Monday, December 15, 2014

Convenience & Death or Too Much of Nothing


                                                     CLICK HERE FOR CONVENIENT MIX DOWNLOAD

This mix was inspired by a local convenient store's partially burnt out sign (Brodie Food Mart), pictured above. The first time I saw the sign I didn't have anything to take a picture with, it was weeks later when I got back in that part of town with my camera and I was surprised and amused that they had still not fixed it. Naturally the mix deals with emptiness and deaths of all kinds- literal, metaphorical, convenient and otherwise. And Edith Piaf soul.

1. DEATH OR GLORY- THE CLASH
2. CAN YOU GET TO THAT- FUNKADELIC
3. ALL MY LIFE- HARRY NILSSON
4. ROUND THE BEND-THE BETA BAND
5. TOO MUCH OF NOTHING (TAKE 1)- BOB DYLAN & THE BAND
6. CARPE DIEM- THE FUGS
7. A'REBOURS- BABYSHAMBLES
8. LUCIFER'S GRAIN- BAXTER DURY
9. CLAUDINE- THE ROLLING STONES
10. USED TO LOVE HER- GUNS N' ROSES
11. GUN- JOHN CALE
12. SHE CAME OUT OF THE COLD- THE IVEYS
13. THE VIOLET HOUR- THE CLIENTELE
14. SAINT DOMINIC'S PREVIEW- VAN MORRISON
15. NOTHING WAS DELIVERED (TAKE 1)- BOB DYLAN & THE BAND
16. TOWER OF SONG-LEONARD COHEN
17. GIMME SHELTER (MONO)-THE ROLLING STONES

Tower of Song- Leonard Cohen

Well my friends are gone and my hair is gray
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on
I'm just paying my rent every day in the tower of song

I said to Hank Williams, "How lonely does it get?"
Hank Williams hasn't answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
Oh, a hundred floors above me in the tower of song

I was born like this, I had no choice
I was born with the gift of a golden voice
And twenty-seven angels from the great beyond
They tied me to this table right here in the tower of song

So you can stick your little pins in that voodoo doll
I'm very sorry, baby, doesn't look like me at all
I'm standing by the window where the light is strong
Ah they don't let a woman kill you not in the tower of song

Now you can say that I've grown bitter but of this you may be sure
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor
And there's a mighty judgment coming, but I may be wrong
You see, you hear these funny voices in the tower of song

I see you standing on the other side
I don't know how the river got so wide
I loved you baby, way back when
And all the bridges are burning that we might have crossed
But I feel so close to everything that we lost
We'll never, we'll never have to lose it again

Now I bid you farewell, I don't know when I'll be back
They're moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track
But you'll be hearing from me baby, long after I'm gone
I'll be speaking to you sweetly from a window in the tower of song

Yeah, my friends are gone and my head is gray
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on
I'm just paying my rent every day in the tower of song

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tender Communion-Kerouac on Brando, Dean & Presley

               

Richard Lewis read this previously unpublished Kerouac on the tribute/compilation Kicks, Joys, Darkness. I don't care for Lewis's reading but I quite like the piece, and it's interesting to hear Kerouac comment on these three contemporaries (he actually never gets around to saying anything specific about Elvis, though he knowingly includes him in the trinity), so here it is transcribed so you can read it from Jack's mind to yours.


America's New Trinity of Love: Dean, Brando, Presley 
[Written at the instigation of the two Helens, Weaver and Elliot 1957]

Love is sweeping the country. 

While wars and riots rage all around the world, in a vortex that resembles the dying Dinosaur Age of Violence, here within her sweeter shores America is producing a Revolution of Love. Three young men of exceptional masculine beauty and compassion and sadness have been upraised by its reaching hands. 

This is strange and it is good. Up to now the American Hero has always been on the defensive: he killed Indians and villains and beat up his rivals and surled. He has been good-looking but never compassionate except at odd moments and only in stock situations. Now the new American hero, as represented by the trinity of James Dean, Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley, is the image of compassion in itself. And this makes him more beautiful than ever. It is as though Christ and Buddha were about to come again with masculine love for the woman at last. All gone are the barriers of asceticism and the barriers of ancient anti-womanism that go deep into primitive religion. It is a Revolution of Love and it will become a Religion of Love. The Garden of Eden might come back in its pristine form. The old American Hero fought the Devil; the new American Hero knows that the Devil never existed except in the minds of anxiety. There will be no more tempting of the woman by the Devil and no banishment from the paradise on earth. 

It's got to be. A Revolution of Love is the positive answer; banishment of war and the Bomb is only a negative answer. There have been Revolutions of Love before, accomplished always by some isolated individual like Cassanova, Valentino, Sinatra. But now the intensity and the need is such, that there are more than one. It's not a vain and self centered thing, but it spreads. This is implicit in the James Dean movie "Rebel Without A Cause" where, when the hero and the girl sneak off to make love in the empty mansion, leaving the desperate boy alone (Sal Mineo), and all the trouble takes place, Dean says: "We shouldn't have left him alone," the girl says "But I needed you," and Dean states "But he needed you too." This is child-like and innocent. "Suffer the little ones to come unto me." There is the need all around to be recognized and adored by some other human being, the need all around for kindness, for the ideal of love which does not exclude cruelty but is all-embracing, non-assertive, simply lovely. Not necessarily the Dionysion orgy but the tender communion. 

As always when something new grows out of the groaning earth, this earth which is a recent event in the cosmic eternity of light, there are angry complaints raised from all stations. The dryer intellectuals complain that the adulation of the dead James Dean by thousands of American girls represents a kind of unhealthy necrophilia; they point out the fact that 1,000 fan letters a month are still being written to Dean as though he were still alive, asking for his pictures and asking him to come back because they love him. "Even if you look bad and you're all cut up from your car-crash, come back anyway." Yet if St. Therese (of Lisieux) can make us the holy promise that she will come back and shower the earth with roses forever, this belief in the immortal lovingness of James Dean by thousands of eager believing chicks is well-rooted in a reverential mystical tradition that has certainly never harmed the sleeping babe in his crib. It augurs well for the world that it will refuse to believe that in death endeth loveliness, or endeth enlightenment. 

Elegant complainers say Marlon Brando is ill-dressed, vain, self-centred, Kowalski-Terry Malloy hoodlumish, irresponsible; they picture him as wandering away to leave his girl crying. Yet what is it he has?--that made a girl say "I just feel that Marlon Brando would know how to love me better than any man in the world, that he would go skipping down the street with me hand-in-hand, that he would do anything I asked him, and be kind. Because his soul is free and that's why he's so beautiful!"... Brando is indeed a free soul; his individual approach to his work as well as to his way of life bespeak a strong faith in himself as a man and as an American.      

                                                        

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

In Search Of D.B. Cooper & The Nazca Plain

D.B. Cooper artist sketch- looking a bit like Daniel Clowes

Hello again, readers of a certain age will no doubt remember thrilling weekend afternoons spent "in search of" various mysterious phenomenon and cultural events with Leonard Nimoy (aka Spock) who as the hostess with the mostess boldly rocked vivid turtle neck/sports blazer combos. It seemed like every other episode of In Search Of was about Bigfoot or the Lochness Monster, but turns out that those are just the ones that made the biggest impression on me as a child, or maybe they were in heaviest syndication. The entire series has recently been released on DVD and I've been having quite a blast revisiting the show.  Those interested in doing the same can purchase the dvd set here. 

One of my favorite episodes of In Search Of is about the infamous 1970's plane hi-jacker known as D.B. Cooper. Who is, as far as anyone knows, still at large. There's a fairly extensive wikipedia listing for D.B. including more recent updates on the case which you can read here .  The upload below of the D.B. episode is the history channels edited version, which cuts out some of the onscreen appearances of Nimoy and the original credits, but fear not as the official DVDs have the full monty.



Another favorite ep. deals with the Nazca lines in Peru, FELT fans take note! The soundtrack for the show was usually early moog type experiments and the narration was often unintentionally hilarious- "studies determined that some of the lines have astronomical alignments, but no more than can be expected by chance".  The show was very much a product of its time, the 1970's, but it remains very entertaining- in short it's a gas and a groovy way to pass a weekend afternoon indoors. 




Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It's The Arts- November 23, 1969


I've been re-watching all the episodes of Python's Flying Circus, below is one of my favorites from the 1st season, It's the Arts, which originally aired on November 23, 1969. Enjoy!

Here are some other things brightening mah life this fall as chaos and despair whirls round; Document & Eyewitness- a book on the Rough Trade shop/label, Alasdair Gray's book(s) Lanark, Batman 1966 Season One, In Search Of complete series DVDs, Madmen's most recent half season on DVD, Bob Dylan's Complete Basement Tapes (a great box set, I am a big fan of this stuff , despite any random comments that might have led you to believe otherwise, not a big fan of the Band though, they were in my humble a backing band) Baxter Dury's Len Parrot's Memorial Lift, Throbbing Gristle's Greatest Hits lp (all the big ones are here!!!), the Beta Band's discography and their compilation DVD which is packed with innovative videos and high weirdness.

I look forward to reading Viv Albertine's new book over the holidays.



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kicking Edgar Allen Poe- The Beatles' Greek Island Adventure


Kicking Edgar Allen Poe, is a combination of mixes of The Beatles' psychedelic period that I made many years ago. I don't have a record of my exact sources for all the tracks- some are the standard studio versions though usually in mono, others are earlier takes or alternates from bootlegs or the Anthology releases. I pulled both mixes out the other day and listened to them for the first time in years and decided to build a stronger mix from a combination of the two. I liked the result and so decided to share it here as part of my annual psychedelic Christmas celebration. A little early I know but when inspiration strikes what can you do but roll with it.



The mix starts with an early take of those newly mustachioed Beatles first single of 1967 "Strawberry Fields" and then continues on thru that fabled year taking in the many highs along the way including the last bit of 1968's "going to India dreaminess" before professional grouch Bob Dylan and his John Wesley Harding came and kicked the counterculture in the collective crotch of their velvet trousers thereby rendering even the best of the forward thinking, experimental, lysergic fueled fantasy pop uncool and making way, albeit unintentionally, for a return to a largely reactionary and suspect American traditionalism that has given us such questionable fruits as the election of Richard Nixon, Greil Marcus's career and the whole alt. country genre. Our mix then ends, as well it must, with "A Day In The Life". I read the news today, oh boy, for real! 

Kicking Edgar Allen Poe, was chosen as the title for the mix not just cause it's a great line but because it ties in (admittedly) loosely with my imaginings of the Beatles planned 1967 escape to live on their own Greek Island for the rest of their technicolor lives (read Poe as a synonym for doom/gloom and society's descent into madness and "kicking" as  drug slang for withdrawal/getting off of something). 

The Beatles plan to buy a Greek Island on which they would live and record with their family and friends is not only a true story but also one of those great 60's POP what ifs?. What might have happened if they had followed thru with their plan? Could Zimmerman and his hairy Confederate loving Canadian backing band have been cut off at the pass? Just how far and far out would the Beatles have taken their music and lifestyles. Would they have become messianic? A trifle too satanic? (sorry, been listening to Let It Bleed a lot lately). As Prince might say, dig if you will the picture. 

Maybe flakey ol' Tim Leary's casting of the fab four as a new breed of mutants- "prototypes of evolutionary agents sent by God, endowed with a mysterious power to create a new human species, a young race of laughing freemen” might have actually manifested itself on that little Greek isle. This dear readers is where the intersection of the music and your imagination really takes off! Strap yourself in and have fun! Listen to the future shock of hip-hop in Ringo's drums.




Derek Taylor described John's plan for the island as follows- "The four Beatles would have their network at the centre of the compound: a dome of glass and iron tracery not unlike the old Crystal Palace over the mutual creative/play area, from which arbours and avenues would lead off like spokes from a wheel to four vast and incredibly beautiful separate living units. In the outer grounds, the houses of the inner clique: Neil (Aspinall), Mal (Evans), Terry (Doran) and Derek, complete with partners, families and friends..." 
The Crystal Palace

At the very least this sounds like the starting point for an incredibly fun and colorful psychedelic sci-fi film (consider this mix the soundtrack) or the makings for a mind-blowing piece of historical fiction- if somebody with some real prose skills took the premise and let their imaginations run riot. I'd suggest Robert Irwin as the man for the job, but unfortunately I think he's stopped writing novels, which is a shame cause his books were always damn fine work, usually in the historical fiction vein, not to digress but I strongly recommend that fans of this period of the 1960's check out his psychedelic occult novel Satan Wants Me 

Track-listing and pictures of the Beatles in Greece follow.

1. Strawberry Fields Forever 
2. Penny Lane
3. Good Morning (demo)
4. Good Morning, Good Morning
5. Only A Northern Song
6. Lovely Rita
7. Lucy In The Sky Diamonds
8. Getting Better
9. Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite
10. Within You, Without You (instrumental)
11. Wonder What The Magicians Are Cooking Up Now?
12. Magical Mystery Tour
13. Baby You're A Rich Man
14. All You Need Is Love
15. It's All Too Much
16. Your Mother Should Know
17. I Am The Walrus
18. Flying (alternate take)
19. Blue Jay Way
20. Across The Universe
21. Hey Bulldog
22.The Inner Light
23. Sgt. Pepper Reprise
24. A Day In the Life






Friday, November 14, 2014

Can You Get To That?



The Process Church of The Final Judgement were on some old ill shit and in general I'm not feeling their creep vibe, but, and everybody's got a big but, the excerpt from their issue "on fear" (click below to enlarge) featured in the gatefold of Funkadelic's Maggot Brain makes for some compelling reading.  Can you get to that?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Not As Dumb As You Make Out- TOTP 1983


It's a toss up between Terry Hall and Robert Smith in the contest for least enthusiastic performance!
Maybe it's their big hair dragging them down.