Thursday, March 28, 2013

Youtube: Talking Heads - Born Under Punches (from the Live in Rome '80 video)

Thanks to "tpatgod2007", however inscrutable your username, for this post. 

Can anyone help me out with something? I think it might be because I live in the black hole of creative music, Los Angeles, but, other than the occasional touring act, I haven't seen any good live music lately. That's why seeing videos like this (you can see the full video here) have such an effect on me. I mean, they had to be the best live band of their moment! So dynamic, sounding like world-beat, fusion, funk... exciting stuff 30+ years later.

Anybody wanna start a band like this with me, get in touch.

Oh yeah, what's Adrian Belew doing ALL THE TIME in this song!?!?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Brian Eno TV Documentary: "One Eno" (1993)

I'm thinking that I'm going to continue to make this blog more multifaceted, rather than keep on posting screenshots, youtube clips of songs, etc. on my facebook feed haphazardly. I plan to do most of my online gathering on this page from now on...

In the spirit of this, today I'll leave you with a half-hour documentary in three parts made for French TV about (and more than likely by) Brian Eno. While you do have to sit through a clip of U2's Zoo TV score (people always seem to focus on his production career - sorry, Brian, IMHO no one can make U2 sound good) - you also get some tasty teases of his video work that I'll be sure to try and track down in the future. Also, as a whole, I think it's well-done and funny (the narrative is Eno talking to a beagle), and even innovative, especially how the video starts to mimic Eno's strategy of taking and looping bits and pieces of sound (here, sound and video). Given the lack of video documentation of his work, I would say this is a must-see for Eno fans. Mes remerciements à NafouteVHS pour nous avoir partagé!




If anyone knows where to find a full video of "Contemporary Data Lounge", lemme know.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Robert Wyatt - Eps, Disc Two (Thirsty Ear, 1999)

This post has everything to do with the fact that I've been listening to Robert Wyatt's version of "Shipbuilding" over and over today. You can get the back story on the song here, needless to say, that would've been a cool party to go to... 

The second disc of this great compilation features the 1982 Rough Trade single along with its two B sides (his "Memories of You" and the cover of "'Round Midnight" are both lovely) along with two other numbers, the spoken-word "Pigs" (another fave of mine) and the stark "Chairman Mao".

I try to hold back on hyperboles and the cult of genius these days so... this guy is something special. 

Here's a live performance of the song on the Old Grey Whistle Test with his typical sense of humor on display: 

The single's cover art, quite nice: 

(Let me know if the rest of the comp. is of interest)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Various - Brazil Classics 1: Beleza Tropical (Sire, 1989)

I knew about David Byrne's interest in Brazilian music from his release of (several?) Tom Zé albums on his Luaka Bop label, but it was still an unexpected treat to find this compilation of some of the best-known names in MBP doing songs of which I was often unfamiliar. Jorge Ben, Maria Bethania, Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento...they're all here. While the fare is mostly removed from the psychedelic energy of tropicalia and mixes samba with bossa nova, I love the melodies these artists create, weird noises and trippy soundscapes aside. I'll try to scrounge up the liner notes by Arto Lindsay and David Byrne, as well as Arto's English translations of the lyrics; the two do a good job of getting across the stakes of this music during Brazil's period of military dictatorship in the late '60's / early 70's. 

Here's a doc I found, an interview with David Byrne and a friend, on his projects about and interest in Brazilian music - haven't gotten a chance to watch it yet but will soon...

Beleza Tropical (Umbabarauma): documentary with David Byrne, Susan Young and Charlie Gillett from Susan Young on Vimeo.

(Two notes: Unavoidable fuzziness on the first track, which you probably have anyway [it's on J. Ben's "Africa Brasil"], and, weirdly, I just noticed that the last track listed on the LP back cover, " Terra" by Caetano Veloso, is not on the physical LP...)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Steve Roach - Empetus (Fortuna, 1986)

I was first turned on to Steve Roach by my friend Tim over at Invisible Arteries blog, who posted this one a while back and has been killing it re: synth music and ECM releases, two things I'm hooked on these days.

This is quite a different affair from "Structures from Silence"; save the last song, "The Memory", everything's developing a lot faster, with sweeps and swells galore. And as opposed to the earlier record, these are all shorter, dense pieces. I'm starting to see where people like Stellar OM Source, Laurel Halo, OPN, etc. are getting their ideas...

(Note: I've ripped this as two tracks, and there's some crunchiness at the beginning and in the middle of the first side. Lo siento.)

A taste: 

Also, I'm finding it funny how extremely different yesterday's and today's posts are.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Wings - Wild Life (Apple, 1971)

(Paul and company... adorable)

Yes, I fawn quite a bit over this handsome guy, who used to play a funny-looking bass in... some band (Nirvana!). I'm really asking for it on this post, both from my Paul-hating friends and Paul's legal team (Sorry guys! You say the word and I'll take it down).

Recorded after Paul and Linda's "Ram", a great all-around 70's rock record that stands the test of time I.M.O., they recorded this more laid-back affair (with pretty much the same band - I always thought Denny Laine played on the former record?). Unlike some post-Beatles outings for Paul (his self-titled, "Red Rose Speedway", etc.) and fortunately for us, there's no filler on this one, and quite a few hidden gems. I'm listening to the B side right now and "Some People Never Know" followed by "I Am Your Singer" is pretty hard to top for late-night vibes. Of course, Paul can be accused of tossing off some pretty flimsy material, and I'm a pretty easy sell on him... hmmm, try it for yourself, why don't you? Highly recommended for a quiet dreamy evening.

If you needed any coaxing, here's some ear candy in the form of tasty reggae-fied guitar after this:


BTW, this file has four extra songs not accounted for on the original LP... or on any CD reissue listed on discogs. But hey, you get "Another Day", a lovely little number...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ashra - Walkin' the Desert (Navigator, 1989)

(This latter image was found on an impressive blog all about Manuel Gottsching)

So, I've been listening to kosmische rock heavily again... but Gottsching and his Ash Ra/Ashra/self titled stuff was never the first thing I'd put on. OK, so I had E2-E4, liked it, then got Inventions somewhere along the way... Dreams and Desire impressed me. But for some reason his work never jumped out at me, until I dug a little deeper and found this record and Blackouts, which will probably be up here sooner or later.

It starts auspiciously enough with "Two Keyboards", but wait until you get to the last three numbers. "Four Guitars" was featured on Jason Urick's excellent mix that Phil pointed out to me, and what a slice of ten minutes it is. The vocal sounds on "Twelve Samples" haunt, and "Dessert" ties things up nicely with a MIDI groove and lilting arpeggios. Bon appetit!

The first shall be last and the last shall be first:

Friday, March 1, 2013

R. Stevie Moore, One Night Only

No, this post will not include any sharing of R. Stevie albums. I've noticed over the years that he (personally?) contacts blogs and asks them to remove his work via comments. While his reaching out like that would almost tempt me in turn to provoke him, I understand his concern and feel that he's justified in asserting his artistic control. 

This instead will be a brief video/link interlude. I happened to go to The Smell's website yesterday and who should I see on the bill for (today) but - you guessed it! So in prep for later on, here's a few of his youtube uploads and a link to his bandcamp with about five million albums on it. Cheers to the greatest pop musician in America who can't write a hit. 

Starting off, some subtle brainwashing:

My favorite lip-syncing performance: 

Some not-so-subtle self-promotion/immodesty:

I love R. Stevie loving Durutti Column: 

Well, this just seems appropriate:

P.S. Here's a recent documentary about him done by some diligent French rockers.

Scott Walker - "Nite Flights E.P."

So, as you may know, this isn't a real release... but maybe it should have been. Maybe I'm not giving the other two "brothers" enough credit, but when I tried to listen to the rest of the group's 1978 Nite Flights after the first four songs, two things became clear:

1. The remaining songs are godawful (I can't listen to them) after the anticipation the first four have brought forth.

2. Scott Walker must have had the primary hand in creating the first four songs and left the rest to the other brothers... it just sounds like him... and no one else.

So, out here in cyberspace where I can say and believe anything I want, here's the 4 song E.P. that serves as the turning point for Scott's style heading into his late/recent work and that stands for me as one of his most powerful moments. No filler here. "The Electrician" is gut-wrenching. "Nite Flights" takes you along. "Fat Mama Kick" has all the early solo Eno trappings of a dark electric alley. And "The Shut-Out"'s no slouch either.

The thin white duke paying tribute: