Monday, 13 February 2012

Some ol' bastard tinkering with my life

I have many musical loves from the past. I read many books about musicians and bands from the past (my favourite 'music' books being 'Wonderland Avenue' and 'Lexicon Devil') and so when I buy the music (or re-buy the music.... all will be revealed shortly) I want to hear what the "people" of that time heard. I want to hear what the band produced at that time. It's the main reason I got the mono boxset of the Beatles remasters from a couple of years ago. They ("The Beatles") were actively involved in deciding what went where, how loud the organ was on that song... etc... so.... this musing has been brewing for a good few years... I bought four albums by The Doors because as a teenager I had sold them for cigarettes/weed/alcohol, along with most of my CD collection. Anyway, I got home and eagerly popped the debut album into the player and was bopping along.... happy.... memories coming and going.... new ones being formed... but something was weird...... I read the liner notes and discovered; the surviving band members (why did they have to survive?) had recorded new organ parts, dredged up out-take vocals, tweaked the EQ, found old guitar licks... etc... and, simply, added them to the old recordings.... FOR OUR PLEASURE.... BECAUSE THAT'S SOMETHING WE'D WANT.... BECAUSE THE ARTIST KNOWS BEST ALL OF THE TIME..... FUCK THAT! Needless to say I totally disagree with this kind of retroaction.... even if the artist was surpressed at the time (ie. 1966 "She gets waaargghhhh!...." and  2006 "She gets high!....") I want to hear what the kid in 1966 heard when they first took that record home and played it. It's one of the reasons why I have an aversion to bonus tracks being tacked on the end of reissued albums... they weren't there originally so just put them on a second CD (Rhino have perfected this with the recent Stooges re-issues)....... As the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and the Beatles (to name the big three) attest; the album's perfect as it fucking was... it doesn't even need out-takes to make a reissue worthy (although the Stones' are kind of fucking me up with this one... I haven't bought the 'Exile on Main St' re-ish because I don't want to hear what Mick Jagger wants me to hear now... I want to hear what they played and recorded then... it's all about the time and moment and feeling and etc that the world was going through at that particular moment). Anyways, I really want to buy George Harrison's 'All Things Must Pass' and can't afford the original vinyl. The new CD is only £7 but it's been tweaked with in 2000 and has extra guitar licks and even vocals by his fucking son that have all been added... I just don't see a plastic-tit-wank in it as being any incentive to buy reissues. Especially on stone cold classics that don't need any kind of bloody tweaking.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Erik Gage.... Stinking, smoked out poet for this fucked up generation.

Rarely has a record struck me as being so full of personality as 'Stoner Romance' by Erik Gage. Recorded on a four-track in bedrooms and studios around New York, the wayward charm lies in the 'half-assed' vitality that pervades every inch of tape on this release. Funny, skewed, rockin', rappin'.... fuckin' high.

A wonderful cassette straight out of Eggy Records, run by Raf Spielman (The Polyps, The Golden Hours etc.), which has put out a couple of dozen cassettes over the past year or two; each of which is well worth checking out (not that I have any... I got Erik Gage's from his bandcamp page... although I did get The Polyps' 'Peixe/Fennel's Daughter' 7" which is another joy to behold)....