Monday, August 24, 2009

The Golden Palominos -1983 (Celluloid)

The Golden Palominos were an American musical group headed by drummer and composer Anton Fier, first formed in 1981. Aside from Fier, the Palominos membership was wildly elastic, with only bassist Bill Laswell and guitarist Nicky Skopelitis appearing on every album.

While the Palominos' records usually featured a core set of musicians and a certain emotional continuity throughout the bulk of an album, various guest appearances would result in stylistic changes from track to track.

The group first featured Fier, singer-guitarist Arto Lindsay, saxophonist John Zorn, bass guitarist Bill Laswell and violinist/guitarist Fred Frith. Their self-titled debut album was released on New York's Celluloid Records in 1983, and featured guest appearances by bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, guitarist Nicky Skopelitis, percussionist David Moss, guitarist/singer Bob Kidney, turntablist M.E. Miller and others. The album is notable for having some of the first recorded turntable scratching outside of rap music, courtesy of Laswell and M.E. Miller. M.E.Miller also used vocal splitting technique to create harmony on the song he sings.

They were heavily influenced by so-called no wave music (Arto Lindsay had played in the seminal no-wave band DNA), but their music also contained elements of funk and of the improvisational jazz stylings that would become Zorn's trademark. This line-up lasted only for the first record, although all of the core members apart from Zorn would guest on subsequent Palominos recordings.

Material - Memory Serves

Memory Serves is a 1981 album by the New York based No Wave music group Material.

1. "Memory Serves" (Bill Laswell, Michael Beinhorn) – 5:08
2. "Disappearing" (Olu Dara, Sonny Sharrock, Laswell, Beinhorn, Fred Maher) – 7:11
3. "Upriver" (Billy Bang, Laswell, Beinhorn, Maher) – 5:25
4. "Metal Test" (Fred Frith, Laswell, Beinhorn, Maher) – 4:30
5. "Conform To The Rhythm" (Laswell, Beinhorn, Frith) – 4:30
6. "Unauthorized" (Sharrock, Laswell, Maher) – 3:50
7. "Square Dance" (Frith, Laswell, Maher) – 4:29
8. "Silent Land" (George Lewis, Laswell, Beinhorn) – 3:48

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Ed Palermo Big Band ‘Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance’

Ed Palermo is a alto sax player and arranger; he has had a big band for twenty-five years, which is an impressive feat in itself, and has had his band performing the music of Frank Zappa for over a decade. Years and years of playing these pieces in front of enthusiastic crowds at a number of venues in New York City and beyond have honed the band’s skills with this difficult material to where they can glide through these charts as if they were butter. There are a number of ensembles performing the music of this great 20th century American composer, but no one does it with this ease, skill and originality; Ed is not afraid to turn a piece into a salsa number (the title track) or to take what was a one minute miniature and to develop it out into a six minute work. The band is a 15 piece ensemble of 6 woodwind players, two trumpeters, three trombonists, two keyboardists, bass and drums, plus a few guests. All of these musicians are NYC professionals, and they have been playing this music for years with Ed, because, like Ed, they recognize and appreciate the genius inherent in the huge body of Zappa's work, and they want to keep this great music alive and in front of the public.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Abigail Sin Plays Frank Zappa

Abigail Sin (born 1992) is a Singaporean pianist. She was hailed by TIME Magazine as one of Asia's small wonders and a bona fide prodigy when she was ten years old. By the age of eleven, she attained her Licentiate of the Royal School of Music (LRSM) in Piano Performance.
In January 2005, Sin won first prize at the Virginia Waring International Junior Piano Competition in Palm Desert, California. Later in the year, she won another prize at the 17th Ibiza International Piano Competition in Spain in the Young Pianist category for contestants 16 years old and under. In 2006, she recorded Abigail Sin Plays Frank Zappa and was accepted into the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (Singapore). Sin is the youngest student there.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


One of the bands from the Cramps label, Arti & Mestieri from Turin were formed around 1974 by ex-Trip drummer Furio Chirico (he had previously played with I Ragazzi del Sole and Martò e i Judas) with other musicians from various musical experiences. Venegoni, Vigliar and Vitale had previously played with Il Sogno di Archimede, a jazzy-prog group.
Often playing with Area, they shared with them the same interest in fusing jazz-rock with prog elements, and their first album, Tilt, is a very good result, even if the limited vocal parts were their weakest point. The album includes only two vocal tracks, and the rest is mainly instrumental.

The group had a good live activity, supporting the likes of PFM and even Gentle Giant, as demonstrated by the good and now deleted Live CD released in 1990 (another live CD with a different 1974 recording has been released in 2002, see below for details).
On the second album, 1975's Giro di valzer per domani, a singer was added, Gianfranco Gaza from Procession, and the album has a much better sound and production than the previous one, in a similar style as the previous one but with stronger jazz rock influences. Two of the album's best cuts, the instrumental Valzer per domani and the vocal Saper sentire were also released as a single.

In 1979 another Arti & Mestieri album was released, Quinto stato, always led by Chirico but with a different line-up and more in a mainstream jazz-rock vein, while subsequent releases strongly veered towards fusion.
Fourth album, Acquario, is not a live album as declared on the front cover, just a live-in-studio recording. Like its follower, Children's blues, it was released on a small label with local distribution only.

Guitarist Venegoni also released two solo albums on Cramps as Venegoni & Co., always in the same jazz-rock style as later Arti & Mestieri.
Drummer Furio Chirico has continued playing and teaching his instrument, also releasing solo albums and some drum playing tutorials. He's the first Italian drummer ever playing at the Modern Drummer Festival in USA (2002 edition).
Keyboardist Crovella has played and taken production role on new prog bands' albums such as Romantic Warriors, Tower, Mosaic.

A revived Arti & Mestieri with original members Venegoni, Crovella, Gallesi and Chirico aided by Marco Cimino (from Errata Corrige, he had already joined the band on Quinto Stato, both he and Gallesi were also in Esagono) and violinist Corrado Trabuio released a new CD Murales in 2001 on the small Electromantic label. Mostly instrumental and somehow influenced by jazz and world music, the CD also includes reworkings of a couple of tracks from the early albums, Gravità 9,81 and Nove lune prima.
Fans of the early Arti & Mestieri will be delighted to know of a recent CD release called Articollezione, a compilation of unreleased tracks from their first period, more in a progressive style than later works.

Another very nice recent release is the double Live 1974/2000 CD. As the title suggests it includes a whole 1974 concert (all the tracks from the previous Vinyl Magic Live CD are included here along with some more, but taken from a different concert) while the second CD is dedicated to 1999 and 2000 live recordings.

Summer 2003 has seen the group playing with a new line-up with expanded vocal capabilities, Arti & Mestieri appeared at ProgDay 2003, in North Carolina, at the end of August.
Founder members Furio Chirico and Beppe Crovella are now helped by Corrado Trabuio (violin, vocals), Slep (guitar, vocals) and Roberto Cassetta (bass, vocals), and they have a powerful live show entirely based on their 1974-75 albums... a welcome return!
The 2004 album by Arti & Mestieri, recorded by the new line-up, is Progday special, a 4-track CD collecting old tracks recorded live in studio to promote the band in their new journey abroad. The Electromantic label has also released in 2004 the first solo album by the original bass player Marco Gallesi, entitled Riff.
In 2005 another new studio work, called Estrazioni, and strongly connected with the earlier productions starting with its cover design. The record includes some tracks composed for a never released third album in 1977 along with more recent compositions, and is on a varied level but very promising indeed. The new line-up includes Marco Roagna (guitar) replacing Slep, and Alfredo Ponissi (sax), along with a guest appearance by the original guitarist Gigi Venegoni. The band is augmented in concert by guests Warren Dale on sax and flute and singer Iano Nicolò, frontman of the group Cantina Sociale, from Piedmont.

Also in 2005 the band played in Japan, at Tokyo's Club Città, and a live CD taken from those concerts, entitled First live in Japan, has been released at the end of 2006.

A box set meant to celebrate the first album Tilt and the entire group's career, entitled 33 was finally released in early 2008, a nice package including an LP, a CD, 2 DVD's and various inserts.

In 2009 Arti e Mestieri are working on a concept album entitled Piramidi - Quadri di un'esplorazione, inspired from the life of the explorer Giovanni Belzoni, and an EP, Il grande Belzoni, was taken from the forthcoming album

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Kevin Ayers - Joy of a Toy [UK Bonus Tracks]

Kevin Ayers is one of the finest and most influential musical talents to have emerged in Britain during the mayhem and madness of the late Sixties. Yet like peer and fellow Harvest records pioneer Syd Barrett, he has always been profoundly uneasy with the self-promotion that the pop music world demands. In fact, he abhors it. Ayers is an English eccentric, a supreme raconteur, a maverick innovator who has always remained true to his musical ideals and for these reasons his legacy is being celebrated by a new generation of performers today.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Can - Anthology - 25 Years

Damo Suzuki , Holger Czukay , Irmin Schmidt , Jaki Liebezeit , Malcolm Mooney , Michael Karoli
1-1 Father Cannot Yell (6:57)
1-2 Soup (2:42)
1-3 Mother Sky (6:35)
1-4 She Brings The Rain (4:06)
1-5 Mushroom (4:26)
1-6 One More Night (5:37)
1-7 Outside My Door (4:07)
1-8 Spoon (3:03)
1-9 Halleluwah (5:36)
1-10 Aumgn (7:12)
1-11 Dizzy Dizzy (3:27)
Lyrics By - Duncan Fallowell
1-12 You Doo Right (20:18)
2-1 Uphill (6:25)
2-2 Mother Upduff (4:29)
2-3 Doko E (2:27)
2-4 Musette (2:14)
2-5 Blue Bag (1:15)
2-6 TV Spot (3:06)
2-7 Half Past One (4:39)
Lyrics By - Can , Peter Gilmour
2-8 Moonshake (3:01)
2-9 Future Days (9:29)
2-10 Cascade Waltz (5:40)
Lyrics By - Can , Peter Gilmour
2-11 I Want More (3:30)
Lyrics By - Can , Peter Gilmour
2-12 Animal Waves (8:09)
2-13 Don't Say No (6:34)
Lyrics By - Can , Peter Gilmour
2-14 Aspectacle (3:07)
2-15 Below This Level (2:14)
2-16 Hoolah Hoolah (4:30)
2-17 Last Night Sleep (3:35)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Hapshash and the Coloured Coat - Human Host and the Heavy Metal Kids

1967 Reissue. On of the psychedelic 'Freak Out' scenes most sought after releases and one of the oddest 'groups' ever to release a record. Basically the brainchild of producer Guy Stevens, Hapshash also featured graphic designer Michael English and boutique owner Nigel Waymouth and the five LSD influenced tracks on this collector's CD showed the trio taking the 60s 'free spirit' stance to new and uncharted areas.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Simply Saucer - Half Human, Half Live

Simply Saucer had been out of commission for more than a decade when Cyborgs Revisited, a collection of demos and live tracks they recorded in the mid-'70s, was issued on vinyl in 1989 and established the group as a record collector geek's dream band -- a group laboring in utter obscurity who were creating something truly unique, a wacked-out fusion of Can, the Velvet Underground, the Kinks, and Syd Barrett created at a time when even those wildly influential acts were off the radar of most rock fans, especially in the Canadian factory town of Hamilton, Ontario. When Cyborgs Revisited was reissued on CD in 2003 with a stack of bonus tracks, the buzz about Simply Saucer grew a bit louder, but no one was honestly expecting the band to ever re-form (especially given the fact lead guitarist and singer Edgar Breau had given up electric guitar after quitting the band), making the existence of Half Human, Half Live, the first proper Simply Saucer album, something of a surprise. While Breau and bassist Kevin Christoff are the only two members of the original edition of Simply Saucer to appear on these sessions, the sound and feel of this album is consistent with the scraps collected on Cyborgs Revisited, though this material has the advantage of having been recorded under more welcoming circumstances, in a proper studio and with a solid lineup of musicians, and the three way fusion of the trippy, the furious, and the joyous is still potent and effective nearly three decades after the group gave up the ghost. Breau's voice isn't what it once was, but his hearty bellow works just fine on many of these songs, and for a guy who gave up rock for acoustic folk in 1979, he can still conjure up an impressive wall of electric noise, though new members Daniel Wintermans and Stephen Foster certainly help. And if the '60s pop influences of "Almost Ready Betty" and the pastoral acoustic folk-rock of "Dandelion Kingdom" seem a bit outside the boundaries of what one might expect from Simply Saucer, Breau is certainly entitled to a bit of reinvention after so many years of hibernation. Half Human, Half Live features six new compositions recorded in the studio and six Simply Saucer chestnuts played for a small but enthusiastic live audience, and while the studio tracks rock with genuine authority, live the new group sound just a bit tentative, though they build up an impressive head of steam by the end of "Illegal Bodies." If Half Human, Half Live isn't quite the triumph one might have hoped for, it does nothing to tarnish the legacy of this great invisible band, and suggests Breau's musical ambitions are still impressive (and still evolving) in the 21st century, and hopefully this isn't the last we'll hear from this band.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Simply Saucer - Cyborgs Revisited

Simply Saucer were a Canadian group of the wasteland period (post-psych, pre-punk). Like a few of the other kick ass bands of the period, they were almost completely unique. And completely invisible.

I've heard this record compared to Syd's Floyd quite a bit. I can dig it, but only if we're talking about the Syd of Vegetable Man and Scream Thy Last Scream. There's no See Emily Play pop structure going on here at all.

I think a more apt comparison is the very earliest of Pere Ubu. The one with Peter Laughner. This has that same damaged sense of song structure - there are very few verse/chorus things going on here. Even the solo sections have a crazy non-standard structure to them. Also like the Ubu, there is that ubiquitous non-musical electronics that really sells it for me.

But unlike Floyd or Ubu, this is a space *rock* band, meaning that the singer is got that garage punky snarl to him. This is the piece that takes this band from being part of a group to being flat out unique.

If you haven't written songs before, it may be hard to truly appreciate how difficult this type of song construction is (don't you hate it when reviewers say this kind of shit...). Most songs are written as groove A (aka verse), groove B (chorus), and maybe C or D (bridge, coda, intro, etc). Each piece needs to fit somewhat, but as long as they are similar keys, it works OK. Simply Saucer might go A, B, C, D, semi-A, C backwards, E, Q, freak-out, B with each part melting into each other, rather than abrupt transitions. Good stuff.
Manic CBGB's era electro-punk from Canada. Recorded in 1974 by Daniel and Bob Lanois and bolstered by demos, live tracks, and later day singles.

Tracks :
1. Instant Pleasure
2. Electro Rock
3. Nazi Apocalypse
4. Mole Machine
5. Bullet Proof Nothing
6. Here Come The Cyborgs (Part 1)
7. Here Come The Cyborgs (Part 2)
8. Dance The Mutation
9. Illegal Bodies
10. Low Profile (Demo)
11. Little Sally (Demo)
12. Get My Thrills (Demo)
13. I Take It (Demo)
14. Yes I Do (Live)
15. Bullet Proof Nothing (Live)
16. Now's The Time For The Party (Live)
17. I Can Change My Mind (1978 45 rpm Single)
18. She's A Dog (1978 45 rpm Single)

This expanded reissue contains material from a two-song single, a recording session from 1974,
a live set from 1975, and the 1978 single "She's A Dog".

Simply Saucer :
Edgar Breau (vocals, guitar, Theremin)
Ping Romany (keyboards)
Kevin Christoff (bass, background vocals)
Neil DeMerchant, Tony Cutaia (drums)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Daevid Allen - Opium For The People (1978) + Alien In New-York (1983)

Both 1978 &1983 mini-albums on 1 disc from Soft Machine and Gong founder Daevid Allen. Includes a version of "Stoned Innocent Frankenstein", "Opium For The People" and four others. Classic psych punk New Wave.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New York Gong

Daevid Allen (vocals, guitar), Bill Laswell (bass), Michael Beinhorn (synthesizer), Fred Maher (drums), Bill Bacon (drums), Cliff Cultreri (guitar) Dennis Weise (synthesizer), Michael Lawrence (guitar), Don E. Davis (saxophone), George Bishop (saxophone), Stu Martin (drums), Mark Kramer (keyboards, trombone), George Cartwright (saxophone), Gary Windo (saxophone)