...BECAUSE SOME OF US THINK THAT THIS STUFF IS IMPORTANT
What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)


ON THE LIP OF CHILL
Trees bare bone skeletons/dropping dandruff leaves
Colored canvas /ground cover/cover-up
One by one,each is tree crack/tree ring circus
Falling leaf by leaf to an earth soft /receptive.
Were we trees once?Our cerebellum like broccoli tree clumps?
Do trees sing to other trees?Do we feel pain when we chop our elders?
Naked trunks on flatbed trucks,bleeding sap
No bird sings in a chainsaw forest
Even one whip bird/even the lyrebird
imitate the source of their demise.Machines
grind down Gaia to woodchip.None can build rainforest
Eden failed bio-diversity.Were we to fall

would birds stop singing?

GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Inuit Katajjaq

Being Sunday I always post sacred music. The name of the deity may change, or even the deity Him/Herself but the spirit remains the same

Saturday, 29 November 2014

GONZO WEEKLY #106

Peter Banks 'The Mars Tapes': US REVIEW


November 11 2014 at 15:55

London, UK – Much to the excitement of prog fans worldwide, rare recordings of guitar legend Peter Banks, best known for his work with YES and FLASH, is now available on GONZO Multimedia! Peter Banks Empire 'The Mars Tapes' (2-CD set) represents Empire lll in rehearsal at Mars Studios in Los Angeles in 1979. The band had set up camp at Mars Studios for six months rehearsing and showcasing their music, much of which has been unheard until this release. The band basically recorded every thing they did off the board, tape hiss and all.

Peter Banks (RIP 2013) and Sidonie Jordan, who not only co-wrote, but fronted the band with her powerful vocals, founded Empire in the early to mid-seventies after Peter’s FLASH endeavors and attracted artists such as Phil Collins. Peter and Phil had joined forces in a band called 'Zok And The Radar Boys' which was pre-Empire for Peter, and pre-Brand X for Phil. “Sky At Night” (bonus track) features Phil Collins on drums and backing vocals and Jon Giblin on bass and is testimony of their collaboration.

Sidonie Jordan, who has an extensive list of music credentials to her name, including a diversified solo career as a staff writer/recording artist for A&M Records, and has recorded for other labels such as Capital Records, Electra Records and Trojan Records. (Her song and recording of ‘All God’s Mornings’ was produced by Peter Townshend and featured on his ‘With Love’ album. Sidonie is currently producing and writing with Lez Larder owner of Skyline Studios in Sunbury- On-Thames UK, and Empire lll drummer, Mark Murdock, more recently known for his 'Cymbalic Encounters’ release featuring members from Brand X, agreed to release these recordings as a dedication to the memory of Peter Banks and his great contribution to progressive rock music.

Says Sidonie, “ 'The Mars Tapes' were recorded live at Mars Studios in Los Angles during the summer of 1979! And include a few tracks that never appeared on any Empire albums. As with all the Empire incarnations this album features the amazing talent and skill of Peter Banks, who has been called the Architect of Progressive Rock.”

Drummer Mark Murdock explains, “The Peter Banks Empire ship set sail against the ever-changing music world, and was uncompromising in producing a range of material with Peter Banks' 'Signature Guitar Sound and Style,' while incorporating themes of the time period in which the band existed and also reliving the past by playing songs from the early Empire catalog and even a YES version of ‘Something’s Coming.’ There are various tracks on ‘The Mars Tapes’ that also represented a ‘Work In Progress,’ which were both instrumental and vocal orientated. Empire was anticipating to make some big waves in the music scene, but the waves never reached the shore- until now!”

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO:


The Mars Tapes
2CD - £11.99








BRAND X: US Reviews




Classic Unreleased Progrock by Brand X



While Brand X was considered an experimental side-project by Genesis' Phil Collins, in actuality the band was a gestalt of some of the more talented talents from the progressive music genre of the late Seventies, including: Percy Jones, Brian Lumley, John Goodsall, and Morris Pert.



BRAND X: Missing Period (CD on Gonzo Multimedia)


This CD released in 2013 features 51 minutes of previously unreleased music recorded in 1975-76, prior to the band's "debut" album.


For this release, the band line-up is: Phil Collins (on drums), John Goodsall (on guitar), Preston Heyman (on percussion), Percy Jones (on bass) and Robin Lumley (on keyboards).


High energy tuneage generated by instruments in the hands of master performers.


Rhythms are mostly dominant here, a plethora of them, cascading out with determined fury. A series of exquisite tempos interweave their complexity to form a dazzling tangle of wondrous coherency. The percussion is astounding in its slick delivery and relentless entanglement. Besides the standard drum kit, a profusion of inventive beats are displayed, lending extra layers to the crowded tempos.


The guitar delivers searing riffs of blazing character. These riffs spout with hyperactive beauty, shimmering and coalescing into melodics of superior luster.


The basslines are equally complex and spry, creating a throbbing bottom that frequently surfaces to lead the tunes.


The keyboards provide an endless stream of sinuous threads that glisten with progressive charisma. Often utilizing the higher end of the sonic spectrum, these keys sparkle like gems burning with interior lighting, casting off radiant riffs that sweep and soar and cavort with cosmic jubilation.


These compositions exhibit an unbridled enthusiasm, delivering tuneage that is captivating and exhausting. Infusing modern jazz with an agile rock influence, these songs seethe with more oomph than one can imagine.



BRAND X: Live at the Roxy LA (CD on Gonzo Multimedia)


This 2013 CD features 71 minutes of dynamic progrock recorded live at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles on September 23, 1979.


The band line-up here is: Phil Collins (on drums and vocals), Robin Lumley (on keyboards), John Goodsall (on guitar), Percy Jones (on bass), and Peter Robinson (on keyboards).


The performers live up to their reputations, delivering a live show packed with even more energy than their studio recordings.


Here, the guitar gets the chance to lead the band with some brilliant pyrotechnics. The riffs are stalwart and nimble, the type of stuff one expects from a master guitarist.


The percussion is hyper and durable, often exhausting in its deliver of pounding rhythms to motivate the audience's dancing feet.


The keyboards contribute a bevy of fluid melodies, undulating with serpentine disposition and spilling through the rest of the instruments like a shower of hot honey.


The bass smolders with ebullience and delightful bite.


One track features lyrical vocals, while another has vocals that are more of a chanted anthem.


Many of these tunes come from the Product album, revealing the band's versatility in balancing powerhouse songs with more delicate, almost floating pieces. One piece offers the performers the opportunity to exhibit their skills in solos. Overall, though, the tunes are high energy and surging with the dazzling gestalt of all the instruments blending into a satisfyingly awesome fervor.



BRAND X: Is There Anything About?(CD on Gonzo Multimedia)


This 2013 CD reissue of a 1982 album features 34 minutes of contemporary jazz music.


This album's band line-up is: Phil Collins (on drums and concussion), Percy Jones (on bass), John Giblin (on bass and vocals), Robin Lumley (on keyboards and vocals), Peter Robinson (on keyboards), John Goodsall (on guitar), Raf Ravenscroft (on saxophone), and Steven Short (on syndrums and vocals).


With this album, the band shifts from adventurous progrock to a more steadfast dose of contemporary jazz.


While the guitar has its moments in the spotlight, a lot of the lead licks belong to the bass. Its sultry vibrations lend an urban flair to the tunes, evoking evenings spent in smoke-filled cafes. The instrument issues notes wrapped in popping throbs.


Meanwhile, when the guitar shines, it does so like the sun at high noon, dazzling and crisp. Slithery notes cascade into sinuous riffs of an almost romantic character.


The percussion is more relegated here, delivering modulated locomotion to the music with durable but often restrained rhythms.


The keyboards exhibit a similar restraint, invoking softer sweeps and delicate pitterings that ooze through the mix with tasty subtlety.


The introduction of saxophone completes the band's transition to modern jazz. The horn injects a cerebral quality with its willowy wail.


The vocals that are present in one song are lyricless croonings.


These compositions, as one might've picked up on, are more straight-ahead modern jazz in style. The passion is still there, just subdued into a relaxed mode. Near the end of the album, though, the pace and intensity increases, offering tunes more of the band's forte.

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO:






Back Issues of Gonzo Weekly with a Pink Fairies link

Issue 104 (Pink Fairies)
Issue 93 (Jaki Windmill cover) 
Issue 77 (Mick Farren cover) 
Issue 71 (Andy Colquhoun cover)

Back Issues of the Gonzo Weekly with a Gong connection

Issue 102 (Steve Hillage cover) 
Issue 87 (Daevid Allen cover) 
Issue 85 (Chief Raoni and Clearlight cover) 
Issue 80 (Spirits Burning cover) 
Issue 70 (Tim Blake cover)

Back Issues of Gonzo Weekly with a Yes connection

Issue 100 (Jon Anderson cover) 
Issue 98 (Matt Malley cover) 
Issue 76 (Rick Wakeman cover) 
Issue 74 (Billy Sherwood cover) 

Back Issues of Gonzo Weekly with a Hawkwind Connection

Issue 83 (Stonehenge cover) 
Issue 82 (Wally Hope cover) 
Issue 75 (Hawkwind cover) 
Issue 70 (Tim Blake cover)

PLAYLIST: Strange Fruit #97

16-11-14 – SHOW 97

Terry Reid:               May Fly
Bible Party:              Bulimia Rhapsody
Jim O’Rourke:         Pictures of Adolf Again
The Seeds:                Pushin’ too Hard
Knickerbockers:       Lies
Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band:       A Fifth of Beethoven
Noel Harrison:         Just Like a Woman
Lemon Kittens:        Shakin’ all Over – From New Wave Covers for Oldies Lovers
Sounds of the San Francisco Adult Book Store:              Sounds of the San Francisco Adult Book Store
Timothy Leary:        LSD
The Bee Gees: Barker of the UFO
Chocolate Watchband: Sweet Young Thing
Max Frost and the Troopers: The Shape of Things to Come
The Gentle People: The Soundtrack of Life
Black Sabbath: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Pot Party Pot Party
Zoogz Rift: The Island of Living Puke
Laibach: Across the Universe
Joah Valley: Let it Be
Ram Das: Meditation 5
It’s a Beautiful Day: Imagine
The Zachery Thaks: Bad Girl
The Sonics: Pscyho
The Swinging Medallions: A Double Shot (of my Baby’s Love)
Christian Marclay: John Cage (from the album More Encores)
Scatman Crothers: Transfusion
Neil Cowley Trio: Revolution #9
Sarabeth Tucec Goodnight


GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: The Beach Boys - Don't Worry Baby



CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
The Beach Boys And The Satan
DVD - £9.99

THOM THE WORLD POET:


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)

RECYCLING STONEHENGE
MOVING BACK INTO CHENOBYL
Trees ,mostly-and weeds,wild&glowing
Foxes(feral),deer(ditto),forest creatures
unaware of radiation,yet carrying it within .
Sooner or later,just as we built and rebuilt Troy
and Londonium,New Amsterdam,Iraq,Iran,Egypt,Syria-
we will return.It may not be in our lifetime.
Land is rare.Less and less without us.We grow
and need space to build.High rise or deep down,
we reclaim land from waters.Habitate islands.
Make wars between Japan and China with different names.
We will always return.To Harrisburg,Mururoa,Fukushima-
we breed faster than nuclear reactors.Look!Hiroshima!
See!Nagasaki!Functioning like Pompeii and Herculaneum.
There is no space we will not return to .Rome was not destroyed in a day...

Devon-based documentary maker, Danny Cooke, has captured the city in decay by flying around the abandoned area using a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter, a Canon 7D camera and a GoPro3+.
www.dailymail.co.uk

Friday, 28 November 2014

GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Neon Fire - After-Summer mixtape #1



CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Neonfire
CD - £9.99

THOM THE WORLD POET:


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)

Amanda Palmer retweeted a link from Megan★Paige on Twitter!
ISLANDS IN THE STREAM(ing)
When young,the only way to get music for free
was at Christmas,on birthdays -or with a "five-finger discount"
Napster went bust seeking to stream -
with millions then learning how to (illegally)download.
SPOTIFY and PANDORA follow a FREEIUM model
which entices listeners with a taste/then charges
for more eclectic programing.Taylor Swift's BIG MACHINE
claimed she was not received sufficient income for downloading/
yanking her back catalog and current CD from SPOTIFY.
iTunes is a successful model for commercial downloading
RHAPSODY and DEEZER more alternatives.Young ones/
digital children know only downloading.For them,PANDORA and SPOTIFY satisfy.
Taylor Swift shows you can"change horses in midstream"
especially when GOOGLE bribes her BIG MACHINE with better deals.

Justin Timberlake may revive NAPSTER.Names dictate games.

Our View with Jon Anderson



CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Survival And Other Stories
CD - £9.99


Yes – Relayer [TrackList follows] – Panegyric 5.1 & 2.0 audio-only Blu-ray + CD

Yes – Relayer [TrackList follows] – Panegyric 5.1 & 2.0 audio-only Blu-ray + CD
Yes – Relayer [TrackList follows] – Panegyric 5.1 & 2.0 audio-only Blu-ray + standard CD (2 discs) GYRBD50096 (11/4/14) ****:
(Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White, Jon Anderson, Patrick Moraz)
This is the third in a series of expanded reissues of great albums by Yes, including multichannel and stereo mixes, hi-res mixes of the original music, and a wealth of additional material. High-voiced vocalist Jon Anderson, Yes’ most identifiable musician, said in an interview that “…we had so much happening musically and sonically, we needed surround sound to realize the concept.” Robbie Gerson reviewed the last Yes reissue here.

And so they have it. Unfortunately the audio side of the project was somehow not seriously considered and the audio setup menu really doesn’t make it clear how to get the 5.1 mixes—I was unable to until I got some assistance from Panegyric themselves. If you just press Play on your remote, the disc will automatically default to the DTS-HD MA 5.1 stream. Be sure your preamp or receiver is set to DTS and Optical if it requires that. You can also use the colored buttons on your remote: the Red takes you to the DTS-HD Master Audio, the Yellow one to the 5.1 PCM tracks and the Green one to the PCM stereo mixes. I have my Oppo deck set up for 6-channel analog RCA outs, but found the PCM tracks to be much lower level and no better than the DTS audio (at least to my ears – if you’re in your ‘20s you may hear a very slight improvement). I suggest just staying with the Blu-ray lossless audio optical tracks.
This was Yes’ seventh studio album and somewhat resembles Close to the Edge. The distinctive artwork of Roger Dean is prominent here, and in fact he did some updating and restoration of some of it. There are basically three long tracks. Here’s the run-down of the contents on the Blu-ray, which is so over-the-top it should appeal mainly to rabid Yes fans:
CD (both versions):
2014 Stereo mixes by Steven Wilson from original multi-track tapes:
1. The Gates Of Delirium
2. Sound Chaser
3. To Be Over
Bonus tracks (Mixed & produced by Yes and Eddie Offord):
4. Soon (single edit)
5. Sound Chaser (single edit)
 
Blu-ray:
2014 Stereo mixes: PCM Stereo 24/96
1. The Gates Of Delirium
2. Sound Chaser
3. To Be Over
2014 5.1 Surround mixes: 24/96 MLP Lossless/DTS 96/24
1. The Gates Of Delirium
2. Sound Chaser
3. To Be Over
Original stereo mixes: Flat Transfer from original master PCM Stereo 24/192
1. The Gates Of Delirium
2. Sound Chaser
3. To Be Over
The “Alternate” Album: PCM Stereo 24/96
1. The Gates Of Delirium (studio run through)
2. Sound Chaser (studio run through)
3. To Be Over (studio run through)
 
Blu-ray-Only Content:
Additional Material:
1. Soon (single edit)
2. Sound Chaser (single edit)
3. The Gates Of Delirium (Studio run through)
Blu-ray Bonus: PCM Stereo 24/96
1. Sound Chaser (Live from Cobo Hall 1976)
2. Sound Chaser (demo version)
Archival Masters: PCM Stereo 24/96
1. The Gates Of Delirium
2. Sound Chaser
3. To Be Over
2014 Stereo instrumental mixes: PCM Stereo 24/96
1. The Gates Of Delirium
2. Sound Chaser
3. To Be Over
“Needle-Drop” 1: Original UK vinyl transfer: PCM Stereo 24/96
1. The Gates Of Delirium
2. Sound Chaser
3. To Be Over
“Needle-Drop” 2: US promo album vinyl transfer: PCM Stereo 24/96
1. The Gates Of Delirium (Part I)
2. The Gates Of Delirium (Part II)
3. The Gates Of Delirium (Part III)
4. Sound Chaser (Part I)
5. Sound Chaser (Part II)

The Blu-ray is region-free and it is one of the two discs in a vinyl replica gatefold card sleeve with inner protective black paper sleeves.  Providing a separate standard CD for playing in the car and elsewhere is a great idea. The enclosed booklet features new sleeve notes by Sid Smith along with rare photos and archive material.



 CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Union (Standard DVD)
DVD - £9.99

Union (2CD)
2CD - £7.99

Rock Of The 70's
DVD - £12.99

Rock of the 70s
DVD - £9.99

Peter Banks 'The Mars Tapes': US Review


London, UK – Much to the excitement of prog fans worldwide, rare recordings of guitar legend Peter Banks, best known for his work with YES and FLASH, is now available on GONZO Multimedia! Peter Banks Empire 'The Mars Tapes' (2-CD set) represents Empire lll in rehearsal at Mars Studios in Los Angeles in 1979. The band had set up camp at Mars Studios for six months rehearsing and showcasing their music, much of which has been unheard until this release. The band basically recorded every thing they did off the board, tape hiss and all.

Peter Banks (RIP 2013) and Sidonie Jordan, who not only co-wrote, but fronted the band with her powerful vocals, founded Empire in the early to mid-seventies after Peter’s FLASH endeavors and attracted artists such as Phil Collins. Peter and Phil had joined forces in a band called 'Zok And The Radar Boys' which was pre-Empire for Peter, and pre-Brand X for Phil. “Sky At Night” (bonus track) features Phil Collins on drums and backing vocals and Jon Giblin on bass and is testimony of their collaboration.

Sidonie Jordan, who has an extensive list of music credentials to her name, including a diversified solo career as a staff writer/recording artist for A&M Records, and has recorded for other labels such as Capital Records, Electra Records and Trojan Records. (Her song and recording of ‘All God’s Mornings’ was produced by Peter Townshend and featured on his ‘With Love’ album. Sidonie is currently producing and writing with Lez Larder owner of Skyline Studios in Sunbury- On-Thames UK, and Empire lll drummer, Mark Murdock, more recently known for his 'Cymbalic Encounters’ release featuring members from Brand X, agreed to release these recordings as a dedication to the memory of Peter Banks and his great contribution to progressive rock music.

Says Sidonie, “ 'The Mars Tapes' were recorded live at Mars Studios in Los Angles during the summer of 1979! And include a few tracks that never appeared on any Empire albums. As with all the Empire incarnations this album features the amazing talent and skill of Peter Banks, who has been called the Architect of Progressive Rock.”

Drummer Mark Murdock explains, “The Peter Banks Empire ship set sail against the ever-changing music world, and was uncompromising in producing a range of material with Peter Banks' 'Signature Guitar Sound and Style,' while incorporating themes of the time period in which the band existed and also reliving the past by playing songs from the early Empire catalog and even a YES version of ‘Something’s Coming.’ There are various tracks on ‘The Mars Tapes’ that also represented a ‘Work In Progress,’ which were both instrumental and vocal orientated. Empire was anticipating to make some big waves in the music scene, but the waves never reached the shore- until now!”

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO:


The Mars Tapes
2CD - £11.99

Thursday, 27 November 2014

GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: The Beach Boys - 'Til I Die



CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
The Beach Boys And The Satan
DVD - £9.99

Analysis Armando Gallo & Steve Hackett ~ Early Days of Genesis


CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO
Spectral Mornings
DVD - £5.99

THOM THE WORLD POET:


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)

THE LAST ROCK STAR
FIRST OF OUR MEDIA BARDS (Post-Churchill)
Radio was his true medium-spreading his voice like warm butter on toasted ears.
Live!was his style-reading as if he were Byron ,Yeats,Keats combined with D H Lawrence
Reading other people's words was his style-D M Thomas/Thomas Hood.
He could not read Welsh-all his paychecks were in English.
Pilgrimages to the White Horse Inn for his famous endings.
Dreams do not stop when one dreamer exits or grows dumb/numb to wonder.
Decline is a temporary artform/just as silence only implies wisdom.
Retrospective UNDER MILK WOOD as a Dicken's OLDE CURIOSITY SHOP.
For words took music and grew brave with guitars-Lennon,Cohen
of printed poems made their paycheck sing!Punk poets plastered slogans on stages-
ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER,JOHN COOPER CLARKE-even sweet PAM AYERS.
When poetry refused to pay-each turned to comedy to feed the writer Daemon.
Rap rose with reggae LINTON KWESI JOHNSON,JOHN AGARD et alia
THE LAST POETS boomed from New York.Slam took fire and burned the house of words-
or @least the Bush White House.Sam Hamill(POETS 4 PEACE)-ferocious,brave and continuing.
Translators embraced the ghost of RUMI ,HAFIZ,KABIR-and became famous as Robert Bly.
Everywhere,open mikes fill ears with flowers and weeds.Past has to leave

so your future can find forms to fit.Watch!Listen!DO NOT WAIT!

Yes – Open Your Eyes (1997): On Second Thought


In the past, introducing a new voice into the ever-changing Yes dynamic has had one of two effects. It either started the band on a series of quickly realized new directions (as with earlier additions of Steve Howe on 1970’s The Yes Album, Rick Wakeman for 1971’s Fragile and Trevor Rabin on 1983’s 90125) or utterly confused long-time fans. (Think the arrival of Patrick Moraz on 1974’s Relayer; Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn with 1980’s Drama; or Jon Davison on 2014’s Heaven and Earth.)

Time, however, hasn’t been as kind to 1997’s Open Your Eyes as it has to, say, Drama, which has its stalwart defenders these days. (Including, ahem, us.) Yes’ initial studio project with Chris Squire’s protege Billy Sherwood as a full-time member was largely ignored in its time — only reaching No. 151 in America, and failing to chart at all in the UK — and remains so nearly two decades later.

Still, a return to one of Yes’ most notable late-career orphans reveals a project that connects Rabin’s heavily produced hitmaking era with the quirk-filled, Britpop-flavored sounds of Yes’ self-titled 1969 debut (casually referenced, it seems, on the Open Your Eyes cover design, as well) and 1970’s Time and a Word. There still are, to be sure, a few moments when the record betrays its troubled genesis, yet to my ears Open Your Eyes — released on Nov. 24, 1997 — stands on its own within this intriguingly connective context.

Read on...

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Union (Standard DVD)
DVD - £9.99

Union (2CD)
2CD - £7.99

Rock Of The 70's
DVD - £12.99

Rock of the 70s
DVD - £9.99

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

PERCY JONES: US Review

PERCY JONES: Cape Catastrophe (CD on Gonzo Multimedia)

This 2013 CD features 63 minutes of hyperactive music recorded in East Harlem, New York, in 1988-89.

On this record, Jones plays everything himself.

Since bass is Jones' main instrument, the sinuous throbbing strings play a vital role in this tuneage. Riffs of sultry definition cascade forth, establishing threads of exotic charm. The resultant melodies are comprised of buzzing notes and wobbly chords interweaving to create a contrasting chorus.

Otherwise contributing instruments include synthesizers and drums. The electronics are versatile and varied, injecting buzzing elements of synthetic origin into the music.

The percussion is snappy and often complex in its multilayered structure. A multitude of rhythms flow forth, spiraling to form peppy patterns of mystical allure. Harsh beats blend with crisp impacts to generate a lush tapestry of undulant tempos. The rhythms flood upon the listener at often hyperactive velocity, mired in pulsating basslines and accompanied by electronic bleats.

Some vocals, mostly vocodered effects, are found scattered throughout the tuneage.

These compositions lurch and flow with the craft of a clever composer. Attractive tunes are peppered with the heterogeneous throb of lush basslines and agile percussion, melded together by sneaky electronics. This tuneage combines aspects of progressive jazz with modern technology and a touch of rave dance sentiments.

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO:


Tunnels
CD - £9.99

Cape Catastrophe
CD - £9.99

THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)


trance mutating/morphin
EYE AM BECOME AN EGG
For so many breakfasts,from hen to plate
frypan to mouth,dozens later/scrambled
w/added peppers/garlic/onions
Yet the essence as simply as oval/ova.
Apple an orchard hanging branch fulness
Egg a barnyard historic,now factory farmed
Cages  for debeaked literary critics
Censored and edited to fit facts of deadlines
We do not want to learn what we imbibe

What we are we eat.Eye am egg.Roll me !

GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Mick Abrahams - Rock Me Baby



CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
The Best of ABY Vol 2
CD - £9.99

Leaving Home Blues/This Is!
3CD - £9.99

Live in Forli
CD - £9.99

All Said and Done
CD - £9.99

Mick's Back/Novox
2CD - £9.99

Mick's Back
CD - £9.99

Novox
CD - £9.99

Leaving Home Blues
2CD - £11.99
 

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