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Randophonic is foremost a radio program that airs pretty much every Saturday night starting at 11pm (Pacific time) on CiTR.FM.101.9.  You can read more about all that here.

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For the time being, this blog will be a two-headed beast as it endeavours to:

A. keep track of what’s happening on-air (including regular links to podcast and streaming options). Our current concern in this regard is The Solid Time of Change (aka the 661 Greatest Records of the so-called Prog Rock era),

B. review some of our history, specifically Philip Random’s All Vinyl Countdown and Apocalypse (aka the 1,111 Greatest Records You’ve Probably Never Heard), which we’re revisiting one track at a time, one day at a time, for however long it takes.

Download Randophonic podcasts via this archive. Stream Randophonic programs via our Mixcloud. Stay on top of day to day stuff via our Facebook. Youtube playlists etc can be found here.

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598. concrete jungle

“The release date for Catch A Fire says 1973 but I didn’t have the right ears for Bob Marley and the Wailers (and reggae in general for that matter) until at least 1980. And Concrete Jungle was pivotal in that evolution, and marijuana. By which I mean, Old Ted (one of my more dependable dealers at the time) insisted that I get high on some particularly effective herb, and listen to Catch A Fire with him. ‘Because marijuana will never be free until Jamaica is free.’ Which sounds a bit vague now but trust me, it made profound sense then. And it all started with Concrete Jungle, first track on the album, one of the best bands ever in all creation, slowly slipping things into gear for a revelatory journey through the concrete and shadows of Babylon and beyond.” (Philip Random)

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599. I love you, you big dummy

“A big dumb love song c/o the Captain (Beefheart, that is) who had no tolerance for fools, or straights, or normals, or anybody anywhere that couldn’t grasp The Strange. But he clearly had a heart. A friend of mine used to insist that if he ever got married, I Love You, You Big Dummy would be the first dance. He did eventually get married but no, it didn’t get played first, last or anywhere in between. The divorce papers got filed less than a year later.” (Philip Random)

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600. damaged goods

“By the time I got around to properly listening to Gang of Four, they were rather past it, attempting to work a sort of white-washed funk that, in retrospect, was probably even worse than it seemed at the time. Or more to the point, subsequent explorations of their earlier stuff revealed a grittier, nastier, far better band. Still somewhat funky, but not remotely clean – the funk being explored in service of the punk, no prisoners being taken, much damage being done.” (Philip Random)

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601. losing faith in words

Peter Hammill  (aka the Jesus of Angst) is probably not a good choice for listening to while high on LSD. But we did it anyway any number of times. I remember Losing Faith in Words popping up once at exactly the right moment once, because words were indeed failing and I was trying to force the issue, which was only ever making things worse in the psychedelic realm, the reality barrier being revealed to be onion-like – peeling away in fractal layers. Stop it, counselled the song! You can’t win at this. And then some ambient Brian Eno got put on and I focused on my breathing.” (Philip Random)

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602. blue

“There’s not enough Joni Mitchell on this list. It’s true. But it’s all there in the guidelines. If I didn’t own it on vinyl by August-4-2000, it didn’t qualify. And as of that date, all I had was Blue. Which tends to satisfy the if-you-can-only-own-one-Joni-Mitchell-album-it-should-be-Blue club, but why the hell would you only limit yourself to one? That’s just dumb (he said, looking his younger self in the mirror).” (Philip Random)

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603. pretty soon there’ll be nothing left for everybody

“A smoothly apocalyptic little ditty from that latter part of Harry Nilsson‘s career when folks had pretty much written him off – all that boozing and drugging and hanging with John Lennon (among notable others) having blown his once beautiful voice to smithereens. And he was wrong about the future, too, how we were running out of air, and oceans, and pills and trains of thought even. But for whatever reason, I do like the song. Because, paradoxically, it gives me hope. Because if it didn’t happen in 1975, then why’s it going to suddenly happen now? Or something like that.” (Philip Random)

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604. For Calvin + his next two hitchhikers

“Everybody’s got that Frank Zappa track which, for whatever reason, hooked them into realizing, holy sh**, this guy’s way more than just a hippie weirdo with a dirty sense of humour. For me, don’t ask me why, it was For Calvin and His Next Two Hitchhikers. Maybe it was the relaxed yet deranged bigness of sound, because The Grand Wazoo was definitely a big sounding endeavor. Maybe it was the oddly incomplete story being told concerning the two dudes in the back of the car. Where did they come from? Where did they go? Did they find a sandwich? Did they eat it in the dark? And why do I care? Maybe it was that leakage from the drain in the night. Early 1980s sometime. There were probably psychedelics involved.” (Philip Random)

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605. just like Tom Thumb’s blues

“The people I feel sorry for are the ones who try to make definitive sense of a Bob Dylan lyric, particularly the stuff from his pre-motorcycle-crash-peak-amphetamine (and whatever else) period. I mean, take the first two lines of Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues. When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez and it’s Eastertime too – And your gravity fails And negativity don’t pull you through. You can go anywhere from there. Or nowhere. Which is the whole point, of course. Maybe. What I mean is, I first heard it when I was maybe fourteen, three decades ago now, and I’m sure I’ve heard it hundreds of times since, but I still couldn’t tell you what any of it’s actually about. Not a single line. And I don’t care. It takes me regardless, maybe nowhere at all. And if you don’t get the appeal in all that, then there’s someone you need to meet. His name is Mr. Jones.” (Philip Random)

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606. revolution blues

As the story goes, Neil Young had at least a peripheral connection to Charles Manson. They weren’t exactly buddies, yet there was a sort of passing amity that perhaps could only have existed in the old hippie days of 1960s Los Angeles, the weird scenes up Laurel Canyon in particular. That was before all the slaughter, of course. After which Mr. Young found a way to get it into at least one song, in particular the part about getting armed to the teeth, hopping into dune buggies, then swarming down the canyon, exterminating everyone they saw, particularly all the hippie rock star types who hadn’t let Chuck join their club. Which was apparently a scheme that he never got around to executing. There were a bunch of those.

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