Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Favorites or There's Garbage in Honey's Sack Again


A baker's dozen of my recent fave raves, in no particular order. Remember, music is the gift that keeps giving!

1. Undercover LP & attendant 12 inches, b-sides and remixes-The Rolling Stones
2. Oh No It's Devo- Devo
3. Astral Glamour- The Homosexuals
4. Dirty Pearl- Anita Lane
5. Beyond & Back- X
6. The Man Who Fell to Earth OST
7. Fishing With John OST
8. Black Gold- Chess/Cadet Records compilation
9. This Land Is Your Land- The Folk Years- Time Life Box Set
10. Live 81-82- The Birthday Party
11. Walking on The Edge/Dr. Dupree 7 inch- Wilko Johnson & the Solid Senders
12. B-Sides & Rarities- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
13. Way Down In The Jungle Room & An Afternoon In The Garden- Elvis Presley

Happy New Year and God help us all!




Monday, December 19, 2016

Don't Be Cruel- Billy Swan 1974



There's something that is sonically very ahead of its time in Billy Swan's slow cover of "Don't Be Cruel". I first heard it on an episode of Magic City.

 

Friday, December 16, 2016

A Little Is Alright- The Who's Athena

Theresa Russell and Art Garfunkel in Nicolas Roeg's 1980 Horror/Romance Bad Timing
I've always had a soft spot for the Who's 1982 single "Athena" risible though some may find it and the LP it was featured on It's Hard. It's a record and a single that I was old enough to remember the release of and corresponding tour and so it had a lot of impact on me at a young age -what with its video arcade album cover so emblematic of the time of it's release. Yadda, yadda not making excuses I still like 'em both and feel that this record and its predecessor Face Dances are underrated to this day.

It was interesting years later to find out "Athena" was about Pete Townshend's obsession with and rejection by actress Theresa Russell (original title of the song was Theresa, natch) who would soon marry her director Nicolas Roeg (another fave of mine) who used both Ms. Russell and the Who's "Who Are You" to devastating effect in his film Bad Timing. I remember the first time I saw it I rented an old Disney flick the next night to sort of cleanse the palate and soothe my troubled mind. 

I've threatened for a while to assemble a soundtrack for Bad Timing, as the music is interesting, varied and plays an integral part in the effect of this harrowing film that stays with you for longer than you may like.  I still might do it! In the meantime here's "Athena", as well as the demo version, "Theresa", and the trailer for Bad Timing along with some stills of the star and her many transformations throughout the film.

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More stills from Bad Timing below and the front and back cover of It's Hard









Saturday, December 3, 2016

Reaching For The Sky Just To Surrender



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 which looks amazing and is a damn fine movie. And what a cast-Brando, Karl Malden, Ben Johnson, Timothy Carey and Slim Pickens!  The essay in the criterion set is complete bullshit, ignore it, its like the guy watched a completely different movie from what I saw.


Friday, November 18, 2016

The Tyrant King Soundtrack-1968

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

Anything Goes! It Can Start In New Jersey!



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

Wild In The Streets OST 1968


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!


Monday, October 31, 2016

9 to 5 or Midnight to Six


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. 



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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

It's Later Than You Think



1. Enjoy Yourself (Reprise)- The Specials 
2. Have You Ever Seen The Rain?-CCR
3. Instant Karma- John Lennon
4. You Never Give Me Yer Money- Los Beatles
5. Little Church- Miles Davis
6. Children of the Grave- Black Sabbath
7. Going Mobile- The Who
8. Shakin' Street- MC5
9. Cool It Down- Velvet Underground
10. Right On- Marvin Gaye
11. Burning Airlines Give You So Much More- Brian Eno
12. Blues Run The Game- Simon & Garfunkel
13. Cortez The Killer- Neil Young (one day gonna do a mix of all of Neil's American Indian tunes)
14. The Sun King- The Beatles
15. Another Appendage Casts A Spell (rough mix)- William
16. When I Write The Book- Nick Lowe (with Rockpile)
17. Sway- The Rolling Stones  my suggestion is to delete this track as the mix flows better without it.
18. Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think)- The Specials
19. Battle Hymn of the Republic- Herbie Mann






Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bonjour Mon Ami!


Elvis Costello apparently had some nasty things to say about Wreckless Eric in his autobiography- this earns Costello no points in my book, as Eric seemed to me the heart of good naturedness, a lovable imp, if a little wasted. I guess Eric called Costello overly ambitious in his own book, but who could argue with that? He may not be nearly as prolific as Elvis, but I'll put his best up with just about anybody from the period.  "Reconnez Cherie" is my favorite (3 versions below), though "Whole Wide World", "Take The Cash" and "Someone Must Have Nailed Us Together" all rank up there. 



Friday, October 7, 2016

Strike Another Match - 1971

Marianne Faithfull as Lilith in Kennth Anger's Lucifer Rising

From the deep breath she audibly takes at the start all the way to the abrupt cold ending some 3:50 later, Marianne Faithfull's version of "It's All All Over Now Baby Blue" gives me chills every time I hear it.  This and other tracks compiled on Rich Kid Blues cover an interesting transitional period in her life- the early 70's- post-Jagger, post-O.D. post-fame -as her voice was starting to change due to drug abuse and hard living but hadn't made the complete transformation you would hear on late 70's albums like Broken English.  It's a period I'm quite fond of and I recommend the compilation  highly.





Sunday, October 2, 2016

Southern Girls-In Color And Black & White-1977

Sissy Spacek in B&W
If I had to pick my favorite record by the perennially underrated Cheap Trick it would be their second album In Color, a real power pop masterpiece from late 1977.  I further plead my case with my two favorite tracks from the album, "Southern Girls" and "Downed".






Spacek in Color
Robert Altman's 3 Women -1977

Friday, September 23, 2016

Absolute Tale of Woe-1965



"It's always very difficult to say what prompts anyone to do anything."

Clips from Not Only But Also below.
 And with subtitles

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hillbilly Bop- 1958

Gene Vincent with the Johnny Burnette Trio

One of the high points of 20th Century American Culture- Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps at the Town Hall Party- Compton California. That's smiling Johnny Meeks on lead guitar and Grady Owen with the incredibly long bangs hanging in his face on bass.  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

People Like You!


In another world this was a number one hit song.







Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Peter Green & World On A Wire-1973



I've only seen a few of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's films, not enough to know how I feel about his films overall, but I can say that I love completely 1973's World On A Wire. It's one of the rare noir/sci-fi films (like Bladerunner and Alphaville) and so squarely up my alley that I almost feel like it lives with me or was made for me back in 1973 to explain that feeling you get when you are a child that everything is somehow not real or that there is a completely different reality under this one's surface.

Everything about the film (actually it was a German TV mini series, so be forewarned its long, 4 hrs) is so damn pitch perfect and beautiful including the use of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac's hit instrumental 'Albatross'. Fassbinder achieves an atmosphere that I find myself totally immersed in (I like to watch it in bed on the edge of sleep), not unlike the artificial realities displayed in the film-just as distressing and artificial but also strangely comforting. It's a subtly rendered retelling of the Gnostic myth of creation for those in the know.

Trailers for the film and several of the Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac's haunting songs below, including the beautiful and mesmerizing 'Albatross'.




Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Kid Dream Hid In The Leaves

"Drive the cattle through that silver wall"



Wimberley, Tx

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Helter Skelter In The Summer Swelter

Click to Download That Summer Feeling Mix





Tensions simmered when Don McLean briefly succeeded in having "The Bunch" arrested for their version of American Pie, rumor had it he was most disappointed in his old flame Alice.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Not You Or I

S.F.- Wm 2013



This and more from the archive
http://thesoundthepastmakes.blogspot.com/2011/12/that-old-gang-of-mine.html

Coit Tower-Wm 2013

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

And Arnold Palmer Wept or We Live As We Dream, Alone



1. I Believe In Love- Lou Reed
2. London Girl- The Pogues
3. Fly- The Jam
4. The Morning After- Count Five
5. 96 Tears- ? & the Mysterians
6. I Just Wasn't Made For These Times- Peggy Lipton
7. I'll Never Learn- The Shangri-Las
8. Dazed and Confused- Jake Holmes
9. Devil Town- Daniel Johnston
10. I'm One- The Who
11. She's Falling Apart- The Flamin' Groovies
12. All We Ever Wanted Was Everything- Bauhaus
13. Guess Things Happen That Way- Johnny Cash
14. Pronto Un Doctor- Los York's
15. Word On A Wing- David Bowie
16. We Live As We Dream, Alone- Gang of Four
17. Wear Your Love Like Heaven- Peggy Lipton

I was in a grocery store the other night feeling sick.  I was only there to get a few needed items, things that I could no longer put off the purchase of, you know, the essentials.  The effort to get dressed, and drive to the store felt Herculean and took its requisite toll - my body drooped, my eyes ached under the fluorescent lights glare. I hate the grocery store even in the best circumstances but this was pure hell. I dragged myself along the shiny aisles hunched with eyes averted from others, feeling like some kind of strung out Quasimodo. But as I walked down the pet food aisle what should come over the loudspeakers but ? & the Mysterians "96 Tears" and Lord have mercy it sounded so damn good that despite my illness I found my posture straightening and a spring and bounce coming back in my step.  It was like a faith healer had suddenly given me the sonic touch and lit some healing fire in my soul. Hearing this song loud in such a public place was revelatory, its relentless weirdness and drive filled me with an uncommon joy that while the song lasted almost made me feel well. That's some powerful medicine.

"And when the sun comes up, I'll be on top, you'll be right down there, looking up".




Friday, May 6, 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

You Just May Be The One


Unofficial soundtracks for I Shot Andy Warhol & Nicolas Roeg's Bad Timing are in the pipeline, but not yet ready for posting, in the meantime here's another great Mike Nesmith tune from the Monkee's monumental Headquarters LP released May 22nd 1967.



Thursday, April 21, 2016

Taking a Lifetime Lease- Prince R.I.P.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Jesus I'm getting tired of everybody dying, pretty soon I won't recognize the landscape at all. I feel a bit self-conscious rushing off a post after anyone passes, but Prince's music meant a hell of lot to me as a kid and still does today, and his passing at such a young age is shocking and sad. So in tribute, no cover versions by those less talented than the man himself, the 12 inch mixes for Paisley Park and Raspberry Beret and the unreleased Cosmic Day excerpt.     

I remember being a bit confused by Prince's new direction when Around The World In A Day was first released in 1985. But after that initial confusion, and though I love almost equally all of his 80's work, it quickly became one of my favorite Prince albums. The neo-psychedelia of the record fit in well with REM's Fables of the Reconstruction (another favorite) also released in 1985 and the whole Paisley Underground scene including The Three O'Clock who Prince eventually signed to Paisley Park.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

And What Exactly Is A Dream- The Pink Floyd's Second Album

What would the second Pink Floyd album have sounded like if Syd Barrett hadn't left the band in early 1968 or at least not until first managing to complete their second record?  Here's my attempt to reconstruct just that particular pop fantasy with tracks that are all late 1967 or early 1968 vintage -post Piper and pre-Syd's April 1968 departure from the Floyd.

Every song featured here has Syd either singing or playing guitar (or both) with one exception, "Julia's Dream", which I agonized over including but reasoned that since it's an early Roger Waters' song written in Syd's style contemporaneous with the record I'm imagining and sung by new member David Gilmour during the brief 1968 five man line up (see pic below), it fit both the overall mood that the 2nd record should conjure and the emerging democracy of the band's songwriting. Of the ten songs featured here Syd wrote five or six.

I messed around with the order of the songs for quite a while trying to get it to work as a two sided record and I'm reasonably satisfied with the results. Tracks like "In The Beechwoods" were obviously never finished, so there's only so far you can go, but that's part of the fun or its supposed to be, I admit some frustration ensued at points trying to get the damn thing to cohere. I encourage listeners to work out their own versions, especially if they hear something different or better.

I had trouble deciding whether to call the record Scream Thy Last Scream or And What Exactly Is A Dream which is the second to last line of "Jugband Blues". Finally went with the latter, "And what exactly is a dream"-not sure if it's intended as a question or a statement?  Is Syd asking what is real and what is a dream or is he calling into question the entire concept of "what exactly"- the impossibility of exactitude. The final line of the song by the way is "and what exactly is a joke".

Side One
1. Apples & Oranges
2. Remember A Day
3. Vegetable Man
4. Sunshine Interlude
5. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

Side Two
6. Scream Thy Last Scream
7. Paint Box
8. Julia Dream
9. In The Beechwoods
10. Jugband Blues





The short lived five man line up of Pink Floyd