rain yellow flowers caricatures south west england against deep interiors of the african continent during the nineteenth century. this blends into specific meridians of meandering thought. laburnum flowers here dangle concupiscent and aleatorically irrelevant.
i think i’ve pinned it there but don’t blush. derogatory whispers split infinite commands of rectitude. skies consonant and irregular at quavering times to drift nonsensically towards the plains of contusion.
guitars voices and a solitary saxophone resplendent with guttural perches strapped on and blending into darkened vortices of sick – sicle – syphon – ssss.ansidote
renal yell flickering
rhodes year freshman
ripped yeast farine
and now a granite mix that deals with my own work. this is my unveiling on this website of my new album which is called true v eye and will imminently be available on itunes and as a hard copy at my amazon store – see the buy stuff page for links. there are only 2 of the tracks from the new album featured on the mix along with a selection from other albums and some obscure places.
the music speaks for itself but it would be churlish not to write a bit about these tracks so here goes. desert ghost dance has nursery rhyme style dialogue and therefore acts as a pair with track 6. a famous german 20th century artist is referenced in the last verse. perplex is a pair with it too because it is also a dialogue of sorts. then there’s suspense which also hovers between heaven and earth, as do, for that matter the children of the sea. domes however merely fly beneath the starlit sky. i’ve already mentioned in my jar – a famous 20th century british writer is referenced in the 3rd verse.
my video for happy song is a shoddy affair but has a certain innocent sweetness in its demeanour which i hope makes up for that.
the track that i’ve called chasing the sun dates to a period when I was using a sampler to create the basics of my music. everything was a home recording and nothing was ever that well-finished but i’ve got a lot of interesting things that may never show the light of day. this one’s made it through though – for a while at least. It contains a sample from a track by sun ra called disco 2100. in the train was recorded in about 1982. at the recording session for the new album i re-recorded this track and my plan is to release both versions on some vinyl later this year. this is a re-mastered version of the 1982 track.
the words for v’nosnu are almost all from primo levi’s magnificent novel if not now when (english translation i’m afraid – an italian version would be good or maybe even a yiddish one). i’d just like to point out though that there is some art to it all the same – though mostly inspiration. in my book inspiration trumps artfulness. a cherry tree aka the cherry tree was somehow inspired and inter-connected with the music of the last track of the mix. I was still at school when I wrote the words which aren’t used in the music but which are
I planted a cherry tree
I watered it every day
in the summer I sat in its shade
one day a cherry appeared on my tree
one day a cherry appeared on my tree
it is for this that we live
it is for this that we live
I don’t really care whether people think what I do is good or not. I know what I’ve done and that’s good enough for me.
This is the 2nd coathanger trail post and it covers the words in northern lands which is the 2nd line of the song.
This is the demo version of Alaska recorded in 1978. It’s a bit rough having come off an old cassette tape copy. It’s never been released. But I think it’s worth a listen. I prefer the vocals on the later ep version which is here. I’m pretty sure that this demo was recorded with an amp, maybe even my own Orange combo, more likely a Fender amp that the studio had, but the later version I think was a direct inject affair which I agreed to at the time because I didn’t know any better.
Basically the guitar is a bit more real. Photo above is how I looked playing that guitar. Actually that one was stolen from my car and the one I have now is different but from 1979 so is still vintage usa luckily.
The way Mike and Andrew play is also very real. That was a good band though unfortunately bound to implode.
I’m happy with my current band though. On Friday night that will be myself, Tom Ranby on saxophone (probably alto); Laura Lambell vocals; Rosalinda Moreno-Parra vocals. Basically if we had done back in 1979 what we are doing now we would have been absolutely astronomic but sadly it doesn’t work that way.
Still there is a rich vein, a steady seam. I’ll put down my trumpet for now.
Once upon a time if I wrote a new song I would fairly quickly record a demo of it, but for the last year or so I haven’t been bothered. I’m not sure why that is, probably to a certain degree some sort of boredom with the recording process. I think the only new song I’ve recorded is one I recorded live (vocals overdubbed), little crusader
What spurred me to actually record one of them was the idea of giving Tom (Ranby) some mp3s of new songs because when we played together I wanted to add some of the new songs to the repertoire rather than just play the stuff we already know. Well the first recording’s done now and it wasn’t that bad. It was mostly done a couple of weeks ago but I finished it off yesterday by recording the cameo flute part. I didn’t practise playing flute much over the 2 weeks, there was probably 10 minutes of playing in total, in short 30-60 second bursts – in fact I could have worked at it a bit harder and done it all on the same day. Thanks to my sister, Helen, for giving me the flute some many years ago.
The song I chose to record was written about a year ago and it’s called die andere seite. I think that’s the 2nd song I’ve got with a German title. The 1st one was called sonntag but all I have for that is the words, maybe the slight remnant of a tune in my head. Die Andere Seite is the title of a book by the man better known as an artist than writer, Alfred Kubin. Obviously I’ve provided a link but to put it simply for those of you who can’t be bothered to spend a few minutes perusing the biography works influence bibliography external links of an interesting 20th century character, he was an artist, a member of the Blaue Reiter group who became principally known for his work as an illustrator. Apparently at some point he found it impossible to do any drawing and so, over a 12 week period, he wrote his novel. It sorted of demanded to be written in effect. It was published in 1905.
It could be said to predate Kafka, but pretty much they were both writing at the same time, it’s just that a lot of Kafka’s stuff wasn’t published until after his death. Kafka and Kubin knew each other and in a diary entry of 1911 Kafka describes him
Kubin himself: very strong, but somewhat monotonous facial expression, he describes the most varied things with the same movement of muscles. Looks different in age, size, and strength according to whether he is sitting, standing,wearing just a suit, or an overcoat.
and in the same entry for September 26th Kafka relates
He met Hamsun at Langen. He (Hamsun) grins mockingly for no reason. During the conversation, without interrupting it, he put one foot on his neck, took a large pair of paper-shears from the table, and trimmed the frayed edges of his trousers. Shabbily dressed, with one, or so rather expensive details, his tie, for example.
I was unaware of this until I started researching to write this, but funnily enough Knut Hamsun is also referenced in this song. Do I want to throw any more revolutionary (I don’t mean in a political way) writers of the late 19th early 20th century into the mix? Actually yes, though this is one that I didn’t realise as I wrote the song. Can that be possible? Well I must think so or I wouldn’t be writing about it. In an earlier post I touched on the significance of the French writer, Alfred Jarry and the research I did towards writing that persuaded me to buy a copy of Exploits & Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician, which I had never read.
It is in this work that the concept of ‘Pataphysics is introduced. In Roger Shattuck‘s excellent introduction to the Exact Change edition of the work he tries to encapsulate the concept thus
Beneath the double talk and ellipsis, its formal definition seems to mean that the virtual or imaginary nature of things as glimpsed by the heightened vision of poetry or science or love can be seized and lived as real. This is the ultimate form of “authentic enactment”.
I will try to write further on this later. It needs more distillation right now.
Well that’s the words sorted out, as for the music, it’s got a bit of bluesy, swampy feel but as usual I’ve used (or possibly misused) reggae drum loops which disguise that to a certain extent. It’s a very simple ABABABABAB format where the 4th AB is instrumental and the 5th is a repeat of the 1st (lyrically that is). I could have stuck a C on the end for the coda but that is too short to warrant it. The Bs are in effect choruses but they have no vocals. They’re just trademark flattened interval chords thrown in to show who I am.
playing with fire is a piece of music I wrote – a simple piece of 3 cycling chords (Ebmaj7 Abmaj11 Gmaj7). That’s all there is to it apart from one final B diminished type thing at the end. It has a floaty feel and doesn’t really go or get anywhere except in a sort of peripatetic picaresque sort of way. I’ve come up with a few pieces with the same sort of thing in mind over the last few years, but this is the only one properly recorded. When I first wrote it (at the start of 2010 I think) Laura and I played it live quite a few times and it generally seemed to have a bit of a buzz about it. But by the time we did this recording we hadn’t played it so much which didn’t help. Actually the worst thing was that I cracked my head 3 days before the recording session and I wasn’t quite up to the vocal demands required. Still it doesn’t sound too bad and works in a soundtracky fashion which is ideal for accompanying some moving images.
The picture we burn is by my friend Rod Henderson. He gave it to me a long time ago. The last time I moved house I rang him up and said, look Rod, I’ve got this old picture of yours and I’m trying to minimise my possessions, it’s a bit scrappy and faded now – do you want me to send it you? After a moment’s thought he said no, that I could get rid of it, but to do it in a memorable way. The film is the result of that.
I feel I’m not selling it too well. But perhaps that’s the best way. Build it up to be complete shite and then when you get to listen to it, it’s not that bad. I mean what causes streamlets to meander anyway? Declination? Glacialisation? Or just subtle sublimation maybe.
guitar, vocals * rob vasey
bass guitar, vocals * laura lambell
drums & percussion * paul wigens
tenor saxophone * tom ranby