Friday, 28 February 2020

It started last December (actually it might have been October with Genesis - see FMS191) with me watching a Lynyrd Skynyrd programme that reminded me of their music while introducing some great tracks I'd missed along the way.
Into January and it was the turn of Al Stewart. You see back in the 70s I would buy LPs by certain bands and my brother would buy albums by other artists. This worked well, until we both moved out and I had all the Genesis and Pink Floyd records while he had all the Dylan and Al Stewart. I basically lost touch with Al Stewart from there on.
As I rediscovered his music - 'Year of The Cat' apart he rarely got much radio time - I found songs I'd long forgotten and some new ones that I loved as much. His songs always taking you on a journey. 
Al Stewart really is folk music's history man and has quipped that at least 'you never run out of material to sing about'. His 1973 release 'Past, Present And Future' covers a lot of history and ends with the almost 10 minute 'Nostradamus'. Put your headphones on to appreciate a middle section I'd forgotten all about - the wonderful indulgence of mesmerising guitar, three-minutes long, break your strings, strumming tour-de-force packed with harmonics, fretboard workouts and phasing effects.
Very nice video walking us through the lyrics > Past, Present & Future... maybe ?

© 1973  Al Stewart wrote about this visionary in his own sleeve notes. “Whether or not you believe his prophecies to be true rests with you, but history seem to be on his side.”

Other discoveries I learnt:
'Trains' >
'Coldest Winter' >
That last one is from a brilliant live CD recorded with Dave Nachmanoff on lead guitar called 'Uncorked', containing acoustic versions of many favourites. Pick any track off YouTube.

Friday, 21 February 2020

The recent 2020 Grammy Awards provided a list mostly of artists unknown to me and I did wondering what all the fuss was about. However the category winner of 'Best Rock Performance' by Gary Clark Jr. caught my eye. And certainly my ear when I listened to him. 
First off I watched a video shot at the Surf Lodge, Montauk on Long Island, where I know I've been. Then I found this take from Glastonbury in 2016, that has far better sound and a performance of the same song 'When My Train Pulls In', that even the band seem to be into more. And the crowd serenade 'Ride around Gary, ride Gary ride' (the Wilson Pickett original was 'Sally', of course).
Touches of Hendrix in this track, all you wanna do is ride around, Gary Clark Jr.

FYI: The Surf Lodge video, just as a comparison >

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

An alternative (and occasional) music posting highlighting something out of the ordinary. Perhaps of limited appeal, unconventional, experimental or just far-out ! Call it what you like (or switch it off, if you don't like). 

New music 'Midweek Spot' - on seeing the Grammy Awards 'Album of the Year' nomination and having read that this album was many reviewers Best Album for 2019, I decided to investigate further. Having liked her 2012 'Video Games' off the 'Born To Die' CD, other weird album titles followed: 'Ultraviolence', 'Lust For Life' and now the latest 'Norman F**king Rockwell' ?!! (Title explained here).
Full of interesting songs, none more so than this near 10 minute track of day dreamy psychedelia that hypnotically ticks along with you fully expecting it to explode any minute (like a time bomb) ... Lana del Rey singing 'Venice Bitch' over a video collage of vintage Super 8-style freeway footage, faded, flashed, looped and sped up, intercut with weathered images of Lana. Listen out for some Keith Emerson like synthesizer noodlings and shredding guitar work. Weird goings on. 
I like it a lot. But don't look now, is that car following us ?

If you like too, then check out: 'California' >
and maybe 'Mariners Apartment Complex' & 'The Greatest', all off the latest album.

Friday, 14 February 2020

For the first time the Music Spot shares the day with St. Valentine. I therefore make no apologies for this week's track. Ol' JT himself, James Taylor suggesting you 'Shower the People' you love with love. 
Recorded 'live' in 2009 and like the earlier 'Live' CD release from 1993, where I first heard this track, it has Arnold McCullar's vocals at the end (where unfortunately some of the video lip sync is a bit off). Scroll down to the comments to hear from Arnold myself - saying how proud he is to be in the band.

Again >
An earlier video of 'Shower the People' from 1988 > 'Live in Boston' (lovely audience reactions) and a pre-recorded tape part:

Friday, 7 February 2020

Having taken a bit of a back seat with last month's listener requests, I've not however been idle and have been accumulating tracks for you. The problem now is I have a lot, so I must refocus and choose which ones to post.

Last week I finally watched a TV show broadcast at the end of last year called incorrectly 'The Decade the Music Died'. I knew exactly where they were coming from but the music never dies, it just fades out. The programme featured the many artists, young and old, who'd left us in the past 10 years. Though it didn't by any means include everyone. Ric Ocasek of The Cars for one, who died last September.
While searching 'The Cars' a lot of videos came up '(Live on Fridays)' or simply '(live) - Fridays' - which seemed to good to ignore. Turns out it's a late night 
ABC network, weekly cult comedy show called 'Fridays' from the early 1980s. Lots of appearances by The Cars, so here is 6 foot 3 Ric (in case you think the video is distorted) singing 'Touch and Go'. Nice melodic guitar solo from Elliot Easton too > live on Fridays

Another one from the same show has comedian Larry David with hair introducing 'Since You're Gone' >