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
Ok, so you’ve all been good sports and suffered through my Stones lists, rock lists, garage noise, rock / punk heavy A-list, axe wank list, etc. So i thought that as you were all probably dreading my week for the Spill Game, i’d put up something a bit different. Some of you may remember that i have a not-so-secret hankering for a pretty pop tune. So in honor of VD (i was supposed to be next week, but i switched off with DsD), i did a list of some pretty ear candy instead of the usual ear-splitting stuff. You know the drill – toss one or all, or keep as you see fit.
Will that do?
(Look, there are going to be guitars. There just are. It comes with the turf. But they’re gorgeous Byrds-y, Las-y, melodic, reverby, distorty, feedbacky, groovy, and even maybe some acoustic-y. Maybe a bit of saminess at the beginning of the list, but how can you complain when it’s this easy on the ears. Huh? I do promise that there’s nothing like Jimmy Page taking a dump on a Telecaster.)
Happy VD to all!
(Did this the new player way because a) it cut down on buffering problems, and b) makes it easier to find a specific song.)
Grab bag of groovy garage / punk / psych / indie / powerpop / whatever tunes that caught my ear, now that i seem to be able to listen to music again.
The Black Angels: I dig their droney psyche doom pop the most, ya know?
This song is the first inkling of their fourth album, “Indigo Meadow”, which is agonisingly not out ’til April.
The Black Angels’ first album was also my 3rd favourite of the noughties, list fans.
Unrelated, but we are now only 9 posts off the 2,000 mark, so if anyone has any ideas about how to mark this, um, landmark – please say so in the comments. Cheers.
Thought it might be nice to make a little playlist of Songs About Mars to accompany the exciting first photo the Mars Rover beamed back. Not a terribly original idea, there were already a few playlists out there on the interwebs. A lot of the usual suspects – Bowie, T Rex, Coldplay, etc, and plenty of shoehorns. Tucked in among the shoehorns was this new-to-me (am i the only one who had never heard it before?) beauty that only mentions Mars in passing, but any excuse will do to post it. Axe-fucking-tastic.
Jimi Hendrix – The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam’s Dice
Django Django come across like the little brother of The Beta Band, in fact one of them is the actual little brother of one of The Beta Band. This tune, “Default”, is all the excuse you need to strut around the room like a demented chicken, and bodes well for their long-time-coming debut LP.
I can’t quite get a fix on BJH&THoD, which is maybe what intrigues me to listen to it over & over.
PS. Don’t watch the video at work, or near anyone who may take offence at Beth Jeans Houghton’s, um, Boobs Of Destiny.
The B-list provides an opportunity to compile a list free of the constraints and pressures of the A-List. To give a hearing to some tunes of choice without the limits of PC or taste. So i was a bit piqued to find my choices and list were less varied, less offensive, and more user-friendly that i had hoped for. (I used a bigger shoehorn too!) Almost too damn pretty of a list. I think Wyngatecarpenter may have put his finger on it – “Clearly this subject brings out a softer side in some of my favourite artists.“ Slim pickings this week for hard rock, metal, punk, thrash, grunge, and hardcore hip-hop. On the upside – a banner week for 60′s grooviness, earthy blues, psychedelia, folk, culture, goth, indie/alt and J-pop. Continue reading
Coincidentally or not, just in time for upcoming holiday season, a few albums are up for re-release this month. Re-mastered, and each with a slew of new previously unreleased bonus tracks. Most definitely this is a trend these days, and i still can’t figure out exactly what the reasoning is. More money, certainly. A celebration of a classic album, a chance to correct what they may have gotten wrong the first time. Introducing a classic album from musicians whose time has passed to a new generation, an excuse for a tour. A service to fans and other interested parties by releasing tracks that didn’t make the album cut. So maybe it’s worth a review of the albums as they were before tackling the new incarnations. Continue reading
But how much poorer would the music scene be without them?
From Louis Armstrong to Tom Petty, Charlie Parker to Keith Richards, Syd Barrett to Lemmy, Lowell George to Fleetwood Mac, a vast amount of great music has been created by those under the influence of marijuana, heroin, LSD, cocaine and other substances that society has declared illegal. Not all of it, by any means, has been great but would Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Sgt. Pepper, Sister Ray, Dark Star and any number of jazz classics have been created by people sipping a glass of sweet sherry or a cup of tea? Frank Zappa famously abhorred them but was he right to keep his band away from them?
All the Grateful Dead music I’ve posted from Casey was produced under the influence of marijuana, LSD and cocaine in various permutations and, for the most part, that does not seem to have affected the performances detrimentally. But in Amsterdam Garcia, for one, got a little greedy and you can hear the effect in his playing in the first set. Most of the licks that he always plays, because they’re part of the song, are bungled or omitted. Yet when he gets past the opening verses of Playin’ In The Band, the music becomes quite sublime (and the Other One performance in the second set is astonishing). So, what do you think? Just say ‘no’?
This is Playin’ In The Band from Amsterdam.
The day after I’d seen the Grateful Dead at the Bickershaw Festival, my 19-year-old self wrote to a friend describing his impressions. This verbatim extract sums it up:
(L-R: Keith Godchaux: piano, Phil Lesh: bass, Bill Kreutzmann: drums, Bob Weir: 2nd guitar, Jerry Garcia: lead guitar, Ron ‘Pigpen’ McKernan: organ)
It was a chilly, wet weekend. Luckily I came across some people I’d met recently who had an old ambulance, so I could sleep in relative comfort rather than mud, and when Day 3 came round I wasn’t too bedraggled. I found a position by a scaffolding tower and stood/leant in front of it from around midday. Country Joe McDonald did a set in which we all joined in the Fish Cheer (F-U-C-K N-I-X-O-N), a chap set himself on fire and did a high-dive into a small tank of water (just what the mud in front of the stage needed!) and the New Riders Of The Purple Sage played for a couple of hours. Around 7pm, the Dead took the stage and, apart from a 20-minute break between sets, they remained there for the next 5 hours.
Another quote from that letter:
“I hadn’t eaten, drunk or smoked for 12 hours and had been standing and jumping around for 5 and didn’t feel hungry or anything really – the Dead just filled me in.”
Les Rallizes Dénudés were a legendary Japanese experimental noise-rock band, lead (controlled megalomaniacally might be more accurate) by visionary guitarist Takeshi Mizutani that were active between 1969 and 1996 (there is no evidence that they are officially no more) but only ever put out a few official releases, which were live albums anyway.
Their commitment to staying impenetrably underground and in the shadows (well, the wilds of Northern Japan) and refusal to play the game, marks them as a true cult phenomenon for me (and a few other lonely, socially inept men in their thirties and forties around the globe). That, and the fact that they released some awe-inspiring, way-ahead of their time, truly experimental and amazing music.
The People’s Temple plough that Brian Jonestown Massacre/Nuggets/13th Floor Elevators furrow that I’m very fond of, veering from BJMesque jams to 60s garage rock freakouts and all bases inbetween on their “Sons Of Stone” LP (on Hozac Records). Here’s a slow one and a hectic one from them.
Terrific bit of editing and use of colour filters in this new video from Warpaint. The cuts from out/into the water are perfection.
It’s heavy psyche night in the house tonight. Finishing on a quieter, more contemplative one from The Warlocks, six and a half minutes to drift away on, it’s half past midnight here. Just don’t open your bedroom curtains and look out of the window because there’s someone standing in your garden….so…so..paranoid….
A gallery of posters for events promoted by The Family Dog back in 1960′s San Francisco has recently appeared on the Grateful Dead’s website. The posters were made by the ‘San Francisco Five’ - Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse and Wes Wilson – and are prime examples of the groovy artwork of the day.
Here’s the link (via dead.net):
If you click on an image, the whole thing goes fullscreen. Drop a tab and your brain will follow, er, man.
And here’s a little something to listen to while you’re browsing, from a Family Dog event at The Great Highway on 4th February, 1970:
And here, for SpottedRichard in particular, are the Grateful Dead’s sets from the Avalon concert on 12th October, 1968, the poster for which appears in the gallery.
BEATLES ALERT: This post was prepared in a factory that handles Beatles music. If you suffer from Beatles allergy, look away now.
Many of you will remember the contributions of magicman, and he is missed on RR by many of us. Some of you will be aware that he is a renowned film and TV actor, based in Brighton, and that he is also a leading light and prime mover in the Brighton Beach Boys, a tribute band. They have been going for ten years, and for the last five of them, have staged an annual award winning Brighton Festival event, Pet Sounds versus Sgt. Pepper. This involves them playing both albums in their entirety, to a packed church in Kemptown.
Given the studio-complexity of both albums, they enlist the help of the Psychedelic Love Orchestra, to provide string and wind back up.
I love Brighton Festival, and took the opportunity to see magicman in action, and enjoy a brief chat with him about RR/spill, Dorian, African and black American music, and the pleasure he gets from being in the Brighton Beach Boys. In an ensemble 15 strong, he is the only one who is not a professional musician, but you wouldn’t know it from his dexterity on sax, keyboards and vocals. I enjoyed meeting and chatting to him,
I have to admit that this is not normally the sort of thing I go to – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tribute band before, and I’m not into nostalgia, with so much great music in the here and now. I felt a bit like my gran going to see Vera Lynn do wartime songs when the war was a distant memory. But having said that, I enjoyed the evening immensely in a guilty pleasures sort of way, and the band do a great job. And the audience was drawn from all age groups, not just wrinklies like me!
Here’s a few clips I took at the gig for your delectation (magicman is the one in the hat, and then hatless for ‘Within you, without you’). Given that the venue was a church, we start fittingly with ‘God only knows’. The second youtube is a short vid from LatestTV, with magicman talking about the band.
Eric Burdon and the Animals – Gratefully Dead
Stumbled on this rare slice of psychedelic acid garage punk funk rap whatever and still can’t stop listening to it. Released as the B-side to San Franciscan Nights in the UK only. Can’t find any lyrics. Can’t find any other info on it online. No idea what the overlapping vocal track is. What i do know – thanks to this article courtesy of our intrepid Dead expert (thanks, Chris) – is that Eric and the Animals took the stage and did a set with the Dead’s equipment on March 26, 1967, and this song seems to be recorded soon after that show. I can’t imagine why they didn’t give this song a wider release, it’s the best thing i’ve ever heard in my life. Any further info on the song very welcome.
Does the Spill still do AOTWs? Ok then, do we do proper rock albums? (be nice, you hecklers in the front).
1985. MTV Launched stateside in 1984. The US was flooded with pretty Britpoppers making pretty Britsongs. A quick gander at the top tunes of the year shows the charts populated with the likes of AHA, Simple Minds, Wham, Duran Duran, Paul Young, Thompson Twins, Sting, etc. Meanwhile rocks offerings were neutered down to the likes of Starship, REO Speedwagon, Bryan Adams, and Foreigner. (Thank fuck for Prince and the Smiths).
A somewhat recent (ok, so it’s been 2 years by now) university grad sits catatonically in front of MTV. Somewhere in between drooling over Power Station and AHA videos, the strains of a Within You Without You-ish guitar intro leads into another band setup that’s very pretty indeed. The lead singer looks like he wandered into the video from the Summer of Love. Guitarist switched at birth with Dolph Lundgren. But wait a minute…that sounds like proper hard rock! And it’s so pretty! Sweet balm indeed to RTJ’s poor rock starved ears. Continue reading
I know there’s more than a few ‘Spillers who love a bit of Sun Araw, so incase you haven’t already heard these, here’s the two sides of a 7″ they’ve got out - including a Teenage Fanclub cover, no less!
That’s when it all began:
(1) That’s It for the Other One
A – Cryptical Envelopment
B – Quadlibet for Tenderfeet
C – The Faster We Go, The Rounder We Get
D – We Leave the Castle
(2) New Potato Caboose
(3) Born Cross-Eyed
(2) Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)
Jerry Garcia (3rd left): Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Kazoo and Vibraslap
Bob Weir (3rd right): Rhythm Guitar, 12 String Guitar, Acoustic Guitar and Kazoo
Ron McKernan (far right): Organ and Celesta Claves
Phil Lesh (2nd left): Bass, Trumpet, Harpsichord, Guiro Kazoo, Piano and Timpani
Mickey Hart (2nd right), Bill Kreutzman (far left): Drums, Orchestra Bells, Gong, Chimes, Crotales, Prepared Piano, Finger Cymbals
Tom Constanten (not shown): Prepared Piano, Piano and Electronic Tape
There isn’t really a theme to this particular playlist, except perhaps that all the tracks I’ve chosen have a certain quality that reflects my state of mind at the moment.
There is a kind of otherworldliness about many of these, tinged with maybe a dash of melancholy, distance or maybe detachment from the day-to-day dullness of grey, dismal February.
I’ve tried to make the playlist a kind of voyage, starting out with a dash of experimentation that flows into Jerry Garcia’s achingly beautiful “The Wheel”, via some old and new psychedelia, a dash of a Fripp and Travis soundscape, a leavening of classically lovely female singing and finally coming home again, via post-rock, to a place of aching beauty again.
The photograph that heads up this playlist is one of my own. It is the Château de Sercy in the southern part of Burgundy, just north of Cluny. I have no particular reason to post it, except that it is a lovely place and the sky is blue in the picture.
We all need a bit of blue in our skies at this time of year. I think that February is the worst month of the year, but hopefully this playlist ends on an fairly uplifting and optimistic note and leads the way to a happy 2011 for all of us ‘Spillers and our loved ones.
Anyway, now for the music;
1. Jerry Garcia – The Wheel
2. Moby Grape – Looper
3. Mazzy Star – Look Down From The Bridge
4. Warpaint – Warpaint
5. Robert Fripp and Theo Travis – Moonchild
6. It’s A Beautiful Day – Bombay Calling
7. Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Black Mountain
8. Sandy Denny – I’m A Dreamer
9. Mogwai – Like Herod
10. Sigur Ros – Agaetis Byrjun
Given the enthusiastic response to Amylee’s Nicky appreciation society and the several mentions of Quicksilver this might be an appropriate spot to consolidate all the aging hippies hereabouts, to that end I’ve digitized one cut from QMS’s finest album. Unfortunately by the time Nicky joined the group they were in terminal decline, blame Dino for that, but their Happy Trails album from 1968 was QMS at their finest. The cut I’ve chosen is to me the highlight of the album, it’s ‘Calvary’, it closes side two. This is definitely headphone music, so put ‘em on, sit back for about 10 minutes and enjoy; it’s fabulous!
Here’s the album’s review from Spotty.
When a band is named after one of the best albums of the ’90s, you really do have to check them out. When you do check them out, you find they’ve been heavily inspired by “Be-In”, the first track from the Dandy Warhols second album, and lost classic “The Dandy Warhols Come Down”. You are happy that it turns out in the long run that shoegaze never really died at the hands of Grunge & Britpop, and that so much good music these days is inspired by the long-maligned genre.
Don’t press play if you don’t like shoegaze…you have been warned…
Youngteam are Swedish and are released on Northern Star Records, a label whose “Psychedelica” compilation albums I always buy as they’re released.