Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Krautrock: Can, Tago Mago (1971)

After original lead singer Malcolm Mooney’s abrupt departure from Can -- and from Germany -- in late 1969, the band continued without a frontman for about six months. Then in May 1970 Holger Czukay met Japanese singer Damo Suzuki performing outside a Munich cafe and invited him to perform with the group at a show that evening.

Soon enough they had a singer, and after recording a few songs with Suzuki that appeared on Soundtracks, they spent the latter part of the year recording in a castle near Cologne, ultimately emerging in early 1971 with their masterpiece of dark psychedelia, the double-LP Tago Mago.

“The music sounds only like itself,” says Julian Cope in Krautrocksampler. “It’s pointless to describe the music, but it’s huge free-rock, as though each member of Can has a field to play in.”

The seven tracks take up the 70-plus minutes, a couple of which occupy entire sides. Unlike what appears on Soundtracks (save “Mother Sky”), here Suzuki’s contributions often function like the addition of another instrument to a fusion-y ensemble, his low mumbles and energetic shouts ably augmenting an increasingly exploratory sound.

“Paperhouse” begins the record in somewhat plodding fashion, with Michael Karoli’s charming jingle-jangle strumming quickly encouraging the listener to nod along. A percusion-and-bass driven middle section suddenly accelerates things considerably before reprising the opening that in turn chorus-pedals the Can machine to the finish.

The apocalyptic and moody “Mushroom” follows (via a clever segue), one my favorite “classic” Can tracks and one that has been covered many times over, most notably by The Jesus and Mary Chain. Suzuki’s vocal conveys tangible dread, alternating between frightened whispers and urgent cries over an eerie soundbed culminating with an explosion. From the smoke and ashes fades up the next track, “Oh Yeah,” a repetitive, hypnotic exercise with backwards vocals and a tribal rhythm that will signal to Radiohead fans an important influence.

Side 2 is covered by “Halleluwah,” powered throughout by a melodious, funky groove with Jaki Liebezeit’s stuttering drum providing a determined backbeat crossing Moe Tucker with Jack DeJohnette. Suzuki’s improvised lyrics include references to the titles of other Tago Mago songs, and the sheer variety of sounds (many of which are likewise unscripted) emanating from the guitars, bass, keyboards, and occasional effects and edits together elevate the track to a kind of comprehensive encyclopedia of Can.

“Augmn” takes up Side 3, the title of which alludes to the meditative “om” and/or evokes the idea of a magic spell. The first two-thirds are a formless, electroacoustic imbroglio of various instruments over which keyboardist Irmin Schmidt moans through heavy reverb and echo. Then the last six minutes feature manic percussive work by Liebezeit careening headlong toward some secret inner space.

I was tempted to call “Augmn” the most experimental track of a double record full of experiments, although the 11-minute “Peking O” that begins the final side aggressively takes that title as a multi-part pastiche of noises and effects approaching “Revolution 9”-level weirdness. Finally the short “Bring Me Coffee or Tea” serves as a mostly calming coda, though again builds to a rousing finish with cymbals crashing like so many waves upon the shore.

Named after Illa de Tagomago, a private island off the coast of Ibiza in the Mediterranean, Tago Mago simliarly stands apart as a strange, small marvel on its own amid the early ’70s musical sea.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Phish Mexico Setlist: 1/15/17 Riviera Maya, Mexico

Never miss a Sunday show, especially in Mexico during an odd year in a month that begins with the letter J!

Phish completed their three-show run in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Sunday's show will be webcast via LivePhish.com

Here's what you missed on Sunday Funday...
Los Phish, 1.15.16 Riviera Maya, Mexico

Set 1: Boogie On > SIMPLE > Tweezer > Roggae, Nothing, GHOST > YaMar, Stealing Time, Rift, FLUFFHEAD

Set 2: DWD > No Man's Land > SALLY > Possum > CARINI > BOWIE, HOOD

E: Slave, Tweeprise
* * * *
Setlists: FRI 1.13.17 - SAT 1.14.17 - SUN 11.15.17 - MSG NYE 2016

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Phish Mexico Setlist: 1/14/17 Riviera Maya, Mexico

Saturday night in Mexico. What could possibly go wrong? Phish played the second of a three-night run in Riviera Maya. These shows are streamed thru LivePhish.com.

Here's what you missed on Saturday...
Los Phish, 1/14/17 Riviera Maya, Mexico

Set 1: The Curtain WITH, AC/DC Bag, Breath and Burning, Poor Heart, Halfway to the Moon, The Line, Waking Up Dead, TUBE, Fast Enough for You, Ocelot, Chalkdust

Set 2: Crosseyed and Painless > Blaze On > Meatstick > Winterqueen > Mercury > Light > Velvet Sea

E: Drowned, Rocky Top

Setlists: FRI 1.13.17 - SAT 1.14.17 - SUN 11.15.17 - MSG NYE 2016

Friday, January 13, 2017

Phish Mexico Setlist: 1/13/17 Riviera Maya, Mexico

Phish returned to Mexico for a three-show run on the beach. If you're not going, then you're in lucky because Live Phish will be webcast all three nights.

Here's what you missed....
Los Phish, 1/13/17 Riviera Maya, Mexico

Set 1: FREE, Yarmouth, SAND, Theme, Funky Bitch, Undermind, NICU, Horn, Wolfmans

Set 2: ASIHTOS > Wedge > Fuego > Caspian > Twist > Seven Below, Golgi Apparatus > Antelope

E: Contact, BUG

Setlists: FRI 1.13.17 - SAT 1.14.17 - SUN 11.15.17 - MSG NYE 2016

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Hal Masa: You Enjoy My Mix - Year End 2016 Mix

Awesome news. I got an email from one of our dear Japanese friends, Hal Masa. You might remember Jpahan Hal Masa from his renditions of You Enjoy My Mix over the years. Well, Hal Masa has returned with a brand new mix to help celebrate the new year. He originally created it as a wedding mix for friends, but now he shares it with us. Arigato, Hal Masa!

Here's what Hal Masa wrote me:

I created brand new you enjoy my mix a.k.a. Year End Mix for my friend's wedding. This is NOT jam but Jazz, Latin & Chillout. Good for a holiday and I hope you like it. Have a Happy New Year!

Track List
Nicholas Veinnoglou / Intro
Norah Jones / The Story
Jack Johnson / Enemy (Worst Friend Remix)
Brokeback / Returns to Orange Glove
Bill Frisell & Ry Cooder/ Shenandoah
Ibrahim Ferrer / Perfume de Gardenias
Tito Puente / Prelude To A Kiss
Poncho Sanchez / Dichoso
DJ Drez & Marty Williams / Going Out of My Head
Jungle brothers/ Brain
Sly & Family Stone / Family Affair
Madeleine Peyroux / Looking for the Heart of Saturday Night
Chet Atkins / Stump Water
Bill Frisell / Good Dog, Happy Man
Luther Dickinson & Anders Osbourne / Black Muddy River
Mumford & Sons / Friend Of The Devil
Marco Benevento / Golden
STS9 / Life’s Sweet Breath
Marvin Gaye / Inner city Blues (Alternate Detroit mix)
Kai Winding / Lil' Darlin'
Norah Jones/ The Long Day Is Over
Bob Dylan / Tomorrow Is a Long Time
Jack Johnson / Wrong Turn (Static Dubstep remix)
Quiet Village / Keep on Rolling
Mark Barott / Back To The Sea

Monday, January 02, 2017

Phish NYE 2016 Rain Gag

Here's the official video of Petrichor > ALS > Suzy Greenberg and the indoor rain gag plus raining cats and dogs...

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Phish NYE MSG Setlist: 12/31/16 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden

It's been a long year. Time to throw down for one last night of decadence.

Phish finished up their 4-night run with three sets on NYE. The show will be webcast via LivePhish.

Follow @CoventryMusic for in-show snark and updates (we promise we won't get as spun as last night).

Here's what you missed....
Phish, 12.31.16 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Set 1: Don't Bogart That Joint, Your Pet Cat, Kill Devil Falls > Back on the Train > My Soul, Lawn Boy, Divided Sky, Ya Mar, Zero, Walls of the Cave

Set 2: 2001 > Carini > Twist > Piper > Ass Handed > Piper > Sand > Slave, More

Set 3: Petrichor > Auld Lang Syne > Suzy Greenberg, No Man's Land, Breath and Burning, Tide Turns, 555, Ocelot, First Tube

E: Loving Cup