Monday, July 21, 2008

TVD Spotlight | Robert Wyatt | Part I

I have to admit. I kinda paced around back and forth in my mind over the last week trying to think about what my first TVD entry should be. One idea definitely stuck with me the longer I thought about it. Something on Robert Wyatt. More than that. A mini-series on Robert Wyatt. Not like some PBS or BBC type of thing (though he is from Bristol). Just a little three-course meal dedicated to a master chef of psychedelic, progressive chefs. I mean --- he IS the earlier and jazz-fusion. Let's me think about that some more. Ok - he's possibly a master chef of all chefs in all of the kitchens of music. The Food Network can contact to me about that weird analogy later if they want to, but to say that he's influenced me and others greatly is an understatement.

I'll sing more specific praises and give the backstory of his career like the nerd that I am later. For now though, I'll just say this: unreal drummer (notice the patterns, signatures, solos), incredible vocalist (the melodies he choses to use), gripping lyricist, spectacular beard. You'll notice the beard thing in the third part of the series. I promise...

Let's kick it off with the Wyatt-era Soft Machine. Primarily Volumes One and Two.


Soft Machine - Save Yourself (Vol. 1) (Mp3)
Soft Machine - So Boot If At All (Vol. 1) (Mp3)
Soft Machine - We Did It Again (Vol. 1) (Mp3)
Soft Machine - Returns To The Bedroom (Vol. 2) (Mp3)
Soft Machine - As Long As He Lies Perfectly Still (Vol. 2) (Mp3)
Soft Machine - Hibou, Anemone And Bear (Vol. 2) (Mp3)

TVD | Turns One


What were you doing when you were one? Me...I was in diapers and drinking from a bottle. So, yes...very little has changed. (ding!)

My dad used to have a saying after say, I expressed a distaste for banana cream pie or something. He'd moan, "Aw - you don't know what's good." And he said it often enough, truly without disdain or anything, where'd I almost say it along with him at times. Then I got a bit older and thought about that line, and not that he meant it really, but it dismissed all of my opinions on ANY-thing outright. "I don't know what's GOOD." Like I'm in some netherworld flailing about with the truly mediocre.

So, it started to crack me up and I began to use it in common conversation to the point where my buddy John picked up on it and we were off dismissing each other's taste in everything but mostly music. The computer whiz he is, John set up a bulletin board where, not just he and I, but our entire group of friends would tell each other, "you don't know what's f'n good," practically 24/7. Whoo boy--nothing like dissing your pals on the internet, I tell you.

So, imagine our surprise when the thing got hacked and destroyed. I mean - what? Am I gonna have to WORK now? (I kid, employer!) But it was a real drag and as John and I were plotting the return of YDKWG in some guise, I got to tinkering with Wordpress then Blogspot--and TVD was born. Without forethought or planning. Boom. I was off.

I was enamored with the Retro Music Snob blog at the time (who's back if you didn't know...) and reached out for some guidance and he was damn gracious with his time and advice and do's and don'ts. Two things he said still resonate with me: update daily, give folks a reason to return, and second--don't let it become a job. Sage advice on both fronts, I'm thinking.

Well, I've been fortunate--the thing took off. After 415 posts, 134,655 unique visits, and 246,975 pageviews, I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to YOU, the readers who've visited, commented, and participated each day. It's you guys who make the entire endeavor ultimately worthwhile. I'd be remiss if I didn't thank the advertisers over there on the left who've offered their support as well. All I had to say was "DC vinyl blog" and each and every one signed on with enthusiasm. Two-thirds of the "Vinyl District Frequents" list graciously swapped links with me and allowed this blog to swim further down the river on their backs. I trust the wind has picked up enough here to return the favor.

So, with all of this said, I'm sure you'd think it odd that I've been ready to toss in the towel here. Against RMS's wise council, it has become a bit of a job. I've daydreamed about ebaying the blog and selling it off to the highest bidder who'd earn the keys to TVD HQ. Or, like the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" or whatever that book/movie is called, handing it off to another keeper of the flame and hoping the new caretaker looks after it with the same thoughtfulness and care.

Ultimately, the nagging question has been just how long can one blog survive trumpeting VINYL? Well, we're about to find out.

Beginning this week, three new voices will join the mix here at TVD, lending a welcome hand to what has been a one-man blog. Over the coming days Billups, Mukisa, and Kristin will be introducing themselves to you as new, frequent contributors here at TVD. They'll be lending not just their voices to the proceedings, but their record collections as well. And while I trust that there's plenty of overlap in our individual tastes, there's enough divergence to cover ground that this blogger could never accomplish singularly. You'll still have me here each morning waxing nostalgic, but there will also be plenty to have you popping back in throughout the day.

Plus, we have even more ticket giveaways to come as well as some opportunities to score some brand new vinyl, so you readers who aren't locals can win something too for a change. Nice, huh?

So, welcome to year two of this little experiment. Thank you for having us.


A note about this week's "theme"--an all-request week. Rarely does a morning pass where I don't receive a request for something posted way back when, and as much as I'd like to honor those requests for reposts, they're a tough thing to pull off with any frequency. So this week - let us have it! If you've missed something that we've previously posted, want some more, or think it just may be in the TVD archives, leave a comment and we'll post it as a small way of simply saying thanks...and cheers!

The Clash - London Calling (Mp3)
The Sound - Wildest Dreams (Mp3)
T-Rex - Cosmic Dancer (Mp3)
The Clientele - Isn't Life Strange (Mp3)
David Sylvian - Nostalgia (Mp3)