40. close to the edge

“So here we are, decades after the fact and it’s still difficult to discuss the music of the band known as Yes without somehow disparaging it as overwrought, pretentious, guilty of trying too hard. To which I say, f*** that (unless you’re talking about their later stuff – the 1980s and beyond, some of which I’m pretty sure is on perpetual repeat in hell’s jukebox). Because the good stuff, the grand stuff, the vast and virtuous and ambitious stuff of their early-mid 1970s phase, we need that stuff, particularly Close To The Edge (the song and the album, but particularly the side long song). Because it’s true, I think, the edge isn’t a place, the edge doesn’t exist. You’ve either gone too far and you’re falling the long fall into oblivion, or you’ve found that sweet spot just short of it where everything opens up. All those BIG unifying passions and ideas that have been floating in and around you since before puberty even – the idea of indivisibility. Jehovah and Allah and Jesus and Muhammad and Krishna and every known and unknown god or whatever, all one big happy. Bigger than any cathedral, that’s for sure. Because every church, every creed, every ideology gets it wrong the instant it claims to have gotten it all right. Because even if you have vast chunks of the truth, you can’t have it all. It’s the nature of it, beyond mortal comprehension. So the very claim of TRUTH divides us, sets loose corrosive elements, brings the f***ing roof down.

Which is what’s going on in the middle of Close To The Edge, I think, the part where the church organ kicks in. That’s the capital T Truth failing. That’s the cathedrals all collapsing, and the mosques, the temples, the synagogues. That’s the outside crashing in, the inside gushing out. Now that you’re saved, now that you’re whole. Seasons will pass you by. You get up. You get down.  It’s all so clear once you stop trying to make sense of it. Just smoke a doob, put on the headphones, stretch out and let it all be … for eighteen and a half minutes anyway. Maybe the best damned band on the planet. Ever. Or certainly close to it. Hell even Led Zeppelin had to be looking over their shoulders by 1972. Because Yes simply had more going on. Hell, they had Rick Wakeman and his mountainous stacks of keyboards, conjuring choirs and orchestras and all manner of big and mysterious colours and textures and everything really, or damned close to it anyway. As close as anyone got at the time, and maybe ever since. Because has there ever been another time like it? We were definitely close to something.” (Philip Random)

69. in my time of dying

“Because the highest Led Zeppelin track on this list would have to be from Physical Graffiti, the best of their least overexposed albums. I mean, I never even heard In My Time Of Dying until I finally bought Physical Graffiti, summertime 1989, almost fifteen years after the fact – that fateful day I went to the record store intending to spend a hundred bucks on maybe seven CDs and instead walked out with better part of thirty used albums, plus a pile of 7-inches. Because everybody was suddenly doing what I’d thought I was doing: switching to CDs. Which meant they were dumping all their vinyl. Which meant here was pretty much every album I’d always wanted but couldn’t really afford, now being  pretty much given away. And when I got home, Physical Graffiti was the first thing I played, with In My Time Of Dying EVERYTHING that had ever made Led Zeppelin legendary. The blues, the ROCK, the epic and dynamic darkness that said as much about the hard times of the Mississippi Delta circa 1932 as the concert trails of 1974. Or the imminent end of the world circa 1989, for that matter — one’s time of dying never more than a heartbeat or a split atom away.” (Philip Random)

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18. reSEARCH – sauce + visions

Installment #18 of the Research Series aired in November-2018 on CiTR.FM.101.9.

The eighteenth of a planned forty-nine movies, each forty-nine minutes long, featuring no particular artist, theme or agenda beyond boldly going … who knows? Or as Werner Von Braun once put it, “Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” And we definitely have no idea where all this will take us.

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18. Sauce + Visions

Bob Dylan – do right to me baby
Flying Lizards – glide-spin
Merkin – the sauce [edit]
Beans – all worlds [fragment]
Steve Hackett – Icarus Ascending [excerpt]
Simple Minds – seeing out the angel
Streetmark – waves + visions
Led Zeppelin – Bron-Y-aur
Jimi Hendrix – easy blues
Jimi Hendrix – third stone from the sun
Playgroup – crunch [edit]
The Teardrop Explodes – seven views of Jerusalem
Clash – junkie slip
Agitation Free – Ala Tul
Dead Voices on Air – funfundsiebzig

Further installments of the Research Series will air most Sundays at approximately 1am (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.

 

019. The Final Countdown*

Installment #19. of the Final Countdown aired in October 2018 (c/o CiTR.FM.101.9).

Selections available on this Youtube playlist (not exactly accurate).

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

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Installment #19 of The Final Countdown* went like this.

934. Jesus Loves You – bow down mister
933. Horslips – King of the Faries
932. Bob Marley – Mr Brown
931. African Head Charge – Orderliness, Godliness, Discipline And Dignity
930. FM – one o’clock tomorrow
929. Kraftwerk – numbers + computer world 2
928. Michael Rother – Neutronics 98
927. Link Wray – Batman
926. Seeds – pushin’ too hard
925. Blodwyn Pig – variations on Nainos
924. Santana – Oye Como Va
923. JJ Cale – call me the breeze
922. Led Zeppelin – Bron-Y-aur stomp
921. Gentle Giant – wreck
920. Yello – blue green
919. Speedy j – pepper
918. Robert Fripp + David Sylvian – 20th Century dreaming [a shaman’s song]
917. Brian Eno – Over Fire Island
916. Brand X – unorthodox behaviour

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.

323. trampled under foot

“Funky Zeppelin. Sort of. Trampled Underfoot‘s not exactly easy to dance to, yet it is most definitely a groove, and relentless at that. Found on Physical Graffiti, the last truly great Led Zeppelin album, which I didn’t properly discover more than a decade after the fact. But that’s something that pretty much all the records on this list have in common, perhaps the only thing. It doesn’t matter how many times you miss them, get caught looking the other way. They will find you in time. Oblivion just can’t contain them.” (Philip Random)

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380. in the light

“I remember first hearing In The Light on the radio when Physical Graffiti was brand new and I was maybe sixteen, and immediately thinking, okay, this is serious stuff. This is about something. Because by 1975, the music you found on the radio was less and less about anything. It was just predictable gruel, programmed to fill sloppy gaps between advertising. Not that I was sophisticated enough to voice it as such. I just knew something good was fast slipping away – all that cool significance that had been so prevalent way back when in 1972 and 3. Because when you’re that young, you just don’t know that’s how the world works – that it’s precisely the best, most beautiful and cool stuff that THEY consciously destroy, because that’s just the kind of gangsters they are. But you are beginning to suspect something. And more to the point, you’re not just waiting for it to come to you anymore, you’re starting to go after it. The Light, that is. Everybody needs some light.” (Philip Random)

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003. reSEARCH – courage + yarbles

Installment #3 of what we’re calling The Research Series aired Sunday, March-25-2018.

The third of a planned forty-nine movies, each forty-nine minutes long, featuring no particular artist, working no particular theme, pursuing no particular agenda beyond boldly going … who knows? Or as Werner Von Braun once put it, “Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” And we definitely have no idea where all this will take us.

reSEARCH-03

003. reSEARCH – courage + yarbles

Boards of Canada – geodaddi
Amorphous Androgynous – swab
Pink Floyd – the narrow excerpt
Skip Spence – books of Moses
Bob Dylan – Visions of Johanna [live]
Holger Czukay – boat woman [excerpt]
Jon Hassel – courage
Randophonic – MASH immaculate
Fall – to nkroachment/yarbles
Beans – all planets
Grandaddy – he’s simple he’s dumb he’s the pilot [part 2]
Led Zeppelin – Bron-Y-Aur

Further installments of the Research Stuff will air most Sundays at approximately 1am (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.

 

617. shapes of things

The Jeff Beck Group’s Truth was the other big deal British blues based hard rocking debut album of 1968 from an ex-Yardbird. Unfortunately for Mr. Beck, the more noted one came from Jimmy Page‘s new outfit Led Zeppelin, because as the history books now have it (and they’re not wrong) Led Zeppelin went on to conquer the known world and the Jeff Beck Group didn’t. Which really shouldn’t take anything away from Truth, because it’s all strong, all cool, all good, from lead off track Shapes Of Things (a smart rethink of a previous Yardbirds hit) onward. And yes, that’s Rod Stewart (still pretty much unknown in 1968) ripping up the lead vocal.

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686. nobody’s fault but mine

“As my friend Mark once put it, Presence is the good Led Zeppelin heroin album — the mostly sh** one being In Through The Out Door as Jimmy Page was too f***ed up to care. Either way, the Zeppelin’s days of full-on world dominance and glory were slipping past them by 1976, which didn’t exactly stop them from laying down some of the evilest blues mankind has ever known. Even if Nobody’s Fault But Mine is about taking personal responsibility for the mess you’re in, which, when you think about it, is very mature behavior, not really evil at all.” (Philip Random)

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