Tag Archives: music

Not finished with Zappa but Captain Beefheart and Buddy Holly have snuck in

#Lette365 No277 gets posted
A nice moody shot of No277 going in the postbox

I did a drawing years ago – about 1974 – which I still have, called “Raining in My Heart” but that was from my clouds and rainbows period. Whilst there was a sort of wistful melancholia about it there was not the sadness of the song in it nor the pain of depression. (Oh and wasn’t Melancholia a good film!) Today’s message is connected to the melancholic but was sparked by the sun being out and me being indoors.

The Captain gets a mention because Louis Hawkinsresponded to yesterday’s post and alluded to Don V. There ain’t no Santa Claus on the Midnight Stage got chosen for the topical subject – not the mention of Santa but the despair and desolation of poverty , homelessness and slavery that is growing in our world! I tried to find a live YouTube video of the number but failed. I got a bit sidetracked watching Frank Zappa playing The Torture Never Stops and Black Napkins (with Terry Bozio and Adrian Belew) – and no I am not finished with Zappa yet! Recently I’ve been watching Talking Heads Live in Rome featuring Belew too

I did find the clip below of Captain Beefheart doing Golden Birdies. I saw him with the Magic Band at the LSE about this time I have got a feeling that Blossom Toes were supporting. I saw them at LSE again with Eclection and Third Ear Band. Enjoy!

Oh and there is some art in the envelope!

Done and dusted in Birmingham

#Letter365 No233 gets posted in Birmingham
No233 gets posted in Birmingham

Today’s piece was created in the Waterhall Gallery in Birmingham. Nice quiet space where the current selection of pieces from the city’s collection is themed round still life. It has a nice series of Jim Dine screenprint/collages in there. I popped into the Gas Hall afterwards to have a look at the West Midlands Open which I found massively disappointing. I cannot believe that our second city and the surrounding area could not produce some more exciting or interesting pieces. It mostly seemed a little dull, staid and derivative. Most of it would not have seemed out of place in a show from the Seventies. I place the blame on the curation and it really wasn’t displayed or lit to bring out its best. There was only one piece I thought I might like to have on my wall and three others that I thought had interesting aspects. There were quite a few well executed pieces and some superficially attractive stuff but nothing to stretch or stimulate.

A piece of music that has stretched and stimulated me for 40 years is Jefferson Airplane’s “Won’t you try / Saturday afternoon” – this version is from Woodstock

A West Midlands posting for today’s #Letter365

#Letter365 No232 goes in the box in Redditch
No232 goes in the box in Redditch

Today’s piece got transported all the way to the West Midlands this evening. It’s an interesting one that has set me thinking about some new techniques to experiment with.

I am still on about music and days the week and I’ll add a video of someone’s version of “Friday on my Mind”. I can’t really do Bowie because he was featured yesterday. I thought about Springsteen which has its own flavour. But the original Easybeats’ version is probably the one.

John Lee Hooker adds mystery to an unsettling piece

I always feel the echo on John Lee Hooker tracks has an eerie air and today’s piece (if only I could talk about it) has something unsettling about it: so they go together. Eric Dolphy and Charles Mingus playing “Wednesday Evening Prayer Meeting” would have been a good choice but maybe too cool for the piece. I don’t know. As to the Simon & Garfunkel thing “Wednesday Morning: 3am” is a disappointing track on a disappointing album really and the artwork is definitely not that!

#Letter365 No230 goes in the box
No230 goes in the box


Rolling Stones or Melanie?

#Letter365 No229 goes in the box
No229 goes in the box

Now there’s a thing, having got caught with this thing about music with days of the week, and having loads of songs with Monday in just popping into my head, I decide to carry on and do Tuesday and my brain offers up just two songs! Monday I’m spoilt for choice: Tuesday I am scrabbling around te vague recesses of my mind. Isn’t there a Tori Amos track? I can’t quite get it. Paul Kossoff? No, access blocked. So that leaves me with Cat Stevens’s “Tuesday’s Dead” and “Ruby Tuesday” and Melanie has to be the version (though I am quite tempted to just put up a live version of “Sympathy for the Devil” because it’s a much better song!)

So here you go:

I know I hinted at Cat Stevens but I might save him till next week.

Well and the piece? I never know what is going to happen. Today I had a meeting at the Arts Centre about #Collage365 and this one. It went on a lot longer than I thought so I had limited time as i was going to go to the Film Society. I decided to miss that, sadly, so as not to get stressed about this. The work that came out was unexpected (and took longer than expected) but very interesting.

The strong take advantage of the weak

#Letter365 No123 goes in the box
No123 or is it 1-2-3?

When I did my #Collage365 project I gave a title to each piece and often gave clues to strange, oblique connections in the hope that someone with the same references and a similar mental bent would see what I was on about and smile. They would smile the same smile that you might if you had just worked out a hard but almost “closed circle” clue. Recent days have seen a return to that kind of thinking with musical references. Question is, do I give the answers here on the blog? I will today.

Today’s solution is of course Len Barry’s song “1-2-3” in which he suggests that falling in love is something that you just decide to do and which is as easy as “taking candy from a baby”. Seems to me that it is a very cold, manipulative and oppressive attitude and if you watch the video you may feel, like I do, that the cheesiness of his performance is laced with a fair helping creepiness. You could believe that he has actually taken candy from a baby. There is a moment when he actually demonstrates how he did it. Now of course he could offer a defence of being a health watchdog, aiming to save the child from bad teeth and obesity, but his glee says it is just an act of bullying and the misuse of power. This could open up all kinds of angry feelings in me about politics and the suppression of the weak by the strong so I will move on to say that the artwork … well I could get het up over art or depressed about it so I will stop it now.

Back of #Letter365 No123
Back of No123