Archive for February, 2013


Phil Ochs - Pleasures Of The Harbor

Going into the studio after Dylan’s move into rock accompaniment and Sgt. Pepper’s vast expansion of pop music, Ochs wanted to make a record that reflected all these trends, and he hired producer Larry Marks, arranger Ian Freebairn-Smith, and pianist Lincoln Mayorga – all of whom had classical backgrounds – to help him realize his vision.

The result was “Pleasures of the Harbor”, his most musically varied and ambitious album, one routinely cited as his greatest accomplishment. Though the lyrics were usually not directly political, they continued to reflect his established points of view. His social criticisms here were complex, and they went largely unnoticed on a long album full of long songs, many of which did not support the literal interpretations they nevertheless received. The album was consistently imbued with images of mortality, and it all came together on the abstract, electronic-tinged final track, “The Crucifixion.” Usually taken to be about John F. Kennedy, it concerns the emergence of a hero in a corrupt world and his inevitable downfall through betrayal. Ochs offers no satisfying resolution; the goals cannot be compromised, and they will not be fulfilled. It was anything but easy listening, but it was an effective conclusion to a brilliant album that anticipated the devastating and tragic turn of the late ’60s, as well as its maker’s own eventual decline and demise.

From the liner notes by Richie Unterberger:
“If ever a record by a major 1960s artist was a “transitional” album, Phil Ochs’ Pleasures of the Harbor was it. The LP was his first recording to use full band arrangements; his first to almost entirely depart from the topical protest folk songs with which he had made his reputation; his first to be recorded for a then-young A&M label; and his first to be recorded in Los Angeles, the city to which he moved from New York in the late 1960s. It is undoubtedly his most sonically ambitious work, and if the almost ludicrously huge scope of his ambitions guaranteed an uneven album, it nevertheless contained some of his most enduring and successful songs and performances.”

Phil Ochs – Pleasures Of The Harbor
(192 kbps, front cover included)

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“Canto Por Travesura” was originally prepared to release  in Chile in September 1973. The military coup stopped the release and only a few copies of the original release reached the audience. In 1976 and 1978 several labels published this album in Spain and Italy.

The german Pläne label published a re-release as “Betschwestern und andere frivole Gesänge” in the year 1980, even translating the song titels.

The album is a collection of southern Chilean folk songs with a consistent thematic style popular in Chilean folklore – the mocking of social norms with mischievous jokes, riddles and dark humor.
True to the title (“travesura” translates roughly as “prank”) and the cover drawing of a cat pulling up the curtain on an old hag in déshabillé, “Canto Por Travesura” is largely comprised of light material from Victor Jara. Every selection but one is a traditional song given a new arrangement by Jara. Songs like “La Palmatoria,” “Iba Yo Para una Fiesta,” and “La Diuca” aren’t powerhouses, but they have the simple grace that pervades all of Jara’s recordings.     

Tracklist:

A1 Brindis / Trinkspruch
A2 La Palmatoria / Der Kerzenhalter
A3 Vengan A Mi Casamiento / Kommt Zu Meiner Hochzeit
A4 La Fonda / Die Kneipe
A5 La Edad De La Mujer / Das Alter Der Frau
A6 La Cafetera / Die Kaffeekanne

B1 La Diuca / Das Vögelchen                                                                 
B2 Iba Yo Para Una Fiesta / Ich Ging Zu Einem Fest
B3 Por Un Pito Ruin / Egen Einer Schäbigen Trillerpfeife
B4 La Beata / Die Betschwester
B5 Adivinanzas / Rätsel
B6 El Chincolito / Der Kleine Spatz

Victor Jara – Canto Por Travesura – Die Betschwestern und andere frivole Gesänge (Pläne)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

“Canto Por Travesura” was originally prepared to release  in Chile in September 1973. The military coup stopped the release and only a few copies of the original release reached the audience. In 1976 and 1978 several labels published this album in Spain and Italy.

The german Pläne label published a re-release as “Betschwestern und andere frivole Gesänge” in the year 1980, even translating the song titels.

The album is a collection of southern Chilean folk songs with a consistent thematic style popular in Chilean folklore – the mocking of social norms with mischievous jokes, riddles and dark humor.
True to the title (“travesura” translates roughly as “prank”) and the cover drawing of a cat pulling up the curtain on an old hag in déshabillé, “Canto Por Travesura” is largely comprised of light material from Victor Jara. Every selection but one is a traditional song given a new arrangement by Jara. Songs like “La Palmatoria,” “Iba Yo Para una Fiesta,” and “La Diuca” aren’t powerhouses, but they have the simple grace that pervades all of Jara’s recordings.     

Tracklist:

A1 Brindis / Trinkspruch
A2 La Palmatoria / Der Kerzenhalter
A3 Vengan A Mi Casamiento / Kommt Zu Meiner Hochzeit
A4 La Fonda / Die Kneipe
A5 La Edad De La Mujer / Das Alter Der Frau
A6 La Cafetera / Die Kaffeekanne

B1 La Diuca / Das Vögelchen                                                                 
B2 Iba Yo Para Una Fiesta / Ich Ging Zu Einem Fest
B3 Por Un Pito Ruin / Egen Einer Schäbigen Trillerpfeife
B4 La Beata / Die Betschwester
B5 Adivinanzas / Rätsel
B6 El Chincolito / Der Kleine Spatz

Victor Jara – Canto Por Travesura – Die Betschwestern und andere frivole Gesänge (Pläne)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Quilapayun – DT 64 Single (1975)

Quilapayún is a folk music group from Chile and among the longest lasting and most influential ambassadors of the Nueva Canción Chilena movement.

Formed in Chile during the mid-1960s, the group became inseparable with the revolution that occurred in the popular music of the country under the “Unitad Popular” (“Popular Unity”) Government of Salvador Allende. Since its formation and during its forty-year history – both in Chile and during its lengthy period of exile in France – the group has seen modifications to its personnel lineup and the subject and content of its work.

The GDR label Amiga released this single in the “DT 64 Polit-Song” series. This series refers to the last “Deutschlandtreffen der Jugend für Frieden und Völkerfreundschaft” in the year 1964 in East-Berlin.

“Bourgeois society wants art to be another factor contributing to social alienation, we artists should transform it into a revolutionary weapon, until the contradiction that actually exists between art and society finally comes to pass. This surpassing is called revolution and its motor and fundamental agent is the working class. Our group, loyal to the ideals of Luis Emilio Recabarren, sees its work as a continuation of what has already been achieved by many other popular/folk artists. This side of the trenches has been occupied by artists whose names are forever linked to the revolutionary struggle of our people: the first Luis Emilio Recabarren, the latest: Violeta Parra and Pablo Neruda. The example they have given us is the light that guides us.”
— Quilapayún (1969)

Tracks:
A: Quilapayun – Tio Caiman (Onkel Krokodil)
B: Quilapayun – El alma Ilena de banderas (Eine Seele voller Fahnen)

Quilapayun – DT 64 Single (1975)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Tomorrow I will have the chance to see Quilapayun in a concert honouring Victor Jara. This is a good occasion for posting some of their wonderful music.

The Chilean group formed in 1965 writing lyrics inspired by social issues related to its country and combining them with autochthonous musical arrangements. In 1966, the band came in first place at the Festival de Festivales, releasing its first album that same year. Folk singer and songwriter Victor Jara helped the band by promoting Quilapayun’s music and making the record “Canciones Folkloricas de America” together. As Chilean New Song’s ambassador, Quilapayun went on its first European tour in 1968. Due to Chilean political and social changes in the early ’70s, the group settled in foreign countries for more than a decade.

 
X Vietnam” or “Por Vietnam” was Quilapayún’s third official album, first published in 1968 in the context of opposition to the Vietnam War.

Quilapayun – Por Vietnam (1968)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Richard Fariña was a noted counterculture author and folksinger in the early ’60s. Married for a time to folksinger Carolyn Hester, he was an early intimate of Bob Dylan, and in fact recorded a collectable album with Dylan (playing under the pseudonym Blind Boy Grunt) and Ric Von Schmidt in 1963. After marrying Joan Baez’s sister, Mimi, he formed a folk-rock duo who released two acclaimed albums in the mid-’60s. Unlike folk-rock figureheads like the Byrds, the Fariñas were far more firmly rooted in folk than rock.

Their recordings effectively flavored their material (mostly written by Fariña) with jangling electric guitars and a rhythm section, ably assisted by such session players as guitarist Bruce Langhorne (who also played on Dylan’s first electric recordings), bassist Felix Pappalardi, and harmonica player John Hammond. The Fariñas themselves also played guitar, autoharp, and dulcimer. Least successful with blues, they recorded some effective Appalachian-flavored material, and several excellent bona fide mid-tempo folk-rockers and ballads. Their best songs effectively balanced world-wise, sardonic observations with good-natured, melodic optimism.

The Fariñas’ promising career ended prematurely with the death of Richard Fariña in a motorcycle accident on his birthday in 1966. His novel of the same year, “Been Down So Long It Looks Like up to Me”, became a cult favorite. Since Richard Fariña’s death, Mimi Fariña has sporadically recorded and performed as a solo act.

Richard & Mimi Fariña’s debut effectively laid out their approach: Appalachian-like instrumentals that put the dulcimer to the fore alternate with strong contemporary folk compositions, which are by turns mournful and high-spirited. The world-weary “Reno Nevada” (a part of Fairport Convention’s repertoire in their early days) is the duo’s best song.

A note on the song “Michael, Andrew and James”:
Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney were members of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE). On June 21, 1964, they traveled to Longdale, Mississippi to visit a church that had been bombed by the Ku Klux Klan. On their way back they were arrested by the sherrif, then released, and then shot by a mob and buried in a shallow grave. Their bodies were not discovered until two weeks later, on August 4th. Michael Schwerner had been a Cornell student (class of ’61), which probably gave the tragic events an extra poignancy for Fariña. His song is a sequel of sorts to “Birmingham Sunday,” which likewise commemorated the victims of a racist attack. In both songs Fariña called upon the folk trope of naming each victim to preserve them in our collective memory, a tradition older than the Homeric epics. Tom Paxton also wrote a song for them, called “Goodman, Schwerner And Chaney,” on his album Ain’t That News and Carolyn Hester wrote one called “Three Young Men” on At Town Hall, vol. 1.

SIDE ONE:

1. DANDELION RIVER RUN 1:42
Instr.–guitar & dulcimer
2. PACK UP YOUR SORROWS 2:58
Vocal–with guitar & dulcimer
(by Pauline Marden and Richard Fariña)
3. TOMMY MAKEM FANTASY 1:29
Instr.–autoharp & dulcimer
4. MICHAEL, ANDREW AND JAMES 5:07
Vocal–with dulcimer and guitar
5. DOG BLUE 1:42 (arr. by Mimi Fariña)
Instr.–guitar & dulcimer
6. V.
Instr.–dulcimer & tambourine (Bruce Langhorne)
7. ONE-WAY TICKET 3:24
Vocal–with guitar, dulcimer, electric guitar (Bruce Langhorne), piano (Charles Small) and bass (Russ Savakus)

SIDE TWO:

8. HAMISH 1:47
Instr.–autoharp & dulcimer
9. ANOTHER COUNTRY 4:00
Vocal–with guitar & electric guitar (Bruce Langhorne)
10. TUILERIES 1:45
Instr.–dulcimer
11. THE FALCON 3:38
Vocal–with guitar
12. RENO NEVADA 3:07
Vocal–with guitar, dulcimer, electric guitar (Bruce Langhorne), piano (Charles Small) and bass (Russ Savakus)
13. CELEBRATION FOR A GREY DAY 3:47
Instr.–guitar & dulcimer

Mimi & Richard Farina – Celebrations For A Grey Day (1965)
(192 kbps, cover art included)


Tracklist:
1. Whistle Daughter Whistle
2. When I Was Single
3. The House Carpenter
4. When First Unto This Country
5. All Of Her Answers
6. Young Man who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn
7. The Wagoner’s Load
8. Long Lonesome Road
9. The Butcher’s Boy
10. The Old Maid
11. Katy Cruel
12. Leatherwing Bat

Peggy Seeger – Folk Songs Of Courting & Complaint (1955)
(192 kbps, cover art included)


Tracklist:
1. Whistle Daughter Whistle
2. When I Was Single
3. The House Carpenter
4. When First Unto This Country
5. All Of Her Answers
6. Young Man who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn
7. The Wagoner’s Load
8. Long Lonesome Road
9. The Butcher’s Boy
10. The Old Maid
11. Katy Cruel
12. Leatherwing Bat

Peggy Seeger – Folk Songs Of Courting & Complaint (1955)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

The brief “Canciones Postumas” collection gathers six late songs of Victor Jara, whose tragic death in 1973, following the overthrow of Salvador Allende’s government in Chile, robbed the world of a remarkable and humane voice for freedom.

One of Jara’s most striking songs, “Manisfesto,” recorded just days before his death, and obviously intended to be a summing up of his work, is included here, along with homages to the singer by M.A. Cherubito and J.A. Labordeta.

Tracklist:
A1 Victor Jara – Manifiesto
A2 Victor Jara – Caicaivilú
A3 Victor Jara – Cuando Voy Al Trabajo
A4 Eulogio Dávalos And Miguel Angel Cherubito – Homenaje A Víctor Jara
B1 Victor Jara – Aquí Me Quedo
B2 Victor Jara – Doncella Encantada
B3 Victor Jara – Pimiento
B4 José Antonio Labordeta – Homenaje A Víctor Jara

Victor Jara – Canciones Postumas – Chile Septiembre 1973 (1975)

(192 kbps, front cover included)

The brief “Canciones Postumas” collection gathers six late songs of Victor Jara, whose tragic death in 1973, following the overthrow of Salvador Allende’s government in Chile, robbed the world of a remarkable and humane voice for freedom.

One of Jara’s most striking songs, “Manisfesto,” recorded just days before his death, and obviously intended to be a summing up of his work, is included here, along with homages to the singer by M.A. Cherubito and J.A. Labordeta.

Tracklist:
A1 Victor Jara – Manifiesto
A2 Victor Jara – Caicaivilú
A3 Victor Jara – Cuando Voy Al Trabajo
A4 Eulogio Dávalos And Miguel Angel Cherubito – Homenaje A Víctor Jara
B1 Victor Jara – Aquí Me Quedo
B2 Victor Jara – Doncella Encantada
B3 Victor Jara – Pimiento
B4 José Antonio Labordeta – Homenaje A Víctor Jara

Victor Jara – Canciones Postumas – Chile Septiembre 1973 (1975)

(192 kbps, front cover included)