Saturday, December 31, 2005

Top of the Pops for 2005

The end of the year brings the inevitable lists. I'm joining the fray this year. Most of my music purchases the last 12 months was stuff from the sixties and seventies (no surprise there). But I got some new stuff, and here, in no order of preference, is my list of best albums for 2005:
Six Organs of Admittance School of the Flower
Four Tet Everything Ecstatic (Smile Around the Face gets the party started)
Broadcast Tender Buttons (in a just world, Michael A Grammer would be a top ten hit)
Boards of Canada The Campfire Headphase
Badgerlore Stories for Owls
Mountains Mountains
Josephine Foster Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You (what a voice! The Golden Wooden Tone is my favorite track)
Meat Beat Manifesto At the Center (Bohemian Groove especially)
Landing Brocade (Loft could be a track from a lost Cluster album.)
The Clientele Strange Geometry (on Spirit, Alasdair MacLean sounds like he means it)
Animal Collective Feels (Bees is stoned autoharp greatness)

Happy New Year to all of you. Remember, War is Over if You Want It!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

101 Reykjavík

101 Reykjavík is a movie about an Icelandic slacker whose gets his mom's girlfriend pregnant, thus becoming father to his brother. Kind of a Middlesex twist. But that's just one of a few of the plots. The main thing I came away with was the impression that they really party hard in Iceland.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Spanish Tony

Tony Sanchez, aka Spanish Tony, was Keith Richard's drug connection from 1967 to 1976. He wrote a tell-all book about the experience called Up And Down With The Rolling Stones. The tales are riveting: the night he opened a club in London and served punch spiked with mescaline to John and Yoko; the time with Brian Jones, high on acid in his apartment after returning from a club, getting tangled up in reel-to-reel tapes of his music that had unwound as he tried to play them on the stereo; and the steady descent of Keith and Anita Pallenburg into a zombie junkie netherworld.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Chapter 24

"The time is with the month of winter solstice
When the change is due to come.
Thunder in the other course of heaven.
Things cannot be destroyed once and for all.
Change returns success
Going and coming without error.
Action brings good fortune.
Sunset, sunrise."

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Last Night at 611

We had a blast playing 611 Florida last night. I have to apologize to David who specifically asked me not to go all over the place in my jams. David, I got caught up in the moment! Sorry!
Members of the Foreign Press were on hand and after our set there was a screening of a hilarious piece of guerilla performance art called "Blowback" by Team Filo (Friendly Intervention Liberation Organization) "We practice friendly interventions, or positive disruptions, of people's lives. A happy by-product of TEAM FILO's patented performance therapy is our recent video product, "BLOWBACK (Season 1)."

Friday, December 09, 2005

267 Lattajjaa

I am thrilled to be included on a new compilation by 267 Lattajjaa. Thanks Hannu!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

It Was 25 Years Ago Today

"At 10.50pm, Lennon and Ono's limousine pulled up at the entrance to the Dakota. As Lennon walked towards the door, Chapman called out "Mr Lennon".

Lennon turned and witnesses described how Chapman crouched down and fired five times at his back and shoulder. One bullet missed, but the other four hit their target.

Lennon staggered towards the building and collapsed, gasping, "I'm shot, I'm shot." As horrified onlookers arrived, one of them asked Chapman what he had done. "I've just shot John Lennon, " he replied. He calmly took off his coat, got out a copy of JD Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, and started reading. "

Nick Morrison, Northern Echo

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Seahorse Staircase

So let's say you have to think up a name for a group. All the good ones are already taken. But you need a name. So you come up with "Seahorse Staircase". It's a mouthful, but so is "The Grasshopper's Green Herbarian Band". "Omega 3" rolls off the tongue easily, but something is fishy about that name. And "Seahorse Staircase" has a nice symmetry, while also being kind of trippy.

Anyway, David (that's what his parents decided to call him) and I are playing next Friday night (12/9) at 611 Florida with Mike Tamburo and Chris Gier. People start gathering around 9:30. There will be a film too. We play early.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Local Laser Light Show

In my early teenage years my friend Rob Pittman and I went to the Hayden planetarium to see Laserium . We didn't do drugs but we loved it anyway. The Montgomery College planetarium is more like some crazy uncle's backyard project but it does feature the night sky in a round room and on Saturday Dr. Williams squiggled red and green lasers to the pulses and blips of RDK's synthesizers and the voices of restless children.

Monday, November 21, 2005


A friend recently loaned me two albums by Angus MacLise. I knew MacLise was the first drummer for the Velvet Underground but I didn't know he'd done his own music. "Brain Damage in Oklahoma City" and "The Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda" are both fantstic tripped-out experimental sound collages. MacLise was all over the underground sixties art scene. He put on a multi-media show in NYC in 1965 called "Launching of the Dream Weapon". He played with Tony Conrad, LaMonte Young, and John Cale in the Theatre of Eternal Music. He was married by Timothy Leary. He traveled the world and died in 1979 in Kathmandu.
More biographical details here
and a chronology here

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tyrannosaurus Rex

"In the middle of their conversation the phone rang. It was Marc Bolan. He informed them that he and Steve were in the lobby and requested an audition on the spot. Denny agreed and soon Marc and Steve were sitting on the floor of Denny's office, cross-legged on a rug that they had brought themselves, playing the entire set from the previous night. Denny Cordell was skeptical and not nearly as enthusiastic as Tony, but he agreed to sign Tyrannosaurus Rex on as Essex's "Token Underground Group".

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Amon Duul II

A video clip from 1971 of Amon Duul II performing "Eye Shaking King" (from their great psychedelic masterpiece "Yeti") on a television show.

via WFMU's blog

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

See My Friends

"I got up and watched the sun rise on the beach. It was there that I heard the chanting of native fishermen as they carried their nets to work. It was a sound that for some indescribable reason was immediately personal to me, and was to be very influential in my songwriting. It's difficult to describe how a sound or a song gets into your soul. It just connects and stays there. This sound later formed the basis of a song called 'See My Friends'" said Ray Davies read more

Monday, November 14, 2005

the beauty of Broadcast

This past Satuday night I endured the cigarette smoke and cell phone conversations of the Black Cat to see Broadcast.

The first opening band was Tralala which features four debutantes screaming over some basic chords. The second band, Gravenhurst, did the loud-quiet thing and the repetition-repetition thing. Neither moved me from my bar stool. But then it was time for Broadcast.

Broadcast has all the right ingredients- films running in the background, cool old synth gear, ear-splitting electric guitar, a lead singer who looks like Grace Slick circa 1966, and songs that lend themselves to extended grooves. I put them in the same league of English Psychedelic bands as My Bloody Valentine and Soft Machine.

At the end of the show, Trish Keenan asked the audience for something, I couldn't hear what. Someone tossed a cigarette onstage. "No, I'm sorry, I don't smoke tobacco." she said, handing the cigarette back to the crowd.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Mike Heron

If only I could write a song as good as Mike Heron's "Beautiful Stranger". The lyrics are dense, like a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins but I think the most interesting aspect of the song is the pacing. The song starts out really slow, and you think "Hmmm, a quiet English ditty". You are lulled along until suddenly the singer raises his voice and the song becomes a full rocker. You get into the groove until the song ends, or so you think. There's some mysterious faint synth whispers and then the singer comes in with a quiet line and you realize the song is still going. Pacing is more than quiet/loud, slow/fast. It's also where you choose your transitions, how you execute them, and how well each part works on its own.


Friday, November 04, 2005


Routesforwarandtravel was a Yahoo! group with very interesting, active list traffic. Mike Tamburo hipped me to it. Every day I read my "Routes" digests first, before all my other lists. Earlier this week there were probably two or three digests a day. Then everything stopped. A search for the name in Yahoo groups returned nothing. It was gone. Google turned up nothing. A Clusty search gave me this post which led me to the new group. I joined and found that there were 97 members (there had been about 400 on the old list). Turns out the list owner deleted the group because he was tired of the traffic. I guess you can chalk an act like that up to the vagaries of human nature but knowing what I now know I wonder about the people in this group. Is this a treehouse where only certain kids can play? What kind of a person cuts the communication of 400 people without notice?


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Terrastock 6

I am very excited about Terrastock 6. We went to 5, I read about the earlier ones. I was surprised when I read the announcement for 6 because Phil McMullen had just recently dismissed any possibility of it happening next spring.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Why This?

Hello Friends-
I created this blog because I can no longer post to from work. I'll still post to roeshad but I'll also add things to this blog as I come across them during my work day. And I like this blog software- it has a WYSIWYG editor and generates RSS feeds (for the unitiated these are tech geek terms that you really don't need to care about).