June 13, 2012

0. Nos du, nos da ffrindie [2012]

Banana i bob un o bobl y byd...

Carl Morris
David Elliott
David (not anonymous)
Grave Riddle
Greg Williamson
hex conduction hour
Jerry Orbach
lizard johnny jewel
Margot F.
melted rubber soul
Mr. Primate
Pagan Dad
Pastaman Vibration (Yeah!)
PM summer 
roy rocket
tim abdellah
Welsh Connexion
wireless darkness
Woo Dops

...n friends, followers n ye great unwashed musk winds blow...

May the long time Sun shine upon you,

All love surround you.

And the pure light within you,

Guide your way home.

Mas o 'ma,

Y brawd

[farewell link in Comments]

June 12, 2012

1. Chelsea Girl - Nico [1967]

Consider. Years spent modelling and vamping around Europe in rubble of WWII, tail-gating auteurs leads nowhere. Cameo in Fellini's Dolce Vita fails to parlay into acting career. Strip Tease, early recording with arch French diddler et trésor national Serge Gainsbourg is passed over for Juliette Greco (voice not sufficiently breathily infantile for the old rogue); a spell with  manipulator a la mod Andrew Loog Oldham fails to generate pop chart action. So....Nico washes up in New York and is taken up by Andy War-hol as next superstar and duly touted as such to the VU crew. She and Andy are briefly inseparable.

Chelsea Girl is the perfect album by a female model and man’s woman. Nine of the ten tracks present are written by ex-lovers, including the co-writes by Reed and Cale. Receptive, passive and a penetrative dependency -  like her relationship with abiding paramour, the needle.

In many respects, the later Marble Index is superior precisely because the Nico voice - like the Nico harmonium -  has become her own. On Chelsea Girl, narcotic monotone has yet to reach full icy austerity. Narcoleptic drone yes, but also wide-eyed melody tarted up with baroque strings, conjuring washed out moods of regret, degradation, and loss.

Chelsea Girl works close up magic. Nico's voice prominent in the mix working within set limits. Amanuensimanquée. Worlds of beauty and decay in miniature. 

I'll be your mirror / reflect what you are / in case you don't know....

Oddi wrth y brawd

June 11, 2012

2. Have One On Me - Joanna Newsom [2010]

Ladies and gentlemen, 2010 songwriter nonpareil. Embarrassment of riches over three CDs; nary a smidgeon of padding in this plush divan. Kate Bush comparisons increasingly bang a good way. (Though the smart-arse citation is Uncle Roy Harper.)

C'mon, you need this in your life.

Oddi wrth y brawd

June 10, 2012

3. An Empty Bliss Beyond This World - The Caretaker [2011]

Meditation on memory and decay. Retrospection, amnesia, repetition, regression. Alzheimer’s unmasked: prefrontal cortex last stand. Atrophy, slow attrition of songs recalled from distant past. Stripping away phonographic fidelity by gradations, James Leyland Kirby mirrors the peeling back of memory; re-construing time-locked, haunted loops. 

Moments of Sufficient LucidityCamaraderie at Arm's LengthLibet's Delay. Kirby's genius is to make decay tangible and the elusive manifest: Bedded Deep in Long Term MemoryI Feel as if I might be VanishingThe Sublime is Disappointingly Elusive.

The ticking of history's metaphysical clock made audible.

Oddi wrth y brawd

June 09, 2012

4. Smiling Men With Bad Reputations - Mike Heron [1971]

Good people to hang out with...

mountain  men
smiling eccentrics
men who build their own homes


parents who learn from their children
amateur  musicians
serene  psychotics
men who look at sunsets
men who walk in the woods
beautiful  women
men who sit by the fire
men who make bread
couples who have been in love for years
unemployed  men
smiling men with bad reputations

 - Timothy Leary, Psychedelic Prayers 

Heron, ahem... takes flight with spirited assistance from: Townshend, Moon, Lane, Cale, Winwood, Page, Thompson and er...Dr Strangely Strange. Mike rocks out, blowing away whimsy, sitars and ISB patchouli clouds without trampling the legacy underfoot. Intriguingly, his wayward voice feels more at ease with folk rock belters than the slower acoustic ISB fare. 

A good bunch of songs to hang out with for a while, and one to cherish.

Oddi wrth y brawd

June 08, 2012

5. Rejuvenation - The Meters [1974]

On the one. Earthy down-home New Orleans syncopated breaks gritty guitar n bass grooves intertwined. Funked to max avec un soupçon de la soul.  Quite simply one of the best funk albums you are likely to hear. What'cha say?

Oddi wrth y brawd

[Bonus Meters made excitement in Comments]

June 07, 2012

6. The Psychedelic Furs - The Psychedelic Furs [1980]

While they would go on to enjoy commercial elevation and much bigger hair, let’s think on The Psychedelic Furs thusly: lean, hungry and, quite frankly, thrilling. UK indie-kids swooned to Richard Butler’s rakish rasp and collective pulsing, throbbing post-punk drone. By the time US college radio got it, the game was sadly up.

  Oddi wrth y brawd

June 06, 2012

7. A New World Record - Electric Light Orchestra [1976]

Perennial bone of contention being, of course, Jeff's patented production technique. To many, a one trick load of old pony: close microphone snare; far microphone  snare; compress far  microphone  2:1 and fold into close snare track, using cheeky 1/10 second tape delay in-between; REPEAT ON EVERY F**KING SONG FROM 1974 ONWARDS.

Yes, there is something like a worldwide consensus on taking Lynne out to the street and shooting him like a mangy English sheep dog...and yet, and yet...

A New World Record:

Tightrope  - Lennon stomp glitter dust up,
Telephone Line  - thumbs aloft melody trumps 70s Macca, at every turn,
So Fine - whoo whoo,
Living Thing  - a little bit George, a little bit bloody brilliant,
Do Ya  - sound of 80s rock being invented: a good thing...believe.
Rockaria - deeply, irredeemably shit 

Higher and higher baby.

Oddi wrth y brawd

June 05, 2012

8. The Devil's Music - Keith Richards' Personal Compilation of Blues, Soul, and R&B Classics

Top drawer compilation from man of wealth and not inconsiderable taste…yr hen diawl.

Oddi wrth y brawd

June 04, 2012

9. Early Recordings of the Copper Family of Rottingdean


All writ down rough n raw by Copper old guard venerable. 

Oddi wrth y brawd

June 03, 2012

10. Can The Circle Be Unbroken - The Carter Family

Antediluvian template weird. Voice-Guitar-Autoharp alchymical. Facile, mysterious, immediate and distancing. 

Some of the greatest US music on record. Keep on the sunny side.

Oddi wrth y brawd

June 02, 2012

11. The Spring of Sixty-Five - Joseph Spence & The Pinder Family

Ghosts Carter devotional and Nassau docks inspirational. No hokum ramshackle. Keening Geneva and Edith Pinder to creaky, percussive guitar and growling Joseph counterpoint. Grinning Lord of Misrule, devil-may-care picaresque string antics, serenading, serenaded, testifying n righteous. 

Y brawd bids you goodnight - nigh on.


Oddi wrth y brawd

June 01, 2012

12. War War War - Country Joe McDonald [1971]

Early 70s Country Joe released a winning body of solo work: Thinking of Woody GuthrieTonight I'm Singing Just For YouHold On It's ComingParis Sessions, conceptual each in their different ways. From this period, War War War coheres around Country Joe compositions based on poems of Robert "bard of the Yukon" W. Service (1874 - 1958). Service saw war as World War I red cross ambulance crew member; his poetry celebrates duty to country in war, and though often dwelling on personal sacrifice of the common soldier, is not out and out "anti-war" writing:

Yet may it not be, crime and war
But efforts misdirected are.
And if there's good in war and crime
There may be in my bits of rhyme,
My songs from out the slaughter mill:
So take or leave them as you will.

Room for ambiguity, focus on the human cost and it's not hard to see Service's appeal to Country Joe, whose commitment to supporting Vietnam veterans is unwavering. CJ: "Blaming soldiers for war is like blaming firefighters for fire."

So you'll live, you'll live, Young Fellow My Lad,
In the gleam of the evening star,
In the wood-note wild and the laugh of the child,
In all sweet things that are.
And you'll never die, my wonderful boy
While life is noble and true:
For all our beauty and hope and joy
We will owe to our lads like you.

All lyric poetry and much more at Country Joe's Place.

Dedicated to war-mongering lunkheads everywhere.

Oddi wrth y brawd

[Bonus Joe in Comments]

May 31, 2012

13. Akhnaten - Philip Glass [1983]

Synopsis: Akhenaten, 18th dynasty Pharaoh, rules 17 years, dies circa 1335BC, causes righteous kerfuffle by abandoning polytheism and introducing monotheistic worship centered on sun god Aten. Priests get mardy. It doesn't take.

Commissioned and performed by the Stuttgart State Opera, Akhnaten is the last installment in Glass' portrait opera trilogy, coming on the heels of Einstein on the Beach, and SatyagrahaAkhnaten has more warmth and depth than Einstein's cold precision, and more gritty texture than Satyagraha

          Open are the double doors of the horizon,
          Unlocked are its bolts.

          The constellations stagger,
          Clouds darken the sky,
          The stars rain down,
          The bones of the hell hounds tremble,
          The porters are silent when they see this king dawning as a soul.

          Open are the double doors of the horizon,
          Unlocked are its bolts.
- Libretto, Act 1 Prelude, Refrain, Verse 1, Verse 2


Oddi wrth y brawd

[Bonus Horse Opera in Comments]