Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Goodies from GFreedom's Music Collection #8

COUNTRY JOE & THE FISH: Electric Music for the Mind and Body

 Here is one of my most beloved  records which I bought on vinyl when I was 18 years old and I was hooked on Psychedelia.
   For me Country Joe & the Fish was one of the most important bands not only in the San Fransisco scene, but in the whole Psychedelic movement in the United States in the second mid of the '60's.
'Electric Music for the Mind & Body' is their first excellent recording (Vanguard Records), and maybe one of the most important and influential records of the Psychedelic scene. The album was released in April 1967, and it was one of the first albums which came out from the San Fransisco music scene. The first thing that the listeners notice here is the really unique sound of the distorted guitar combined with the sound of the organ which is the identity of Country Joe & the Fish in almost all of their albums.
    Unlike Jefferson Airplane, whose songs included considerable conventional structures, and the Grateful Dead, who were not yet able to transform their ideas into music, C J & F presented a well-constructed, firm, and yet wholly "recept-able" body of psychedelic music.
  Now let's take a closer look at the songs. The album contains 11 songs in total and almost all of them short in length. The 2 exceptions are the songs 'Grace' which was Joe Mc Donald's personal ode to Grace Slick (Jefferson Aiplane), and the psychedelic instrumental epic 'Section 43'. Both are over 7 minutes in length. (The total running time of the whole album is 43.00 minutes).
  The opening track 'Flying High' reveals the band's identity from the start, with the unique guitar sound. On the second track 'Not so sweet Martha Lorraine' we see for the first time the collaboration between the guitar and the organ I mentioned earlier. This is one of their classic songs, although not one my most favorite ones. Third comes the heavy blues-influenced "Death Sound", followed by the rather bizarre but beautiful 'Porpoise Mouth'. (The whole title is Happiness is a Porpoise Mouth). Side-A closes with the instrumental Psychedelic hymn 'Section 43' which in my humble opinion is one of the greatest Psychedelic tunes ever recorded. Side-B opens with the rather political 'Superbird',  followed by the melodic folk-influenced 'Sad & Lonely times', before the Rock explosion hits you with the next song, which is 'Love'. The 3 last songs are 'Bass Strings' 'The Masked Marauder' and 'Grace'. 'Bass Strings is one of the weakest song here, whilst 'The Masked Marauder' tries to be something like 'Section 43'
with lyrics, but without big success. As for 'Grace', I think the only important thing about it is the fact that it was written for Grace Slick.
   Concluding this post I have to mention that 'Electric Music for the Mind and Body' together with Jefferson Airplane's 'Surrealistic Pillow' should be the cornerstones of every Psychedelic music collection. Of course there are many more important albums which came out from this music scene, but those two are maybe the most important ones for many reasons.
 If I had to rate this album, my rating would be about 3.5-4.00 out of 5.00
I added a couple of videos in order to listen and judge by yourselves. First comes 'Section 43', and second 'Love'. Enjoy! :)
Thank you for reading...


Monday, October 28, 2013

Prog & Roll radio show (27/10/2013): The Song of the Month!

Last night on Prog & Roll radio show we had the final stage of contest for the song of the month.
Which means that from all the songs we played in our shows during October, we chose those which
had an average rating of 8.5 or higher according to our listener's grades, and played them once more last night in the final stage of this contest. We had 13 songs in our list, all of them very nice ones, but the problem is that only one can win!
   At the start of the show (20.00GMT), we played a few songs irrelevant with the contest which started at 20.30GMT, and lasted for 1.5 hours in total. An hour before the show we learned the sad news about Lou Reed, so in order to honor his memory we replaced the first song with 'Venus in Furs' from Velvet Underground. It was the least we could do, but there was no time for more. (A small tribute for example).
  And at the end of the contest the winning song was decided as always by our audience. This time none was surprised with the result I think, because the winner was favored by almost everybody.
This was underlined by the fact that there was a very big difference in average points between the two songs that came as first and second.
So, without further delay I'm announcing October's Song of the Month, which is no other than the spectacular "Autumn" by Strawbs!

Here you can see the whole playlist from last night: 

20.00 - 20.30GMT: VELVET UNDERGROUND: Venus in Furs / ARION: True Love / CAROL OF HARVEST: Teary Eyes / NOSTRADAMUS: Shadow in the Rain / ANUBIS: Weeping Willow. 
20.30 - 22.00GMT (Contest): THE TEA PARTY: Sister Awake / LED ZEPPELIN: Kashmir / RAINBOW: Gates of Babylon / DREAM THEATER: Pull me Under / DODSON & FOGG: Flying High / TREES: Geordie / MELLOW CANDLE: Heaven Heath / STRAWBS: Autumn /
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR: The Undercover Man / THE WHO: Love Reign O’er Me / BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST: The Poet - After the Day / THE MOODY BLUES: Melancholy Man  / IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY: Hot Summer Day. 

Just for the record I should mention that 'Autumn' achieved an average score of 9.30/10.00 whilst 'Hot Summer Day' which came second achieved a rating of 7.45. That is the big difference I mentioned earlier...
I want to thank all of you who listened to our show last night, participated or not, and I hope you enjoyed the music we played during these 2 hours. 
Thank you, and have a great week folks! :) 
In the following video you can listen to the winning song along with the images of Middle Earth as seen in one of my favorite online games. The video itself was edited by my wife and co-host (Z. Nihal Eleftheriou), so I thought of promoting it right here along with the winner:




Lou Reed has passed away...

   I wrote a quick comment yesterday at G+, but I feel I should write a proper post on this subject.
  As many of you know already, Lou Reed passed away yesterday in Long Island at the age of 71.
He was a songwriter/guitarist and a former member of the legendary Velvet Underground,  and one of the most influential musicians in Rock music. The cause of his death has not yet been released, but Lou Reed underwent a liver transparent in May.
  For those who aren't familiar with his life and music, and you are interested to learn more about him you can check here: .
 Although I was never a big fan of his music, I feel lucky I was able to see him on stage many years ago, in a concert on which he performed just before David Bowie.
  Anyway, I think there are not much more to write here except R.I.P Lou Reed...
In the pics on the right you can see Lou Reed together with many other legendary musicians such as Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Iggy Pop from the '70's...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Prog & Roll radio show presents: The Song of the Month Contest on 27/10...

Hey all!
I'm writing this post in order to inform you that tomorrow night on Prog & Roll radio show we will have the "Song of the Month" contest. Our show starts at 20.00GMT, but the contest will begin at 20.30GMT and it will last for 1.5 hours. We got 13 really good songs which will participate, and all those who will join are going to listen to some very good music. We will ask of our audience to grade the songs once more from a scale 1-10, and at the end of the show we will know which song will be the winner. The music genres we will play tomorrow varies from Folk-Rock up to Heavy Metal.
So, if any of you is in the mood tomorrow afternoon/night for some good music join us! It will be great to have you there, and don't forget that if you want you can participate as well. That's all for now, and I hope to "see you" online tomorrow.
Thank you! :)
P.S: You can log in by clicking here: Just In Case Prog Radio

GFreedom's Juke Box Nο.64

Good morning all!
Today it's Saturday once more, and so it's time to write my usual Juke Box post which I'm posting here on every Saturday and it's my weekly Top-5 songlist.
So without further delay, those are my 5 best songs for this week:

Rainbow: Gates of Babylon (Long Live R n' R) - 1978
Peter Gabriel: Here Comes the Flood (Cars) - 1977
Van Der Graaf Generator: The Undercover Man (Godbluff) - 1975
Black Sabbath: I (Dehumanizer) - 1992
Barclay James Harvest: The Poet/After the Day (BJH and Other Short Stories) - 1971 

And as usual, I'm concluding this post with a couple of videos from my Top-5 list.
On the first video you can listen to the song 'I' by Black Sabbath (feat. R J Dio), and on the second one the song 'Gates of Babylon' by Rainbow, (featuring again R J Dio!)  :)
I hope you will like them...
Have a nice weekend folks! :)


Friday, October 25, 2013

COURSERA: Free online lessons...

Hello all!
I haven't been able to write these days because I'm really busy.
But there is something I should have mentioned sometime ago, and it's about the online lessons I'm taking in Coursera.
 Coursera is an organization which is co-operating with many Universities, and is offering online lessons for free on many subjects. You can choose an easy and usually pleasant class or a harder one. It's up to you actually. There are hundreds of lessons going on now, and every now and then new ones are starting.
  I learned about Coursera from a friend who is taking classes for over a year now. Since I had no idea how it was working, so I thought of starting with something easy. So my first class was 'History of Rock Part.1', thinking also that probably I don't have to study as much, because I'm dealing with Rock music almost 30 years now, and I'm very familiar with the subject. Well, I was very wrong! hehehehe
 The University which offers these classes is the University of Rochester based in New York, and the teacher is Professor John Covach. I have to say he is giving a very interesting, informative and
pleasant class.
And here's how the whole system is working: Every class has a length of some weeks. (F.e History of Rock Part,1 was 7 weeks long). On every week the university is uploading some video lectures which you can download or watch online. Now, depends on the kind of class there is a possibility you might have some homework to do, or not. Every one or two weeks there is a test you have to take, and at the end of the course sometimes an overall test. There are also forums available with discussion groups, study groups etc... In general the whole thing is organized and pleasant.
  Speaking for myself, I just reached the 7th and last week of the course, and now it's the time to take the final exam, and then decide if I want to continue with part.2 or not.
  Concluding this post I have to say that I strongly recommend Coursera to everybody who might be interested in learning something new, even just for fun like me. And don't forget it's completely free!
If you want to take a look at the classes the subjects etc, here is the link:
Thanks for reading! :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Prog & Roll radio show (20/10/2013) Full Playlist & Top-5

Good morning all!
As I mentioned in the previous posts on last night's Prog & Roll we had a tribute to the career of Monty Python during the first half hour. This went unexpectedly good, and as it seemed everybody had a lot of fun. 
Further than that, we had the 2 basic members (Ken and David) of the UK band 'Spiral Key' live on the chatbox. Ken and David stayed until the end of the show, and they seemed to enjoy it very much. At the end they said it was a great ending for Sunday night, and they will come back very soon. 
  As for the songs we played, this time we decided not to play any of the classic Progressive bands of the '70's, and concentrate a bit on other music genres, such as classic rock, psychedelia etc...
 Here are the top-5 songs as were graded by our audience last night: 

1. The Who: Love Reign O'er Me
2. It's a Beautiful Day: Hot Summer Day
3. Jefferson Airplane: Crazy Miranda
4. Pallas: Ghost Dancers
5. Gravity Says_i: The Patterns of Fraud

And here you can see the whole playlist:

The Monty Python Tribute:
The Meaning of Life / Sit on my Face / Lumberjack song/ Arthur's Dialogue / Knights of the round table/ The Holy hand Grenade / Crucifixion line dialogue /

Every sperm is sacred /  Galaxy Song.
Normal Program:
GRAVITY SAYS: The Patterns of Fraud/ THE TEA PARTY: The Bazaar / THE SPIRAL KEY: At sixes & sevens / SERJ TANKIAN: The Sky is Over / PALLAS: Ghost Dancers / UNITOPIA: Genesis Medley / SPIRAL KEY: Colder than Heaven / PORCUPINE TREE: Even Less / IQ: Zero Hour / THE WHO: Love Reign O’er Me / IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY: Hot Summer Day / HP LOVECRAFT: I’ve been wrong before / JEFFERSON AIRPLANE: Crazy Miranda / ULTIMATE SPINACH: 5th Horsemen of the Apocalypse MONTY PYTHON: Always Look at the Bright Side of Life.

 As for next Sunday, we will have our big contest for "The Song of the Month". We have 13 great songs in our list, and only one can win the title and reserve a spot in our annual Top-10.  But we will have to wait 'till Sunday for that.
Thank you all for joining and listening last night. I hope you enjoyed it! :) 
In the following video you can listen to last night's best voted song: