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Friday, December 25, 2009

JAMES BROWN : Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto (1968)

JB says Merry Xmas! And keep a social conscience!

Song : "Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto" by James Brown
Single A-side (King 6203) Dec. 1968

Saturday, December 19, 2009

BACAMARTE : Ultimo Entardecer (1978/1983)

One of the lost masterpieces of the progressive rock genre, Bacamarte was a rare band for various reasons. One, they hailed from Brazil, which is not a country usually synonymous with prog. Second, they recorded their debut album in a time with disco was gaining enormous popularity. And third, that album took about six years to be released (into the 80s!). So basically, luck was NOT on their side. The project was mainly the brainchild of guitarist Mario Neto, and you can tell by how much of the material relys on his guitar work.
This track is the centrepiece of the album (the longest one too!), and it combines the UK symphonic prog sound with more Latin-influences. The first 3.5 minutes has a slower tempo to feature the piano & synth, as well as Portugese vocals from Jane Duboc. At 3.24, the song picks up to showcase Neto's incredible fretwork (very flamenco-oriented). At 4.07, the third section starts with an arpeggiated piano motif and another verse. At 5.50, is a flamenco acoustic piece by Neto which eventually leads into an alternate verse at 7.11. At 7.43, the intro figure is repeated in dramatic fashion until the end.
Song : "Ultimo Entardecer" by Bacamarte
From the LP "DEPOIS DO FIM" recorded 1978, released 1983

Jane Duboc : vocals
Mario Neto : acoustic & electric guitars
Sergio Villarim : keyboards
Delto Simas : bass
Marco Verissimo : drums
Mr. Paul : percussion
Get it here : Ultimo Entardecer

Sunday, December 13, 2009

NICO : I'm Not Sayin' (1965)

This week has a song from German singer, model, and actress Nico. This is the A-side of her first single. It was assumed that helped to get signed to Immediate Records because she was the then-lover to Brian Jones (from The Rolling Stones). Producer Andrew Loog Oldham wanted to mold her into another Marianne Faithfull, so he had her sing this song, written by Gordon Lightfoot. This song is significant as it has both Brian Jones AND a young Jimmy Page on guitars. A nice slice of folksy pop.

It was soon after this that Nico went to the US, and joined The Velvet Underground for their first classic album.

And here is the link to a promotional video for this song. The audio-visual sync isn't always perfect, but it IS the mid-60s...
Song : "I'm Not Sayin'" by Nico
Single A-side (Immediate 003) Aug. 19, 1965

Nico : vocals
Jimmy Page : 12-string guitar
Brian Jones : acoustic guitar

Link in comments

Saturday, December 05, 2009

ATARAXIA : The Unexplained (1975)


Part Four.

So what was next for Mort? The occult! He called himself Ataraxia, and with Moog in hand (or on floor), he composed a spooky soundscape with magic and seances. This is the title track, and you can hear the addition of a more driving (almost disco) beat to the music. This was somewhat keeping in line with the changing decade of more 'danceable' music. At 1:33, it really picks up with an great repeated riff, using the flatted-fifth for a more menacing sound.

By this point, Garson was getting out of releasing albums. He released one more LP called "Plantasia", a serene electronic album to be played for plants (!). There was one more disco single under the pseudonym Captain D.J. But he had been steadily composing themes for TV and film since the 60s (including National Geographic, and various game shows), so was continuing with that. He contributed to music for the film "Kentucky Fried Movie", and did some broadway music in the '80s. He died Jan. 4, 2008, at the age of 83.

Song : "The Unexplained" by Ataraxia
From the LP "The Unexplained : Electronic Musical Impressions Of The Occult" (RCA Victor) 1975

Get it here : The Unexplained