Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Gioachino Antonio Rossini

(29 February 1792 – 13 November 1868)

Born into a musical family, this Italian singer, pianist, and horn player became the most popular opera composer of his time. He began playing in public at the age of ten and had his first opera produced at the age of eighteen. By the age of twenty-one, he was the toast of Italy; and at twenty-three he became the musical director of two opera houses in Naples. Over the years he composed thirty-nine operas, as well as many other pieces. During the last thirty years of his life, he went into seclusion and composed relatively little. He died at the ripe old age of seventy-six from pneumonia at his country house in France on Friday, 13 November 1868. He was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) overture

'Rabbit of Seville'

Bugs Bunny - Rabbit Of Seville by bugs-bunny1

Guillaume Tell (William Tell).

The Finale to the William Tell Overture is one of his most recognized works.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

eat a peach

The Allman Brothers Band celebrated the spirit of the recently departed Duane with this double album of songs recorded with and without him. Duane Allman had been killed in a motorcycle accident during the recording sessions. The album mixed live material with studio tracks recorded before and after Duane's death. The title came from one of Duane's last interviews, when asked what he was doing to help the revolution. Duane responded, "There ain't no revolution, it's evolution, but every time I'm in Georgia I eat a peach for peace." 'Eat a Peach' went to number four in the US and was certified platinum.

Duane once said:   "There ain't no revolution, only evolution, but every time I'm in Georgia I eat a peach for peace."

'Ain't Wastin' Time No More' was the first song Gregg Allman wrote after the death of his brother.

"Last Sunday morning, the sunshine felt like rain.
Week before, they all seemed the same.
With the help of God and true friends, I come to realize
I still had two strong legs, and even wings to fly.
And oh I, ain't wastin time no more
'Cause time goes by like hurricanes, and faster things."

Gregg Allman says about 'Melissa': "I wrote that song in 1967 in a place called the Evergreen Hotel in Pensacola, Florida. By that time I got so sick of playing other people's material that I just sat down and said, 'OK, here we go. One, two, three - we're going to try to write songs.' And about 200 songs later - much garbage to take out - I wrote this song called 'Melissa.' And I had everything but the title. I thought: 'But back home, we always run... to sweet Barbara' - no. Diane...? We always run... to sweet Bertha.' No, so I just kind of put it away for a while. So one night I was in the grocery store - it was my turn to go get the tea, the coffee, the sugar and all that other s--t... and there was this Spanish lady there and she had this little toddler with her - this little girl. And I'm sitting there, getting a few things and what have you. And this little girl takes off, running down the aisle. And the lady yells, Oh, Melissa! Melissa, come back, Melissa!' And I went, 'Oh - that's it.' I forgot about half the stuff I went for, I went back home and, man, it was finished, only I couldn't really tell if it was worth a damn or not because I'd written so many bad ones. So I didn't really show it to anybody for about a year. And then I was the last one to get to Jacksonville - I was the last one to join the band that became the Allman Brothers. And my brother sometimes late at night after dinner, he'd say, 'Man, go get your guitar and play me that song - that song about that girl.' And I'd play it for him every now and then. After my brother's accident, we had 3 vinyl sides done of Peach, so I thought well we'll do that, and then on the way down there I wrote "Ain't Wastin' Time No More." I wrote that for my brother. We were all in pretty bad shape. I had just gotten back from Jamaica and I was weighing at about 156, 6-foot-1-and-a-half - I was pretty skinny. So we went back down there, got in the studio and finished the record. And the damn thing shipped gold."

"Crossroads, seem to come and go, yeah.
The gypsy flies from coast to coast,
Knowing many, loving none,
Bearing sorrow, having fun.
But, back home he'll always run,
To sweet Melissa. "

Recorded live at the Fillmore East, 'Mountain Jam' was based on Donovan's single 'There Is a Mountain'. It was originally spread out over two sides of the album.

'Blue Sky' was written by Dickey Betts. The first solo is Duane and the second solo is Dickey. Betts says, "I think 'Blue Sky' was one of the last things we did. We did all those songs in about three weeks in a studio in Miami, and then we decided to take a break because Tommy Dowd had something else he had to do. Anyway, we decided to take a few weeks off, and then Duane was killed. After everybody had a chance to get over what was happening, we came back in and finished it a few months later."

"Walk along the river, sweet lullaby, it just keeps on flowing,
It don't worry 'bout where it's going, no, no.
Don't fly, mister blue bird, I'm just walking down the road,
Early morning sunshine tell me all I need to know
You're my blue sky, you're my sunny day.
Lord, you know it makes me high when you turn your love my way,
Turn your love my way, yeah.
Good old Sunday morning, bells are ringing everywhere.
Goin' to Carolina, it won't be long and I'll be there"

'Eat a Peach' 
full album

Side one
"Ain't Wastin' Time No More" (Gregg Allman)  – 3:40
"Les Brers in A Minor" (Dickey Betts)  – 9:03
"Melissa" (Gregg Allman, Steve Alaimo)  – 3:54
Side two
"Mountain Jam" (live) (Donovan Leitch, Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, Jai Johanny Johanson)  – 19:37*
Side three
"One Way Out" (live) (Elmore James, Marshall Sehorn, Sonny Boy Williamson II)  – 4:58
"Trouble No More" (live) (Muddy Waters)  – 3:43
"Stand Back" (Gregg Allman, Berry Oakley)  – 3:24
"Blue Sky" (Dickey Betts)  – 5:09
"Little Martha" (Duane Allman)  – 2:07
Side four
"Mountain Jam" (continued; live) – 15:06*

Monday, February 27, 2012

town called malice

The Jam had their only American hit with this Motown-flavoured exhortation to the exploited masses. 'Town Called Malice' was a bleak, yet bouncy picture of unemployment in Thatcher's Britain. Paul Weller admits, "It could have been written about any suburban town, but it was in fact written about my hometown of Woking." It was released as a double A-side single with 'Precious'. The twelve inch version included a live version of 'Town Called Malice' and an extended version of 'Precious'. Both formats were counted together and the song made its debut at number one. It was a top twenty hit in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. In the US, it went to number thirty-one on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. About the pop appeal of the song to politically conservative fans, Weller says: "I think I pretty much nailed where I was at to the mast. But people come to gigs for different reasons: it isn't necessarily about what the person on stage is singing. But at the same time, you do think, 'Well, maybe this'll change their minds'."

Better stop dreaming of the quiet life
Cause it's the one we'll never know
And quit running for that runaway bus
Cause those rosy days are few
And, stop apologizing for the things you've never done,
Cause time is short and life is cruel
But it's up to us to change
This town called malice.
Rows and rows of disused milk floats
Stand dying in the dairy yard
And a hundred lonely housewives clutch empty milk
Bottles to their hearts
Hanging out their old love letters on the line to dry
It's enough to make you stop believing when tears come
Fast and furious
In a town called malice.

Struggle after struggle, year after year
The atmosphere's a fine blend of ice
I'm almost stone cold dead
In a town called malice.

A whole street's belief in Sunday's roast beef
Gets dashed against the Co-op
To either cut down on beer or the kids new gear
It's a big decision in a town called malice.

The ghost of a steam train, echoes down my track
It's at the moment bound for nowhere
Just going round and round
Playground kids and creaking swings
Lost laughter in the breeze
I could go on for hours and I probably will
But I'd sooner put some joy back
In this town called malice.

The Jam became the first act since the Beatles to perform both tracks of a double A side on Top Of The Pops.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

original dixieland jazz band

The Original Dixieland Jazz Band were promoted as a novelty act when they became the first jazz group to make a record. They formed in New Orleans and played at Schiller's Cafe in Chicago before making a splash in New York with their residency at Reisenweber's Restaurant. On February 26, 1917, cornetist Nick LaRocca, trombonist Eddie Edwards, pianist Henry Ragas, clarinetist Larry Shields, and drummer Tony Sbarbaro recorded two songs for Victor Talking Machine Company. They were released on a 78 eight days later. 'Livery Stable Blues' and 'Dixie Jass Band One Step' became the first jazz recordings and sold over a million copies, bringing jazz into the mainstream and inspiring musicians all over the country to start their own bands.

'Livery Stable Blues' is credited to former band associates Ray Lopez and Alcide Nunez.

'Dixie Jass Band One Step' was originally credited to the band; but after a lawsuit over its resemblance to Joe Jordan's 'That Teasin' Rag', Jordan was added as a co-composer.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

pink moon

The simple elegance of Nick Drake's swansong was born of frustration, heartbreak, and despair. After the commercial failure of his first two records, Drake was despondent. He refused to do any appearances and isolated himself at the home of his parents. Producer John Wood was surprised when Drake came to him to record new songs. The sessions took place over two midnight sessions at Sound Techniques, a converted dairy on Old Church Street in Chelsea, London. In a deliberate attempt to get away from what he perceived as overproduction on his previous albums, Drake accompanied himself only on guitar, with only a bit of piano added to the title song. Wood says, "He was very determined to make this very stark, bare record. He definitely wanted it to be him more than anything. And I think, in some ways, 'Pink Moon' is probably more like Nick is than the other two records." Like his other albums ('Five Leaves Left'  and  'Bryter Layter'), 'Pink Moon' never charted; but in the years since his death from an overdose of the antidepressant amitriptyline, its crystalline purity has made it an influencial cult classic.

'Pink Moon' is the name for the full moon that occurs in April when the pink flower of the wild ground phlox blooms. In the song, it takes on layers of meaning suggesting sleep, death, and rebirth.

"Saw it written and I saw it say
Pink moon is on its way
And none of you stand so tall
Pink Moon gonna get ye all
And it's a pink moon
Yes, a pink moon
Pink, pink, pink, pink, pink moon"

'From the Morning' is the last song on his last album. Lyrics from the song provide the epitaph on Nick Drake's headstone, in Tamworth, England.

"A day once dawned, and it was beautiful
A day once dawned from the ground
Then the night she fell
And the air was beautiful
The night she fell all around.
So look see the days
The endless coloured ways
And go play the game that you learnt
From the morning.
And now we rise
And we are everywhere
And now we rise from the ground
And see she flies
And she is everywhere
See she flies all around
So look see the sights
The endless summer nights
And go play the game that you learnt
From the morning."

'Pink Moon' 
full album:

00:00 "Pink Moon"
02:06 "Place to be"
04:47 "Road"
06:50 "Which Will"
09:50 "Horn"
11:13 "Things Behind The Sun"
15:10 "Know"
17:35 "Parasite"
21:11 "Free Ride"
24:17 "Harvest Breed"
25:54 "From The Morning"

Friday, February 24, 2012


Elliott Smith expanded his sound ever-so-slightly for the dreamy, existential, acoustic grace of his third album. 'Either/Or' features the addition of new instrumentation, including bass, drums, keyboards, and electric guitar; all of them played by Smith himself. At the time Smith said, "I got my own 8-track and stuff to do my solo stuff on; and I also got a drum set; and I borrowed a bass; so now I'm doing songs that have bass and stuff." 'Either/Or' takes its title from by Søren Kierkegaard's dualistic book of philosophy, which Smith had studied at Hampshire College. Produced by Smith with Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf, the album was recorded at various locations including Smith's house, Joanna Bolme's house, Heatmiser House, The Shop, Undercover, Inc., and Laundry Rules Recording. The album was released on Kill Rock Stars and three of the songs were featured in the film 'Good Will Hunting'. Two of them were recorded live for Jem Cohen's short film 'Lucky Three: An Elliott Smith Portrait'.

'Speed Trials'

"He's pleased to meet you underneath the horse
In the cathedral with the glass stained black
Singing sweet high notes that echo back
To destroy their master
May be a long time til you get the call-up
But it's sure as fate and hard as your luck
No one'll know where you are
It's just a brief smile crossing your face
Running speed trials still standing in place"

'Between the Bars'

"Drink up, baby, look at the stars
I'll kiss you again, between the bars
Where I'm seeing you there, with your hands in the air
Waiting to finally be caught"


"Don't start me trying now
Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh
'Cause I'm all over it, Angeles
I can make you satisfied in
Everything you do
All your secret wishes could right
Now be coming true
And be forever with my poison arms
Around you
No one's gonna fool around with us
No one's gonna fool around with us
So glad to meet'cha, Angeles"

'Say Yes'

"And I could be another fool or an exception to the rule
You tell me the morning after
Crooked spin can't come to rest
I'm damaged bad at best
She'll decide what she wants
I'll probably be the last to know
No one says until it shows and you see how it is
They want you or they don't
Say yes
I'm in love with the world through the eyes of a girl
Who's still around the morning after"

full album:

All tracks written by Elliott Smith.

1. "Speed Trials" 3:01
2. "Alameda" 3:43
3. "Ballad of Big Nothing" 2:48
4. "Between the Bars" 2:21
5. "Pictures of Me" 3:46
6. "No Name No. 5" 3:43
7. "Rose Parade" 3:28
8. "Punch and Judy" 2:25
9. "Angeles" 2:56
10. "Cupid's Trick" 3:04
11. "2:45 AM" 3:18
12. "Say Yes" 2:19

Thursday, February 23, 2012

peter gabriel

After taking time off with his new family, Peter Gabriel made his triumphant solo debut with the first of four eponymous albums. Gabriel decided to leave Genesis before the tour for 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway'; but didn't tell the rest of the band until the tour was over. He felt that he needed to stay at home with his new daughter Anna and his wife Jill rather than go back into the studio or on the road.

The vehicle we had built as a co-op to serve our songwriting became our master and had cooped us up inside the success we had wanted. It affected the attitudes and the spirit of the whole band. the music had not dried up and I still respect the other musicians, but our roles had set in hard. To get an idea through "Genesis the Big" meant shifting a lot more concrete than before. For any band, transferring the heart from idealistic enthusiasm to professionalism is a difficult operation. I believe the use of sound and visual images can be developed to do much more than we have done. But on a large scale it needs one clear and coherent direction, which our pseudo-democratic committee system could not provide. As an artist, I need to absorb a wide variety of experiences. It is difficult to respond to intuition and impulse within the long-term planning that the band needed. I felt I should look at/learn about/develop myself, my creative bits and pieces and pick up on a lot of work going on outside music. Even the hidden delights of vegetable growing and community living are beginning to reveal their secrets. I could not expect the band to tie in their schedules with my bondage to cabbages. The increase in money and power, if I had stayed, would have anchored me to the spotlights. It was important to me to give space to my family, which I wanted to hold together, and to liberate the daddy in me. Although I have seen and learnt a great deal in the last seven years, I found I had begun to look at things as the famous Gabriel, despite hiding my occupation whenever possible, hitching lifts, etc. I had begun to think in business terms; very useful for an often bitten once shy musician, but treating records and audiences as money was taking me away from them. When performing, there were less shivers up and down the spine. I believe the world has soon to go through a difficult period of changes. I'm excited by some of the areas coming through to the surface which seem to have been hidden away in people's minds. I want to explore and be prepared to be open and flexible enough to respond, not tied in to the old hierarchy. Much of my psyche's ambitions as "Gabriel archetypal rock star" have been fulfilled - a lot of the ego-gratification and the need to attract young ladies, perhaps the result of frequent rejection as "Gabriel acne-struck public school boy". However, I can still get off playing the star game once in a while. My future within music, if it exists, will be in as many situations as possible. It's good to see a growing number of artists breaking down the pigeonholes. This is the difference between the profitable, compartmentalized, battery chicken and the free-range. Why did the chicken cross the road anyway? There is no animosity between myself and the band or management. The decision had been made some time ago and we have talked about our new direction. The reason why my leaving was not announced earlier was because I had been asked to delay until they had found a replacement to plug up the hole. It is not impossible that some of them might work with me on other projects. The following guesswork has little in common with truth: Gabriel left Genesis. 1) To work in theatre. 2) To make more money as a solo artist. 3) To do a "Bowie". 4) To do a "Ferry". 5) To do a "Furry Boa round my neck and hang myself with it". 6) To go see an institution. 7) To go senile in the sticks. I do not express myself adequately in interviews and I felt I owed it to the people who have put a lot of love and energy supporting the band to give an accurate picture of my reasons."

Genesis decided to continue without him. Gabriel took a year off after the tour and then began work on a solo project with producer Bob Ezrin. 'Peter Gabriel' was recorded at the Soundstage in Toronto, Canada with additional sessions at Morgan Studios, and Olympic Studios in London with guitarist Robert Fripp, bass player Tony Levin, drummer Allan Schwartzberg, percussionist Jimmy Maelen, guitarist Steve Hunter, keyboardist Jozef Chirowski, and Larry Fast on synthesizers and programming. Michael Gibbs did the arrangements for the London Symphony Orchestra on 'Down the Dolce Vita' and 'Here Comes the Flood'. 'Peter Gabriel' reached number thirty-eight in the US; thirty in Canada; number thirteen in Sweden; number nine in Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands; number eight in Norway; number seven in the UK; and peaked at number five in France. Due to the album cover by Peter Christopherson, the album is often referred to as 'Car' or 'Rain'.

'Moribund the Burgermeister' tells an allegorical story of an epidemic of madness.

"This thing's really outrageous, I tell you on the level
It's really so contagious must be the work of the devil
You better go now, pick up the pipers, tell them to play
Seems the music keeps them quiet, there is no other way.
Ah, close the doors!
"We've tried potions and waxen dolls,
But none of us could find any cures,"
Mother please, is it just a disease,
That has them breaking all my laws,
Check if you can disconnect the effect
And I'll go after the cause
No-one will tell what this is all about
But I will find out"

'Excuse Me' features Tony Levin on tuba and as leader of the Barbershop Quartet.


'Peter Gabriel' 
full album:

All songs written by Peter Gabriel, except where indicated.

Side One
1. "Moribund the Burgermeister" 4:20
2. "Solsbury Hill" 4:21
3. "Modern Love" 3:38
4. "Excuse Me" (Gabriel, Martin Hall) 3:20
5. "Humdrum" 3:25
Side Two
6. "Slowburn" 4:36
7. "Waiting for the Big One" 7:15
8. "Down the Dolce Vita" 5:05
9. "Here Comes the Flood" 5:38