Kicking around on a piece of ground…

New albums bought:

Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd

Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd

Kind of Blue, Miles Davis, this was damaged and had to be returned.

Why new though? Mainly because it was cheaper and I am not going to obsess about that original Harvest Label Floyd that went in the big move. Every now and then I try to figure out what system I used to decide on the vinyl that made the intercontinental trip with us. Al Stewart but no Floyd, no Hawkwind, some Genesis, some Fairport Convention, but not all, what was that about, no Clash or Pogues, no Nick Drake and worse still  no Neil Young and then I loaned out all the Roy Harper years ago and never got it back. No Here and Now and they are impossible to get back so lost. All the good stuff gone it seems. Maybe I had a big party and gave everything away.

Then I gave a bunch of it to the adults in the basement, who are happily enjoying it at my expense as I try and find replacements. They are kind though and let me borrow that Richard Thompson or Sandy Denny every now and then.

I did discover Discogs, but some of that vinyl goes for silly money frankly and I am not ready to do that. Although I have been lured into parting with a fair amount of money so far.

So purchases this week:

Close To The Edge, Yes

Fisherman’s Blues. Waterboys

Quark Strangeness and Charm, Hawkind.

from the Goodwill store:

Afterbathing at Baxters, Surrealistic Pillow, Jefferson Airplane

Darkness on the Edge of Town, The River, The Wild The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle and Born In The USA, all perfect condition, Springsteen

Honky Chateau, Madman Across the Water, Elton John

Aja. Steely Dan

Harvest by Neil Young, which is unplayable but it looked so sad, going on my wall at work I guess.

I am going back for the unplayable Rutles album tomorrow, it will go on my wall in my office along with Harvest.

ManassasssMany of these could and do make the list but the album I have most been enjoying this week has been the Manassas album by Chris Hillman, Stephen Stills and a cast of thousands. This along with the Crosby album always amazes me at how simple it seemed to be to get a cast of thousands to convene for the making of music. These guys actually did the whole band thing and went on tour. Take 30 min or so and watch this performance.

Some contend this is Still’s greatest moment and they may be right.

I have never had this on vinyl before but managed to find this a couple of weeks ago in a thrift store. I almost gave it to Chris in the basement but at that point realized how much fun I was having buying vinyl for him and could do that for myself. This was of course after I gave him the Blonde on Blonde I found and Bowie’s Stage and others that I now have to go borrow.

The other album that has been fun to listen to again has been Fisherman’s Blues a great slice of 80’s nostalgia. again it is an album I overplayed for years on cassette. It is like all the best albums timeless. It is helped by not being hampered by that relentless 80’s studio production. waterboys600Too much has been written about this album over the years for me to add anything meaningful to the conversation. It was a constant in my college dorm for the years I was there, my neighbor had it on reel to reel of all things. He was listening to the Waterboy’s and I was still obsessed with Genesis, Hawkwind and folk music, I hadn’t managed to mistakenly buy that Steely Dan album yet or travel much beyond the Grateful Dead in my experimentation with other music. The 80’s was the decade when I became aware of pop music but had not taken the lunge into actually listening.

It was folk enough but by a suspiciously pop band. Pop was something others did not me or my metal head friends, It was for girls and well dressed boys in puffy shirts and skinny pants.

It was part of my musical maturing, it also had the plus that girls liked the band and that did not strike a sour chord with me.

I saw the band once in the 80’s. It was before the album came out. They were powerful and captivating although the fans in the group were disappointed at the time I guess it was a transition time in the bands world. The song I remember most is the Wayward Wind.

The internet rocks and here is the set list:

LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY May 2 1986

Medicine Bow
Be My Enemy
Medicine Jack
Fisherman’s Blues
The Thrill Is Gone / And The Healing Has Begun *
Meet Me At The Station *
Old England
The Pan Within
Drunken Head Ghost Of Rimbaud Blues
We Will Not Be Lovers
Spirit / The 4 Ages Of Man *
Savage Earth Heart
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band *
You Gotta Move *
This Is The Sea
________
The Wayward Wind *
A Girl Called Johnny
My Generation *
________
A Pagan Place
Imagine(extract) **
I’ll Meet You In Heaven Again
Can’t Help Falling In Love *
________
Death Is Not The End *

That really is a great set list. In a couple of months I am going to see the Waterboys again supporting their quite exceptional new album Modern Blues. I am very excited about this and it should be an excellent evening. They are one of the few bands my wife will come see with me so the girls still like the Waterboys it seems. I just hope they have a similar set list, Wickham is still with the band and they have two of the Stax swampers on the rhythm section so soul meets folk in the ongoing Mike Scott experiment.

What’s In A List?

So many lists, honey do’s and honey don’ts and things to think about.

  1. Sell the damn house.
  2. Move somewhere cheaper.
  3. Open a book store/cafe. Twenty years ago this would have been a bar but I don’t think I could stay up that late anymore.
  4. Listen to more records, yes records, those large pieces of plastic we used to carry around.
  5. Read more books.
  6. Take deep breaths.
  7. Eat more veggies,

No that isn’t really the list, well some of them are the list but not all. And at the end of the day it really is a list but not the A – List.

There is a budding list of what my vinyl play list should be, I started compiling it two weeks ago when the turn table took up residence. It has grown to 23 records so far and who knows where it will go. It is far from complete, although I assigned the completely random number of 50 as the top number so it may take some time to edit and get to where I want it. I am not even close to ready to share the number yet.

The list is symbolic of aspirations, what has made that more meaningful is the changing nature of the list. As well as how hard it is to find some of these albums. It is all tied up in hopes and how you get there. It is wonderful to have goals but sometimes they can be as hard to find as a copy of Solid Air by John Martyn. So the search goes on and the rummaging through Goodwill piles of vinyl and the online browsing. All I can do is sit here and wait for my much anticipated copy of I Often Dream of Trains by Robyn Hitchcock. An album I have not touched in excess of twenty years.

The wait goes on.

I have this image of this idyllic place, shady but warm, lazy and relaxing, Passersby stopping in to hang out and play chess or checkers, look at books and drink coffee. Every morning begins with a stroll  and every day ends with a stroll. In between there are conversations about music, books and the best place to sit and read. Neighbors stop to say hi and people care about each other. People lean their bike against the wall and stop to chat as children run down the street laughing.

Maybe it will happen one day, it is a good place to go though when needed. It is in the future somewhere, some when though.

Another thought. Why are there so many Gordon Lightfoot albums laying around in used record stores? If all the Gordo fans out there got rid of there vinyl did they then go out and binge buy all those records on CD again. I have the same thought about Neil Diamond, augit is not Frampton Comes Alive that was the soundtrack of the suburbs but Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Diamond. Hot August Night is an awesome album though, I hide it next to Gordo and Frampton so it feels happy in it’s suburban home, the only question really is why did Neil approve that picture, he looks like he is doing the robot dance or holding a very large… well let us not got there.

nowhereTalking about Neil’s. I have played Cowgirl In The Sand three times so far this week. Each time I focus on a different part of the song, the solo, the harmonies, the lyrics, the bass and the rhythm. It is a psychedelic anthem, a meandering statement, a gorgeous song and it fades out. I can’t help but wonder what did I miss every time I hear it. What happened after the fade, how much more was there that night as Neil and Crazy Horse played. It’s a song with a groove as much as any Motown or Atlantic cut, it meanders and travels like an old blues song but hits places the Dead never will and the Airplane only think about.

In fact Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere is a masterpiece in it’s own right. I remember sitting one evening playing Round and Round over and over again many years ago. It is probably the least of the songs on the album and I remember thinking that there must be some really deep reason Neil had placed it on the album. It surely must hold the secrets of the universe in its almost 6 minutes. But no, after hours of listening and consulting the lyrics it really is just a kind of cool weird psychedelic country song. Very fun but not so deep after all. Those hours may have been wasted.

The first time I heard Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere I was floored. The album is almost a force of nature. It was all the more powerful because I had just played the Neil Young album which at times sounds like poor mans Buffalo Springfield. I remember thinking he should have taken The Loner and squeezed it onto the follow up album, it would have been perfect with a little Horse injection. The first time I heard the big songs from Everyone Knows… I knew I would be a young fan forever.

So another week of vinyl ends. This weeks playing was:

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After the Goldrush, Zuma, Neil Young

Now We Are Six and Bedlam Born, Steeleye Span

All Things Must Pass, George Harrison

The Icicle Works first album

The Royal Scam, Steely Dan

Beautiful Vision, Van Morrison

Bare Trees, Fleetwood Mac

There you go another list.

 

Record stores…Up and over we go.

So we have the turn table and some records, what next? It is obvious really, let’s go buy more records. Who even thought to really consider that question in any serious manner. Luckily I have a supremely patient wife who seems to understand the need to buy an album for the third time. Or maybe she was just too sick to really care today. Either way the die was cast.

So where to go? Luckily Portland potentially being the center of hipsterdom has may record stores selling vinyl by the pound, not to forget Goodwill after all. So off to brave the big city which is a lot easier since GPS became something nestling on my phone. I tried to con one of my kids into coming with me but one wanted to sleep after working an overnight and the other preferred schoolwork. So it was a solo journey, reminiscent of my teen vinyl buying years.

Off to Everyday Music on Sandy Blvd, I had never been in the vinyl section here before, usually buying cd’s, a much safer used purchase than fragile vinyl. The store was large and well laid out and easily navigated. I was however looking for a nostalgia fest maybe or something else than I got at least. Record stores used to be these fun loud flamboyant places with interested people working as well as odd balls,probe or maybe that was just Probe records on Button street. This is how I remember it looking. The repository of all that was cool about records in the day. I managed to buy Harper’s Lifemask, Fairport’s Moat on The Ledge and Give and Take by Here and Now all on the same day.

Before the internet the cork board by the door would tell you where and when the gig was for most bands nobody else wanted to see was. All of the staff were characters and would tell you how badly what you were buying sucked, or if you were lucky or hip enough that you happened to be the only person with any taste that had walked through the door this week. Even the main chain stores such as HMV or Virgin would have knowledgeable people who seemed to realize that they were being paid to listen to music and talk about it all day. Consequently the disappointment of hearing the depressed hipsters at Everyday music complain about how sad they are was not easily overcome. Yes they were pierced by enough hardware and had a dizzying array of tattoos, actually pretty normal for Portland, and tried so hard to be alternative but they did not really seem to realize just how cool their job really was.

Maybe the staff at the Beaverton store will be more fun.

However the important stuff, wow so may records all nicely arranged, new and used all together. Banks of 50c records that I was a little afraid of and most of the records in great quality and reasonably priced. As well as a new arrival section arranged by day of arrival. So I rummaged around for an hour, a few guys my age looking for all those things that they had given away or sold in the past and the young kids looking to discover something they missed as a teen, the joy of records. Out the window went all good intentions of sticking to the idea of albums that blew me away and I just started collecting vinyl to buy. Then I had to go back and put half of it all back, however for some reason I still ended up with three Jethro Tull albums, go figure.

The Purchases:

Stills and Stills 2 – Stephen Stills, not quite on the list but maybe they should be.

Deja Vu – CSNY, of course it is on the list.

Below the Salt – Steeleye Span

Nine, and an odd compilation called Chronicles by Fairport Convention, Nine should be on any self respecting Fairport fans list.

Bursting Out, one of the great live albums, Songs from the Wood, Stormwatch, the first Tull album I ever bought, – Jethro Tull

Hergest Ridge – Mike Oldfield, no idea why apart from it was in perfect condition and everyone needs some Oldfield and it is better than Tubular Bells.

So two from the list if I ever get to writing it. Well I have got to 16 so far.

But in the mail arrived In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel,aeroplanejpg the very first piece of brand new vinyl I have bought in over 20 years. So why this record and why is it on the list?

I first heard this album on the same day as I heard Belle and Sebastien’s Lazy Line Painter Jane and they have both stuck in my mind in a good way. So I guess that is the answer, if the record sticks with you for years then it is on the list, of course that leaves space for the Hollies Greatest Hits, which is not a bad thing.

Well it has a great cover. It is also a wonderfully naive, twisted album with some of the best use of trumpet and musical saw ever, despite the slightly desperate sixth form poetry it still manages to hold itself together barely. It reminds me of Julian Cope at his greatest but it is also very American with a vocalist in Jeff Mangum that sounds just about this side of sane. It is as idiosyncratic as it is wonderful, with an epic use of dissonance and melody almost simultaneously and a wonderful punk sensibility.

So there you have it, the first visit to a record store to buy vinyl in over twenty years and the first brand new album bought in twenty years or so. It is still exciting to hold a brand new record by the way, and they really seem to be making them so much better, it is a reassuringly solid feeling piece of plastic.

I Hate The ****** Eagles

Well I don’t really hate them but I was thinking how much great music there was being made at the time the Eagles were formed, some of it even being made by members of The Eagles. I also fall on the Dudes side of preferring Creedence to The Eagles every time.

It was a rich time in music and I am by no means an expert but here you have it my Spotify playlist of tracks other than The Eagles that embody that laid back California feel from the period of the late 60’s to the early 70’s. It just seems that The Eagles collectively took everything that was great about the cross-pollination of rock and country music and made it insipid and safe. while simultaneously convincing the world that they were the greatest band from California.

So judge for yourself and investigate those other bands it really is a rich vein, especially Manassas.

It’s not that The Eagles were bad, it’s just they seemed to have no passion, they even took one of the most inventive, crazy fun guitarists in Joe Walsh and toned him down, I have no idea how that happens, maybe the drugs

Usually after almost a year of absence I would begin with some reason but I lost interest and that is pretty much it. Maybe this is a new wind who knows, probably helps I have been sick for a week.

Choose Your Masques

More tickets bought, this time for the Flaming Lips.

The great gig list so far:

  • The Flaming Lips
  • Fairport’s Cropredy Convention including the likes of Fairport Convention, The Levellers. 10cc and of course many others.
  • Neil Young in Liverpool with Ian McNabb and Band of Horses
  • Ed and the Boats
  • The Waterboys
  • Hawkwind

It’s shaping up to be an eclectic and interesting few months music wise, everything from psychedelia to pop music with folk and reggae in there too, no mean feat and an exciting prospect before us. The Flaming Lips will be 13 year old Ben’s first big gig he will remember, he is very excited, it is outside on the lawn at the McNemanins in Troutdale so should be fun and entertaining.

In exactly one week today we will begin our trip to the UK for Chris’ graduation, a time to see family, visit the homeland and have fun. Although this has been two years in the planning it still feels a little like we have no idea what we are going to do. There will be much travelling and sightseeing, a festival and visits with family and friends.

Anyway check out the Lips:

Born To Go

Hawkwind in the USA and on the west coast. This is a statement that I absolutely never thought to be writing, saying or even thinking. Yes there have been tours on the east coast, appearances at festivals and other events, but never anything in reach for me. Of course in reach means the twelve hour drive from Portland to San Francisco but how could I do otherwise.

Hawkwind were one of the first bands I ever saw, then they became one of the bands I saw most frequently throughout the eighties and nineties in Liverpool until we moved to the USA. This effectively ended my ongoing fascination with the strange trip that Hawkwind is. They are a band it is hard to classify, more members than most American Football teams and many changes in sound. They have flirted with metal, techno, ambient and punk in their time. They have overwhelmed with sound and visuals and at times been a bit silly. I am convinced Hawkwind are one of the bands in mind when Spinal Tap was made. They have astounded and confused sometimes in the same song, they have however always managed to be interesting, even when they reached too far.

This tour they are playing the album Warrior on the Edge of Time in its entirety. This has consistently been one of my favorite albums ever since I first heard it. Not only in the days of vinyl did it have the cool fold out album sleeve that became a shield but it has some of the most dense music you will ever hear, two drummers, electric violin, Lemmy’s bass, Turners sax and flutes and Brock’s guitar holding it all together. Now many of those elements will be missing, in fact the only original  member is Dave Brock but the current band is more than capable of pulling this off. The band have also promised, dancers and the whole light show, yes it will be silly of course but isn’t that the point, rock music is just a little silly.

So I am taking two of my children to a Hawkwind show, along with Gong and Here and Now Hawkwind are legendary in my house. Let’s face it San Francisco is the perfect place to see Hawkwind, although I am maybe thirty of forty years too late. October 18gth is destined to be a special day, and the tickets have arrived so its real.

Of course Warrior and the Edge of Time is the first Hawkwind album to be so closely linked to Michael Moorcock. It is a musical representation of the Eternal Champion story, Hawkwind would revisit this with the Chronicle of the Black Sword but this was the first and original attempt.

Long May You Run

Ticket’s for the Liverpool Echo Arena, even plane tickets bought, insanity abounds, in the space of 10 days in August  it will be Alice Cooper, Fairport Convention and Neil Young.

Of course there will be no pump organs just the Mighty Horse, this means I have seen Neil Young and Crazy Horse every decade for the last three decades, now I feel old. This will be so much more special as I will have two of my three sons with me.

There is something special about being able to share this type of event with my boys. It  is bizarre to me that I now have two adult children, that is something my parents have to learn to deal with not me. Although parenting adults is just as difficult as parenting children. It is a treacherous boundary to have to negotiate, friend, mentor, father weirder than I thought. Well I guess I will have to approach this with the same seat of the pants make it up as you go along approach as everything else.

Most of the Time

The thing about being a child of the late 70s and 80s is that the perception is there was no good music. The sixties had the revolution of music, the 70’s had the excesses of rock and then the purge of punk. The eighties according to most writers had post punk and little else of note. How sad to be defined as after something else, of course we brought this upon ourselves with New Romantics, awful synths and gated drums. The decade fashion forgot etc. the slurs go on and on. Forever defined musically as the moment between punk and grunge that had no redeeming features. Well as one who lived through the rejected decade I have to say there was some good in there, yes you had to search between Wham and Duran Duran but it was there honest.

I remember a summer spent on the LLeyn Peninsula in North Wales, all I had for company was a copy of Pink Floyd’s the Wall, Rumours  and Live by Fleetwood Mac and every science fiction novel they had for sale in small gift shops at the beach. It was a heavenly summer, the one that stands in my mind as perfect.Llyn peninsula Two weeks in a small cottage in Wales, with no worries, I think it was the year before O. Levels so it was relatively stress free, the next year I was waiting for O. Level results, it rained continuously and the house felt like the walls were closing in. That was the year we went home early, never to go back to that house.

Back to 1981, Ghost Town by the Specials on the radio everywhere we went, that and I Don’t Like Monday’s by the Boom Town Rats which was the song most often played on the pub juke box my parents dragged me to some evenings. All the girls seemed to be wearing yellow that year and have Stevie Nick’s hair. Sat on the beach I read Philip K. Dick, Clarke, Heinlein and as much Moorcock as I could find, I swam in the cold Irish Sea, snorkeled around the crusted rocks and sank the stupid canoe, climbed on cliff faces, fished with my Dad and learned how to cook crab. It was that idyllic summer that in a Stephen King novel would have turned to terror but in reality was just a wonderful lazy summer that you forever try to reach again. I don’t think my parents ever realized what they gave me although I have tried to tell them.

Which all has nothing to do with the music of the eighties in the end apart from to say those albums are etched in my mind as the soundtrack to my youth. In 1982 I went to Cropredy and then other festivals throughout the decade. I was introduced to Richard Thompson’s music and discovered a more roots based music than my contemporaries were listening too. I also became a pretentious ass, preferring the Barrett Floyd to the Gilmour/Waters version which meant I had to listen to the Dark Side of the Moon and Animals in the closet.

The music I remember from that era now is Julian Cope, the Teardrop Explodes, the Icicle Works and Waterboys and also Robyn Hitchcock. I still return to that music even now. I also have a fondness for Here and Now who seemed to be on every festival stage passing the hat around.  My wife was very much in the Benatar, Idol, Journey and Foreigner camp. I remember listening and on strange occasions dancing to it in smoky Liverpool clubs but have to admit I don’t return to it. The biggest musical constants in my life though had to Fairport Convention and Hawkwind. I always seemed to be going to a Hawkwind gig or planning for the next and saving for Cropredy, or going to the seemingly endless tours a band that had split up constantly was on.

It could be a little odd at times to watch your peers succumbing to the synth pop agenda, of course now I can enjoy Depeche Mode and Ultravox along with Japan and the others but at the time it was anathema. So I ended up spending time looking for those lost gems of the 70’s and 60’s and actually becoming more pretentious than my lip stick wearing contemporaries, it also meant I missed out on the Jam, Elvis Costello and other joys through having my head so far up my own behind. I did allow myself as mentioned earlier to enjoy some contemporary music but it had to be performed by relative failures, if it was on top of the pops it sucked if it was on the Tube it was cool etc.

Anyway here is the mix of what I was allowing people to know what I was listening to during that weird strange period. As I made this I realized that with the exception of Hitchcock and the Icicle Works I discovered most of the other music of the eighties once the period was over. I guess I was more pretentious than I realized, although that may be the reason for a blog at the end of the day.

The mix:  https://anonfiles.com/file/fb2b53d006e85fdf82774ffedb437222

 

 

Play Me My Song

Been a few weeks, it’s not like I was busy I just had little or really nothing to say.

There has been much music and a few books, the books are mostly about work, Farrell’s the Myth of Male Power and Gurian’s How Do I Help Him? Both are really useful if you live with a man or boy, or work with one.

With science fiction. I became disappointed by Frederick Pohl’s Gateway, it was an incredible idea but the main character was so unlikable.gateway It was set in a universe were humanity was a disposable commodity, starvation the norm and medical care something to be striven for, far too close to reality at times maybe? It’s a shame as I’ve really enjoyed the other Pohl books I’ve read.

It  has been a struggle to read, I have spent much more time watching TV, Glee, Once Upon A Time, the new season of Grimm and the new Sherlock Holmes show Elementary, although there is no need for the Sherlock connection apart from to attract an audience which I guess it did with me. Most promising worst TV has to be Arrow, it’s so out there and yet cliched that we may become hooked and another season of Being Human.

Thanksgiving has now come and gone, the turkey, well most of it, is eaten and all that is left is the remains. The carcass may be destined for soup but by then we may be tired of turkey all together. It was a good day and as an Englishman living in the USA it is my favorite holiday as there is no pressure to bring a gift for anyone.

Musically it has been a Genesis fest,revisitiedI am not ready to admit that Duke is my favorite but it is the one I know all the words to. This all began with Steve Hackett’s latest Genesis revisited album. Out of curiosity I bought it and the versions on the album were so close but the singing so different I had to revisit the originals. Of course Gabriel’ s  reading of the lyrics will always be the best but Hackett has managed to revisit the songs with enough passion to make the album enjoyable.

Genesis are a band I have obsessed over as much if not more than Fairport Convention and Pink Floyd. They are also the band I have managed to shamefully hide my love of over the years. Let’s face it they are not as acceptable as most of their much more pompous contemporaries. It is still alright to love Yes, enjoy ELP and King Crimson have become beattified. Genesis however largely because of their success in the 80’s have become the prog band everyone loves to ridicule. Even in their 80’s shame they could still knock out Mama or Heathaze, yes they would never sing about giant plants, supper, or mythical beasts but they could still crack the 8 minute barrier when they wanted to and the magic of Genesis was always the melodies. Even if their guitarist invented tapping they were never going to shake their heads although their lead singer might fly and wear a flower or foxes head and a dress.

Genesis were never as flamboyant as a whole, they left that up to the singer.gen gabriel They did however always have a pop sensibility that could be heard in their melodies. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway may be an almost indecipherable prog rock masterpiece but it is filled with 4-5 minute classic songs, the longest being In The Cage. It is a series of short songs tied together by an at best tenuous story, and what other English band would attempt to write the bizarre story of a Puerto Rican punk sucked into the underworld from Times Square. Carpet Crawlers, Fly On A Windshield and the others are all great songs that do not rely on the story to carry them, they succeed almost despite the story.

When Gabriel left the melodies remained and the costumes and theatrics left, Collins filled the void with his charm. For some reason Collins is blamed for the demise of Genesis but they entered their most successful phase with him out front. Yes they got more approachable as a band but they always acknowledged their prog roots, live and even on record. We Can’t Dance had Fading Lights to end the album, it was a brave move for a “pop” band to throw a 10 minute track on an album, Invisible Touch had Domino and the Genesis album had Home By The Sea and 2nd Home By the Sea, all adventurous tracks nestled among the pop songs.

gensis collinsThe Collin’s years also had A Trick of the Tail and Wind and Wuthering, two albums filled with progressive masterpieces such as One For The Vine, Ripples and so many others. Live they were still knocking out White Mountain and Supper’s Ready almost to the end. The true reason for fans distaste is that they actually progressed as a band and allowed their love of pop music to spill out and become part of their sound. Without some of that awful 80’s production the albums would have sounded so much better but that was the time.

Well this post has been a long time coming. It’s kind of fun to put my love of Genesis out there. I watched Prog Rock Brittania the other day on youtube, it’s a fascinating look at the Prog movement and how it is viewed as the porn of music, anyway take a look it;s wirth the hour and a half:

If after all that you want to listen to Genesis here is my considered list:

Nursery Cryme

Foxtrot

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

Wind and Wuthering

Seconds Out

Duke

Of course you could just go an immerse yourself in the music and have fun with all the albums.

I started writing this in November and so much has happened since then, anyway my hope for this New Year is that we pay attention this year to our similarities and not be so focused on our differences and that politicians can look beyond their reelection hopes.

Send an instant karma to me, initial it with loving care

Living in a house with 3 teenage boys can be different, well two are teens and one is almost. There is a constant cacophony of musical styles throughout the house. The Wu Tang Clan clash with Rush, Dizzy Gillespie, Mumford and Sons and Marcey’s Playground. There is no defined musical identity in the house, car or yard. It’s really very refreshing and surprising. The boys have taken Spotify to heart and are eager to experiment with whatever they can hear following suggested lists to the next album or artist ever curious on a musical journey.  And that’s the music they are listening to not the music they are playing.

Of course all this is off-set by Michelle insisting on listening to Jimmy Buffett who may quite likely be the anti-christ when it comes to music, his margarita’s and hush puppies can stop any intimation of dancing. “None of you understand” insists Michelle, “We don’t need to. ” Is the reply. Of course it takes all sorts as evidenced by my affection for Neil Diamond, Shirley Bassey and the Monkees.

It’s a loud happy house most of the time, music, laughter and every night around eight Chris will shout “Are we going to watch something?”

It’s also at times a really messy house, socks at the foot of the stairs, shirts on the back of chairs and feet on the furniture and the dog racing around. My wife is a saint, there is no disputing this.

This week I’ve been mining the darker side of my musical leanings, by that I mean prog rock, post punk and the oddness that is art rock. Actually on reflection it was a pretty eclectic week after all. It’s been different sitting down to listen and appreciate and be still with the music.

So it’s time to get pretentious:

The music this week has been a little on the art rock side, or pretentious shall we say.

Dr John, the Night Tripper with Gris Gris. Louisiana mysticism meets jazz, blues and rock. Not only is Dr John one of the great arrangers of rock but he has a voice that drips with experiences the listener can only guess at, and at times be afraid of. This is the voice of a man wrestling with his demons.

Brian Eno, Here Come The Warm Jets, post-punk before punk, weird shambolic pop sculpture, violent beautiful and just plain out there. Brian Eno is one of the geniuses of pop music and Here Come The Warm Jets announced that to the world, no longer was he the strange man in the corner with Roxy Music but a songwriter using keyboards in ways that others could not even imagine. Of course Ennosification became a description of the sound on albums by Genesis and Bowie and all those post-punk bands thought they had created that strange alien sound. Baby’s On Fire has Fripp’s greatest solo, in fact it seems to be a song based on that solo.

Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted was next. Real post-punk with a big dose of the Fall in place. A piece of it’s time, fun but ultimately a period piece. I think I missed this in the 80’s and while I can appreciate it it does not hold me as something to go back to.

John Cale-Paris 1919, it’s Cale it’s accessible, this makes it different.

New band of the week: Galley Beggar with the album Reformation House, this sounds like it could have been performed by Fairport Convention in one of their many Hey Day’s. It’s a wonderful album hearkening back to the 70’s folk-rock so many including myself love, their website is her:

http://www.galleybeggar.com/wordpress/

The week has ended listening to Van the Man’s Inarticulate Speech of the Heart, this is a bit of a disappointment but everyone is allowed a bad one.

We also rocked out in an early 70’s manner to the wonderful Yes Album by Yes. This is their greatest moment when they still had not reached the cape wearing pretensions Rick Wakeman would bring with him. Released the same year as Fragile it is head and shoulders above that album for greatness, of course there is vague science fiction lyrics and the necessary weirdness of Anderson’s strange personal mythology but it just rocks.

I’m writing this listening to Play by Field Music. Their version of Syd Barrett’s Terrapin makes this worth the cost, although Field Music are one of the great new bands out there to be heard.