There’s always the Sun…

Winter sun through a window in Pamplona (C)lgconnolly

Winter sun through a window in Pamplona (C)lgconnolly

So with all of the excitement in the world of organised religion this week, I found myself pontificating (how apt) about the strangeness of it all. It was prompted specifically by some comment that I read about “primitive religions” worshiping the Sun – and for some reason that really rankled with me… Continue reading

On the Water…

full moonOverWater

I’ve never written a post for The Spill before. Isn’t that shocking? So I thought it was about time I made amends and started chucking the odd thing on over here, as it’s nice to break loose from the RR confines when time permits and do something about what is lighting my fire currently. As I’m still getting used to the vagaries of WordPress, I thought I would just throw something out and use it to work out how to do the techie bits;  so hoping to work those out whilst writing this but hopefully still say something interesting…. Continue reading

Which Cut Is The Bestest?

true love Waits

It may be a song much used & abused by karaoke maniacs, bedroom youtubers, & egotistical pop stars but let us not forget what a phenomenal tune it really is. Cat may have sold it to PP for £30 back in the day – but which version of the three do you prefer? Or do you know of a better one (I have looked for a noisy indie rock version, and failed, but would love it if there was one in existence)?

‘Spill points are available, and there are bonus ‘Spill points if you can explain why Tom Waits is holding a bunny. caption the Tom Waits & bunny photo.


Last week the Guardian had a story about a naturalist field recordist named Bernie Krause, a name I hadn’t heard in quite a while. He used to be a musician in California, possibly the first to see the potential of the Moog synthesizer, he introduced both George Harrison and George Martin to it’s potential. He and his partner Paul Beaver, also a synthesist and Hammond B3 organist, released a series of three albums for Warner Bros. starting in 1970, I bought them all, still got ’em. Paul Beaver died in 1975.
Following up on my recent Ben Webster post, here’s another, this time it’s Gerry Mulligan featured on baritone sax and it’s from Beaver and Krause’s 1971 album, Gandharva [the celestial musician] and was recorded in Grace cathedral in San Francisco.The title is ‘By Your Grace’. Also heard are Bud Shank on alto, Gail Laughton plays simultaneously two harps and Howard Roberts is on guitar; Krause is on Moog and Beaver plays the cathedral’s pipe organ.
The second cut, from the same album, was also recorded in the cathedral, it’s ‘Short film for David’, that’s Mike Bloomfield and Howard Roberts on guitars and Bud Shank on alto sax with Mulligan on baritone and Laughton again on the harp, plus B&K.
I’ve long thought of introducing the Spill audience to Beaver and Krause, so here we go, hope you think they’re as great as I do.

He Says ~ She Says ~ Hello My Old China ! ! ! Chinese Language Music from 40’s, 50’s, 60;s and 70’s

“But Sakura ! ! ! Why I do I have to wear the ears?”

She Says:

This week we are moving in a new area for me.  We are going to share some tracks from an interesting period in Asian popular music.   I think that the Chinese are a maybe a  little like the Italians of Asia.  They tend to talk  a lot, are very funny, and are very romantic and nostalgic and this is reflected in their popular music.  The 1940 – 1980 period saw a huge change for Chinese speaking peoples.  The war and revolution in China lead to the establishment  PRC of course  but also Taiwan became an independant country and Hong Kong, as the last colony in Chinese territory grew into a wealthy centre for trade and finance for the whole of Asia.  Chinese language music was now developing in three very different environments, but some how there seems to be thread holding it together.

He Says:

China. Still, in some ways, a land of mystery to us in the West. So big, so many people. How on earth can you get your head round somewhere so vast, so different, so ancient ? We’d like to introduce you to some Chinese tunes this week. Many of them heavily “Westernised” and , therefore, somewhat easier on the ear than traditional Chinese music. Hope you enjoy them

Continue reading