“The Grateful Dead formed during the era when bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were dominating the airwaves. “The Beatles were why we turned from a jug band into a rock ‘n’ roll band,” said Bob Weir. “What we saw them doing was impossibly attractive. I couldn’t think of anything else more worth doing” Former folk-scene star Bob Dylan had recently put out a couple of records featuring electric instrumentation. Grateful Dead members have said that it was after attending a concert by the touring New York City band The Lovin’ Spoonful that they decided to “go electric” and look for a dirtier sound. Gradually, many of the East-Coast American folk musicians, formerly luminaries of the coffee-house scene, were moving in the electric direction. It was natural for Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, each of whom had been immersed in the American folk music revival of the late 1950s and early ’60s, to be open-minded toward electric guitars. But the new Dead music was also naturally different from bands like Dylan’s or the Spoonful, partly because their fellow musician Phil Lesh came out of a schooled classical and electronic music background, while Pigpen was a no-nonsense deep blues lover and drummer Bill Kreutzmann had a jazz and R&B background. For comparison purposes, their first LP (The Grateful Dead, Warner Brothers, 1967), was released in the same year that Pink Floyd released The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Grateful Dead’s early music (in the mid 1960s) was part of the process of establishing what “psychedelic music” was, but theirs was essentially a “street party” form of it. They developed their “psychedelic” playing as a result of meeting Ken Kesey in Palo Alto, CA and subsequently becoming the house band to the Acid Tests he staged” (wikipedia.org)
Hablar de Jimi Hendrix a estas alturas resulta casi absurdo, en cuanto que está considerado como uno de los mejores guitarristas de todos los tiempos, así como de los más innovadores. Fue de los pioneros en introducir el concepto del Power-Trio, aunando las tareas de guitarrista rítmico y solista en una sola figura, gracias al empleo de pedales de feedback o los entonces novedosos wah-wahs. Partiendo de bases de Rythmn´n´Blues, su música derivó hacia el Ragga-Rock o el Rock Progresivo, siendo una influencia vital en bandas y guitarristas posteriores, especialmente en los setenta. Como curiosidad, os diré que ninguno de los tres miembros originales de The Jimi Hendrix Experience permanece con vida, detalle macabro donde los haya.
“Though initially conceived as Hendrix’s backing band, The Experience soon became much more than that. Following the lead of Cream, they were one of the first groups to popularise the “power trio” format, which essentially stripped a rock band line-up down to the essentials: guitar, bass and drums. This smaller format also encouraged more extroverted playing from the band members, often at very high volumes. In the case of The Experience, Hendrix mixed lead and rhythm guitar duties into one, while also making use of guitar effects such as feedback and later the wah-wah pedal to an extent that had never been heard before. Mitchell played hard-hitting jazz-influenced grooves that often served a melodic role as much as they did timekeeping. Redding played deceptively simple bass lines that helped to anchor the band’s sound. Visually, they set the trend in psychedelic clothes, and, following his band-mates’ Bob Dylan 1966-style hair-do’s, Mitchell got himself a permed copy. The group came to prominence in the US only after the June 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, one of the first major rock music festivals. The band’s performance ended with Hendrix famously setting his psychedelically painted Fender Stratocaster on fire. After the festival they were then asked to go on tour with The Monkees as the opening act. They left the tour after only a few dates – Chas Chandler later said that it was all a publicity stunt” (wikipedia.org)
1. Viola Lee Blues
2. Cold Rain and Snow
THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE
3. Killing Floor
4. Foxey Lady
5. Like A Rolling Stone
6. Rock Me Baby
7. Hey Joe
8. Can You See Me
9. The Wind Cries Mary
10. Purple Haze
11. Wild Thing
“Leader Luke Wyland and percussionist Dana Valatka have found a powerful symbiosis that casts them among some of the better fractured and noisy duos riding out on the distant periphery. Mention of Krautrock and Steve Reich gets tossed about in the company of Wyland, but his songs, despite their own auteur-like minimalism, travel well beyond those markers.
In a live setting the duo expands into what might be called a mini-orchestra, with up to 20 members. The lone new song here, “Ida Walked Away,” is a real nice find. It comes out swinging, and slowly makes its way toward a much more cacophonous and curmudgeonly Talking Heads track, or maybe an outtake from the noisy record the ‘Heads never released. “RR vs. D” dons My Morning Jacket apparel with a melody that’s all tangled up in blue. “All Myself” is slower, denser and even more emotionally complex and dank, coming closest to the experimental side of Soft Machine.
“Death” also hangs around with Jim James and the fellas for a spell, before falling apart altogether, and wandering around aimlessly like an oddly subdued Truman’s Water, or something equally oxymoronic. “Boute” even goes so far as to flirt with some of the bitter and caustic John Cale material circa mid-late 70s. Wyland has established that he can cop a sound from just about anywhere, reanimate the past and even rattle some cages. Now, can he produce the Masterpiece that will propel him to the heights of some of his compatriots? The next real album will tell us a lot. Versions is also available on ten-inch vinyl in a limited edition of 500″ (imposemagazine.com)
“Welsh songbird Cerys Matthews, once voted the Sexiest Female in Rock (Melody Maker 1999) must be cockahoop with her new album. Don’t Look Down is a drastic shift from her debut solo, Cockahoop and its follow-up Never Said Goodbye.
Her first album was deeply rooted in her then surroundings in America, when she was married. Her return to Wales (and now London) has brought a much bigger musical vision set in the 60s and occasional dips into her ex-band’s repertoire. There’s no attempt to become another Duffy however, though I’m sure she’s noticed what her compatriot has been up to.
After several ups-and-downs following her departure from Catatonia – a divorce from Nashville record producer Seth Riddle, a relocation to her beloved Wales and much publicised fling with an I’m A Celebrity…contestant, this album acts as a form of catharsis.
On the lush 60s Into The Blue she declares,” I’m not looking for trouble, trouble always finds me,” though her spirit remains upbeat.
In a recent showing on BBC 1’s The One Show, she admitted it was an album of positives, hence Don’t Look Down.
Broadening her musical horizons, Matthews includes some huge production values a la Phil Spector found on the cinematic sweep of Arlington Way, a strong single in the making. Those soundscapes are littered masterfully across the entire collection however.
Keeping the retro-feel, there’s also nod in the Motown direction on perky dance -bound Smash The Glass, while sweet filigree ballad Aeroplanes veers towards a ’68 mood, providing our Cerys with one of her best vocal performances ever.
There’s a grittier epic touch to the laidback Spider And The Fly whereas It’s What’s Left is mostly chaotic hi-octane pop proving the lady can still pack a punch.
Salutations takes the form of a desperately lonely mum noting a diary to a smooth and stylish sweep and hushed voice: the jewel in the crown. Then she goes all bold and brassy like some of her Catatonia days on punchy A Captain Needs A Ship, with edgy Heron hinting at 40s angst.
Matthews has written some great pop singles…but this is her best work to date, no question.The verdict – Very, very impressive” (allgigs.co.uk)
Roger Houdaille, líder y compositor principal de Ex Norwegian, en vista de que muchas de sus canciones andaban rodando por la red en formato demo, decidió tomar el toro por los cuernos y editar este Alternate Stand By, utilizando la interesante plataforma BandCamp y así apuntarse a la moda de este año de editar un disco y una continuación más o menos inmediata, debido al éxito del primero. Lo cierto es que este Alternate Stand By no está nada mal, aunque sin duda desmerece a Stand By, uno de los mejores discos de Power-Pop del año, mucho más cuidado y arreglado, aunque así el grupo de Florida se mantiene en la actualidad musical y los seguidores sabemos cómo se gestionó el mismo. Interesante pero no imprescindible.
2. Sigur Ros Banana (demo) 03:25 info download
3. Something Unreal (demo) 02:07 info download
4. Fresh Pit (demo) 02:05 info download
5. Pow3rfull (alternate version) 02:17 info download
6. Sudeki Lover (original version) 02:50 info download
7. Sudeki Lover (demo) 02:37 info download
8. Add Vice (demo) 03:24 info download
9. Gross You (demo) 02:01 info download
10. Dance Trance Pants (demo) 02:58 info download
11. All Over Again (demo) 03:03 info download
12. My Name Is Paul (demo) 03:24 info download
13. Ginger, Baby (outtake) 02:54
“The first three tracks of Parade provide the perfect introduction to Afternoon Naps, a rust belt pop band that has been bringing sunshine pop to their gloomy post-industrial climes since 2006. “Plum City Fight Song,” the band’s homage to their hometown, begins the album with a healthy dose of guitarist Tom Dechristofaro’s Moz-lite vocals, while the third tune, “The Day We Started,” provides a crash course in the moonstruck glee of keyboardist Leia Hohenfeld. Sandwiched between these songs, “Beach Bums” finds the duo sharing the vocal burden more equally, a combination as blissful as it is an accurate foreshadowing of the album’s additional seven tracks. Though several nuances exist song to song, the overall album is a notable for the consistency of its joyful, simple, and smart music. In a word, Afternoon Naps-style pop is perfect.
Though not intended as anything remotely like a concept album, Parade might reasonably be considered one, as it is a jangly, jumbly bit of songs about relationships in various stages. From first moments and late night kisses to break-ups and longing, the album could quite aptly be the non-linear soundtrack of the rise and fall of a lost love. For every track like “Beach Bums,” which references frustration with a relationship that resists resuscitation, and “Seasons May Change,” about the confusion and unanswered questions that accompany every failed relationship, there is a song like “The Day We Started” and its ode to first encounters or “Mitten Fingers,” a song that accompanies the tale of one simple tender moment with a slight Cardigans vibe.
Throughout the record, the listener faces a constant battle in determining whether the best part of any given song is found in the music or the lyrics. Both Hohenfeld and Dechristofaro are sublime songwriters, but are both equally proficient at their respective instruments (as are drummer Craig Ramsey and bassist Mike Allan). For example, in my favorite track (”Beach Bums”), one is torn between more strongly loving the flying bass and uber-danceable closing organ jam or the many killer lines, from “you’re written like an apology/and put the blame on cartography” and “at the point of our happenstance/I find myself indifferent.” Indeed, Dechristofaro’s delivery is the only imaginable version that could rhyme “happenstance” with “indifferent” and not make my eyes roll. Instead, it makes me think … “awesome.” Similarly, on “The Day We Started” I’m equally taken with the vintage croon of “si-i-i-gn” as I am the organ’s delightful lilt, while on “Catholic School” I’ll never know whether a line like “but they can’t teach a schoolgirl how to kiss to a song” is better than the revved-up 50s girl group instrumentals paired miced-down vocal mix, or vice versa. Overall, I’m inclined to go with the vocals – you can’t beat the 70s pop “bah bah bahs” on “Bubblegum 45,” the pitch-perfect duet on “Discoverse,” and Dechristofaro’s wise plea for a new lover to “stay my dear/I see magic here” on “Plum City Fight Song” – but the band operates so lightly and tightly any forgotten compliment seems like a critical betrayal.
It is when I try to decide who Afternoon Naps remind me of, I’m fully struck by their contribution and potential. While Dechristofaro’s vocals frequently call to mind a leaner Morrisey, there are other moments (particularly on “Mitten Fingers”) when I find myself thinking Bowie, the band moves fluidly from disco-pop (”Discoverse”) to songs that call to mind acts as disparate as The Turtles (”Bubblegum 45″), The Monkees (”The Fall Companion”), and The Sundays (”Digitally Altered Sunset,” the album’s closing track that shows off arrangement skills in a way the rest of the album, however brilliant, does not). Whatever the reference you find as you listen, I think you’ll agree that on Parade, the band does an excellent job of putting the listener back in key moments in the romantic development of their youth and, for some, the tender and vulnerable moments of adulthood” (citizendick.org)
MySpace Cómpralo/Get it
Oír/Hear – Afternoon Naps: Bech bums
THE BLUES PROJECT
1. The Flute Thing
JANIS JOPLIN AND BIG BROTHER & THE HOLDING COMPANY
2. Combination of Two
4. For What It’s Worth
5. Nowday’s Clancy Can’t Even Sing
6. Rock & Roll Woman
9. Summertime Blues
10. Pictures Of Lily
11. A Quick One
12. Happy Jack
13. My Generation
“When we last left the Mary Onettes, the Swedish quartet was diligently channeling the sounds of the 1980s without a lick of the irony that often imbues such revivalism. Their retro moves seemed less about building upon the decade’s musical legacy as encapsulating its finer points for consumption by a new generation. Which, hey, was a perfectly cool way to go about things. At their best, the band positively nailed the bruised romanticism and exquisite melancholy that marked a certain strain of that decade’s best pop, and besides, most of the signature propagators of said pop were by then long gone or, worse yet, distant shadows of their former selves. Plus it’s not like you’ll catch any of the old guard in the tiny-ish clubs and early-afternoon festival slots the Mary Onettes are used to playing, so for those seeking stadium-sized grandeur in parlor-intimate spaces, the band has something relatively unique to offer. The self-titled The Mary Onettes from 2007, in fact, turned out not unlike many records from the era it emulated: several excellent singles or would-be singles (“Lost”, “Slow”, “Void”, “Under the Guillotine”), the token slow jam (“The Laughter”), an effective opener and closer (“Pleasure Songs” and “Still”, respectively), and, well, some not terribly memorable stuff in between. All of which makes Islands, the Mary Onettes’ follow-up, an at once enchanting and frustrating listen. Yes, the high points of the previous record are duplicated here– but so too are the same problems that occasionally bogged down that record.
Opener “Puzzles” actually betters The Mary Onettes’ lead track, the great-tune-with-questionable-lyrics “Pleasure Songs”, galloping along on a spritely keyboard riff and setting an appropriate tone for the nine tracks to follow. “Let’s talk about what feels strange on the inside,” vocalist Philip Ekström offers, an apt enough invitation to the scores of disaffected youngsters with which this sort of music has always resonated best. “Dare”, “Symmetry”, and “The Disappearance of My Youth”, then, are the hot singlez here, and each has the band showing off a few new tricks. “Symmetry” gets extra sentimental with the strings, “Dare” soars near the heights of “Lost” on the strength of plenty of “ooohs” and “ahhhs”, and “Disappearance” features– what else?– a children’s choir joining in to sing the title line. Their brief major label dalliance a half decade behind them, it’s clear the Mary Onettes’ ambitions haven’t wavered in the least. Elsewhere, a few numbers– notably the slow jam (“Cry for Love”) and the closer (“Bricks”)– fall short of their counterparts on LP1. The former lacks the poise and grace of “The Laughter”, while the latter generally sounds like a limp rehash of several earlier tracks on Islands, very much in want of a distinguishing feature. At least “Still” settled on a strident march beat that evoked a spirited departure off into the sunset (or, better yet, the rain); “Bricks” just kind of meanders off in a mid-tempo haze.
Indeed, distinction would serve the rest of the tracks on Islands well; as on The Mary Onettes, the stuff in between here tends to drift by largely unnoticed. Ekström has stated that the title Islands refers to how “every song is like a record of its very own,” and ironically this is perhaps the biggest snare this time around: without a sonic story arc of sorts to create continuity across Islands, we’re encouraged to hold the tracks against one another (hence the partitioning above into “great” and “just okay” camps) rather than consider them in relation to the whole of the album. In short, somebody needs to introduce these guys to transitions, interludes, intros, outros, deliberate sketches, ambience, that sort of thing (although, in fairness, Islands does open with a nice bit of panoramic, cloud-parting feedbackery)– a means to more effectively tie all these so-called “islands” together. The otherwise unremarkable “Century” includes a telling line: “I’ve never been good at holding back,” Ekström declares there. Until he is, the Mary Onettes will likely remain a killer singles band that makes just pretty good albums” (pitchfork.com)
La canción de adelanto ha sido “Hal Blaine’s Beat”, sobre el famoso ritmo del “Be My Baby” de las Ronettes. Hal Blaine era el batería del que fue el mejor grupo de sesión de la historia: The Wrecking Crew (les puedes escuchar en los discos de los Byrds, Sonny and Cher, Nancy Sinatra, Simon & Garfunkel, The Association, The Ronettes o, otra vez, los Beach Boys)” (Nota de prensa)
“The first track on Headlights’ newest album is called “Telephones”, but there are a half-dozen other songs on Wildlife that could’ve feasibly been titled the same. Phones are all over the indie pop band’s third full-length effort: they ring with no one to answer them; calls are short and only reinforce the distance, both literal and emotional, between yourself and the ones you love. The telephone serves as the great motif and most pernicious tool in reinforcing the album’s overriding theme, which is how frail, fraught, and difficult to maintain the connections are between family, lovers, and friends.
You may be thinking this synopsis sounds pretty heady for an indie-pop record, especially coming from a band that rather guilelessly trumpets itself as “Indie Rock for People Who Love Pop” on its web site, and that made its biggest splash to date with a politely infectious single called “Cherry Tulips”. It’s actually quite easy to listen to Wildlife as a breezily low-key indie pop record if that’s what you’d prefer, though that short-sells the group’s admirable conceptual accomplishments. Musically, the album is largely loose-limbed and friendly, from the ringing, melodic guitar lines of “Telephones” to the easy sun-kissed vibes of “Get Going” to the almost cheekily hollow trashcan drumbeats of “Love Song for Buddy”. “I Don’t Mind at All” approximates the tense propulsion of Broken Social Scene, but that’s about as sonically pensive as it gets. Even the group’s purposefully moody musical bum trips are mostly too benign to really sting, and the album’s generally undemonstrative character makes it ripe for an ignorable listen assuming you’re not feeling inclined to really dig beneath its placidly shimmering surfaces.
So Wildlife isn’t exactly bursting at the seams with earworms, but it’s a worthy achievement for taking a poignant, powerful emotional state and carrying its thread for 42 minutes. The band’s bio admits Wildlife was a difficult album to make, the recording process marked by a near-total scrapping of material at one point as well as the eventual departure of guitarist John Owen. It seems this tumultuous experience– along with other, unspecified personal hardships– deeply affected the outlooks of songwriting principals Tristan Wraight and Erin Fein. More than anything, emphasis seems to be placed on how difficult it is to maintain friendships throughout the passage of time– maybe it’s something as simple as the fact that you’re “so far from home” (“Telephones”), or maybe your friends are physically close, but are just “too busy growing old” (“Dead Ends”). Fein in particular tries desperately to break through, pratically breathless in her desire on “Secrets” to know another’s darkest moments and deepest agonies. By the end of Wildlife, it’s almost as if the effort of trying to connect and understand has left everyone emotionally exhausted– without wallowing in nostalgia, the closing “Slow Down Town” muses on “Easier times/ When your friends were around/ And they called you on the weekend/ And you knew where all the people hung out.” If you’ve stayed with Headlights this long, chances are when the record ends you yourself will be grabbing a phone and making a call, and hoping you don’t get sent to voice mail” (pitchfork.com)
Shankar befriended Richard Bock, founder of World Pacific Records, on his first American tour and recorded most of his albums in the 1950s and 1960s for Bock’s label. The Byrds recorded at the same studio and heard Shankar’s music, which led them to incorporate some of its elements in theirs, introducing the genre to their friend George Harrison of The Beatles. Harrison became interested in Indian classical music, bought a sitar and used it to record the song “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”. This led to Indian music being used by other musicians and created the raga rock trend. Harrison met Shankar in London in 1966 and visited India for six weeks to study sitar under Shankar in Srinagar. During the visit, a documentary film about Shankar named Raga was shot by Howard Worth, and released in 1971. Shankar’s association with Harrison greatly increased Shankar’s popularity and Ken Hunt of Allmusic would state that Shankar had become “the most famous Indian musician on the planet” by 1966. In 1967, he performed at the Monterey Pop Festival and won a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance for West Meets East, a collaboration with Yehudi Menuhin. The same year, the Beatles won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band which included “Within You Without You” by Harrison, a song that was influenced by Indian classical music. Shankar opened the Kinnara School of Music in Los Angeles, California, in May 1967, and published a best-selling autobiography, My Music, My Life, in 1969. He performed at the Woodstock Festival in August 1969, and found he disliked the venue. In the 1970s Shankar distanced himself from the hippie movement” (wikipedia.org)
Disc 6 (Sunday Afternoon 18.06.1967)
1. Raga Bhimpalasi
2. Tabla Solo In Ektal
3. Dhun (Dadra and Fast Teental)