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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Antonin Artaud - Pour en finir avec le Judgement du dieu" Internet recording

Antonin Artaud - Pour en finir avec le Judgement du dieu

I have this incredible joy of listening to Poets reading their works in their native language, and the fact that I don’t understand that language is an additional plus for me.  But I think people in my category would have no trouble listening to and enjoying the voice of Antonin Artaud reading his works.  This piece was recorded for a radio broadcast, but was banned before it even got on the air.  There are very few recordings of Artaud, so each one has to be treasured in the sense it is a voice lost with the noise out there.  Nevertheless there have been numerous recordings of this piece floating on Earth as well as on the Internet.  

This work is very musical, and keeps one on their toes, because you don’t know what is going to happen.  There are percussion affects as well as ambient noise affects through out the work.  Even though I don’t know the language it is pretty intense stuff. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Antoine - "un éléphant me regard" EP

Antoine starts off Donovan and goes into Jacques Dutronc land.   So if one looks at his career he went folk to garage rock to psych-garage rock.  And I don’t know what he did in the 1970s but I find his later 60s work really interesting.  “un éléphant me regard” is kind of wacko.  But I like the slowly built up “qu’est-ce que je foes ici” which has sort of an Animals drive.  For those who like their folk music in French with some 60's poison. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Antoine - "Lolita Lolita" EP

Antoine - Lolita Lolita EP
Download, 1967
Vogue Records

Antoine is hardcore French folk-pop.  The Donovan affect is so strong in his music.  It is almost if you can't get enough of Donovan’s music, then thank god for Antoine.  Like all great folk songs “Madame Laure Messenger, Claude, Jermie et L’Existence de dieu” borrows from the melody of “Hey Joe” but done in a snappy jazzy way - its a great cut.   On this four-song EP, besides the track mentioned, has a big production or big band sound.  He’s an artist who serves his songs with whatever it needs.  My question is, was there any bad songs put out in 1967?

Antoine - "La Guerre" EP

Antoine - La Guerre EP
Vogue Records

The garage French rock version of classic Donovan.  “La Guerre”  I am going to have to presume that this is either an anti-war song, more likely about Vietnam, which makes it very May 68.  I like his voice, his music, well, everything. “Ne t'en fais pas pour cela, ils revent” (Don’t Worry About, They’re Dreaming) is Bob Dylan if he landed on St Michel sidewalk.  It even has that Al Kooper organ sound.  The beauty of the EP format is that the music, the image, the whole package is compact.   Like a full album, the EP works it magic the same way.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Antoine - "A Tramontane" EP

Antoine - La Tramontane EP
Vogue Records

Antoine is totally underrated in the English speaking world, well… more like totally unknown, which is a shame because’s he really good.  On the surface he reminds me of Mickie Most era Donovan.  With a touch of Jacques Dutronc thrown in the mix, with unusual production sounds.   “La Tramontane” is a pysch-pop song with a hint of Nino Rota thrown in.  “Mon auto m’attend” is a relaxed jazzy ballad that goes well with drinking on the patio on a warm day. But really all four songs sounds like a great Donovan b-side.  Truly fab.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Anthony Perkins - "From My Heart"

Anthony Perkins - From My Heart
Album, Download, 1958
RCA Records

It’s not unusual for a movie or TV actor to do an album during the late 1950s to 1960s.  Even up to the 70s, but I think the actor Anthony Perkins, in the late 50s was very much interested in being a recording star  But alas the movie world came upon his door and he answered the knocks of Orson Welles and Hitchcock and history was made.  Nevertheless this album came before that knock, and at then there is nothing awkward about his singing. He’s quite good.  The material is so-so, but he had the voice to cut it.  It would have been interesting to see if he could have added the quirkiness of his acting talent to his music, but alas that didn’t happen.  But on the other hand the arrangements are good.  It's a shame that he didn't stay with the music making. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Anthony Newley - "The Decca Years 1959 - 1964

Anthony Newley - The Decca Years 1959 - 1964
CD, Compilation, 2008
Decca Records

My strong interest in U.K. life right before The Beatles hit the world made me buy this collection of Anthony Newley early recordings.   I knew of him, because he was on American TV a lot during the late 60s and 70s.  Also years later I read that David Bowie was a fan of his, due to the fact that he sang with an English accent, just like his other singing idol Syd Barrett.  

Newley is an interesting figure in 20th Century pop.  Hardcore show biz figure but one with a lot of personality, especially in the songs he wrote and covered.  He had a personal touch, the voice always had that quiver quality but I feel he was singing for the great masses and not to that one sole individual in the audience or by the record player.  He was the Cockney version of Sammy Davis Jr.  A true song and dance man in the world of the swinging 60s. 

 “Bee-Bom” is a fantastic piece of recording.   A fantastic piano riff is played with Newley doing a British version of Broadway doing rockabilly.  Overall his music is very conservative but still, there is something ‘there’ that is interesting.  In my imagined world, Bowie would have produced him.   Or maybe even Morrissey?   If you are going to get a Newley album, I think this is the one to get.  Also on a personal note, I bought this CD at HMV on Oxford Street, while working on the “Sparks-Tastic” book, so it has deep importance to my life

Ava Cherry - "The Astronettes Sessions" (David Bowie)

Ava Cherry - The Astronettes Sessions
CD, Album, Remastered, Reissue, UK, 2009
Black Barbarella Records

In the middle of the cocaine haze, David Bowie made a secret masterpiece of a recording.  The Astronettes Sessions are a bit of a mystery to me.  Was it ever meant to be an official release of any sort?   I have seen this under the heading of an Astronettes recording, and now under Ava Cherry, who was Bowie’s backup singer in the Young Americans era.   But it is not really an Ava Cherry album, due that she doesn’t sing lead in all the songs.   For instance Bowie sings “I am Devine.”   Some of the vocals are taken care of by long-term Bowie pal Geoff MacComack as well as by Cherry.

Nevertheless this is a fantastic Bowie album.  Whatever they are demos for other singers or Bowie hiding his identity in front of The Astronettes, this is really the little sister album to Young Americans.  Bowie’s cover choices are interesting, everything from Roy Harper to Frank Zappa (great choice by the way), and Bruce Springsteen.  On one level there is something very Broadway about it all.  But without a doubt it has traces of the Young Americans vibe running through the album.  The standout tracks are “I am Devine,” Zappa’s “How Could I Be Such A Fool,” and the great “I am a Laser.”   Also it is interesting that there is a version of “God Only Knows” which he did later for his “Tonight” album.  It seems that Bowie doesn’t throw out his ideas, but uses it later when he sees fit to do so.   Like his Toy this is another lost Bowie album, and I think its fantastic.