Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A DVDful Of Secrets - Vol 2


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A DVDful Of Secrets - Vol 1


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The Floydian Propulsion Project


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Probably my all-time favorite CD of Pink Floyd covers. I've listened to it hundreds of times. I once bought over a dozen copies to hand out to people at a David Gilmour concert. This album takes a genuine love for Pink Floyd music and adds a healthy dose of general weirdness to create something entirely new.

The Ancestors - Brigadoon


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This is another album that is the very definition of obscure. It was just on the cusp of being released when the music label and distribution company both collapsed (in 1994). The CDs were never sold in stores. Apparently, a few have filtered out here & there under mysterious circumstances. But, it was never available to the general public in the traditional manner of these things.

Song number 6 is called "Syd" - and, yes, it's about *that* Syd. It's not a cover song, rather a very nice tribute. The overall feel of this album is dark, moody, and heavy. There's loads of Moog synthesizer and fuzzed out guitar. In short, it falls directly into the "Progressive Rock" category - PROG.

Song number 12 is called "Helo" - and it's a much happier song. It's the sort of thing that, even after many, many listenings, continues to just elude me. There's clearly a story being told. I just want to sit down with the author (Joziah) and say, "OK, right, what the hell is this about, exactly ?"

You'll find quite a few empty tracks on the end... I didn't put them there by mistake. That's how my CD is, so that's how I am sharing it with you. I'm just as baffled as you will be. Don't be too hasty when deleting them, though.. There is something there towards the end that you'll want to keep.

Download this one, find somewhere dark & warm that you can spend some time, and give this CD a listen. I think that you'll be glad that you did.

Paul Jones - Come Into My Music Box


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This is a compilation that... Well.... Probably should've been avoided. In fact, let me just say that if you are anything but an obsessive die-hard Pink Floyd crazy person, you really should attempt to avoid this CD. Your sanity will be your reward.

There is a Pink Floyd connection - an intersection - on three songs. "My Advice To You" and "I Don't Believe You" both feature Mr. Nick Mason on drums. There is a reason that these songs are obscure. Few have lived to describe them to others.

When I heard that this CD was going to contain the song "The Committee", I phoned up the nice fellow who wrote the short story and film and asked him about the song. Paul Jones, as you may know, starred in the film "The Committee" - so it was only natural to think that he might record a song for the soundtrack.. But.. I'd seen the film and knew already that there wasn't a song in it remotely resembling anything that Jones had done. In the end, it turned out that Jones had written & recorded the song. It was played at the film's premier party. But, it was not used in the film itself. Once I received my copy of the CD, it became rather clear why this choice had been made as it had. The Floyd material, although very hastily assembled, was *absolutely* the better option.

Moving Soundtracks (Volume 1)


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This one is just about as obscure as they come... This CD was issued back in 1991 in Belgium. Among other silliness, it features a cover of an unreleased Pink Floyd song. I first shared this song back here. But, that version was a pretty poor quality .mp3. For the first time, I am able to share the complete album in lossless. This comes to us thanks to our friend in Belgium, who has been searching for a copy for us for months. Hope you like it!!

This Is Heaven


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An obscure soundtrack containing four Syd Barrett covers!

Dream Divers - In My Infant Air


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An entire CD of Barrett covers. Quite nice really. They even do a lengthy reworking of Jugband Blues - something not often attempted.

Beyond The Wildwood


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From way back in 1987... This CD was available long before Syd's official albums came out on CD - so was the first time that I'd heard several of the songs. This is still my favorite version of "Rats" of all time. I have seen the LP version for sale on eBay a few times. But, the CD version is ... well, very rare.

ASYD Vinyl


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When this beauty came out, I tried to buy a copy with no success. They were apparently sold out before production. Happily, a few months later, I was able to pick one up second-hand. Sorry about the crappy image above - but that's really, honestly how the original looks... This is (as far as I know) the only Norwegian-manufactured music that I own. There are 19 songs. Some of them are really quite nice - such as the gentle cover of See Emily Play.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pink Floyd - Tonite!


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A lovely LD transfer (Japanese subtitles, though).

Pink Floyd - Mind Your Throats (Final Edition)


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This is another of those sordid tales... Many people were involved. Lots of money changed hands. Everyone had high hopes. But, in the end, I think everyone was disappointed - at least a little. Now... I am not going to go into the whole unpleasant affair. But, it is important to tell you at least a little of the story..

The creation of this DVD was a group effort. To keep everyone up to date with the various tweaking that was being done, rough draft copies were being mailed around, viewed, and improved upon.

When it came time to send the final edition to the duplication facility, a rough draft was accidentally sent instead. To make matters worse, the duplication facility made an additional mistake - pressing the wrong master entirely to about half of the disks. So, if you were lucky, you got a rough draft of the Floyd material. If you weren't lucky, you got non-Floyd material.

Then... the troubles, which I won't go into, really got started. The upshot of all of the unpleasantness was that the final edition just got ... buried & forgotten.

Forgotten ... until now. I am very pleased to be able to share with you the DVD that was Supposed To Be. If you bought the original, if you got a digital clone, if you've never even heard about this project before today... This edition is one that you should own. (Please see the cover art for content details.)

The Directors - Alan Parker


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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Eight Miles High - Japanese




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Probably the best documentary that you've never heard of... Made back in 1994 as a joint project between PBS and the BBC, this is one of the best documentaries on the subject of psychedelic music I have ever seen. There are loads of archival films and new interviews. This insanely obscure DVD contains about 15 minutes of unbroadcast material. Additionally, this remains the ONLY official DVD that contains portions of Syd's American Bandstand appearance. Sadly, there is a fair amount of Japanese narration and subtitles. But, I'll take that any day compared with overdubs! The interview of Peter Jenner speaking about the earliest version of the Floyd's lighting equipment is worth the price of admission all by itself.

Eight Miles High - promo VHS


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The "broadcast" version of the documentary was issued on VHS in the States, but only sold to music educators, not the general public. Happily, I was able to arrange to purchase a copy. The advantages of this edition are that there is no Japanese narration or subtitles. But, it is also a bit shorter and the picture quality is not as sharp as the DVD source. When I built the DVD project, I added some bonus footage from a different documentary, "Have A Nice Decade", which also came out in 1994. Eight Miles High contains Roger's comments. Have A Nice Decade contains Dave's views. I wonder if they planned it that way ?

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Wall - Parker's Perspective


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You may be aware that the commentary on both of the official editions of the DVD is by Roger Waters and Gerald Scarfe. Alan Parker (the director) had a commentary track on the insanely limited second edition of the laser disk. (Most copies of the laser disk are the first edition and do not contain the Alan Parker commentary.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians - 1985-11-20 - Indianapolis


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Industrial Symphony #1


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The film that really launched David L ynch's career. Oh, of course, there were earlier ones. But, this is the one that really heated things up. Sadly, the LD release was terribly limited - and a DVD release has never happened. Check out the Easter Egg on this one - you won't find that weirdness anywhere else...

Maniacs - Unplugged


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A lovely LD transfer.

Time Shift - The History of Prog


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This is a wonderful documentary - loads of groovy prog moments. (Prog = progressive rock ie: bands like Genesis, Yes, ELP, and ... well... probably Pink Floyd as well.)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Art Of Tripping - Rev A


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Here is another of Storm Thorgerson's documentaries. In it, he tries to answer another intractable question. Do mind-altering drugs help or hinder the artistic process? There are those who would say that drugs provide inspiration or allow different types of thought. But, others may suggest that drugs do all sorts of things (depending upon the drug) - mood swings, addiction, severe alteration of thought, which would prevent (or at least slow down) the artistic process. Mr. Thorgerson interviews loads of artists and historians and biographers to try to get the best possible answer. This is a 2 part documentary. The first part covers all of history up to about 1955. The second part covers 1955-1994. Read more here. David Gilmour provides soundtrack music.

Pink Floyd - Promotional Films


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This is probably the first DVD that I ever put together. I spent a fortune on eBay buying promotional video tapes and wanted to compile them & share them with my friends. The gem in the collection is the interview of Roger Waters. It was made for "Is Anybody Out There", the live Wall concert. It was originally going to be issued by Capitol, who did the interview. But, it ended up being issued by Columbia. Capitol just shelved the interview & it was never used for anything. It's a great interview & really deserves to be seen.

I did not create the art. I have no idea who did that. (Thanks, though!)

Rubber Universe


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This is a documentary Written & Directed by Storm Thorgerson. You can read all about it here. This is a wonderful film for anyone who likes science or nature films. The soundtrack music is by Alan Parsons. Apart from a few glimpses at material from the High Hopes video, there is no Floyd content.

Ruby Takes A Trip


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I have a microbiologist friend who generously allowed me to borrow his video masters for a number of really, really cool items. One was the Rubber Universe documentary. This is another.

It's a pseudo-documentary by an interesting young woman named Ruby Wax. (She's better known in the UK than in the States.) David Gilmour provides the soundtrack music. Ruby has a mid-life crisis & decides to try to track down her hippie roots and explore her inner being. She visits all manner of religious weirdo, New-Age Loonie, and crunchy out-of-this-world freak that you could imagine. In the end, of course, she finds it all to be unsatisfying.

Come on... Take a Trip with Ruby! You'll have some good laughs & and she'll have you back the same day.

Ukulele Orchestra - 2007-11-15 - Berlin


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This is a *wonderful* DVD. I have played it over and over again. Trust me when I tell you that you'll be hooked. 8-)

Kate Bush - 2011 - Interviews

A friend of JAC just shared some new Kate Bush interviews... Here

Ephemeral

One of the "groovy" places that I have had linked on the right-side of these pages has gone away. I have kept a small number of the links, however. I wish I had kept them all... But, I do have a few. I checked them & they still, as of five minutes ago, were all still valid. If you are at all interested in that material, but just didn't get around to grabbing it, you may wish to hurry up!!

Pink Floyd - 1996-01-00 - Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame


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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Elliot's Blimp


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Art & The 60s


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This is a very, very highly recommended documentary. It fills in a lot of history of The Underground Scene that is typically not reported in other documentaries. For example, we learn loads of great stuff about the Indica Gallery and various artists that have shows there. I should warn you, however, that some of the "art" is... very ugly and should not be viewed by young people, old people, people with gentle constitutions, or, well, anybody else. The chapter is called "Skip This Bit" - and you almost certainly should. The rest is absolutely aces!!

After Dark


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This was a program that had a remarkably long run through the 1960s and early 1970s. It was really intended to be a different sort of talk show. It's supposed to be more or less spontaneous events at an exclusive cocktail party. The guests included politicians, psychics, comedians, and lots of musicians. For our purposes, however, we're pretty much focused on the musical guests. The top offering has clearly been taken from VHS sources. They're decent quality, given VHS quality back then. There is a little overlap with the second offering, but not too much. The second source contains all of the little introductions and interviews, which I appreciate very much. There isn't a great deal of footage from this time period of Jerry Garcia just having a casual conversation, for example. There isn't much footage of Pete Seeger at all. He was banned from television for 17 years, because he wouldn't sign a document that declared that he wasn't a communist.

The Noel Harrison interview is really quite profound if you think about it a little bit. I should probably warn you that the remainder of this will just be me ranting. Please feel free to ignore it. The song could be taken two ways - 1) The experiment with electric instruments is over. This was suggested by the interviewer & dismissed by Mr. Harrison. 2) society's experiment with electricity is over - that we should all return to a rural, simpler way of living. For those of you who are not familiar with a group called The Amish, they reject much of modern life, especially electricity. Let me assure you that they aren't any happier, on the whole, than any other group or subgroup of people in the world. Pre-Industrial civilization was full of hatred, genocide, jealousy and all of humanity's weaknesses. These things haven't changed to any perceivable degree with the introduction of technology. Beyond this inescapable reality, Mr. Harrison, in pursuit of his career, is appearing on a television program. The musicians in his band are using electrical instruments. Certainly, the microphones are electrical. So, he's advocating one lifestyle, but actually leading a different one. This is all so mind-bogglingly hypocritical that it makes it seem, well, unreal, like a cartoon.

This madness aside, I really like the song. It's pleasing and non-substantive, like a lullaby.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gandalf Murphy - 2011-07-24 - Workshop Stage


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At the Workshop Stage, there are always 8 to 10 performers playing together. Towards the end of this set, they all jam on Van Morrison's song, "She Gives Me Religion".

Gandalf Murphy - 2011-07-23 - Main Stage


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This set, which is fairly typical of their traditional every day tour 2011 set, contains a Bob Dylan song - which is really a re-working of a Woody Guthrie song. They perform lots of material from their new album Grand Slambovians. They also (why not?) close with a traditional Slambovian Christmas song. You'll be phoning the neighbors in shocked disbelief once you've heard it...

Pink Floyd - 1970-07-16 - Various Sources

We were talking (below) about this particular concert & all of the different source materials that circulate. To add a little fire to this discussion, I have gathered some additional source materials from my archives. Enjoy!

Here - CD & LP sources
Here - a different LP source

David Gilmour - 1984-07-12 - Concert LP

Part 1
Part 2

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gandalf Murphy - 2000-12-02 - WDST Acoustic Breakfast


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This is a promotional CD that I picked up at some point. I asked their current management about it. I got a shrug and a, "I dunno." This is one of the earliest live recordings that circulates among the fans. And, because it was professionally recorded, it's a jolly good one!

The song "Genius" is about the tortured artists out there - the Kurt Cobains of the world. Fame is a roller coaster. It'll toast ya.

"Talkin' To The Buddha" is one of their big religious numbers. It's very deep and non-denominational. Probably more about string theory than religion, come to think of it.

Gandalf Murphy - 2011-07-22 - Dance Tent


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I posted the 2008 Falcon Ridge Dance Tent set below. This post is for the 2011 set. The 2009 Falcon Ridge Dance Tent set can be purchased here.

In the 2011 set, they cover Bob Dylan and the Ramones. They dig deep into their own past to revive some old rockin' tunes. And, of course, there's a sea shanty or two.

Gandalf Murphy - 2008-10-18 - Ann Arbor, MI


This show is a remarkable one because the set list is so completely different from typical shows. It features a medley of songs from The Wizard of Oz, a Fairport Convention cover song, and a cover of Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues done to the tune of The Who's Pinball Wizard. And... If that's not enough weirdness for you... check out the half-dozen or so sea-faring numbers. It makes me smile just knowing that there is a band out there whose members would deliberately assemble such a strange collection of things together. I went to this show & have never really been the same ever since. (I filmed the show ... but, this audio recording was made by a local taper and passed along to me in .flac format.)
Here

Gandalf Murphy - 2008-07-26 - Dance Tent - Falcon Ridge Folk Festival


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This is one of the shows where everything just clicks. They yodel. They sing a sea shanty. They sing some of the best psychedelic rock ever written.

Gandalf Murphy has a few favorite concerts each year - and the Falcon Ridge Dance Tent has always been one of those favorite venues. One of the songs that they perform here that is not usually included in their sets is called the Just Like Me Medley. The song that starts & ends the medley is very inviting. They say that it used to be their Alienation song. But, now it is their Alien Nation song. In the medley middle of the song, they run the spectrum from surfing music to Billy Idol to David Bowie to Warren Zevon.

Gandalf Murphy - 2006-12-02 - East Lansing, MI



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This is a show that I'll never forget. I was just sitting, doing nothing one afternoon. A good friend called and asked what my plans were for the night. A whole lot of nothing. Well, he said, "There's a show in Lansing that you NEED to see." Because the caller is an audio professional, and was going to do the sound that night, and Lansing was only about 90 minutes away, I went along to the show.

I have been absolutely hooked on this band ever since. A-mazing stuff. One reviewer called them the "Hillbilly Pink Floyd". For those readers not from the USA, a hillbilly is a person who is often from a rural area and is ... gloriously unsophisticated. The origin of what we could call "country" music is hidden among these people.

Gandalf Murphy will often perform Pink Floyd influenced music, then a cover of a Ramones song, then a sea shanty, then yodel for 10 minutes. Their original music is probably more fairly akin to King Crimson around the Court of the Crimson King period. Some pieces are more influenced by the Floyd, or the Beatles, or ... well, hopefully, you get where I am going. They are a band that should've existed in the 1960s or 1970s, but somehow popped out of the time warp around 2000.

I have flown to Philadelphia three times to see them play. I have flown to New York City twice to see them. I will be flying again in the near future to see them play. They are that good.

Now, some details about this specific show. This was a completely unadvertised, unannounced show. There were no tickets sold. It took place in a coffee shop. So, imagine if you will, a four piece band's equipment set up in the front of a small coffee shop. They took up most of the front end of the store. The audience was probably only 30-40 people. Most of them were probably customers who wandered in & got trapped. Plus, of course, the shop was trying to get customers in & out, serve food, clean tables, etc. It was insane... but, a happy kind of insanity.

I was fully prepared to hate the band. I was just bored & thought that the drive to Lansing and back was a decent excuse to be busy for a while. Once the music started, however, I knew that I was interested. The second song is a "tip of the hat to those great folk pioneers - The Who". Once they got to the third song, Flapjacks From The Sky, I knew I would be buying all of their CDs - which I did.

Gandalf Murphy has always toured in a strange way. They have three primary markets - the East Coast, the UK, and Michigan. I lived in Michigan for lots of years, so I made it a point to go to all of those shows. Some of the East Coast fans have been to more shows than I have. But, I've traveled greater distances to go to a show!

I should also point out that they have such a liberal taping policy that you can grab quite a few of their shows over at archive.org. Your ears will love you for the rest of your life.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Posting Weirdness

You may have noticed that some of the more recent links are not working properly. I have no idea what that is about, honestly. Here are some strange things-

1) When using the official H*tfile download program, sometimes the links work, sometimes not.
2) Sometimes, you can copy & paste the link into a new browser tab & it works... and at the same time, if you just click on the link from the blog, it doesn't work.
3) I've just gone over the 2.0 TB mark - may be related? May be a coincidence?
4) Nobody has complained about anything. No emails or comments of any kind.
5) Sometimes, when I go to the H*tfile web page, it shows me all of my files. Sometimes, it doesn't.

Not having any idea of what the problems are, I am going to switch to a different band. This is a band who are - absolutely - among the very coolest and strangest people I have ever known. I will write a great deal about them in the next few posts. For now, however, what is important is that they actually actively encourage people to record their shows. I have known their business manager for nearly 20 years now. They have no official connection to any record label so far as I know. All of this means that if there are any problems sharing their concerts, it will be due to the nice folks at H*tfile having issues rather than any possible regulatory agency having problems. Call it an experiment.

Pink Floyd - 1969-06-22 - Manchester, UK


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Pink Floyd - 1968-07-27 - Shrine Exposition Hall, LA


Here

David Gilmour - 2006-04-16 - Oakland, CA

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David Gilmour - 2006-03-10 - Still Far To Go


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** As pointed out in the comments, the correct date for this is the 10th of March. Please adjust your folders.

David Gilmour - 2006-03-26 - The Great Gig Of David Gilmour In Rome

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