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.
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.
“In which Laurie Anderson reminds us that sometimes you’ve just gotta go with your intuition. If you see a guy and he looks like a hat check clerk, he is a hat check clerk. And everything that suggests. To which I must add, I have no idea what that is. And I doubt Laurie Anderson did either, early 1980s, just rolling with the zeitgeist which she was in the process of turning inside out with her strange gear and her stranger stories. And the pinks of the world are still trying to make sense of it. Stop making sense.” (Philip Random)
It’s 1966 and it seems only Frank Zappa and his Mothers realize just how freaky and weird things are about to get, and Frank never even did drugs (beyond cigarettes and coffee). Nevertheless he could see them — the Brain Police. Or more to the point, he felt them, because you can’t see the brain police, can you? They’re within you, hiding behind your devices of oracular perception. Recording things. Seriously, they are there, implanted at birth.
By the time When Tomorrow Hits hit, Spacemen 3 had already broken up for all the regular reasons that drug addled, pioneering psychedelic outfits break up, and then some. A cover of a Mudhoney original, it was supposed to be part of a double-A split single which would also feature Mudhoney’s version of Spacemen 3’s Revolution, but for whatever hazy reason, that didn’t happen. What does happen is Spacemen 3’s equal parts smoother and sharper take on When Tomorrow Hits, particularly that part toward the end, when it hits!
In which the Velvet Underground remind us that in NYC, the so-called Summer of Love was more about coolness and shadows and shiny boots of leather than the hippie sh** that was so popular elsewhere. Music so driven, angular, dark that it made you want to grab a whip and get to cracking it in time. Based on a rather pivotal 1870 novella of the same name that explores themes of sadomasochism and dominance, it hits like a wrong door, the kind you open without really thinking about it, but once you have, whatever’s going on in there – it has you, it won’t let you go. Which perhaps begins to explain how it ended up being used to sell tires.
“Some folks just can’t get enough Sparks, hence the twenty some albums going back to the early 1970s, and thumbs up to all involved, the culture is never weird enough. But I’ve personally been happy enough with the occasional gem of pure weird pop wonder. Like The Number 1 Song In Heaven, their big deal disco hit from 1979, which features actual changes in time signature, but apparently these didn’t clear the dance floor. At least that’s what I was told. Because I didn’t go to discos at the time. I was more inclined to the anything-but side. With occasional exceptions, because that’s the thing about truly great pop music – it tends to transcend all boundaries.” (Philip Random)
It’s 1980 and even for the hippest of hippies, the 1960s are long over. And Daevid Allen was definitely one of those: founding member of both Gong and Soft Machine and before that, beat collaborator with the likes of William Burroughs and Terry Riley. And oh yeah, he was in Paris in May 1968, threw his hand in with the insurrection that almost brought the whole of Western Europe to the ground. But jump ahead twelve years and it wasn’t about big movements anymore, it was just you and me, eye to eye, and “… when we have killed each other, then we can the subject.”
“Bobby and Shirley Womack wrote It’s All Over Now, and the Rolling Stones scored a big early hit with it, but Rod Stewart owns it here (from back when he was still good). Just a gritty and fun (if unremarkable) pub rawker for the first few minutes, but then it just refuses to end, the guy refuses to give up, making it the perhaps greatest, truest break-up record ever. Or more to the point, it’s an aftermath record best grasped via too much alcohol, self-pity etc. Because it’s true, endlessly true. Just keep telling yourself. You don’t love her (or him or them) anymore. All this misery is just chemicals, or whatever.” (Philip Random)
“Australian outfit Hunters + Collectors took their name from a Can song, though you’d be hard pressed to make the connection as things evolved. But back at the beginning of things, their first album in particular, if you were looking for the big true primal sound of Down Under in all of its dust and grime and imponderable, uninhabitable vastness – well, it was all there. Or in my particular case, it was a local rawk club, 1986 or thereabouts, way the hell out in suburban Richmond (British Columbia, that is), the kind of place where cool bands never played, but for whatever reason, someone booked Hunters + Collectors. Just getting there was a journey in itself but trust that minds were blown, souls were lifted. Particularly as Run Run Run roared through its epic second half. ‘For the ages,’ somebody muttered afterward. And it the whole nine minutes were that strong, well, it’s probable the Eschaton would already have been immenatized.” (Philip Random)
“In which the Forgotten Rebels, straight outa Hamilton, Ontario, remind us (as some now dead guy once said) that junkies gonna junk and dabblers gonna dabble, except with heroin, sometimes the dabblers die anyway, but mostly they just wobble around (if they’re standing at all) like they’re working monster waves a mile from shore. Maybe it feels cool, but it mostly looks dumb. Seriously, the song’s supposed to be taking the piss, but as always with these things, some seem to take it as lifestyle advice. I guess nobody’s to blame but stupidity itself.” (Philip Random)