Friday, November 10, 2023

The Beatles - Now and Then

[With so few projects in the works I would have preferred to hold this post off until next month but I felt it was time sensitive enough to post as soon as it was ready.]
Back when I first started my Beatles-What If blog I had a comp that was inspired by this article. This is actually what got me rolling on the whole alt-Beatles timeline thing. But I was never happy with my results and the comp went through a few different iterations. I used several John demos to flesh the album out including Now and Then but the poor quality of that demo and other elements kept the project from being anywhere near satisfactory. When I reorganized the site in 2010 my Now and Then album was replaced with the Anthology highlights disc and the Lennon & McCartney album.
Now with the release of the finished version of Now and Then I felt compelled to revisit the project. The quality that the current technology allowed them to achieve is astounding. I still think the song itself is the weakest of the three songs they worked on but it is listenable and enjoyable and it does grow on you the more you hear it. and it does feature all four Beatles so I'm not complaining. Even the weakest of songs by the Beatles is better than some of the best by others. So I reopened the project and reconsidered some choices and swapped the Now and Then demo with the finished track and ended up with a tight 35 minute album with one bonus track that I felt was worthy of sharing. Enjoy.


01 Flaming Pie
02 Real Love
03 Dehra Dhun
04 Grow Old With Me
05 Thinking of Linking
06 King Of Broken Hearts
07 All Those Years Ago
08 Beautiful Night
09 Free As A Bird
10 Now And Then
11 Ain't She Sweet

Bonus Track
12 Stand By Me

Reality Notes

I used several suggestions from the original article but rejected more than I kept. Only Flaming Pie features only one Beatle but Paul plays everything on it and the lyrics are Beatle related. I also prefaced it with the soundbite of John telling the flaming pie Beatles name origin. All the others have at least two or more fabs and most come from around 1980.

Real love and Free as a Bird are the anthology versions. Grow Old With Me is a John demo and was included on the tape delivered by Yoko but was rejected by the three due to it's subject matter. It was later enhanced with an orchestral score by George Martin and appeared on the John Lennon Anthology box set.

George's Derha Dhun is an All Things Must Pass outtake which I prefaced with a bit from the Anthology ukulele jam and might have Ringo on drums (sounds like him and he seemed to remember it during the jam). Also from George is All Those Years Ago which has Ringo on Drums and Paul on background vocals along with Linda and Denny Laine .

Thinking of Linking comes from the acoustic Anthology jam. I edited parts of the two takes into one solid take. Ain't She Sweet is from the garden ukulele jam that I edited in John's vocal from a solo session outtake of the same song to create another track with all four Beatles. In the last iteration of this album I created two medleys from the ukulele jam and the acoustic jam but they never really worked.

King of Broken Hearts is a Ringo tune with a fine slide solo from George. Beautiful Night is a Paul song with Ringo drumming.

I took the suggestion from the article and segued Beautiful Night into Free as a Bird by way of syncing the snare hits before the false ending on BN with the opening snare hits on FAAB but unlike the article I did not return to BN before the false ending on FAAB.
Stand By Me comes from a 1974 session that happened while John was producing Harry Nilson's Pussycat album. After the session ended Paul showed up and a jam session occured with John, Harry, Stevie Wonder, Paul (on drums) and others. Sadly Ringo, who's kit Paul was playing, went home for the evening. The session itself did not produce much worth listening to more than a few times, This snippet was the peak moment.

The cover photo was found online to which I added the cloud background.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

The Theme From...

Here's something a bit different. This is a collection of TV theme songs but not just any theme song. The wife and I were binge watching the old Judd Hirsch series Taxi and I fell in love with the theme song and was inspired to collect as many jazzy/funky/MOR theme songs as I could fit on a CD.
My main criteria was that the song must be an instrumental. No snappy tune where the lyrics explained the show's premise. I broke that instrumental rule only twice but for good reasons.
Because TV themes tend to be no more than a minute to a minute and a half this is one of my longer track listings. I searched for the full versions of as many tunes as I could and bent the rules slightly for a couple of interludes but my main goal was to make it fun to listen to. I hope I achieved that goal. Enjoy.


01 Bob Newhart (Home to Emily)
02 Sanford And Son
03 Taxi (Angela)
04 The Office
05 MASH (Suicide is Painless)
06 Peter Gunn
07 Barney Miller
08 Night Court
09 Arrested Development
10 Room 222
11 Peanuts
12 Jeopardy [Think Music]
13 Hawaii Five-0
14 Mission_Impossible
15 Portlandia (Feel It All Around - Washed Out)
16 I Dream Of Jeannie
17 Pink Panther
18 Rockford Files
19 Newhart
20 Curb Your Enthusiasm
21 Batman
22 Hill Street Blues
23 Trailer Park Boys
24 Wings
25 Northern Exposure
26 Breaking Bad
27 Countdown [Think Music]
29 Andy Griffith Show
30 thirtysomethig
31 Bewitched
32 Twin Peaks
33 The Munsters
34 The Man From UNCLE
35 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Journey of the Sorcerer - The Eagles)

36 Weeds (Little Boxes)

Reality Notes

While most of these tracks are named after the show they are associated with some existed before being chosen as a theme song. I put the actual name in parenthesis when applicable. 
The few songs that have vocals on them are tracks 15, 21 and 36. The full version of the Portlandia theme has some vocals but they are almost unintelligible. The Batman theme uses the vocals almost as another instrument and just repeats the name Batman over and over. The song Little Boxes by Malvina Reynolds opened the show Weeds and I looked forward to hearing it every time I went to watch the show.The song predates the show, first recorded by Pete Seeger in 1963, so the lyrics are unrelated to the show's premise. Over the course of the series they used different versions of the song but this one stuck in my head. Think of it as a bonus song.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

The Weepies - Butternut Ridge - 2004

[I've listened to this a few times now since posting and decided to make some changes (something I rarely do). I removed to audience to turn it into a studio album and while I was at it I redid the cover to my liking. If you downloaded the original I recommend re-downloading.]

The Weepies were a husband and wife duo consisting of Deb Talan and Steve Tannen. Their music has been described as "subtly intoxicating folk-pop". Light melodies with an acoustic base and wonderful harmonies. They met as mutual admirers of each others music which led to each contributing to to the other's next solo album both of which featured a version of Deb's song Rocks and Water. They immediately began writing together and self released the first Weepies album Happiness soon after the release of their solo albums. They married in 2007.
I discovered The Weepies around the time of their Hideaway album in 2008 while at a Barnes & Noble where I heard it playing in the music department. I fell in love with them right there and purchased the album. I bought their other CDs as I found them. Later I found some live shows posted on the Internet Archives. I downloaded five of the eight posted and gave them all a good listen then filed them away.
Yesterday (as I write this) I was organizing my library and came across those live shows and gave them another listen. They were mostly as I remembered them, very good to excellent audience recordings but one show stood out for a couple of reasons. First it was a soundboard of an intimate club show from 2004 between the release of their first and second albums and second they played a bunch of songs from their pre-Weepies solo albums. So I extracted those songs and found I had a nice little album and I decided to share it with you. Enjoy.


01 Rocks and Water
02 How Will He Find Me
03 The World Spins Madly On
04 Sing Me to Sleep
05 Tell Your Story Walking
06 Big Strong Girl
07 Cherry Trees
08 San Francisco
09 Love Come Knocking
10 Don't Pay No Mind
11 Comfort
12 Strange Place Now

Reality Notes

This show is just Deb and Steve, no backing band so the interplay between to two really shines. The recording is nearly perfect so I did not feel the need to do any post production work. The only flaw I found is that the applause after the song Comfort is cut short. I could have patched some from elsewhere but with everything else so perfect I decided I could live with it as is, so I hope you can too. The original full show is still up and can be found here along with the others.

In 2006 The Weepies released their Live Sessions EP. A six song EP of tunes from this same pre-Weepies era. Only three songs are duplicated here. I do not have that album so I don't know if they have other musicians behind them.

I found a cover I liked online and used that as a template to make my own. The original download came with an OK bootlegish cover but someone made a better one that was much nicer and already used the photo I intended to use (this photo was also used as part of the cover for the Live Sessions EP).

Friday, September 15, 2023

Remco Hendriks - Remco's Groove Lab

Two Posts in one month! I'm on a roll. When I published my last post, noting it was YouTube month I remembered Dutch bassist Remco Hendriks and my desire to put together and album's worth of tracks from his YouTube channel. There is a lot there so I focused on one playlist that features a live drummer, his videos are either solo or have a drum backing track, (some live and some canned?). I've mentioned before my preference for songs with vocals over instrumentals but sometimes exceptions must be made and Remco is worthy of that exception. Besides YouTube you can find Remco on iTunes, Spotify and elsewhere (links below) so go show him some love.

Remco describes his channel thusly "On this channel you can find one-take performances recorded on video. No edits, no talk, just good ol' funky music. All bass and all original compositions, hope you'll enjoy!". Watching him play is just as much fun as listening to him, maybe more. As a bassist myself, he and I share some things in common in style and technique but like Micheal Hedges for acoustic guitar, Remco takes things to a whole other level (I still can't slap with conviction). I should be so lucky to be able to do half the things he does. Enjoy.

01 Funk with Chords
02 Experimental Fretless Funk Rock 
03 Fingerstyle Funk
04 Fretless Funk
05 Funk Rock Fingerpicking
06 Freaky Funk Rock
07 OC-2 Octaver Dirty Bass
08 Thumb & Fingerstyle Funk Rock
09 Chill Funk
10 Funk Rock in 7/8
11 Shuffle Feel Funk
12 Fretless with Harmonics
13 6/8 Funk Slap
14 Dirty Fretless Rock Bass
15 Dirty Fretless Rock Bass #2
16 Experimental Funk Rock Slap Bass
17 Heavy Groove
18 Fretless Funk Jam

Reality Notes
I have been a subscriber of Remco's channel for some time now and I still haven't watched every video there. There are so many! Cutting the playlist down to a CD's worth wasn't easy. I started with the longest tracks and worked my way down from there. I kept them in the order they appear in the playlist.

The cover is a screenshot from one of the videos, cropped and slightly altered with added text and an image from one of his albums. Track titles were derived from the video titles which are more descriptions of style and technique with some redundant wording edited out.

Friday, September 8, 2023

Larkin Poe - Stripped

September on this blog has been YouTube month. I don't have enough projects to fill the month but I do have this. I discovered Larkin Poe through fellow blogger Paul who runs the Albums That Should Exist blog. At the time of this post he has put up 18 separate albums from this duo. The bulk of those are pandemic era home concerts and collections of covers from the bands Tip o' the Hat series (8 volumes so far) all sourced from their YouTube channel (thus making it appropriate for September). 
The band is made up of sisters Rebecca (lead guitar) and Megan Lovell (slide guitar) with a small backup band consisting of a bassist and drummer. But I really fell in love with Paul's collections of performances that feature just Rebecca and Megan. Paul calls these acoustic performances but the pedantic in me has issue with that because Megan's slide is always amplified and Rebecca is sometimes playing electric guitar as well but that's a minor quibble, the important thing is the music and both are A class musicians that help renew my faith in the idea that guitar based music is not dead.

I've had Paul's first comp of this band, which he titled "Acoustic 2014-2017", and have had it on my iPod and other mobile devices pretty much since he first posted it but lately that hasn't been enough. I based this compilation on that first album Paul posted, removed the covers and expanded it with songs from other collections Paul posted. He did such a fine job gathering and editing these albums I decided not to reinvent the wheel and use his work and my source, thanks Paul hope you don't mind. The albums I used are listed below. Enjoy.


01 Holy Ghost Fire
02 Back Down South
03 Don't
04 She's a Self Made Man
05 Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues
06 You Can Close Your Eyes
07 Blue Ridge Mountains
08 Look Away
09 Tears of Blue to Gold
10 Blunt
11 Cast 'Em Out
12 Elephant
13 Trouble in Mind
14 Keep Diggin'
15 Stubborn Love
16 Easy Street
17 Take What You Want
18 Come On in My Kitchen

Reality Notes

These girls love to play covers - and they do a fine job of it - but one of the things that the pandemic era of YouTube home concerts gave us is a glut of cover versions by so many artists that frankly I'm a bit burnt out by them so this comp is focused on the band's original material (as it should be, they're fine songwriters as well as musicians). There are still a couple covers, Come On in My Kitchen seems to be a band favorite and is featured on two of their albums making it one of their own and You Can Close Your Eyes is just too good to pass up. Being kind of an obscure song to me helps it to fit in. I tried to make sure that the rest were all originals or at least made appearances on their official albums.
There was some overlap in the source albums that duplicated a few songs so I chose the best sounding ones. The cover is a pic I found on a Google search and added the text and border. 

YouTube channel


Thursday, August 24, 2023

Melancholia Vol 20

Hey there. Been a while. Many reasons for being away, life and health mostly and a hard drive crash that forced me to rebuild the library from several partial and/or out of date backups but life goes on and I'm back with a brand new volume of Melancholia goodness.
This is a non-themed edition and like the other non-themed editions before it, it contains some of my favorite songs that come from recent discoveries/purchases and a few long time favorites that have not found a place on past editions. Some of these discoveries come from suggestions from friends or posts from my fellow fantasy album bloggers others just seemed to present themselves out of nowhere.

I've been test driving this for a bit now and I think I'm happy with the results. One of the things I enjoy most about this series is queuing up the whole thing and putting it on shuffle. It's like my own private personalized radio station. Enjoy.
01 Tedeschi Trucks Band - Midnight in Harlem [Revelator]
02 Robert Plant - Angel Dance [Band Of Joy]
03 Cher - Just Like Jesse James [Heart Of Stone]
04 North Mississippi Allstars - Up and Rolling [Up and Rolling]
05 Railroad Earth - Seven Story Mountain [The Black Bear Sessions]
06 Sade - The Sweetest Taboo [The Best of Sade]
07 Alexi Murdoch - All My Days [Time Without Consequence]
08 Marcus King - Young Mans Dream [El Dorado]
09 Allman Brothers Band - Soulshine [Where It All Begins]
10 Reina del Cid - Giving Up [The Cooling]
11 The Magpie Salute - High Water [High Water I]
12 Roxette - Crash! Boom! Bang! [Hit Collection]
13 Neal Casal - Maybe California [Leaving Traces_ Songs 1994-2004]
14 Bonepony - The Crush [Travelers Companion]
15 Temperance Movement - Pride [Temperance Movement]
16 Warren Haynes - New Years Eve [Ashes & Dust]

Reality Notes

When I was gathering my pool of songs for this collection I did a check to make sure I wasn't duplicating any songs from previous volumes, I discovered I used a song twice on previous volumes. Eric Clapton's Please Be With Me is found on volumes 5 and 11. For now I deleted the instance on volume 11, you can do the same. I may find a replacement eventually but it's not a long song so the comp still feels full. One of the things I enjoy most about this series is queuing up the whole thing and putting it on shuffle. It's like my own private personalized radio station.

The cover features a nice pinup by Alberto Vargas. Along with the music lost with the hard drive crash I had all my personal documents and pictures. Among those documents are all the Word files of album covers I have done over the years including the file with all the Melancholia covers. This means I had to recreate the template but I couldn't find the font I used so I just cropped a previous finished cover to complete this one. Still trying to identify that font.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Marc Bolan - All at Once - 1966

Here's a project I've been slowly working on for a while now. I have a few others waiting for the final polish and write up before posting but those are almost novelty themed various artist collections. This construction finally completes the Marc Bolan collection and covers the years from 1964 to 1967 just before joining John's Children.

The tracks here can be split into two parts, before and after signing with manager Simon Napier-Bell in 1966. Marc's earliest efforts were the products of managers and producers doing their "best" to fulfill Marc's dream of being a star. That dream wouldn't come true for a few years yet going through several name changes while developing his writing and vocal style. The first few songs are covers but from track three on are all originals. None of his early single did much on the charts.

During Marc's time with Napier-Bell they recorded one single and many demos. most of these eventually were released on the album The Beginning of Doves. After Marc's passing Napier-Bell took some of those demos and augmented them with studio musician and released the album Love and Death with some songs not found on the Dove album. I deferred to the Doves album for purity reasons and filled the gaps with the unique songs from Love and Death. The result is a nice album of 38 minutes of early Marc Bolan. Enjoy.

Track List

01 All At Once
02 The Road I'm On (Gloria)
03 Blowin' In The Wind
04 The Wizard
05 Beyond The Risin Sun
06 The Third Degree
07 San Francisco Poet
08 Hippy Gumbo
09 Misfit
10 Jasper C. Debussy
11 You Scare Me To Death
12 I'm Weird
13 Charlie
14 Black And White Incident
15 Observations
16 You Got The Power
17 Jasmine Forty-nine
18 Cat Black
Reality Notes
Track one was recorded in 1964 but went unreleased until 2008. Tracks two and three were released under the name Toby Tyler. Tracks four through seven were singles released on Decca records as Marc Bolan via the name Marc Bowland in 1965. Tracks eight and nine were produced by Napier-Bell for track records in 1966. The remaining tracks all come from the Doves album with the exception of tracks eleven and twelve which come from the posthumous Love and Death album. Tracks 14-18 also appear on the Love and Death album and given the post production treatment but I went with the stripped down demos instead.

The Doves album also contained some of the earliest Tyrannosaurus Rex recordings. I included these on the Chinese Christmas Music comp posted a while back. There are a few early songs that were recently released that I do not have and are hard to find. If I do come across them I'll add them to this and post and update. This should be the last of the Marc Bolan collection but if I have enough of them I may put together a short comp of his spoken word poetry, maybe.