Thursday, 28 June 2012

Valediction - The Best Till Last

Five years ago, when I first began Rocket Remnants, music blogging was cool.
Now it's really in the hands of those posting new releases.
The retro blogger, whether of shows, deleted albums or general rarities, well, they're all gone now: "blog no longer exists"; words all read up; links long dead.

I joined in thinking I had something to add; it looked like fun.
I was also about to digitize much of my own collection, the leap from ripping to sharing was short, so as long as it wasn't widely available I'd put it on here, adding a word or two.

That process has now come to an end, as does this blog.
So I'll finish with what has to be one of the greatest albums of all time, ripped from a cassette that has accompanied me for the majority of my life.

For many, Trout Mask Replica is the one; the best; the magnum opus of Beefheart's oeuvre; perhaps of alternative music!
But I think Decals is better.

From the immediate attention grabbing opening gallop, you know you're in for one hell of a ride; and once that slurring, booze soaked vocal kicks in, well, you're soon convinced the driver is one hell of a crazy motherfucker, and he could be leading us anywhere! Everywhere!
And he does.
From Mississippi to Ornette Coleman, from Boogie Woogie to classical pastiche, from the heartfelt to the truly absurd.
This is one hell of a journey!
And what! Never released on CD?
Good.
Proving that Lick My Decals Off, Baby is the most anti-bourgeois album ever released.

The musicianship throughout Decals is simply phenomenal; mainly co-written with guitarist Zoot Horn Rollo, many of the snazzy syncopations absent of conventional notation leave you breathless; they just sound so hard to play.
(Well worthy of becoming "The Magic Band", no longer "His".)

The mania is suitably juxtaposed with moments of calm, brief understated instrumentals, segueing into discordant beauty: Ed Marimba's marimbas, Drumbo's drums and Rockette Morton's impossible bass adding obliquely to the fabulous, unique melee.

There isn't a better album in which to bring this to an end.

BANG!

Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Lick My Decals Off, Baby (1973)

Lick My Decals, Baby
Doctor Dark
I Love You, You Big Dummy
Peon
Bellerin' Plain
Woe-Is-Uh-Me-Bop
Japan in a Dishpan
I Wanna Find Me a Woman That'll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have to Go
Petrified Forest
One Rose that I Mean
The Buggy Boogie Woogie
The Smithsonian Institute Blues (or The Big Dig)
Space Age Couple
The Clouds are Full of Wine (Not Whiskey or Rye)
Flash Gordon's Ape

Excellent cassette rip @320kbs
Lick away here

Shanti

video

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Crack'd

A divisive piece this for my penultimate post.
It has been known to raise conflict; not the best choice to play at a dinner party with your in-laws. Apparently.

Yep, you either love it or you hate it; give it love or give it disdain: it has no desire to be tolerated.
Personally I think it's a gas; just the kind of audacious noise you'd expect from people who like this:

Better than The White Stripes, better than The Ting Tings, better than the Kills; here was a mixed gender duo who really should have gained more attention; this still has the power to surprise and thrill.
(Never heard 'Crack Attack'? You're in for a treat!)

Big Stick - Crack 'N' Drag (1988)

Crack Attack
Crack Attack (Remix)
Billy Jack Paddy Wack
I'm Amazed
Friends & Cars
Shoot the President
Drag Racing
I Look Like Shit
Hell on Earth
Jesus Was Born (on an Indian Reservation)

Decent vinyl rip @320kbs
Get Sticky here

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Sound Bites

Simon Boswell said of his score for the movie Hardware: 'It's as if a Celtic Ry Cooder on acid had discovered God and decided to write opera'; and for the climax: 'I visualized a scene in heaven, with Jimi Hendrix, Stravinsky, and the Moscow State Choir all jamming in a small room'.
Which sums it up quite well really.

Add a track from PIL, one from Ministry, a slice of Rossini's Stabat Mater, some nifty sampled dialogue from Lemmy and Iggy Pop, and you end up with a soundtrack album that has withstood the test of time far more ably than its progenitor.

Simon Boswell & Others - Hardware Soundtrack (1990)

No Flesh Shall Be Spared
Good Morning Amerika (with Iggy Pop)
The Order of Death - PIL
Reno's Reindeer Steaks
Alligator Heart
Everything is Under Control
Mark 13
Jill Burning
A Message From Our Sponsors
A Piece of pipe - Kadula Massi (with Lemmy)
Stigmata - Ministry
It's Horrible, I Love it ,What is it?
Cockroach Tea
Crucifixion
Hardware
Stabat Mater - London Symphony Orchestra

All tracks performed by Simon Boswell unless mentioned otherwise.

Excellent cassette rip @320kbs
Gain Hardware here

Sunday, 17 June 2012

pH 1

Long, long ago, before Love, Hate or Everyday Chemistry, an ambitious DJ named Nasty Little Dog decided to remix The Magical Mystery Tour, thus becoming the Granddaddy of much Beatles' bricolage that followed in its wake.

In terms of nowadays technology this is simple fare - think Transglobal Underground, Loop Guru, et al - and to be honest takes a while to get going (the first two tracks are a little laboured), but once true psychedelia hits the palette the beats ebb and flow in a most curious fashion. 'Walrus' and 'Flying' are particularly gratifying: pleasantly mind-bending, and may even encourage a little shuffle.

But really this is more ya chillax; your IDM; beats for those who take their dance music cross legged.
And to gratify those whose minds like to wander there's some well chosen quirky samples: spoken word and beyond.

Added to the remixes is a small gathering of "Bonus Tracks": a strange piece of anti-acid prop in a country and western stylee; a curiously recorded version of 'I'm Only Sleeping' ("early acetate"); a bizarre, lysergic soaked piece credited to George Harrison entitled 'Pink Litmus Shirt' [can't believe "Mike Love" had anything to do with it...]; and ends with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore singing their paean to acid 'The L.S. Bumble Bee', which is alone well worth the download if you've never heard it!

Odd job!

Excellent cassette rip @320kbs
Tune in here

Friday, 15 June 2012

Koo Koo Ka Choo-Uh

Unofficial gathering of B sides, 2's and 3's, live tracks and rarities; providing Beatle tropes from Slade-like blokes, iffy rhymes and the odd surprise.

Highlights: live 'I am the Walrus', with adopted sneer - could have been written for Liam; he really believes it, man - cracking version of 'Columbia'; live 'Supersonic': super, sonic; Innes inspired 'Whatever' - rarely heard now ("I'm not giving that cunt anymore money" [sic]) - anthemic 'Cloudburst' with Boneheaded power chords; out and out boogie in a live 'Swamp Song'; Weller assisted 'Come Together'; and the best of all: '(It's so good) to be Free', justifying all the fuss.

Bangin!

Oasis - Flip Sides 1

Take Me Away
I Will Believe
Columbia
D'yer Wanna be a Spaceman
Alive
Bring it on Down
Up in the Sky
Cloudburst
Supersonic
I am the Walrus
Listen Up
Fade Away
Whatever
(It's so Good) to be Free
Half the World Away

Excellent rip from cassette @320kbs
Smash


Oasis - Flip Sides 2

Talk Tonight
Acquiesce
Headshrinker
Some Might Say
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
It's Better People
Rockin Chair
Live Forever
Round Are way
The Swamp Song
The Masterplan
Talk Tonight
Fade Away
Come Together
Married With Children
Morning Glory

Excellent rip from cassette @320kbs
Grab

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Radio Dada

John Shuttleworth - aka Graham Fellows (aka Jilted John ('Gordon is a Moron'), aka Brian Appleton (Musicologist)) - is Fellows' absolute masterpiece.
A totally credible character whose subtlety is truly sublime.

A middle-aged, working class, Sheffield residing, Ambassador driving, family man, John also happens to be a musical artiste (clubs, hospices, old folks' homes - have Yamaha keyboard will travel).

Radio Shuttleworth
, a post modern radio show about the making of a radio show, allows John to reveal his pataphysical reality; one inhabited by everyday grotesques such as Mary (wife), Ken Worthington (neighbour and sole agent), Joan Chitty (gravel-voiced family friend) and Katrina (drop in guest and Radio 2 DJ).

Despite the programme's wonderful incongruity, the cheesiest of faux jingles are dropped in, and regular features emerge from all the apparent verisimilitude.

And it's one of those regular features that makes this edition really stand out.
Ken Worthington - John's sole agent - is always on the look out for jobbing acts to add to his stable.
Impress an Impresario is a kind of mini X Factor - mini, as there's only one competitor attempting to impress, and there's only one judge: Ken.
The competitor in this instance happened to be Robert Wyatt, who solidly acts himself and performs very twisted versions of 'Soup Song' and 'Signed Curtain' (you know, the one that goes "This is the first verse" etc.).

John finds it all a bit much; Ken has his mind totally blown, no longer endorsing the wild excesses of the 60s, swearing to change his ways (he is a devil for the Malibu); and Robert leaves laughing.

Very English.
Brilliantly funny.

Graham Fellows - Radio Shuttleworth (2000)

All voices supplied by Fellows except those of Katrina and Robert Wyatt who provide their own.

DVD captured radio broadcast @320kbs (30 mins)
Grab an earful here

Monday, 11 June 2012

Resurrection 3

Sorry for the prolonged atrophy occurring here - the complete opposite of what I intended - but it limps on; totally fucked but not dead yet, as they say.

Out of the whiff of decay comes the last batch of revived, Lazarus-like links: fulfilling requests, righting some wrongs and generally adding colour.

So this time we start with some live Bach flavoured jazz with Jacques Loussier and his nifty Trio; diversity abound as next up is my favourite Sabbaff boot Megalomaniac Architect. Where the reason Ozzy is who he is can be found - just in case you were wondering....
There's also the greatest recording from a band you've never heard of, the magical Softwood Music: Under Slow Pillars, by one of Finland's best kept secrets: Sielun Veljet.
The best of the bunch of solo Butthole Surfers' projects, Paul Leary's marvellous The History of Dogs; as well as a couple of essential recordings from Silverfish: the Total Fucking Asshole and Fuckin' Drivin' or What e,p.s.
Or how about some blaxploitation inspired funky incidental music? As well as some of the best hard boiled dialogue ever to come out of British television. All captured on The Sweeney soundtrack album: Shut It! The Music of The Sweeney. Guv-nuh!
Whilst on the beat, why not move towards The Infinite Beat, with what has to be Psychic TV's most accessible recording, Towards Thee Infinite Beat.
And whilst wearing your best dancing plimsolls, carry on skanking with one of the Island's best with the almost forgotten Ini Kamoze album Statement. Criminal!
Some good old rock n roll from Country Joe McDonald [!] and his far out Rock and Roll Music From Planet Earth.
Live Pronk, from the Pronk Masters, Cardiacs, and their live album, unimaginatively titled Cardiacs Live - but don't be put off; they saved all their creativity for the music.
And finally, most appropriately, a very cool late seventies' set from ex-Airplane and Hot Tuna guitar hero Jorma Kaukonen. Essential.

So, if you missed any of those first time around; or you need to check out something new, grab 'em while you can.
As for this blog and its desperate throes; I'll keep it ventilated for a couple more weeks; enough time to cram in a few palliative posts to ease the pain, but the end is inevitable.
Act accordingly.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Weensday

So Gener's decided after twenty-five years to call it a day.
Ween is no more.

(Why does everything have to die, Mummy?
If things don't die albums such as La Cucaracha get released.)

Okay, it's hard to maintain true greatness for a quarter of a century.
Yeah, it was inevitable, really.

Perhaps the last half decent studio album Ween produced was White Pepper. True, it's hardly God Ween Satan and not a patch on The Pod, but it did rouse interest.

This collection of demos offers an alternative listen to White Pepper, and mainly due to the live feel and heavier sound, achieves what could be a more satisfying listen (the absence of 'Bananas and Blow' only endorses that).

'The Grobe' never sounded so mean; and with the clarity of the vocal, so bizarre!
If I had any clout or influence, which I most certainly do not, 'The Grobe' should be promoted to every number one slot around the planet, as a true act in memoriam.

And if 'Back to Basom' fails to move - you got no soul!
Let it wash...!

Ween - The White Pepper Demos (1997)

Stay Forever
Even If You Don't
The Grobe
Stoker Ace
She Caught My Fancy
Pandy Fackler
She's Your Baby
Falling Out
Ice Castles
Back to Basom

CD rip
Gain Peppery goodness here

But if it's a more representative product of the older sounding Ween you crave, this captured Internet performance may well be right up your alley.

A request show broadcast on the web in 2003; Ween have a ball, making for a most entertaining and enthralling experience.

Not only are some of their greatest songs exquisitely executed, but the listener gets the chance to hear a full battalion of Stallions, as all five versions (yes, five!) are trotted out and paraded in all their splendour.

Imperative; Ween fan or not (as if...).

Ween - All Request Live (2003)

Happy Coloured Marbles
The Stallion Part 1
The Stallion Part 2
The Stallion Part 3
The Stallion Part 4
The Stallion Part 5
Demon Sweat
Cover It With Gas and Set It On Fire
Awesome Sound
Cold blows the Wind
Pollo Asado
Reggaejunkiejew
Tried and True
Mononucleosis
Stay Forever
Where'd the Cheese Go?

CD rip
Locate the cheese here

Other Ween goodies still live and kicking are Axis Bold as Boognish, their first proper release (cassette only) from back in 87; live recordings from 91 & 92 captured At The Cat's Cradle and beyond; Ween's Peel Sessions from 92 & 93; their lost 1999 album Craters of the Sac, Deaner's delight; and the tastefully recorded Chicago Concerts from 2003.

Something Brown for everybody. Check 'em out.