Published on 23 Apr 2013
Take the “A” Train
live on April 12, 1964
filmed in Norway
Charles Mingus – Bass
Eric Dolphy – Bass Clarinet
Clifford Jordan – Tenor Sax
Johnny Coles – Trumpet
Jaki Byard – Piano
Dannie Richmond – Drums
April 15, 2017
April 10, 2017
Harry Shearer has launched a suit against the owners of the movie Spinal Tap after he and his co-stars earned a pitiful sum on merchandise and music royalties, despite the film’s continuing popularity. Movie studios and music conglomerates use impenetrable and complex accounting “rules” to hide any profits (as profits need to be shared with actors, directors, musicians, and writers):
Behind the ambitious, creative talent that is Hollywood lies a darker side of the entertainment industry little appreciated by the ordinary moviegoer. It’s an opaque world of film financing, revenue accretion and minimal profit share. If exposed, as our Spinal Tap lawsuit against Vivendi aims to do, fans will no doubt be horrified at the shameful gravy train that rolls for corporate rights holders at the expense of creators. So far, challenges to media conglomerates’ comfortable status quo provoke little more than derision, since the power balance is so skewed in their favor. But, for how much longer?
Spinal Tap began as a mock rock band that we four – Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and myself – developed for an appearance on a TV pilot at the end of the 1970s. On our own initiative, we wrote and recorded most of the songs and performed them live in several music clubs around L.A. before any cameras rolled. The ultimate movie was truly, in the words of Michael McKean, “the result of four very stubborn guys working very hard to create something new under the sun.”
Unfortunately, “Hollywood accounting” isn’t a practice confined to California. Within the success story that is the European film and television industry, which generated €122 billion in 2013, less than one-third of 1 percent was shared with the writers and directors of the works created. A peculiar definition of “fairness,” you might say.
Under French law, filmmakers should be paid a fee for their work plus an ongoing remuneration proportionate to the exploitation of their creation. In reality, less than 3 percent of French writers and directors receive anything more than the initial payment of that minimum guarantee. And 70 percent of all European film directors are asked to defer a proportion of their original fees (as we, the creators of This is Spinal Tap, originally agreed to do).
The Europeans are simply following Hollywood’s lead; however, Spinal Tap‘s rights are determined by US law. In fighting for creators’ rights against a French conglomerate, Spinal Tap is simply pursuing a legal path well-trodden by our American creator peers. The well-known science-fiction “flop” of a film, Return of the Jedi, has apparently never gone into profit despite earning almost $500 million worldwide. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, apparently “lost” almost $170 million.
April 4, 2017
Published on May 21, 2013
The wonderful Ray Manzarek tells of the making of “Riders on The Storm”
Rest in peace Ray
March 23, 2017
Uploaded on Sep 9, 2008
Another from Simon Phillips Returns
March 19, 2017
Published on 27 Feb 2015
The desire to record the human voice can be traced back to the 10th century. Thomas Edison is the first man who finally crafted the phonograph, a machine that can record sound. A few more GREAT MINDS are necessary to improve the technology until the first record made of shellac is produced. Emile Berliner, the inventor of the gramophone, is the reason why record lovers still listen to vinyl LPs to this day! This is the first part of our small series about the invention of sound recording.
March 16, 2017
Uploaded on Aug 21, 2009
One of his several amazing productions. Especially the beginning is mindblowing. Unfortunately no video. This track can be found on the Drum Nation Volume 1 CD.
March 12, 2017
Pop music’s impact on the greater culture is also largely over. There will never be another Beatles or Rolling Stones. That’s because “American culture” is over. Prior to the two great industrial wars of the 20th century, America did not have a unified national culture. It was federation of regions. New England may as well have been a different country from the Deep South or the Southwest. The South was very different from Appalachia. There was no unified “American” culture to which all the regional cultures submitted.
The great national project of conquering Europe and Asia opened the door for the flowering of an American culture after the war. Into it was drawn anything that could be sold as celebrating this new world power. It is why what we think of as American pop culture blew up after the war. In music, for example, producers scoured the land looking for authentic American sounds to package up and sell, in order to meet the demand of this new growing thing called Americana. It even went global, in search of spice to ad to the mix.
Like the music business itself, the great unifying national culture that blossomed in the 20th century has run its course. America is, to a great degree, falling back to its natural, regional state. Just look at the popularity of movies and TV shows by region and you see old weird America emerging again. Live acts now setup their tours to reflect the fact that they have greater appeal in some regions than in others. If you are a country act, for example, there’s no point in booking a lot of dates in the north, outside of the one-off festivals in the summer that feature a variety of acts.
That’s another lesson from pop music. The past is the actualized, the present is the actualizing and the future in the potential. Culture is that middle part, standing on the past in an effort to realize the potential that lies in the future. Once culture attains its natural end, it dies. What’s left is what it created. The grand unified pop culture of the Cold War era is now like an old factory building that has been renovated to be lofts, shops and boutique restaurants. It’s influence on what comes next is purely utilitarian.
The Z Man, “The Cycle of Life”, The Z Blog, 2017-03-01.
March 9, 2017
Published on Jan 21, 2014
Simon Phillips & Protocol + Ndugu Chancler + Billy Ward
– Andy Timmons – Everette Harp – Steve Weingart – Del Atkins: Biplane to Bermuda – MD Drumfestival 2008
H/T to ESR who said “I had a very powerful experience recently. I found my love of jazz again. Here’s the recording that did it”.
February 24, 2017
Uploaded on 12 Nov 2009
February 1, 2017
Embedding has been disabled, so you’ll have to go to YouTube to watch this one.
Published on 3 Nov 2014
Documentary about the musician Mike Oldfield, whose 1973 album Tubular Bells launched the Virgin record label and became the biggest selling instrumental album of all time.
December 25, 2016
“Fairytale of New York,” The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl
This song came into being after Elvis Costello bet The Pogues’ lead singer Shane MacGowan that he couldn’t write a decent Christmas duet. The outcome: a call-and-response between a bickering couple that’s just as sweet as it is salty.
December 23, 2016
Published on 5 Oct 2013
I know there’s a good few copies of this out on YouTube, but here it is, again! The other copies were either split up into individual tracks, the best complete one (from BBC Four’s rebroadcast in 2009) had the wrong aspect ratio, which annoyed the hell out of me! So, here this is…
Video and audio have been tidied up very slightly, not much was needed!
Kate Bush – Christmas Special
(Gymnopédie No.1 – composed by Erik Satie) 03:44
Symphony In Blue 04:44
Them Heavy People 08:20
(Intro for Peter Gabriel) 12:52
Here Comes The Flood (Peter Gabriel) 13:22
Ran Tan Waltz 17:02
December Will Be Magic Again 19:43
The Wedding List 23:35
Another Day (with Peter Gabriel) 28:05
The Man With The Child In His Eyes 36:21
Don’t Push Your Foot On The Heartbreak 39:24
“I was recently asked about this BBC TV special and I thought I’d share my comments here. Kate: Kate Bush Christmas Special is a stage performance by Kate Bush with her special guest Peter Gabriel. Though most of the songs are not holiday ones, they come from Bush’s first three albums (Never for Ever her third album would be released in 1980 after this 1979 TV special was taped). The performances include costumes, choreographed dances and a wind machine, creating an eclectic music TV special to say the least.
This is one of the programs that makes my research quite difficult — because it calls itself a Christmas Special yet it contains only one performance of a Christmas song “December Will Be Magic Again” (a song that wouldn’t be released as a single by Bush until the following year, in 1980). TV programming that calls itself a Christmas Special and yet contains little to no Christmas entertainment is actually quite common — especially on the BBC.
Between the end of November and the end of December each year, there is quite a bit of special programming on television. Remember Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Special — it aired in December that year and includes only one holiday song, a performance of “Blue Christmas.” Is it considered a Christmas special? No, not really. And so, despite its title, the lack of holiday programming in Kate Bush’s 1979 TV special means it shouldn’t be considered a Christmas special either. But the Kate Bush Christmas Special is certainly worth watching!”
H/T to Ghost of a Flea for the link.
December 21, 2016
Repost – The Monkees – “Riu Chiu” HD (Official Music Video) – from THE MONKEES – THE COMPLETE SERIES Blu Ray
Uploaded on 15 Dec 2015
The Monkees perform “Riu Chiu” from Episode 47, “The Monkees’ Christmas Show”.
H/T to Kathy Shaidle for the link.
December 8, 2016
The BBC reported that Greg Lake has died:
Greg Lake, who fronted both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died aged 69.
One of the founding fathers of progressive rock, the British musician is known for songs including “In the Court of the Crimson King” and his solo hit “I Believe in Father Christmas”.
He died on Wednesday after “a long and stubborn battle with cancer”, said his manager.
The news comes nine months after Lake’s band-mate Keith Emerson died.
Keyboardist Emerson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, coroners in the US said.
Lake’s manager Stewart Young wrote on Facebook: “Yesterday, December 7th, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer.
“Greg Lake will stay in my heart forever, as he has always been.”
Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett paid tribute on Twitter, writing: “Music bows its head to acknowledge the passing of a great musician and singer, Greg Lake.”
“Another sad loss with the passing of Greg Lake,” wrote Rick Wakeman, keyboardist in pro rock band Yes.
“You left some great music with us my friend & so like Keith, you will live on.”
December 6, 2016
Mrs. T and I just got back from seeing Maria Schneider’s first set at the Jazz Standard. Two thoughts come to mind, the first original and the second not:
- In the presence of music, time and trouble stop.
- The band took a couple of corners too fast on “Gumba Blue.” Everything turned out all right, though, and when the number was over, Maria grinned at the audience and quoted something that David Bowie once said to her: “The beautiful thing about music is that if the plane goes down, everybody walks away.”
I’ll co-sign that.
Terry Teachout, “Two thoughts about music”, About Last Night, 2016-11-25.