Saturday, 25 July 2009

Captain Beefheart Documentary with John Peel

I've had a great time being puzzled, amazed, over and underwhelmed by Captain Beefheart's output. But ultimately fallen in love with it. He may not sit that comfortably with the rest of the music on this blog, but there again I don't think he sits comfortably in most places! Here's a documentary narrated by John Peel from 1997, so if you are a fan and haven't seen it, enjoy. If you've never heard of him, meet one of popular music's genuine eccentric and genuine unique voices. A master.

Incidentally I read the guitarist Zoot Horn Rollo's memoir of being in The Magic Band, Lunar Notes, and all in all it didn't sound like he was a happy bunny about it all, verging on the bitter. A good insight into that strange world though. When Beefheart locked them all away to detune their minds from the conventional for the album Trout Mask Replica, some blues guitarists popped in and played some wild guitar. Why can't you play like that pondered Beefheart. Zoot Horn Rollo reminded him that they used to until Beefheart got his hands on them. I lent that book to a taxi driver Magic Band fan I got talking to about Beefheart on the way home one night and completely forgot about it. He posted it in my letterbox over a year later. Respect.

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Monday, 20 July 2009

Disco Dancing From Finland

After mastering the dancing from previous posts, it's only fair to brush up on your disco dancing skills. And who better to give you pointers than these two masters of the art from the world disco dancing epicenter, Finland. Clear some space on the floor and give it a whirl. Look out for them at the next Dimitri From Paris gig.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Strut Records Free Sampler

Strut have released the follow up to their excellent 2002 compilation Black Rio. Focusing on Brazilian music influenced by American soul and funk, the first compilation was a classic and one of my favourite Brazilian compilations. Strut release lots of great albums and compilations, and to get a taste they are giving away a free sampler available here. Well worth checking out. Have a look here and get a free MP3.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Sabres of Paradise Tape Incident

Growing up I learned piano, played in the local brass band and graduated to playing trumpet in the local schools jazz orchestra, a kind of swing band. But despite all that, I never found music that I really liked, found my own. That's until I read about LFO and then Nightmares On Wax in the magazine Music Technology. Twiddlings on my Casio keyboard paid off then. I used to walk my dog, good old Fudge, with my walkman on loud, listening to the LFO and Nightmares On Wax albums everyday. I knew every bleep and bloop. I followed the records Warp released religiously, it introduced me into a whole new world. One of the cassettes I had was Sabres of Paradise's Sabresonic. I never got into that one as much as the others, I was used to the bleeps. Wanting a knew album, I repackaged the Sabres album into a newer box and tried to fob it off in the St Helens Our Price records as new to get something else. I got found out. Sent out with the tail between my legs. Shameful. But not the end of the world. This is monsiour Andrew Wetherall with his Sabres of Paradise from 1994. Trippy. And this tune I love.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Shuggie Otis

Shuggie Otis is the son of rhythm and blues musician and bandleader Johnny Otis. Somewhat of a guitar prodigy, his professional career began at the age of 12. He performed on various artists albums before releasing his solo efforts, which there are sadly not as many as there should be. Between 1969 and 1974 he produced four solo albums, the masterpiece of which was the classic Inspiration Information, one of my favourites. As I mentioned in an earlier post. Even if you aren't familiar with Shuggie, you may well be familiar with Strawberry Letter 23 originally released on Freedom Flight from 1971, which was covered by the Brothers Johnson and included in the Jackie Brown soundtrack. Inspiration Information was re-released on David Byrne's Luaka Bop label in 2001 with some bonus tracks. Since releasing these albums in the early 70s he has pretty much withdrawn from the music scene, although records bits and bobs now and then.

Anyway, here is Shuggie's Bootie Cooler from the album Here Comes Shuggie Otis, released in 1970. Bit of a blurry video, but well worth it for the dancing. Those of you who have mastered James Brown's Robot from last week can now try these moves. Happy days.