Music Review

John Lennon and the Immortal 9

Lennon_GruenOn October 9th, Yoko Ono, in honor of what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday, will light his Peace Tower in Iceland, and perform a memorial concert. The number 9 always had profound significance for John, especially after first meeting Yoko at a London art gallery on November 9, 1966. His second wife was a serious student of the occult and of Cheiro, the father of modern numerology. Like John, she too identified herself as a Number 9 person, the sum of the numbers of her own birthday on the 18th (of February, 1933). Cheiro stated that 9 represented creative, universal consciousness. He characterized Number 9 personalities as fiercely independent, energetic, strong-willed and domineering, often subject to great struggles in youth, but great success later on.

ANNIVERSARIES: Tom Waits Released Rain Dogs 25 Years Ago

Tom_Waits_Rain_DogsTom Waits: Rain Dogs (Island) When Tom Waits changed from Elektra/Asylum Records to the Island label, he changed his music too. His first Island release, 1983's Swordfishtrombones, ditched the over-obvious boozy humor and winking lounge music in favor of more alienated, bluesy, percussive production full of unexpected angles. (This direction had been foreshadowed on a few tracks on his 1980 LP Heartattack and Vine).

Machine Gun: The Man Who Murdered Jimi Hendrix

jimi-hendrix-rip"I pick up my axe and fight like a bomber now, but you still blast me down to the ground." Before becoming Jimi Hendrix's manager, Michael Jeffery had been a covert op for British Intelligence. According to one of his original clients, Eric Burdon of the Animals, Jeffery often boasted of his 007 escapades during the Cold War -- staging assassinations in Greece, torturing KGB agents, blowing up Russian/Egyptian bases in the Suez. The Animals' singer, Jimi's future close friend, took these stories as drunken tall tales until, early one morning, the former MI6 agent invited him out to the London harbor where the U.S. Seventh Fleet happened to be trolling for some lost nukes.

ANNIVERSARIES: Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here Released 35 Years Ago

Wish_You_Were_HerePink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (Columbia) Pink Floyd started out in the mid-'60s as The Tea Set, mostly playing R&B. The precursor of its eventually famous name originated when the band found itself on a bill with another band also named The Tea Set and leader Syd Barrett had to spontaneously come up with and alternative: The Pink Floyd Sound, inspired by the names of two old-time Piedmont style blues men, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

ANNIVERSARIES: Neil Young's After the Gold Rush Released 40 Years Ago

after-the-goldrushNeil Young: After the Gold Rush (Reprise) After the breakup of the Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young went in several different directions. In 1969 he released two LPs extremely contrasted character: his quirky, largely subdued, sometimes heavily arranged eponymous debut, and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, a louder and more generally rocking effort thanks to the introduction of his backing band Crazy Horse. Then he raised his profile as a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, whose Deja Vu topped the album chart. When he combined all three directions on the August 31, 1970 release After the Gold Rush, he achieved his commercial breakthrough as a solo artist.

Matthew Shipp solo at the Blue Note, NYC

matthew-shipp-livethe pacifier - matthew shipp solo at the blue note set 1 & 2 - 8/23/10 (for O.P.) monologue with self am steel yama in trin sic as what for (f)ever zig zag rimrom pozzzilum rorrim the where is something & the where is something not revolving as in barrel as in light of solidilos /oh & the flame really does dance to the music & the music truly does obey the flame combined with piano’s intrigues are enough to pacify like a young boy's thumb

Walter Gibbons Jungle Music

Walter_GibbonsWalter Gibbons Jungle Music: Mixed with Love: Essential & Unreleased Remixes 1976-1986 (Strut) This is an album of disco remixes, which is automatically going to be a fun listen. But in this case, the remixer was not solely concerned with dancefloor utility: Gibbons's remixes are transformative in unexpected ways, and if I were dancing to them, frankly I'd get distracted by their quirks, which are even rhythmically unusual at times. He makes odd aspects stand out starkly, even strangely.

There Goes My Everything - Elvis & Gladys, RIP

elvis_gladys_presleyIn 1934, Vernon Presley, age 18, recalled blacking out at the instant of his son’s conception; then, regaining consciousness, he had seen the night sky thronged with brilliant blue stars. Elvis Aron’s twin brother, Jesse Garon, was stillborn. The future King’s God-fearing mother, Gladys -- who herself almost died in the delivery -- believed he had inherited Jesse’s soul, and was "the One."

Years later, Gladys would suffer a miscarriage, making her all the more protective of her only surviving child.

"My mama never let me out of her sight," said Elvis.

Vernon told biographer, Peter Guralnick (Last Train to Memphis): "He never spent a night away from home until he was seventeen. The three of us formed our own private world."

Jerry Garcia: In Memoriam 8/1/42 - 8/9/95

jerry-garciaThe head of California's thirty-ninth largest corporation was in full diabetic shock. His blood sugar was the second highest the doctors at Marin General had ever seen. His kidneys had shut down. He was running a 105-degree fever from a systemic infection. He was in a coma.

Outside the ICU, the corridor was packed with family, friends, managers, reporters. And the Hell's Angels. Only the patient's wife was permitted inside.