How I Discovered – Johnny Cash

Inokashira Park in Kichijoji

The Buddhist Temple – Inokashira Park in Kichijoji

Since I moved to Tokyo almost ten years ago,  I have been a city girl. I live in Meguro and rarely leave the Yamanote districts of Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ebisu and Meguro. I do occasionally take my passport and travel the 20 minutes to some of the Shitamachi districts like Akasaka, or Aoyama, but the suburbs are somewhere I usually would never dream of going. They tend to be characterless, residential areas with little to make you want to go there.

However there is one exception and that is Kichijoji. Continue reading

He’s got all the best tunes, you know.

It has often been said that the Devil has all the best tunes. There is also supposed to be something diabolic about certain types of music and there is the interval known as diabolus in musica (the Devil in Music) a.k.a the tritone, an interval known for dissonance.

Diabolic and Satanic imagery has long been associated with heavy metal and Goth has always been as much about decaying ruins, vampires and death as it has about music.

Jimmy Page was, at one time, deeply interested in Aleister Crowley, the so-called Wickedest Man Alive and founder of the occult religion of Thelema (motto – Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law) and the late Graham Bond was so obsesed with Crowley that he formed a band called Holy Magick and believed himself to be Crowley’s son.

Earlier still, it was said that Robert Johnson bacame a blues guitar phenomenon because of a pact with the Devil, signed at midnight, down at the crossroads. This idea later spawned a film about the same subject, culminating in a guitar battle between the Devil’s guitar hero, played by Steve Vai and the hero of the film, Eugene (guitar work by Ry Cooder).

So, music has a long tradition of dealing in the Black Arts and this playlist covers all the bases from posession and exorcism, through witchcraft, occult ceremonies and the Undead athrough to Hell and Damnation.

As you can see, we have 11 tracks. The task here is to decide which one will be saved from the Pit and which one will be cast into the Outer Dark forever.

The track listing is:

Charlie Daniels Band – The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Siousxie and the Banshees – Spellbound
David Byrne and Brian Eno – The Jezebel Spirit
Dr John – Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya
Black Widow – Come To The Sabbat
Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead
Cassandra Wilson – Hellhound On My Trail
John Martyn – I’d Rather Be The Devil
King Crimson – The Devil’s Triangle
The Clash – Straight To Hell
AC/DC – Highway To Hell

Fancy an outing to the Half Moon in Putney?

Half Moon ad

I’ve already got my ticket for this – it was only £13! – and I was thinking it would be really great if some of you others could come too! It’s a Thursday, so not very good for a social, but we could have a drink beforehand at least.

Darrell Scott is an American singer-songwriter in the Americana mould – you may know him from tfd afasarae You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive. Danny Thompson is a bass player best known (to me) for his work with Richard Thompson (no relation) and the Pentangle; but he’s played with loads of other people as well, and he plays in many styles. Darrell and Danny made a live album a while ago, and here are a couple of tracks to show you the sort of thing.

02 It’s The Whiskey that Eases the P

06 You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive

So, on the assumption that the noise they’ll make will be similar to that…here’s where you can book!

http://www.halfmoon.co.uk/

Bay Area Boys

Oakland’s Tumbleweed Wanderers

I  want to share a little new Bay Area music with all of you.   Tumbleweed Wanderers first album ,  So Long , comes tagged as Country & Folk.  I’d say that’s boxing them in.  Their video release of Roll With The Times starts with them shamelessly invoking a Sly & The Family Stone lick to great effect .   Well, that’s neighborhood music for these Oakland boys & I say more power to them.  Know your roots.

They’re fresh off a tour supporting  Australian Angus Stone & already talking new music.  Love the idea of moving it forward.  Here’s a couple of tunes that tickled my fancy.  Hard Times for it’s use of the banjo to set the mood and So Long Blues for it’s fine vocal harmonies & understated instrumentation.  Kinda reminds me of the Dillards.  Full disclosure, the keyboard player is a close friend’s nephew & I got to meet a couple of them when they did the music for her daughter’s wedding a while back.  Nice lads all & I’m wishing them well.  Click on the player for a listen.

Epic Blowout Stones ‘Spillover

3 ‘Spillers (Amy, Fuel, and Shane) – 3 Stones Playlists. Enjoy.

Amy:

I was born in 1960. I knew the early Stones tunes from the radio mostly. Caught the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, even at 3 years old, i somehow knew this was an important thing to see. Amazing, actually. But never knew a peep about the Stones on there. First Stones album i bought was Hot Rocks, followed by More Hot Rocks which i figured had all the oldies i ever needed. Never saw any reason to get the older albums – they all had pretty much the same songs on them anyway! So there are still plenty of oldies i’ve never heard. Wanted to get a sampler of some of them on the list, but Shanes’ covers list made my job a lot easier – there would have been a lot of duplicates – and most of those songs probably aren’t new to folks on here anyway. Shane’s Empty Heart was newtome and great, i hear echoes of that one, and Heart of Stone and Time is on My Side in the snotnose garage bands i’m liking now. Under My Thumb and Play With Fire would have probably made my list – i think they foreshadow some of the darker tunes yet to come. Some other standouts for me – Ruby Tuesday, As Tears Go By, Lady Jane, Sitting on a Fence, Spider and the Fly, Not Fade Away, The Last Time, I’m Free – although biggies like Get Off of My Cloud (sorry, Fintan), Satisfaction, Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, and Mothers’ Little Helper still don’t do much for me.
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Waiting for Monday

I’m in this photo – those are my blue sleeves on the barrier

Talking of waiting…I’ve just realised that it’s now a week since I saw Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in Cork…and I won’t see them again till Monday! Gee whiz, the waiting is the hardest part. So to cheer myself up I’ve made a playlist of the songs they did in Ireland. The setlists weren’t very different (and believe me, I have complained). So I’m sitting here listening to this, and it occurred to me that perhaps some of you might like to listen too. These aren’t the actual performances, mind, but they’re all live recordings (except one) of the songs I heard last week.

So just imagine, if you will, that it’s a week ago in the Marquee in Cork, TP&TH have just come on stage, I am standing beneath TP’s mic stand and my favourite band are playing just for me.

1 Listen To Her Heart
2 You Wreck Me
3 I Won’t Back Down
4 Here Comes My Girl
5 Handle With Care
6 Good Enough
7 Oh Well
8 I’m A Man
9 Something Big
10 King’s Highway
11 Free Fallin’
12 It’s Good To Be King
13 Something Good Coming
14 Learning To Fly
15 Yer So Bad
16 I Should Have Known It
17 Refugee
18 Runnin’ Down A Dream
19 Mary Jane’s Last Dance
20 American Girl

And while I’m at it I thought I’d post this week’s Buried Treasure Show, which is specially good (apart from the Dave Clark Five, of whom TP is strangely fond). It’s no. 154. I won’t bother with the playlist, because you can find it on TP’s website – as he will tell you.

So, tfd, were you disappointed?

TP shows off the fancy embroidery on his weskit

Well, folks, I was…with Regina Spektor. I thought the first song she did, with no accompaniment except her own tapping on the mic, was really excellent. And I also liked the second song with her band. But after that I just felt everything was far too samey. Perhaps I should’ve taken more time beforehand to become familiar with her stuff…but she’s not on the European leg of the tour so I’m going to forget about her for now and investigate Jonathan Wilson (who?) the new opening act.

So anyway. We were in the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX, which is a basketball arena. I’d been thinking that the venue would be quite small, because a basketball court is small, but this proved not to be the case. It was vast (and sold out). They must like their basketball a whole lot in Austin. Matt and I had whiled away the time before the show started having very expensive drinks in the VIP lounge and we had enjoyed ourselves so much talking to fellow TP&TH fans that we had neglected to go and look at the merchandise…but never mind, I’ll have 6 more opportunities to buy stuff and I now know which T shirt Matt would like for his birthday.

Where was I? Oh yes. Imagine that we’re no longer in the VIP lounge but in our third-row seats watching the techies set up for the band. There was an enclosure with gear in it on the floor on our side of the stage and we saw some celebrity kiddiwinks having a tea party there, and after that Benmont Tench came and wandered round a bit, and so did Ron Blair, and so did someone who might have been Mrs TP, only I wasn’t quite sure. And then the lights went down, and everybody stood up and started to make a noise, and then it looked like this:

TP&TH get going

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