Friday, February 29, 2008

Rhotation (21) Into BPM

Hello, March is underway and i thought let's start the 21st Rhotation on a sexual note. At Into BPM, electro comes to mind, though i initially wanted to go for sexually explicit lyrics, i sort of retracted Blowfly as he didn't fit musically, but don't worry he'll be around on a Into The Groove Friday soon enough. That left me with a pair of kinky ladies Peaches shocked the scene 8 years ago with her frank and blunt macha pose, turning the tables on those leacherous men....Princess Superstar is as outspoken but less confronting, she doesn't mince her words but lays them out, engaging the women and teaching those premature ejaculaters.. So who 's the third women today ? It's Sylvie Marks, in the early ninties she rose quickly to prominance as a radio and club dj, after more then a decade of gigs around germany and europe, it took her surprisingly long to release her first album on her friend Ellen Allien's label, Bpitch control. Her electro-disco groove will have your hips moving...

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Peaches - The Teaches Of Peaches (00 ^ 99mb )

Before she became "Peaches", Merrill Beth Nisker ( 1966 in Toronto) was an elementary school music and drama teacher. She plays almost all the instruments for her songs, programs her own electronic beats and produces her records. In Toronto before rising to fame, she was the roommate of fellow recording artist Feist. Peaches' music is preoccupied with genderchange identity, and she often plays with traditional notions of gender identity, gender roles, and gender presentation. Her lyrics and live shows self-consciously blur the distinction between male and female; she appears on the cover of her album Fatherfucker with a full beard. When asked if she had chosen the title for shock value, she commented:“ What is a motherfucker? ... We use it in our everyday language, and it's such an insanely intense word. I'm not one to shy away from these obscene terms that we actually have in our mainstream.. But if we're going to use motherfucker, why don't we use fatherfucker? I'm just trying to be even. " She disputes accusations of "penis envy," preferring the term "hermaphrodite envy" since "there is so much male and female in us all".

The Teaches of Peaches is a crash course in Peaches' punk-disco burlesque. "Sucking on my titties like you wanna be callin' me all the time like Blondie/Check out my Chrissie be-Hynde it's fine all of the time" she sings on the opening manifesto "Fuck the Pain Away," which crystallizes her sound and approach -- her music is equal parts sex, humor, rock, and dance, with her frank, and often frankly hilarious, lyrics riding atop stark drumbeats, throbbing basslines, and repetitive but undeniably rockin' guitar riffs. Trashy, energetic tracks like "Rock Show" and "Lovertits" put the "rude" back in rudimentary; it's the kind of cleverly stupid music that's made by pretty bright people. Indeed, it's quite possible to read all sort of women's studies theories into Peaches' music; she's unrepentantly, triumphantly sexual and turns the tables by objectifying guys, but the fact that her sexually explicit music isn't presented as a bravely feminist act is, paradoxically, exactly what's so liberating about it. It's fairly remarkable for an artist with such a brash, distinctive style that she doesn't start repeating herself until the very end of the album. Funny, sexy, outrageous, and danceable all at once, The Teaches of Peaches is a great introduction to a unique artist who defines herself by gleefully blurring boundaries.

The Herms (short for hermaphrodites) were formed in spring 2006 as Peaches' live backing band. "Herms is a reference to 70's duo Peaches & Herb and blending of words her and him.

01 - Fuck The Pain Away (4:10)
02 - AA XXX (4:33)
03 - Rock Show (2:09)
04 - Set It Off (3:17)
05 - Cum Undun (4:20)
06 - Diddle My Skittle (4:40)
07 - Hot Rod (4:43)
08 - Lovertits (4:41)
09 - Suck And Let Go (6:28)
10 - Sucker (3:38)
11 - Felix Partz (4:29)

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Princess Superstar - Princess Superstar Is ( 02 * 99mb)

Princess Superstar ( Concetta Kirschner, 1971) parents were psychologists, and they moved the family to the suburbs of Philadelphia, sending Kirschner to Germantown Academy. She was a member of the Singing Club, the Theatre Club and the Black Student Union (?). After graduating from high school, she moved to New York City and studied acting at New York University, learning to play the guitar and sending a demo tape to the College Music Journal and Grand Royal, a record label headed by the Beastie Boys. Her debut was called Strictly Platinum, and gained her some notoriety as one of very few white rappers, as well as for her openness regarding her Jewish heritage and gender-related issues.

A hip-hop album of pure, silly fun with zero pretensions, Princess Superstar's Is, her fourth record, should have a wide appeal, as it is mostly about sex and though there are a zillion hip-hop albums about sex (especially from women rappers), few are this clever. One of the few white gal rappers out there, Princess Superstar is an oddity on the rap scene, unlike other gal rappers Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown, Princess Superstar doesn't have a voice made for rap. Her vocals are higher and her flow less smooth, but what she does have, which, is skillfully written rhymes that aren't about building on rap stereotypes. Princess Superstar raps about inviting her boyfriend over and humping him on the couch while babysitting and getting paid six bucks an hour. Also, there's the ultra-silly "Keith 'N Me" featuring Kool Keith, mostly though, the album is Princess Superstar rapping about how horny she is in various witty scenarios.

01 - Super Fantasy (1:40)
02 - Bad Babysitter (Feat. The High & Mighty) (3:35)
03 - Keith 'N Me ( (Rap Kool Keith) 4:24)
04 - Wet! Wet! Wet! (3:26)
05 - We Got Panache (3:18)
06 - Trouble (3:32)
07 - You Get Mad At Napster (4:05)
08 - Untouchable Part 2 ( Voc. Beth Orton )(3:33)
09 - Untouchable Part 1 (Rap 7Even) (3:35)
10 - What Is It? (1:49)
11 - Welcome To My World (3:42)
12 - I Love You (Or At Least I Like You)(Rap J-Zone) (4:12)
13 - Who Writes Your Lyrics (2:43)
14 - Dichotomy (3:26)
15 - Keith 'N Me (Remix) (Rap Kool Keith) (4:31)
16 - Too Much Weight (7:25)

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Sylvie Marks & Hal 9000 - Krazeee ( 04 ^ 184mb)

Sylvie Marks started off playing the piano and surprising the teacher by playing the pieces without notes. Ten years later she's playing in a band, purely local heroism and by the late eighties she takes up dj'ing. Frankfurts scene is bubbling and by the end of 92 she's booked internationally. First 12 "release and a "own" hr3 clubnight, the most famous radio show in central germany every saturday night, becomes a resident dj in frankfurts biggest club, the "music hall". End of 94 the move to Berlin lots of gigs, radioshows and the occasional remix, first work with fellow frankfurter Hal 9000 in 98 with whom she would record Krazeee in 2004.

Sylvie Marks and HAL9000 bring more than a decade of experience to their Krazeee debut, with much of that time spent DJing and producing remixes. The primary weakness of this otherwise strong outing some tracks are a bit drawn out, excising the excess would only make the material stronger . Yet there's plenty of quality electro-synthpop exercises, with Blutenspass a strong opener. The duo here conjures an unusual bluegrass-electro-disco groove and then adds plinkety-plunk melodies, vibes, and Marks breathy German vocals. The inclusion of vibes in particular is an imaginative touch, and it s this kind of gesture which distinguishes other songs too. In addition, there s robotic techno ( Jupitersex ), dreamy trip-hop, and electro-techno, plus thumping beats that swing and sash.

01 - Blütenspass (5:39)
02 - Kiss Me (4:52)
03 - Jupitersex (5:13)
04 - Juno (6:25)
05 - My Computer Eats An Acid Trip (7:27)
06 - Wir Sterne (5:26)
07 - Krazeee (5:23)
08 - Unreachable (6:13)
09 - Die Blume (6:19)
10 - Steppenwolf (6:18)
11 - Cowboy (6:10)
12 - Somebody (6:34)
13 - Baby I'm Electric (3:54)

***** ***** ***** ***** *****
All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Into The Groove (20)

Hello, Into the Groove goes P-funk today, Dr Funkenstein please ..

By the time his on-the-move family settled in New Jersey during the early '50s, George Clinton (b. July 22, 1941) became interested in doo wop, which was just beginning to explode in the New York-metro area. Basing his group on Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, Clinton formed the Parliaments in 1955 with a lineup that gradually shifted to include Clarence "Fuzzy" Haskins, Grady Thomas, Raymond Davis, and Calvin Simon. Based out of a barbershop backroom where Clinton straightened hair, the Parliaments released only two singles during the next ten years, but frequent trips to Detroit during the mid-'60s -- where Clinton began working as a songwriter and producer -- eventually paid off their investment.

After finding a hit with the 1967 single "(I Wanna) Testify," the Parliaments ran into trouble with Revilot Records and refused to record any new material. Instead of waiting for a settlement, Clinton decided to record the same band under a new name: Funkadelic. Founded in 1968, the group began life as a smoke screen, claiming as its only members the Parliaments' backing band -- guitarist Eddie Hazel, bassist Billy Nelson, rhythm guitarist Lucius "Tawl" Ross, drummer Ramon "Tiki" Fulwood, and organist Mickey Atkins -- but in truth including Clinton and the rest of the former Parliaments lineup. Revilot folded not long after, with the label's existing contracts sold to Atlantic; By 1970, George Clinton had regained the rights to the Parliaments name: he then signed the entire Funkadelic lineup to Invictus Records as Parliament. The group released one album -- 1970's Osmium -- and scored a number 30 hit, "The Breakdown," on the R&B charts in 1971. With Funkadelic firing on all cylinders, however, Clinton decided to discontinue Parliament (the name, not the band) for the time being.

Though keyboard player Bernie Worrell had played on the original Funkadelic album, his first credit with the conglomeration appeared on Funkadelic's second album, 1970's Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow. Clinton and Worrell had known each other since the New Jersey barbershop days, and Worrell soon became the most crucial cog in the P-Funk machine, working on arrangements and production for virtually all later Parliament/Funkadelic releases. His strict upbringing and classical training, as well as the boom in synthesizer technology during the early '70s, gave him the tools to create the synth runs and horn arrangements that later trademarked the P-Funk sound. Two years after the addition of Worrell, P-Funk added its second most famed contributor, Bootsy Collins. The muscular, throbbing bass line of Collins had already been featured in James Brown's backing band (the J.B.'s) along with his brother, guitarist Catfish Collins. Bootsy and Catfish were playing in a Detroit band when George Clinton saw and hired them.

Funkadelic released five albums from 1970 through early 1974, and consistently hit the lower reaches of the R&B charts, but the collective pulled up stakes later in 1974 and began recording as Parliament. Signing with the Casablanca label, Parliament's "Up for the Down Stroke" appeared in mid-1974 and reflected a more mainstream approach than Funkadelic, with funky horn arrangements reminiscent of James Brown and a live feel that recalls contemporary work by Kool & the Gang. It became the biggest hit yet for the Parliament/Funkadelic congregation. "Testify," a revamped version of the Parliaments' 1967 hit, also charted in 1974. One year later, Chocolate City continued Parliament's success. Clinton & co. ushered in 1976 with the third Parliament LP in as many years: Mothership Connection. Arguably the peak of Parliament's power, the album made number 13 on the pop charts and went platinum, sparked by three hit singles: "P. Funk , "Tear the Roof Off the Sucker ", and "Star Child". In addition to Bootsy Collins, the album featured two other James Brown refugees: horn legends Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley. Just six months after the release of Mothership Connection, Clinton had another Parliament album in the can, The Clones of Doctor Funkenstein.

Several internal squabbles during 1977 apparently didn't phase Clinton at all; the following year proved to be the most successful in Parliament's history. In January, "Flash Light" -- from the Parliament album Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome -- became the collective's first number one hit. It topped the R&B charts for three weeks. The LP became Parliament's second platinum album. Early in 1979, Parliament hit number one yet again with "Aqua Boogie," from its eighth album, Motor-Booty Affair. The album became the group's fifth consecutive album to go gold or better. Parliament's ninth album, Gloryhallastoopid (Or Pin the Tale on the Funky), was released later in 1979 and showed a bit of a slip in the previously unstoppable Clinton machine. Clinton began to be weighed down that year by legal difficulties arising from Polygram's acquisition of Casablanca. Jettisoning both the Parliament and Funkadelic names (but not the musicians), Clinton began his solo career with 1982's Computer Games. He and many former Parliament/Funkadelic members continued to tour and record during the '80s as the P-Funk All Stars, but the decade's disdain of everything to do with the '70s resulted in the neglect of critical and commercial opinion for the world's biggest funk band, especially one which in part had spawned the sound of disco. During the early '90s, the rise of funk-inspired rap (courtesy of Digital Underground, Dr. Dre, and Warren G.) and funk rock (Primus and Red Hot Chili Peppers) re-established the status of Clinton & co., one of the most important forces in the recent history of black music.

While Funkadelic pursued band-format psychedelic rock, Parliament engaged in a funk free-for-all, blending influences from the godfathers (James Brown and Sly Stone) with freaky costumes and themes inspired by '60s acid culture and science fiction. From its 1970 inception until Clinton's dissolving of Parliament in 1980, the band hit the R&B Top Ten several times but truly excelled in two other areas: large-selling, effective album statements and the most dazzling, extravagant live show in the business. In an era when Philly soul continued the slick sounds of establishment-approved R&B, Parliament scared off more white listeners than it courted.

Bernie Worrell, Reunald "Renny" Jones, Eddie Hazel, Maceo Parker, Walter "Junie" Morrison, Bootsy Collins, Jerome Brailey, George Clinton, Gary "Muddbone" Cooper, Ray Davis, Ron Ford, Ramon Tiki Fulwood, Rick Gardner, Glen Goins, Michael Hampton, Clarence "Fuzzy" Haskins, Tyrone Lampkin, Cordell Mosson, Lucius Tawl Ross, Garry Shider, Dawn Silva, Calvin Simon, Grady Thomas, Greg Thomas, Jeanette "Baby" Washington, Fred Wesley, Debbie Wright, Shirley Hayden, Billy "Bass" Nelson, Larry Heckstall, Robert "P-Nut" Johnson, Prakash John.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Parliament - The Clones Of Dr. Funkenstein ( 76 ^ 99mb)

Come 1976, and Parliament got up to its usual tricks, the opening backwards-masked vocal weirdness plus sci-fi scenarios in the "Prelude," where "funk is its own reward." With Bernie Worrell and Fred Wesley splitting the horn arrangements and Clinton and Bootsy Collins taking care of the rest, the result is a concept album of sorts you can dance to. The clones get up and do their thing . Given Clinton and company's sheer work rate, something likely had to give and this is one of the stress points. There are a couple of stronger songs -- "I've Been Watching You (Move Your Sexy Body)" is classic slow jam territory. Not exactly Barry White, but hearing Parliament tone it down just enough pays off, especially with Worrell's drowsy, sensuous horn charts. "Funkin' for Fun," meanwhile, brings the album to a strong, lively end, with just enough in the call-and-response vocals and horns to spark some extra energy into the proceedings.

01 - Prelude (1:39)
02 - Gamin' On Ya (2:58)
03 - Dr.Funkenstein (5:39)
04 - Children Of Production (3:53)
05 - Getten' To Know You (5:11)

06 - Do That Stuff (4:44)
07 - Everything Is On The One (3:42)
08 - I've Been Watching You (Move Your Sexy Body) (5:50)
09 - Funkin' For Fun (5:49)

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George Clinton - Computer Games (82 ^ 98mb)

The mastermind of the Parliament/Funkadelic collective during the 1970s, George Clinton broke up both bands by 1981 and began recording solo albums, occasionally performing live with his former bandmates as the P.Funk All-Stars. By 1980, George Clinton had begon to be weighed down by legal difficulties arising from Polygram's acquisition of Parliament's label, Casablanca. Jettisoning both the Parliament and Funkadelic names (but not the musicians), Clinton signed to Capitol in 1982 both as a solo act and as the P.Funk All-Stars.

Computer Games, his solo debut, is actually only solo in its billing, however, as the album features several of the core P-Funk musicians with whom Clinton had collaborated in years past, most notably Bootsy Collins, Gary Shider, Fred Wesley, and Walter "Junie" Morrison. All the same, Clinton is clearly in the spotlight throughout Computer Games, and his vocal performances are as wacky and charming as ever, especially on the album's two hit singles, "Atomic Dog" and "Loopzilla." From a musical standpoint, there's a heavy emphasis here on synthesizers and drum machines, considerably more so than on any previous P-Funk effort. This was partly because of the times, for it was the early '80s, after all, but also partly because of the smaller stable of musicians on hand. Whatever the reason, Computer Games marks a sharp break from Clinton's past in many ways, and though it was a tremendously successful rebirth, with "Atomic Dog" topping the R&B chart and eventually becoming immortalized by hip-hop postmodernists, in an unfortunate twist of fate this debut effort also ended up marking the zenith of his solo career, as he would progressively stumble creatively in subsequent years.

Clinton stayed on Capitol for three more years, releasing three studio albums and frequently charting singles -- "Nubian Nut," "Last Dance," "Do Fries Go With That Shake" -- in the R&B Top 40. During much of the three-year period from 1986 to 1989, Clinton became embroiled in legal difficulties (resulting from the myriad royalty problems latent during the '70s with recordings of over 40 musicians for four labels under three names). Also problematic during the latter half of the '80s was Clinton's disintegrating reputation as a true forefather of rock; by the end of the decade, however, a generation of rappers reared on P-Funk were beginning to name check him.

In 1989, Clinton signed a contract with Prince's Paisley Park label and released his fifth solo studio album, The Cinderella Theory. After one more LP for Paisley Park (Hey Man, Smell My Finger), Clinton signed with Sony 550. His first release, 1996's T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. ("the awesome power of a fully operational mothership"), reunited the funk pioneer with several of his Parliament/Funkadelic comrades from the '70s. Clinton's Greatest Funkin' Hits (1996) teamed old P-Funk hits with new-school rappers such as Digital Underground, Ice Cube, and Q-Tip.

01 - Get Dressed (3:37)
02 - Man's Best Friend (4:07)
03 - Loopzilla (8:28)
04 - Pot Sharing Tots (3:34)

05 - Computer Games (6:37)
06 - Atomic Dog (4:39)
07 - Free Alternations (4:09)
08 - One Fun At A Time (4:22)

***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Parliament - Funked Up: The Very Best Of (02, 79min ^ 192mb)

Funked Up features a crisp, booming remastered sound, this is both the place to start for beginners and a welcome place to revisit for the coverted. Yet, always check out the original albums the songs came from, but this is a fantastic listen from beginning to end. Get funked!

Parliament - Funked Up ( ^ 94mb)

01 - Up For The Down Stroke (3:27)
02 - All Your Goodies Are Gone (5:06)
03 - Ride On (3:37)
04 - Chocolate City (5:39)
05 - Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker) (5:48)
06 - P. Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up) (7:43)
07 - Mothership Connection (Star Child) (3:16)
08 - Do That Stuff (4:50)

Parliament - Funked Up 2 ( ^ 98mb)

09 - Dr. Funkenstein (5:47)
10 - Let's Take It To The Stage (Live) (5:11)
11 - Fantasy Is Reality (5:58)
12 - Bop Gun (Endangered Species) (3:42)
13 - Flash Light (5:50)
14 - Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop) (4:29)
15 - Theme From The Black Hole (4:40)
16 - Agony Of Defeet (4:25)

***** ***** ***** ***** *****
All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Third Blogoversary! + Poem: Jay Wright

It's hard to believe that 3 years have passed since I first started this blog. It's in a few key ways since I started it. Originally I blogged almost daily, focused a lot more on literature and less on politics (though my criticisms of the W administration were there early on), and I tried to open the theater to as many of my interests as I could think of. One of the major ones, as any periodic readers of this blog know, is poetry.

The poetry is still here, as are the quotes, the quasi-reviews of films and occasionally books and TV shows, squibs on visual art, Diasporic issues, translations, and many of the other elements from early on, along with YouTube clips, a lot more politics, interviews, chatter about gardening, and my photos, which are always easier to post than prose. The orthographic errors remain (my ability to read computer screens diminishes with each passing day), and I apologize, but I do have less time than ever to revise these entries, which take longer than they did in the past (is my brain shrinking as well?), so my apologies in advance and after the fact (of your reading).

Before I lost my counter (remember when the blog went white as Blogger was transitioning it over to the new system?), I was approaching 100,000 page views, and that blip set me back to about 79,000, but the blog is up to 128,000+ viewers and to all of you and the many bloggers who've posted in the comments and whom I check out regularly, I say:

THANK YOU FOR DROPPING IN! (Yes, that's enthusiastic shouting.)


My very first post focused on poetry, and more specifically, on none other than Jay Wright, who is, as anyone who knows me well, one of my favorite poets and avatars (is that a kosher idea these days?). Among his poetry's many virtues, I love its high lyricism, its carefully thought-out formal structure, its grounding in crosscultural and Diasporic spiritual systems, its thematic and linguistic complexity and range, and its subtle and not infrequent returns, at the least expected times, to the vernacular, to the blues, to the voices heard across the field or fence or through the kitchen's screen door. Its soul: it's soul.

Fitting then that I quote a snippet from one of his two newest books (he has published four in the last year, and not one of them is less than stellar), Polynomials and Pollen: Parables, Proverbs, and Praise for Lois (Dalkey Archive Press, 2008). This is from a sequence called "IMÙLÈ," a Yoruba word meaning "covenant and covenant meal," an important ceremonial and socio-religious element in traditional Yoruba and other societies. The meal is shared by humans and divinities. (Ogungbile, 2001; Awolalu and Dopamu, 1979). I'll be quoting from his other new book, "The Presentable Art of Reading Absence (Dalkey Archive Press, 2008, in a later act. But here's an excerpt from the eponymously alliterative collection:

From "IMÙLÈ"

would worry
the most intrepid soul.
Seven A.M. Teacups
and the plasticity of sleeplessness.
This down,
if you set,
a morning bemused
by the raw presence
that greets you in Dundee,
such confusion
of conversations
concerning caraway and cunning
a dory that cannot dock
in this dream, and
a memory of liquids
and fricatives
given the pleasure place ensures.
All is a hallowed bushing,
undamaged, turbulent tongues.

Copyright © Jay Wright, from Polynomials and Pollen: Parables, Proverbs, and Praise for Lois, Dalkey Archive, 2008, p. 41.

Alphabet Soup (20)

Hello, it's Alphabet Soup day again and nearing Z, however today it's T Time. First slot is reserved for the Tubes their debut album has remained a favourite of mine over the many years that have gone by since it's release 32 years ago. The exuberant Malaguena Salerosa , the mad What Do You Want From Life ( a titanic unsinkable waterbed ?) and the desperate White Punks on Dope. A classic album the energy of present in their big live shows was largely lost on the pre-video audience. These guys went almost broke on the cost of their shows.. ..That didn't happen to Thin White Rope , however they too were inspired by the dark side of american culture, failure, desperation, and hopelessness. Twin guitar attack, feedback and lyrics that unsettle...Finally a band that over the years has acquired a strong cult following, not withstanding the fact their four albums all went multiplatinum.The packaging of their albums, the strange videos and some of their members are deep into the metaphysical...more counter culture. All this from a band that called itself Tool (as a metaphor for a big dick)

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

The Tubes - The Tubes ( 75 ^ 95mb)

The beginnings of the group originate in Phoenix, Arizona in the late '60s, where guitarist Bill Spooner, keyboardist Vince Welnick and bassist Rick Anderson formed as the Beans. After moving to San Francisco in 1972, the Beans recruited guitarist Roger Steen and drummer Prairie Prince, and later became the Tubes with the addition of Michael Cotten on keyboards and former roadie Fee Waybill on lead vocals. Over the course of the next few years, the Tubes earned a devoted cult following on the strength of Spooner's parodic songs and the group's surreal live shows, which featured Waybill adopting a variety of personas including the "crippled Nazi" Dr. Strangekiss, country singer Hugh Heifer and Quay Lewd, a drug-addled British pop star.

After signing to A&M in 1975, they released their self-titled debut, produced by Al Kooper, this album by the notorious San Francisco group is best known for the blazing anthem "White Punks on Dope." Although the Tubes' raison d'être was their shock-rock stage dynamic, Bill Spooner, Fee Waybill, and company could, on occasion, deliver some offbeat pop splendor. A good example is the song "Haloes," co-written with Kooper, a tough power pop jewel that sounds like Todd Rundgren colliding with Roxy Music. Also of note is "Boy Crazy," which shows off Spooner's guitar skills. Kooper's production is faultless, as are the horn and string arrangements by Dominic Frontiere. In the end transferring the manic energy and theatrical complexity of their live set onto record didn't come off, however, the single "White Punks on Dope" became a minor hit and a radio staple. The 76 follow up album , Young And Rich, suffered much the same fate. The Tubes were ahead of their time..the videoformat would undoubtely have done their presence much good.

After 1977's failed concept record The Tubes Now, the group toured England, where a series of banned performances made them a media sensation. However, during the recording of the concert LP What Do You Want From Live? Waybill broke his leg onstage while acting out his punk character Johnny Bugger; the remainder of the tour was cancelled, and with it died the band's chart momentum. After returning to the U.S., they recruited producer Todd Rundgren and recorded 1979's Remote Control, a concept album exploring the influence of television, good reviews but it met a similar commercial fate as its predecessors. The Tubes choreographed stage productions were expensive to produce, however, and while they earned the band a reputation for being one of the most entertaining live acts of all time, by the early 1980s they found themselves short of money. Their proposed fifth album, the self-produced Suffer for Sound, was rejected by A&M Records, who dumped the band instead, finishing out its contract with the oddities collection T.R.A.S.H. (Tubes Rarities and Smash Hits).

After signing to Capitol, they recorded 1981's Completion Backwards Principle, an album based on an actual sales training instruction manual; both "Talk to You Later" and "Don't Want to Wait Anymore" earned significant radio play, and the LP became the Tubes' first Top 40 hit. Thanks to its provocative video, the single "She's a Beauty" reached the Top Ten, and pushed the 1983 LP Outside/Inside into the Top 20 Albums chart. The band teamed up with Rundgren once again for 1985's Love Bomb, a flop that led Capitol to drop the band just as it was going on tour in support of the album, a tour that would leave the band a half million dollars in debt, forcing them to play low-budget gigs for a year to pay off their debts. After which the Tubes disbanded, and Welnick later joined the Grateful Dead. In 1993, the Tubes reunited; consisting of Waybill, Steen, Anderson, Prince and new keyboardist Gary Cambra, they toured the U.S. and Europe before releasing a new LP, Genius of America, in 1996. In 2000, the Tubes embarked on another extensive tour, issuing the greatest-hits-live album Tubes World Tour to commemorate the event.

01 - Up From The Deep (4:27)
02 - Haloes (4:49)
03 - Space Baby (4:22)
04 - Malaguena Salerosa (3:48)

05 - Mondo Bondage (4:28)
06 - What Do You Want From Life (3:59)
07 - Boy Crazy (4:07)
08 - White Punks On Dope (6:41)

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Thin White Rope - Sack Full Of Silver (90 ^ 99mb)

Taking their name from William S. Burroughs' euphemism for ejaculation, Thin White Rope was founded in Davis, California in 1984; although the time and place of their formation aligned them with both the Paisley Underground and roots-rock movements, the group quickly staked out its own musical territory, divining their own unique brand of dark, surreal desert-rock. Thin White Rope was largely based on singer/songwriter/guitarist Guy Kyser and guitarist Roger Kunkel, with a changing line-up of drummers and bass guitarists. It was noted for its twin guitar attack, innovative use of feedback structures and Guy Kyser's harsh, tightly-coiled vocals and unsettling lyrics .

While Thin White Rope's 1985 debut Exploring the Axis flirted with neo-psychedelia, the 1987 follow-up Moonhead upped the ante by allowing the desperation of Kyser's lyrics to take full command of the music: unrelentingly grim and harrowingly provocative, the album's best songs "Crawl Piss Freeze" and "If Those Tears" were postcards from the edge. Following the addition of new bassist John von Feldt, 1988's In the Spanish Cave continued along the same path, albeit with a renewed sense of humor and more oblique wordplay.

Though garnering little notice stateside, Thin White Rope earned a solid fanbase in Europe, and even became the first American independent-label act to tour the Soviet Union. 1990's Sack Full of Silver, a collection of songs written while on tour abroad. Sack Full of Silver is, in many ways, one of Thin White Rope's most fully realized sets, blending the group's early alt-psychedelic influences and a growing taste for dusty Americana flavors. Sack Full of Silver is defined by the voice of Guy Kyser: the aural equivalent of the flat, parched, endless landscape an environment where failure, desperation, and hopelessness are common currency, adding up one's losses and moving on feels like a great victory. "The Ghost" catches its subject in the moment before that turning point, looking ahead as a life of loss begins to flood in. Revealing that they are working within a wider frame of reference, the group adapt Can's "Yoo Doo Right," distilling the original's 20 minutes into a compact, bursting rock number.

1991's T W R released The Ruby Sea, a dense, atmospheric work highlighted by the riveting "Clown Song." It proved to be Thin White Rope's studio swan song: in 1992 the band split, and while most of the players continued performing in various musical projects, Kyser devoted himself to a career as a botanist. The posthumous The One That Got Away 6-28-92 Ghent, a two-disc live set recorded in Belgium peppered with odd covers of Lee and Nancy's "Some Velvet Morning," Bob Dylan's "Outlaw Blues" and Hawkwind's "Silver Machine," appeared in 1993; Spoor, a collection of demos, remixes and rare tracks, followed two years later.

01 - Hidden Lands (3:00)
02 - Sack Full Of Silver (2:09)
03 - Yoo Doo Right (6:01)
04 - The Napkin Song (1:28)
05 - Americana/The Ghost (8:15)
06 - The Ghost (3:42)
07 - Whirling Dervish (5:36)
08 - Diesel Man (3:40)
09 - On The Floe (4:51)

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Tool - Ænima (96 ^ 171mb)

During the 1980s, each of the future members of Tool moved to Los Angeles. Both Paul D'Amour and Adam Jones wanted to enter the film industry, while Maynard James Keenan found employment remodeling pet stores after having studied visual arts in Michigan.Danny Carey performed as a drummer for Green Jellÿ and played in the Los Angeles area with Pigmy Love Circus. The Keenan and Jones eventually met in 89 and started jamming, gradually extending via friends, playing sessions, the name came about Keenan explains "Tool is exactly what it sounds like: It's a big dick. It's a wrench.... we are... your tool; use us as a catalyst in your process of finding out whatever it is you need to find out, or whatever it is you're trying to achieve."

After only a few gigs, the band was approached by record companies,and only three months into their career they signed a record deal with Zoo Entertainment. In March 1992, Zoo published the band's first effort, Opiate. Described by the band as "slam and bang" heavy metal and the "hardest sounding" six songs they had written to that point, the EP included the singles "Hush" and "Opiate". The band's first music video, "Hush", promoted their dissenting views about the then-prominent Parents Music Resource Center and its advocacy of the censorship of music. The video featured the band members naked with their genitalia covered by parental advisory stickers and their mouths covered by duct tape.
Tool's greatest breakthrough was to introduce dark, vaguely underground metal to the preening pretentiousness of art rock. Or maybe it was introducing the self-absorbed pretension of art rock to the wearing grind of post-thrash metal -- the order really doesn't matter. Even with their post-punk influences, they executed their music with the ponderous, anti-song aesthetic of prog rock, alternating between long, detailed instrumental interludes and tuneless, pseudo-meaningful lyrical rants conveying the strangled, oppressive angst of alternative rock in their songs.

It landed Tool a slot on the third Lollapalooza tour in 1993, which helped their first full-length debut album, Undertow, rocket into platinum status. The single "Sober" became a hit single by March 1994 and won the band Billboard's "Best Video By A New Artist" award for the accompanying stop motion music video. With the follow-up single "Prison Sex", the band again became the target of censorship. The song's lyrics and video dealt with child abuse, which sparked controversial reactions.

In September 1995, the band entered the studios to record their second album. At that time Tool experienced its only lineup change to date, with bassist D'Amour leaving the band amicably to pursue other projects. Justin Chancellor, a member of former tourmates Peach, came on board, and recording of the already-begun Ænima continued. The band enlisted the help of producer David Bottrill, who had produced some of King Crimson's albums while Jones collaborated with Cam de Leon to create Ænima's Grammy-nominated artwork. Tool are conceptually innovative with every minute detail of their art, sonically, the band has never sounded tighter. Long exploratory passages are unleashed with amazing precision, detail, and clarity, which only complements the aggressive, abrasive shorter pieces on the album. There is no compromise from any member of the band, with each of them discovering the dynamics of his respective instrument and pushing the physical capabilities to the limit. Topics such as the philosophies of Bill Hicks (eloquently eulogized in the packaging), evolution and genetics, and false martyrdom will fly over the heads of casual listeners. But those listening closely will discover a special treat: a catalyst encouraging them to discover a world around them to which they otherwise might have been blind.

By the time the band delivered their belated follow-up, Ænima, in 1996, alternative rock had lost its grip on the mainstream of America, and their audience had shaped up as essentially metal-oriented, which meant that the group and the record didn't capture as big an audience as their first album, despite debuting at number two on the charts. After a co-headlining slot with Korn on Lollapalooza '97 wrapped up, Tool remained on the road, supporting Ænima until well into the next year.

During their usual extended hiatus between albums, Maynard James Keenan decided to use his downtime productively by forming a side project, dubbed A Perfect Circle. The band's 2000 debut, Mer de Noms, was a surprise hit, while their ensuing tour was a sold-out success as well. With Tool breakup rumors swirling, the band put the speculation to rest by re-entering the recording studio and issuing the stopgap B-sides/DVD set Salival late the same year. Finally, May 2001 saw the release of Tool's third full-length release, Lateralus, which debuted at the number one position on the Billboard album chart and became the band's biggest hit. They received their second Grammy Award for the best metal performance of 2001 for the song "Schism". Extensive touring throughout 2001 and 2002 supported Lateralus and included a personal highlight for the band: a 10-show joint mini-tour with King Crimson in August 2001.

After the obligatory several-year sabbatical to pursue other projects, the group returned with another chart-topper, 10,000 Days, in 2006. It debuted at the top spots of various international charts. 10,000 Days sold 564,000 copies in its opening week in the US and was number one on the Billboard 200 charts. However, 10,000 Days was received less favorably by critics than its predecessor Lateralus had been. After the release of 10,000 Days, a tour kicked off at Coachella on April 30, 2006. The touring schedule was similar to the Lateralus tour of 2001.

Meanwhile, "Vicarious" was a nominee for Best Hard Rock Performance and 10,000 Days won Best Recording Package at the 49th Grammy Awards. In an interview conducted in May 2007, Justin Chancellor stated that the band would probably continue their tour until early 2008 and then "take some time off". He qualified this statement by adding that the band has already written new material and would surely release another album at some point down the road. A possible project until a next album is to make a "band movie".

01 - Stinkfist (5:11)
02 - Eulogy (8:29)
03 - H. (6:07)
04 - Useful Idiot (0:39)
05 - Forty Six & 2 (6:03)
06 - Message To Harry Manback (1:53)
07 - Hooker With A Penis (4:34)
08 - Intermission (0:56)
09 - Jimmy (5:24)
10 - Die Eier Von Satan (2:17)
11 - Pushit (9:56)
12 - Cesaro Summability (1:26)
13 - Ænema (6:40)
14 - (-) Ions (4:00)
15 - Third Eye (13:47)

a lite Ænima perhaps ?

Tool - Ænima (96, 77min 99mb)

***** ***** ***** ***** *****
All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No More Russert-Williams + Oscar Notes

A modest request to MSNBC: would you please never have Tim Russert or Brian Williams moderate a debate again? Please?

Instead, why not draw up a list of 100 experts in a range of fields, and then have a computer randomly pick 5-10 of them to ask questions at one of these debates? 5-10 average citizens, also randomly selected after submitting questions, could also press the candidates. How much do you want to be that all 10-20 of these people would be more informed and less prone to quoting right-wing websites and asking "gotcha" questions than the dunderhead multimillionaire TV "journalists"?

As for the debate, I challenge anyone who claims Senator Obama doesn't have "concrete plans and he won't state them" to say so now if they watched it. (And please, friends, do not send me mass emails repeating or restating this particular bit of ignorance, I beg of you.) How he's going to pull some of them off remains a question. You and I might not agree with them. But he has "concrete plans" and more than "calls for hope" or whatever the knock is. As for Senator Clinton, she was evidently seething at Odreamy, who was cooler than he's ever been, even during the ridiculous Farrakhan question, throughout the entire event. I won't psychologize her, but it's clear to me that she really felt this was her moment, and it's slipping away. I wonder if she ever asks herself what might have happened if she had chosen the political career and Bill had remained the corporate lawyer, if she'd led Arkansas for several terms, and then attempted to become president, say in 1992, or now? How different might things be? Lots of counterfactuals there, but I wonder if it runs through her mind? She's dazzling smart and does have formidable political skills, but the Clinton baggage, so much of not of even of their making, is weighing her down. I don't think she's out, but from the media stories I read after the debate, they're already writing her epitaph.


I sat through the Academy Awards, after having to turn off my favorite TV show, The Wire, because I've been following C's example and viewing it via On Demand early in the week, and I could not bear seeing Omar Little (played by the inimitable Michael K. Williams), one of the most original and compelling characters ever to grace television, capped in the back of the head by one of Marlo Stanfield's mini minions again. Once was enough. It took me an entire season to get over the death of Stringer Bell (played by Idris Elba), and given how the series' creator David Simon hews to life's contingencies, ironies, and complexities, I knew Omar, as close to a latter-day fiction Robin Hood as you might find on TV, was probably going to get knocked off, but I still wasn't prepared for it. I asked Reggie and Bernie in an email if they thought another of Omar's fans, Mr. Obama, shed a tear as well. None of know, the verdict's out.

So back to the Academy Awards: I was bored to tears. John Stewart wasn't particularly funny, hardly any outrageous people acted or even stood out (except Tilda Swinton and Diablo Cody, see below), all of the actors presenting appeared to be striving really hard to look as bohemian as possible, while the actresses seemed to have been given strict rules about what to wear and how dazed to look when they took the stage, the Halle Berry gag went on too long, and those montages were like visual Lunestas.

One thing I did note, though, was how awful or lackluster so many of the films winning the Best Film award over the years were. The Life of Emile Zola, which won in 1937 over The Awful Truth and Lost Horizon? How Green Was My Valley, which won in 1941 over The Maltese Falcon, The Little Foxes (!), Suspicion (!), and Citizen Kane?? Around the World in Eighty Days, which in 1956 defeated Giant, The Ten Commandments, and The King and I? Of course there were some years, like 1950, where there were multiple great films, like All About Eve, which defeated Born Yesterday, Sunset Boulevard, and Father of the Bride, all excellent films, and the 1950s in general appear to have been a high point, but then you get decades like the 1960s or the 1980s--and the 1990s were the absolute bottom of the barrel, really--when it's as if the Academy had no criteria but box-office take or bluster in awarding the Best Film prize--but then I guess I should add that the nature of and changes in the American and global film industries perhaps is key to understanding how things played out.

Also, why did they leave poor Whoopi Goldberg out of the Oscar winners montage? She's now one of the stars of The View, so they really have got to stop their hating. (Pssst: W is at 19%, and still sinking!)

The show probably would been less of a snoozer if I'd seen more (any) of the movies, but of the two I most thought should get Oscars, the first didn't win (Persepolis!) and the second wasn't even nominated. My brilliant film-scholar colleague told me that the Academy (of Motion Pictures, that is) will be restructing the process for submitting foreign films in part because of what happened to the Romanian film I raved about the other day, 4 Months, though I thought a similar drama a few years ago was supposed to have changed things, but I could be wrong.

The highlight, as I told C, was seeing Cormac McCarthy in the audience. Yes, Cormac McCarthy. The same Cormac McCarthy who for decades has been notably reclusive, rarely giving interviews or readings. There he was, with a child or grandchild, grinning (all the way to the bank, but also with astonishment, joy and pride) at the victory of the Coen brothers' successful film translation of what is arguably his weakest novel. I credit Oprah Winfrey for his presence at the Oscars, because it was Oprah who picked The Road, his reader-friendly recent novel, for her Book Club, ensuring it millions of (new) readers and him millions of dollars, which might be enough of a motivator to get Thomas Pynchon or J.D. Salinger or Gayl Jones to make a public appearance I'm sure. And it's been nothing but great news for McCarthy since. A Pulitzer (two decades after the books that deserved it), lots of public adulation, and now an Oscar-winning film to top it off. (I hear that The Road will be a film soon, but it is too good, save for the ending, to resist butchering, so let's cross our fingers and knock on wood.) And the Coen brothers and the movie's producer, who thanked his male partner (go Hollywood!), paid tribute to McCarthy in their comments.

Speaking of Gayl Jones, an idea: Oprah, please use your considerable influence and wealth to start making movies of major African-American and Black Diasporic literary works of the 20th century. Please. Why not start with Corregidora, then try Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, Things Fall Apart, Dessa Rose, Nervous Conditions, Go Tell It On the Mountain, Vanishing Rooms, Salt, Soul Kiss, The Bride Price, and take your pick from The House Behind the Cedars, The Flagellants, Banjo, White Boy Shuffle, or Oreo? You singlehandedly could have directors like Julie Dash, Charles Burnett, Arthur Jafa, Spike Lee, Kasi Lemons, and so on, and the vast array of actors out there from across the Diaspora really burning up the screen! They'd have to give Oprah a special Oscar if she could pull this off, don't you think?

Back to the Oscars: the Coen brothers fascinate me. Always have. I love how they're continue to be so intensely idiosyncratic, which comes through in their aesthetic, and how they've been able to maintain it, to the extent possible in Hollywood, and get rewarded for it over the years. I also think it would be so cool to have a very smart, interesting, and equally strange sibling who utterly understood and whom you could do all sorts of projects with, over a lifetime. But then I know almost nothing about them and they could be at each others throats, though that wasn't the impression I've gotten whenever I've read about them or seen them on TV. I'd like to spend a week on set with them, just observing how they work together. And then maybe spend time with the Dardenne brothers, and see how they compare. (These two make an Oscar-worthy movie every time they call it a wrap.)

Among the actors receiving awards, I was surprised Julie Christie didn't receive the Oscar for Best Actress, but my colleague, mentioned above, said that Marion Cotillard really shone as Edith Piaf. I haven't seen that film, but her win only confirms my view that the Academy values mimicry and biopics, especially ones about foreign figures, over everything else. It does take talent to play someone else, but then isn't that what acting is in the most general and basic sense? And isn't it harder to realize a totally fictional character than one whose tics and mannerisms you can study? Tilda Swinton, of the boy-toy and menage à trois, received the Best Supporting Actress award, and cut the most unique figure. She often looks like the alien that I and a friend are convinced Nicole Kidman actually is (Tom Cruise, you know, we think is also one). Swinton's comments also had a nice spike, as opposed to the usual rambling and incoherence. If you have any clue you might be nervous, write out those thank yous on a sheet and tuck it. And above all, don't forget the loved one who's stood by you through thick and thin!

Poor Cate Blanchett, all that talent, all those great performances, twice playing Elizabeth I, and still no Oscar. I guess Kate Winslet decided to pass on the proceedings completely, since she's been dissed four times in a row (or is it five?).

I also liked how unnerved, spastic and thoroughly herself Best Screenwriter from an Original Screenplay Diablo Cody appears to be. I'd been repeatedly told that she was a former erotic performer with a distinctive personal voice and vision, and I'd imagined an utterly confident creature taking the stage, but she struck me as a quirky and delightful person who probably spends a lot of time staring at a computer screen and has an imagination that probably encompasses worlds.

I figured they weren't going to let Michael Moore anywhere near the stage, given his outburst a few years ago, but Sicko was one of his stronger efforts.

The rest of it, other than Ruby Dee, who has found the Fountain of Youth and isn't telling anybody, Javier Bardem, who looked so happy he was about to float off into the rafters, and Denzel Washington, who was sporting a hot Quo Vadis and barked out his words as if he was a drill sargent, was a blur. So many pale gowns and upswept hair. So many musical numbers whose singers sounded flat. So, so, so long. I hope they bring back Whoopi Goldberg or Chris Rock back as hosts, or perhaps try out Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, Tina Fey, or someone along those lines. Dana Carvey. Mo'Nique. Someone with a sense of humor and enough zip to keep things lively.

Maybe the writers just needed a little more time. I'm glad they're back and got a workable deal, though.

Eight-X (20)

Hello, it's midweek, time to recall the Eight-X , a time that saw an explosion in musical creativity coupled with new media, the video clip. A time when things were still somewhat structured , surveyable and niches had little depth. How different these days, every week hundreds of albums are thrown in the now global mix, the production costs have dropped sharply, the money is in the marketing and thus there the decisions are made, a proces that started in the eighties btw.

For my first band of the day, things started as they did back then, a single, get picked up by an indie label, make an album, tour get recognised/credit and the bandwagons running at least as long as the mutual synergy is percieved to last, a decade is a long time Echo and The Bunnymen just about got there. Never mega but big enough , here's the first album thats set them on their path, its rather short (32min), later versions added 2 tracks but this is the first release, anyway as they say, short but sweet. ...Second up ..Landscape a band with more history than i thought, as they toured the circuit since 75 but got in the picture after placing synths in focus, after their first album did nada, with their second they even scored a hit the frivolous einstein a gogo, well it got balanced by the second single Norman Bates which showered them with some serious credibility, even if the title of the album makes me wonder, From The Tea-Rooms Of Mars ... To The Hell-Holes Of Uranus, now i can live with Tea Rooms on Mars but Hell Holes of Uranus ? Venus would have been much more applicable.... Finally China Crises ..seriously sweet...but after this album Working With Fire & Steel, commercially things glided south, still they managed a little tour last year to celebrate 25 years of China Crises even if they didnt release anything anymore during the second half of that period, i guess they rode the Eight-X wave...

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Echo and The Bunnymen - Crocodiles (80 ^ 81mb)

The Bunnymen grew out of the Crucial Three, a late-'70s trio featuring vocalist Ian McCulloch, Pete Wylie, and Julian Cope. Cope and Wylie left the group by the end of 1977, forming the Teardrop Explodes and Wah!, respectively. McCulloch met guitarist Will Sergeant in the summer of 1978 and the pair began recording demos with a drum machine that the duo called "Echo." Adding bassist Les Pattinson, the band made its live debut at the Liverpool club Eric's at the end of 1978, calling itself Echo & the Bunnymen. In March of 1979, the group released its first single, "Pictures on My Wall"/"Read It in Books," on the local Zoo record label. The single and their popular live performances led to a contract with Korova. After signing the contract, the group discarded the drum machine, adding drummer Pete de Freitas.

Their debut album, Crocodile, was produced by The Chameleons and Ian Broudie. Echo's brilliant, often harrowing debut album beginning with the dramatic, building climb of "Going Up," at once showcases four individual players sure of their own gifts and their ability to bring it all together to make things more than the sum of their parts. Will Sergeant in particular is a revelation -- plays the electric guitar as just that, electric not acoustic, dedicated to finding out what can be done with it while never using it as an excuse to bend frets. His highlights are legion, whether it's the hooky opening chime of "Rescue" or the exchanges of sound and silence in "Happy Death Men." Meanwhile, the Pattinson/De Freitas rhythm section stakes its own claim for greatness, the former's bass driving yet almost seductive, the latter's percussion constantly shifting rhythms and styles while never leaving the central beat the song to die. Then there's McCulloch himself, and while the imagery can be cryptic, the delivery soars, even while his semi-wail conjures up, as on the nervy, edgy picture of addiction "Villiers Terrace," Brisk, wasting not a note and burning with barely controlled energy, Crocodiles remains a classic.

01 - Going Up (3:52)
02 - Stars Are Stars (2:43)
03 - Pride (2:37)
04 - Monkeys (2:47)
05 - Crocodiles (2:33)

06 - Rescue (4:24)
07 - Villiers Terrace (2:42)
08 - Pictures On My Wall (2:50)
09 - All That Jazz (2:45)
10 - Happy Death Men (4:33)

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Landscape - From The Tea-Rooms Of Mars ... To The Hell-Holes Of Uranus 81

After leaving the soft rock band Easy Street, Richard Burgess formed a slick synth pop/jazz group called Landscape in 1975. In addition to Burgess, who sang and played drums, Landscape included Andy Pask (bass), Chris Heaton (keyboards), John Walters (keyboards, woodwinds), and Pete Thomas (trombone, keyboards). After building a following through touring, the band released its self-titled debut in 1980, which sold rather poorly. 1981's From the Tea-Rooms of the Hell-Holes of Uranus firmly accented synthesizers as the focus of Landscape's sound, and they scored a Top Five U.K. hit with "Einstein A-Go-Go," as well as a Top 40 follow-up with "Norman Bates." It's an odd timepiece of a time in which synth pop was just about to begin a meteoric ascendancy, not as contrived as the most notorious synth pop recordings of the early '80s, nor was it emotionally engaging rock. Instead, it was rather dry, arch, and arty, emphasizing irony over emotion. It's too glossy and detached for its own good, but it does have a knowing, as well as a bit of jazzy lounge ambience. Actually, "Norman Bates," though far less known than "Einstein a Go-Go," is the most memorable song; its laconic, even-tempered computer-textured vocal pronouncements -- "my name is Norman Bates, I'm just a normal guy" -- come off as fairly chilling in their matter-of-fact disingenuousness.

1982's Manhattan Boogie-Woogie was the group's most danceable effort, but failed to deliver a hit. By the following year, the lineup had been pared down to a trio, released a couple of singles under the moniker of Landscape III, but didnt dent the charts and the band broke up for good in 1984. Burgess meanwhile had already begun a successful production career, working with artists like Spandau Ballet, Living in a Box, Visage, and King.


01 - European Man (4:17)
02 - Shake The West Awake (3:20)
03 - Computer Person (2:55)
04 - Alpine Tragedy (1:37)
----- Sisters (3:17)
05 - Face Of The 80's (3:23)
06 - New Religion (3:09)

07 - Einstein A Go-Go (3:05)
08 - Norman Bates (5:25)
09 - The Doll's House (5:22)
10 - From The Tea-Rooms Of Mars ... To The Hell Holes Of Uranus (7:20)
----- "Beguine"
----- "Mambo"
----- "Tango"

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China Crisis - Working With Fire And Steel (Possible Pop Songs Volume Two) (83 ^ 99mb )

China Crisis was inspired by similar sources but injected their pop songs with occasional political commentary and bluesy, reggae rhythms. Mostly a duo of vocalist/keyboard player Gary Daly and guitarist Eddie Lundon, the group formed in 1979 near Liverpool. The first China Crisis single, "African and White," didn't appear until 1982, but it was quickly picked up by Virgin and made the British charts. Realizing they needed a proper band, Daly and Lundon recruited bassist Gazza Johnson and drummer Kevin Wilkinson, and recorded their debut album Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms. Another single, Christian, made UK #12 in early 1983 and brought them to national prominence. By this time, Reilly had left but was still credited on the sleeve as a guest on the single along with new member Steve Levy (oboe/saxophone) The album peaked at #21. During this period the band toured supporting Simple Minds.

The second album, Working With Fire & Steel : Possible Pop Songs - Volume 2 was released in November 1983. This was regarded as a more consistent effort, with standout tracks being 'Tragedy and Mystery', 'Hanna Hanna' and the upbeat title track, Working With Fire & Steel, which became a hit single in Australia . The album was a Top 20 success in the UK, and China Crisis spent 1984-1985 making their biggest chart run, beginning with their one and only UK Top 10 hit single, Wishful Thinking.

Their third album, Flaunt The Imperfection, was produced by the sympathetic Walter Becker (of Steely Dan fame) and reached #9 in the UK charts in May 1985. According to the album credits, China Crisis was now officially a quintet consisting of Daly, Lundon, Johnson, Wilkinson, and Becker. However, Becker never appeared with the band and the subsequent tour featured new keyboardist Brian McNeil. Johnson was now credited as co-writer with Daly and Lundon. In 1986, the band returned with the lower-key What Price Paradise, the key tracks being the epic Arizona Sky, the bouncy pop of 'June Bride', and the unusual 'The Understudy'. All the band were now credited as songwriters. A second single from the album, Best Kept Secret, made UK #36 in early 1987. It was to be the band's final Top 40 hit single.

The five-piece band worked with Becker once more on 1989's Diary Of A Hollow Horse, which earned critical acclaim though little commercial success. Becker acted as the producer of most of the album's tracks, but this time was not credited as an official band member. The band's last studio album, Warped By Success, was released in 1994 following the band's parting of ways with the Virgin label and produced their final UK Top 100 single, Everyday The Same. The band was now listed as comprising Daly, Lundon, producer terry Adams and engineer Mark Phythian. In 1995 they released a live unplugged album and video entitled Acoustically Yours, which proved to be their recording swansong. Despite the stylistic deviations, China Crisis maintained their distinctive sound through their albums in the 1980s and '1990s.

Since 1992 there have been four compilations albums of their work for the UK/US markets and three live DVDs. China Crisis toured the UK during January and February 2007 as part of their 25th Anniversary.

01 - Working With Fire And Steel (3:35)
02 - When The Piper Calls (3:59)
03 - Hanna Hanna (3:25)
04 - Animals In Jungles (3:34)
05 - Here Comes A Raincloud (4:16)

06 - Wishful Thinking (4:36)
07 - Tragedy And Mystery (3:58)
08 - Papua (3:32)
09 - The Gates Of Door To Door (4:11)
10 - The Soul Awakening (4:26)

***** ***** ***** ***** *****
All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !

Monday, February 25, 2008

Around the World (20)

Hello, Around the World continues the Medieval theme, with the second Mittelalter ( Medieval ) Special from Sonic Seducer, and was last weeks theme Tristan Und Isolde, today it's the Cantus Buranus, madefamous by Orffs clasical interpretation 100 years ago, but obviously these songs were far older and Corvus Corax were well poised to bring these songs into the here and now but with the instruments of the time. It was a big project and its available on DVD aswell.

The 20 th of december 2006 Corvus Corax gave a concert at The Melkweg, Amsterdam, you can watch it here

in case the embedding fails here's a direct link Corvus Corax Concert
***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Corvus Corax - Cantus Buranus (05 ^ 99mb)

Corvus Corax was formed in 1989 by Castus Rabensang, Win (Venustus) and Meister Selbfried ("Master Selfpeace"). The band often uses bagpipes as the solo instrument, their live performances attract attention with bizarre look of the musicians being reminiscent of ancient Greek myths: half-naked, dressed in unusual clothes, wearing different ancient-like decorations, often tattooed. Today the band consists of eight members: Ardor vom Venushügel ("Ardor from the Venusmount"), Castus Rabensang, Patrick der Kalauer ("Patrick the groaner"), Harmann der Drescher ("Harmann the thrasher"), Hatz ("hunt"), Jordon Finus, Teufel and Wim (Venustus). In May 2005 Meister Selbfried, one of the Corvus Corax founders and the researcher of medieval music, decided to cease his active musicianship and to dedicate himself mostly to managing the Corvus Corax' own label Pica Records.His place in the line-up was taken by Jordon Finus in 2006.

Because medieval music theory was dominated by ecclesiastics, it is often difficult to determine from the existent manuscripts exactly how the secular (popular) music of the day sounded. Corvus Corax draws on a number of sources to try to make their music as authentic as possible: they have used documents that "condemn profane music" as an indicator as to what the music might have sounded like. The profane music of the day was often accompanied by a droning bass tone similar to that generated by the bourdon stop on an organ, which is provided in Corvus Corax's case by the drones on their bagpipes. An inkling as to the harmonies used is found in a song by Walter von der Vogelweide, in which he calls for the song to be played "the old way", meaning harmonising with thirds. At the time, the third was considered an awkward, ugly interval by the sacred musician — like the tritone, or diabolus in musica — but it was a common interval in folk music.

Between 89 and 2005 they released 11 albums, toured Europe, 11 weeks in Japan livened up every Medieval Market and socalled Knight's Tournaments, wrote film music, researched music and build instruments. I guess most of us missed all that and their old albums aren't easy to come by and Medieval Markets seem beyond the imagination of the Councils around here.

In 2005 Corvus Corax started the ambitious project "Cantus Buranus": a full-length opera set to the original Carmina Burana manuscript lyrics. The music for the opera was fully composed by the band and had no connection with the famous work by Carl Orff. It was performed with symphonic orchestra, choir and medieval ensemble, combining traditional symphonism with medieval minstrel-like melodies. The project included a CD recording, a DVD, as well as live performances. A live CD and DVD recording of Cantus Buranus was released in March 2006.

After having played all over Europe, Jordan and Japan, finally, supporting the release there of a compilation of Corvus Corax , previous 11 albums, 2005 saw their debut concerts in the USA. The band performed four sets on each of four different days in mid-October, not far from Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. By 2006 they released Venus Vina Musica on both sides of the atlantic simultanously. 2007 saw the release of a remastered greatests "Kaltenberg Anno MMVII".

01 - Fortuna (4:12)
02 - Florent Omnes (5:47)
03 - Dulcissima (5:01)
04 - Lingua Mendax (5:02)
05 - Rustica Puella (4:19)
06 - Nummus (3:34)
07 - Curritur (4:21)
08 - Sol Solo (4:25)
09 - Venus (4:52)
10 - O Langueo (4:11)
11 - Ergo Bibamus (6:00)

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VA - Middleages Special II (Sonic Seducer ) (03 ^ 99mb)

A few months later after the overwhelming positive respons they released a Medievil Special II .This came as a second freebie cd of a Goth / EBM /Iindustrial magazine, Sonic Seducer. As meantioned last week i bought it for several years, until my eyes refused all that small print (so much copy there ), well i have reading glasses now. An excellent magazine with a monthly bonusdisc and sometimes two, like this Mittelalter (medievil) special. A perfect showcase for bands you likely have never heard of.

For those that read German, i can point you to their excellent website, the subscription cost is remarkably low for what you get each month, check it out. Sonic Seducer

01 - Haggard - All'Inizio De La Morte (5:01)
02 - Schandmaul - Tyrann (3:47)
03 - Adaro - Wer Alten Weibern Traut (4:17)
04 - Estampie - Avolgente (4:52)
05 - Faun - Ne Alduj El (5:16)
06 - Saltatio Mortis - Dädalus (4:08)
07 - Varius Coloribus - Steinjung (4:26)
08 - Corvus Corax - Suam Elle Ires (3:09)
09 - Voluptatis Causa - Hexezirkel (2:38)
10 - Van Langen & Des Teufels Lockvögel - A.V.L.L. (3:34)
11 - Ohrenpeyn - Skudrinkanischer Remix (5:04)
12 - Nerthus - Battle Song (5:36)

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All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Reviews: Persepolis, 4 Weeks, The Longing

I've been meaning to write a review of Persepolis for a week now, so here are few thoughts about most of the films I've seen of late. Reading the archives of this site, I cannot believe how many movies I used to go to or watch in a given week, but then I used to write a lot more and read for pleasure as well....


PersepolisTwo weeks ago, I saw Persepolis (2007, Vincent Paronnaud and Marjanie Satrapi, directors, based on the novels by Satrapi), the very faithful film adaptation of Marjane Satrapi's acclaimed graphic novels, Persepolis 1-4, which appeared from 2000 to 2003 in their original French, and then in translation as Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (2003) and Persepolis 2: The Story of Return (2004), both from Pantheon. A good friend of mine, Phoebe M., originally recommended the first English translation, and I quickly fell in love with it, incorporating it into a literature course I taught a few years back. The books together narrate the unfolding of Satrapi's childhood and adolescence against the backdrop of political and social upheavals that occurred in her native Iran from the late 1977s, the last years of the Western-oriented and supported, authoritarian Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, through his fall and exile, which culminated in the Islamic Revolution of 1979-1980, and the subsequent, brutal 8-year Iran-Iraq War, launched by Saddam Hussein with the backing of then US-president Ronald Reagan and VP George H. W. Bush. (Reagan's administration later engaged in an illegal arms trade with Iran to fund the Nicaraguan contras, which exploded as the Iran Contra scandal, but none of this is part of Satrapi's interest or focus.)

In the film as in the book, Satrapi introduces us to her upper-bourgeois progressive, left-leaning family, including her liberated and often funny but deeply wise grandmother, widowed as a result of the Shah's machinations, her politically connected father, her mother, and other family members who initially embraced the Shah's overthrow only to find themselves in the crosshairs of the new regime, which grew increasingly severe, as the external threat (of war) combined with its internal, societal obsession with a puritanical understanding of faith and practice. Satrapi conveys the normalcy she as a upper-middle-class child is able to establish amidst this turmoil, which results in teenage rebellion and resistance fueled, in part, by Western culture in the form of punk rock music. (As a child of privilege (her mother is a descendent of the 19th century Shah, Satrapi naturalizes her own class and subject position, and one of the things I wanted to know about both in the book and the movie was how Iranian women and girls of other classes, especially the working-class and poor, experienced this period.) Eventually, her parents become so worried about her outspokenness that they send her off at age 14 to Vienna, Austria, where she develops tenuous friendships and hungers for the stability of home. She returns, marries, divorces, and then sets off again for Europe, this time wiser and surer of herself and her abilities, but also tempered by a deeper understanding and love of her troubled country. The genius of the graphic novels lies in Satrapi's imagery, which manages to be simultaneously pared down, both in color and formal terms, and richly evocative, in the the skillful narration of what is essentially a straightforward, moving memoir, and, in the seamless melding of the two.

The film, as I note above, almost directly mirrors the books, so the real novelty lies in the black-and-white animation, which removes the competitive and productive tension all graphic novels generate between the words as a conventional narrative text and the imagery, which often tells a parallel and sometimes different story, in favor of what is essentially a superbly rendered animated film for adults. Major French actors, including Catherine Deneuve (Mrs. Satrapi), Chiara Mastroianni (adult Marjane) and Simon Abkarian (Mr. Satrapi) provide the voices, and there's never a moment when the film flags or falters. A colleague who also saw the film mentioned that she wished there'd been something else, new, added, but for me, the transformation, which entailed considerable artistry in maintaining all that was best in the books while translating it into cinematic terms, succeeded tremendously. I'd read that the initial plans to dub the film with English-speaking actors has been dropped, but I hope that it occurs, not because I want to lose La Deneuve's dulcet tones, but because I think an English-language version may be more likely to reach many people in the US who know little to nothing about Iran and fail to see people like Satrapi's family (or Azar Nafisi's, whose Reading Lolita in Tehran offers a similarly personal though divergent take on the same era), whose humanity, whose very being, gets lost in fear-laden political abstractions.


Annamaria MarincaA few nights ago I saw 4 Weeks, 3 Months, 2 Days, the new and heralded film by Romanian director Cristian Mungiu. I'd been told that the film had moments of real horror, which I mistook for a "horror film," but after seeing it, I realized that the horror is ethical in nature, and definitely present, in both the theme and the plot. What's more, this is one of the most truthful and thought-provoking films I've ever seen in a while, and it treats the topic of abortion with the complexity it deserves, rather than the false choices and cop-outs (Juno, Knocked Up, etc.) that Hollywood is so fond of. I'd add that 4 Weeks could stand as one powerful though extremely disturbing response to anyone who wants to ban or severely limit abortions, birth control medications, or RU-486 and similar drugs but has not considered or refuses to consider the implications.

The scenario in brief is this: during the latter days of the Ceaucescu Communist dictatorship in Romania, a female college student, Gabita Dragut (Laura Vasiliu), with the aid of her much more outgoing and self-assured roommate friend, Otilia (Annamaria Marinca, above, seeks an abortion, which is criminalized. Ceaucescu fetishized childbearing and punished both the pregnant woman and the abortionist, as well as anyone assisting them, if they were caught. The pregnant young woman is no icon or heroine, but a passive-aggressive, manipulative, dissembling mess, which becomes quite important when we learn the awful ramifications of her approach to acquiring and then trying to deal with an unspeakably sleazy male abortionist, Viorel "Bebe," aka Mr. Bebe (Vlad Ivanov). Mungiu first presents Bebe as reasonable, almost sympathetic (he takes time to look after his mother, though the scene shows his harsh edges which, to my viewing, only augured trouble) and, given the circumstances, almost professional. But then he makes a shocking demand that only underlines the extreme vulnerability of the young women, and cruelty of the system they're living in and under. Yet from this point forward we witness in Otilia a fierce determination that sits beside an almost unvoiceable disgust and horror, a disgust at what she has been forced to submit to, at what she's allowed to occur, at what her boyfriend, whose snobbish urbane family casually treats her like a country bumpkin, cannot even begin to fathom, despite his obvious love for her. There's also disgust, verging on rage, that merges not with sympathy for, but with empathy--which it can only be, as she is as deeply implicated and involved in what transpires--with Gabita, and the ensuing portion of the film, whose details I cannot reveal, shows Otilia operating almost by sheer force of will, and pushes the notions of ethics and empathy to a near breaking-point. The acting by the leads is excellent, but Marinca especially burns a hole in the screen with her ferocity and determination, while Vasiliu's pusillanimous neediness raises your hackles as it's meant to. This is acting.

At least twice during the latter portion of the film, which pivots on several moments of rising suspense, I sat in uneasy, sometimes stunned silence. There is a moment where Otilia is wandering through the barely-lit streets of Bucharest, on a mission in the most literal sense, and the screen grows so dark it's almost unclear what's going on, and worse, what might happen, which induces a feeling of dread--pending horror--that's almost visceral. The film's conclusion includes a little joke, like a steam gauge quickly opened, that barely relieves all that has come before it, but it and the plate of food that embodying it serve as objective correlatives to what you eventually surmise: people, in this case women, may get by, may get on with their lives, may even still be able to live and hope and love, with a little or, in this case, a lot of help from their friends, after suffering, even under the harshest circumstances.

In this sense, the film was a provocative thematic companion to Persepolis, and I'm glad I saw them. Both films deserved Oscars tonight, but as of this entry, the first lost in its category, and the second was not nominated at all. I'll say it: typical!


SehnsuchtThough only 2 years old at most, my DVD player finally gave out, so I've been watching rented films on my computer, whose screen its on its last flicker. One film I rented recently, daring my computer not to fail, was Jürgen Brüning's 2003 film, The Longing (Saudade-Sehnsucht). I got it because of the Brazilian them, but I would not recommend this horribly acted, poorly plotted, melodramatic and maudlin wreck to anyone, except that it contains one scene that nearly makes up for the entire rest--waste--of the film. But you have to sit through the rest to get to it, and if you're not interested in depictions of Afrobrazilian gay people, then skip the film completely.

To summarize the plot, three 30-ish German guys are staying at an estate in Paraty (the picturesque historical town southwest of Rio de Janeiro, on the way to São Paulo state and city) belonging to the father of one of them, the spoiled and sulking Cyrus (Tarik Qazi), who is seeking his mother. The other two are a former hiphop (!) musician, Tim (Daniel Bätscher) who also mopes about when not blaring his awful raps, and the tragic blond Erik (Hendrik Schneider), who has lost money on the stock market and complains about being broke. To make money, the trio tape themselves having frolicking and broadcast it on the Net. (I'm not making this up.) They collectively treat the Afrobrazilian maid, Maria (naturally, played by Maria Lucia da Silva Ludwig), an adherent of the syncretic spiritualist faith Macumba (naturally), like she's an idiot, though you quickly learn she and a friend, also Afrobrazilian, hold a mutually dim view of these three. And rightly so. Things unravel from here, at least for Erik, who's involved in a deadly accident on the beach after a near rape (!), then, while in his own fit of guilt and pining, falls in love with an Afrobrazilian telenovela actor, Miguel (Aldri d'Anunciação) who just happens to hanging around a park in downtown Paraty, and, implausibilities of implausibilities, is also the brother of the man that dies in the encounter with Erik. At the funeral, Miguel's mother, played by the (very) famous and ageless Afrobrazilian actress Zezé Motta (star of Xica da Silva and other notable films--she was a replacement for Sonia Braga, who had the great sense to stay far away from this debacle), thinks Erik was her late son's friend and...well, it's just not worth going into. Suffice it say that somehow Maria, after taking Cyrus and Tim to a Macumba ceremony, with they both praise and mock, links up the hiphopper manqué links up with a real local hiphop group (his longing), and aids Cyrus in seeking his vanished mother (his longing). She isn't able to do much for Erik, who traipses after Miguel to Rio, where the telenovela is filmed, out of love.

There are more implausibilities, including a plane crash and so forth, but it's in Rio that the truly interesting scene occurs. Somehow or other, Miguel, who blurts out interesting comments about the plight of Afrobrazilians, decides to attend a meeting of a Black gay group. At this meeting, which is, I remember correctly, male and trans, a fiery young group leader, Fabio (Sérgio Menezes), holds forth on the social, political and cultural marginalization of Black Brazilians, gay Brazilians, and then gay Afrobrazilians. His disquisition is transfixing, and immediately made me wonder whether this was a documentary scene in an otherwise fiction film, or a fictional rendering of a real event. I also wondered whether the director, Brüning, had written his words, whether they were extemporaneous, or improvised, and whether such a speech, and moment, had ever been rendered in a Brazilian film. Of course I wanted to see more about this, which could have been its own documentary, short or feature, and which had the only decent acting in the entire film, but it was over in an eyeblink. Also fascinating was the fact that in the audience are identifical twin drag performers, the Dolly-Twins (Márcio and Marcelo Rodrigues), whose ultra-blasé responses and expressions provide a comical dose of irony, though they do keep listening until Fabio finishes and then jointly give him their "beijos" (kisses) before leaving to prepare for their star turn at a local bathhouse later on. The blond beloved shows up, in about as clumsy an irony as is possible, Fabio mildly reads Miguel, the lovers embrace, and the scene is over. We get no context for the scene except that Miguel is already portrayed as politically aware and that, to the extent that it's possible, he's partially out. But I kept thinking, what led Brüning to cram the scene in this film? Was it a desire to color the other narrative, along with familiarity with a similar group, Quimbanda Dudu, which exists in Bahia, and which is affiliated with Bahia's longstanding, activist organization Grupo Gay da Bahia? Have films of any sort been made about either group, or about Rio's gay rights group Arco Íris (Rainbow), or the ones in São Paulo? And given the rarity of representations of out Afrobrazilian LGBTQs, especially politically conscious ones, in documentary or fiction films, doesn't this warrant greater interest? It manages to queer an already queer film in ways I imagine the director never imagined. Nothing I've read about this film addresses this moment, which verges on breaking the diegetic trajectory of the movie.

In the accompanying documentary on the making of the film, Brüning does say that all his films are flawed, thus explaining the majority of what's on the screen, but with this one he wanted to portray something different about Black Brazilians than we usually see. (In the same documentary, Annunciação says that depictions of gays in Brazilian films are rare, though there are some high profile examples, in films such as Madame Satã, Carandiru, etc.) He certainly does that in this one scene, and it's a shame that he didn't decide to scrap the rest of what surrounds it and build on what I'm assuming is a minor cinematic revelation.

Don't panic ! (20)

Hello, last week The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy entered it's Quandary Phase here's a recap of fit 19:

Arthur discovers that the entry for "Earth" in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which formerly had been edited down to "Mostly Harmless," has been replaced, with Ford's original full version. They head towards Earth independently, Arthur arriving first. After landing in a field in Somerset, Arthur tries to hike a lift to Cottington, to see if his house still exists. Along the way, he meets Rob McKenna, a man who complains about the rain, before realising he has hitched a lift the wrong way. He gets out, and gets a lift with Russell, whose sister, Fenchurch, is out cold on a back seat of the car. Arthur is instantly smitten, and asks about her. Russell claims that she is mad, and has been ever since "the hallucinations" — the Vogon Constructor Fleet.

On the Constructor Fleet, a junior crew member notices that Earth has re-appeared. He is overridden by the captain, Jeltz, who declares that he saw it destroyed himself.Meanwhile, Ford is stuck in a bar with a large bill, which he avoids paying by promising to write an entry for the bar in the Guide. On the streets, he is asked by a hooker whether he is "rich", and says that he might be — being owed several years back pay for writing two words. He shows the two words .. "Mostly Harmless" .. to the hooker, and is shocked to see the guide updating this to his full entry. He decides to go to Earth himself.

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THHGTTG - Fit 20

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All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sundaze (20)

Hello, Sundaze is not ready with Tuxedomoon yet, after last weeks (meta) physical Inside Out there's some more older work from the global villagers, i hope it will entice you to check out their later works and if you get the chance, make sure you get to see them live..

Futuristic and romantic, lyrical and visionary, electronic and acoustic, with its drum machines, saxophones, wailing violins and haunted vocals, American but very European...

After releasing a string of albums on CramBoy (the imprint they set up with Brussels-based label Crammed Discs), the band stopped recording together in 1988, and the various members pursued solo careers, becoming as disparate geographically as sonically, with Steven Brown (vocals, keyboard & saxophone) living in Mexico, Peter Principle (bass, electronics) in New York, Blaine L. Reininger (vocals, violin, guitar) in Greece, and Luc Van Lieshout (trumpet) & Bruce Geduldig (films/visuals) in Brussels.

Many years later, Tuxedomoon got back together to write and record the awesome "Cabin In The Sky" album (2004), which found them in absolute top form, as romantic, rebellious and boundlessly imaginative as they ever were. "Cabin" featured contributions by a carefully hand-picked selection of guests such as Tarwater, Tortoise's John McEntire, Nouvelle Vague's Marc Collin and DJ Hell.
Shortly after finishing "Cabin In The Sky", Tuxedomoon traveled back to San Francisco, the band's birthplace, in order to start writing material for their next album. But the local atmosphere had unexpected effects on them, and drove them to record a series of "spontaneous compositions" instead, which soon formed the basis of a side project entitled "Bardo Hotel Soundtrack" loosely connected to Brion Gysin’s novel ‘The Bardo Hotel’ set in the Paris hotel where he and William Burroughs invented the radical cut-up/fold-in technique. Both "Cabin…" and "Bardo Hotel…" were warmly welcomed, and a wildly eclectic array of references sprang from the pens of reviewers trying to describe Tuxedomoon's music.

If anything, these two recent albums revealed that Tuxedomoon were never connected to a particular period: they had become '80s cult figures simply because that's the period in which they happened to develop and rise to fame… but the band have always been evolving in their own space, and their music is as relevant and fresh today as it was then. An impression to be further strengthened by their latest album "Vapour Trails", which is bound to appeal equally to fans of, say, contemporary cutting-edge avant-rock, electronica and jazz. To celebrate the band's 30th anniversary, Crammed has released a limited-edition boxed set entitled 77o7 tm, which will include the new album along with a CD of previously-unreleased archives, a DVD containing 160 minutes of rare or previously-unreleased videos, and a live CD recorded in early 2007.

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Tuxedomoon - Holy wars ( 85 ^ 99mb)

"Holy Wars" was recorded in 1985 whileTuxedomoon are at the peak of their popularity in Europe. Blaine Reininger has left the band, and is replaced by Dutch trumpet and harmonica player Luc van Lieshout. Nevertheless TM produce a mature album which gets released all around the world , and becomes their best-seller. Right from the confident opener "The Waltz" the stage is set for some of the most poignant and moving songs "Some Guys", "In a Manner of Speaking", "Bonjour Tristesse", "Holy Wars"), aswell as the introduction of new instrumental colours (van Lieshout) Among other subjects, the lyrics are about wandering in the new European megapolis: Wim Wenders recognizes some of his own obsessions, and uses "Some Guys" in the opening scenes of "The Sky Above Berlin".

01 - The Waltz (5:12)
02 - St. John (4:33)
03 - Bonjour Tristesse (5:28)
04 - Hugging The Earth (4:02)
05 - In A Manner Of Speaking (3:30)
06 - Some Guys (4:58)
07 - Holy Wars (6:44)
08 - Watching The Blood Flow (5:10)
09 - Egypt (4:57)
10 - Soma (5:42)

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Tuxedomoon - You (87 ^ 99mb)

TM's last studio album, "You" was recorded in 87. Winston Tong has gone missing for two years, and has been replaced by young multi-instrumentist Ivan Georgiev. A strange, tortured album, cabaret, jazz-noir, off beat and desoriented yet humorous and intelligent.With hindsight it announced the end of the band. It contains great moments: the epic "Never-ending Story", "You", "Boxman" (a series of short dialogues based on the writings of Japanese writer Abe Kobo), etc.
It would be 17 years before Tuxedomoon got back together again to record "Cabin In The Sky".

01 - Roman P. (3:20)
02 - The Train (4:33)
03 - 2000 (5:13)
04 - Never Ending Story (7:40)
05 - Stockholm (3:23)
06 - Boxman (Mr. Niles) (2:23)
07 - Spirits & Ghosts (7:42)
08 - Boxman (The City) (2:24)
09 - You (5:38)
10 - Boxman (Home) (2:29)

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Tuxedomoon - Ten years in one night - live (88, 74 min ^ 172mb)

After the release of Pinheads on the move a compilation of early singles, rehearsals, live recordings and other rarities. It made sense to round of and celebrate the 10th anniversary of Tuxedomoon with an official live album. The vinyl and later 2cd version contains 3 more tracks. It Includes all of their classics, as performed by the line-up of Steven Brown, Blaine L.Reininger, Winston Tong, Peter Principle, Pul Zahl, BruceGedulding, Luc Van Lieshout and Ivan Georgiev.

01 - Michael's Theme (2:04)
02 - Burning Trumpet (6:40)
03 - The Waltz (5:13)
04 - In A Manner Of Speaking (3:10)
05 - The Cage (4:46)
06 - Everything You Want (5:49)
07 - Courante Marocaine (7:20)
08 - Litebulb Overkill (2:48)
09 - Desire (7:05)
10 - Nervous Guy (4:09)
11 - Pinheads On The Move (6:24)
12 - No Tears (8:12)
13 - In Heaven (3:34)
14 - Nazca (4:58)

Tuxedomoon - Ten years in one night - live (88, 74 min * 99mb)

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All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !