on life, music etc beyond mainstream

Du durchsuchst gerade das Archiv des Monats Juni 2015.

Archiv: Juni 2015

I really have been following the musical life of Neil Young. Wonderful companionship. Timeless music. The new one, THE MONSANTO YEARS, is, well, dealing with politics, corporations, and boring beyond belief. Good moments don’t justify this album, which is one of a handful of really uninspired albums he has made in his life and times. The best ones during the last years: PSYCHEDELIC PILL, and, the controversially reviewed  LE NOISE, produced by Daniel Lanois. I’m not even in the mood to go in the details.



Charles Haldeman
Der Sonnenwächter

Aus dem Amerikanischen von Egbert Hörmann und Uta Goridis
Mit einem Nachwort von Martin Meyer
Metrolit Verlag, Berlin 2015
335 Seiten


Of course, this a book for grown-up time travellers, too, who will enter, in parts, an old Germany, the 50s of the last century. Very strange, this book has never before been translated into our language. In many ways, it is a very, very moving novel, and an experimental approach to novel writing by underimining linear time lines, text types etc. And, believe it or not, a key scene is happening in a jazz club with a lot of Roma people around.

They were travelling on State Route 181 off to State 186. They stopped 26 miles to the southwest at the junction of State Road 181 and U.S. 666. KPFK was playing THE LAST TIME from the Rolling Stones. She knew a Restaurant for truck drivers nearby, where they offered the biggest Schnitzels. There Jimmy Choos and the others used to meet for lunch and talk about their desires. About girls, who „never part.“ About the dude, who has left jail just the other day. One of the truck drivers said: „Yeah, Jim was blinded by the hunt.“

Another agreed: „Well, he knows, what he seeks now, someone, who sets his „heart on fire“.

Outside it was very hot. They kept driving a bit further North on State Route 89. He knew a bar approximately 10 miles northwest from here. He got on State186 and turned right onto Road 618, which was unpaved. They entered the Bar INFINITY. Nobody was in it. They felt as they were in the Movie: „Hi, here is my face, ahh“, which they watched the other day on channel TCM.

Bob went to the bathroom. When he came back, she smiled at him: „I like how you walk into a room. You can bring oceans of potions.“

„Juliette, mon coeur, I was just out here on the Other Side of Desire.“

She grinned: „You better be careful or all your dreams just stop dying.“

They had a few beers and a Gin and Tonic. They got back in their Corvette. After a 4 miles drive they turned right on Road 200. This road was winding down. On Radio they heard the song END OF THE LINE. Both turned it off almost at the same time. When they crossed a creek the car was suddenly wheeling around. She was afraid, he put his hand on her knees. „All life is circling and all circles leading.“

„Please, could you do me a favor and stop here?“ He parked the car in Canal Street, on the other side of the last stop from the Riverfront Line.

2015 29 Jun

Gallop’s Gallop

| Abgelegt unter: Blog | RSS 2.0 | TB | Kommentare geschlossen

Good morning, good Monday morning tune

Thelonious Monk Gallop’s Gallop Live at the It Club (1964) AUDIO


„The world beyond your head“ might be a good headline for nine Manafonistas working on a book that, from the first chapter onwards, has no clearly defined themes, plots or sub-plots. In fact, it is the title of a book by Matthew Crawford who researches the reasons for man’s tendency to be diverted and deceived by wrong heroes, the lifelessness of basic assumptions of Immanuel Kant (that settled down in some areas of the collective unconsciousness), dumb fetishizing, and a big industry of commerce. The British philosopher knows some cures for that, especially skills that bring you in direct contact with the physical world (ice hockey, bike repair, looking for places of wilderness in deserted parts of Scotland a. o.). So he’s definitely a hot candidate for writing the prologue of the book of the manafonistas. Wir sind ja immer, um es mit Peter Rühmkorf zu sagen, daran interessiert, einen zweiten Weg ums Gehirn herum zu finden. „A second way around the brain“ has always been a passionate affair for Arthur Russell whose archives are a source of constant wonder. In his life and times he has been a brilliant composer of hard core avant-garde dancefloor music, weird songs that were always on the verge of been sucked in by echo chambers and that live up to the extreme fragility of Nick Drake’s „Pink Moon“ (though dealing with a completely different approach to music). „Corn“ is out now, and an awesome first or next step into the world of a genius of high wire acts. The ghost in the machine: a great theme from sci-fi to electronic music „with a soul“. Now, two specialists for synthesizers and one violinist try a further step into this big field of breathing vibes and organic machines. The name of the trio is program: „Ghost Harmonic“. Speaking of ghosts, disturbing twilight zones and roads to nowhere, you might want to dive into the world of Mark Henshaw’s thriller „The Snow Kimono“. It creates a world of psychological complexity in a story that moves from Paris to Japan and back again. And it’s very well written.

Title: „David Bowie“

Year: 1967

Notes: Fucking bonkers. Fucking hilarious. Fucking genius. A drawer filled with Schneekugeln. Miniature universes with their own weather systems. Pick them up and shake them. But watch out, some of these ornaments contain heavy water, and plutonium snowflakes.

Standout tracks: All of them, really. Sell Me A Coat in particular.
Title: „Space Oddity“

Year: 1969

Notes: Remarkable development from the previous record. Much more first-person p.o.v. Oddly folky but not in a Pentagle kind of way. Production is wonderful – it’s like a hymn to magnetic tape and expressively deficient microphonics.

Standout tracks: Letter to Hermione, God Knows I’m Good.
Title: „The Man Who Sold The World“

Year: 1970

Notes: Another big leap – but is it a leap forward? The vocal personae are largely adenoidal. The band sounds trendy. Led Zeppelin III wasn’t Led Zeppelin’s best moment (not even their second- or third-best moment). But to my ears, this is something that aims for the same approximate space as III, and doesn’t really get there, or anywhere, much.

Standout tracks: none. The first 15 to 18 seconds of Saviour Machine are quite good.
Title: „Hunky Dory“

Year: 1971

Notes: The cover art is total shit. Music: a bit plinky-plonky. Entire LP sounds like a demo from an alternate universe where you can just dream the music in your sleep into the A&R brain rather than hand a recording of it in to the A&R department (or get a motorcycle courier to do so on your behalf). Hunky Dory sounds to me like it was recorded, produced, released and consumed in an era well before Space Oddity. Maybe creative time isn’t linear. I don’t like this record.

Standout tracks: None, again. The stammered, repeated voiceless palato-alveolar affricate consonant in ch-ch-ch-changes is great though. Fuh-fuh-fuh-fucking genius! Do I hate this record? Of course not. That would involve having to listen to it more than like twice.
Title: Ziggy Stardust etc.

Year: 1972

Notes: Some of the better elements of the artist’s earlier work come back into play, like right back to the first LP, (albeit without the smell of Edwardian-era carpets and wallpaper). Whole thing still too honky-tonky and plinky-plonky for me.

Standout tracks: Still none. But the intro to Starman (ie the first 18.5 seconds of the track) is definitely an off-cut from Space Oddity (or time travel). It’s like a green screen blanket made out of pure cosmos. Total genius. Another chroma key world.
Title: Aladdin Sane

Year: 1973

Notes: That weird squeal that Robert Plant does at the start of Immigrant Song? Sonic puke. You can hear it on Block Buster! by The Sweet, you can hear it on Rubber Bullets by 10CC. And you can hear it here. To be fair to Bowie, though, there is some forward motion here. One of Bowie’s most genius attributes is that there are stylistic echoes going forward and back between works that are otherwise discrete. It’s not like X sounding a bit like Y. It’s like X and Y come from the same place, the same iration, but different simultaneous iterations of the iration.

Standout tracks: Black Dog, Rock and Roll, Misty Mountain Hop, Going to California. Oops, wrong fucking LP.
Title: Pin Ups

Year: Fuck knows

Notes: I’ve never listened to this one.

Standout tracks: silence
Title: Diamond Dogs

Year: 1974

Notes: The opening seconds sound like the Immigrant Song screech being pitch-shifted down and echoing, briefly, around the base of a garbage can. It’s a great 3 seconds. The rest of the record – when compared to the previous half-decade’s output by the artist – is like fresh air. At last. The title track even references an oxygen tent – as well as the Immigrant Song screech. It’s like meta-commentary stand-up comedy.

Standout tracks: Bowie’s cover version of the Generation X song „Rebel Rebel“ is prescient. How did he know they’d sound like that a half-decade later? It’s a mystery. „1984“ tries the same prescient trick, doing an Isaac Hayes except that hook was well in the past by then. The „Twilight Zone“ sample at the end ain’t fooling anyone.
Title: Young Americans

Year: 1975

Notes: More prescience. Young Dave foresaw Donald Trump’s hairstyle and nicked it for the cover art. Largely, the music is nicotinised soul. You imagine a lot of coughing and phlegm in the smoking zone. Although there may not have been a smoking ban in 1975? The smokers are all dead, so no-one can check. (Marlboro Red please. And a double espresso. Danke.)

Standout tracks: Young Americans, Fame, Right.
Title: Station to Station

Year: 1976

Notes: Lyrical genius. „It’s not the side effects of the cocaine. I’m thinking that it must be love. It’s too late to be grateful … I won’t let the day pass without her.“

Standout tracks: Station to Station, Wild is the Wind.
Title: Low

Year: 1977

Notes: If Station to Station was like plate tectonics – plate to plate, stationary-stationary – then Low is the place it hinted at trying to get to but never quite found the coordinates for. It may feel like there has been an eternity since the last truly great David Bowie record in this post, but a quick look at the above text, the calendar and some magical arithmetic on a Casio calculator puts the distance at ten years. 1967 is the debut LP year, 1977 is Low. I’ve checked twice with the Casio and it does compute. Only 10 years passed between 1967 and 1977. The weave of time and space must have a central fuck up, or crack up, or a whole book of crack ups. How did we get here? Via Sell Me A Coat and the Immigrant Song high-register honk? Maybe. By the way, I saw a Blood Transfusion Service van driving up the street on Friday. Ordinarily this would be unremarkable, of course, but then I saw a horde of vampires running after it. The blood van stopped at the red light, and the vampires sprinted close, within kicking distance of its number plate. Saliva dripping from their fangs. A blood frenzy. Then the lights changed to amber and the transfusion service van was off at 30 miles per hour into that generalised granular dark concrete greyness that is typical of your usual UK street. A literal disappearance, an unplayful camouflage. The vampires ran on in vain, in the drizzle.

Standout tracks: Art Decade, Warszawa, Sound and Vision
Title: Heroes


Notes: Lighter than low, less listlessness. Production almost dubby by comparison. Funny cover art.

Standout tracks: V-2 Schneider, Sense of Doubt

Title: Lodger

Year: 1979

Notes: Unbelievably influential – most of UK pop for the whole of the 80s intertextualised (copied) this record. Stylistically a masterpiece but emotionally it’s kind of empty. It’s like Hollywoodisation as a statement. Really, really fucking weird.

Standout track: Red Sails
Title: Scary Monsters etc.

Year: 1980

Notes: This has the absolute worst cover art. (Actually Pin Ups is equally bad.) Fucking Pierrot? Fuck off! Musically I like this one a lot. It’s Dave back in full-on pop music mode after a ling time in avant-garde mode. Some real classics here. Ashes to Ashes is a piece of art so successful that it actually enters the limbic system the first time you hear it, and never lets go.

Standout tracks, the above-mentioned, plus Up the Hill Backwards, Fashion, Teenage Wildlife
Title: Let’s Dance

Year: 1983

Notes: More shit cover art. C’mon Dave, wtf? But God, I love this record. So, so much. Modern Love is so great that I almost puke with joy when I hear it. China Girl reprises the ersatz orientalisms of Red Money. But I forgive it because it’s a great song, and brilliantly song. Great song follows great song. Then about halfway it begins to run out of steam. I love populist stuff and Let’s Dance does populism well . There’s no millionaire’s guilt here – no „I can see those fighter planes“. It works for me.

Standout tracks: the first 4 or 5
Title: Tonight

Year: 1984

Notes: The cover art is quite good. The music is all very pleasant. Should come with a health warning though for the awful cover version of God Only Knows. Jesus, the original is depressing enough. Listen tothis one and you may find yourself on the phone to fucking Dignitas.

Standout tracks: Don’t Look Down, Neighborhood Threat
Title: Never Let Me Down

Year: 1987

Notes: Some good songs (Time Will Crawl, Glass Spider, Shining Star). 80s production is at its high watermark here. But this record is remarkable for its sense of absence. It’s like Dave’s true self has moved on but a kind of Dave shell has stayed behind on microphone duties. Terrible, awful, crap cover art. None of the music is awful.

Standout tracks: the above-mentioned
Title: Tin Machine

Year: 1989

Notes: Tit machine, morelike.

Standout tracks: nil
Title: Tin Machine 2

Year: Fuck knows

Notes: never heard this LP. Any good?
Title: Black Tie etc.

Year: 1993

Notes: Crap title imho. Musically no real surprises. Plenty of good tunes. A very good recorded – but was it marketed well? Some of the songwriting here is worthy of a Légion d’honneur.

Standout tracks: Jump They Say, Looking for Lester
Title: Outside

Year: 1995

Notes: Mystifying. Occasionally truly great.

Standout track: Algeria Touchshriek, Strangers When We Meet
Title: Earthling, Hours, Heathen, Reality

Year: 1997 – 2003

Notes: Reality is the most comfortable of these – but all have their moments

Standout tracks: Days, Thursday’s Child, The Dreamers, Everyone Says ‚Hi‘
Title: The Next Day

Year: 2013

Notes: Where Are We Now? Is a classic, no question.

Standout tracks: the above-mentioned, plus If You Can See Me and The Stars Are Out Tonight

2015 27 Jun

take your bike and …

| Abgelegt unter: Blog | RSS 2.0 | TB | 6 Kommentare


Amsterdam sunset, nice day

2015 27 Jun

Ornette vier four

| Abgelegt unter: Blog | RSS 2.0 | TB | Kommentare geschlossen



2015 27 Jun

Downtown Music Gallery

| Abgelegt unter: Blog | RSS 2.0 | TB | 1 Kommentar

Gestern erreichte mich dieser ungewöhnliche Newsletter:
The rich get richer and the poor get worse
Ain’t nothing left but dust in my purse
We all have families so how we gonna feed’em?
Where’s Robin Hood when we really need him?
Summer is here and the heat is a drag
I wish I had some answers so I could brag

Music is the only thing that keeps me sane
So listen closely before it all goes down the drain.
Time to check out some New Music from Our Favorite Folks:

John Zorn/Dreamers‘ Pellucidar! Dave Douglas! High Risk! Ingrid Laubrock
Anti-House III! Thollem/Nels Cline/Wimberley! Blind Idiot God Returns!
Anthony Coleman! Schlippenbach/Hubweber/Schubert/Thomas/Kellers!

Karl Berger & Kirk Knuffke! Sara Serpa & Ran Blake! John Hollenbeck &
Frankfurt Big Band! Frank Lacy & Mingus Big Band! Sean Sonderegger’s
Magically Inclined! Motian Sickness! Joan Wildman & Joe Fonda!

Ken Aldcroft & Scott Thomson! Helio Parallax! Karin Krog Anthology! Peter
Tosh! Waylon Jennings! Lou Reed! Lemon Pipers! And even more …!

2015 27 Jun


| Abgelegt unter: Blog | RSS 2.0 | TB | Kommentare geschlossen

Robert Plant: „This is a thing called ‚Bron-Yr-Aur‘. This is a name of the little cottage in the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales, and ‚Bron-Yr-Aur‘ is the Welsh equivalent of the phrase ‚Golden Breast‘. This is so because of its position every morning as the sun rises and it’s a really remarkable place. And so after staying there for a while and deciding it was time to leave for various reasons, we couldn’t really just leave it and forget about it. You’ve probably all been to a place like that, only we can tell you about it and you can’t tell us.“

I guess I have, Robert. Summer Solstice 15 years ago. Here. It was magical. But I spilt cider on my mobile phone and knackered it.

Manafonistas | Impressum | Kontakt | Datenschutz