A Weiss Touch: Words and Wax from the World’s Best Record Collector

“…. Do you have records you can’t get enough of, even after you’ve heard them a thousand times before? Ramones Leave Home, Wire Pink Flag, Brian Eno Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), Zombies Odyssey and Oracle, La Monte Young Well-Tuned Piano, The Shaggs Philosophy of the World, Damon Song of a Gypsy, Fallen Angels It’s a Long Way Down, Velvet Underground Velvet Underground, Guided By Voices Bee Thousand, P.M Dawn. Jesus Wept, Jackson C. Frank Blues Run the Game, Fairport Convention Liege and Lief, Linda Perhacs Parallelograms, 13th Floor Elevators Easter Everywhere, Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul, Ornette Coleman Dancing in Your Head, Albert Ayler Spiritual Unity, Captain Beefheart Safe as Milk, Damned Damned Damned Damned, Pink Floyd Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Bazerk Bazerk Bazerk Son of Bazerk, The Millennium Begin, The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour (US version), Love Forever Changes. But ask me tomorrow and you might get a completely different list. …”
Dust & Grooves


James Chance & The Contortions – Lost Chance (1981)

“Picking up where their previous ROIR live release left off (the excellent Soul Exorcism), James Chance & the Contortions offer another collection of their cutting-edge musical blend. Recorded live in Chicago back in September of 1981, Lost Chance may be a tad more visceral than their previous in-concert recording, but the over-the-top performances never get in the way of the music. And although the album contains traces of jazz and new wave, Lost Chance is highly recommended to funk connoisseurs — the Contortions may have been the most underrated funketeers to ever hit the stage. Out of the album’s nine tracks, three are James Brown covers (‘Super Bad,’ ‘I Got You,’ and ‘King Heroin’), which would surely bring a smile to the Godfather of Soul’s face. And although the whole band wails throughout, bassist Colin Wade proves to be outstanding, playing some of the most fluid and funky basslines ever committed to tape. Highlights are many, but tops would have to be ‘Sax Maniac,’ ‘White Cannibal,’ and ‘Hell on Earth.'”
Bandcamp (Audio)
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Super Bad, Sax Maniac, White Cannibal, King Heroin

One Step Beyond . . . – Madness (1979)

One Step Beyond . . . is the debut studio album by the British skapop group Madness, released by Stiff Records. Recorded and mixed in about three weeks, the album peaked at number two and remained on the U.K. Albums Chart for more than a year. The album has received much critical praise. It was ranked 90th in a 2005 survey held by British television’s Channel 4 to determine the 100 greatest albums of all time. … The title track, released as a single, was originally written and recorded by the Jamaican ska musician Prince Buster, and its ‘Don’t watch that, watch this …’ introduction is adapted from another Prince Buster song, ‘The Scorcher’. The track ‘The Prince‘ is a tribute to Buster and a re-recording of the band’s debut single, originally released on the 2 Tone label. Its B-side, ‘Madness’, was also re-recorded for the album. …”
Guardian – Suggs and Mike Barson of Madness: how we made One Step Beyond (Video)
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Madness – One Step Beyond – Full Album 1 / 15

Watching a Choreographer Build: Trisha Brown’s Unusual Archive

“In a video recorded in 1989, the choreographer Trisha Brown demonstrates a few restless seconds of movement, as dancers in her studio try to follow along. An arm darts across the torso; the legs appear to slip and catch themselves. It happens fast. As the dancers attempt to do as she does, a viewer can imagine how useful the video would be for anyone learning this material. There’s no easy way to explain what she’s doing; you just have to keep watching. In her decades of dazzling experiments with the body, gravity and momentum, Brown invented movement so complex — so capricious yet precise — it could be hard to remember from one day to the next, let alone years later if the work were to live on. …”
NY Times

1969: The Velvet Underground Live – The Matrix, San Francisco

1969: The Velvet Underground Live is a live album by the Velvet Underground. It was originally released as a double album in September 1974 by Mercury Records. … Spin magazine’s Alternative Record Guide included it in the top 100 alternative albums of all time in 1995. … On October 19, 1969, in the End of Cole Ave. club, Dallas, a fan who happened to be a recording engineer brought along his professional gear; and in November at The Matrix in San Francisco, the band was given permission to use the in-house four-track recording desk. The band were given two-track mixdown tapes from the recordings for reference, but nothing was done with them until 1974, after the band had dissolved and Lou Reed had become well known as a solo artist. …”
**The Quietus – Low Culture 1: The Velvet Underground Live In 1969***
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: What Goes On, Beginning To See The Light, We’re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together, Sweet Jane

Siouxsie And The Banshees – The Scream [Deluxe Edition]

“… The Scream’s contents were nonetheless compelling, not to mention significantly different from anything previously pigeonholed as simply ‘punk.’ Built upon the bedrock of Morris’ tribal, tom-heavy drums and McKay’s guttural, metallic guitar, ‘Jigsaw Feeling’ and ‘Metal Postcard (Mittageisen)’ were stark and monochromatic; the domestic violence-related ‘Suburban Relapse’ (influenced by Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho) was brutally harrowing; and even the record’s lone cover version – an eerie deconstruction of The Beatles’ ‘Helter Skelter’ – provided little in the way of respite. Contemporaneous critics, however, unanimously doled out five-star praise, and Sounds enthusiastically proclaimed the record to be ‘the best debut album of the year.’ … Four decades on, its primal power still cuts through loud and clear. …”
‘The Scream’: The Primal Power Of Siouxsie & The Banshees’ Debut Album (Video)
Discogs (Video)

The Jam – All Mod Cons (1978)

“In 1978, to a backdrop of tribal youth cultures and economic crisis, The Jam answered years of snobbish disregard from the London-based punk elite when their aggressive and melodic sound, previously sneered at by the capital’s hip art school set, came of age with the release of their third album, ‘All Mod Cons’. By 1978 The Jam had released two albums of R&B-infused teenage punk to transient acclaim. … This scathing reaction shook main man Paul Weller and sent the band into a period of severe creative drought. Hoping the location would provide inspiration, Polydor hired an isolated country house to record the third album. Unfortunately the fresh air left little impression on the cappuccino-loving Weller and the new material drew a blank with the label. …”
Clash Music
W – All Mod Cons
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: All Mod Cons (Full Album)
YouTube: When You’re Young (Live), Down In The Tube Station At Midnight (Live)

Joyce Theater

“The Joyce Theater is a 472-seat dance performance venue located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. The Joyce occupies the Elgin Theater, a former movie house that opened in 1941 and was gut-renovated and reconfigured in 1981-82. The Joyce is a leading presenter of dance in New York City and nationally. In 1977, the Eliot Feld Ballet had begun exploring more affordable approaches to presenting its annual season of performances in New York City. Rental costs and house sizes of the theaters available to the company made these seasons financially risky propositions. … Major changes to the structure included the elimination of the original balcony configuration to create a steeply raked seating area on one level, new construction at the rear of the building to provide additional backstage space, and the installation of a 67 x 36 foot proscenium stage with a sprung floor. The completed theater had 472 seats. …”
Joyce Theater (Video)
YouTube: The Joyce Theater Seat Renovation

Datapanik in the Year Zero 1978-1982 [Box] – Pere Ubu

“Pere Ubu’s troubles with record companies are legendary within certain underground rock circles. In perhaps the most bizarre turn of events, the group’s collected works of 1978-1982 — after being out of print for nearly a decade — were reissued by Geffen as a five-disc box set, Datapanik in the Year Zero. Named after the group’s 1978 EP, the set is arranged chronologically and occasionally substitutes live versions for studio tracks, but that hardly matters — nearly every song the band recorded during the five-year time span is included. In addition to the official Pere Ubu material, the box includes a disc of rare singles from early incarnations of Ubu and other Cleveland-area punk rockers like Rocket from the Tombs, 15-60-75, and Mirrors, which were released on David Thomas‘ independent record label. With this much material, it’s safe to say that the set is a definitive retrospective. However, if you’re simply interested in Pere Ubu, consider the set carefully before investing. Pere Ubu were indeed one of the most innovative and challenging bands of their era, which means that their music is an acquired taste. However, those willing to invest in the box will find a wealth of inventive, hard-edged avant rock & roll. …”
allmusic (Audio)
W – Datapanik in the Year Zero
Archive – Datapanik in the Year Zero: 1975-1982 (Audio)

Book of Days – Meredith Monk (1988)

“Meredith Monk’s films and stage pieces contain visions of the past, particularly visions of her own Jewish heritage, which she uses to make sense of the present. Her early films Quarry (1975) and Ellis Island (1979) are silent, poetic meditations, using spare, black and white images, almost devoid of movement, to convey visions that are both thoughtful and urgent. In Book of Days (1988), her new film (released in two versions, one for theaters and a slightly shorter one for television), she tries to take the concerns and techniques of the earlier films and expand them into a full-length narrative with color and sync-sound. Her techniques do not make the leap into the feature-film format, and the formal devices she adopts do not convey her visions quite as powerfully as the ones she used in her earlier films. …”
The Films of Meredith Monk
Meredith Monk: Book of Days (ECM New Series 1399)
W – Book of Days (Meredith Monk album)
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Churchyard Entertainment (Live)