Kendra Steiner Editions

May 29, 2017

Back From Mississippi…and into Summer 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 10:49 am

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Just returned from a 12-day writing vacation in beautiful Natchez, Mississippi, which was both very productive and very enjoyable. I’d hoped to get five of my six-page poetry chapbooks completed, but I wound up doing SEVEN. These will come out in small home-made KSE editions over the next year (and as always, the small KSE editions are the original and intended version, with original art, original epigraphs, original formatting, etc.)….and later will be collected in book form. I also would like to record the seven pieces this summer for a spoken-word poetry album. They are titled MELTDOWN; SATORI IN NATCHEZ; THE DIFFICULTIES, THE IMPOSSIBILITIES; GUEST REGISTER; NEW JERUSALEM; TIME CRYSTALS; and ARISING, ABIDING, AND DECAY. As always, I hope you all find them interesting and worthwhile.

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I’ve been writing and publishing a lot since last fall, though most of it (except for the chapbook FIND A PLACE TO DIE, composed in El Paso in December) has been prose. I had EIGHT pieces in the last UGLY THINGS; for many months I had an almost-weekly piece at BTC; and I did a number of film and music pieces here on the KSE blog. Thus, a lot of poetry was, to paraphrase John Lee Hooker, in there and it had to come out. Now it has…

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KSE is open for business once again….and we will be open until JUNE 14….then we’ll be closed while in El Paso and New Mexico between JUNE 15 and JUNE 27…and then we’ll be back in business again straight through the rest of the year, if the good Lord is willing and the creek don’t rise. In July and August we have a number of exciting new albums in store, including

DANE ROUSAY

JOHN BELL

MASSIMO MAGEE & JAMES L. MALONE

SAMUEL DUNSCOMBE & TIM OLIVE

Stay tuned for those. San Antonio’s own DANE ROUSAY will be the first album release in that group, and Dane will also be back on tour this summer. We’ll share those tour dates later. Dane’s album should be out by July 1st. I have always loved compositions for percussion and solo percussion albums, so having percussion composition albums from both Dane and JOHN BELL in our summer schedule is exciting, and I hope you will be as excited as I am by those albums.

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Natchez bluesman Y Z EALEY at the Rolling River Bistro 5/26/2017

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Most of my recent poems were written at the table to the right of the door. We got some heavy rains while I was there (see the flooded street next to the river in the second photo above), so for two days I wrote on the fully-covered back porch, which you can see on the far left of the picture. Working outdoors in such a lush and rich environment—-listening to an oil well pumping away on one side of me, and on the other side right next to a large cemetery from the 1800’s—-is just what this poet needed. And what a relief from the grind of daily work the trip was…

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As always, thanks for your support of KSE and of all independent arts organizations.

Please go to our ordering page (a pinned post at the top of the KSE website) and try a few albums and/or poetry chapbooks which are unfamiliar to you….your life will be richer!

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–I’ve been in most of the recent issues of UGLY THINGS Magazine, including EIGHT pieces in the latest one. You can order UT at   http://ugly-things.com/

–My 2016 poetry book DOWN AND OUT IN GULFPORT AND BILOXI (containing pieces composed in 2015) has been getting excellent response and is available at Amazon in the USA, in Canada, in the UK, in Germany, and in France. Just check your country’s Amazon outlet and look for Bill Shute and the above title. It’s cheaper when you buy it in your local country. In the US, here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1536814776/sr=1-1/qid=1496076105/ref=olp_product_details?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=1496076105&sr=1-1

–the 42-page art-and-poetry book APPROACHING THE APPARENT, which pairs David Payne’s artwork and my poetry, just came out from A Series of Lizards in the UK. You can order this limited-run book direct from the publisher at   http://aseriesoflizards.bigcartel.com/product/4th-edition-approaching-the-apparent-by-bill-shute-and-david-payne

I will also be featured reading THREE complete poems on a new album on the German “Moloko Plus” label from Alfred 23 Harth. That will be out later this year–stay tuned!

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May 16, 2017

new art (David Payne) and poetry (Bill Shute) book, APPROACHING THE APPARENT, published in the UK by A Series of Lizards

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:29 am

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David Payne and I are proud to announce our new art-and-poetry book, APPROACHING THE APPARENT, a beautiful hand-crafted 42 page creation from the UK press A Series Of Lizards, edited and curated by Gary John Myles (aka Gaz). Gaz approached us about doing this because he enjoyed our previous art-and-poetry chapbook BLUES WITH A BRIDGE, which contained the dialogue of David’s art and my poetry. In this new book, we have three of my six-page poems, all the text on the right-facing pages, and eighteen newly created artworks by David, all on the left-facing pages. The art was created not only expressly for this book, but in reaction to the page of poetry which it faces!

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The poems are newly edited versions of CRACK-UP 2016, ACRES, and APPROACHING THE APPARENT (Meditations on the Kena Upanishad), uniquely formatted for this page size and shape. ACRES has been a staple of my readings since I wrote it in 2009, and if you’ve heard me read since then, you will probably remember it. The three pieces are quite different from each other, but all are representative of what I feel are the best qualities of my poetry….so this would be a great entry-way if you don’t own any of my many other chapbooks. In fact, it might be THE BEST entry-way, since you are also getting David Payne’s challenging and haunting and playful art ON EVERY PAGE in dialogue with the poems.

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KSE is not selling these, but you can get them straight from the publisher in the UK, A Series of Lizards, only five pounds each plus postage. Support small and innovative presses which are not extensions of MFA programs, not the recipient of some arts grant, and not bankrolled by some pretentious wanker’s rich parents…. presses which  are truly INDEPENDENT!

Here is the link for ordering:  http://aseriesoflizards.bigcartel.com/product/4th-edition-approaching-the-apparent-by-bill-shute-and-david-payne

Grab this soon as it’s a very limited run, and based on the people who’ve written me to tell me that they ordered one, the available copies may not last long. Thanks to Gaz/A Series of Lizards for inviting us to create this volume and for the great job done in editing and publishing.  It’s EXACTLY the way we hoped it would be….and maybe even better!

ORDER YOUR COPY OF “APPROACHING THE APPARENT” NOW!

May 15, 2017

off to Natchez, Mississippi, for the second half of May

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 8:01 pm

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As longtime readers know, each May or June I try to take an extended (10-14 day) “writing vacation” in a picturesque, off-the-beaten-path area rich with local culture and history. With my job amping up the workload each year and with the steady stream of KSE music releases each year, I need a block of time when I can work on nothing but poetry all day, every day. Last year I was staying on Bayou Teche in central Louisiana and had a wonderful and very productive time. This year, I have found a cottage one block from the mighty Mississippi River in beautiful and historic Natchez. I’ve been on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (don’t forget, my most recent poetry book was called DOWN AND OUT IN GULFPORT AND BILOXI!) and in Northern Mississippi, but I have not been to the Natchez/Vicksburg area, and with a lifetime of listening to Mississippi blues music and reading Faulkner and Twain and the like, I feel as though I have the area in my blood.

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My drug of choice for writing is strong tea, and I wake up to a stout pot of tea and sit outdoors as the sun rises (last year on the bayou, this year next to the Mississippi River) and soak up the environment….then work on poetry for 6-8 hours, then explore the local culture in the mid-afternoon through early evening, then come back home and edit what I wrote earlier in the day. That’s the usual schedule….and since there IS NOT a racetrack nearby (I often find areas near a dog or horse racing track for my writing vacations, but not this year), I may well get MORE done this year than other years….although for me a racetrack is a great writing and editing environment.

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The recent KSE album (played just this week on Free Form Freakout in Minnesota and listened to worldwide) FLORIDA NOCTURNE REVISITED, which mixes my poetry with the sound sculpture of FOSSILS, consists of pieces written in 2012 during a writing vacation in Central Florida, and this summer, I’ll be issuing an album of my reading the five chapbooks I wrote last year in Louisiana on the Bayou.

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Somehow being in a different environment breaks loose the poetic plaque from my writing arteries and gets it flowing in my aesthetic bloodstream. I have notes and outlines and structural plans for each of the five extended pieces I plan to write during this getaway, so in a way the skeleton is there….I’m just fleshing it out and breathing life into it. And of course, it’s all about BREATH, isn’t it, when we are talking about poetry and the poetic line and the stanza.

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My getaways are relatively low-budget—-for the last few years, I’ve tried to save money by going to places I do not need to fly to (and thus, also do not need to rent a car in) and renting rooms or cottages with their own kitchen so I can cook. A box or two of poetry and art books, stacks of Document Records 1920’s blues and gospel/preaching CD’s, lots of jazz, some volumes of Swedenborg’s ARCANA COELESTIA, a pile of recent issues of the London Review of Books given to me by an academic friend, and as always a volume of Paul Blackburn—-that’s all I need for my own creative cocoon. I am computer-free and internet-free (I do not have a smart phone), unshackled from the “grid” which more and more seems like something out of a William S. Burroughs or Philip K. Dick novel.

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For me, poetry is a functioning construct, an assemblage made up of language-charged pieces, and if those pieces in the construction are not battle-tested and “real” and smelling and tasting of life-as-it-is-lived, then for me the end product is not going to be worthwhile. The ultimate litmus test for a poem I produce is….is this something I would want to read and spend time with and ponder and live with? In a sense, I am producing poetry which I feel NEEDS TO EXIST, BUT DOES NOT PRESENTLY EXIST. When something needs to be done, and it’s not being done–or not being done adequately–you are often forced to DO IT YOURSELF TO GET IT DONE. That’s as good a reason as any for artistic creation.

Thanks to those who have read my chapbooks or listened to my poetry and poetry-and-music albums or attended one of my readings over the years. I hope you find this year’s creations, growing out of my time in Mississippi, to be interesting and worthwhile

See you all again at the end of May.

Natchez.Mississippi

May 14, 2017

I TRE CENTURIONI (Italy 1964), starring Roger Browne and Mimmo Palmara (dir. Roberto Mauri)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 8:28 pm

I TRE CENTURIONI (aka Three Swords for Rome)

released in Italy in December 1964

starring ROGER BROWNE as Maximus

MIMMO PALMARA (aka Dick Palmer) as Fabius

and TONY FREEMAN (aka Mario Novelli) as Julius

with Lisa Gastoni and Philippe Hersent

directed by Roberto Mauri

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December 1964 was relatively late in the cycle of European Peplum/Sword and Sandal/Historical Adventure films. Some were still being released in the first  half of 1965, but by then, the Western and Spy genres began to dominate Italian and European co-production genre-film output. One positive aspect of the Italian film industry’s cranking out of seemingly countless numbers of films in a particular genre (Historical, Western, Spy, Giallo, 70’s crime-police, etc.) is that it allowed for a wide variety of approaches within the established genre. With a title like THE THREE CENTURIONS and stars like Browne and Palmara and Freeman, who were familiar faces to fans, the “product identity” of such a film is clearly established. Its market was clear-cut and an audience was guaranteed. In that kind of situation, the film-makers can get a kind of freedom in that the product was pre-sold, and as long as they make reference to certain tropes of the genre and the film has the expected look, they can go in different directions and explore pet themes and concerns. Hence, the wide variety in tone and theme and even narrative structure in the European historical adventures of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s (which is more evident when watching the Italian-language versions of the films rather than the edited English dubs, as much as we American fans of the genre feel a closeness to and nostalgia for the old pan-and-scan TV versions of the films). Actually, the waning days of the peplum genre in 1964-65 brought a number of fascinating films, some of which took the genre in new and unexpected directions (the films starring Kirk Morris tended to be somewhat different and off-the-wall in terms of setting and concept—-I’ll try to review one or two of those in the coming months).  I TRE CENTURIONI is not an odd film, but it’s a thoughtful and interesting film which uses the historical peplum genre to make a number of observations about character and society and government and the vagaries of leadership that give it an almost  Shakespearean feel.

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I TRE CENTURIONI (let’s just call it THE THREE CENTURIONS, since that’s what they are) is an interesting entry in the sword and sandal genre. It takes place around 22 AD in the Roman Empire, when a teenaged emperor, Elagabalus, (who is already debauched, even at a young age) is technically on the throne but manipulated by a conniving mother, who is the real power. (note: look up Elagabalus on Wikipedia sometime–he was a real character who did “reign” for a few years before being assassinated at age 18!) Besides remaining in power, she seems most motivated by self-aggrandizement. Clearly, she cares little about Rome’s foreign policy or what’s happening in the far-flung parts of the Empire, except perhaps making sure that tribute is paid in those lands and that the tribute is high enough to finance her lavish spending. What’s interesting is that many of the underlings in this system are depicted as thoughtful and decent, people who view the Roman Empire as something bringing culture and technical advances to outlying cultures, people who are more interested in mutually advantageous alliances than in conquest.

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(above pic: Roger Browne and Lisa Gastoni)

Because of the cutbacks, three Centurions working in the Eastern provinces (I’m not even going to speculate where this is supposed to be–it has elements of Turkey and also of some of the former Soviet Republics down by Georgia, but it really doesn’t matter as this is a fictitious world) are essentially laid-off….rather than returning to Rome, they decide to seek their fortune in the local area and start exploring. What they discover is a strange fanatical cult dedicated to the Goddess Taife, a cult which (of course) is being manipulated by a few cynical people at the top in order to consolidate power and to keep the masses under the spell of this Goddess. Sacrifices are made, and people are kept in line. At this point–about 20 or 25 minutes into the film–the plot jumps into the deep end of the pool, and from here on out, each of the three centurions handles things somewhat differently.

Of course, being soldiers in an unfamiliar area with some severance pay in their pockets, they manage to find the nearest tavern, where they are ripped off in a dice game, so that starts one of those free-for-all, tavern-emptying fights common to this genre. This one is free-wheeling and is accompanied by somewhat comedic music. It’s also played in the circus-like way you see in the films of Gianfranco Parolini (aka Frank Kramer, though things are not as meticulously choreographed here as in Parolini’s films). Two local officers come in to arrest the centurions after the fight, and the locals are thrown out, which leads to another colorful brawl in the street. Eventually, our three centurions are arrested by the local authorities, Roger Browne’s character establishes eye contact with the queen (and you know where that will lead), and the film then gets into its main focus and we learn about the corrupt local government and the religious cult that manipulates the populace through fear, superstition, and manipulation of imagery which possesses a kind of power over the unconscious of the citizenry.

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One aspect of this film which adds to its quality is the relationship among the three soldiers. Although they are pulled in different directions by circumstances, their friendship seems so deep and so sincere. You get the sense that Browne, Palmara, and Freeman/Novelli genuinely like each other and enjoy each other’s company….and know each other enough to know what each other’s blind spots, each other’s sense of humor, etc. It’s not just what’s in the script….it’s also in the way it’s played AND in the casting, as Browne, Palmara, and Novelli each radiate certain character qualities that cut through any distancing the dubbing in multiple languages may provide. Browne is clearly the leader, the charmer (and the small bits of business with the flute that Browne’s character plays in certain scenes is a very nice touch!), the thinker, the man who represents fairplay and also caution before acting. Palmara, like a career enlisted man or NCO in the military who knows pretty much everything there is to know from his decades of life experience and working with soldiers of all kinds, brings a kind of life-wisdom but at the same time he is head-strong and perhaps a little too emotional to ever get a high officer position which would require a kind of detachment. Novelli/Freeman has a boyish face (as do his fellow peplum actors Kirk Morris and Dan Vadis) and plays the role almost like a Roman Peplum version of the character Moose from the Archie comics—-the strong man who is simple but good at heart, child-like (not that unlike Lennie in Of Mice And Men, but without the tragic element), wide-eyed and discovering the world.

As the intrigue of the film’s middle section forces the three centurions in different directions, and they are tempted in different ways and their different natures lead them different paths, the film becomes quite wise in terms of human nature. I’ve always felt that one reason the peplum and spaghetti western genres were so popular in third-world countries around the globe is that the plots and conflicts-between-characters or groups in society somehow mirrored what average people saw being played out in their own societies, without wallowing in self-conscious allegory (something like William Faulkner’s A FABLE, being an example of self-conscious allegory)–the best allegory never shows its hand and may well not even be intended as allegory by its makers….the storytellers cannot help but reflect what they’ve experienced and what they’ve seen and what they’ve tasted of life when they set out to write. You take insight wherever you can get it, and believe it or not, I find THE THREE CENTURIONS to offer a lot in terms of insight into character, into society, into the nature of how religion is used to manipulate and control, etc. Maybe YOU won’t see that, but I think you’ll at least understand how I can see it!

American actor Roger Browne continued (as did Kirk Morris) making peplum films well into 1965, and these ’64 and ’65 films are quite interesting and also little-known and rarely seen in North America. I’ve watched a number of them recently, and may well write about more of them on this blog. SEVEN SLAVES AGAINST THE WORLD, in particular, was quite satisfying on pretty much EVERY level. Browne is an excellent actor and a charismatic leading man who also made his mark in the Eurospy genre. Many years ago, Dorado Films sponsored a crowd-funding campaign to release Mr. Browne’s well-known ARGOMAN: THE FANTASTIC SUPERMAN film and to have a theatrical screening in Oregon. I contributed to the fund drive and got that DVD and an ARGOMAN pen, which I still treasure!

I highly recommend this film to peplum fans are to open-minded genre film fans who will give it a fair chance. Films like this come and go on You Tube, so just check out its various alternate titles here and there and you’ll probably stumble across a copy of it somewhere, sometime. There are also online sources such as PEPLUM TV and THE PEPLUM CHANNEL, which may offer it. I’ve intentionally avoided giving away a lot of the plot after the film’s first third, as you’ll appreciate it more with the element of surprise. Enjoy!

May 13, 2017

THE JAXYSON RECORDS STORY (Acrobat Records, UK)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:59 pm

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THE JAXYSON RECORDS STORY

Acrobat Records UK (CD), released in 2008

1. Texas Blues- JOSEPH BUTLER        2. All My Money Is Gone- GOLDRUSH

3. Lonesome Blues – GOLDRUSH 4. Hold That Train, Conductor – JOHNNY FULLER

5. From Bad to Worse (Incomplete)- JOHNNY FULLER

6. Goin’ Back Down in Old Mobile- UNKNOWN ARTIST

7. Jaxyson Scratch- UNKNOWN ARTIST

8. Weep Below, Children, (Weep No More)- UNKNOWN ARTIST

9. I’ll Meet You in the Morning- UNKNOWN ARTIST

10. Stand by Me- UNKNOWN ARTIST

11. Hand Me Down My Silver Trumpet, Gabriel- SISTER RITA

12. Today – RAINBOW GOSPEL SINGERS

13. On the Battlefield – RAINBOW GOSPEL SINGERS

14. Didn’t It Rain – REV CHARLES WHITE

15. Stand by Me – REV CHARLES WHITE

16. Say a Word- UNKNOWN ARTIST

17. Standing on Jordan- UNKNOWN ARTIST

18. Good Morning to Heaven- GOSPEL TRUMPETS

19. Constantly Abiding – GOSPEL TRUMPETS

20. How Long- CHARLIE WHITE   21. Well Done – CHARLIE WHITE

22. I Must Tell Jesus – BROTHER JOHNNY FULLER

23. What Could I Do – REV L H NARCISSE

24. Singing in My Soul – SUSAN BENNETT

25. I’m Going to Tell God – REV L H NARCISSE

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Nothing satisfies quite as much as a collection of material from a small label….and by “small,” I don’t mean a label that was a regional label or a label that got airplay in the local city. No, I mean a label on a community level, even a neighborhood level, which recorded the artists within a few miles’ radius, a label which was sold at only a few outlets, a label that was so close to the street-level of the community that produced the music that it seems like YOU ARE THERE.

The JAXYSON label of Oakland, California, was just such a label, reflecting Oakland’s African-American community of the day, most especially its nightclubs and bars on Seventh St. and its churches….and the personality of its one-man operator Jesse Jaxyson. Jaxyson sounds like quite a character—-he refused to reply to a draft notice during WWII due to his anti-war beliefs and was jailed for a few years, he was a practitioner of Christian Science who ate a Steve Reeves/Jack LaLanne-style diet of juiced fruits and vegetables, and he is described in the notes as riding “around the streets of Oakland on his bicycle wearing a white hard-hat until well in his eighties.”

He and his wife operated a radio and electronics repair shop on Seventh in Oakland, and out of this shop his label was run. Bob Geddins, well-known Bay Area music entrepreneur, helped him set up shop with the label, and with Geddins’ connections with both the artists and with record pressing and the like, the two had a mutually satisfactory relationship. In the liner notes, Opal Louis Nations suggests that most copies of Jaxyson Records were sold at the shop itself (and one assumes by the artists, whether they be blues/R&B artist selling them at clubs or gospel artists selling that at churches and revivals), so it’s unlikely most will have heard this material.

I can’t imagine anyone who loves small label blues and gospel not going crazy over the material on this album. It starts off with a bang with Joseph Butler, who is not unlike the earliest Lightnin’ Hopkins—-not sure if the guitar is amplified at all (probably not), but it is very close-miked and truly in-your-face. Truly, it’s as if you are right next to him. Goldrush’s tracks are ragged piano blues, like the kind of thing you’d hear on a Chicago label like Ora-Nelle or a Detroit label like J-O-B, but even more earthy. Black Diamond reminds me of the earliest Lowell Fulson, when he still had one foot in pre-WWII blues. As for the Gospel material here, these performers (except for one intonation-challenged lady who’s too shrill for my taste, but hey, one encounters enough of those in real life in churches!) are really spirit-filled and well-rehearsed, but not at all slickly recorded. It’s like you are in the front row at the revival. One of the unknown Gospel artists is clearly a big fan of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, playing and singing with fire and soul….something you could pretty much say about everyone here!

Not only do you get most of the label’s output (not a lot), but also there are 17 (!!!!) acetates recorded for the label, rescued in the 2000’s from a swap meet by record collector Dick Bass, who knew gold when he saw it. A handful of the tracks are by “unknown artists,” and one wonders about the backstory of these folks. One in particular, “Going Back Down In Old Mobile,” deals with living in Oakland but fighting a desire to move back down South, to Mobile, Alabama (a fine town—-had a great time there in 2015). With the huge migration of African-Americans from the South to the Midwest and the Northeast and the West, this track could be tapping into the thoughts of many these migrants….working in their new cities, but feeling the pull of back home.

Acrobat Records has some other superb collections of  small West Coast mid-late 1940’s labels, from the Bay Area there are also comps of  the Trilon and Olliet labels, and from Los Angeles, the legendary “Miltone” label run by Roy Milton (the one with the cartoon labels). All are highly recommended, but for those who like it real and raw, go for the Jaxyson Records Story.

This album takes you right into the small clubs and storefront churches of Oakland’s Black community circa 1948-49—-heck, it even takes you on the streets, with Charlie White, who uses a tin funnel and water bucket for percussion. You could not get this close to the reality of life on Oakland’s Seventh St. back in 1949-50 unless you lived there yourself, all day, every day….but you can get a core sample of that environment and feel the passion and the life experience and the joy and the pain of these artists on this amazing album. REAL PEOPLE dealing with REAL LIFE through the art of their music.

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Read the article from Blues and Rhythm on the Jaxyson label by Opal Louis Nations, posted at OLN’s own website (it was used as the liner notes on the album):  http://opalnations.com/files/Jaxyson_Records_Story_Blues_Rhythm_216_Feb.2007.pdf

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May 12, 2017

ELVIS PRESLEY, “Tee Vee Treasures: The ’68 Comeback Special” (5-CD box set)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 3:55 pm

ELVIS PRESLEY

TEE VEE TREASURES: THE ’68 COMEBACK SPECIAL (5-CD EU “import” box set)

ELVIS 68 box

This new 5-cd (oh, we don’t use the “B”-word in Elvis fandom–we call them “Imports”) import box set, which arrived at my house today from Europe, is quite satisfying for any fans of the legendary Elvis 68 comeback TV special. The “live” segments–the “sit-down” and the “stand-up” shows, two complete versions of each PLUS two rehearsals–and the original stereo LP of the special and related recordings–are easily available on an RCA 4-cd set called THE COMPLETE ’68 COMEBACK SPECIAL (At the time of that release, there was a special one-night only theatrical event which gave you 2+ hours of video footage of those sit-down and stand-up shows–we took our two then-teenaged daughters to that, and they loved it. They totally understood Elvis’s appeal after seeing him in that leather outfit stomping out the tunes with Scotty Moore, etc. on that set that looked like a boxing ring), so what you’ve got here is pretty much EVERYTHING else. ALL the takes of all the “staged” parts of the special–multiple CD’s worth–plus the original MONO LP version of the soundtrack, a 2008 hour-long radio special with interviews with many of the parties involved, the original Singer announcements and advertisements from the special (!!!!), etc. Even when you are getting umpteen versions of a song and he’s singing along to a playback, not live musicians, it’s quite exciting, as The King is giving it his all—-even on a slower heartfelt track like “Memories”—-he’s bringing his A-game to everything here. A release like this is not for everyone, but I find it stimulating and I love the opportunity to savor Elvis at his best. He KNEW how important this event was, and he delivered the goods.

What’s on this?

DISC 1:
THE ORIGINAL MONO ALBUM

01 TROUBLE / GUITAR MAN
02 LAWDY MISS CLAWDY / BABY WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO / HEARTBREAK HOTEL / HOUND DOG / ALL SHOOK UP / CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE
JAILHOUSE ROCK / LOVE ME TENDER
03 WHERE COULD I GO BUT TO THE LORD / UP ABOVE MY HEAD / SAVED
04 BLUE CHRISTMAS / ONE NIGHT
05 MEMORIES
06 NOTHINGVILLE / BIG BOSS MAN / GUITAR MAN / LITTLE EGYPT / TROUBLE / GUITAR MAN
07 IF I CAN DREAM

THE OUTTAKES / JUNE 20 1968
NOTHINGVILLE / GUITAR MAN (PART 1)
GUITAR MAN’S EVIL SECTION 1
08 WARMING UP
09 TAKE 1
10 TAKE 5 & 6

LET YOURSELF GO (PART 1)
GUITAR MAN’S EVIL SECTION 2
11 TAKE 1
12 TAKE 2-5
13 TAKE 6
14 TAKE 7 (MASTER)

GUITAR MAN (PART 2) / ESCAPE SECTION 1 (FAST)
15 TAKE 1-3
16 TAKE 4-5
17 TAKE 6-8

CALLIOPE CARNIVAL / ESCAPE SECTION 2
18 TAKE 1

BIG BOSS MAN / ESCAPE SECTION 3
19 TAKE 1-2

IT HURTS ME (PART 1) / ESCAPE SECTION 4
20 TAKE 1
21 TAKE 2-4
22 TAKE 5
23 TAKE 6-7 (MASTER TAKE CALL ONLY)


DISC 2:
IT HURTS ME (PART 2) / AFTER KARATE SECTION 1 / JUNE 21
01 TAKE 1
02 TAKE 2-3
03 TAKE 4-5 (TAPE CUT)

SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE A MOTHERLESS CHILD / WHERE COULD I
GO BUT TO THE LORD / YES, YES, YES / UP ABOVE MY HEAD
(INTRO) / GOSPEL SECTION 1 / JUNE 21
04 REHEARSAL & TAKE 1

UP ABOVE MY HEAD / I FOUND THAT LIGHT / SAVED (INTRO)
GOSPEL SECTION 2 / JUNE 21
05 TAKE 4 & 7

TROUBLE / GUITAR MAN / GUITAR MAN OPENING / JUNE 22
06 TAKE 1
07 TAKE 2-3

IF I CAN DREAM – RECORD VERSION / JUNE 23
08 TAKE 1
09 TAKE 2-4
10 TAKE 5 (MASTER)

MEMORIES – VOCAL OVERDUB / JUNE 24
11 TRACK ONLY TAKE 3 & 4 WITH V.O TAKE 1

IT HURTS ME – VOCAL OVERDUB & PLAYBACK
AMUSEMENT PIER PART 2 / JUNE 27
12 TAKE 1-3
13 PREPARATION FOR NEXT TAKE
14 TAKE 4
15 TAKE 5
16 TAKE 6-8
17 TAKE 9-10 (MASTER)

TROUBLE / GUITAR MAN – VOCAL OVERDUB OF
AFTER KARATE SECTION 3 TRACK / JUNE 29 6.00 PM SHOW
18 TROUBLE / GUITAR MAN

TROUBLE / GUITAR MAN – VOCAL OVERDUB OF AFTER KARATE
SECTION 3 TRACK / GUITAR MAN WITH ROAD / JUNE 29 8.00 PM
19 TAKE 1-3
20 TAKE 4
21 PREPARATION FOR NEXT TAKE
22 TIPTOE THROUGH THE TULIPS / MACARTHUR PARK
23 TAKE 5

GUITAR MAN – VOCAL OVERDUB ROAD #2 / JUNE 30
24 TAKE 1
25 TAKE 2 (MASTER)

GUITAR MAN – VOCAL OVERDUB ROAD #3 / JUNE 30
26 TAKE 1
27 TAKE 2
28 TAKE 3
29 TAKE 4
30 TAKE 5
31 TAKE 6 (MASTER)
32 IF I CAN DREAM – DUBDOWN OF JUNE 23 MASTER


DISC 3:
IF I CAN DREAM – VOCAL OVERDUB / JUNE 30
01 TAKE 1-2
02 TAKE 3
03 TAKE 4 (MASTER)

TROUBLE / GUITAR MAN – VOCAL OVERDUB & PLAYBACK
OPENING SECTION #1 / JUNE 30
04 TAKE 1
05 TAKE 2
06 TAKE 3-5
07 TAKE 6
08 TAKE 7 (MASTER)

GUITAR MAN – VOCAL OVERDUB / ALLEY / JUNE 30
09 TAKE 1
10 TAKE 2
11 TAKE 3-5
12 TAKE 6 (MASTER)

LITTLE EGYPT / TROUBLE – VOCAL OVERDUB / NIGHTCLUB
JUNE 30
13 TAKE 1
14 TAKE 2 (NO TAKE)
15 TAKE 3
16 TAKE 4 (MASTER)

TROUBLE – VOCAL OVERDUB / DISCO / JUNE 30
17 TAKE 1
18 TAKE 2 (MASTER)
TROUBLE – VOCAL OVERDUB / SUPPER CLUB / JUNE 30
19 TAKE 1
20 TAKE 2
21 TAKE 3 (MASTER)

BONUS:
MEMORIES – VOCAL OVERDUB
22 MEMORIES / JUNE 27 6.00PM SITDOWN SHOW
23 MEMORIES / JUNE 27 8.00PM SITDOWN SHOW

SAVED (PART 1) / PREACH FOR THE SKY / SAVED (PART 2)
GOSPEL SECTION 3 / JUNE 22
24 TAKE 6 – INCOMPLETE USED FOR SPLICED MASTER

25 LET YOURSELF GO – ALTERNATE MASTER
26 MEMORIES – MONO MASTER
27 MEMORIES – STEREO MASTER
28 IF I CAN DREAM – RECORD VERSION MONO MASTER
29 LET YOURSELF GO – SPLICED ‘91 VERSION
30 LET YOURSELF GO – CLOSING INSTRUMENTAL DUBDOWN


DISC 4
THE SOUNDTRACK VERSIONS
01 TROUBLE / GUITAR MAN (INCL. SCRATCH)
02 GOSPEL MEDLEY
03 ROAD MEDLEY
ROAD MEDLEY COMPOSITE
04 COMPLETE VERSION
05 ORIGINAL ALBUM VERSION – UNEDITED
GOSPEL MEDLEY COMPOSITE
06 COMPLETE VERSION
07 COMPLETE VERSION – UNEDITED
08 IT HURTS ME – SPLICED MASTER
09 SAVED – SPLICED MASTER WITH EDITED INTRO
10 TROUBLE / GUITAR MAN – STEREO VERSION
11 TAG – UH UH UH / JUNE 30


DISC 5
THE ORIGINAL SINGER COMMERCIALS
01 SINGER INTRODUCES THE NBC TV SPECIAL #1
02 SINGER INTRODUCES THE NBC TV SPECIAL #2
03 SINGER COMMERCIAL #1
04 SINGER COMMERCIAL #2
05 SINGER COMMERCIAL #3
06 SINGER COMMERCIAL #4
07 SINGER COMMERCIAL #5
08 SINGER COMMERCIAL #6
09 THE ‘68 COMEBACK RADIO SPECIAL

ONE-HOUR RADIO SPECIAL WHICH PREMIERED IN AUGUST 2008 CELEBRATES THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF ELVIS PRESLEY’S ‘68 COMEBACK SPECIAL.

ORIGINAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR STEVE BINDER, GUITARIST SCOTTY MOORE AND OTHERS LOOK BACK ON HOW THIS BECAME A TURNING POINT IN ELVIS’
CAREER, AS WELL AS ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC MUSIC SPECIALS IN TV HISTORY.

HOSTED BY SINGER-SONGWRITER LAURA CANTRELL THIS INTERESTING SPECIAL IS PUT TOGETHER BY THE SAME TEAM BEHIND THE ACCLAIMED 2007 ELVIS SPECIALS THE EARLY YEARS, VIVA LAS VEGAS AND HE TOUCHED ME. TOTAL RUNNING TIME : 59.05

Clearly, this “import” box is from the same people who did the 3-CD box of the complete Frankie and Johnny, the 3-CD box of the complete Spinout, the two 5-CD SILVER SCREEN TREASURES box, the 5-CD MONO MASTERS box, the 8-CD THAT’S THE WAY IT IS REHEARSALS box, the 4-CD ON TOUR REHEARSALS box, the 8-CD box THE PURE SOUND 1969-1976 (which has basic tracks minus overdubs), etc. I don’t think any of these have anything that hasn’t come out on some boot or FTD release at one time (things like radio station ads for the movies, the Singer commercials, etc., might not have come out anywhere, but you can understand why something like that hasn’t!), and I probably already have 90% of it, but it’s convenient to have it all in one place, in order. Also, some of these have songwriter demos from the collection of the late Dolores Fuller, who placed many songs with Elvis–and you even get songs she wrote for Elvis AND PAID FOR DEMOS OF HERSELF which were not accepted for any film. There’s something fascinating about that, and baiting the hook with such demos certainly caught me and reeled me in. As my mother used to say, “they saw YOU coming!”

In any event, I’m really enjoying this new ’68 Comeback box set. The 12″ x 12″ booklet has no real notes or info on the sessions or the special (there are a number of books that deal with it and one book I have that gives Steve Binder’s perspective on it), but does have a lot of large photos of The King from the special and rehearsals.

I’m impressed.

May 11, 2017

FLYTE (Gene Clark & Chris Hillman), Live In Los Angeles, 1982

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:49 pm

FLYTE (Gene Clark & Chris Hillman)

Live in Los Angeles, 1982

Keyhole Records (UK), 2-cd set

flyte

These recordings have been circulating on Byrds-oriented websites for years, but if you’d like a physical copy that’s attractive and convenient and relatively cheap (under ten dollars), here it is….a grey-market, protection-gap UK release which looks suspiciously like it’s from the some people who do unauthorized compilations of 60’s obscure 45’s which I sometimes review. However, I’ve played both these discs at least ten times since getting this album 4 or 5 months ago, so I’d like to mention it as a number of you would love this as much as I do.

To put this band into perspective, this is Chris Hillman after the breakup of the McGuinn-Clark-Hillman band….and Gene Clark before his Firebyrd album, and one can hear elements of each of those items here. However, this is a bluegrass-based band—-essentially Chris Hillman and his long-time musical partner Herb Pedersen with Al Perkins and the added presence of Gene Clark. There is a Flying Burrito Brothers element here too, but imagine a bluegrass Burritos as opposed to a country Burritos.

Recorded at the Palomino in North Hollywood (according to knowledgeable people, on December 18, 1982, when the band was opening for Emmylou Harris), we have here two sets by the band–the first set contains two songs unique to it, and those two songs are stunners: Dylan’s Mr. Tambourine Man, which pre-figures Gene’s version of it on the Firebyrd album, and a beautiful and moving version of Gordon Lightfoot’s If You Could Read My Mind, sung by Gene, who states that it’s one of his all-time favorite songs. Based on this performance, I can hear why.  Clark fans need to hear this version. The second set concludes with a song not on the first set, One Hundred Years From Now. The shows are taken from an FM broadcast and bring back the days when one could tune in to a local FM station and hear shows from local clubs, settle back with a glass of wine, and be transported to the club while in your own apartment. I used to be able to hear a number of these in the Denver of the 1970’s.

I tend to listen to this album in the evening, while winding down from the day, and it’s like a comfortable visit from an old downhome friend. It should probably be mentioned that Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen are the dominant musical forces in this band, with the added harmonizing (and a few solo vocals) from Gene Clark, which of course add an intriguing depth to the pieces. These performances are informal and relaxed, just the way you’d want them to be.

Chris Hillman, unfortunately, tends to be taken for granted nowadays by many. Gene Clark has finally been getting a lot of acclaim since his death, and there’s probably more Gene Clark available now than at any time during the man’s lifetime. Chris Hillman is still active, and if you consider that his pre-Byrds Scottsville Squirrel Barkers LP was released in 1963, the man has had a 54-year recording career, and is surely one of the greatest country-rock pioneers alive today, still a fine performer who still puts out excellent music. His body of recorded work is much larger than you might suspect, unless you have been collecting his many albums (and appearances on others’ albums). He is in fine form here and clearly is enjoying himself and enjoying being in the presence of his fellow band members and friends. Also, by this time, his work had a sense of depth and gravitas and a lived-in quality that cannot be faked.

Another selling point for this album is that bluegrass purists would probably NOT like it and would consider it country. I lived in rural Virginia for six years, in an area where bluegrass (or as it’s often called there “old-time-music”) was the indigenous music, and there is sometimes a very strict definition of the genre….and the revival bands who self-consciously in that vein do tend to respect those boundaries and content/style requirements. FLYTE do not.

As this is not an authorized album, feel free to download the same recordings at  http://bigozine2.com/roio/?p=1531  .

Early Set

  1. Tomorrow is a Long Time 2:02
  2. Still Feeling Blue 2:21
  3. Train Leaves Here This Morning 3:47
  4. Don’t Let Your Sweet Love Die 2:43
  5. Runnin’ the Roadblocks 3:12
  6. Easy Ride 2:48
  7. Wheels 3:42
  8. My Uncle 2:36
  9. If You Could Read My Mind 4:57
  10. Once More 3:52
  11. Mr Tambourine Man 5:44

Late Set

  1. Intro 0:11
  2. Tomorrow is a Long Time 3:02
  3. Still Feeling Blue 2:31
  4. Train Leaves Here This Morning 4:10
  5. Don’t Let Your Sweet Love Die 2:50
  6. Runnin’ the Roadblocks 3:16
  7. Easy Ride 3:00
  8. Wheels 3:43
  9. My Uncle 3:10
  10. Once More 3:26
  11. One Hundred Years 2:48

The perfect album to put on late at night, windows open, lights out and with a candle burning, on your second micro-brew or second bourbon. The music will take you to a good place….

May 10, 2017

SKI FEVER (Austria-Yugoslavia 1966), directed by Kurt Siodmak, starring Martin Milner and Claudia Martin

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 2:15 pm

SKI

SKI FEVER (aka Liebesspiel im Schnee)

(Austria-Yugoslavia,1966)

starring Martin Milner, Claudia Martin, Vivi Bach, Dietmarr Schonherr

directed by Kurt Siodmak

I vaguely remember the short theatrical run of this film in 1969, and I vaguely remember seeing it listed in TV Guide as playing once in the middle of the night on a day when I had to be up for school at 530 a.m. I’ve always been on the lookout for it ever since, and when offered a cheap DVD-R of it recently, I had to take the plunge. It was well worth it.

Imagine an Austrian-Yugoslavian attempt at a frothy “Palm Springs Weekend”-style frolic set at a ski resort, with music and songs by AIP’s Hemric and Styner duo who did the music for the beach party films, and imported American stars Martin Milner (post-Route 66, pre-Adam 12) and Claudia Martin (Dean Martin’s daughter)…no one has ever reviewed it at the IMDB…

It would be easy to lampoon something like this—-indeed, it was screened once during the satirical mid-80’s TV show “The Canned Film Festival” which presented campy/cult films in a manner like Joe Bob Briggs or Elvira (in other words, they’d talk between the breaks, which I don’t mind,  NOT over the movie as is done in MST3K, which I don’t like). However, I don’t think this can qualify as a “cult” movie as it’s never been available in any video format, so few have seen it. The copy I have is NOT from Canned Film Festival (sans satirical comments) but seems to be taken from a 16mm TV print.

Another way to describe the film is that it’s like a European take on a mid-60’s Elvis film, minus Elvis. There are a number of songs in it. The title song (which I can’t get out of my head) is sung by its co-writer Jerry Styner, Claudia Martin sings a song, and there are a number of songs sung in a heavy German accent by co-star Dietmarr Schonherr. Claudia Martin, daughter of Dean Martin, is an attractive and pleasant presence. She’s in the role that might be played by, say, Mary Anne Mobley in an Elvis film, although Ms. Martin’s persona is more reserved and “classy” than the spunky persona Mobley often projects. She had a number of TV credits and appeared in the films FOR THOSE WHO THINK YOUNG in 1964 (which I would bet got her this role) and GHOST IN THE INVISIBLE BIKINI in 1966, the same year this was made…

There’s nothing like screwball comedy that’s dubbed….it’s surreal….Martin Milner is a strong enough presence to carry the film, as the American ski instructor who’s a bit of an outsider to the European instructors who have a kind of clique and who have tasteless “contests” to see who can seduce the females in their ski classes first. Milner does not go along with this and thus is not accepted. Coincidentally, the character played by Vivi Bach has a huge crush on the instructor played by Dietmarr Schonherr, who is initially not interested, and Milner helps Bach to learn to ski better so she can attract him more. Simultaneously, Schonherr has an interest, not returned in Martin and….well, you know how these silly romantic comedies set in Florida or Catalina Island or wherever work out. Just change the setting to an Austrian ski resort, and you’ve got it.

There is A LOT of skiing footage here, and it’s quite imaginatively photographed—-director Kurt Siodmak has more credits as a writer (for instance, the original WOLF MAN with Lon Chaney, Jr.) than as a director, with BRIDE OF THE GORILLA, THE MAGNETIC MONSTER, and CURUCU, BEAST OF THE AMAZON being his best-known credits as director. He also directed 7 episodes (which would be the majority of them) of the interesting 13 DEMON STREET Swedish TV show with Lon Chaney, Jr. Some of these were cut into the patchwork feature THE DEVIL’S MESSENGER, which did well on the American drive-in circuit in the early 60’s and was also seen widely in TV horror packages on indie and UHF stations. The full run on 13 DEMON STREET episodes were made available on a series of SWV dvd-r’s many years ago, and it was a fascinating Twilight Zone-esque anthology horror-mystery series which should be better known. Siodmak directs a LOT of lowbrow humor here and also musical sequences, which are certainly genres he’s not associated with. It’s all as well done as, say, a PETTICOAT JUNCTION episode (that’s meant as a high compliment, by the way), and the film’s REAL locations and modest budget make it actually a much more interesting viewing experience than, say, PALM SPRINGS WEEKEND, which seems to be what it’s aiming for, but with a ski resort setting.

ski 2

This was not released in the USA until 1969, when Allied Artists released it on the drive-in circuit. AA was putting out a number of films in this pre-Cabaret era, more than I remember. You can look at their release schedule here: http://www.imdb.com/company/co0023951/?ref_=fn_co_co_4    There are a lot of gems here, especially the imports. However, they also handled interesting domestic product in this period such as THE END OF THE ROAD with Stacy Keach and the made-in-Florida sci-fi epic MISSION MARS with Darrin McGavin and (in one of his last performances) Nick Adams (and also featuring during the credits the wonderful psychedlic music of THE FORUM QUORUM, which certainly put ME in the right frame of mind to appreciate the film, although others often slam their music in the context of the film)….as well as fellow-Floridian William Grefe’s gritty THE HOOKED GENERATION (aka Alligator Alley), starring Jeremy Slate and Steve Alaimo.  Interestingly, while it was released AFTER Milner hit pay dirt a second time in television with ADAM-12 (surely a motivating factor in its domestic release), the poster highlights Milner’s appearance in VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (!!!). He was certainly good in that film, but is there anyone who thinks of it as a Martin Milner vehicle?

I’d love to know what would have been on the other half of an Allied Artists double-bill with this, but in judging the quality of the film, I ask myself….what if I’d seen this after a long work-week at a drive-in in Stillwater, Oklahoma or Lexington, Nebraska or Alice, Texas? Well, I think I and most viewers would be quite satisfied. It’s got an interesting and visually attractive setting with a lot of location footage, it’s got a number of songs (and the title song will stick in your head for days), it’s got the kind of couples-mix-up shenanigans that have been successful with audiences since the days of Leon Errol comedy shorts, it’s got lowbrow humor, and it’s got an attractive lead couple in Milner and Martin. Also, Martin Milner was born with screen presence and also a self-deprecating sense of humor, something which always wins over audiences.

I’d rate it a winner. However, please be aware that you are watching a dubbed (the two American stars do their own voices, thankfully, as do the two other stars in their charmingly accented English) Austrian-Yugoslavian attempt at an Elvis film, but with no Elvis. If that’s appealing to you the way it is to me, go for it!

ski 3

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