I’ve put together an exclusive hour long music mix for New Jersey’s WFMU radio station, for the show ‘Do or DIY’ hosted by People Like Us. It’s available on line from 8pm to 9pm tonight, then it will be archived. The mix encompasses off kilter electronica, opiated indie and blissful horror film scores, including pieces by The Anti Group, Ennio Morricone, Wire and Bachelorette.
Playlists and archives for Graham Duff on DO or DIY here.
Below, Graham Duff as “Brian,” tripping, in Ideal:
Listen to the splendor that is Johnny Wakelin’s “In Zaire.” I love the shit out of this song, but so far I’ve resisted posting it here because of the totally 70s videos of it floating around out there (as if this has ever stopped me before?). Now I’ve decided that I like them, go figure.
The lyrics describe the infamous 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” prizefight that saw world Heavyweight champion George Foreman pitted against the former world champion, Muhammad Ali. In a stadium filled with screaming fans in Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Ali knocked Foreman out in the eighth round.
But the music, can we talk about the music? This track is such a killer. It simply stomps all over your face and smashes you to a pulp. Afterwards, you are glad of this. Dig the (very Adam and the Ants-sounding) dual drum attack, the rumbling, limber, almost menacing bass lines, the jangly, rusty-sounding guitar. And that voice, that phenomenal booming voice. A voice that could give Tom Jones a run for his money. I must admit, given Johnny Wakelin’s propensity to sing about black people, “Black Superman,” Ali, Africa, etc, I thought he must actually be a black man himself. The first time I saw a video of him, after loving this song for so many years, I will admit I was shocked to find that he was in fact, a goofy, fashion-challenged white guy with lamb-chop sideburns who dressed like a pimp!
Scottish folk musician, Bert Jansch, one of the most influential and revered acoustic guitar players in the world, has died from cancer at the age of 67.
Jansch passed away in the early hours of October 5 at a hospice in Hampstead, north London. Though he had been ill for some time, Jansch continued to tour and perform, most recently appearing at Glastonbury earlier this year.
Born in Glasgow in 1943, Jansch was a leading figure in sixties folk music, releasing his first album, the self-titled, Bert Jansch, in 1965, which has been hailed as one of the greatest folk albums ever recorded. Jansch’s influence as a musician has streched across several musical genres and generations, from Paul Simon to Graham Coxon.
The Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr has said that “You hear him in Nick Drake, Pete Townshend, Donovan, The Beatles, Jimmy Page and Neil Young.”
While Neil Young called Jansch “As much of a great guitar player as Jimi Hendrix.”
Between 1967 and 1973, Jansch co-founder and guitarist with the legendary folk group Pentangle, playing alongside John Renbourn, Jacqui McShee, Danny Thompson and Terry Cox. Pentangle were known for their innovative mix of folk, rock and jazz, as seen through their seminal albums, The Pentangle, Sweet Child and Basket of Light. Their biggest hit single was “Light Flight”, which was used as the theme to the hit TV series Take Three Girls.
In 2007, Pentangle received a Life-time Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, where producer John Leonard said
“Pentangle were one of the most influential groups of the late 20th century and it would be wrong for the awards not to recognise what an impact they had on the music scene.”
Jansch continued to record, tour (supporting Neil Young in 2010) and producing solo material, which led to a major resurgence in his popularity over the past decade. His most recent album Black Swan was released in 2006, of which All Music said:
For the past ten years Jansch has been undergoing a creative renaissance akin to Bob Dylan’s and people are slowly but surely finding what he has on offer. Black Swan proves that the guitarist and songwriter has a bounty at his disposal. He is writing and recording music that is profound, funny, topical, worldly, and ultimately, necessary.
He’s at it again: David Lynch releases his first solo album Crazy Clown Time next month, and if you want to get an idea of what it’s going to be like, then take a listen to the title track, which has been uploaded onto You Tube.
It’s what you might expect from Mr Lynch, strange, weird, and somehow compelling - though personally, I’d like to see some pictures to go with it, and maybe some beer and popcorn too.
The UK’s Daily Sport tabloid is on a roll - only a few weeks after delivering the now legendary leader “Gordon Ramsay Sex Dwarf Eaten By Badger” comes this beauty. But what I want to know is - did it hurt?
Our buddy Mitch Stadium claims this is the first time this video has ever been on YouTube and I have no reason to doubt him. Stadium, the nom de plume of one of the premier rock archivists on the planet, has done it again with this choice piece of rock history.
Sly Stone: vocals, organ, guitar, piano, harmonica, and more
Freddie Stone: vocals, guitar
Larry Graham: vocals, bass guitar
Greg Errico: drums
In the video below shot a few days before the 1968 Democratic National Convention, radical prankster Abbie Hoffman discusses guerrilla theater, drugs, sex and the role of humor as a tool for shaking up the status quo. Dissidence with a touch of Dada.
While the shit is hitting the fan it’s always good to have a sense of the absurd to keep things in perspective.
“Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger.”
Much of the tone of the current Occupy Wall Street movement, with it’s colorful signs, face paint, freak flags, costumes and optimism in the face of so much opposition, can be traced to the Sixties provocations and theater of Hoffman, Jerry Ruben, The MC5, Ed Sanders, Paul Krassner, Allen Ginsberg, Dana Beal and the Youth International Party.
While Abbie showed us that political activism could have a playful side and that yippie tactics could be an effective means to grab headlines, releasing word viruses that could fuck with the status quo, he was also wise in his grasp of political realities:
Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit. When all today’s isms have become yesterday’s ancient philosophy, there will still be reactionaries and there will still be revolutionaries. No amount of rationalization can avoid the moment of choice each of us brings to our situation here on the planet. I still believe in the fundamental injustice of the profit system and do not accept the proposition there will be rich and poor for all eternity.
Become an internationalist and learn to respect all life. Make war on machines. And in particular the sterile machines of corporate death and the robots that guard them.
Being a revolutionary isn’t just about talking a good game, it’s also about showing the world what freedom loving human beings are capable of: a robust passion for life and a deep respect for humanity and the earth we stand on.
There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
― John Lennon
When people discount the role the Sixties play in contemporary attitudes about politics, sex, the environment and human rights, I say open your gawdammed eyes and take a look around. The press, pundits and people in general are comparing the OWS movement to the radical uprisings of the Sixties for good reason - they arise out of the same basic impulse toward justice and freedom….and something innate in all humans: the desire to fuck with authority.
With their limited frames of reference, I keep hearing people referring to the OWS protesters as hippies. Well, I guess we’re all hippies now. Pass the patchouli. Yippee!
Revolution is in the air and we’re all feeling the first rumblings of what may become a long hard winter of discontent. Destiny is kneeling at the hem of absolute reality altering the 13 inch pegged pants that Jesus wore to Elvis’s and Priscilla’s wedding. Gene Vincent’s blue suede shoes have turned a whiter shade of pale and Lou Reed is breaching the tight tangle of his own decadent and decaying bunghole only to discover there’s little velvet left in his underground. At the outer rim of what we have come to accept as the entirety of our little world there’s a fluttering of moth-like wings which, to everyone’s surprise, is the hypnogogic light show palpitating on the moist pink plasma of our eyelids. As we lay dumbstruck on a bed of lavender-scented panty shields, a large shadowy figure hovers above us: the ghost of Canned Heat’s Bob “The Bear” Hite in coitus with a giant rubber replica of Timothy Leary’s pineal gland. Our silent awe is violently interrupted by the lower intestinal flubbering of Mr. Kurt Cobain sucking the last sustaining droplets of Lil Wayne’s bottle of drank while Thom Yorke, wearing a thong made of Gypsy foreskins, cowers in a dark, dank, moldering corner cluttered with the remains of Bob Guccione, Miles Davis and Stiv Bators. As a thousand angels weep, Pete Townshend fumbles for his eyeglasses, slaps them to the bridge of his nose, and places his long calloused fingers upon his computer’s monitor screen where an image of a young Bob Dylan in flannel pajamas sullenly strokes the head of a tattered Teddy bear.
At times like these I always turn to music to recharge the cells that fire the cylinders of change, renewal and transformation. Rock and roll is the soundtrack of my life, perhaps it’s your’s as well.
Here’s a fistful of musical dynamite to detonate within the circle that encloses our dreams, hopes and desires. Let the walls dissolve as our flesh extends into eternity like infinite tendrils of meat, sweat and cum.
Squares, you’ve been warned. Stand clear, run for your lives, or loosen your belts and join the party.
Rarely seen videos from The Music Machine, Baris Manco, Steppenwolf, Fleetwood Mac (with Peter Green), Frumpy, MC5 and Iggy Pop.
Russian motorcycle madness - rock band literally goes on the road.
The title of the video Бременские музыканты. Наши дни is Russian for “The Town Musicians Of Bremen,” a Grimm Brothers fairytale that was made into a very popular animated film in Russia.
In the story a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster, all past their prime years in life and usefulness on their respective farms, were soon to be discarded or mistreated by their masters. One by one they leave their homes and set out together. They decide to go to Bremen, known for its freedom, to live without owners and become musicians there.
Good luck young rockers, long may you ride.
Update: When I posted this last night it had 307 views on Youtube. It’s now at a quarter million. Talk about going viral!