Oirigins Are Not The Only Fruit

12 Feb
12 February is Darwin Day

12 February is Darwin Day

Darwin Day

Today is Darwin Day – also his birthday. It’s been celebrated since his death on 19.4.1882.
The memorial celebrations were kept pretty much a family affair until his wife – Emma, died in 1896.

In 1909 a load of scientists and upper crust from some 167 countries all over the world got together in Cambridge, GB to honour and dispute Darwin’s contributions. From then the 12th February 1909 saw the 100th anniversary of Darwin, and also the 50th anniversary of Darwin’s ‘The Origins Of The Species’, which was by now – since its first publishing in 1859, being raved about by the New York Academy of Sciences and the American Museum of Natural History.
Although Creationists don’t recognise biological evolution as such – Darwin’s findings remain generally undisputed by scientists, who continue to explore our ever-changing animal world.

Here Pearl Jam puts it succinctly with ‘Do The Evolution‘ from the album ‘Yield‘ (1998) – later their Greatest Hits (2004).


Playlist: A Plethora Of Perfection

8 Feb
Maximo Park

Maximo Park

I’m in love! Maxïmo Parks’ ‘Too Much Information‘ has seduced me to the max. The album with its 19 songs – every one a pearl,  is just the best. It’s laced with the presence of The Smiths – better said; Johnny Marr in particular on Lydia, The Ink Will Never Dry, Wire, Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams, Joy Divison, Human League, Nick Cave – to name but a few of the artists that can be heard in spirit. With the beautiful, effortless northern voice of Paul Smith, Too Much Information is something for everyone and very radio friendly without it being exactly mainstream. Buy the album – it’s really worth it! maximopark.com

Sliding up nicely as a run along to Maxïmo Park is anything by ‘The War On Drugs‘. Founded by Granduciel  and Kurt Vile in 2005 –  three years later the  band released their debut album (Wagonwheel Blues) shortly after which Kurt Vile left to concentrate on his solo career. The second album – Slave Ambient received critical acclaim in 2011- the third due out this year the single Red Eyes is here to hear. Must Buy!

Another too good not to mention is ‘Extra Curricular‘  Robin Hood – (produced by Lack Of Afro), along with ‘Wax’; We Can’t All Be Heros‘ – also produced by the same massively talented afore-mentioned British multi-instrumentalist, producer, remixer and DJ. Adam Gibbons (‘Lack Of Afro‘).

This weekends playlist goes out to who ever likes an eclectic mix – Enjoy!

Maxïmo Park: Leave This Island

Wire: Kidney Bingos

The Human League: Being Boiled

Liaisons dangereuses: Los niños del parque

Ian Dury: Wake Up And Make Love With Me

Ryan Adams: Lucky Now

Willie Nelson: Just Breathe

Extra Curricular(Lack Of Afro):  Robin Hood

Wax (Lack Of Afro)We Can’t All Be Heros 

Lack of Afro –  feat. Jack Tyson-Charles: Recipe for Love 

The War On Drugs: Red Eyes

Kurt Vile: Smoke Ring For My Halo


Happy Birthday To The ‘Pope of Dope’

5 Feb

William S. Burroughs (5.2.1914 – 2.8.1997)


He’s hard to condense in tribute as there was so much going on with the man … but my naivety prevails and I’ll go ahead anyway. Because love him or hate him, he was a one of the purest of human beings who lived every atom of his life – wretched and stapled with genius.
“In the magical universe there are no coincidences and there are no accidents. Nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen.”  William Burroughs

William Seward Burroughs was born on this day in 1914. His family, of wealthy means stemmed from St. Louis, Missouri and his upbringing was modeled on the conservative bearings of his family’s background of the time. Throughout his puberty, ambivalence to his own sexuality – he states, was a product of his repressed upbringing. He kept journals relating to the erotic attachment he’d had to another boy at boarding school – he later destroyed the journals. Throughout his life he was sexually and romantically involved with both men and women.
He went on to study English at Havard University, afterwards attended medical school in Vienna. After his move to New York in 1943 he befriended Alan Ginsberg and Jack Karouac – all three were at the helm of the ‘Beat Generation’, fiercely opposing the dominant values of their society. He also met Joan Vollmer Adams in 1944 with whom he lived with and had a child together (Billy Burroughs, who died prior to his father in 1981, after fighting the symptoms of alcohol addiction). Vollmer was  accidentally killed by Burroughs when he shot her during a drunken game of ‘William Tell’ in Mexico 1951.
This event was said to have marked his writing from then on. Stated to have said “I’m forced to the appalling conclusion that I would never have become a writer but for Joan’s death,”  – that he also quoted the poet Edwin Arlington Robinson: “There are mistakes too monstrous for remorse.”
Burroughs opened up his own can of worms, spooning them into his writings – drugs, his own addiction – his torment with addiction, the grotesque and pornographic underbelly of society labelled the ingredient on the can. His third and probably best known novel ‘Naked Lunch’ (1959) was his first non linear work of which David Cronenberg directed the film of the book in 1991.

William Burroughs  influenced many musicians. His cutting of texts inspired by the artist and close companion Bryan Gysin went on to inspire the work of David Bowie. Patti Smith cited him as having influenced her becoming an artist, Lou Reed, Sonic Youth, Kurt Cobain, Joy Division, Thom Yorke and many more have also had their 10 peneth to say on Burroughs. He’s depicted on the cover of The Beatles ‘Sargeant Peppers…’ Album (2. row next to Marilyn Monroe) and the band Steely Dan is named after a dildo in Naked Lunch.

Burroughs last entry in his book ‘Last Words’ before he died were: ” Love, the most natural painkiller what there is.”

So with that rather long lead, here are a couple of birthday songs for Mr William Seward Burroughs.

Happy Birthday Watson.ch

25 Jan

This week saw the launch of an online news portal in Switzerland: ‘Watson.ch‘. It’s yet to be produced in English, but it’s only a matter of time before Watson.ch takes the cake – and eats it all over the world!

The challenge to get this near to right was great but here’s Reverbs Happy Birthday varied-topical-playlist tribute to what will be a beautiful baby namens WATSON, who was born to run.

Girl Talk : What’s It All About — Feed the Animals

Tom Jones: What’s New Pussy Cat

What’s Going On: Marvin Gaye

Johnny Guitar Watson: Gangster of Love

Madrugada: What’s On Your Mind

The Next Messiah: Jenny Lewis feat. Zooey Deschanel

The Watson Twins – Just Like Heaven

Gene Watson: Fourteen Carat Mind

3 For One: Hard Times

23 Jan

Better late than never goes the motto. So here’s something a wee bit late but forever acclaimed…


… James Ramey – aka Baby Huey, was born on new years day, 1944 in Indiana. He fronted The Babysitters (1963 – 69) who produced  songs like ‘Just Being Careful’. Later, he went on to be a major influence for hip hop of the 80’s/90’s with the song  ‘Hard Times’  . Samples of  Hard Times can be found in various hip hop creations – the likes of Biz Markie with The Dragon, A Tribe Called Quests’- Can I Kick It (Spirit Mix) or  Lil Wayne with The Game all used the high-pitched riff along with parts of the backing track in their samples.
Baby Hueys only album, The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend was released posthumously by Curtom Records head Curtis Mayfield in 1971 – he released it without the Babysitters on the recording. This version was derived from Gene Chandlers ‘In My Bodys House’ (1969)  and after Baby Huey’s death (October 28, 1970 ) Curtis Mayfield recorded it himself in 1975 – a honed in, soul version with much less production going on in the background – it gave Mayfield’s amazing version  a stripped down ‘message’ kind of groove to it…

The song high-lighted the hardship lives of the African  American community and the ghettos. Not unlike Dickens highlighted the  social and economic pressures  in his book of the same title- albeit a tenuous link of about 100 years I hear you sigh … But It would’ve been wacky to have had Dickens and Baby Huey putting their noggins together, collaborating for a Stage adaptation of Dickens’ Hard Times with Hueys title song chugging  along as the score … my fantasy doth overfloeth!


Lessons In Love

21 Nov

Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Rote Fabrik, 20.11.13

UMO Backdrop and Cover of their latest Album; II

UMO Backdrop and Cover of their latest Album; II

It was a hard act to follow the support band; ‘Mozes And The First Born‘ with the energy they delivered. The garage-rock/college music they play is a something for everyone including the family cat. And they do it well.

The main act: Unknown Mortal Orchestra (Riley Geare; drums, Ruben Nielson; vox, guitar, Jake Portrait; bass) lacked neither in energy or drumming precision. Geare practically wears the drum kit like a second skin and although I’m adverse to rock bands providing really long guitar and drum solos. usually. With UMO there’s no escaping them and these ‘prolonged instrumental intervals’ are incredibly cool and not at all boring.
Heavily laden with hall, phaser and overdrive, Nielson conjours up a ‘other worldly’ feeling –distant but still coherent to the musics pinnings of Motown, jazz, psychedelic pop and rock. How long the music can withstand the pummeling of all this effect I’m not sure – although I did learn my lesson on how to love long guitar solos, at some point the music slightly alienated me with these effects – whether by design or not – Whatever. Nielson did come back on stage for encore and warmed the audience up again with a beautiful rendition of From The Sun.
It will be really interesting to watch how their music and Nielson’s fancy footwork evolve.
Great gig! Tour Dates: http://unknownmortalorchestra.com/

Red Factory Tonight: Unknown Mortal Orchestra

20 Nov
Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

The band, consisting of ‘a reputedly reluctant to become prominent musician’, singer/guitarist Ruben Nielson (former member of the Mint Chicks), bassist; Jake Portrait and drummer Riley Geare – the names themselves sweat rock-stardom.

The Unknown Now Known

Ruben Nielson released “Ffunny Friends” on the online record store Bandcamp in 2010 without any claim to the song – no mention of its composer. After much ado from keen bloggers raving about it and trying to find out who it’s owner was, Nielson eventually claimed it the work of UMO. The rest is now known.

If to be described – I’d say they’re a kind of psychedelic-poppig-retroesque-mash. And if you’re around in the region of the Red Factory, Zurich tonight, go see them – you won’t regret it. http://www.rotefabrik.ch/de/home/

Here’s an amuse bouche to get your taste buds activated.

Track of the Day

18 Nov

For my father; Bert James. 15.6.1934 – 18.11.2012. Johnny Cash with Silver Haired Daddy of Mine.

Age Old Hunger

17 Oct

Timothy S. Griffin, http://griffinshot.com

Christopher Denny‘s appearance has something of a chameleon quality.  Slight differences set apart one image or photo of him from another– but when you hear his voice, there’s no question.  His voice is distinguished – an unforgettable  tremolo reminiscent of many of the 1920s Gospel Blues crooners and pitch and tone akin to Anthony of Anthony And The Johnsons , Denny’s vocal twang lies in his upbringing in Arkansas, he’s quoted to have been influenced by Hank Thompson, Lefty Frizzell,  Jeff Buckley and Patsy Cline. He issued one Album in 2007: Age Old Hunger and the latest cover of My Morning Jacket’s Bermuda Highway is just an amuse bouche from  his new album due out sometime in the spring 2014 (Partisan Records).

I’ll stick my neck out as far as Brighton pier to say that if he’s not part of the European Festival scene in 2014 … I’ll eat the whole pier!


World Food Day

16 Oct

For WFD it has to be none other than The Isley Brothers with their socially concious song  Harvest For The World. Released by the brothers as a single from same named album in 1976.
And UB40’s Food For Thought – the epic first single release for British Reggae- and socially tuned-in band in 1980. The song was a double A single with the song ‘King’- about the late Martin Luther King.

The Isley Bros.




The occasion is organised by The Food and Agriculture Organisation to be on the same day the Organsation was founded in 1945.

The objectives of World Food Day are to:

  • encourage attention to agricultural food production and to stimulate national, bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental efforts to this end;
  • encourage economic and technical cooperation among developing countries;
  • encourage the participation of rural people, particularly women and the least privileged categories, in decisions and activities influencing their living conditions;
  • heighten public awareness of the problem of hunger in the world;
  • promote the transfer of technologies to the developing world; and
  • strengthen international and national solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty and draw attention to achievements in food and agricultural development.

source: http://www.fao.org/getinvolved/worldfoodday/about/en/

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