Saturday, January 10, 2015

Love Over Gold/To the Hawk Who Prays in His Sleep/The Spotlight Kid [repost January 2011]

A still unframed poster from the barn to air out on a warm summer day and a nice day to think about the Captain - what with all the birds out and about doing their thing (tuis, mynahs, kererus, tomtits etc). Did Peter Max design the poster and if so, why not use Don's own artwork? How did Don feel about it? Any readers know the designer? The "Clear Spot"/"Spotlight Kid" 3 cd outtake set is the holy grail up there with the "Funhouse" boxset. I first heard them on the great "Another Chapter From the Lives and Times of Captain Beefheart" 2 lp set (the first lp BBC sessions, the second outtakes). A whole book could be written on those sessions and if you search the web, it kinda has.

Here is the cover of the "Life and Times" lp. Well worth tracking down.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sleaze - Sleaze (Sing Sing Records 2012, recorded 1975)

Some of 1975’s best US/UK rockist records off the top of my head: Late Night Movies, All Night Brainstorms, 30 Seconds Over Tokyo/Heart Of Darkness, Landed(FRG), Go Girl Crazy, Siren, Horses, Indiscreet, Dressed to Kill, Toys in the Attic, Little Johnny Jewel, Young Americans? Heaps more no doubt. Does it matter if only 50 were pressed? If not then we may have to include the (somewhat) recent vinyl only reissue of TV Smith’s first band Sleaze from 1975. The Adverts Crossing the Red Sea With is one of the best class of 1977 lps that seems to get better with age, and this is what TV Smith was up to before he and Gaye up and left for the big smoke (Gaye does not play bass here but took the photos). Just the sort of art school rock that we like and in fact it was formed while Smith was at art school. What struck me about the Sleaze lp is its affinity with the first Doctors of Madness lp, which is a good thing though the sound is not so similar. Similar in that hybrid of prog, glam and Velvets with a bit of snarl and longish, prog length tracks. Of the tracks fer instance, “Dum de Dum” is like a molasses version of Mirrors “Inside of Here” – Velvets thump and probably originating nearly the same time that Mirrors were playing their track at the Viking Saloon. Just shows that whereas Mirrors were actually at La Cave for the Velvets (and recording it for posterity), TV Smith (not unlike Perrett’s England’s Glory), were inhaling the Velvets fumes second hand via Bowie and Lou solo. Another track, the opener “Show Biz Kid” sounds like it has a riff that Michael Belfer from the Sleepers would have hatched. All in all another excellent job from Sing Sing and worth tracking down if you missed it, as is the TV Smith BBC doco below.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

"To get my face on more screens" - Iggy to Tony Wilson 1977

These 1977-78 Iggy Euro TV lip-syncs, which are at minimum 35 years old, have the nonchalant air of someone who just showed up at the tv studio. But as I have written about here, more is going on. In any event, they hold up, no? Not necessarily a video supplement to The Idiot and Lust for Life, but interesting in that they don't diminish the songs either. "Sweet 16" in black and white just adds to a late 70's UHF vibe but spares no amount of energy for the 100 people in the tv studio. That "Lust for Life" with the pantomime face paint from the Psychedelic Stooges/Nico days! The French TV interview (wow!) as a counterpoint to the seriousness of the Tony Wilson interview - one has to view all the continental tv appearances as part of his broader practice. Man, somebody on the Dutch broadcasting service loved Iggy - no less than three solo appearances in a year and a half! Still cant believe that Dinah Shore had Iggy on so can't say we were totally deprived in the US (I remember seeing Alice on Dinah Shore circa "Welcome to My Nightmare"). I guess all you had to do was play golf to get on that show. While we in the states had to satiate ourselves with the Runaways on the "Rock and Roll Sports Classic" filmed at UC Irvine in 1978 (a winner well worth yer time - see below), the Dutch got Iggy goofing on the recording of "I Got a Right."

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Kickboy Face on R. Stevie Moore 1979/"David Bowie Started It and Roxy Music Strengthened It"

I was fortunate enough to finally see R. Stevie Moore live earlier this year with old friends in LA after listening to his music for a couple decades now, and even got to hear the original Halfnelson demo lp from R. Stevie as well about 10 years ago via the US Postal Service. It was also R. Stevie who tipped me off to the Mael Bros. appearance in the T.A.M.I. show crowd - Zappa was there as well! Which brings me to Kickboy's review of his 1978 "New Wave" 45 in Slash. Far from what you may think, there were no hard feelings. In fact, in 1980, Slash even published a review by Mr. Moore of Andy Partrdge's 1980 solo lp which you can read about right here. I have always liked the lyrics to "New Wave" as I am pretty new wave myself:

everybody's talking 'bout the
new direction rock and roll is
heading and the debut albums
coming every day
i am very happy just to
know i'm taken care of when it
comes to satisfaction in the
records that i play
1980's coming, don't you
feel it are you smart enough to
take it and accept it as a
renaissance of change
are you keeping up with all the
fever and the pace of every
musical involvement today, i say

new wave
dick clark meets stanley kubrick
don kirshner don't you like
new wave
electric underground
that just wants to be loved, yeah

everybody labels it and
uses it to wipe their ass
they criticize the lack of
expertise it has to show
then again there are some folks who
listen to it every chance they
get just to escape from
all the barry manilows
david bowie started it and
roxy music strengthened it and
now the latest incarnation's
eno and devo
ten or twenty years from now
i hope r.stevie moore will be
included in the list of telling
music where to go

new wave
bill haley's great great grandson
listens to trouser press
new wave
electric avant garde that
just wants to be purchased, yeah

i'm the only one i know who
feels so much regard for
XTC and talking heads and
the ramones and robert fripp
i don't have the time for anything
but 10cc and residents and johnny rotten
and i can't forget cheap trick
anybody listening can
understand ambition but i'm
going just a little overboard
with this whole trip
how it means so much to me
how little it must mean to you
the future is depending on the hip (eat shit!)

new wave
what's wrong with robert stigwood
he should adore the trend
new wave
recorded suicide that
just wants to live

Friday, October 24, 2014

Shoes This High "Nose One" ep advertisement 1981

While working on a review of Jack Name's excellent Light Show (the best Eno lp since 1975?!!), I was asked by a local why I didn't spend much time on NZ music on Waitakere Walks. I think I need to rectify that. So into the barn for an ad for one of the best NZ recordings of the early 80's. Siltbreeze put out a great live set earlier this year which tacks on the whole ep on the digital edition. For a first, I may even review a current local lp here on this site, Arthur Ahbez's Gold, my favourite local release since Chant Darling.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014