Sunday, March 31, 2013


 Patti Smith found redemption after a near death experience to achieve her greatest success with this profound and provocative confessional catechism.  Smith broke her neck in a fall from a stage in Tampa, Florida onto a concrete orchestra pit.  She spent a year recovering and reflecting on Christianity:    "The myth of Christ is still exciting and stimulating to me, and whether he's a real guy or not doesn't really matter anymore. I did say 'Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine', and I still believe that.  I wasn't saying that I didn't like Christ or didn't believe in him, just that I wanted to take the responsibility for the things I do -- I didn't want some mythical or ethical symbol taking the credit for what I do.  When I steal, if I commit murder or adultery, whatever I do -- I believe that crime goes hand in hand with art, and I didn't want some unknown entity taking the blame or credit for anything I do.  I like coming on the earth fresh. I mean, it's bad enough being a Smith, 'cos the word Smith means Cain, and being a true Smith it means I came on the earth marked anyway, and marked once is enough.  Also, I'm a very Old Testament kind of person in that in the Old Testament man communicated with God directly; in the New Testament man has to communicate with God through Christ. Well, I'm a one-to-one girl and I have always sought to communicate with God through myself.  And I feel that was one of the reasons I fell offstage.  I fell during 'Ain't It Strange'. Now all this sounds like mythical bull but it is a truth -- just like the guy at Altamont got shot during 'Under My Thumb', I fell just as I was saying 'hand of God, I feel the finger'.  And I did feel the finger push me right over. It was like, I spend so much time challenging God when I perform and in everything I do, trying to get God to answer me, trying to feel some kind of cerebral of sexual communication with God, that I feel it was his way of saying, 'you keep battering against my door and I'm gonna open that door and you'll fall in'.  And that's how I think Hendrix died, that's what I was saying in 'Land' when Johnny felt himself disintegrating and went through the black tube -- that to me is like Hendrix who also wished to communicate with higher orders, whether evil or good, who also sought wisdom.  And if you keep knocking on the door, the ultimate communication with God is death. Because God is an energy-force and has nothing to do with earth. God is after life, He is something that I do believe exists. He's something with which we have complete cerebral and sexual communication when we're dead.  I do wish to communicate with God but not at the expense of my life -- I'm very into this plane of being, I like being here.  There was a moment -- real or surreal it doesn't matter -- when I had my fall that I felt I could have gone through the black tube, I felt myself disintegrating and I didn't wanna go.  And that's why in 'Till Victory' it says 'God do not seize me, please, till victory' because I felt like my work wasn't done. In 'Ain't It Strange' I keep calling for some kind of communication with God, but I've had a certain communication now which is in a way 'you'd better watch your step, Smith'.  So I'm re-evaluating my state of being, I'm learning to accept a more New Testament kind of communication. So as part of that acceptance I have to re-evaluate exactly who Christ was.  To me, the greatest thing about Christ is not necessarily Christ himself but the belief of the people that have kept him alive through the centuries -- the guy must have had powerful magnetism."

 'Easter' was produced by Jimmy Iovine at Record Plant Studios in New York; and House of Music in West Orange, New Jersey with Patti Smith on vocals and guitar; Lenny Kaye on guitar, bass guitar, and vocals; Jay Dee Daugherty on drums and percussion; Ivan Kral on bass guitar, vocals, and guitar; and Bruce Brody on keyboards and synthesizer; with Richard Sohl and Allen Lanier on keyboards on "Space Monkey"; John Paul Fetta on bass on "Till Victory" & "Privilege"; Andi Ostrowe on percussion on "Ghost Dance"; Jim Maxwell on bagpipes on "Easter"; and Tom Verlaine did the arrangement on "We Three".  'Easter' rose to number thirty-four in Sweden, twenty in the US, sixteen in the UK, and number ten in Norway.

"Because the Night" was co-written with Bruce Springsteen.  It became her biggest hit, going to number thirteen in the US and five in the UK.

Take me now baby here as I am 
Pull me close, try and understand 
Desire is hunger is the fire I breathe 
Love is a banquet on which we feed 
Come on now try and understand 
The way I feel when I'm in your hands 
Take my hand come undercover 
They can't hurt you now, 
Can't hurt you now, can't hurt you now 
Because the night belongs to lovers 
Because the night belongs to lust 
Because the night belongs to lovers 
Because the night belongs to us 
Have I doubt when I'm alone 
Love is a ring, the telephone 
Love is an angel disguised as lust 
Here in our bed until the morning comes 
Come on now try and understand 
The way I feel under your command 
Take my hand as the sun descends 
They can't touch you now, 
Can't touch you now, can't touch you now 
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us
With love we sleep 
With doubt the vicious circle 
Turn and burns 
Without you I cannot live 
Forgive, the yearning burning 
I believe it's time, too real to feel 
So touch me now, touch me now, touch me now 
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us


Easter Sunday, we were walking.
Easter Sunday, we were talking.
Isabel, my little one, take my hand. Time has come.
Isabella, all is glowing.
Isabella, all is knowing.
And my heart, Isabella.
And my head, Isabella.
Frederick and Vitalie, savior dwells inside of thee.
Oh, the path leads to the sun. Brother, sister, time has come.
Isabella, all is glowing.
Isabella, all is knowing.
Isabella, we are dying.
Isabella, we are rising.
I am the spring, the holy ground,
The endless seed of mystery,
The thorn, the veil, the face of grace,
The brazen image, the thief of sleep, 
The ambassador of dreams, the prince of peace.
I am the sword, the wound, the stain.
Scorned transfigured child of Cain.
I rend, I end, I return.
Again I am the salt, the bitter laugh.
I am the gas in a womb of light, the evening star,
The ball of sight that leads that sheds the tears of Christ
Dying and drying as I rise tonight.
Isabella, we are rising.
Isabella, we are rising

full album:

1."Till Victory" (Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye) -- 2:45
2."Space Monkey" (Smith, Ivan Kral, Tom Verlaine) -- 4:04
3."Because the Night" (Smith, Bruce Springsteen) -- 3:32
4."Ghost Dance" (Smith, Kaye) -- 4:40
5."Babelogue" (Smith) -- 1:25
6."Rock N Roll Nigger"  (Smith, Kaye)  -- 3:13
7."Privilege (Set Me Free)" (Mel London, Mike Leander, Psalm 23) -- 3:27
8."We Three" (Smith) -- 4:19
9."25th Floor" (Smith, Kral) -- 4:01
10."High on Rebellion" (Smith) -- 2:37
11."Easter" (Smith, Jay Dee Daugherty) -- 6:15
12"Godspeed" (Smith, Kral) -- 6:09

Saturday, March 30, 2013


R.E.M. revisited the janglepop of their past with these lean guitar riffs and taut rhythms to make short work of a comeback.  'Accelerate' was recorded at Armoury Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Grouse Lodge Studios in County Westmeath, Ireland; and Seney-Stonewall Chapel in Athens, Georgia, United States; with additional recording in Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland and Mike Mills' home in Athens, Georgia.  For the first time, the band decided to work with producer Jacknife Lee.  Michael Stipe reveals:    "It was Edge actually who kind of pushed us toward Jacknife. He had worked with U2 and Edge thought it would be a great marriage of minds for us and Jacknife to go into the studio together. I was really thrilled with the work he had done on Snow Patrol and Bloc Party. When we met him, he was really good and straight talking, so we were excited. Smart guy. It seemed like it would be a good mix...I think he's got his own style, but more than anything it's probably just a directness, a straightforward way of communicating, which is something that the band we were looking for in ourselves on this record [needed]. And he definitely has his own sound. I think he does, anyway. It's a little different. He doesn't necessarily come from rock music and so the universe that he collides with our universe is interesting. I like the sounds he brought and I like the enthusiasm he had for the material and for helping us to make what he wanted to be a great R.E.M. record. I think we came pretty close, you know?...The material was basically when we brought Jacknife into the equation. What it was, really, was the band realizing that somewhere in the past couple of records, in the past 10 years, we had figured out how to completely lose focus in the studio-- with no one to blame but ourselves. We were working with an excellent producer named Pat McCarthy, someone who did not have an enviable job of trying to get the three of us to agree on anything or even sit down at table and talk about it.  He had a really tough job-- particularly on the last record, because we released a best-of right in the middle of it and went out and toured that. We came back and tried to pick up where we had left [off]. We had just completely lost focus on it. So when we went to write this material and start working on it-- and again this is before Jacknife came in-- we wanted something that was super-immediate and we wanted something that felt kind of raw. We went to the most obvious place, which was to do really fast songs that were really short. Peter did what he does, I did what I do, and Mike did what he does, so we kind of trimmed the fat, if you will, and got down to the very basics that make each of us musicians. And so what you're left with is this type of material performed with Peter doing... a couple of times in the past ten years, I've said to him, I want that thing again. Just for the longest time I said, Stop doing that, to Peter. Or, Mike would be like, The vocal is really great as it is, and it's coming from an articulated place conceptually, so I don't think it really needs background vocals. So he wouldn't do background vocals. Or, I would say, Yeah, I think it stands alone. Or whatever. So anyway, we threw our cards on the table and did what comes naturally when we've got a more broken-down palette of colors to work with. And that's what you wind up with. I'm really happy with it."

'Accelerate' rocketed to fifty-two in Spain; twenty-nine in Japan; twenty-seven in Portugal; seventeen in France; thirteen in Australia; ten in Finland; seven in Sweden; five in New Zealand; two in Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the US; and number one in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and the UK.  

"Living Well Is the Best Revenge"  – 3:11
"Man-Sized Wreath"  – 2:32
"Supernatural Superserious"  – 3:23
"Hollow Man"  – 2:39
"Houston"  – 2:05
"Accelerate"  – 3:33
"Until the Day Is Done"  – 4:08
"Mr. Richards"  – 3:46
"Sing for the Submarine"  – 4:50
"Horse to Water"  – 2:18
"I'm Gonna DJ"  – 2:07

Friday, March 29, 2013


Suede spent a year generating considerable media hype with a series of singles before delivering the androgynous suburban glam of this pop phenomenon and unwittingly spearheading the Britpop movement.  The group started when University College London students Brett Anderson and Justine Frischmann became involved and decided to form a band with Anderson's childhood friend Mat Osman, who was studying at the London School of Economics.  The trio put an ad in NME for a guitarist and found  Bernard Butler who was studying history at London's Queen Mary College.  Butler had written many songs and had been submitting them with little success after flunking out of school.  

Butler recalls:    "They were very cool; very in-their-own-world. And I wasn't."  He sings:  "In those days, my dreams were pretty much all that got me off. To have a nice place, a little studio, a car... and a woman, which evaded me for many years (unhappy twang)..."

Osman remembers:   "Brett was different, even at school. He was a well-known face around town. He had a reputation. I knew of him before I knew him, because he was an oddity. The first time I met him, he was wearing a pink suit, a raincoat, and he had on a shirt and tie with a tiepin. And he had a long-legged girl hanging on his arm."

Anderson considers:  "It was Bernard who left a week before his exams. He didn't do anything for three years and then he left when we went on tour. We'd never been on stage before Suede. Been in bands, but nobody saw 'em. We're not professional musicians who suddenly found the, er, lodestone...I was quite numb; didn't think of being in a band.  I wanted to be abrasive, so I bought records which I felt expressed something important in myself. Late punk that was – Discharge, Crass and crap like the Exploited...I did feel angry. I was brought up in that environment – y'know, the same old thing. You got no space to express yourself, so you took it out on the football field. It was like living in two dimensions, and then, suddenly, someone shows you the third, which was music. But records weren't enough. It wasn't until I discovered I could play music as well … I started playing my sister's guitar. But Bernard plays it on the album. What he does is quite beautiful, even though he can't play it properly."

Butler would keep drawing from the many songs he'd already written:    "They'd say, Aw, no, don't like that one. So I'd just give them back six months later and it would be, Great song, let's do it! I'd play all sorts of games. You have to, you know...Brett basically came around to it very slowly.  Very closed in, he is. Very difficult to get at. It took a long time for him to trust me and trust my music."

'Wonderful Sometimes' won on the Demo Clash radio show five weeks in a row and led to a deal with indie label RML.  While they were still looking for a drummer, Mike Joyce of the Smiths actually recorded two songs with the group:  'Be My God' and 'Art'.  Frischmann would leave the group after breaking up with Anderson.  By that time, they signed a two single deal with independent Nude Records and were featured on the cover of Melody Maker as the "next big thing" before they'd even released one of them. The success of the singles and the media hype that surrounded the group led to massive anticipation for an album.  They secured a distribution deal with Sony Records and went into the studio with producer Ed Buller.   'Suede' was recorded  at Master Rock Studios in Kilburn in north west London.  The sessions featured Brett Anderson on vocals; Bernard Butler on guitar and piano; Mat Osman on bass guitar; Simon Gilbert on drums; with Ed Buller on synthesizer, keyboards, production, engineering, and arrangements; and Shelley Van Loen, Lynne Baker, and Caroline Barnes on violin; John Buller on horn arrangements; Trevor Burley on cello; Simon Clarke on baritone sax and tenor sax; and Phil on percussion.   All of the songs were written by Anderson and Butler.

'Suede' made its entree at number one in the UK, selling over one hundred thousand copies in the first week and going gold on the second day; making it the biggest selling debut album since Frankie Goes to Hollywood's 'Welcome to the Pleasuredome' ten years before.  The album received five Brit Awards nominations and won the Mercury Prize, from which the band donated the money to cancer research.  'Suede' also charted at number seventy-seven in the Netherlands, fifty in Germany, thirty-four in France, twenty-eight in Japan, twenty-three in Australia, eighteen in Norway, fourteen on the US heatseekers chart, twelve in Finland, and number seven in Sweden. 

Anderson exclaims:   "We are part of a procession of English bands who trampled their way through history.  It's just what we do. We're singing about our lives and where we are. We're not anti-American, but our culture seeps through. We hate that sort of 'Brits music school of excellence' mentality. Rock's not a fucking community centre. A lot of great music is the byproduct of not being shepherded around, of being left out in the cold on your own, of a certain desperation; some people wanna treat it like the social services. That's pathetic."

"The Drowners" was their first single on Nude Records, going to number forty-nine in the UK.

"Metal Mickey" was their breakthrough hit, reaching thirty-nine in Australia, thirty-three in Sweden, seventeen in the UK, and number seven on the US modern rock chart.

"So Young" made it to ninety-eight in Germany, twenty-five in Ireland, and twenty-two in the UK.

"Animal Nitrate" reached eighty-nine in Australia, twenty-one in Sweden, eleven in Ireland and New Zealand, and number seven in the UK.

"She's Not Dead"


"Pantomime Horse"

"Sleeping Pills"


"Animal Lover"

"The Next Life"

full album:

All lyrics written by Brett Anderson; all music composed by Bernard Butler.

1. "So Young" 3:38
2. "Animal Nitrate" 3:27
3. "She's Not Dead" 4:33
4. "Moving" 2:50
5. "Pantomime Horse" 5:49
6. "The Drowners" 4:10
7. "Sleeping Pills" 3:51
8. "Breakdown" 6:02
9. "Metal Mickey" 3:27
10. "Animal Lover" 4:17
11. "The Next Life" 3:32

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff
(1 April 1873 – 28 March 1943)

This Russian composer, pianist, and conductor is considered one of the last romantic composers, who revived the form in the modern era.  Born to a wealthy aristocratic family, his natural abilities with the piano were revealed when he was five years old.  His grandfather arranged for lessons which lasted for a few years until his father was forced to sell their home because he had wasted the family fortune through drinking and gambling.  The family moved to a small apartment in Saint Petersburg, where his sister died from diphtheria.  He began studying at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory and then transferred to the Moscow Conservatory where he distinguished himself as a composer and pianist. 

After the Russian Revolution, he escaped with his family in an open sled to Finland.  He then emigrated to the United States where he signed a contract with the Victor Talking Machine Company.  They set up a house where they entertained guests in the style of the old Russian aristocracy.  He performed so many concerts that he had little time to compose.  It wasn't until he built a new home in Switzerland that his muse returned.  He fell ill during a concert in the US and died of melanoma in Beverly Hills, California, just four days before his 70th birthday. 

Rachmaninoff would reveal:  "I have never been able to make up my mind as to what was my true calling -- that of composer, pianist, or conductor . . . I am constantly troubled by the misgiving that, in venturing into too many fields, I may have failed to make the best use of my life."

The Philharmonic Society of London invited Rachmaninoff to conduct one of his pieces at Queen's Hall; but, rather than do his First Symphony, he decided to compose a new piece.  His writer's block led him to psychologist Nikolai Dahl, who used hypnosis to help him overcome his block.  The result was his most famous work, Piano Concerto No. 2, which he dedicated to Dahl. 

 Piano Concerto No. 3

Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini

Trio Elegiaque No. 1 in g minor was written in memory of the recently departed Tchaikovsky

Aleko was a one-act opera based on the poem The Gypsies byAlexander Pushkin, It was his final composition for the Conservatory of Moscow and earned him the Great Gold Medal. 

The first performance of  Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op.13 was so terrible that Rachmaninoff stopped composing for three years.  Conductor Alexander Glazunov is rumored to have been drunk during the performance. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

houses of the holy

Led Zeppelin took their time to build a euphonious new foundation with the expansive experimentation and masterful musicianship of this glorious folkloric classic.   After four albums that explored rock and blues in the heaviest of ways, the band was ready to find new sounds.  Jimmy Page produced the sessions that took place at Stargroves and Headley Grange with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, and Island Studios, London; Mixed at Olympic Studios, London and Electric Lady Studios, New York with John Bonham on drums; John Paul Jones on bass guitar, keyboards, mellotron, synthesiser, organ, piano, grand piano, harpsichord, and synthesiser bass; Jimmy Page on acoustic, electric, and pedal steel guitar, and theremin on "No Quarter"; and Robert Plant on lead vocals.  

Page considered:    “We’ve never really been involved in the media.  We’ve never done a TV program and air play, of course, is limited because of the fact that we don’t record singles. The record company may release an album track as a 45 here in the States, but this band has never set out to make a hit single. We’ve never had a single in England, for example. Quite honestly, I don’t know why we’ve had such phenomenal success. Perhaps you could relate it to street music and the fact that people feel more of an affinity to Zep’s music because it’s not constantly hammered down their throats from every direction. All I can say is that whenever we’ve gone on stage or into the studio, we’ve always done our best...I’m happy about that, because there’s a hell of a lot in that LP. It’s not very easy one-time listening, and that’s good. You’ve got to sit down and listen, think about a few things. I’m not saying that every LP is gonna carry on in that progression because they’re not. The next LP will probably have a lot of simple, straightforward cuts like, say ‘Rock and Roll.’ Just really good, straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll.”

Plant explains:   “You’ve got to stretch everything to its limits. We’ve been together five years and after that long, it’s time to move around...experiment a bit. Who knows? Maybe in a year’s time I might be singing through a megaphone. Our experimentation isn’t just for its own sake, though. It’s all to good effect.”

As with their untitled fourth album, 'Houses of the Holy' was released without the band's name on the sleeve.  The cover photo was shot by Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland using two siblings Stefan and Samanatha Gates.  Several photos were combined in a collage to create the illusion of several children.  

The band was criticized for their dabbling in jazz, funk, and reggae.  Page says:  “Some took those songs too seriously.  Especially ‘D’Yer Maker.’ I would never say that it was reggae, as a lot of people who’ve lifted their eyebrows at it have said. I think real reggae is rude, dirty music. That’s what makes it great. But it only works when the Jamaicans do it, not the whiteys. It just doesn’t have the same spirit at all. The true Jamaican reggae is, when you really weigh it up, pornographic.”

'Houses of the Holy' rose to nine in Japan; eight in Germany; four in Norway; three in Austria, France, and Japan; and number one in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US.  In the UK, it made its debut at the top of the chart.  'Houses of the Holy' was the first of their albums to actually have a title.

"Over the Hills and Far Away"

"The Rain Song"

led zeppelin - rain song by aosonho

"The Ocean" 

"D'yer Mak'er"

"Dancing Days"

'Houses of the Holy'

full album:

All songs by Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, except where noted.

Side one
1. "The Song Remains the Same" 5:32
2. "The Rain Song" 7:39
3. "Over the Hills and Far Away" 4:50
4. "The Crunge"  John Bonham John Paul Jones Page Plant  3:17
Side two
5. "Dancing Days" 3:43
6. "D'yer Mak'er"  Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant  4:23
7. "No Quarter"   Jones Page Plant  7:00
8. "The Ocean" Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant   4:31

bonus disc
1. "The Song Remains the Same" (Guitar overdub reference mix)
Page Plant
2. "The Rain Song" (Mix minus piano)
Page Plant
3. "Over the Hills and Far Away" (Guitar mix backing track)
Page Plant
4. "The Crunge" (Rough mix - Keys up)
Bonham Jones Page Plant
5. "Dancing Days" (Rough mix with vocal)
Page Plant
6. "No Quarter" (Rough mix with JPJ keyboard overdubs - No vocal)
Jones Page Plant
7. "The Ocean" (Working mix)
Bonham Jones Page Plant