Thursday 10 March 2011

Episode 5

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1. Hatfield and the North — "Halfway Between Heaven and Earth" (instrumental) → "The Yes No Interlude" (live at the Rainbow Theatre, London, 1975-03-16)

2. Hugh Hopper and Alan Gowen — "Fishtank I" (from Two Rainbows Daily, 1980)

3. Manogurgeil — "Poliisien Kesäkoti" (Live at Lepakkomies, Helsinki 2008-06-12)

4. Dashiell Hedayat — "Long Song For Zelda" (from Obsolete, 1971)

5. Elton Dean and Hugh Hopper interview excerpts (from unknown TV documentary)

6. Kevin Ayers interview excerpt (BBC Radio 4, 2007-08-25)

7. Caravan — "Asforteri" (from If I Could Do It All Over Again..., 1970)

8. Syd Arthur — "Planet of Love" → "Hermethio" (from Moving World EP, 2011 — now available from Dawn Chorus)

9. Gong — "Sold to the Highest Buddha" (from Angel's Egg, 1973)

10. Hatfield and the North — "Shaving is Boring" (from Hatfield and the North, 1974)

11. Kevin Ayers and the Whole World — "Rheinhardt and Geraldine"/"Colores Para Delores" (from Shooting at the Moon, 1970)

12. Caravan — "Nine Feet Underground" (live on BBC Radio One, 1971-05-16, released on Green Bottles for Marjorie, 2002)

13. Soft Machine — "Hope for Happiness" (from The Soft Machine, 1968)

14. The-Quartet — "Canterbury Tales (Prologue/The Chav's Tale/The Check-Out Girl's Tale/The Deacon's Tale)" (from Shattering, 2008)

15. Soft Machine — "Facelift" (live on French TV programme L'Invité du Dimanche 1969-12-07)

16. Egg — "A Visit to Newport Hospital" (from The Polite Force, 1971)

17. Hermetho Pascoal — "Forró Brasil" (from Ao Vivo Montreux Jazz Festival, 1979)

18. Syd Arthur — "Exit Domino" (from Moving World EP, 2011 — now available from Dawn Chorus)

19. Steve Hillage — "Ether Ships" (from Green, 1978)

20. Robert Wyatt interview (from WLTV television documentary, 1991?)

21. Robert Wyatt — "The Sight of the Wind" (from Dondestan, 1991)

22. Miles Davis and Gil Evans Orchestra – "Blues for Pablo" (from "The Sound of Miles Davis" TV concert, recorded at CBS Studio 61, NYC, 1959-04-02)

23. The Happy Accidents — "Street of Desire" (from Masters of the Baloonafon DVD soundtrack, 2006)

24. Egg — "I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside" (live at unknown venue, 1971, released on The Metronomical Society, 2007)

[voiceover ambience: Brian Eno, "1/1" (piano by Robert Wyatt), from Ambient 1: Music for Airports]

Erratum: During the interview segment, I somehow failed to mention that Daevid Allen was also (of course) part of the pre-Softs "Mister Head" lineup that resided and practiced in Sturry in the summer of 1966.

[click on 'YouTube' icon for full screen view, etc.]

From Robert Wyatt's "My Top Ten", Let It Rock magazine, January 1975:

[Selections 4, 3, 2 and 1 to be played in subsequent podcasts!]

5. "Blues For Pablo" by Gil Evans and Miles Davis. This is from an LP originally called Miles Davis Plus Nineteen, which was Evans' first attempt to arrange a complete series of inter-related mini-concertos for Miles, who plays mainly flugelhorn in a bigband context. It's harder to play the flugelhorn than the trumpet, which tends to make even flugelhorn virtuosi like Clark Terry, Art Farmer and the great Johnny Coles play more carefully , thoughtfully than many trumpeters. As the title suggests, there is a certain similarity between the music of southern Spain and the early blues of the southern States, which Gil Evans exploits beautifully without using the obvious link instrument, the guitar. In fact Gil Evans was, as far as I know, the first 'jazz' arranger to supplement the traditional 'ethnic' dance band instruments with French horns, flutes and other instruments usually associated with the European orchestral tradition. Incidentally 'Blues For Pablo', like the other tracks on this record, is only a couple of minutes long, which demonstrates Gil Evans' roots as an arranger for 'pop' dance bands, and makes each individual piece nice and tight (if I'd been a radio DJ at the time I'd have pushed them as worthy competition to Sandy Nelson and Duane Eddy on the instrumental singles market).

6. "Sex Machine" by Sly and the Family Stone. Sometimes, when I've got nothing else to do, I sit and speculate about Sly Stone's innovations in the recording studio. He used to be a disc jockey and as anyone who admires the work of Kenny Everett knows, DJs have a unique opportunity to muck around with tape recorders and create a sort of surreal continuity with their between-record link pieces — to make a musical entity out of an otherwise more-or-less random series of records. Also a successful American DJ has to be fast, slick, tasteless and dramatic — a great education for a musician. One major difference between Sly Stone's courageous production stunts and, say Frank Zappa's, was that the basic band recording always had the immediacy and excitement of a good live gig. Larry Graham in particular, is a spectacularly useful bass-player and singer.

7. "Flying" by the Beatles. A lot of people didn't like the Magical Mystery Tour film because it was amateurish (the cameras didn't dart in and out ot the lead singer's nostril's like they do in professionally made music films) or pretentious (they were actually trying to do something interesting): or something. Belonging as I do to the gullible hippy generation whose critical faculties are irredemably blunted by drugs, sex, and bad PA systems, I thought it was great. The LP of the same name was even better, because they filled it out with their recent amazing singles. The most magical and mysterious piece on the record though, for me, was Flying' which essentially seems to consist of a twelve-bar blues, except that all the chords are major, and the singing 'white'. So white actually, that it sounds like the 'Volga Boat Song', part two.

The effect is um what can I say oh you know the usual string of misleading, inadequate adjectives, um, how about 'this record is very nice so I like it'. P.S. I though the Beatles much more daring and inventive than most of us 'progressive' groups of the late sixties (apart from the Pink Floyd). Something to do with endless studio time replacing endless live gigs, I should think.

8. "Leaning On A Lampost" by George Formby. Yet another Daring, Wacky Northerner Apart from being Daring, Wacky, and Northern, George Formby was a shit-hot ukulele player, not half so stodgy as his many imitators - he'd have made a good rhythm guitarist. Apart from which this is a useful record to play to anybody who still thinks that Bob Dylan invented good lyrics. While I'm at it I'd like to mention Frank Crummil. Ahem, "Frank Crummit". Thank you.

9. ''Hold On I'm Coming" by Sam and Dave. I vividly remember as if 'twere yesterday the day I saw the amazing Stax circus come to town. And best of all I remember Sam and Dave striding on stage from either side and meeting in front of Booker T's gang all hammering away like it was the encore already-very exciting. Once again how can mere words convey etc. etc.

Goldie does a version of this song which apparently accentuates the title's erotic possibilities - more power to her, er, elbow and everything, I say; but nevertheless I doubt if her version matches the original in terms of pure musical excitement. On the other hand, there's probably no such thing as pure musical excitement – apart from The Old Grey Whistle Test of course.

The way Stax records were recorded made them perfect for discotheques rather than posh stereo systems etc, on which, like many good dance records e.g. west-Indian dance records, they sound comparatively stark and dry. Conversely, many so-called "well-produced" records, when pumped out over a busy dance floor, are about as helpful to dancers as a carpet of wet cement. I mention this because it's puzzling trying to work out why things are or have been popular, if you don't take into account the original context. I'd like to continue in this vein and discuss the amphibious life of the sea lion but I know enough about joumalism to know that you're supposed to stick to the point. So here's my last record.

10. "Get Out Of My Life Woman" by Lee Dorsey/Allen Toussaint. These two made a series of great singles, and if anybody's got a spare copy of the LP of this title they made together, I'll give anything except perhaps my right arm for it. I gather Lee Dorsey's not working as a singer any more, runs a garage or something. Never mind we've still got John Mayall. Toussaint belongs to the great tradition of musicians from New Orleans with names thought up by a French Stanley Unwin. Some of my favourite of these voodoo-swamped names include Bechet, 'Slow-drag' Pavageau, Alphonse Picou, Barney Bigard, Joseph 'Zigaboo' on drums on this particular record but whoever it is ought to be famous. He saved my bacon, anyway, by showing me a way to combine the triplet feel of the earlier swing bands with the more violent military-band-derived eighth note feel favoured in moderb rock circles. Now I hastily leave you to ponder the exact meaning, if any , of the phrase 'modern rock circles'.

Daevid Allen on meeting William Burroughs:

[from Magnet Magazine, 1999-10-01:]

Allen soon left London and relocated to Paris, where he lived at the Beat Hotel. "One of the first people I met was (William) Burroughs," says Allen. "I moved into the room that Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky had just vacated, and Burroughs was looking for a jazz band to play while he performed dramatic versions of (his cut-up book) The Ticket That Exploded with Ian Somerville and Brion Gysin. My room was right next door to Brion's — he was doing interesting tape loops similar to Terry Riley, who was around, too. Burroughs invited me up to his room and said, 'Well Dave, there's two ways that I can communicate this information to you. One way will take 30 years and the other will take five minutes. Which way you do want it?' Anticipating instant sodomy, I said, 'I think I'll take the 30 years.' He was happy with that and told me, 'I've got this job and I want you to play.' We put on the show and there was the weirdest collection of people in the audience. Burroughs had one scene with nuns shooting each other up with huge syringes. Terry Riley came, and we ended up playing together outside in the street with motorscooter motors, electric guitar and poetry. It was wild."

[from The Scotsman, 2009-11-20:]

The 71-year-old majordomo of incorrigible hippy space-rockers Gong had fled the conservatism of his native Australia in search of wild adventure and beatnik cool, pitching up in Paris where Burroughs was holding court in the Beat Hotel. "It was 1961 and I was more than a little intimidated by him," says Allen. "But he wanted me to play music at his poetry readings — I was a jazzer back then — so he suggested we first go up to his room where he got behind this desk like some Brooklyn insurance salesman. 'Well, Daevid,' he said, 'there are two ways of doing this. One way will take ten minutes, the other will take the rest of your life.' I assumed the first way might have involved sodomy so I opted for the latter.'


Anonymous maria said...

This is fantastic! I've just discovered your podcasts and I'm enjoying them a great deal. Many thanks and I'm looking forward to next episodes. Cheers from Poland!

28 March 2011 at 08:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness this is awesome, don't ever stop

6 April 2011 at 12:15  

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