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Out-Bloody-Rageous: The Soft Machine
07.22.2009
06:56 pm

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The death last month of Hugh Hopper saw me pulling out my Soft Machine CDs and giving them a listen again. I go through a Soft Machine phase every couple of years and Hopper’s passing was a good excuse for another. It was also an excuse for me to pull “Out-Bloody-Rageous,” Graham Bennett’s exhaustive Soft Machine’s bio off the shelf again, too. It will forever be the definitive book on the band.

Eccentric pioneers, first of psychedelia, then prog rock, then of jazz-rock fusion, the innovative avant-garde onslaught of the Soft Machine was probably best encountered as a live experience.The odd time signatures and sheer complexity of the music would have been almost stressful to play. This musical tension was probably personally wearing as the band went through 24 different line-ups in its long career.

Sadly, I never had a chance to see the Soft Machine play live, it was before my time, but I have had a chance to see Gong and Kevin Ayers and both shows were delightful experiences. Here’s a particularly hot performance of the Soft Machine performing “Ester’s Nose Job” from French TV circa 1970:

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Julian Cope: Black Sheep
07.21.2009
06:41 pm

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Pagan lord of Britain Julian Cope’s new double album Black Sheep is his best, and most vitriolic, effort since 1992’s Jehovahkill. If shamanic screeds against religious fanatics, the G20 and modern man are your idea of a party, this is the one. Check out this outstanding track from the album, Black Sheep’s Song.

The album demands serious listening. If you throw it on casually in the background, it’ll sound like crap. I was underwhelmed by it the first few times until I sat down with it on headphones and actually listened to every word he was saying. It’s an incendiary classic and a perfect statement of protest?

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Bobby Conn: Never Get Ahead
07.21.2009
06:40 pm

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Bobby Conn isn’t just a genius. He’s a midwestern genius. His albums (like “The Homeland,” with the Glass Gypsies) are some of the best protest music that came out of the Bush years, and he’s still going strong. The man is a one-man culture destroyer that apparently they’ve never let out of the gate because he’s too dangerous. They keep him penned up in Chicago somewhere and I, for one, believe the man is criminally overlooked and that they should let him loose.

He is, however, apparently famous enough to make this list of bands that can make your children gay. It’s actually a great checklist. Apparently Morton Subotnick makes you gay, too!

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
La Bionda, Wacky Italia Disco Synthpop Duo (1980)
07.21.2009
05:20 pm

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I coundn’t find much information on Italian disco group La Bionda, except for that the musical duo was formed by brothers Carmelo and Michelangelo La Bionda and they make me smile.  La Bionda, are considered among the inventors of the disco Italiana.

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La Bionda

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Miles Davis Quintet Skateboards
07.20.2009
10:11 pm

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Ian Johnson designed this jaw-dropping series of skateboards for Western Edition. The skateboards depict the 1959 lineup of the Miles Davis Quintet, the group who played on the classic album “Kind of Blue.”

Update: Dangerous Minds reader Greg says, “Hi, just thought I’d let you know that this product and description are a bit wrong: The group that played with Miles Davis on the 1959 album ‘Kind of Blue’ was a sextet. You have missed out Cannonball Adderley. Also, on one of the tracks (Freddie Freeloader) Wynton Kelly played piano not Bill Evans. Just thought you’d like to know, Greg”

Ian Johnson

(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Pushnoy Perform ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’
07.20.2009
03:01 pm

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Enjoy!

(via Arbroath)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Robotic French Space Disco inspired by Star Wars (1977)
07.19.2009
03:42 am

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imageInspired by the 1977 release of Star Wars, Yves Hayat (synthesizers and sequencers) formed Droids along with Richard Lornac on keyboards and Jean-Paul Batailley on drums and tablas. Two of the guys performed the single “(Do You Have) The Force” on French TV in 1977 dressed as robots—which could explain the Daft Punk comparison. Star Peace came out a year later, and then the Droids were out. The LP is sought after for its kitsch appeal but also killer electronics and good vibes.

Star Peace’s connection to George Lucas’ space-opera is essentially negligible. Except for a few signifiers, namely the two-part “(Do You Have) The Force” with its R2D2-ish synth squelches and blaster sounds, the whole thing has less to do with Star Wars and more to do with the big astral-plane ideas of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Old New Hope: Half-Baked Record Nerd Oddities From Dennis Wilson and Droids Resurface

Droids

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‘It Might Get Loud’ - starring Jimmy Page, Jack White and The Edge
07.19.2009
12:38 am

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Definitely looks promising! Opens in New York and Los Angeles Thursday, August 14.

The history of the electric guitar as seen from the point of view of three significant musicians: Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, U2’s The Edge and the White Stripes’ Jack White. It tells the personal stories, of three generations of electric guitar virtuosos. It reveals how each developed his unique sound and style of playing his favorite instrument. Concentrating on the artists musical rebellion, traveling with him to influential locations and provoking rare discussion as to how and why he writes and plays.
It Might Get Loud
Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
TOM WILKES R.I.P.
07.18.2009
10:48 pm

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With all the name-brand dying going on these days, I thought I’d mention the passing of someone less well-known who probably touched many of us more deeply and intimately than, oh, Walter Cronkite.  Tom Wilkes, celebrated album cover designer for The Rolling Stones, George Harrison and The Who died recently, in, of all places, Pioneertown, California.  Beyond Beggars Banquet, though, Wilkes was wildly talented, wonderfully prolific.  For a good taste of it all, including his artwork for Monterey Pop, click the link below:

Tom Wilkes homepage

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
88 Lines About 44 Women
07.18.2009
01:43 pm

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Marc Campbell of New Wave group The Nails posted this on Facebook:

In the 30 years since 88 LINES ABOUT 44 WOMEN was first recorded there has never been a video version authorized by THE NAILS. Of the dozens of videos on youtube that pay homage to the song, this is the only version created by a member of the band, me. So, here’s the world premier of 88 LINES the video. Hope you enjoy it. I had fun making it.

(NSFW-ish)

Update: This is the infamous video of 88 LINES ABOUT 44 WOMEN that was banned by youtube.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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