Archive for August, 2012


Victor Jara was an impoverished Chilean laborer who became a monk, a soldier, an actor and professor of theater; a political activist, a poet, and a popular folk musician; and ultimately a people’s martyr following his brutal murder (along with thousands of his fellow citizens) in 1973 during the U.S.-backed military coup that toppled the government of Chile’s democratically elected socialist president Salvador Allende.

Amidst widespread global outrage at this gruesome miscarriage of justice, Jara quickly became even more famous than he had been while alive, and his recordings were widely circulated throughout North America on LPs bearing the Monitor and Americanto labels.

“Canto Libre”, a collection released during the 1980s, contains material dating back at least as far as 1970. Jara sang beautifully, always expressing his thoughts and viewpoints with unflinching honesty, playing his guitar alone or surrounded by folk musicians from nations and cultures all over Latin America.

Jara’s egalitarian discipline of cultural solidarity is manifest at various points in this collection, with words and music traceable to Mexico (“The Ballad of Pancho Villa”), Peru (“Inga”), and Bolivia (“El Tinku” and “How Happy Are the Women Workers”). Jara’s devotion to socialism must be understood as a call for Chilean self-determination; the best way to put it in context would be to read Pablo Neruda’s Memoirs. Jara was incredibly outspoken, and it was typical of him to come up with a title that translates as “Thus They Kill Blacks Today.” His greatest achievement was the song “Canto Libre,” with its soaring flutes, stirring percussion, and passionately strummed guitars. Victor Jara’s spirit transcends all language barriers. Like his voice and the instrumentation, the poetry is tremendously moving and unforgettable: “My singing is a chain without beginning or end, and in each link is found the song of everyone else.”

Tracklist:
A1 Inga
A2 Cancion Del Arbol Del Olvido
A3 La Pala
A4 Lamento Borincano
A5 Ventolera
A6 El Tinku
B1 Angelita Huenuman 4:03
B2 Corrido De Pancho Villa
B3 Caminando, Caminando
B4 ¿Quien Mato A Carmencita?
B5 Canto Libre

Victor Jara – Canto Libre (Pläne, 1970/1981)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

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the heptones

One of the definitive rocksteady vocal groups, the Heptones were also one of the few to successfully make the transition to the reggae era.

The group was fronted by Leroy Sibbles, who was not only an exquisite singer but also a talented songwriter, arranger, and session bassist at the legendary Studio One. Penning much of its own material, the group boasted one of the deepest catalogs of its time, full of high-quality numbers that were widely imitated for their close-harmony vocals, and widely recycled for their loose, liquid, melodic instrumental grooves.

The Heptones were formed in Kingston in 1965, with a lineup of Sibbles, Barry Llewellyn, and Earl Morgan. At first they called themselves the Hep Ones, but a one-word name seemed to make more sense to fans, and the change was made accordingly. They made their first recording for Ken Lack’s Caltone label that year, a strange ska adaptation of “The William Tell Overture” titled “Gun Men Coming to Town.”

heptones 2

Things started to take off for the group in 1966 when they caught on at Clement “Coxsone” Dodd´s Studio One, the pre-eminent hit factory of the rocksteady era. Dodd helped train the group in the art of harmony singing, and also guided budding songwriter Sibbles, who developed a sly, sarcastic sense of humor to underpin his tales of broken-hearted lovers.

The Heptones had their first hit later that year with “Fattie Fattie,” a ribald paean to large women that was banned from Jamaican radio but sold briskly nonetheless. They went on to record vast amounts of material for Dodd over the next five years. As the hits piled up, Sibbles became a staff songwriter and arranger, played bass with the Studio One house band on a multitude of recordings, and worked as an assistant producer and talent scout as well. However, by 1971, a Rastafarian social consciousness was emerging in his writing, and he had grown tired of the boundaries of working in Dodd’s studio system; that sense of confinement led to an acrimonious split with Dodd.

This is an album with sweet slow rocksteady from 1967, lead by Leroy Sibbles with backing vocals by Barry Llewellyn and Earl Morgan. “Fattie Fatti” was The Heptones first single and first hit even though it was banned from Jamaican radio due to inappropriate lyrics. They also cover Sam Cooke’s “Only Sixteen” on this their debut LP and the R&B influence is apparent throughout (even in the album’s cover photos) albeit driven by a rocksteady, and what will soon become reggae beat.

Tracklist:
01 – Fattie Fattie
02 – Why Must I
03 – Only Sixteen
04 – Mama
05 – The Best Things In Life
06 – Gee Wee
07 – I’ve Got A Feeling
08 – Tripe Girl
09 – Baby
10 – Let’s Fall In Love
11 – Take A Tip From Me
12 – Cry Baby Cry
13 – Why Did You Leave
14 – Get In The Groove

The Heptones – Same (aka Fattie Fattie, 1967)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

the heptones

One of the definitive rocksteady vocal groups, the Heptones were also one of the few to successfully make the transition to the reggae era.

The group was fronted by Leroy Sibbles, who was not only an exquisite singer but also a talented songwriter, arranger, and session bassist at the legendary Studio One. Penning much of its own material, the group boasted one of the deepest catalogs of its time, full of high-quality numbers that were widely imitated for their close-harmony vocals, and widely recycled for their loose, liquid, melodic instrumental grooves.

The Heptones were formed in Kingston in 1965, with a lineup of Sibbles, Barry Llewellyn, and Earl Morgan. At first they called themselves the Hep Ones, but a one-word name seemed to make more sense to fans, and the change was made accordingly. They made their first recording for Ken Lack’s Caltone label that year, a strange ska adaptation of “The William Tell Overture” titled “Gun Men Coming to Town.”

heptones 2

Things started to take off for the group in 1966 when they caught on at Clement “Coxsone” Dodd´s Studio One, the pre-eminent hit factory of the rocksteady era. Dodd helped train the group in the art of harmony singing, and also guided budding songwriter Sibbles, who developed a sly, sarcastic sense of humor to underpin his tales of broken-hearted lovers.

The Heptones had their first hit later that year with “Fattie Fattie,” a ribald paean to large women that was banned from Jamaican radio but sold briskly nonetheless. They went on to record vast amounts of material for Dodd over the next five years. As the hits piled up, Sibbles became a staff songwriter and arranger, played bass with the Studio One house band on a multitude of recordings, and worked as an assistant producer and talent scout as well. However, by 1971, a Rastafarian social consciousness was emerging in his writing, and he had grown tired of the boundaries of working in Dodd’s studio system; that sense of confinement led to an acrimonious split with Dodd.

This is an album with sweet slow rocksteady from 1967, lead by Leroy Sibbles with backing vocals by Barry Llewellyn and Earl Morgan. “Fattie Fatti” was The Heptones first single and first hit even though it was banned from Jamaican radio due to inappropriate lyrics. They also cover Sam Cooke’s “Only Sixteen” on this their debut LP and the R&B influence is apparent throughout (even in the album’s cover photos) albeit driven by a rocksteady, and what will soon become reggae beat.

Tracklist:
01 – Fattie Fattie
02 – Why Must I
03 – Only Sixteen
04 – Mama
05 – The Best Things In Life
06 – Gee Wee
07 – I’ve Got A Feeling
08 – Tripe Girl
09 – Baby
10 – Let’s Fall In Love
11 – Take A Tip From Me
12 – Cry Baby Cry
13 – Why Did You Leave
14 – Get In The Groove

The Heptones – Same (aka Fattie Fattie, 1967)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

The most commercially and creatively successful act ever to emerge from Zimbabwe, the Bhundu Boys embodied the world music zeitgeist of the mid-’80s. Creators of a frenetic, guitar-dominated style they dubbed “jit,” they fused airy melodies, shimmering harmonies, and pulsating rhythms drawn from across the African continent to make music that was both alien and accessible. Taking their name from the guerrillas who backed Robert Mugabe in his successful war to win Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain, the Bhundu Boys formed in April 1980 in the city of Harare, which translates literally (and, sadly, prophetically) as “death everywhere.”

Lead guitarist Rise Kagona assembled the original lineup, which also included singer/guitarist Biggie Tembo, bassist David Mankaba, keyboardist Shakie Kangwena, and drummer Kenny Chitsvatsva. Making do with homemade instruments, the Bhundu Boys cut their teeth playing Western pop covers in township beer halls, and were a local phenomenon by the time they were discovered by erstwhile property developer Steve Roskilly, who cut their earliest sessions in his home studio, Shed. Their 1981 debut single, “Hatisitose,” topped the Zimbabwean charts for three months straight, and in the years to follow the band scored three more national number ones with “Baba Munini Francis,” “Wenhamo Haaneti,” and “Ndimboze.”

The Bhundu Boys’ ascent to international fame began when Owen Elias and Doug Veitch, owners of the fledgling Discafrique label, traveled from London to Harare in search of artists to sign. There they befriended Roskilly, and on his encouragement cut a deal to reissue the band’s records in the U.K. Elias and Veitch also plotted to bring the Bhundu Boys to Britain to tour, but when funding dried up Discafrique turned to Scottish promoter Gordon Muir, who in time took over the band’s management. Most critical to the Bhundu Boys’ growing momentum was the endorsement of BBC Radio One DJs John Peel and Andy Kershaw, both of whom played their Discafrique LPs “Shabini” and “Tsvimbodzemoto” incessantly.

               
Tracklist:
1 Baba munini francis
2 Hupenyu hwangu
3 Pachedu
4 Zvichatinesta
5 Kuroja chete
6 Hatisitose
7 Manhenga
8 Shabini
9 Dai ndakaziva
10 Wenhamo haaneti

Bhundu Boys – Shabini (1986)
(192 kbps, front cover included, vinyl rip)

The most commercially and creatively successful act ever to emerge from Zimbabwe, the Bhundu Boys embodied the world music zeitgeist of the mid-’80s. Creators of a frenetic, guitar-dominated style they dubbed “jit,” they fused airy melodies, shimmering harmonies, and pulsating rhythms drawn from across the African continent to make music that was both alien and accessible. Taking their name from the guerrillas who backed Robert Mugabe in his successful war to win Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain, the Bhundu Boys formed in April 1980 in the city of Harare, which translates literally (and, sadly, prophetically) as “death everywhere.”

Lead guitarist Rise Kagona assembled the original lineup, which also included singer/guitarist Biggie Tembo, bassist David Mankaba, keyboardist Shakie Kangwena, and drummer Kenny Chitsvatsva. Making do with homemade instruments, the Bhundu Boys cut their teeth playing Western pop covers in township beer halls, and were a local phenomenon by the time they were discovered by erstwhile property developer Steve Roskilly, who cut their earliest sessions in his home studio, Shed. Their 1981 debut single, “Hatisitose,” topped the Zimbabwean charts for three months straight, and in the years to follow the band scored three more national number ones with “Baba Munini Francis,” “Wenhamo Haaneti,” and “Ndimboze.”

The Bhundu Boys’ ascent to international fame began when Owen Elias and Doug Veitch, owners of the fledgling Discafrique label, traveled from London to Harare in search of artists to sign. There they befriended Roskilly, and on his encouragement cut a deal to reissue the band’s records in the U.K. Elias and Veitch also plotted to bring the Bhundu Boys to Britain to tour, but when funding dried up Discafrique turned to Scottish promoter Gordon Muir, who in time took over the band’s management. Most critical to the Bhundu Boys’ growing momentum was the endorsement of BBC Radio One DJs John Peel and Andy Kershaw, both of whom played their Discafrique LPs “Shabini” and “Tsvimbodzemoto” incessantly.

               
Tracklist:
1 Baba munini francis
2 Hupenyu hwangu
3 Pachedu
4 Zvichatinesta
5 Kuroja chete
6 Hatisitose
7 Manhenga
8 Shabini
9 Dai ndakaziva
10 Wenhamo haaneti

Bhundu Boys – Shabini (1986)
(192 kbps, front cover included, vinyl rip)

A broadside (also known as a broadsheet) is a single sheet of inexpensive paper printed on one side, often with a ballad, rhyme, news and sometimes with woodcut illustrations. They were one of the most common forms of printed material between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly in Britain, Ireland and North America and are often associated with one of the most important forms of traditional music from these countries, the ballad.

This album was one of the earliest efforts to collect and in some way attempt to bring to life the folk tradition of England that would then within a few years jump start the English folk (and folk rock) tradition. What makes this specific collection of most interest is instead of reinterpreting known folk songs, folk ballads that would have been common in the historical time frame are unearthed, many of which portray an unnervingly real depiction of life at the time. Topics such as the chilling depiction of the great fire of London, the death of a midwife and the humurous jibe at the emergence of tobacco and its condemnation as part of a drinking song open the listener, in some ways to life at the time (in a way that a revisionist documentary could not). Clearly for many the English folk scene such as Fairport Convention and classics that go in and out of print such as “Anthems in Eden” may be receive more listens. However the authenticity of this compilation clearly cannot be found in later releases none of which would have existed without the dedicated efforts of early folk musicians to revive a musical tradition that had in many ways,other than preserved song lyrics gone extinct and bring it back to life.

This collection features songs about myriad topics, including economic changes during the reign of James I and England’s colonies in the New World.

Notes by Ewan MacColl:

“BROADSIDE BALLADS
The term ‘Broadside Ballad’ is here used to designate any song — narrative or otherwise — which made its first appearance on the penny or halfpenny sheets.
The songs which make up these two albums do not, for the most part, have much in common with the Traditional Ballads.
Professor Child has characterized the broadsides as “veritable dunghills”, and for three hundred years contemptuous literary men have castigated the authors of these ‘vile ballads’; and yet even the most awkward of their verses has its occasional flash of humour, its sudden, brief flicker of light, making the dead past live again for a moment. If our view of the past, occasioned by these momentary illuminations, is sometimes an oblique one, then it is none the less interesting on that account.
The broadsides flourished from 1500-1700, that is until the first cheap books began to make their appearance. By the beginning of the 18th century, the black-letter ballads had virtually disappeared.
The White-letter productions, however, persisted until the mid-nineteenth century, and indeed, even today it is not unusual for one to be accosted in the London streets by a ‘soft touch man’ who in return for a shilling will slip you an envelope containing a miniature photostat copy of a ballad dealing with the ‘Loss of the Royal Sovereign’ in World War II, or with the ‘Sinking of the Scharnhorst’.
In the days before TV, radio and newspapers, the broadsides helped both to mould and reflect public opinion; their authors acted as political commentators, journalists, comic-strip writers, P. R. men for both parties, and for all those ambitious placeseekers who could afford to hire a pen.
That they were popular with the masses, no one can doubt; that they were unpopular with the establishment is born out by successive acts of legislation against ‘pipers, fiddlers and minstrels’ and by the many repressive laws directed against them both in England and Scotland.
In 1574 (in Scotland) they were again branded with the oprobrious title of vagabonds and threatened with severe penalties; and the regent Morton induced the Privy Council to issue an edict that “nane tak upon hand to emprint or sell whatsoever book, ballet, or other werk” without its being examined and licenced under pain of death and confiscation of goods.
In August 1579, two poets of Edinburgh, (William Turnbull, Schoolmaster and William Scot, notar, “baith weel belovit of the common people for their common offices”) were hanged for writing a satirical ballad against the Earl of Morton, and in October of the same year, the Estates passed an act against beggars and “sic as make themselves fules and are bards … minstrels, sangsters, and tale-tellers, not avowed in special service by some of the lords of parliament or great burghs.”

Seventy-five years later, Captain Bentham was appointed provost-marshall to the revolutionary army in England, with power to seize upon all balladsingers, and five years after that date there were no more entries of ballads at Stationers’ Hall. The heat was still on a century later and in July 1763, we are told that “yesterday evening two women were sent to Bridewell by Lord Bute’s order, for singing political ballads before his lordship’s door in South Audley Street”.
Even in the mid-nineteenth century the attacks on the ballad-mongers continued, though by this time the fraternity was somewhat reduced in size; yet it was still sufficiently large for the owners of factories and workshops like the Vulcan foundry of Newton-Le-Willows, Cheshire to deem it necessary to issue the following warning on a cast-iron notice board: TAKE NOTICE. PRIVATE PROPERTY.
We do hereby caution all HAWKERS, RAG AND BONE DEALERS, BALLAD SINGERS & From trespassing on these premises. Any person or persons of the above description found hereon after this notice will be prosecuted with the utmost rigor of the LAW. VULCAN FOUNDRY MAY 1st. 1835.
They have departed now; it is no longer necessary for the authorities to brand “bardis and balletsingers” on the cheek and scourge them through the streets. The descendents of Elderton, Deloney, Johnson, Munday and Martin Parker now work for the establishment, as the hired men of television, radio, the press and Tin Pan Alley; they have learned how to write without offending anybody or anything, except, occasionally, one’s sense of the ridiculous.

The Accompaniments

The broadsides were, for the most part, sung on the streets and in the taverns of Britain’s cities. If they had accompaniments at all, these would probably have been of a most rudimentary nature. To have presented them in these albums with the sophisticated virginals and lute would have been as incongruous as arranging the St. Louis Blues for the serpent and three Alpine horns. It is much more likely that instruments such as the pipe and tabor and fiddle were used. For this present recording we have made no attempt to provide “authentic” accompaniment. We have used instead the concertina, the guitar, the ocarina, flute, piccolo, tin whistle, autoharp, tabor and, for two songs, the banjo; all of them instruments which have been widely used by street singers of our own time.”

Side One
Room For Company – (Piccolo and Tabor)
Pity’s Lamentation – (Guitar and Flute)
There’s Nothing To Be Had Without Money – (Concertina, Flute and Guitar)
The Midwife’s Ghost – (Autoharp)
Side Two
A Merry Progress To Lonoon – (Unaccompanied)
Lqndon’s Lottery – (Guitar and Flute)
London Mourning. In Ashes – (Concertina)
King Lear and His Three Daughters’ – (Flute, Concertina and Guitar)

Ewan MacColl: Vocals
Peggy Seeger: Guitar, Banjo and Autoharp
Alf Edwards: English Concertina, Ocarina and Tabor
Alfle Kahn: Piccolo, Flute and Tin Whistle

Ewan MacColl – Broadside Ballads Vol. 1 (1962)
(128 kbps, front & back cover included)

A broadside (also known as a broadsheet) is a single sheet of inexpensive paper printed on one side, often with a ballad, rhyme, news and sometimes with woodcut illustrations. They were one of the most common forms of printed material between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly in Britain, Ireland and North America and are often associated with one of the most important forms of traditional music from these countries, the ballad.

This album was one of the earliest efforts to collect and in some way attempt to bring to life the folk tradition of England that would then within a few years jump start the English folk (and folk rock) tradition. What makes this specific collection of most interest is instead of reinterpreting known folk songs, folk ballads that would have been common in the historical time frame are unearthed, many of which portray an unnervingly real depiction of life at the time. Topics such as the chilling depiction of the great fire of London, the death of a midwife and the humurous jibe at the emergence of tobacco and its condemnation as part of a drinking song open the listener, in some ways to life at the time (in a way that a revisionist documentary could not). Clearly for many the English folk scene such as Fairport Convention and classics that go in and out of print such as “Anthems in Eden” may be receive more listens. However the authenticity of this compilation clearly cannot be found in later releases none of which would have existed without the dedicated efforts of early folk musicians to revive a musical tradition that had in many ways,other than preserved song lyrics gone extinct and bring it back to life.

This collection features songs about myriad topics, including economic changes during the reign of James I and England’s colonies in the New World.

Notes by Ewan MacColl:

“BROADSIDE BALLADS
The term ‘Broadside Ballad’ is here used to designate any song — narrative or otherwise — which made its first appearance on the penny or halfpenny sheets.
The songs which make up these two albums do not, for the most part, have much in common with the Traditional Ballads.
Professor Child has characterized the broadsides as “veritable dunghills”, and for three hundred years contemptuous literary men have castigated the authors of these ‘vile ballads’; and yet even the most awkward of their verses has its occasional flash of humour, its sudden, brief flicker of light, making the dead past live again for a moment. If our view of the past, occasioned by these momentary illuminations, is sometimes an oblique one, then it is none the less interesting on that account.
The broadsides flourished from 1500-1700, that is until the first cheap books began to make their appearance. By the beginning of the 18th century, the black-letter ballads had virtually disappeared.
The White-letter productions, however, persisted until the mid-nineteenth century, and indeed, even today it is not unusual for one to be accosted in the London streets by a ‘soft touch man’ who in return for a shilling will slip you an envelope containing a miniature photostat copy of a ballad dealing with the ‘Loss of the Royal Sovereign’ in World War II, or with the ‘Sinking of the Scharnhorst’.
In the days before TV, radio and newspapers, the broadsides helped both to mould and reflect public opinion; their authors acted as political commentators, journalists, comic-strip writers, P. R. men for both parties, and for all those ambitious placeseekers who could afford to hire a pen.
That they were popular with the masses, no one can doubt; that they were unpopular with the establishment is born out by successive acts of legislation against ‘pipers, fiddlers and minstrels’ and by the many repressive laws directed against them both in England and Scotland.
In 1574 (in Scotland) they were again branded with the oprobrious title of vagabonds and threatened with severe penalties; and the regent Morton induced the Privy Council to issue an edict that “nane tak upon hand to emprint or sell whatsoever book, ballet, or other werk” without its being examined and licenced under pain of death and confiscation of goods.
In August 1579, two poets of Edinburgh, (William Turnbull, Schoolmaster and William Scot, notar, “baith weel belovit of the common people for their common offices”) were hanged for writing a satirical ballad against the Earl of Morton, and in October of the same year, the Estates passed an act against beggars and “sic as make themselves fules and are bards … minstrels, sangsters, and tale-tellers, not avowed in special service by some of the lords of parliament or great burghs.”

Seventy-five years later, Captain Bentham was appointed provost-marshall to the revolutionary army in England, with power to seize upon all balladsingers, and five years after that date there were no more entries of ballads at Stationers’ Hall. The heat was still on a century later and in July 1763, we are told that “yesterday evening two women were sent to Bridewell by Lord Bute’s order, for singing political ballads before his lordship’s door in South Audley Street”.
Even in the mid-nineteenth century the attacks on the ballad-mongers continued, though by this time the fraternity was somewhat reduced in size; yet it was still sufficiently large for the owners of factories and workshops like the Vulcan foundry of Newton-Le-Willows, Cheshire to deem it necessary to issue the following warning on a cast-iron notice board: TAKE NOTICE. PRIVATE PROPERTY.
We do hereby caution all HAWKERS, RAG AND BONE DEALERS, BALLAD SINGERS & From trespassing on these premises. Any person or persons of the above description found hereon after this notice will be prosecuted with the utmost rigor of the LAW. VULCAN FOUNDRY MAY 1st. 1835.
They have departed now; it is no longer necessary for the authorities to brand “bardis and balletsingers” on the cheek and scourge them through the streets. The descendents of Elderton, Deloney, Johnson, Munday and Martin Parker now work for the establishment, as the hired men of television, radio, the press and Tin Pan Alley; they have learned how to write without offending anybody or anything, except, occasionally, one’s sense of the ridiculous.

The Accompaniments

The broadsides were, for the most part, sung on the streets and in the taverns of Britain’s cities. If they had accompaniments at all, these would probably have been of a most rudimentary nature. To have presented them in these albums with the sophisticated virginals and lute would have been as incongruous as arranging the St. Louis Blues for the serpent and three Alpine horns. It is much more likely that instruments such as the pipe and tabor and fiddle were used. For this present recording we have made no attempt to provide “authentic” accompaniment. We have used instead the concertina, the guitar, the ocarina, flute, piccolo, tin whistle, autoharp, tabor and, for two songs, the banjo; all of them instruments which have been widely used by street singers of our own time.”

Side One
Room For Company – (Piccolo and Tabor)
Pity’s Lamentation – (Guitar and Flute)
There’s Nothing To Be Had Without Money – (Concertina, Flute and Guitar)
The Midwife’s Ghost – (Autoharp)
Side Two
A Merry Progress To Lonoon – (Unaccompanied)
Lqndon’s Lottery – (Guitar and Flute)
London Mourning. In Ashes – (Concertina)
King Lear and His Three Daughters’ – (Flute, Concertina and Guitar)

Ewan MacColl: Vocals
Peggy Seeger: Guitar, Banjo and Autoharp
Alf Edwards: English Concertina, Ocarina and Tabor
Alfle Kahn: Piccolo, Flute and Tin Whistle

Ewan MacColl – Broadside Ballads Vol. 1 (1962)
(128 kbps, front & back cover included)

Odetta – The Tin Angel (1954)

“Although the 1993 CD version of this album is credited to Odetta and titled The Tin Angel, it’s actually a reissue of a Fantasy LP credited to Odetta & Larry, which bore the slightly different title The Tin Angel Presents Odetta & Larry. That original LP had 13 tracks recorded in 1953 and 1954, some of them live at the Tin Angel club in San Francisco, with Larry Mohr contributing some banjo and harmony and lead vocals, though Odetta was the more prominent presence. This source of confusion duly noted, this is pretty much an Odetta album in most respects, as she takes a considerably larger part of the vocal duties on a set of traditional folk material including such standards as “John Henry,” “Rock Island Line,” and “Old Cotton Fields at Home,” as well as some blues and spirituals, plus a good version of Woody Guthrie’s “The Car-Car Song.” Odetta’s stirring vocal style is pretty fully formed on this, the first group of her recordings in wide distribution, as is her ability to emit bluesy grunts, as you can hear on “John Henry.” Mohr’s vocals (he takes unaccompanied lead on “Old Blue”) and banjo are comparatively bland, but they’re not much of a distraction from Odetta, who’s definitely the main feature.” (Allmusic.com)

Posted Image

Track Listing:
01 – John Henry – 3:09
02 – Old Cotton Fields At Home – 3:59
03 – The Frozen Logger – 2:53
04 – Run, Come See Jerusalem – 2:07
05 – Old Blue – 2:36
06 – Water Boy – 3:40
07 – Santy Ana – 2:18
08 – I Was Born About 10,000 Years Ago – The Biggest Thing – 2:48
09 – The Car-Car Song – 1:28
10 – No More Cane On The Brazos – 2:20
11 – Pay Day At Coal Creek – 3:03
12 – I’ve Been ‘Buked And I’ve Been Scorned – 2:47
13 – Rock Island Line – 1:47

Odetta – The Tin Angel (1954)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

The underground film maker Carl Andersen died on August, 3, at the age of 54 in Berlin. Thanks a lot for bringing so much strange films to us via the great Negativland video library.  Rest in peace, Carl!

Die Sehnsucht nach dem Mehr (2000)

The Films Of Carl Andersen.

 by Anneliese Holles, London, 2008.

The Austrian born Carl Andersen is perhaps one of the few contemporary Auteurs to have devoted his films almost entirely to the subject of women. How they tick and how they relate to each other, and to men, is almost an obsession, a fetish only capable of being exorcised by the likes of his unlikely muse, Malga Kubiak. His films, which chiefly address the weighty issue of why relationships (especially sexual ones,) dont


Andersens Märchen von der Liebe (2001)

function, often have dark beginnings; for example „Eiszeit“, whose ice cold opening sequence depicts one woman vigourously masturbating another, fully clothed, or the desperate beginning sequence of „Chien Fuck“, with its bitch director figure, who demands so much from her lover that he can no longer „perform.“

Cult films from the 60s and 70s by obscure directors such as Vilgot Sjöman, José Benazeraf, Jesus Franco, Lothar Lambert and Jean Rollin are the chief influences of Andersen’s films. However, unlike so many films from the 60s and 70s, ie: Cassavetes, and Bergmann (whose female darkness is at times overwhelming), Andersen’s films have an extraordinary quotient, which makes them highly original and very uncommercial; in recent times he has evolved a hybrid; a mock documentary look and feel that can really confuse the viewer; in „Chien Fuck“ I was so convinced that the „director“ character was really the director that I asked myself what were her feelings about being filmed; only to find out in the end credits that she is essentially a fictional character; just as the rest of the „interviewed“ ex lovers are. This is an astounding technique, and one which is rarely talked about by other reviewers of Andersen’s films. The sex, which is full on and often explicit, is always the thing that gets talked about. Which, actually is Andersen’s point! Why do we have such a „thing“ about sex when it is such a normal, daily activity, why should it be censored, or artificially portrayed, as it is in 90 percent of the films we see? Indeed, the sex in his films can get in the way of seeing the real issue, as illustrated so humourously in „Lick An Apple Like A Pussy“, which deals with the fascinating subject of how actors avoid doing the real thing; how much energy is wasted in talking and thinking about why they shouldnt have sex, rather than just getting on and seeing it as part of their job.

This essential Narcissism is also a part of Andersen’s oeuvre. „Mondo Weirdo“, his second film, has none of the documentary aspects of the later films, but it is a surreal fantasyland of voyeurism and bisexual acts. „Sehnsucht Nach Dem Mehr“ is a very Nouvelle Vague pondering on what the actors think about the director, which I personally found insufferable and claustrophically narcissistic, almost approaching „Big Brother“!

If there is anyone who can claim to make film for women, about women, and on the side of women, then it’s Andersen, even with his sometimes highly unsympathetic female characters. He is trying to represent the world as it is; often using non actors, normal looking people as opposed to models, and showing every malfunctional and destructive aspect of relationships, because that’s what is real to him. The „ugliness“ in women can also be their strength, and vice versa. It takes an actress as strong as Kubiak to cope with the uglier side of Andersen’s anima.

The lightness in his films is, however, just as omnipresent, and comes most often through the medium of music. Music inspires and lightens every dark corner in his work, and makes those films highly enjoyable. Music features heavily in „Mondo Weirdo“, where the erotic and sexual sequences are like fantasies without dialogue; and in „Chien Fuck“, which is heavy on dialogue, and uses the music to divert and uplift in the form of a small documentary montage about a Berlin band.

Andersen’s films are life affirming in a „Dogma“ sense; if you can run fast enough behind the shaky camera, and not turn away during the unflinchingly upclose sex, you will see the reflection of the flawed but beautiful fragility that all humans possess; and that is Andersen’s charm; a very modern, honest and unconventional cinema, for those that are ready.

(from: http://tilsiter-lichtspiele.de/programm/2008/carl_andersen.html)

The underground film maker Carl Andersen died on August, 3, at the age of 54 in Berlin. Thanks a lot for bringing so much strange films to us via the great Negativland video library.  Rest in peace, Carl!

Die Sehnsucht nach dem Mehr (2000)

The Films Of Carl Andersen.

 by Anneliese Holles, London, 2008.

The Austrian born Carl Andersen is perhaps one of the few contemporary Auteurs to have devoted his films almost entirely to the subject of women. How they tick and how they relate to each other, and to men, is almost an obsession, a fetish only capable of being exorcised by the likes of his unlikely muse, Malga Kubiak. His films, which chiefly address the weighty issue of why relationships (especially sexual ones,) dont


Andersens Märchen von der Liebe (2001)

function, often have dark beginnings; for example „Eiszeit“, whose ice cold opening sequence depicts one woman vigourously masturbating another, fully clothed, or the desperate beginning sequence of „Chien Fuck“, with its bitch director figure, who demands so much from her lover that he can no longer „perform.“

Cult films from the 60s and 70s by obscure directors such as Vilgot Sjöman, José Benazeraf, Jesus Franco, Lothar Lambert and Jean Rollin are the chief influences of Andersen’s films. However, unlike so many films from the 60s and 70s, ie: Cassavetes, and Bergmann (whose female darkness is at times overwhelming), Andersen’s films have an extraordinary quotient, which makes them highly original and very uncommercial; in recent times he has evolved a hybrid; a mock documentary look and feel that can really confuse the viewer; in „Chien Fuck“ I was so convinced that the „director“ character was really the director that I asked myself what were her feelings about being filmed; only to find out in the end credits that she is essentially a fictional character; just as the rest of the „interviewed“ ex lovers are. This is an astounding technique, and one which is rarely talked about by other reviewers of Andersen’s films. The sex, which is full on and often explicit, is always the thing that gets talked about. Which, actually is Andersen’s point! Why do we have such a „thing“ about sex when it is such a normal, daily activity, why should it be censored, or artificially portrayed, as it is in 90 percent of the films we see? Indeed, the sex in his films can get in the way of seeing the real issue, as illustrated so humourously in „Lick An Apple Like A Pussy“, which deals with the fascinating subject of how actors avoid doing the real thing; how much energy is wasted in talking and thinking about why they shouldnt have sex, rather than just getting on and seeing it as part of their job.

This essential Narcissism is also a part of Andersen’s oeuvre. „Mondo Weirdo“, his second film, has none of the documentary aspects of the later films, but it is a surreal fantasyland of voyeurism and bisexual acts. „Sehnsucht Nach Dem Mehr“ is a very Nouvelle Vague pondering on what the actors think about the director, which I personally found insufferable and claustrophically narcissistic, almost approaching „Big Brother“!

If there is anyone who can claim to make film for women, about women, and on the side of women, then it’s Andersen, even with his sometimes highly unsympathetic female characters. He is trying to represent the world as it is; often using non actors, normal looking people as opposed to models, and showing every malfunctional and destructive aspect of relationships, because that’s what is real to him. The „ugliness“ in women can also be their strength, and vice versa. It takes an actress as strong as Kubiak to cope with the uglier side of Andersen’s anima.

The lightness in his films is, however, just as omnipresent, and comes most often through the medium of music. Music inspires and lightens every dark corner in his work, and makes those films highly enjoyable. Music features heavily in „Mondo Weirdo“, where the erotic and sexual sequences are like fantasies without dialogue; and in „Chien Fuck“, which is heavy on dialogue, and uses the music to divert and uplift in the form of a small documentary montage about a Berlin band.

Andersen’s films are life affirming in a „Dogma“ sense; if you can run fast enough behind the shaky camera, and not turn away during the unflinchingly upclose sex, you will see the reflection of the flawed but beautiful fragility that all humans possess; and that is Andersen’s charm; a very modern, honest and unconventional cinema, for those that are ready.

(from: http://tilsiter-lichtspiele.de/programm/2008/carl_andersen.html)