Saturday, December 3, 2016
The weather finally turned cold here, rainy too, a good day to stay inside and watch McCabe & Mrs. Miller and listen to Leonard Cohen (RIP), Scott Walker and 80's Nick Cave. Also highly recommended is Criterion's restored version of One Eyed Jacks.
Friday, November 18, 2016
|I spy The Beatles in that opening mural from the Tyrant King|
The Tyrant King was a six part television series for children produced and directed by Mike Hodges and televised on Thames Television in October and November of 1968. The show was based on the children's book by Aylmer Hall and revolves around the adventures of two siblings Charlotte and Bill Hallen and their friend Peter Thorne. The trio use public transport to explore many of London's tourist attractions in hopes of solving the mystery of a sinister phone conversation they just happened to overhear.
Mike Hodges of course went on to direct many television shows and films, three of my favorites are Get Carter, Flash Gordon and Croupier. The main attraction in The Tyrant King besides the interesting shots of London (visually its a bit like Kenneth Anger and Godard collaborating on a children's show) is the way Hodges propels the narrative using the then current psychedelic pop such as Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, The Nice, Cream and The Moody Blues. It's really surprising that they were able to get all the music cleared for DVD release.
Hodges does an amazing job editing around vocals and cutting madly back and forth between instrumental sections of the songs to create his own score for the series, bits and pieces of which he returns to as motifs throughout the story. It's a smashing period piece of London in 1968 and there's a lot of unintentionally funny dialogue as the children are in the tradition of Enid Blyton's Famous Five -privileged upper class whose prejudices are well ingrained and on display regularly in their upper crust attitude. For instance the three kids make constant reference to the man following them, nicknamed Scarface, as being "probably Irish" almost as if that in itself was a pejorative- in fact in one scene the Hallen's father says "Irish, Scots, Welsh, all those heathen dialects sound the same to me". In another episode an African tourist accidentally obscures their attempt to photograph Scarface, they jokingly refer to the man as the maharishi- though I suppose it could have been worse I was half expecting them to call him a wog.
Although ostensibly made for children the show has some pretty creepy sequences especially in combination with the music Hodges uses. I imagine it made quite an impression on the children who saw it at the time. I've tried to recreate some of the musical motifs that are extracted from the songs, but not so much that it ends up an annoyance or just a string of snippets- many songs that weren't as easy to edit into bits I have left whole, almost all of the songs used reappear throughout the six part series if only for several seconds. I found two different references online to a Petula Clark and a T. Rex song used on the soundtrack, but I've watched the series twice and do not hear these song anywhere in any of the episodes. It would be odd if after clearing all the other music Petula and T. Rex were the lone hold outs. If anybody has info on where or if these songs appear in the show let me know and I can add them. Till then it sounds rather like a cracking mystery that needs some young sleuths to solve it.
DISC ONE TRACK LISTING
1. FROM THAMES TELEVISION THEME
2. THE THOUGHTS OF EMERLIST DAVJACK- THE NICE
3. JESAMINE- THE CASUALS
4. AS YOU SAID- CREAM
5. A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS (FIRST EXCERPT)-THE PINK FLOYD
6. END OF PART ONE
7. A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS (SECOND EXCERPT)- THE PINK FLOYD
8. ASTRONOMY DOMINE (EXCERPT)- THE PINK FLOYD
9. DR. LIVINSTONE, I PRESUME- THE MOODY BLUES
10. CORPORAL CLEGG- THE PINK FLOYD
11. JUGBAND BLUES- THE PINK FLOYD
12. END OF PART ONE
13. SUBURBIA- TIM ANDREWS
14. WE'RE ALL LOOKING FOR SOMETHING
15. LEGEND OF A MIND (EXCERPT)- THE MOODY BLUES
16. LET THERE BE MORE LIGHT- THE PINK FLOYD
17 SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE- CREAM
DISC TWO TRACK LISTING
1. FROM THAMES TELEVISION THEME
2. POW R. TOC H.- THE PINK FLOYD
3. DAWN- THE NICE
4. PASSING THE TIME- CREAM
5. WHITE ROOM- CREAM
6. WE'RE ALL LOOKING FOR SOMEONE
7. SHE'S A RAINBOW- THE ROLLING STONES
8. TANTALISING MAGGIE- THE NICE
9. DIAMOND HARD BLUE APPLES OF THE MOON- THE NICE
10. INTERSTELLAR OVERDRIVE- THE PINK FLOYD
11. HOUSE OF FOUR DOORS- THE MOODY BLUES
12. A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS (END THEME)- THE PINK FLOYD
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Bring on the apocalypse! I'm embracing my inner racist, fuck everybody. I don't think anyone should get health insurance whether they can afford it or not. Let the whole shit house go up in flames. It's just an entire society staring at their phones, not much worth saving.
Saturday, November 12, 2016
As we've obviously entered the era of anything fucking goes! Here's Max Frost & the Troopers from 1968's Wild in the Streets! The greatest fictional band ever. Max Frost says 14 or Fight. We've got the oldest president ever coming in next lets get a teenager. I've added as a bonus three versions of Garland Jeffrey's classic single from 1973 also titled "Wild in the Streets". And I've switched around the order of the songs on the soundtrack for maximum impact and added a few surprises in light of our current predicament. Play loud. And remember kids you're Fifty Two Percent!
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Monday, October 31, 2016
I want to put in a plug for these History of Rock by year magazines (one every month) that Uncut has been publishing. I guess they own NME and Melody Makers archives so the contents are all vintage articles from whatever the given year is that they are covering. They started with 1965 and are now up to 1979 (well here in the U.S. that is looks like 1981 is already out in the U.K.) 1979 is in my estimation the best year yet check the contents-The Jam, The Pop Group, Rough Trade, The Human League, Roxy Music, McLaren vs. Rotten, The Mekons, The Undertones, Blondie, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Tom Waits, Tubeway Army, B-52's, The Damned, The Pretenders, Talking Heads, Joy Division, 2-Tone, and last but not least The Clash. Whew, the late 70's definitely rivaled the mid-60's for sheer diversity of pop rock and roll goodness. Only thing in this one I'm not really interested in is Kate Bush, but who knows maybe one day I'll get with that. I find the mag, which is pricey but meaty locally at Barnes and Noble, though there's only one in town that seems to carry them, any case if you are interested in the mid to late 20th Century music keep an eye out for it.
With this penchant for the past firmly lodged in yr mind here are my favorite albums of late 2016- Barrett, Machine Gun Etiquette, Jazz Noir 3 disc set, Ace of Spades, Valley of the Dolls, Drums and Wires, Fast Mutant Pop, Lodger, Dreams Less Sweet, Wild Gift, Germicide, A Minute to Pray A Second to Die, Give The People What They Want, Eternally Yours, Tattoo You, We Are Time, Pretenders I & II, Bauhaus Volumes 1 & 2 (a really perfect distillation of their career), The Prisoner OST, Farewell My Lovely OST, and The Man Who Fell to Earth OST.
Heavy rotation on the T.V. are The Avengers (the complete Emma Peel set, natch), Dark Shadows, Hammer Horror box sets, Apocalypse Now 2 disc Blu-Ray (the extras are great on this set and it can be had for 5 bucks at Target so don't whine about downloading it for free), The Cure Staring at The Sea (VHS), Dance Craze (VHS), Return of the Living Dead, Sing Street, The Outer Limits, The Odd Couple, Old Grey Whistle Test compilations, The Allan Clarke Collection and The Hardy Boys (dig if you dare the Claude Bessy aka Kickboy Face cameo in the Season 2 opener as Frenchie).
Gotta go pay some bills so I will turn you over to Los Ramones, The Pretty Things, Talking Heads and Camper. Aloha friends.