Thursday, June 29, 2006

Amon Düül II

This is maybe my favourite krautrock band, and one of my favourite bands ever. Their first 4 or 5 albums are masterpieces and their hard-acid-folk-rock, full of dark and mysterious exotic/esoteric atmospheres, is something unique.
The first video is part of their appearance at the Beat Club on October 1970, it is a wild live version of a song from the memorable double LP Yeti...a real monster album! Another clip from that appearance can be downloaded here.
Amon Düül II have returned in the last years, we can see them also on this video from a concert at the German Rockpalast festival (on that occasion it became the Krautrockpalast) on December 2004. The line-up is the same as in the Beat Club performance, only the keyboard player Kalle Hausmann is missing, but they are joined by the singer Renate Knaup-Krötenschwanz, who for some reasons was absent on that day of 1970, and an additional percussionist, Jan Kahlert. They have lost some of the energy they had when they were younger, but they are still great musicians, able to mesmerize with mind-blowing performances, as proved by this version of Kanaan, the first song on their first album Phallus Dei. Back to the beginning...

Added on august 03: For more great downloadable Amon Duul II's video stuff look here.

Amon Düül II - Eye-Shaking King (1970)
Amon Düül II - Kanaan (2004)




Saturday, June 24, 2006

Motorpsychodelic Trips

It would not be fair to say that Motorpsycho is just a neo-psychedelic band, in fact this is just a pretext to show some clips by one of my favourite bands of the last 15 years, and one of the best live acts I ever saw.
This Norwegian trio started in the early nineties as a very heavy noisy-metal band, but their sound soon became more eclectic and refined, incorporating almost every musical form: hard rock, acoustic ballads, long spacey jams, grunge...they can play all of this and more with a very distinctive style. Being talented musicians they are particular good in improvising a lot during their long concerts.
They are stars in their own country and have many followers in Europe, where they tour every year, but unfortunately they seems to be still almost unknown in the UK and USA, so I hope I can allow some more people to know them. In case you've never heard anything of them I suggest you to go searching for the double CD Timothy's Monster, from 1995. Take also a look at these live videos, on which they play a couple of fine and catchy tunes. The first one is from the Roskilde festival in Denmark, the second one is part of a performance for the Norwegian TV and it shows the more "pop" side of the band, that they have displayed in the last years. In this occasion Bent, Snah and Gebhardt are joined by a keyboard player and a horn section.

Motorpsycho - Hightimes (1999)
Motorpsycho - Serpentine (2002)


Any comments?

See you


Monday, June 19, 2006

Tropicália # 3

About the Brazilian tropicália movement I don't want to add more to what I've already said in my first post about it, and in the second one too.
Here at last is a video by a very young Caetano Veloso, probably the most significant "tropicalistic" artist, and one of the greatest Brazilian songwriter ever. The clip is taken from a festival organized by the TV Record channel in October 1967, the same festival on which Gilberto Gil performed Domingo No Parque with Os Mutantes. He sings his first hit Alegria, Alegria accompanied by the Argentinian rock band The Beat Boys. He looks very excited as the audience acclaims him. This footage gives you an idea of how extroverted Brazilian people are, at least compared with most of us Europeans.
The Os Mutantes performance is part of the 1969 TV concert on which they played Panis Et Circenses too. Fuga N° 2 is a beautiful dreamy song taken from their second album, a psychedelic pop gem. The band has reformed this year, without the singer Rita Lee, for a successful concert in London, on May 22.

Caetano Veloso - Alegria, Alegria (1967)
Os Mutantes - Fuga N° 2 (1969)


The reason why I'm still here is to share some good vibes with the world outside my room, let my know if I succeed in it.

Happy solstice (to the people living in the northern hemisphere)


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Swingin' & Surfin'

In the early Sixties, before the Beatles and the British invasion, instrumental rock 'n' roll and surf music were probably the most exciting things to hear.
Dick Dale, known as the king of surf guitar, has been one of the first musicians inspired by this sport loved by Californian people. His unique guitar style has somehow anticipated garage-rock, with his rough approach, and psychedelia, because of his use of reverberation. He's also been the first one to use a Fender Stratocaster, that later became the rock instrument itself.
This footage is taken from one of his many appearances at the Ed Sullivan Show, in 1963. He plays a medley of his most successful pieces; everyone will recognize the guitar solo of Miserlou, recorded in '62 with The Del-Tones, the song that made him famous again thanks to the soundtrack of Tarantino's movie Pulp Fiction.
Another famous instrumental surf band were The Ventures; from a 1966 concert we can see them playing a great version of the classic piece Wipe Out, first recorded by The Surfaris in 1962.

Dick Dale - Swingin' & Surfin' (1963)
Ventures - Wipe Out (1966)




Wednesday, June 14, 2006

More Canterbury Tales

In late 1972 the bass player and singer Richard Sinclair left Caravan to form Hatfield And The North, a sort of Canterbury supergroup with Phil Miller on guitar, Pip Pyle on drums and Steve Miller on keyboards, later replaced by Dave Sinclair and then by Dave Stewart. These musicians had already been members of important bands like Matching Mole, Caravan, Gong, Egg...
Hatfield And The North relesaed a couple of fine albums in the Canterbury tradition of "progressive jazz-rock", with an inventiveness and a touch of irony that was ignored by most of the contemporary progressive band.
This footage is from a concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London, on 1975.
The band splitted because of commercial failure, in 1977 Miller, Pyle and Stewart joined Alan Gowen (ex Gilgamesh) to give birth to National Health and continue on the same path, with an even more brilliant blend of melody and surrelistic experimentation, especially on their 1978 masterpiece Of Queues And Cures. The Collapso, here performed live for the BBC program The Old Grey Whistle Test, is included on that album.
Unfortunately they didn't receive much attention too, and left the scene at the dawn of the Eightes, also because of Gowen's death in '81.

Hatfield And The North - Halfway Between Heaven And Earth (1975)
National Health - The Collapso (1979)




Friday, June 09, 2006

Rust Never Gets Old

I don't need to say much to introduce Neil Young. The Canadian loner is simply one of the most important rock songwriter ever, and one of the few musicians of his generation that doesn't seem to have lost much of his energy and inspiration, despite his age. No one is as good as him in playing both intimistic/acoustic perfomances and electric/powerful concerts. So here are two live clips showing both sides of his art. This version of Heart Of Gold, one of his most successful songs, included on the Harvest album, is taken from a 1971 BBC concert. He was only 26 years old and he sang "...and I'm getting old...". 25 years later we meet him at the Phoenix festival with his faithful companions Crazy Horse, for an outstanding version of another classic song: Like A Hurricane. He certainly got older but he's still in great shape.
Now I'm waiting to see him on Jonathan Demme's concert movie Heart Of Gold.

Neil Young - Heart Of Gold (1971)
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Like A Hurricane (1996)


See you next time


Friday, June 02, 2006

Demon Angel

Ladies and gentlemen, here is Roky Erickson! Demon Angel, A Day And Nite With Roky Erickson is a low-budget documentary about Roky, filmed in his hometown, Austin - Texas, on 1984. In those days the Texan acid guru (singer of the legendary band 13th Floor Elevators, for the few unlucky people who do not know him...) had just returned on the scene after a troubled period, due to his mental health problems, with a new band called The Evil Look Wildlife E.T.
On this movie he is interviewed by a guy called George Cederskolg, and he speaks about his obsessions: zombies, killers, aliens and this kind of pleasantries. He also performs great versions of some of his best songs, on the Halloween night, under the congress street bridge in Austin, a very sinister place. He plays alone with the acoustic guitar on some songs, on some others he is joined by Mike Alvarez on the acoustic guitar as he plays the electric one. These bare versions simply show how good and evocative his music is, and his great charisma as a performer, he really howls and looks like a werewolf!
The full perfomance can also be heard on this CD.
I hope you' ll enjoy these clips, if so I may upload more songs from this movie, in the future.

Roky Erickson - Night Of The Vampire (1984)
Roky Erickson - It's A Cold Night For Alligators (1984)


See you soon