rockin’ good rockin’ good rockin’ tonight…

The essence of obscure.

IMG_2316.JPGReleased in Texas as a benefit for Roxy Erikson in May 1990. The second installment of Copes Lo-Fi efforts, recorded and mastered over three days from two used C90 cassettes it surely must be due for the remaster one day.

It has everything that you want late at night, meandering solos, rambling guitars and mumbled confused lyrics.  At times it is reminiscent of one of those acid drenched camp outs we all heard about and never got invited to.

Safe Surfer is abridged without affecting the sense of the song, Jelly Pop Perky Jean is still maybe one of the best pop songs Cope has ever written an dKelly may be one of the best tunes I have heard tonight.

I am in no way going to attempt explaining what any of this is really about apart from that it makes me smile. Considering the current messed upedness that we are all inevitably faced with this is no mean or inconsiderable feat. It is reassuring that there are still genuine eccentrics left in the world to amuse, bemuse and confuse us.

I defy anyone  not to enjoy the cover art as well.





a geranium came out of it…

Wackadoodle lyrics and pleasant strumming all over Eye  by Mr. Hitchcock.

I find myself really enjoying Robyn Hitchcock while I am listening to him, I enjoy the clever/funny/absurd/whimsical lyrics but they are at times trying to hard to be psychedelic. It’s almost as if he really wants to prove just how out there he is and clever and well eccentric.

IMG_2269.jpegI do however really admire Robyn Hitchcock and Eye is an excellent album. Lets face it he has a great way of voicing the confusion that is involved with the English Middle Class, Queen Elvis nails the pent up sexual confusions and quirks of the middle classes that have been the fodder of so many gritty English movies and t.v. shows.  Of course this is a subject Hitchcock has essentially made his own over the years.

Some say that Eye is his most focussed album,  that has to be Moss Elixir for me but this is a pretty fine album on the journey.

So if you want an album covering tyrants, oboes, sexual confusion and other shit go for it. I certainly did and I am richer for it. Literally I found 10 dollars in the album sleeve so score as I only paid 5 for it. It’s the little things.

Also let us not forget that Hitchcock has great hair, a fine line in attractive and outrageous shirts as well as a studied and consistent rock star approach to his absurd fascination with trams. He has managed to perfect the Lennon sneer in his vocals and the didactic approach to enunciation.

As the world turns and things get more polarizing it is good to listen to the comfortingly strange lyrics and music of Robyn Hitchcock. Maybe if the great orange oner took some time to revel in the strange Hitchcockian world things would turn out better for all of us.

I got the hots for you…

That most eccentric of bands, the Soft Boys, two albums and done apart from the inevitable reunion. A distinct obsession with crustaceans and Syd Barrett, however any band with a bit of whimsy gets labelled with the Barrett tag.

IMG_2267.JPGThere is however a thread of weird obsessive stalkerliness pervading the whole album that makes the listener a little uncomfortable. 1980 was a paranoid year and the herky jerky psychedelia of the Soft Boys is a perfect reflection of the time. They are not the whimsical Barrett-a-likes touted by the lazy thinkers, they are more the Arthur Lee and Love freaks taking you to the darker side of the psychedelic experience. The lyrics are disquieting enough to keep you edgy and the themes are messed up enough to make you squirm and the delivery by Hitchcock is maniacal enough to make you a bit concerned and if like tonight you are playing it in the dark the claustrophobic sense will make you look over your shoulder to make sure you are not being watched.

The overriding themes that are sticking in my mind right now:






teddy boys and girls

rats and ivy

Like all the best records it sticks with you.


the ruling class doesn’t fight the war…

I was going to wax lyrical about something or other, explain the dialectic of living in America, the generosity, the warmness, the hate and ugliness, round it all off with some sort of philosophical laxative and smile.

In reality I was just hanging out at the end of the day and playing Son Volt and wondering how we all got here.

“Who’s winning the war?”

I saw a piece the other day saying the USA has been at war for 93% of it’s existence that has nothing to do with who is in the oval office. It’s a sobering thought and I cannot imagine what the statistic is for the UK or any other European colonial power. Yes I now that conflict impart of life but as a species aren’t we better than this.

Enough of that, some tractor porn, this was the view as I headed out to work yesterday. Should’ve stayed home and done some tractoring as Michelle says, yes tractor is now a verb.

Another thing I realized this evening, I like Son Volt better than Wilco, they just sound more honest, of course that is how I feel right now and it will be subject to change.


Tomorrow I am going to play something fluffy and warm, some rock and roll to end the night.

it was a light coming down from the sky…

“We used to think we were so dangerous…” was mumbled about the 5th or 6th beer in by my friend John, or as we used to call him Spaceman. Gooey looked amused and sipped his bitter. Did we really want to be dangerous?

All of August on the dreaded faceache, I have watched John’s adventures as he gallivanted around Argentina singing in various heavy metal bands, long red hair bearded in camo pants, a classic mid 80’s metal t-shirt and a patched denim. Throwing the devil horns at 10,000 plus Argentinian bikers and having a whale of a time. It looked fun and definitely at times dangerous, from the comfort of my arm chair. So maybe at least one of us became dangerous in a cuddly vikingesque way.

Did I want to be dangerous? No, when we were in our stupidest prime I always wanted to be the guy leaning in the corner in cuban heels, striped pants, paisley shirt and one green and one red lensed sunglasses. Ultimately I think I wanted to be Roger McGuinn. The studious psychedelic folk-rocker. Not dangerous but slightly enigmatic and experimental but not terrifying.

IMG_2223.JPGAll this came to mind as I plowed my way through the Byrds ninth album entitled (untitled.) This is the latter day Byrds, not the Crosby, Cark boy band minstrels but the folk/country/jazzer Byrds. The band that was heading as far out as they could in an effort to be more shall we say adventurous because the Byrds didn’t really ever manage dangerous. What you get though is Clarence White and Skip Battin and McGuinn at times sounding like they are all in different bands playing different songs and it all manages to work, maybe because Gene Parsons is solid on drums. You also get a 16 minute Eight Miles High which is maybe about 9 minutes longer than it needs to be, I am having a hard time forgiving the bass solo though. Two sides live, because this version of the band could manage it consistently, two sides studio, just to prove they could do it. It contains the sublime Chestnut Mare, which depending on your source is either about the subjugation of the natural world by the marauding of man, or a cowboy trying to catch a horse, some drunk idiot in the pub once argued it was about heroin addiction but I have no idea. I did however see McGuinn perform it with Richard Thompson some time in the 90’s that was just damn good.

These days danger is another thing, usually associated with wondering if the chainsaw is at the right tension before maniacally attacking the downed tree, or wondering if the tractor can conceivably manage that slope without throwing me off.

Todays gratuitous tractor shot.



they say everything can be replaced…


I remember trying to stay awake to watch Renaldo and Clara all the way through into the IMG_2228.JPGlate hours of the night/early hours of the morning on Channel 4. I never made it, even the musical interludes could not save the mumbling mess.

I watched the Scorsese movie this year on an airplane. It was better, maybe because there was no attempt to tell the truth. It was at times pretentious, at times awe inspiring and at other times bullshit, kind of like Dylan, I so wanted the Sharon Stone story to be true.

Best moment, watching Dylan driving the RV.

Second best moment watching Mick Ronson on stage playing his heart out and sounding so good in the band but looking so much as if he is in the wrong band.

IMG_2229.JPG“Bobby will be back…” the most telling moment on Side D. Right before an electrifyingly acoustic version of It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.

So I have been listening to the three record collection of The Rolling Thunder Revue, no matter if I could afford it I am not sure I could deal with the massive collection, I am not even sure I would want to be able to deal with it.

Sometimes the legend lives up to your expectations. This is what I have always wanted it to be, ever since I got the CD’s awhile ago and then upgraded(?) to the LP’s this exactly how I have always wanted Dylan to sound, sneering, edgy, arrogant and in your face. Or maybe it’s sometimes the expectations live up to the legend?

I had the thought today that Dylan could have stopped writing after Hard Rain and it may have been okay.



there is one moment in your life and it can come anytime…

Ah the hippies. Out in force pushing daisies into the barrels of guns, smiling sweetly and attempting to levitate the pentagon.

Well that’s the past and sometimes it’s better to live right there in the past.

IMG_2224.JPGWinning the award for best album title today is, “Baron Von Tollbooth and the Chrome Nun.” The last gasp of the Planet Earth Rock’n’Roll Orchestra. Until 1983 and Kantner revived it for an album but without the collaborative nature of the original albums. A mash up of Airplane, Dead and other San Francisco alumni hanging out and getting high and making records, sounds almost idyllic. Billed as a Paul Kantner, Grace Slick and David Freiberg album it was also the last time the Airplane really recorded tighter before the ’89 reformation. Garcia is all over the album adding his trademark guitar sound, well it was before the trademark and he sounds happier for it, maybe if they’d let him out to play more he would have been a happier chap all together.

I am not going to claim this is a classic album, I am not even going to claim it is a particularly good album, However if you like a certain stoned San Francisco sound, pedal steel guitars, fiddles, excellent harmonies and some counter culture ideals mixed in with your mystic conspiracy theory shit then this is an album for you. It’s also got Grace Slick in her at times most controversial.

“Riders of the rainbow, Let it grow.”

Yeah man let it grow.

Here we have the totally unrelated tractor in the woods picture, enjoy.