Endless Escape

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Gene Clark.

There is no day that goes by that I do not think of Gene Clark and his immense musical legacy. He was my favourite Byrd and I believe he outlasted the group in many ways.
I remember spending most of the 80's listening to his alt-country (now you'd call it this way!) masterpiece "Firebyrd" and spinning it times and times again on my record player until the needle was melting the vinyl grooves. As soon as it was re-issued on cd I bought it again and - to this day - when I hear "Rodeo Rider" or his version of the Byrds' "Feel A Whole Lot Better" on that record I shiver. ("Gene Clark's post-Byrds solo career was as fraught with false starts and unmet promises as his two years with the Byrds were filled with fame, fulfillment, and recognition. Firebyrd was an artistic triumph and a commercial disaster - released to rave reviews and an enthusiastic response as one of the finest solo projects ever to come from an ex-Byrd, it was killed by poor distribution; demand in Europe, especially Germany and Italy, where fan interest in Clark and the Byrds was very high, resulted in high premiums being paid for used copies. "Rain Song," "Rodeo Rider," and "Something About You" were some of Clark's best songs in years, and his covers of two old Byrds numbers, "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Feel a Whole Lot Better," are perfectly credible reinterpretations, and he even does justice to Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind." Not a lost Byrds album by any means, but a must-own for any serious Byrds fan". - Bruce Eder AMG).
I am writing this to celebrate Gene in the blog and to inform other fellow Gene-lovers of two interesting 2005 releases.
The first is a cd that compiles his contributions to the Byrds: titled "Gene Clark in the Byrds - Set You Free 1964-73", it is out now on the Australian label Raven.
The second is a book, to be published in the USA on the 12th of March titled "Mr. Tambourine Man : The Story of the Byrds' Gene Clark", written by John Einarson.
I have ordered the latter today via Amazon.com and can't wait to set my eyes on it!

Hope you are intrigued to discover the man; I regard him as an angel, singing his beautiful melodies and flying high wherever he is now.
Thank you Gene, my world is a better place because of you.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The World Is Full.

"The world is full of lovers/Loving hate and only loving others of their kind".

Excerpt from "Blue Ribbons", taken from the album "David Ackles" by David Ackles (Elektra, 1968).

Break free/begin again.

"I'd find me a spot/On some mountain top/With no one around me/With valleys and streams/And birds in the trees/And lakes that surround me".

Excerpt from "Tennessee Blues", taken from the album "Bobby Charles" by Bobby Charles (Bearsville Records, 1972).

Monday, February 28, 2005

Waiting for spring.

Well, it seems that winter does not want to rear its ugly head this year.
Everywhere I hear news of bad weather. Fabio told me that London was cold on Saturday, Susanna called me from Hong Kong the same day saying that the sky was grey and heavy with rain and...I was enjoying the sun in Milan (even though it snowed over Sunday night and it is incredibly cold today)!
I long for spring. After the never ending dark months it is a re-birth. Not just a change of season, but a change of perspective, the beginning of a world of possibilities. Don't you feel like making new friends, travel the world, fall in love? Clothes get lighter, colours bloom and you don't have to hurry your pace while out and about. You can lose yourself outside and enjoy the wonder of it all.
I have a very fond memory of a Saturday in late April 2004, that I spent in the rose garden at Regent's Park in London, drinking red wine till the sun set on the water.
It will come soon, and let us all marvel at its beauty and take full advantage. We are lucky enough to be able to do it.
Kiss one another, celebrate and enjoy. Love. Marco

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Record stores/The Boy Least Likely To.

I know some people out there don't consider going to record stores cool anymore. For me it's been a life-long love affair. I adore spending time inside (good) record stores, fascinated by the music, endless discoveries, art and people there: I remember once standing in line behind this beautiful girl in Tower records in NYC with a huge pile of cd's (at least 40) under her arms, thinking that she would have been the right companion for me. Wish I had made a move!
Anyway, on Friday the 28th of January I was out and about in London and went to visit one of my favourite stores, Rough Trade in Talbot Road. It is the epitome of what great record stores should be: fantastic assortment, knowledgeable and friendly staff, good prices.
Amongst some other discs, I picked a pre-release cd which will be out (in the UK) on the 14th of February. It is by a group called "The Boy Least Likely To" that I knew nothing of. I strongly urge you to imitate me and make your Valentine a very happy, shiny day.
I have lifted from "ireallylovemusic.co.uk" (thanks!) the following review which I reprint for the benefit of those I have managed to interest.
Happy listening and, as always, add some music to your day.
"Before you even drop the disc in the player - you just know this is not going to be an hour of misery and torture, there's not going to be any pain involved, and, having overdosed on cold electronic noises for last few weeks this could indeed be the perfect antidote. from the outset the cover image gives away many secrets. with its art depicting colourful cartoon animals all lined up with various noises making devices and balloons you sense this is an album for lighter moods, innocent emotions, and will indeed provide a welcome respite to the stresses of the modern world.
comprising of 12 lo-fi indie pop songs made by pete (music) and jof (singer/lyricist) and dragging in various mates to flesh out the sounds, several of these songs have appeared on limited 7 inch vinyl available via ebay bidding wars, this album proper collects these together for the lazy folks amongst us.
and lo - for 37 minutes this album does everything it should. easy on the ear melodies, sing-a-long chorus's, subtle nudges into lyrical surreal ness, toy box noises, handclaps, and joyous songs recalling all sorts of classic pop song creators from the last 20 years. there's teenage fanclub style guitars, super furry animal harmonies, belle and sebastian lyrical wordplay, and more importantly simplistically addictive marc bolan pop hooks all wrapped up with all sorts of non-standard noises (glockenspiels, fiddles get dropped in from time to time), which makes for a really great unpretentious album.
i mean, 4 listens in and you'll be smiling and swinging along whether you want to or not, just try and listen to 'i'm glad i hitched my apple wagon to your star' without imagining yourself being in the bedroom where this was recorded and joining in with the backing vocals - the song has the most uplifting happy vibe i have heard in years, which may annoy the more serious amongst you, but for me it induced a smile from ear to ear, even the recorder solo section, an instrument i hate, is ace.
oh, and there's banjos involved .. need i say more?
and, the good news is there's loads of songs like this - the acoustic guitars and driving rhythm of 'hugging my grudge' (schoolboy dreams and hormonal impulses), the lonesome country and western feel to 'my tiger my heart', the glockenspiel overload of the opening 'be gentle with me', with its declaration of 'i'm happy because i'm stupid'. ok, i accept that from certain more serious places the accusation of 'twee overdose' will probably be aimed at the happy clappy duo, but i care not, and i suspect neither do they !
this album will warm hearts, sooth the fiercest of bad moods and generally make the world a better place - excellent stuff".

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Flowers and poetry.

I believe that little things add value to life. Of course I am lucky enough not to suffer from any major disease, have a house to go to in the evening when I'm done with work, comfortable clothing and able to eat regularly. So, everyday, my morning thoughts are for my brothers and sisters who can't enjoy the comfort of basic necessities and struggle to make it. Love to you first and foremost.
Amongst the little things that make my life better are flowers and poetry. Buy some flowers for yourself or for the one you love; watch her/his heart smile and rejoice in the act. Simple, but revolutionary as true love always is.
Start the day reading a poem; it will open up your soul and get it ready to welcome the beauty of the world. 'Cause there is beauty out there, even if it takes a lot of effort to embrace.
I have been dabbling with writing short two-liners poems lately. Here's one I particularly like, I wrote about a drifting relationship. I am sorry it's a bit sad, but life is sweet and sour isn't it?
"There is no sugar in my tea
And, most probably, there's a distance between you and me".

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Welcome blogsurfers.

Welcome to my first blog!
I must thank my friend Fabio for giving me the inspiration to start this and please make sure to read his excellent writing at www.fabiocalling.blogspot.com
Soon I will be posting my own...