Category Archives: music

RIP Hugh Masekela (1939 – 2018)

Hugh Masekela (1939 – 2018)  was a South African musician, composer and singer.

I celebrated Hugh’s 70th birthday nine years ago [1] and pointed to the two compositions of Masekela that are in my top 1000 (“Grazing in the Grass” and “Don’t Go Lose It Baby“).

Above is “African Secret Society”, a 1974 composition by Masekela, soft, breezy and jazzy (and I love the idea of an African secret society).

Also [above] a recent find I discovered after France Gall’s death, “Umqokozo (Children’s Game Song About A New Red Dress)“, a song French musician Serge Gainsbourg used without credit as “Pauvre Lola” and on which you can hear Masekela playing at 0:55.

RIP Sunny Murray (1936 – 2017)

Sunny Murray was an American musician, one of the pioneers of the free jazz style of drumming.

His album Sonny’s Time Now (1965) is in the Top Ten Free Jazz Underground.

On that record Amiri Baraka reads his controversial 1965 poem “Black Art” (above) which features the line “we want poems that kill”, an instance of the aestheticization of violence.

“One can look at seeing but one can’t hear hearing” –Duchamp

I want to read Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener.

”Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener” (2010) by David Toop
[Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Back in 2007, I attended[1] a lecture by David Toop. The title was Ways of Hearing.

In 2010, this lecture crystallized as the book Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener.

On the cover is a detail of «Soplones», nº 48 of Goya series Los Caprichos.

It is a book about listening, the way sound is portrayed in painting and other “silent arts”, about arts that involve sound, about the resonance of architecture, about auditory artefacts and about self-reflexivity.

Michaelangelo Matos called it “an exploration of sound in novels, poems, and paintings from before the era of sound reproduction.”

Threaded through the book is Marcel Duchamp’s observation “One can look at seeing but one can’t hear hearing” and his concept of the infrathin, those human experiences so fugitive that they exist only in the imaginative absences of perception.

David Toop is always interesting, he introduced me to the eavesdropper paintings by 17th century Dutch painter Nicolaes Maes and the concept of silence in painting.

A certain Guilherme Werneck has made a pinterest board consisting of a “visual guide” to Sinister Resonance.

Toop’s magnum opus is Ocean of Sound.

See also my current research on medium specificity.

“Disco Sucks” @30

On this day 30 years ago in 1979, Disco Demolition Night heralded the last days of disco.

Disco started in small nightclubs in American urban centers in the early seventies with imported records such as “Soul Makossa.” During the 1970s disco steadily increased in popularity reaching a high point with Saturday Night Fever in 1977.

This was followed with a homophobic, racist backlash two years later when rock music fans started to consider disco culture — with its perceived drug-fuelled sexual promiscuitysilly and effeminate, and objected to the idea of centering music around an electronic drum beat and synthesizers instead of live performers.

Another (more masculine) subculture, punk music, arrived on the scene.

Parodies of disco music became common. The backlash was epitomized in Chicago by the riotous Disco Demolition Night.

Nile Rodgers, guitarist for the popular disco era group Chic said “It felt to us like Nazi book-burning, This is America, the home of jazz and rock and people were now afraid even to say the word ‘disco’.”

There was never a focused backlash against disco in Europe.

Now, for the first time on this blog: local news coverage of this Dionysian moment.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpQfCcsqQ0E]

RIP Tom Wilkes (1939 – 2009)

RIP Tom Wilkes (1939 – 2009)

via www.munciefreepress.com RIP Tom Wilkes (1939 - 2009) He won a Grammy Award for the Who’s “Tommy”[1]. He was also known for designing the cover art for hit albums by artists like Neil Young (Harvest[2]), George Harrison and the Rolling Stones (Flowers[3], Beggars Banquet[4]) and many more. In 1967 Wilkes was the art director of the Monterey International Pop Festival. He created all graphics and printed materials for Monterey Pop, including festival’s psychedelic poster[5].

Rare poster to the Monterey International Pop Festival

Tom Wilkes (born July 30, 1939 – June 28, 2009) was an American art director, designer, photographer, illustrator, writer and producer-director.

He won a Grammy Award for the Who’s “Tommy[1]. He was also known for designing the cover art for hit albums by artists like Neil Young (Harvest[2]), George Harrison and the Rolling Stones (Flowers[3], Beggars Banquet[4]) and many more.

In 1967 Wilkes was the art director of the Monterey International Pop Festival. He created all graphics and printed materials for Monterey Pop, including festival’s psychedelic poster[5].

tip of the hat to http://themusicsover.wordpress.com.

RIP Drake Levin (1946 – 2009)

RIP Drake Levin (1946 – 2009), 62, American guitarist (Paul Revere & the Raiders), cancer.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDfWePGe9E4&]

(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone

Drake Levin (August 17, 1946 – July 4, 2009) was an American musician who performed under the stage name Drake Levin. He was best known as the guitarist for Paul Revere & the Raiders.

Paul Revere and the Raiders is an American rock band that saw enormous mainstream success in the second half of the 1960s and earlier 1970s, best-known for hits like “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)[1] (1971), “Steppin’ Out”[2] & “Just Like Me”[3] (1965), “Kicks”[4] (1966) (ranked #400 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time) , “Let Me”[5] (1969), and “Hungry[6](1966).

see also(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone, garage rock, Nuggets

I know that it is probably sacrilege to some of you but here is a blasphemous version of “Indian Reservation” by German disco band Orlando Riva Sound:

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tNe5EKfK44]

Indian Reservation

RIP Allen Klein (1931 – 2009)

RIP Allen Klein, 77, American businessman, Beatles and Rolling Stones manager, Alzheimer’s disease.

Allen Klein poses with Yoko Ono, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr at a fictitious “contract signing”, 1969.

Allen Klein (December 18, 1931 – July 4, 2009) was an American businessman and record label executive. His career highlights included having such celebrated clients as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Many of his famous clients eventually turned against him, however, and he became involved in acrimonious legal battles with them. At one time he owned the rights to Chilean director Jodorowsky‘s films El Topo and The Holy Mountain and as a form of retribution refused to show them during 30 years.

Allen Klein also produced a trilogy of spaghetti westerns starring and written by Tony Anthony copying Clint Eastwood’s The Man With No Name persona. A Stranger In Town and The Stranger Returns and The Silent Stranger. Klein and Anthony also collaborated on the film Blindman featuring Ringo Starr as a Mexican bandito.

A second reminder: I’m having fun at my Tumblr account. I draft these posts there and post anything I find which hasn’t (or not extensively) been blogged about by others.

RIP Sky Saxon (1946 – 2009)

RIP Sky Saxon, 63, American, a minor rock musician known of his work with The Seeds has vanished from the firmament of 20th century music. Saxon enjoyed his floruit in the 1960s, his success was limited to North America.

Sky “Sunlight” Saxon (1946 – June 25, 2009) was best known as the leader and singer of the 1960s Los Angeles garage rock band The Seeds, and his hit single “(You’re) Pushin’ Too Hard” (1965).

The Seeds‘  raw and abrasive energy and simple, repetitive lyrics came to exemplify the garage rock style of the 1960s. Other notable recordings include “Mr Farmer” (1967), “Can’t Seem To Make You Mine” and “Two Fingers Pointing on You,” which was included in Psych-Out, directed by Richard Rush in 1968.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhPvkzFJhnk]

Pushin’ Too Hard“, released in 1965 as a single, is a musical composition by The Seeds, dealing with teenage angst about an unfaithful girl. “Lying girls” was a common theme of garage rock compositions.

Garage rock is a raw form of rock and roll that was first popular in the United States and Canada from about 1963 to 1967. During the 1960s, it was not recognized as a separate music genre and had no specific name. In the early 1970s, some rock critics retroactively labelled it as punk rock. However, the music style was later referred to as garage rock or ‘60s Punk to avoid confusion with the music of late-1970s punk rock bands such as the Sex Pistols and The Clash. The garage rock revival can be traced to the early 1970s, following the release of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968 in 1972.

pHinn has more clips [1]

“Lesson #1 for Electric Guitar” is WMC #342

Lesson #1 for Electric Guitar” is WMC #342

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9lwuojEREI]

Lesson #1 for Electric Guitar[1] was the first album released by Glenn Branca, originally in 1980 on 99 Records as a mini-album. It was re-released in a remastered form in 2004 by Acute Records and is variously classified as no wave or noise rock. It combines punk aesthetics with those classical music.

Glenn Branca[2] is an avant-garde composer and guitarist of the New York “downtown music” scene known for his use of volume, repetition, droning, and the harmonic series.

99 Records was an independent record label that existed from 19801984. 99 (pronounced Nine Nine) Records was run out of a record store with the same name, located at 99 MacDougal Street in New York City’s Greenwich Village, and owned by Ed Bahlman. Artists included ESG, Liquid Liquid, Bush Tetras, Glenn Branca, Y Pants, and others.

Downtown music is a name given to the New York music scene from the 1960s to the 1980s. A scene that suppposedly began in 1960, when Yoko Ono — one of the Fluxus artists, at that time still seven years away from meeting John Lennon — opened her SoHo loft to be used as a performance space for a series curated by La Monte Young and Richard Maxfield.