OK, here's the scam: i just woke up. I'm groggy. I haven't had any coffee yet. Girlfriend doesn't get home 'til after noon. So i thought I;d use this drugged condition to try out some new music and see how it sounds. Might sound different. might get some insight into these strange sounds I love. Could be fun. yeah, sure. Hell, I can hardly even type. Where's the coffee??? Onward. I won't even edit to put it in English.
* Gong -- Master Builder/A Sprinkling of Clouds. From YOU. OK, I'm cheating with these. i've heard both these tracks a few times before. But with Gong it always sounds like the first time.Nice hypnotic snythesizers from Tim Blake eventually opens out into a group jam. Blake's the star here. as the jam picks up momentum, his synthesizers get ever-more-further Out There. Til it explodes in a ferocious, sizzling, skirling Heavy Riff. Nice guitaring from Steve Hillage. Is it too early for this. watch out, neighbors. Then Didier Mahlerbe joins on sax -- he's always great and usually quite melodic. and his light sax work sets the whole thing off perfectly. For me, probably their best piece. And it makes a very quick 15 minutes.
* Gong -- The Pot-Head Pixies; Zero the Hero and the Witches' Spell. From ABSOLUTELY THE BEST OF. "Pot-Head Pixies" is REALLY silly, but I can almost stand the lighter-than-air group vocals, and one line SEEMS to say "Open on Fridyas from 7 to 9." Well, it made ME laugh. Just a cute little ditty with verses and a refrain. "Witches' Spell" opens with another instrumental jam, and thank Ghod for Didier Mahlerbe's sax, which always makes it SOUND like all this makes sense. Then some of that 'space whisper" vocalizing from Gilly Smith. Hmmm. Dogs can hear this better than I can. Then another, more ominous riff with more solid sax. Then it gets more insistent. Louder, more out of control. Then stops suddenly. Hmmm, almost like sex. Well, for some of us.
* Stackridge -- Do the Stanley. from EXTRAVAGANZA. Well, I'd heard of these folks. Let's go back to 1935. Very old-style vaudeville-ish musical setting, with maybe '50s-English-music-hall-type vocals. This seems to be about a dance craze. uh huh.
* Stackridge -- Who's That Up There With Bill Stokes? Well, this lightens up. Nice bouncy sax-led instrumental. Could almost be 1974. Then some opera vocals to keep me guessing. Sorta light and airy with nice sax from Keith Gemmell. Supertramp coulda sounded like this once, if they hadn't gone for totally commercial songs. Pretty nice.
* Stackridge -- The Indifferent Hedgehog. Now this is closer to the Incredible String Band. Which i also have waiting here.... Odd but pleasant.
* Stackridge -- Rufus T. Firefly. Another lite instrumental, led by keybs and guitar. Very light-but-complex sound. Nice clear production. More guitar as it progresses.
* Stackridge -- No One's More Important Than the Earthworm. a big, dramatic ballad, but very silly. Opens with some rather intense guitar then moves into something like Pink Floyd territory. Then more sax. With some heavier lyrics these guys could have been Something. Written by Gordon Haskell, who was bassist and singer for King Crimson for awhile....
* Stackridge -- Fundamentally Yours; Pinafore Days. From PINAFORE DAYS. "Fundamentally" is pleasant, but over with before it went much of anywhere. "Pinafore Days" is closer to Gryphon or Amazing Blondel, though with that British-music-hall sound again. This is all pleasant, though not stunning. Good-timey music, not sure about rock and roll.
* Stackridge -- The Last Plimsoll. Nice guitar, light vocals. This has some force to it. When they have a framework and don't get too silly, there's a lot of talent on display here. Pretty good little pop band. And it sounds like somebody listened to a lot of SMILE bootlegs -- with Wilson and Parks' 1880s throwback outlook -- before pulling this together.
* Stackridge -- Humiliation. Very gentle ballad. Maybe shoulda quit while I was ahead....
* Audience -- Jackdaw. From THE HOUSE ON THE HILL. My Ghod, seven minutes of this? Sounds sorta like AC/DC with an added sax. Howard Werth is a powerful singer. And the sax and flute -- by Keith Gemmell again -- do add to the agitated atmosphere. Definitely something different.... The sax-led jam in the middle could almost be King Crimson. Which naturally leads into....
* Audience -- It Brings a Tear. Comparatively gentle and brief, though led by Werth's operatic vocals.
* Audience -- Raviole. Orchestrated instrumental led by Werth's acoustic guitar. Arranged by nick Drake's old buddy robert kirby. OK, but not rock and roll.
* Wishbone Ash -- Blowin' Free. From ARGUS. Nice guitars, nice vocals. Lyrics are kinda dull. But I was told this was closer to the Strawbs or fairport Convention than metal. And I think i was misinformed.
* Wishbone Ash -- Throw Down the Sword. OK, the twin guitars work better here. Actually wished this was longer....
* Robert Fripp and Andy Summers -- What Kind of Man Reads Playboy? From BEWITCHED. Well, neither of THESE two gentlemen, I'm sure. early-'80s King Crimson meets Discotronics. maybe wouldn;t be bad if it weren't for the computerized handclaps. fripp musta decided he wanted to dance. am i typing even worse after more coffee? ... OK, made it most of the way through, but the melodic interest is kind of minimal.
* Incredible String Band -- Log Cabin Home in the Sky. From WEE TAM. Gong without electronics. Like the fiddle, and am amused by the way Robin Williamson and Mike Heron's voices clash with each other. This actually has more of a structure than some of their stuff. Gimme a hit of that....
* Incredible String Band -- My Father Was a Lighthouse Keeper. From EARTHSPAN. Now this is the kind of weirdness I expect from these old hippies....
* Incredible String Band -- My Blue Tears. From NO RUINOUS FEUD. This is a Dolly Parton song? And they play it straight, except for the keening vocals.
* Incredible String Band -- Weather the Storm. Adds sax and keyboards and a Bob Dylan-like vocal. But where's the Incredibles?