3-28-13 BS&T

3-28-13

Blood, Sweat & Tears  Happy birthday, Rufus Thomas!  (Born 1917).  On 3/28/64 The Beatles 45 “Can’t Buy Me Love” charts at No. 1 in England.  On 3/30/85 Godley & Crème 45 “Cry” charts at No. 19 in England.  On 3/29/69, the self-titled (second) LP by Blood, Sweat & Tears charted at No. 1 in the US.  On 3/30/74 the Glitter Band 45 “Angel Face” charts at No. 4 in England.  And on March 29th: Happy birthday, Astrud Gilberto! (Born 1940).

New Device

3-27-13          New Device 

Samsung Galaxy Tablet 2, Vers. 7.0

On 3/27/65 The Who 45 “I Can’t Explain” charts at No. 8 in England.  Also on 3/27/65 the Yardbirds 45 “For Your Love” charts at No. 2 in England.

Bowing to peer pressure from the GF, I got a new mobile device, a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 2, 7.0 vers.  If you want the device’s email address, you can email me, and I’ll share it, if ‘appropriate’.

Still learning all of the device’s tricks etc.  I wonder:  Will I finally be able to retire my Palm M125?  Will one of the functions of the new device hold my list, for me to observe offline – while standing in a record store in Seattle, WA?

Certainly some amusing running around over the last short bit of time.  A new store opened near my house, and I took home plenty of used CD’s – at a very low cost.

I continue to go to Physical Therapy appointments; it seems to be helping.  Left arm still isn’t 100%, but I can tell the definite improvement.

The Last Waltz

3-26-13          “The Last Waltz

The Last Waltz

On 3/26/66 the Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich 45 “Hold Tight” charts at No. 4 in England.  Also on 3/26/66 the Bob Lind 45 “Elusive Butterfly” charts at No. 5 in England.  Noel Coward croaks, 1973.

I recently got a Blu-ray copy of “The Last Waltz” film, which is about the farewell concerts of The Band at Winterland in San Francisco, CA.

All throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, I had little or no interest in The Band.  I couldn’t have cared less.  Somebody else’s concern – not mine.

I started investigating the infamous Bob Dylan “Basement Tapes” in the mid-00’s – and found myself wanting to hear more music from The Band.  As “Music From Big Pink” was produced by John Simon, that was a fairly painless pill to swallow.  I love other albums produced by John from right around the time of “Big Pink” – the debut LP by Leonard Cohen, Simon’s work on the soundtrack to “You Are What You Eat” etc.

So, took about 5 years for me to hear all of the studio albums by The Band.  I liked most of them just fine.  Their previous live album, “Rock of Ages” is re-mastered as a Capitol 2CD set with a ton of new (extra) material added.  I have MFSL SA-CD’s of some of their studio titles.

I guess I’d always shy’d away from them because of the strong ‘hippie ethic’ that I couldn’t identify with?  I’d avoided “The Last Waltz” like the plague!  1977/8 just didn’t seem like the time to celebrate “hippie music” just yet.

So, I’m watching “The Last Waltz” on Blu-ray.  I liked Martin Scorsese’s Dylan documentary “No Direction Home”.  With his cinema eye, “The Last Waltz” plays very well – it doesn’t just seem like a tired old 70’s live show on film to me.  The interviews are amusing – the members of The Band seem to walk a careful line of spaced-out goofiness and sagely intelligence, particularly where the music is concerned.

It really helps to see who plays what on stage.  The Band are another one of those bands where the members sometimes swap instruments!  So my information collected on The Band seems to make a bit more sense now.

I guess three of the members of The Band have shuffled off, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Levon Helm.  I believe I have a book written by Levon Helm, about The Band.  I guess Garth Hudson and Robbie Robertson are still pressing on regardless.  Good for them.

“The Last Waltz” is not a film for everyone.  It’s about the most polished up I’ve ever seen that generation of people on film, but some will still find it disingenuous.  It’s actually quite enjoyable to view.

Up To Date?

3-25-13          Up to date

Service

Service

March 24th:  Happy birthday, Mike Kellie (Spooky Tooth), born 1947.  On 3/25/72, the LP “Fog On The Tyne” by Lindisfarne was No. 1 in England.  Happy birthday, Nick Lowe!  (Born 1949).

Trying to keep up to date, with the Y.M.O. CD issues.  Looks like I can get it to within 10 years, re: the mastering.  I recently got an ‘03 Sony issue of “Service”, and for a CD, I think that’s the last time it was mastered.

I know that they did a Blu-spec (Blu-ray) issue a while back; not sure if it’s a complete re-origination of any of their titles, or if they used the most recent CD mastering for the Blu-spec mastering.

They should’ve re-mastered “Ultimate Collection” when they made an SA-CD non-hybird issue, but did they do all the others too?

So, is 2003 really the most recent mastering on all of the Japanese Y.M.O. CD titles?

San Diego, CA

3-21-13          San Diego, CA

Penguin_NEW

3/22:  Happy birthday, Wally Badarou! (Born 1955)  3/24: Happy birthday, Holger Czukay! (Born 1938)  On 3/21/64 The Applejacks 45 “Tell Me When” charts at No. 7 in England.  On 3/23/68 The Beatles 45 “Lady Madonna” charts at No. 1 in England.  On 3/24/73 the Gilbert O’Sullivan 45 “Get Down” charts at No. 1 in England.  And on March 24th: Happy birthday, Klaus Dinger (of Neu!), born 1946.

Last weekend, we went to San Diego, CA.  It is always amusing to visit down there.  We don’t know anybody there; I used to years ago.  It’s roughly 100 miles from my home.

Didn’t spend a lot of time looking at new music titles, but I did find a few CD’S and a Blu-ray movie:

AFRICAN HEAD CHARGE SOMEBODY TOUCH I, ON-U US CD EP Adrian Sherwood

BATTISTI, LUCIO SI, VIAGGIARE…1972, 1977, NUMERO UNO IT CD Collection

HIRASAWA, SUSUMU PAPRIKA (O.S.T.), TESLAKITE JPN CD P-Model member

JAMMER, KENJI HULA-HULA DANCE 5 – DELUX, UUTWO JPN CD aka Kenji Suzuki

NORMAN, LARRY REMIXING THIS PLANET, N-SOUL US CD CCM remixes

OZAWA, KENJI ECOLOGY OF EVERYDAY LIFE, EASTWORLD JPN CD Kami sleeve, ½ of Flipper’s Guitar

PENGUIN CAFÉ ORCHESTRA BEST, COMMONS JPN CD ’07 Collection

SUPERCAR OO KEAH!!, DOHB JPN CD ’99, other half of “OO Yeah!!”

TIPOGRAPHICA MAN WHO DOES NOT NOD, PONY / CANYON JPN CD Live

TOKYO NO. 1 SOUL SET JR., BMG JPN CD Kami sleeve

V.A. ROCK ANTHEMS, UNIVERSAL JPN 2CD US & UK artists

WILLIAMSON, ROBIN TEN OF SONGS, FLYING FISH US CD Incredible String Band member

YANO, AKIKO SUPER FOLK SONG, EPIC/SONY JPN CD

YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA SERVICE, SMEJ JPN CD ’03 re-master

BAND, THE – LAST WALTZ, MGM US Blu-ray disc ’78 original release

All of these titles came from the same store; lots of Japanese domestic stuff – which I really like!

On the way down, we enjoyed visiting my old friend Greg Stewart, in Temecula, CA.  I used to listen to his late night show on KPFK-FM 90.7 40+ years ago!

“Polite Provisions” at 30th St. and Adams in San Diego was amusing – we had a great bartender named Vaughn, who took care of us.  I bought coffee beans at Café Moto!

It is tempting to consider moving to San Diego, CA – I’d really have to watch my drinking.  But I bet I’d be a lot more active, if I lived there – what with Balboa Park being such a nice place to walk around.

Smash Hits (Vol. 2, No. 6)

3-20-13      Smash Hits (Vol. 2, No. 6) March 20 – April 2, 1980

SH 800320_NEWTwo members of Asia have birthdays! Carl Palmer (1947) and John Wetton (1951). 3/20/65 the Unit 4 + 2 45 “Concrete & Clay” charts at No. 1 in England. On 3/20/71 the John Lennon 45 “Power To The People” charts at No. 7 in England.

Happy birthday, Lee “Scratch” Perry! (Born 1936).

XTC on the cover! Lyrics for “Another Nail In My Heart” by Squeeze. The #1 record on John Foxx’s Top 10? “Strawberry Field Forever” by The Beatles. “At Home with Fay Fife”: The sad break-up of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Reader’s Poll Results! Gary Numan in colour! “Twentieth Century Foxx” article about John Foxx! XTC flexidisc! (not pictured).

45’s: D.A.F. – “Kebabtraume” (Mute Records) Teardrop Explodes – “Treason” (Zoo Records) Swell Maps – “Let’s Build A Car” (Rather Records) Magazine – “Thank You (Falletin Me Be Mice Elf Again)” (Virgin Records) Lene Lovich – “What Will I Do Without You?” (Stiff Records)

LP’s: Psychedelic Furs – “Psychedelic Furs” (CBS Records) The Cramps – “Songs The Lord Taught Us” (Illegal Records) The Feelies – “Crazy Rhythms” (Stiff Records)

Instead of Gigs, how about some “Reader’s Poll Results”?

Band of the year: The Police

Best Single of the Year: The Police – “Message In A Bottle” (A&M Records)

Best Album of the Year: The Police – “Regatta De Blanca” (A&M Records)

Best Male Singer: Sting (Elvis Costello is #10 on this list!)

Best Female Singer: Debbie Harry (of Blondie)

TV Programme of the Year: Top Of The Pops

Best DJ: John Peel

Most Fanciable Person: Sting

Brightest Hope For 1980: Madness

Twerp of the Year: Gary Numan

Worst Single of the Year: Lena Martell – “One Day At A Time”

Bore of the Year: Lena Martell (other nominees were Gary Numan, Margaret Thatcher, Bob Geldof, Cliff Richard etc.)

The 2nd of 3 consecutive Magazine singles has been released! Lene Lovich’s double pack does not trouble the local radio in Los Angeles (I didn’t hear this track for 30 years). I got the Psychedelic Furs LP right away, and shy’d away from both The Cramps and The Feelies – I guess I just wasn’t cool enough.

It was nice to see XTC getting ahead in the world.

1975 or so

3-19-13          1975 or so

Happy birthday, Terry Hall (of The Specials, Fun Boy Three, Colourfield etc.), born 1959.  On 3/19/66 The Who 45 “Substitute” charts at No. 5 in England.  Paul Kossof (of Free) croaks, 1976.  Happy birthday, Ornette Coleman! (Born 1930).

1975 would’ve been my middle year of high school.  I graduated high school in 1976.  The possibilities of the world at large were apparent to me at that time, 1975.  I knew I had to work to earn cash to buy records; working in a record store seemed to make sense – and I eventually did in July, 1976.

In 1975, I had to put up with the mediocre educational system that I was being forced to go through; I was one of the editors of the school newspaper – I even sold an advertisement to a Long Beach record store, Music Plus – on the Traffic Circle.  I typed tests for the French teacher – who got me out of physical education class to do so.  In short, I wasn’t too interested in what other classes were going on around me.  The film class might’ve been nice, but…I didn’t know any of the people in there.

Somehow, it became apparent that one could “leave the premises” via an unlocked exterior door in one of the “shop” classes.  What were they thinking?  You left the school on the northern border of the school, and could pretty quickly make your way out of the parking lot – to freedom.

Up at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway, I could catch a bus that either went downtown or up north.  I had good friends at the other big high school, so sometimes I went north to visit them.  In 1975, there weren’t any fences or walls surrounding the school, I could just walk on to the campus – and I looked like a student.

Suitably impressed with my presence, my friends would usually decline to join me as I wandered around town mid-week.  I didn’t have much cash, so best to head to used record stores, in north Long beach.

“Wheatstone” was on Atlantic Avenue; I knew they were there – they were in the yellow pages!  I did listen to some KNAC 105.5 FM, and it was to Wheatstone I turned when I needed to buy “Forms and Feelings” by Love Sculpture – doubtlessly, KNAC has played “Sabre Dance” one evening, and I probably called and asked what the heck was playing.

There was another hippie record store / head shop up on Long Beach Blvd., and I am reliably told that it was called “Pegasus”.  That’s where my English copy of Family “Music In A Doll’s House” came from, as a used LP.  My friend who told me the name of this store said it was where they used to buy their rolling papers etc.

The big destination in north Long Beach was Dooley’s Hardware store, with a massive inexpensive “record department”.  Coasters 45’s for 10 cents!  And I could easily walk home from there on smaller streets where nobody from the school would ever see me.

Sony MX-670 / Equipment

3-18-13          Sony MX-670 / Equipment

Hogs_NEW

March 15th:  Happy birthday, Sly Stone (Sylvester Stewart), born 1944.  On 3/18/72 the Paul McCartney & Wings 45 “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” charts at No. 16 in England.  Happy birthday, Wilson Pickett!  (Born 1941).

Alas, looks like the power supply to my Sony MX-670 mixer has bitten the proverbial big one.  Bad news, vinyl fans – that was what I had been using as a phono pre-amp!

Lickety split!  I ordered a Pro-ject phono pre-amp on-line.  Gotta get back into business!  Can’t play any of my records!  Urgh!

In other amusing ‘audiophile news’, I am trying something new to make various artist MD’s; I load up the (old) CD changer with V.A. discs, and run them into the MD Deck in the den, which has the “smart space” function activated!  Lo and behold, 80 minutes later, I have a mix of 5 discs in the charger, right onto MD, without any embarrassing (or unnecessary) “spaces”.

As some of you may already know, I bought a 2nd computer that’s in the south bedroom, and does not go on-line.  It’s JUST an audio computer, for burning CD-R’s.  Yes, I put audio files into the computer from MD’s that are mostly made from records – unless I am specifically making CD-R’s from CD’s that have been specially put onto MD for just this purpose.  What?

And I will probably get my Sansui amplifier “refurbished”; seems a shame to get rid of it, having had it for over 35 years.  I wonder if the same place that will do my amp can also fix the power supply to the MX-670 mixer?

What other equipment can I shuffle about?  I’ve got a 32-inch Sony flat screen TV (without a tuner) languishing in the back bedroom – maybe I could get someone to help me move it to the living room?  (I know better than to try and lift the damned thing by myself!).

Even though my turntable is in a state of repose, I still bought a really nice LP the other  weekend:  the Groundhogs “Cross Cut Saw” United Artists UK LP pressing.  I didn’t even have a US copy!  Found at a store that had no idea what it was, in Monrovia, CA.

Thanks for the words of encouragement, regarding my thinking of “giving it up”.  For the time being, I plan on continuing my blog – at least until I get www.ronkane.com up and running.  Believe it or not, that could be sooner rather than later!  (I hope to “retire” soon, folks!)

In the meantime, I just continue putting re-sealable sleeves on the nicer prone-to-damage LP’s (UK pressings!); making sure covers are glued together properly; trying to file like things near each other.  I think all of my Jonathan King LP’s are together now!

“Goodbye Cream”

3-14-13          “Goodbye Cream

Goodbye_NEW

Happy birthday, Quincy Jones, born 1933.  On 3/15/69, the LP “Goodbye” by Cream charted at No. 1 in England.  And on March 15th:  Happy birthday, Ry Cooder! (Born 1947).

Goodbye Cream” might’ve been my opening into the rock music world at large.  Here was a record that I’d waited for, yet it was disappointing when it arrived, why are they calling it “Goodbye”?  Don’t Cream want to be our friend anymore?

The three studio cuts on this LP are tremendous beyond belief:

Badge” with L’Angelo Mysterioso, who is, in fact, George Harrison.  An Eric Clapton single with mellotron!  Yes, you may have heard it a few times too many, over the years – on the FM radio.  Still a really good track, though.

Doing That Scrapyard Thing” is simply one of my favorite songs ever written.  I would’ve been 11 years old (12 at most!) when I first heard it.  It is intelligent, charming, whimsical – and has more mellotron on it.  And my favorite set of Pete Brown lyrics – ever!  Unlike many other songs of this era, I don’t cry when I hear this one – I imagine the better world where this song is being played in shopping malls, and I can continue my child-like life (such as when I was 11, 12 years old).  Jack Bruce and Pete Brown!  File under “Dandelion”, “Epistle To Dippy” etc.

“What A Bringdown” – guess Eric and Jack had to let Ginger Baker have a song – ostensibly for the publishing money?  Not a bad track either, but clearly the weakest of these three.  And what are the lyrics about, Ginger?  They’re certainly not Pete Brown lyrics.

And the rest of “Goodbye Cream” are live recordings of varying quality.  Rather amusing to me that when Vinyl Lovers re-issued this LP less than 10 years ago, they added tracks from the 4CD Cream boxed set – to flesh it out with even more studio “demos” and louche live tracks.  At least the album isn’t 28 minutes long anymore!

And – unless I am mistake – this album came with one of two posters, each with essentially with the same basic design (Cream in suits / tails) – one says “Goodbye to the Cream” and the other says “Farewell to the Cream”.  I think I have both of those in the files, awaiting Pete Brown’s signature – next time I see him.

But “Abbey Road” and “Let It Bleed” would go some way to easing the discomfort of Cream’s dismissal of their fans.  Jack Bruce made some great solo album – and they’re all still alive as of this writing!

Note: 2/3 of Cream come from The Graham Bond ORGANization; Eric Clapton comes from The John Mayall Bluesbreakers.

King Crimson

3-13-13          Where does King Crimson derive it’s musical roots?

KC1

Happy birthday, Neil Sedaka (born 1939).  On 3/13/65 The Rolling Stones 45 “The Last Time” charts at No. 1 in England.

So, how do we arrive at King Crimson?  More specifically, how did they think of “21st Century Schizoid Man” and “Pictures From A City”?

Mr, Fripp really liked British jazz – he even pinched an album title from a British jazz record (“Starless and Bible Black”) by Stan Tracey, a British jazz pianist.  My guess is that the heavy music on the two aforementioned songs at least partially derives from other heavy music of the day, band like Atomic Rooster (themselves deriving from the Crazy World of Arthur Brown), Rare Bird (K.C. later inherited a post-RB drummer, Andrew McCulloch), or possible even the fore-runners of Uriah Heep or Black Sabbath (Spice and Earth, respectively).  What else was ‘heavy’ in England, pre-’69?

King Crimson utilized the mellotron likely because of either The Beatles or The Moody Blues.  Indeed, “In The Court of…” would seem to derive from either Procol Harum or The Moody Blues.

Just like King Crimson (but pre-dating them), Procol Harum had a non-performing lyricist in Keith Reid – it was not lost on me that Pete Sinfield was only the second time I’d heard of a British group utilizing a non-performing lyricist.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always heard a bit of East of Eden in K.C.’s works – and they were a label mate with Giles, Giles & Fripp!  And what of Love Sculpture?  Super fast (Dave Edmunds) guitar playing, esoteric choices of what material to cover etc.  Now they were pre-’69 and reasonably ‘heavy’!

1969?  Let’s also look to Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Traffic, Spooky Tooth…and eventually to Yes, EL&P, Genesis (on Decca) and Renaissance – notable that Traffic, Spooky Tooth, EL&P and Renaissance were all on the same original label as King Crimson – Island Records UK.

If we examine Giles, Giles & Fripp a bit further – they also seemed to enjoy a spot of “messing about” – a la The Goon Show.  Musically, GG&F are somewhat obviously influenced by UK pop music of the day (1968), with a touch of jazz – and some obvious influence by Mr. Fripp’s guitar teacher; and somewhat obviously “the blues”.  It was what sold so many LP’s in England at that time, it would’ve been impossible for them to not have been influenced by “the blues”.

Please do not under-estimate the influence of British jazz on King Crimson.  Mel Collins came from a band called Circus (on Transatlantic Records), Gordon Haskell came from an introspective solo career (ever hear “Sail In My Boat”?) and John Wetton eventually came from both Family and Mogul Thrash (another Colosseum ‘wannabe’).

Scrape off more skin, and we’ll see King Crimson being influenced by Donovan (they used to play “Get Thy Bearings”); Fairport Convention (Judy Dyble sang for Giles, Giles & Fripp – or was it already K.C. by that time?); Soft Machine – they must’ve bumped into each other?  The Soft Machine – ditto.  The aforementioned Arthur Brown!

Needless to say, my life somewhat changed on the day I first took home a King Crimson LP.  Yes, it was their debut album – and thank Christ I heard all of the original King Crimson albums in the order that they were released.

As a young man, I did see King Crimson perform live – on the back of their “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic” album.  Fuck!  How could I be anyone other than who I am now?  My mirror was dipped into that water, and thereafter – all were judged by what I witnessed as a 15-year-old.

Of course, back in the real world – nobody else at school had ever heard of King Crimson.  They were busy listening to “Frampton Comes Alive” or “Bohemian Rhapsody”.  WTF!  (This brings me back to my high school girlfriend, Rose – yow!  That was amazing!  Fucking in a closet at school etc.  Rose, I still love you.   If you’re reading this, give me a call sometime.  (Refined gentleman of 54 years making this statement; all others – please mind your manners.)

If you didn’t have the same experience as I did, you’re either a different age or (haven’t had as much as I have had to drink tonight).  IPA from Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach, CA – a whole fucking growler of it – by myself.  And there’s a lg. bottle of some other IPA in the fridge, I think.

What a path!  We were talking about King Crimson – and now I’m pining for my high school GF.