portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Sunday, November 27, 2011

and again.........

Big O posts an Eno/Byrne classic.............


 Now I have this already and have posted it elsewhere but this is a different recording to the version I have so it's a puzzle at the moment. I have also said elsewhere what a profound influence Eno was on me and especially having come to lecture to us as a visiting lecturer at Leicester Polytechnic (remember those?!) School of Art courtesy of my tutor the truly brilliant British composer, Gavin Bryars.

  The album 'My Life in The Bush of Ghosts) was a revelation to me and a ground breaking experiment in how we make music ( I say 'we'!). It encouraged me to go out and by the book from whence the title comes by Amos Tutuola which frankly is extraordinary. Bonkers to boot! As for the 'Ghosts' boot, here t'is with certain tracks omitted as they have been released since on the re-issue of the official album but get in touch if you want them here for a complete experience. It's truly wonderful to revisit such a seminal piece. Get it over at Big O while its listed. If you've missed it and are reading this after Friday 25th Nov get in touch and will post it elsewhere.......Enjoy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Big O do it again!


Complete dowload available now!
November 23, 2011 – 4:20 pm

Hamburg 2011 [Crystal Cat 983-84, 2CD]

Live at Stadtpark Freilichtb├╝hne, Hamburg, Germany; June 26, 2011. Very good to excellent audience recording.
Big O says: "This is a companion release to the June 22 Milan show [see previous entry lower down the page] and should appeal to those who enjoyed the Milan show. And the setlist is different enough to warrant at least a listen.
Over at boblinks.com, Brian Steedman commented on the show:
Things Have Changed was magnificent - wonderful vamping voice and great expression and phrasing; the harmonica interludes were very atmospherically deep and ‘Yiddish-sounding’. I Don’t Believe You was a similar, superb treatment - great tender phrasing against a simple strummed backing with long line-ending notes. Beyond Here Lies Nothing drove along with gusto and, by now, we were hearing the crowd repeatedly add little whoops of appreciation at the subtleties of the interplay between band and voice.
Bob’s guitar up in the mix, Charlie was playing solid clever fills against lovely rhythm from Stu and back-bony bass from Tony. To Ramona was a crooners dream in waltz-time, with Bob daring his voice to let him down… it almost didn’t!! Then, Cold Iron’s Bound: the third centre-stage song, and a rocking stop-starting one, with leaping, echoing voice and lovely drumming from George…
I go from place to place dreaming unsuccessfully of a performance of Visions of Johanna and, when it finally came this time I had been so swept along by Highway 61 Revisited that I didn’t see it coming in its uncharacteristic arrangement. I am, of course, so grateful to hear it any way…
This brings me to Ballad of A Thin Man, which was a standout last year and is, if anything, even better now. Bob has got the gestures off well and the nuances he has developed in his singing and harp-playing are quite amazing; the crowd was, in fact amazed!! Like A Rolling Stone was the anthem singalong we all craved after that, and Bob wittily played ‘I bet you can’t keep in time with me’, and we couldn’t…
A GREAT concert… The band has grown, with Stu at last seeming to me to earn his fee and register involvement, Donnie and Charlie playing skilled, subtle, unflashy stuff, George was resonant and Bob drove the tempo with those weird organ licks… The audience was the last band member and rose to the occasion. Small and perfectly formed (apart from those who know who they are in the front row) it was generous and involved on a warm midsummer evening; Bob saw this, said it was good, and gave generously."
Download here.............
Once again, thanks to Lincoln Park Mark for sharing the tracks.

Bob Dylan - vocals, keyboard, electric guitar
Charlie Sexton - lead guitars
Stu Kimball - rhythm guitars
Donnie Herron - pedal steel, violin, electric mandolin
Tony Garnier - bass, stand-up bass
George Recile - drums

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Molehills out of Mountains

will be released on 5th December 2011.   

You can pre-order it now:

Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you...

 A couple of new Bobby boots this cold and misty morning here. Both Outtakes collections that are seriously worth a check if you haven't already got them. Firstly the outtakes from the film 'Don't Look Back' and fine revisits of classic Bob they are too....disappointing lack of detail as to where and when they are recorded but none the less fascinating for all that. Some wonderful live recordings of classic early Bob at his poetic best. An outtakes from the Empire Burlesque sessions. I find this one fascinating if only for an early version of Brownsville Girl with completely different lyrics and structure. Nearly finished and final version of a song in progress, the differences are endlessly fascinating. You know where to find them by now...over on the Dylan page. Enjoy!

Did anyone catch Martin Scorcese's 'Living in the Material World' on teevee last week?
Wonderful sad and profound portrait of our much missed kid brother, George Harrison. I found myself overcome with emotion and melancholy at several points throughout but it stood as a lovely profile of the man in all his mercurial glory and what a lovely, lovely person his widow, Olivia, is along with his son Dhani too. Lovely to see Ringo, who is responsible for telling one of the two of my favourite quotes of Georges. When going to see George for the last time in Swiss hospital, Ringo recounts that he had to make is leave by explaining that his daughter was seriously ill in Boston and awaiting an operation. To which George from his death bed asks "Do you want me to come with you?"
My other favourite quote comes from after the stabbing in Friar Park. All the harrowing terror of the attack put into context by George when leaving the house on a stretcher, he is aware of two new staff standing in the door way as their new employer is carried out. To whom he asks, raising his head from the stretcher, "What do you think of the job so far?"  
Priceless Scouse humour bar none! We miss him!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hey! Big O have a Bobby D boot from Milan this year.......visitors will now that I check the wonderfully different 'Big O' ezine on a daily basis and always like to give them a plug especially when they post Bobby stuff and today is no exception
It's a Lincoln Park Mark production so you know its worthwhile........Big O says "Live at the Alcatraz Club, Milan, Italy; June 22, 2011. Very good to excellent audience recording.
Bob Dylan’s best live period might have been way behind him but anyone who is following his current tour could do well to pick up this recent Milan release from Crystal Cat. As a songwriter, musician and performer, Dylan on stage these days hardly surprises anyone. But what he can and will do is throw a few curve balls. According to gsparaco of collectorsmusicreviews.com, the source tape is reportedly an excellent audience recording.
This is what Barnaby Nelson wrote of the Milan set at boblinks.com:
Dylan is clearly fit and in strong voice. He jogged to the keyboard Leonard Cohen style (didn’t think I’d ever write that). Apart from the song selection the thing that blew me away was how theatrically he was performing. For many of the songs he would prowl around the stage (front right, front left, centre, all the way back again) with hand held mic ‘acting out’ the drama of the lyrics with heaps of theatrical hand and body movements and facial expressions. Yes, there’s a bit of Al Jolson about it, a bit of ‘50s crooner, but more than a heavy dose of mad preacherman having a rant. Brilliant stuff. The closest thing I’ve ever seen to this is the footage of the Prague ’95 shows. It was most evident during Can’t Wait, Forgetful Heart, and Thin Man. Can’t Wait featured a final line of about four “I don’t know-s” in a row before the final refrain. He was really interacting fully with the  audience, who were giving him plenty of energy back.
Thanks to Lincoln Park Mark for sharing the tracks."

It's worth pointing out that this double disc set includes 6 tracks from earlier in June this past year at the Swiss Zirkusplatz in Sursee plus additionally versions of 'I Dreamed I Saw St Augustine' from Cork Ireland and 'Gonna Change may Way Of Thinking' from the Feis in London's Finsbury Park. It's worth it for the set from Milan's Alcatraz club - check out his 'I Don't Believe you ( She Acts Like We Never Have Met)' & ' Summer Days' if you think you've heard all you need of the more recent Never Ending Tour sets.......never fails to satisfy! Rockabilly rools!

His Bobness in Milan 2011 - Big O

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hey! Joe Cocker anyone? I think so!
So after a weekend of five Dylan discs how about I sign off this last couple of weeks holiday postins with a blast from the past with Joe Live at the Troubadour in LA 1976.
Joe's Mad Dogs and Englishman meant a great deal to me and bought it when it came out after friends turned me onto how great he was (IS! ED) this could have you dancing and waving your arms around the living room and no mistake!  Dear Landlord? Hitchcock Railway? Yessuh! Mind the aspidistra!

Over on the my back pages page..........you know where

Friday, November 11, 2011

11xEleven album out now
Alb from Wilful Missing has released his album......go and get it NOW!
He says......
"To celebrate the micro-occasion of 11:11:11 11/11/11 on 11th November 2011 I have produced an album of eleven 11-second tunes.   The total length of the album is just 2 minutes and 1 second, meaning the whole thing would probably take less time to listen to than it's taking you to read about it.  Is this the shortest album ever released?  Hopefully.

I've been planning this album for ages (some may say too long), and I'm really excited to have finally been able to release it.  There are a variety of musical references to the number 11 in these tunes.  Some are obvious, some are less so, but it would probably spoil it a bit if I spelt them all out.  The album is available to download now from music.ouralbert.net/album/11xeleven.  Included with the album download are 11 of my photos, and a short 11-chapter story by Sally Cooper.

Videos have also been made to accompany each of the 11 tunes.  I'm grateful to the friends who gave their time to help put these together.   I'm amazed by what has been created.  All 11 videos can be seen in this Vimeo album or this Youtube playlist.

So, that's it then.  After all those months of waiting, the moment itself was over in, well... a second.  I hope you enjoy listening to the music as much as I enjoyed making it.

Next up for me is the release of the new Wilful Missing album, Molehills out of Mountains.  That's been in the making even longer than 11xEleven, and it will be out very...very soon.

Can't wait!

Our Albert
with apologies to Alb, Mariott & Edgar et al

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

For Joni Mitchell's Birthday

Over on the 'my back pages' page a tribute to Joni for her 68th birthday (yes, yes I know I'm late but there are glitches and then there are glitches......so keep ya pipe!)

Monday, November 07, 2011

Had to re-post this from JohnnyC1959 who is back on track with his wonderful posting but he is back on the Annapurna trail and sends this missive this morning:

"A jeep ride from Pokhara takes us to Nayapul, one of the starting points for the Annapurna Circuit trek. The place is full of trekkers, decanting from a variety of different vehicles....a far cry from when R, J & B were here, and we had the circuit pretty much to ourselves...........

So far so uneventful, although the night proves to be a little less restful than I’d hoped. No sooner have I turned off the lights, the patter of tiny feet begins. It takes a little while to realise that they are actually in my room and the next few hours introduces me to a couple of simple parlour games to while away the hours of darkness.

Guess how long before the mice appear on your bed. A simple enough game, with points scored for accuracy. The mice score extra points if they can scale the bed post without the assistance of the bed cover which you’ve left carelessly trailing on the floor.
Guess which corner of the room the mice are going to run to next. Extra points scored if you can predict correctly with the light off, but in truth a game which really needs a light on if the mice are not going to have an unfair advantage.
There is an unexpected bonus too, in that the experience does enable me to identify a few gaps in my Nepali language...although I suspect that there’s only a limited use for ‘
why don’t you just f*** off now as I’m trying to sleep’.
A less than peaceful night does at least ensure that I’m up at the crack of dawn to see the first of what will be number of stunning sunrises....


Sunday, November 06, 2011

Field Work -  © John Calloway 2011
 As he was kind enough to get in touch over the 'mysterious' visitor from Nepal here's a posting from JohnnyC. It reassures me deeply that there are people like Johnny around and doing fine & noble work out and about on God's Golfball.......subscribe to his blog mail out. You won't regret it!
 Rock on Johnny C!
Ideas & Images from Portsmouth and beyond.......JohnnyC1959

Johnny reports......

"Women constitute 51.6% of (Census 2001) the total population of Nepal. Their contribution to agricultural production is 60%. The share of total landholdings owned by women is only 10.8%. The average size of their land is just two thirds of that of an average male holding. Only 4% of households have female ownership of both house and land (census 2001). The Land Reform Commission has recommended that the government introduces comprehensive land reform measures, including increased women's rights in respect of land.

The Interim Constitution (2007) has provided equal rights to parental paternal property between men and women. However, there is a disparity between the legal recognition of a claim, its socio-cultural recognition, and enforcement of the claim. A woman may have a legal right to inherit property, but this may remain a paper exercise if the claim does not have socio-cultural legitimacy or if the law is not enforced. There is also a distinction between ownership and effective control of land. It is sometimes assumed that legal ownership carries with it the right of control, but, legal ownership may be accompanied by restrictions on disposal by socio- cultural norms and practices.....
Field Work II -  © John Calloway
Oh, did I mention he's a really fine photographer too?

His blog started out like this..................
Originally started as a blog for a photography course that I started in 2008, it began to have a momentum of its own, even after the course had ended. Music and photography have been constant companions throughout my life. Until November 2009 the day job took precedent over this blog, which accounts for the intermittent postings.
The intermittent nature is likely to remain the same, albeit for different reasons. As of March 2010 the content will begin to reflect my experience as a volunteer in Nepal with Voluntary Service Overseas, an independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. For those of you of a philanthropic nature, you can donate to the work of this organisation here.

Keep the dispatches coming JohnnyC1959...........

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Last Sunday morning early.....Blenheim Place woods

  Wilful Missing

Hello Andy,

Molehills Out Of Mountains album launch
Phew, it's finished, and ready to go! It's been a long hard graft, and our new album is all set for release.  The album will be called Molehills Out Of Mountains and contains 11 brand new recordings. It will be available on CD, gatefold vinyl and download.  As with our Vast Atlantic EP, our Ruth has done the artwork, and it is going to be a little bit special.

We're really excited about this album and can't wait for you to hear it.  The official release (i.e. in the shops, and online stores) will be in January 2011, but we don't want our (admirably patient) fans to have to wait until then, so we're giving you the chance to buy it direct from us in December.

We will be launching the album at a special gig at the New Beehive Inn in Bradford on Saturday 3rd December.  As well as performing the album in full, we will also be supported by the marvellous Neil McSweeney and The Stalks.  As we've covered Neil's 'London Road' for the album, it is fitting that he will be playing at the launch.

Now, obviously it would be a bit esoteric if we only made Molehills Out Of Mountains available at the launch gig, and then boxed it up again until the new year.  So we will also be selling it via our website from Monday 5th December.  The website itself will be relaunched before then too, with a brand new look, but the URL will still remain www.wilfulmissing.co.uk.

We'll bring you more news about the album over the next few weeks, but for now we just wanted to let you know it's nearly here..!

Our Albert
Now, before we release our own album, our Albert has a little something of his own that he's releasing on 11th November.  Under the cunning guise of Our Albert he has written 11 tunes, each of which is just 11-seconds long. This is to celebrate the fact that for one second on this coming Friday the time and date will be 11:11:11 11/11/11.

Our collective quota of facial hair has, literally, been cut back this month.  Sam Kipling has shaved off his beard to take part in the Movember campaign, to help raise awareness of, and funds to research, prostate cancer.

That's all for now.  We will have more news about the album soon.

All the best,

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Blenheim woods early the other Sunday morning - it contains trees as old as the Wychwood of which they must once have been a part - shot with a Lumix TZ6 with a 25mm Leica lens