Sunday, December 30, 2007


Tired of all the records that fill up your house, and long for a total surrender to mp3s? Don't forget all the stylish covers you probably own. Through Mapsadaisical (a stylish blog if there is one!) I found Hard Format, that focuses on design in music. That made me look through the second rows in my shelves, and I came up with Therapy? who issued a couple of nice singles called "Die Laughing" (1994) (yes the cover laughs a scary movie like laughter!) and the double "Diane" (1995).
And since this blog is supposed to be about Wyatt-related stuff, let's not forget a lot of beautiful covers from him and Alfreda Benge either! How about "comicopera" (the double vinyl!) and "EPs" for starters.

Jazzloops and The Stolen Hour

Finally I ordered the Hugh Hopper records with Robert Wyatt, issued by Burning Shed: "Jazzloops" (2002) and "The Stolen Hour" (2004). The last one is in cooperation with Matt Howarth, and the CD contains a cartoon (see screenshot). Wyatt collectors may be interested in the Burning Shed Sampler no. 3 (picture), that you get for free when ordering. This one contains one track from "The Stolen Hour", where Wyatt plays his cornet. What do you call Hopper's music on these records? I suggest "ambient jazz rock".

King Suckerman

Of all George Pelecanos’ books ”King Suckerman” (“The one about the pimp”) is the wildest when we’re talking music references. This guy is so keen on music, that his book “Hard Revolution” even got a soundtrack! King Suckerman is not the best book by Pelecanos, but I still re-read it this Christmas, and listed artists and band names (Get a life? Who?). I bet I missed some, or misunderstood some slang, but feel free to correct me (and please list all the movie references too, while you’re at it). I think the only book mentioned is Iceberg Slim’s “Pimp”. The scene here is Washington in the 70s, in an area smelling soul and funk.
Atomic Rooster
Bachman Turner Overdrive
Bad Company
Philip Bailey
BB King
Bee Gees
Big Star
Pedro Bell (Funkadelic)
Edwin Birdsong
Blue Oyster Cult
Bobby Bennett (DJ?)
Bootsy Rubber Band
Jim Capaldi (Traffic)
Chuck Berry
Creative Source
Elvin Bishp
The Blackberries
Brothers Johnson
James Brown
Larry Brown
Captain Beefheart
Jimmy Castor Bunch
Ray Charles
The Commodores
Miles Davis
Deep Purple
Buck Dharma (Blue Oyster Cult)
Rick Derringer
Earth, Wind & Fire
El Chicano
Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Four Tops
Marvin Gaye
J. Geils Band
Lowell George
Larry Graham
Graham Central Station
Grand Funk
Grateful Dead
Al Green
Isaac Hayes
Jimi Hendrix
Horny Horns
Hoy Chocolate
Hues Corporation
Humble Pie
The Isley Brothers
John Kay (Steppenwolf)
Eddie Kendricks
Chaka Khan
Led Zeppelin
Eddie Levert (O’Jays)
Levi Stubbs
Lightning Licks (=George Johnson, Brothers Johnson)
Litle Feat
Bill Lordan (m Robin Trower)
Lynnard Skynnard
Mahogany Rush
Mahavishnu Orchestra
Frank Marino (Mahogany Rush)
Curtis Mayfield
John McLaughlin
Harold Melvin and the Blue Niles
Buddy Miles
Van Morrison
Mott the Hoople
Muddy Waters
New Riders of the Purple Sage
Ohio Players
Danny O´Keefe
Maceo Parker (James Brown)
Teddy Pendergrass
Pink Floyd
Bonnie Raitt
Ritchie Blackmore´s Rainbow
Eugene Record
Rhythm Heritage
Rolling Stones
Levi Stubbs
Todd Rundgren
David Sancious
Gill Scott-Heron
Ravi Shankar
Bruce Springsteen
Staple Singers
Steely Dan
Sly Stone
The Stylistics
Russel Thompkins
Thunder Thumbs (=Louis Johnson, brothers Johnson)
Tower of Power
Robin Trower
Rolling Stones
Uriah Heep
William De Vaughn
Fred Wesley (m James Brown)
Barry White
Edgar Winter
Johnny Winter
Stevie Winwood (Traffic)
Stevie Wonder

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Driver's Seat

Peter Blegvad performs "Driver's Seat" live, I don't know where or when. Blegvad is so good a storyteller and songwriter, like in this song. "Driver's Seat" is on "Just Woke Up"

New comment on YouTube:"Renfrew Ferry 1996. Peter was supporting Tom Robinson".

Friday, December 28, 2007

Steve Hillage

Since it's hard to get some good advice, I better offer it myself! Steve Hillage is well worth a listen. Personally I'm more familiar with his solo albums from the 70s, and his work with Gong, but he's obviously been involved in a whole lot of other stuff, like The Orb and System 7. Read more about Hillage at Calyx (Musicians) and in Wikipedia. The solo albums have been remastered and reissued this year. I vote for "Fish Rising"

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sounds of spring 2008

New records to look out for next spring:
Box: Studio 1 (artists from Rune Grammofon)
Sunn O)): Domkirken (live from a church concert in Bergen)
The Thing: Now and forever (Box, with live recording with Thurston Moore)
Trinacria (Enslaved + Fe-Mail)
Nils Petter Molvær: Re-Vision (another remix from Molvær)
Scorch Trio

So this was Christmas?

Only the memory left of those elegant Christmas breakfasts!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Weather Report

These videos probably get taken of the tube, but try here (20 August 2013):

Weather Report was really something in the 70s. I heard them live in Norway at The Molde International Jazz Festival in 1972 (17 years old). Yesterday I realised that John Surman had played with them. See this recording from Berlin 1971.
My favourite WR album ever is "I sing the body electric", with title borrowed from a book by Ray Bradbury (or rather Walt Whitman's poem).

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Hild Sofie Tafjord

Hild Sofie Tafjord's "Kama" may be the album for you, if you like French horn and what Lasse Marhaug's Pica-Disc describes as a "steamy monumental drone-noise epic". It's not easy to recognise the French horn here, and what you get is one long piece of violent, noisy and nice music (40 minutes). Tafjord performs at All Ears in Oslo in a couple of weeks.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Soupsong and Matching Mole

The blogs Elastic Rock and Catasto's Friendly Fire are still making nice covers to unissued music. Here you get Annie Whitehead's "Soupsong" and Mole from a concert in Bilzen 1972.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas soundtrack

The three last ones are Norwegian. It's Elias Akselsen, The Source (with Trygve Seim) and Magnet.

Sweet Deciever

Jef Aérosol has made a nice portrait of Kevin Ayers. He has made pieces of lots of pop-cultural icons, as you may see in this set on Flickr.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas greetings from Domino Records

Here you get Christmas greetings from artists at Domino Records. They look pretty pissed already, so you may jump to the end to get Robert Wyatt's message! The artists:
Bonde do Role
Eugene McGuinness
Sons & Daughters
The Royal We
The Kills
Wild Beasts
Yo Majesty
Robert Wyatt

Canterbury or thereabouts

When it comes to the Canterbury-scene, I have been focused mostly on the works of Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers. Yeah, I have got the original post-Waytt-Soft Machine albums, Henry Cow, Slapp Happy, some Gong albums, a couple of Caravan records and some odd ones (Egg, Quiet Sun), but how may I become more Canterbury? I'm not too fond of jazzrock and prog, and prefer the more whimsical stuff to the studio perfectionists. I have started with a couple of albums from MoonJune, that were pretty good (Soft Machine Legacy and Mark Hewin & Elton Dean),and I know there are hundreds of lists out there with "best of Canterbury" records (see 1,2), but I want some direct help here. In Cahoots, National Health, Caravan, Soft Heap, Soft Machine Legacy, soloartists, whatever? Are there some new artists that fit into this (perhaps non-excistent) scene?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Kúzlo hlasu a priatel'ov

Rave reviews in SME from Slovakia (20 December) or? Somebody out there who can translate the title, or sum up the article?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hardingfele is the new Stratocaster

There are beautiful boxes of Folk you may want for Christmas, like Fairport Convention and Sandy Denny, but I suggest you go for a single Norwegian one! Valkyrien Allstars' CD is just great. You get a touch of Lord Byron, Norwegian traditional music and three Hardanger fiddles. Check out Valkyrien Allstars, they rock!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Other people's opinions

Lavinia Greenlaw on Robert Wyatts "At Last I Am Free". (Found the link at StrongComet).

A blogger who is not too happy with Robert Wyatt's last album. (But the blog looks so nice that we link to it from now on!).

Alternative best of lists at Mapsadaisical and the Oslo record store Tiger, and we also throw in guest lists at Pitchfork.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Norwegian Jazz Promo

If you are in the position to get stuff like triple CDs made to promote Norwegian Jazz, you better look out for this one from The Norwegian JazzForum. If you are not in a position to get a copy, well you may at least click on the artist list to get some ideas. Quite a lot of them have already been mentioned in this blog, so this time you are on your own.

Brian Hopper Podcast

There is a nice podcast on Voiceprint Web Radio with Brian Hopper talking about early Canterbury (Wilde Flowers, Soft Machine) and his own music (with lots of examples). The podcast may also be downloaded for free on I-Tunes..

Saturday, December 15, 2007

At Last I Am Free

I loved Robert Wyatt's cover of Chic's "At last I am free" when it came on Rough Trade in 1980 (backed with "Strange Fruit"). I also like Elizabeth Fraser's (of Cocteau Twins fame) version of the same song. You may hear it here. (And don't forget this one).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mojo's best of 2007

Mojo is the first magazine I've seen so far, that put both Robert Wyatt (9th) and Kevin Ayers (46th) among the top records of 2007! But they forgot Richard Thompson, so nobody's perfect.
1. Radiohead - In Rainbows
2. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
3. Bruce Springsteen - Magic
4. Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
5. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
6. The Good, The Bad & The Queen - The Good, The Bad & The Queen
7. The White Stripes - Icky Thump
8. PJ Harvey - White Chalk
9. Robert Wyatt - Comicopera
10. Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
11. Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future
12. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
13. Rufus Wainwright - Release the Stars
14. The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
15. Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
16. Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
17. Field Music - Tones of Town
18. Grinderman - Grinderman
19. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
20. Nick Lowe - At My Age
21. Neil Young - Chrome Dreams II
22. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
23. Efterklang - Parades
24. Björk - Volta
25. Joni Mitchell - Shine
26. Pissed Jeans - Hope for Men
27. Linda Thompson - Versatile Heart
28. The Cinematic Orchestra - Ma Fleur
29. Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
30. Thurston Moore - Trees Outside the Academy
31. Gruff Rhys - Candylion
32. Panda Bear - Person Pitch
33. Seasick Steve - Dog House Music
34. Willy Mason - If the Ocean Gets Rough
35. Bettye LaVette - The Scene of the Crime
36. Tinariwen - Aman Iman: Water Is Life
37. Edgar Jones and The Joneses - Gettin' a Little Help
38. The Besnard Lakes - Are the Dark Horse
39. Battles - Mirrored
40. Yoko Ono - Yes, I'm a Witch
41. Amiina - Kurr
42. Gravenhurst - The Western Lands
43. Interpol - Our Love to Admire
44. Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends
45. Matthew Dear - Asa Breed
46. Kevin Ayers - The Unfairground
47. Edwyn Collins - Home Again
48. Babyshambles - Shotter's Nation
49. Voice of the Seven Woods - Voice of the Seven Woods
50. Alasdair Roberts - The Amber Gatherers


The December/January issue of Norwegian jazz-magazine Jazznytt ("Jazznews") is out now. Just look at the front cover! Inside it is 6 pages on our man, by Stuart Nicholson (translated to Norwegian) and Alfreda Benge (photos, called "Alfie Wyatt"). The title of the piece means "The voice from the wheelchair", and Nicholson states that Wyatt's music is not usually called "jazz", but it is! In the interview Wyatt says he is thinking more in the direction of "folk music" these days. Norwegians to the newsstands now!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Jazzwise's best of 2007

Jazzwise selects Robert Wyatt's "Comicopera" as the 5th best record of 2007. On numbers 7 and 10 they have Norwegian jazz-band (and favorites of mine!) The Core and one of Wyatt's favorites Gilad Atzmon. Good magazine! I stole the list from Ballade.
1. Empirical: Empirical (Destin-e)
2. Maria Schneider: Sky Blue (ArtistShare)
3. EST: Live in Hamburg (ACT)
4. Michael Brecker: Pilgrimage (Emarcy)
5. Robert Wyatt: Comicopera (Domino)
6. Wynton Marsalis: From the Plantation to the Penitentiary ( Blue Note)
7. The Core: Blue sky (Jazzaway)
8. Gwilum Simcock: Perception (Basho)
9. Viljay Iver / Rudresh Mahantappa: Raw materials (Pi)
10. Gilad Atzmon: Refuge (Enja)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Half the time

Mark Hewins sent me a nice mail and the song "Half the time" that he composed with Robert Wyatt and Hugh Hopper. The song is not on record (probably), but according to Calyx there is a version on a cassette from 1992: "CANTERESQUE COMPILATION - Volume 1 : 1976-86, 1992 (Musart) [tape], with the band Music Doctors (Mark Hewins (g/voc/pc) - Elton Dean saxello) - Johnny Oslo (kb/voc)- Hugh Hopper (b).
Mark Hewins says he and Robert Wyatt wrote the lysrics ( he guarantees that R.W: wrote the line "Half the time its pantomime, Half the time its only make believe"), while Hugh Hopper made most of the music. Since I don't read music, please record this one somebody, and I wouldn't mind R.W. singing. Click on picture to enlarge!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Soft's Oslo concert (1971)

Catasto's Friendly Fire made a stylish cover to the Soft Machine's 1971 Oslo concert, mentioned earlier in this blog.

How was your 2007?

Reading Norwegian newspapers lately, I get the impression that a lot of music journalists agree that 2007 has been a lousy year for new records. The main problem (?) of course, is that the major companies don't produce enough new talents, and they are not able to sell shitloads of pop to the young. For me the problem is, that I have to start taking music intravenously, If I'm going to be able to consume half of what I'd like to! Let's use the example of one of my favorites, the trumpeter Arve Henriksen, and the records he's on in 2007 (there might be more?):
Per Eriksen "Beat Repeat" (Curling Legs)
Frode Haltli "Passing Images" (ECM)
Arve Henriksen: "Strjon" (Rune Grammofon)
Sinikka Langeland "Starflowers" (ECM)
Listen! "Listen!" (Schmell)
The Norwegian Wind Ensemble "Sketches Of Spain" (Norwind)
Live Maria Roggen "Circuit Songs" (Jazzland)
Christian Wallumrød "The Zoo Is Far" (ECM)
Supersilent "8" (Rune Grammofon)
David Sylvian "When Loud Weather Buffeted Naoshima" (Samadhisound)

Red Riding Ramos

A while ago I mentioned a "near Wyatt" happening in Lyon, where Jean Philippe Ramos was performing his versions of Robert Wyatt's music. This video (Little Red Riding Hood) is from that show (I think). Isn't it a bit spooky?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Dedicated to you

Delta Saxophone Quartet's album "Dedicated to you...but you weren't listening - the music of Soft Machine" (on MoonJune Records) is out. The band is : Graeme Blevins(soprano), Pete Whyman(alto),Tim Holmes(tenor) and Chris Caldwell (baryton). We also get some Hugh Hopper (bass) and Morgan Fisher (vocal a la Wyatt!). It's no secret that I am more of a Wyatt fan, than a Soft Machine/Canterbury fan, but this is a positive surprise! They do not make straight covers of Soft's music, but make it their own. It's almost too sweet sometimes, but it's a beautiful record! They also made me go fetch the Soft Machine vinyl in the basement (numbers 1-4 are close to the record player of course!). I think I'm going Soft!
The Quartet is soon touring. Check the dates and venues at their MySpace site, and listen to the tunes while you are there.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Give Peace A Chance!

Robert Wyatt's "A beautiful war" (from comicopera) is on Uncut number 128's (January 2008) free CD. The CD contains "15 anti-war and protest classics dedicated to John Lennon". I'm a bit fed up with both Lennon and The Beatles, but what the hell, it looks like a nice compilation. Uncut choose Comicopera as number 6 among the best records of the year!

Motorpsycho, Bergen, 5 December

Finally, I got to hear Motorpsycho live. I have heard them once before, but then with brass from Jaga Jazzist, and this was something else. Bent Sæther, Hans Magnus Ryan and Kenneth Kapstad (new drummer) dished out almost 2,5 hours of thunderous rockandprogandpowertrio, with lots of hair and beards. This was a total victory, even if the sound was far from perfect, AND IT WAS TOO DAMN LOUD! The concert organizers handed out reflector discs, wishing us a safe walk home! Check out Motorpsycho!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hyde Park Free Concert 1970

Reel Recordings have issued Kevin Ayers and The Whole World's "Hyde Park Free Concert 1970". The sound is not exactly crystal clear, but who cares when you get a band like this: Kevin Ayers, Lol Coxhill, David Bedford, Mike Oldfield (bass!) and Robert Wyatt. They play these songs by K. Ayers:
Clarence In Wonderland
Red Green and You Blue
May I?
Hat Song
Did It Again
Why Are We Sleeping


Do you use LibraryThing to catalogue your books? If not, I have to tell you it's a cool web resource, where you may gather info from different library catalogues and internet shops like Amazon. Check my library here. Why don't we have one for CDs too? My own shelves are full of them!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Henry Cow live in Rome

Catasto's Friendly Fire posted a live recording of Henry Cow and Robert Wyatt - "Live in Rome 22 6 1975". They even made their own cover. See more info in the comment to this blogpost, and visit their blog. Music from the same tour may also be found on "Concerts" (Compendium Records 1976).

Traurigster Klang der Welt

Even Der Spiegel spend paper on our man Wyatt. The article is in number 45 (7 November 2007). You have to pardon my German, it's not as good as it (never!) used to be. You may read the piece yourselves, by buying it here, for the price of 0,50 Euro.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

2007's Top 20 Records?

OK, I'll try. This is my Top 20 of this year (so far). At least, this is how I feel at this moment. It's my usual mix of jazz, rock, indie and so on (search my blog or MySpace). I just know I have forgotten some important ones, damn it.

Ai Phoenix: The Light Shines Almost All the Way
Kevin Ayers: Unfairground
Brøtzmann, Nilssen-Love, Gustaffson: The fat is gone
Pelle Carlberg: In a nutshell
John Cale: Circus: Live

The Core: Office essentials
Feist: The Reminder
Frode Haltli: Passing images
PJ Harvey: White chalk
Sharon Jones & The Dap King: 100 days, 100 nights

Thurston Moore: Trees outside the academy
Two bands and a legend:Feat. Cato Salsa/The Thing/Joe McPhee
Shining: Grindstone
Supersilent: 8
Linda Thompson: Versatile heart

Richard Thompson: Sweet warrior
Richard and Linda Thompson: In concert 1975
Sissy Wish: Beauties Never Die
Robert Wyatt: comicopera
Rachel Unthank & The Winterset: The bairns

Christmas exhibition - Sound Gallery

The Sound Gallery in Bergen present some nice works in their Christmas exhibition. See Jørgen Træen and John Hegre (top picture robot) and Jørgen Larsson (picture number 2, you may play that record). Lasse Marhaug has a piece there too, without a sound, but it's smelling.