Thursday, 30 September 2010

Guy Angier - Guitar & Bananas!

Of the hundreds if not thousands of records I've discovered since I started downloading, this has got to be one of my absolute favourites. In one sentence? A fantastic "hideously rare" psych-pop album recorded in England, January 1970.

If you'd prefer more details, Paul Cross tells the entertaining tale -

'Guitar And Bananas' is NOT psychedelic, but it is a delicious album, and a brilliant debut, crammed with whimsical material and shot thru with pop-syke affectations. It is a near-perfect collection of pop songs. Even my 90-year old tone-deaf maiden aunt could clearly tell this Guy Angier feller was an important new pop talent. So, why Guy's career did not take off into the outer stratosphere as a result is one of pop's most puzzling riddles. Although lack of exposure certainly had a lot to do with it.

And what of this Guy Angier...? At the tender age of 17, Guy came to the UK from his native South Africa. So confident of success was he that he arrived at EMI with his demo tape of material and asked if they would like to press copies for him! A bemused EMI official replied that "We don't do that sort of thing. What you want is a private pressing. We can do it, but it will cost you."

Guy said OK and a private pressing of 99 copies was made. He was pretty "green" as he himself admits, and was unsure how he was going to distribute copies. No-one in the music business showed any interest, so he simply went from shop to shop and asked the people there to stock it on a sale/return basis. A handful of shops took 1 or 2 copies to see how it would go, and of course it didn't go at all.

So, having around 90 copies left, the next thing Guy did was to give them to friends and relatives. He can't remember what happened to the rest, although it is possible that they were eventually dumped in the garbage. However, it should be borne in mind that a not inconsiderable number of copies have turned up recently...

All original compositions, written by Guy Angier. Angier also sung, played bass, lead guitar, 12-string guitar, piano and organ. He also composed, arranged and produced the album!!! The only things he didn't do were the drums and "strings". These came courtesy of Jackson Recording Co. This meant a session drummer and an analog synthesizer for the "strings". The album was recorded at Jackson Studios, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, in January 1970.

- Paul Cross, Sweet Floral Albion No. 34

1. Barefooted Troubadour In Spain
2. A Leaf In The Wind
3. Love Grows And Grows
4. Stanley Chapter
5. Sunshine And Roses
6. The Days Are Long

7. The Night Of Marianne
8. I'm Going Down To Bristol
9. Baker Man
10. Dr. Johnson
11. San Pedro Send Me Back
12. I Can't Help Myself Dreaming

Originally posted at the sorely-missed Mystery Poster, I hope you'll agree this is nothing less than a slept-on should've-been classic!

Guy Angier - Guitar & Bananas
[I tried to correct the song titles before uploading this, but they still seem to be out of order]

Monday, 27 September 2010

Diane Arbus!

A week or so ago, I was visiting the patient's library of what used to be called the Queen St. Mental Health Centre, pacing the stacks, regarding the titles. Bearing a stamp by that old name was an original copy of the 1972 classic of photography, Diane Arbus.

Sadly for me, the book was classified as Reference and therefore not allowed to circulate outside the library. It would be preferable to peruse the pages in private, but the semi-public sphere which was here would have to suffice just nice.

I sat down and had a look and this book of photographs quickly, and with some apparent ease, utterly blew my mind. I copied out some of the text --

"Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot. It was one of the first things I photographed and it had a terrific kind of excitement for me. I just used to adore them. I still do adore some of them. I don't quite mean they're my best friends but they made me feel a mixture of shame and awe. There's a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle. Most people go through life dreading they'll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They've already passed their test in life. They're aristocrats."

"Nudist camps was a terrific subject for me. I've been to three of them over a period of years. The first time I went was in 1963 when I stayed a whole week and that was really thrilling. It was the seediest camp and for that reason, for some reason, it was also the most terrific. It was really falling apart. The place was mouldy and the grass wasn't growing."

"Sometimes I can see a photograph or a painting, I see it and I think, That's not the way it is. I don't mean a feeling of, I don't like it. I mean the feeling that this is fantastic, but there's something wrong. I guess it's my own sense of what a fact is. Something will come up in me very strongly of No, a terrific No. It's a totally private feeling I get of how different it really is."

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Aux Taux!

In addition to playing a particularly punk show this Friday past,
No No Zero did our first band interview in quite awhile - with Sam Sutherland and Exclaim TV's Garageland (on Aux).

This reminded me to get going on the follow-up to Rough Stuff. More on that soonish.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Anagram's LP Title Revealed!

Jeff from Anagram went looking on Stillepost today for somewhere for the band to practise -- and, in the process, revealed their new album is entitled Majewski (after the late, sorely missed local artist Mike Majewski) and that, "it will destroy you".

This album hasn't even come out yet, and it's already the stuff of legend: recorded no less than three times before the band felt they'd got it right, it's being released exclusively on vinyl (photo above by Danijel Losic) with one track thereof ("I've Been Wrong Before") now available on the band's MySpace page.

I have been looking forward to hearing this collection of songs for what feels like a very long time indeed - Anagram's Majewski has got to be my most anticipated album of the year.

[MAJEWSKI is released unto this world Nov. 6th at the Olive St. Polish Hall in Beautiful Downtown Oshawa!!!]

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Sexy LP Sleeves!

LP Cover Lover has plenty o' the sex wax for you: that's XXX, S-E-X, nudes, and even cheesecake! Here's some of my faves.

Friday, 3 September 2010