Beloved of many a culture and sub-culture. In fact they may be a culture all their own.
It is the considered opinion of your correspondent that if you manage to marry the innocent brilliance of Syd Barrett with the funk of Funkadelic and the attitude of The Doors you may have a winning combination to blow the mind of the unsuspecting pubic, solve the global climate crisis and perpetrate whirled peas on the planet as well as extinguishing the memory of Trump and his cronies. We could turn back time and right all historic wrongs and create a better more welcoming and inclusive society.
In fact it is my assertion that since 1971 every band that has been created has been an attempt to realize this utopian dream.
Until the moment when some young person manages this we have the records. It will have to be enough I suppose.
I suppose Maggot Brain is as good a place as any other to start.
It’ll End In Tears fulfills the promise of the cover art.
This album may single have single handedly dictated the future musical interests of an entire generation. One part Tim Buckley to two parts Big Star a dash of Roy Harper mix well and bake with a seasoning of Cocteau Twins. Clothe it all in a romantic sepia tone and let loose in the unsuspecting public.
I guarantee that every time you play this with your significant other you will fall in love again.
I just finally bought the first and third Dylan albums. There is some sort of sacrilege involved in that admission. I had the second and fourth. Go figure.
I have greater more shameful admissions in Dylan purchases this week. That may be for a different day though.
On that first album Dylan looks like the fresh faced school boy new to the big city. It’s a slight album. Full of naïveté and cover versions and a couple of Dylan songs. There’s a certain arrogance in the eyes though which is a little unsettling amongst all that baby fat.
Then we get to the third album which is a much more world weary exhausted and bleak album.
Dylan sneers down from the cover and looks like he’s seen the world and is not so sure about things anymore. The baby fat is gone and the half smile is a sneer.
The songs are all here protest, love, politics, self righteous anger and tenderness.
When the ship comes in is also here. One of the greatest songs Dylan ever wrote go non prove me wrong.
It’s been a beautiful autumnal day. Slightly chilly a bit damp with glorious sunshine.
So obviously conversation turned to what was the last great Stones album. After the flippant was there ever a great Stones album. We settled on Goats Head Soup. Not so much for its greatness as for its consistency of style and swagger.
It’s a pleasant album and maybe the last one that was not too involved in maintaining the myth.
It’s been a significantly long time since I was psychedlicized , about 38 years. It scared the bejesus out of me and acted as a cautionary experience I have never overcome, prior to that experience it was a lot of fun and I am not sure I would ever have stopped if not for that day/night/morning. Now they have legalized psilocybin treatment there is a piece of me that is thinking, hmm maybe this is something I should get into.
I’m not going to get into the circular and convoluted logic that has brought this up to me but a lot of it has to do with the world is so mixed up and weird that maybe it will all look a bit better if I was conversing with the fruit on the counter.
Maybe the scary things would become all warm and fuzzy.
Maybe the fuzzy things would become all the more welcoming and loving.
Maybe I would finally understand The Naked Lunch or Tales From Topographic Oceans.
Maybe it would be good to check out and giggle for an afternoon.
Oh I am not talking therapeutic doses here am I?
NO I am not going to drop a tab and swim in the ocean of unreality again, maybe when I get to 80 our so. I
In the chronology of the ditch. Tuscaloosa comes before the sessions for Tonight’s the Night. It’s the start of the road to Miami Beach. Recorded at the beginning of the tour that yielded Time Fades Away eventually and the descent to the ditch.
New Mama and Lookout Joe are here the raggedy ass pedal steel and shuffling drums are all in place. It’s loose and uptight all at the same time. Young’s vocals are strained and at times barked in a strident manner especially on the almost hoedown version of Time Fades Away.
It’s the winding of the spring almost. Edgy and wild and dangerous. It’s the scary brother to the Roxy album which feels like the point everything just slumped into a groove.
I played both albums. One because 1537 told me to and the other because it made sense after the day.
I started the night off with Tuscaloosa which got me on edge especially as the insistent rhythm of Don’t Be Denied faded to the “Welcome To Miami Beach…” intro of the Roxy album.
After Tuscaloosa the Roxy show is cathartic a release. It’s almost the victory stumble at the end of the marathon.
I’ve been wondering. Can you legitimately call it s bootleg if it’s officially released. It all started with Dylan, now Neil Young is on the bandwagon with the official bootleg series.
Don’t get me wrong I love archival releases and apparently having disposable income I tend to buy them when they come out and on vinyl at that. It’s intoxicating to step back in time and hear an artist at their prime wowing an audience. It’s time for travel man.
Neil Young’s latest release of his concert at Carnegie Hall in 1970 is as to probably be expected really unsurprisingly excellent. The song selection is perfect for the time. I’m not sure he had managed to write a clunker by 1970. He was remarkably consistent and even the lighter songs like Wonderin’ and Dance Dance Dance stand up despite the quality of the surrounding songs.
Neil Young for my mind is the only songwriter who can successfully switch between electric and acoustic and not have the listener feeling like something is missing.
So all the hits and none of the clunkers but is it really a bootleg man.
The weather is changing, it has been cooler in the evening the last couple of weeks, it rained once and now it is scheduled to rain for a few days, I am not ready to give summer up but it is sweatshirt weather, time for hoodies and maybe wearing socks, who knew? Well let’s be honest here, everybody knew, it’s the inevitability of the seasons changing and nothing staying the same. The big question these days though is how extreme will those seasonal changes be?
The pandemic has been one aspect of the ever changing scene here on the compound, we live outside the least vaccinated city in the great state of Oregon, fair dues it is a very small city and very rural, if only 20 miles or so south of Portland. It is a city renowned for civic duty, in fact during last years fires the inhabitants were celebrated for helping fire crews and in fact running their own citizen led crew. The other side of that is it is a very Trump oriented population as well which has emphasized how the Trump world has effectively managed to not only get people to vote against their own best interests but now make health decisions agains their own interest and their relatives. This is the dialectic we are all dealing with it seems, actively working against our own best interests, health wise, tax, wise and politically, while espousing civic duty as a value is the new normal.
So we all sit here on our property trying to figure out how to grow vegetables in winter, maybe some chickens and how to ford the creek. It also seems somewhat sensible to keep our values and ideals a little quieter than we are used to in order to feel a bit safer. It is strange in the land of the free to feel so constrained by your own beliefs. We live at the bottom of the hill and I get a little twinge of fear as the big dual axle diesel trucks rev their engines before the climb, there is no real reason beyond machismo for this, it is the same feeling I get as I drive by the house festooned with Trump 2024 flags or the relentless flag wave at the main intersection in town. This weekend while driving home there was a truck honking it’s horn, we had three sheets of ply wood on the roof and I thought the load had shifted and started to slow down and pull over when my son pointed to the flag waving throng at the intersection and I realized what was happening and pulled back into traffic. My heart rate had risen at the thought of the load moving and then it rose again at the open carrying flag wavers on the street.
Isn’t it enough, pandemic, fires, storms and heat?
Well at least Syd has a new shelter, better than the tarp city we used to build every few months.
Time to get the week off to a great start with one of the most brutal and unrelenting albums of all time. Conceived, recorded and mixed with intent to harm/reconfigure your brain.
I have no idea why I don’t play this more often apart from my brain is jelly by the end. From the crushing bass, the motorik drumming to the unrelenting riffing and then the electronics all over the place and is that a sax, this album will alter your neural pathways.
The transition from the opener Brainstorm to Space Is Deep is one of my favorite moments in recorded history. Lemmy’s melodic yet brutal bass playing is all over this album holding stuff together. Side One will break you down and then Side. Two will finish the job. From Lord of Light to Time We Left This World Today followed by the acoustic, menacing The Watcher to tuck your paranoid self in at the end there is no hope. If you make it through you’re an addict and heading for the wormhole.
I’ve loved Pink Floyd since the first time I heard Piper at the Gates of Dawn. I’ve spent long hours with headphones on laying on the floor coming to terms with the ultimate meaning of the universe. I’ve had insights and realizations and bored my wife to tears.
For a period in the early part of the 21st Century I was part of a bootleg hub. Until the politics and bickering got too much and I decamped to safer waters. I’ve probably owned every album several times over up to the great Roger/David schism I just never bought them.
One of my first gigs was The Wall at Earls Court. Not my favorite album but I still have vivid memories of the day and night. It’s a long way from Liverpool for a 13 year old in the back of a Hillman Imp.
They are my safe band. Comfort music for the soul.
Today I surprised myself by picking up The Endless River. Well it was cheap but it’s the last album under the Floyd moniker. And now there’s a gap. Every obsessive collector knows that feeling and what is inevitable.
Someone I’m not sure who described this album as the only Floyd album that looks backwards and honors the past. Maybe that’s appropriate for a last album there are sounds that reference the entire history of the band throughout the predominantly instrumental album. Ricks organ sound from the sixties the unmistakeable synth sound from Wish You Were Here. Riffs and solos from all over the history and even a brief drum solo that takes you back to Set The Controls.
Gilmour said it’s an album for the fans who want to put on headphones and get lost in a long piece of music and he is probably right.
For me it was the soothing panacea I needed as my brain tries to deal with the hypocrisy and strangeness of my chosen home country. The Trump flags, the anti-vaccine protests, the 9/11 gung-ho ultra-patriotism all melded into the gentle wash and sound affects of the instrumental Floyd.