Don Preston, synth whiz and Mother of Invention, honored with collection of solo works; Jimmy Carl Black not so lucky

Don Preston, synth whiz and Mother of Invention, honored with collection of solo works; Jimmy Carl Black not so lucky

Our dear friends at The Wire report that keyboardist/FOF (Friend of Frank) Don Preston is set to be honored with a collection of electronic compositions. Preston, an original member of Zappa’s psychedelic, traveling road show that was the Mothers of Invention was a confidant of Zappa’s and a core member of The Mothers until his departure in 1974. Preston played on nearly every “essential” Zappa LP and was best known for his ridiculously sublime Moog solo on 1972’s “Waka/Jawaka” off the LP of the same name, which even knocked Bob Moog himself flat on his ass.

Preston would later play with both jazz and rock heavies alike (and find the time to appear in a string of wildly silly B-movies including 1976’s Sinister Flesh) but this is the first collection of his original, electronic compositions. Entitled Filters, Oscillators and Envelopes 1967-1982, the collection was spearheaded by Sub Rosa and features Preston playing an instrument he designed and constructed himself, “a homemade synthesizer with a series of oscillators and filters.” Preston, who still regularly tours, writes, and records, released his latest LP in October, Escape From 2012 a collaboration on Ictus with minimalist composer Andrea Centazzo. Filters, Oscillators and Envelopes 1967-1982 is available from Sub Rosa now.

Filters, Oscillators and Envelopes 1967-1982 tracklist:

01. Electronic Music
02. Analog Heaven #1
03. Analog Heaven #2
04. Analog Heaven #3
05. Analog Heaven #4
06. Analog Heaven #5
07. Analog Heaven #6
08. Analog Heaven #7
09. Fred & Me (CD bonus track only)

• Don Preston:
• Sub Rosa:

John Peel’s virtual record collection springs to life, debuts first weekly batch of 100 LPs, flexes in the mirror

We drooled over it earlier this year, and now the John Peel Archive is alive on the internet, all tarted up and decreasing productivity in some of the most soul-crushing sectors of our global workforce. From May to October, the faceless BBC/Arts Council archivists will upload 100 albums each week from the massive 25,000 LP/40,000 single collection, so right now you’ll only be able to co-opt Peel’s tastes up to Adam & The Ants. Still, with one click, each album can be streamed in full via Spotify, so 100 separate album spins a week (plus ads!) should keep most people busy.

Though still in its infancy, it’s already very clear that the Archive is a serious venture, with a fantastic interface (I’m giggling just running the cursor along the spines of the records!) and professionally produced extras, such as documentary-style “featured artist” videos — where underappreciated sing-song weirdos of yesteryear smile into the camera sporting enormous white beards and brag about how John Peel liked them. Along with the record collection itself, you can roam around Peel’s room and check out photos, radio shows, and streamable Peel Sessions by a million bands. It’s sorta like that Gorillaz online world, but instead of driving a jeep with Dan the Automator and unlocking hi-res Damon Albarn images, you just take your shoes off in John Peel’s room and mess around with whatever you want!

• John Peel Archive:

Oops, someone’s suing Google again: artist’s images of Hendrix, Coltrane = alleged copyright infringement

Oops they did it again! It’s 2000, everybody’s scared of Y2K, and Google’s all dressed up like a sexually provocative over-tanned schoolgirl!! Nah, j/k guys, I’m talking about Google getting sued for copyright infringement. That’s what’s happening again. It’s definitely not that other stuff. But this time, Billboard reports, the case has a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ different going on. This time the lawyers are all up in arms about the company’s Google Music service, which launched in late 2011 and tiptoed out onto some shifting legal sands when it showcased artwork by Thiery “Mr. Brainwash” Guetta, who appropriated photos of Jimi Hendrix and John Coltrane to make a newer, Googlier, more sueable piece of art.

If you saw the Banksy doc Exit Through the Gift Shop, you might recognize Guetta as a practitioner of “appropriation art,” in which photocopied images of another’s work get the “yo, I made this a different color” or “hey I stuck some more things in this picture of this one thing” treatment. And now Guetta has raised the ire of the estate of influential rock photog Jim Marshall by using his images of Hendrix and Coltrane. And since Google Music used Guetta’s art as a backdrop to announce their new service last year and allowed others to photograph said backdrop, thereby getting those images all up over the internet, the suits are pissed. The Marshall estate says all they want is to put a stop to willful copyright infringement and get their rightful profits back. It’s a tale as old as time, people; if we’ve learned nothing from late-90s anorexic shitfest Ally McBeal it’s that lawyers, music, and art… they do not mix.

• Google Music:

RIP: Charles “Skip” Pitts

From Billboard:

R&B, soul and funk guitar architect and Bo-Keys member Charles “Skip” Pitts-whose signature riffs are forever immortalized in the Isley Brothers’ “It’s Your Thing” and the wah-wah on Isaac Hayes’ “Theme From Shaft”-died yesterday (May 1) in Memphis. He was 65 and had suffered from lung cancer.

Pitts’ pioneering skill with the wah-wah pedal is one of the focal points in the 2011 documentary “Cry Baby: the Pedal That Rocks the World,” alongside Buddy Guy, Slash and Eddie Van Halen. In addition to his collaborations with the Isleys and Hayes, Pitts performed and recorded with several other R&B and blues legends, including Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, Rufus Thomas and Albert King. He first learned to play guitar in his native Washington, D.C., getting tips from neighbor Bo Diddley. Pitts’ first recording was as a 15-year-old on the Gene Chandler hit single “Rainbow 65.”

• Charles “Skip” Pitts:

Black Bananas go on tour to support Rad Times Xpress IV, actual black bananas continue to be gross


Gross. Who left these bananas out so long? Either eat these bananas within four days or throw them away. We’re not running an orphanage for gross food orphans. We’re not running an orphanage at all!

There’s only one Black Bananas I like and that’s the band, Black Bananas. Once Jennifer Herrema was in Royal Trux. Then she wasn’t. Then she was in RTX. Then RTX changed their name to Black Bananas, so now she’s in Black Bananas. Under the new name, Herrema and crew released their “debut” earlier this year, a little record by the name of Rad Times Xpress IV. Now it’s time to bring that record to the masses! Yeehaw. Go see them as they cross through the United States, also go throw away those bananas, they are nasty.

Black Bananas dates:

05.09.12 - Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture
05.11.12 - Laredo, TX - Old No. 2
05.12.12 - Austin, TX - Red 7 *
05.13.12 - Houston, TX - Walter’s *
05.14.12 - New Orleans, LA - Siberia *
05.15.12 - Atlanta, GA - 529 *
05.16.12 - Durham, NC - The Pinhook *
05.17.12 - Lancaster, PA - Chameleon Club &
05.18.12 - Nelsonville, OH - Nelsonville Music Fest
05.19.12 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig &
05.20.12 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall &
05.21.12 - Madison, Wi - High Noon Saloon &
05.22.12 - Minneapolis, MN - 400 Bar &
05.23.12 - Fargo, ND - The Aquarium &
05.25.12 - Missoula, MT - The Palace &
05.26.12 - Seattle, WA - The Comet ^
05.27.12 - Portland, OR - Star Theater &
05.30.12 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore &
06.05.12 - Costa Mesa, CA - Galaxy

* Magik Markers, Dwarr
& Kurt Vile and the Violators
^ Broken Nobles

• Black Bananas:
• Drag City:

[Photo: Douglas Harrison Neill]

RIP: Thomas Gartz, founder of Träd, Gräs & Stenar and member of Pärson Sound

From East Village Radio:

A Swedish newspaper is reporting that Tomas Mera Gartz, drummer and founding member of psych-rock legends Trad, Gras & Stenar, died suddenly yesterday at the age of 67. In 1967, Gartz, along with future Trad Gras & Stenar members, guitarist Bo Anders Persson and bassist Torbjörn Abelli, founded drone-rock collective Pärson Sound. Taking cues from psychedelia, modern minimalist composers and avant-garde jazz, Pärson Sound was short-lived, having issued no recordings during their existence (a two-disc compilation of all known recordings by the band was issued in 2001 on Subliminal Sounds). In 1968, the group changed its name to International Harvester and issued their first official album, Sov Gott Rose-Marie. By 1969, the band lost the “International” and released Hemat as Harvester—another key piece of underground rock that has been retroactively hailed a masterpiece. At the dawn of the ‘70s the group settled on the name Trad Gras & Stenar (English translation: Trees, Grass and Stones) and issued a self-titled long-player that saw them moving closer to the blues without sacrificing the mesmerizing minimalism that informed their early work. Favorites on their homeland’s free festival circuit, the band released a couple of insanely limited live LPs that demonstrated their improvisational prowess and a second studio album in the first half of the ‘70s before all but disappearing. Renewed interest in all things lysergic and Scandinavian in the late ’90s/early ’00s spurred the group to reconvene and record a new studio album (‘02’s Ajn Schvajn Draj), reissue the bulk of their ‘70s output via Subliminal, and begin to show the kids how it’s done by playing live shows again. In recent years, Persson retired as a touring member of the group and Abelli passed away in 2010, but not before bringing the magic of their music to new fans across Europe, the USA and Japan. Fare thee well, Mr. Gartz. (Thanks to Max Burke for the tip.)

• Thomas Mera Gartz: