317: “Volunteered Slavery” by Rahsaan Roland Kirk

It's time to get up, not down.

I’m watching Antiques Road Show and this guy has a flute that was played by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. The flute is made of ivory from the tusks of a brown dwarf star. It’s been appraised at the value of one observational time machine trip (past only) and a large chili cheese tots. Public television is on a roll.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk was the tectonic inspirational force behind the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull), Eric Burdon, and Dan, a guy at work who knew who he was when I asked.

A few forreal’s forya: Kirk changed his name from Ronald to Roland because he was inspired in a dream to switch the two letters around. Later, he added Rahsaan because he heard it in a dream. Kirk was always spilling over the edges of himself. He played two instruments at once because one wasn’t enough. He was politically outspoken. He always had to lead the band. And he wore clothes eccentric even for a jazz musician.

Scientifically speaking, I don’t advise making real world decisions based on the bizness your unconscious mind cooks up. The ways that could go bad…

I so infrequently write actual biographical content here that I feel I should point out that the forreal’s communicated two paragraphs previous were actually taken from Wikipedia and not fictions of my mental undulations.

Without further crap, I present to you my favorite Kirk klassic, “Volunteered Slavery” from Volunteered Slavery (1969).

Please share your thoughts on Roland Kirk and faster-than-light physics, but be most certain of all to enjoy…

Song: Volunteered Slavery
Artist: Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Album: Volunteered Slavery
Label: Rhino Atlantic
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Rdio | Spotify | YouTube

286: “Back Back” by Archie Shepp

Think, man, think! Look at him go!Everything is rhythm.
You aren’t even a thing at all, really,
other than the amalgamation of the rhythms of the motions of sub-atomic particles
that compose your mind, your body, and your interactions.

In this infinite variety of rhythm, you exist.

And as part of the process in motion,
you lay down themes and patterns
on the skins of your life each day,
getting up, getting down,
with chaotic insertions, improvisations.
Trying to get in the groove.

Everything is rhythm.
Orbits, seasons, walking, economies, planet-killing asteroids, hide-and-seek, the way a bobblehead moves, the life and death of stars, biological reproduction, and check it, I think your head is bobbing to the tune you just started listening to.

The song is “Back Back” by Archie Shepp from Kwanza (1969)… What was it about 1968-69 that made so many amazing things all happen around the same time? Perhaps things like the rapid unfolding of the fate of the human race just go in cycles with peaks, valleys, apexes and nadirs like everything else. Artists, assassins and astronauts are all part of the rhythm.

Conjugate with the “Back Back” rhythm, and enjoy.

Song: Back Back
Artist: Archie Shepp
Album: Kwanza
Label: Impulse! Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

282: “Divine Image” by David Axelrod

If you could only see what I see... illuminated by the glare from behind my hair...The song is “Divine Image” by David Axelrod, Songs of Innocence (1969). Axelrod cooked up some funky orchestral chemistry back in the prime Quincy Jones days. Check his stack, jack.

Put this song on a list such as:

-Listen to “Divine Image”
-Wax back, etc.
-Think about what is most important
-Stay hydrated
-Wipe toward tailbone
-Emanate voluminously
-Work hard & enjoy…

Song: A Divine Image
Artist: David Axelrod
Album: The Edge (David Axelrod at Capitol Records 1966-1970)
Label: Captiol Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

110: “Moonchild” by King Crimson

Whatever drove the guy to paint this killed him.What a difference a year can make.  Robert Fripp was not composing songs about wet kisses in 1969.  (See previous post.)

There’s a new King Crimson box set out this year (Amazon, 2010).  Crimson geeks are stoked.

The tune “Moonchild” is from In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969), and is presented in two parts below.  It goes from spooky to soothing to utterly abstract.  This seminal album was only made up of five songs, but they were broken into 12 sub-sections to satisfy contractual terms regarding the number of “titles” the band was to deliver.  Record companies have tidied up the language in contracts since then.  The album sold well, regardless.

The cover art was some of the most striking ever produced (see right).  Here’s what Wikipedia says about the artist:

Barry Godber (1946–1970), a computer programmer, painted the album cover. Godber died in February 1970 of a heart attack, shortly after the album’s release.

Not much more explanation than that, but whoa, dude.  Obviously this is evidence that Satan, The Crimson King himself, was involved in these shenanigans.  Between the reckless behavior toward their innocent record label, and the covert art guy dying right after the album drops, surely you see it.  And “Moonchild?”  What’s THAT all about, anyway?  Smells like Satan.  Look at these Satan-y lyrics:

Call her moonchild
Dancing in the shallows of a river
Lonely moonchild
Dreaming in the shadows of a willow.

Talking to the trees of the
cobweb strange
Sleeping on the steps of a fountain
Waving silver wands to the
night-birds song
Waiting for the sun on the mountain.

She’s a moonchild
Gathering the flowers in a garden.
Lovely moonchild
Drifting in the echoes of the hours.

Okay, it sounds more like hippie-poetry than anything else, but that cover art is sure Satan-y.

I don’t know if I can get past all the Satan-iness.  I’m liable to swoon.

Enjoy, if you dare!

Song: Moonchild
Artist: King Crimson
Album: In The Court Of The Crimson King
Label: Discipline Us
Buy from: Amazon (CD Only)

83: “In A Silent Way” by Miles Davis

Dude. Don't look at me like that.Here’s a good one to listen to in the bathtub.  Try it.  Then write a lengthy description in the comments.

Miles Davis was an intense guy, but this song is as laid back as you’ll hear him, from In A Silent Way (1969).

I’m a huge fan of his work in the late 60’s and early 70’s.  Wikipedia describes the recording process for the album Bitches Brew (1970):

Once in the recording studio, the players were typically given only a few instructions: a tempo count, a few chords or a hint of melody, and suggestions as to mood or tone. Davis liked to work this way; he thought it forced musicians to pay close attention to one another, to their own performances, or to Davis’s cues, which could change at any moment. On the quieter moments of “Bitches Brew”, for example, Davis’s voice is audible, giving instructions to the musicians: snapping his fingers to indicate tempo, or, in his distinctive whisper, saying, “Keep it tight” or telling individuals when to solo.

In 3 parts, enjoy.

Song: In A Silent Way
Artist: Miles Davis
Album: In A Silent Way
Label: Columbia/Legacy
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

77: “Peaches En Regalia” by Frank Zappa

It takes a lot of concentration to grow this much facial hair.So, I don’t know how much you know about music.  I just throw random musical darts here.

Frank Zappa is weirder than drugs, from which he forbade his band members to indulge.  “Peaches En Ragalia” is one of his seminal masterworks, from Hot Rats way back in 1969.

The video may get pulled.  Zappa people are apparently hardcore.  It is required to get into the family.

Please share comments.  And enjoy.

Song: Peaches En Regalia
Artist: Frank Zappa
Album: Hot Rats
Label: Zappa Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

60: “The Creator Has A Master Plan” by Pharoah Sanders

Pharoah Sanders don't sell no fried chicken.Listen to one small part of the epic 32-minute “The Creator Has A Master Plan” by patriarchal jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, from Karma (1969).

This song is good for your blood pressure.  Leon Thomas’ distinctive yodeling will make this one stick in your memory banks if you don’t already know it.


Song: The Creator Has A Master Plan
Artist: Pharoah Sanders
Album: Karma
Label: GRP Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

25: “Do Your Duty” by Bettye LaVette

Doody.Betty LaVette expects a certain amount of active participation from her man.  In 1969, this demanding track, “Do Your Duty,” was on the Top 40 R&B charts.

Today, Betty LaVette is still making music and demanding that duties be upheld.  She had great success in 2005 with I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise.  She’s currently on tour in the U.S.

Do your duty, and enjoy.

Song: Do Your Duty
Artist: Bettye LaVette
Album: Bettye LaVette Selected Hits
Label: Charly Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: YouTube