Twang welcomes legendary record producer Mike Vernon to the pod to discuss his career spanning numerous classic albums but especially Afterword favourite John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton” (AKA “The Beano” album) and the first generation Fleetwood Mac, plus a catch up on Mike’s more recent activities. Mike is happy to go deep on the nerdy stuff and Twang periodically proves unable to avoid going into gush mode.
What does it sound like?:
This is the first release of a discovery of a treasure trove of Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac live recordings and unreleased studio sessions from 1968 and 1970. The 1970 material will be released later but volume one concentrates on 1968 when the band had only just formed. Those who love the first album will know what to expect here. Peter’s playing is loud and proud, confident and flowing and remarkably assured for someone who had only just taken centre stage in his own band and in fact had only stepped out as a lead guitarist a matter of years earlier. Peter’s voice is as soulful and uncannily bluesy as a white boy can be, especially as he makes no attempt to impersonate black blues singers preferring to find his own tonality and mood. The Fleetwood and, well, Mac rhythm section is tight and swinging. To this listener Jeremy Spencer is the weak link – I know he was a key part of the early band’s live appeal etc but his two bottleneck licks become wearing when repeatedly played and I have to wonder what other special sauce he brought to a band already » Continue Reading.
WILD ROSE tells the complicated story of Rose-Lynn, a woman on a quest to become a country music star, while also grappling with the responsibilities of being recently released from prison and a young mother of two children. (Pinched from IMDB as it’s a perfect summary).
Jessie Buckley is amazing as the chippy wannabe country singer, whose ambition is constantly compromised by base urges and bad choices. It’s a wonderful feelgood movie, the music is great and played/sing by the cast. Jessie is terrific at the mic. To me it’s what “A star is born” could have been had Lady Gaga not turned into, well, Lady Gaga after an hour. We loved it.
Twang welcomes Skirky, Carl and Feedback File to the pod for a general natter taking in Danny Baker, shameful admissions, definitive masterpieces, what we’ve learned, recommendations of the week, music, books telly, pleasures and pain of owning a dog and heron control.
Spring is sprung!
What does it sound like?:
This is the latest in a series of officially released bootlegs of the Dream in concert in the USA and Australia in the 70s. Now I’ve always liked the Dream though I’m far from an expert – we used to listen to “Phaedra” back in the day and marvel at the spaciness (man) before moving on to Hawkwind. So it’s been interesting hearing more of their oeuvre.
First, it’s not all the boings and swishy noises which I sort of remembered. The trio split (very loosely) between a synth guy majoring on sequencers creating pulses and rhythms, a mellotron guy and another synth/guitar guy plus there’s “real” piano too played by someone (the notes are a model of economy…). The review download didn’t think to name the tracks either so I can’t comment on individual ones but it’s very varied with everything from spooky atmospheric stuff, trancy soft vibes and much rockier pieces featuring a lot of power chord electric guitar. There’s plenty of melody too. These aren’t one finger proto-synth pop players, they clearly have chops and an eye for composition and arrangement as well as improvisation.
Sound quality is of the “official » Continue Reading.
I resisted digital newspapers etc for a long time but I got a nice tablet for Christmas and succumbed to a great deal on the digital Times (and Sunday Times ) – a fiver for 3 months – and I love it. The pictures are amazing, the integration with podcasts and other deep dives are great. There are so many deals now I shall move on to the offer from the Indy when this one runs out. There’s always the Grauniad too which is free though they seem to have gone mad recently in the Editorial dept, but they are back in profit which is good news.
I held out for ages as I like the whole Sunday paper thing, but I’m most taken with the experience so far.
Any ns here?
it’s a truism (also a Hepism actually) that you’re only as good as your drummer. It’s certainly true as if the drummer is unreliable the entire foundation of the band is shaky. So let’s hear it for the drummer. The thing is, if the drummer’s time is solid all’s well and that’s base one. But when the drummer is musical on top of having great time they syncopate with the melody, they push time to create excitement, they speed up and slow down as the groove requires. Drum machines can’t do this (well, they can be “humanised” but rest assured it’s not a very human process like having an arrogant bloke making a huge noise totally bossing your song may be), and one of the great losses of modern recording is that everything is on “the grid” to facilitate easy editing, squashing excitement out of the track in the process.
I give you exhibit one, “Kid Charlemagne” by Steely Dan featuring the great Bernard Purdie, who allegedly used to put two signs on stands in from of his kit at a session, one saying “You done it” and the other saying “You done hired the hitmaker”. He’s played with everyone » Continue Reading.
Tig said…… There may be a thread in that……(ref. The Hep) …Definitive masterpieces that render the rest of the genre pointless. Rock – Sticky Fingers, Pop – A Hard Days Night, Rock & Roll – Elvis Presley, Soul – Otis Blue, Reggae – Live!!, Jazz – Kind Of Blue, Dubstep – Untrue, Disco – We Are Family, Punk – Never Mind The Bollocks, Ambient – Thursday Afternoon.
Prog: Close to the edge – Yes
Blues rock – Fire and Water – Free
Folk rock – Liege and Lief – Fairport
Blues – Howlin’ Wolf Chess Masters
OK, it’s silly, pointless and reductive. So pile in.
Twang welcomes Word founder David Hepworth to the pod, apologising for the scruffy surroundings after the glitz of the mighty Word magazine recording suite. The Hep is in fine form, and we have an enjoyable wander through his career touching on some less known facts, the new book and his other current activities. Twang admonishes the great man for not popping in for a cup of tea and stresses the warm welcome which awaits…
The excitement around the Avengers film inspires me to reread some of the old comics, as well as the more recent ones I don’t know. Where’s the best place to find them? There’s an official site but it seems very orientated towards the films etc where what I want is just digital versions of the comics themselves, not a pseudo social media wrapper around them. Ideas?
Year: 2019 Director: Russo Brothers
Much excitement Chez Twang as we head for the lovely art deco Broadway Cinema in Letchworth to see the opening night of “Avengers: Endgame”. We’re big fans of the Avengers films (though shamefully we missed “Captain Marvel”) and were keen to see how the labyrinth story which runs through 22 films resolves itself.
Staying spolier free means we can’t go into detail, but as you might expect it’s loud, massive in scope, LOL funny and genuinely tear jerking in places. Characters as positioned against type, our preconceptions are challenged and then resolved in clever ways, the dialogue is snappy as ever and heros do heroic stuff when you need them to. There is humour and a fine strain of in jokes and back references for the devotee. The final scenes caught me completely by surprise and were a perfect conclusion. And “Captain Marvel” has now become a must as she is terrific.
So far so good. It’s fair to say if you’re not a fan you won’t be convinced by this film any more that its antecedents, and if it’s your first Avengers film it won’t make much sense, mainly because it has so many » Continue Reading.
Twang welcomes Tiggerlion, El Hombre Malo and Mike H back to the pod to continue the look at Miles Davis’s career from the departure of John Coltrane through the second great quintet, the embracing of electric instruments, drugs and his late period renaissance. There is much to cover and the team battle and beat the temptation to bottle it and accept there must be a part three.
Does anyone have one of those emergency phone chargers you power up and stick on your bag to give the phone a bit of juice where needed? We’ve had several which are useless – they charge up but won’t dish the charge back when needed. Is there a good one out there?
Twang welcomes Pencilsqueezer to the pod for a rambling one to one discussion taking in life, art, music, creativity and Walter Trout’s liver. With true artistic control, the boys go approximately an hour over schedule and the resultant ‘cast is a sadly cut down version of the master tape which will be available in the to-be released AW Podcast Masters series.
Volunteers for a rambling chat with Twang for the pod please PM!
Someone asked me if I’d be interested in being a local councillor today. Anyone done it? My initial reaction was “no way’, but it seems to me you can’t moan and not get engaged really (well, you can, but then what). And I know from working in local gov they do have quite a lot of influence locally, depending on the mix of the council.
Anyone here done it?
Some aircraft just hit my buttons. Spitfires, obviously for my generation. The Lightning. The Harrier. The Vulcan! And this one, the Bell 47, beloved of Skippy and Flying Doctors (I think…less sure about that one). Let’s not forget the UH-1H Huey on M.A.S.H. Love them all. I live near Duxford and my sister in law is something really interesting at RAF Hendon which must be one of the best jobs. A trip to see a real Flying Fortress in the museum is astonishing…I mean, how did this enormous thing get off the ground?
Your faves? Any Sopwith Camel fans out there?
Twang gathers in the pod with Feedback File and Nick Duvet to discuss Joni Mitchell. We wander through her early folkie days, her (arguable) peak in the 70s, the great jazz scare and Feedback makes a case for the later albums where her unerring way with a tune and a chord progression fights with the unpleasant production values of the time and wins. We agree that her influence is enormous and toy with the idea that she is increasingly becoming a cult figure.
The much awaited film in tribute to Joni Mitchell. I was slightly surprised to find it is a film of a live concert rather than a full career retrospective which is what I’d expected. With this in mind, it all comes down to the quality of the performers as the material, we can assume, is impeccable. First the band – as great as you’d expect, led by drummer Brian Blade who is good in everything he lends his sticks too. Also nice to see Scarlet Rivera on violin and occasionally piano and Greg Leisz as ever quite superb on steel, lap and guitar. First up to the mic is Norah Jones, not at the piano, singing “Court and Spark”. Opening the show and with that song is a big ask and Norah looks faintly terrified. Her voice doesn’t soar, rather adopts the husky tones Joni acquired later in her career after decades of tabs. An OK start but…. Then we have Diana Krall doing a jazzy version of “Amelia”, but where I expected it to really float it kind of hangs in a reverential state of limbo, lovely, but unsatisfying somehow. Rufus Wainwright does » Continue Reading.
Twang welcomes Blue Boy and Dai to the pod to discuss Van Morrison. There’s little to argue with about the quantity and usually the quality of the various Vans we have seen, and “Astral Weeks” is given suitably reverential treatment other than one member who moans about the noodly flute player. They agree that through the transcendent Celtic soul and deep mysticism there is a rich vein of Van humour to be discovered, and not a mention of harmonicas.
I have no recollection of “The Man from UNCLE” being so camp.
In the first of an occasional series of 121 discussions with an AW member, Twang welcomes Carolina to the pod for a wander through her musical journey taking in the old Word, nearly copping off with David Hepworth, poetry, life’s little challenges, Spotify usage and our own comfy little corner of the internet.
Anyone interested joining in a similar interrogation PM @Twang.
Who? you may ask. The man who invented gaffa tape, without which the world would fall apart, is who. Respect. If God’s headphones need fixing like mine did yesterday, Ross is yer man.
No! Not something to do with healthy food. Twang, Slotbadger, Neela and Steve T convene in the pod to discuss rock biographies and the endless vista of related cultural stuff around them which we enjoy. Favourites are praised, stinkers are called out to save you wasting your time and the team read excerpts from their favourites.
Blue Note vinyl remasters…. Master tape boxes…lathes….