327. tombstone blues

Tombstone Blues being found immediately after Like a Rolling Stone on Bob Dylan’s sixth album, Highway 61 Revisited, the one that changed everything forever. Philip Random remains in awe of the mad precision of its poetry. “Lately it’s been the geometry of innocent flesh on the bone causing Galileo’s math book to get thrown. But maybe six months ago, it was the king of the Philistines, his soldiers putting jawbones on their tombstones and flattering their graves. Back in the early 1980s, it was definitely John the Baptist (after torturing a thief) looking up at his hero the Commander-in-Chief, saying, tell me great hero, but please make it brief, is there a hole for me to get sick in? In other words, yeah it’s all just Dada, but it’s a fine and enduring Dada, still very much alive, mercurial even. Particularly if you’re driving long distances, gobbling dexedrine, smoothing the edges with cheap red wine, you hit the Pacific coast at sunset, northern California somewhere, take some pictures but for some reason all you’ve got is black + white film. So the moment is captured without pigment, the sky pure white, like an atomic bomb. Which is more or less accurate, I think. If the world didn’t end in 1965 when Dylan released Highway 61, then it was June 1989, and I have pictures to prove it.”

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335. father of night, father of day

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band being an example of a darned strong outfit that never bothered much for hype or glory, particularly in their early days, but rather just put everything they had into the music. In the case of Father of Night Father of Day, that meant taking a sub two minute Bob Dylan acoustic throwaway about the glory of God etc and electrifying it, amplifying it glorifying until it was almost ten minutes long, and miles higher. The whole album’s a killer by the way, 1973’s Solar Fire. The Roaring Silence got all the sales and notoriety three years later because of the big deal hit Blinded By The Light, but Solar Fire is superior by orders of magnitude, the definition of a rock that was progressive, and at a time when that still mattered.” (Philip Random)

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353. In held ’twas in I

Procol Harum achieved improbable levels of success with their very first single, 1967’s Whiter Shade of Pale, and it was taken rather seriously. Because it was rock meets Johan Sebastien Bach with lyrics obscure enough to almost make you forget that Bob Dylan had taken a vacation, more or less. But then what do you do for an encore? You go further, higher, deeper, longer, you give all of side two of your second album to a single seventeen minute track called In Held Twas In I, which to many ears, ranks as the first genuine prog rock epic. In other words, yeah, it probably goes too far, too high and deep, definitely too long. But what do expect from young men cut loose from the herd, more or less commanded to go climb the highest mountain? Or as the Dalai Lama puts it in the intro. Life is like a beanstalk. Isn’t it?” (Philip Random)

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376. when I paint my masterpiece

“I think I prefer the Band’s take on When I Paint My Masterpiece to Dylan‘s. It feels a little more road weary, earned, a lonely night amid the rubble in Rome by way of deepest darkest Arkansas (or perhaps Ontario), somewhere vast and godless, and all those million miles in between playing rock and roll. Great song either way.” (Philip Random)

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377. magnificent seven

“In retrospect, we realized that The Magnificent Seven was the Clash taking on hip-hop, but in early 1981 when Sandinista first arrived, nobody in suburban Canadian wherever had even heard the term yet. So for me, it felt more like a riff on Bob Dylan, subterranean and homesick — definitely New York City in all of its turn of the decade corrosion and despair, and yet madly fertile anyway, not unlike the world as a whole at the time. The acid helped in this regard. I feel I should I apologize for this, all the acid references that seem to pop up whenever some kind of broader cultural view is required as to what really went down in the 1980s (my angle on it anyway). But why should one apologize for telling the truth? The Clash never did. Even when they were wrong.” (Philip Random)

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392. please crawl out your window

“True fact. Though The Band may have been Bob Dylan’s favourite band, they didn’t do much actual studio work together. Whatever they had, it was mostly a live thing, which is certainly how Please Crawl Out Your Window feels: just plug in and go for it. Released as a single in late 1965, it mostly missed the charts at the time, thus freeing it up to land freshly with me maybe twenty years later (again via the Biograph box set). Like a postcard from some past cool scene I only wish I could’ve known. The light itself must’ve been different in those days. And it probably was, given all the speed those guys were doing.” (Philip Random)

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400. Visions of Johanna

“Back in 1999, I recall somebody somewhere putting forth the argument that Bob Dylan’s Visions of Johanna was the single greatest record of the twentieth century. Something to do with the line about the ghost of ‘lectricity howling in the bones of her face, or maybe it was the part about infinity going up on trial. Either way, he was talking about the studio version that showed up on Blonde on Blonde, which is weird, because that’s not even the best version, which is the 1966 live take that did the rounds on bootlegs for years, then finally showed up on the Biograph box set. Something about it being pared down to just Bob, guitar, harmonica, voice – nothing else getting in the way of his accelerated brain and the amphetamine precision of the impossible images it was putting forth. Which is entirely the point, I think. Young genius stepping up to his confusion, surfing its twists and convolutions, letting it take him places he could never have imagined existed … and then finding a way to channel it all to into breath and voice and words. Call it a song. A damned fine one. Yet not beyond parody.” (Philip Random)

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012. The Final Countdown*

Installment #12. of The Final Countdown aired Saturday-June-16-2018 (c/o CiTR.FM.101.9).

Tracks available on this Youtube playlist (somewhat inaccurate).

The Final Countdown* is Randophonic’s longest and, if we’re doing it right, most relevant countdown yet – the end of result of a complex process that’s still evolving such is the strangely existential nature of the project: the 1297 Greatest Records of All Time right now right here, whatever that means. What it means is over a year of radio, if all goes to plan, and when has that ever happened?

TFC-012

Installment #12 of The Final Countdown* went like this.

1070. Temptations – masterpiece
1069. Blues Project – flute thing
1068. Simon & Garfunkel – we’ve got a groovey thing goin
1067. Prince – automatic
1066. Peter Hammill – the Institute of Mental Health [burning]
1065. Aphrodite’s Child – Aegean
1064. Howard Shore – The Black Meat
1063. Ill Gotten Gains – spirit of 67
1062. John Zorn – the little lieutenant of the loving god
1061. Shadows – wonderful land
1060. Bob Dylan – blue moon
1059. Ultramarine – saratoga (upstate mix)
1058. Keltic Electric – Wild Mountain Thyme
1057. My Bloody Valentine – loomer
1056. John Klemmer – third stone from the sun
1055. Animal Collective – Who Could Win a Rabbit
1054. Grateful Dead – cosmic Charlie
1053. DS Crew – frontier
1052. Todd Rundgren – healing [part 1]

Randophonic airs pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and/or download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.

011. The Final Countdown*

Installment #11 of The Final Countdown aired Saturday-June-9-2018 (c/o CiTR.FM.101.9).

Tracks available on this Youtube playlist (somewhat inaccurate).

The Final Countdown* is Randophonic’s longest, most random and (if we’re doing it right) relevant countdown yet – the end of result of a long process that finally evolved into something halfway tangible in early 2018. The 1297 Greatest Records of All Time right now right here, if that makes sense. And even if it doesn’t, we’re doing it anyway for as long as it takes, and it will take a while.

TFC-011

Installment #11 of The Final Countdown* went like this.

1092. Big Audio Dynamite – medicine show [shortened]
1091. Selecter – James Bond
1090. Peter and Gordon – a world without love
1089. Dungen – Mina Damer Och Fasaner
1088. Deodato – September 13
1087. Cornelius – Brazil
1086. Juanna Molina – Salvese quien pueda
1085. Residents – dimples + toes
1084. Bob Dylan – Mozambique
1083. Patti Smith – when doves cry
1082. Chilliwack – raino
1081. Turtles – grim reaper of love
1080. Lieutenant Pigeon – moldy old dough
1079. Echo + the Bunnymen  – all you need is love
1078. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – time is right
1077. Chicago – a hit by Varese
1076.Cosmic Jokers – kinder alles galactic [further edit]
1075. Heart – Dreamboat Annie
1074. PFM – is my face on straight?
1073. Mothers of Invention – the air
1072. Mothers of Invention – the Duke of Prunes [amnesia + regain]
1071. Embryo – Klondyke Netti

Randophonic airs pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and/or download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.