DAVID FITZPATRICK GREETS US WITH A WHIRLWIND THAT IS PARACHUTES IN HURRICANES

August 10, 2018

David Fitzpatrick puts his name on the line for Parachutes And Hurricanes. Photo courtesy the internet

I love Gary Tanin. I really do. He’s been a fan of this blog way back before it was this blog. The history between us goes back to when I was writing for Princeton Record Exchange. I don’t recall what review I wrote that garnered his attention there, but he came along when I decided to blow off the other two stores I was writing for and forge out on my own.

For that I will always be grateful. But I fear this is where all good things must end.

All throughout this blog’s history, I have made every effort to look for the unusual, the out-of-the-way, off-the-beaten path stuff. Having first been born and raised in the NJ/NY area, I was influenced by that fringe that was all around then. Free radios in cars blasted new and unusual stuff with the birth of FM radio. WPLJ, so on etc. So while I was getting the fresh info and news and new music, my family was imploding and my mother had to take me away from all that culture…

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ROXY MUSIC- A LOOK AT THE PREMIER PROG-GLAM BAND WITH THE VIDEO STORY MORE THAN THIS

July 21, 2018

Gaze upon the glam! You can with the DVD More Than This, The Story Of Roxy Music. Photo courtesy of Amazon

My long time mentor back in the 80’s (Storkasaurus Maximus) had introduced me to one Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, RDI, mostly through his Ambient works. If you feel like you are harried, unravelling, uncontrollable, put everything you have aside and just listen to any of his Ambeint series, Music For Airports is a particular pulse calmer. A more commercial route to Avant Eno would be his Music For Films, Vol. 1. There are shorter “songs” with equal amounts of signal-mutation, time-altering melody mangling but in three to five minute increments.

So Imagine my shock when I saw my first Roxy Music video (Virginia Plain) and I was hooked. Then, as the shots hop around the band FOLY FUCK THAT’S ENO! A long blond-ish-colored hair, heavy glam make up, and an outfit to rival future co-conspirator, the late David Bowie. And if that weren’t enough, and by gawd it ought to be, every time the song comes to the measure or so of rest, it’s Eno raping a synthesizer unaccompanied!

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OFF THE RECORD: FRIPP/SYLVIAN CAUGHT LIVE, BUT WITHOUT DAMAGE!

July 3, 2018

This is what you want if you want to hear some alternate versions of Sylvian/Fripp songs from the live CD ‘Damage’.

Robert Fripp and David Sylvian collaborated in the 2000’s to bring us two albums, The First Day, and the follow-up live disc Damage. Those are the two commercial releases that the combo put out. However, we have our hands on an off-market release called “Live From Massey Hall” from our supplier of all things off-market, Live Gig Recordings (look for their link later on in this review).

The history between Fripp and Sylvian initially didn’t progress as Fripp would have liked. At that point Fripp had asked Sylvian to join another (double-trio, six person) version of King Crimson (it appears as though he’d been seeking to usurp Adrian Belew from his long-standing role as lead vocalist and front person for King Crimson for a long time, only having done so within the past couple of years, filling his shoes is Jakko Jaoidsgfilsuxghfp). Sylvian already had a reputation as his own artist and felt he would only be able to collaborate so far under the Crimso moniker. So they settled for a remarkable collaboration that resulted in one of the most catchy prog songs ever recorded (“Jean The Birdman”, with a close second to “God’s Monkey”). We’ll delve into those songs when we get there.

First, I have something to say about the removal of Adrian Belew from King Crimson. Belew claims to be good with it, Fripp claims his status is the honorary 9th member of the new, eight member, three drummer configuration of King Crimson, as Tony Levin was during the Trey Gunn years in the early 2000’s. Belew is not idle by any means. His power trio just played the Irridium in NYC , and he is part of the David Bowie tribute act that is casually touring the world. I do see Fripp’s point about Belew as the front person. The fact is, he was too cheery, too happy in demeanor for the usually dower music that is/was King Crimson.

Returning to this project, the album’s cover photo for The First Day shows Sylvian AND Fripp having ridiculous, laughing smiles on their faces. No issue, they had a positive working relationship. Fripp has one with Brian Eno too, I don’t see them touring No Pussyfooting, or Evening Star, or Equatorial Stars, or Cotswald Gnomes, or…

A rare sight for the period. Robert Fripp laughing in a photograph.

Sylvian remains a solo artist. A fascinating one at that. Someone I hope to get more familiar with in terms of his work, straight away! Fripp is lumbering about with King Crimson. Two guitarists, a bassist/stick player, a keyboardist, a wind player, and three drummers. The samples I have heard from one of their many live performances sounded stiff, uniform and stilted.

I still contend Fripp is losing the plot…

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THE BEST ROCK AND BLUES BAND YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF, MEET DOUG AND THE SLUGS!

May 30, 2018

The Facebook Cover Photo for Doug and The Slugs 40th Anniversary. We thank them for this photo.

I was first introduced to Doug and The Slugs by MTV in the 80’s. Their first video grabbed my attention and I never looked back. Here was this portly, greasy haired singer (I thought that was the look for the video, nope) that, basically, in my head, I was seeing Squiggy from the Laverne And Shirley TV show. Remember him? David L. Lander was the actor’s name. But here in the U.S., he looked like the buffoon from the TV show.

America is stupid.

But the resemblance aside, this guy could wail! I mean the expression in Doug Bennett’s vocals were unmatched down here. No one was doing torch songs like “The River”. But when Doug did them, man you felt it. To be clear, I HATED Laverne & Shirley and really hated the Squiggy character. So for Bennett to make me love their music was an uphill battle but after the song “Real Enough” started to get rotation on MTV, it was hard to hold the grudge.

Then in 2004, the unthinkable would occur. As he was wont to do, Doug would be onstage with an adult beverage. It would lead to his demise is the word we have down here. He had toured with various incarnations of the band up until 2004-ish. He was 53.

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CONVERGENCE ALERT! ADRIAN BELEW JOINS WITH POLICE DRUMMER STEWART COPELAND AND LEVEL 42 BASSIST MARK KING TO FORM THE SUPERGROUP OF ALL TIME, GIZMODROME!!

May 26, 2018

What happens when a goofball drummer joins a funkoslap bass player, a happy-go-lucky noisemaker guitarist, and a virtuoso keyboardist? Gizmodrome! Photo courtesy Gizmodrome and the internet.

You hear me going on about convergence all the time. This artist I like works with that artist I like. Convergence. Laurie Anderson and Peter Gabriel, the artist who will no longer be named in this column and The Residents, Robert Fripp and Daryl Hall, Talking Heads and Eno, Eno and Devo, Fripp and Bowie, Bowie and the guitarist who is a member in this most unusual band we are about to review, Adrian Belew and if you want circular closure, Adrian Belew and Laurie Anderson.

Slap bassist extraordinaire Mark King has had his unique sound in every household guaranteed. If someone can honestly tell me they haven’t heard the song “Something About You” before, they are either VERY old (and I’m 55, so I know old) or live under a rock. King is one of those ‘taught-myself-how-to-make-a-living-at-this-thing’, type of players. Sophisticated playing with an innovative knack. I could go on about his co-collaborators outside Level 42, but this will be long enough.

The one member I know little about it Vittorio Cosma. He is the host of the band, in Italy. Italy is key to this band’s story as Copeland used the Italian backdrop to lure Belew to compliment the existing band Gizmo. King had opened for The Police back in the day, so Copeland recruited him and with those additions, the band Gizmodrome was born!

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LAURIE ANDERSON WEAVES TALES OF THE CANINE AND HUMAN EXPERIENCE WITH HER AWARD WINNING SOUNDTRACK “HEART OF A DOG”.

May 12, 2018

The album of the film about life, death and philosophy. An easy day
for Laurie Anderson. Photo courtesy of Nonesuch Records

Laurie Anderson has been around a while. Pioneering Avant Garde music and video with tracks like ‘Sharkey’s Day’ and her breakthrough underground hit ‘O Superman’, Anderson found a way to breakthrough to the mainstream while not shedding her true vision about what kind of artist she would become. She further sought to assume and maintain her place in the outer reaches of the pop culture by becoming more prolific with her vocals and vocal melodies. Her album Strange Angels was proof of that.

But you know me, I want the weird stuff. My favorite albums to date are the four disc, audio version of her live show United States Parts 1-4, and even her later work Homeland, which was reviewed in my column previously, that I likened to US Part 5, if you will.

But this album is a special one. Special in that it accompanied a movie, Heart Of A Dog which was about her dog Lolabelle (the sweetest rat terrier I had ever had the pleasure to meet!), and losing Lolabelle, and coming to grips with that tragedy.

Tragedy would not wander too far from Anderson as shortly thereafter, the love of her life (in human form), Lou Reed, left us suddenly. Toss in the death of her mother, and nothing else seems to have any point at that stage.

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EDITORIAL: THESE ARE NOT THE UTOPIANS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR! RUNDGREN TAKES OUT YET ANOTHER BOGUS VERSION OF THE BAND!

April 6, 2018

This photo shoot includes Ralph Schuckett, who would later drop out due to health issues. Those issues being it was making him sick not being able to play like retired Utopia keyboardist Roger Powell. Photo courtesy Sirius XM

I’m out. No, seriously, I am done following and listening to (and reporting on) Todd Rundgren. Most likely his name won’t appear in this blog again outside the context of referring to him as producer, engineer, etc. I have yet to get his latest solo CD “White Knight“. Which is unheard of for me, having once pestered a local record store merchant by going to their store EVERYDAY asking about the not yet released Adventures In Utopia album.

Sicker still, I find it difficult for people to comprehend, but I prefer Rundgren’s more esoteric efforts. No, I hate Something/Anything, that and his Bossa Nova album With A Twist… Then he went EDM. Awwww hell no!!! But I stayed there with Rundgren through all the musical twists and turns he chose to make in his career. Spending a healthy dime on records, cds, posters, T-shirts, pins, on and on and on. Since 1974…

So I feel that (among other things) qualifies me to make these statements.

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SAM LLANAS IS BACK WITH A SURPRISE CALLED “RETURN OF THE GOYA, PART 1”

March 30, 2018

You can’t beat a personalized copy of the new Sam Llanas CD Return Of The Goya, Part 1. In the name of political correctness, no international grocery aisle comments please. Photo courtesy Sam Llanas

It’s great to have Sam Llanas back on the blog! We’ve covered Sam since his debut solo album 4a.m. which remains one of my favorite pieces of work to date. I think I need to break it out again as I need to get a lot of things in the studio done (midi up live tracks, finish writing the last song on my last album…) and I LOVE to work late at night.

Llanas first came to my attention through Gary Tanin, whom I became associated with through the Roger Powell album Blue Note Ridge and then again with Fossil Poets. (Don’t go on your anti-Utopia 2018 reunion tour, Jeff, we know Powell isn’t participating and you doubt replacement Ralph Schuckett, while an extraordinary player with Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, this tour promotes the newly released box set of material with Powell, NOT Schuckett, the harmonic sensibilities employed by Powell will be long lost and they are an integral charm with the REAL Utopia. Don’t be fooled by imitations! Save it for another blog…) Then Tanin had the idea of getting me involved with both Llanas and a project Llanas became involved in, a two man show with Doug Vincent detailing Vincent’s own tragic encounter with addiction and suicide, punctuated by profound performances by Llanas from his solo works.

I identified with the author of the show, Doug Vincent, so much, it became a labor of love to promote his show A Day For Grace. Check the blog search field to see if I migrated them from the syndication to the new site. I am pretty sure they are there. You can also search Sam Llanas, and see all the reviews in our history. Needless to say, Llanas is a favorite here. A particular favorite of ours here at the blog is the Absinthe album. Those songs are so dark, they immediately draw in a death hag like me (even learned a couple of tunes on guitar, fun stuff!).

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BOULEBLOG OPENS A NEW PATHWAY TO ALTERNATIVE REVIEWS WITH OFF THE RECORD; THIS TIME, THE VAPORS LIVE AT THE GUILDFORD CIVIC HALL

March 9, 2018

The cover of this illusive release. Photo courtesy LiveGigRecordings

This is a thrilling new opportunity for us here at BouleBlog. With the creation of this new category, Off The Record, we can bring you reviews of unique recordings not found at Amazon or your local record store. In essence, yes, these are what the population may call bootlegs. But during the listening process I will determine if the recording is WORTH reviewing and if not, you will be alerted that what was promoted through my Facebook equivalent to this blog, BouleBlog the group: (https://www.facebook.com/groups/bouleblog/) is, in fact NOT worth reviewing. I find it tiring to just type over and over “The audio is unintelligible due to a poor live mix”. I usually post photos of the upcoming acts there, to give a tip-off to those who know about the Facebook group and are members. If you’re on Facebook, request membership to the group and I will approve it unless you are a bot.

However, I can guarantee the recordings I review the first few times will be quality as the source (to be revealed later) has proven to be a reliable one for board recordings (again, for the uninitiated, board recordings are made from a recording that went straight from the concert’s mixing console directly into a recording device) so the next few of these Off The Record reviews will be quality.

We begin this feature with a band who left a distinct mark on the zeitgeist with their breakout single “Turning Japanese”. The pity behind this band is they had such important deep cuts on both their albums New Clear Days and the moving Magnets. The title track for Magnets was a powerful ballad-turned-anthem that details an assassination, even right down to the exit line of one of the later choruses ‘Kennedy’s children are magnets…’.

Then there was the effervescent “Waiting For The Weekend”, a song every working person can relate to. They even give a nod in the direction the United States is taking with the song “Civic Hall”, about being harassed by bobbies (on this side of the pond, we call them cops, pigs, fascists, Nazis, bacon, donut munchers, fat-bags, militant douchebags, oh how I’d love to go on) outside the local civic hall (ironic that this live show was recorded at the Guildford Civic Hall, hometown of the Vapors and most likely the location for the story in the song).

I am not going to go into part-by-part analysis of this performance. I will highlight spots within the songs, maybe even do some (much feared) interpretation of the songs like those examples above. The point of these reviews is to cue the readers to music they may never have known existed before.

It’s not like you can advertise unauthorized recordings too loudly even though most of the major labels no longer have the teeth to fight over royalties, copyright, ownership. Thanks to the spanking Robert Fripp and Sid Smith gave the record label(s) over the illegal distribution of King Crimson downloads.

All the major labels are welcome to sue me if they feel I have violated their copyright reserve. They can have 50% of my bankruptcy.

Now let’s do up our shag mullet haircuts and get out our Gibson SGs  and our Rickenbacker bass and jam out to some Vapors!

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THE TUBES LOVE BOMB LEAVES A TIMELESS, LASTING MARK ON MUSIC PRODUCTION

January 12, 2018

The Todd Rundgren produced Love Bomb by the San Francisco band The Tubes. Photo courtesy Capitol Records.

We are reviving a feature on BouleBlog, the Friday Flashback. This gives us a unique opportunity to take a look at albums that were released in the distant past, but still have musical, technological or even social impact on the music horizon, some that even last years later.

This entry is not of any social consequence, but it has technological brilliance unequaled even today. For its time in 1985, it was leaps and bounds beyond anything that came out in that time period. Before things get too convoluted, perhaps some background will put things into perspective.

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