Friday, 31 October 2008
I'm gonna tell you all what my heart's been a-dyin' to be sayin'.
Just like a ghost,
you've been a-hauntin' my dreams,
So I'll propose... on Halloween.
Love is kinda crazy
with a spooky little girl like you.
Spooky, Spooky, Spooky, Oh-whoa, all right,
I said Spooky!...'
Thursday, 30 October 2008
1. Jesus And I Go To Hell - Old Time Religious Radio
2. Betty Boom, Little Monster, Doogie And Peggie At The Witches Castle - The (Saint Thomas) Pepper Smelter
3. The House Is Haunted - Kay Starr
4. Ghost Face - Valentine Six
5. Bouche Of Ghosts - Vialka
6. Sorrow Evoker - Witchcraft
7. Sequence 2 - Zombi
8. Frankenstein - Edgar Winter Group
9. Helter Skelter - The Beatles
10. The Black Widow - Alice Cooper & Vincent Price
11. Lucifer Sam - Pink Floyd
12. I Won’t Betray You - The Satanic Gowns
13. Monster Cocktail - Les Maledictus Sound
14. The Monster - Evans Carroll
15. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde - The Emersons
16. Do The Devil - Amazing Royal Crowns
17. Haunted House - Jumpin’ Gene Simmons
18. Creeping Terror Dance Hall Twist - Frederic Kopp
19. Mr. Ghost Goes To Town - The John Buzon Trio
20. Bébé Vampire - Lio
The previous 4 compilations are also available here for a couple more days.
Here is the 'Dark Star' from The Empire Pool, Wembley in London on the 8th April 1972.
The first night of the tour had taken place the night before also at Wembley but 'Dark Star' wasn't played.
(This version is taken from the 'Glastonbury Fayre' triple album released in1972.)
Rotterdam 'Dark Star' here.
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Audio of informal interview with Jerry Garcia backstage at The Paramount Theatre, Portland, Oregon on October 2nd 1977.
Topics discussed include his 'Wolf' guitar, the upcoming Dead shows in Egypt and 'out-of-tune' Western music.
WARNING: Everyone is obviously suffering from 'really heavy colds'! (SNIFF!)
teamed up in the 'disco' boom when they attained cult success with Wood, Brass & Steel and with such tracks as 'Push Push In The Bush' from Musique. They first met up with Keith LeBlanc in 1979 on the newly-formed Sugar Hill Records.
They soon became the label´s house band providing backing, both live and on disc, for the ground-breaking Sugar Hill Gang (Rapper's Delight), Grandmaster Flash (The Message) and Melle Mel (White Lines) helping to launch the onslaught of 80's rap. After the demise of Sugar Hill and drawnout
legal wranglings, the three musicians continued to work on various projects. Described by The New York Times as 'one of todays most extraordinary rhythm sections' they included recordings for the Tommy Boy label.
Moving on from the early 80's rap explosion drummer Keith LeBlanc already released some solo work on Tommy Boy Records (Maneuvres, Uh, on the sampler Masters of the Beat); mixing the (now legendary) DMX drumbeats with his own special drumsound. His release 'No Sell Out' featured the cut-up raps of civil rights activist Malcolm X pitched against the infamous DMX drumbeat to acknowledged as the first ever 'sampling record'.
Ahead of the time and timeless. LeBlanc's 'No Sell Out' brought him to the attention of London's dub-master extraordinare and On-U Sound label owner Adrian Sherwood. A foremost producer of reggae in the early 80's Sherwood began to take his dub methodology to the limit creating a unique form-distorted media and environmental collages of 'mind' sounds. Michael Williams (a.k.a. Prince Far I) was the spiritual teacher of Adrian Sherwood's art of dub.
In 1984 while working on a remix of On-U Sound act Akabu's 'Watch Yourself' for Tommy Boy he met Keith LeBlanc. After a productive meeting between Sherwood and LeBlanc, McDonald and Wimbish later joined them in London to begin work on a new project which they christened Fats Comet. LeBlanc's beat, pitched with Sherwood's dub methodology taken it to the limit (and far beyond...) creating unique form distorted media where the heavily distorted sound of McDonald's guitar and Wimbish's funky bass art made things complete.
As LeBlanc sums it up, "We started Fats Comet as a studio experiment. The stuff we considered being 'non-commercial' got stuck on Adrian Sherwood's label and Doug Wimbish came up with the name Tackhead; which is New Jersey slang for homeboy." After releasing a couple of 12", like the vast underground club and science fiction dancehall classics
'Mind at the End of the Tether' and 'What's my Mission Now?' Tackhead already gained a lot of credits and popularity, especially among those who tied up to the industrial virus. An album was inevitable and 'Gary Clail's Tackhead Sound System's Tackhead Tape Time' was bound to be a classic from the very day of its release.
In the meantime, they also found the time to back former Popgroup main man Mark Stewart as The Maffia; a collaboration which resulted in probably some of the most deranged hip-mutant-funk-metal-dub-hop records ever to be made. 'Tackhead in the area!' became the common chant after the 12" 'The Game', which featured TV soccer commentator Brian Moore alongside Jerry & The Pacemakers' 'You'll Never Walk Alone', a legendary Liverpool football evergreen. The band also started touring live, which resulted in the initial release of the live album 'En Concert', quickly withdrawn after release because the band never wanted it to be released.
'Friendly as a Hand Grenade' the band's debut album as Tackhead marked a new direction. They had now been joined by fellow American and ex-Peech Boys vocalist Bernard Fowler, giving a soulful edge to their beats and making them more accessible to a wider audience. Bernard Fowler's introduction to the band came through the Mick Jagger-connection. Jagger is a big Tackhead-fan. Bernard Fowler still is background vocalist with The Rolling Stones.
In 1990, Tackhead released the album 'Strange Things' which, despite some good tracks turned out to be the band's major malfunction! They were dropped by record company EMI and until now we hardly heard anything from Tackhead as a band apart from some 'live' gigs and compilation releases on Blanc Records, Keith LeBlanc's label. The German label Echobeach re-issued 'Strange Thing's in 1999, with additional mixes ass bonus tracks.
But the Tackhead-members have never stopped recording. They have worked together under various names such as Interference, Strange Parcels and of course Skip McDonald's solo
project Little Axe.
Adrian Sherwood is a renowned producer (Primal Scream, Sinead O'Connor, Air, Asian Dub Foundation, to name but a few), and finally released his first solo album in 2003, called
'Never Trust a Hippy?', assisted by the usual suspects.
Keith LeBlanc remixed tracks by The Cure, Nine Inch Nails and Godfathers, delivered many sample cd's and is working 'solo' with the help of the other three Tack>>Heads...
Skip McDonald is concentrating on Little Axe.
Doug Wimbish released his first solo album, 'Trippy Notes for Bass', in 1999, apart from projects such as Jungle Funk and Black Jack Johnson, that involve Living Colour mate Will Calhoun. Wimbish and Calhoun are Head>>Fake and are of course part of the Living Colour reunion.
Besides the previously mentioned activities we should not forget to mention that the Tackhead members played, produced and remixed as guest musicians for high class quality productions: James Brown, Africa Bambaataa, George Clinton, Seal, BB King, Robbie Robertson, Annie Lennox, Mick Jagger, R.E.M., Tina Turner, Charlie Watts, Miles Davis, Bob Marley, Sly & Robbie, Depeche Mode, Bomb The Bass, Robert Palmer, Neneh Cherry, Malcolm McLaren, ABC, Jalal, Madonna, Brooklyn Funk Essentials...
...and then we're not even mentioning the +100 releases and formidable productions by the whole On-U Sound posse; Dub Syndicate, African Head Charge, Gary Clail, Mark Stewart, Bim Sherman, Ghetto Priest, Jesse Rae...!
Full story here.
The Guardian [UK], Tuesday October 28 2008
How was it allowed to happen? How did politics in the US come to be dominated by people who make a virtue out of ignorance? Was it charity that has permitted mankind's closest living relative to spend two terms as president? How did Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle and other such gibbering numbskulls get to where they are? How could Republican rallies in 2008 be drowned out by screaming ignoramuses insisting that Barack Obama was a Muslim and a terrorist?
Like most people on my side of the Atlantic, I have for many years been mystified by American politics. The US has the world's best universities and attracts the world's finest minds. It dominates discoveries in science and medicine. Its wealth and power depend on the application of knowledge. Yet, uniquely among the developed nations (with the possible exception of Australia), learning is a grave political disadvantage.
There have been exceptions over the past century - Franklin Roosevelt, JF Kennedy and Bill Clinton tempered their intellectualism with the common touch and survived - but Adlai Stevenson, Al Gore and John Kerry were successfully tarred by their opponents as members of a cerebral elite (as if this were not a qualification for the presidency). Perhaps the defining moment in the collapse of intelligent politics was Ronald Reagan's response to Jimmy Carter during the 1980 presidential debate. Carter - stumbling a little, using long words - carefully enumerated the benefits of national health insurance. Reagan smiled and said: "There you go again." His own health programme would have appalled most Americans, had he explained it as carefully as Carter had done, but he had found a formula for avoiding tough political issues and making his opponents look like wonks.
It wasn't always like this. The founding fathers of the republic - Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton and others - were among the greatest thinkers of their age. They felt no need to make a secret of it. How did the project they launched degenerate into George W Bush and Sarah Palin?
On one level, this is easy to answer. Ignorant politicians are elected by ignorant people. US education, like the US health system, is notorious for its failures. In the most powerful nation on earth, one adult in five believes the sun revolves round the earth; only 26% accept that evolution takes place by means of natural selection; two-thirds of young adults are unable to find Iraq on a map; two-thirds of US voters cannot name the three branches of government; the maths skills of 15-year-olds in the US are ranked 24th out of the 29 countries of the OECD. But this merely extends the mystery: how did so many US citizens become so stupid, and so suspicious of intelligence? Susan Jacoby's book The Age of American Unreason provides the fullest explanation I have read so far. She shows that the degradation of US politics results from a series of interlocking tragedies.
One theme is both familiar and clear: religion - in particular fundamentalist religion - makes you stupid. The US is the only rich country in which Christian fundamentalism is vast and growing.
Jacoby shows that there was once a certain logic to its anti-rationalism. During the first few decades after the publication of The Origin of Species, for instance, Americans had good reason to reject the theory of natural selection and to treat public intellectuals with suspicion. From the beginning, Darwin's theory was mixed up in the US with the brutal philosophy - now known as social Darwinism - of the British writer Herbert Spencer. Spencer's doctrine, promoted in the popular press with the help of funding from Andrew Carnegie, John D Rockefeller and Thomas Edison, suggested that millionaires stood at the top of a scala natura established by evolution. By preventing unfit people being weeded out, government intervention weakened the nation. Gross economic inequalities were both justifiable and necessary.
Darwinism, in other words, became indistinguishable from the most bestial form of laissez-faire economics. Many Christians responded with revulsion. It is profoundly ironic that the doctrine rejected a century ago by such prominent fundamentalists as William Jennings Bryan is now central to the economic thinking of the Christian right. Modern fundamentalists reject the science of Darwinian evolution and accept the pseudoscience of social Darwinism.
But there were other, more powerful, reasons for the intellectual isolation of the fundamentalists. The US is peculiar in devolving the control of education to local authorities. Teaching in the southern states was dominated by the views of an ignorant aristocracy of planters, and a great educational gulf opened up. "In the south", Jacoby writes, "what can only be described as an intellectual blockade was imposed in order to keep out any ideas that might threaten the social order."
The Southern Baptist Convention, now the biggest denomination in the US, was to slavery and segregation what the Dutch Reformed Church was to apartheid in South Africa. It has done more than any other force to keep the south stupid. In the 1960s it tried to stave off desegregation by establishing a system of private Christian schools and universities. A student can now progress from kindergarten to a higher degree without any exposure to secular teaching. Southern Baptist beliefs pass intact through the public school system as well. A survey by researchers at the University of Texas in 1998 found that one in four of the state's state school biology teachers believed humans and dinosaurs lived on earth at the same time.
This tragedy has been assisted by the American fetishisation of self-education. Though he greatly regretted his lack of formal teaching, Abraham Lincoln's career is repeatedly cited as evidence that good education, provided by the state, is unnecessary: all that is required to succeed is determination and rugged individualism. This might have served people well when genuine self-education movements, like the one built around the Little Blue Books in the first half of the 20th century, were in vogue. In the age of infotainment, it is a recipe for confusion.
Besides fundamentalist religion, perhaps the most potent reason intellectuals struggle in elections is that intellectualism has been equated with subversion. The brief flirtation of some thinkers with communism a long time ago has been used to create an impression in the public mind that all intellectuals are communists. Almost every day men such as Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly rage against the "liberal elites" destroying America.
The spectre of pointy-headed alien subversives was crucial to the election of Reagan and Bush. A genuine intellectual elite - like the neocons (some of them former communists) surrounding Bush - has managed to pitch the political conflict as a battle between ordinary Americans and an over-educated pinko establishment. Any attempt to challenge the ideas of the rightwing elite has been successfully branded as elitism.
Obama has a lot to offer the US, but none of this will stop if he wins. Until the great failures of the US education system are reversed or religious fundamentalism withers, there will be political opportunities for people, like Bush and Palin, who flaunt their ignorance.
14 refers to a 14-word phrase attributed to an imprisoned white supremacist David Lane, who is serving a 190-year jail sentence:
"We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."
H - The eighth letter of the alphabet, ergo 2x "8"s  or "H"s stand for "Heil Hitler."
WASHINGTON — Two white supremacists allegedly plotted to go on a national killing spree, shooting and decapitating black people and ultimately targeting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, federal authorities said Monday.
In all, the two men whom officials described as neo-Nazi skinheads planned to kill 88 people _ 14 by beheading, according to documents unsealed in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Tenn. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.
The spree, which initially targeted an unidentified predominantly African-American school, was to end with the two men driving toward Obama, "shooting at him from the windows," the documents show.
"Both individuals stated they would dress in all-white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt," the court complaint states. "Both individuals further stated they knew they would and were willing to die during this attempt."
An Obama spokeswoman traveling with the senator in Pennsylvania had no immediate comment.
Sheriffs' deputies in Crockett County, Tenn., arrested the two suspects _ Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman 18, of Helena-West Helena, Ark. _ Oct. 22 on unspecified charges. "Once we arrested the defendants and suspected they had violated federal law, we immediately contacted federal authorities," said Crockett County Sheriff Troy Klyce.
The two were charged by federal authorities Monday with possessing an unregistered firearm, conspiring to steal firearms from a federally licensed gun dealer, and threatening a candidate for president.
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Obama urges fight to the end in final week
Democrat Barack Obama entered the final seven days of the dramatic presidential campaign exhorting supporters to fight to the end to defeat Republican John McCain and remake the nation.
The White House rivals were to hold competing rallies Tuesday in the rust-belt state of Pennsylvania before splitting, with McCain fighting a rearguard action in North Carolina and Obama on the attack in Virginia .
Despite holding a robust poll lead nationally and in battleground states, Obama, 47, warned against complacency as he prepared to air a costly 30-minute "infomercial" on major US networks Wednesday evening.
"Don't believe for a second this election is over," the Illinois senator bidding to be America's first black president said Monday in Pittsburgh, whose withered steelworks are symptomatic of Pennsylvania's industrial blight.
"And Pittsburgh, that's why we cannot afford to slow down, or sit back, or let up for one day, one minute, or one second in this final week," he told 15,800 supporters in the cavernous arena of the Penguins ice hockey team.
"In one week, you can choose hope over fear, unity over division, the promise of change over the power of the status quo," Obama said, his oratory returning to its early campaign heights as the electrifying race climaxes.
"We can't let up. Not now. Not when so much is at stake," he added in what aides called his "closing argument" to voters.
For McCain , Pennsylvania and its swollen ranks of disaffected, white, working-class voters is must-win territory on November 4, along with historically Republican bastions such as North Carolina and Virginia.
The Arizona senator, 72, vied to reignite fears of "socialism" by citing a 2001 radio interview given by Obama where he appeared to lament the failure of the 1960s civil rights movement to bring about greater financial equality.
"That is what change means for Barack the Redistributor: It means taking your money and giving it to someone else," he told a crowd of around 2,000 at a sports hall in Dayton, Ohio.
In Cleveland earlier, McCain said: "Today he claims he'll tax the rich; but we've seen in the past that he's been willing to hit people squarely in the middle class."
Obama's camp responded swiftly, rejecting McCain's comment over wealth redistribution as a "false, desperate attack," as the candidate tarred the Republican with the taint of President George W. Bush's economic policies.
"I can take one more week of John McCain's attacks, but this country can't take four more years of the same old politics and the same failed policies. It's time for something new," Obama said both in Ohio and Pennsylvania Monday.
The challenge facing McCain was underlined by his choice this late in the game to head to North Carolina, which has not voted for a Democratic White House hopeful since 1976 but is now a raging battleground.
Virginia is an even deeper shade of Republican "red," having last backed a Democrat for the presidency way back in 1964. But Obama has a double-digit poll lead there, and is hoping the forecasts could portend a landslide in his favor.
The Republican was to address an evening rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, home of the vast Fort Bragg army base, as the former Vietnam prisoner of war hammers Obama as unfit to serve as commander-in-chief.
"I have fought for you most of my life, and in places where defeat meant more than returning to the Senate," McCain said in Dayton.
"There are other ways to love this country, but I've never been the kind to back down when the stakes are high."
Obama, vowing to pull US forces out of Iraq and expand the Afghan theater, has been going toe to toe on national security with McCain -- but is driving the economy as the defining issue of this historic election.
Obama's campaign meanwhile refused to comment on news that two white supremacists had been arrested for threatening to assassinate the Democrat during a "killing spree" of more than 100 African-Americans.
Daniel Cowart, 20, and Paul Schlesselman, 18, were arrested Wednesday in Tennessee for possession of firearms, threats against a presidential candidate and conspiring to rob a gun store, federal officials said Monday.
The two men planned to kill some 88 people and decapitate 14 African-Americans, before in a final act assassinating Obama, court documents revealed Monday.
The men began " discussing going on a 'killing spree' that included killing 88 people and beheading 14 African Americans," Brian Weaks, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told a Memphis court Monday.
Greg Sargent- October 27, 2008, TPM
Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.
Nina Williams, a stay-at-home mom in Lake County, Indiana, tells us that her daughter recently called her from her job at the center, upset that she had been asked to read a script attacking Obama for being "dangerously weak on crime," "coddling criminals," and for voting against "protecting children from danger."
Williams' daughter told her that up to 40 of her co-workers had refused to read the script, and had left the call center after supervisors told them that they would have to either read the call or leave, Williams says. The call center is called Americall, and it's located in Hobart, IN.
"They walked out," Williams says of her daughter and her co-workers, adding that they weren't fired but willingly sacrificed pay rather than read the lines. "They were told [by supervisors], `If you all leave, you're not gonna get paid for the rest of the day."
The daughter, who wanted her name withheld fearing retribution from her employer, confirmed the story to us. "It was like at least 40 people," the daughter said. "People thought the script was nasty and they didn't wanna read it."
A second worker at the call center confirmed the episode, saying that "at least 30" workers had walked out after refusing to read the script.
"We were asked to read something saying [Obama and Democrats] were against protecting children from danger," this worker said. "I wouldn't do it. A lot of people left. They thought it was disgusting."
This worker, too, confirmed sacrificing pay to walk out, saying her supervisor told her: "If you don't wanna phone it you can just go home for the day."
The script coincided with this robo-slime call running in other states, but because robocalling is illegal in Indiana it was being read by call center workers.
Representatives at Americall in Indiana, and at the company's corporate headquarters in Naperville, Illinois, didn't return calls for comment.
Monday, 27 October 2008
Sarah Palin had a few memorable moments during her campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday. But the most eye-opening of them all came, it would appear, when the Alaska Governor somehow drew a connection between Barack Obama's tax policy and an encroaching, nightmarish, communist government. The Illinois Democrat, she hysterically suggested, would, through his proposals, create a country "where the people are not free."
"See, under a big government, more tax agenda, what you thought was yours would really start belonging to somebody else, to everybody else. If you thought your income, your property, your inventory, your investments were, were yours, they would really collectively belong to everybody. Obama, Barack Obama has an ideological commitment to higher taxes, and I say this based on his record... Higher taxes, more government, misusing the power to tax leads to government moving into the role of some believing that government then has to take care of us. And government kind of moving into the role as the other half of our family, making decisions for us. Now, they do this in other countries where the people are not free. Let us fight for what is right. John McCain and I, we will put our trust in you."
That yarn goes well beyond what Palin and McCain have, to this point, been comfortable asserting: mainly that Obama is proposing economic socialism. But there are a few things to keep in mind here: the McCain-Palin ticket does not oppose a progressive tax system. In fact, back in 2000, the Arizona Republican said rich people paid more in taxes because they could afford to do so.
"I think the first people who deserve a tax cut are working Americans with children that need to educate their children," he said, "and they're the ones that I would support tax cuts for first."
More importantly, Obama's tax plans are less progressive than those in place during the Clinton years. In fact, the rates that people making over $250,000 would have to pay would be the same as during the 1990s -- a time definitely not marked by the absence of freedoms.
Sunday, 26 October 2008
Hurtling downhill fast, with no headlights working.
Tom Waits fading in and out on the AM station.
With Sam Shepard driving.
That is the sound of Mark Ribot's guitar.)
John Zorn and his post Ayler skronk aided and abetted on this occasion by Lou Reed on primal power chords and feedback and Laurie Anderson on violin and electronics.
A benefit for Zorn's not-for-profit experimental arts space 'The Stone'.
(This one's for you Travis.)
Saturday, 25 October 2008
Friday, 24 October 2008
Here are 'The Kid With The Replaceable Head' and 'I'm your Man' by Richard Hell & the Voidoids as produced by Nick Lowe and released on Radar Records in 1979.
If anyone has a copy of the piece Richard Hell wrote on David Johansen for Lisa Robinson's 'Hit Parader' back in 1975/6 could they please get in touch with me.
It is almost Hell's manifesto about giving not 100 or 200% to rock'n'roll but 400%!
It was not reprinted in 'Hot & Cold'.
Thursday, 23 October 2008
When I was out today I saw a couple of etchings by Marise Maas for sale.
I knew Marise many years ago when she worked in a pub in Fitzroy.
When she went back to The Netherlands for a while I promised that I would write to her and I was happy subsequently to receive a postcard with her address in Haarlem on it.
So happy that I put it up on my window and the sun promptly faded all of the writing (including the address).
Marise had used a felt tip pen and there wasn't even an indentation that I could decipher.
She probably thinks that I was so rude for not keeping in touch after I promised that I would.
(NB: Image below is bad fake/copy of Rowan's original design.)
Spent the entire journey trying to get him to say "Keef".
Went and bought a ticket for Spiritualized.
We were both happy.
That made me even happier.
Now for the 'kulchur'.
We should have seen these.
We were sad.
We went for croissants.
We were happy again.
Simone Maynard has an exhibition opening tomorrow in Brooklyn NY.
Spiritualized live at The Prince of Wales, Melbourne 16th March 2004.
(6 song 3JJJ broadcast) here.
Audience recording of full gig here.