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The Real Thing

I’m surprised I ever forgot about this song. To be fair, when I was young I never really realised how psychedelic it was; it was just being played on the radio because it was featured in The Dish.

No real spiel, it’s just an excellent, dare I say, catchy, song. Listen.

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Why Pink Floyd

With the new re-releases of Pink Floyd, and the sudden explosion of bootlegs onto Youtube, I thought that perhaps a piece about the band itself was warranted. And what a band.

The most extraordinary fact about Pink Floyd was how little the band itself mattered. For undoubtedly one of the most important and successful bands in popular music, it is astonishing how little name recognition there is for any of Pink Floyd’s members compared to the well-known relationships and antics of comparable performers of the day. Ironically, the only member with significant name recognition is the fire that burnt twice as bright, Syd Barrett, who left the group within a year of their debut and soon became a recluse. Doubtless Syd’s insanity helped to fuel talk about the Floyd, and later greatly influenced their writing of Wish You Were Here and a few of the Dark Side tracks. View full article »

Snob Rage – Why So Serious?

Pity the music snob. No really, it’s a hard life. No one lets us pick the radio station, our music collection grows exponentially as our taste grows steadily more selective, and every conversation with a ‘normie’ quickly bombs once we dare reveal our affection for semi-obscure alt rock bands from the mid eighties, or even say the name ‘Captain Beefheart’. Oh sure, there are upsides. While everybody else has to make do with being pretty certain that they’ve got good taste, we know it. We’ve got the proof right there; just look at our iTunes library, or even – and you’ll pardon me if I get a little excited here – our record collection. So while your average schlub, unwilling to cultivate a more exclusive music taste, has to make do with whatever music the Top 40 or the club will provide, we will always have our finally tuned, impeccably tasteful and emotionally satisfying collection that makes up the soundtrack of our lives. But we’ve got a little problem. Every now and then our careful ecosystem gets disturbed and we are, through circumstances beyond our control, brought face to face with that thing we’ve devoted every waking hour to avoiding – Modern Popular Music. That’s when even the strongest of my tasteful brethren can fall victim to Snob Rage.

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The Internet is great for a few things

While I may be a self-confessed Pink Floyd fanatic, this concert is excellent, nay essential, listening for any person who has ever enjoyed Dark Side of the Moon… which is essentially everyone with a pair of functioning ears and even the most lowbrow of music tastes. Despite the large amount of bootlegging, it’s always been an anomaly in Pink Floyd’s catalogue that while there are now five official live releases – Ummagumma documenting their very early Gilmour days, Live At Pompeii capturing the zenith of their psychedelic phase, The Wall Live featuring the eponymous album in 1980-81, and Delicate Sound of Thunder and Pulse featuring the latter day band in a greatest-hits like sense (“dinosaur rock” if you will) – there has never been any album or video released documenting the Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and Animals tours, what is universally regarded as their creative and instrumental peak. View full article »

Larry Young’s “Unity”

Easily Young’s most famous record, Unity tears apart all stereotypes about the Hammond Organ. Far from its blues roots or the then-popular Soul Jazz, Unity tips the chilled vibe of the Hammond on its head, entering into a frantic post-bop excursion. Young didn’t go alone either; with trumpeter Woody Shaw, who composed half the tunes, stalwart tenor Joe Henderson and the beyond-enthusiastic Elvin Jones on drums, this album was bound to be excellent. View full article »

Nah. No description for this one. You all know it, but you have to listen to it again. Music doesn’t really get better than this.

Kooyeh – Again at the Lansdowne

So we’ve had something of a residency at the Lansdowne. Frankly, it’s not a glamourous place, the beers are overpriced and the sound guys often suck. But I have to say, it’s our kind of place. It’s just grungy enough to have a bit of character, but not so grungy that it’s dank, and uncomfortable. Sure it’s not ideal, but if you’re not there for the music or the steak then you’ve kinda missed the point. View full article »

Guest Entry: Andrew Hill’s “Pax”

Edit: In my haste to publish this excellent article I forgot to attribute it to the writer himself, the legendary Jono “Funny Man” Savery. 

For most of his lifetime, Andrew Hill was under-heard and under-rated. Though there was a sudden surge in recognition late in his career, the problem is that, while those who have heard him now tend to revere him, far too many jazz-listeners have not. Why is he so obscure? It probably has something to do with two things. Firstly, when describing Andrew Hill, the most common adjectives you will hear are ‘cerebral’, ‘complex’ and ‘challenging. This obviously isn’t a bad thing, but cerebral isn’t what draws the crowds. Secondly, he never really slotted nicely into any of the many sub-genres of jazz; rather he traversed the line between the outside and the straight-ahead without ever falling strictly into either. He’s often called ‘avant-garde’, but that doesn’t do him justice. Nor is he really hard-bop, whatever that means. The tracks may go head-solo-head, but neither the head nor the solos are what you normally hear given the hard-bop label. View full article »

If There Is Something

I’ve been going through one of those phases recently. I was considering reviewing this entire album (Roxy Music’s debut), but I quickly realised that despite how many times I’ve listened to it, I’m still not sure if I get it. Although I think “getting” Roxy Music would be antithetical to their entire cause; like an unholy marriage of Sgt. Peppers and Dadaism, Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno and co. served to stylise and obfuscate simultaneously. The songs were profound, but only to the point where you realise that you still have no idea what they’re talking about. View full article »

Quiet Child at the Lansdowne

So it’s Saturday night at the Lansdowne. You’ve paid $16 for a jug of beer, there’s some punk rock band on the stage, the place is packed and the sound guy confuses quality with volume. Hey, that’s cool, you know what you’re getting, and to the bar’s credit, it never fails to deliver on that. We’ve written about this before; while sometimes it involves being engulfed in a sea of mediocrity, there is the persistent hope that something will eventually challenge the stereotype. View full article »