A collection of posts from my original weblog...or the inscrutable rantings of a madman...could be both...

Friday, May 31, 2002

Welcome Back, Musos! I received a few more Brit psych-folk discs in the post in the past few weeks, so I'll make this a "Part II" to the one I did a month or two ago. I *finally* scored a Dr. Strangely Strange CD from E-Bay in my third attempt! I was out-bid two other times in some fierce auctions. I have their second album, called Heavy Petting, originally released in 1970. My initial reaction upon listening was "Holy Incredible String Band, Batman!" I mean, these guys sound like either a String Band side-project or the *best* I.S.B. cover band in the world. Lead singers Jim Goulding and Ivan Pawle even have the trademark Robin Williamson and Mike Heron vocal stylings down pat--you know, the s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d emphasis on certain words and different pitches of voice within one bar of music--not quite yodeling but not linear singing, either. It turns out that both bands were friendly so this is probably more of a shared interest in pennywhistles, recorders and trippy, New Age philosophical lyrics. They also shared a producer in Joe Boyd, who was the house producer at Sound Techniques studio in London, where the I.S.B. recorded all of their most influential records (i.e. The 5000 Spirits.., The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, etc.) and the place where Nick Drake and the early Pink Floyd made their first records. "Heavy Petting" was the follow-up to Dr. Strangely's first album Kip Of The Serenes, released in 1969..and re-issued on disc in 1992 by PolyGram in Germany--and which I actually saw at a convention and didn't buy..D'Oh..it's *way* out-of-print now! Ivan Pawle had actually guested on a couple of I.S.B. albums, namely Changing Horses in '69 and U in 1970..and he helped out Mike Heron on his first solo record, Smiling Men With Bad Reputations, in 1971. Musically, "Heavy Petting" resembles later I.S.B. albums like I Looked Up, where the folk sound has more than a dash of rock n' roll injected--electric guitars, steady (but slow) drum beats--not congas, but a full drum kit and a noticable lack of Eastern instrumentation. In fact, that's a big difference between the two groups...D.S.S. do not augment their sound with any Middle East or Indian flavors--no gimbris, sitars or tabla anywhere...whereas the I.S.B. merely toned down the drones on their later albums--it seems D.S.S. did not make use of them *at all*..surprising, really. All in all, an excellent record, if you like I.S.B. music..if you don't, this may not be your bag...I'm in luck, though, 'cause I dig the String Band and "Heavy Petting" makes a nice companion album to their catalog. Now, as you may know...Dr. Strangely Strange took their name from the comic book character Doctor Strange, who was something of a counter-culture hero (along with The Silver Surfer and Thor--this may be due to Ken Kesey's "Merry Prankster" influence). If you're a fan of the Doc Strange comic book..or of comics in general..check out my man Neil's site--you can get to it from the link in the sidebar at the top of the screen--he's always got the latest scoop on Doc Strange's world and lots of other goodies, with plenty of links to relevant sites..and the site has excellent graphic design, too--lots more than "Schizoid Man"..but hey, at least I have my background again! Check his site out, for real..you can't go wrong!
Another group I discovered in The Tapestry Of Delights (Vernon Joynson's extensive tome on English beat/blues/psych & prog) was called Forest. One more of those "2-albums-only" bands, they issued "Forest" in 1970 and the follow-up Full Circle in 1971. The Beat Goes On label re-issued both albums as a 2-CD set in 1994. I came through on an E-Bay auction and got the disc from a cool seller named John Culver in England. They were a three-piece of multi-instrumentalists and their music is Celtic trad-folk with a bit of a hippie slant to the lyrics..one of the tunes on the first album is called Would You Like A Smoke. The first record contains shorter compositions and lots of pennywhistle and acoustic guitars where they began to jam on the follow-up. Some interesting ideas on both and expert-playing, but I would only recommend this to fanatics of the genre..definitely *not* essential stuff. The same goes for Gnidrolog, an acid-folk group founded by the Goldring brothers and who released their first album, In Spite Of Harry's Toe-Nail, in 1971. These guys were riding the crazy train as evidenced by the opening cut..I think it's called Love Man Life Death, but I'm not sure..it opens with a full-out electric freak-out, then segues into it's proper folk leanings. It nearly 8 minutes and contians a few tempo and mood changes before fading out. The rest of the album continues in it's unique psych/folk/prog vein--especially the two-part title track. It's pretty weird and would probably only appeal to prog freeks or those who are curious about what the sound of some English folkie lads ingesting 500 micrograms of LSD each would be like. They recorded a follow-up to "..Harry's.." called Lady Lake in 1972 and I'm trying to get a copy but it seems to be sought after by the prog cognescenti on E-Bay--perhaps later for me then...
Gryphon had quite a novel approach to the progressive scene, they pretended it was wayyyy back in Olde Englande an' got medieval on yr ass! I have their first record (self-titled), from 1972 and Raindance, from 1975. These guys had the whole get-up..mandolins, lutes...they sang in close harmonies...*and* still managed to "rock out" as best they could in a madrigal stylee. They even have a cover of The Beatles White Album chestnut Mother Nature's Son on "Raindance". It seems odd to me that more Renaissance Fayre people aren't hep to Gryphon and would rather buy Blackmore's Night CDs..but Gryphon are the authentic stuff and I would've played their music back when I still rolled the duodecahedral die in Dungeons & Dragons quests..but I just have to spin their discs now an' remember the goode ole daze. It's amazing these cats even got to record one album, never mind five..but it goes to show how much less compartmentalized certain record labels were in the early 70s.
Bringing things around to the beginning of the post, I visited an Incredible String Band fan site and found out that "U" is *finally* going to be released on CD on July. It's the only one I need for the full catalog..way to go Elektra Records. They've been issuing some great stuff lately--specifically the deluxe Forever Changes CD by Love...the Tim Buckley 2-CD retrospective...and the 2-disc sets by Judy Collins, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Buckley. "U" isn't among the brightest lights in the I.S.B. catalog--but it does have stellar moments--especially the opener, called El Wool Suite..featuring some excellent sitar-playing by Mike Heron. I'm still keeping my vinyl copy--but having the convenience of compact disc works for me, too.
That's all I've got--except to say that a week from today..myself, The Purple One--Prince, Tom Jones and the drummer for the Stone Temple Pinheads will all be one year further along in the universe..ouch! Yep, it's me birthday next Friday.."another year over..and a new one just begun"..brings a tear to me eye, it really does...HA HA HA HA...awlright, peeps...keep chillin'!!

Friday, May 24, 2002

I want to start by thanking Bone Daddy, my man Shawn Temple (a.k.a. The Fish Who...) and M.A.D. for their excellent comments thread in my last post--I think 13 individual comments is a new record (no pun intended) for this site (O.K., I added some of them)..Woo Hoo (as Homer or Damon Albarn would say--speaking of Albarn..we all know he's a bit of a callous prig at times, but he was quoted as telling the rest of Blur they should stop carping about his success with Gorillaz because he's already got half of the new Blur record in pre-production and they know which side their bread is buttered on...welll, 'scuse us)
That leads me to tell that I have what I consider to be the best Blur album in mini-LP format now. That would be Parklife, originally released in 1994 and a phenomenal improvement over their previous effort Modern Life Is Rubbish, which was hampered by Albarn's "oh-so-clever" lyrics and a running time that almost dared you to try and listen to it all at once. With "Parklife", they shaved off the extraneous fat and Albarn sharpened his Ray Davies-wannabe wit. He came up with characters who are maybe not quite as memorable as Ray's 60s "Swinging London" cast-offs, but offer a portrait of a conflicted England, 90s style..free from Thatcherite repression and greed, but unsure of what to do next and dealing with a mini-"Swinging London" revival that "Britpop" was supposed to embody..especially groups like Blur..shiny, happy lads of the "new" England. Well, of course, "real" life is much more complicated and Albarn tries his best to convey that...there's Tracy Jacks, the civil service worker who flees his home to frolick nude on a beach, is apprehended by the authorities and returned to his home..which he bulldozes down the next week, with the "man-in-crisis" couplet "I'd love to stay here and be normal/but it's just so over-rated". The album opener, Girls and Boys, with it's 80s-style synth bleeps and blips, parodies the working-class for "following the herd/down to Greece..on holiday" but also revels in "avoiding all work/'cos there's none available..". Albarn knows he's playing both sides of the fence, but is having too much fun to care if anyone calls his bluff. The coup de grace, though, is the title track..with Graham Coxon's strident guitar riff and a nearly over-the-top Cockney guest vocal by Phil Daniels, best known for the lead role of "Jimmy" in the film version of The Who's "Quadrophenia" (yes, Sting was in it too.. a minor role as the "Ace Face"). Daniels says things like "I get up when I want..'cept on Wednesdays when I'm rudely awakened by the dustmen" and "..look at that gutlord marching..you should cut down on yer porklife, mate..get some exercise!" and the group chime in with the chorus of "All the people/so many people/and they all go hand in hand..hand in hand through their..parklife.." I don't claim to know what that means, but the tune is so damn *catchy* that it doesn't matter, you just sing along anyway. There are a couple of quirky instrumentals to provide some variety, too..The Debt Collector, which could be the soundtrack for a chartered accountant walking to work, is all carnival organ and massed clarinets...and bassist Alex James gets his little corner of the record with Far Out, a cross between a 60s psychedelic hommage (a la Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd) and a 50s sci-fi "incidental music" track (no theremin, though..bummer). The second half of the album slows the tempo down a bit and in doing so becomes a bit less interesting..the highlights are a sensual guest vocal by Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab on To The End..more excellent guitar work by Coxon on London Loves and the second-to-last tune, which sets up a "come down" mood (Albarn doesn't want you to be too optimistic about the future), This Is A Low. I hadn't listened to it in a while and was surprised by how much of it still holds up, considering it *is* essentially a snap-shot of mid-1990s Britain, seen through the eyes of a middle-class pop group. Of course, Albarn's bluff *would* be called in '95, thanks to a bored music press' need for a "Beatles v. Stones" cat-fight and chose Manchester working-class heroes/hooligans Oasis as Blur's foils. Liam and Noel Gallagher lapped up the press and record sales and walked away the victors (at least in '95) when Blur followed up "Parklife" with another bloated sorta-concept record The Great Escape..which, to be fair..had some amazing tunes on it..(Best Days is *still* one of my favorite songs by them and easily matches anything on "Parklife")..but was just too long and snarky for it's own good and Oasis' stripped-down (and *extremely* Beatles-like) sound was what the people clamored for, and got with (What's The Story) Morning Glory. There was a complete sea-change in 1997 when Oasis' Be Here Now was revealed as the ego-charged/cocaine mess that it is and Blur sneaked into America with the Pavement-tinged Song 2, from the self-titled album that looked to U.S. indie-rock for inspiration instead of England's green and pleasant lands. They then followed that record up with their most experimental offering to date, 13, in 1999..which, though having some weirdly great moments and a single that borrowed the rhythm of John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance" (Tender), hasn't topped "Parklife" for being a watermark album, not only for it's strong lyric-writing and group cohesiveness, but capturing the zeitgeist of an entire year in it's grooves.
I also picked a new 2-CD set of Porcupine Tree's Delerium Records output from 1991 to 1997, called Stars Die--they left Delerium in 1997 for K-Scope and released Stupid Dream in 1998. All the ones you'd expect to be on a comp. like this are there--Radioactive Toy and The Nostalgia Factory from the "first" P.T. record On The Sunday Of Life (actually, a compilation of cassette-only tunes released between 1989 and 1991)...Voyage 34, P.T.'s psychdelic-dance opus which uncannily debuted around the same time as The Orb's popularity in the early 90s..a few cuts from Up The Downstair, the 1993 album that is considered to be Porcupine Tree's first proper album. And that's just the first disc...the second features tracks from The Sky Moves Sideways, their foray into progressive territory--which, according to the booklet, they regretted a bit because they became fixed with the "prog" tag and didn't feel that was their only style of playing...and tracks from Signify, the more mainstream rock record, issued in 1996. Both discs contain some rare B-sides, too..like Rainy Taxi, from the Staircase Infinities EP, which is pretty tough to score, even on E-Bay...the track Stars Die was left off of "The Sky.." and released on it's own, but it's a good thing that it's on this comp. so I don't have to track it down..and Signify II, which was left off of the album of the same name, but would turn up in P.T.'s live set. The booklet included with the set is pretty lavish and has well-written essays explaining the history of the band, from amusing, psychedelic bedroom taping project between gigs for No Man's Steven Wilson and Malcolm Stocks..to compiling the tapes and selling them on the hippie/crusty festival circuit..to Wilson continuing Porcupine Tree on his own after Stocks moved away..to P.T. becoming a full-time band concern after bringing in other musicians to fulfill live gig requirements and eventually acting as a unit even in the studio. I would recommend this set if you need to tie up some loose ends in your Porcupine Tree collection--but if you want a primer, try Up The Downstair or even Stupid Dream, as those albums represent both phases of the group well.
O.K., folks..enjoy the holiday..whether you have to work or not..if you have to work..hopefully The Man will pay you a bit o' extra bread for your efforts...the "English psych-folk compedium--Part II" will happen soon, 'cause I got the Dr. Strangely Strange "Heavy Petting" disc in the post yesterday...'till then...Peace Out!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

It's May 15th..and you know what that means, eh proggers? If you guessed that today is Brian Peter George St. John Le Baptiste De La Salle Eno's birthday, you would be absolutely correct!! I believe his birth year is 1943, but I could be wrong on that. Yep, it's Eno's B-Day..so I'd like to send a shout out to Brian and say "thanks for all the music"--from Roxy Music to Here Come The Warm Jets to Music For Airports to Remain In Light..and yes, even to The Unforgettable Fire and all stops in between..he's graced us with some records that are incredible and thought-provoking in equal parts. I'll do a "Cliff's Notes" bio of Eno, for those who don't know too much about him. Born an English "war baby", raised in Ipswich, England...a fairly good student, attended art-school and was also fascinated with the American rock and roll that would be broadcast by the local Air Force base and briefly took up clarinet in the Portsmouth Sinfonia. Found further musical raison d'etre in the psychedelic era of '67 to '69..and began to tinker with a primitve homemade synthesizer, joining a band called Maxwell's Demon. Hooked up with Bryan Ferry and joined a fledgling group that would soon become Roxy Music..stayed on for the first two records ("Roxy Music" and "For Your Pleasure") and left when he clashed too much with Ferry (the two "non-musicians" in the band)...went solo with three extraordinary psych/prog/glam/pop albums, Here Come The Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy) and Another Green World..along with two albums with King Crimson founder Robert Fripp ("No Pussyfooting", "Evening Star"). Recorded his first full "ambient" album (Discreet Music) in 1975 and his last "pop" album (Before and After Science) in 1977 (until 1990, that is). Produced three albums for David Bowie ("Low", "Heroes" and "Lodger") and two for the Talking Heads ("Fear Of Music" and "Remain In Light")..and recorded his ambient masterwork in 1978..Music For Airports. Eno entered the 80s with a collaboration with David Byrne of Talking Heads called My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, which undoubtedly was a signpost for the sampling of the late-80s/90s, with it's snippets of radio programs mixed in to the tunes. Eno also produced for U2 and English band James in the 80s and 90s and made a sort-of pop record with John Cale, formerly of The Velvet Underground, called Wrong Way Up. He weighed in on 90s electronica (which he helped inspire) with Nerve Net in 1992...and continued with his various art projects in England and Europe. He released The Drop in 1997 and Spanner, a collaboration with Jah Wobble, in 1998. Last year, he returned a bit to his ambient roots for Drawn From Life, yet another collaboration, this time with J. Peter Schwalm. What's next for Eno? No one really knows, he's promised another vocal record, hopefully for sometime this year. If you want to investigate Eno further, this web site is a good place to start..and it's even got a cool "Ask Eno" page, where you think of a question..and Eno will give an answer from his "Oblique Strategies" philosophy.
Sooo, yeah..the E-Bay discs just keep on comin'..of course, that tends to happen when you're bidding your life away...got a bunch of cool mini-LPs..Procol Harum's debut record A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Genesis' "Live" (the 1973 live album), The Strawbs "Dragonfly"..their second album from 1970, Gong's third full-length Camembert Electrique from 1972...and The Moody Blues 1972 record Seventh Sojourn..all good stuff! I received some jewel case discs, also...too many to go into with this post, but I will highlight two of the more intriguing ones. The first is by an English psychedelic band called Dantalian's Chariot. Dantalian's Chariot were formed in early 1967 by Zoot Money (no, I don't think it's his real name..he acquired it due to his fascination with jazzer Zoot Sims) after the disintegration of his Big Roll Band, a jazz/R&B/soul combo, in late 1966. Money was interested in the "new sounds" sweeping through London in '66..due to The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Donovan, among others. He gathered a quartet together..including Pat Donaldson on bass, who would go on to guest on a number of Richard Thompson's solo albums in the 70s...and most famously, a young Andy Summers (who spelled his surname 'Somers' back then..don't know why) on guitar..later on with Strontium 90 and of course with post-punk/white reggae/new-wavers The Police. They recorded what it considered one of the quintessential English psychedelic singles, Madman Running Through The Fields, and it made quite a splash in the "Summer Of Love"..at least in Merrie Englande. I have to say, it *is* an astonishing tune..with it's backward cymbal intro, clever melody and stop/start rhythm...these coupled with Money's impassioned vocal do make it highly listenable (pun...erm..intended!). I've been playing it over and over this past week..I've nearly *over-played* it for myself! The rest of the disc, 10 tracks in all, has some gems as well. Summers' sitar work-outs, This Island and Soma, are pure-1967...and some pretty fluid Eastern fret-play from Mr. Summers. It almost sounds as if he had a better command of the instrument than George Harrison, though to be fair..Summers wasn't busy being a Beatle, so he probably had more time to practice. World War Three is a "far-out" anti-war diatribe, again with Summers "pulling a Hendrix" with some crazy wah-wah'ed guitar solos and Money's near-hysterical vocal (in some parts of the tune). Recapture The Thrill is a standard late-60s R&B tune, and seems a throw-back to the Big Roll Band..it's my least favorite track on the disc. High Flying Bird is a tribute to the "beautiful people" of San Francisco and it works better than Eric Burdon's "San Franciscan Nights"..though I still like the Burdon song well enough. Dantalian's Chariot disbanded in 1968, unable to secure a long-term contract and finding that their psychedelic sound was quickly becoming out-dated..oh yeah, Zoot Money was drinking heavily, too. It's a shame, because if they had adapted, they probably could have parlayed their sound into the progressive 70s. The CD is called Chariot Rising, issued by Wooden Hill Records in 1995..I think it's out-of-print, but if you're lucky..it *does* show up on E-Bay from time to time.
The other disc is by Hapshash And The Coloured Coat..and the title of the record is Featuring The Human Host and The Heavy Metal Kids. Yes, these guys were ingesting a *lot* of LSD. Hapshash were actually a small group of artists who created the posters announcing band appearances at the English psych clubs like UFO, Middle Earth and even The Marquee. They were the British equivalent of Mouse & Kelley or Rick Griffin in San Francisco...and their original pieces go for quite a sum these days. In fact, a guy is selling a Hapshash original on E-Bay at this moment--opening bid is $110.00. Two of the guys in Hapshash, Nigel Weymouth and Michael English..decided they wanted to make a record..so with the help of Guy Stevens (future producer of The Clash's "London Calling")--they cut "Human Host..." in 1967. The playing is rather crude, but the spirit is there..and it's interesting as an experiment, anyway. The album opens with H-O-P-P-Why?, a sort-of chant with guitars cranked to 9-1/2 and the title is pretty much the lyric..it was for English counter-culture hero John "Hoppy" Hopkins, who had been jailed for marijuana possession that year. The next track, A Mind Blown Is A Mind Shown, is a shorter psych instrumental that doesn't readily jump out at you..but gets points for being an honest attempt. The same goes for The New Messiah Coming 1985 (if *only* that were true..in the midst of Reagan-Land, we could've used her)..again, not *too* memorable--but they "had a go" and there are some trippy sounds to be heard here. Aoum is precisely that...a mellow chant that *does* relax you--it happened to me while listening the other day. And finally, the last track (which I imagine took up most of the second side on the vinyl release) is Empires Of The Sun..a sprawling 15-minute jam that doesn't even *try* to conceal it's amateur sloppiness..this is no Interstellar Overdrive, folks...still, the fact that wasn't a group of committed musicians playing this stuff gives it a charm..almost a "punk" sort of appeal..though they were miles from the 70s punk ideology..Hapshash did embrace the "D.I.Y." spirit very effectively..making and selling their posters *and* making their own record the way *they* wanted to. Michael English split from the group and Weymouth would bring in some friends and studio musicians for a second album, Western Flier, in 1969..and though it's more polished musically, it lacks the freak-out exuberance of "Human Host.."..plus, it doesn't have the beautiful lysergic-dream graphics of "Human Host..'s cover art. That's all I got for now, counter-culture mavens..but I'll be back atcha in a bit...be sure to hide yr roaches....

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Hey now, freeks! The 13th Annual Hartford Record Convention took place this past Sunday in the hallowed halls of the Hartford Civic Center. It was a gorgeous day outside...which may account for the extremely low attendance! I remember just four or five years ago (this was my tenth convention)...you had to fight your way through the crowd and wait about ten minutes just to get to a table to check out the import CDs. It was a ghost town this year, even at peak hour (1p.m. to 2 p.m.). I suppose the suffering economy is to blame also--only the hard-core muso-geeks like myself dared spend what little extra cash they had on CDs and vinyl. I noticed a *large* number of bootleg VHS vendors this year also..what the dilly? Everyone knows it's all switchin' to DVD in the next five years (although I hope CDs stick around for another ten to fifteen)--who's going to buy a bootlegged concert on VHS, which will wear out with a high number of "plays"--when you can wait and the same show will eventually turn up on DVD? To be fair, there were a few bootleg DVD sellers..and one guy had The Beatles 1970 "break-up" film, Let It Be, on DVD..but he was asking $25.00 for it and I wanted some other CDs, so I didn't buy it--plus, I figured with George's passing and Sir Paul back out on the road--Apple Corps should be getting an official DVD release of "Let It Be" out sometime (soon?).
I came across a few choice items..mostly bootlegs, of course--there weren't really *any* import dealers there this year, which I found a bit disturbing--but then..the convention does tend to attract a largely baby boom crowd who want the latest Springsteen or Dylan concert on disc and would give you a puzzled look if you mention Super Furry Animals or Gorky's Zygotic Mynci...of course, most of the dealers are like that as well. I remember last year asking a boots dealer if he had any Mogwai...he stared at me for three seconds and said "I don't know what that is." I said "They are a band from Scotland." "No...no I don't." was his reply, with a confused look on his face. Nice. As always..it's classic-rock heaven..and I found a couple of cool Pink Floyd boots..one is a show from the Fillmore West in 1970, a 2-CD set with a stunning, furiously-played Astronomy Domine that clocks in at 9 minutes (!) as well as a slowed-down Grantchester Meadows that manages to top the definitive live version of that song...the one from the Sept. '69 show in Amsterdam (well worth seeking out--you can score a copy of that show quite easily on E-Bay)..the Fillmore West show is called Interstellar Encore, if you want to find that on E-Bay also. The other was a Syd Barrett-era collection of rarities...mainly Top Gear and other BBC sessions...the highlights are a decent version of the elusive Vegetable Man..a Beeb session for Apples and Oranges...and an early studio session for Interstellar Overdrive. Whomever compiled the liner notes must've shared Syd's penchant for LSD, because the track order is *all* messed up--that's a small complaint, though..because this is actually pretty good quality for some of these tracks--which have a notoriety for being poorly bootlegged in the past.
I also scored a January 1970 show by the one and only MC5 at the Saginaw Civic Center in Michigan. The boys were in fine form and the boot includes a lot of their best tunes...Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa...Ramblin' Rose...Human Being Lawnmower. The best is saved for last, though, with a *grand-slam* medley of Starship into Kick Out The Jams into Black To Comm..a ten-minute wall of guitar and drums and vocal exclamations..it's mixed a bit low..so it doesn't have quite the powerful surge of the "Kick Out The Jams" record, but if you turn it up a notch, it's *nearly* better. This boot is called Teen Age Lust, and it *is* available on E-Bay, because I checked it out the day after the convention. I couldn't leave without a Beatles bootleg, so I bought one called Pepperland..a hodge-podge of Sgt. Pepper's..-related tracks. Some are taken from the Making Of Sgt. Pepper television special..which feature George Martin talking about the studio time and playing back the master tapes, so you can hear individual voices and instruments..it's fascinating to me..'cause I'm a studio-wonk, but it's probably not for everyone. The rest are clips from Kenny Everett's radio show in London in 1967, when "Pepper" was premiered on the BBC and a few of the Fabs showed up to comment..and the first disc ends with a "long" version of All You Need Is Love, where you hear them setting up for the historic satellite broadcast...playing the tune..and about a minute after the actual fade-out on the record..very cool. Speaking of The Fabs..I found a rare Mary Hopkin bootleg, taken from a television production featuring Mary in Osaka, Japan in 1970. She sings a few Beatles covers, a Joni Mitchell tune ("Both Sides Now") and her early hits ("Those Were The Days", "Goodbye", "Temma Harbour"). There's also some goofy interview segments where Mary is asked what she thinks of Japan and how she takes care of her hair...it's silly, but her Welsh-accented voice was so cute, I like those segments anyway. Well worth the price! Lastly, I was surprised to see a Porcupine Tree 2-CD set..taken from NEARfest in 2001. NEARfest is an annual prog-rock gathering where the prog-musogeeks show up and discuss how Magma's records differ from Ange's and the last time any of them had a meaningful relationship with a woman--other than the female record-store clerk they harass while buying the latest Spock's Beard CD. Anyway, it's a good set..high quality (possibly soundboard?)..and Steven Wilson even has witty banter between songs. The tunes are all from Stupid Dream (P.T.'s 1999 album) or Lightbulb Sun (from 2000), with the exception of Up The Downstair, Voyage 34 (Part1) and Radioactive Toy. I bought some used discs too: Rory Gallagher's "BBC Sessions", Quicksilver Messenger Service "Happy Trails", Procol Harum's "Home" (with bonus tracks) and The Boo Radleys' "Lazarus" EP.
I received more E-Bay stuff in the post, too..but I'm nearly "typed-out" for this post--but I'll get to that next time..'till then..crank up yr stereos for me--and beware of "Graffix-Madness", kids!!