Interstellar Overdrive – The Shindig! Guide to Spacerock

I was leaving through Issue No. 36 of Shindig! when I happened upon a forthcoming special edition magazine from Shindig!, The Shindig! Guide To Spacerock, Interstellar Overdrive. It’s due to be published on January 16, 2014.

This special edition of Shindig! explores spacerock’s peculiar mix of heavy riffs and electronics through the age of the space race, the resulting sci-fi explosion and the mind-expanding influences of the acid-fried ‘60s and beyond.

The magazine reawakened a deep passing interest I once had with an early 1960’s magazine, Spacemen from Warren Publishing. I treasured that magazine as a boy growing up.  There were only eight issues ever published and it is a rare magazine collectible today.

Needless to say I’ll be placing a preorder for this Shindig! special edition magazine. The question becomes will it be the iBook from iTunes or the real magazine.  Or better yet I may order both (who knows this could be a future collectible like Spacemen 😉 As soon as I decide I’ll let you know in the comments section below.

Until the publication date I plan to stay plugged in via their Facebook Page and Blog.

C’mon, c’mon, c’mon let’s go Space Truckin

Advertisements
Advertisements

I Believe in Father Christmas – Greg Lake

Certain songs say Christmas to the music of our heart. “I Believe in Father Christmas” is one of those songs. The song is accented by the fine guitar playing and stellar voice of Greg Lake.

Recently Greg Lake was asked in Facebook, What inspired you to write this song and what did it mean to you back when you wrote it? and What does it mean to you today and what do you want people to come away with from hearing this song?

Here is his response:

“I Believe in Father Christmas” was written by myself together with Pete Sinfield. It started out with this little guitar riff which I had buzzing round in my head for weeks but no matter how I tried I just couldn’t seem to develop it into a song. It actually started to drive me crazy and one day I found myself humming the tune to Jingle Bells over the riff. This is the sort if thing that happens to writers when they get a few steps away from total insanity.

Anyway I told Pete about hearing this melody in my head and he said maybe it could be a Christmas song. I really don’t like most of those good time Christmas party songs but after a while I began to reflect on what Christmas really meant to me as a kid and how this had somehow got lost in the commercial feeding frenzy that has taken priority in more recent years.

Pete and I started to think about this and after a while we began to identify the core belief that children have about Christmas that really encapsulates the magic and benevolent spirit of Christmas.

Basically it was the belief that all children have in Father Christmas and in a more general sense about how the story of the nativity represents the concept of peace on earth good will to all men.

I honestly can’t remember whether it was Pete or myself who came out with the actual line but it was something we pretty much realised simultaneously. It was the magic key which unlocked the door to the song. I Believe in Father Christmas.

Merry Christmas to Everyone. Greg.

I found this beautiful collaboration filmed live in 2006 at St. Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, in the City of London. Greg Lake performs his 1975 classic “I Believe in Father Christmas” with Jethro Tull’ s Ian Anderson on flute, David Arch on keyboards, Florian Opahle on acoustic guitar and the church choir.

“Take Me Out Into The Light” – Celebrating Lou Reed

The life of Lou Reed, New York City poet, singer and songwriter was celebrated with a memorial in Harlem at the historic  Apollo Theatre on Monday night (12/16).

The show honoring the Velvet Underground frontman was organized by Reed’s management, and his widow Laurie Anderson.

The memorial took place 50 days after Lou Reed’s death on Oct. 27, Laurie Anderson explained, at the end of the 49 days of what Tibetan Buddhists call the bardo, a transitional state after death.

The memorial gave witness to some of Lou’s notable friends/collaborators singing the songs of the Velvet Underground and his solo career plus reading or performing tributes to him, including Patti Smith and her bandmate Lenny KayeAntony HegartyDebbie Harry(of Blondie), Paul SimonJohn ZornPhilip Glass, former Velvet Underground drummer Maureen Tucker, and others.

Maureen Tucker read a message from John Cale the keyboardist and violist that said, “Regardless of our differences, we never really drifted too far from what initially brought us together. I guess that’s what real friendship is, and I miss my friend.”

Patti Smith chose “Perfect Day” for what she called “Lou’s most poignant lyric”: “You made me forget myself/I thought I was someone else, someone good.”

Laurie  Anderson noted that her husband wrote songs in single bursts. “He would wake up in the middle of the night and just write the song down and it was complete,” she said. “He never changed a word. He thought, ‘First thought, best thought.’

“There was never a single doubt that we loved each other beyond anything else, from the time when we first met until the moment he died,” Laurie Anderson said.  “Almost every day we said ‘you are the love of my life,’ or some version of that in one of our many private, and somewhat bizarre languages. We knew exactly what we had, and we were beyond grateful.”

(Pictures courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan and the Lou Reed Website.)

Baroque Pop

Cover of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Clu...
Cover via Amazon

Baroque pop is a form of music that conflates rock ‘n roll with classical. Two of the most popular baroque pop albums in recording history are 1966’s Pet Sounds and 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  Many believe that the sound was pioneered by The Zombies with the release of their first single, “She’s Not There”, in 1964.

I love the baroque sound The Rolling Stones forged on the tracks, “Ruby Tuesday“, “Lady Jane“, “Play With Fire” and “As Tears Go By“.

The Beatles created a wonderful baroque classic in  “Eleanor Rigby“.

Another one of my favorite baroque pop recordings is “Everyone” by Van Morrison from the classic Moondance album.

What is your favorite baroque pop song? Perhaps you could share that with the readership as a comment to this post. 🙂

Santana IV Update (Everything Is Coming Our Way)

I imagine many Santana fans had the perception that the Corazon, Superstar Concert and first All-Spanish Santana Record project had knocked the Santana IV project out of the box.

Well disregard that false perception, the Santana IV project lives and breathes with a deep sense of commitment to the Santana brotherhood.

Today’s Las Vegas Sun reports in the Kats Report by John Katsilometes

“When Santana is finished with “Corazon,” he plans to begin work on a fascinating album (especially for those nostalgic about classic rock) with some friends and former bandmates.

“We got together for two days already, with Gregg Rolie, Michael Shrieve, Michael Carabello,” Santana said. “The original Santana, we stopped at three. We are looking forward to this spring and doing Santana IV. After this incredible CD (“Corazon”), I will be with them, totally and absolutely.”

Santana has plans to play Dubai in February, and there are no scheduled dates at House of Blues beyond Feb. 1. Because of his recording commitments, it’s likely the earliest he would be back onstage in Las Vegas would be the fall of 2014.

But whenever it is, the timing and mood will be right. Carlos Santana will make sure of that.”

So with Corazon AND Santana IV in 2014 (And hopefully an East Coast Tour too), Everything Is Coming Our Way!

Santana “Corazon, Live From Mexico: Live It To Believe It,”

I am always fascinated how the lens of a camera in the right eyes and hands can capture and preserve incredible moments we never see during live concerts.

Erik Kabik is a defining concert photographer. I am grateful to Erik for his photographic documentation of Santana in Las Vegas and now in Mexico. Erik has a keen eye for photographing Carlos Santana in performance as well as the Santana Band.

Last night, December 14th was the Santana All Star Concert in Guadalajara Mexico. Erik’s photographs let us  have a front row seat!

I’ve included just a few of the photographs from Erik’s Facebook Album. Please note and honor the copyright notice for Erik’s work.

© RD/ Kabik/ Retna Digital

I can’t wait to see the HBO Special and DVD with all these fabulous musicians, the rich multimedia visuals of the stage backdrop and of course the Santana Band.

There is nothing like a Santana concert 😉

Today in Rock History – December 14

December 14th is the day Joni Mitchell chose to release two unique albums two years apart. It was a very productive time for her as an artist.

Album 1 – For The Roses

For the Roses is the fifth studio album by Joni Mitchell, released in November 1972, between her two biggest commercial and critical successes – Blue and Court and Spark. Despite this, in 2007 it was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

It is perhaps best known for the hit single “You Turn Me on I’m a Radio”, which Mitchell wrote sarcastically out of a record company request for a radio-friendly song.

Album 2 – Miles of Aisles

Miles of Aisles is a 1974 double live album by Joni Mitchell backed by the L.A. Express, recorded on the Court and Spark tour. It reached #2 on the charts and became one of her biggest-selling records.

Miles of Aisles

The Dead Weather – Open Up (That’s Enough)

The Dead Weather  (Alison Mosshart, Jack White, Dean Fertita and Jack Lawrence) have released a  streaming edition of “Open Up (That’s Enough)” on YouTube. It’s hauntingly fresh electric.

Originally announced on October 2, 2013 as two BRAND NEW studio recordings from The Dead Weather. “Open Up (That’s Enough)” b/w “Rough Detective” are unlike anything else the band has ever done and are both ample reminders of the ferocity of this motley collection of low-lifes, grifters and ne’er-do-wells. These songs are not throw-aways. These songs are not demos. These songs are not outtakes.

The 7″ was ONLY available via Vault subscription (Sold Out). No other 7″ of these songs will be made. The whole thing is pressed on striking yellow jacket vinyl and coupled with a custom glue-pocket picture sleeve, a slight shift from the Vault’s usual die-cut company sleeves.

Is there more to come from this collaboration? Yes there is. The Dead Weather’s plan is to record and release two-song sets until 2015 at which time they will release a full album that has these singles plus many more album-only tracks. It’s a unique long-term plan for new music from this incendiary group. The songs WILL be released digitally, but not until Vault packages have been dispatched to subscribers. As Third Man Records explains, “It’s a unique long-term plan for new music from this incendiary group… The goal is that physical copies are out there first.” 

Spotify Exclusive – Led Zeppelin Catalogue

Significant news, Led Zeppelin is now streaming their catalogue EXCLUSIVELY on Spotify. This is the first time it is available on a streaming service.

Spotify will roll out in chronological order two Led Zeppelin albums a day until the catalogue is fully in place.

Bring It On Home To Me!

Johnny Cash – Out Among The Stars

Legacy Recordings and John Carter Cash have made an important discovery in the Sony Music Archive vault. Out Among The Starsa remarkable new album comprised of 12 recently discovered Johnny Cash studio recordings.

The tracks on Out Among The Stars were originally recorded in Nashville, Tennessee at Columbia Studios in 1981 and 1111 Sound Studios in 1984 and produced by Billy Sherrill, the architect of the “countrypolitan” sound who was heading A&R at CBS Records Nashville at the time.

On these songs—which include duets with June Carter Cash and Waylon Jennings—Johnny worked with an expanded ensemble featuring a young Marty Stuart on guitar and mandolin and Nashville A-Team members Jerry Kennedy (guitar), Pete Drake (steel guitar), Hargus “Pig” Robbins (piano) and Henry Strzelecki (bass).

The recordings, which have never been released in any form, are not demos, outtakes or alternate versions. They remained in the vaults during the years Columbia Records released Johnny Cash’s last albums for the label and were subsequently forgotten.

Johnny Cash – Out Among The Stars, Track Listing

1. Out Among The Stars
2. Baby Ride Easy – duet with June Carter Cash
3. She Used To Love Me A Lot
4. After All
5. I’m Movin’ On – Duet with Waylon Jennings
6. If I Told You Who It Was
7. Call Your Mother (Written by Johnny Cash)
8. I Drove Her Out Of My Mind
9. Tennessee
10. Rock and Roll Shoes
11. Don’t You Think It’s Come Our Time – Duet with June Carter Cash
12. I Came To Believe (Written by Johnny Cash)

Countrypolitan

In the early 1960s, the Nashville sound began to be challenged by the rival Bakersfield sound.[2] Nashville’s pop song structure became more pronounced and it morphed into what was called countrypolitan. Countrypolitan was aimed straight at mainstream markets and it sold well throughout the later 1960s into the early 1970s. Among the architects of this sound were producers Billy Sherrill (who was instrumental in shaping Tammy Wynette‘s early career) and Glenn Sutton. Artists who typified the countrypolitan sound initially included Wynette, Glen Campbell (who recorded in Hollywood and not Nashville), Lynn AndersonCharlie Rich, and Charley Pride.[3]

The Bakersfield sound, and later Outlaw Country, dominated country music among aficionados while countrypolitan reigned on the pop charts.[3]