Monday, December 18, 2006

Suonare La Voce

We celebrate one year of Music For Your Eyes with two clips that are not exactly "vintage rock music videos". Demetrio Stratos is remembered as the singer of the Italian group Area but he has also been a researcher of the expressive possibilities of the voice. His solo records give an example of how he brought the voice beyond the limits of language and of any musical style. Unfortunately Demetrio died in 1979, at the age of 34, and no one had the capacity and the courage to continue on his same path.
These clips are taken from the recently released DVD Suonare La Voce (playing the voice), that contains some precious footages from the seventies. You can preview them both on YouTube; the second one is a vocal version of a traditional Greek song (Stratos had Greek origins) that was also in the Area's repertoire.
If you understand Italian you will also hear from Demetrio some interesting explanations about the reasons and methods of his research. You have to hear to believe the things he was able to do with his voice, words just can't describe. At a certain point of this documentary he says "we want to abolish the word", so...
More Demetrio Stratos' music can be heard on this page of the UBUWEB site.

Demetrio Stratos - Flautofonie Ed Altro
Demetrio Stratos - Cometa Rossa




Sunday, December 10, 2006

Grateful Dead

As I found some interesting stuff, I'm back with a new post, sooner than I expected.
Robert Nelson is a Californian underground filmaker who met the Grateful Dead in their earlier days, when they were still experimenting the effects of LSD in creating and listening to music, in those famous Acid Tests. In this eight-minutes experimental film, that shows the Dead during one of those jams in 1967, Nelson provides some visual effects that help creating an experience similar to a lysergic trip. The audio track consists of parts of some songs from their first self-titled LP, performed live. A much more detailed description of the film can be read here.
To balance the strangeness of this video here's also a more "normal" clip of the Dead performing at the Beat Club in the spring of 1972. They had left the experimentations behind to play a more conventional music influenced by folk and blues, but with their very unique style, as we can hear also in this beautiful Bob Weir's composition, that appeared later that year in the triple LP set documenting their tour in the old continent. The fine psychedelic artwork of their first records appears on the background of the musicians, making this clip even more attractive.

Grateful Dead (a film by Robert Nelson, 1967)
Grateful Dead - One More Saturday Night (1972)


The image above is from the back cover of an Italian fanzine of the nineties called Magic Fuzz, on which I used to write. Jerry Garcia had just died and this beautiful picture was deadicated to him by an illustrator called Sergio Varbella. I haven't seen him in years, wherever he is I hope he doesn't mind if I showed it on the internet.



Friday, December 01, 2006


You've probably realized that I love the music of this man: Roky Erickson. One of the reason why Roki appears here again is because these clips are not on YouTube yet, and one of the reason why the number of visits to this blog have diminished in the last months is because YouTube is getting more and more popular and huger.
The perfomance from which these videos are taken was broadcasted on an Austin cable TV channel in 1985, it is called Openers like a poems' book that Roky wrote while he was in the Rusk state mental hospital. He plays in a very intimate situation, him alone with his acoustic guitar in a TV studio. The set is made of eight songs, six of them are previously unreleased and prove how good he is in composing and playing also some touching love songs, not only in singing about scary and evil creatures. Here you can clearly hear how he has been influenced by Dylan and Buddy Holly.
It looks like someone put a digital camera in front of the TV screen, but the quality is pretty good.
If you want to hear some more brilliant acoustic stuff, with some lyrics that are actually taken from the Openers' poems, I suggest you to listen to the rough but beautiful demos included in the album Never Say Goodbye, a collection of unreleased songs, mostly from the early seventies.

Roky Erickson - When You Get Delighted (1985)
Roky Erickson - To Think (1985)


After almost one year I think it is normal not to be so enthusiast as in the beginning, I've also seen most of my old files deleted due to a long period of inactivity (this means that no one has downloaded them). This blog will remain on-line, but I'm not sure if or when I will continue. I won't certainly update it so frequently as I used to.

See you soon?