirds for the machines, one third for the recording cubicle. I supplied all the recording equipment including Wright + Weir, Brenell, Revox A77, Revox A700 master mixer, speakers, Senheiser mikes, reverb/echo boxes, etc, specially for work on Trumptonshire."
His work for the BBC throughout this entire period is the stuff of legend. As influential as The Beatles, perhaps, Freddie Phillips deserves to be celebrated as a national treasure in his own right.
▼ BRIAN CANT & FREDDIE PHILLIPS: THE MUSICAL BOX from "Camberwick Green" BBC TV (BBC) 1966 (UK)
▼ FREDDIE PHILLIPS: CAMBERWICK GREEN from "Camberwick Green" BBC TV (BBC) 1966 (UK)
▼ FREDDIE PHILLIPS: CHIME & CLOCK THEME from "Trumpton" BBC TV (BBC) 1967 (UK)
▼ FREDDIE PHILLIPS: TRUMPTON from "Trumpton" BBC TV (BBC) 1967 (UK)
STOWAWAY ON A BUS TO TRUMPTON
BUY "HELLO CHILDREN, EVERYWHERE" CD
Monday, August 25, 2008
hubert selby, jr. july 23, 1928 - april 26, 2004.
I picked up this much thumbed paperback copy of "Last Exit To Brooklyn" from a jumble sale sometime in the early to mid 70s. It was several years after the successful 1968 court appeal - following the guilty verdict returned when the book was tried by jury in 1966 under the Obscene Publications Act at the Old Bailey in London - and thankfully the copy was unexpurgated. Written between the late 1950s and early 1960s, and originally published by Grove Press in the US in 1964, this book was a revelation. A window onto cancer of the soul.
Despite the woefully histrionic film adaptation of 1989, it remains one of those truly great pieces of American writing capable of changing the way its reader looks out at the world forever.
The same could be said for this 1975 slab of creeping osmosis. Written by Tom Verlaine.
It's after 4:00 AM here in this shitty tower block and I can't get back to sleep, brothers and sisters. Oddly, the little clocks on my sidebar both seem to have disappeared. Who knows for sure ? Maybe they have decided to strip the code off the page and let me bleed out into the black. I have no idea any more what time it is in New York.
▼ TELEVISION: LITTLE JOHNNY JEWEL (PARTS 1 & 2) from "Little Johnny Jewel (Part 1) b/w Little Johnny Jewel (Part 2)" 45 (Ork) 1975 (US)
MARQUEE MOON REVISITED
Sunday, August 24, 2008
palminor rodrigues ferraira with 'os originais do samba', 1968.
It seems 'normal service' has been resumed. We have musical accompaniment once again. Hopefully, those earlier rations of some Beer and me were sufficient to keep you entertained.
The following tracks come from Baden Powell's 1980 LP, "Nosso Baden", released on the Atlantic label.
"Baden Powell's guitar has only the accompaniment of Os Originais do Samba rhythm section, there is no bass, drums or any other electric instrument. It is a late acoustic album, a very common concept today."
The first, "Jongo" - an instrumental composition by João Pernambuco - features just Baden on guitar, but Os Originais do Samba make their vocal presence felt on "Até eu", supporting Powell's small but eloquent voice on a song he co-wrote with Paulo César Pinheiro.
I would like to thank Zecalouro of Loronix from stopping by to comment on last Monday's post from Baden Powell's 1964 album, "Série Autografos De Sucesso No. 2". Of special interest to admirers of Powell's music is the site Baden Powell: Brazil On Guitar, which can now be found permanently under "Bands & Online Resources" in the sidecar links. That Zecalouro - himself the leading source of information on vintage Brazillian music on the net - should single out this fan site for attention, is telling enough.
▼ BADEN POWELL: JONGO from "Nosso Baden" LP (Atlantic) 1980 (Brazil)
▼ BADEN POWELL: ATE ÉU from "Nosso Baden" LP (Atlantic) 1980 (Brazil)
BADEN POWELL ON CD UNIVERSE
hank lays down some hard earned.
at hollywood park, after studying the form.
scream from the balcony*. illustration by ib, 1994.
Well. It seems my hosting server is playing up again.
This prevents me from uploading any material - music, that is - which is bad news for you, dear siblings, since I have no option but to improvise. Or compromise. However you want to play it.
A bit of busking is required.
I read a piece somewhere recently where a young man concluded he was jinxed. Every time he wrote somebody famous, that person would mysteriously die. He cited several supporting instances - some celebrities I have more time for than most - but my memory fails me. He was jinxed all right. A regular Jonah. I know that for sure because the curse of that Old Testament sailor, the son of Amittai, is nothing new to me. I recognised straight away just where he was coming from, the poor bastard. It is just as well I am not a wedding planner by profession. There would be a procession of demented divorcees beating a path to my door.
I will allude to just the one example here - there have been many - since that is all this post requires. Any more and you will be nodding off before you have even stuck a fork into your Sunday dinner. Or lifted a glass.
The illustration above was completed with the intention of mailing it to Bukowski. I even got so far as flicking through some dog-eared Black Sparrow editions for a c/o address and transferred it onto the manilla envelope I'd saved for that purpose. Well, I reasoned, If I'm finally going to write the old bastard I might as well make it a gift of sorts. I felt the standard fan-faretheewell-letter contemptibly beneath me. Anyway, if 'The Poet Laureate of Skid Row' declined to return any word I could console myself with a crumb of self-righteous indignation at least. I had waited until he was far too infamous. The worm of procrastination had eventually turned. A type-written reply from a mini-skirted secretary may sting as much as a rejection slip, but it was only to be expected. So as not to come across as too much in awe, the text I included in the illustration was from a letter Buk wrote to poet, Douglas Blazek - a regular correspondent at the time - in 1965, subsequently published in "Screams From The Balcony"; If you look closely at the upper left of the picture above, you will see I even managed to misspell Blazek's name.
I hoped that was sufficient a clue.
I was on the way to the Post Office when I passed a kiosk selling magazines and periodicals peppered through the daily rags. A headline caught my eye:
"Literary Bum Bukowski Dead at 73."
I picked up some pace and headed off to the nearest bar. I may have been desperate but I wasn't dumb enough to waste good money on postage.
"Missed the first three races
Seven more to go
Plus the Belmont Stakes
On the big screen
The horses I bet
In the fourth and the fifth
I left her smoking by the rail
Went inside to watch
Denis of Cork win
The Belmont Stakes
In the sixth
My luck changed
As Triola, 14-1,
Stalked the pace
That's when I bought
Bukowski a beer
And drank it and
A few more
Because he has been dead a long time"
- Ha, Mr. Beer N. Hockey, 2008.
Poem courtesy of Dope City Free Press.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Neil Young: Guitar, Vocals
Danny Whitten: Guitar
Billy Talbot: Bass
Ralph Molina: Drums
With the newly rechristened, The Rockets. This one was inspired by listening to Johnny Thunders' "So Alone" and recognising the heavy debt owed to all that old "hippie shit".
Produced by David Briggs and Neil Young.
▼ NEIL YOUNG + CRAZY HORSE: COWGIRL IN THE SAND from "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" LP (Reprise) 1969 (US)
EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE
augusto pinochet's junta, 1973.
I did not even know of Víctor Jara's existence until comparatively recently, therefore I make no claim to have anything remotely authoritative to say concerning this Chilean radical and songwriter; the populist champion of the Chilean "New Song" movement and outspoken campaigner for the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende.
Víctor Jara: september 28th, 1932 - september 15th, 1973.
"Jara died at the hands of the military police approximately one week after the September 11th, 1973 coup. He was taken from the Universidad Tecnica (...damaged heavily by the military and later replaced by the current Universidad de Santiago de Chile) where he worked as a professor and taken with other university colleagues to the Estadio Chile, where he was held for several days with 5,000 other "subversives".
Following the US sponsored military coup of Augusto Pinochet - whom British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher conspired with decades later to evade his deportation back to South America to face criminal charges - Jara was 'disappeared' to Santiago Stadium where he was tortured and dispatched. As punishment for his use of popular music as a medium to propogate socialist polemic, his hands were first broken.
His body was removed and tossed onto the streets in public view for maximum effect.
"requiem for víctor jara" by wolfgang mattheuer, 1973.
Between the late 60's and his death in 1973, Jara was celebrated in radical circles throughout the world as champion of the left and spokesperson for the people. Much of his music was distributed through the Odeón label, a subsidiary of EMI International.
In 1973 / 1974 I was introduced to the son of a couple who'd escaped Pinochet's regime and temporarily settled nearby, close to my parents' house on the street where we lived. A year or two younger than me, the age gap back then was too great for us to get on comfortably as friends. I do remember thinking that his mother was stunningly beautiful. Such was my grasp of Chile's political struggle.
The following song is probably one of his least overtly political, and was the b-side to a sizeable 'hit' in 1969.
It seems curiously bizarre in hindsight to contrast the glam rock 'revolution' in Britain with death squads on the prowl in a football stadium during the 1974 World Cup preliminaries, but Víctor Jara is testimony to the vital role music is capable of occupying in the transmission of ideals as catalyst to bring about social upheaval or crystallize resistance. An iconic talent on a par with Che Guevara, by dint of song alone.
▼ VICTOR JARA: TE RECUERDO AMANDA from "Plegaria A Un Labrador b/w Te Recuerdo Amanda" 45 (Jota Jota) 1969 (Chile)
VÍCTOR JARA COLECCION (BOX SET)
"i'm fuckin' sure that shit's right here in my pocket".
It was only a matter of time. A lot has been written and discussed regarding the various mixes of "L.A.M.F." which have surfaced over the past three decades in the search for a definitive. I tend to agree with Henry Rollins; in terms of fidelity, the cleaner Alan Hauser "Lost 77 Mixes" released on Jungle in 1994 are hard to beat. The original Track Records production overseen by Speedy Keen of Thunderclap Newman - at Pete Townshend of The Who's Ramport Studios - is the one to seek out if you're determined to spin some vinyl through a valve driven amp.
It's not unlike the controversy surrounding the Stooges' "Raw Power" mixes, but less easily resolved. We are not talking about how much the original may have been "stepped on"; it's all a question of individual taste or thirst for refinement.
track 2409 218.
Anyway. While that controversy raged, even through the summer of 1977,
'"Chinese Rocks" had been released as a single. Written primarily by Dee Dee Ramone with original Heartbreakers bassist Richard Hell contributing lyrics, but also credited at the time, falsely, to Thunders and Lure, the single sold 20,000 copies...'
The second cut is a live performance from London's Lyceum in 1984 - originally recorded for his 1978's solo effort - seven years after "L.A.M.F." first hit the streets, with 'Ratso' once again reunited and ably backed by those Heartbreakers. Hit and miss. Dependent on your capacity to indulge Johnny's frequently irksome habit of lecturing an adoring audience while clearly out his face and wallowing in a combination of pity and naked adulation.
"Walter Lure comes from the U.S.A.!"
▼ JOHNNY THUNDERS & THE HEARTBREAKERS: CHINESE ROCKS from "L.A.M.F.: The Lost Mixes" LP / CD (Jungle) 1994 (US)
▼ JOHNNY THUNDERS & THE HEARTBREAKERS: SO ALONE from "Dead Or Alive: Live At The Lyceum, March 1984" VHS (Virgin) 1989
BUY INTO L.A.M.F.
DEAD OR ALIVE ON DVD
live is cool spray when you're a jet.
See. If I was even more of an anorak, I'd probably begin proselytizing that punk rock really started here. ib, you would say; get a life. We are heartily sick with your creaky attempts to lend some weight to your inane choice of song.
From the mighty sword sticks of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. I don't think the Oakland chapter of the "Hell's Angels" have much to fear, in all seriousness.
▼ RUSS TAMBLYN & 'THE JETS': GEE, OFFICER KRUPKE! from "West Side Story" LP (Columbia) 1960 (US)
PURCHASE WEST SIDE STORY
Friday, August 22, 2008
Any excuse to dig this album out. And this sleeve. The last time I posted on the Damned, over on Art Decade, comments were conspicuous only in their absence. I live in hope, detractors be - well - damned.
Two covers this time around. The first a frenetic retread of the Stooges' "I Feel alright"; the second, a faithful rendition of Arthur Lee and Love's "Alone Again Or" - written by Bryan MacLean - from eleven years later. And just for the sheer hell of it, their own "So Messed Up", the penultimate death thrash from their first LP. Produced by the ever resourceful Nick Lowe. Released, February 18th 1977; guitarist Brian James's birthday.
The initial 2000 presses of "Damned Damned Damned" were mistakenly released with a picture of Eddie and the Hot Rods on the reverse, apparently, although I've never seen a copy.
"Hey, Keith ?.."
▼ THE DAMNED: I FEEL ALRIGHT from "Damned Damned Damned" LP (Stiff) 1977 (UK)
▼ THE DAMNED: ALONE AGAIN OR from "Anything" LP (MCA) 1986 (UK)
▼ THE DAMNED: SO MESSED UP from "Damned Damned Damned" LP (Stiff) 1977 (UK)
DAMNED DAMNED DAMNED