Having re-watched the above-named documentary about the musical relationship between David Grisman and Jerry Garcia again(!) last night, I just felt the need to share this slice of sinuous beauty with you. Just imagine you’re sitting in a parlour in 1902…….
Garcia’s best playing with the Dead may have passed by 1991 but his renewed friendship with Grisman produced some marvellous sounds from both of them, born out of a shared love of the music and a shared sense of fun.
I happened to notice that today was the 69th birthday of the contemporary British composer Michael Nyman, so I thought I would take the opportunity to pay a small tribute to the great man and draw attention to a few of my favourite pieces of his music…. Continue reading
Dear Webcore, to wish you a very Happy 60th Birthday, here’s a long short story written to a secret formula by a team of your fellow Recommenders. We hope you don’t mind making an exception to your non-fiction habit, seeing as it’s such a special occasion. The RR writers’ workshop takes strange delight in presenting:
V Valentino, propelled by a whirl of thoughts, turned and beckoned to his legs, urging them to please keep up. Two steady elements – his non-beckoning hand holding the flat bottle in his pocket, a little more firmly as he crossed the bridge with its view of the drop between the iron railings; and directions committed to memory as he turned right at the bridge end and the river’s murmur emerged from the receding traffic noise. The river reflected muscovado in the last drops of sunset and the early fizz of street lamps. There was a party of special things to do. Continue reading
Now you’ve gone and left me and there’s nothing here,
But a tenner in my pocket and a fridge full of beer,
There’s an aRRmy around the country, we’re all stuck in our rooms
It takes a lot of preparation to make a move.
2 A Brighter Beat Malcolm Middleton
3 On My Shoulders The Dø
4 Brave Tin Soldiers Sarah Nixey
5 The Happiest Place on Earth Desaparecidos
6 Soldier’s Grin Wolf Parade
Tokyo all female three-piece TOQUIWA release their hi-energy J-punk in the UK on October the 22nd, 2012. Scopitones announced TOQUIWA’s self-titled debut on digital release and limited edition tour CD.
They begin touring the UK on 26/10 in Bournemouth – I’m going to be there (in a home made bright orange TOQUIWA T-shirt) – I also made a T-shirt using the ticket from a live Wedding Presents Ukrainian Sessions gig. But I can’t wear both.
This is the track listing and below the review are Smash Hits style questions sportingly answered by the band.
(I want to post this today – so I will have to ask Sakura to advise if I’ve got anything in the wrong places)
The self titled album by Toquiwa on the Wedding Presents Scopitones label, should almost be called go out and get ‘em girl – such is the frantic pace that they erupt with perfect pop rock. The first 13 seconds set up the album (you heard right – 13 seconds sets out their manifesto) – Fantasticly playing the many influences and condensing them into a tight Toquiwa package.
Strangely managing to be extremely talented musicians yet still exuding that punk ethic of innocence and naivety.
The tracks have so many astonishingly catchy segments and hooks, you wonder how the pace can be kept up, but keep up they do, building and building, twisting styles and era’s together as if timelines were squeezed, squashed and smashed into their musical brains. Until in comes out sounding as though these things should always have sat together (superbly) in each 3 minute track.
Not only that, they know how to sequence an album – just as your head might explode keeping up – (ten second bar room blues, into superfly 70′s style, into a quiet millisecond break – roaring back into .. you get the drift – I’m loath to compare because it all sounds so Toquiwa – but as reference you could detect The Animals merging with a Curtis Mayfield track with hints of Kirsty MacColl’s weariness and wonder, while a Status Quo repetitive rock riff underpins a track – and quite loud quiet indie rock aesthetics jostle in) they take a breather with a ballad – and then we are invited to party hard once again, ending with an enthusiastic Wedding Present adaption to thrill and inspire while closing the album out.
It’s fantastic fun – superbly performed and feverishly played. Total enjoyment.
Would they be happy to answer my frivolous questions linking to each song on the album?:
The ‘Spill is full of weird and wonderful things, characters and artists. Let us all gape in awe at the skills of Mr Saneshane aka arteesane whose fabulous and subtle creation is sported by moi in the photo. This, my friends, is the pertest perk of being temporary guru. Now I know that it’s not a great fit, but I’m hoping to grow into it…
Hey Sakura !
It’s your birthday ( you probably know this) and some of the guys wanted to give you a little gift to make the day even more special. So here it is, your very own RR playlist !
Every year since 1996, Deadheads have commemorated the first nine days of August as the Days Between. The title of the last of the 61 songs he wrote with Robert Hunter, it signifies the 53-year gap between Jerry Garcia’s birth on the 1st of August 1942 and his death on the 9th of August 1995. This year, Jerry would have been 70 years old.
There were days, and there were days
And there were days I know
When all we ever wanted
Was to learn and love and grow
Once we grew into our shoes
We told them where to go
Walked halfway around the world
On promise of the glow
Stood upon a mountain top
Walked barefoot in the snow
Gave the best we had to give
How much we’ll never know
We’ll never know
Dead.net has some words, music and pictures, as you’d expect. Maybe you have a song you’d like to post – or request be added to this playlist*, starting with one of my favourites, Black Peter. Jerry loved a sad song, and this one doesn’t end happily, but there’s still joy in his playing and heart in his voice. From New Year’s Eve, 1972.
*for more information, see next page. Continue reading
Whose better – Whose best?
I can’t admit to ever being a fan of The Monkees but I used to watch it fairly regularly, nonetheless. Corny and as contrived as f**k, but great fun. I suppose Davy’s accent made it more than just an American show, somehow.
And they did have some good tunes (although I’m not sure that had much to do with Davy). But sad to see another part of (my) musical history disappear. He was only 66.
I came across this curio a while ago. Goes to show, you don’t ever know.
I have absolutely nothing to say except that it’s sad when great musicians leave us. I’d love to wax lyrical about Etta but I really think that all we should do to note her passing is listen to and enjoy her music. Here, then, are half a dozen tracks from a live album I love. Enjoy and remember.
The Flamenco guitarist Enrique de Melchor died yesterday at the age of 61. He was one of the best of his generation, as highly regarded as both Paco de Lucía and Manolo Sanlúcar. Born Enrique Jiménez Ramírez in Marchena, Seville, he was the son of the guitarist Melchor de Marchena from whom he took his stage name. A brilliant accompanist, he played with the likes of José Mercé, El Lebrijano, José Menese and Carmen Linares amongst others. He “understood the secrets of el cante” better than any other of his generation according to those who were lucky enough to sing with him.
Here are a couple of performances, by way of tribute:
First off a “Soleá“:
And here’s a “Rondeña“:
Just found out it’s your birthday Shoey. Many happy returns!
Here’s a Flamenco Birthday song for you!
This is to celebrate the birthday of a most sociable recommender. It marks DsD’s broad-minded but sometimes baffled engagement with the music known as Jazz, and the Scottish connection with St Andrew’s Day. So, here’s the astonishing Rufus Harley, playing John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, on the bagpipes. I hope others will join in the good wishes, and maybe even post something DsD will like. Happy Birthday DarceysDad !
it is not as bad as you think ! ! !
EELS is a band formed by singer/songwriter Mark Oliver Everett, better known as E.
There’s at least 9 albums to choose tracks from and 2 solos recordings, plus an album as MC Honky… if you could be so kind – I’d like a ‘spill over view of his output.
Do you like EELS? (the band – you comedians)
if so , the down right depressing side? or the jaunty pop sensibility side? .. but still with a dark soul.
We have a couple of spare days – will we have a unique ‘best of’ that the record company would be pleased to produce or a totally odd collection that a blog full of weirdoes would be happy to listen to – the choice is yours.
Post your nominations to: Susan’s House c/o the Comments section below – thanks ‘spillers.
The multiple-perspective collective has come together to celebrate the Webcore’s Ruby wedding anniversary with this playlist, intermingled with some snippets and signposts (with special thanks to The Guardian for its community content and search facilty).
I never thought I’d miss you, half as much as I do
(Labi Siffre, It Must Be Love)
It is 1971, and a young man from Liverpool has spent the summer in London. Some may think him a ‘Jim Dandy’ character, well-suited to life in a great capital city. But there is a young woman back home who is always in his thoughts, looks a little like Catherine Deneuve and a little like Anita Ekberg, only better, and scores ten out of ten on the dancefloor. Our young hero was not foolish, and so headed home with marriage on his mind.
The wedding took place on 25th September 1971, and coincided with a Traffic gig at the Liverpool Stadium, which the happy couple fitted in to the evening celebrations. This first set of tunes are vintage 1971, except for some fine Motown and rock’n'roll (which is having to be neighbourly with Steve Winwood for reasons of narrative):
Happy Birthday to Phil Lynott – had he lived, it would be his 62nd birthday today. It would be very easy to grumble on about what was a sad demise and a profound waste of life of a charismatic and talented musician, but I am quite sure that Phil would have no truck with all of that and anyway I would like to focus on the good stuff.
When I was growing up, I guess Phil might have seemed a rather bizarre choice of Irish hero: he was black, his father had scarpered before he was born and he was decidedly Irish in a way that was decidedly uncool. He was interested in folk music, celtic art, mythology and poetry at a time when we as a nation were not keen on admitting an interest in anything so downright Gaelic. He drew friends and collaborators from the unlikeliest places and was a fantastically colourful dandy in the Vatican state that I grew up in. Some of the songs were macho and sexist, yet everybody’s mammy had a soft spot for him because he was the most charming and unaffected of rockers – very bashful despite the on-stage posing.
From the early to mid seventies he wrote pop and rock music with a lyrical quality and a deft touch with melody. He was a fixture on Top Of The Pops – who else would be cock sure enough to install a mirrored scratchplate on his bass so that he could blind us all with his brilliance? We were proud of him and we were in his eyes his “supporters” – Phil was always a bit of a Manchester United fan.
With Live And Dangerous, Thin Lizzy launched the template for the heavy rock live album oft copied but truly never bettered – all the guff about studio overdubbing is rendered superfluous when you listen to the result.The Boys Are Back In Town remains one of the most played songs on US radio, but his musical legacy has been blighted by his own fractious relationship with record companies and collaborators who have found it all too easy to rehash the catalogue rather than explore.
In an obituary, Fintan O’Toole wrote that Phil was a nicer bloke than Geldof or Bono and that he had wasted more talent than they could ever dream of. Two clips can summarise what he was about and maybe where he could be, and twenty five years after his death, that is really all we have along with the indelible memories for those fortunate enough to have seen him in his prime.
I have been to Bristol for a couple of days to attend the funeral of my friend, Nocker, who died recently. It was a Humanist service at the crematorium, Nocker had planned it all out because he knew his time with us was probably going to be short – born with a cleft palate and heart problems, he hadn’t been expected to leave the hospital after birth, let alone to reach 50. At the end, his music teacher found him collapsed over his keyboard, after he suffered a heart attack. Music he chose for the ceremony included “When the Levee Breaks” (Led Zepp), “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” and “The Galaxy Song” (Monty Python), and “The Timewarp”, which he had requested that everyone should dance to.
The first time I met him he had shaved his head for charity, apart from a long ginger plait which hung down his back and complimeted the black NHS spectales and his skinny pink frame. He was practising swordsmanship in my friend’s back garden, with another member of the Sealed Knot. He was also a keen biker, and built up his strength so that he could ride and handle his own bikes, as well as taking part in charity rides from Lands End to John O’Groats. His name came from the sound one of his bikes made when the crankshaft (or something technical) fell off. He fought with the Viking re-enactment society too, carrying an extra 3 stone of armour, and was a great character. His brother described him as “a medium rare Cornish pasty … half-baked!”
He loved life, travel, his friends and family, his wife and his cats, not necessarily in that order. There was a great turn-out at the funeral, including a cortege of bikers and friends from the Vikings, the Sealed Knot, the Moonrakers (Tewkesbury) and other bikers from Devizes. Unfortunately someone attending the previous funeral collapsed in the chapel, and we had to wait for an ambulance to pick them up before Nocker’s funeral could go ahead. His brother joked that Nocker would have laughed at being late for his own funeral.
All in all, a life well lived, and although I’m sorry he has gone, I’m proud to have known him. Thanks, Nocker.
Further to Amy’s “art” post last week. I have always wanted to share my love for my good friend Raymund Rogers’ talent. And I’d been leaving it ’cause, as you know, there’s always time for these things. Well, carpe diem my friends, seems that time’s been doing an awful lot of catching up on us recently. Ray died a couple of weeks ago and I never got round to it. I have no idea how good Ray was as an artist. Pretty good, I reckon, but I’m not qualified to say. As a person: the best. Always willing to forgive my pathetic attempts to keep in touch and at the ready with a bed and hospitality in his charming little cottage in Boscastle. The only true childhood friend who made it into middle age still as a friend. It’s hard to reconcile his death from cancer of the colon with his lifestyle – Ray was a vegetarian, clean living, generous spirit who put a lot more into this world than he took away with him. I’ll miss him. Here are a few of his paintings. Rest in peace, my friend.
Mrs Maki writes:
The Argentinian singer-songwriter and poet Facundo Cabral was murdered in Guatemala City yesterday. Officially an innocent victim of a drive by shooting aimed at the promotor who had booked him to appear in Guatemala, a theory that convinces few and certainly not Rigoberta Menchu, a close friend of Facundo and fellow denouncer of Latin America’s extreme right death squads.
Facundo, like many others who have died before him, was fearless in his opposition of dictatorship, social injustice and all the other crimes that have been committed (and ignored) in the name of economic progress over the decades in his beleaguered continent. His death in one of the countries with one of the worst records for human rights abuse in the area seems just a little too coincidental for the official explanation to be believed.
His influence, musically and lyrically, in the seventies and eighties was spread wide throughout the Spanish-speaking world. His protest songs rang true here in Spain as, during the late seventies and early eighties, we were throwing off the shackles of our own dictatorship. His lyrics and poetry were a breath of fresh air and an inspiration to my generation. Facundo, gracias por tu legado.
Here is his first international hit a milonga called Pobrecito mi Patrón (will try to get the lyrics translated and put them in the comments section).
A few weeks ago, as her Question 31B, amylee asked for an instrumental song we love. I was thrilled at the clutch of warm responses to my choice of Sonny Criss playing I’ll Catch The Sun. The idea fermented to follow this up with a post celebrating the alto saxophonist, principally to give you a few more examples of his playing. This is what I’m doing here but it occurred to me that I’ve been trying off and on for 23 years to tell the world about Sonny Criss and thus the influence his voice has had on mine is also something I want to consider. As a result, I’m supersizing my blogging by twinning this post with one on my own blog, contemplating the literary issues that unspool from my Sonny Criss fandom.
This is a brief and not at all comprehensive primer, courtesy of YouTube, of my favourite instrumental voice in jazz. That’s an accolade that requires some clarification and contextualisation. There are, if we are to give these terms any meaning, ‘greater’ jazz musicians than Sonny Criss. Quite apart from anything else, Criss was one of the legion alto saxophonists who were turned onto a style of playing by Charlie Parker. There’s a reason we call the likes of Criss, Sonny Stitt, Cannonball Adderley, Jackie McLean, Sahib Shibab and more post-Bird saxophonists – it’s not to their detriment that they stood in the conceptual shadow of someone who, to all intents and purposes, made the music new again. You don’t look to Sonny Criss for game-changing innovation. He wasn’t pulling the blues inside-out: he was playing them straight, sultry, smoky and spine-tingling, as here in Black Coffee:
I bow before Mingus, Monk, Ellington, Carla Bley, Sun Ra and plenty more jazz composers before I think of Sonny Criss. But just as I can hear most songs better when they’re sung by Ella, Sinatra or Sarah Vaughan, Sonny could play a song lyric to the same level of perfection of those vocalists. Here he is on Charlie Chaplin’s Smile and Jimmy Webb’s Up Up And Away (links via text to save screen space).
Nor did he move with the times in the manner of Miles Davis or, more recently, David Murray. Things funked up a little in the seventies but the sound that soared over the top of the groove was still that wondrously fluid, human heart-tugging voice, as here in Cool Struttin’ .
Sonny Criss works for me as instantly as the voices of those I love most in the world. I’ll rave about and dance to and revere and be inspired by countless others but Sonny’s notes trigger a thousand awakenings in my brain and across my body. I feel encapsulated by the sense of mortality and intoxicated by the desire for joy that I hear throughout the dozens of his recordings I own. I want to line up loads more for you to enjoy but I’ll leave you with just this, and embed it so it doesn’t get overlooked and by way of a birthday gift to steenbeck, a captivating God Bless The Child: