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

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Hey musos! It's been a couple of weeks, hasn't it? First off..Happy Belated Beltane, everyone!! Or..if you're a worker-bee, Happy Belated May Day (uh oh..that's one o' them Commie thangs, ain't it? ;) )

The Record Show in Hartford was so-so for selling..but I did find a few more goodies to add to the collection. I generally avoid Beatles bootlegs--just because there's so much stuff available dredged from the EMI vaults over the years that unless you've got more money in your bank account than you need, you'll *never* get absolutely everything. I did find a couple of interesting 2-disc sets, though. Both were purported to be companion volumes of the Anthology series that were released by Capitol/EMI in the mid-90s. These clever bootleggers even had the artwork match the official "Anthology" artwork and the quality of some of the out-takes/live songs is pretty stunning--with the tracks running in chronological order also. Of course, the best ones to me are the "psychedelic" out-takes--from '66 to '68--the highlights being an alternate version of Flying (called "Aerial Tour Instrumental"), an instrumental version (backing track) of George Harrison's T.M. ditty The Inner Light, the orchestral score to Strawberry Fields Forever and some others. I also found a disc of BBC sessions by The Incredible String Band. The disc is comprised of three different sessions, all from 1970. They were in their "going electric" phase at this point--and the tunes reflect the change. The quality on some of the tunes leaves something to be desired, and some of the performances do as well (they nearly butcher their own ode to love, Everything's Fine Right Now, with a sloppy arrangement and none-too-subtle electric guitar). There are some tunes that they never included on any of their official recordings--so that makes having the disc a treat--it's called Unbroken Circle, for any of you String Band fanatics looking to score a copy. Some other finds are a live Donovan show, supposedly from the U.S. tour in 1968--I do think it is--the set list definitely *looks* the sort that he'd be playing around then....a show by the mighty E.L.O., from Portsmouth, England in 1976..I had to buy it--it's got a live version of the *entire* title track from On The Third Day, in it's 13+ minute glory--that disc's called Strange Magic, for anyone interested--quality's not bad, either....a Flaming Lips show from Trees, in Dallas in 1999--quality is excellent and a surprise performance of The Gash (off the "Soft Bulletin" record)--a real rarity on their current tours.

I bought another Pixies show for my dearest Flaming Pixie--this one a show from Bristol, England in 1989--I'll ask her how the quality is when she's listened to it...I believe it's called Return Of The Fat Man. She's an Elliott Smith fan, too--so I found a collection of B-sides and out-takes called No Name--that concludes with Smith appearing on the "Morning Becomes Eclectic" KCRW radio show, doing some interviews and singing a few tunes--quality is very good throughout.

Speaking of The Lips, I finally bought the new EP, Fight Test, this past week. It's definitely a stop-gap for Wayne & The Boys, not really pointing to a new direction but just buying some time until the next full-length. It starts, of course, with the tune "Fight Test"--though, to my ears--it sounds like a bit of a re-mix, not identical to the version on Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots. After that, is their version of Radiohead's "Knives Out"--which would be a surprise, if I didn't have a copy of the show they played last October in Boston, in which they performed this also. I will say that the "Fight Test" EP take on "Knives..." is a lot tighter than the one in Boston. Next up is the Lips taking on Kylie Minogue and Can't Get You Out Of My Head--which they transform from Top 40 confection to an almost Wagnerian epic--Wayne Coyne sounding like he's near the end with every "I...just..can't get you out of my head.."--and they don't change the gender of the intended, either--which makes it comical. Scott Hardkiss' 9-minute DJ/club re-mix of Do You Realize?? comes after that--and it's pleasant enough, if not a revolutionary clashing of Okie space-jockeys and dance-floor production...they could've chopped the length by a couple of minutes and it wouldn't have taken anything away..it is amusing to hear Coyne's drawl amidst the thumping beats and clubby keyboards, though. The next two tracks are the "brand-new" Lips songs: the first, The Strange Design Of Conscience, is a possible signpost to the Lips next record..it's a better merging of The Lips orchestral-pop and electronica than the Hardkiss re-mix..subtle beats and Coyne's vocals soaring over the top..not too bad. The final track, Thank You Jack White (For The Fiber-Optic Jesus That You Gave Me), is really just a novelty track--a faux-country ditty about Jack White (of The White Stripes) giving a jesus toy to Wayne after a show in Detroit (I don't know if this actually happened, you never know with The Lips). It's got that goofy Lips charm though, with lines like "Jack and Meg, they've got a real liberal family code.." Well, the EPs not the mind-blower that some were expecting--but it's interesting enough to keep most Lips junkies held over until the new release (possibly the Christmas On Mars soundtrack)-and that's good enough for me.

Alright, kids..that'll do it for this one--I'll be back with some more stuff--I just got the newest Spiritualized disc, The Complete Works--Volume One (courtesy of Flaming Pixie)--so I'll review that..and more...Peace Out, Musos!!