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

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

News just in from the wondrous Aquarium Drunkard weblog

New Dylan Box Set The 1966 Live Recordings 

- 36 albums of it!

Dylan & The Hawks :: Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (Liverpool, 1966)

After a few months of rumors, Sony has finally announced another massive Bob Dylan box set — The 1966 Live Recordings. Weighing in at 36 (!) discs, it collects every known recording of Dylan’s confrontational 1966 tour of Australia and the UK (along with a handful of audience tapes from the US) with the Hawks, who were soon to morph into The Band. Overkill? Sure. But obsessives (guilty as charged) will love trawling through these tapes, many of which have never been bootlegged, savoring every Dylan inflection, every Garth Hudson organ fill, every slashing Robbie Robertson solo. It’s some of the most powerful rock and roll ever made.
With such a wealth of live ’66 recordings on the way soon, it’s easy to forget that for decades, the only official evidence of this epochal tour was a Liverpool performance of “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” tucked away on the b-side of the “I Want You” seven-inch. Released just a few weeks after the concert itself, it’s easy to see why it sent Dylanologists on a mad hunt to dig up any and all recordings from 1966. Revisit it for a taste of the glories to come, as Dylan and the Hawks roar through the tune, making its Highway 61 Revisited studio counterpart sound like a pleasure cruise in comparison. words / t wilcox

Dylan & The Hawks :: Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (Liverpool, 1966)

Monday, September 26, 2016


Lovely early set (1968!) posted by Big O on Lennie's birthday t'other day and only just got round to listening to it as I figured it is so old it wouldn't have much that was worth comment - well as often is the case, I am wrong - it is great! Crisp clear and cleaned up (sic) recording, terrific set and fine accompaniment too! Billed as Live at the BBC it is broadcast quality that has been tidied from the Paris Theatre London where so many Beeb broadcast of the era were staged
I will try n find out who is backing him here but it is really worth downloading while you can (remembering you have a few weeks before Big O remove the live links although you can always ask them to re-post and they are really friendly!)

It would appear this was a John Peel concert recording for his 'Top Gear' show but Peels own archive only mentions 5 backing musicians and 3 back up singers which is frustrating
UPDATE: the wonderful weblog Cohencentric posted that he thought it had been mentioned somewhere that "Dave Cousins and The Strawbs ... as the backing band at this BBC session." and that Julie Felix sang backing with him on 'Hey That's No Way to Say Good-bye'

Saturday, September 24, 2016


You know sometimes how your favourite singer or band produces some rarity and it slips through the net? Well I thought I had pretty much everything by Brian Eno (and John Cale come to that) but this slipped through the gap in my attention span . . . . . . . seemingly way back in the Summer of 1990

Just genius and it may be some kind of 'in' joke but I always enjoyed Brian's lovely voice but this is a slow paced cover of the classic love song by the master songsmith, Johnny Cash! Who knew? Well clearly not me!

John always seemed to provoke them doing interesting songs and occasional covers . . . . . .check this out in case you forgot

It is both of them singing so my credit would cite both of them. From the Soundtrack of 'Michelle Pfeiffer's 'Married To The Mob" of 1988

Monday, September 19, 2016

How to exercise your pet human . . . . . . . 

Firstly make sure your human has your attention

Send him off with clear instructions

Double up the attention exercise if your human has a short attention span

Send him off to run around a bush to start with

This is good exercise and shows he can obey simple instructions

Repeat some more complex moves so that your human gets the gist
Simple hide and seek may confuse your human at first 

Also make sure your human gets to rest after strenuous exercise
 . . . . . . .

[starring Matt Swapp and Ted the Retriever - courtesy of Andy G and MC who are Ted's full time humans so the exercise was completed with a more challenging trainee]

Saturday, September 17, 2016


You had one job . . . . . . . . . . 


“Art to me is a humanitarian act and I believe that there is a responsibility that art should somehow be able to have an effect on mankind and make the world a better place.”– Jeff Koons, painter, sculptor, printmaker (Jeff Koons with inflatable lobster, image source

brothers . . . . . . . 

People often seem to have to choose between John and Paul and I guess it relates to the falling out time and split up of the Beatles as a band but how close do you actually think these guys were? This includes George and Ringo too but the songwriting partnership meant that John and Paul were inside each other's heads 24/7 these guys were CLOSE, could anticipate the other and knew their little ways, their tells and foibles so intimately they were closer than most brothers. 
[These shots mostly fan shots and all from 1967]

Paul explained how they spent much of the day chilling and hanging around and then spent the evenings working in the studio

fan shot

Martha (Paul's dog) John and Paul - fan shot
with thanks to the extraordinary "Toppermost of the Poppermost"

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sir Van - New Album . . . . . . . . "Keep Me Singing"

 . . . . . . Too Late . . . . . .to stop now . . . . . . 

The Who - Don't Let Go The Coat

because . . . . . . . 





just the best video of the boys recording it . . . . . .much missed Keith and The Ox


The brilliant 'Albums That Never Were' blog has posted an update for his previous 'Lifehouse' project from Pete Townshend and The Who. Qualitatively it is a streak ahead of previous examples and whilst we have touched on others here this is by far n the best IMHO. With excellent liner notes exploring the chequered story of how you follow up on 'Tommy' and the official line produced perhaps my favourite Who album in 'Who's Next' we know Pete was struggling with keeping it together and the shambles and stress induced story that was to produce the sprawling concept of 'Lifehouse' is well documented elsewhere but this is not to be missed

Monday, September 12, 2016

 . . . . . and yesterday some early


Big O say . . . . . 
Back in 2002 (when she was relatively starting out), here is one instance of how Norah Jones endeared herself to her fans and listeners.
Barry Brecheisen, concertlivewire.com (2002):
“I’m just sitting here waiting for you to come home and turn me on”, Norah Jones vocalized to the House of Blues crowd during a beautiful Tuesday night in Chicago. Opening with her own bluesy version of JD Loudermilk’s “Turn Me On,” she did just that.
It’s hard not to be smitten by the curvy 23 year old pianist with her flowing charcoal hair and almond shaped eyes that you could fall into for days. Bathed in red and blue light, Nora proved to the crowd that she is every bit deserving of the buzz that has surrounded her since the CD, Come Away With Me, was released earlier this year. Dressed all in black, Nora sat at a Steinway piano seducing the crowd one song at a time with her own mixture of jazz, country and pop tunes. Sounds like an odd combination, but she pulls it off beautifully with a little help by her three-piece band. It seems like she was destined to play music when you learn she is the offspring of none other than the legendary sitarist, Ravi Shankar.
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Dallas you can hear influences from the jazz great Billie Holiday to the soulful Nina Simone. “I’m really excited,” Norah confessed to the crowd six songs into her set. “The last time I sung “Lonestar” was a duet with Willie Nelson. Not sure why I’m telling you this but it was cool.”
There’s something fragile but beautifully real about her. Her sound is strongly reminiscent of the past, but it’s in the delivery that she makes it her own. At times, you can hear a Rickie Lee Jones with a little Sheryl Crow thrown in for extra spice. During “I’ve Got To See You Again,” Norah’s sultriness is exposed, yet reserved. As Adam Levy added a little slide guitar to the tune, Norah’s hands left the keys to make little finger gestures in the air to the steady drum beat.
By the end of the evening, Norah and the gang offered up 18 songs including many from her new CD and even a few new ones that are so fresh they don’t even have a title yet. “This is the last night of our tour,” revealed Norah. “Thanks for making it so special for us,” she proclaimed before treating us to a surprise cover of The Band’s “Bessie Smith.”
Back for a two-song encore, the band goes right into the Patsy Cline classic, “Crazy.” Drummer Dan Rieser brings out the brushes to help deliver a rather faithful version. Just like on her CD, Norah closed with “The Nearness of You.” “It’s not the pale moon that excites me,” Norah declared with the opening lyrics. “Sing it girl,” an over zealous female fan shouted out. Nora paused, smiled as the crowd broke into applause.
Norah Jones is a breath of fresh air and a welcome break from all the nu-metal that dominates the radio. It’s nice to have a newcomer that is both elegant and classy showcased at Chicago’s House of Blues.
+ + + + +

Personally  I always welcome more Norah and this return to her early promise is a treat. Not sure she has entirely lived up to this and she started on such a high but have enjoyed all her work since. May be a tad harsh are but the early promise was so exceptional. What was it Lou Reed said about growing up in public? If ever there was the conundrum about someone (women?) being judged upon their appearance and we see her struggle to break out of those constrictions it is true of the breathtakingly beautiful Norah. She has tried since to shatter that expectation at times donning blonde wigs and casual sweats and rocking out and most successfully with the gloriously titled ‘Little Willies’ but her own work strikes me as having faltered if only a little from these early beginnings.
Some beauties over at Big O yesterday and today . . . . .

Today there is a triple set of broadcast quality Stevie Ray Vaughan
and it's a keeper as someone said over there . . . . . . from Montreal, to Chicago to Atlanta Georgie  radio FM transmissions and really worth having

Sunday, September 11, 2016

 . . . . . exhibition . . . . . . . .

a film by Joanna Hogg

 . . . . . whose main characters includes two fine artists  . . . . . . . . oh and a house designed by architect James Melvin. . . . . . . ?!

art review that mentions the house . . . . . .here

starring Viv Albertine . . . . of The Slits . . . . . . as D

here on the left . . . 
bought this when it came out . . . . . 

now she appears here in  . . . . exhibition . . . . 

Turner nominee YBA Liam Gillick as H

and who knew that Tom Hiddleston started out in art house movies as he appears here as an estate agent . . . . . I kid you not, and has appeared in Joanna Hogg's work before


I watched this film last night and was mesmerised . . . . . . some I guess might have found it odd impenetrable maybe but I thought it was  a feminist masterpiece of extraordinary power . . . . . 

Friday, September 09, 2016

Thursday, September 08, 2016


Hey, I'm walking here!

Monday, September 05, 2016


I think I have everything issued on vinyl and saw them a couple of times but they stand as the loudest band I ever heard in the New Theatre Oxford and my ears rang for three days after . . . . . .. They're from Swindon!

Sunday, September 04, 2016


“Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time - we haven’t time - and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”
– Georgia O’Keefe
Young Georgia

Georgia by Stieglitz

I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do. Georgia O'Keeffe

I am trying with all my skill to do a painting that is all of women, as well as all of me - O'Keefe
but destined to always be her own woman, Georgia in Mexico