Talk radio, so many people listen to talk radio. So many people listen to podcasts. In England we have Radio 4 which is only talk, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. So it seems that for a lot of people out there who listen to the radio, music isn’t the first choice. Today I released an interview I did last week with Ryan Martin from Jammerzine which was instigated by the crowdfunding campaign for the new MOAT album, Poison Stream. We’ve spoken before, the last time was when we released the fourth Noctorum album, The Afterlife, and this continues on from that. It is in fact more of a conversation than an interview and it lasts for two whole hours. I rarely listen to talk radio but I do like a good conversation – if you think it’s too long then hit pause and play the appropriate music in between.
Sitting inside the studio today and looking out of the window you could see the dark fingers of the winter gripping the walls, tearing at the trees, scaring the birds and in three days when the clocks are turned back an hour, the black cloak will ascend onto the town and our heads will disappear into our necks, our shoulders will become rounded and we will be wrapped up in raincoats, hiding behind umbrellas and shuffling our feet, jumping pools of rainwater.
But today was piano day for Ahad’s record (thanks Adam) so we didn’t have to experience the darkness. There isn’t piano on every track but we have left space for the ones that need it. Sometimes it’s just single notes, sometimes just chords but other times we need the skills of a musician that can really play for the flourishes and the intricacies. We can fake the piano but we can’t play it. One of the great things about making records is when you bring someone in who plays an instrument that you don’t and they unveil it and make it sing. Especially when it’s the oboe or the saxophone or the tuba or the flute, anything you can’t play is exotic. We still need a trumpet, a french horn and a cello – we hope to find them soon.
It’s the last Record Store Day of the year this weekend, so do your best to get out and into your local store to support them and keep them open for the future. This year there have been three separate events and this is the last one. Hopefully next year it will return to normal and be one annual event in April. I’ve managed to pick up some interesting titles on the last two events. In August – moody Swedes Exit North with Steve Jansen, The Groundhogs’ classic Split, folkers Mellow Candle’s Cradle featuring the Quatro sisters and the Steven Wilson remix of the first Roxy album. In September – Tull live at the Isle of Wight in the early seventies and in October hopefully the Rory Gallagher Acoustic Session and the Steven Wilson Eminent Sleaze 12 inch. I’m sure if you look at the RSD list, UK or USA, you’ll find something, GAF perhaps? Sorry, I’m not sure how to link to RSD in other countries.
In this week’s complaint corner – what is going on with the price of printer ink? To buy HP cartridges it’s between £50 to £70 and yet if you by a cheaper version it’s £20. Ok, so if you buy a Lamborghini it’s going to perform better than a Ford, but really? How is the price difference so huge? I know that some generic products are nowhere near as good as the name brands but if I buy bran at Lidl it’s less than £1, if I buy it at the Co-op it’s more than £3, it only tastes like cardboard anyway. If I’m going to eat cardboard I’d rather eat the cheaper version.
Music today comes from my original copy of a record coming to RSD this weekend, Booker T. & the M.G.’s McLemore Avenue, originally released in 1970 (I have the original Stax release). It’s an instrumental tribute inspired by Booker T. Jones after he heard Abbey Road and showing his admiration for The Beatles’ continued musical exploration. It’s so called because McLemore Avenue is the street of the famous Stax studio. The band on the album is Booker T. Jones on organ, Steve Cropper on guitar, Donald “Duck” Dunn on bass and Al Jackson Jr. on drums. Dunn died aged 70 in 2012, Jackson was murdered in 1975, he was just 39. Cropper is now 78 and Jones is 75 and still going strong and thanks to sessioneer Mike for sending me his autobiography.