51. thick as a brick

“Speaking of songs that aren’t afraid to be long, Jethro Tull’s Thick as a Brick is by far the longest on this list (clocking in at 43 plus minutes) and it shouldn’t be one second shorter, even if it’s ultimately not really about anything — an in-joke within an in-joke, which is to say, the alleged epic poetry of a pre-teen genius (one Gerald Bostock) taking on everything he sees as hypocritical, absurd, foolish about the world, society, God, his small town … and never really coming to any conclusion short of the wiser you are, the less thick you are, which is a problem when it comes to empathy, because how does a wise man begin to grasp what it is to be … well, about as dumb as a brick? Or something like that. According to Tull main man, Ian Anderson, it was intended as a lark, a piss take on the whole concept album craze of the time. Except once he started writing, things rather took on a life of their own … and the result ended up conquering the world (for a few weeks anyway in late spring, 1972). #1 in Australia, Canada, Denmark, USA. Top five in the UK, Norway, Netherlands, Italy, Germany. Apparently, it was even all the rage in Vietnam.

Barely teenage me ate it up, of course, the whole mad and epic stew of folk and rock and classical and pop tangents, the ebb and flow of themes and counter-themes, coming, going, kicking up, burning down. And yes, it really is all one big song, because try as have over the years (and trust me, I’ve tried hard), I’ve never found any piece of it that works better on its own than it does as part of the epic whole. And that includes the cover which is essentially an entire small town newspaper, twelve full-size pages of scandals, non-rabbits, art crimes, comics, even an advance review of the album itself, which probably says it best. One doubts at times the validity of what appears to be an expanding theme throughout the two continuous sides of this record but the result is at worst entertaining and at least aesthetically palatable.” (Philip Random)

The 12 MixTapes of Christmas [2018 version]

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These 12 Mixtapes of Christmas have got nothing to do with Randophonic’s other 12 Mixtapes of Christmas from two years ago, or even with Christmas (beyond being a gift to you). And they’re not actually mix tapes, or CDs for that matter – just mixes, each 49-minutes long, one posted to Randophonic’s Mixcloud for each day of Twelvetide (aka the Twelve Days of Christmas).

There’s no particular genre, no particular theme or agenda being pursued, beyond all selections coming from Randophonic’s ever expanding collection of used vinyl, which continues to simultaneously draw us back and propel us forward (sonically speaking) — music and noise and whatever else the world famous Randophonic Jukebox deems (or perhaps dreams) necessary toward our long term goal of solving all the world’s problems.

Bottom line: it’s five hundred eighty-eight minutes of music covering all manner of ground, from Roy Orbison to Curtis Mayfield to Can, Bob Dylan, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Kraftwerk, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and beyond (and that’s just from the first mix) — anything and everything, as long as it’s good.

288. Dharma for One [live]

The band known as Jethro Tull blew things wide open in 1972 with a single 43 minute song/concept album that hit #1 everywhere from Denmark to Australia to the Americas, even Vietnam. Which suddenly meant that Ian Anderson and the band could do pretty much anything they wanted career wise, including the release of a double album of (mostly) unreleased stuff from the previous four years and four albums of their career (so far). Living in the Past it was called and full of odd gems it was including a live version of Dharma For One which initially showed up as an instrumental on their first album but come the concert trails of 1970 had picked up some lyrics and otherwise expanded and evolved into a longer, wilder, more progressive beast indeed. The word gobsmacking comes to mind, though the drum solo does go on a bit.

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326. no new tale to tell

Love and Rockets definitely felt fresh when they first hit in around 1985. Ex-Bauhaus players lightening up some, delivering solid psyche infused rock and pop at a time when pretty much nobody else was thinking that way. But by the time their third album hit, Earth Sun Moon, I guess I was looking elsewhere, because I didn’t really notice No New Tale To Tell until years after its release. In fact, it was the flute solo that hooked me via somebody else’s mixtape. Not since Jethro Tull …” (Philip Random)

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382. the man in the jar

“I saw the Sensation Alex Harvey Band in 1975, warming up Jethro Tull, and yeah, it was sensational. They had props and costume changes, and there seemed to be a story being told. Maybe concerning a Man In a Jar, a track which I only got around to hearing (on record) maybe ten years later, bored, picking through a pile of old albums a friend was getting rid of. It was an instant keeper, and not just for the one song, the whole album being a sort of sleazy back alley opera about sleazy back alley stuff, and yet redeemed by an impossible dream, which are always the best ones. There were even bagpipes before it was all done.” (Philip Random)

013. The Final Countdown*

Installment #13. of The Final Countdown aired Saturday-June-23-2018 (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 long process that’s still evolving such is the strangely existential nature of the project question: 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?

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Installment #13 of The Final Countdown* went like this.

1051. Calexico – quattro [world drifts in]
1050. Guru Guru – woman drum
1049. Donovan – Clara Clairvoyant
1048. Toots + Maytals – peace perfect peace
1047. Albert Kuvezin & Yat-Kha – love will tear us apart
1046. Spinners – I’ll be around
1045. Lightnin’ Hopkins – the walkin’ blues
1044. Jethro Tull – witch’s promise
1043. Genesis – grand parade of lifeless packaging
1042. Cure – caterpillar
1041. Lorna Bennett – breakfast in bed
1040. Van Morrison – bright side of the road [alt]
1039. JJ Cale – Clyde
1038. Man – jam up jelly tight
1037. Les Baxter – sunken city
1036. Suns of Arqa – city of nine gates
1035. zero hg7 – cameraday
1034. John Foxx – metal beat
1033. Ultramarine – Kingdom
1032. Spacemen 3 – Big City [long mix]

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.

 

004. The Final Countdown*

Installment #4 of The Final Countdown aired Saturday-April-7-2018 (c/o CiTR.FM.101.9).

Tracks available on this Youtube playlist (rather inaccurate).

The Final Countdown* is our longest, most random and (if we’re doing it right) relevant countdown. Which doesn’t mean we’re sure yet what it’s all about – just the end of result of a long and convoluted process that finally evolved into something halfway tangible a month or so ago. 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.

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Installment #4 of The Final Countdown* went like this.

1234. Madlib – no more time (the change)
1233. Dinosaur L – #6 (Get Set)
1232. Buggles – I love you Miss Robot
1231. Lavender Diamond – you broke my heart
1230. High Llamas – Homespun Rerun [Cornelius remix]
1229. Minutemen – The Politics of Time
1228. Kool + The Gang – come together
1227. Sly + the Family Stone – I’m an Animal
1226. Earth Wind + Fire – Sweet Sweetback’s Theme
1225. Jethro Tull – the mouse police never sleeps
1224. Daevid Allen – bodigas-froghello
1223. Alice Cooper – unfinished sweet
1222. Beach Boys – I love to say Dada
1221. Josh Millard – hallehula
1220. John McDermott – home from the forest
1219. Japonize Elephants – fuck the pharmacia
1218. Juggernaut Jug Band – Desolation Row
1217. Brian Eno – Kurt’s Rejoinder
1216. Melodic Energy Commission – escargot + gallop
1215. Spirit – space child
1214. Quasi – sound and vision

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.

527. wind up

“It’s Christmas 1972, a party at family friends. I’m thirteen and barely old enough to be hanging with the big kids. Just shut up and sit in the corner. And then they all go outside to smoke a joint. They even invite me along, but no way, not with my parents barely fifty feet away. Which leaves me alone with the record that’s playing – Aqualung by Jethro Tull, getting to the end of Side Two, a song about all the religious bullshit they push on you when you’re a kid, which I had no problem agreeing with, particularly the part about God not being a simple toy. You didn’t just wind Him up once a week, say few stupid prayers and then get on with your everyday lying, cheating, stealing. Nah, if there was a God worth giving a shit about, He or She or It had to be magnitudes more complex and wise than that. I don’t believe you — you’ve got the whole damned thing all wrong.” (Philip Random)

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565. fat man

“From 1969, when Jethro Tull was still the hot new band of the moment, riding the hip edge of the cool underground, here with mandolins, bongos, other things made of wood. The song’s simple enough. A young man expressing his desire to not someday grow old and fat, and just good fun. Easier said than done, of course, but I’m comfortably into my forties now and so far so good. Yes, I’ve failed at pretty much every ambition I ever set for myself but at least I can still see my feet when I look down.” (Philip Random)

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