Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Happy New Year!

We're at the end of 2008 and our Best of 2008-lists are way overdue, right?
Wrong! We don't do lists. We're too busy enjoying the music.

Juste time enough to say that our Album of the Month for January 2009 will be from a female artist, a living legend. And the record is from the early 70's. Tune in to Radio Dupree January 1 to hear tracks from it.

Have a Happy New Year!

Oh, and since we're here and now; Happy Birthday to Donna Summer, 60 today!

(Heard her fine comeback album Crayons from 2008 yet?)

* * * *

Added goodies from Walter Becker!

Announced in the newsletter to all subscribers is a brand new version of the bonus track Circus Mony Dub, given away for free!

Get on over to http://www.walterbecker.com and fetch it. And while you're there why not sign up for the newsletter as there's more to come in 2009... :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Radio Dupree hommage to Lars Hollmer

As a hommage to Swedish prog music veteran Lars Hollmer, who passed away on Christmas Day, Radio Dupree has picked a bunch of songs from different eras of Lars' carreer. All tracks already spinning on our playlists.
---
* Dundrets Fröjder
A long grooving instrumental from the successful 1973 album Måltid by the group Samla Mammas Manna.
* Profession Är Amatörens Lim
A song with lyrics about writing a song for mum. From the 1978 album Schlagerns Mystik by Zamla Mammaz Manna. Didja notice the changed spelling of the group's name?
* Antsong
An Eino Haapala/Lars Hollmer composition from the 1981 album Zamlaranamma, by the group von Zamla.
* Boeves Psalm
Lars' song to his beloved uncle Bo-Evert. Hollmer's only hit record. From the album XII Sibiriska Cyklar released in the early 80's.
* Andra Ikarien
From the 1999 CD Kaka. Here they went back to the old way of spelling...Samla Mammas Manna.
* AKA Session
From Sola, a solo CD by Lars Hollmer.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Swedish musician Lars Hollmer dies

Swedish keyboardist, composer and member of the legendary group Samla Mammas Manna has died at the age of 60.
Hollmer was one of the formers of Samla Mammas Manna, a group that had its own place in the Swedish progressive music in the 70's.
In the early 80's Hollmer released Boeves Psalm, which turned out to be his most well known composition (almost by accident). It has been covered by several other artists.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

God Jul! (*)

(*) That's "Merry Christmas" in Swedish.

And as Santa in Sweden delivers the gifts in person on Christmas Eve already, we're in the middle of the festivities here at Radio Dupree. Outside the snow is fluffy, plentiful and white (as you can see by the pic included in this post).

Just one thing to add, and that's a Christmas recording from 1968. A favorite. The Rotary Connection and Silent Night Chant. Click that link to hear in on another blog.

God Jul!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Donald Fagen on SHM in Japan January 21, 2009

Here's a link to an online store announcing the availability of The Nightfly and Kamakiriad as Japanese SHM discs. Branded "Limited Release" and with a release date of January 21 2009, the SHM discs are supposed to reflect the CD players laser thanks to the Super High Material pressing, and end up playing better than ordinary CD:s. Result: Better sound!

At least that's what we've been able to dechiper after visiting these two links discussing the pros and cons of SHM:

Link 1

Link 2

We mentioned SHM December 2 when it was announced that Walter Becker's Circus Money was going to be released as a SHM CD in Japan December 17. Anyone ordered, heard and compared that to your average, ordinary CD yet?

Monday, December 22, 2008

A new Zappa birthday bundle

The Zappa Family Trust releases another Frank Zappa Birthday Bundle available through iTunes. Just as its predecessor it features some rare FZ tracks along with some stuff by Dweezil etc.

Tracklisting:
01. Dancin’ Fool (Disco Version) 6:18
02. More Trouble Every Day 5:48
03. Gorgeous Inca 3:25
04. Ancient Armaments 4:09
05. America The Beautiful 3:35
06. You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch 3:12
07. Saturday Girl 2:50
08. Alice 5:12
09. Espanoza 3:26
10. Dumb All Over 5:46
11. Twenty Small Cigars 5:59
12. Lacksadaisial 5:44
13. Dirty Love 4:04

Donald Fagen on Jean Shepherd

I can't say I've seen the movie A Christmas Story from 1983, but apparently Donald Fagen (and a whole lot of other Americans) have. In an article titled The man who told a Christmas story Donald writes about the man behind the movie; Jean Shepherd. A guy who worked on the radio and Donald used to listen to back in the day.
A great read, even if you haven't seen the movie ;)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sensational Lumpy Gravy snippet on zappa.com

The release of the extended Lumpy Gravy/We're Only In It For The Money project we have mentioned earlier has been delayed. Meanwhile zappa.com offers a sneak preview that we urge you to check out since it is so cool.
Only 30 seconds but the sound seems soo much better compared to the old Lumpy Gravy album!
http://zappa.com/whatsnew/index.html

Steely Dan tribute album from Naked Lunch

It's been quite some time since we wrote anything about Steely Dan covers or tribute bands. Along comes an email from Carsten (thanks!) alerting us to the fact that Texas tribute band Naked Lunch released a CD full of Steely Dan songs December 5.

The album's titled Dark Companions and has bass player Chuck Rainey guesting on Kid Charlemagne and Roger Nichols involved in the mastering of the record!

Naked Lunch has been around for 10 years, and examples of how it sounds can be heard on the MySpace page and the video below.
http://www.nakedlunch.net/
http://www.myspace.com/nakedlunchtx

Monday, December 08, 2008

32 year old album cover censored in the UK

The cover in question. Covered by a mini version of the
alternative version of the cover ... just in case.


Censorship of the internet and who decides what should be stopped or not is being discussed in the UK today, after it became clear that up to 95 % of internet users in the UK can't read about the German heavy metal group Scorpion's 1976 album Virgin Killer on Wikipedia.

The Internet Watch Foundation has for the past 12 years worked at protectng the public from illegal material online through a constantly updated blacklist that internet service providers in the UK can choose to use or not.
According to a BBC blog post the album cover image had been referred to the IWF by a member of the public. After consultation with the police it was assessed as "a potentially illegal image" and put on the banned list that is given to internet service providers, who then block the page.

The cover image is widely available elsewhere, and regardless of what you think of the picture of a naked girl, the photo has not been judged illegal. But it has been blacklisted together with all the text on the page in question, and apparently the internet service providers have no separate check up of new pages/sites added to the IWF blacklist. They just implement it.

Read more over at the BBC .

Friday, December 05, 2008

Mats and Morgan back in their old home town

Yesterday (Dec 4th) the masters of Swedish fusion returned to their old home town Umeå for a gig at the local jazz club. The place was sold out (of course) and the lads gave the audience their all, including some exotic dancing.
Keyboardist Mats Öberg and drummer Morgan Ågren are probably most known for their short collaboration with Frank Zappa, but they have managed to form a carreer with their own (very own) music. They grew up in Umeå in the north of Sweden, but moved to Stockholm in the 1980's. They recently played some gigs in Montreal, Canada, but returned to their childhood area for a concert on December 4.
The Mats & Morgan Band is nowadays narrowed down to a trio, with Gustav Hielm of Meshuggah on bass, but Morgan's brother Jimmy turned up with his guitar on the last songs which brought relief. The boys altered between soundscape-like music and their 100 % energy music-music.
But the show also provided some humorous elements. All of a sudden all the guys on stage stopped playing in the middle of a song and started cheering and screaming or performed a strange dance with bizarre choreography while playing.
Radio Dupree's reporter could only recognize three songs out of maybe fourteen or fifteen that were performed but the last encore was Paltsug, fer sure!

* * *

And from their Tourbook DVD we present as Weekend Music the little ditty Propellerhäst (Propellerhorse):

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Madeleine, Walter and Larry...

Just like on Half The Perfect World from 2006, Madeleine Peyroux has worked with producer Larry Klein and Walter Becker on her new one titled Bare Bones. It will be released March 2009.

Becker, Klein and Peyroux wrote Bare Bones and You Can't Do Me for the album. Full track listing and a bit more on the album here.

And as a reminder here's Larry, Walter & Madeleine's collaboration I'm Alright from Half The Perfect World:

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Walter Becker "Circus Money" - Japanese SHM Edition!

Since the first version of the album was released June 10 this year, the words "more to come..." has raised the curiosity of visitors to walterbecker.com.

That phrase has been expanded to "Bonus Tracks, Extended Plays, Dubs, Remixes.... and more to come! This page should help you keep them straight."

July 14 saw the arrival of the European version with one new track, and in addition we can now expect a Japanese SHD release on December 17.
No extra songs if this page on the Japanese HMV store is telling the truth, it is comparable to the European version with the bonus track Dark Horse Dub.
But the SHM (Super High Material) pressing might tempt a fans to buy this the latest incarnation of Circus Money.

More on what SHM is can be read in these discussion threads:

What is this new SHM-CD?

SHM-CD format: Hype Or Hope?

And a big thank you to Scott for the news alert!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Tech news: How to kill your vinyl collection!

Do you have a few vinyl records at home? Singles, EP's, LP's... That stuff? And maybe you haven't played them in years thanks to getting rid of the record player.
We at Radio Dupree are seriously thinking about replacing our current studio equipment with this little machine; the so called Vinyl Killer:


More examples on YouTube and here's a link to a Japanese manufacturer of the car/record player. Apparently it does work as it's named; kills vinyl.

By the way; The Radio Dupree homepage has been updated!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Borrow to buy, shopping for happiness and meaning...

Yes, we confess that with the Steely Dan song Black Friday in mind we predictably pondered how and what to write to be able to get that song as our Weekend Music yesterday. Whatever we came up with felt a bit ... contrived, as Steely Dan's Black Friday has nothing to do with the Black Friday shopping spree.

Cue Wikipedia:
Black Friday is the after Thanksgiving in the United States, where it is the beginning of the traditionalChristmas shopping season. Because Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, Black Friday occurs between the 23rd and the 29th of November.
We've "imported" a lot of stuff from the USA and Radio Dupree suspect and expect that some stores sooner rather than later will try do foist a shopping-Black Friday upon us here as well.
Not that we need to learn the finer points of shopping...

Like clockwork buying stuff, stuff and more stuff is up for debate here in Sweden each and every year as Christmas closes in and the Handelns Utredningsinstitut/Swedish Retail Institute like clockwork delivers the suggestion for Christmas Gif of The Year and predicts that the Christmas shopping will once again set a new record.

It's Saturday November 29 and we read this:

Link to full story.

And finally:

Friday, November 28, 2008

Weekend music: Win The Beatles covered

How about a chance at winning two CD's + magazines by just answering one simple question by mail?

Here's the deal:
Our Album of the Month is the 40 year old White Album from The Beatles. As Album of the Month we've played songs from it all through November.
The British music magazine Mojo decided to mark the anniversary by asking mostly "youngish" and somewhat "unknownish" artists/bands to cover The White Album. One song per artist.

The final recordings was pressed on two CD's that grace the October and November issues of Mojo.
And to make things even more interesting Mojo did 30 pages on The White Album including a brand new interview with Paul McCartney.

Now, to be fair, how often do you find a cover version that beats the original of a song? But with The White Album being the veritable pick and mix of music that it is, a bunch of new versions can be a good thing. At least for the curious.

What does it sound like? Some versions are close to the original, some stray far away. Some are bad, some are great and a few are so-so. It's a mixed bag. But one you might want to check out.

Go to the Radio Dupree homepage, scroll down and read the question. Find the answer and mail it in before December 1, 2008 and you could be the winner that get both copies w/ CD's of Mojo Magazine.

Somebody has been kind enough to add a few songs from The White Album Recovered on YouTube. Feel free to check out the new versions of Glass Onion, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Wild Honey Pie and Bungalow Bill here:

(There are links to a couple more excerpts once you click the above to get to YouTube!)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Frank Zappa Memorial Barbeque!

Next week it is 15 years since Frank Zappa passed away. To commemorate his memory it's the most natural thing for us here at Radio Dupree to run a special show of Zappa music.
You can expect a couple of surprises here, rare tracks but also rare edits and mixes provided by our sound engineers.
The one hour show will be broadcast twice a day.

Elliot Randall guitars up for auction ... today!


Thanks to Carsten who alerted us to these videos of Elliot Randall talking about two of six guitars that are up for auction in London today. The starting bids are between £500 and £2000 (770-2 300 US$).

See and read more here including links to place your bids (if you should feel so inclinded...)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sign of the times: Digital outsell CD/vinyl for Atlantic Records

Legendary record label Atlantic Records was started back in 1947 and has been the record compnay for many legendary artists.

This year Atlantic reports that for the first time that the sales in the USA of music on various digital sites has passed the sales of traditional CD/vinyl records. A first for a major label and a sign of the times.

Read the full New York Times article
.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend Music: Happy Hour

A bit late, but it'll work just as fine this coming Friday... Have a happy week and enjoy your next "Happy Hour".

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Joe's Menage: Rough but funky!

Some weeks ago we promised a review of the new Zappa CD, Joe’s Menage.

Well, here it is:

This odd release was recorded live at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, USA on November 1, 1975.

The disc starts off with two songs that we have heard several times before: Honey, Don't You Want A Man Like Me and The Illinois Enema Bandit.

The first song has one interesting detail about it that some fans may have overlooked: At this early stage the "hippie chords” (just after the lines “they saw a real hippie, who delivered their dinner”) were played in a different key, and also more bars of it, thus making it sounding like it’s the start of a now song.

The Illinois Enema Bandit starts off with a saxophone and guitar riff that is so ugly that it’s beautiful. Nonetheless Zappa seemed to have edited it out off the Zappa In New York version which was recorded a year later.
Carolina Hard-core Ecstasy...Frank's guitar intro sounds rough and not as "perfect" as on Bongo Fury. A hot guitar solo though...including Frank's Pippi Longstocking song quote (see elsewhere this blog).
Lonely Little Girl. I just can't get enough of this song with the tasty guitar intro. Why was the second half of this song left off the We're Only In It For The Money album?
Take You Clothes Off When You Dance...must be one of the earliest examples of rock artists picking up reggae elements. Great!
What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body? Something unexpected happens at the very end of this song. Some band member fucks up his or her part but Frank solves the problem with a "It Can't Happen Here" quote and quickly rips into...
Chunga's Revenge. Here is where we hear the "unknown" band member Norma Jean Bell...improvising on vocals and saxophone.
We also get to hear Frank announcing one of his own solos: “Ladies and gentlemen, I will now play a rhythm guitar solo". Very rare! Ain't it funky now! Overall this track is the highlight of the CD.
Terry Bozzio rounds things off with a drum solo. Here is actually the only part where I feel that the sound quality sucks. Distorted drums are no fun!
Zoot Allures is great but fades out in the middle of the song, probably because the sound engineer had to change the tape. Maybe they could have made a nice edit instead, but I guess the idea was to release this recording the way Frank edited it.
One could wonder whether this is a worthwile addition to your collection. Seven out of eight songs on this album also appears on FZ:OZ, but with way better sound. (Yep, this is a low budget recording, just two microphones hanging in the roof). But I still like to hear this disc through again and again. I guess I never get tired of hearing Bozzio's hard driving drumming along with Frank's guitar. And this set has more energy to it than FZ:OZ.
The package is also very nice with some neat pictures and the Danish fan Ole Lysgaard’s letter where he tells about his feelings when Frank put him down in an interview. Interesting to read how Frank reacted when Ole told him he was unfair. Moving!

//S.H.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Ventures and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter

Sometimes this "Internet" serves up a surprise. We have via Google an automated search going for - amongst other things - "Steely Dan". That means we get an alert whenever Steely Dan is mentioned.

Today, thanks to founding Steely Dan member Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, we got a link to the blog written by Staci Layne Wilson. (Both Jeff and Staci pictured to the left).

She's the daughter of Don Wilson, who back in 1958 together with Bob Bogle formed what to this day is the world's best selling instrumental band; The Ventures.

The band was inducted into the Rock 'N Roll Hall Of Fame this year, and also played a tribute concert to Les Paul with Slash. Steve Lukather, Eric Carmen, Jeff Baxter et al.
Thanks to the Stacy we get a behind scenes report with pics, and suddenly Rock 'N Roll history and the room were we as kids sat and played records on the record player are one.

Text and pics here.

(Did you know that Jeff has a son named Fender? And what's the answer to the question we know you've asked yourself; Does Jeff ever shave that moustache? Read Stacy's blog entry for the answer...)

And how about a little Walk Don't Run from 1960?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Unreleased mythical Beatles track does exist

While talking to BBC Radio 4's Front Row Paul McCartney confirmed that the 14 minute track titled Carnival Of Light does exist and should've been included on the Anthology CD's if the other Beatles hadn't vetoed the idea.

It was inspired by experimental composers like John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Paul: "I like it because it's The Beatles free, going off piste."

You can hear 2:40 seconds of the interview by going here.

The whole interview will be aired on BBC Radio 4 this Thursday November 20 at 19.15 GMT. That's 1.15 PM ET and 20.15 CET. Just don't expect to hear even a second of Carnival Of Light.

So, some Beatles news this our Beatles month on Radio Dupree. Our Album of the Month is The Beatles so called White Album. It was released 40 years ago this month and we're giving away a brand new cover version of the album featuring various artists; The White Album Recovered. Read more on our homepage.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

BBC Joni Mitchell interview

Come in from the cold is a two part interview where Amanda Ghost talks to Joni Mitchell. It was done before the release of her album Shine (2007), and aired for the first time in March of that year.

You can catch it online. Here are the local times for the two shows if you'd like to listen "live":

Saturday 15 November: 19.00 (2 pm ET, 20.00 CET)
Tuesday 18 November: 22.30 (17.30 ET, 23.30 CET)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/documentaries/jonimitchell.shtml

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weekend music: Another Steely Dan cover

When we started Radio Dupree a little more than five years ago we had two artists that we said would always be on the playlist; Frank Zappa and Steely Dan. And those two also played an important part in the name we picked for the station.

Our weekend music this time around is a Steely Dan cover by the one-man group Archangel from west London. His name is Nick Webber and here's a couple of quotes from reviews of his debut album How To Lose Your Best Friend:

"Eleven magnificently overwrought and dramatically fashioned songs that explore the lexicon of love with an epic sweep and neon glow that will remind you of all your favourite 70s and 80s groups while sounding utterly contemporary."
The Guardian

“the sound made by a young man with a serious record collection having monstrous amounts of fun, and almost bafflingly, it works”
Word Magazine
And say what you want about a cover compared to the original, but we thinks it is fun to see that the music of Steely Dan inspires new generations of musicians to record covers.

And on Radio Dupree you can hear not only the originals, but also covers like Nick's as well as music and artists with a close connection to Steely Dan. Right now we're spinning Sally Taylor's When We're Together from her album Tomboy Bride. A song that Donald Fagen and Walter Becker helped her record. And there's a couple of tracks from original Steely Dan drummer Jim Hodder's band Bead Game.

We're also busy compiling a Zappa special for December filled with rare remixes and stuff you'll have a hard time hearing elsewhere.

But here and now it's Steely Dan cover time! Thanks to the site thesixtyone.com we can give you a taste of Archangels and Do It Again:



(Do we detect a slight Elton John Bennie And The Jets influence in the break a minute before the end?)

And while we're at it:

An article from the The Onion, a "parody newspaper" as Wikipedia calls it. Donald Fagen defends Steely Dan.
"Look, I understand. It's an acquired taste," Fagen said after putting his group's 1978 hit "Deacon Blues" on the bar's jukebox. "I wasn't that into it at first, either. But when you really listen to the unbelievable production values and the wry, perfectly crafted lyrics—it's just great art, okay? You should definitely give 'the Dan' a shot."
"No one knows better than I do that this stuff can get extremely self-indulgent," Fagen said. "And, yes, I realize that all the preciousness and apparent awe at its own cleverness can be a little too much to stomach sometimes. Hell, some of Gaucho is even too goddamned smooth for me."
Funny! Read the full article here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mitch Mitchell dead

The Jimi Hendrix Experience:
Mitch Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix and Noel Redding.

Mitch Mitchell, drummer in the Jimi Hendrix Experience, has been found dead in his US hotel room.

He was discovered in the Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon, in the early hours of Wednesday. A medical examiner told Associated Press news agency the death appeared to be from natural causes but that there would be an autopsy. Mitch Mitchell was 61.

Jimi Hendrix died in 1970 and the band's bassist Noel Redding died in 2003.

And it's over to Offenbach, Germany, May 18, 1967 to watch and hear Stone Free, Purple Haze and Hey Joe!

Kate and the rest of the women on Radio Dupree

Just heard Kate Bush playing on Radio Dupree, and once again I wondered why women have such a hard time getting the thumbs up from our listeners. As you may or may not know a listener to Radio Dupree can vote up or down, wish for or indicate an urge to buy a track playing on Radio Dupree. Alternatively ignore it and just listen.

After five years one thing is clear; a female voice will have a thougher time collecting the positive responses that a male one gets.
Right now there's three, that's 3 females in the Radio Dupree mid-November Top 50. Donna Summer, Rickie Lee Jones and Carole King. The 47 other songs are performed by male vocalists/artists.

Why? Is it because the music we play attract listeners that don't care that much for female artists? We wish we had an answer. And we wish that more of the female singers we play would get a thumbs up or another positive reaction.

Any ideas why it is the way it is?

/Neb

Friday, November 07, 2008

Weekend music: The Rutles

Our Album of the Month is The Beatles White album and by entering our competition you can win The White Album Recovered, so it's no surprise that this weekend's music is Beatles-like. A great sendup of the band from The Rutles!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

McCain or Obama?

Apparently there's some serious voting going on in a large country way out west today.
And while Radio Dupree have no official view on who should win this, a link we got in the mail earlier today seem suitable to share this Tuesday.
It may not say anything about our political leanings, but it does say a little about what makes us laugh.

Chica Musicovaginal - Funny video clips are a click away

Monday, November 03, 2008

Walter Becker: An ad and a cover

New on Walter's homepage is a hi-res version of the "cover" of the digital-only EP. There's also an ad for Circus Money supposed to be shared and spread. So we'll do just that:

P.S. And you can hear the tracks from the EP (and album) if you listen to Radio Dupree!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

R.I.P. Jimmy Carl Black

Drummer and ex Mother Jimmy Carl Black died on October 31st. Jim suffered from cancer and had an operation a couple of months ago when he had a tumor removed from his lung.
Jim was born in Texas and in the 60's he was a member of Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention.
Later he had bands of his own and also played with The Muffin Men, The Grandmothers, Eugene Chadbourne, and even Zappa (as a guest vocalist). Jim lived in Germany the last years of his life.

On November 2nd Jim
's son Gary told the world the sad news by posting to the Muffin Men guestbook:
"This is the Indian of the Group's first born. It is with great sorrow that I must report that JCB has at last gone home to that elusive rock and roll heaven. I have always been proud of my Dad and everything he accomplished during his lifetime. He was one of the few people that truly touched my life."

---
I had the pleasure to meet Jim at two occasions. First time in the early 90's with The Grandmothers. He was in a great mood. Ten years later he was more tired, maybe he knew he was sick. Put on a great show with Eugene Chadbourne nonetheless.
Jim was not the virtuoso drummer like Vinnie or Terry, but he was one of the strongest personalities in The Mothers, and those albums would not have been that strong without his playing...Freak Out, Burnt Weeny Sandwich...
Rest in peace, Indian of the group.
/S.H.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Weekend music: Abba!

With the news just in that Mamma Mia! now is the highest-grossing British film in the UK, and set to take over the number one spot from Titanic as the highest-grossing film in the UK ever, we thought we'd spring a bit of Swedish culture on you. A nice enough song, if we as Swedes may say so ourselves.
Oh, and those blue outfits would, with the right coreography, work as Halloween costumes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Warner Brothers celebrates 50 with 240 pages and 320 songs!

Warner Brothers Records will celebrate 50 years with a 240 page book complete with 360 songs. But not on CD, oh no. They come on a USB flash drive formed like the WB logo.

The cavalcade of music starts with I'll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time - Tab Hunter and ends with The Day That Never Comes - Metallica. Yes, there's room for a lot of great music, but we noticed that Donald Fagen got one song on the flash drive, and Steely Dan one. To see the full list of 320 songs go to the Vintage Vinyl News blog.

The book will contain exclusive interviews, never-before-seen photographs and insider accounts on the hits. Release date: December 9. A suitable Christmas gift for the music fan, perhaps?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Waiting for Walter...

So today is Sunday October 26, 2008. One day away from the online-only release of the three track ... uh ... "EP" from Walter Becker featuring Somebody's Saturday Night (Radio Edit), Bob Is Not Your Uncle Anymore (Radio Edit) and Circus Money Dub (Instrumental Remix).
All three songs from the album Circus Money.

And as far as the radio edits go an "edit" usually means you shorten it and give it a bit more oompfh and punch to work on a sort of hit single level. Not necessarily better, but "hittier"...
With Somebody's Saturday Night running 4:29 and Bob's Not Your Uncle Anymore a respectable 4:45 we suspect both songs will end up around 4 minutes long or less.

We're more curious about the instrumental remix of the title track from the album. Circus Money is a personal favourite that felt a bit short and we'd love to hear an adventourous and looooooooooong remix of the track. Let's hope Walter, Larry or whomever did the remix takes the song for a ride.
Two things are sure: We'll be back with a report on the EP Monday and you can be sure that Radio Dupree will be spinning all three come Monday.

UPDATE Monday 11:01 PM local time: Looks like the EP was misplaced by iTunes ... if you can misplace a digital only EP. After looking everywhere possible, including the discography of that German Walter Becker they keep mixing up with the Walter Becker, we can only conclude that the EP hasn't been added yet. Odd. But a fact.

UPDATE Tuesday 12:25 PM local time: Woke up early this morning and found that the EP had been added. I downloaded the three songs, but had to catch a plane so no time for any repeated listening and review of these versions of songs already familiar from the Circus Money CD.
I'll be back later this evening with a bit more including my thoughts on the EP. For the time being I'll just say that on international iTunes they're available as DRM-free 256 kbps AAC.

Somebody's Saturday Night is 3:50 long compared to 4:29 on the album.
Bob Is Not Your Uncle Anymore is 3:37 on the EP and 4:45 on the album.
Circus Money Dub is 5:41 and all instrumental compared to 4:15 for the title track on the Circus Money album.

More tonight!

UPDATE Tuesday 9:20 local time: So I've had the time to spin the songs a few times and this is what I have to share.

Somebody's Saturday Night: The radio edit cuts to the original fade at 3:35 skipping the stuf inbetween. Just like track two here it makes for a shorter and snappier version. And that's what a "radio edit" is all about, right?

Bob Is Not Your Uncle Anymore: Shorter intro before the sining begins compared to the album version. The instrumental part of the original 2:20-3:04 is cut and the new edit fades a bit faster towards the end.

Circus Money Dub: Immediately into the groove of the original. There are no breaks or changes. It stays on the same rhytmical riff with some minor tweaking of the instuments.
Don't expect any Jamaican vinyl b-side dub reverb or echo madness. Subtle is the way for this dub.
Early on there are some jungle/monkey-noises. At least that's how I heard it. It's an effect I associate with Brazilian type of music. Stevie Wonder's Bird Of Beauty is one. On that track it's a Quica making the distinctive sound.

The track is instrumental. All vocals have been removed. The original sax solo by Chris Potter is there.
Some might find this dub a bit lacking, but it's clearly done as a constant groove. The wild breakdowns and sound twisting might be hiding somewhere in the "more to come"-line on the homepage walterbecker.com.

I wonder if Walter will do like Peter Gabriel and others have done and make one or more tracks awailable for some remix contest or such? Would be cool.

I bought my songs on iTunes. You don't have to buy the whole EP and can pick whatever track(s) you like.

N.S.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Weekend music: Harmonious Wail

How about a gypsy-jazzy version of Steely Dan's Home At Last performed by a band from Madison, Wisconsin, USA?

You can hear that song and a few more on Harmonious Wail's MySpace-page, and learn even more about the group here: http://www.wail.com.

The group consists of Maggie Delaney-Potthoff (pictured):Vocals, Percussion, Sims Delaney-Potthoff: Mandolin, Tenor Guitar, Ukulele, Vocals, Tom Waselchuk: Acoustic Guitar, Vocals and John Christensen: Upright Bass.

And the groups latest album is titled Resist Temptation and was released earlier this month:
Thanks to Gina/Mizar6 for the link!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Zappa family releases original Lumpy Gravy

The Zappa Family Trust will release a three-CD "audio documentary" on November 25.

Billboard reports that the set focuses on the 60’s albums We’re Only In It For The Money and Lumpy Gravy.
It will include two mixes of each album, done by Frank himself:
"It will include feature the first official release of the instrumental, Igor Stravinsky-influenced orchestral "ballet" version of Lumpy Gravy that Zappa recorded in 1967 for Capitol Records but decided to revamp, adding rock musicians and eventually releasing it on MGM/Verve four months after We're Only in it For the Money in 1968.”
Read the full article here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Joe's Menage album here at last

What a nifty little package...
- - -
Well, if you have been listening to your favorite web radio station recently you probably understood that the long awaited Zappa CD pictured above has arrived. We got it in the mail just the other day and several tracks are already on our playlist of this week.

The sound quality is not top notch but still enjoyable. When reading the liner notes in the CD booklet we understand that they did not take the sound from the tape that Ole Lysgaard sent Gail. (A fan from Denmark received the cassette from Frank and did send it to Gail Zappa later.)
Gail merely realized that Ole's tape was a recording that Frank considered a really good one, since he had made dub of that November '75 reel tape and gave it to a fan. Then vaultermeister Joe Travers dug up that original 1/4 inch stereo reel tape from the Zappa vault and transferred it to CD.

One of the highlights of this package is Ole's story of his life as a Zappa fan. Quite touching actually! More about that later. Give us a couple of days to submit a review here.
Meanwhile, unless you have already tuned in...have a listen!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Walter Becker remix EP and a new magazine article

A few weeks ago we speculated that the "more to come"-line over on walterbecker.com might mean some remixes and/or dub versions of the songs from Circus Money.

Looks like we were right as a new online only EP has been announced:

Tracks:
* Somebody's Saturday Night (Radio Edit)
* Bob Is Not Your Uncle Anymore (Radio Edit)
* Circus Money Dub (Instrumental Remix)

The EP will be out October 27 and available from "International iTunes and other digital retailers."

Here's the page to keep an eye on. Click the Release versions link.

And here's a short preview of the Walter Becker/Circus Money article in the November issue of Sound On Sound.

Friday, October 17, 2008

donaldfagen.com update + "Saved by Steely Dan"

donaldfagen.com has been updated with a pic. Just go to the front page and then click the NEW! MAGICAL THINKERS by George Townes-link.

Once you've pondered the wildlife on that pic, feel free to click this link to see what world famous composer in a brand new interview says the following about a career miss/slump/backlash in the 70's:
"I just took off for a year to live by the beach. I played tennis and did nothing. It was very hard to re-enter. I got strength from listening to Brazilian music and Steely Dan songs."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pink Floyd's Richard Wright radio documentary

The one hour long documentary aired on BBC Radio 2 October 11 and will be up here for a couple of days for all interested who missed it. Here's what BBC writes about the documentary:
Drawing from BBC archive and an exclusive interview conducted by producer Mark Hagen in September 2007, the last radio interview that Wright gave, Richard offers his unique and now sadly poignant perspective on 40 years as a member of one of the world's all time great rock bands.

King Crimson's birthday calendar


Here is a neat calendar that you can hang on the wall to celebrate King Crimson's 40th anniversary.
Discipline Global Mobile announces: "What better way to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Crimson than with a 2009 monthly calendar that chronicles KC history? Sid Smith has kindly provided to us a list of important KC dates and we have included them on this full-color calendar which showcases the notorious album cover artwork from the first twelve studio albums. Limited, numbered edition to 500."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

ZPZ show on Swedish TV

SVT - Swedish public service television - is broadcasting a Zappa Plays Zappa show on Sunday, October 12.
The tracklist looks like this:
1. I'm the Slime
2. Pound for a Brown
3. Don't Eat the Yellow Snow
4. St. Alphonzo's Pancake Breakfast
5. Father O'Blivion
6. Black Page #1
7. Black Page #2
8. Echidna's Arf (of You)
9. Black Napkins
10. The Torture Never Stops

The tracks are most likely selections taken from the official DVD, but there is also the possibility that a TV-crew filmed a show themselves.
The broadcast is entitled Veckans konsert (=Concert of the week) and lasts for 60 minutes. SVT reruns in on October 13 and 18.
http://svt.se/svt/jsp/Crosslink.jsp?d=69743&a=1264216&lid=is_search527895&lpos=1&queryArt527895=zappa&sortOrder527895=0&doneSearch=true&sd=47225&from=siteSearch&pageArt527895=0

Friday, October 10, 2008

Weekend music: Black Friday

We find this a suitable piece of music this Friday: Steely Dan's Black Friday, inspired by the Fisk-Gould Scandal of 1869; a financial crisis in the United States.
When Black Friday comes
I'll stand down by the door
And catch the grey men when they
Dive from the fourteenth floor
When Black Friday comes
I'll collect everything I'm owed
And before my friends find out
I'll be on the road
When Black Friday falls you know it's got to be
Don't let it fall on me

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Zappa Plays Zappa plays Billy the Mountain

Dweezil Zappa adds concert dates for the fall 2008 American tour. He plans more shows in New York and on the West coast.
And the band will perform one of Frank Zappa's "monster songs", Billy the Mountain!
"I'm excited to say that we have "Billy The Mountain" up and running. It is a whole lot of fun to play. I believe it was last played live over 30 years ago... crazy!
I can't wait to play it for an audience. In the song "Billy" and his wife "Ethel" decide to go to New York for a vacation. I thought you'd like to know that we have added 2 more NYC shows on October 29 and October 30 in case any of you are planning a vacation.
Halloween will likely inspire at least one premiere tune ... a special treat as opposed to a trick."

For more information go to http://www.zappa.com/

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Steely blast from the past

Hats off to Georgie on the Steely Dan Fan's Bluebook who posted this 1978 commercial for Steely Dan's classic Aja:


"Welcome to the land of Steely Dan ... Steely Dan. Aja; a continent of the mind..."

Indeed!

The voice on the commercial must belong to American singer and actress Eartha Kitt. Cue her appearance on the Swedish TV show Kavalkad 1962. Apparently she knew what she wanted:

Son of Waiting for Joe's Menage some more

It's Wednesday and I'm still peeping into an empty mailbox.
Where is my copy of Joe's Menage featuring Norma Jean Bell? Well, it gives me time to wonder about the few female musicians that Frank had in his band.
Percussionist Ruth Underwood may be the most well known, and we also have Nigey Lennon wo popped up in the 90's and claimed she had played several gigs with Frank ca 1971. But the one I'd like to hear more of is Lady Bianca, the vocalist that was in Frank's band during the fall '76 tour. Unfortunately Frank did release only one song featuring Lady Bianca, Wind Up Working In A Gas Station (You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore - Vol. 6). Now that performance sure has some energy!
We have also heard an audience recording of another show, that is really exciting. Bianca added something extra, beside her abilities as a vocalist she allowed Frank to put up more of a rock theatre where Bianca could play the female role in the songs, maybe that was the reason why she left the tour after just a couple of weeks. On the audience tape one can hear hecklers shouting sexistic comments on Lady Bianca. When she left the band did not sound the same, (still one of Frank's best we would say).
So, hey Gail Zappa, it would be really cool if you decided to release an entire concert featuring Bianca! I'll order it just as fast as I ordered Joe's Menage.
(But where the heck is it?)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Waiting for Joe's Menage some more

It's Tuesday and the mailman didn't bring the new Zappa CD today either, although it was shipped one week ago.
Several other fans seem to have received their CD:s too, but since we are living in the far north of ol' Europe it will probably take som extra time.
As we said yesterday the new CD may sound different than FZ:OZ because of singer and saxophone player Norma Jean Bell.
But now we are not sure any longer. Several posters on http://www.zappateers.com/ that have the CD by now tell that it's a raw but enjoyable 70's live recording but they don't comment much on Norma. One poster writes that "Norma Bell is very inconspicuous during the show. I guess that might be due to the point in the set list this album is made from, other than Chunga's Revenge of course."
But we are still excited and will wait for the mailman tomorrow again.

Dylan lost in Sweden?

Here's a post to celebrate the release today of volume 8 of Bob Dylan's bootleg series; Tell Tale Signs. A two CD-deal of you pay around $25 and 3 CD:s thick if you cough up $150.

On the official Bob Dylan site bodylan.com there's a page where you can track all the shows he's done around the world using a spinning globe.

We had a look at the shows in our country of Sweden and found a few ... discrepancies as far as a few towns are concerned:
Stockholm, Lund and Malmö all moved a far bit further north compared to were they're placed in real life. Just watch the following maps. The final one is the correct one with Stockholm on the east coast halfway down the country and Malmö/Lund to the far south. Or "Malm" as bobdylan.com calls it.

Stockholm: Close to Norway!

Malmö: Far, far from where it should be and close to where Stockholm actually is.

Lund: In reality far south and close to Malmö.

The real deal:
Let's just hope Bob doesn't use bobdylan.com to look up his next Swedish gig. He might miss it!

(Feel free to post other map mistakes if you find them.)