Sunday, 19 January 2020

Philip Glass / Robert Wilson ‎– "Einstein On The Beach" (Tomato TOM-4-2901) 1978

The first 'Minimalist' Opera, was bizarrely, the birthing music selected selected by my then significant other, for the difficult birth of my daughter back in 1999,long with the "Songs of the Humpback Whale" and Holgar Czukay's "Movies"....so no wonder she didn't want to come out.
In fact she had to dragged out with the Ventouse,which is basically a plunger. 
If i had played something a bit more 'fun' she may have made more of an effort to enter this troubled world, maybe Plastic Bertrand or The Ramones? But no, she got this po-faced neo-classical minimalist opera,with words replaced with chanted numbers,and some mumbled narration.
I knew there was something amiss when I played Joy Division during her gestation period and she started to kick and squirm in the womb like the alien that punched its way out of John Hurts chest.She also had the privilege to attend a Fall gig, which instigated a similar violent reaction.
I don't even know what music she listens to now, if any, 'cus like all of the millenials, she's constantly plugged in,or as Cliff Richard called it, "Wired For Sound". (If I could, I'd have a make over and look like Cliff in that video as a refreshing image change!...honest?)
You all know what this album sounds like surely?.....think of any Philip Glass music you know,if any(?),stretch it out and add the cast of 'A Chorus Line'(Who says they don't make funny music anymore?) to the equation chanting 1,2,3,4, over and over again at varying speeds and you end up alongside Einstein, on a beach.
There are few occassions I have stood open-mouthed with no words, witnessing a spectacle that is beyond my comphrehension,.....nooooo NOT Glass's Einstein On The Beach......I'm talking about Richard Attenboroughs film version of "A Chorus Line".....shockingly baaaad,but equally hilarious.
If we played the soundtrack of "A Chorus Line"(Download HERE!) at my daughters birth I think she'd still be in the womb to this day!....Life IS HELL!

Tracklist:

Knee Play 1
Act I, Scene 1: Train
Act I, Scene 2: Trial
Knee Play 2
Act II, Scene 1: Dance 1 (Field With Spaceship)
Act II, Scene 2: Night Train
Knee Play 3
Act III, Scene 1: Trial/Prison
Act III, Scene 2: Dance 2 (Field With Spaceship)
Knee Play 4
Act IV, Scene 1: Building/Train
Act IV, Scene 2: Bed
Act IV, Scene 3: Spaceship
Knee Play 5


Saturday, 18 January 2020

Philip Glass - "Early Works (1969-70) (Nonesuch-NONE161) 2008


The sheer volume of Philip Glass music since the late sixties is mind boggling,but, its the first ten years that were the most experimental and had the greatest impact,so, guess what?.....then wait for the inevitable posting of 'Einstein On The Beach'.....y'see even bloggers are as predictable as a minimalist composer,or that a director will use something from Glass's popular 1982 album 'Glassworks' for her* Documentary.

*(I purposefully cast the role of the director as a 'she' to highlight the woeful lack of women nominated at OSCAR type ceremonies....she would also have to be Black too i suggest!?...In fact there aren't too many Black or female neo-classical/contemporary composers on the block either!?...oh f'shame!).

Tracklist:

1 Music In Contrary Motion 15:35 (1969)
2 Music With Changing Parts (Edited) 45:37 (1970)
3 Music In Similar Motion 17:11 (1969)


Friday, 17 January 2020

Philip Glass ‎– "Music In Similar Motion / Music In Fifths" (Chatham Square Productions ‎– 1003) 1971

They certainly have snazzy titles don't they these 'minimalist' composers? Music with this, and Music in that, its like bottom shelf supermarket products.Biscuits are called Biscuits,chocolate biscuits are called Biscuits with chocolate, and so on.
Minimalism is certainly economical,but in a different way to budget econo-brands in the supermarket. Its the economical way they, the 'Minimalists', use instrumentation and melody that differentiates these compositions from such over-composed show offs like Mozart.
I nearly nodded off listening to this as i wrote earlier on,so forgive me if this sounds like the stuff of nonsense.This music does have a hypnotic effect,and makes time scurry by exposing it for the illusion that it is.I could listen to this all day,or is that for just a few minutes,such is the time distorting effect that Glass's music induces in its unwitting victims.


Track Listing:

1. Music In Similar Motion (17:12)
2. Music In Fifths (23:23)

DOWNLOAD in a similar and very familar way HERE!

Philip Glass ‎– "Music In Twelve Parts - Parts 1 & 2" (Caroline Records ‎– CA 2010) 1976


Before 1977,nearly all of Virgins best albums were released on their budget 'Caroline' offshoot, and for many this was their first exposure to Philip Glass's take on structured minimalism......although Glass himself doesn't agree with that definition of his music. It certainly a more academic and considered form of Minimalism than most of his contemporaries, except maybe later Steve Reich, with no room for musicians to be let off the leash at any point.
I certainly play Glass's music more than any of the other 'minimalists',probably because its more accessable, and melodically more interesting.
Only one piece was originally written, which was called "Music in Twelve Parts" because it was originally intended to have twelve lines of counterpoint harmony, but when Glass played it to a friend, she asked him what the other eleven parts would be like. He found the misunderstanding interesting, and wrote another eleven parts over a period of three yearsThe thing about Music in Twelve parts, is that this album contains the greatest hits of the actual 12 parts that were eventually released in the 90's. Part one is a wonderfully medetitive piece, backed up by more uptempo classic Glass....it repeats but each phrase has a subtle change that slowly transforms the melody into something different without the listener really noticing.......part 3 is ok,but its downhill from there;so stick to the original album I say!...I can take 20 minutes at a concert and forty minutes on an album before my mind starts to wander.So be satisfied that the original concept was just 'Part One' and relax. Glass should have just left it at that too,maybe calling it "Music in Twelve Part,Part One",and never composing the other eleven;rather like the non-appearance of the Third part of the Residents' "Mole Trilogy", or Schuberts 'unfinished Symphony?

Tracklist:

A Music In Twelve Parts - Part 1 16:07
B Music In Twelve Parts - Part 2 16:21


Thursday, 16 January 2020

Tony Conrad With Faust ‎– "Outside The Dream Syndicate" (Caroline Records ‎– C 1501) 1973



Everyone had this didn't they? It was cheap on the Virgin Records budget Caroline imprint(Just look at that fucking outrageous label!?...bloody hippies!), but  Faust were on Virgin proper,with their loss-leader 49p album the 'Faust Tapes', which failed to break them in the UK.All anyone ever needs is one Faust record anyway,so get the cheap ones, right?So that's how I ended up with two albums with Faust on.The first one was a rather irritating mix-up of cutting room floor material in two side long tracks. It sounded like they were trying to be weird,which is always a turn off. 
Now with Conrad  doing his trademark monotonous violin scraping over Faust's rhythm section,cleverly underplaying, this is Fausts best album of the 70's.I bet Fripp ,Eno,and Bowie were livid that Tony never came to them for his rock crossover album. It might have had something to do with the fact that none of them were on Virgin at the time.
This is as close as Conrad came to selling out.If it wasn't such a slow burner it may have entered the lower reaches of the British charts.
This is the expanded,unedited version from 2002, and an argument that all albums shouldn't be longer than 40 minutes.

Tracklist:

1.1 From The Side Of Man And Womankind 27:16
1.2 From The Side Of The Machine 26:21
2.1 The Pyre Of Angus Was In Kathmandu 3:38
2.2 The Death Of The Composer Was In 1962 3:16
2.3 From The Side Of Woman And Mankind (Complete Version) 31:11


John Cale & Terry Riley ‎– "Church Of Anthrax" (CBS ‎– S 64259) 1971


Bongwater did a song called "David Bowie Wants Ideas", and the place to find them was usually in the Avant Garde arena. John Cale wasn't slow in coming forward with misappropriating ideas from the avant classical mainstream and trying to bend them into shape for the record buying public. Amid his lengthy back catalogue of truly terrible mild rock albums, this one actually stands up as vaguely interesting.
It should have actually been a three track album of minimalism/rock crossover tunes, but obviously the Record company must have uttered the classic phrase....."Its great,but I'm not hearing a single?"
So a three minute hippy folk tune sung by a guest vocalist was inserted,and a short rocky instrumental B-side was added to bring the album to a limp close. Among the three minimalist inspired tracks,the 'single' sticks out like an enormous carbuncle on a bare arse.I dunno if it was ever actually released as a single, but,whoever bought the album on the strength of it,would not have been happy.
Bowie,Pop,Fripp and Eno, were endlessly prowling the musical underground to steal Ideas,but Cale beat them all to Terry Riley.....mainly because he knew him from his days in LaMonte Young's Theatre of Eternal Music.
In fact, despite the praise dished out for this album, it ain't that good,and relies heavily on the uncredited drumming of one David Rosenboom to hold it together;and i'm struggling to hear much minimalism on this either.Its neither Rock or minimal,or even a sucessful mix of the two,but its an interesting attempt to do something....er....different? These guys were under pressure to deliver remember? File under Prog.

Tracklist:

A1 Church Of Anthrax 9:00
A2 The Hall Of Mirrors In The Palace At Versailles 7:55
B1 The Soul Of Patrick Lee 2:47
B2 Ides Of March 11:03
B3 The Protege 2:47


Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Terry Riley ‎– "Reed Streams" (Mass Art Inc. ‎– M-131) 1967



Here's some early Riley,performed and recorded,live, on November 4th and 5th 1966 in Riley's New York studio. Introducing some of the standard Minimalist tools of repitition,out of phase accompanying tapes,and playing against tapes of yourself/selves.
It was inevitable that the 'Minimalists' would not only use repeating phrases in their compositions,but that they would end up repeating themselves.The way out of the blind alley, was, melody, which Steve Reich and especially Glass,found out for themselves. Riley would flirt with Pop and drift dangerously close to New Age and ambient.
Maybe it would have been a purer Minimalism to actually repeat oneself until you disappeared up one's own arse.A lot of this scene disappeared up their own arses well before the music did however,but without ego we'd have no art, would we?....Discuss,using as few words as possible,and endless reiteration without explanation.....bonus marks are available for mindless pretentiousness.

Tracklist:

A Untitled Organ 20:10
B Dorian Reeds 14:55


Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Terry Riley ‎– "In C" (Columbia Masterworks ‎– MS 7178) 1968


With a name like a North Yorkshire mechanic, Terry Riley, otherwise known as,'The Godfather of Minimalism" ,it was inevitable that he would slip down the minimalism pecking order behind the more exoticly named Steve Reich, and Philip Glass;but, he was certainly there at the year zero of  repetitive structures alongside his californian chum, LaMonte Young.....which one was the actual 'Godfather of Minimalism' is up for conjecture,but i'm in the LaMonte court.Both were disciples of Indian classical vocalist Pandit Pran Nath,and both moved to New York around the same time."In C"is often cited as the first minimalist composition,though La Monte Young's drone compositions preceded it by several years....but,as for repetitive rythmic minimalism,with 1964 scribbled on his CV, he's in with a shout.Although it was Steve Reich introduced the idea of a rhythmic pulse to Riley, who accepted it thirstily, thus radically altering the original "In C" composition,which had no rhythm.....just like yer average white man.
Riley quickly slipped into the hippie meditation music genre,grew his hair and beard,and was responsible for many of these unwashed future wall street wolves, sitting cross legged in the lotus position for hours,only getting up to turn "In C" over to side two every half an hour or so.
If you listen to the 1964/1970 version of "In C", there's very little minimalism in it so far as instrumentation is concerned, and even gets a bit James Last towards the end, with some  groovy silver-haired Discothéque bass playing that the master of 'easy' would have killed for.Going on to conclude that never completed Minimalist Medley he was working on before his death!
Written in 1964, it says here,but It wasn't until 1968 that Riley began to sound like the work that Steve Reich would become famous for.Then he started dabbling with underground pop stardom, and hanging out with Cale,Bowie, Fripp and Eno. That kind of behaviour rightly demoted him to the semi-serious composer ranks,leaving the chin-stroking spoils for Glass and Reich to reap.
At least he was one of the few of the LaMonte Young crew that wasn't in the Velvet Underground at some point.Lucky escape.

Tracklist:

1. In C (41:57)

Bonus Track:
2. In C (1964&1970) (29:27)

DOWNLOAD by pressing the key of enter on your keyboard HERE!

Monday, 13 January 2020

Henry Flynt ‎– "C Tune" (Locust Music ‎– LOCUST 03) 1980


I can't think of anything more to say about Hillbillies and American Primitives,so the easiest link back to sixties american minimalism is the geezer who mixed the two up for us, Henry Flynt.
The minimalists had a small obsession with the key of 'C', as well as repetition and drones.
So, here's a sixty minute bluegrass raga recorded in 1980, in the key of 'C' that expresses the link of bluegrass,blues and folk to the pop art era and beyond.
There's some vicious fiddle scraping involved here, one of Henry's finest moments.

Tracklist:

1. C-tune (47:20)

DOWNLOAD and C what I mean HERE!

Various ‎Artists – "I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore(1927-1948)" (Mississippi Records ‎– MR-014) 2007



Don't worry, i'm not gonna post dozens of Harry Smith type compilations,but the title and the miserable Hill billyess relation to Susan Boyle,'the Hairy Angel' on the cover, just demanded that I have this on my coffee table the night my artist chums come round for my Finnish smorgasbord soirée.
Since the advent of those music magazines that are concerned only with the past,a bit like this blog(?); endless compilations of lost 78's from between the wars,but before the wars that came afterwards, flooded the independant record stores of the day.
Anything seems to go with this one,there's Gospel, Blues, Calypso, Bluegrass and Cajun Folk.
Eclectic is a popular word for the record collections of the 21st century,and this certainly fits the bill.
If a bunch of pre-reggae West Indians singing about the Abdication Crisis of 1936 is right up your alley, then , I reckon you're gonna love this.
From a time when if you wanted entertainment you really had to do it yourself. It was either that or chew your own,or someone elses, leg off.....and many of them did.

Tracklist:

A1 –Marika Papagika - Zmirneikos Balos
A2 –Wilmoth Houdini - Blow Wind Blow
A3 –Cleoma Falcon - Prends Done Courage
A4 –Mme. Riviere's Hawaiians - E Mama Ea
A5 –The Caresser - Edward The VIII
A6 –Two Gospel Keys - I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore
A7 –Sexteto Bolona - Te Prohibido El Cabaret
B1 –Jacob Hoffman & Kandal's Orchestra - Diona & Hora
B2 –Blind Uncle Gaspard & Dela Lachney - Baoille
B3 –Mike Hanapi's Ilima Islanders - Hilo Hula
B4 –Lydia Mendoza - Palida Luna
B5 –Blue Sky Boys - Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?
B6 –Unknown Artist - Sorban Palid
B7 –Big Boy Cleveland - Quill Blues


Sunday, 12 January 2020

Harry Smith ‎– "Anthology Of American Folk Music Volume Three: Songs" (Folkways Records ‎– FP 253) 1952



This one has Dock Boggs on it. There's Blind Lemons,Sleepy Johns,and a few dodgy Cajun's. So we're straddling Boorman's "Deliverance" vision of the arcetypal Hill Billy, with one foot in the mangrove swamps of Walter Hill's "Southern Comfort" and louisiana Cajun oiks;isn't that where The Residents came from?.......Hmmmmm,now i'm beginning to understand.
Living in a part of France that's chockablock with country bumpkins,Boar hunters,moronic farmers,old broken down drunks (Les Vieux Soulards), and other losers like me who can't make it in the big city;I am constantly surprised at the total lack of Folk music in these 'ere parts.There must have been some at some point,because the French inbreds in Louisiana certainly kept it alive,but in America.The evidence is here.
The Frogs go crazy for 'Musique Celtique',or,as we celts call it,Irish pixie dancin' music......excuse the language,but.....Riverdance......or Riverdunce.
But,they are no longer aware that there was,once a folk culture flowing there once;quite like how water once flowed on Mars.
Its been replaced with endless talk about recipes for Ratatouille,and droning on about their incredibly boring unadventurous food.Tragic!
The direct opposite of les Anglais, which incidently is also the french ladies slang term for a 'Period'!
That said, the English,les Anglais, wouldn't have been able to preserve their thriving Folk culture without these inbred white niggers keeping it alive in those isolated shit pits that were untouched by modern civilisation in North America.That folk influence could be heard in those early Beatles tunes,so said Roger McGuinn of the Tyrds.So, one could say the Folk exchange ocurred several times between the english speaking nations leading to the evolution of modern folk music...or, as it is now known since the early sixties....Pop!
Who was this Harry Smith geezer? I got a picture,it was either this or one with Alan Ginsberg.
Harry Smith, proto beatnik numero uno.

Tracklist:


1–Clarence Ashley - The Coo Coo Bird 2:56
2–Buell Kazee - East Virginia 3:01
3–Cannon's Jug Stompers - Minglewood Blues 3:44
4–Didier Herbert - I Woke Up One Morning In May 3:04
5–Richard "Rabbit" Brown - James Alley Blues 3:07
6–Dock Boggs - Sugar Baby 2:58
7–Bascom Lamar Lunsford - I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground 3:21
8–Ernest And Hattie Stoneman - Mountaineer's Courtship 2:44
9–The Stoneman Family - The Spanish Merchant's Daughter 3:18
10–Memphis Jug Band - Bob Lee Junior Blues 3:11
11–The Carter Family - Single Girl, Married Girl 2:47
12–Cleoma Breaux And Joseph Falcon - La Vieux Soulard Et Sa Femme 3:10
13–Blind Lemon Jefferson - Rabbit Foot Blues 2:57
14–Sleepy John Estes And Yank Rachell - Expressman Blues 3:01
15–Ramblin' Thomas - Poor Boy Blues 2:24
16–Cannon's Jug Stompers - Feather Bed 3:16
17–Dock Boggs - Country Blues 2:59
18–Julius Daniels - 99 Year Blues 3:07
19–Blind Lemon Jefferson - Prison Cell Blues 2:47
20–Blind Lemon Jefferson - See That My Grave Is Kept Clean 2:55
21–Cleoma Breaux And Ophy Breaux And Joseph Falcon - C'Est Si Triste Sans Lui 3:01
22–Uncle Dave Macon - Way Down The Old Plank Road 3:01
23–Uncle Dave Macon - Buddy Won't You Roll Down The Line 3:15
24–Mississippi John Hurt - Spike Driver Blues 3:17
25–Memphis Jug Band - K.C. Moan 2:33
26–J.P. Nestor - Train On The Island 3:00
27–Ken Maynard - The Lone Star Trail 3:15
28–Henry Thomas - Fishing Blues 5:17


Saturday, 11 January 2020

Harry Smith ‎– "Anthology Of American Folk Music (Volume Two: Social Music)" ( Folkways Records ‎– FP 252) 1952


This is the creepiest of the three anthology volumes.
Its like stumbling over the rehearsals for Rosemarys Baby in a near-by copse,except that its for real, and no mere rehearsal.
Just imagine stumbling over a child sacrifice in a clearing on Walton's Mountain, and recording it.Thats basically what Harry Smith did.It got dat Voodoo.
Hillbillies frighten the living shite out of me,in the same way that Islamic fundamentalists do.They are part of the American Taliban,and in their simple ways exude the very essence of Stupid,but a loveable brand of Stupid.
Just imagine their toothless grins as they stomp merrily on their shack's front porch,pickled on Moonshine whiskey, burning crosses and berating Abe Lincoln.
Why they would want to slag down the memory of President Lincoln for, I dunno.They had so much in common after all?

Actual Abraham Lincoln Quote:

“I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.”

Tracklist:

Dances No. 1
A1 –Uncle Bunt Stephens - Sail Away Lady
A2 –J.W. Day - The Wild Wagoner
A3 –Prince Albert Hunt's Texas Ramblers - Wake Up Jacob
A4 –Delma Lachney And Blind Uncle Gaspard - La Danseuse
A5 –Andrew And Jim Baxter - Georgia Stomp
A6 –Eck Robertson And Family - Brilliancy Medley
A7 –Floyd Ming And His Pep-Steppers - Indian War Whoop
Dances No. 2
B1 –Henry Thomas - Old Country Stomp
B2 –Jim Jackson - Old Dog Blue
B3 –Columbus Fruge - Saut Crapaud
B4 –Joseph Falcon - Arcadian One Step
B5 –Breaux Freres - Home Sweet Home
B6 –The Cincinnati Jug Band - Newport Blues
B7 –Frank Cloutier And The Victoria Cafe Orchestra - Moonshiner's Dance (Part 1)
Religious No. 1
C1 –Rev. J. M. Gates - Must Be Born Again
C2 –Rev. J. M. Gates - Oh Death Where Is Thy Sting
C3 –Alabama Sacred Harp Singers - Rocky Road
C4 –Alabama Sacred Harp Singers - Present Joys
C5 –Middle Georgia Singing Convention No. 1 - This Song Of Love*
C6 –Rev. Sister Mary Nelson - Judgement
C7 –Memphis Sanctified Singers - He Got Better Things For You
C8 –Elders McIntorsh And Edwards' Sanctified Singers - Since I Laid My Burden Down
Religious No. 2
D1 –Rev. Moses Mason - John The Baptist
D2 –Bascom Lamar Lunsford - Dry Bones
D3 –Blind Willie Johnson - John The Revelator
D4 –The Carter Family - Little Moses
D5 –Ernest Phipps And His Holiness Singers - Shine On Me
D6 –Rev. F. W. McGee - Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room
D7 –Rev. D.C. Rice And His Sanctified Congregation - In The Battle Field For My Lord*


(*) missing track(s) from the file...click to download separatly,or just play the mp3 see if this is your bag or not?

Friday, 10 January 2020

Harry Smith ‎– "Anthology Of American Folk Music Volume One: Ballads" (Folkways Records ‎– FP 251) 1952


Indeed, you guessed it. One cannot mention the quest for the American Primitive ,and incidently, the birth of record collecting, without Harry Smiths Anthology of American Folk series from the early 50's. A very trendy item for the proto-hippie scene in all major metropolis's,or metropoli, in northern America....but nowhere else I may add.That is until this got re-released in the nineties;when it could always be gauranteed to be seen casually placed atop every ikea coffee table beyond canary wharf,alongside those John Fahey CD's.A particularly heinous form of Poundland sophistication.
Yuk! I can just see Nick Cave salivating,or worse, over this,post Birthday Party around 1983.Carefully taking notes, and actually stealing a few songs for that lamentable 'Murder Ballads' LP, y'know, that one with Kylie Minogue on?
This album (The Anthology not fucking Murder Ballads!) launched a thousand earnest young men with acoustic guitars in those neo-neo-neo-folk singer songwriter revivals throughtout the latter 20th and,criminally,again in the early 21st century.The thing that mutated and finally gave us complete bastards like Ed Sheeran and that inexcusably posh "You're Beautiful" idiot. Posh fuckers shouldn't be anywhere around Folk music, or Football, or playing cockney's in that next Netflix atrocity.
The people who made these murky recordings were certainly NOT posh,but they may well have habored opinions somewhat right of Attila The Hun.
This observation is entirely pieced together from long distance,and from watching the uncut version of John Boorman's "Deliverance". I've never met a Hillbilly,or hardly ever met a Redneck, never mind conversed with one. I did ask a local the direction to Flagstaff in some shithole in Arizona once,....he stared zombie-like at me,as if i had just landed from a small planet somewhere in the vacinity of Betelgeuse.One of those Easy Rider moments.
I had a similar moment in a bar in Nevada,when playing pool, i selected something the local yokels would like to hear, and chose AC/DC's 'Back In Black',which actually turned out to be Culture Club,with Boy George exhaling the words to "I'll Tumble For Ya!"
To escape a severe bumming,i fouled the eight-ball and made for the exit to get back to civilisation in.....er.... Vegas?
On a less prejudiced note,and as a very 'English Englishman', one must thank the peasants of the Appalachian mountains for preserving English Folk culture from destruction,as most of those fine English folk tunes were preserved in moonshine within the minds.....(if 'Minds' is the right word?).....of these very same Hillbillies,filed alongside nigger lynchin' and other such Appalachian pastimes.
They also kept the culture(?) and music of the early Americans deep frozen waiting to be thawed out by such proto-beatnik east coast nascent hippie types as Harry Smith.
Got some cracking,and crackling, tunes about muderers and hangings and stuff on here.Its kind of like listening to an entertaining seance with Smith as the medium calling on the spirits of this long dead mountain scum to sing us a little song.
Is there anybody there?.......NOOOOOOOOOOO!

Tracklist:

Volume One: The Ballads:


1–Dick Justice - Henry Lee 3:28
2–Nelstone's Hawaiians - Fatal Flower Garden 2:58
3–Clarence Ashley - The House Carpenter 3:16
4–Coley Jones - Drunkard's Special 3:16
5–Bill And Belle Reed - Old Lady And The Devil 3:05
6–Buell Kazee - The Butcher's Boy 3:05
7–Buell Kazee - The Wagoner's Lad 3:05
8–Chubby Parker And His Old Time Banjo - King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O 3:09
9–Uncle Eck Dunford - Old Shoes And Leggins 3:01
10–Richard Burnett And Leonard Rutherford - Willie Moore 3:16
11–Buster Carter & Preston Young - A Lazy Farmer Boy 3:00
12–The Carolina Tar Heels - Peg And Awl 2:59
13–G.B. Grayson - Ommie Wise 3:12
14–Kelly Harrell And The Virginia String Band - My Name Is John Johanna* 3:13 (* this one is missing from the file,so click it to download,or play the mp3 to see if this is your bag or not?)
15–Edward L. Crain - Bandit Cole Younger 2:57
16–Kelly Harrell And The Virginia String Band - Charles Giteau 3:05
17–The Carter Family - John Hardy Was A Desperate Little Man 2:57
18–The Williamson Brothers And Curry - Gonna Die With My Hammer In My Hand 3:26
19–Frank Hutchison - Stackalee 3:01
20–Charlie Poole And The North Carolina Ramblers - White House Blues 3:31
21–Mississippi John Hurt - Frankie 3:28
22–William And Versey Smith - When That Great Ship Went Down 2:58
23–The Carter Family - Engine 143 3:19
24–Furry Lewis - Kassie Jones 6:16
25–The Bently Boys - Down On Penny's Farm 2:50
26–The Masked Marvel - Mississippi Boweavil Blues 3:09
27–The Carolina Tar Heels - Got The Farm Land Blues 3:17

Thursday, 9 January 2020

John Fahey ‎– "City Of Refuge" (Tim/Kerr Records ‎– 644 830 127-2) 1997

No, I don't mind all that plinky-plonky finger pickin' folk nonsense if its mixed up with some noise and dark ambient fuzz.In fact, this is how all that american primitive stuff should sound.Gimmie the tapes of "Blind Joe Death" and lemme remix it......in fact you don't need the tapes as there ain't no rubbish to back up the solo guitaring......I might give that a go during my autumn years.It would sound not unlike this album,but maybe a bit more harsh noise floating to the surface every five minutes or so.
So the 'Godfather of New Age" ,as some deaf person labelled him once upon a time, muat have scanned The Wire magazine after he was re-discovered by some desperate music journalista.For Around '95, 'The Glitch', was heavily lauded by those in the 'Know', so maybe John was just giving the kids what he thought they wanted? Trouble was,those who read the Wire were not young, and were primarily White,White Collar music bores,who slip on some Albert Ayler in the background whenever the phone rings. Or pretentious arty-wannbe cunts like me.Luckily as I dragged myself up from the gutter of council estate thatcherite Britain, I would never be accepted in either group. This 'Freedom' gives me the perspective needed to actually appreciate this fine record in its true light.
And as for the Godfather of New Age, he sums up his feelings nicely in the title and music of Track 7.
.....we'll forgive him for sampling Stereolab, who are firmly entrenched in the 'pretentious arty-wannbe cunt' category. 

Tracklist:

1 Fanfare 5:17
2 The Mill Pond 3:51
3 Chelsey Silver, Please Come Home 4:31
4 City Of Refuge I 20:37
5 City Of Refuge III 6:30
6 Hope Slumbers Eternal 5:04
7 On The Death And Disembowelment Of The New Age 19:27


Wednesday, 8 January 2020

John Fahey ‎– "Womblife" (Table Of The Elements ‎– 37 Rb) 1997

You have to give him his due respect, John Fahey carried on regardless despite what opinionated gobshites like me say.
This fan-losing experimental late-life comeback album from the nineties,when the man was a name-droppers dream.
"Have you heard the latest Fahey album......NO!??......it's fantastic; but then again i've been a fan since the early eighties,.....wot????..... you've never heard of him?.....oh dear,you don't know what you've missed"....!
Well,we do know what we've missed thanks,and most of it we wish we had.....rather harsh,but the object of todays scything attack are Record Snobs,especially ones who get their tastes from tasty muso-zines like "The Wire", who, in the mid-nineties, were busy championing John Fahey.By 1997,i had binned off my subscription to this magazine, with its endless articles on the "Glitch" and members of Tortoise talking about really early jungle as a influence.
It was the start of music journalism becoming nothing more than a portal for uncritical star worship,no matter how underground or unstar-like were its victims.John Fahey was one of these poor unfortuate artistes whose canon were unduly elevated to godlike status,and now the public wanted MORE!?
To artists with a realistic world view,this can be a distasteful end to a long ignored career.Now you can put out any old crap and your new trendy fanbase will laud it.
So, Fahey scores plenty brownie points avec moi as he alienates his original fanbase with this distinctly un-folky ambient jandekian guitar driven erazerhead soundtrack experiment,that would also confuse his new 90's fanbase......neither of which included this gobshite, but I am a fan of John as the pain in the arse person I suspect he was.John 'the man'.
Its up there with "Metal Machine Music", OMD's "Dazzle Ships",Scott Walker's "Tilt" and PiL's first and third album's, as one of the best fanbase fuckers ever made?

Tracklist:

1 Sharks 9:20
2 Planaria 9:54
3 Eels 6:13
4 Coelacanths 7:28
5 Juana 12:34


Tuesday, 7 January 2020

John Fahey ‎– "Old Girlfriends And Other Horrible Memories" (Varrick Records ‎– C VR 031) 1992




As it says in the cover notes of this John Fahey release from the nineties, "I have a hard time putting my finger on what makes john's playing so mesmerising"? I do too,for different reasons,but at least he had a gift for releasing albums with amusing titles,such as this one, which most of us male stereotypes can identify with.
It also says in the notes that this music speaks of a spirit that is peculiarly American.This i agree with, although thats not something to boast about in these particularly peculiar times!
Good album title though? 
One day Donald Trump will also just be just a horrible memory,like those ex-girlfriends.Unless he brings about the end of history,which is looking increasingly likely at the time of publication!? (for future reference, if there is a future, The Trump administration has just assasinated a top Iranian General along with some dodgites from the Iraqi militia,and are threatening more!?)

DOWNLOAD before the end of time as we know it HERE!

Monday, 6 January 2020

John Fahey ‎– "Death Chants, Break Downs & Military Waltzes" (Takoma ‎– C 1003) 1964


As much as there weren't many albums called "Death Chants, Breakdowns, and Military Waltzes" in 1964, this stuff still sounds like the background music to a fishing programme on the idiot box, with the odd nod towards the  'Paris, Texas' soundtrack, from before Ry Cooder was even considered for one of the guitarists berths in the Magic Band.
John Fahey continues his immersion into his american primitive character of Blind Joe Death with another slow unit shifter on his own Takoma label.
Its certainly authentic sounding, so its understandable that even experts in the genre would have been both fooled,and excited by its discovery. I guess Fahey used the same tactics of slipping a few copies into thrift stores to lay the opportunity for some Harry Smith types to 'discover' Blind Joe,and include him on their compilations of Bluegrass and Country Blues from the early 20th century.
I've often thought of doing the same with some forged UK DIY band albums that I would make here in the 21st century.But,I can't really be bothered.

Tracklist:

1.Sunflower River Blues 2:33
2.When The Springtime Comes Again 3:50
3.Stomping Tonight On The Pennsylvania/Alabama Border 6:58
4.Some Summer Day 3:20
5.On The Beach At Waikiki 2:55
6.Spanish Dance 1:53
7.John Henry Variations 5:40
8.The Downfall Of The Adelphi Rolling Grist Mill 3:35
9.Take A Look At That Baby 1:25
10.Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Palace Of King Phillip XIV Of 11.Spain 2:28
12.America 7:52
13.Episcopal Hymn 1:10


Sunday, 5 January 2020

John Fahey ‎– "Blind Joe Death" (Takoma ‎– C 1002) 1959


Henry Flynt was not the only minimalist on the block searching for the american primitive within. John Fahey made a consumatly ignored career out of it. Inventing a fictional alter-ego called Blind Joe Death,posing as a forgotten folk/blues musician from the twenties.After recording an album for his own imprint called Takoma Records after his home town,in 1959. He attempted to sell these albums himself. Some he gave away, some he sneaked into thrift stores and blues sections of local record shops, and some he sent to folk music scholars, a few of the dumber ones were even fooled into thinking that there really was a living old blues singer called Blind Joe Death.
In the fifties there was a record collecting trend towards old blues and country 78's from the twenties and thirties,so collectors were desperate to find undiscovered classics before their hip mates did.
John Fahey provided this convincing facimile for this burgeoning market,eventually selling out the first pressing of 100 discs three years later.So there would follow endless editions of Blind Joe albums troughout the sixties.....this is a CD version just in case you're wondering.
Fahey made several more albums under his alter-ego's name,and moved to San Francisco to check out the post-Beat, proto-hippie music scene, loathing in particular the awful Pete Seeger–inspired folk-music revivalists with which he found himself classed alongside. Fahey then moved south to Los Angeles to join UCLA's folklore master's program,incredibly,or, un-credibly, and received an M.A. in folklore in 1966,with a thesis on Charley Patton.Yep, he was qualified in Folk music!?...not sure if that's possible is it?
Before hitting the bottle, Dr.John M.A. made a few mildly avant-garde albums in the later part of the Sixties, including a lost album with the Red Krayola,that got binned by the record company....so that one must have been good?
After losing everything due to alcoholism, he was 'rediscovered' in the ninieties,making a few experimental avant-folk albums,and could often be seen adorning the cover of The Wire magazine.Hence new copies of 'Blind Joe Death' albums started appearing on white collor coffee tables all over the more comfortable parts of NATO subscribed countries and beyond.
Although his zeal and puritanism is admirable, i personally find these instrumentally forged folk/blues albums boring as fuck.
Yeah, great authentic finger pickin' technique, but i alway nod off when trying to get why he's so esteemed in such circles.I prefer Jandek myself.Fahey's qualifications are impeccable,but,i'm not sure Folk should be taught in Universities;its like an early version of that shameful Brits academy in London which churns out terrible production line pop stars,like Adele,who's been bangin' on about her boyfriend troubles for about a decade so far.
I'm thinking about doing a doctorate in Punk Rock too......Not!? Could certainly lecture on the subject if the money was right,but under my auspices, accepting money for such an anti-punk thing would be against the meaning of life the universe and punk rock!So such an idea would inevitably disappear up its own arse should it not?
Same goes for Folk, of which Punk Rock is a close relation.Discuss.

Tracklist:

Selections By Blind Joe Death


A1 On Doing An Evil Deed Blues
Written-By – Death*
A2 St. Louis Blues
Written-By – W. C. Handy
A3 I'm A Poor Boy A Long Ways From Home
Written-By – Barbecue Bob
A4 Uncloudy Day
Written-By – Traditional
A5 John Henry
Written-By [Spiritual] – Traditional
A6 In Christ There Is No East Or West
Written-By [Episcopal Church Hymn] – Traditional 

Selections By John Fahey

B1 The Transcendental Waterfall
Written-By – John Fahey
B2 Desperate Man Blues
Arranged By – John Fahey
B3 Sun Gonna Shine In My Back Door Someday Blues
Written-By – John Fahey
B4 Sligo River Blues
Written-By – John Fahey

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Jandek ‎– "Austin Sunday 2007" (Corwood Industries ‎– CORWOOD 0833) 2019


The second Jandek album called "Austin Sunday",so the suffix, 2007, is added to ease the confusion.Which is something I'm not sure is needed when it comes to Jandek fans.We need more confusion please,and you can certainly count on the representative himself to deliver it.
This is back to the classic live era Jandek with unknown backing band style. Rambling unsyncopated atonal improvisation, with meandering time signatures.Sounding like four strangers who have never met before the start of the concert,playing instruments they aren't familiar with.
Now we await more new Jandek in 2020.His many other albums are ALL on this blog.....just click on the Jandek Label to reveal the seemingly endless treasures on offer.

Tracklist:

1 The Way To You 12:24
2 The Jaunt 11:23
3 Out Loud 10:46
4 I Think I'll Go 6:27
5 The Way It Is 8:58
6 Shake Loose 6:37


Jandek ‎– "London Thursday" (Corwood Industries ‎– CORWOOD 0830) 2018


Hang on! What's this?
It's one of those generic Jazz Records that sounds like a collection of extended snippets from any number of standard artists from a jazz nerds record collection.....rather boring......but wait!.....who's this nutty guy doing those terrible vocals/spoken word sections????
As a result of these interjections, this album has now been firmly transformed into the realms of 'Good'.
Then I find out its Jandek and a collection of Hip London jazzers improvising at Café Oto in april 2013!....Now, its very good.
Its surprising how ,no matter how uninteresting and generic a record can be,it's normally just one element away from greatness.In this case that element is Jandek dioxide,which is a radioactive gas causing anyone who encounters it to either gag,run away or stay to breath in this rarified air.
It could be Jandek and the Royal Philharmonic and it would still be a Jandek record.
Maybe that's next? Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Philharmonic,uncredited of course,and definitely on a monday.

Tracklist:

1-1 Empty 13:46
1-2 Combing The Air 9:29
1-3 Lights Going Out 10:06
1-4 I Know You Well 5:22
1-5 Eternity 7:06
1-6 All About It 8:20
2-1 No Happy Life 7:14
2-2 Standing There 5:49
2-3 Constant Refrain 6:48
2-4 Quite All Right 8:50
2-5 Shadows Disappear 11:50


Thursday, 2 January 2020

Jandek ‎– "Los Angeles Friday" (Corwood Industries ‎– CORWOOD 0829) 2018


The Corwood Representative goes 'Rap'!?
Recorded on August 5th, 2016 in the homeland of Tupac who would have probably killed himself if he had to listen to this without being drunk...Sixpac?
Well, its more 'Hip' without the 'Hop',Public 'Enema' rather than 'Enemy',but overlaid with bad psychoanalytical poetry delivered in a style outside the jail cell of the 4/4 beat. Recorded as if the 'rapper' (Jandek or Sheila) were falling from the top of the world trade centre on 9/11,free-stylin' during a slow motion two hour drop.Regularly being hit by faster falling debris.
As is documented I've fucking hated Hip Hop since i was a teen in 1979,with its stoic refusal to move on......and don't get me going about the clothes!The whole culture bores the living shite out of me.
Somehow its hard to imagine Jandek in a basball cap turned to the front ,nevermind to the side.
Is there such a thing as slo-core Hip Hop?.....if there isn't,there should be.I could be cajoled into enjoying that....a bit.
The drum programmer,Kyle Madson, even seems to have cleverly managed to make the drum box somehow sound off-beat at times, and brilliantly monotonous in other places.
One must say, that the Representative never fails to surprise,and long may it continue,even after death?.....like that Muslimgauze bloke?

Tracklist:

1.Rap It Like You Should 8:53
2.The Bus And The Apartment 16:25
3.A Good Day 8:03
4.Silver Lake 11:08
5.The Kids Are Outside 5:37
6.The American 8:54
7.The Limit 9:13
8.Animal 5:42
9.Map It Out In Blue 10:45
10.To Recover 8:25
11.Things That Never Change 21:00


Jandek ‎– "Gainesville Monday" (Corwood Industries ‎– CORWOOD 0831) 2019


Another "Chair beside a window",like the classic Jandek album of the same name and home of his greatest Hit, "Nancy Sings", adorns this professional sounding improvised set from December the first ,2008,at the Hippodrome State Theatre in Gainesville,wherever that is?
If you think the Guitar work is far too good for Jandek to have been the guitarist, then you are right.He demoted himself to stroking the Bass quietly in the background, and concentrated on his stream of conciousness 'escaped lunatic' vocal style.
The drummer and guitarist,both uncredited, were obviously seasoned improvisers,who must have played together a lot.This sounds as if they were gonna do a gig and found a homeless drunk guy on the street outside the venue to do the vocals for them.Not unlike Can and Damo Suzuki.

Tracklist:

1.I Like It 16:10
2.It Seems Obvious 10:26
3.
Here Now Today 10:19
4.The Picture 10:47
5.The Call Imaginary 8:17
6.If It Is 14:28
7.The Fathoms 12:52
8.I Take You 17:16

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Jandek ‎– "The Ray" (Corwood Industries ‎– CORWOOD 0832) 2019


HAPPY NEW YEAR????? HAPPY NEW JANDEK!!!!!!

Another new year brings forth usually three or four new Jandek albums, so as a new years treat here are last years Jandek albums to try and keep pace with the Ginger One.Including this new studio album!?
I think I have all of the Jandek releases,but not sure,so if anyone out there notices a gap in the collection,feel free to point out this unforgivable oversight.
Its a relief to know that Sterling, in his 75th year, hasn't given up on studio work,and its good to hear his meandering psychedelic outsider folk without that sparse applause at the end of each long track,and even worse the boistrous cheering as the Corwood Representative takes the stage.....yeah very good boys and girls.....mainly white boys it has to be said.....you have a shared secret in that you pretend to like Jandek, well done.One witnessed the same hive-minded behaviour at Sun Ra concerts,Residents shows and Fall gigs.Like a Nuremburg rally for geeks and nerds.
The Ray, the album and the Track, is a,you guessed it, meandering avant folk psychedelic foray into the unknown that clocks in at just over an hour in length. It comes with no information,but I suspect that Jandek plays all the instruments,with maybe Sheila Smith on drums? Could this be the start of a new era in the Corwood release schedule.....I hope so,as it is a rather fine room emptying piece of unsychopated outsider rock.
People like Henry Flynt,the works of whom we have been digesting over the preceeding days,have spent a career searching out the embodiment of the American Primitive.Well Henry, here he is.More profound than the unknown meaning of life,'it is because its like that'.There is no meaning,just as the American Primitive doesn't exist.Jandek's music is the closest thing to an answer I've come across.......just 'Be'.....and keep turning up.

Tracklist:

1 The Ray 61:40


DOWNLOAD the first ray of the new year sun HERE"!

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Henry Flynt & Nova'Billy ‎– "Nova'Billy" (Locust Music ‎– LOCUST101) 1975



Flynt has had his brushes with the rock world, he took guitar lessons from Lou Reed and sat in on violin for John Cale with the Velvet Underground for four nights in 1966, during the Exploding Plastic Inevitable period. “I enjoyed the experience, but I was kind of out of place. We would get into long chaotic pieces, but Reed stopped me because my sound started getting too hillbilly. He actually punched me to get me to stop.”
Through the late sixties, he pursued an electric guitar driven, political rock format, while in January 1975, he formed Nova'Billy, a rock’n’roll band, who performed spirited versions of the Communist Internationale along with their own songs – a bizarre fusion of rockabilly riffing, free jazz and hillbilly fiddling. He recalls trying to get gigs at the downtown New York punk mecca CBGB, whose initials stand for Country, Blue Grass and Blues. 

“I thought that if anybody had a right to play there I did, I mean those initials describe exactly what I do!” But the club thought otherwise and blew him off. Six months later, punk hit town and his musicians jumped ship, leaving him with a lasting suspicion of a “punk value system” which he considers pervasive.
Flynt correctly dismisses the so-called “alternative culture” as the "mystique of self-disintegration, hollowness and dishonesty, coming forth from this incoherant rage at the so-called establishment. And this self-disintegration, in most cases is also a hoax, since most of these people, like Marilyn Manson or Smashing Pumpkins, are well organized hustlers. It’s very rare that someone like GG Allin or Cobain lives out the myth by actually destroying themselves. You do have the occasional suicide or overdose, but what is more normal is for them to become enormously wealthy, like Eminem! It’s the youth rebellion industry. This mystique of bottomless emptiness is clearly not real. I mean someone who actually was all those things would just melt in their tracks if they were infinitely hollow, alienated. It's as if they want to keep falling through the rotten floors of illusion forever. They affirm that as a state!”

Well I think Henry boy is spot on...Rock and Punk,or the same thing, wrapped up in a nutshell. Not saying that Flynt is the real thang,but he talks a more 'honest' talk,and at least tries to overcome his background to walk some kind of walk that doesn't reek too much of the hypocrisy of someone like Johnny Rotten,who's formally rotten teeth are now perfect and white.
Its easy to see why CBGB's rejected Flynt but accepted The Ramones?....It was a business decision.A choice between someone who wanted to be a Hill Billy or some kids who wanted to be the Bay City Rollers.There was even a poundland David Bowie waiting by the bar in the form of Richard Hell,or whatever his real name was;another who preached the Rock lie yet lives on in the system he derided,writing poetry and waiting for his royalties from the few weeks work he did in 1976.
Henry was certainly closer in effect and ideology to the 'No Wave' groups than the 'new wave' groups.....and didn't Talking Heads steal his image? 
The Nova imploded rather than exploded,and unlike the super-nova that formed our solar system,provided little useable elements for new musical life-forms at all,except maybe The Cramps,and Glenn Branca?....from which sickly malnourished oak trees grew.

Monday, 30 December 2019

Henry Flynt ‎– "New American Ethnic Music Volume 4: Ascent To The Sun" (Recorded ‎– Recorded 021) 2004



The final release in the New American Ethnic Music series is "Ascent to the Sun", an earwax rattling hillbilly raga in the family of 'You Are My Everlovin' with a double violin approach featuring our Henry playing against,or with, himself,or his-selves.Late period Flynt, from 2004,It sounds as if he wasn't listening to the other recorded tracks of his own fiddle playing as he added the overdubs,and it works just fine.Freeing himself from the strait-jacket of time structure and syncopation....this ain't no disco;but it is, some kinda twisted hoedown that needs dancing to......maybe we should give Jimmy Pursey a call?
"For me, innovation does not consist in composing European and academic music with inserted folk references. It consists in appropriating academic or technical devices and subordinating them to my purposes as a folk creature."...so says our Henry.

Tracklist:

1. Ascent To The Sun (recorded 2004)(41:21)

Henry Flynt ‎– "New American Ethnic Music Volume 3: Hillbilly Tape Music" (Recorded ‎– Recorded 007) 2003


The third volume in Henry Flynt's New Americam Ethnic Music series, following: 'You Are My Everlovin' & 'Spindizzy'. 
Featuring recordings from 1971 to 1978, this focuses on shorter tracks ranging from wild avant-bluegrass to steady-state drones that explore the third-ear mania of looped violin post-minimalism. The nihilist father of concept art and inventor of electronic Hillbilly music is at his string stroking rasping saw tooth wave best on this one.But watch out!...don't call him an artist...he just hates that stuff.
Tracklist:

1.Violin Strobe (1978)
2.Guitar Rebop (1971)
3.Telsat Tune (1971)
4.Full Telsat (1971)
5.Jumping Wired (1976/2001)
6.Leather High In A (1978)
7.Leather High In E (1978)
8.S & M Delerium (1978)