Ten Things: Wednesday 16th April/Wednesday 23rd April

Keith Haynes Exhibition, Charlotte Street

Going Underground
Knew Donovan’s “Sunny Goodge Street”, which features in another of Keith Haynes vinyl artworks, but didn’t know “Sunny South Kensington”. Listening to it on YouTube, I decided on balance I’d not missed a lot:
“Come loon soon down Cromwell Road, man/You got to spread your wings/A-flip out, skip out, trip-out, and a-make your stand, folks, to dig me as I sing/Jean-Paul Belmondo and-a Mary Quant got Stoned to say the least/Ginsberg, he ended up-a dry and so he a-took a trip out East.”

I Left My Heart in San Francisco
Reminded when Bob sends this: “Here I am again in the cafe for my morning coffee and read. I like this place because it is a good mix of working class, tech and the poor. Like myself, I guess. Anyway, they again have turned the music selection to Pandora… Motown and related music is in the air, the customers are about to burst into dance. It feels like a Bollywood movie. What a great way to start the day. I exit to BB and the thrill is gone. Bob/Sent from my iPhone

Allen Toussaint…
may be the man to call if you need a Silent Film Pianist. His evocation of childhood piano lessons, being taught “Chopsticks”, segues into a cracking romp through his favourite classical pieces and culminates with Rhapsody in Blue, via a car chase, a Hurricane and some pratfalls. His version of “St James infirmary” with a soupcon of moody “Summertime” is also a highlight. But he saves the best ’til last. Richard leans over as he finishes his set and asks what he’ll play for an encore, but I’m still hypnotised by the 20-minute long nostalgiafest of “Southern Nights” with its evocation of Allen’s childhood visits to his Creole grandparents in the bayou (“My father would take us there, to show us where we came from, so we would know where we were going… we didn’t care much about the philosophy… but we liked the ride”). I can’t think, but Richard says, quizzically, “On Your Way Down”? “Freedom For The Stallion”? And I say it’s unlikely that he’ll do the former… and then he does. It’s the moment of the night (read about it here).

Talk to Me of Mendocino
Finally catching up with the Gene Clark documentary, The Byrd Who Flew Alone made me want to a) check out Roadmaster, and b) move to Mendocino: beaches, trees, backroads, wine.

King, Springs

Seen on WowHaus: The Palm Springs estate Elvis and Priscilla Presley honeymooned at in 1966 is on the market for US$9.5 million. The house at 1350 Ladera Circle is “designed in four perfect circles, on three levels, incorporating glass and peanut brittle stonework for indoor-outdoor living.” Boasting art deco design and furnishings throughout, the four-bedroom, five-bath estate was recently “restored to is 1960s splendor” and includes a pool, private garden, tennis court, fruit orchard and – because this was the King’s castle – a stage. It’s nestled at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains, with ‘the honeymoon suite’ offering a panoramic view of the Santa Rosa Mountains & the Coachella Valley.” Peanut brittle stonework?

Brilliant Shelving Exhibition, Martino Gampler at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery
I know, a shelving exhibition! But it’s fantastic, not only for the iconic shelving systems, but for the witty way that they are dressed. This is the most music related, but the weakest of the exhibits. Go see the century brought to life through tiny things on shelves.

ShelvesThe Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie
I don’t feel qualified to even comment on this extraordinary piece from John Jeremiah Sullivan for The New York Times. If this is a subject you’re interested in, just read it. And watch the beautifully made films accompanying it (Photographs and video by Leslye Davis, production by Tom Giratikanon). And at the bottom, listen to the songs. And finally hear the Kronos Quartet’s version, scored by Jacob Garchik, to hear another setting of a melody so singular, so strange and so unique.

Jesse Winchester
A lovely tribute from Allen T, who had produced one of his albums, led me to this: the poise and perfection of both guitar and voice are really affecting.

A List to Argue Over
They’re wrong about five of them, I reckon.

Farfisa Organ, Steptoes & Son Scrap Yard, Peckham.
“Yours for £150, or £80 if you take it now, as I’m closing and then I won’t have to take it in…”



Five Things: Wednesday 2nd April [Late]

Oxfam Remembers The Great Skip James, Marylebone High Street



Jesse Winchester: Not Dark Yet
…although news travelled around that it was. Looked out his great first album, on Ampex (a tape manufacturers’ short-lived attempt to run a record label), and listened again to a fine set of songs, helped along by Robbie Robertson’s light-handed production. And what now seems an envelope-pushing fold out sleeve…



Loved this Patti Smith Questionnaire
Favourite song That No One Else Has Heard Of: “The… song that I think of is “If I Can’t Have You” by Etta & Harvey. Etta James used to sing with Harvey Fuqua and it’s an awesome song. No one knows about it – I’ve asked a million people, do you know this song by Etta & Harvey? And there’s just something so… it’s a very sensual… it’s a badass song!” Check the elongated “I” just before a minute in, from Etta, and the “Well-a-hooo” that Harvey follows with. Sensational. And in the week that my sister-in-law gives birth to a baby girl called Etta, most appropriate.

Lunch With Sammy & Louise Rimington



1970 Jazz Fest poster, bass drum in the basement (with a calfskin head that Sammy had fitted, Sammy playing his 1982 Fender Telecaster Elite (a commercial unsuccessful attempt to do a Fender version of a Gibson Les Paul Recording model) and the mandolin that Sammy will take to this year’s Jazz Fest for his string band with Sava Venet.

George Harrison Selfie, Taj Mahal, sometime in the Sixties. Cool wide-angle.



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