musicology #0736

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2016 by johnny haddo


Nubag #5 (a year in the life)

El Bang Bang – Jackie Mittoo

(Sir Coxson) Downbeat marrow trembler courtesy of the majestic Jackie Mittoo, (the backbone of Studio 1 throughout the golden years), and the brentford road massive aka the Skatalites, the soul brothers, Sound Dimension the Brentford road all stars/disco set at the top of the game. released in 1966, (as the Ska slid into the Rock Steady) on Downbeat’s genre defining Studio 1/Supreme Label.

Regulars on themusicologist know how strongly the ‘Keyboard King’ has been representing over the years due to his credentials as one of the greats of the music that I love. Jackie is/was and will always be the KING of Studio 1 for me

there are rare tunes and there are BOSS doubt which category this STANDS in.

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Posted in Uncategorized on January 12, 2016 by johnny haddo

For many years I dismissed David Bowie as a shallow opportunist. What was he doing that Andy Warhol and Lou Reed, conceptually and musically, hadn’t done with more wit and originality? I saw him at the Greyhound in Croydon in the summer of 1972, supported by Roxy Music in a pub room that can’t have held more than 200 people. He did the Ziggy Stardust thing, he and the band in full costume, and I didn’t care for it much.

Those particular songs still don’t do anything for me, but time sometimes dissolves prejudices and now I can see that what I took to be shallowness and opportunism were aspects of what we call the pop process: the way things evolve through mimesis and metamorphosis, adapting to their time. And the response to the sudden news of his death leaves no doubt of the profound impact he had on people whose lives were then in the process of being formed.

It wasn’t until the time of the Berlin trilogy that I started to take him seriously, but then he lost me again. I went to see him again at Wembley Arena in the early ’80s, and he looked to me like a man who’d run dry. But I liked the records he made with Nile Rodgers — if you’ve seen Frances Ha, you’ll know the wonderful sequence in which Greta Gerwig’s character skips through the streets of New York to the sound of “Modern Love” and the whole cinema seems to lift about a foot off the ground.

This morning I found myself going into Soho to buy his new album, queuing behind a bunch of people doing exactly the same thing. I could tell you that I was going to buy it today in any case, and it would be true: the idea of Bowie working with jazz musicians sounded intriguing, if not necessarily guaranteed to work.

I’m listening to blackstar now, and it’s hard to escape the feeling that Bowie knew exactly what he was doing when he scheduled its release. It sounds like the supremely elegant farewell of an artist standing squarely on the platform of his past achievements in order to reach still further, one last time. It’s worthy of the famous line fromMacbeth: “Nothing in his life became him like the leaving of it.”

It isn’t jazz, of course, or anything like it. The skills of the musicians are put to a different purpose. In the mesh of textures created from the available palette, in the brilliant settings of his allusive lyrics, in the masterful sense of pacing (listen to the closing of “Lazarus”), in the aching poignancy of “Dollar Days” (“If I never see the English evergreens I’m running to/It’s nothing to me/It’s nothing to see”), in the purposeful channeling of energy and the constant sense of newness from start to finish, this sounds like Bowie music at its most fully realised and powerfully affecting. What a way to say goodbye.

Frestonia: the past is another country

Posted in Uncategorized on January 4, 2016 by johnny haddo

nicked _

The Library Time Machine

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away (the past) a brave person of restricted growth and his staunch companions threw off the bonds of oppression and created their own magical land…….

Well, perhaps that’s not the way to tell it. North Kensington, once called by Michael Moorcock “the most delicious slum in Europe” was once a hotbed of community activism. Barricades were built, protests were made, community newspapers were published, councillors were locked in meeting halls. In the days before social media and citizen journalism, people made theselves heard with all the means at their disposal. One of those means was the creation of the Free Republic of Frestonia.

The building of the Westway cut through North Kensington leaving some parts of it a bit stranded. Latimer Road was truncated, Walmer Road was bisected (see this post, which has many interesting comments from former residents) and…

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The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson: A New Film By Julien Temple

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2015 by johnny haddo

Source: The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson: A New Film By Julien Temple

Bob Dylan and Paul Clayton

Posted in Uncategorized on November 8, 2015 by johnny haddo

Bring You Chickens

One of Bob Dylan’s greatest songs is “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” (1962). Apparently, Dylan learned the tune from Paul Clayton’s song “Who’s Goin’ to Buy You Ribbons When I’m Gone?” (1960). And Clayton seems to have gotten at least the lyrical idea for his song from an older song called “Who’s Gonna Buy Your Chickens When I’m Gone.”

Here’s a passage from Spitz’s biography of Dylan:

A more delicate wrinkle arose of the authorship of “Don’t Think Twice.” No one complained about the lyric; it was so damn original that folksingers admitted losing sleep over it. But the melody had a familiar ring to it. Word began to spread that Bob had lifted it almost note for note from Paul Clayton’s ballad, “Who’s Gonna Buy Your Ribbon Saw.” That in itself wasn’t a contemptible offense. By definition, folk music encouraged an element of borrowing from sources to preserve…

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Now In Stock: Leeds & Catlin / American Record Co. – Hawthorne & Sheble – International Record Co. Discographies

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2015 by johnny haddo


Save When Your Order Both Books as a Set

HSP-Leeds-coversOur long-awaited “rogue record company” discographies are here. Each book features discographical details never before compiled in a modern work — along with illustrated, fully documented histories of these companies, and the people behind them, that are the most comprehensive accounts published to date.

List price is $45 per book, with free U.S. shipping — but for a limited time, we’re offering  $11 off* when you order the set of two. For more information and secure online or mail-in ordering, please visit the Mainspring Press website.

*On U.S. orders. Comparable discounts are also offered on foreign orders — see website for foreign pricing.

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Posted in Uncategorized on September 16, 2015 by johnny haddo

Ian Bone

Oh what fun it is to see –  the situationists flogging their back catalogue to Tate Britain. From viewing the Tate’s magazine you can see wannabee situationist/angry brigader HARI KUNZRU enthusing over Tate Britain’s acquisitionof the Wise Brothers KING MOB archive…

Front cover of a King Mob anti-culture publication

Front cover of a King Mob anti-culture publication
Courtesy Tate Archive © Tate. Photo: Rod Tidnam

The gap here should be taken up with a King Mob cover picture – but its now Tate copywrite!

Now I’ve never met either Dave or Stuart Wise and they’ve always been a bit too clever by half sniffy about Class War but what the fuck – they’ve produced some of the most exciting and radical projects and writing from the 60s onwards – and still do at their website with the top meditation on pub closures’Last Orders for the local’. The there was KING MOB ECHO/UP AGAINST THE WALL MOTHERFUCKER/SUMMER OF A 1,00 JULYS/ONCE UPON…

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