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Cult Sights & Sounds, Bristol, Spain & South America

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Archaeology Corner: Restoration Ruin and “Outsider” Music  

An album I can’t stop playing right now is jazz pianist Keith Jarrett’s Restoration Ruin. No, stop, come back… don’t let the words “jazz pianist” put you off, just because this man made a record in Cologne (the legendary “Koln Concert”) which comprises of nothing but solo piano for eight and a half hours, or summat. Restoration Ruin is a very different beast. There’s  very little piano, for one thing. But Jarrett does, like Stevie Wonder and Todd Rundgren and Prince, play every instrument, including guitar, bass and (on two tracks) drums. And it’s the only album he ever sang on. Some might say that’s a good thing, but I don’t. I’d like him to sing on all his albums. Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Restoration Ruin and “Outsider” Music  “

Unidentified: Soundtrack To An Imaginary Movie

Sadly, I‘ve now abandoned my Charles Manson musical as being in questionable taste and – since it relied on the music of the Beatles, specifically the entire White Album – financially and legally prohibitive. But every cloud has a silver lining (except for Brexit – can’t see any silver linings in that particular notebook). So I’m directing my waning energies towards the intriguing story of singer-songwriter Jim Sullivan, and the potential his disappearance in 1975 offers for the Weird Scenes In The Desert movie to end all Weird Scenes In The Desert movies, Grand Theft Parsons, Vanishing Point and Electra Glide in Blue notwithstanding. Continue reading “Unidentified: Soundtrack To An Imaginary Movie”

Every Album I Own: Z is for Zappa (& the Mothers)

“Oh, Jeanne, to reach you at last, what a path I had to take,” Michel tells the object of his desire at the end of Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket. He’s seen his best friend Jacques steal her away (although, being French, he doesn’t seem that bothered); he’s taken her to his mother’s funeral; fled to Rome to avoid the authorities, and from there to England (he won’t be doing that post-Brexit) where he plies his trade, blowing his pickpocketed gains on other women and drink. But the pull of the Motherland is strong, and Michel returns to France, only to find that Jeanne has a child by Jacques, who has abandoned her. Michel is finally caught at the race-track by a plainclothes policeman and sent down. Only in prison can he finally tell Jeanne how he really feels. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: Z is for Zappa (& the Mothers)”

Every Album I Own: Y is for Neil Young

Forever Young huh? My first brush with Neil was a copy of the Crosby Stills Nash and Young classic, Déjà Vu, which my cousin Marc and I inherited as part of a job lot from a kindly neighbour circa 1978. We were fourteen (fifteen in Marc’s case) and keen to expand our record collection beyond Led Zeppelin IV and a couple of Hawkwind albums, and Darrell was keen to oblige. Years later, we discovered he was a paedophile, but he never hit on us, so who am I to judge? Darrell, if you’re reading this in prison, thanks for the introduction to Neil Young, though maybe not so much Barclay James Harvest. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: Y is for Neil Young”

Bristol Fashion: Where’s My Money?

Mike Manson’s Where’s My Money (2008) is set in Bristol in 1976, and fairly reflects the strange, paralysed, but not unpleasant atmosphere of the mid-1970s. I guess it depends how old you were or what you were into at the time. This was the golden age of free festivals, for example – only the year before, enlightened Home Secretary Roy Jenkins (pre-SDP) had given his blessings to a government-sponsored festival at Watchfield, where Hawkwind played, and bad acid left dozens of people curled up in panic-stricken balls around the festival site. Continue reading “Bristol Fashion: Where’s My Money?”

Every Album I Own: W is for the Wonder of Stevie, and for Bobby Womack

I was reading an interview with David Crosby in Mojo magazine recently, and Crosby said, a propos nothing, that “if Kanye West thinks he’s the greatest living rock star, would somebody please drive him over to Stevie Wonder’s house so he can see what the greatest living rock star actually looks like?” Continue reading “Every Album I Own: W is for the Wonder of Stevie, and for Bobby Womack”

Bristol Fashion: Wedlock is a Padlock

In common with a great many Bristolians, I’ve probably tended to underestimate, if not dismiss outright, the so-called Funnyman of Folk, Fred Wedlock. But age is a funny thing, and I am no longer immune to the charms of folk music. Even so-called comedy folk music. Sure, Fred Wedlock’s no Jake Thackray. Who is? Not even Jake Thackray.  But a recent, absent-minded search on You Tube threw up this surprisingly good rendition of the old Spanish Civil war tune, Si Me Quieres Escribir, sung in Spanish but with an unmistakeable Bristolian twang to it. Continue reading “Bristol Fashion: Wedlock is a Padlock”

Every Album I Own: V is for the Voices of East Harlem & Van Halen

Ah, the Voices of East Harlem. Back in my I is for the Impressions post I waxed lyrical about Cashing In, their big Blackpool Mecca Northern Soul hit, written by Leroy Hutson, who replaced Mike Yarwood  in the Impressions. But there’s a lot more where that came from. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: V is for the Voices of East Harlem & Van Halen”

Every Album I Own: U is for UFO, Flying (One Hour Space Rock) 

An easy choice, this, and a short post, as I only have one other album by an artist beginning with U, and it isn’t U2. If it was U2, you’d have my permission to cut my ears off and feed them to your dog, assuming that your dog could digest the ears of someone who has listened to U2, which I doubt. It might be better to dry them and feed them in flakes to your goldfish, or mix them into baby food. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: U is for UFO, Flying (One Hour Space Rock) “

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