Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Can we still be friends.

Can't you just hear ole Reginald Dwight going "D'oh! Why didn't I think of that?"

TNA presents the first ever Bulb versus Gorjus THROWDOWN over
William Alexander Chilton

Bulb begins:

I've long wanted to make a more sustained argument about why I rate Alex slightly lower than most of my hipper than thou bros (note he has grown on me over the years, and I'm closer to understanding why he gets the cred he does given the scattershot nature of his career). If we can avoid some post-Romantic, post-Goethe Byronic bullshit notion of the tortured artistic genius who's so brilliant he can't get his act together (look at the fulfilled corpuses of stone cold junkies like Miles Davis and Charlie Parker and just step back son) My argument can be made in two words: Todd Rundgren.

Let's examine the facts, shall we:

The early Teenbeat Years

Nazz-"Open My Eyes"
Nazz-"Hello, It's Me"

The Box Tops-"The Letter"
The Box Tops-"Neon Rainbow"

A virtual dead heat except for maybe this famous line "he was the Nazz with god given hands [or is it ass"?]" hmm . . .well, I rapdidly call Snopseitis, cuz span style="font-style:italic;">Ziggy Stardust is 4 years after Nazz's debut; The band was named after a Yardbird's song "The Nazz are Blue" from Roger the Engineer itself named after the comic Lord Buckley's monologue "The Nazz" about Jesus —wait for it—of Nazareth. aha!

Artistic Maturity

Big Star 3 albums 2.5 good ones
Is Third really even a Big Star record after all?

Bonus points to Chilton (along with drummer Richard Rosebrough) for inspiring one of the Bay Area's better record stores: Berkeley's Mod Lang, now up BART in El Cerrito.

Todd Rundgren solo

Something/Anything one of the greatest solo "studio recordings" ever/Top 10 all time double discs.
Hermit of Mink Hollow annual rating 4-star

He's already slightly ahead, and I haven't mentioned anything about Utopia or a late single like "Bang the Drum All Day" or his leadership role on guitar and vocals with the "New Cars" or his cover of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with Joe Jackson and the quartet Ethel or his Pee Wee's Playhouse soundtrack work.

A record producer to die for in a way that Ric Ocasek only wishes he could be (yup they don't really care for each other or at least Ric has a thing about the "new Cars"). Proof and I'm cutting his vast output down to 6 key records/artists:

The Psychedelic Furs-Forever Now
Meatloaf-Bat of a Hell
New York Dolls
Patti Smith
Hall & Oates

Hell, as Jim Steinman said, "Dude is a genius."

He's also a major player in Silicon Valley where art/music/technology intersect. Among other things, he's a co-inventor of the Flowfazer screensaver.

and, oh yeah, he unwittingly raised Liv Tyler as his own daughter to age 8; Bebe Buell was such a ho. Even after Steven Tyler's paternity was established, Todd kept on raising her through a least her 12th birthday party. My insider sources also told me Steven Tyler was still paying child support to Buell after Tyler was a successful actress. 'Nuff said about it.

No disrespect to Mr. Chilton, but Mr. Rundgren is somebody who really ought to be idolized and have HIS OWN SONG.

Counselor for the Defense Gorjus, the floor is yours!

Gorjus continues:
[I first wrote gorjus on 11/16/07 about this "project." Almost 2 weeks have passed (I wanted to wait a reasonable amount of time after the Thanksgiving holiday to allow him to respond, as I knew he was very busy with professional duties recently); however, at this point I can only assume he has no defense of Mr. Chilton to mount. Should one arrive eventually, I will dutifully post it here.

Oh yeah, Gorjus really does have other very important stuff on his mind, most notably this fantastic event; as Pete Townsend would intone, "You are forgiven forgiven forgiven".]

Now You can decide for yourself.

Some Commentary from the Peanut Gallery

brent writes:

Was in college (East Carolina U.- hippie/pirateland) in early/mid-70's working
as a magic marker display ho at Record Bar. Remember most. Sold nearly all
below in the spiritual purge before taking a first teaching job 1,000 miles
away. Cumbersome vinyl/cardboard anchors but now secretly longed for in the
middle of the night. {Earlier foolishly had a go at illustrating album covers (sort of the IMAX for the 'shroom generation) and was offered PT hours by Dean (of "Jan and Dean") Torrance's company, Kitty Hawk Graphics, in CA. Chose to teach in Nebraska.}


Something/Anything was an explosion like unto the spectral White Album- caused everyone to go home and jimmyrig a studio in their garage/bathroom/car. Genius stuff template. But "Utopia" (the band) is equivalent to "Wings". Sorry.

After vacuuming the record shop, I got all the good promos (corner punched-
can't do that to a CD!) and vibrantly recall taking first Big Star record home.
Revelation- sonic addiction- tried as ever to proselytize all. Soon, they never
made money, dissipated, and took 10 years to become cultic. I always loved Box
Tops' "Neon Rainbow" and sang it loudly while cutting grass (lawn mowing). I
love and am scared of Alex Chilton, Vincent van Gogh, Nijinsky, Montgomery
Clift, and Jackie Sherrill as a clown.

The SECOND concert (first was Herman's Hermits at 32 degrees in a football
stadium) I attended in Charlotte, N.C. was Box Tops/Wilson Pickett MJQ/The Intruders (!!!) at about 15- the whitest person there. Strange, incredible.

Todd Rundgren did produce the bestest XTC LP, Skylarking (also love Mummer, English Settlement, Oranges and Lemons, Nonesuch) altho Partridge and the Runt tried to kill one another. "Nearly Human" by Rundgren is my favorite. I own an unpublished, ltd, hand-drawn book that Andy did after Disney/James and the Giant Peach threw his commissioned soundtrack out for Randy "safebet" Newman's, given to me by Henry Selleck's (Director/T. Burton produced)) partner Craig Newman, who made films with me in college and ran off to Hollywood to do visual effects on "Tron", while I went to graduate school in painting. Andy P. is truly as genius as Todd- but noone trumps Brian Wilson or two headed monster Lennon/McCartney. Thank God, my two musical sons (22/27) care about these last three more than even me. (plus Jeff Lynne) I can die now.

Had enough?

Music that sparked me from the eternal promo bin era: (anyone?)

Glass Harp
United States of America
Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies
Beaver and Krause
Captain Beyond
Wackers Hot Wacks
Sleepy Hollow
Spirit/ Dr. Sardonicus
B S & T/ Child is Father...
Crabby Appleton
Zombies/ Odessey
Colin Blunstone
Marc Wirtz
Emitt Rhodes
Al Kooper solo lp's
[bulb's note: Al Kooper was a famed 60s session man—he played organ on "Like A Rolling Stone" for instance—key member of both The Blues Project and Blood Sweat & Tears, producer extraordinaire, and most famously "discoverer" and first recorder of Lynyrd Skynyrd on his Sounds of the South Label, a subsidiary of MCA]
Beach Boys/ Sunflower

Treat yourself now to the retro-psychedelic "Andorra" by Caribou.

HeyDan writes:

I forwarded your message to Todd's wife who will probably show it to him. : )
Did you know I'm friends with Todd from when we lived in CA together? ; )

* * * * *

He moved to Hawaii and built a house there. Here are some photos of
his house under construction:


He's got a 60th birthday coming up and is planning a big party to
celebrate that and the release of a new album. I've been invited but
I'm not sure if I'll make it or not...

* * * * *

One correction -- Todd raised Liv to at least age 12. I remember a
long ride in a limo that I took with Liv, Bebe, and Todd on our way to
Liv's 12th birthday party.

* * * * *

Todd's wife Michele replied to your message: "Pretty funny, Dan. If I
could understand his monologue...I think I'd hire him as Todd's PR
person. HA!"

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I'm putting all my eggs in one basket.

What an amazing Egg Bowl comeback yesterday down 14-0 with just a smudge less than 8:00 remaining, MSU's Bulldawgs score 17 unanswered to assure a winning regular season and a bowl bid.

The pre-game tailgate

Mom setting up.jpg

Mom Setting up

Mom at Tailgate.jpg


The McDades

Mike & Francie.jpg

Mike and Francie

Mary Love & Harland.jpg

Mary Love feeding Harlan

The 2007 Egg Bowl


From the Sky Deck looking northwest towards Edgewood Drive

Scott Field.jpg

Davis-Wade Stadium at Scott Field

Cowbell Up.jpg

Cowbell Up!

End Zone:Rebel Band massing.jpg

North End Zone with Evil Empire Band Massing near Halftime

M Club.jpg

Leo Seal M-Club in 2nd Quarter

The Junction.jpg

The Junction with views to the southwest


Sylvester Gets Overexcited!

Addenda 11:20 am

BTW, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the classic Follow the Fleet (1936) provide my blog entry "song" title.

What went through your mind when (Ole Miss head coach Orgeron) went for the first down on that fourth down in the fourth quarter?
"I was happy."

Were you surprised?
"I was happy."

* * * * * * * * *

(This is a similar question as one asked before but with a slighly different angle and answered differently.-Gene) When they went for it on 4th and 1 and you had three first downs at that point in the game, did you think they were giving you a chance?
"Well, I thought that our Christmas had come early. (Laugh by the media.)"
transcribed by Gene Swindoll

Coach O's take on the same:
Obviously we all know the turning point was the fourth down call to go for it. All year long, we have said that when we have a chance to go for it, we would. It was 14-0. I thought we could get the first down and perhaps go up 17-0, 21-0 and put the game away. We didn’t get it done, and it seemed to turn the tide. We didn’t make the plays when we were supposed to. We woke them up. Basically we had them beat for most of the day, but with 7 minutes left, that was a critical decision on my part. But again, if we make it and go up 17-0. The game is out of hand. We didn’t finish, and I am disappointed in the punt that gave them the touchdown. We had them beat, and we need to learn how to finish.

On the actual fourth-down play:

We put it in BenJarvus’ hands, and they overloaded the box. There was some penetration, and we didn’t get the first down.

On being an aggressive playcaller and how much of a decision it was:

I just thought that we needed to do something to win the football game. It was fourth down and one, and I thought we could get it. At that point in the game, I thought we could put them away. We were going for the knockout punch.

On doing it all over again:

I probably would not. Hindsight is 20/20. We were aggressive and wanted to put them out of the game. BenJarvus is a good back, and I thought we could get it.

* * * * * * * * * *

On this being a tough loss:

It is a tough loss because maybe the fourth down call took it away from my team. I don’t know that. I make those calls to win the game for my team. We missed a field goal. There are a lot of plays you can look at. We need to learn how to make those plays.

On any deflation after the fourth down:

We sensed it a little before that. We were trying to get the sideline fired up. There was a little lull there, and we tried to make things happen. John Thompson and I were screaming to finish the ballgame. We didn’t want to let them back in it.

On possibly changing his aggressive style:

I will think about it next time. That is the truth. I made a mistake. You don't make it, it is a mistake. You make it, you score and you win the game.
transcribed by Chase Parham

"Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," Steam (1969)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Aberdeen mississippi blues.

The 12/02/07 episode of BSB has a special theme, NE Mississippi blues from the Hill Country and the Black Prairie, spanning the area that runs southeast from Memphis to Tupelo along the Route 78 corridor and then more or less due south from Tupelo to Meridian along the Highways 45 corridors. I feature only homegrown local talent on this show, some famous some hardly heard before. The one exception is the final cut ("Return to Memphis") a welcome blues rejoinder by those famous "Union Men" out of Arkansas, The Cate Brothers.

BSB Intro

"Little Bluebird," The Fieldstones, Memphis Blues Bands And Singers: The 1980s
"Sneaking In The Dark," The Fieldstones, Memphis Blues Bands And Singers: The 1980s
"No Place To Go," Little Applewhite With The Fieldstones Memphis Blues Bands And Singers: The 1980s

Mic Break

"Long Way From Home," Hollywood All Stars Memphis Blues Bands And Singers: The 1980s Blues
"When The Saints Go Marching In," Hollywood All Stars Memphis Blues Bands And Singers: The 1980s Blues
"Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson," The Blues Busters Memphis Blues Bands And Singers: The 1980s Blues

Mic Break

"What I've Lost," Jane Hamilton And The Prime Tyme Band Memphis Blues Bands And Singers: The 1980s Blues
"I'm Going To Try To Be A Good Girl," Jane Hamilton And The Prime Tyme Band Memphis Blues Bands And Singers: The 1980s Blues
"King Riders Boogie," Huebert Crawford And The King Riders Band Memphis Blues Bands And Singers: The 1980s Blues

Mic Break

"Bad Luck And Trouble," R.L. Burnside Burnside On Burnside
"When My First Wife Left Me," R.L. Burnside Too Bad Jim
"Do The Romp!," Junior Kimbrough & The Soul Blues Boys All Night Long

Mic Break

"Let the Church Roll On," T-Model Ford Bad Man
"Poor Man's Blues," Burnside Exploration The Record
"Knockin On Heaven's Door," Burnside Exploration The Record

Mic Break

"Red Mud," Chris Thomas King Along The Blues Highway
"Soon This Morning Blues," Chris Thomas King Along The Blues Highway
"Me, My Guitar And The Blues," Chris Thomas King Along The Blues Highway

Mic Break

"Willie," Blind Mississippi Morris Along The Blues Highway
"Beale Street Tonight," Blind Mississippi Morris Along The Blues Highway
"Aberdeen Mississippi Blues," Bukka White Newport Folk Festival Best Of The Blues 1
"Coffee Grindin' Blues," Bessie Jackson (aka Lucille Bogan) Divas Sing The Blues

Mic Break

"Cadillac Assembly Line," Homemade Jamz Bluesband Tupeloms
"Oh Baby, You Don't Have To Go," The Chambers Brothers Classic Blues From Smithsonian Folkways
"Skiffle Party," Robert J. Damm & Edwin daniel Sounds and Places

Mic Break

"How Many More Years," Howlin' Wolf His Best: Chess 50th Anniversary Collection
"Who's Been Talkin'," Howlin' Wolf His Best: Chess 50th Anniversary Collection
"The Red Rooster," Howlin' Wolf His Best: Chess 50th Anniversary Collection

Mic Break

"Don't Leave Me Here," Big Joe Williams Classic Blues From Smithsonian Folkways
"Uncle Tom," Willie King & The Liberators Freedom Creek
"Stand Up And Speak The Truth," Willie King & The Liberators Freedom Creek

Mic Break

"Try Love One More Time" Z. Z. Hill Jr. Goin' To Misssissippi
"Black Prairie Blues," Big Joe Shelton Black Prairie Blues
"Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8)," Jimmie Rodgers The Essential Jimmie Rodgers

Mic Break

"Back To Memphis," The Cate Brothers Play By The Rules

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kick out the jams.

A catalogue of great live performances/videos. Enjoy.

The single best performance on Saturday Night Live, and I'm not now nor have I ever been an Eddie Vedderhead. Watch Jeff Ament at the 4:00 mark.

Close Seconds

The greatest power trio ever. Nirvana who?

7 years later and 1443 miles to the SE, we're still jawin' with the crowd, and the Kids are Still MORE than Alright!

Václav Havel's favorite band. I was at this show and unwittingly sitting within 5 seats (to the right) of the videographer; my interview with Iva Turnová, female bassist who introduces the song, and front man/saxophonist, Vratislav Brabenec, after the same is forthcoming on Perfect Sound Forever

Talking Heads via Skynyrd at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville

The Weddoes in full video flight plus bonus live covereage from homebase of Leeds

MBV, "Feed Me With Your Kiss"
Who ever put together this Hollywood montage is really gifted.

Mission of Burma still rules after all these years . . .

Birth of the Cool, Indeed!

A Foot Tappin' Number

Mingus, "Blues with the Saw" (1971)

The WOLF . . .

The famous Shindig performance with Elvis' guitar player James Burton

Alas, still no footage of James Brown and the Fabulous Flames at The T.A.M.I. Show (1964).

Have a Great Thanksgiving everyone. TNA will be back next week.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sgt. pepper's lonely hearts club band.

It was twenty years ago today,
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
They've been going in and out of style
But they're guaranteed to raise a smile
So may I introduce to you
The act you've known for all these years . . .

Hüsker Dü! Got ya.

If my punk rock essay was my last piece of musical juvenalia, then the following record review, which I wrote for fun and with no sense of ever publishing it, was my first full blown adult effort during my first year of graduate school at Stanford. I'll print it as I wrote it then during the summer of 1987 and in an addendum make some comments and criticisms of the effort, which I'm still pretty proud of 21 years later, except for "THAT intro."

Hüsker Dü
Warehouse Songs and Stories
Warner Bros.

This week brings two double helpings from Minneapolis. I really don't want to waste time with an album whose song titles use sickeningly cute words like "☮" and "U". Besides do we really need four more sides of flatulent outbursts from the littlest big ego in rock? So let us hie to fresh woods, for there's a new day rising.

A friend of mine at Harvard once enthusiastically exclaimed that Hüsker Dü's Zen Arcade was "the White Album of the American hardcore movement." I figured it wasn't worth it to point out that this seemed, at best, a questionable tribute to Minnesota's sonic boom trio. But that's another story. A scant three years have passed, and Hüsker Dü present us with yet another double album, Warehouse: Songs and Stories. Noting the pitfalls of comparison, I nevertheless will fearlessly proclaim that this album is the Exile on Main Street of the American post-punk movement. It's that raw, that powerful, and that good.

In a world of declarative statements (Just Say No!, Fight for your Right to Party!), Warehouse refreshingly resorts to pointed and often poignant questions: "Is it pathetic to be sympathetic?", "Is love another way to count the things you haven't got?", "Does wanting a feeling matter any more?". Clearly this is not light-hearted frivolity. The tone of the album is set in the song, "Charity, Chastity, Prudence and Hope" where this quartet tragically enlarged from the classical triumvirate has no place now for Faith merely the possibility of "Hope". And it all needs to be deeply thought about using the classical skill of Prudentia or the sagacity to distinguish between corageous and merely reckless acts.

In the past, I've tended to favor the Dü songs written by the band's manic drummer, Grant Hart, for their comic sensibilities. On their major-label debut, Candy Apple Gray, Hart seemed to become almost as serious as fellow songwriter Bob Mould. Witness "Sorry Somehow," which along with Cameo's "Word Up!" was certainly the best single of 1985. On Warehouse Hart and Mould, lead guitarist-cum-real life fleshy Minneapolis Poppin' Fresh, alternate songs in a cycle of despair, denial, and separation, all driven along by Greg Norton, owner of the best moustache in popular culture since Salvador Dalí, and his bass. The thrash boys have grown up and faced the cruel realities of America.

The first and last songs of the album signify this new awareness, as Mould told Joan Rivers on Carson, "as you get older, your emotional spectrum becomes a little more involved, a little wider . . . . It's not just screaming about how messed up the government is and about how much you hate your parents anymore." Mould's "These Important Years" is a paean to a somehow unsatisfying carpe diem existence: "If you don't stop to smell the roses now / They might end up on you." By album's end we've bee presented with myriad failed and failing relationship, and, while Hart's final "You Can Live at Home" seems to promise something positive in the very power of its titular assertion, the chorus, "walk, walk away, keep on walking away," stresses the impossibility of true romance. The final coda of guitar fadeouts provides the only real sense of escape.

This new found contemplative maturity evokes itself in the very music. No longer are Hüsker Dü merely a hardcore band; they now feel self-confident enough to quote and borrow from their formative American rock influences. New sounds abound on Warehouse. The mocking cuckoo at the end of "Tell You Why Tomorrow" and the bells in the folksy "She Floated Away" smack of the unusual and early Velvet Underground; some Chuck Berry guitar riffs invade the intro to "Too Much Spice." The strange shift to half-time at the end of "Back From Somewhere" reminds me of The New York Dolls' "Personality Crisis." In now way, however, is Hüsker Dü derivative, for they retain their unique sense of urgent, post-punk metallurgy.

Sure The Joshua Tree will sell zillions, all the major media rags will anoint U2 this year's artists of the eighties, and your poseur friends will claim they saw the October tour back in '82, but you have an opportunity to flip your wig and join the real rock revolution. While Dublin's favorite sons garner all the recognition, Warehouse remains the only serious candidate to date for album of the year honors. Just remember that the best things from Minnesota no longer come plastered in paisley.

I can't believe I was so wrong on first hearing Prince's Sign '☮' The Times: mea maxima culpa. I needed to come at the album from my love of 1970s era funk and soul, especially the trio of stone cold political classics—There's A Riot Goin' On, What's Going On, and One Nation Under a Groove, which I did in 1988. So eventually I got it. Apologies especially to Mr. Matos! At least I got Prince from his debut through Purple Rain as the final line of the piece implies (i.e. The best things out of Minneapolis used to emerge from Paisley Park and Prince). As to the lame "flip you wig" reference as pun, I just couldn't help myself then or even 18 years later!

With respect to the piece itself, I'm not sure why I used the weak helping verb "to seem" so much? Some kind of verbal tic I guess. Also if the piece seems to (hahaha) rely too much on lyrical analysis, remember I was fresh off a year doing a MA in English Romanticism at York and beginning a PhD in English at Stanford. In the year of Culture, Two Sevens Clash and New Order, Substance to mention but two real contenders, the claim about Warehouse's status as the sole album of the year candidate looks more than naive in retrospect.

Still and all and despite these criticisms, I think this was a pretty good first crack at writing a "grown up"/post-collegiate-hothouse album review. I especially enjoyed the various pop culture references from Minneapolis' own industrial giant (General Mills) through the Dadesque Spanish icon to Reagan-era abstinence programs. Feel free to comment on how wrong I am now or was then.

Friday, November 16, 2007

We are the champions (spoilers)

U Penn ABD English grad student Celeste DiNucci joined elite company as a rare Jeopardy Champion and rarer yet a female tournament champion having just won the 2007 Jeopardy Tournament of Champions. She ranks right up there with the College Tournament Champion Phoebe Juel from Sylva, NC a couple towns over from my family's mountain house at Lake Junaluska.

Anyway, well played Miz DiNucci!

LoveLetters II: lfil.

Another CD playlist to ease us out of cassette mania and back into the 21st Century!

"Hold On! I'm A Comin'" 2:38 Sam & Dave Very Best of Sam and Dave
"You Made Me Realise" 3:49 My Bloody Valentine You Made Me Realise [EP]
"This Is Your Life" 3:20 Commodores The Best of the Commodores
"No Place Like Home" 2:18 The Neighborhoods DIY: Mass. Ave. - The Boston Scene (1975-83)
"Innocent Kiss" 3:23 Penelope Houston The Whole World
"Your Complex" 2:33 Ned's Atomic Dustbin God Fodder
"Open My Eyes" 2:43 The Nazz Nuggets - A Classic Collection from The Psychedelic Sixties
"Every Pretty Girl" 2:54 Barbara Manning Lately I Keep Scissors
"The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair" 3:03 Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions [Disc 1] [Live]
"Hello It's Me" 4:38 Todd Rundgren Something/Anything? [Disc 2]
"Just To Be Close To You" 3:23 Commodores Anthology
"Comes Love" 4:02 Billie Holiday The Silver Collection
"Nothing Can Change This Love" 3:46 Sam Cooke Live At The Harlem Square Club, 1963
"Must I Paint You A Picture" 5:33 Billy Bragg Workers Playtime
"Couldn't I Just Tell You" 3:34 Todd Rundgren Something/Anything? [Disc 2]
"Thank You" 4:50 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
"Sweet Love" 3:30 Commodores The Best of the Commodores
"Boys Don't Cry" (studio demo) 2:45 The Cure Three Imaginary Boys [Rarities 1977-1979]
"Embraceable You" 4:54 Sarah Vaughan & Clifford Brown Sarah Vaughan With Clifford Brown
"If You Don't Know Me By Now" 3:26 Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes 1972 Philly
"In My Life" 2:28 The Beatles Rubber Soul
"Nothing Compares 2 U" 5:11 Sinéad O'Connor I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

For you.

Princess cards she sends me with her regards
Barroom eyes shine vacancy, to see her you gotta look hard
Wounded deep in battle, I stand stuffed like some soldier undaunted
To her Cheshire smile, I'll stand on file, she's all I ever wanted
But you let your blue walls get in the way of these facts
Honey, get your carpetbaggers off my back
You wouldn't even give me time to cover my tracks
You said, "Here's your mirror and your ball and jacks"
But they're not what I came for, and I'm sure you see that too
--Bruce Springsteen, "For You," Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ (1973)

To conclude: 5 very special mix tapes I didn't make


The Romantic Shakespeare Tapes compiled by Jeff Erickson

Jeffrey Paul Erickson was my cohortmate and best friend and procurer of two of "my favorite things"—an official Warner Bros. Marvin Martian "tea" mug and an inflatable Munch's The Scream figurine doll— during 10 glorious years in the Bay Area. We made it through grad school, travelled far and wide together from Santa Cruz through Sutter Creek to Volcano stopping at many highbrow joints along the way like Ken's Wagon Wheel in Mountain View, the late Alain Rondelli in the Inner Richmond, Boulevard under the shadow of the Bay Bridge, and Perko's Koffe Kup just outside Stockton on California 88 just off US 99 and south of Lodi for all the CCR fans out there—Jeff never met a breakfast he couldn't eat "Night and Day"!— and from the side of Mt. Shasta through the Rogue River Gulch past Crater Lake by Ashland and on to Eugene returning via Mendocino, and Boonville and so forth, were joint founding members of the Guttersnipes bowling team, saw Solti conduct the Cleveland Orchestra at Davies Symphony Hall, and shared a profound love for the Oakland Athletics (my "other" American League team not currently World Champions: PSYCHE! You can take the Boy outta Boston, but you can't take Boston et cetera). We've been out of touch too long.


Romantic Shakespeare I: Overtures/Incidental Music 10/5/89

Side A
King Lear Overture
Sir Colin Davis
London Symphony
Romeo and Juliet
Riccardo Muti
Philadelphia Orch.
Hamlet Overture
Geoffrey Simon
London Symphony

Side B
A Midsummer Night's
Overture; Scherzo
Intermezzo; Nocturne
James Levine
Chicago Symphony
Othello Overture
Vernon Handley
Ulster Orchestra


Romantic Shakespeare II: ROMEO AND JULIET symphony/ballet

Side A
Berlioz, Romeo et Juliette:
Romeo alone/the Ball
Love Scene
Queen Mab Scherzo

Riccardo Muti
Phildelpphia Orchestra

Side B
Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet:
I.ii Dance of the Knights'Mercurtio
Balcony Scene
II.iii Tybalt & Mercutio
Mercutio Dies
Death of Tybalt

III.i. Introduction
Morning Serenade
Juliet's Funeral
Death of Juliet

Lorin Maazel
Cleveland Orchestra


the tape of GEL compiled by Joey Pensak

Side A
idaho-a sound awake
kelly wingate-awake (demo)
[Joey was the drummer for Starkville's sole slowcore band Kelly Wingate, as it's a rare demo we won't make a snide comment about compiling yourself]
red house painters-shock me/sundays and holidays
belle + sebastian-expectations
those bastard souls-dirty looks
jeff buckley-so real
galaxie 500-forth of july
[double bonus points to Joey a late 90s era pupil for discovering my college classmates' band!]
natalie merchant-special oddity
red house painters-three legged cat

Side B
bjork-army of me/hyperballad
lisa germano-victoria's secret
massive attack-teardrop
gbv-a salty salute
[Long Live Rockathon!]
tortoise-glass museum
morphine-the night
[I once stood in a queue outside the Great American Music Hall for a benefit performance of A Live Supreme by a host of Bay Area saxophone giants right next to Dana Colley; he was a pleasant fellow]



selected $WINGIN' UTTER$ compiler: Dane Johnson

Side A
from The streets of SF
Teenage Genoice
Storybook Disease
tied down, spit on
no place in the run
No Eager Men
Soldier Boy
All Laced Up
Expletive deleted

* + * + * + * + * +

Bonus Tracks

Side B
from A juvenile product of the working class
Windspitting Punk
no time to play
Nowhere Fast
One in All
Sign it Away
Almost Brave
Londo Drunk
The Black Pint
Bigot's Barrel
a stop to go
The Next in Line

time tells time
* + * + * + * + * +

Bonus Tracks


Bulb's Light bulb on the water Zipede Doo Dah/The Glowbugs Uncle remos mix tape compilers: The Redondo children (Chris and Rachel) with production assistance from Donna J. Lee

Donna was a former student of mine who became a close friend after graduation. Following a lifelong interest in working with children—she partially paid for law school by working at the campus day care center—she spent one summer babysitting some kids. They wanted to make a "mix tape" for me; now of course they probably have virtual iTunes playlists. Still, The children are our future. This is by far the shortest mix tape discussed, but in many ways it is the truest to the ethos of cassette culture—totally homemade and completely unexpected, arriving out of the blue in the mail. It's also one of the few cassette letters I have ever received and certainly the nicest.

Side A
Intro-"Hello G.E. I've got an idea let's do 'Lightbulb on the water'"
The Glowbugs (aka Rachel and Chris)-Lightbulb on the water
[track sung Karaoke-style to the tune "Candle on the Water" from Pete's Dragon]
The Glowbugs-Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Song of the South
[1947 Academy Award for Best Original Song]
Chopsticks on synthesizer interlude
Personal message and farewell

Side B
30:00 (of tape hum, buzz, and assorted other "white noises")
[A precocious homage to John Cage]
Here endeth the "Nine Lessons and Carols" on the Art of the Mix/Cassette Culture!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Best of 2007 (1st pass)

PSF: A Banner Year for the Rs

Best New Albums (Alphabetical by Artist or 1st Name)

Aesop Rock-None Shall Pass
Elevado-The World is On Fire
Jason Isbell-Sirens of the Ditch
Jay-Z-American Gangster
Jens Lekman-Night Falls Over Kortedala
M.I.A., Kala
Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter, & James Cotton, Breakin' It UP, Breakin' It DOWN
Panda Bear-Person Pitch
Phantom Blues Band–Out of the Shadows
Radiohead, In Rainbows
Richard Hawley-Lady's Bridge
Robert Plant and Alison Kraus-Raising Sand
Robert Wyatt-Comicopera
Tab Benoit-The Power of the Pontchatrain
Von Südenfed, Tromatic Relexxions
The White Stripes, Icky Thump
Wu-Tang Clan-The 8 Diagrams
X-tal-Who Owns Our Dreams?
Neil Young,-Live at Massey Hall 1971

Best reissues (as above)

Pylon, Gyrate
Sly & The Family Stone, Life + Stand!
Young Marble Giants, Colossal Youth 3 cd set
Any/All of the Monterey Jazz Festival Records on Concord

Having a party.

Here's the invitation for my annual pre-Christmas party with a currently topical theme:

G E Light Invites You and Your Significant Other To The 1st

Christmas Could Be a Mix Tape party

When: Saturday: December 15th, 7:00 pm until
Where: 119 Edgewood Drive
What: Food Fun, Festivity, And a Contest (details within)

Please RSVP by December 5th
324-1816 or bulb1964@hotmail.com

Mix Tape: "A mixtape is a compilation of songs and or tracks (typically copyrighted music taken from other sources) recorded in a specific order, traditionally onto a compact audio cassette.…

A mixtape, which usually reflects the musical tastes of its compiler, can range from a casually selected list of favorite songs, to a conceptual mix of songs linked by a theme or mood, to a highly personal statement tailored to the tape's intended recipient. Essayist Geoffrey O'Brien has called the personal mixtape "the most widely practiced American art form".…

Homemade mixtapes became common in the 1980s.… The growth of the mixtape was also encouraged by improved quality and increased popularity of audio cassette players in car entertainment systems, and by the introduction of the Sony Walkman around 1979."

"Mixtape" en.Wikipedia.org

Here's the contest specs:

The Christmas is Like A Mix Tape Christmas Party Contest

What is Love? Great minds have been grappling with this question through the ages, and in the modern era, they have come up with many different answers. According to the Western Philosopher Pat Benatar, love is a battlefield. Her paisan Frank Sinatra would add the corollary that love is a tender trap. The stoner kids who spent the summer of 1978 looking cool on the hoods of their Trans Ams in the Pierce Elementary School parking lot used to scare us little kids by blasting the Sweet hit "Love Is Like Oxygen"—you get too much, you get too high, not enough and you're gonna die. Love hurts. Love stinks. Love bites, love bleeds, love is the drug. The troubadours of our times all agree: They want to know what love is, and they want you to show them.

But the answer is simple, love is a mix tape.

Rob Sheffield, love is a mix tape: Life and Loss, On Song at a Time

Speaking of the mix tape, what’s on Sonic Youth’s road tape?

Flipper. Flipper still rules. Montrose. Sparks—like, pre-Georgio Moroder Sparks. But some of that’s on there. Bar-Kays. You know, that kind of stuff. The new CD-Rs from (former Hardkiss vanity label) Sunburn, we’ve been listening to those a lot, they’re really good.

Thurston Moore, author of Mix Tape: the art of cassette culture, in Magnet magazine

What To Expect From A Homemade Cassette
It could be something that will pop in and totally blow you away. You could be so lucky. Lots of possibilities: garage sessions of your kid sister's band, or someone in a fancy home lab mixing incredible feats of science, or a pioneer of popular music, soothing meditation, or difficult industrial noise. There are tickets to many sonic environments.

Robin James, "Introduction," Cassette Mythos

presents it's first ever mix tape competition. I blogged about mix tapes for a week starting with the entry Press the eject and give me the tape on November 11th . Now it's your turn to show your stuff. Hand deliver or mail your most favorite best mix tape to G E Light, 119 Edgewood Drive, Starkville, MS 39759. An internationally acclaimed panel of expert judges will pick three prize-winning tapes. Prizes to be presented at the Christmas Could Be A Mix Tape Party December 15th. Entrants need not be present to win, although the pleasure of your company would be greatly enjoyed.

The Rules
Limit: One Tape per Entrant.
Acceptable Formats: C-60, C-90, C-100. No Cd-Rs please!
Deadlines: Mail (postmarked by December 1st) Hand delivered (December 5th)
Additional Info: Please pen a short paragraph or two talking about why you like your mix tape, when or why or for whom it was originally made, or anything else that you think might interest the ex officio Chair of the judging panel.

Internationally Acclaimed Judging Panel

Dr. George Evans Light, PhD Chair (ex officio)

DJ, URY (The UK's oldest legally independent radio station)
DJ, Chief Announcer, and General Manager, KZSU Stanford

Carl Collier, MA
English Instructor
NorthWest Arkansas Community College

DJ, Assistant Station Manager, News Director, WMSV

Dr. Benjamin Hill Detenber, PhD
Head of Division, Division of Communication Research
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

DJ, Presenter/Producer of Wednesday Night Live, KZSU Stanford

Michael DiMartino
Really Big Silicon Valley Technology Corporation

DJ, KZSU Stanford

David Neil McCarty, Esq
Nutt & McAlister, PLLC, member Scruggs Katrina Group venture


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Give it to me.

I decided against trying to do a Thanksgiving-based blues show. I found a few tracks, but wasn't that fond of them musically. In 3 show's time (on December 16th) I will have a fantastic 2.5 hours of Chrismas- and New Year's-based blues. So this show is a higgledy piggledy collection of stuff I pulled out of my iTunes library, with somewhat of a focus on crossover blues rock and country blues from the Southeast esepcially during formative years in the 1970s. I will do what Mr J. Giles commands and give it to you live on WMSV 91.1. FM, Sunday, November 18 from 8:30-11:00 PM CST.

BSB Intro
Buddy Guy-"The Way You Been Treating Me" Can't Quit The Blues
Buckwheat Zydeco-"Beast of Burden," Shared Vision 2: The Music of the Rolling Stones
Little Walter & His Nite Cats-"Juke" Blues Masters: The Essential Blues Collection
Little Walter-"Just a Feeling" The Essential Little Walter 2 CDs
Isaac Hayes-"Out of the Ghetto," Isaac Hayes Ultimate Collection
The J. Geils Band-"Give it to Me," Bloodshot

Mic Break

Ben Webster-"Autumn Leaves," Atmosphere for Lovers and Thieves (v)
Jimbo Mathus-"Peaches," old scool hot wings
Jimi Hendrix-"Look Over Yonder," Harley-Davidson Cycles: Road Songs, Vol. 2 (Disc 1)

Mic Break

Harry Belafonte-"Day O", Calypso ep (v)
Jimmy Beck & His Orchestra-"Pipe Dreams," Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945-1970 (Disc 1)
Jimmy Reed-"High and Lonesome," Blues Masters: The Very Best of Jimmy Reed
John Lee Hooker-"Time is Marching On," The Early Years (Disc 2)

Mic Break

John Mayall-"Parchman Farm," Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton
Johnny Cash-"Folsom Prison Blues," At Folsom Prison
Johnny Clash (aka Billy Bragg)-"Bush War Blues" (aka Leadbelly's "Bourgeois Blues" with new lyrics) free MP3 download from www.billybragg.co.uk
Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy-"I Only Have Eyes For You," I Only Have Eyes For You (v)

Mic Break

Magic Sam-"All Your Love," The Essential Magic Sam
Magic Slim & The Teardrops-"Please Don't Dog Me," The Essential Magic Slim
Mahalia Jackson-"Down By The Riverside," The Essential Mahalia Jackson (CD2 of 2)
McKinney's Cotton Pickers-"Gee, Ain't I Good To You?", Where Will You Be Christmas Day?

Mic Break

Jackie Gleason-"I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good," Music, Martinis, and Memories ep (v)
The Fabulous Thunderbirds-"Tuff Enuff," Goin' South
Elvin Bishop-"Fooled Around And Fell In Love," Goin' South, Vol. 2
Wet Willy-"Keep On Smiling," Goin' South, Vol 2

Mic Break

Pharoah Sanders w/McCoy Tyner, Cecil McBee, and Roy Haynes-"Bluesin' for John C.", A Tribute to John Coltrane: blues for Coltrane (v)
Rossington-Collins Band-"Pine Box," This is The Way
Johnny Lee Moore & prisoners-"Early in the Mornin' ," Southern Journeys Vol 5: Bad Man Ballads — Songs of Outlaws and Desperadoes

Mic Break

Big Joe Shelton-"Scratchin' Yo Itch" Black Prairie Blues
Big Joe Shelton-"Don't Matter No More" Black Prairie Blues
Big Joe Shelton-"Catfish Alley" Black Prairie Blues

Mic Break

Lightin' Hopkins-"Sometimes She Will" Mojo Hand
Lightnin' Hopkins-"Shine On, Moon!" Mojo Hand
Juunior Wells-"Ways Like An Angel" Blues Hit Big Town

Goin' to mississippi.

My 1999 SAA panel on frames.JPG

My 1999 SAA Frames panel

The guy seated on the left is the University of Kansas' David Bergeron.


SAA in Bay Area Mix Easter 1999 3/29/99

The SAA is the Shakespeare Association of America. Early in April 1999, their annual conference was held at the Grand San Francisco Hyatt just off Union Square. I delivered a discussion panel essay on framing structures in the Renaissance theatrical corpus, The Hosts’s Hale and Farewell: Inns as Dramatic Framing Devices.

This mix is really the updated CD version and bastard stepchild of S.F. Seen. It's also a good compact mix on a petite red Sony HF C-60. It was intended as a gift for friends still in the Bay Area, including the aforementioned Dane Johnson, my grad school running and occasionally drinking companion. And now TNA's very first testimonial!

By the way, I retain a stack of your mixed-tapes almost as high as the photos on the website --- and almost all of them get played at least once per year, many of them used as fields of poppies ready to be plucked for the beginning of my classes, all of which begin with music.

--Dane Johnson, Associate Professor, Department of Comparative And World Literature, San Francisco State University
Not this trip but in July 1998 on another return to the Bay journey, I took Dane on a musical pilgrimage of sorts to 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley.

Dane @ 924 Gilman, Berkeley.JPG

We also hiked in Muir Woods after visiting a pretty famous vista! Or is that famous pretty vista? ! ! ?

Dane 7:98.jpg

Fortunately the tanker above managed to avoid colliding with any of the Golden Gate's pylons. Somehow it's always the poor sister that bears the brunt. First the Loma Prieta collapse and now the Cosco Busan incident.

Side A
Scott Mackenzie-San Francisco (Wear a Flower in Your Hair)
Eric Burdon and the Animals-San Francisco Nights
Great Society-Somebody to Love
Jefferson Airplane-Plastic Fantastic Lover
Moby Grape-Omaha
Country Joe & The Fish-The Fish Cheer + Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag
Translator-Everywhere that I'm Not
Flipper-Life (Live)

Side B
Dead Kennedys-I am the Owl
The Bedlam Rovers-Star of the County Down
Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy-California Über Alles
Swell-Here it is
The Mr. T Experience-Dumb Little Band
Henry's Dress-The Way She Goes
Imperial Teen-Lipstick

Poppy/Jazzy 4/10/99
The stephchild of the Rock Mix/Jazz Mix combo for the CD era.

Poppy Side
Prince & the Revoltuion-Purple Rain
The Torres-Play Your Games/Don't You Know
[A teen band out of the Dakotas in the late 1960s signed to the I(owa)G(reat)L(akes) label—Iowa's Premier Teen Label; these cuts from the IGL Story Vol. 1 (http://www.arfarfrecords.com/arfarf/records/aa45.html); their biggest rival was a James Brown cover band fronted by an apparently quite limber Delta Tau Delta fratboy, one Pat O'Brien: who knew? The Torres' bass player is now the Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences at Mississippi State and a former colleague of mine]
The Cranberries-Dreams/Linger/Forever Yelow Skies/The Rebels/I Just Shot John Lennon
Shonen Knife-Flying Jelly Attack/ Tortoise Brand Pot Scrubbing Cleaner's Theme (Green Tortoise)
Fountains of Wayne-Denise/Lost in Space
Galaxie 500-Listen, The Snow is Falling
[Yoko Ono cover replete wih Giant earrings!]
Hüsker Dü-How to Skin a Cat

Jazzy Side
Medeski Martin & Wood-Bemsha Swing-Lively Up Yourself
Lester Bowie Brass Fantasy-If you Don't Know Be Now
Sex Mob-Live and Let Die
World Saxophone Quartet-For The Love of Money/Let's Get It On
Cold Sweat-It's a Man's World
Kenny Barron and Charlie Haden-The Very Thought of You
Jim Cullum Jazz Band w/Topsy Chapman-Go Down Moses
Sun Ra-Days of Wine and Roses

The Dee-N-Wendy BV Mix 2/5/01

Made for a house party in Tuscaloosa jointly given by Dee (then an English Prof at MSU) and Wendy (a noted creative writer at Bama). I have no idea what BV stood for. Something to do with birthdays and the impending Valentine's Day I suspect.

Side A
K.C. & The Sunshine Band-(Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty
Andrea True Connection-More More More (Pt 1)
Thelma Houston-Don't Leave Me This Way
Vicki Sue Robinson-Turn The Beat Around
Rick James-Super Freak
The Crusaders-Street Life
Silver Convention-Fly Robin Fly
Chic-Le Freak
Anita Ward-Ring My Bell
Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony-The Hustle
Sister Sledge-We Are Family
Village People-San Francisco/In Hollywood

Side B
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band-Shake Your Money-Maker
K.C. & The Sunshine Band-That's The Way (I Like It)
Diana Ross-Love Hangover
Chic-Good Times
The O'Jays-For The Love Of Money
James Brown-Hot (I Nedd To Be Loved, Loved, Loved)
The Three Degrees-When Will I See You Again
MFSB w/The Three Degrees-TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)
Emotions-Best of My Love
Marvin Gaye-(Sexual) Healing
Joe Tex-Ain't Gonna Bump
Sam and Dave-Hold On I'm Comin' + Wrap it Up

Jabber Rock 2001 Mix 4/24/01

Jabber Rock is an occasional Arts fundraiser for the MSU Department of English's graduate student-run Creative Writing journal, The Jabberwock Review. I often provided the background/intra-set musical selections.

Side A
Buzzcocks-Breakdown + Boredom
My Blood Valentine-Honey Power + only shallow
Primal Scream-Accelerator
J Mascis & The Fog-More Light
Chemical Brothers-Block Rockin' Beats
Mouse on Mars-actionist respoke
Men from Nantucket-Beneficial Neglect
Wire-Field Day for the Sundays + Outdoor Miner
Stephen Malkmus-Discretion Groove
Kaiser Peas-Sellouts
Spoon-Everything Hits at Once
Fatboy Slim-Going Out of My Head

Side B
3 Songs Guaranteed to Clear Any Dancefloor
Sid Vicious-My Way
The Flying Luttenbachers-Metal Machine Muzak
My Blood Valentine-You Made Me Realise (live at the Loom in Vancouver, 10/92)
[1:50 of proto-Beach Boys harmonies wrapped around 12 minutes of mindblowing feedback]

We'll close out this miniseries on Mix Tapes Friday the 16th with 5 very different, very special mixes given to me over the years by friends.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

San francisco nights/everywhere that I'm not.

Some KZSU-era mix tapes



The Best of Wednesday Night Live compiled by Ben D. and Steve V.

Side A
X-Tal-Encore 10/25/89
The Donner Party-Sickness 2/15/89
Harm Farm Ed's Bait Shop 11/15/89
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282-Motor Flarry II 4/28/90
Tragic Mulatto-My Name is Not O;Neill 11/29/89
Barbara Manning-On On and One 4/26/89 [My 25th birthday!]
The Movie Stars-The Greek Song 4/2/90
Jerry Shelfer-I Can Honly Tonk 5/31/89
The Chuck Prophet Band-Killing the Blues 1/31/90

Side B
M1-Alternative-Juliet 3/1/89
Thadeus-Man in Motion 2/25/90
Primus-Too Many Puppies 5/3/89
Dot 3-99 Monkeys 10/14/88
Psychefunkapus-Image 5/15/89
Fungo Mungo-Les Hommes 2/7/90

S.F. Seen

Side A
Translator-Everywhere That I'm Not
-No Time Like Now
Avengers-Corpus Christi
Penelope Houston-Living Dolls
X-Tal-Amateur Alchemist/Ragamuffin Girl/Your Fragile Mind
Harm Farm-Jersey Devil
Snapdragons-Greeneyed girl

Side B
The (ex-)Catheads-Waterfall
The Movie Stars-Another Romance
Ophelias=Leah Hirsig
Primus-John The Fisherman
Psychefunkapus-17 & Up
Green Day-16/Going to Pasalacqua
SamiAm-Too Msany Buttons
The Mr. T Experience-Supersonic/At Gilman Street
A Subtle Plague-Twist
Frightwig-AMA '89
Tragic Mulatto-Debbie

Blue & Black 3/23/90

Blue Side
Frank Sinatra-One For My Baby (and One More For The Road)
The Pogues & The Dubliners-The Irish Rover
The Doors-Whiskey Bar
The Smiths-These Things Take Time
Neil Young-Barstool Blues
Jefferson Airplane-White Rabbit
Kate Bush-The Hounds of Love
The Style Council w/Tracey Thorn-The Paris Match
Sinead O'Connor-Nothing Compares 2 U
Billy Bragg-Levi Stubbs' Tears
Aaron Neville-Tell It Like It Is
Albert Collins-When A Guitar Plays The Blues
The Clash Revolution Rock (incomplete)

Black Side
The Rolling Stones-Sway
Johnny Cash-The Man in Black
The Pogues-And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
Penelop Houston-Bed of Lies
Sinead O'Connor-Black Boys On Mopeds
Elvis Costello-Shipbuilding
[Yeah I know I shoulda gone with the Robert Wyatt cover, so sue me!]
Jesus and Mary Chain-Nine Million Rainy Days
Joy Division-New Dawn Fades
New Order-Elegia
The Cure-Love Song
David Bowie-Panic In Detroit

38A Quake! 11/3/89

Side A only
Dusty Springfield & The Pet Shop Boys-What Have I Done to Deserve This
Violet Femmes-Blister in the Sun
The B-52s-Love Shack
Haircut One Hundred-Love Plus One
General Public-Never you Done That
Winston Groovy-Please Don't Make Me Cry
Fine Young Cannibals-Come Home Johnny
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell-Ain't No Mountain High Enough
Daed or Alive-Come Home with Me Baby
Modern English-I Melt With You
The Ramones-I Wanna Be Sedated
The J. Geils Band- (Ain't Nothing But A) House Party

Dance Party 6/17/89

B Side only
Men Without Hats-Safety Dance
Cetu Javu-Situations
Depeche Mode-Everything Counts
The B-52s-Legal Tender
Time Zone w/Afrika Bambaattaa-World Destruction
Tone Loc-Wild Thing
Cameo-Word Up!
Fine Young Cannibals-She Drives Me Crazy
New Order-Round & Round
X-Los Angeles
The Sex Pistols-God Save the Queen

Rock Mix/Jazz Mix circa 1987

Side A
The Romantics-What I Like ABout You
The Skids-Into The Valley
The Lyres-Help You Ann
Fuzzbox ep-XXsexx
That Petrol Emotion-Tightlipped
APB-Shoot You Down
The Cult-She Sells Sanctuary
The Cure-The Love Cats
Hüsker Dü-Don't Wnat to Know if You Are Lonely
The Smiths-Bigmouth Strikes Again
Martin Stephenson & The Daintees-Coleen
The Waterboys-The Whole of the Moon
The Velvet Underground-I Can't Stand It
R.E.M.-Ages of You

Side B
The Lester Bowie Brass Fantasy-I Only Have Eyes for You
Charlie Parker-Embraceable You
Stanley Turrentine & the 3 Sounds-Blue Riff
Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five-West End Blues
Cab Calloway-Jumpin' Jive
Duke Ellington-Take The 'A' Train
Miles Davis-So What
Thelonious Monk-Straight, No Chaser
Ben Webster-Autumn Leaves

The English 189A Tapes Creating a Popular Culture: 3 Historical Case Studies 9/11/90
The 3 Historical Case Studies were The English Revolution, The Industrial Revolution in England And the US, and The Rise of Youth Culture after WWII. Basing my course on one John Brewer taught at Harvard, I not only had a huge reader covering everything from Jello Biafra's run for mayor of San Francisco to Mario Savio's FSM Greek Theater speech to Dwight McDonald's famous New Yorker profile of Eugene Gilbert, "A CASTE, A CULTURE, A MARKET" to Marx and Engels' Conditions of the Working-Class in England to Mayhew's London labour and the London poor to Ranter and Muggletonian pamphlets and broadsheets. This mutlimedia course had the listening component highlighted below and a film series including Cromwell, Matewan, Blackboard Jungle, If . . ., Berkeley in the 60s, The Great Rock and Roll Swindle, The Decline of Western Civilization, and Valley Girl.

Tape 1

Side A
Traffic: John Barleycorn
Billy Bragg: The World Turned Upside Down
Steeleye Span: Padstow
Ewan MacColl: London's Lottery/London Mourning in Ashes
Billy Bragg: The Red Flag
Steeleye Span: The Weaver and the Factory Girl
Elvis Presley: Mystery Train/Jailhouse Rock
Chuck Berry: No Particular Place to Go

Side B
The Charlatans: Codine
Great Society: Somebody to Love
Count Five:Psychotic Reaction
The Electric Prunes: I had too much to dream (Last Night)
The Chambers Bros.: Time Has Come Today
The Sex Pistols: Anarchy in the U.K./God Save the Queen/Holidays in the Sun/Belsen was a gas
The Clash: 1977
X: Los Angeles

Tape 2

Side A
Black Flag: TV Party
Suicidal Tendencies:Institutionalized
Joy Division: Decades
The Smiths: That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore
R.E.M.: Radio Free Europe
New Order: Blue Monday
Public Image Limited: Rise
Depeche Mode: Policy of Truth

Side B
The Screaming Trees: Flashes
The Wedding Present: Take me
Ultra Vivid Scene: Special One
Nine Inch Nails: Head Like A Hole
Verdi: Ernani: Addio


Side A
James Brown-Cold Sweat/ There was a Time
Sly & the Family Stone-Sing a Simple Song/Thank You
K. C. & the Sunshine Band-Get Down Tonight
Parliament- Give up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)/ Flashlight
Rick James- Super Freak
Funkadelic- Maggot Brain
Maze with Frankie Beverly-Love is The Key

Side B
Ground Zero-Lettin Ya Know P-Mix
Fishbone-So Many Millions/Ma & Pa
Limbomaniacs-Butt Funkin'
Red Hot Chili Peppers-Give it Away/Knock Me Down
Dot 3-Throwin' Bones
Psychefunkapus-Jesus Crispies/A New Beginning
Primus-Fizzle Fry/Too Many Puppies
Skankin' Pickle-Doin' Something Naughty
Jane's Addiction-Don't Stop

Monday, November 12, 2007

Autumn leaves.

View Larger Map

Fall comes to Edgewood Drive.










State of the nation/shame of the nation.



A truly memorable New Order UK 12" from 1986 (FAC 153) and also the title for one of two extremely famous (at least to me and 2 other friends) mix tapes compiled by fellow URY DJs Stephen Humphries and Simon Aldous. Over the years we've fallen out of touch as much my fault as anybody's. Perhaps they'll run across this paean and drop a line. Stephen and Simon in some ways were chalk and cheese: Hawkwind, Marillion, and other Prog rock excesses versus sleek synth keyboards and glimmering indecipherable lyrics from Elizabeth Fraser circa Victorialand. Amazingly within weeks of each other, they both sent me a compilation of material from the year I had spent at York August 1985-August 1986 plus a few, new choice tidbits. These objects are two of my most cherished relics from that glorious year. I should mention my fellow MA student Simon Loseby who introduced me to both John Peel's radio show and The Redskin's cover of Tennessee Ernie Ford's "16 Tons." In March 1986 I worked "security" on campus in Alcuin up Siward's Howe and across the bridge from URY on what was the final tour for the Redskins.

What's interesting about these tapes beyond the number of tracks that they have in common is how well they express each compiler's personality. For example Simon's was choc full o' tidbits like the acoustic version of the Jesus and Mary Chain's "Some Candy Talking" from the double gatefold double 7" ep (1 7'electric and 1 7 "acoustic) #2 on Melody Maker's singles of the year.

2x7" NEG 19F
Some Candy Talking
Cut Dead (Acoustic)
Psychocandy (Acoustic)
You Trip Me Up (Acoustic)
Some Candy Talking (Acoustic)

I always regretted not taking time off from my MA thesis, The Parlance of Peteloo: Verbal and Visual Iconography of the Manchester Massacre, in July 1986 to hike into York and Red Rhino on Goodramgate to pick this up. But then I was a good little worker bee. Kinda like the time I decided against traveling from Stanford to Rough Trade in SF to pick up Negativland's U2 on vinyl only to have the infamous court decision come down the next day. Poof gone. Of course I have all these tracks now, with or without The Edge's money as collateral, just not on the original vinyl.

Stephen's tape whose name named this blog entry from September 11, 1986 15 years before another day that shall live in infamy, or does 9/11/86 mean November 9th? I can never remember whether the British favour the Europeans or US with regards to month day year traditions. Oh well, I'm going with September 11th since it's such a better story, but in my heart of hearts I know it was really November as the tape arrived through the post like some kind of early Christmas present full of pop delites such as 2 by the Icicle Works, New Model Army's classic Anti-American Rant "51st State," seemingly even more relevant today than it was 21 years ago, and Julian Cope's brilliant "WORLD SHUT YOUR MOUTH" UK #19 single. For those of you unfamiliar with the Icicle Works, they had one great US chart success with a song originally titled "Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)" but recast as "Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly)" for more pedestrian US audiences.

Untitled Playlist by Simon Jem [Ed. note. (8/21/09) As you will see from the comments below, it has come to my attention that this track has wrongly been attributed to one Mr. Aldous when in fact it was programmed by one Jem Stone and passed from him to Simon to me. Mr. Stone has continued on in his broadcast media career and currently works for the BBC's website/new media team. A belated thanks for a great mix tape. Ta!]

Side A
Big Audio Dynamite-C'mon Every Beatbox
The Smiths-Ask
The Woodentops-Everday Living
The Mighty Lemon Drops-Other Side of You
Weather Prophets-Almost prayed
Goodbye Mr.Mackenzie-The Rattler
The Bodines-Heard It All
The Primitives-Really Stupid
Marc Almond-Ruby Red
The Soup Dragons-Hang Ten
Billy Bragg-Greetings to the New Brunette
Ted Hawkins-I Got What I Wanted
View From A Hill-No Conversation
14 Iced Bears-Inside
Primal Scream-It Happens

Side B
Housemartins-Think For A Minute (new version)
Yeah Jazz-This IS Not Love
1000 Violins-Like 1000 Violins
Cocteau Twins-Love's Easy tears
Shop Assistants-I don't wanna be friends with U
The The-Infected 12"
Soup Dragons-Whole Wide World
Jesus and Mary Chain-Some Candy Talking (acoustic)
Everything But The Girl-Come On Home
Hüsker Dü-Sorry Somehow
The Mission-Garden of Delight
Terry & Gerry-Last Bullet in the Gun
James-Really Hard

State of The Nation 9/11/86 Playlist by Stephen

Side A
The Icicle Works-Understanding Jane
The Soup Dragons-Hang Ten
The Smiths-Ask
The Blow Monkeys-Don't Be Scared of Me
B.A.D.-C'mon Every Beatbox
New Model Army-51st State
Elvis Costello-I Want You
Julian Cope-World, Shut Your Mouth
Bob Geldof-This is the World Calling
Billy Bragg-Greetings to the New Brunette
The Bible-Graceland
The Housemartins-Who Needs the Limelight (b-side instrumental)

Side B
New Order-Bizarre Love Triangle
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark-Stay
The Starnglers-Always The Sun
The Big Dish-Big New Beginning
Swing Out Sister-Breakout
The The-Infected
The Woodentops-(Love Affair with) Everyday Livin'
The Icicle Works-Who do you want for your love?
The Housemartins-Think for a Minute
The Smiths-Golden Lights
Billy Bragg-The Home Front
Spandau-Through the Barricades

Speaking of media moguls, I wonder what the following ex-URYers tapes for 1985-19866 would have looked like?
Rollo (Armstrong)
Jeremy Ball
Clare "MacAmleth" Kellet
Jo-Anne Nadler
Stephen Palmer
Tom Stevenson
Jem Stone

Oh and Tom you still owe me over the Housemartins at #1 (November 1986) on the Beeb, even if it WASN'T still there as the Christmas single! And yes now you probably agree you should have charted that first Go! Discs single, "Flag Day," even if it WAS just a show of regional affiliation for the "fourth best band in Hull." Take Jesus — Take Marx — Take Hope!

Next up 2 days celebrating KZSU and a decade in the Bay Area, starting with another tape compiled by others: Ben Detenber and Steve Vernon, hosts/producers of KZSU's Wednesday Night Live. The Second Anniversary Special features classic Mem Aud basement performances by X-TAL, Barbara Manning, Tragic Mulatto, The Chuck Prophet Band, Primus, and Psychefunkapus to name but a few!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Press the eject and give me the tape.

Tower 2.jpg

O.K., So a pre-recorded copy of Journey, Infinity is the one that doesn't belong in these three photos. Just wanted to make a historical point: Journey and Neal Schon were cool way before Milch ended The Sopranos and "Don't U Forget About ME"! Inspiration for this entry comes from Rob Sheffield, Thurston Moore, Robin James, John Oswald, Nick Hornby, DiMo, Ben D., Blue Velvet and everbody ever at KZSU, Dane Johnson, Gleester, and Jeff Erickson @ Stanford, Gorjus, Gene Clark, Kicker of Elves, Alec Eiffel, Sally J. Nordan, the Rev. Joey "the tape of GEL" Pensak @ Mississippi State, the whole gang @ URY but especially Simon and Stephen H (as below will make clear) and all other contributors to the art of the cassette mix tape.

Like I said last week I was "digging in the dirt" well rearranging a closet and I came across a bunch of old cassettes. You remember them, they were after vinyl but before CDs. Yeah I know I already made that same lame - - - joke in the last blog entry. So sue me, my "professional" writing staff are on a picket line outside Black Rock. This is such a rich topic that I'm gonna preview it today and spend the rest of the week highlighting the three eras of my mix tape existence.

Here's a small catalogue/photo essay/playlist of some of my absolute favorite old mix tapes. From the all vinyl all the time mixing-board eras at URY and KZSU right through the CD revolution to the cusp of the digital encoding revolution. ca. 2001/2. Unless otherwise stated all tapes compiled by G E Light. I won't discuss my Harvard -era party mixes (1981-5) as I consider them juvenalia only and of little histoical interest.

1985-6 The URY Years

State of the Nation (9/11/86) compiler: Stephen Humphries
Untitled (Fall 1986) Compiler: Simon Aldous
[Motown Mix] (stolen from out of my 1984 Jetta in the Blackwelder Parking Lot, Escondido Village, Stanford along with the car's original Am-Fm Cassette radio and thus deleted; BTW, Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat, Fugazi, and Dischord Records fame lived in the same grad student housing village as a kid or so the story goes; hale and farewell to a fellow DIYer)
Brit Sounds* *Irish, too/Funky Soul/Solely Funk
"A Mixed Bag" Tape: Rock Comp/Soul-Funk Comp

I've blogged elsewhere about my first radio station. Somehow I stayed away from 'HRB as an undergrad, my bad!

One special one I want to share today:

Sonya's Sisters Solidarity Mix

That should really read Sonja, my "double secret probation" bad.

Sonja Lyubomirsky

I hope like Altered Image's fetching Clare Grogran aka The "real" Gregory' Girl, "she [Sonja] could be happy" with the following play list! I should mention this is seven years before Lillith Fair, having been produced on October 7, 1990.

Side A

Billie Holiday-All or Nothing At All
Aretha Franklin-Respect
Freda Payne-Band of Gold
Sinead O'Connor-The Last Day of Our Acquaintance
Everything But The Girl-Apron Strings
Kate Bush-This Women's Work
Voice of the Beehive-The Beat of Love
Penelope Houston-Bed of Lies
Julie Cruise-Falling
Sarah McLachlan-Steaming
Kirsty MacColl-You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby
Consolidated-Dysfunctional Relationship

Side B

Eurythmics w/Aretha-Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves
Nancy Sinatra-These Boots Are Made for Walking
Queen Latifah w/De La Soul-Mama Gave Birth to the Soul Children
Sarah Vaughan-The Sweetest Sounds
Patti Smith-Gloria
X-Ray Spex-Germfree Adolescents
We've Got a Fuzzbox (and We're Gonna Use It)-XXsexx
The Slits-Typical Girls
Barbara Manning-Every Pretty Girl
Michelle Shocked-My Little Sister
2 Nice Girls-I Spent my Last$10.00 on Birth Control And Beer

Sonja Lyubomirsky was born in Russia, emigrated to the States and graduated summa cum laude in pyschology from Harvard (1989). She started at Stanford, when I was halfway through my decade there and lived in the same dorm complex, Rains Houses, where I was Head Graduate Resident Assistant. It remains a vibrant social haven for bedraggled graduate students as Rains E-Drops, the dorm's online newsletter attests. Of course, back in the day we had an annual social budget of $78,900.00 what with 789 residents at $25/individual/quarter. That buys a lot of Price Club jumbo popcorn bags, believe me! Below are some typical Rains colloquia:

Another Price Club Special.JPG

Marjo says "Darn That Price Club Popcorn!"

typical rains courtyard

Rains Housing Office Courtyard

If memory serves, Sonja lived downstairs in the first building on the right; she certainly laid out on this green, not a sight soon forgotten.

Rains Graduate Seminar

Another Midweek Graduate Seminar, Rains Houses, Willis Courtyard

Hidden Valley BBQ 7:11:90

Rains Hidden Valley BBQ, July 1990

Don Fujino on the extreme left was my longtime Rains 12A Roommate. He did a PhD in High Energy Physics at SLAC and now is at back in the Bay Area researching at Lawrence Livermore Labs or so I last heard. We'll be seeing a lot more of Don to follow. He made his blog photo debut as "a Cluster of Grapes" here. The Stanford Baseball Player in that photo was Martha Meaney now Murray, who is a highly respected Orthopedic Surgeon at Childen's Hospital Boston and an assistant professor of orhopedic surgery at the Harvard Medical School.

Grillin' w:the Bones.JPG

Grillin' w/ Big Bones, Willis Courtyard

Big Bones BBQ II

The Famous Sequel: Big Bones BBQ II in Willis Courtyard

rains adopts pescadero beach

Rains Community Service Team Cleans Up Pescadero State Beach

got  your sno cones here!

At the Stanford Community Carnival Behind Rinconada

Bill, Phil, Tallis, Vi et al.

Some of My GRA Staff in action outside Willis Lounge

Don and GE outside Rains 12A

Don & GE outside Rains 12A, Halloween 1991

Rains Pumpkin Carving 91

Rains Pumpkin Carving Contest, Halloween 1991

The winner was, of course, the pictured EE grad student who wore his creation on his head . . . and in a lanslide.

"Caesar" Don--Rains Ski trip_1.JPG

"Caesar" Don, Rains Ski Trip

Tahoe @ sunset 3:92

Rains Heavenly Ski Trip, Sunset over Tahoe, March 1992

Rains Casino Nite staff.JPG

The Better Half, Rains Casino Nite Staff, Hacienda Commons

Charades from Hell.JPG

Charades from Hell, GRA Staff Training, Bodega Bay, 2001

GRA Staff '93-Angel Island

Rains GRA Staff, Angel Island, 1993

Do you Lindy?.JPG

Do The Lindy 101

Rains Daquiri 1991

And finally . . . 'ritas @ Rains Party 14C

Yup we played only slightly less hard than we worked, studied, and researched. Sonja and I both graduated with PhDs in 1994. She's been a very successful Professor of Pschology at UC Riverside for a hopefully lucky 13 years. Not sure about that crosstown/cross valley Santa Monica to Riverside commute on the 10 though! Next year when the following book really drops, she could become a PHENOMEMNON making the circuit from Oprah to Leno to Dave and onwards . . .

The KZSU Studio B-era

The vast majority of my mix tapes hapened here, but then I lived in the Bay Area for 10 years from 22 to 32 years of age and had total access to KZSU's incredible vinyl treasure trove not to mention briefly a coveted station-wide master key. Perhaps the largest record library in the Bay Area, even if fully a sixth of it is in hard-to-access deep storage cardboard boxes.

Rock Mix/Jazz Mix ca. 1987
Da Berg (The Oak Creek Mix) 1/15/96--last mix made in Palo Alto
S.F. Seen 5/21/90
Blue & Black 3/21/90
38A Quake! 11/3/89 17 Days after this which I helped clean up on the 14th
The Best of Wednesday Night Live: Second Anniversary Special compilers: Ben D. and Steve V.
Halloween 10/31/88
selected $WINGIN' UTTER$ compiler: Dane Johnson
[Dane also happened to be Kevin the original bass player's MA Thesis chair at SFSU; Wickersham wrote about Turiya -- a Sanskrit literary/theological concept -- compared with Jouissance. Dane writes, "I agreed to chair the thesis only if he promised never to include mention of either concept directly or indirectly in any Swingin' Utters song. He agreed." Wickersham more recently has been in SF's The Workin' Stiffs]
Starkvegas and my cd to cassette mixes: The NAD 6325 era AKA pre-Nero, pre-iTunes, pre-MP3s

The local mix tape culture had 2 epicenters, often overlapping, The English Department at Mississippi State and WMSV also on campus. These tapes often come with the odd vinyl track played through a Denon Dp-25F turntable. And they tend to have some space between tracks, as I didn't have a mixing board or fader handy when constructing them.

The Sub 3:00 Mix/The Summer of Love Mix 7/7/98
Local NE MS Music 3/6/00
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Peel (local indie rock from the Golden Triangle) 4/3/01
Light Shakespeare 8/26/97
In A Country State of Mind 8/1/97
SAA in Bay Area Mix Easter 1999 3/29/99
the tape of GEL compiler: Joey Pensak ca. 6/2000
The Dee-n-Wendy BV mix 2/5/01
Brit Pop Mix 5/1/3/99
Jabber Rock 2001 Mix 4/24/01

Next Time URY and Stephen and Simon's competing takes on the the "State of the Nation" UK, Fall 1986.

Sad Coda 9:28 pm CST

Sonya's Sisters Solidarity Mix is dead, long live the mix. As old tapes are wont to do, it slowed down but kept spooling out tape. It was on a techno track by Consolidated so it didn't sound to weird at first. I was across the room. By the time I realized what was up, it was too late. The tape split as I sprinted boomboxwards. I guess I'll just have to virtually recreate the thing from MP3s. C'est La Vie.