Week 49 - Fri 3 Dec
Welcome to the RPM Record Club Seven Day Soundtrack, week ending Friday 3rd December 2021. It's your musical medication time, a booster of positive sounds to maintain continued immunity to all those bad vibes circulating out there. Lie back and relax; over to....
"Three tracks this week where 'folk' is stretched to almost breaking point, and all with an avian theme. Folk rock, according to most commentators, began with the Byrds and their version of Dylans 'Mr Tambourine Man'. However, Dylan himself had recorded the quickly deleted 'Mixed Up Confusion' 1962 debut single with very similar backing to that which he would revisit around three years later with the 'Bringing/Highway/Blonde' trilogy of classics. Mention should be made, of course, of the effect of the Beatles jangly 'Hard Day's Night' soundtrack and the Searchers run of fine singles from late 1963 through to early 1965 on the Byrds, Turtles, We Five etc too. Flying (ooops!!) under the radar, 1963 saw Judy Henske release her 'High Flying Bird' LP which prominently featured electric instruments, but it was probably the Byrds, however, who unleashed many of the differing facets 'folk' would transmogrify into thanks their own trilogy of 'experimental' albums in 'Fifth Dimension', 'Younger Than Yesterday' and 'Notorious Byrd Brothers'. These saw the band incorporating electronic music, raga, psychedelia, country and jazz into their recordings. Using those albums as a touchstone of sorts, here's three tracks which take those influences and expand on their roots."
Bluebird by Buffalo Springfield - (Long version first released on US only 'Buffalo Springfield' compilation issued November 1973. Atco label.) "Issued as an edited single of just over two minutes in June 1967, plus a 4 minute version on the contemporaneous 'Buffalo Springfield Again' album, this nine minute 'full' version shows just how incendiary the band must have been when they were regularly playing LA's Sunset Strip clubs where the song could extend to over twenty minutes. Even this 'finished' version was the subject of overdubs and editing of a ten minute plus version where a 'raga' section was replaced by a brief interlude of Stills singing solo over a banjo interlude. So, one track featuring eastern influences, some of the 'heaviest' guitar duelling of the period, country banjo and folk rock, all topped off with Still's fine vocals. Whew!! "
High Flying Bird by Jefferson Airplane - (Originally released on 'Early Flight' compilation February 1974. RCA label. This from 'Live at the Monterey Festival' released 1990. Thunderbolt label)
Three Ravens by Jerry Yester and Judy Henske - (From 'Farewell Aldebaran' album released June 1969. Straight label. This from Omnivore label reissue 2013)
"To quote Slade at this festive time of year: "So here it is..........." yep, not only Christmas, but also the long awaited 'super virus'!!! Tory MP's (from our region!) are on TV saying that their freedoms are being eroded by the reintroduction of mask wearing in shops and on public transport. Next time I see George Freeman go past our house on the Dereham to Swaffham express on his way to LIDL I'll donate £50 to the Tory Party Benevolent Fund for Underpaid MP's!!
"Wotcha! It has been a great week; a free workshop and concert from Martin Simpson, Gigspanner at the Wells Maltings and vegan chocolate bars, remaindered for 50p at the local shop, which is now a Morrisons!
For reasons far too convoluted for me to bother to explain, I found myself listening to the ‘Blackgaze’ band MØL’s album ‘Diorama’. Apparently MØL are the world’s leading exponent in this genre!!! Although new to me, that’s right, you got it; it's a combination of ‘Black Metal’ and ‘Shoe Gaze’!
When I hear the words ‘Black Metal and Cutting Edge’ put together, understandably, I think 'Dangerous', I think ‘Wrist Slash’ 'Nihilism' and 'Suicide'! I expect a doom laden, soundtrack for images of vast rolling, spinning, Icebergs, falling through black, starless skies, into erupting seas of magma as ‘Blazing Continents Collide’. But then there is that other element, 'Shoe Gaze'.
When I hear 'Shoe Gaze' I think.... Kiwi? Cherry Blossom? Meltonian? Dasco???
OK, I realise that I am, in all probability, not young, or groovy enough to understand…. but… The title track might conceivably have be used in a local museum to enliven a 'Diorama' of suburban life in Denmark, in the 1970s!
Moving swiftly along, and well away from that drear musical interlude - I have been blown away by the way that Juçara Marçal’s career has developed. Following a trajectory quite the opposite of most performers… her sound has grown more, and more experimental as she has gained greater maturity, and wider popularity."
Floating Points Movement One by Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra - "I have been a huge fan of Alice Coltrane ever since I first heard her work in the very early 1970s. The saxophonist that carried her melodies was Pharoah Saunders. A man who has maintained his position, truly at the cutting edge of ‘Modern’ music, for the last half a century. This is from his latest release, Promises, recorded with the LSO."
"Here's my list of 3 for the week. Thank you Philip for alerting me last time to the fact that Plant and Krauss have released a follow-up album which I will definitely be adding to my collection soon I hope. All the best to my RPM friends as always."
River by Joni Mitchell - "Here we go - the usual Christmas music has started and I'd just like to propose that this track is more appropriate to the moment than anything else this year (and last year for that matter). Joni may have been bemoaning yet another lost love when she wrote it but if I had a frozen river (and more to the point if I could ice skate) then I would definitely like to head out of town before the seasonal madness really begins. Please don't buy a dying conifer this year."
A Certain Girl performed by Ernie K-Doe - "I'm dipping back into the vaults of the Minit label again this week with a song written by Allen Toussaint but credited to his pen name of Naomi Neville and later recorded by the Yardbirds (a weak version) and Warren Zevon (as good, if not better, than the original). Ernie didn't scale the same heights as "Mother-in-Law" with this number but still very listenable."
New Kind Of Love by Willie Harper - "Here's another from the Minit (Alon) label. Apart from referencing Willie in the sleeve notes as a backing singer (probably for the preceding track) and noted for convincing Allen Toussaint to persevere recording "Mother-In-Law" with Ernie K-Doe when he had almost given up there is not much information available on him which is a pity. He was a member and lead singer of the Del-Royals and you can find "Always Naggin/I Fell in Love With You" both penned by him and performed by the group on Youtube, if you're interested in listening to more."
Far From Home by The Levellers - "From MTV, 1991 I think. Stompy dancing by a fire on the beach, hitching, busking.. ahh takes me back!"
The Rat by The Walkmen - "Raw..visceral..genius!"
In Spite of the Weather by Michael Price & Bill Ryder-Jones - "Take care, everyone."
"Hi RPMers, Hope you're all keeping safe and warm. Here are my three for this week..."
Wonderful Life by The Paraorchestra featuring Brett Anderson - "This was one of nine songs by The Paraorchestra featured in a programme on Sky Arts last Friday night called 'Death Songbook'.... beautiful. Most of the other eight songs are on YouTube and are well worth checking out."
Stay With The Reggae by Bunny Wailer - "Opening track from his 1985 LP 'Marketplace'. No prizes for working out who is being referred to here....!"
Raconteur Troubadour by Gentle Giant - "From the very wonderful 'Octopus' LP from 1972."
"Hi RPMers, hope you all had a good week . Enjoying your picks . Here’s some of my favs this week."
Never Any Good by Martin Simpson -
We Picked Apples In A Graveyard Freshly Mown by The Unthanks -
Winter Song by Lindisfarne -
"An event filled week this week: had the fair in town with the Tea Cups ride (yeah, pretty old school) right outside our front door, had high winds courtesy of storm Arwen followed by snow, visited Castle Howard decorated beautifully for Christmas with a Narnia inspired theme and last Saturday was Jimi Hendrix's birthday, of course...here's three tunes to reflect the week."
Sevens / Michael Kennedy's Reel / The Cup of Tea Reel performed by Liz Carroll with Steve Cooney - "My favourite fiddle player makes amazingly light work of these reels....such drive!"
'Til Next Time...