‘Blow Your Own Horn’
…playing it strong and loud…
‘Blow Your Own Horn’
…playing it strong and loud…
‘That Striped Sunlight Sound’
I’m a massive music fan, and have been on a recent trawl though my Go-Betweens collection.The Aussie indie group titled a late live album ‘That Striped Sunlight Sound’. I was in an Auckland park in the early morning this week and the sun streamed though the trees, including the nikau palm pictured. It immediately reminded me of the album title, connecting the visual with the songs in my head. This post is in homage to the band I love.
‘The Dead Don’t Dream’
This post is inspired by the title of the latest album by Finnish jazz trumpeter Verneri Pohjola,‘The Dead Don’t Dream’.
I have come across Pohjola’s amazing modern music quite recently and have been mightily impressed by what I have heard.
The musician was talking about the making of the album (dreaming it into existence as he termed it) and remarked that “it’s about embracing life in all of its complex emotions, while we still have it … after all, the dead don’t dream”.
He nailed it for me with that statement.
To live is to truly engage, and to dream. You may as well be dead otherwise.
You can listen to the tune behind the thoughts below (via YouTube):
‘Same As It Ever Was II’
In yesterday’s post Same As It Ever Was , I referenced Talking Heads’ groundbreaking pop hit, ‘Once In A Lifetime’.
I probably ought to have included the music, so, in the spirit of sameness, and to provide some aural context, here it is, thanks to YouTube:
“letting the days go by”
‘When The Red King Comes’
Two small things collided during the week in way that made perfect sense to me:
A lunchtime walk down to Auckland’s city wharves, where the old wrought iron fence sports carved faces of Neptune/Poseidon in a vivid red.
And a major overhaul of my digital music collection that unearthed this psychedelic/jangle gem from cult band Elf Power (an early track of theirs that lends this post its title).YouTube share below.
Enjoy the pairing!
‘Green Guitar’ – R.I.P Peter Green, 1946 – 2020.
Peter Green, an original member of Fleetwood Mac and legendary blues/rock guitarist, passed away yesterday.
He was an understated stylist possessed of one of the purest, most emotive guitar timbres in the business ,even if he led a life at times troubled by mental illness.
B.B King said of his playing, “he has the sweetest tone I ever heard. He was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.”
YouTube link to one of his best loved tracks, appropriate in remembrance, ‘In The Skies’ is below:
‘Station To Station’
Auckland’s Britomart Train Station is relatively new and has a sorta alien spaceship, futuristic feel going on.
All the more reason to crib the title of David Bowie’s 1976 song and album as a small homage to that great musical voyager.
His music took me to a few unknown places in my youth.
Youtube link to the song below, if you care for an interesting sonic side trip…
…morse signals in concrete and glass…
‘View From The Rotunda’
More of the rotunda (see Band Rotunda ),this time from within the vintage structure in the Auckland Domain.
It’s quiet now, but come summer, come post-Covid (whenever that will be),there will be concerts, bands and music to lift the spirit.
Meantime, there is a pause before the show that hits the right notes for me, right now.
When it all gets a bit tangled and gloomy, we all need a guiding light, someone or something, to see us through.
Song for the day, to match, from Television’s classic 1977 debut album, ‘Marquee Moon’:
“Guiding light, guiding light
guiding through these nights”
Peak autumn on the Tamaki River at low tide; the clear blue sky is reflected in the water lying atop the mudflats at low tide. Plenty of time right now for me to likewise do a bit of reflection in the suspended state that is lockdown, whilst out walking.
The perfect mini soundtrack to this all comes from American new age/neo-classical pianist George Winston:
‘New Day Rising II’
First light on the Tamaki River yesterday – another day, another beginning, another version…
And a previous blog version is to be found here: New Day Rising .Last time around I shone the light, so to speak, on the album cover of Husker Du’s ‘New Day Rising’. This time you can check out the title track below.
Unlike the serenity of the photo, this is one of the most ferocious slices of rock and roll ever committed to tape, so you stand warned.
But I am happy to start the day either way, really…
It has been a week of vivid and bizarre dreams for me, some nightmarish.
Perhaps coming off antidepressant medication has something to do with it , as that is an apparent side effect.
At any rate, the surreal shit of my dreamland continues apace.
You couldn’t make it up and you certainly can’t control it.
I’ll wake up from one weird episode and then plunge straight into another one, and so it continues till the dawn.
Deep REM sleep is supposed to be beneficial; maybe, but it is bemusing also.
I don’t even try to analyse the nocturnal art house cinema I am being served up involuntarily on a nightly basis.
What would be the point, really?
But I do have the ideal soundtrack to it all:
The Electric Prunes’s “I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night”. A thoroughly groovy 1960’s garage/psychedelic rock classic.
YouTube link below. Stick this in your pipe dream and smoke it, good people!
“I’m not ready to face the light…I had too much to dream last night”
This very evocative wood carving/ painting got me thinking of some favourite bird things….
My Avian Awards
A modern jazz classic!
‘The Strong One’
” ‘Cause isn’t it hard
to be the one who gathers everybody’s tears
isn’t it hard
to be the strong one “
– ‘ The Strong One’, Bruce Cockburn
As to the photo image – the Stonehenge-like sculpture blends almost with the background of trees.
Truly strong people are sometimes unnoticeable.
They are always there – for others, to gather their tears (as Cockburn’s beautiful lyric states); constant and loyal.
Some mistake displays of dynamism, power and muscle-flexing for strong character.
The true strong ones of our world carry burdens without reward and recognition.
Maybe you are one of those that others rely on.
It is hard, to be the strong one.
Take time to take care of yourself too…
” I’ll sing you one, O
Green grow the rushes, O
What is your one, O?
One is one and all alone
And evermore shall be so.”
– ‘ Green Grow The Rushes, O ‘ ( trad. English folk song )
Queensferry Crossing, Scotland
This stunning modern suspension bridge over the Firth of Forth was certainly worth a picture, as we crossed over it late last year( don’t worry, I took this photo from the passenger seat! ).
As I have been filling my musical boots with vintage sounds of late, may I take you on a transatlantic leap to the somewhat older but equally stellar Brooklyn Bridge, which I was fortunate to have walked over as a young bloke.
Artwork of it features on the cover of a 1982 album ‘The Bridge’, by jazz/fusion keyboardist David Sancious. Sancious may be better known to rockers as an early member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.
A YouTube link to the sublime title track ,an old favourite of mine, is below, if you have the time to embark on a sprawling aural trip of your own…
A staring skull, a pair of bull horns and an accordion player.
Yes, it’s art.
But logical too.
Logical, that is if you happened to die whilst riding a bull, which also died, and they played bouncing polka and mariachi songs at your funeral…
Over Christmas music yet? Well, may I give some respite from the sheer awfulness of most of it – here is a prime cut from my album of the year, Devendra Banhart’s ‘Ma’.
A typical offbeat piece of Venezuelan/American Banhart’s warm songcraft, enhanced by a surreal video. Enjoy! If it’s not your cup of tea ,it could be worse (‘Little Drummer Boy’ anyone…?).
(By the way, the recent photo features a community piano in a central London shopping mall . Some outstanding young talent created amazing sounds for free – I love community pianos for their surprise element!
Link to the DB song below: