Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Pretty Things - Get The Picture? - Promo Video -1966

Happy Birthday Dick Taylor...

image above via Steve Cook

The Pretty Things - Get The Picture? - Promo Video -1966 - part 1

Get The Picture? Promo Video 1966
1. Me needing you
2. Midnight to six man
3. Can't stand the pain.
writer: Caterena Arvat
Director: Caterena Arvat and Antony West
The Pretty Things :
Phil May: vocals
Dick Taylor: lead guitar
Birian Pendleton: rhythm guitar
John Stax: bass
Skip Alan: drums

The Pretty Things -Get The Picture? - Promo Video - 1966 - part 2

Get The Picture? Promo Video 1966
1. Can't stand the pain
2. Me needing you (live from a night club)
3. L.S.D.

Friday, January 20, 2012

R.I.P. Al Urban (1935-2012): Sarg Records recording artist

Al Urban, Gonzales, Tx. (1953)
Al Urban, Gonzales, Tx. (1953)
Rockabilly artist, recording for the Sarg label, TX
via genuinerhythm

 In 1957 he cut this here tune Lookin' For Money.Mr. Urban totally cut 3 singles for Sarg label. Sarg Records was founded by Charlie Fitch, based in Luling, Texas. The absolutely first recordings of Willie Nelson and Doug Sahm were issued at Sarg. Link Davis, Floyd Tillman, and more pretty unknown rockabillies roared into the mics at the Sarg label from Luling TX, as well. By the way, i think it's Hal Harris playin' lead on this track.


Al Urban

Al Urban was born on a farm in Gonzales, Texas, on March 1, 1935. He began playing the guitar in his mid-teens and formed his first band, The Daybreakers, in the early fifties and obtained a regular gig at the popular Log Cabin Inn north of Luling. In 1956, Urban recorded his original songs Lookin’ For Money and I Don’t Want To Be Alone at Gold Star Studio in Houston. Al sent the master Tape to Charlie Fitch who agreed to release it on Sarg Records. The record debuted on November 30, 1956 receiving rave reviews from Billboard magazine. It was a modest hit and sold respectably. Urban was invited to appear on the Louisiana Hayride on the strength of the single. He was a prolific songwriter often returning to Bill Quinn’s Gold Star Studio on his own dime to record his compositions. George Jones was using the same studio during the same period and the two often shared the same backing band. Charlie Fitch released four more Urban records and passed on several others. Disgruntled with Fitch, Urban started his own label, Fang to promote his releases, and eventually recorded for several other small labels as well, including Kash and Tennessee. He continued to be an active performer, but tiring of the nightly grind; he began concentrating more on songwriting. His windfall came in 1971 when Charley Pride recorded several of his songs including the hit ,I’m Beginning to Believe My Own Lies that was included on the Grammy award winning album Charley Pride Sings Heart Songs.
Sources and Acknowledgments
Brown, Andrew. The Sarg Records Anthology. Book Accompaniment to CD Box Set: Bear Family Records. 1999

Al Urban - Won't Tell You Her Name (1958)

Al Urban Gonna Be Better Times (1958)

Al Urban - Run Away

Al Urban - Broken Hearted House

From I Just Dropped In To Say Goodbye

Al Urban : I Just Dropped In To Say Goodbye
Genre: Country: Traditional Country
Release Date: 2008
I Just Dropped In To Say Goodbye
Al Urban
Record Label: Al Urban
Singer, entertainer and recording artist Al Urban has sung his way through many years of changing country & western styles-from traditional to rock a billy and from swing to contemporary. In "i just dropped by to say goodbye" he treats his fans to vintage Urban - a return to the traditional roots of country songs. No body can write or sing a country song quite like Al. This CD contains eleven examples of his distinctive style and ability to put the many sides of love into haunting melodies. His golden baritone caresses the lyrics of each perfectly crafted story line and captivates you throughout the musical journey. This is a "must have" collection.

Alvin Urban, 1935-2012

By Cannon News Services
Posted January 20, 2012 - 10:52am
Alvin Urban, was born on March 01, 1935 in Gonzales, TX to the late Mr. Peter Paul Urban and Mrs. Beatrice Shelton-Urban. Al Urban passed away in Seguin, TX Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at the prime age of 76. 
Al was a member of the East Side Baptist Church of Gonzales. He was a wonderful father, grandfather, uncle, and friend to all who knew him. He resided in Gonzales, TX with his family he will be greatly missed. Al was specially known for his love of music he was a local singer and song writer. He is preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his only daughter Sherian and husband Mike Cleveland of Gonzales, TX; one brother George Urban of Victoria, TX and two grandchildren Jonathon and Eric Cleveland.
Visitation for family and friends held at the Buffington Funeral Home Chapel on Saturday, January 21, 2012 from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Funeral Services held for 2:00 P.M Sunday, January 22, 2012 at the Buffington Funeral Home Chapel officiated by Reverend Hollas Hoffman. Internment followed at the local Gonzales City Cemetery. Pallbearers: Paul Elder, Kenneth Stewart, Daniel Stewart, Marshall Davis, Danny Sloan, Freddy Fisher, Gary Schroeder and Mike Dossey. Any condolences or words of comfort for the Urban family can be left online  Arrangements made by Buffington Funeral Home, 424 St. Peter Gonzales, TX 78629; 830-672-3322.

RIP - Al Urban

Al Urban passed away january 18...


Gonna Be Better Times
I Don't Want To Be Alone
Lookin' For Money
Run Away
Since You're Gone
Street Of Memories
The Last Heartache
Won't Tell You Her Name

Home made compp

The Book Of Fools

AL URBAN - Single Kash 104

Side A - I'm Just The Mirror (That Hangs Behind The Bar)
SideB - The Book Of Fools

Courtesy of "Imperial"

La Monte Young - The Well-Tuned Piano 81 X 25

"Dear T. Tex Edwards, Please remove the black and white photograph of La Monte Young that is posted on your bLog.
Thank You,
Rob Ward
MELA Foundation
275 Church Street
New York, NY 10013

La Monte Young (*1935): The Well-Tuned Piano (1964/1973/1981/Present...). Performed by La Monte Young in a setting of The Magenta Lights by Marian Zazeela. Recorded live at the last 6 Harrison Street Dream House concert of The Well Tuned Piano, New York City on October, 25, 1981, from 6.17.50 to 11.18.59 PM.

Prima parte

La Monte Young, piano.

Young considers The Well Tuned Piano—a permuting composition of themes and improvisations for just-intuned solo piano—to be his masterpiece. Performances have exceeded six hours in length. One of the defining works of American musical minimalism, it is strongly influenced by mathematical composition as well as Hindustani classical music practice.

La Monte Young ~ The Well-Tuned Piano ~ in 5 part

(videos removed from youtube)

A different upload of Part One...

The last man standing: La Monte Young's landmark 5 CD set, "The Well-Tuned Piano" [MP3]:  (via )

One of the principal architects of the minimalist aesthetic, La Monte Young was among the true innovators of 20th century music, his rejection of traditional melody and structure in favor of hypnotic drone epics influencing not only the avant-garde music created in his wake, but also proving seminal in the development of punk, Krautrock and ambient. Young was born in Bern, Idaho in 1935, beginning his studies of the alto saxophone at age seven. After the family relocated to Los Angeles, in high school he played alongside the likes of Don Cherry and Billy Higgins, continuing his exploration of European classical and contemporary composition at Los Angeles City College and later UCLA. In time, Young also began delving into the classic musics of India and Japan; the barren atmospheres evoked by the music of Anton Webern were another key influence.

In 1959, Young composed Trio for Strings, regularly cited as the earliest work in the minimalist canon; the piece, with its emphasis on lengthy, sustained tones -- intercut with equally extended rests -- baffled his professors at the University of California, Berkeley, and in the wake of several other similarly controversial projects he relocated to New York City. There he studied electronic music, in time joining Fluxus, a loose confederacy of conceptual artists -- among them John Cage, George Macuinas, George Brecht and Yoko Ono -- dedicated to re-establishing the arts in new and different contexts. In 1962, Young first began to conceive of the Dream House, a continual sound and light environment related to his composition The Four Dreams of China; the project remained in limbo for some years, but was a clear forerunner of the principle to guide his subsequent career -- music with no beginning and no end.

At the same time, Young became obsessed with notions of tuning, specifically that of "Just Intonation," a system in which all of the intervals can be represented by ratios of whole numbers, with a clear preference for the smallest numbers compatible with a given musical purpose. He soon set up an improvisational group including his wife, the visual artist Marian Zazeela, guitarist Billy Name (later one of the regulars at Andy Warhol's Factory) and percussionist Angus MacLise; enormously influential within the downtown NYC underground scene, the ensemble's live appearances closely mirrored the principles of Young's latest compositional work, with pieces becoming so epic in scope that performances -- while typically lasting for hours at a time -- still represented only a fraction of the project as a whole.

By 1963, the group's lineup included Young and Zazeela on voice-drones, Tony Conrad on violin and John Cale on viola; variously dubbed the Theatre of Eternal Music and the Dream Syndicate, the ensemble's collective input pushed Young's ideals to their logical conclusion -- sustaining notes for hours at a time, their improvised dissections of specific harmonic intervals rejected the compositional process altogether, instead elaborating shared performance concepts. Upon disbanding in 1965, Conrad, Young and Cale all later staked claim to authoring of the "Eternal Music" aesthetic; Young also held on to the group's live tapes. Regardless, his music from that point on remained pointed in the direction of infinity -- The Tortoise, His Dreams and Journeys, a work tuned to the pitch of his pet turtle's aquarium motor, was begun in 1964 but its theoretical evolution continues into the present, each performance a part of a greater whole.

By the beginning of the 1970s, Young's approach to eternal music required tours of six to eight players, slide projectionists, a technician and over two tons of electronic equipment; needing a week for set-up time alone, these multimedia Dream House installations then remained intact for another week, with sine-wave generators and shifting light patterns creating continuous sounds and images throughout the residency. By 1973, his focus was a piece titled The Well-Tuned Piano, an installation which required at least a month of tuning and practicing in the intended performance space prior to its public debut; as the work developed, Young's performances grew from a standard three-hour duration to well over four. He also returned to his earlier works -- a Dream House installation of The Tortoise, mounted in New York, ran continuously from 1979 to 1985.

Rarely recorded throughout much of his career, Young signed to Gramavision in 1987, with a flurry of releases -- The Well-Tuned Piano, The Second Dream of the High-Tension Line Stepdown Transformer From the Four Dreams of China and Just Stompin', a raga-blues effort recorded with his Forever Blues Band, among them -- soon appearing. Still, throughout his career Young remained a largely shadowy figure, often discussed (his connection to the nascent Velvet Underground the most common point of reference) but seldom heard; his influence on the rise of ambient music and drone-rock is undeniable, yet almost subliminal. Undaunted, he continued composing and performing regularly into the 1990s, with his latter-day works including The Lower Map of the Eleven's Division in the Romantic Symmetry and Chronos Kristalla. (Jason Ankeny)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gary Gilmore (December 4, 1940 – January 17, 1977)

Dying on this day was convicted killer, Gary Gilmore, shot by a firing squad (1977).

Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore's final words before being put to death on January 17, 1977, by a volunteer firing squad were --

"Let's do it!"

Gary Mark Gilmore (December 4, 1940 - January 17, 1977) was convicted of killing a motel mananger in Provo, Utah. He was also charged with the murder of a gas station employee the day before the motel murder, but was never convicted.
Gilmore was the first person legally executed in the United States since 1967, ending a 10 year lapse in U.S. executions.

Gary Gilmore's eyes - The Adverts

The Adverts' second single, released in 1977.

"Gary Gilmore had spent his youth in reform school and prison for numerous delinquent activities. After being released and then committing armed robbery in 1973, he went to trial again. He asked permission to address the court, telling the judge that he had been locked up for the past nine and a half years since he was fourteen, with only two years of freedom. He argued that "you can keep a person locked up too long" and that "there is an appropriate time to release somebody or to give them a break...I stagnated in prison a long time, and I have wasted most of my life. I want freedom, and I realize that the only way to get it is to quit breaking the law. I've got problems, and if you sentence me to additional time, I'm going to compound them.

The judge told him that he had already been convicted once for armed robbery, so there was no option but to sentence him to another nine years. Gilmore was hurt and angry. As promised, he became more violent while in prison and tried to kill himself several times. That got him transferred to a maximum security penitentiary. Then, only three years into his sentence, a parole plan was worked out. He was released in April of 1976, but by July was back in prison for the cold-blooded murder of two men.
Gilmore’s story is documented in a book written by his younger brother, Mikal Gilmore, called Shot in the Heart, and by Norman Mailer, who wrote a narrative nonfiction account, The Executioner’s Song, in which he utilized letters that Gilmore wrote, interviews with many of his intimates, trial transcripts, and interviews or statements that Gilmore gave to the press. Mailer did not himself interview Gilmore, but his account relies on actual documents, with an emphasis on how those around Gilmore perceived him. There are also a few film clips available of Gilmore as he spoke to the press or to the courts, and an A&E documentary collected these into an overview of his fight to die rather then face years in prison."

A&E Biography Gary Gilmore

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Captain Beefheart Before Captain Beefheart and Other Rarities (+ Live In Boston 1971)

Celebrating Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) on his birthday, here's a great collection of Beefheart Rarities...

Captain Beefheart Before Captain Beefheart and Other Rarities - Part 1

1. Lost In A Whirlpool (Recorded December 1958 - January 1959, Antelope Valley Junior College, Lancaster, California) 

Also dating from 1958 or '59, this spectacular item, according to Frank Zappa, probably marks the recorded blues-singing debut of the teenaged, yet-to-be-christened Captain Beefheart, Don Van Vliet. It was taped in an empty classroom at Antelope Valley Jr. College in Lancaster, California, with Frank Zappa on lead guitar (an instrument with which he had been acquainted for only about six months), and Frank's former guitar teacher, brother Bobby, on rhythm guitar. It was recorded on an old Webcor reel-to-reel that, Frank Zappa fondly remembered, "just happened to be sitting there waiting to be plundered-maroon, with the green blinking eye." The tale of a lover spurned in rather surreal fashion, Whirlpool's lyrics were improvised by Vliet, who begins with an arresting parody of a (female?) blues singer. After a few lines, the essential vocal personality of incipient Beefheart becomes apparent. Listeners with an ear for metaphor and a penchant for "interpreting" lyrics might be advised not to burrow too deeply here. The whirlpool in question is one that is commonly found, and regularly employed, in modern households.

2. The Soots: ' Metal Man' Studio Session (Recorded Late February 1964, Studio Z, Cucamonga, California)

A. Tiger Roach
B. Metal Man Has Won His Wings

Frank Zappa: In our spare time we made what we thought were 'rock & roll records.' In this example, Vliet was 'singing' in the hallways outside the studio (our vocal booth) while the band played in the other room.
The lyrics [of Metal Man Has Won His Wings] were derived from a comic book pinned to a bulletin board near the door. The musicians include Frank Zappa on guitar, Vic Mortensen on drums, and a bass player from a surf group (identity unknown).

3. The Soots: I Was A Teen-Age Maltshop "Teen-Opera" (Recorded August 1964, Studio Z)

A. I Was A Teen-Age Malt Shop
B. Status Back Baby
C. Ned the Mumbler
D. Toads Of The Short Forest

Ben Watson: It featured Beefheart speaking in his best pantomime accents, adopting the same mixture of condescension and tease that later led to Zappa being called 'Uncle Frank' in the rock press. As connoisseurs of R&B, any approach to teen 'culture' could only be tongue-in-cheek.
It was the idea of an old man who has a daughter Nelda who was a cheerleader. The old man has a recording studio that hasn't hit and there's an evil landlord who's going to foreclose on him. So there's this group that comes in with a teenage hero that goes to the high school called med teh Mungler [sic], a teenage Lone ranger. It was just a fantasy-type thing with rock 'n' roll music on it.
John Landis, the producer of the Repertoire Workshop at KNXT, a CBS TV station, rejected Zappa's treatment in December 1964, remaining "unconvinced that the outline submitted can insure a quality show", though he did assure Zappa that he felt he had "a great dal of imagination and talent".

Captain Beefheart Before Captain Beefheart and Other Rarities - Part 2

4. I'm A Band Leader (Recorded Late 1968 - Early 1969, Frank Zappa's Basement)

A spoken/read piece written by Zappa which recounts his early experiences in lounge bands and the self-importance of the band leader, sent up wonderfully in "America Drinks and Goes Home". Don has little sense of drama, and at times falters over the words, but this makes it even more amusing.

5. 'Alley Cat' Session (Recorded Early 1969, Frank Zappa's Basement)

A. Alley Cat

A Zappa-Beefheart joint venture from Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica period. Said Frank Zappa: "That's me, Don, Elliot Ingber, and Drumbo recorded downstairs in the basement in 1969. On a Scully 2-track with a couple of mikes. If somebody came over, you could just jack the mikes into the back of the machine. There were no boards, no way to monitor what you were recording, either."

John French: I remember very little about that particular jam (Alley Cat). I do recall jamming in the basement studio and doing a thing in 3/4 time. I was the only drummer around at the time and there were quite a few musicians there. It was just before Trout Mask Replica was recorded. Frank had a little chord change/ melody written out and I just played by ear. I think Eliot Ingber was there. It turned out very nice. However, Don was very upset with me for "getting into Frank's music more than I got into his music." I tried to explain that Don's music was very difficult to learn and Franks piece in 3/4 was much simpler and left more room for liberties.

6. The Grand Wazoo Speech (Recorded Early 1969, Frank Zappa's Basement; Synclavier piece added mid-1992)

A. The Grand Wazoo

Another Zappa piece. Don recites the lyrics Frank has written as a send-up of the many 'lodges' in America. In 1992 Zappa added a synclavier background to the piece (reminiscent of the Bongo Fury backing music for Don's poems). Zappa has also spread the lyrics out so that Don's faltering reading is not so pronounced.

Don Van Vliet vaguely remembers "reading a part" as the Grand Wazoo in the late '60s, for an apparently unrealized Frank Zappa project (somehow connected, presumably, to the Grand Wazoo big band of 1972). In 1992, Frank Zappa composed a Synclavier piece to accompany Vliet's reading, and toyed with Don's voice a bit.
(When told that Frank had paired the reading with a new Synclavier composition, Vliet laughed and said, "he was a real card.")
Who is the Grand Wazoo? "Anybody in any one of those lodge organizations with a stupid hat on," said Frank, adding "actually, the guy with the biggest, dumbest hat is the Grand Wazoo."

Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band in Boston October '71

Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
Tuft's University, Boston, Massachusetts
October 10, 1971