Five Things: Wednesday 26th March

It’s Album Week at 5 Things! New Album Display
These may be my favourite two album covers, ever. Jimmy Reed’s a study in perfect 50s still-life, and Blind Blake (or rather, Blake Alphonso Higgs, not Blind Blake the bluesman) looks like some proto-Neville Brody illustration (if you remember his illustrated 12-inch singles from the 80s, that is). The guitar neck and peghead is fantastic, and the fingers are a little like Robert Johnson…

Blake

Check out the wonderfully-named Dust & Grooves
I really like Jeff Gold and there’s much to enjoy here. Dig Jimi’s personal album collection, the Rolling Stones eponymous debut album – “the first pop album with no type on the cover, thanks to their innovative manager, Andrew Loog Oldham” – and the great see-through Faust album, which I remember owning (and liking for the cover more than the music), but can no longer find!

Faust

I Read this Guardian piece, titled “Is this the first post-internet album?”
And then I read it again. And both times I didn’t understand a word of it. I didn’t understand the subject and I certainly didn’t get a sense of what it may possibly sound like. So I find the first track, “Satellites” online and there’s some industrial noise, the words “open the satellites” repeated a lot, some beats and a haircut. And nothing that sounds remotely new, post-internet or like a musical version of a William Gibson book.

From the blog, Just A Hint of Mayhem
“Don’t you just love Elton John’s “Bennie And The Jets” from his 1973 double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road? I certainly do. I knew that it wasn’t a live recording but the applause included on the track makes it sound as though it is. Did you know that the applause wasn’t even recorded at an Elton gig? In fact it is drawn from recordings of the audience clapping and shouting at Jimi Hendrix’s Isle Of Wight festival set in 1970. I know of another occasion where that kind of thing has happened too. The sound of the crowd used on the title track of David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album is actually the applause taken from a live album by the Faces… Can any of you offer any similar gems?”

A Little More Llewyn Davis
Llewyn Davis has become our background music of choice over the last few months. I’m not sure why, as the album is not consistently good (in fact, I think the best thing on it are Dave Van Ronk’s “Green Green Rocky Road” and Dylan’s “Farewell”, the only original tracks) but it creates a great mood. So a few more ILD bits:

1> Annie Charters I wanted to know what Annie thought of the film and was pleased that both she and Sam loved it, while realising that it, of necessity, played loose with the truth of actual life in the village in 1962. Sam produced Inside Dave Van Ronk for Prestige, (apparently the cat was only there for a couple of frames as the cover was shot, but it was enough for the Coens), with Blue Note legend Rudy Van Gelder as engineer, which I hadn’t known. Annie took the lovely pic of Terri and Dave on a Village rooftop. She said that she and Sam were both mouth-agape at the re-creation of Moe Asch’s office (where he offers Llewyn Davis a coat instead of royalties). Apparently the walls really were covered with terrible paintings that Moe was convinced were priceless, and he left some to Sam and Ann in his will.

12-Inside
2> Oscar Isaac: “Here’s a crazy story. I was doing this really small movie and there was this guy in the scene, he was an extra, he’s in his sixties and he’s playing a drunk in a bar. There was this guitar just sitting there on the set and in between takes he picked it up and started playing. So I asked him what his story was, and he said that he was a guitar player from New York. So I told him that I had this audition coming up and that the part was based a little bit on Dave Van Ronk. So he says that he played with Dave Van Ronk. And then he told me to come by his place, and I asked him where that was and he told me that he lived above the Gaslight on MacDougal Street and that he’d lived there since the ’70s. It was like this time capsule. He had these stacks of records and guitars all over the place. And he doesn’t start playing Dave Van Ronk, he starts playing the stuff that Dave Van Ronk was listening to, like the Reverend Gary Davis and Lightnin’ Hopkins. And then he introduced me to Dave Van Ronk’s widow. And this was all before the audition. So I felt this has to happen. It was meant to be. So then I started playing with him. I’d go along to coffee houses and open up for him and we would share the basket. And that really immersed me in the whole scene and allowed an organic folk sound to come out.”
3> Richard Williams: “I’ve seen it a couple of times and was impressed by the faithful portrayal of the Greenwich Village folk scene as it prepared for the transition from Pete Seeger to Bob Dylan (although, as a friend pointed out, nobody tied a scarf with a loop in the way Oscar Isaac, who plays Davis, does until about 10 years ago).”

Extra! Goodbye Card from Dan Mitchell…
… as I leave my job. Thanks, Dan!

Good Luck

Comments

  1. Dear Martin Colyer,

    A short note of thanks for all you share. I’m only sorry it’s taken the gap in postings to prompt me to say what I’ve felt in the year or so since the credit for designing Richard Williams’ blog lead me to your own. Nor do I mean that you’re obliged to be productive by clockwork, more that whenever you post again it’ll be much appreciated.

    Best wishes,

    Francis Foyle

  2. Well thanks, Francis, that’s really nice to hear. A temporary haitus that couldn’t be helped. And for the record, I only helped Richard get used to WordPress, his blog design is courtesy of Drew Strojny at The Theme Factory. Hope you keep enjoying both thebluemoment and Five Things.

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