Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatrading

Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatrading

Postby dmac » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:24 pm

Play a song by a band, but you must LOVE it and tell how it relates to YOU.


Joan was produced by a distant friend of mine, but definite friend. Willow was the song, and here is the follow-up. He did the album. A couple players on this are friends. Yeah, this was 75 and I was ten.

Took me just a couple years to hear why this album is legend. The groove, quest for perfection, is legendary.



Get used to her voice. 40 years later, she is still Perfection.

The beauty is this was written in the early 70s, fine-tuned in 74. You've never heard anything like this before or since.

The album came out in 75, got rave reviews, I bought a copy, too.

Nobody bought her albums. But a slow accumulation built, then you had people showing up in stadiums with the sole purpose of singing "Shelter in a Storm" alongside her Willow. She has the best audience I never knew existed. I am so satisfied the right audience has found and sustained this most singular, remarkable artist and person.
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Re: Willow, Joan Armatrading

Postby dmac » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:10 am

This sounded like an old song when it came out, a classic. Here's the guys that wrote it with some of the gear from Joan Armatrading.

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Re: Willow, Joan Armatrading

Postby dmac » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:50 am

Here's Bob doing the song he wrote for Johnny Nash, Rabbit and the Jungle Bunnies, while holed up in Sweden in 1970. He spent the days and nights beating everyone at poker, and nights poking all the ladies.

To say he was a ladies man is to mock the term.

This wonderful version, sans my pal (he was on the album, never live) is OGWT. That's an old show on the BBC held in a studio the size of your left thumbnail. OGWT generated millions for the BBC and they spent ZERO on the show. Assfucking idiots.



Yes, that is Peter Tosh doing a very serious live multi-second reverse-gate solo. Peter was a damned GENIUS.
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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby dmac » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:56 am

This is very much the band I saw and interviewed in London in 82-83. Man, they made the Marquee stage shift with the Theme from Barney Miller.



Dave gives not one fuck.

I took great shots months before. It was the night Mike Stipe snapped his glasses, saying, "LVs don't wear glasses"

He did that as a very reactive act/
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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby JEP » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:43 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed your REM video. I remember that show as a matter of fact. I used to go and see them before they were famous in the 40 watt club in Athens. You could walk right up to talk to them although Michael Stipe was very shy and he wouldn't talk much, but the other guys did. You can still see Bill Berry sometimes around Athens. He still lives here. I've seen them about 10 times in concert. The most memorable being in the Fox in Atlanta where all they played was the Murmur album from beginning to end. Pure heaven. I was told that Michael Stipe had dropped acid before the Letterman show, something he was inclined to do a lot in those days. I love Radio Free Europe and I'm Sorry. You made my night watching that old video. Best band ever, my absolute favorite.
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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby sparkplug » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:10 pm

I'm normally not band wagoner, and that's one of the reasons I love Joan so much, cause she was so under the radar, a hidden jewel that should not be so easily found. But, I'm going to have to agree, she's something very special. Her 1976 self titled album is amazing. Down to Zero, Water with the Wine, and of course Save Me and Someone Who Loves You. Shit, they're all great. Her voice, timing and soothing guitar blend perfectly.

Brings back memories of the 70's, camping with my parents and building Buckminster Fuller inspired geodesic domes out of cardboard and then using them for tents. Sometimes you just forget how awesome this world used to be.

Other bands- David Bowie, Toots and the Maytals...ah, so many to choose from, thankfully.
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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby dmac » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:53 pm

When I was 16, I hopped on a Greyhound and caught a Freddie Flight from New Jersey to London. I'd saved every dollar and dime to live in Hampstead for several months. My parents and principal didn't believe me until I waved my passport and plane tickets in their fucked faces.

Outside of Laramie, Wyoming, the bus broke down. Standing on the tarmac, I caught the attention of a Jamaican woman who noticed I was playing Toots on my headphones. We struck up a convo, and swapped tapes- she was listening to Toots Live from London 1977 bw his best late 70s material, SKAFATHER.

Shit, for the idiots in the audience, TOOTS HIBBERT is the man who coined the term "reggae" when describing the music they were shouting. 'Reggay". Anyway, I said, "he sounds like shit on this", and she said, "well, he wasn't singing his best, and the material was weak. And he was twenty years older" Still, when you meet a Jamaican woman and trade Toots tapes, it's the best deal in the world. It's one small village of shared loves, rather than a huge complex world of hate.

I fucking LOVE TOOTS! I've seen him live a dozen times. The best live act, every fucking time. His voice is STRONGER! I own everything I can from the 50s to last week. Anyone unfamiliar with Toots is missing a joy only found in the truest of music. Miles Davis. Mozart. Cage. Fugs. Prokofiev's Lt. Kije?



Oh, YEAH 40 WATT! I have tapes of those shows. They'd still go back and benefit the joint to keep it going. That's why seeing them at the Marquee Club on Wardour Street blew my head in. I knew immediately I'd just seen one of the best live acts EVER, and it was on that very Wardour stage the Who and Hendrix and so many others gnashed their baby teeth. When I called the club, I said, I need to talk to someone in the band. Mike Mills picked up the phone. You could almost hear his bowl cut. But DAMN notice how his basslines back then filled the song like an alternative guitar lead? I mean he played the FUCK out of every song. Next night, after the gig, we were all inside the CIA/FBI/Island Records office/studio off of Portobello Rd, near the Island studios (a church turned into a studio!).

Pete Buck was on speed, which he doesn't need. The guy was ten times faster than he needed to be at any given time. But we were in Ian's office (he knocked the huge framed art off the wall behind his desk, we tried to rehang it/hide the damage, and failed). I was asking about studios, how a space can change a feel or sound, which he disagreed with. I told him I'd just been in Livingstone Studios in NW London, another church turned into studios. I was there watching Yardbirds / Box of Frogs lay down their hit, "Back Where I Started" in one studio, and interviewing Ian Mathews over his Spot of Interference sessions (where he poorly covered Over Under Sideways Down" by Yardbirds).

I was big pals with Jim McCarty and guys from the Kinks back then, so I saw a lot of studio sliding. I was hanging out at Konk Studios in North London, or at the Bull and Gate in Kentish Town, or Prince of Wales. I walked in on Rod Argent laying down keys over the BBC Olympics theme run by Andrew Lloyd Weber. Unfucking BELIEVABLE that was recorded in A & B at Olympic Studios in Barnes! The WHO the BEATLES the STONES all cut their best shit in those rooms. Holy FUCK I was in HEAVEN! Then to go next door and sup a beer with Rod and ALW at the same pub where they all got loaded? Had they a pool, Keith would have dropped his limo in for a dip. Now, GIVEN, the Beatles OWNED Abbey Rd, but they also did a lot of cool shit at Oly.

Now get the punchline. After all this shit, the next REM album was cut and mixed at Livingstone Studios. I felt oddly proud for having turned them onto the otherwise-unknown "brand new" studio. A story too bizarre not to be true. I also asked them when Mike Mills would get a shot at lead vocals, and they dropped "(I Am) Superman". FUCKING AWESOME! Yeah, after seeing REM at the Marquee, I was a one-man press kit for that band. And Stipe would mask his shyness by being bizarre, like the acid complex. His sis was much more grounded. But that's why Mike would walk by and, rather than wait for you to ask for an autograph, he'd grab a ticket out of someone's hand, bite it, and say, "there. Done."

Stamped.

And Joan. Oh, what can I say about that beautiful woman. I am just so happy her music being played here is resonating. And Glyn Johns, my pal, was at the helm. He mastered LET IT BE by the Beatles, WHO'S NEXT by the Who, LET IT BLEED by the Stones. And lil ole Joan Armatrading... no wonder SHOW SOME EMOTION just drips brilliance. Fucking hell, he had the best musicians at hand but still made it the perfect condition for Joan to shine her brightest. He and the band were just support, and it shows. It's all about Joan. Fucking BRILLIANT disc only because Joan Armatrading came to the game with her best. She fucking nailed the sessions and resultant album, which Glyn says came off "flawless."

Glyn and I ended up making a movie together. Maybe someday I'll talk about that. This case is kinda crazy, lots of crazy, so I still hide my ID.

And Bowie?
Best box set title ever distills his life: Sound + Vision. He is the best pop artist in the history of music. Hands weigh way fucking down.

One of my favorite bootlegs has him doing an afternoon set at the boozer on the corner when I lived in Hampstead in 82. Top of Fitzjohns. Sure, he played there 15 years prior, for free, but it was still nice to go to a pub with Rabbit from the Who or Terry Gilliam from Python, and know Bowie started in that same stagnant sawdust.

Buckminster! AZ! Bukky Points. When I was a film editor in Hwood, my bartender and I would discuss Buckminster Fuller's oddest moments, his theoretical inventions. Like turning a wall into a loudspeaker. Done.

John was only months younger than me. I was working as a radio producer the weekend of the murders. It hit the Sunday wires. He was maybe selling weed, I was buying and selling vinyl. Records. Buy low, sell high. Unlike John, I lived near a metropolis. I lived on the outskirts of the outskirts of the outskirts of humanity, and I unwittingly used it to my advantage. I would buy shit and find a jewel within. I worked my ass off, but to buy an Elvis disc for 50 cents and sell it the next day for $100? That was airfare.

When you look at age and who these people were, keep this in 1981. When you look at the liars and culprits still walking free, make this very 2018.
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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby dmac » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:44 am



The first time I saw the official vid of this song on TV, I was stunned and started weeping into my $1.50 salad bar dinner at college. I got up, walked to the screen, and stared. Not pouring tears, not tears of joy, just utter astonishment.

YES! PEOPLE WILL HEAR THIS FANTASTIC BAND! It was MTV.

I was gobsmacked to see them entering fame. And I got the elders in my crowd praising them, too. Learn from Dee Mac the Younger, he has good ears. We'd go see REM open for the INSANELY BRILLIANT Roddy of Aztec Camera, then travel 500 miles to see Roddy open for REM. I'd interviewed them three times at this point and just stopped- nothing more to say- but they kept doing the concert tours at the college level and, unique to them, about an hour after the gig they'd enter a room designated for stalwarts and just shoot the shit for an hour. I took friends to a cross-country gig hunt and, after the show, said. "shut up. Sit down, shut up. Wait for it." The room filled up slowly, then half an hour later the band walked in and my friends got to shake hands. Stunned. It was always a conversation, not a clusterfuck.

REM, they were a great gift to music in 1982. Shapeshifting mutants, thankfully, otherwise they'd not have survived their journey. I asked early on what one conceit they had which they felt could destroy the band. They said, "Well, our plane could explode over the Atlantic. That would shut us down. Otherwise, we're all friends now and see no reason for this not to go into the next century."
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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby dmac » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:35 am



Mike Mills: lead vocals
Mike Stipe: background vocals
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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby JEP » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:27 pm

I think it's so cool that you actually met and interviewed REM. Superman is a great tune, the way that Michael Stipe comes in, at the end, like he's really the Superman. My all time favorite song is Talk About the Passion, so ethereal musically but strong lyrically. My second is 7 Chinese Brothers, kind of a weird funky song, but I really like it. There's not a lot of hardcore REM fans out there anymore. That music really takes me back to my college days, what I can remember that is. Glad to hear you're a hardcore fan too.

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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby LynnieLasVegas » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:48 pm



Love and affection.
My personal favorite ever. Alternate Joan and Ottis for a few hours and try not to sigh and smile.
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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby robin » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:34 pm

Joan was very successful in the late 70s early 80s here in the UK. I was born in '71 and I remember her being on 'TOTP' or something. We had a copy of her Greatest Hits, "Track Record" - and my parents weren't exactly into obscure artists. Still, most people will probably remember her for 'Love and Affection'. That is a perfect, perfect record though. Her vocal is so stylish and tasteful. My uncle had her 'To the Limit' album and I stole it when he left home. I loved 'You Rope You Tie Me'. It's just enough jazz (fusion) for me, I can't cope with the authentic stuff. I don't mean to diss your girlfriend dmac, if you're reading, but for me Joan's star burned brightly but burned out fast. Her voice will always be distinctive and instantly recognisable ( never understood the comparison with Tracy Chapman - anyway Joan was here first ), but for me, she hasn't released a decent record in thirty years. I bet I post these links wrong...

Joan Armatrading, "You Rope You Tie Me"




Aimee Mann "Fourth of July"




"...and when they light up our town I just think what a waste of gunpowder and sky". We don't have fourth of Julys but lyrically I like Aimee Mann and I always loved this song. It relates to me because of regret (but not of the romantic kind, as is implied in this song). I didn't stand up for someone I love, when I should have done; because I was too cowardly. "She's got the river, down which I sold her." I've always regretted it. I believe in regrets. If you don't have 'em you're not being honest with yourself. But on the upside you are probably a happy sociopath.

Kate Bush Rocket's Tail



My favourite artist of all time and I'm only posting this one because I can't stand the thought of anybody not knowing of it. It's unique.
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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby LynnieLasVegas » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:26 pm

Wow, I am with you on all three. They are really brilliant and powerful women. Natalie Merchant and well I guess quite a few more I could add.
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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby dmac » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:59 pm

Admittedly, I haven't heard much from Joan in the past few decades, but she really got burned by the biz, as most do.

A few more of my fave women- An eclectic mix of genres where women ain't just holding their own, they're breaking ground and kickin' ass.

Mike Stipe and Nat Merchant first started dueting in the late 80s, and they'd cut the occasional track for benefit albums. They toured briefly with Billy Bragg, where their version of the Maniacs' "Hello In There" was an electrifying highlight- even though it was acoustic. I first heard this take on one of my many REM bootlegs, but here's the vid. <Keep an eye out: They actually meet midstage and, off mic, agree on which registers to take- Billy was already playing rhythm, and keyboards were high, so they got in a huddle, Nat seemed to take control, they agreed, and it was fucking PERFECT. Look closer: at the start, Nat isn't kissing Stipe's ear, she's singing to him his lead-in note and lyric. Don't believe me? REWIND>:


One of their most powerful duets is this one. I was watching the Inaugural Ball live on MTV when they cut to Nat, and her start of this song knocked me down. Then they cut over to Mike, and suddenly it's like this song was written for this one performance. Then, their take on 'Candy Everybody Wants' might be the best version ever laid down. I cannot begin to explain how much more positive and hopeful America was back then- you had to be there and aware of what was going on. Right now? America is FUCKED.


I was into Kate's 'Wuthering Heights' and her lesser-known early stuff, but she's generally over-produced. I love me some post-'Til Tuesday Aimee Mann. Her cover of 'One' on the Harry Nilsson tribute album is particularly affecting.


Fairport had two brilliant female LVs fronting the band, the second being Sandy Denny. Most Yanks only know Denny for her duet with Robert Plant on Zep IV's 'Battle for Evermore', but Fairport made her a star, and it's easily where she cut her best material. Even though my pal Rabbit played on both her solo lps, Fairport Convention was better. Her voice was exquisite, flawless, as was her soul and phrasing.


One day I stumbled upon Neko Case playing a short set on NPR. That night, I was at her gig with my best friend and his wife. they'd never heard of her, either, but trusted me when I said, "we've got to catch her live!" They got a babysitter, and all three of us were SOLD.


Joni Mitchell is an all-time fave, stunningly original, and nailing any genre she has a whim to explore- or originate.


Laura Nyro. David Geffen may be gay, but he sure fucked Laura. Her first cousin, Alan Merrill (writer of "I Love Rock and Roll" is a good friend, and years ago he told me shit Geffen did to fuck her career because she didn't want to screw Columbia by bailing to be on his new label, Asylum. Here's the smash hit Laura wrote in 69:


Bonnie Raitt's first song on her second album- her slide is already blistering! Dixie Chicks 'covered' it note for note, lick for licks.


Few in America know Jo Ann Kelly, but as a kid in 60s London, her bottleneck prowess was already legendary, and she was playing with the black bluesmen who came to Europe, shunned by racism in their home county. Cut down far too young by brain cancer, her playing is simply too amazing to go unknown. Here she is, live in London with Mississippi Fred McDowell in 1969. Note how he says HE's glad and HONORED to be in HER presence! Two brilliant guitarists blending very well together, no play-off wankfest:


Canada's brilliant McGarrigles. The build and pay-off on this track is magnificent.


The groundbreaking Laurie Anderson. In college, I helped form an autonomous film club (rent odd films and a campus venue, charge for tickets, hope to break even) and we rented her concert film- Home of the Brave. Full house, we sold out. Here's a cut from that film.


Speaking of groundbreaking, there's the almost-unknown Delia Derbyshire. She was a studio manager at the BBC, when in 62, they asked her to join their Radiophonic Workshop (sound effects division). From that beginning, she co-created the Dr Who theme song. In 1968, she co-founded the experimental band, White Noise. I found their imported first album in 1982 for 25 cents. It's priceless. "Derbyshire Way" in her hometown of Coventry is named after her and, yesterday, I heard on Radio Ulster she was just awarded a posthumous doctorate for her pioneering work in electronic music. She was brilliant- truly. Everyone knows the Dr Who theme, so I'm going for some White Noise...
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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby robin » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:52 am

Lynnie, I like Natalie too. I'm not familiar with most of her work to be honest, but I know she's a talent. I particularly liked her solo song 'Carnival' and the stuff she did with 10, 000 Maniacs. "Trouble Me", "Don't Talk" etc. Shame that band broke up. They were good.


Jo Ann Kelly. She's a find. Great voice and I bet she was thrilled to be accepted by the old bluesmen. I hadn't heard of her and I grew up obsessively reading the music press. I lived for Wednesdays when the Melody Maker (RIP) and NME came out, fortnightly. They had bloody good writers then too. Now I'm at that age when young people's music sounds crap and whenever something pleasing to the ear appears I think "Yeah, and I liked it 30 years ago when David Bowie was doing it." This is how I know I'm getting old.

dmac, thems fightin' words about Kate Bush. Don't make me come for Joan again.. Well this is from the mid-80s when everyone was over-produced. Come on, it's got atmosphere:

Kate Bush "Under Ice"





Sandy Denny is the best British singer ever. Kate is my favourite all round artist, but Sandy's voice is...there's something so empathic and (ironically) calm about it. Can't describe it. She was name checked on an early Kate Bush album and that's how I first got to hear about her. I can see how people call it "flawless", but to me it isn't quite and that's what was unique about her as a sixties female traditional singer. She could trill like Joan Baez - and if you listen to her early recordings, her 'Strawbs' demo for "Who knows..." etc - she's clearly enamoured of her; but later on when she got into booze and fags, it lost that crystal clear as a bell ring to it and that's when her voice got interesting. The first few words she sings on 'Sailor's Life' is a good example, it's almost smoky. But her best vocal for me is 'Reynardine'. She never showboats - she dazzles you subtly at just the right moment. The close of Reynardine is a good example.



Joni Mitchell Sex Kills




Joni I know I should like more. I can see how influential she's been. Something about her irritates me and I can't put my finger on it. But I do appreciate her in small doses. I live for this modern life is bewildering lyrical stuff though. I love lyrics and I think Paul Simon is wrong when he says nobody buys a record just because of the lyrics.


Bob Dylan "Things have Changed". I think it's his last great song. Last one I heard anyway. I wonder why Joni's got it in for him...




The last song I liked by a modern artist is about ten years old now. Yikes. When I first heard it I had no idea they were an almost all black art-rock band. I don't know why it surprised me. They do a good version of Pixies 'Mr Grieves' too. But this is my favourite of theirs:

TV on the radio, "Wolf LIke Me"

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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby dmac » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:19 pm

TV On the Radio is the last gig I saw, with Drive By Truckers. That was a decade back. I had pneumonia at the time, my dad was on his death bed, and I was being evicted because the new property owner planned to gut the building and do add-ons. The gig sucked, anyway, and I walked out, leaving my friends behind. Just walked home. The majority of the problem was the crappy venue. It was the first gig there, so we had no clue it had the absolute worst acoustics of any venue I've ever been in.

When I moved to London, I was there to interview bands. The primary papers to get were MM (although they were already dying), NME, and Time Out. Lots of great writers. That pussy whining bitch, Morrisey, started writing for them, getting his unfortunate start. But Nick Kent, Nick Logan, Mick Farren, Carolyn Coon... I'm friends with Barney Hoskyns and Charles Schaar Murray, and Paolo Hewitt and I have helped each other on a couple projects. But the biggest name for me back then was Chris Welch. I ended up befriending him by giving him a cold call (he wasn't ex-directory). There was someone I was looking for, I can't recall who, but I'd lost contact info, and he helped me out. The best UK rags now are Q, UNCUT, and MOJO, but NME & MM were a mix of trade rag and fan mag, and that formula is apparently dead. I think, were I looking to contact people for interviews like I did back then, it would be down to Time Out and contacts I've already got.

JoAnn used to play with her brother, perhaps you know him- Dave Kelly. He's played with everybody on the blues scene, and the folk-rock guys like Thompson. He was in the little-known 'supergroup', Tramp, which featured guys from the original Fleetwood Mac, and Bob Hall, the piano guy. He and Stu from the Stones formed a band which, by the time I moved to London, had transformed into Rocket 88, which had Bob, Stu Stewart, and Charlie Watts on drums. Dick Morrisey and the incredible Alexis Korner were still in the band- just before Alexis died.

I was referring to Sandy at her peak. I've got tons of bootlegs and demos/outtakes, and she cut her teeth with the Strawbs- little of the strength or confidence that surfaced and flourished with Fairport. When she formed Fotheringay, the resultant disk displayed a substantial decline in quality material, musicianship, and groove. Fairport could fuckin' rock, as on Matty Groves. But Fotheringay was as doomed as could be, as her relationship with Trevor was a bloodbath. Unfortunately, her solo albums were weak... well, maybe four stars, but I usually hear them as threes. So much was left on the b-rolls. That's why the 4-disk "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" gives the best representation of her brief career. She did rejoin Fairport in 74-75 and co-wrote half the songs on the studio album, but it's no comparison to Unhalfbricking or my fave, Liege and Lief. Hell, the best testament to her abilities is she wrote WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES in 67 while with the Strawbs. That song's been covered by Nina Simone, was the title cut for Judy Collin's next album, covered more by Nanci Griffith, Shinehead O'Connor (4 years before she was a megastar, we called her "Ms. Interesting Girl" because her baldness was a cry for attention), Kate Wolf, Cat Power. Oh, yes, 10000 Maniacs covered it, too... but after Nat left and Mary Ramsey was LV. Is "ethereal" the word you're looking for to describe Sandy's voice? Her death is a trajedy. The second rocker I know of who died from a mixture of booze and stairs.


My understanding of the Mitchell/Dylan fued stems from his chameleon-like shifts in music, which Joni has no legs to stand on in that regard. I think it more comes from his nearly-constant shifts in access and friendships. Dylan's a complex dude, but at the core is a broken man who doesn't have a clue what 'normal' is. Therefore, whatever he wants to do is normal: stay on the road with his "Never-ending Tour". He can't handle ties to ground which, I believe in his case, stems from his inability to handle ties to PEOPLE, friends, deeply important interpersonal relationships.

As for Paul Simon, I agree an incredibly small percentage pay attention to lyrics. Many more can sing or recite them word-for-word than explain meaning. Only a small percentage dare understand them, as most lyrics are shit, free-form rhyming prose, not remotely close to poetry. So many tunesmiths who write truly meaningful songs, their lyrics are open to multiple understandings. That's kinda why Simon hates "I Am a Rock", because he feels it's so shallow, naive, sophomoric. Which it is, but that doesn't make it awful. 97% of rock lyrics are sub-moronic drivel.


Simon's not even a good example, as so little of his work is deeper than face-value. By and large, his words are clear and distinct statements. For years I was friends with Roy Harper, and he busked and played on the same circuit as Simon for over a year. This was 65, when S&G were dust. It's when Simon cut his first solo album for CBS (finally released a few years ago) in London. Anyway, Roy was complaining about how he wrote furiously and tried to keep it all, just in case a piece could be utilized later. What pissed him off more than losing his own papers is that Simon wrote non-stop and most of it he threw in the trash.


Then, with Dylan, not only are most of his songs open to multiple interpretations, he constantly reinterprets them on stage, often revisiting the lyric to change it altogether. I love that about him, actually. Four of my favorite Dylan songs are from BLOOD ON THE TRACKS, and what's great is they're not only wonderful songs, but I have so many studio versions with alternate lyrics and/or arrangements. Altogether, there's over 10,000 answers when deciphering "Idiot Wind", "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts", "Simple Twist of Fate", and my fave, "Tangled Up in Blue". A "Tangled" outtake is my phone's ringtone. Certainly, many records are better than BotT, such as the unmatched BLONDE ON BLONDE, but for about the past decade those outs are my fave Dylan. Even all the outs and live boots from BoB are technically better and historically more important, but... Every shift in the lyric changes relationships, landscapes, and your confidence of your own personal interpretation either adapts or goes down in flames. Bob rewrites with new characters, new storylines, and in doing so is to say "FUCK MY AUDIENCE!"? Naw.

The origin: For 50-plus years, would you like to play photocopy versions of the same songs? Over and Over? Shit, that's the MAIN REASON for a vast number of musicians to quit the band three years in. The FIGHTING is the product of being fucked by labels, and forced to do a song-and-dance routine of their two or three hits.

Bob's been writing and publishing originals since 61, and the biggest poker in his side is to play the same song the same way OVER AND OVER. He doesn't have to, so he doesn't. He proved all the labels and critics and audiences wrong by giving them the finger and choogling down his own path.

Zimmy wanted fame before he was pubescent, but the distance twixt leaving Hibbing and being declared GOD, stripped of all privacy, is too far for any sane person to walk alone. Only a megalomaniac would adapt to that change, as it was self-predicted: "I will be a preacher, then a child-molesting member of CONGRESS!"

Side issue: you think the vast majority of politicians went in as sheep and became the wolf? No, they were ALWAYS megalomaniac wolves, the voters were and are sheep.
Bob has found many ways to skewer any asshole, including himself. Remind me of my CHRISTIAN DYLAN BRITRAIL RIDE story, it's out of context yet perfect.

Bob, playing how he wants, and quite often he regrets the take with those lyrics and musicians that end up when the album comes out:


As for Paul, his assertion is sometimes true. My ex would read lyrics from my CDs before deciding if she wanted to hear it. She loved Warren Zevon until she heard his voice.


One more thing- the first time I saw TV On the Radio, they were in control of the floor. They opened for X, as I recall, and I was entranced by their guitarist. He was all over the map. Normally when people play apeshit solos, on a shred binge, it's as lame as most drum solos: they make NO SENSE musically. But when they go mad and still keep it together and logical, and make a musical path, that makes them a true player, rather than some loathesome asslicker only interested in the number of notes per second. Jeff Beck, Vernon Reid, Hendrix of course, sometimes Buckethead, are better than Yngwie, Bonnamasso, all those losers who can play a million notes cleanly without making any musical sense of their own.
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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby dmac » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:33 pm

ROBIN, as a Yank and you on the other side of the pond, we have similar tastes and values- regardless of who is singing. From an early and longstanding musical hero, I learned there are no borders, no labels. Even I found a way to fuck that by stating there are TWO DISTINCT types of music:

Good
Bad

Good people can make bad music, and vice versa.

Last REALLY COOL new act and song I saw is this:


The tight space and interaction is reminiscent of OGWT, and I thought the singer was Jimmie Dale Gilmore's kid. Nope, shit, I saw him ten years younger opening with his dad, Willie Nelson, in Jackpot Nevada.

This one song tells me some people are not just carrying the flame, but building their own sandcastles.
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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby dmac » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:47 pm

Here's another song by a newbie I think is far beyond promising. Smart lyrics, his use of space and simplicity overwhelms. His name is Rain Boy Sleep. Irish kid, very well respected.



Trouble is, I only know this because his body had just been found. Suicide.

This song is so full of hope.

    Don't let the road lead you the wrong way
    Don't let this song lead you astray

ROBIN- ever heard of him? He was Irish. A friend I've worked with knew him and was touched I'd not just found his story but repeated it. He was well known and loved in his county. The videos of his family and friends leaving the church ceremony, clutching and sobbing, only proves he'd misinterpreted his value, importance, and friendships.

PS, I love 'Reynardine'. I was originally going to go to an 11 minute outtake of MATTY GROVES from the same Liege and Lief sessions, but "Who Knows" cuts the drama down to Sandy and her muse. Shit, she was her own muse until she clogged it up. Reynardine is such a tasty tune, and she doesn't COMPLIMENT the beautiful tune, pacing, and arrangement: She brings it to life.
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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby robin » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:40 am

"This song is full of hope"

The lyrics will be coded. The "girl" will probably be himself. I bet he was trying to give himself a pep talk, poor lad. I hadn't heard of him no. Nice song - I like the spaces in it, as you write. Stevie Nicks thanked someone in the liner notes of an album for the spaces in 'Sara'. Not Lindsay Buckingham - she didn't thank him for much. I suspect the guitar work when she had originally written it had been more "joined up" ( can you tell I'm not a musician? ) and that the thankee had arranged the demo for her, so it resembled the finish song. I love that song. It's hypnotic. Heard the early Stevie demos on 'youtube'? My God...her voice.




I stopped reading the NME years ago when it became what Julie Burchill called NME-lite. Burchill can be a real wanker but she's a punchy writer and sometimes she does get it right. 'Melody Maker' had better writers but it's long gone. I used to read 'Q' but for me they really ran with the lad mag culture from the late 90s and I got tired of the tone. It was really, really bad here in the UK - especially 10 or 15 years ago. I'm sensitive to stuff like that. One thing I liked about Julie Burchill's writing was the fact that she was one of the few female writers who wasn't having any of it. She put a rocket up the arse of anyone who imbued their writing with that insidious tripe. Maybe the editorial staff of Q have since bought sports cars instead and calmed down a bit... I'll probably start reading it again though. I've got to resist becoming a calcified old bat. I've got to find new sounds. For some people it's films...for me it's always been music. That's what I love about Kate Bush though. She really tells you stories in music. I mean anyone who writes a song about finding themselves trapped under ice...

My sister always depended on me to rejuvenate her MP3 player. "FIND ME SOME NEW MUSIC!!!!" I used to get a real kick out of introducing people to new music but I got lazy or jaded or both: "How on earth did I get so jaded...life's mystery seems so faded?" ( I know that song 'Runaway Train' was a bit melodramatic, but I liked that line ). I used to read the '6 music' playlist and find the odd gem. I'll have to start doing that again.

Sandy: I agree her solo albums were a missed opportunity. People seem to think 'Sandy' is the best, but I prefer 'North star grassman'. She was always at her best when she worked with Richard Thompson. They both had innate musicianship. Did you know she was actually sacked from Fairport? Received wisdom is that she left to pursue a solo career. But Linda Thompson gave an interview a few years ago and revealed that Sandy had apparently turned up pissed at gigs one time too many. I think one time she didn't turn up at all too the airport for a Scandinavian gig and they kicked her out. Same old story, these days they'd have sent her off to Rehab and therapy, but back then they were brutal. I mean why on earth would you kick a Sandy Denny out of any band? As Richard Thompson said later, they couldn't very well hire a replacement. Who do you choose? The second best female singer in England?

"Matty Groves" is a riot and the one that got me into Fairport (though I only like the popular 'Sandy' era stuff). On her solo 'North star grassman' my favourite track is "Next Time Around". It's about Jackson Frank, as you probably already know. I love Colin Meloy's version of his 'Blues Run the Game', a fantastic old song:



Dylan is a rum cove. I don't know all his stuff but 'Desire' is my favourite, followed by 'Oh Mercy'.

But I've written too much and am now going for a scan on me ovaries. I'm calling that a cliffhanger.
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Re: Keddie Oak: Play Your Fave Song Willow, Joan Armatra

Postby dmac » Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:34 am

I can't respond much more than to your DYLAN challenge. I'm dressed in deep blue, window open, me dressed head o toe in night clothes. I need to be cold air to breath well, and don't try it at home.

Do you mean SARA or DESIRE? I think many have missed the point on that album, mainly because they drew points which never existed. Do you take it as a stndalone, or a warmup to Jesus?

The dumbest of the dumb turn Dylan into a hat-challenged Jew playing Jesus. The press was relentlessly stupid. It's less than funny that when Dylan did the Jesus tours, it's as if Trump hisself was the one pure lie the press was loving to fuck: Dylan is a Jesus Freak!

This was 78-79, so many rock historians need to pull their hysterical pregnancies out of their asses and commit public suicide.

Mark Knopfler and Dave and band were in the HOPE & ANCHOR Festival play-off doing "Eastbound Train". Then they had a hit with "Sultans of Swing". Then the pressure of two new albums?

Mark went to Dylan to be with his hero AND to get the fuck away from an unfair contract.

When it comes to how that Dylan album turned out? I'd be proud. It's a fantastic album so many overlook.
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