Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Gone-Away World

I generally don't read a lot of science fiction but from what I have read it seems that the sci-fi author's task is two-fold. Not only does he or she need to have a storyline with a plot and dialogue but a good sci-fi novel also needs to create an alternative universe in which the story takes place. In "The Gone-Away World" by Nick Harkaway this universe is a post-apocalyptic society where much of what once was, suddenly no longer exists and what is left in its place is often a creation of the imaginings, delusions and fears of those who have survived. It is a world ruled by a huge conglomerate all-powerful corporation that is bent on preserving itself at all costs. Mr. Harkaway does an excellent job in bringing us into this world, slowly but surely letting the reader in on the details of it's creation and current reality. The parallels he draws between his Gone-Away world and ours are certainly made clear without his being annoyingly pedantic or preachy. The only problem for me was towards the end in the way he tied certain events and people together. It seemed somewhat artificial. It was as if he realized he was close to 500 pages and it was time to stop so he did it in the most expedient way he could. Unfortunately it just wasn't always very convincing, at least not to me. But over-all "The Gone-Away World" has a lot going on and much to say for itself. More than can be digested in one reading most likely. I don't do this very often but I'll probably go back in a year or so and re-read it. In the interim I would not be all that surprised to see "The Gone-Away World", the movie. And now, some music.

The Automatics - When The Tanks Roll Over Poland Again
I think I first heard of this record when I read a review of it in Trouser Press sometime around 1979 or so. Unfortunately the copy of the 45 I got at the time had the same distortion on it as this rip. Hopefully the master tapes still exist somewhere.
The Ceeds - Motherless Children
"Motherless Children" is a traditional blues song that has been recorded a number of times by folks ranging from Blind Willie Johnson back in 1927 to The Steve Miller Band, Roseanne Cash and Eric Clapton in more recent years. This 1966 version by The Ceeds sounds like it could have been a hit with the proper promotion and distribution.
The Tradewinds - Little Susan's Dreamin'

"...Susan.." was the b-side of The Tradewind's minor hit "Mind Excursion" in the fall of 1966. Unfortunately both sides were probably too drug related to generate much radio airplay. Funny how it all sounds so innocent now.
Barrence Whitfield & The Savages - Walk Out

In their heyday Barrence and company were one of the most exciting and dynamic live bands I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. He's mellowed some over the years but he's still always a pleasure to see and a super nice guy to boot.
Steve Forbert - Steve Forbert's Midsummer Night's Toast

I haven't kept up much with Steve Forbert's music over the years but I still love his first couple of albums from back in the late 70's. I remember seeing him in concert at some small club in New Jersey, just him and an acoustic guitar, and he was really warm and engaging and most of the women (and probably some of the men as well) wanted to take him home and mother him.
J.J. Barnes - Come On Back

J.J. released a slew of wonderful 45s back in the 60's and for all I know maybe even well past that time. Unfortunately most of them are only known to a handful of collectors.
Bill Johnson-You Better Dig It

I first heard " You Better Dig It" when I used to see The Swingin' Neckbreackers back in the 1990's. In fact, until quite recently when I stumbled across Bill Johnson's version I was under the impression it was one of their originals. Now that I know better, the reality is they pretty much stole the whole arrangement from BJ note for note.
The Easybeats - I'll Make You Happy

Amazingly I have never posted a song by Sydney, Australia's finest. This is but one of many many incredible records they released over their career. More to follow.
The Naked Eye - Recovery Time

Staying Down Under a little while longer but moving up in time a bit, The Naked Eye definitely sound influenced by fellow countrymen Radio Birdman. This particular track is from the "Antipodean Screams" compilation but they also have a few albums on their own.
Procol Harum - Too Much Between Us

Back in the days when albums were vinyl only there were certain album sides that stuck out in my mind as entities unto themselves. One of them was Side 2 of the British "Hard Day's Night" album and another was Side 1 of Procol Harum's "A Salty Dog" which is where I first heard "Too Much Between Us". To me, no other song so eloquently depicts that moment in a relationship when a parting of the ways seems sadly inevitable.
The Chiffons - Oh My Lover

It's hard to believe that it was almost 50 years ago that I first bought The Chiffon's "He's So Fine" 45 on Laurie Records at Larry's Records on Springfield Boulevard and the Long Island Expressway in Bayside, Queens. It wasn't too long afterwards that I discovered this gem of a tune lurking on the b-side. To this day it's still a favorite.
The Motifs - If I Gave You Love

From somewhere in the wilds of New Jersey, The Motifs gave us this moody garage classic. It's a little out of tune here and there and possibly a trifle off-key occasionally but it's certainly a classic nonetheless in 60s garage circles.
The Cavaliers - Hold On To My Baby

I goofed here - the real name of the band is The Cavaliers while the file shows it by The Naked Eye. Oops. Released on RCA in, I'm guessing 1966 or 67, copies of this Northern Soul staple now sell for well over $100.
Ros Sereysothea - Cry Loving Me

Starting out with a horn riff straight out of Stax Records and then launching into a note-for-note rip off of "Proud Mary" it's pretty amazing how perfectly the pieces all fit together. It makes me wonder if anyone on the Stax roster thought to cover the CCR hit and if nobody did, why not? I can just hear what it would have sounded like in the hands of someone like Eddie Floyd or Johnny Taylor.
Bill Ennis - I'm Hypnotized
Just as with Garage and Punk in the ensuing decades, back in the 1950's for every Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis riding high on the charts, there were a slew of also rans with varying degrees of talent vying for their share of Rock & Roll glory. While I can't honestly say that Bill Ennis coulda/shoulda been a chart contender, this is a fun little record nonetheless.
Material Issue - When I Get This Way
Back in the mid-90's these guys specialized in deliciously hooky if somewhat lightweight power pop releasing a handful of albums on Mercury Records (produced by Jeff Murphy of The Shoes) that sold in the hundreds of thousands. Tragically, lead singer and songwriter Jim Ellison committed suicide in June of 1996 putting an end to the band.
The 13th Floor Elevators - You're Gonna Miss Me
One of the highlights of the movie "High Fidelity" was the opening scene when the needle drops on a record and "You
're Gonna Miss Me" comes blasting through the theater. I bought the first Elevators album in March of 1967 on a whim after seeing and totally digging the psychedelic cover while shopping in E.J. Korvettes. This has always been and will continue to be one of my favorite songs ever.

Let him who fears his heart alone stand up and make a speech
Link removed due to DMCA request


glenn said...

I was just getting ready to download this - you screwed up my morning listening agenda! -) Who is DMCA?

YankeeBoy said...

Yeah, sorry about that - it sure wasn't my idea LOL. I'll probably write about it more in my next post but DMCA stands for Digital Millenium Copyright Act. This is the law that the RIAA has been citing when they sue file sharers. Basically if someone says they have a legal claim to something being posted, they have a right to ask for it to be taken down. Which is what happened in this case. Unfortunately I still don't (and may never) know what the offending song was.

glenn said...

That really sucks! At least if you were told which tune offended someone's wallet, you could repost the set without it. Jeez.

Frank Miller said...

I've had to take down at least six posts or more in my blogs time. It sucks when you put time into something only to have to take it down.It's not like we're making money, people are so worried there going to lose a dollar. Thanks for all your efforts, really enjoy the blog.

YankeeBoy said...

Thanks Frank. Yeah, I totally agree with you there. I could see if I were posting entire new albums or something but all I am trying to do is present songs I love in a new context. What's worse is that I still have no idea what song pissed somebody off. If I knew I could just pull that one and leave the rest. Oh well, money money money.

sins tailor said...

you might enjoy my band's old album...

band was called "sins tailor "
album called " ticket for a destination "

artwork included in zip file..........


david a burdick

here's the link

i think it may only be up for 90 days..........if no one downloads me if it disappears and i'll re-up it...

you can do a google search for me or the band to get more information..............

we used to be sold on notlame ....and we were scheduled to play the ipo long time ago when we lost our drummer....
we are from dwight twilley...and 20/20

you can send me a donation at my email address at paypal if ya feel like helpin a fella out....
here's my email address....

we also still have plenty of these cd's if you wanna buy a hard copy..........just let me know....

i'm on myspace and facebook as well....!/profile.php?id=1125731270

or you can always go to my bulletin board

thanxs to all the fans....
david a burdick

YankeeBoy said...

Thanks Dave I look forward to hearing it.

Kwai Chang said...

At the end of the book, did it say 'The Beginning'? Or was the climax when the lead character (Adam, usually) tells the woman "We'll call it Earth"? I guess that's why I have subconsciously avoided 'fiction'. I wasn't that entertained by it. Then, a science-fiction lover that I know told me about what an alcoholic B-grade writer L. Ron Hubbard was before he gleaned Scientology out of one of his own novels and started a religion. His writing never improved, but the obvious WAS true: fiction is generally non-fiction...and the gone-away world is just outside your front door.
When a lone gunman (using an obsolete single-shot bolt-action rifle) fires three shots from a sixth-floor window in a building that is two blocks away, and the first shot misses, but the other two bullets wound the Governor of Texas and kill the President of the United THAT is fiction. Nearly all sources of 'News' are owned (so they haven't really failed us), but they should be considered to be complicit regarding the presentation of the fictitious mess we call journalism.