The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Let's listen again

So, lately, I have been trying to listen to a lot of music - so what else is new? Over Xmas / New Year's I found a CD of "Deviants #3" - so last weekend, I played the entire recorded output of The Deviants for the first time in a few years ("Disposable", "Ptoof!" and "#3"). "Disposable" sounded OK, some of the songs are good - but the musicianship seemed "almost amateur" - the profanity seemed almost...apologetic? My favorite cut this time around was the "Birds and Wires" spoken word track - nice, I'll have to drop it in to a "Mix" for someone, and see if it gets recognized! I am most familiar with "Ptoof!" - "Nothing Man" is very cool, and they manage to sound sincere when they swear and hurl non-P.C. language. 1970's "Deviants #3" sounds much more musically accomplished - great songs, writing etc. Wish I hadn't sold my original LP of it some years ago, now I only have this Japanese CD of it to comfort me. Playing The Deviants for the first time in years - wow. I should recommend them to my friend Karl - he also dug The Fugs!

I also found a CD of "Camembert Electrique" by Gong. Boy, haven't played Gong in quite a while - thus far, I have listened to "Magic Brother - Mystic Sister" and "Banana Moon" (technically a Daevid Allen solo album, but I have always thought of it as the 2nd Gong album). Because of the nature of the recordings (and their age), neither of these CD's sound 'stellar' - "Magic Brother" was supposedly recorded on the audio track of 16 or 35mm film (?!), so there sounds like drop-out on the cymbals in a few places - and the damned CD boasts "Digitally Re-Mastered"! Well, if it's a CD, yes - it technically IS digitally mastered / re-mastered. At least this version (from '04?) doesn't sound as bad as the CD from the 80's, which was definitely taken from an LP - and you know how crap the Byg pressings were! Still, I like some of the songs very much here; Allen sounds great - and I could largely do without Gilly Smythe's "space whispers" - she speaks more than sings..."Banana Moon" still chugs along as it has customarily done so for 35+ years - only chink in the armor is the big long piece in the middle of what used to be 'side two' - "Stoned Innocent Frankenstein and His Adventures In The Land of Flip" (or thereabouts) - what was Mr. Allen thinking? (I know, I know...not much), but it sure sounds like "psychedelic padding" to me, folks! Can't fault "All I Want Is Out Of Here" and "It's The Time of Your Life" at all - and I am always amused by the cut that pokes fun at Kevin Ayers ("You're just a rose coloured spade" etc.) - and "Camembert Electrique" sounds fine thus far - haven't got all the way through it as yet. I wish they reproduced the blue booklet,'s a cheezy Charly / Snapper CD. I think I will wait and tackle the (proper) "Gong Trilogy" another time (i.e. the next 3 albums); I really love "Angel's Egg".

So, here I am in 2007, re-listening to some early 70's hippie music - for a fresh perspective.

What are you listening to?

- Ron


Blogger Marco Raaphorst said...

Important records at the moment:
ali farka toure - savane

chris whitley - war crime blues

ever heard the Dutch Spinvis Ron? inspired by MAM... it's like MAM++, that first album of Spinvis.

12:17 AM  
Blogger Bob Gaulke said...

Les Tetes Brulees-Les Tetes Brulees. God, I can't stop listening to this.

Nick Lowe-Poor side of town e.p. Over the past year, I've tried to buy everything by Nick Lowe. None of the arrangement pyrotechnics of the first cd, but solid songwriting, elevating the buck owens style to something hallucinatory.

Fugs-No More Slavery. I can only listen to half of this. I find the perfect harmony vocals of the eighties-joined dude annoying and innapropriate at times.

Texas Funk-Black Gold from the Lonestar State 68-74. Whack.

5:34 AM  
Blogger Brian Ware said...

2006 explored lots of older music with a fresh perspective . The best thing that happened this past year was joining and trading unwanted discs. I've recently enjoyed titles by artists as diverse as Suzanne Vega, Jack Bruce, Swing Out Sister, Basia, The Animals, U.K., Spoons, and Tasmin Archer. Jim D.'s incredible rarities sets have covered Thomas Dolby, Peter Gabriel, Freur, and Fiction Factory.

As for new stuff, Barenaked Ladies released a brilliant double LP with the second disc only available as an iTunes download. Other holiday fun included Beatles "Love" (stunnning in 5.1) and Billy
Idol's Christmas collection (bought as a joke but surprisingly good).

6:02 PM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Hi All!

I really liked the Ali Farka Toure CD with Ry Cooder from a few years back.

Bob, my friend David Z hipped me to a bunch of latter-day Nick Lowe - great stuff. He is amazingly funny when he's interviewed on TV.

I got some 80's Fugs CD's when I visited Portland last summer - I still like the Reprise Years best (as found on "Electromagnetic Steamboat")

Brian - Which Animals material? I recently got the UK book about The Animals / Eric Burdon, interesting! When I lived in England, Tasmin Archer was becoming famous - "Sleeping Satellite" is the best Joan Armatrading song!

- Ron

6:54 AM  
Blogger Brian Ware said...

The Animals collection is from 2004 called "Retrospective". 22 tracks covering all the essential material from 1964-68 and it even throws in "Spill The Wine". I like Tasmin Archer a lot. My most recent listening was her "Shipbuilding" collection with four Elvis Costello covers along with various odds and sods from her debut LP. I also forgot to mention lots of relatively recent Heaven 17 thrown into my 2006 mix as well.

9:45 PM  

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