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fire geology mixes music quotations

Kool G Ran It For Teen

there isn’t really a theme to my 14th granite mix, but one thing i tried to do was to keep the tracks short. here’s the mix and after that a table with track listing and then some comments and links and stuff below that.

granite 14

Granite Mix 14
Artist Title Album
John Cale King Harry The Academy In Peril
Nino Rota Notturno O Mattutino La Dolce Vita – Soundtrack
Ralph Vaughan-Williams The Bell Ringers Epithamalion
Joseph Spence Lay Down My Sword & Shield Gospel At Newport
Larry Young Alive Lawrence Of Newark
Armando Trovajoli El Negro Zumbón hit song from film Anna
Captain Beefheart I Love You Big Dummy Lick My Decals Off Baby
Ahmad Jamal I’ll Take Romance/My Funny Valentine Ahmad Jamal At The Blackhawk
Howe Gelb Belly Of Fire Down Home 2002
King Curtis Cuban Twilight Have Tenor Sax Will Blow
Kool G Rap 4,5,6 4,5,6
Federico Mompou Impresiones Intimas No. 9 Gitano Impresiones, Scenes, Charmes, Fêtes Lointaines

the academy In peril is not a particularly well-known work in the john cale canon and is almost as famous for its record sleeve as it is for its music. unfortunately i don’t own a copy of the original album but have a later re-release which doesn’t have the half-gatefold with the cut-outs that the original had but I have seen that original cover in fact the 1st time i heard the album it was at a friend’s house near uxbridge or thereabouts maybe ruislip and he had the sleeve i remember it well. the other thing that is well known about the cover is that it would have been worth a lot more if it had been in black and white which is something that the song a dream from the lou reed/john cale album songs for drella teaches us.

a vast expanse of the roman countryside, to one side are the ruins of the san felice aqueduct, towering arches that come striding across the land. two thousand years ago those arches brought water to the city, but now there are many gaps where whole sections of the aqueduct have fallen in. directly in front is a soccer field, the goal posts dwarfed by the height of the aqueduct. in the distance the sound of motors is heard. a speck in the sky grows rapidly larger. it is a helicopter, and beneath it is a hanging figure. a second helicopter follows close behind. as the ‘copters pass over the field the figure suspended below can be clearly seen. a large statue of christ the labourer swings from a cable. the shadow of the ‘copter and this incongruous figure flashes across the walls of the aqueduct. the helicopters pass on.

federico fellini – screenplay for la dolce vita

why does ralph vaughan williams haunt me the way he does? Is it something to do with the ark tempers of medieval lines? who can tell in this age of imaginativeness?

as soon as i heard joseph spence’s take on utterance i was bewitched as if i had crossed several salt seas of despondency and come at last to fresh water.

at a certain time freedom mixed with sonority to produce several subversely subservient dramaturgy/diatribe/dialogue/dichotomy diptychs

el negro zumbón is complicated. usually attributed to silvano mangana she only mimed to the song in the film anna. it was written by italian composer armando trovajoli and the female singer is flo sandon’s

i’m grateful to samuel andreyev for his fascinating work on captain beefheart and the magic band – definitely one of the joys of youtube which despite my earlier diatribes i am overall in admiration for for its democratic all-inclusiveness. i certainly look forward to more from samuel.

maybe i’ve already written about the time i went to see ahmad jamal the only time i saw him but i’m proud to be able to say even that and if i haven’t written about it then no doubt i will repeat/not repeat it again in the future when my marbles start to lose their shine.

i’ve been to 3 howe gelb gigs but the 1st was something special. during the interval i was standing outside with my friend neil armstrong not the astronaut but maybe even greater in many ways. there was no-one else around and suddenly howe stepped out of the main entrance. he was about 40 metres away from us he looked around with a bewildered expression and then went back into the building. strange.

here’s a fantastic clip of king curtis

as a weather report fan in the mid-70s if i was to choose a favourite track mysterious traveller would be one of the top tracks in my opinion from that era and when i first heard 4,5,6 from kool g rap i recognised the sample straight away. it’s not one of the highlights of my hip-hop collection but is just in the end another of the great tracks that came out in the mid-90s an era that i have covered in the past.

finally what do i find so great about these gentle piano pieces that the catalan composer dreamed scored and deployed. apparently some say that there are superior representations of these pieces by more accomplished pianists than mompou was himself. to my mind who is going to interpret someone’s work better than that person themselves? i don’t know i just don’t get it.

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geology mixes music quotations

granite mix 11

I think I mentioned before that this mix was to be a mix of things I’ve recorded from the radio over the years. It’s not something I do any more I can’t imagine spending the time. But I used to starting in the late 60s. At first it was to quarter-inch reel to reel. Then it was onto cassette which was what I recorded most of my radio recordings. Later I started to use mini-disc but by then I’d already slowed down in my recording habits.

The quality of the tracks is not brilliant in that they were recorded off the radio mainly onto cassette then in some cases kept for many years then digitised so there’s some crackle a bit of buzz and probably cases where there’s a subtle pitch change. I have mainly tried to make them live recordings in the radio studio or out at a gig but they may not all be – well one’s part of a dj set, that’s sort of live but there’s a couple I’m not sure about.

Thomas Morley was organist at St Paul’s Cathedral and composed many madrigals. He almost certainly knew Shakespeare as they lived nearby and London wasn’t that big back then apparently. He certainly wrote music for one of the playwright’s songs in a famous play. I don’t know who wrote the words for this song they are good.

Sleep, slumb’ring eyes; give rest unto my cares,
My cares, the infants of my troubled brain;
My cares, surpris’d with black despair,
Doth the assertion of my hopes restrain.
Sleep, then, my eyes, O sleep and take your rest,
To banish sorrow from a free born breast.

My freeborn breast, born free to sorrow’s smart,
Brought in subjection by my wand’ring eye,
Whose trait’rous sight conceiv’d that to my heart
For which I wail, I sob, I sigh, I die.
Sleep, then, my eyes, disturb’d of quiet rest,
To banish sorrow from my captive breast.

My captive breast, stung by these glist’ring stars,
These glist’ring stars, the beauty of the sky,
That bright black sky which doth the sunbeams bar
From her sweet comfort on my heart’s sad eye.
Wake, then, my eyes, true partners of unrest,
For sorrow still must harbour in my breast.

From a live concert of Paco Peña one of my favourite guitarists accompanied by another guitarist whose name I don’t know unfortunately. And I don’t know enough to say what type of piece this is siguiriyas or what have you.

Next is The Chemical Brothers well sort of it’s more like The Beatles really but it was a great moment when I heard this Essential Mix set one Saturday night in about 1996. Really you need to have more context than I’ve given here.

I was fortunate to see Paco Peña roughly around the time of the earlier recording and that is also true of this track by Oregon. I’m sure that the set on the recording is pretty much the same set that they did when I saw them in December 1990 at Hope Chapel.

This song by The Fall is taken from a radio session on the programme Mixing It which must have been sometime in 2005. Midnight In Aspen is the story of a dying Hunter S Thompson. I’ve got a better Fall radio session from an 80s John Peel programme but later on I’m using another Peel session. Anyway this is better sound quality.

I can’t remember when I taped this concert by Tadao Sawai but he died in 1997 so it must have been before then. The wikipedia page I have linked to only lists 1 album to his name which can’t be right. There are fortunately 2 albums of his on Itunes and for slightly less than 15 quid you can buy them both. Actually I might just do that.

From a Lou Reed gig broadcast on the radio in about 199? this is a version of A Dream which has Lou doing the vocals rather than John Cale who did them on the album (Songs For Drella) and the filmed performance of the album. I believe the words are taken from Warhol‘s diaries which I haven’t read but I will buy the book one day – gee wouldn’t that be great?

The Schnittke has a very quiet beginning – it’s a short piece and it’s very beautiful in a crystalline way. Without having listened to a great deal of his music I admire him greatly and I have got the underlying philosophy of his work and in a way shamelessly appropriated it myself. I can’t tell for sure whether I’ve included a full work here or just an excerpt of one, but I don’t see it matters and I hope he would agree with me

The oldest recording is this John Peel session which I did not record when it was first aired in about 1971 but later in the 80s when it was repeated. This session was issued on vinyl I believe in the Peel Sessions series and later there was a cd. Both formats are quite rare now. Syd‘s Two Of A Kind was only known to be recorded on this show – you can also find this on a compilation.

Finally a 1991 live concert recorded at the Royal Festival Hall. This was part 1 of the encore. Keith Jarrett is a very serious man and musician.

here’s the mix

Granite Mix 11
Artist Title Comment
Thomas Morley Sleep Slumb’ring Eyes Unknown performers
Paco Peña Unknown See notes above
Chemical Brothers Chemical Beats/Tomorrow Never Knows Excerpt from Essential Mix
Oregon Unknown Live circa 1990
The Fall Midnight In Aspen Mixing It session
Tadao Sawai Unknown See notes above
Lou Reed A Dream See notes above
Alfred Schnittke Voices Of Nature? See notes above
Syd Barrett Two Of A Kind John Peel session
Keith Jarrett Somewhere Over The Rainbow See notes above
Categories
geology music

granite mIX

first i must explain the ethos behind this the 9th granite mix. which is that i used my box to create a playlist. the songs chosen to make up the playlist all are chosen with 2 common letters – in this case m and y. this conceit has caused some repetition in artists that have previously featured but ultimately that’s taste…

the advantage of the playlist is that it does a segue/fadein-fadeout between the tracks. just about everything that was selected in this case seemed to have a long fade-out which pretty much negates the effect of the segue. still nothing becomes improvisation but artifice as they say in the old guignol street presentation…

mys mr fahey suffered from epstein-barr syndrome when he recorded this album. somehow that’s not a problem for me. i also love bill evans solo album … which was not released at the time because it was thought to be so bad. see further down the playlist for mr evans but not that album. a new film about john is going to be shown on bbc4 on dec 6.

i think french rap could have been sold better in the uk if we hadn’t been so up ourselves. here’s the video if you like this.

myt the only myth on my unit. sun ra is a big myth. and not only is he a myth but he is also a mystery.

my(+space) i am fortunate to have seen sharon van etten twice. once on her own and once with a band. i do not know which to prefer the beauty of inflexions or the beauty of innuendos.

my romance. now it’s getting quite intimate. that’s the trouble with m and y maybe i should have chosen something a bit more random, like a and s

and then gerald finzi comes along and sorts it out. hopefully.

joseph spence makes me reconsider my whole approach to singing. somehow i feel he is challenging me to reassess and reorder. above all in 2014 i want to write a song in esperanto.

whereas rambling on my mind tracks into the veracity of priesthood. the crossroads are literally that – roads where you might find the cross.

what was born in those gospel tours that monk did when he was just a lad?

a couple of british guitarists to end with. why didn’t anyone at island records make sure that there were decent live recordings of the many gigs that chris spedding did with john cale? were they coked out of their brains or something?

sorry song for my mother is from a vinyl digitisation and i increased the gain slightly but it’s a bit distorted. i’m sure you can download it for a small fee if you want to hear it perfectly. i could quote a 3rd great british guitarist on this subject but won’t right now.

finally chris spedding showing his mettle. thanks to michael mantler for this great album which along with no answer and the hapless child are i think the best literary albums ever.

here’s the mix

Granite Mix 9
Artist Title Album
John Fahey The Evening Mysteries Of Ferry Street I Remember Blind Joe Death
Soon EMC Elucider Ce Mystère Giant Steps
Sun Ra And His Myth Science Arkestra Big City Blues The Singles
Sharon Van Etten Where Is My Love Home Recordings
Bill Evans Trio My Romance The Village Vanguard Sessions
Finzi Singers My Lovely One Gerald Finzi Choral Works
Joseph Spence Gonna Lay Down My Sword And Shield Gospel At Newport
Robert Johnson Rambling On My Mind The Collection Johnson 20 Blues Greats
Thelonious Monk This Is My Story, This Is My Song Straight No Chaser
John Cale My Maria Helen Of Troy
John McLaughlin Song For My Mother My Goal’s Beyond
Michael Mantler I Walk With My Girl 2 Silence
Categories
coathanger trail insects music

coathanger

I noticed the other day that some nice person had put up a comment about a song of mine on Itunes which is called Coathanger. They say it would be a good song in an 80s Italian zombie film. I’ve just added a page to this blog with links to buying various songs of mine on Itunes including this one, which I’m linking to here. The song features myself on guitar and vocals, Paul Wigens on drums, Jeff Spencer on bass and I think the backing vocals are Jo Swan and Jeff.

Coathanger

Actually I prefer the demo version of the track which I recorded in October 2007 shortly after I’d written the song.

Here it is and below is what I wrote about it at the time.

But first – if you have any plans of making an Italian zombie film – please get in touch.

Coathanger Demo

I was working on the music for a possible song a few days ago and when I’d finished it and played around it with it a few times I realised that somehow I had gone back 30 years or so to about 1978 and written a Dry Rib song of that vintage. So then I had the idea to connect the words for the song with Dry Rib and make it in effect a song dedicated to the band.

There are a lot of obscure references to old songs and sometimes their lyrics. It’s a bit of a cryptic puzzle. It’s called Coathanger and I will explain that because I don’t think anyone else will know what that is about. In the early days of the band there was a song we did of mine which was called Cancer. The music was quite reasonable and the lyrics owed a lot to Vintage Violence/Paris 1919-era John Cale. For example,

And I, my heart, was with those gallant crewmen
As was the heart of every mother’s son
Yea and daughter too, I swear it, in the town

But right at the end of the song there was a repeated refrain :

And you aren’t anything other than a coathanger

It was probably that bit that led to the song being dropped so I think it is absolutely fitting now that I should resurrect its essence as a chorus and title.

The music put me in mind of Syd especially the instrumental link section between the end of the chorus and the start of the next verse, so I also put in a tribute to him with the snippets of my voice from a very old cassette tape of a rehearsal.

That’s the end of the bit from 2007 but I’d just like to add that the tribute to Syd Barrett in the other version of the song is the guitar solo at the end.

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geology mixes

granite mix 3

I still remember very well first hearing Rock Bottom back in 1974. My friend Ray Kent bought it before me and played it to me. He described it as soft rock. My favourite British rock/pop albums are The Madcap Laughs, Rock Bottom and Shooting At The Moon. What have all 3 got in common? The contribution of Robert Wyatt.

I like the song Alabama Bound so much that I wrote a sort of tribute song which I call Belerion Bound. I don’t play it too often, maybe I’m too much of a Puritan to want to emphasise it’s hedonistic agenda. Actually it’s called Don’t You Leave Me Here and is by Papa Harvey Hull & Long ‘Cleve’ Reed.

It’s hard to remember just what impact David Bowie‘s Station To Station had back in 1976. It takes me back to the sitting room of my friends Rod & Sheila Henderson in Hyde, Manchester. The still from The Man Who Fell To Earth on the cover seemed to hint at things that were extra-terrestrially incumbent. Actually the film came out earlier in the year, before I was living in Manchester. The film I associate with my short time there is another offering from that year, Taxi Driver. That’s something for another time. There is much to write about it seems.

Which leads me to the soundtrack of another 70s film, Roma. I didn’t get to see this film until 73 or 74 and I have a vague memory that I saw the end of the film (the motorbikes bombing around Rome) first as the previous screening hadn’t finished when I took my seat. It’s not a good idea to do that, although not too bad with a film like Roma.

I first saw John Cale perform on June 1st 1974. That’s easy to remember because the concert was recorded and came out on an Island Records album and that’s what they called it.

Sun Ra I think I saw twice, both times at The Venue by Victoria station. And in reference to the earlier paragraph, that was somewhere I also saw John Cale do a solo gig on his first solo tour and I saw Nico do a solo gig there once too.

Monk sadly I never saw. I’m working on a guitar solo version of Pannonica and have been doing for a while now. It’s going to take me a little longer before I contemplate playing it live, but one of these days.

Misterioso is another of my favourites. I’ve seen the Kronos Quartet a few times. The first album I bought with them on was Terry Riley‘s Cadenza On The Night Plain. There is much to listen to it seems.

Finally back to 25th December at Rod & Sheila’s in 1976. My best Christmas present was the box set of Keith Jarrett‘s Solo Concerts. I may have played one of the sides sometime that Christmas morning. Afterwards I left the triple album in its box on top of the TV set. It’s never a good idea to leave records on the top of the TV. Especially not on Christmas Day in 1976. Later that afternoon I found that the records had sort of changed shape and not much of the vinyl was left in a listenable state. So this recording of Side 4 of the record is from my 2nd copy of the album (although I’m afraid it has some vinyl defects near the end). I should point out that this last track is a couple of minutes over 20 minutes long.

here’s the mix

Granite Mix 3
Artist Title Album
Robert Wyatt Little Red Riding Hood Hits The Road Rock Bottom
Papa Harvey Hull & Long Cleve Reed Don’t You Leave Me Here The Songster Tradition
David Bowie Golden Years Station To Station
Nino Rota Ecclesiastical Fashion Show Roma
John Cale Baby You Know Sabotage
Sun Ra & His Outer Space Arkestra Rocket Number Nine The Singles
Thelonious Monk Quartet Straight, No Chaser Live At The It Club
Kronos Quartet Misterioso Monk Suite
Keith Jarrett Lausanne March 20th 1973 Part 1 Solo-Concerts

Thanks for listening and finally I would like to copy out the words of a poem by William Carlos Williams. I don’t know why exactly but the desire hit me a little bit earlier.

An Exercise

Sick as I am
confused in the head
I mean I have

endured this April
so far
visiting friends

returning home
late at night
I saw

a huge Negro
a dirty collar
about his

enormous neck
appeared to be
choking

him
I did not know
whether or not

he saw me though
he was sitting
directly

before me how
shall we
escape this modern

age
and learn
to breathe again