Saturday, December 24, 2005

Summer of Motown

And, for your Christmas holidays, a very un-christmas compilation! But also one of my favourites. So, the hell with the timing and, if you miss the summer this is absolutely for you. It's a collection (released by Uncut magazine) of marvelous Motown songs, with MARVIN GAYE , THE VANDELLAS, THE FOUR TOPS, and many more (there's the whole tracklist down here, by the way...).
If you have never heard "Nowhere to run" MUST download this, trust me.
01 Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Nowhere To Run
02 Walker Junior and the All Stars - (I'm A) Road Runner
03 Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - I Heard It Through The Grapevine
04 The Temptations - Law Of The Land
05 Marvin Gaye - This Love Starved Heart Of Mine (It's Killing Me)
06 Supremes — Diana Ross & The Supremes - Love Child
07 Dazz Band - Let It Whip
08 Undisputed Truth - Mama, I Got A Brand New Thing
09 Barbara McNair - Lone Lonely Town
10 Jimmy Ruffin - It's A Desperate Situation
11 Barrett Strong - Money (That's What I Want)
12 The Four Tops - It's The Same Old Song
13 Barbara Randolph - I Got A Feeling
14 The Isley Brothers - Got To Have You Back
15 Teena Marie - I'm A Sucker For Your Love

The Beatles: Alternate Abbey Road

Yes! An alternate "Abbey Road"! I.e. a lot of alternative takes, demos, some jams, an early version of Harrison's "All things must pass"...

1-Come together (take 1)
2-Something (take 37)
3-Maxwell's silver hammer (early version)
4-Oh! Darling (early version)
5-Octopus's garden (take 32)
6-I want you (she's so heavy) (experimental take)
7-Here comes the sun (mono mix)
8-Because (take 16)
9-You never give me your money (alternate take)
10-Sun king (early mix)
11-Mean mister mustard (mono mix)
12-Polythene pam (mono mix)
13-She came into the bathroo window (alternate take)
14-Golden slumbers (early take)
15-Carry that weight (early take)
16-The end (early instrumental mix)
17-Her majesty (take 3)
18-Maxwell's silver hammer (alternate take)
19-Octupus's garden (take 2)
20-Come and get it (demo)
21-Ain't she sweet (jam)
22-Somethng (demo)
23-Old brown shoe (demo)
24-All things must pass (demo)
25-The end (take 7)

Lullatone: Computer recital

here is one more from LULLATONE: "Computer recital". If you have appreciated their last album I posted (which is their last, and I posted it here a few days ago), you'll like this too. This is their first one (they made three).
If you want to know more about them...
And the whole album...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Radiohead: Com lag

Here is a gift to all RADIOHEAD fans out there (who do not have this already): "Com lag" is a collection of radiohead tracks taken from various singles. There are interesting remixes (like Four tet's "Scatterbrain"), an alternative version of "I will" (a very moving one, precisely), non-album tracks, and live version. Maybe it is not essential for those vho do not dig RADIOHEAD, but I assure you that the only "Fog (again)" live (a very different one from the original studio version, more ballad-like, something quite close to "Like spinning plates" live version, or "True love waits"), with Thom Yorke alone on vocals and piano is worth the download.

1. 2+2 = 5 (Live At Earl's Court, London, 26/11/03)
2. Remyxomatosis (Cristian Vogel RMX)
3. I Will (Los Angeles Version)
4. Paperbag Writer
5. I Am A Wicked Child
6. I Am Citizen Insane
7. Skttbrain (Four Tet RMX)
8. Gagging Order
9. Fog (Again) (Live)
10. Where Bluebirds Fly

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Joe Strummer & a Clash bootleg

JOE STRUMMER died three years ago. I remember perfetly how odd it seemed to me. And how it all looked like shit those days: the new year was just about to come but I already new it would suck after this.
So, it's still hard to talk about him: his music entered my life in a way many more other artists' music didn't. It made me feel fine. It made me angry and energized and happy to be alive.
I remember that when one of my teachers asked me who my favourite guitarist is (back when I was...15, or 16, I think), I yelled: "Joe Strummer!" without any doubt. Okay, okay, Joe won't be rememberd for his skills as guitarist, I now am very well aware of that, but you don't give a damn about it when you're a teenager. Or, at least, I didn't. Yeah, that way, it was all much esier, much more black-or-white, therefore I was pretty glad to have something like THE CLASH's songs to hold on to, and I couldn't care less if Strummer could not go beyond his "strumming" skills. It was all about impact. And he had a lot of that.
So here is my tribute to his memory, one of the best bootlegs of The Clash I've ever heard, live in Jamaica in 1982:
2-London Caling
3-Police on my back
4-Guns of Brixton
5-Magnificent seven
6-Armagideon time
7-Magnificent seven (reprise)
8-Junco Partner
9-Spanish bombs
10-One more time
11-Train in vain
13-This is radio clash
15-Should I stay or should I go
16-Rock the casbah
17-Straight to hell
And if you want to know more about Strummer here is the link about him on Wikipedia:

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Lullatone: Little songs about raindrops (Japanese electronic music)

You may not be fond of elecronic music in general, and neither know a thing about japanese music, but check this one out: LULLATONE are a duo, playing with electronic, glockenspiels and such stuff, and what they get is a very smooth music, something that you can listen to at night, just before going to bed. If you are familiar with Four tet's work, they are not very far from that: it's an organic sound, where you can't tell the electronics from the played instrument, and -unlike Four Tet- this album is also full of music box-like tracks and sweet lullabies (hence their name).
PS Tell me in the comments if you are interested in more of such japanese music.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Bob Dyan: Blonde on Blonde outtakes

These are the outtakes (2 discs) from one of BOB DYLAN's most acclaimed album, with also songs later not included on the LP like: "I wanna be your lover" and "I'll keep it with mine" (given to Nico for her first album "Chelsea girl").

Friday, December 16, 2005

Richard and Linda Thompson: Shoot out the lights

RICHARD THOMPSON was Fairport Convention's talented guitarist (some say he is Britain's best electric guitarist...of course there are also some peole like, say, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend...), and when he left his band he emarked in a solo career. But not really solo. With his wife actually. Linda.
Together they made some beautiful LP's: playing still -as with Fairport- music with its roots in the british folk tradition, as anyone can see from listening -mostly- on such albums as I want to see the bright lights tonight.
But now the lights that once were bright are at once out: Richard and Linda divorced and this is their divorce. Not quite the narration of it (well, sometimes it gets quite near to that), but more like its painting: listen to some of the songs beautifully sung by Linda, Walking on a wire or Did she jump or was she pushed, and you can sense perfectly their tension, their fears.
Here you can find (with the whole album) also the bonus track Living in luxury not avaible on the recent re-edition on CD:

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Grant Hart (Ex-Husker Du)- Intolerance

(Sorry about my english)

Intolerance is GRANT HART's first solo effort after Husker Du, and (as usual) he followed his 60's inspiration in writing this collection of songs. It sounds kind of stange to to think that only a few years before Bob Mould, Husker Du's leader somehow, were Huskers' only writer. In fact it didn't take much longer before Mould's rough artistic vision collided with Hart's melodic and poppy tunes. But in 1989 those fights were past and Hart's LP is well worth the listen. Sure, it is not Warehouse (Huskers' power pop masterpiece), neither Zen Arcade (their punk masterpiece), but all of these songs, with Hart mainly concentrated -oddily- on keyboard and organ, sound still fresh and weird, like some heritage from another era, not from 1989, but neither from 1967, probably only from some place in Hart's mind where he could feel finally at ease, singing his killer refrains and his naive verse-chorus-and-nothing-else stuff. Apart from all of these considerations Twenty-five-forty-one and Now that you know me are some of his best tunes. Give'em a try.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Per chi volesse saperne qualcosa sulla questione TAV invito a leggere quest'intervista (link preso dal blog di Grillo) al prof. Angelo Tartaglia del Politecnico di Torino, consulente tecnico, che espone i PERCHE' dell'inutilità della TAV.
Perché non ridurrà il traffico di tir, ad esempio.
E un'altra cosa: c'era già un colegamento DIRETTO Torino-Lione, ma è stato soppresso per mancanza di passeggeri (!).

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Dream Syndicate: Medicine Show

(Sorry about my english)
Back in 1984 Steve Wynn and his band, THE DREAM SYNDICATE, was one of the "next big things" of rock'n'roll, the one many looked upon with hope and fiery passion: they seemed to be born from the ashes of the Velvet Underground but you could also feel some vibes of 60's psychedelics in their strings (as you could with most of the bands of the so-called Paisley Underground like Rain Parade, Long Ryders, and so on). Thei 1982 debut, The days of wine and roses had largely been influenced by the first and second VU LPs, while their 1984 release, Medicine show, was something quite different: while some tracks like Still holding on to you and Merritville were more roots/americana(we would say these days)-oriented, and the names of Bruce Springsteen (a Steve Wynn idol, by the way) and Neil Young come to mind, there are song like John Coltrane Stereo Blues and the title-track whose electric reverberations remind us of Eight miles high-era Byrds and the fury of some free jazzer (obviously Coltrane).
Still this record was a comercial flop. The band released two more studio albums in the followings years with a different line-up (without the etherodox guitarist Karl Precoda), and then split.
Medicine show was their last stuggle to enter the rock'n'r roll history. They lost but they somehow made it: this LP, so dark and unglamourous, so full of angst, is a hell of a record, one able to "kick joy out of darkness" Kerouac would say.
Here you can find the full album (and the extra live tracks that were avaible on the CD release as well), that is still -alas, and because of a certain major company...- out of catalogue.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

John Lennon: Anniversario e Double Fantasy (Anniversary and Double Fantasy)

(Roughly translated in English. Sorry about my mistakes)

John Lennon died 25 years ago, this same day. He was going through a positive time: he had just released his last LP, Double Fantasy, the first in a 5-years lapse. His wife, Yoko Ono, co-signed the title and wrote many brilliant songs for it (some of these have been surely influential on the pop world, specially on artists such as B52's and David Bowie -just liten to his Scary Monsters and you'l see that). But an armed man awaited him outside his house that day, and he blew Lennon away from the world. Though not completely, since his music, his thoughts (and his many contradictions) were to last far beyond his mortal life.
Still, when I come to think about Lennon and how witty and how cuttingly ironic he could be, I wonder how he would be now. I don't want to ask such things as "What would the world be like if Lennon was still alive?" because that would be too heavy a burden for any man. For a man alone cannot have so much power (unless you are the President of the USA, or you are part of some important lobby,or both of them...nevermind). Still I wonder how he would be like today. What his opinions on us could be. And how long would it take him to make him mad in a society living -so- politicaly correct? 5 seconds? 10?
And, again, who knows if he he would join the non-global movement as he had joined The movement back in the 60's and the 70's. Or would he despise us? Would he tell us how fat and old we have grown (while he is still slim and young...)? Would he call us a buch of hypocrites, of whankers, and ask us where we're going and whether we mean to get there pretty soon or not 'cuz he's sick and tired of waiting for Godot? Something like that?
I have the felling that he would get along not unlike he used to: talking a lot (and not always on purpose), re-writing his own history, his life (and other people's lives) according to his likes to make it more interesting and controversial (a joint in Buckingham Palace? C'mon...). It could be.
And I don't know if he would still be making music.
Or if he would stil be living with Yoko.
Or if he would still believe that "Love is the answer".

25 anni fa è morto JOHN LENNON. Stava vivendo un bel periodo, aveva appena pubblicato il suo ultimo album dopo addirittura 5 anni: Double Fantasy. Un album co-firmato con la mogle Yoko Ono che vi partcipa ampiamente senza affatto sfigurare (anzi, portandosi appresso alcuni tra le canzoni più meravigliosamente pop di sempre, tanto che i B52'S, ma anche David Bowie -vedi Scary Monsters- prenderanno nota). Sotto casa però, ad aspettarlo, quel giorno di 25 anni fa, c'è un uomo con la pistola che lo spazzerà via dal mondo. Certo non totalmente, perché la sua musica, le sue idee (e le sue molte contraddizioni) sono destinate a rimanere parte del patrimonio della razza umana ancora per molto tempo.
Eppure quello che mi domando ripensando a Lennon, ripensando a come sapesse essere aggressivo e caustico nel mostrare, esibire se stesso al mondo intero, è come vivrebbbe oggi. Non voglio chiedermi: "Come sarebbe sarebbe il mondo se John Lennon fosse ancora vivo?" perché sarebbe dare troppa importanza ad un uomo. Ed un uomo da solo può fare be poco (a meno che non sia un presidente degli Stati Uniti, o non abbia contatti ed interessi con le maggiori aziende del mondo, o entrambe le lasciamo perdere). Però mi chiedo come vivrebbe. Cosa ne penserebbe di una società come la nostra? Quanto ci metterebbe a sbottare di fronte al Politically correct? Cinque secondi? Dieci??
E chissà se poi si lancerebbe in varie crociate no-global a destra e a manca come si è lanciato nel Movimento antagonista degli anni 60 e '70 (donando persino soldi a correnti che gli ha guadagnato il pedinamento della CIA ed il rischio concreto di venire espulso dagli USA). Chissà. O forse invece ci disprezzerebbe? Ci sommergerebbe di battute sprezzanti su quanto siamo diventati grassi e vecchi (mentre lui è rimasto magro e giovane...)? Ci darebbe degli stronzi ipocriti e ci chiederebbe dove stiamo andando e se abbiamo intenzione di arrivarci in fretta perché si sta annoiando ad aspettare Godot?
Io ho l'impressione che continuerebbe in modo non molto diverso la propria vita: parlando molto, ogni tanto anche a vanvera, riscrivendo la propria storia e quella degli altri attorno a lui per renderla più divertente e più "contro" (la storia dello spinello nel bagno di Buckingham Palace? Via..), questo sì.
Non so se farebbe ancora musica.
Non so se starebbe ancora con Yoko Ono.
Non so se crederebbe ancora che "Love is the answer".

Comunque qui c'è il download completo di Double Fantasy:

Rain Parade: Emergency third rail power trip

Il download della giornata è un album molto valevole di ascolto, anche perché è fuori catalogo da molto tempo: Emergency third rail power trip degli americani RAIN PARADE

Per chi non li conoscesse affatto (e vista la loro non-esistenza su mercato non è certo cosa improbabile...) i RP sono una band che ha fatto parte ad inizio anni '80 del cosiddetto "Paisley underground", cioè di una scena, perlopiù californiana, di band che suonavano prendendo ispirazione da garage e psichedelia anni '60, pur non dimenticando talvolta le asprezze degli anni in cui vivevano (il punk appena passato e il post-punk). Tra gli altri "membri" del Paisley ci sono i Dream Syndicate di Steve Wynn (più garage e più vicini ai Velvet Underground), i Long Ryders di Sid Griffin (questi invece impegnati a coniugare country e rock con una certa psichedelia), i Green On Red (duo dedito ad un rock tutto sommato abbastanza classico), ed infine appunto i Rain Parade di David Roback.
La loro è una psichedelia ricca di chitarre jingle-jangle (quindi di richiami ai primi Byrds), ma anche di forme-canzone che ricordano i Velvet Underground, anche se il cantato, spesso onirico, li proietta verso una dimensione diversa, più cristallina e di un facino meno morboso di Lou Reed e soci. Questo loro primo album (a cui peraltro nel download è stato aggiunto anche il seguente mini Explosions in the glass palace) è considerato il loro capolavoro, l'album alla cui freschezza non riuscirano mai a tornare. Non a caso di lì a poco Roback scioglierà il gruppo e, dopo uno iato di alcuni anni andrà a formare i Mazzy Star.
Se volete saperne ancora:

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Galaxie 500: This is our music.

Un bel regalo per tutti quelli che amano certa musica, ovvero -per intero- il terzo, splendido album dei GALAXIE 500: This is our music.

(Se non avete mai usato rapidshare è molto semplice: scendete la prima schermata e cliccate su free, dopo di che, dopo avere aspettato la fine del conto alla rovescia in fondo ala nuova pagina immettete le lettere che appariranno nella finestrella ed allora premete download. In pochi minuti scaricherete l'intero album zippato.)
Si tratta dell'ultimo album della band americana, un album più maturo e più levigato dei precedenti, con inoltre tra le bonus track una magnifica cover dal sapore pop di Here she comes now dei Velvet Underground (loro gruppo di riferimento). Dopo quest'album la band si scioglierà ed il leader, Dean Wareham, andrà a formare i Luna (recentemente scioltisi anch'essi), una band valevole ma certamente meno "straniata" della sua creatura precedente.
Vi ci vorrà forse un po' ad abituarvi a loro: la voce di Wareham appare spesso infantile dato che sfiora spesso non poche dissonanze. L'impressione è quella di un uomo che non ha molta dimestichezza col canto, ma lentemente vi accorgerete che questo suo approccio è (o può essere) uno dei maggiori punti di fascino del sound dei Galaxie. Per il resto questa band è il frutto di un gruppo di persone che ama e conosce a fondo la musica indie, ed è figlia del loro tempo, ovvero quello a cavallo tra anni '80 e '90: non sarei molto lontano dalla verità se parlassi di My Bloody Valentine con il volume abbassato (ma non sempre, perché comunque lo shoegazer, seppure pacato, è indubbiamente presente nelle loro...bè, nelle loro corde), ma con un'ispirazione melodica meno limpida, più obliqua (in questo certamente più simili ai soliti V.U., ma anche -in parte- a certi Pavement).
Se volete saperne di più vi rimando ad un sito estramamente ben curato sui Galaxie 500 (ma anche su Luna e sugli altri progetti di Wareham), dove potrete trovare discografia, testi, accordi, e download vari:

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Portshead: Bootleg

Ecco qui qualcosa che riscaldi un po' in questo freddo inverno, un bel bootleg dei PORTISHEAD:!_(bootleg)/

Friday, December 02, 2005

Thursday, December 01, 2005

"Cambiare si può"

Adeterite alla campagna CAMBIARE SI PUO', per un paese diverso, ovvero 10 punti per un impegno preciso dell'Unione:

1) Difendere la Costituzione, democratizzare la democrazia
2) Combattere la precarietà, dare centralità al lavoro e al reddito
3) Un welfare per tutti e tutte. Chi più ha più paghi
4) Difendere i beni comuni e l'ambiente
5) Garantire libertà e diritti civili
6) Dare nuova dignità alla scuola pubblica
7) Basta coi CPT, cittadinanza per tutti e per tutte
8) Informati e liberi di informare
9) Per una giustizia equa
10) Mai più Kosovo, mai più Iraq, mai più terrorismo

Per maggiori informazioni e per firmare: