Captain Beefheart Live 1972

For me, listening to Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band is like suddenly seeing the world in color for the first time. Spend a little time listening to Trout Mask Replica and everything else just feels so tied down by rules and convention.


McCartney Songs from OOBU JOOBU

Browsing through YouTube suggestions today when I came across a series of Paul McCartney cuts from his short-lived radio series Oobu Joobu.

From Wikipedia:

Oobu Joobu was a radio show created by Paul McCartney in 1995 and described by McCartney as “wide-screen radio”.[1] The program aired on the American radio network Westwood One and its name was inspired by a BBC production of Alfred Jarry‘s Ubu Cocu. Because the show’s material included demos, rehearsals, live performances, and unreleased recordings of Paul McCartney and The Beatles, many of the programs have been bootlegged.

If You haven’t heard any of the music from these programs, you can find a lot of the cuts on YouTube. But they don’t really compare to the experience of hearing them in the context of the show which includes recipes, interviews and a whole slew of weirdness. If you’re interested at all in what McCartney was up to in the late nineties right before Flaming Pie came out, do yourself a favor and download full episodes from your favorite source of such exotic wares.

Ginger Baker Teaches You To Play the Drums

I love to go on you tube and check out old music lesson videos from the eighties. You can find stuff from Jeff Pocaro, Bernard Purdie and the complete Metal Method videos (remember those ads from Guitar World?). Today I found an amazing video featuring Ginger Baker giving some nice straight-forward instruction on how he approaches the drums:

As a nice follow-up to that, here is an incredibly awkward interview between Ginger and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers:

Meat Puppets’ Sad Songs

There are some singers and songwriters that seem to have a sadness that runs under their music no matter how bright and poppy and bright their melodies are. Evan Dando is one, J. Mascis is another and so is Jackson Brown. But for me, the Meat Puppet’s Curt Kirkwood has always been the master of this elusive feeling. He has a resignation and weariness in his delivery that just leaves my heart feeling buoyant and flattened at the same time.

Mirage is from the album of the same name. It’s one of the first Meat Puppet’s records to benefit from real studio production. The instruments are crystal clean and the harmonies are spot on.

The New Bryan Ferry sounds like the Old Bryan Ferry. This is a good thing.

Bryan Ferry has been on a bit of a retro tear as of late. His last album, 2008’s Olympia, opened with a sound that was more than a little reminiscent of those last vibrating bars that close out True to Life, the final track on Roxy Music’s Avalon. The effect was to create a sense of continuity between Roxy’s last album and the first track on Olympia, as though the record had somehow emerged from a time warp nearly 30 years later.

Unfortunately, Olympia – despite the glam Kate Moss album cover and retro keyboard sounds – was not quite the companion piece to Avalon that we all would have liked. The production was a bit too loose. The songs, unrefined. But then, Avalon is truly one of the greatest albums of all time. A work I would probably but in my top twenty if not top ten.

The best sequels to Avalon were the two Solo album’s Ferry released immediately after Roxy Music disbanded: 1985’s Boys and Girls ( which according to wikipedia is often called Avalon II) and 1987’s Bête Noire. With production help by Rhett Davies and Patrick Leonard respectively, these albums delivered intense, exotic sophistication. Jazz, funk, and ethereal, distinctly eighties electronic sounds melding together to create a  dark night of blue-eyed soul.

As Ferry’s catalogue developed, he gradually moved away from the the subtle, hyper-detailed ambience of these eighties landmarks. 1993’s Taxi was still interesting but with each successive album Ferry has become more and more of the traditional crooner he has so long been modeling his image after. This transformation probably reached its zenith with 1999’s As Time Goes By, a collection of jazz standards, along with 2007’s Dylanesque.

With Avonmore, Ferry has finally returned to the promise shown in his two Eighties works. Rhett Davies is working once more in the producer’s chair and the album is chock full of interesting performers including Niles Rogers, Flea, Johnny Marr, Maceo Parker and Ronnie Specter.

All of these ingredients create a work that is satisfying on a lot of levels.  Most of all because it’s so great to a see an artist who has explored so many different avenues of musical expression return to what they do best and truly deliver.

The Music of Father Yod

The Source Family were a new religious movement a.k.a cult that existed throughout the 1970’s. The enigmatic Father Yod standing as the group’s leader and patriarch.

During the group’s heyday they were primarily known for their health food restaurant on Sunset Blvd. a chic place, among the first of it’s kind frequented by Hollywood stars and earning rave reviews for their more natural approach to cooking. In many ways the place was ahead of its time, anticipating many trends that would emerge as a dominant part of restaurant culture in the 2010’s.

RS Source restaurant1-source.0

What the group was less known for was their music – long, intensely psychedelic jams much akin to the work of Can, Faust and other avant-garde Krautrock groups of the era. The releases have become highly collectible and sought-after. Fortunately, as with most things in the world, many of the recordings have been digitized and uploaded to YouTube. And so here is one of there very best albums, Penetration: an Aquarian Symphony.

The full story of the Source family can be found in this incredible documentary: