From the Prison to Joe

Okay, what’s with that cryptic title. Let’s just say it’s time for another timely playlist, Schizomusica-style!  That big huge Woodstock anniversary re-make ain’t happening…so instead please enjoy a playlist featuring songs* by (almost) all the artists who performed at the original, in the order that they took the stage…50 years ago this weekend:

Playlist:  

Richie-Havens (history.com)

Richie Havens – FROM THE PRISON**

Sweetwater – LOOK OUT

Bert Sommer – SMILE***

Tim Hardin – REASON TO BELIEVE

Melanie Safka – CLOSE TO IT ALL

Arlo-Guthrie-b-w (pinterest.com)

Arlo Guthrie – COMING INTO LOS ANGELES

Joan Baez – OH HAPPY DAY

Quill – THAT’S HOW I EAT***

Country Joe McDonald – DONOVAN’S REEF

Santana – WAITING

John B. Sebastian – DARLING BE HOME SOON (The Lovin’ Spoonful)

Keef Hartley Band at Woodstock 03

The Keef Hartley Band – SINNIN’ FOR YOU

The Incredible String Band – THE LETTER

Canned-Heat (youtube.com)

Canned Heat – GOING UP THE COUNTRY

Mountain – SOUTHBOUND TRAIN

Grateful Dead – ST. STEPHEN

Creedence Clearwater Revival – BORN ON THE BAYOU

Janis-Joplin-b-w (pophistorydig.com)

Janis Joplin – SUMMERTIME

Sly & the Family Stone – EVERYDAY PEOPLE

The Who – SUMMERTIME BLUES

Jefferson Airplane – SOMEBODY TO LOVE

Joe Cocker – FEELIN’ ALRIGHT

Country-Joe (countryjoe.com)

Country Joe and the Fish – ROCK & SOUL MUSIC***

Ten Years After – SPOONFUL

The Band – THE WEIGHT

Johnny Winter – JOHNNY B. GOODE

Blood, Sweat & Tears – MORE AND MORE

Crosby, Stills, Nash (& Young) (acoustic) – SUITE: JUDY BLUE EYES

Jimi-Hendrix (ultimateclassicrock.com)

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (electric) – SEA OF MADNESS (playlist has the live version)

Paul Butterfield Blues Band – BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN

Sha Na Na – AT THE HOP (playlist has the studio version)

Jimi Hendrix – HEY JOE**

woodstock-ticket-f (donwiss.com)                       Wow, wotta bargain!

*All songs were performed at the original Woodstock, but not all versions here are actual recordings from the festival. In fact, hardly any are!  Hey it’s just a playlist, not another 100-disc box set of unreleased this-and-that.

**For those to whom it matters, these were the very first and very last songs performed.

***Sorry, these songs aren’t on Spotify, so you’re gonna hafta settle for the YouTube links.

Images courtesy theatlantic.com, cbsnews.com, edm.com, woodstock.com, digitalmusicnews.com, history.com, pinterest.com, bethelwoodscenter.org, youtube.com, pophistorydig.com, countryjoe.com, ultimateclassicrock.com, donwiss.com

Next episode:  sounds of Solid Bronze!

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A taste of honey? How about four.

Honey-Bees (freerangela.com)

Honeyblood! Honeycraft!  Honeymoan!  Even Honey Lung!?  So what’s with all these honey names?  Well, let’s take another schizomusical global excursion and find out…

Honeyblood-In-Plain-Sight (clashmusic.com)

Starting out in Glasgow, Scotland, here’s singer/songwriter/guitarist Stina Tweeddale and her project (seems like it’s always “project” rather than “band” nowadays), Honeyblood. Originally a duo with drummer Shona McVicar in 2012, then a duo with drummer Cat Myers in 2014, Honeyblood is now just Tweeddale. In Plain Sight is the third Honeyblood album, full of references to illusion, deception, and trickery – even the bedazzling cover art by Peruvian “optical illusionist” Cecilia Paredes.

Pick hits: “The Third Degree,” “You’re a Trick

Honeycraft-Inside (onestowatch.com)

Next it’s off to Los Angeles, California, where Catherine Rose Smith, or the artist known as Honeycraft, makes her home. And makes her music, a delicious blending of styles that she describes as “dream disco.”  Have a listen to the ethereal-yet-funky vibe flowing through Honeycraft’s latest, “Inside,” a collaboration with L.A. indie producer Tim Atlas.  Picture Janet Jackson stumbling into the sessions for the title track from Pet Sounds!  So far there’s only a handful of Honeycraft songs out there, so be on the lookout for more soon.

Pick hit: “Inside

Honeymoan-Body (honeymoan.bandcamp.com)

Heading now to Cape Town, South Africa of all places, meet Honeymoan, a group made up of members of other Cape Town bands (apparently there are other Cape Town bands!):  singer Alison Rachel, guitarist Skye MacInnes, bassist Josh Berry, and drummer Kenan Tatt.  Together they offer up a sound that could be the missing link between the sparkling singing of the Mamas & the Papas and the jagged guitars of Television.  Honeymoan’s newest EP release, Body, is a fabulous four-track dealing with today’s techno- and image-obsession.

Pick hits: “Low Blow,” “Sweating Gold

Honey-Lung-Memory (honeylunguk.bandcamp.com)

Finally, coming in for a landing in London, it’s power-punk quartet Honey Lung: guitarist/vocalist Jamie Batten, guitarist Harry Chambers, bassist David Sherry, and drummer Omri Covo.  The ’90s sounds of Smashing Pumpkins, Dinosaur Jr., and early Radiohead (the music their parents listened to – how old are we getting anyway) all figure into Honey Lung’s sonic/melodic attack.  The band recently released a vinyl album, Memory, consisting of singles and demos dating from their formation in 2015 to the present.

Pick hits: “Export the Family,” “Sophomore

Of course, honey-named bands are nothing new. Check this one out! (again, how old are we?)

Honeycombs (discogs.com)

Images courtesy freerangela.com, clashmusic.com, onestowatch.com, honeymoan.bandcamp.com, honeylunguk.bandcamp.com, discogs.com

Next time: a playlist “From the Prison” to “Hey Joe”

 

Hoiman’s Hoimits! Peter Noone in NYC

hermans_hermits_01 (voxac50.org.uk)

In the mid-1960s “Herman’s Hermits” was a household name, as TV hosts with other household names like Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, and Dean Martin announced the band…and the band launched into songs with household names like “I’m into Something Good” and “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter”…all emanating from little black-and-white television sets in living room corners of American households. Bounding into the United States right after the Beatles, Herman’s Hermits appeared as an overly-British act with bouncy sing-along songs, led by a charming teenager named Peter Noone. Later on, the band charted with more household-name songs like “Listen People,” “There’s a Kind of Hush,” and the corny “I’m Henry VIII, I Am.” And more than fifty years later, a group of musicians perform those same songs, in the same overly-British manner, led by a charming 71-year-old named Peter Noone.

hermans_hermits_02

Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone” (as they are now billed, at least in the U.S.) came rollicking onto the City Winery stage in NYC on June 27…and I mean rollicking. Against a U.K. flag backdrop, Mr. Noone entertained the audience with hammy jokes, at one point holding up an HH album with his likeness on the cover (“This is what CDs used to look like,” he quipped) and placing it in front of his head so he would appear as his 1960s teenage self. And during one number guitarist Vance Brescia went into wacky-dance mode with some outrageous leg kicks.

hermans_hermits_cover (discogs.com)hermans_hermits_cover3hermans_hermits_cover2 (discogs.com)

Oh, the music. Beginning with “I’m into Something Good,” “Wonderful World,” and the Searchers’ “Love Potion No. 9,” Noone and friends tossed off one hit after another, including “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat,” “A Must to Avoid,” “Travellin’ Light,” “Dandy,” “Leaning on the Lamp Post” (with Noone leaning on his mic stand lamp post), “Listen People,” “No Milk Today,” and their versions of the 1957 classic “Silhouettes,” Frankie Ford’s 1959 hit “Sea Cruise,” and Skeeter Davis’ 1962 tearjerker “The End of the World.” In between the band teased the crowd with aborted renditions of “Ring of Fire,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (who needs Mick when you got Peter!), and Gerry and the Pacemakers’ “Ferry Cross the Mersey” (Noone playing to the New Yawkas by singing “So ferry cross New Jersey”). Plus full-length performances of the Monkees’ “Daydream Believer” (with the audience basically singing instead of Noone) and even the Beatles’ “All My Lovin’”! The set ended on a fun but rather predictable note with the mighty triumvirate of “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,” “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” (with required sing-along – “Third verse, even worse!”), and “There’s a Kind of Hush.”

Peter Noone was born in Lancashire, England, formed the band in Manchester, and now makes his home in Santa Barbara, California. Thus, Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone tours regularly in the U.S…so they oughta be rollicking into a city near you anytime now!

hermans_hermits_button (pinterest.com)

 

Tune in next time for a taste of “honey”!

Images courtesy voxac50.org.uk/stanlaundon.com, discogs.com, pinterest.com; City Winery YouTube video courtesy parkerbros; City Winery photo by me.

Richard X. Heyman to the rescue!

In this age of auto-tune, over-singing, and in-your-face hip-hop, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to find any vestige of catchy pop, basic rock ’n’ roll, or even real musical instrumentation on American radio. So Richard X. Heyman to the rescue!

popcircles-rxh (bigtakeover.com)                     photo credit: Nancy Leigh

popcircles (richardxheyman.com)

Two years after his last outing, Incognito, the unsung hero of one-man-band power pop is back with Pop Circles, his thirteenth album, containing a dozen brand new, expertly executed tunes plus six bonus tracks. Kicking off with the radio-friendly (well, if it were 1980 instead of 2019) “Guess You Had To Be There,” the baroque-and-Byrds-influenced “If You’re So Inclined,” and the perfect power pop of “Upside and Down,” Pop Circles showcases Heyman’s stellar vocalizing – which ranges from Warren Zevon-like, low register crooning to a rock wail on the order of Steve Winwood – along with some sharp and savvy songwriting. The album spans the universe from the thoughtful lyrics and tender strings (courtesy of cellist Julia Kent and violist Chris Jenkins) of “Everything Must Go,” to the roughshod Graham Parker-ish “Action Speaks Louder Than Words” (featuring some frantic organ), to the breezy Caribbean flavor of “A New Light.” And towards the end of the record don’t miss “About Time” and “Hope” – two short ’n’ sweet power-pop blasts – plus the brief Beach Boys moment that starts “Where Circles End.”

RichardXHeyman (rockwrite.blogspot.com)

Following the 12-track album proper, Mr. Heyman tosses in a few songs written during his days with the Doughboys, billed as “Richie’s Three-Chord Garage.” Check out “Until Now,” “Long Way Down,” and “Until the Clock Strikes Doom” – three-chord garage indeed! Finally, Pop Circles comes full-pop-circle and wraps up with a striking extended version of opener “Guess You Had To Be There.” And how about that cover design by graphic artist Sergio Sandino, a play on the “crop circles” phenomenon, brilliantly described by Heyman in his press release as “ancient aliens…showing us how to center our future 45 RPM’s.” Like Incognito, Pop Circles was recorded at Heyman’s home studio, the Kit Factory, with Heyman handling just about every instrument except bass (wife Nancy Leigh does bass duties…as well as engineering) and the aforementioned strings. Real instruments by the way! Handfuls of guitars, keyboards, vibraphone, harmonica, drums, and all manner of fun percussion. Catch RXH at RMH – Rockwood Music Hall – in NYC July 27!

So next time the current state of music radio drives you mad, listen to Pop Circles and let those ancient aliens show ya what’s what.

Top-10-Mysterious-Alien-Crop-Circles-In-The-World (proofofalien.com)

Next time…Peter Noone comes to town!

Images courtesy bigtakeover.com / Nancy Leigh, richardxheyman.com, rockwrite.blogspot.com, proofofalien.com

Leonard Cohen: There is a (wise) crack in everything

neil-leonard-cohen-reference (tumblr.com)

Well, let’s say it’s 1984 and Mr. Cohen is basically still alive, so you can get away with that wisecrack. And Neil (played by Nigel Planer) in an episode of Brit TV sitcom The Young Ones does. I guess the general Leonard Cohen consensus is that the guy goes on making records, featuring his melancholy poetry set against various musical backdrops and uttered in his distinctive, deep-voiced style, without much attention paid to sales, chart performance, or mass popularity. Perhaps that consensus is a bit more pronounced in the United Kingdom than elsewhere?

Leonard-Cohen-2 (nytimes.com)

Either way, Leonard Cohen was born in Quebec, Canada in 1934 and, after kicking around as a poet and novelist, begins making music in the folk-rock vein during the late ’60s…and by 1974 has released four now-critically-acclaimed albums containing dark yet melodic classics like “Suzanne,” “So Long, Marianne,” “Bird on the Wire,” and “Famous Blue Raincoat” (Question: Did the writers of Leo Sayer’s 1977 hit “When I Need You” hear “Raincoat” at some point? Take a listen – Cohen says there was indeed a lawsuit).

 

 

Later on comes Death of a Ladies’ Man, produced by Phil Spector, pairing Cohen’s minimalism with the famous Wall of Sound and shocking Cohen’s fans. In 1984 Cohen unleashes Various Positions, featuring the synth-and-strings opening track “Dance Me to the End of Love” and possibly his greatest hit, the much-covered “Hallelujah.” Then in ’88 it’s I’m Your Man with the disco-styled “First We Take Manhattan,” the ominous “Everybody Knows,” the funky “Tower of Song,” and the swingin’ but gravelly title cut. As the 2000s get underway, Cohen continues to churn out music…up until 2016’s You Want It Darker, released just nineteen days before his death. A posthumous Grammy is awarded for the title track in early 2018.

 

 

Leonard-Cohen-exhibit-2 (jambands.com)

Now in 2019, the Jewish Museum in NYC is hosting an exhibit entitled Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything. It’s a dazzling interactive multimedia extravaganza showcasing musical performances, interviews, and even a slideshow of 220 amusing self-portraits. Visitors can lounge in beanbag chairs while watching the legendary troubadour in concert on huge projection screens, or grab microphones and hum along with a recording of “Hallelujah,” or sit down at a vintage organ, hit a key and hear Mr. Cohen recite from his poetry collection Book of Longing. One installation features 18 recordings of Cohen works by modern artists like Moby, Feist, and the National…culminating with a stunning, hypnotic rendition of “Famous Blue Raincoat” by French songstress Lou Doillon.

Leonard-Cohen-exhibit-1 (wnyc.org)

Leonard-Cohen-4 (ft.com) Leonard-Cohen-3 (buffalonews.com)
The show runs through September 8, 2019, so check it out…chances are this Neil-ism (another one!) won’t ring true anymore:

“I won’t say anything ’cause no one ever listens to me, anyway. I might as well be a Leonard Cohen album.”

Leonard-Cohen-quote (inspirational.ly)

**Stay tuned to Schizomusica this summer for articles on the Met Museum’s “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll” show, the return of Richard X. Heyman, and maybe even some 1969 50th anniversary playlists!**


Images courtesy tumblr.com, nytimes.com, wikipedia.org, jambands.com, wnyc.org, ft.com, buffalonews.com, inspirational.ly

Say kids, what time is it?

Old clocks  on brick wall

No, it’s not Howdy Doody time, it’s Pacific Mean Time! Wait, is that like Greenwich Mean Time? But in the Pacific? Or the Pacific Northwest? Like Portland, Oregon? Yup, that’s where this band comes from. Now, if they got caught in a (Pacific Mean) time warp and ended up in 1985, they might be listed alongside Depeche Mode, New Order, or the Cure. Or R.E.M. or the Feelies. Such is their bedazzling blend of the organic and the digital: urgent guitars, alternately twinkling/menacing keyboards, twisting and turning bass lines and drum beats, and gorgeous, melodic vocals.

pacific-mean-time-an-ocean-to-swallow-cover (jpsmusicblog.com)

Last year marked the self-release of Pacific Mean Time’s second album An Ocean to Swallow. The eclectic collection starts off with “Sentimental Strangers,” four minutes of dancey synthpop on the order of…New Order, then picks up the pace with a nod to Bowie’s “Modern Love” on “Reveler” and its catchy chorus “There’s nothing more to sa-ay,” followed by the echoey jangle (or maybe jangly echo) of “Báhn Mì” (which incidentally is a Vietnamese bread typically served as a sandwich – although that would be spelled “bánh”). Next are two of the record’s best tracks, the lush, ethereal “Weighing Feathers” and the hypnotic “Water Sign,” which begins with a synth drone reminiscent of the Steve Miller Band’s heyday and takes off on a dreamy, bass-driven groove. Those bass grooves continue on “The Wheel,” along with some busy percussion and psychedelic flourishes (is that a guitar or a synth?)…while “I Can Wait” sounds like something out of the Feelies songbook with its energetic guitars and barely-there vocals. The Pink Floyd-ish “Phantom” returns the band to the psych side, “Crashing the Waves” bounces along Steely-Dan-style then explodes with more Bowie-ness, and the album goes out on a Cure-meets-R.E.M. note with the bright guitars and chiming keyboards of “Scissor Race.”

And check out the surreal cover art by Tim Manthey (aka Cloud Nectar), depicting an otherworldly land/seascape inside a woman’s mouth, with the band members poised on her giant lip as they step into the scene. Now that’s album cover ART.

PacificMeanTime_Jan2019_IMG_8490_JasonQuigley (ventsmagazine.com-Jason Quigley)  pacific-mean-time-first-album-cover (pacificmeantime.bandcamp.com)

Formed in 2014 from the remnants of Portland power-pop quartet Little Beirut, Pacific Mean Time is guitarist/vocalist Hamilton Sims, guitarist/producer Edwin Paroissien, bassist John Hulcher, drummer Anders Bergstrom, and keyboardist Sean Farrell. An Ocean to Swallow is due out nationally June 21, and (if you’re in the Portland area) you can catch ’em May 17 at Alberta Street Pub, but in the, uh, Mean Time have a listen to their self-titled debut album here!

 

Images courtesy dictionaryblog.cambridge.org, jpsmusicblog.com, ventsmagazine.com/Jason Quigley, pacificmeantime.bandcamp.com

Where women glow and men plunder (and they all make pretty good music)

AUSTRALIA MAP (catsmeow.com)

“Living in a land down under
Where women glow and men plunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover”*

So sings Colin Hay on the 1981 Australian rallying cry and number one song by Men at Work. Besides those guys, what’s Australian for rock ’n’ roll? Oh, the Easybeats, the Saints, Radio Birdman, Rick Springfield, Midnight Oil, the Go-Betweens, the Hoodoo Gurus, Nick Cave… Now off to the land down under ca. 2019:

Hatchie_Keepsake_Front_Soundcloud (dbldblwhmmy.com)

First stop, Brisbane…meet Harriette Pilbeam, making music under the name Hatchie since 2017. In the 80s-90s dream-pop tradition of the Cocteau Twins, the Cranberries, and My Bloody Valentine, Hatchie uh, hatched “Sugar & Spice” last year and will release her debut album Keepsake on June 21. Check out lead single “Without A Blush” and Hatchie herself in NYC at Music Hall of Williamsburg on April 24 and Bowery Ballroom on April 25!

Vacations_On_Your_Own (vacationsfanclub.bandcamp.com)

Heading down to Newcastle…have a listen to Vacations, a four-piece with one full-length album, Changes, and a handful of EPs under their belts. Campbell Burns, Jake Johnson, Nate Delizzotti, and Joseph Van Lier deliver a Smiths-style concoction of emotive vocals and ringing guitars on their latest, “On Your Own.”

Jermango-Dreaming-Breeze (lyricsfa.com)

Making our way along the coast to Sydney, here’s Jermango Dreaming, headed by photographer/musician Jermaine Sakr. He released the songs “Lamp Day” in 2016, and “I Want You” and “Modern Day Living” in 2017, all on his own label Yeah Nah Yeah.  This year the artist offers up an ethereal but bouncy vibe on “Breeze.”

Quivers_YNAOMM (quiversss.bandcamp.com)

Off to Melbourne now…where Quivers make their home. Sam Nicholson formed the band in Hobart, Tasmania “to keep singing” after the tragic loss of his brother in a free-diving accident. The rest of the group – Michael Panton, Bella Quinlan, and Holly Thomas – round out a sound reminiscent of early R.E.M. So far they have one album release, 2018’s We’ll Go Riding on the Hearses, and a new single, “You’re Not Always on My Mind.”

Stroppies_Whoosh (thestroppies.bandcamp.com)

More from Melbourne…behold “Aussie supergroup” the Stroppies and their nifty single “Cellophane Car” from the album Whoosh! Angus Lord, Claudia Serfaty, Adam Hewitt, Rory Heane, and Steph Hughes released their eponymous 7-track debut in 2017, and are back in 2019 with a melding of Feelies-type driving guitars with some dazzling, dizzying keyboards.

Tame_Impala_Patience (stereogum.com)

A quick flight over the Great Australian Bight brings us to Perth, home of neo-psych darlings Tame Impala. In contrast to the other artists mentioned here, Tame Impala have been around for awhile and have even won several music awards in their native land and elsewhere. Kevin Parker and company are poised to release their fourth album this year, but in the meantime here’s their latest, “Patience.”

Pool_Shop_Shooting_Star (poolshopsound.bandcamp.com)

Finally, full circle back to Brisbane…and Jaimee Fryer’s dream-pop project Pool Shop (seems Australia’s a real dream-pop epicenter nowadays). Fryer’s previous band, Major Leagues, were quite the “garage-pop dreamers,” as one article pegged them (and as evidenced by their 2017 track “It Was Always You”). Major Leaguer Vlada Edirippulige along with Luke Pallier, Peter Bernoth, and Dougal Morrison join Fryer on Pool Shop’s “Shooting Star.”

The+Walk+A+Bout+Things+Are+Looking+Up+For+3x3+Sticker+Edit+5.4.18+rev (walkaboutband.com)

Wait, before we leave this land down under, let’s get an update on Australian-American band (singer/lyricist/harpist/didgeridoo-ist plus four Long Islanders) – and Schizomusica favorites – the Walk-A-Bout. At this moment three of their songs are in the top five on the Roots Music Report alt-rock chart…and their album Things Are Looking Up has been top ten for almost two months! Catch ’em this spring and summer at Michael Braceland Art Gallery (May 18 and June 14) and Bobbique (May 24), both in Patchogue, the Junction in Long Beach (May 26 and August 2), Revolution in Amityville (June 23), KJ Farrells in Bellmore (June 25), and the Great South Bay Music Festival (July 20). That’s all L.I. by the way, no Australia tour – yet. And while you’re at it, have another look/listen to their video “That’s Just the Way It Goes.”

Cheers, mate!

Australian_Beer_Tree (regmombassa.com : charcoal and coloured pencil by Reg Mombassa)                                           Charcoal and coloured pencil by Reg Mombassa

 

*Songwriters: Colin James Hay / Ronald Graham Strykert; Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Images courtesy catsmeow.com, dbldblwhmmy.com, vacationsfanclub.bandcamp.com, lyricsfa.com, quiversss.bandcamp.com, thestroppies.bandcamp.com, stereogum.com, poolshopsound.bandcamp.com, walkaboutband.com, regmombassa.com