Wednesday, 30 September 2009

My party mix

In 10 hours "Exile' turns 1!!!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Happy Birthday to me...
you 'infro-med' (sic)
since 2008

Girlz With Gunz # 82 (Back to the beginning!)

One of Australia's best-known young female artists, Hazel Dooney posed for a series of study photographs in the desert near Lake Eyre, Australia, in 2001 The photographs were later be used to create a series of large, high gloss enamel paintings that were exhibited around the country, a year later. The works can be seen here and the study photos here.

This is where it all began exactly one year ago today!
Quickly followed by this.

(So you can see that Ms Dooney and I go way back LOL!)

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

New band (and song) for Thom Yorke

Thom Yorke Starts New Band With Flea From Red Hot Chili Peppers

The steady flow of recent Thom Yorke news continues with an exciting new development. Yorke has posted on Radiohead's blog that he has started a new band to perform his solo material. The band (pictured above) consists of himself, Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Beck/R.E.M. drummer Joey Waronker, percussionist/multi-instrumentalist Mauro Refosco, and... Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea. Yes, Flea.

Two shows have been scheduled for the as-yet-unnamed band: October 4 and 5 at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. Thom writes, "the set will not be very long cuz ..well ...we haven't got that much material yet!"

The only question is: will Flea keep his shirt on?
Get the full info here.


He has also contributed a cover of Marc Mulcahy's 'All For The Best' for the album 'Ciao My Shining star' which also includes Mercury Rev, Dinosaur Jr, The National and Michael Stipe amongst others covering songs written by Mulcahy.The proceeds from the album are to help him bring up his twin daughters following the sudden tragic death of his wife, Melissa, in 2008.

Bad Lieutenant - Sink Or Swim

Fela Live! (1971)

Rare early footage (shot by Ginger Baker) featuring Fela & Afrika 70 performing in the rainy southeastern town of Calabar, shortly after the the Nigerian civil war.
Simply astonishing!
(Thanx Don)

Spanish imprint Vampi Soul has reissued three new Afrobeat and Highlife music collections, available in the U.S. through Light in the Attic distribution. These three releases add to the label’s growing catalog of Latin, African, and South American classic soul, rock, and psychedelic pop titles.

Their first offering is a stunner: Fela Kuti’s Lagos Baby: 1963 – 1969, issued as both a double-CD or three-LP set, plus a bonus 10” single. The collection features early recordings by Fela Ransome-Kuti and the Koola Lobitos (his band before he formed Egypt 70) that blend Highlife, jazz, soul, and other influences to form the sound he later popularized as Afrobeat. These recordings are licensed from The Fela Kuti Estate and Premier Records, with liner notes by African specialist Max Reinhardt and artwork by Victor Aparicio. The bonus vinyl 10" captures Fela’s "Afro Beat On Stage, recorded Live at the Afro Spot" performance, with original artwork and liner notes.

Vampi Soul’s Highlife Time! collection recounts the formation of West Africa’s signature jazz-pop dance music during an era of rapid post-colonial change. The hybrid style is as celebratory as the historical time itself, featuring rollicking guitars, blazing horns, and intricate vocal harmonies. The two-disc or three-LP set features Highlife legends like Accra, Roy Chicago, Rex Lawson, and Dr. Victor Olaiya. If Fela’s Afrobeat is all you know about West African music, this is a natural next step. To quote the Vampi Soul crew: “Highlife became the soundtrack for a [continent] freeing itself from the shackles of an empire.”

The third Vampi Soul reissue, Afrobeat Nirvana, is a collection of late '50s to late '80s West African sounds, featuring established names like Tony Allen, Orlando Julius, and Fela himself, as well as more obscure West African musicians like Fred Fisher and Opotopo.

Spanish imprint Vampi Soul has also reissued three new Afrobeat and Highlife music collections, available in the U.S. through Light in the Attic distribution. These three releases add to the label’s growing catalog of Latin, African, and South American classic soul, rock, and psychedelic pop titles.

Their first offering is a stunner: Fela Kuti’s Lagos Baby: 1963 – 1969, issued as both a double-CD or three-LP set, plus a bonus 10” single. The collection features early recordings by Fela Ransome-Kuti and the Koola Lobitos (his band before he formed Egypt 70) that blend Highlife, jazz, soul, and other influences to form the sound he later popularized as Afrobeat. These recordings are licensed from The Fela Kuti Estate and Premier Records, with liner notes by African specialist Max Reinhardt and artwork by Victor Aparicio. The bonus vinyl 10" captures Fela’s "Afro Beat On Stage, recorded Live at the Afro Spot" performance, with original artwork and liner notes.

Vampi Soul’s Highlife Time! collection recounts the formation of West Africa’s signature jazz-pop dance music during an era of rapid post-colonial change. The hybrid style is as celebratory as the historical time itself, featuring rollicking guitars, blazing horns, and intricate vocal harmonies. The two-disc or three-LP set features Highlife legends like Accra, Roy Chicago, Rex Lawson, and Dr. Victor Olaiya. If Fela’s Afrobeat is all you know about West African music, this is a natural next step. To quote the Vampi Soul crew: “Highlife became the soundtrack for a [continent] freeing itself from the shackles of an empire.”

The third Vampi Soul reissue, Afrobeat Nirvana, is a collection of late '50s to late '80s West African sounds, featuring established names like Tony Allen, Orlando Julius, and Fela himself, as well as more obscure West African musicians like Fred Fisher and Opotopo.

Just under an hour of Fela in concert!



Levan Mindiashvil can also be found at 'Yo=Otro'

Levan Mindiashvili

Spank!!! # 14 (eh?)

Smoking # 34

"I don't know it must have been the roses..."

Richard Hell

Oscar Rodriguez Lopez


Roses certainly seem to be in bloom in the record label design world at the moment it would appear.

Album review of the year

There is a sense in which fans of Ian Brown are the Bilderberg Group of rock. They are a large, shadowy organisation. No one outside their mysterious ranks really understands their actions or motives, but it’s clear they wield considerable influence: enough at least to keep the former Stone Roses frontman thriving in the music business. His career has survived incarceration, accusations of homophobia and the oft-mentioned but incontrovertible fact that, away from the dulcifying technologies of the recording studio, his voice sounds less like something you’d actually pay money to listen to than something you’d deploy to stop ships crashing into Lizard Point in poor visibility.

On several occasions over the last decade, the present writer has attempted to go undercover, infiltrating their meetings at the Brixton Academy and the Southampton Guildhall, observing their participation in baffling occult rituals, including cheering wildly as Brown sets about a Stone Roses classic with the blunt instrument of his larynx, leaving She Bangs the Drums or I Wanna Be Adored lying insensible in intensive care, with a doctor by its bedside sadly shaking his head and offering grief counselling to its relatives. They appear to be having the time of their lives, but if you are not of their number, you reel away from an Ian Brown gig as you would from an unprovoked assault in a Yates’s Wine Lodge: shaken, confused, unable to work out what possessed you to go in there in the first place.

So perhaps the answer to his appeal lies in his albums, of which My Way – his sixth – is a pretty representative example. While in the Stone Roses, Ian Brown wrote – or at least co-wrote – songs of a swaggering perfection. After the Stone Roses split, he started writing songs like a man who’d never actually heard a song before: My Star, Dolphins Were Monkeys. It’s hard not think something was lost, but a certain naive charm was difficult to dispute. So it proves here. Opening track Stellify sets out his current musical stall, which is nothing if not idiosyncratic: an odd mid-tempo house thud, topped off with electronics and jangling pub piano. The melody ambles along, weirdly recalling the Grange Hill theme, before a vast horn section crashes into view as unexpectedly as a flying cartoon sausage on a fork. It’s a peculiar sonic cocktail on which to base an album, although the most peculiar thing about it might be that it works: on the ebullient Just Like You and the gorgeous lope of Laugh Now.

Elsewhere, there’s a song called Own Brain. As its lyrics helpfully point out, this is an anagram of Ian Brown. You somehow imagine it came about after agonised writing sessions in which he churned out songs called things like Wino Barn and I Warn Nob, but there’s something weirdly gripping about the resulting breakbeat clatter.

Not all of his idiosyncracies are as charming. He wastes the album’s loveliest melody on Always Remember Me, another unedifying comparison of his fortunes with those of John Squire: there’s something about Brown’s endless harping on this topic that recalls the guy who spends the evening loudly informing friends that his ex means nothing to him, then goes home and cries in a candlelit room wallpapered with her pictures. We once more encounter his unique brand of protest song, on which Brown expresses an utterly inarguable point in such a clumsily hectoring way that you immediately feel impelled to start arguing with it: “Save us from warmongers who bring on Armageddon! Save us from all those whose eyes are closed to the plight of the African child!” he bellowed on 2007’s The World Is Yours, causing at least one listener to frantically try to formulate a case in favour of warmongers who bring on Armageddon. This time, it’s a gloomily portentous song called The Crowning of the Poor, which socks it to “zillionaires” and leaves you fighting the urge to demand City bonuses be increased a hundredfold with immediate effect.

It ends with So High, a pastiche of classic southern soul. Given that southern soul is entirely predicated on the singers’ ability to convey raw emotion through the incredible power of their voice, you might reasonably assume that it’s a genre slightly out of Brown’s reach, even if he had the most powerful dulcifying studio technologies known to man at his disposal. But reasonable assumptions count for nothing in the world of Ian Brown: he just ploughs through it, with the reckless abandon of a man piloting a battered Datsun in a banger race. As with the rest of My Way, highlights and lowlights alike, you listen to it struggling to think of anyone else who would do this. And perhaps that’s the secret of the most mysterious continuing success story in rock.

@'The Guardian'

Wave Machines - Go/Go/Go

New AIR album...

You can listen to 'Love 2' online for approx the next 24 hours by going

Bonus: Audio
How Does It Make You Feel? (Adrian Sherwood Remix)

Monday, 28 September 2009

Alas poor Jude: "I knew her how well...?"

I would guess
not a particularly
happy chappy at the mo...

Not so Naked Lunch

Kim Gordon, Michael Stipe & William S. Burroughs
Via 'This isn't happiness'

Hosh Roshana שנה טובה

A shofar made from a ram's horn

In the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, there is a ceremony called Tashlich. Jews traditionally go to the ocean or a stream or river to pray and throw bread crumbs into the water.
Symbolically, the fish devour their sins.
Occasionally, people ask what kind of bread crumbs should be thrown. Here are suggestions for breads which may be mostappropriate for specific sins and misbehaviors:

For ordinary sins
White Bread

For erotic sins
French Bread

For particularly dark sins

For complex sins

For twisted sins

For tasteless sins
Rice Cakes

For sins of indecision

For sins committed in haste

For sins of chutzpah
Fresh Bread

For substance abuse
Stoned Wheat

For use of heavy drugs
Poppy Seed

For petty larceny

For committing auto theft

For timidity/cowardice
Milk Toast

For ill-temperedness

For silliness, eccentricity
Nut Bread

For not giving full value

For jingoism, chauvinism
Yankee Doodles

For excessive irony
Rye Bread

For unnecessary chances
Hero Bread

For telling bad jokes/puns
Corn Bread

For war-mongering
Kaiser Rolls

For dressing immodestly

For causing injury to others

For lechery and promiscuity
Hot Buns

For promiscuity with gentiles
Hot Cross Buns

For racist attitudes

For sophisticated racism
Ritz Crackers

For being holier than thou

For abrasiveness

For dropping in without notice

For over-eating

For impetuosity
Quick Bread

For indecent photography

For raising your voice too often

For pride and egotism
Puff Pastry

For sycophancy, ass-kissing

For being overly smothering
Angel Food Cake

For laziness
Any long loaf

For trashing the environment

(Thanx to RobbieM
Superstar R.J. Lemon
from the "krewe du jieux, New Orleans" ~ Happy New Year to you all!)

Moritz von Oswald Trio @ Bimhuis Amsterdam 23062008

Featuring Moritz von Oswald with Max Louderbauer and Sasu Ripatti (Vladislav Delay).

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Evolution - Burning Man 2009 Time Lapse

From Red to black in seconds (last week in Australia) "Oh my gosh" & "Holy shit" indeed

“The future influences the present just as much as the past.” - Friedrich Nietzsch

Tack>>Head - In The Area 2008

Doug Wimbish (bass), Keith Leblanc (drums), and Skip "Little Axe" McDonald (guitar) at Sully's Pub & Tiki Bar in Hartford, Connecticut. WIMBASH 2008 (August 9, 2008)
Sharehead, soon come.

Glenn Beck: High as a kite

"Beck was known at B104 as a pro's pro in the studio but was becoming increasingly unraveled when not working. "Beck used to get hammered after every show at this little bar-café down the street," remembers a music programmer who worked with Beck. "At first we thought he was going to get lunch." The extent to which Beck was struggling to keep it together is highlighted by Beck's arrest one afternoon just outside Baltimore. He was speeding in his DeLorean with one of the car's gull-wing doors wide open when the cops pulled him over. According to a former colleague, Beck was "completely out of it" when a B104 manager went down to the station to bail him out. In his 2003 book, "Real America," Beck refers to himself as a borderline schizophrenic. Whether that statement is matter-of-fact or intended for effect, he has spoken more than once about taking drugs for ADHD, and when he was at B104, Beck's coworkers believed him to be taking prescription medication for some kind of mental or psychological ills. "He used to complain that his medication made him feel like he was 'under wet blankets,'" remembers the former music programmer.

Today, when Beck wants to illustrate the jerk he used to be, he tells the story of the time he fired an employee for bringing him the wrong pen during a promotional event. According to former colleagues in Baltimore, Beck didn't just fire people in fits of rage -- he fired them slowly and publicly. "He used to take people to a bar and sit them down and just humiliate them in public. He was a sadist, the kind of guy who rips wings off of flies," remembers a colleague."

Excerpt from Alexander Zaitchik's three part mini-biography at
Via 'Daily Kos'

PS~ What is "White Culture" Glenn?

Sunday Mix - Dave Twomey: Mariana Mix

Go HERE for tracklist and to download.

Back in the real world

Meanwhile 'enduring America' has a good wrap up of the rumours flowing in and around Iran today.

1730 GMT: Today’s “Velvet Revolution” Showcase. It comes courtesy of the Supreme Leader’s Advisor For Military Affairs, Major General Seyed Yahiya Rahim Safavi, who said on Saturday, “The (enemies’) soft war is aimed at changing the (Iranian nation’s) culture, views, values, national beliefs and belief in values. Soft warfare is a complicated type of political, cultural, information operations launched by the world powers to create favorable changes in the target countries.”

1715 GMT: The Wall Street Journal, snarling for a confrontation with Iran, inadvertently exposes the weakness in the dramatic presentation of the second enrichment facility: “Let’s also not forget the boost Iran got in late 2007, when a U.S. national intelligence estimate concluded that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and kept it frozen. The U.S. spy agencies reached this dubious conclusion while apparently knowing about the site near Qom.”

Probably for the chest-thumpers at the WSJ is that the conclusion is not dubious at all (see the State Department’s defense of it in a separate entry). Even if the second facility had taken in shipments of uranium, which is not alleged even by the US Government, even if high-grade centrifuges had been installed, which is not established, even if those centrifuges had begun enriching uranium, which is not claimed anywhere, that would not establish a direct link with a resumed nuclear weapons program. It would merely establish that Iran now had some quantity of enriched uranium which might or might not be for military rather than civilian purposes.

However, the WSJ’s railing do not have to be logical to show the problems for the Obama Administration’s strategy. Opponents will now claim that the 2nd enrichment facility shows that all intelligence assessments from 2007 must be thrown out and will put by default the faith-based assertion that Iran is hell-bent on the Bomb and beyond diplomacy.

1650 GMT: The Institute for Science and International Security has posted images “of two possible locations of the gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facility under construction near Qom, Iran. Both are tunnel facilities located within military compounds approximately 30-40 kilometers away.”

A hat trick for Torres

Bring 'em on!
And it just keeps on getting better!
(sorry Longy!)

Putting the KY back into Kentucky!

@ 'Daily Dish'
Jeez Louise!
Lynchings down south! Calls to bring back McCarthyism!

Obama banning flavoured tobacco (and pot) is "gay"!
Where is an interrobang when you need one?
(My apologies to Yotte!)

M/A/R/R/S - Pump Up The Volume

Bonus: Audio
M/A/R/R/S - Pump Up The Volume (Remix)

Bodhan (with an X)

(Click to enlarge)
Somewhere along the lines in the past week or so I was talking with someone about Bodhan and I just found this over at Prehistoric Sounds.
Who knows, maybe someone's memory will get refreshed...could have been up at 'High Vibes'.
Anyway enough of this, or god forbid Bodhan will think he is having a revival.
(It's all good mate, it was mostly complimentary, I think!)


Saturday, 26 September 2009


Dot Allison
You have until the end of the month to catch her recent acoustic show on Janice Long's BBC Radio 2 show

Cheating goalkeeper Kim Christensen faces fine after moving goalposts

A goalkeeper in Sweden’s top football league may be suspended and perhaps fined after being caught moving the goalposts. Literally.

Kim Christensen, a Dane who plies his trade with IFK Gothenburg, was seen on camera kicking in both sides of the goalframe to reduce the target area ever so slightly at the start of a crucial match in the Allsvenskan (All Sweden) division, the equivalent of the English Premier League.

The game between IFK, who are top of the league and on course for a lucrative place in European competition next season, and Örebro, was shown live on national television but it took the referee more than 20 minutes to spot that the posts were a few centimetres inside the guidelines marked on the pitch. He moved them back out to their correct positions but, because he was unaware that the goalkeeper was responsible, took no further action.

Faced with clear television evidence, however, Christensen later admitted that this was not the first time he had moved the goalposts — which, in the Swedish game, often rest on top of the artificial playing surface and can easily be manipulated.

“I got the tip from a goalkeeping friend a few years ago, and since then I have done it from time to time,” Christensen told a reporter.

Stefan Johansson, the referee, said: “Had I seen him do it I would have warned him. I think so, anyway — it is not easy to find that rule.”

A member of the disciplinary committee for the Swedish Football Association (SFA) said that, had the referee witnessed the incident, a penalty kick for Örebro would have been the correct response. The game ended 0-0 but Örebro came close to scoring several times, so may yet decide to appeal to the SFA. Christensen has already been reported to the body.

Jonas Nystedt, a spokesman for the SFA, said that its disciplinary committee would consider the case at its October meeting. “Since this ia a very special case we cannot say at the moment what will happen. During an investigation, we can say that a player is not allowed to play, but so far he has not been suspended.”

He said that moving the goalposts was not a specific offence in the SFA rulebook but the player could be charged with obstruction. Mr Nystedt added that the SFA would consider the mandatory fixing of goalposts securely to the ground in future. “On artifical grass it is not so easy to hold the goals in the right positions all the time.”

@ 'The Times'
(Thanx SirMick!)

All you David Sylvian fans...

You may be interested in this.

The Interrobang is back!?!

The interrobang was introduced in 1962 by Martin Speckter, head of a New York advertising and public relations agency and editor of a magazine called Type Talks. In a Type Talks article, Speckter declared that advertising copywriters needed a new mark to punctuate exclamatory rhetorical questions common in advertising headlines (for example: “What?! Whiter than White?!”). In this type of copy, neither an exclamation point nor a question mark (used alone) could fully convey the writer´s intent.

Girlz With Gunz # 81


Watch out or this could happen to you!

Moritz von Oswald Trio - Vertical Ascent

(pattern 3)

(pattern 4)

Moritz Von Oswald Trio - Vertical Ascent (pattern3)

Moritz von Oswald with Max Loderbauer and Vladislav Delay

Moritz von Oswald with Max Loderbauer and Vladislav Delay performing live at Maria, Berlin as part of Club Transmediale 2008.

Throbbing Gristle Make Their Own Buddha Machine

The Buddha Machine is a tiny box that emits calming ambient sounds-- "I've never heard music as good for reading as the Buddha Machine," wrote our own Mark Richardson in a 2006 column praising the device. Something tells me Throbbing Gristle's take on the Buddha Machine-- dubbed the Gristleism-- will not be quite as soothing.

Made by the industrial provocateurs along with original Buddha Machine creator Christiaan Virant, the Gristleism features "thirteen original and uncompromising loops" and promises a "mix of signature TG experimental noise, industrial drone, and classic melodies and rhythms." Perfect for those days when you need some background music to go along with dissecting dead animals or staring at TV static. More info here.

@ 'Pitchfork'

Census Worker Killed By Asphyxiation: Police

A part-time census worker found hanging in a rural Kentucky cemetery was naked, gagged and had his hands and feet bound with duct tape, said an Ohio man who discovered the body two weeks ago. The word "fed" was written in felt-tip pen on 51-year-old Bill Sparkman's chest, but authorities have released very few other details in the case, such as whether they think it was an accident, suicide or homicide.
@ 'HuffPo'

Friday, 25 September 2009

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money
trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and
pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.
There's also a negative side."

Hunter S. Thompson

US Patriot Act used mostly in drug cases

In the debate over the PATRIOT Act, the Bush White House insisted it needed the authority to search people's homes without their permission or knowledge so that terrorists wouldn't be tipped off that they're under investigation.

Now that the authority is law, how has the Department of Justice used the new power? To go after drug dealers.

Only three of the 763 "sneak-and-peek" requests in fiscal year 2008 involved terrorism cases, according to a July 2009 report from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Sixty-five percent were drug cases.

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) quizzed Assistant Attorney General David Kris about the discrepancy at a hearing on the PATRIOT Act Wednesday. One might expect Kris to argue that there is a connection between drug trafficking and terrorism or that the administration is otherwise justified to use the authority by virtue of some other connection to terrorism.

He didn't even try. "This authority here on the sneak-and-peek side, on the criminal side, is not meant for intelligence. It's for criminal cases. So I guess it's not surprising to me that it applies in drug cases," Kris said.

"As I recall it was in something called the USA PATRIOT Act," Feingold quipped, "which was passed in a rush after an attack on 9/11 that had to do with terrorism it didn't have to do with regular, run-of-the-mill criminal cases. Let me tell you why I'm concerned about these numbers: That's not how this was sold to the American people. It was sold as stated on DoJ's website in 2005 as being necessary - quote - to conduct investigations without tipping off terrorists."

Kris responded by saying that some courts had already granted the Justice Department authority to conduct sneak-and-peeks. But Feingold countered that the PATRIOT Act codified and expanded that authority -- all under the guise of the war on terror.

Feingold, the lone vote against the PATRIOT Act when it was first passed, is introducing an amendment to curb its reach. "I'm going to say it's quite extraordinary to grant government agents the statutory authority to secretly break into Americans homes," he said.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

From Qaddafi's 'The Green Book'

الكتاب الأخضر
It is an undisputed fact that both Man and woman are human beings. It follows as a self-evident fact that woman and man are equal as human beings. Discrimination between man and woman is a flagrant act of oppression without any justification. For woman eats and drinks as man eats and drinks … Woman loves and hates as man loves and hates … Woman thinks, learns and understands as man thinks, learns and understands … Woman, like man, needs shelter, clothing and vehicles … Woman feels hunger and thirst as man feels hunger and thirst … Woman lives and dies as man lives and dies. But why are there man and woman? Indeed, human society is composed neither of man alone nor of woman alone. It is made up naturally of man and woman. Why were not only men created? Why were not only women created? After all, what is the difference between man and woman? Why was it necessary to create man and woman? There must be a natural necessity for the existence of man and woman, rather than man only or woman only. It follows that neither of them is exactly the other, and the fact that a natural difference exists between man and woman is proved by the created existence of man and woman. This means, as a matter of fact, that there is a role for each one of them, matching the difference between them. Accordingly, there must be different prevailing conditions for each one to live and perform their naturally different roles. To comprehend this role, we must understand the differences in the nature of man and woman, namely the natural differences between them: Woman is a female and man is a male.


Fox & Qaddafi

Fox -- which refuses to broadcast speeches by President Obama -- put Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi on air for 90 minutes Wednesday. (CNN and MSNBC also broadcast the bizarre speech.)

When Fox finally cut Qaddafi short, 'reporter' Eric Shawn immediately said "the top news" of Qaddafi's speech was that "he kept on calling Barack Obama 'our son'...because of the President's African heritage."


FOX ANCHOR JON SCOTT: Wearing his regal robes, Muammar Qaddafi gets ready to speak to the United Nations General Assembly. I'm Jon Scott along with Jane Skinner.

[ fast-forward through 90 minutes of Qaddafi rambling ]

FOX REPORTER ERIC SHAWN: Let me start with what is probably one of the top issues that he raised, the top news, in the sense that he kept on calling Barack Obama "our son." Muammar Qaddafi referred to him as "our son." He called the President of the United States "my son." He says this because of the President's African heritage.

By the way, remember that the same Fox News that just gave Qadaffi a 90 minute platform to spew his propaganda attacked President Obama earlier this week because a U.N. seating chart may end up seating President Obama near the Libyan leader during a Security Council meeting.

@ 'Daily Kos'

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

"I was black before the election"

The Wire: Invisible jukebox with Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson

Photograph by Leon Chew

Hakim Bey - Poetic Terrorism

Weird dancing in all night computer-banking lobbies. Unauthorized pyrotechnic displays. Land-art, earth-works as bizarre alien artifacts strewn in State Parks. Burglarize houses but instead of stealing, leave poetic terrorist objects. Kidnap someone & make them happy. Pick someone at random & convince them they're the heir to an enormous, useless & amazing fortune--say 5000 square miles of Antarctica, or an aging circus elephant, or an orphanage in Bombay, or a collection of alchemical mss. Later they will come to realize that for a few moments they believed in something extraordinary, & will perhaps be driven as a result to seek out some more intense mode of existence.

Bolt up brass commemorative plaques in places (public or private) where you have experienced a revelation or had a particularly fulfilling sexual experience, etc.

Go naked for a sign.

Organize a strike in your school or workplace on the grounds that it does not satisfy your need for indolence & spiritual beauty.

Graffiti-art loaned some grace to ugly subways & rigid public monuments--poetic terrorist-art can also be created for public places: poems scrawled in courthouse lavatories, small fetishes abandoned in parks & restaurants, xerox-art under windshield-wipers of parked cars, Big Character Slogans pasted on playground walls, anonymous letters mailed to random or chosen recipients (mail fraud), pirate radio transmissions, wet cement...

The audience reaction or aesthetic-shock produced by poetic terrorism ought to be at least as strong as the emotion of terror-- powerful disgust, sexual arousal, superstitious awe, sudden intuitive breakthrough, dada-esque angst--no matter whether the poetic terrorism is aimed at one person or many, no matter whether it is "signed" or anonymous, if it does not change someone's life (aside from the artist) it fails.

Poetic terrorism is an act in a Theater of Cruelty which has no stage, no rows of seats, no tickets & no walls. In order to work at all, poetic terrorism must categorically be divorced from all conventional structures for art consumption (galleries, publications, media). Even the guerrilla Situationist tactics of street theater are perhaps too well known & expected now.

An exquisite seduction carried out not only in the cause of mutual satisfaction but also as a conscious act in a deliberately beautiful life--may be the ultimate poetic terrorism. The poetic terrorist behaves like a confidence-trickster whose aim is not money but CHANGE.

Don't do poetic terrorism for other artists, do it for people who will not realize (at least for a few moments) that what you have done is art. Avoid recognizable art-categories, avoid politics, don't stick around to argue, don't be sentimental; be ruthless, take risks, vandalize only what must be defaced, do something children will remember all their lives--but don't be spontaneous unless the poetic terrorist Muse has possessed you.

Dress up. Leave a false name. Be legendary. The best poetic terrorism is against the law, but don't get caught. Art as crime; crime as art.

T.A.Z. by Hakim Bey, produced by Bill Laswell will be posted at (Son of) very soon

Happy Mondays - Jellybean (Live at Fuji Rock 2007)

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Happy Mondays - W.F.L. (Live 1990)

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic
This blog has called on numerous occasions for the repealing of the drug laws as they have been proven again and again to not be working.
I feel total legalisation of ALL drugs to be the most sensible way forward.
Thanks to a commentator here I have been made aware of this blog:


"Founded on March 16, 2002, LEAP is made up of current and former members of law enforcement who believe the existing drug policies have failed in their intended goals of addressing the problems of crime, drug abuse, addiction, juvenile drug use, stopping the flow of illegal drugs across borders and the internal sale and use of illegal drugs. By fighting a war on drugs the government has increased the problems of society and made them far worse. A system of regulation rather than prohibition is a less harmful, more ethical and a more effective public policy."

Interesting and no doubt provocative reading for some people.

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Glenn Mercer/The Feelies - Crazy Rhythms

Tim Buckley: "The High Flyer" by Martin Aston

He was blessed with a beautiful face, a voice that sailed into uncharted regions of the cosmos and a seductive charm that beguiled everyone he encountered. And a fat lot of good it all did him.

Tim Buckley was a man out of time who struggled to make his extraordinary talents heard. This is the story of that lone ranger.

"I was born a blue melody/A little song my mam sang to me/Such a blue you're never seen" (Blue Melody)

In 1965, the Los Angeles Magazine CHEETAH dubbed three emerging singer-songwriters -- Jackson Browne, Steve Noonan, and Tim Buckley -- 'The Orange County Three'.

Browne progressed towards a comfortable feted stardom which endures to this day. Noonan vanished into the ether after one album. And somewhere between their two paths drifted the late Tim Buckley. Between rabid adulation and ignoble obscurity, between legendary status and the loser's list, his is a fixed position, like a star that shines fiercely in the night sky but in space was extinguished eons ago.

Twenty years after his death on June 29, 1975, diehard disciples complain of the mismanagement of Tim Buckley's legacy. Here was a man whose recordings remain extraordinary cross-pollinations of folk-rock, folk-jazz, the avant-garde and all points in between. They are, in the words of Lillian Roxon's famed 1969 Rock Encyclopaedia, "easily the most beautiful music in the new music, beautifully produced and arranged, always managing to be wildly passionate and pure at the same time". A shame, then, that they are still to be posthumously rewarded with a decent CD reissue campaign.

"When an artist finally comes through all this mess, you hear a pure voice," said Tim Buckley three months before he died. "We're in the habit of emulating those voices when they're dead."

TIMOTHY CHARLES BUCKLEY III was born in Amsterdam, New York on Valentine's Day, 1947, his family uprooting westwards a decade later to Anaheim, home of Disneyland and strip malls. He grew up with music. Grandma dug Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith, mom adored Sinatra and Garland. Timothy Charles III himself leaned towards the gnarled country of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams, the lonesome sound of the singing cowboys. The kid even taught himself to play the banjo.

Larry Beckett, the Loara high school friend who added erudite lyrics to Buckley melodies over the years, recalls how schoolboy Tim always wanted to sing. Buckley had learnt how to use his perfect pitch from crooners like Nat 'King' Cole and Johnny Mathis but chose to exercise his range by screaming at buses and imitating the sound of trumpets. His voice set sail for the edge early.

Jim Fielder, Tim's other best buddy at school, recalls first hearing the Buckley voice. "One hesitates to get flowery but the words 'gift from God' sprung to mind," he says. "He had an incredible range of four octaves, always in tune, with a great vibrato he had complete control over. You don't normally hear that stuff from a 17-year-old."

Recruited by C&W combo Princess Ramona & The Cherokee Riders, Buckley played guitar in a yellow hummingbird shirt and turquoise hat. The Princess soon saw that Timmy's heart wasn't in country -- his nascent love of Miles Davis and John Coltrane testified to that -- so suggested he turn instead to the burgeoning folk scene. Despite a intuitive gift for its melodic nuances, 'folk-rock' was a tag that would later irk him. Buckley was always cynical about how that business worked. "You hear what they want you to play when you're breaking into the business," he told Sounds in 1972, "and you show 'em what you've got."

With Felder on bass and lyricist Beckett on drums they formed two bands, the Top 40-oriented Bohemians and the more esoteric, acoustic Harlequin 3, who would mix in poetry and freely ad-lib from Ken Nordine's Word Jazz monologues.

Buckley quickly won great notices in L.A., and the 'Orange County Three' accolade only heightened the interest of the music business. Mothers Of Invention drummer Jimmy Carl Black was impressed enough to suggest a meeting with Herb Cohen, a manager with a curiously dual reputation for unswerving breadheadedness and courageous work with mavericks from Lenny Bruce and the Mothers to Captain Beefheart and Wild Man Fischer. Instantly smitten -- "there was no question that Tim had something unique" -- Cohen sent a demo to Jac Holzman at Elektra, home of folk-rocking excellence.

"I must have listened to it twice a day for a week," said Holzman. "Whenever anything was getting me down, I'd run for Buckley. He was exactly the kind of artist with whom we wanted to grow -- young and in the process of developing, extraordinarily gifted and so untyped that there existed no formula or pattern to which anyone would be committed."

Tim Buckley in turn told Zigzag that he respected Holzman because he believed Jac only signed multi-talented acts who made each album an individual statement. Yet Buckley's self-titled debut album (1966) was also his most generic. "I was only 19," Buckley later recalled in Changes magazine, "and going into the studio was like Disneyland. I'd do anything anybody said." The beat-guitar chime of Lee Underwood and the songs' baroque dressings were blood-related to The Byrds, par for the folk-rock course. "Naive, stiff, quaky and innocent, but a ticket into the marketplace," was Underwood's verdict. But you can discern what Cohen and Holzman had so clearly appraised : above all, that soaring counter-tenor voice and remarkable melodic gift.

The followup, Goodbye & Hello (1967), was tainted less by convention than by overambition. Producer Jerry Yester probably saw the chance to drape Buckley's ravishing voice in all the soft-rock flourishes at his disposal, while Beckett's convoluted wordplay was just the wrong side of pretentious. Buckley had radically outgrown the first album's high-school origins, his vice now adopting the languid resonances of his Greenwich Village folk idol Fred Neil on the aching ballads Once I Was and Morning Glory.

"Me and Tim hung around in Greenwich Village during the 1960s," recalls the reclusive songsmith of Everybody's Talkin' and Dolphins. "Tim was completely immersed in the music 24 hours a day. He ate, drank and breathed music. I would not be at all surprised to learn that Tim worked on chord progressions and melody lines in his dreams, he was that committed to the art form.

In the Neil vein, Buckley's bristling I Never Asked to To Be Your Mountain is a six-minute epistle to his already estranged wife Mary Guibert and son Jeffrey Scott (better known now as Jeff Buckley).

"The marriage was a disaster," says Jim Fielder. "Mary was full of life and talent, a classical pianist and Tim's equal. But the pregnancy made it go sour, as neither of them was ready for it. To Tim it was draining his creative force, and Mary wasn't willing to take the chance on his career, putting it to him like, Settle down and raise a baby or we're through. That kind of showdown."

In the climax to I Never Asked To Be Your Mountain, Buckley yelped, pleaded, even shrieked "Baby, pleaEEESSE!), the first evidence of the places his pain would take him. Honesty was the key. When Buckley and Beckett played it autobiographical -- exquisitely vulnerable, naive yet insightful -- the results were stunning. When they played to the gallery it sounded forced. Of the title track's anti-Vietnam tract, Buckley said, "I just hate the motherfucker. It's like, 'OK motherfuckers, you want a protest song, here it is'. They were bugging the hell out of me so I figured, just this once, and then I wouldn't have to do it again.

"Talking about the war is futile," he reckoned. "What can you say about it? You want it to end but you know it won't. Fear is a limited subject but love isn't. I ain't talking about sunsets 'n' trees, I'm involved with America...but the people in America, not the politics. All I can see is the injustice."

Electra's Jac Holzman, however, felt positive : a poster of Tim Buckley loomed large over Sunset Strip. "As we got deeper into 1967 and Vietnam," Holzman observed, "the combined effect of his words, his music, his passion, his persona struck a particular resonance. To some extent he was the bright side of people's tortured souls, and maybe of his own tortured soul. He could express anguish that wasn't negative."

Goodbye & Hello reached 171 on the Billboard chart, but Buckley wasn't in the mood to consolidate. Instead, when Tonight Show guest host Alan King made fun of his hair, the singer retorted, "You know, it's really surprising, I always thought you were a piece of cardboard." On another outing he refused to lip-synch to Pleasant Street and walked out.

With hindsight, Underwood traces Buckley's depressive tendencies to his father who "suffered a head injury in the Second World War, and from then on his insecurities and rage made life miserable for Tim. He saw Tim's beauty, and called him a faggot and beat him up. He looked at Tim's talent and said he'd never make it. His mother didn't help : she'd tell him he'd die young because that's what poets always did. So he grew up deeply hurt and feeling inadequate, yet driven by this extraordinary musical talent that possessed him." The result, Underwood ventures, "gave Tim a deep-seated fear of success...he wanted people to love him but, as they did, he pushed them away."

"Long after his death," says Beckett, "I realised that there were very few songs he wrote that didn't have the word 'home' in them. It seemed like he felt homeless, and nothing would restore it. He seemed OK in high school, maybe a little wild, but he got increasingly neurotic. He'd almost welcome a negative comment that would reaffirm his feelings."

When, in 1970, Jerry Yester's wife Judy Henske poked fun at the line "I'm as puzzled as the oyster" in the majestic Song To The Siren, Buckley instantly dropped the song from the set. "He took the smallest criticism to heart," says Larry Beckett, "so that he couldn't even perform a song which he admitted was one of his all-time favourites!"

Another incident stands out from this period. Tim's choirboy looks and froth of curls had attracted a Love Generation-style teenybop following. At a show at New York Philharmonic Hall, his most prestigious to date, various objects were thrown on stage, a red carnation among them. Buckley stooped down, picked it up and proceeded to chew the petals and spit them out.

"He was very vulnerable and emotional," says Beckett's ex-wife Manda. "It made him terribly attractive to everybody of both sexes. People just sort of swooned around him because he was so sweet. I think that frightened him. He was difficult to deal with because he was scared of his power over people. He almost seemed to reject his audiences for loving him so much. He wasn't mature enough to accept that kind of attention."

Tim would also embroider the truth. At school he'd lie about playing C&W cars, while Larry Beckett remembers dubious boasts of female conquests. Buckley also claimed to have played guitar on The Byrds' first album, which Roger McGuinn always denied. "Tim liked to feed the legend," Beckett recalls with a wry chuckle. "He was quite amoral -- if a lie gave a laugh or strengthened his mystique, that was fine. But his music was always honest."

"If someone dared him to do something, he'd do it," recalls British bassist Danny Thompson, who accompanied Buckley on his 1968 UK visit. "This free spirit was what most people saw, but I also saw a bit of a loner. Unlike most people who get into drugs, he wasn't a sad junkie figure. He was more of a naughty boy who said, 'OK, I'll have a go, I'll drink that'."

If he admired Hendrix and Hardin and Havens, Buckley frequently railed against the rock establishment. "All people see is velvet pants and long, blonde hair," he fumed. "A perfect person with spangles and flowered shirts -- that's vibrations to them."

"He viewed the blues-orientated rock of the day as white thievery and emotional sham," says Underwood. "He criticised musicians who spent three weeks learning Clapton licks, when Mingus had spent his whole life living his music."

Retreating to his home base in Venice, LA, Buckley and Underwood took time out to immerse themselves in the music of the East Coast jazz titans. Miles, Coltrane, Monk, Mingus and Ornette Coleman all provided inspiration as rehearsals slowly metamorphosed into jam sessions. The day before playing New York's prestigious Fillmore East theatre, Buckley asked vibraphonist David Friedman to rehearse for the show. Seven hours without sheet music later, a new sound was born.

With Happy/Sad (1969), Tim Buckley began to arc away from the underground culture that had launched him. New York photographer Joe Stevens, a good friend of Buckley's at the time, recalls the singer's suspicious attitude towards the forthcoming Woodstock festival. "He said, 'Are you really going? Oh, man, it's going to be awful.' Yet we used to hang out on a friend's farm which was like a scaled-down Woodstock, with hippy girls walking around, weird food, drugs, freedom and trees."

Although Jerry Yester was again involved, Happy/Sad was the polar opposite to Goodbye & Hello's crowded ambition : spacious, supple, a sea of possibilities. The line-up was just vibraphone, string bass, acoustic 12-string, and gently rippling electric guitar. "The Modern Jazz Quartet of Folk," enthused vibraphonist David Friedman. "Heart music," Buckley offered, and Elektra used his words in the ads like a manifesto. Happy/Sad's only real comparison is Astral Weeks, a similarly symmetrical, fluid work that revels in its lack of boundaries while possessing a unique tension.

"The trick of writing," Buckley felt, "is to make it sound like it's all happening for the first time. So you feel it's all happening for the first time. So you feel it's everybody's idea."

Van Morrison, Lauro Nyro and John Martyn were also melting the walls between rock, blues, folk and jazz; at 22, Buckley was the youngest of the bunch. He'd also caught the jazz bug the hardest. Yester revealed that the band resisted second takes, while Strange Feeling was bravely anchored to the bass line of Miles Davis's All Blues before Buckley's voice set sail, caressing and cajoling.

Photo by Henry Diltz
"Being with Tim was like going out with an English professor," recalls Bob Duffy, Buckley's tour manager at the time. "He was very serious and almost stodgy, exactly the opposite of what you'd think a rock star would be. He wasn't in the music business to get laid. If one of the guys in the band came up and mentioned women, 13 of them would run out of the room, except for Tim who just sat there, guitar in hand, almost like he was teaching himself the songs again even though he'd played these songs 200 times, because he wanted the show to be as musically performed as possible. I saw incredible shows that he got depressed about, and wouldn't talk to anyone afterwards -- he was very Zappa-like in that demanding way, but he was one of the sanest people on that level that I worked with."

As its very title acknowledged, despite Happy/Sad's sun-splashed backdrop, musical invention and lyrical joie de vivre, its mood was acutely introspective. Critic Simon Reynolds has described it as "a poignant premonition of loss, of an inevitable autumn..."

Lyrics had clearly shifted to a secondary, supportive role. Larry Beckett says he was politely informed that the singer would pen the lyrics alone. "He was moving toward a jazz sound, so to have wild poetry all over the map, you'd miss the jazz. But it was my feeling too that Tim felt his success was due to my lyrics rather than his music, so he wanted to see how well he'd do alone. He tended to believe the worst about himself..."

'It was very hard for me to write songs after Goodbye & Hello, because most of the bases were touched," Buckley admitted. "That was the end of my apprenticeship for writing songs. Whatever I wrote after that wasn't adolescent, which means it isn't easy because you can't repeat yourself. The way Jac [Holzman] had set it up you were supposed to move artistically, but the way the business is you're not. You're supposed to repeat what you do, so there's a dichotomy there. People like a certain type of thing at a certain time, and it's very hard to progress."

In another interview Tim said, "I can see where I'm heading, and it will probably be further and further from what people expected of me."

"He was very friendly and open to ideas, not a prima donna or a hypocrite," recalls John Balkin, who played bass with Buckley in 1969-70. There was no drugs, sex and rock'n'roll in relation to him as an artist, not like Joplin and Hendrix, getting stoned before and during a gig. He felt stifled and frustrated by the boundaries that be, trying to stretch as an artist but making a living too. I remember Herbie Cohen saying, "Go drive a truck then'..."

Pprogression was now Buckley's watch-word. Dream Letter, recorded in 1968 at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, was already more diffuse than Happy/Sad, lacking the pulse of Carter CC Collins's congas. The budget couldn't afford him or bassist John Miller, so Pentangle's Danny Thompson was drafted in to play an intuitively supportive -- and barely rehearsed -- role.

"I got a call asking me to turn up and rehearse everything at once," recalls Thompson. "He refused to get into a routine of singing 'the song'. We did a TV show, and when it came to doing it live Tim said, 'Let's do another song', which we'd never rehearsed. It was two minutes longer than out time slot, and the producer was putting his finger across his throat, and Tim looked at him with a puzzled expression and carried on, like art and music was far more important than any of this rubbish that surrounds it. He was fearless."

Clive Selwood, who ran the UK branch of Elektra records, recalls the same episode : "Tim had got a slot on the Julie Felix Show on BBC. He turned up to rehearsals with Danny Thompson an hour late; he shuffled in, nodded when introduced to the producer, unsheathed his guitar, and they launched into an extemporisation of one of his songs that lasted over an hour. The producer and Feliz watched open-mouthed, not daring to interrupt. The most exhaustingly magical performance I have ever witnessed -- and all to an audience of three. When it was done, Tim slapped his guitar in the case, said 'OK?' to the producer, and departed."

A year later, after a heady bout of touring, including the Fillmore East's opening night alongside BB King, Buckley's muse was flying high. In 1968 he'd sounded enraptured, a wayward choirboy testing the limits of a new-found sound, but the voice of 1969 scatted and scorched, twisting and ascending like a wreath of smoke. The music mixed blues, jazz and ballads, throwing in calypso, even cooking on the verge of funk. A key Tim Buckley moment arrived at the climax of a simmering 14-minute Gypsy Woman (from happy/Sad), when he yelled, "Oh, cast a spell on Timmy!", like an exorcism in reverse. Few singers craved possession so hungrily.

A little-known artifact from this period is his soundtrack music for the film Changes, directed by Hall Barlett who later went on to helm Jonathon Livingston Seagull. A live set from the Troubadour, finally released two years ago, previewed material that surfaced on Lorca (1970). The album was named after the murdered Spanish poet, whose simultaneous violent and tender poetics Buckley was vocally mirroring. On the song Lorca itself, and on Anonymous Propostion and Driftin', Buckley floats and stings over a languid blue-note haze -- crooning and stretching half-tones over shapeless stanzas.

"We never had any music to read from," bassist John Balkin remembers. "We just noodled through and went for it, just finding the right note or coming off a note and making it right," Buckley regarded the title track as "my identity as a unique singer, as an original voice".

The timing wasn't great. Now tuning into such mellow songsmiths as James Taylor, the Love Generation was in no mood to follow in Buckley's wayward footsteps, any more than Buckley had kowtowed to Elektra's craving for old-style troubadour charm. As Holzman says, "he was making music for himself at that point...which is fine, except for the problem of finding enough people to listen to it."

"An artist has a responsibility to know what's gone down and what's going on in his field, not to copy but to be aware," the creator responded. "Only that way can he strengthen his own perception and ability."

Around this time Holzman was poised to sell Elektra, which upset Buckley. Although major label offers were on the table -- "a lot of bread, which makes me feel really good" -- he decided that money wasn't the issue : "That's not where I'm at. I can live on a low budget." After some deliberation he signed to Straight, a Warners-distributed label formed by Herb Cohen and Frank Zappa. "It would be better for me to stay with one man who had taken care of me," he said. "No matter what anyone thinks of Herbie, he's a great dude." But he capitulated to Cohen's demand to record a more accessible record : aptly named, Blue Afternoon (1969) is a collection of narcotic folk-torch ballads.

"Tim always wrote about love and suffering in all their manifestations," says Lee Underwood. "He felt that underneath love was fear, fear of love and success and attention and responsibility." In the album's centrepiece, Blue Melody, Buckley keens : "There ain't no wealth that can buy my pride/There ain't no pain that can cleanse my soul/No, just a blue melody/Sailing far away from me." In So Lonely, he confessed that "Nobody comes around here no more". In press material for the album, Buckley said the songs had been written for Marlene Dietrich.

Blue Afternoon beat Lorca to the shops by a month. With two albums vying for attention, his already diminished sales potential was halved. (Lorca didn't even chart). Buckley, never commercially-minded, was still looking forward. "When I did Blue Afternoon, I had just about finished writing set songs," he told Zigzag. "I had to stretch out a little bit...the next album is mostly dealing in time signatures."

Has any troubadour ever stretched out quite as Tim Buckley did on 1970's Starsailor? Buckley's third album in a year, in the words of bassist John Balkin, was ""a whole different genre". Balkin, who ran a free improvisation group with Buzz and Buck Gardner of the Mothers, had introduced Buckley to opera singer Cathy Berberian's interpretations of songs by Luciano Berio, inspiring the ever-restless Buckley to new heights. Over throbbing rhythms and atonal dynamics, the Gardners' blowing was matched by Buckley's gymnastic yodels and screams : one moment he sounded like an autistic child, the next like Tarzan. Everything peaked on the title song, with its 16 tracks of vocal overdubs. Larry Beckett, recalled to add impressionistic poetry to expressionistic music, also had a field day : to wit, the likes of "Behold the healing festival/complete for an instant/the dance figure pure constellation." Indeed.

"For the Starsailor track itself," recalls Balkin, "we wanted things like Timmy's voice moving and circling the room, coming over the top like a horn section, like another instrument, not like five separate voices. His range was incredible. He could get down with the bass part and be up again in a split second."

Fiercely beautiful, Starsailor is a unique masterpiece. Aside from Song To The Siren, the album was the epitome of uneasy listening. "Sometimes you're writing and you know that you're not going to fit," Buckley responded. "But you do it because it's your heart and soul and you gotta say it. When you play a chord, you're dating yourself...the fewer chords you play, the less likely you are to get conditioned, and the more you can reveal of what you are."

If Starsailor came close to Coltrane's 'sheets of sound', it was hard not to see it as commercial suicide. Attempts to reproduce Starsailor live didn't help. "The shows Tim booked himself after Starsailor were total free improvisation, vocal gymnastics time," recalls Balkin. "i can still see him onstage, his head down, snoring. There was one episode of barking at the audience too. After one show, Frank Zappa said we sounded good, and he wasn't one who easily handed out compliments."

"Buckley Yodelling Baffles Audience," ran a Rolling Stone headline. As Herb Cohen says today, "he was changing to drastically, playing material that audiences weren't necessarily coming to hear and that was beyond the realm of their capability" ... "An instrumentalist can be understood doing just about anything, but people are really geared to something coming out of the mouth being words," a resentful Buckley said in a subsequent press release. "I use my voice as an instrument when I'm performing live. The most shocking thing I've ever seen people come up against, beside a performer taking off his clothes, is dealing with someone who doesn't sing words. If I had my way, words wouldn't mean a thing."

Tim Buckley was driven into deep depression by Starsailor's failure. Straight wouldn't provide tour support, the old band had fragmented because there was so little work for them, and Buckley was reduced to booking his own shows in small clubs. At last he shared the bitter, neglected status of his jazz idols. Underwood confirms that in order to take that sting away, Buckley dabbled in barbituates and heroin. When Buckley prefaced I Don't Need It To Rain on the Troubadour album by saying, "This one's called Give Smack A Chance", it was a dangerous joke. "He was mocking the peace movement, the whole Beatles mentality of the day," says Underwood.

At least his personal life had improved. He'd re-married, bought a house in upmarket Laguna Beach (subsequently painted black to outrage the neighbours), and effectively gone to ground. "I'd been going strong since 1966 and really needed a rest," was Buckley's explanation. "I hadn't caught up with any living." He also inherited his wife Judy's seven-year-old son Taylor.

Judy doesn't recall any drug abuse. Nor does she remember Tim driving a cab, chaffeuring Sly Stone or studying ethnomusicology at UCLA, as the singer often claimed at the time. Instead, she recalls Tim reading voraciously, catching up with his favourite Latin American writers at the UCLA library, and channelling his creative urges into acting.

The unreleased 1971 cult film Why? starring OJ Simpson was shot during this period. "It was their first film but both Tim and OJ were incredible actors. The camera loved them," remembers co-star Linda Gillen. "Tim had this James Dean quality. He's so handsome in the movie and yet such a mess! You know those Brat Pack kind of films, where people play prefabricated rebels who see themselves as kinda bad but they have a PR taking care of business? Well, Tim was the real deal. He didn't give a fuck how he looked or dressed. He had no hidden agenda. He had an incredible naivety.

"We used to improvise in the film. Tim's character talks to the effect that you can't commit suicide. You can't amend your feelings for other people; you have to find that thing that's good in you and keep that alive. A lot of the group had been onto my character about taking heroin but Tim would always be the sympathetic one. But that was Tim. He'd understand where they were coming from, why they would do what they did.

"On the set, I used to hum to myself to fight off boredom and Tim would pick up on what I was humming, like Miss Otis Regrets, and we'd end up harmonising together," she continues. "I loved Fred Neil, and asked if he knew Dolphins, which he sung for me. He'd say, 'They got to Fred Neil, don't let it happen to you'. He'd talk in this strange, paranoid, ominous way, about 'the man'. That night, we went to buy Fred's album and bypassed Tim's on the was! He never hustled his records to me; he wasn't a self-promoter.

"I wondered why Tim was working on this schleppy movie, because I knew people like Roger McGuinn who were making millions, and he said, very silently, 'I need the money'. We were only earning $420 a week on the film, and I said, Is that all the money you have right now? and he said, 'No, I'm getting a song covered,' which I think was Gypsy Woman which Neil Diamond was going to do."

Meanwhile, the comedic plot of his unfilmed screenplay Fully Air-Conditioned Inside was based on a struggling musician who blows up an audience called for old songs and makes his escape tucked beneath the wings of a vulture, singing My Way...

When an album finally emerged in 1972, Tim Buckley had once again avoided covering familiar ground. Greetings From LA was a seriously funky amalgam of rock and soul. His youthful verve might have gone, but his wondrous holler whipped things along. "After Starsailor, I decided the way to come back was to be funkier than everybody," he boasted. But would radio stations play a record as shocking lyrically as Starsailor had been musically?

Judy was the new muse ("An exceptionally beautiful woman, provacative and witty too," says Underwood) and the album was drenched in lust. In a year when David Bowie made sex a refrigeratedly alien concept, Buckley wrote a set of linked songs in a sultry New Orleans populated by a constellation of pimps, whores and hustlers. "I went down to the meat rack tavern," was the album's opening line; and it closed on, "I'm looking for a street corner girl/And she's gonna beat me, whip me, spank me, make it all right again..."

Buckley explained his reasoning to Chrissie Hynde when she interviewed him for the NME in 1974. "I realised all the sex idols in rock weren't saying anything sexy -- no Jagger or [Jim] Morrison. Nor had I learned anything sexually from a rock song. So I decided to make it human and not so mysterious."

Producer Hal Whillner, who subsequently organised the Tribute To Tim Buckley show at St. Anne's Church, Brooklyn, remembers the singer at this time. "I saw Buckley live four times, including two of the best performances I've ever seen. He was everything someone could look for in music, totally transcendent. The first time took 100 per cent of my attention, like taking some sort of pill. You'd expect it from guys like Pharoah Sanders and Sun Ra, but that's a very rare feeling to get in rock. Another time he opened for Zappa in his Grand Wazoo period, and the audience was incredibly rude to him, booing and heckling. But he handled it beautifully, just carrying on, talking sarcastically, trying to get them to blow hot smoke on the stage. He was genius in every sense. He should be seen on the same level as Edith Piaf and Miles Davis."

"Rock'n'roll was meant to be body music," Buckley stated in Downbeat magazine. But diehard fans wanted to know why he was know singing rock'n'roll. "his last albums were dictated somewhat by business considerations," says Lee Underwood, "but few understood they were also dictacted by major music considerations. Where else could he go after Starsailor's intellectual heights except to its opposite, to white funk dance music, rooted in sexuality? At least Tim's R&B was honest, unlike the over-rehearsed stuff that pretends to be spontaneous. Greetings is still one of he best rock'n'roll albums ever to come down the pike. Throughout his career, he constantly asked and answered a question that can be terrifying, which is, Where do I go from here? People criticised him during Lorca and Starsailor and wanted him to play rock/n/roll, but when he did they said he sold out."

True compromise was far more detectable on 1974's album Sefronia, released by Cohen and Zappa's new DiscReet label under the Warner Brothers umbrella. "Everyone was second guessing where he should go next," says his old friend Donna Young, "and Tim started listening to what other people thought."

Some new-found literary acumen was displayed on the title track, a ballad as lush as the album's reading of Fred Neil's Dolphins. But five of the songs were covers, including the sappy MOR duet I Know I'd Recognise Your Face, while pale retreads of Greetings' honeyed funk served as filler. Guitarist Joe Fasia was now in the Tonto role, Underwood having stepped down to deal with his drug addiction. Herbie Cohen was obviously calling the shots. "Some of those songs were beautiful but you have to get through Herb's idea of what is commercial," says Underwood.

As commercial compromises go, Sefronia was terrific -- radio-friendly and lyrically approachable -- but Buckley knew the score. "If I write too much music, it loses, as happened on Sefronia. Y'know, it gets stale." In reference to the folk-rock era, he observed that "the comradeship is just not there any more, and it affects the music." His boisterous barrelhouse sound was showcased at 1974's Knebworth Festival in Britain, where Buckley opened a bill that included Van Morrison, The Doobie Brothers and The Allman Brothers Band. It was his first UK show since 1968, and few knew who he was.

Photographer Joe Stevens reacquainted himself with Tim at a DiscReet launch in London : "He was sitting at a table signing autographs, which I couldn't have imagined him doing before. When he saw me he said, 'Come on, let's get out of here,' before they'd even said, 'Ladies'n'gentlemen, Tim Buckley!' We hit the street, took some photos, then took a taxi back to my place. He spent two days curled around my TV set, cooing at my girlfriend. We got calls from Warners accusing me of kidnapping their artist! You could see what had happened to him. The youth had gone out of his face, and his smile would break into a frown as soon as it had finished."

Look At The Fool (1975), with its frazzled, Tijuana-soul feel, was purer Buckley again, but the songwriting meandered badly -- Wandu Lu remains one of the most ignominious final songs of any brilliant career. "It just seemed that the more down he became, the more desperate he sounded," his sister Kathleen told Musician magazine. "The work of a man desperately trying to connect with an audience that has deserted him," pronounced Melody Maker. The photo on the back cover caught Buckley with a quizzical, defeated expression. Look at the fool, indeed. Honest to the end.

In 1974, Buckley wrote to Lee Underwood : "You are what you are, you know what you are, and there are no words for loneliness -- black, bitter, aching loneliness that gnaws the roots of silence in the night..."

"Tim felt he'd given everything to no avail," says Underwood. "He was even suicidal for a short while because he felt there was no place left to go, emotionally speaking. He was gaining new audiences and improving his singing within conventional song forms, but comments that he'd sold out made him feel terrible. He never understood his fear of success, and remained divided and tormented to the end. I urged him to take therapy shortly before his death, when he was feeling very bitter, to the point of suicide, but he said, 'Lose the anger, lose the music'."

"We saw a lot of him over the years as disillusionment set in," said Clive Selwood, who, inspired by Buckley's session for BBC's John Peel Show, later founded the Strange Fruit label and its Peel Sessions. "When we first met, he spent his leisure time cycling across Venice Beach, guzzling a six-pack. When we last met, he was carrying a gun, in fear of the reactionary side of American life, who despised his long hair. He said, 'If you're carrying a gun, you stand a chance'."

"He continually took chances with his life," adds Larry Beckett. "He'd drive like a maniac, risking accidents. For a couple of years he drank a lot and took downers to the point where it nearly killed him, but he'd always escape. Then he got into this romantic heroin-taking thing. Then his luck ran out." Buckley's most revered idols were Fred Neil -- who chose anonymity rather than exploit the success of Everybody's Talkin' -- and Miles Davis, both icons and both junkies. "he lived on the edge, creatively and psychologically," says Lee Underwood. "He treated drugs as tools, to feel or think things through in more intense ways. To explore."

One planned exploration was a musical adaptation of Joseph Conrad's novel Out Of The Islands and a screenplay of Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again. Of more immediate consequence, Buckley had won the part of Woody Guthrie in Hal Ashby's film Bound For Glory. The consciousness as well as financial independence, but in the end it went instead to David Carradine.

Buckley was still up for playing live. After a short tour culminating in a sold-out show at an 1,800-capacity venue in Dallas, the band partied on the way home, as was customary. An inebriated Tim proceeded to his good friend Richard Keeling's house in order to score some heroin.

As Underwood tells it, Keeling, in flagrante delicto and unwilling to be disturbed, argued with Buckley : "Finally, in frustration, Richard put a quantity of heroin on a mirror and thrust it at Tim, saying, 'Go ahead, take it all', like a challenge. As was his way, Tim sniffed the lot. Whenever he was threatened or told what to do, he rebelled."

Staggering and lurching around the house, Buckley had to be taken home, where Judy Buckley laid him on the floor with a pillow. She then put him to bed, thinking he would recover; when she checked later, he'd turned an ominous shade of blue. The parademics were called but it was too late. Tim Buckley was dead.

"I remember Herb saying Tim had died, and we all sat there," recalls Bob Duffy, Buckley's old tour manager. "It wasn't expected but it was like watching a move, and that was its natural ending."

"It was painful to listen to his records after he died," says Linda Gillen. "I remember how vibrant he was. He had that same lost alienation as friends who had committed suicide. He was smart, wonderful, mean, nasty, kind, racist, and a loyal friend, all kinds of contradictions. A true original."

"When he died, I took a week off," remembers Joe Stevens. "He was special -- an innocent in an animal machine."

In 1983, Ivo Watts-Russell of the 4AD label had the inspired notion to marry the vaporous drama of the Cocteau Twins to Buckley's Song To The Siren. Punk's Stalinist purge was over, and the result was a haunting highlight of post-New Wave rock, launching both This Mortal Coil and Buckley's posthumous reputation.

Before he died, Buckley had been planning a live LP spanning the various phases of his career. Sixteen years later Dream Letter was released to great acclaim. "Nobody would have listened before," reckons Herb Cohen. "Things have their own cycle, usually close to 20 years. You have to wait."

He knowingly compromised his fierce artistic ideals, but his gut feeling was that he'd get more freedom later," says Larry Beckett. "If he'd gone into hiding for 10 years, no end of labels would have recorded anything he wanted. Things do come around."

"He was one of the great ballad singers of all time, up there with Mathis and Sinatra," believes Lee Underwood. "He would have pulled out of his youthful confusion, expanded his musical scope to include great popular and jazz songs. Tim Buckley didn't say, 'I am this, I am that'. He said, 'I am all of these things'."