Chris Spedding’s 10 lessons learned from a life in guitar

Chris Spedding

Chris Spedding.
Image: © Will Ireland/Future

“When I’ve been asked by players how they should go about improvising a solo on a particular chord sequence, I will say, ‘Get into the habit of singing a note in your head and then see if you can find that note on the guitar. That’s your first lesson. Then sing a very simple melody in your head and see if you can play that on the guitar…

That’s the technique that I advise people to try and follow, and I think that’s what I learned from the jazz thing. And never forget that it might start in your head or in your ears and it might end up through your fingers – but try and make sure it always goes through your heart!”

Click here for the complete article.

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Jayne County and The War Holes – Live at the Chelsea Hotel

Jayne County and the War Holes

Jayne County and the War Holes

Jayne County – Vocals
Bob Kuch – Guitar
Arena Bound – Guitar
Milo Rock – Bass
Frank Coleman – Drums

What a great gig this was! A pop-up art gallery / rock concert in the bowels of The Chelsea Hotel in New York City. The week before, it had been completely demolished, all the way to to the slats in the walls and floor. Amazingly, organizer Kymara and her crew stepped up and turned it into a glittering cross between the original Warhol Factory and Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.

We learned the tunes via mp3s, had two rehearsals (one with Jayne) and off we went. As it should be. The place was packed, the crowd went nuts and I got to chat with Deborah Harry.

From April 9th, 2010, here’s the final song of the night, the classic barnburner, “Night Time.” CRANK IT. #tbt

 

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Konono No. 1 – Congotronics

Konono Nº1 is a Grammy-winning musical group from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. They combine three electric likembé (a traditional instrument similar to the mbira) with voices, dancers, and percussion instruments that are made out of items salvaged from a junkyard. The group’s amplification equipment is equally rudimentary, including a microphone carved out of wood fitted with a magnet from an automobile alternator and a gigantic horn-shaped amplifier. The group achieved international renown beginning in 2005, with its DIY aesthetic appealing to many fans of rock and electronic music. They played this same year at the Eurockéennes festival in France.

In 2011, Konono N°1 took part in the Congotronics vs Rockers project, a “superband” including ten Congolese and ten indie rock musicians (also including members of Deerhoof, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Kasai Allstars, Skeletons and Juana Molina), who collaborated to create a common repertoire and performed at 15 major festivals and venues in ten countries.

The group’s founder Mingiedi Mawangu stopped touring with the band around 2009, and entrusted his duties as band leader and lead likembe player to his son Augustin Makuntima Mawangu, who is further developing the sound of Konono’s electric thumb piano by using various effect pedals.

Mingiedi Mawangu died on April 15, 2015, aged 85.

Thanks to my pal, Stephen Hopkins, for the link.

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Sun Ra’s Full Lecture & Reading List From His 1971 UC Berkeley Course, “The Black Man in the Cosmos”

Sun Ra

Sun Ra

In 1971, he served as artist-in-residence at UC Berkeley and offered a spring semester lecture, African-American Studies 198, also known as “Sun Ra 171,” “The Black Man in the Universe,” or “The Black man in the Cosmos.”

…Now we have the rare opportunity to hear a full lecture from that class at the top of the post. Listen to Sun Ra spin his intricate, bizarrely otherworldly theories, drawn from his personal philosophy, peculiar etymologies, and idiosyncratic readings of religious texts. Hearing him speak is a little like hearing him play, so be prepared for a lot of free association and jarring, unexpected juxtapositions.

“Sun Ra wrote biblical quotes on the board and then ‘permutated’ them—rewrote and transformed their letters and syntax into new equations of meaning, while members of the Arkestra passed through the room, preventing anyone from taping the class. His lecture subjects included Neoplatonic doctrines; the application of ancient history and religious texts to racial problems; pollution and war; and a radical reinterpretation of the Bible in light of Egyptology.”

Luckily for us, some sly student captured one of those lectures on tape.

Read More: Sun Ra’s Full Lecture and Reading List From His 1971 UC Berkeley Course, “The Black Man in the Cosmos”

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The Tape Op Interview: Greg Sage of The Wipers

Tape Op is to the audio world what Video Watchdog is to the video world. The definitive article.

“I used to have a professional record cutting machine. I think it was fifth or sixth grade. My dad used to work in broadcast and I guess all the radio stations used to use these professional lathes for cutting commercials… So I got it for like a hundred bucks… You could find blank red lacquers at Goodwill and things like that for a nickel a piece… I spent a lot of time looking at the grooves through the microscope; inspecting my work. It got me kinda interested in playing music.”

Greg Sage of The Wipers

Greg Sage of The Wipers

The Tape Op Interview: Greg Sage of The Wipers

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What’s the point of music? Ask Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel. Photograph: Felix Clay for the Guardian

Peter Gabriel. Photograph: Felix Clay for the Guardian

“The philosopher Hegel argued that music is so necessary because it rehearses in the language of the body concepts and truths we are in danger of losing touch with when they reach us only through our rational faculties. Music is, he said, “the sensuous presentation of the crucial ideas”. We may – for example – know in theory that keeping going is important, but it can take a song like Don’t Give Up (from Gabriel’s So) to turn a cliche into an effective call for redemption.”

What’s the point of music? Ask Peter Gabriel

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BREAKING: 1st SECRET AGENT single declassified!

https://soundcloud.com/frankcoleman/secret-agent-buenos-aires

SA_BuenosAires-fb-profile

The Home Office is pleased to confirm the first Secret Agent dossier, “Buenos Aires International Airport” has been declassified and final mastered and will soon be released publicly on Mi5 Recordings/Fontana/Universal.

It features extensive contributions from Special Agents John Chmaj (Seattle Division) on flute and Robert Holmes (UK Division) on guitar. All other instruments and final analysis by Agency Director Frank Coleman, aka “Mr. Big.”

Recorded at an undisclosed location.
Mastered at The Cutting Room, NYC

Special thanks to Field Agents Tim Lucas and Patrick Ermlich who assisted greatly in compiling this final report.

WARNING – CONTENTS ARE HIGHLY EXPLOSIVE.

LISTEN HERE
(c)(p) 2013 Secret Agent / Mi5 Recordings
All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Request Level 1 Security Clearance at www.secretagentband.com

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Sun. Jul. 21, 2013: Cooperstown High School Jazz Band Reunion Concert!

On Sunday, Jusy 21st, 2013, the Cooperstown High School Jazz Band will be having its annual reunion concert. This year, we’re thrilled to tell you it’s going to be OUTSIDE at Lake Front Park. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate! The CCS High School music department’s fierce dedication to excellence over the years has spawned a remarkable array of talent, including Metropolitan Opera stars Richard and Dwayne Croft, who have sung with Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and many others; Los Angeles producer, vocal coach and singer Leanne Summers (Conklin) who has worked with Crystal Gale, Richie Havens, Jonathan Cain and many others; renowned drummer Mike Emery, whose New York Players group has performed for over 1,500 private parties, galas and fundraisers across the Northeast; and top NY rock drummer Frank Coleman, who has played and recorded with Modern English, Jayne County, Sandra Bernhard, Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders), Will Sergeant (Echo & the Bunnymen) and John Ashton (Psychedelic Furs).

There’s people flying in from all over the country for this show. We hope to see you there!

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