Week 46 - Fri 12 Nov
Welcome to the RPM Record Club Seven Day Soundtrack, week ending Friday 12th November 2021. Here's the week's good vibrations as selected by RPMers...over to...
"Hi RPMers, hope you all are keeping well. Here’s my 3."
"I haven't listened to much music this week. It's been a hectic few days what with Jacquie breaking her ankle last week. This means of course that I have been multi-tasking (under observation of course, otherwise I might be dangerous). I'm therefore selecting only two tracks this week, one each from the two albums I've just received today. Best wishes to everyone. "
In The Morning Light by Billy Strings - "I've been reading rave notices about this guy for some time now. I've played the album ("Renewal") once today- it's terrific."
The Future by Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats - "I've not got around to playing the album yet, but this is the title track. Slight Dylan influence detectable perhaps?"
"Here are my 3 for the week. I'm struggling a bit after having my booster jab hot on the heels of a particularly bad cold - coughing like a worn out Harley Davidson at the moment! Hope you are all ok."
I'm Ready by Paul Kossof (JesIs Roden vocals) - "From the album Back Street Crawler. You will probably know that Paul was guitarist with Free and his father pointedly used the phrase "All Right Now" on his headstone after he died from drug use at the age of 26."
Nursery Rhyme Rock by Wynona Carr - "Here's another selection from one of my Specialty label favourites - hope I never stay at a hotel where the staff are this preoccupied."
You Take My Breath Away by Claire Hamill - "From Claire's 1974 album, Stage Door Johnnies."
"Hope you're all well, flu jabbed & boosted.
Been listening to a varied mixture of tunes lately, here's 3. Keep well, all. Cheers!"
"Hi RPMers, Hope you are all keeping safe and well. Here are my three for this week..."
"Continuing on the 'rare as hens teeth' theme from last week..."
Red the Sign Post by Fifty Foot Hose - (from Cauldron' LP, released December 1967. Limelight label. This from CD re-issue Big Beat label 1996.)
"Along with C.A. Quintet (this week's first choice but Youtube restrictions apply to sharing apparently) and Silver Apples, who follow shortly, here's one of the first bands to try to fuse electronic music, rock and jazz into one unholy melange. Hailing from San Francisco, the band was formed in 1967 (when else??) by Cork Marcheschi who had been the keyboard player for The Ethix whose sole single, 'Bad Trip', was released in '67 on Mary Jane Records (you couldn't make this up!!!). 'Bad Trip was a signpost (sic) for the direction Marcheschi would take, and the single was everything the title promised (imagine a Mexican mariachi singer on extremely potent bad acid backed by a reversed Pink Floyd instrumental!) which was designed to be 'interesting' whichever turntable speed was selected. Interested? Well, it's on the aforementioned CD re-issue as both a 33 and 45 rpm recording!!! Furthering his interest in John Cage, Terry Riley and Edgar Varese, Marcheschi recruited Davy Blossom and his sister Nancy and, for live performances, Kim Kimsey and Larry Evans and, thanks to the record company frenzy in late 1966, were signed to Mercury subsidiary Limelight. By mid '67 Marcheschi had extended his custom made (i.e. home made) electronic instruments which were further augmented by Theremins, fuzzboxes, cardboard tubes (!?) and a 1940's WW2 bomber speaker. Sallying forth into the SF underground, they played the Avalon, Longshoremens Hall and several be in's and love in's to mainly puzzled audiences. Nancy Blossom has a fine jazz inflected voice (witness the cover version of 'God Bless The Child' on the album) and one memorable gig was played at a Catholic All Girl High School when she was over 8 months pregnant. Despite singing the first few numbers turned away from the crowd, her condition didn't escape the notice of the nuns present and the plug was pulled, presumably to save the blushes of the young girls present. There were other instances where 7 night residencies were advertised as 'Fifty Foot Hose' but, as the crowds declined nightly, various spurious names were pasted over in order to try and draw a crowd for the succeeding nights. Fast forward almost thirty years and the band were approached to play a benefit in SF for a record store. A live recording was made and, somehow, found its way to Japan where it was issued by the hip Captain Trip label. Pretty soon, a revised line up was on the road again (this time NOT supporting Chuck Berry, Blue Cheer or Fairport Convention as they had in '69) and further albums have been released in the intervening years."
Misty Mountain by Silver Apples - (Original release on 'Silver Apples' LP released June 1968. Kapp label. This from MCA CD released 1997)
"Before 'electro' duo Soft Cell there was Suicide. Before Suicide there were the Silver Apples. Before Portishead or Stereolab was Can and, before Can there were the Silver Apples. A real groundbreaking group who were blessed with more than a modicum of bad luck. Springing from New York's The Overland Stage Electric Band, in 1966 singer and keyboard player Simeon introduced a 1940's audio oscillator into the band's sound which resulted in all but drummer Danny Taylor heading for the door marked 'Out'!!! Undeterred, Simeon added more electronic gadgets (including many home made efforts) and the duo were added to a New York festival as last minute 'guests' and were rewarded with an extremely favourable press review, despite many of the audience left scratching their heads and wondering 'Waddafug??!!'. Signed to Kapp, they teamed up with poet Stanley Warren to record their debut, self titled album. Despite minimal sales, a second album, 'Contact', was recorded which featured, on the front cover, a picture of a Pan-Am plane cockpit with the company's logo prominently on show. This had been agreed as a tie in between Kapp and Pan-Am but, unfortunately, the rear sleeve pictured the aftermath of a passenger aircraft crash! Pan-Am called in the men in suits and, following an expensive court case, Kapp were bankrupted and sold to MCA and the Silver Apples were no more, despite being half way through recording a third album. Like all good cult figures, the band's reputation flourished until, in 1991, German label TRC released a bootleg CD of the debut album and, as a result, the UK Enraptured label released a 'tribute' album featuring The Third Eye Foundation, Alpha Stone and Am, among others. Following its release, Simeon formed a new line up which toured worldwide and released a further brace of albums, including the 'unfinished' third album. Taylor was later to join the line up but, unfortunately, the band's van was involved in a major accident in 1998 which resulted in Simeon sustaining a broken neck. The band were then inactive until 2007 when, following Taylors death in 2005, they reformed and toured regularly until Simeons demise in September 2020."
As the World Rises and Falls by West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - (from 'Volume 3. A Child's Guide to Good & Evil' LP, released May 1968. Reprise label.)
"One of my favourite bands of the sixties with one of their 'tenderest' moments, and there were several of those spread over their albums. They were initially the LA band The Laughing Wind (!!!) until they met the 30 something failed singer and millionaire LA scenester Bob Markley who, after seeing all the teenage girls attracted to a Yardbirds gig at his mansion, approached the band with an offer of a recording deal.... on condition that he became a member of the band. His predilection for young girls was reflected in some of the songs (including this selection) foisted on the band as part of the contract but his overall importance to the band's sound, both live and in the studio, was minimal to say the least. Indeed, it was this interest which saw Markleys easing from the band's membership and, eventually, his fall from grace some years later when he was investigated by LA's vice squad. The band were originally signed to the local Fifo label for 'Volume One' before moving to the prestigious Reprise label for the confusingly titled 'Part One', thus commencing their mystifying series of album and song titles. 'Vol 3.. A Child's Guide...' (their fourth album) has the track titles in what appears to be random order on the sleeve and it's a problem sometimes to know which song is which. However, the sheer quality of the music and vocals make this one of the best psychedelic albums released and almost on a par with, say, Love's 'Forever Changes', Hendrix's output and the Beatles 'Revolver'. Despite great reviews for their live shows, the bands records failed to sell and, following several departures and rejoinings, they were seen as a declining force which led to Reprise dropping the band in 1969. There were a further two disappointing albums before the name was finally put to bed in 1970.
Yet another band to file under the 'cult' label but one I would highly recommend to anyone interested in 60's psychedelia."
"Probably another three 'hens teeth' next week.......... until then, thanks for the music (always interesting!!) and, stay safe."
"Caught slightly unawares by Thursday this week.... Everything has been a bit full on musically... There are a couple of events coming up, that I will soon have to supply rhythm guitar and mandolin for, so I have been practicing, a bit. I have also agreed to do a solo set for Charity, at the Harbour rooms, in early December, so I ought to be thinking about that too, and then there is 'the Jewel session' which I host so will have to perform a few numbers there too... and somehow Linds and I have been roped in for The Elmham panto! Like the realisation that it is Thursday, It all seems to have come up a bit suddenly. All a bit too fraught for me! As a result I have been ignoring that aspect of life and I have returned to bashing out some blues and gospel tunes on my old National and for relaxation, listening to some floaty stuff to calm me down a bit....
Obviously you don’t get more floaty than musicians on a boat…"
Faoiseamh a Gheobhadsa (I Will Find Solace) performed by Zoë Conway and John Mc Intyre -
Hearts of Olden Glory performed by Julie Fowlis and Eamonn Doorley -
"To be honest, I have been bingeing, and I haven't been listening to just single tracks of the above, though I have done that too, but Julie Fowlis, Zoë Conway, Éamon Doorley and John McIntyre together, have got some great performances and it is hard to chop things down...so if you feel inclined, follow this link....
"I couldn’t remember whether I have had anything from Tycho's 'Dive’ album in the past. so I had to 'dive' into the back issues of RPM, (but possibly not far back enough?) It may be in there somewhere! Sorry about this if it is, - well sort of."
"AND while you listen to that, some of you might be interested in reading this Guardian article that I found, headlined…."
Lost Psychedelic Pop Song With George Harrison and Ringo Starr Unearthed
"Dear RPMers, I do hope everyone is remaining healthy and sane whilst each doing our bit to reduce consumption (2nd hand records anyone?) and thank you all for your brilliant submissions.
This week I seem to have (unintentionally) chosen tracks that kind of relate to moving about in the landscape."
"A Remembrance Day theme for me this week.
When we went to see McGoldrick, McCusker and Doyle last week, John Doyle had put this poem to music. I have been to Gallipoli and it must have been terrible, the whole thing was a disaster. We mostly hear about ANZACs but many Irish battalions also fought and died there. Unfortunately there isn't a youtube film of John singing his setting of the poem, but here is the text."
The Connaught Rangers
I saw the Connaught Rangers when they were passing by,
On a spring day, a good day, with gold rifts in the sky.
Themselves were marching steadily along the Liffey quay
An' I see the young proud look of them as if it were to-day!
The bright lads, the right lads, I have them in my mind,
With the green flags on their bayonets all fluttering in the wind.
A last look at old Ireland, a last good-bye maybe,
Then the gray sea, the wide sea, my grief upon the sea!
And when will they come home, says I, when will they see once more
The dear blue hills of Wicklow and Wexford's dim gray shore?
The brave lads of Ireland, no better lads you'll find,
With the green flags on their bayonets all fluttering in the wind!
Three years have passed since that spring day, sad years for them and me.
Green graves there are in Serbia and in Gallipoli.
And many who went by that day along the muddy street
Will never hear the roadway ring to their triumphant feet.
But when they march before Him, God's welcome will be kind,
And the green flags on their bayonets will flutter in the wind.
Edith Cavell Tryptych by Anto Morra - "And here's our very own Anto performing his Edith Cavell piece."
"Last Monday was the 50th anniversary of the release of Led Zeppelin IV, so I'm going to have a bit of a personally themed celebration this week, having just given the album an airing.......and, I know certain RPMers are not keen upon and / or disparaging of the band, so I will just point you to Jack White and leave it at that.......
"............only joking, guys.
I still think the album holds up pretty well,....apart from Four Sticks which is the weak link in my view. But by then the album is almost done, salvaged by the mighty final track When The Levee Breaks. Almost the perfect Zep LP then, although III still gets my vote for the top slot. It's a better blending of the rock, folk and blues styles that for me makes the Led Zeppelin style."
Black Dog by Led Zeppelin - "Possibly the first LedZep song I heard, as my Led ZepLoving friend at the time would either play albums IV or II pretty much every time I would go to hang out at his house. So, it could also be Whole Lotta Love, of course, but this is the track which made me sit up and pay attention, not only for the killer riff but also because of it's very strange and intriguing sense of timing. Yes, what is going on here? Well for those interested, Bonham is playing drums in 4/4 whilst Page riffs in 5/4. This means the time signatures cross each other every 20 beats....giving that in time/outta time rhythmic feeling. Sheer brilliance, I reckon. Maths is music. Music is maths."
Going To California by Led Zeppelin - "Although hearing track 3, The Battle of Evermore, pointed me in the direction of discovering not only what a mandolin was, but also to who Fairport Convention were, (Sandy Denny duetting with Plant on vocals of course), it's Going To California which gives the album some welcomed light and airy contrast to proceedings, blending Jones's mando with Page's acoustic guitar, beautifully."
When the Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin - "Possibly one of the key tracks instrumental in my discovering what The Blues was all about.......pretty important then. Plus, it has THAT drum sound....recorded in the stair well of Headley Grange; for me it's what every drum kit should aspire to sound like."
'Til Next Time...