Following the sad news of Wilko Johnson's terminal illness (see below) it's nice to be able to report something positive about the worlds most famous Canvey Islander and his rhythm and blues buddies Dr. Feelgood. Those of you lucky enough to have seen Julian Temple's terrific documentary Oil City Confidential (more here), will already be aware just how important the Essex seaside resort is in the history of the band and that link is expored further at the Dr Feelgood Exhibition, which is set to run from May 10th through to May 26th 2013, at The Canvey Club (162 High Street Canvey Island), and celebrates the band in all its incarnations, with a feast of memorabilia including rare photo shoots, concert posters, album and single sleeve artwork - plus items such as a Lee Brilleaux waistcoat. More info can be had at www.drfeelgoodexhibition.com
Hendrix Pops Up
Not literally of course, that would be silly, but a 'pop up shop' dedicated to the great man is due to open in London on the 1st April (probably not coincidentally the release date of his new studio out-take collection People, Hell and Angels), and no we had no idea what the hell it meant either but as we understand it the shop will open for a limited time only at 8 Ganton Street London, just off the world famous Carnaby Street, from Monday 1st April Ė Friday 12th April and you will be able to pick up a copy of the new album as well as the entire Jimi Hendrix music and video catalogue (including CDs, LPs, DVDs and Blu-ray releases), plus a number of titles that have never been available in the UK. It will also sell authorized limited edition Jimi Hendrix merchandise, including clothing, posters, art, books, collectible items, and guitar accessories and there will also be some very special merchandise pieces that have been created specifically for the store. It will also feature Fender® ‘Plug & Play demo stations’ in addition to hosting a Gered Mankowitz photography exhibition (Gered will be making a special appearance at the store from 3–6pm on Saturday 6 April, where he will be talking about working with Jimi Hendrix, and will be available to sign prints of his work, which have been exclusively printed for the pop-up store).
Wilco Johnson's Final Live Dates
TM-O is very sad to learn that Wilko Johnson, the guitarist and founding member of Dr. Feelgood, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the pancreas and has chosen not to undergo chemotherapy. Fans of Dr. Feelgood (check out our review of the excellent Feelgood biopic Oil City Confidentialhere), will already be well aware of Johnsonís very stylistic, stuttering style of guitar playing - those of you that arenít can check out the video below - and whilst he will never be held up as any sort of guitar hero there are many guitarists out there that owe an enormous debt to the staccato rhythms of Wilko Johnson and he will be hugely missed. He will also perform four farewell concerts in the UK during March at London Koko (March 6), Bilston Robin 2 (March 7), Holmfirth Picturedrome (March 8) and Glasgow O2 ABC (March 9).
Good News, Even Better News...
With any number of lesser outfits from the classic rock era getting repackaged and restored we were genuinely delighted to learn that the massively underrated Family are to be given the deluxe box treatment by Snapper Music collecting all of the bandís albums from the career defining late í60s albums Music In A Dollís House and Family Entertainment through 1970ís A Song For Me and Anyway, 1971ís Old Songs New Songs and Fearless, 1972ís Bandstand and 1973ís Itís Only A Movie. The set is further bolstered with a 1971 concert, Family Live (originally released in 2003), and a 2-CD set of unreleased demos and alt takes Once Upon A Time And More Ė culled from the Anyway, Fearless, Bandstand and Itís Only A Movie album sessions and remastered from original tapes that had lain undisturbed in Roger Chapmanís loft until 2012. This two disc set captures the hitherto unheard work-in-progress of some of Familyís most popular tracks along with priceless in-studio banter plus three early Ď70s singles, all housed in their original artwork, a hard back book penned by Family website master Pete Feenstra, a recreation of a contemporary music weekly featuring historic articles and reviews and each box comes with a hand signed certificate of authenticity from Roger Chapman himself. It ainít cheap (£125), but this strictly limited edition will doubtless become something of a collectorís item and so itís hard to imagine that it wonít sell out very quickly indeed (more info here).
Terrific Tractor 12" Inch Treasure
Itís been mentioned before, and will doubtless be mentioned again but we really do need to get a vinyl review section up and running at TM-O [Itís in hand, and will arrived with the new updated design next year Ė Ed] as we really do miss the days when a new album arrived in a package large enough that you could read the information without a bloody magnifying glass and the latest slice of hot vinyl to drop on the TM-O mat comes - hot on the heels of the really rather lovely Bickershaw Festival Boxset - the latest release from the Ozit imprint and, like the Bickeshaw Boxset, it is a lovingly produced item. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Road From Townhead Millís original release this double gatefold LP on 180 gram red vinyl unearths a mixture of past classics from Tractorís career and includes previously unreleased recordings and also a CD containing the entire 73 minutes and 30 seconds of music found on the LP. Julian Cope said that Tractor were 'the sound of a soul approaching the canopy of heaven' and he wasn't far wrong. Check this out and see why John Peel paid for their P.A.
Limited Edition Lord Swansong
As regular readers will already be aware (see our recent Class Act feature for the full retrospective on the great manís remarkable career), the last piece of work that Jon Lord worked on was a studio version of his Concerto for Group and Orchestra featuring Lord himself, Bruce Dickinson, Steve Morse, Joe Bonamassa and Paul Mann and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Ė an expanded, limited edition BOOK, CD and DVD version of which is out on 3rd December Ė and to whet your appetite we have a trailer from the DVdÖ...
Post Rockers Post Free Album
TM-O post-rock faves Caspian have announced they will release their new full-length studio album Waking Season on 24th September through Triple Crown Records. The follow-up to their 2009 album (the mighty Tertia) this album marks the first time the band has worked with an outside producer and the first time they have incorporated vocals into their arrangements. To celebrate the release the band have posted a free download of their Live At Old South Church album at www.caspianmusic.net. The album was recorded at a benefit concert for Amirah, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing care for the victims of human sex trafficking.
Punk Rasta Vinyl Version
If, like most of us old geezers and gals here at TM-Towers, you still miss the days when a new album was not only something you had waited with bated breath for but was also delivered in a package large enough that you could read the information without a magnifiying glass and often featured designs that were things of beauty in themselves and all this before you heard a single note. Yup we're talking about vinyl here, cumbersome? Perhaps, had to turn them over? For sure, but we still maintain that the vinyl experience was something no other musical format can equal, and the move by many bands towards adding vinyl to their release schedule is something we applaud (In fact I think we should start a vinyl section - Hmm, we'll see - Ed). All of which waffle brings us neatly to this rather lovely vinyl soundtrack of the Live At CBGB's 1982 DVD by The Bad Brains - a review of which you can find here. Some of it sounds like it was recorded through a sock but it positively fizzles with energy, oh and it's also released on coloured vinyl (wahey!)
Grasscut Invite Shadow Players
Fans of Grasscut will already be aware their previous album, 2010ís 1 Inch/Ĺ Mile came with a map depicting a walk around the lost Sussex village of Balsdean, together with sonic clues leading to a concealed artefact (which we looked for but didnít find). This time out Andrew Phillips and Marcus OíDair have stepped up their playful multimedia approach to include a shadow version of their new album Unearth, comprising of alternative versions of each of the ten tracks which currently exist only on a single cassette, which has been concealed (with Walkman) in a box at one of ten different locations around the country. Any fan who posts a photo of him or herself listening to a shadow track in situ will receive a signed CD copy of the shadow version of Unearth. But for the truly obsessive/insane things donít end there, oh no. Each Walkman also features a letter of the alphabet which is one-tenth of a codeword and the first person to visit all ten locations, and to contact their label Ninja Tune with this word, will be entitled to a private Grasscut performance in their own home. The band's A&R has even promised to make soup for the assembled throng...
We Could Do That, Easy
No real reason for posting this other than to show you the dancer, one Marquese Scott who is utterly astonishing, the track is a Butch Clancy dubstep remix of ĎPumped up Kicksí (originally a worldwide hit by Foster The People in 2010), just watch this dude moveÖ.
Crazy CD Comic Capers
If, like many of the older boys here, you are fond of a taking a comic into the toilet with you then we feel it behoves us to let you know that you can now happily waste time reading them on your computer as well thanks to CD comics - and whilst you may think that the CD is a play on their slightly larger rivals DC it is in fact more to do with the fact that you purchase the comics/graphic novels on CD (oh and the writer/artist, who sets all of his action in his home town of Sheffield is called Craig Daley). Thus far you can get titles like The Attercliffe Prowler (nasty Jack The Ripper type goings on), Meadowhell (nasty shopping mall slasher type goings on), Manhatten 1930 (super heroes for hire meet devil worshipping and Nazi types) and just released Football Crazy, which we havenít read but weíre guessing is about nasty goings on at the footy. Why are we telling you all of this? Well the Mr Daley in question used to supply a monthly cartoon called the Jerks for much missed Making Music magazine (under the Pseudonym Dan Daley) which we remember very fondly indeed. Check out CD comics at either cddcomics.webs.com or cdgraphicnovels.blogspot.com.
News In brief
More Good Free Stuff If, like several folks here in the office, you enjoyed the Three Trapped Tigers Route One Or Die album (released in 2011) Ė described elsewhere as Ďa garage band bashing their way through Aphex Twiní then you might like to know that their label Blood And Biscuits are giving away a remixed version of the album entitled Remix Or Die on their website featuring the talents of B&Bís own Teej, Gallops and Evil Ex alongside several others (including TM-O faves Nedry) and itís a real blast, but itís limited so youíd best get a wriggle on a (more here).
********************R.I.P. Jon Lord We were very sad to learn of the passing of Jon Lord, the former keyboard player with Deep Purple, Whitesnake and more recently the man behind some very fine classical works (more here). Aged 71 Lord had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer since last August but died at the London Clinic on 16th July and, needless to say, the tributes have been rolling in from fans as disparate as Rage Against The Machines Tom Morello to Jazz pianist Jamie Cullum. It has also been announced that a new studio version of the groundbreaking Concerto For Group And Orchestra which was already in pipeline - featuring Steve Morse, Joe Bonamassa, Bruce Dickinson and more - will still be released on Oct 1st, watch out for more news on this very soon.
******************** Jacko Get's Easy Star Treatment After a great deal of speculation The Easy Star All Stars have announced that the next album to get the ESAS treatment will be Michael Jackson's Thriller - having run a teaser campaign on their website to guess which album it would be for the past month or so, we guessed Pet Sounds, (doh!). Being big fans of their previous Pink Floyd, Radiohead and Beatles efforts we can't wait to hear the results, and if you're like us you might like to know that you can get a free download of 'Billie Jean' here.
Leven R.I.P. We were very sad to learn that Jackie Leven passed away on 14th November having suffered for some time now from cancer. In a career stretching over forty years, Leven carved an impressive reputation as a uniquely gifted singer-songwriter, from his emergence as leader of the underrated Doll By Doll in the seventies, through well documented addiction problems which Leven overcame with remarkable strength of will, culminating in a solo resurgence through the 1980s to his recent passing. Jackie amassed an amazing body of work which we suggest you discover for yourselves, starting with this.