Spillyear 1967

One of the downsides of living in a tropical country is that, because it’s always summer, it’s never really summer.

To celebrate the summer solstice, let’s head back to the Summer of Love. Although hate-filled wintry tunes and songs of autumnal indifference from 1967 are welcome too.

Obviously an astonishing time for music. Were you there? Are you sure? How on earth are you going to pick a top 3?

Listen to the playlist here

Add your tracks here

Spillyear 1965

Is it Tuesday already? This challenge is making my life go by too fast.

I’ve been unsure about how far back in time we should go with this. Hearing people’s reminiscences has been every bit as fun as listening to the music, and the further back we go, the fewer of these there’ll be. There’s also the danger that we’ll end up with more of a canonical “best of” list, and fewer personal choices and offbeat discoveries.

But let’s give it a try, and see how it works.

1965. Half a century ago. The year that popular music began to change from light entertainment to the most vibrant contemporary art form? Maybe.

If you were there, tell us about it.

If you weren’t – well, imagine you were…

 

Listen to the playlist here

Add your top three tracks here

He Said – She Said ~ The A to Z of Japanese Music – The Letter E ! ! !

 

I am the letter E and this is my Teddy Bear ! ! !

I am the letter E and this is my Teddy Bear ! ! !

faye1She Says: Welcome back to our almost weekly series about Japanese Pop, Rock, Punk and Indie.  Life and love distracted us from the important things like He Said – She Said, But we are back on schedule again now ! ! !  This week we have a really great variety with tracks from the 1960’s to now and variety of Genres and even a boy band ! ! !  So check out the post ! ! !

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He says:

“Life and love distracted us from the important things like He Said – She Said” Speak for yourself, dearie! ! ! 

I have neither ! ! !

Anyway, E, the most common letter in English and reasonably common in Japanese too, fortunately ( what is the most commonly used letter in Japanese ?). Which means there were quite a few artists to choose from. Here are some of them. Continue reading

Truth And Fiction

Many of my favourite films of recent years have been classified as documentaries (The Fog Of War, Cave Of Forgotten Dreams, Inside Job, Beware Of Mr Baker, Nostalgia for the Light, Stories We Tell….) but the one that won the Bafta in that category last year takes the genre into brave, new territory.

In The Act Of Killing, filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer puts in front of the camera a handful of the gangster* paramilitaries who helped the Indonesian army torture and kill around a million ‘communists’ in 1965/66. He then encourages them to create fictionalised versions of their acts. Being still highly-regarded by the current regime, they are keen to do so and, being fans of Hollywood films, they use the language of the Western, film noir, the musical and the gangster film.

The result is a devastating, upsetting, mesmeric, often surreal, portrait of corrupted humans who are celebrated and still valued by a corrupt government. It is now available on DVD/Blu-ray and I urge you to see it.

*The label ‘gangster’ is worn as a badge of honour, as it is understood to mean ‘free man’. Hence the use of Born Free in the film.

Continue reading

Buried Christmas treasure

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I recently received an early Christmas present in the shape of a pen drive loaded with the entire Buried Treasure back catalogue, and as Tom Petty’s radio programme is currently in its eighth season and there are 24-5 programmes per season with 20 or so tracks per programme you better believe that’s a fair old amount of music. I’m currently listening my way through Season Two and I came across this Christmas show which I thought you people might like. He does play two of his own recordings, which isn’t usual, but those of you who don’t like TP&TH can always skip those.

Happy Christmas!

1 Theme Song
2 I Feel OK – Detroit Junior
3 Merry Christmas, Baby – Otis Redding
4 Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
5 Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas – Staples Singers
6 Silver Bells – Booker T and the MGs
7 White Christmas – Otis Redding
8 Tom’s Mailbag
9 Christmas Comes But Once A Year – Albert King
10 Santa Claus Is Back In Town – Elvis Presley
11 Merry Christmas – Lightnin’ Hopkins
12 Santa Claus Baby – The Voices
13 Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ – Sir Mack Rice
14 The Christmas Song – King Curtis
15 Run, Run Rudolph – Chuck Berry
16 Red Rooster – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
17 Back Door Santa – Clarence Carter
18 Happy New Year – Lightnin’ Hopkins
19 Christmas Song – The Chipmunks
20 Feels Like Christmas – Al Greene
21 Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/
Auld Lang Syne – Jimi Hendrix
22 Jingle Bells – Booker T and the MGs

LIGHT MY FIRE – THE DOORS.

the-doors-light-my-fire-1967-5

Ray Manzarek died last week, he was the keyboard player with the Doors. I never met him but living in LA for 40 odd years I was always conscious of who he was, he was frequently on the air or being interviewed in the music press.
Around 1966 I applied for admission to the graduate program of the UCLA film school and was accepted. At approx. the same time, the Doors who were well known around town as the house band at the Whiskey, released their first album which became a huge hit and was played constantly on the radio. At the film school it was common knowledge that several members of the Doors were using the facilities after hours to edit a film. I never saw them but those in the know had tales of their nocturnal presence. Upstairs in the dept was a long corridor, 60 – 80 ft long, every 6 ft on each side there was a door to an editing room, which was about 6ft by 10 ft with only a 16 mm. Movieola editing machine, a film bin, a chair and a shelf: very basic, very primitive, though from those tiny rooms emerged many works of filmic genius. The word around the department was that there was a student who was a friend of the Doors who regularly signed up for an edit room and then gave them the key. We used those rooms day and night, I was editing one of my films with the radio on the night that Robert Kennedy was shot at around midnight at the Ambassador hotel only a couple of miles away. Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison were the two who were most frequently mentioned as being the film editors; I’ve never seen or read anything about the film they were working on but as usual whenever they’re mentioned, as in this week’s obituaries, there’s usually a line that states they were UCLA film students, I don’t think that’s actually true.
That first album ‘The Doors’ was released in 1967 and became a huge success in the US once the single “Light My Fire” scaled the charts, the album peaked at #2 in September 1967. “Light My Fire” was the first song ever written by Robby Krieger and was the beginning of the band’s success. The other standout hit from that album was ‘The End’, Coppola, another film student at that time used it for the finale of Apocalypse Now.
Here’s a clip from a 1998 recording of Ray Manzarek talking about the origins and the musical evolution of ‘Light my Fire, it’s very interesting how it came to be, particularly John Coltrane’s contribution, the boogie boogie influence and the Bach component, well worth a listen for Spillers.

A little vinyl to clear the air.

 
vinyl

Some time back I spent a day digitizing a lot of vinyl, most of which I hadn’t played in years, it was basically much of what we on the west coast were listening to through the late sixties and into the seventies. Finny, another westcoaster,  just posted the Youngbloods on Earworms and and that was enough to send my off to my iTunes file to find some of those vinyl cuts, always loved the Youngbloods.  So here’s a short playlist, I suspect that many of them will be familiar, but you, like me might not have heard them for a while.

I think it’s what those square DJ’s call ‘A trip down memory lane’ or ‘A blast from the past’.

A good way to start a week?