Our friends at MUTE/Spoon Records have given us a couple copies of this 40th anniversary edition of CAN’s masterpiece, Tago Mago, to give away to you!
As you probably already know, this is one of the greatest and most unique albums ever made, influencing everyone from the Sex Pistols to Radiohead. The new edition of this genre-defying album comes packaged in the original UK artwork for the first time since 1971, and includes a bonus CD featuring 50 minutes of unreleased live material from 1972, remastered in 2011.
And the only way to win is to tune in to my show, Beyond Beyond is Beyond on East Village Radio, Thursday (12/7/11) from noon to 2pm (EST)…and then and there I’ll tell you how to enter!
This piece was published on Blog Critics Magazine a few weeks ago, and I figured I’d post it here too, so you can take a look into what an ex-Can man is up to these days and so you can scope the trippy-nudey cover art. Go check out the piece on Blog Critics too and leave me some comments.
Mute Records has a 30-year history of releasing the finest in electronic, experimental, post-punk, art rock, avant-garde, and alternative music, and this new album by Irmin Schmidt & Kumo is another prime example of the quality and ever-progressive direction of the label’s offerings. Irmin Schmidt was founder member and keyboardist for the legendary German avant-garde rock group Can and Kumo (aka Jono Podmore) is a breakbeat pioneer and producer. Sound like an interesting combination? Well, it is.
You might gather from the album’s cover art, a powder-white naked man and woman whose red veins are visible through their skin and who have Mexican salamander heads, that this is not going to be a mainstream pop affair. Axolotl Eyes is filled with music that beautifully contrasts synthetic and ‘real’ instrumentation. Kumo’s scintillating beats, shimmering grooves, and sonorous bass perfectly envelope Schmidt’s meandering piano excursions. Several tracks also feature Paul J Fredericks on vocals, Ian Dixon on trumpet and throughout Schmidt and Kumo keep it interesting blending together theremin, slide guitar, keyboards, and violin with the crackling synthetic beats and atmospheres. This is a big departure from Schmidt’s Can days, but I think any Can fan would know that the one thing you can expect from the ex-Can men is experimentation and pushing the boundaries of sound.
The set also comes with a bonus 5.1 surround sound DVD of the sound installation Flies, Guys and Choirs, created by Kumo, Sandra Podmore, and Kate Shipp. The film was first conceived for Londonís Barbican Centre in 2001 and also screened at the Sonar festival, Barcelona and Les Chants Mechaniques festival in Lille. It’s certainly trippy with its psychedelically-effected close-ups of insects, fish, and other natural things, accompanied by quietly forceful environmental music.
The album is out now on Mute Records in the U.S. (Spoon Records in the U.K.) and is another excellent chapter in Irmin Schmidt’s long and adventurous recording career.
You can preview tracks at Irmin Schmidt & Kumo’s MySpace page.
All right, I think I’ve got our next musical scapegoat. Thanks to everyone who voted, but I felt most inspired by Matt’s suggestion for ol’ Ace Greybeard Ratboy himself…Bobby Weir.
Bob is a prime example of someone who never fully got their due, or just became known for the cheesy things they did over a massive 40-year music career. Bobby always had to take a backseat to Jerry, and it would be hard to argue that Bob was more talented than Jerry because he just wasn’t. BUT, was Bobby a necessary and captivating part of the Grateful Dead? Yes! Bobby was the palette-cleanser for Jerry songs…on the records and especially at shows. And most of the time, Bobby had some great songs that could inject a little more energy into a Dead show (…think “One More Saturday Night”). And shit, in the final years of the Dead, Bobby was just about the only member that was still playing with any kind of fire.
So I present to you some primo rockin’-out Bobby from his 1972 solo album, Ace, on which all of the Grateful Dead members play, oddly enough. And then there’s a jazzy Bob bonus from Kingfish’s first album in 1976. Bob was a member of the band, Kingfish on their first two albums. Both of these tunes show the power of what Bobby could bring to the table. So do yourself a favor, and hear out this case for Bob Weir…
Bob Weir – The Greatest Story Ever Told
Kingfish – Lazy Lightnin’
AAC audio: Can – She Brings the Rain