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

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Post With No Words . . . . . too

Post with No words . . . . .

Thursday, February 25, 2016


It's George Harrison's birthday!  . . . . the youngest of Harold and Louise Harrison's four children, and the youngest of the four Beatles as well. He joined the band when he was only 14, and there was a tendency ever after for his bandmates to treat him like a tag-along kid brother. He was often crowded out of the limelight by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and he was only granted two tracks on every album. When the band split in 1970, he finally recorded and released several of the songs from this backlog; he had enough material for a triple album, 1970's All Things Must Pass.
His memoir, I Me Mine (also the title of a Beatles song he wrote), was published in 1980, and is dedicated "to gardeners everywhere." He died of cancer in 2001, and former bandmate McCartney said of him: "He was a lovely guy, and a very brave man and had a wonderful sense of humor. He is really just my baby brother." (The Writer's Almanac) 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

This just in from the wonderful Big O  direct link



Last week it was reported that following the leak and subsequent widespread downloading of his latest album, Kanye West is now considering legal action against The Pirate Bay. Please, please, please Kanye, let this happen. The free publicity for The Pirate Bay is much needed and, after all, what could possibly go wrong? By Andy of TorrentFreak.
Is Kanye West a genius, a lunatic, a megalomaniac, an egomanic, or an amalgamation of all four? That’s just one of the puzzles on the table last week following the launch of the new album by the self-styled “greatest artist of all time.”
For those who’ve just returned to civilization following a week-long trek to the Amazon basin, West launched his new album on February 14. Then, following the genius decision to limit its availability only to those subscribing to Tidal, Life of Pablo was illegally downloaded, uploaded, torrented, streamed, swapped and exchanged all over the Internet, all week long, without West getting a cent.
Stop the press – did anyone really think that it wouldn’t?
Restricting the availability of the album reviewed by West himself as “one of the greatest” of all time was a move that probably made commercial sense somewhere along the line. After all, these industry people know what they’re doing, right? But isn’t artificial restriction and man-made shortages what caused piracy to boom in the first place?
What’s perhaps most frustrating about this entire episode is that the pirating masses had just begun to understand that music can be obtained legally, conveniently and at a reasonable price via services such as Spotify. Signing up for a fair monthly fee would rid them of their piracy habits while rewarding creators, customers were told.
Then along came West, waving his self-important “exclusive” flag while shitting all over fans’ $10 and £10 per month subscriptions. Like a rich and perverted Oliver Twist (and without a billion forthcoming from Zuckerberg), West still wants more.
Look, West is a popular guy, no doubt about that. Even his most ridiculous of tweets (and there are plenty of them) get tens of thousands of positive reactions. Millions love his music too, that can’t be taken away from him. But apparently he’s now surprised and angry that his music is being pirated to heaven and back. Is he really that self-absorbed that he didn’t see this coming?

Kanye, the way you deal with The Pirate Bay is to stop giving fans a reason to go there. The notion of online exclusivity is so old fashioned it’s mind-bending. Easy access to all music for everyone at a fair price is what you should be aiming for - rant about that in a tweet when you get a minute.

With further Twitter rants now appearing tantalizingly on the horizon and about to put yet more icing on this considerably over-baked cake, Jesus West is now reportedly thinking of kicking some pirate ass by taking on the people behind The Pirate Bay.
“He’s going to talk to his lawyers and see where he stands, and hopefully Tidal will partner up with him in any legal proceedings because it was supposed to be an exclusive release,” a source revealed last week.From a selfish perspective this is the best news, almost ever. The prospect of Kanye West spouting daily anti-Pirate Bay rhetoric on Twitter and in the media guarantees we’ll never be short of something to write. And if he can rope Kim in to say something controversial too, that would be beyond brilliant.
But most of all we should be pleased for The Pirate Bay. Since the raid in late 2014 things haven’t quite been the same on the PR front for the notorious site. There hasn’t been a lot in the way of provocative comments (certainly nothing involving retractable batons) and as a result they’ve been losing ground to a surging KickassTorrents who are now grabbing the limelight.
To be frank, an expensive lawsuit initiated by someone like Kanye West is just what The Pirate Bay needs. Then, every day when he says something dumb on Twitter, the millions of West fans who haven’t yet heard of The Pirate Bay can be introduced to the site, learn all about torrents, and tell Tidal to shove their subscriptions where the sun don’t shine.
Sadly, some will also use their new-found knowledge to tell Spotify to screw themselves too.
The point here is that this needless posturing over a single album has the potential to considerably damage people’s trust in legal services. Sure, Tidal will have benefited short term, but what West has done is shown fans that subscribing to just one service is not enough and that at any point any ‘star’ can flick a switch and require them to pay out more money.
The uncomfortable truth here is that The Pirate Bay has never done that. Sure, the site gives nothing to creators and that will understandably sit poorly with some, but people know where they stand with the site. It is there, week in and week out, and it always costs nothing to use. There’s a reason it has tens of millions of users and West’s exclusive just gave the site yet more recruits. It’s insane.
What Kanye needs to know is that despite the mock begging in the title, suing The Pirate Bay would be the most stupid thing in the world. It didn’t work for Prince, it didn’t work for Michael Jackson. It even managed to make the Village People look like fools.
Kanye, the way you deal with The Pirate Bay is to stop giving fans a reason to go there. The notion of online exclusivity is so old fashioned it’s mind-bending. Easy access to all music for everyone at a fair price is what you should be aiming for - rant about that in a tweet when you get a minute.
Note: Visit TorrentFreak.com for more updates.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

                B  O  W  I  E +MUSIC II

There are still gems appearing everyday of music and broadcasts, gigs and bootlegs This is great from the wonderful blog AQUARIUM DRUNKARD

David Bowie :: Two Hour DJ Set / BBC Radio One – May 20, 1979


On May 20, 1979 – two days after the release of Lodger  David Bowie, along with a pile of his favorite records, took the reins at BBC Radio One. For two hours Bowie ran through and commented on a eclectic array of sounds; those of his influences, his contemporary peers and artists he himself had, by 1979, no doubt influenced. It’s a great mix in and of itself, only made sweeter by Bowie’s candid commentary.

The Doors – Love Street / Iggy Pop – TV Eye / John Lennon – Remember / ? & The Mysterians – 96 Tears / Edward Elgar – The Nursery Suite (extract) / Danny Kaye – Inchworm / Philip Glass – Trial Prison / The Velvet Underground – Sweet Jane / Mars – Helen Fordsdale / Little Richard – He’s My Star / King Crimson – 21st Century Schizoid Man / Talking Heads – Warning Sign / Jeff Beck – Beck’s Bolero / Ronnie Spector – Try Some, Buy Some / Marc Bolan – 20th Century Boy / The Mekons – Where Were You? / Steve Forbert – Big City Cat / The Rolling Stones – We Love You / Roxy Music, – 2HB / Bruce Springsteen – It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City’ Stevie Wonder – Fingertips / Blondie – Rip Her To Shreds / Bob Seger – Beautiful Loser / David Bowie – Boys Keep Swinging / David Bowie – Yassassin / Talking Heads – Book I Read / Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure / King Curtis – Something On Your Mind / The Staple Singers – Lies

 . . . . . . and if that whetted your appetite check out THIS article from AQUARIUM DRUNKARD too a masterpiece. . . 
Aquarium Drunkard - Conversation Piece (BOWIE)
Chris O’Leary’s Pushing Ahead of the Dame



I adored the work of Bert Jansch ever since I bought an early Marble Arch album with 'Needle of Death' on it and other delights (Blackwater Side, Angie,) and had arrived at his songwriting via Donovan who I had followed avidly since the early sixties and his version of 'Do You Hear Me Now' a Jansch song led my directly to Bert . . . . well I am pleased to note from the wondrous Bandcampo that they have rereleased and remastered  a project dear to my heart in my sharing of Bert's passion for our birdlife. Avocet!

He was often quoted as saying “I’m not playing for anyone, just myself” and this feels no more apparent than on 1979’s ‘Avocet’, his beautifully meditative paean to British birds. This isn’t to say that Jansch was throwing commercial success to the wind, or was unaware of his audience, more that this album feels like a uniquely personal reflection of him. (The subject of British birds is one that Jansch held close to his heart. Indeed, just preceding this album was his 1978 split 7” single with Shirley Collins - with proceeds in aid of the RSPB.) For fans of Jansch this is often the album that is singled out as his best work. The freedoms of a post-Pentangle career are much in evidence; folk rock and even trad folk give way to an album that is not only without lyrical accompaniment but really quite orchestral, classical even, in its composition. There are surprises in particular in ‘Lapwing’ (a dirge-like waltz that wouldn’t be out of place on a Nils Frahm album) and ‘Bittern’ (which speaks of Arthur Russell’s more experimental pieces).Bandcamp

Saturday, February 20, 2016


- Guitars in The End

Friday, February 19, 2016

                        B  O  W  I  E +MUSIC

there's a lovely fine fine set from Big O this morning of David Bowie (again!) check them out for ALL their recent Bowie boots) and it includes the Lady GaGa set at the Grammy's 2016 which as tribute's go was really enjoyable I thought though there has been a backlash! 

Save The Children 
50th Birthday Benefit Concert

David by Mick Rock 1974

Mick Rock '74

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Just out: a poignant and powerful new film from Michael Morpurgo, Jeremy Irons and Maxine Peake. Watch and share to #ShowTheLove for all we could lose to climate change.

Posted on Facebook by WWF UK on Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The great actor Jeremy Irons by Barry Delaney

Saturday, February 13, 2016


I was introduced to the work of Pina Bausch many years ago now by the artist Graham Dean. Aside from being a fascinating painter seemingly endless reinventing himself from his days with the Nick Treadwell Galery to his groundbreaking work in watercolour writ large, Graham had a strong knowledge and fascination with modern dance and did collaborative works with dancers and their companies that I always enjoyed but we spent many a happy time around the VHS video player watching his collection of performances of the Pina Bausch dancers from Wuppertal. They had a season at the Sadlers Wells Company these past few days ending tomorrow of her last piece - a clip of which is above and I believe stands up there with the very best of her work

Thursday, February 11, 2016


It was on this day in 1990 that Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison, outside Cape Town, South Africa. He had been imprisoned for 27 years because of his involvement with the African National Congress. When Mandela was released he was 71 years old, and South Africans were shocked to realize that he no longer looked the same as he did in 1964, the last time he was seen publicly
Mandela left Victor Verster prison just after 4 p.m. on February 11th. The sky was bright blue. He ended his speech by quoting himself, from the speech he gave during the 1964 trial that landed him in prison.

He said: "I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ry Cooder

Just in case anyone missed it out there and needed some encouragement to download the Ry Cooder and David Lindley gig (it's below. . . . yeah just down there . . . go have a look and go download it NOW!) check this set out . . . . 

Ry Cooder & David Lindley at the New Orleans New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival '90s with Joachim Cooder, Bobby King, Terry Evans and Willie Green Jnr - JESUS ON THE MAINLINE, MERCURY BLUES.


Ry Cooder/David Lindley . . . link

 O  W  I  E +

more David . . . . . 

Man Who Fell To Earth

such a handsome man  . . . . 

with, if we listen to Brian Eno, a naughty sense of humour

Spiders . . . . 

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Oh Please Mr Kennedy . . . . !

this never fails to make me smile . . . . thanks to my children Amy and Matthew for introducing me to Inside Llewelyn Davis
and thus ensuring that I found  Justin Timberlake possessed of humour and then some



the full clip . . . . .

STILL . . . . . . 

Mr & Mrs Bowie

David Bowie (with Carlos Alomar), 1978, by Lynn Goldsmith

Still . . . . Don and Frank

Sunday, February 07, 2016

> > COUPLES < <

“There is no intensity of love or feeling that does not involve the risk of crippling hurt. It is a duty to take this risk, to love and feel without defense or reserve.” 
— William S. Burroughs

Bowie & Burroughs

Patti Smith and WSB

Allen Ginsberg & WSB


Yellow Linda with Piano   -   Paul McCartney 1988 

Paul McCartney, British b.1942-
“This is interesting because this little stool here, this little piece here, was Rene Magritte’s. That was in a sale of the contents of his studio and in this little thing here are his charcoals and his drawing pens and pencils exactly as he left them, including his spectacles. “

Paul McCartney


of Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks
What a year! The Grim Reaper is relentless huh? This is miserable . . . . 
Sad to report Dan Hicks has passed away - he helped keep the traditions of rock’s roots in country, bluegrass and swing alive in his infectious brand of Folk/Jazz with his band the Hot Licks. He was 74 and had been battling throat and liver cancer for two years. Anyone who could pen a song called 'How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away' was alright in my book

Big O reports
+ + + + +DAN HICKS R.I.P. 1941-2016Dan Hicks, who helped keep the traditions of rock’s roots in country, bluegrass and swing alive with his band the Hot Licks, has died on February 6, 2016. He was 74 and had been battling throat and liver cancer for two years. With a style called “folk jazz,” the Hot Licks, which Hick formed in 1967, recorded their first album, 1969’s Original Recordings, for Epic, but when that proved unsuccessful, they moved to the acclaimed boutique label Blue Thumb Records. The three discs they recorded between 1971 and 1973 - Where’s the Money?, Striking It Rich and Last Train to Hicksville… the home of happy feet - saw them build their audience thanks to their combination of pre-rock sounds, musical virtuosity and, as evidenced by their album titles, off-beat sense of humor. But before they could further build upon Last Train‘s No. 67 chart placement, Hicks broke up the Hot Licks. Hicks is perhaps best known for the songs “I Scare Myself”, “Canned Music” and “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?” - ultimateclassicrock.com+ + + + +

and they have a fine set of Dan and his Band live here

Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks - live in Eureka CA 1986                            deja vu!

Saturday, February 06, 2016


There's a lovely set from Ry Cooder and David Lindley and two of their offspring over at the wonderful BB Chronicles this morning. This set from Ry and his son Joachim on percussion, David Lindley with daughter Rosanne hence the title 'The Family Tour' from The State Opera House in Vienna back in 1995 is a rare treat. It is quite frankly staggering quality and great, great fun that will have you dancing around the living room if anything will!

Disc One (69:25)
 1. Intro
 2. The Promised Land
 3. Jesus On The Mainline
 4. Mercury Blues
 5. Afanderfendrou (Madagascar trad.)
 6. Shebegsshemor
 7. Paris Texas >
 8. Vigilante Man
 9. All Shook Up
10. The Girls From Texas
11. How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live
12. Leave Home

Disc Two (69:57)
 1. The Highway Is My Home
 2. Chauffeur Blues
 3. Ain't No Way, Baby
 4. Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home
 5. Little Sister
 6. Play It All Night Long
 7. If Walls Could Talk
 8. Hold That Snake Till I Make It
 9. Talk To The Lawyer
10. Good Night Irene
11. The Very Things That Make You Rich (Makes Me Poor)
12. Do You Want My Job?
 O  W  I  E +
Now here's a treat for a Saturday morning . . . . . . over at Big O the guys have unearthed the forerunner to the Bowie / Eno collaboration 'OUTSIDE' which I have mentioned before fascinates me for I missed it first time around but this is even more exciting in that as Big O sources explain it goes to explain what happened prior to 'Outside' with 'The Leon Suites' 

Paperdragon, Bowie Station:I talked to one of the musicians who is on this and got a more complete story. First, these aren’t outtakes at all and, second, they weren’t initially intended to be a Bowie album. The idea was to form a sort of supergroup behind Bowie and Eno, and record an album as a one-off project for that group. This is essentially that album. So what we have here is a fully-realized concept album for a group that never came into existence.It was then presented to the record company, who as we all know rejected it as “uncommercial.” After that, Bowie used parts of it as the basis for an entirely new project, which became 1.Outside. So, had this been released, Outside would have never happened. So, rather than this being outtakes from Outside, it’s actually more true that Outside was based on outtakes from The Leon Suites, an album in its own right.+ + + + +Thanks to jallaweb (Jan Erik) for sharing the show at Dime.Thanks also to Learm for the artworkjallaweb noted:These demos were recorded and rejected by the record company in 1994. The Leon Suites eventually turned into the 1.Outside album released in 1995. Parts of the three suites have been available on earlier bootleg releases but all of them have been sourced from low bitrate MP3s. This is the first release of the complete Leon Suit in a lossless version. The source of this recording is a CDR provided by Adam Bedstroke (patdrome). A lot of thanks goes out to him for letting these demos be shared amongst fans.
Bowie Station production 2016