"Blue" Gene Tyranny

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long time favorite, and recently I've been seeing his name a lot on the listening threads. 1978 debut album Out Of The Blue reissued this month. he's written a lot of helpful reviews of other people's music and far too little has been written about his own and hopefully that can change now, there's a reason he was cast as "The World's Greatest Piano Player" in Robert Ashley's Perfect Lives.

who else is listening?

milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 16 January 2007 20:08 (fourteen years ago) link

me, and Out of the Blue is kind of magical. I really can't think of many other records that goes so many different places, and all of them sweet and interesting.

Dominique (dleone), Tuesday, 16 January 2007 20:32 (fourteen years ago) link

Ah! Glad you brought him up, I've been listening to 'Country Boy, Country Dog' over and over recently and absolutely adore it. I have to admit I'd never heard of him till recently and would like to know more. Have yet to Goggle obviously. What does the "Blue" stand for?

tolstoy (tolstoy), Tuesday, 16 January 2007 21:12 (fourteen years ago) link

think about his first name.

hstencil (hstencil), Tuesday, 16 January 2007 21:29 (fourteen years ago) link

SONIC TRANSPORTS New Frontiers in Our Music by Cole Cagne, 1990
Interviews and essays on the music of Glenn Branca, Fred Frith, "Blue" Gene Tyranny, and The Residents

http://www.oodiscs.com/oo64.html (good bio)
http://www.lovely.com/artists/a-tyranny.html (love the Kyle Gann & Laurie Anderson comments)
http://www.villagevoice.com/music/0351,gann,49532,22.html (early 60's, involved in ONCE Festival under his real name Robert Sheff)
http://www.i94bar.com/ints/primemovers.html (Tyranny was in a rock band with Iggy Pop called the Prime Movers in the late 60's)

active in music for 20 years before his debut -- goes a long way towards explaining why there's so much going on with that record

milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 16 January 2007 21:43 (fourteen years ago) link

Latest in the Other Minds archive appears to be an archived interview with Robert Sheff, aka Blue Gene Tyranny, with Other Minds founder Charles Amirkhanian from 30 years ago, recorded on July 14, 1976 for KPFA radio. (The RSS feed of the Other Minds archive lists it as having been uploaded on January 13 of this year.) The two discuss Sheff's early experimenting with tape, playing the Mellotron, recording film music based entirely on descriptions of a given scene, and gigging with the Mothers of Invention, and they broadcast several examples of his work, including a lengthy sound collage of rural conversations and field recordings from the late 1960s, "Country Boy, Country Dog."

http://www.disquiet.com/downstream-past5.html#d20060221-bgt

milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 16 January 2007 21:45 (fourteen years ago) link

SONIC TRANSPORTS New Frontiers in Our Music by Cole Cagne, 1990
Interviews and essays on the music of Glenn Branca, Fred Frith, "Blue" Gene Tyranny, and The Residents

That's a real good book, sir.
I used to have a copy, too - until a friend borrowed it, sometime in the last century.

tiit (tiit), Tuesday, 16 January 2007 21:55 (fourteen years ago) link

"Next Time Might be Your Time" is the first song that always plays on my ipod and it brings a smile to my face EVERY time.

chaki (chaki), Tuesday, 16 January 2007 21:57 (fourteen years ago) link

http://www.waysidemusic.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=UNSEEN%20WORLDS%2001

new packaging for the reissue looks nice, though I will always be fond of the original. too bad it isn't being reissued by Lovely, although Lovely doesn't seem to be doing much beyond keeping pace with the new Ashley operas by this point.

milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 16 January 2007 22:38 (fourteen years ago) link

reissue does have a nice book, and compositional processes behind For David K and Letter from Home (and it really good, tho I'd only had mp3s to compare it to)

Dominique (dleone), Tuesday, 16 January 2007 22:56 (fourteen years ago) link

really *sounds* good, that is (I've really been leaving a lot of words out of sentences lately)

Dominique (dleone), Tuesday, 16 January 2007 23:05 (fourteen years ago) link

I remember being interested in his solo work because of his involvement with Robert Ashley, but then I heard some of it on the radio and it seems like this elevator music type of thing, and I couldn't get into it. (This was a very loooong time ago, so don't expect anything more specific than that.) But I suppose I am still interested.

Yeah, I wish Lovely would reissue more of their back catalogue. Particularly some Ashley we've discussed before, and also Tom Johnson's Nine Bells, and probably other things slipping my mind.

R_S (RSLaRue), Tuesday, 16 January 2007 23:10 (fourteen years ago) link

have wanted to hear some of his stuff for ages!

looks like i'll have to hunt down that out of the blue.

theres also a great interview with him in that 'talking music' book by william duckworth. which i highly reccommend.

http://www.glasspages.org/talking.html

george bob (george bob), Thursday, 18 January 2007 12:50 (fourteen years ago) link

Aside from Out Of the Blue, the ones I have are For The Record (featuring pieces by different composers, including a Robert Ashley piano piece) and THE INTERMEDIARY which is improvisations for piano and electronics. All are excellent. I know I've mentioned it before, but I will mention it again here too: I do not like the funky jam on Out of the Blue. For me, it ruins an otherwise perfect LP. I fall asleep listening to Side 2 all the time.

be home by 11 (orion), Thursday, 18 January 2007 17:41 (fourteen years ago) link

Bob Sheff interviewed on KPFA's Ode to Gravity, 1976 - Charles Amirkhanian and Robert Sheff
Robert Sheff (aka Blue Gene Tyranny) interviewed by Charles Amirkhanian. Sheff discusses his career as a composer, performer and recording artist, including early activities growing up in Texas, his involvement with the ONCE festivals, his work at Mills College Center for New Music and his interest in composing for film. Compositions included (and discussed) include Black Forest Trading Post; Country Boy, Country Dog; L'Invasion Printainiere; and The Flow of Body and Mind (becomes Music for Any ...

http://www.archive.org/details/BobSheffOTG

chaki (chaki), Thursday, 18 January 2007 17:53 (fourteen years ago) link

Out of the Blue gets points for having every track be a surprise compared to the previous one -- I wasn't expecting the first track to be a beautiful 70's country-indie-prog-pop epic, wasn't expecting the second track to be a brainy disco thing (which grew on me after a while), wasn't expecting a choral piece, then wasn't expecting an epic 25 minute travelogue soundscape on side two, which seems to be a letter read aloud by a friend of Tyranny's which he's set to music.

if you like Ashley (and the chord sequences & keyboard playing Tyranny contributed to Private Parts, Perfect Lives, The Bar, Music Word Fire & Atalanta, Yellow Man With Heart With Wings i.e. most of Ashley's best records), then you need Out of the Blue for side two alone, and "Next Time Might be Your Time"... should have been a hit

The Intermediary & Free Delivery are the best examples of his solo piano playing, with brief stretches of abstract electronic sound showing up at utterly unexpected moments. He doesn't veer from Thelonius Monk to Charles Ives & maybe Gershwin as much as sound like all American styles at once -- bizarre combination of post-Cage new music and the best lounge piano player you've ever heard, total chaos and then a chord comes out of nowhere that's inexplicably moving.

the final track on Free Delivery, "Sunrise or Sunset in Texas", you really just kind of have to hear it, it's profound.

Country Boy Country Dog: How to Discover Music in the Sounds of Your Daily Life -- two tracks of primitive, spaced out, muted electronic drones recorded at Mills College during the 70's, a fragmented collage of 60's field recordings made in kitchens, backyards, neighborhoods, daily life, and two beautiful sweeping pieces of chamber music. Really, really love this record.

Go, Blue is a live record of a concert -- a student orchestra playing arrangements from his unreleased opera "The Driver's Son". Room recording. I think it needs a better performance and I'm not 100% on some of the synth sounds, but there's some great piano playing and this must have been a great concert. Hearing some of Tyranny's scored melodies played by an ensemble is interesting in context with his improvised piano playing. Worth hunting down once you get OOTB / FD / CBCD.

a few years ago he put out another solo piano record, Take Your Time. this one could throw some people -- it throws me -- all the chaos and confusing flurries are gone, leaving just the sentimental moments. I miss the surprises, but there's a nice 10 minute improv on the themes from side two of Out of the Blue.

just out last year was Formations, with Philip Krumm -- flat out noise record. hissy field recordings of microwave noises recorded at the South Pole mixed in with a brutal, ring-modulated & overdriven recording of Tyranny at the piano playing Krumm's score -- the two recordings were made in 1968, but I think they were overlaid recently. It's good, the sounds themselves remind me of Mimaroglu (that ring-mod) but the pacing reminds me more of late 80's Asmus Tietchens. http://www.dustedmagazine.com/reviews/3004

milton parker (Jon L), Thursday, 18 January 2007 21:25 (fourteen years ago) link

thanks for that (tho my head is a bit fuzzy to use the info today...)

Dominique (dleone), Thursday, 18 January 2007 21:38 (fourteen years ago) link

glad you're alive after the long night at Dimuzio's, that video was lethal

short version: Out of the Blue / Free Delivery / Country Boy Country Dog, & everything with Robert Ashley

milton parker (Jon L), Thursday, 18 January 2007 21:45 (fourteen years ago) link

I knew I recognized that name. I have this in my storage:

http://www.lovely.com/covers/4529501061.jpg

Yet another reason to buy a record player.

Three hundred inches from the children. (goodbra), Friday, 19 January 2007 04:20 (fourteen years ago) link

thanks for that milton, now just need £££

george bob (george bob), Friday, 19 January 2007 15:44 (fourteen years ago) link

I missed this thread earlier, but have a few comments and pointers.

CBCD has roots in a cassette-only release which I seem to have lost, but I remember it as being a lot different, more raw use of field recordings, less modern production overall. It was released by Fun Music, which also released music by Phil Perkins among others. I think it'd be nearly impossible to find any of the label's non-vinyl releases around, but the internets make many unlikely things possible.

There was also a compilation, I think produced by Peter Gordon, called Music from Antarctica, that includes a solo track called The World's Greatest Piano Player". I wold have forgotten about this disc if not for a recent entry on Brian Olewnick's blog Just Outside:

Most of the Lovely LPs were some kind of licensing deals; the rights for the old releases belong to the original composer/performer. Any re-issues on or off the label would be based on newly negotiated deals.

& for what it's worth, Tom Johnson's Nine Bells came out on India Navigation. Cause Phill Niblock has subsequently released the tracks that were on his discs from India Navigation, I assume these LPs were also licensing deals. It would be great to have a CD of Nine Bells, but hey...

Herb Levy (Hrebml), Thursday, 25 January 2007 16:41 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh yeah, the Lovely Little Records box is still listed as being in print at Lovely Music

& here (if I've got the links to work right this time) is the URL for Brian's blog post:
Just Outside

Herb Levy (Hrebml), Thursday, 25 January 2007 16:50 (fourteen years ago) link

will try to post some info I got from Unseen Worlds as to why this wasn't out on Lovely later today

Dominique (dleone), Thursday, 25 January 2007 16:52 (fourteen years ago) link

From Tommy @ Unseen Worlds re: OOTB and Lovely:

"Blue is very close with Lovely, but some time ago Mimi Johnson let Blue know that OOTB would remain out of print. I can't imagine why exactly, but business is business and sometimes things just don't go the way they should. Mimi has been aware of the reissue from the beginning, as Blue has recently done tours out of the country with Robert Ashley with Mimi accompanying. Blue has been doing some recording of his work recently and for all I know that's intended for a new Lovely release, but for the past couple of years they've almost soley concentrated on Robert Ashley works."

Dominique (dleone), Friday, 26 January 2007 03:31 (fourteen years ago) link

finally found this at Amoeba the other day, they had one copy, in 20th century classical. understandable given his other records, but I hope more people can get this record onto the right display racks.

the packaging is great, full lyric sheet. remastering is very bright and sparkly, it sounds good, I'm glad I also have the vinyl.

milton parker (Jon L), Sunday, 4 February 2007 23:45 (fourteen years ago) link

wouldn't want to take it OUT of the 20th cent classical necessarily, but you could probably have a copy in a few sections. jazz, pop rock, experimental.

the CD sounds a lot more bright than the LP at first, but over time it's really grown on me as being more rich, too. there is virtually no bass on the LP, and on the CD it's very present. i'm curious about how people who aren't familiar with the LP react to it.

Jimmy James (Tommy James), Monday, 5 February 2007 02:25 (fourteen years ago) link

i put in Free Delivery the other day, too. never cared for it until now... it's kind of like a free jazz album that you can play on any occasion. it's just beautifully intuitive and expressive.

Jimmy James (Tommy James), Monday, 5 February 2007 02:36 (fourteen years ago) link

three months pass...

Blue's next two lps following Out of the Blue (unseenworlds.net) are going to be made into digital re-issues by Lovely shortly (see the note in the "catalog" section of their website lovely.com). I look forward especially to hearing The Intermediaryin digital sound! What a killer piano and electronics record...

oo, Sunday, 3 June 2007 21:37 (fourteen years ago) link

just got Out of the Blue from Other Music's digital store. Amazing.

dan selzer, Sunday, 3 June 2007 22:52 (fourteen years ago) link

Looking closer, it looks like Peter Gordon's Star Jaws is also up for digital reissue. It's *sort of* the sister record to Out of the Blue in that it was recorded around the same time and has most of the same players. But whereas one might compare Tyranny's record to an Eno, Gordon's is more like a Lou Reed. I hope they do more than just the one's they advertise on their site. I'm guessing the mp3s will be up on iTunes.

fixed links (i hope) and added the digital store mentioned above:

http://www.lovely.com (see the "catalog" section)
http://www.unseenworlds.net (have to browse releases), http://digital.othermusic.com/view/4363

oo, Tuesday, 5 June 2007 00:44 (fourteen years ago) link

I love the John Bischoff piece on Tyranny's Just For The Record. & I love The Intermediary. And I'm depressed about digital-only releases of these records.

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 5 June 2007 00:51 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah, I hear that, despite being excited to some degree. If I'm not mistaken, I think they would fit on a single disc...

oo, Tuesday, 5 June 2007 01:02 (fourteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...

From Tommy @ Unseen Worlds re: OOTB and Lovely:

"Blue is very close with Lovely, but some time ago Mimi Johnson let Blue know that OOTB would remain out of print. I can't imagine why exactly, but business is business and sometimes things just don't go the way they should. Mimi has been aware of the reissue from the beginning, as Blue has recently done tours out of the country with Robert Ashley with Mimi accompanying. Blue has been doing some recording of his work recently and for all I know that's intended for a new Lovely release, but for the past couple of years they've almost soley concentrated on Robert Ashley works."

-- Dominique (dleone), Friday, 26 January 2007 03:31 (5 months ago) Link


A new album indeed being prepared for release on Lovely according to Blue's website.

oo, Thursday, 28 June 2007 22:30 (fourteen years ago) link

does anyone know the author of the spoken word parts of "a letter from home"? is it by tyranny himself or is it a letter from a friend as milton says?

creme1, Friday, 29 June 2007 02:54 (fourteen years ago) link

I always thought it was Tyranny's friend but the 2007 liner notes in the CD make it clear Tyranny wrote the text himself

Milton Parker, Friday, 29 June 2007 06:28 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...

Saw on FE that the new album is out on Mutable (Tom Buckner's label, I think) The Somewhere Songs/The Invention Of Memory

matinee, Sunday, 13 July 2008 19:29 (thirteen years ago) link

three months pass...

I'm on the fence about The Somewhere Songs / The Invention of Memory. it's been years of trying but I'm still ambivalent about Thomas Buckner's singing voice, when he's just a member of an Ashley chorus it can be all right but when he's a soloist I lose focus.

I'd forgotten just how amazing The Intermediary is and it's hard to believe it's only making it to CD this month. (It's not the pop music of Out of the Blue, it's a monster 36 minute piano solo recorded at 4 in the morning in 1980 with occasional ghost electronics done on an Apple II mixed in two years later.)

http://www.lovely.com/specials/specials.html

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 29 October 2008 00:31 (twelve years ago) link

The Intermediary is SOOOOOO GOOOD!!!!!! He'll occasionally just hit these chords that make me shiver/come in my pants.

ian, Wednesday, 29 October 2008 02:57 (twelve years ago) link

two years pass...

Someone noted it above (slightly) but I was still a little surprised to see him come up in the Iggy Pop bio I'm reading now, "Open Up And Bleed."

dlp9001, Saturday, 22 January 2011 20:12 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

it comes on like a greeting card but before you know it

new album

http://www.dustedmagazine.com/reviews/6879

Milton Parker, Monday, 23 January 2012 20:30 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

New one is seriously great. The electronic setting for the piano on the last track makes me wish it lasted six times as long as it does, though "George Fox Searches" really is the center of gravity for the whole album.

Milton Parker, Saturday, 11 February 2012 20:52 (nine years ago) link

four months pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISzW6gC8yGU&feature=plcp

ogmor, Tuesday, 3 July 2012 18:57 (nine years ago) link

I bought a copy of Take Your Time last week. Enjoying that a lot.

mmmm, Tuesday, 3 July 2012 19:52 (nine years ago) link

two months pass...

http://unseenworlds.net/images/UW07_Web.jpg

love this.

ogmor, Sunday, 30 September 2012 19:40 (eight years ago) link

who has a copy of Out of the Blue I can buy?

Trip Maker, Sunday, 30 September 2012 19:59 (eight years ago) link

I've been listening to this LP a lot lately- anybody know if "Phil Harmonic" is just an alter ego for Blue, or if it's somebody else's cool art name?

http://www.discogs.com/Blue-Gene-Tyranny-Just-For-The-Record/release/788632

the tune was space, Sunday, 30 September 2012 20:23 (eight years ago) link

"Phil" is Kenneth Werner, played with Sonic Arts Union & Mills grad circa early 70's, has a disc on the Lovely Little Records comp: http://continuo.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/various-lovely-little-records/

The Tyranny disc on that comp is a bizarre electronic setting of a Harvey Milk speech on one side and a tape cut-up collage of media reports on the riots in SF the day he was shot. Its good.

His new album, definitely in my top 5 of new records that came out this year.

Milton Parker, Sunday, 30 September 2012 22:07 (eight years ago) link

I LOVE BLUE GENE.

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Monday, 1 October 2012 16:00 (eight years ago) link

Out of the Blue is on Spotify...but only the first side. Some bullshit.

Trip Maker, Monday, 1 October 2012 16:58 (eight years ago) link

great b side

69, Monday, 1 October 2012 19:24 (eight years ago) link

have you heard it yet?

69, Monday, 1 October 2012 19:24 (eight years ago) link

I downloaded a rip of it a few years ago, so yeah, I've heard it. Haven't listened in a while, though.

Trip Maker, Monday, 1 October 2012 19:37 (eight years ago) link

i'm always interested in milton parker started threads, stealthily the coolest taste on ilm

farte blanche (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 1 October 2012 19:46 (eight years ago) link

nine months pass...

Out of the Blue is on Spotify...but only the first side. Some bullshit.

Just discovered this thread and album (Just For the Record is also on Spotify). Agreed.
i'm always interested in milton parker started threads, stealthily the coolest taste on ilm

Nothing stealthy about it. ;-)

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 12 July 2013 12:25 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

i've become a song monogamist with 'next time might be your time'

Merdeyeux, Wednesday, 24 June 2015 10:34 (six years ago) link

five months pass...

OUT OF THE BLUE IS A HEROIC ENDEAVOR.

scott seward, Saturday, 28 November 2015 04:31 (five years ago) link

yeah, that's one of my favorite albums lately. i even listen to the lengthy spoken-word piece over and over again.

wizzz! (amateurist), Saturday, 28 November 2015 04:33 (five years ago) link

Steve Bartek from Oingo Boingo plays guitar on Out of the Blue.

kurt schwitterz, Saturday, 28 November 2015 04:56 (five years ago) link

Pretty much 'next time might be your time'.

jazzrule, Saturday, 28 November 2015 11:27 (five years ago) link

two months pass...

https://vimeo.com/133241147

Milton Parker, Thursday, 11 February 2016 01:02 (five years ago) link

whoa!

kurt schwitterz, Thursday, 11 February 2016 01:06 (five years ago) link

v talented ashtray imo

lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living (Merdeyeux), Thursday, 11 February 2016 01:44 (five years ago) link

eight months pass...

haven't heard yet but posting this for later: http://wnyu.org/2016-08-24_termiteterrace

Milton Parker, Thursday, 13 October 2016 08:30 (four years ago) link

two years pass...

was just personally recommended this by max tundra. it is...excellent, and near-impossible to figure out

imago, Saturday, 17 November 2018 23:33 (two years ago) link

this = out of the blue, obv

imago, Saturday, 17 November 2018 23:33 (two years ago) link

OUT OF THE BLUE IS A HEROIC ENDEAVOR.

― scott seward, Saturday, November 28, 2015 4:31 AM (two years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

the Steve Reinke video "Squeezing Sorrow From An Ashtray", has mysteriously been made private since I posted it two years ago, but it's also turned up at the link below, and of course the ashtray music is Tyranny's "Sunrise or Sunset in Texas"

http://www.desorg.org/titols/021-squeezing-sorrow-from-an-ashtray-the-100-videos/

Milton Parker, Sunday, 18 November 2018 00:11 (two years ago) link

Why doesn't Next Time Might Be Your Time win every single 'best song ever' poll?

imago, Monday, 19 November 2018 09:18 (two years ago) link

like, the guy released one, ONE 70s pop song, just one, because he only needed one

imago, Monday, 19 November 2018 09:20 (two years ago) link

six months pass...

omg the 'trust in rock' 1976 concert has just been released!!

imago, Friday, 14 June 2019 08:10 (two years ago) link

https://unseenworlds.bandcamp.com/album/trust-in-rock

imago, Friday, 14 June 2019 08:15 (two years ago) link

Will have to get on that. I was marinating in detours yesterday & felt very good for it. george fox searches is magnificent

ogmor, Friday, 14 June 2019 08:18 (two years ago) link

holy shit i had no idea this existed and it's blowing my mind. for years i've been like "damn i wish there were more songs like next time might be your time," and without warning is EXACTLY that, plus the sickest minimalist prog jam

J. Sam, Friday, 14 June 2019 14:53 (two years ago) link

On The Other Hand is going to some fairly excellent places too :)

imago, Friday, 14 June 2019 15:05 (two years ago) link

Man the second half of this is amazing too! All the Kathy Acker stuff is killer

imago, Friday, 14 June 2019 15:55 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

Alas

Rest in Power “Blue” Gene Tyranny. 1945-2020. https://t.co/TShbUCwCyV pic.twitter.com/ocstaRtGMS

— Unseen Worlds (@Unseen_Worlds) December 12, 2020

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 12 December 2020 17:30 (seven months ago) link

RIP

pomenitul, Saturday, 12 December 2020 17:31 (seven months ago) link

:(

imago, Saturday, 12 December 2020 17:32 (seven months ago) link

RIP. I just happened to receive Country Boy Country Dog in the post yesterday. A sad coincidence. I will be playing Take Your Time and that in his honour.

mmmm, Saturday, 12 December 2020 18:10 (seven months ago) link

RIP, just discovered and fell in love with “without warning” this year

brimstead, Saturday, 12 December 2020 18:38 (seven months ago) link

Next Time Might Be Your Time on repeat all day

Lamont Dozier Dream House (Deflatormouse), Saturday, 12 December 2020 18:39 (seven months ago) link

Why doesn't Next Time Might Be Your Time win every single 'best song ever' poll?

― imago, Monday, November 19, 2018 4:18 AM (two years ago) bookmarkflaglink

It's a really hard song to stop listening to.

Lamont Dozier Dream House (Deflatormouse), Saturday, 12 December 2020 18:44 (seven months ago) link

This one hurts! First 2020 death to get to me - miss you already, Blue. Gonna spin Out of the Blue and maybe revisit Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives to pay respect to the world’s greatest piano player!

EvanP, Saturday, 12 December 2020 20:34 (seven months ago) link

i listened to Out Of The Blue in full earlier after hearing this, NTMBYT just loaded with unspeakable amounts of pathos

imago, Saturday, 12 December 2020 20:38 (seven months ago) link

Yeah huh NTMBYT really might be one of the best songs of the 70’s

EvanP, Saturday, 12 December 2020 21:32 (seven months ago) link

Raising a glass ("we don't serve fine wine in half pints, Buddy") in memory of "Blue" while watching the boogie woogie piano lessons: http://ubuvideo.memoryoftheworld.org/Ashley-Robert_Perfect-Lives_4_The-Bar-Differences.mp4

jvc, Sunday, 13 December 2020 14:35 (seven months ago) link

thanks for sharing that.

budo jeru, Sunday, 13 December 2020 19:33 (seven months ago) link

what a week. friend MCS just texted me 'why god hate piano players'. I still have my Budd CDs on the listening table. they go mysteriously well with the Tyranny stack; it actually took a lot of courage to write music this shamelessly pretty

I hear Tyranny finalized track choices for a six disc set of mostly live recordings still in the pipeline.

going backwards chronological. 'The Intermediary' hit really really hard today.

Milton Parker, Monday, 14 December 2020 00:19 (seven months ago) link

RIP. We're not attached or separate in space.

Robert Gotopieces (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 15 December 2020 01:42 (seven months ago) link

Of course he was five when out of the blue he started to speak Polish and recall his past lives.

Robert Gotopieces (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 15 December 2020 18:11 (seven months ago) link

Never listened to this record until yesterday.

Robert Gotopieces (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 15 December 2020 21:26 (seven months ago) link

Said leave all that history behind

Whamagideon Time (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 19 December 2020 23:34 (seven months ago) link

Missed this and just noticed with the six back to back tracks on Jesse Dorris' Polyglot this morning - RIP

knowing for certain the first touch of the light will finish you (fionnland), Tuesday, 22 December 2020 09:39 (seven months ago) link

The recording of "Leading a Double Life" on "Trust in Rock" is one of the most frustrating recordings I've ever listened to. It has all the potential to be as great as the version on "Out of the Blue" but it's underrehearsed or something - you can hear the singer struggling to keep time with the band. But in spite of the frustration I keep listening because it's such a moving song nonetheless.

That said, the "Trust in Rock" version of "Next Time Might Be Your Time" is so good that all is forgiven.

RIP Blue "Gene". "Out of the Blue" is up there in the pantheon.

And "Private Parts", a contender for my favourite recording of anything by anyone, couldn't have existed without him.

Hans Holbein (Chinchilla Volapük), Thursday, 31 December 2020 08:32 (six months ago) link

three months pass...

Unseen Worlds has just announced a six CD box set

https://unseenworlds.bandcamp.com/album/degrees-of-freedom-found

Ned Raggett, Friday, 2 April 2021 03:23 (three months ago) link

two months pass...

ah ned this is great thank you for writing it

https://thequietus.com/articles/30056-blue-gene-tyranny-review

stuffed to overflowing, and kind of impossible to climb on top of -- each of Tyranny's albums is just as schizophrenic, you never knew exactly what you were you going to get but whenever he put out something new you knew it'd be 'an album' with a through-line. and this... schizoid, total compilation resetting the clock with a new totally different thing every 5-15 minutes. all the mid-length compositions or one-offs that would have disrupted the flow of any single disc album, well here's six discs worth of them. it takes some focus and parsing, but like all his stuff the best instants hit you without warning

the main thing is finally getting a full performance of his opera, 'The Driver's Son', the one everyone always mentioned as his best thing, and which of course he'd never released (except in excerpts, without the vocals). Tyranny's so integral to Ashley's best operas, so if you've ever wondered why he never seemed to follow up 'A Letter From Home' with something on a larger scale, well this is it. I sure wish there could have been a studio version -- this version's compiled from two live performances in a very self-conscious way (I've heard the work was very different on different nights, so in a way the splice makes a kind of sense beyond presenting an 'ideal' version). it's totally trance inducing music with a stream of consciousness anti-narrative over the top with the occasional completely impossible sentence, the opera is the thing at the center of this box

Milton Parker, Monday, 7 June 2021 08:40 (one month ago) link

Can’t read right now but looks great, thanks.

AP Chemirocha (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 7 June 2021 11:18 (one month ago) link

it is indeed a fine write-up. will tackle the full release at some point soon :)

imago, Monday, 7 June 2021 12:12 (one month ago) link

ah ned this is great thank you for writing it

You're most welcome of course. I was taking a bit of a leap writing about areas where my familiarity is less than others, but I'm glad to know via your comments and others I've heard it read well.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 7 June 2021 14:13 (one month ago) link


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