Punks Are People Too

Couldn’t resist passing along this gem. Maybe the monoculture had more to offer than we like to remember? I’m blown away by how graceful Patti is in this utterly foreign setting. Why can’t we expect our own self-styled “challenging artists” to be this exuberant and earnest? Especially when we remember that unlike working-class Patti, most of them were raised upper middle and “educated” at top US liberal arts institutions.

And what to say about the cover choice? This is the epitome of irony, in it’s true sense. Not the weak hipster record collector brinksmanship we’d see it as today. — CL

Fairport Convention, Precursor to Lightning Bolt?

Not kidding, hang in through this performance from the 1970 Glastonbury Festival and watch sparks fly off Dave Swarbrick’s fiddle and total electric mayhem/dancing abandon in the field below. At the moment the electric guitar starts ripping the twin solo, Fairport Convention might have outheavied the Crazy World of Arthur Brown that weekend, a totally blasted performance. Taken from the amazing Glastonbury Fayre doc from 1972 directed by Nicholas Roeg and Peter Neal; Gong, Family, Melanie, and Terry Reid also make appearances. Track it down if you can, it’s a spectacle of sight and sound where the crowd are equal stars: dancin’ druggin’, flopping around in mud. One guy’s naked on stage talking with a chicken into the mic.  Surely the Utopian antithesis of Gimme Shelter. (Brian Turner)

Fairport Convention – Dirty Linen by

Luis Alberto Spinetta










RIP a revolutionary rock pioneer from Argentina; Luis Alberto Spinetta’s work in Pescado Rabioso, Almendra, Invisible = South American dynamite on par with some of the best psych/prog songcrafters of more spotlit locales. My fave work of his is the 1973 2nd Pescado LP, which followed his stint with Almendra and a great solo record. He had absorbed a lot of European influences from his time there after Almendra, and that record was kind of a solo project in itself. Without a doubt it had one of the best 1970’s rock covers to boot (above). (Brian Turner)

Via Billboard:

Luis Alberto Spinetta, one of the fathers of South American rocanrol and an archetypal Argentine rebel whose music became arallying cry against political repression in the 1970s, died Wednesday, February 8, in Buenos Aires. Spinetta died of lung cancer at age 62.

Spinetta recorded over 40 albums with his different bands, starting in 1969 with the legendary Almendra, one of the first rock groups to write songs in Spanish. Spinetta brought a highly poetic lyricism to Argentine rock that still characterizes the national sound today.

 “Rock is not only a certain form of rhythm or melody,” Spinetta wrote in a manifesto distributed at a 1973 concert of his band Pescado Rabioso. “It is the natural impulse to transmit through total freedom the profound knowledge, to which, because of repression, the common man does not have access to.”

Starting at one o’clock Thursday morning, according to the Argentine newspaper Clarín, musicians including Fito Páez and Leon Gieco, along with hundred of fans, gathered at a funeral home in the Belgrano section of Buenos Aires Thursday to say farewell to Spinetta, commonly called “El Flaco” (the thin one).  

“He was one of the first to get us all into this,” Gieco told the newspaper.

Spinetta is survived by four children, including Dante Spinetta, founder of the well-known hip-hop/rock group Illya Kuryaki y los Valderramas.

Angel Face and Soggy: The French (Stooges) Connection

Two Iggy-invoking blasters from France: Soggy from 1981 and Angel Face from the 1970’s, the latter of which I’m not even sure of the language being sung. The long wolf intro segue into the slowburn Stooges grind is just amazing though, and there’s some connect to the later French punk band Lucrate Milk who were equally bananas. Soggy opened for Judas Priest and then split; their LP was an expensive reissue a few years ago on Memoire Neuve and included such song titles as “Lay Down a Lot”, “47 Chromosomes”, “Cellulitis is the Top of the Shapeless Body”, and a cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog”. Soggy. (Brian Turner)

Punk en Espanol

Was punk rock invented by Los Saicos in mid-60s Lima, Peru? This article makes the case. –CL

Saicomania Trailer 2009 – ENGLISH from Saicomania on Vimeo.

Black Girl

A heartbreaking film by Senegalese writer/director Ousmane Sembene.
Released in 1966, some have considered this to be the first sub-Saharan film, complete with rarely seen sights and sounds of Dakar in the ’60’s. The film follows Diouana, a young Senegalese woman, as she travels from Dakar to the French Riviera and as Diouana’s occupation with her white mistress changes from governess to maid.
Watch here (without sub-titles) or rent/stream it from Netflix.


the entire film in French without subtitles:


Klosterman on tUnE-yArDs

I was comforted to discover that I’m not alone in my embarrassment at having only just, um, tuned in to Merrill Garbus, bka tUnE-yArDs, after her coronation by the Village Voice.

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(this one found on the excellent Total Freakout compilation on Mucho Gusto!) (Brian Turner)

The Ex’s 2012 Ethio Rock N Roll/Sound Poetry Circus

Dutch DIY pioneers The Ex have been shaking it up for over 30 years  swinging freely and tightening the void between punk, free jazz, and musics of the world. Their collaborations have included everyone from downtown NYC types to interpretive dancers, Euro-jazz ensembles and free music fixtures, approaching all of their co-conspirators with an anarchic approach of pure horn-lock and fearlessness, showing readily that there’s a musical and cultural bridge between everything. Their hearts in the last decade in particular seem firmly at home in Africa and Ethiopia; frequent trips and concerts have served to both expand the band’s own musical canvas and shine a spotlight spotlight on the some modern-day vibrant cultural and musical happenings and reframing some historical figures who often are open to the Ex’s shared philosophies upon meeting them. Guitarist Terrie Hessel’s Terp label gave the West its first peak at the amazing sounds of the Congolese combo Konono No. 1, Eritrean singer Tsehaytu Beraki, the Ex’s killer collab with Ethiopiques’ sax giant Getatchew Mekuria (who came to the USA in 2008 with them) and others.

The band’s shows to this day are total roof-raising, stage-carpet ripping blowouts.

This January, the Ex returned for shows in Ethiopia joined by assorted cohorts like the Dutch band Zea and Pal Nilssen-Love, but they also brought down Dutch sound poet Jaap Blonk and French sound-poet Anne-James Chaton (who has recently collaborated on a series of 7″s with Ex guitarist Andy Moor). Here are artists most Westerners wouldnt have a chance to scope unless they were at a venue like Roulette, Issue Project Room, Cafe Oto, live at Ethiopian schools. And the video documents from this past month are amazing. (Brian Turner)

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Catherine Ribiero

French pals often have rolled their eyes when I profess being a fan of Catherine Ribiero’s records, citing overly-dramatic singing, cheeseball rock leanings (especially as she moved from the 70s into the 80’s). Her records with Alpes in the early 70s (especially Ame Debout, No.2, and Paix) hit some great moments; if you can imagine Marble Index-era Nico with more strident vocal approach along the lines of a more controlled and acrobatic Patti Smith (especially on Ame Debout’s title track) you get somewhat of an idea. Instrumentally, Alpes (led by her husband Patrice Moullet) were as stunning and experimental as any prime Krautrock/out-Prog of the time, utilizing homebuilt contraptions of genius construction (crazy metallic-bodied strings, the rapidfire bongos of Ame Debout are motorized). Stark, expansive, taut, and yes dramatic stuff that gives a pretty nice expanded view of psychedelic Europe’s musical awakening outside the oft-spotlighted UK and German takes. (Brian Turner)