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1966

The ugliness we see around us has been consciously fostered and organized in such a way, that a majority of the population is losing the cognitive ability to transmit to the next generation, the ideas and methods upon which our civilization was built.

The extraordinary way it all suddenly happened within a few years, and in 1966, within the one year:

Thus, for the Frankfurt School, the goal of a cultural elite in the modern, “capitalist” era must be to strip away the belief that art derives from the self-conscious emulation of God the Creator; “religious illumination,” says Benjamin, must be shown to “reside in a profane illumination, a materialistic, anthropological inspiration, to which hashish, opium, or whatever else can give an introductory lesson.”

At the same time, new cultural forms must be found to increase the alienation of the population, in order for it to understand how truly alienated it is to live without socialism.…

A modern tale from the 60s

Don Maclean sang of the day the music died. I’m trying to pinpoint where it made a definite move to the risque, i.e. when they became more concerned with pushing boundaries than showcasing fun.

This is a political post.

It was in a Ford Zephyr when I first became musically sentient, following the songs on the car radio – Del Shannon featured big, Sandy Shaw, the Exciters with Tell Him:

There were songs redolent of an earlier era of harmonies and relative social harmony at home [if world conflagration] – the Andrews Sisters and doo wop – this is obviously not them but the music is:

Little Richard, Elvis, Ritchie Valens brought in a harder edge:

… but still pretty innocent, like this:

That was 1963 and it continued on – I Will Follow Him, It’s My Party but other things were mixed in with those on the hit parade, the Top 100, Top 40.…

Early topnotch bands 2: King Oliver’s

Creole Jazz Band: like half the NORKs, these were Noo Awlins musicians who played live in Chicago. Their first recordings, though, were made a train journey away in Richmond, Indiana. Here’s their historic first track: Just Gone on 05/04/23, some seven months after the NORK’s first recording.

This was “historic” because it was the first recording by Louis Armstrong. He played second cornet, with Joe “King” Oliver on first cornet, Johnny Dodds on clarinet, and Honore Dutrey on trombone. Their next track that afternoon was even better: Canal Street Blues.

The rhythm section was that rogue “Baby” Dodds on percussion (limited to wood block and cymbal, lest drums cause the recording needle to jump about), Bill Johnson on banjo rather than his usual string bass (the banjo is much easier to hear on an acoustic recordings), and Lil Hardin (to become Louis’s second wife) on piano. The first tune is credited to Oliver & Johnson, the second to Oliver & Armstrong.…

The Great Pretenders

If you don’t care for football, then the music’s nice:

It’s not meant disparagingly, really it’s not.  But what we have is some very jammy play by Geelong which sees them in the unreal position of being third and yet they can’t possibly win in my eyes.

What we have is a team who were once the power, who bestrode the competition for five years and all that is left is four or five aging stars.  The rest is made up of young pups who do well, fall away, do well, fall away, let you down, stand up and make you proud.  A team in transition. Last weekend, they fell in by a few points against one of the bottom sides.

Ladder after split round

Sigh.  They suddenly decided to play at one point and creamed the opposition – the gulf in class was immense and then, for some inexplicable reason, just fell asleep and couldn’t win a contested ball.…

Money [Take 2]

The Flying Lizards was an exercise in pop absurdism. The debut album featured a Brecht-Weill cover, Sanskrit chants, found sounds and unlikely instrumental textures.

In the autumn of 1979 The Flying Lizards’ cover of ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’ took the avant-classical sound of ‘prepared instruments’ into the UK Top 5.

The record’s bass drum isn’t a drum but a bass guitar being hit with a stick. The banjo-like piano sound was created by throwing an assortment of objects – rubber toys, a glass ashtray, a telephone directory, a cassette-recorder, sheet music – inside the piano.

Originally co-written by Berry Gordy Jr, ‘Money’ is probably most famous in its Beatles version. The Flying Lizards’ cover sounds like the Fab Four decided to rerecord it circa ‘I Am the Walrus’.

It’s Deborah Evans-Strickland, for those who were wondering and her Sloane Rock. Still just as snooty and off the rails today.

Best version though, n’est-ce-pas?…