DEAD NOTES #8
Killer stuff from Darryl Norsen. 
"The Airplane’s guitarist Jorma Kaukonen had affixed an ad hoc recording setup at the lip of the stage resulting in one of the crudest live tapes from 1968 that is equal parts mind fuck (the sound dips in and out as he moves the setup around the stage creating an ‘altered’ listening experience) and ear splitting, as you can hear every instrumental nook and cranny of a ferocious ‘Alligator’ that begins with a fan’s cosmic wail." 

DEAD NOTES #8

Killer stuff from Darryl Norsen. 

"The Airplane’s guitarist Jorma Kaukonen had affixed an ad hoc recording setup at the lip of the stage resulting in one of the crudest live tapes from 1968 that is equal parts mind fuck (the sound dips in and out as he moves the setup around the stage creating an ‘altered’ listening experience) and ear splitting, as you can hear every instrumental nook and cranny of a ferocious ‘Alligator’ that begins with a fan’s cosmic wail." 

Every Day Is Like Sunday
Good news! There’s a new Robyn Hitchcock album, The Man Upstairs, coming out in August. It’s a mix of covers and originals — check out “The Ghost In You” — and it’s produced by the legendary Joe Boyd. To get excited, here’s a re-up of a covers session from 1993-ish, featuring a handful of Boyd-related artists like Richard Thompson, the Incredible String Band and Syd Barrett. And others! Here’s what I wrote way back when: 
Robyn Hitchcock covering Queen Elvis himself? Yes, on this demo session packed with covers of Dylan, The Beatles, Roxy Music, Incredible String Band and others, Robyn plays a rather nice version of Morrissey’s “Every Day Is Like Sunday.” Not sure of the exact year this was recorded, but it’s sometimes called the “A&M Session,” so I’m going to say it’s some time in the early 90s. Highlights include the aforementioned Mozzer tune, a haunting “Señor (Tales of Yankee Power),” Syd’s deathless “Dominoes,” and Richard & Linda Thompson’s “Calvary Cross.” Impressively, Hitchcock makes each and every one of them sound like he wrote it himself. No mean feat!
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Every Day Is Like Sunday

Good news! There’s a new Robyn Hitchcock album, The Man Upstairs, coming out in August. It’s a mix of covers and originals — check out “The Ghost In You” — and it’s produced by the legendary Joe Boyd. To get excited, here’s a re-up of a covers session from 1993-ish, featuring a handful of Boyd-related artists like Richard Thompson, the Incredible String Band and Syd Barrett. And others! Here’s what I wrote way back when: 

Robyn Hitchcock covering Queen Elvis himself? Yes, on this demo session packed with covers of Dylan, The Beatles, Roxy Music, Incredible String Band and others, Robyn plays a rather nice version of Morrissey’s “Every Day Is Like Sunday.” Not sure of the exact year this was recorded, but it’s sometimes called the “A&M Session,” so I’m going to say it’s some time in the early 90s. Highlights include the aforementioned Mozzer tune, a haunting “Señor (Tales of Yankee Power),” Syd’s deathless “Dominoes,” and Richard & Linda Thompson’s “Calvary Cross.” Impressively, Hitchcock makes each and every one of them sound like he wrote it himself. No mean feat!

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SUMMER OF DEAD 2014: Call For Submissions
Dead Freaks! And the rest of you, too! As you may recall, I’ve done a Summer of Dead series for the past two years, where I listen to a lot of Grateful Dead, spanning the years 1965-1995. This year, I thought I’d try to shake things up and have some guest writers write a little bit about a favorite (or least favorite or whatever) show. The only rule is that there are no rules, man. Pick any year, write 5,000 words or 50. I’ve already got a few non-Deadheads lined up to contribute, so don’t be shy if you’re not deeply versed in this stuff. It’ll be totally fun, I promise. Just shoot me an email at tywilc@gmail.com if you’re interested! 

SUMMER OF DEAD 2014: Call For Submissions

Dead Freaks! And the rest of you, too! As you may recall, I’ve done a Summer of Dead series for the past two years, where I listen to a lot of Grateful Dead, spanning the years 1965-1995. This year, I thought I’d try to shake things up and have some guest writers write a little bit about a favorite (or least favorite or whatever) show. The only rule is that there are no rules, man. Pick any year, write 5,000 words or 50. I’ve already got a few non-Deadheads lined up to contribute, so don’t be shy if you’re not deeply versed in this stuff. It’ll be totally fun, I promise. Just shoot me an email at tywilc@gmail.com if you’re interested! 

"Moscow Nights" - The Feelies, The Paradise, Boston, Massachusetts, 1988 (or 1989)

The Feelies are playing a few shows on (where else?) the east coast this weekend. If you’re anywhere near Cambridge, MA, Pawtucket, RI or Pleasantville, NY, you know where you should be. That last show is particularly cool — it’s coupled with a screening of Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild, which the Feelies appeared in so memorably all those years ago. Here’s something cool for the rest of us: a rare clip of the band playing at Boston’s Paradise club in the late 80s. It’s paired up nicely with audio from a contemporaneous Maxwell’s show. Not exactly “synched” but a cool viewing experience nonetheless. Thanks to Janice for putting it together! 

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, BOSTON, 1967 (COLOR)
Head over to the Boo Hooray blog to check out 30+ minutes of the VU at the Boston Tea Party in the spring ‘67. I posted a snippet of this last year, but now, you can dig the whole thing. Don’t get tooooo excited — the sound is terrible, and the band disappears from sight throughout a lot of it. But it is all we’ve got — the Exploding Plastic Inevitable in all its exploding plastic inevitability! You can pick out various tunes being played — “Guess I’m Falling In Love,” “Heroin,” “Run Run Run,” “Venus In Furs,” “Sister Ray”… This is not a dream-come-true find — but it might just capture the overall feeling of an EPI show. Like, this film is a good representation of how confused, disoriented and overwhelmed you’d probably feel if you were there in the audience. So maybe it is a dream come true. It’s just a really weird dream. 

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, BOSTON, 1967 (COLOR)

Head over to the Boo Hooray blog to check out 30+ minutes of the VU at the Boston Tea Party in the spring ‘67. I posted a snippet of this last year, but now, you can dig the whole thing. Don’t get tooooo excited — the sound is terrible, and the band disappears from sight throughout a lot of it. But it is all we’ve got — the Exploding Plastic Inevitable in all its exploding plastic inevitability! You can pick out various tunes being played — “Guess I’m Falling In Love,” “Heroin,” “Run Run Run,” “Venus In Furs,” “Sister Ray”… This is not a dream-come-true find — but it might just capture the overall feeling of an EPI show. Like, this film is a good representation of how confused, disoriented and overwhelmed you’d probably feel if you were there in the audience. So maybe it is a dream come true. It’s just a really weird dream. 

Creedence Clearwater Revival & Booker T. Jones - Fantasy Session ‘70
This is no fantasy. It’s real! CCR and Booker T. went into San Fran’s Berkeley’s Fantasy Studios in January 1970 and recorded a set of chooglin’ jams. I believe that the MG’s contribute too, but it’s unclear. Sounds like Steve Cropper is in the mix, anyway. It’s a loose, friendly affair, meandering at times, but there are magical moments aplenty.  

Creedence Clearwater Revival & Booker T. Jones - Fantasy Session ‘70

This is no fantasy. It’s real! CCR and Booker T. went into San Fran’s Berkeley’s Fantasy Studios in January 1970 and recorded a set of chooglin’ jams. I believe that the MG’s contribute too, but it’s unclear. Sounds like Steve Cropper is in the mix, anyway. It’s a loose, friendly affair, meandering at times, but there are magical moments aplenty.  

"Glide Time" - The High Llamas, French Television, 1998

Let’s all take a few minutes to remind ourselves of the greatness of the High Llamas. Sean O’Hagan and co. have been making beautiful music for well over two decades now and (like their pals in Stereolab) their LPs only seem to get better with age. This instrumental has always been a favorite. 

Crooning ‘Neath The Moon
Oh shit, it’s Bob Dylan’s birthday. In light of his recent crooner-ific new tune, here’s a whole compilation of Neverending Tour trips down Tin Pan Alley. [Kind of — there are a few outliers. I forget, did Cole Porter write “Hey Joe”?] Sound quality is variable, but hey, some of these were totally random, one-time only performances. I think it’s a fun listen — as opposed to say, the hundredth run-through of “All Along The Watchtower,” Dylan has to actually sell these songs to his audience. Highlights include a misty-eyed “Moon River,” a schmaltzed out “Answer Me, My Love” and my favorite, a gruff “You Don’t Know Me.” That last one could serve as Dylan’s theme song, couldn’t it? “You think you know me well / But you don’t know me.” Happy birthday, Bob — may you stay forever unknowable.  
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Crooning ‘Neath The Moon

Oh shit, it’s Bob Dylan’s birthday. In light of his recent crooner-ific new tune, here’s a whole compilation of Neverending Tour trips down Tin Pan Alley. [Kind of — there are a few outliers. I forget, did Cole Porter write “Hey Joe”?] Sound quality is variable, but hey, some of these were totally random, one-time only performances. I think it’s a fun listen — as opposed to say, the hundredth run-through of “All Along The Watchtower,” Dylan has to actually sell these songs to his audience. Highlights include a misty-eyed “Moon River,” a schmaltzed out “Answer Me, My Love” and my favorite, a gruff “You Don’t Know Me.” That last one could serve as Dylan’s theme song, couldn’t it? “You think you know me well / But you don’t know me.” Happy birthday, Bob — may you stay forever unknowable.  

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AD Presents :: African Women Sing (Ghost Capital V – A Mixtape)
Haven’t listened yet, but I’m going to go ahead and recommend this one. Ghost Capital hasn’t steered me wrong yet. 
"The fifth installment of our ongoing mixtape collaboration with Nick Barbery of the Portland, OR based, Ghost Capital. In addition to his online digs, Barbery hosts the monthly radio show Africa O-Ye! at Portland’s eclectic community FM station, KBOO. At 31 tracks, the following mix celebrates the rich and varied female driven music of the African continent – past and present.”

AD Presents :: African Women Sing (Ghost Capital V – A Mixtape)

Haven’t listened yet, but I’m going to go ahead and recommend this one. Ghost Capital hasn’t steered me wrong yet. 

"The fifth installment of our ongoing mixtape collaboration with Nick Barbery of the Portland, OR based, Ghost Capital. In addition to his online digs, Barbery hosts the monthly radio show Africa O-Ye! at Portland’s eclectic community FM station, KBOO. At 31 tracks, the following mix celebrates the rich and varied female driven music of the African continent – past and present.”

"Take The ‘A’ Train" - Sun Ra & His Arkestra, Montreux, Switzerland, 1977

Cool to see various social feeds filling up with Sun Ra-dness today for his 100th birthday. Or the hundredth anniversary of his arrival on Earth, whichever you prefer. Here he is with the Arkestra blasting through the Billy Strayhorn-penned Duke Ellington theme song, “Take The ‘A’ Train.” Sun Ra’s extended piano intro is totally dazzling, but it’s John Gilmore’s solo that takes things to an appropriately interstellar level. Does this train stop at Saturn? 

Oh and hey - I recently re-upped the mighty Sun Ra Tengo compilation, featuring Yo La Tengo Sun Ra covers and Arkestra collabs. Get it!

Marika Papagika - The Further the Flame, the Worse it Burns Me,1919​-1928
Heads up! I wrote a bit about the new, hauntingly beautiful Alexis Zoumbas reissue for Aquarium Drunkard. Seriously, it is amazing. Here’s something else from the same realm that is also very much worth checking out. Marika Papagika was one of the most popular Greek singers in the U.S. in the 1920s, recording more than 200 sides. This excellent, budget-priced collection from Canary Records is a great intro.  

Marika Papagika - The Further the Flame, the Worse it Burns Me,1919​-1928

Heads up! I wrote a bit about the new, hauntingly beautiful Alexis Zoumbas reissue for Aquarium Drunkard. Seriously, it is amazing. Here’s something else from the same realm that is also very much worth checking out. Marika Papagika was one of the most popular Greek singers in the U.S. in the 1920s, recording more than 200 sides. This excellent, budget-priced collection from Canary Records is a great intro.