Blog Roddus

Blog Roddus
My Favorite Place A Note on my equipment: 1 Tetrabyte hard drive connected by USB to an Acer laptop, connected via USB to FUBAR II Digital Audio Converter, connected via RCA leads to Cyrus system with Tannoy Speakers, Choice!

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Uncle Roddus weeks playlist 28/9/2015-2/10/2015

Uncle Roddus Album Of The Week
The Beatles - Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

I'm out of town for 9 days and will probably have no internet access among other things so I'm gonna post my weeks playlist early and also use this piece of writing that I posted on the Facebook YouTube Vinyl Community page earlier this week.

I have heard several people mention in videos and on facebook about their preference to having OG copies of albums in their collection. I noted this with interest and amusement but I don't consider myself a"Collector" per-see. I collect solely for the music, not based on first pressings, rarity or collectability etc... I do however like to have the best sounding issue available and that does not always mean that an OG copy is most desirable or that the latest remaster is either. I was also wondering how I would know if an LP I find in "the wild" was OG or not. Imagine something like Sergeant Pepper for instant, there must have been hundreds of issues of this album over the decades, so how would I know if I found an OG copy? I guess experience of the person buying would help and price could also be an indication. So I often wonder if all those early ECM records I found recently are OG copies or later reissues. The catalog numbers are certainly original.
Anyhow, I recently picked up a copy of Sergeant Pepper for a very cheap price with a bunch of other records I bought off a local gentleman here in my town. It looked a little rough and I already had it on CD but I thought what the hell, it will be worth hearing it on my turntable.(I actually scored 3 other records in this haul that I already had on CD)
I checked it over when I got home and noticed a white stain on the vinyl, maybe a watermark or something spilt on it. I filed it away thinking I would deal to it when I get my new record cleaning machine. Last night curiosity got the better of me and I pulled it out and gave it a clean with a soft wet cloth, it looked pretty good although as it dried the stain re appeared but on close inspection it looked playable and I decided to give it a spin. I looked at the center label and it looked suspiciously old. I did a close inspection of the cover and noticed the way the front sleeve flaps were glued over the top of the back cover, which I hadn't seen much before. I did also notice the label number on the top Right sleeve flap and that it was a New Zealand Issue, but was it an OG issue?
Searching Discogs and using the PCSM7027 as reference, it appears that it is indeed the first issue of Sergeant Pepper in New Zealand from June 1967. I was 6 months old. So in contradiction to what I said above about collecting, I got quite excited. But not as excited as I got when I actually played it. Clamping it on the VPI I noticed how incredibly flat this record was, as the needle hit the groove, there was far less crackle than anticipated and when the music started I was impressed as I noticed the slight crackling disappeared behind the music. As my ears adjusted I was astonished at the depth I was hearing from the speakers and I was just floored by the sonic reproduction, I had never head so much of this album. There was a couple of flat spots, maybe the stains, maybe wear and tear, Paul's Vocals on "A Day in The Life" sounded a bit flat but the rest was fantastic. It certainly is a good feeling to have an OG copy of this album and I certainly am proud of any rare and unusual albums I have in my collection, but always, the music comes first.
Sargent Pepper has never been my favorite of The Beatles albums but it is still a mighty impressive set and well worth all the praise it has earned over the years.Rating 5/5.

Here is what has been massaging (and sometimes pummeling) my ears this week.
In no particular order.

  • Talking Heads - Little Creatures, EMI (1985 LP)
  • Elvis Costello - Armed Forces, Radarscope Records (1979 LP)
  • Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd - Cosmologies, Nuvoid Jazz Records 46/200 (2014 LP)
  • Various Artists - Mali Allstars:Bogolan Music, Wrasse Records (2013 CD)
  • Rosanne Cash - The River and the Thread, Blue Note (2015 CD)
  • Southern Front - Southern Front, Failsafe Records SAFE004 (1984 LP)
  • Robert Plant and Alison Kruass - Raising Sand (2007 TIDAL Streaming)
  • David Bowie - Aladdin Sane, RCA (1973 LP)
  • Pretty Wicked Head and the Desperate Men - New Age Savage, BMG (1990 CD)
  • The Cruel Sea - The Most, Grudge Records (1999 CD)
  • Hunters and Collectors - Hunters & Collectors, Mushroom Records (1981 CD)
  • Rhiannon Gibbons - Tomorrow Is My Turn (2015 TIDAL Streaming)
  • Talking Heads - Little Creatures, EMI (1985 LP)
  • Bloodrock - Passage, Capitol (1972 LP)
  • Various Artists - The Vertigo Annual, Vertigo (1970 2xLP)
  • Elton John - Greatest Hits, DJM Records (1974 LP)
  • Cannonball Adderly - Somethin' Else, WaxTime (1958/2011 LP)
  • Madlib - Shades Of Blue, Blue Note (2003/2014 2xLP)
  • The 3 Sounds - Out Of This World, Blue Note ST 84197 (1965/2014 LP)
  • Bobby Hutcherson - Total Eclipse, Blue Note BST 84291 (1968/2014 LP)
  • Ornette Coleman - Something Else, DOL (1958/2015 LP)
  • Jackie McLean - Let Freedom Ring, Blue Note ST 84106 (1962/2014 LP)
  • Ryan Adams - Live At Carnegie Hall, Pax.Am/Blue Note (2015 6xLP)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Uncle Roddus weeks playlist 21/9/2015-27/9/2015

    Album of the Week
    Southern Front - ST, Failsafe Records 1984

    A great lucky find this week, the self titled and only album by the 1980's Christchurch band Southern Front.
    Released on Failsafe Records in 1984. I had a copy back then but it went when I sold my LP's back in the late 90's. I always had fond memories of this record and had been on the lookout for a CD copy for many years. A reissue was never forthcoming until 2013, but I didn't know and so kept looking for the original vinyl, without much success, even though I didn't have a turntable at the time.  So strangely enough now that I do have a turntable again, I'm just having a quick look through the bins at my local second hand vinyl emporium, when I should have been somewhere else doing something more constructive, like working, and low and behold there right at the back of a bin where it shouldn't have been was the long lost LP in person.
    The sales person was full of tidbits regarding the LP as he had known some of the band members back in the day and had helped them insert the records into their covers before distribution to the local record shops, he said some times they wrote little cryptic comments on the inside cover, although mine just has a name, probably of a former owner.
    The band had formed from the ashes of a couple of local punk bands and had moved their sound in a more post punk direction as so many did after exhausting the limitations of punk. Listening to this album nearly 20 years after the last I heard it, I find it has aged very well and sounds just as good as I remember. Blasting it again tonight I am impressed how well recorded and mastered it is, good separation and clear sounding.
    The music is mostly up tempo, the Failsafe website mentions Killing Joke as a reference, although I would apply that more to another seminal Christchurch Band, The Gordons, but there is definitely some early U2 sounding Guitar effects and a good but of early Cure would be another clue. I guess on the surface this sounds just like a thousand other post punk bands of the time and any of these songs would feel right at home on any compilation of obscure local music of the time, but familiarity breeds respect and admiration for the strength of this music, well for me anyway. Rating 4.5/5.

    Here is what has been massaging (and sometimes pummeling) my ears this week.
    In no particular order, but kinda in the order I listened to them.

  • The Horace Silver Quintet - The Cape Verdean Blues, Blur Note ST 82240 (1965/2015 LP)
  • Rosanne Cash - The River and the Thread, Blue Note (2015 CD)
  • Don Cherry - Complete Communion, Blue Note ST 84226 (1965/2015 LP)
  • Vas Deferens Organization – Mutant Sounds Radio (09.11.15) Podcast
  • Counting The Beat Radio Show 19/9/2015 - Waiheke Radio/Chris Walker - Sound Cloud
  • Southern Front - Southern Front, Failsafe Records SAFE004 (1984 LP)
  • Various Artists - Crammed Global Soundclash 1980-1989, Crammed Discs CRAM100 (2003 3CD)
  • Various Artists - Class Of 81, Mutant Sounds Blog, MP3 Download
  • Various Artists - Never Trash A Pretty Face, Mutant Sounds Blog MP3 Download
  • Vangelis - Albedo 0.39, RCA (1976 LP)
  • Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense, EMI (1984 LP)
  • Hawkwind - Warrior On The Edge Of Time, United Artists (1975 LP)
  • Andre Jaume & Michel Redolfi-Hardscore-France-1980 Mutant Sounds Blog MP3 Download
  • Brad Laner - Micro-awakenings, Mutant Sounds Blog MP3 Download
  • Rush - A Farewell to Kings, Phonogram (1977 LP)
  • Jethro Tull - War Child, Chrysalis (1974 LP)
  • Queen  -A Night At The Opera, EMI (1975 LP)
  • Alabama Shakes - Sound & Colour  (2015 TIDAL streaming)
  • Robert Plant and Alison Kruass - Raising Sand (2007 TIDAL Streaming)
  • David Bowie - Aladdin Sane, RCA (1973 LP)
  • Paul Simon - Graceland, Warner Brothers (1986 LP)
  • Various Artists - Real Word 25, Real World Records (2014 3CD)
  • Pink Floyd - Animals, CBS (1977 LP)
  • David Bowie - Space Oddity RCA (1969 LP)
  • Eric Dolphy - Out to Lunch, Blue Note ST 84163 (1964/2014 LP)
  • John Coltrane - Blue Train, Blue Note 1577 (1957/2014 LP)
  • Queen - Queen, EMI (1973 LP)
  • McCoy Tyner - The Real McCoy, Blue Note BST 24864 (1967/2014 LP)

  • Broken Hill 26 September 2015

    Uncle Roddus Tramping Diary: Tramp No 161
    Broken Hill 26 September 2015

    Spring is here and I haven't been tramping since early May. As usual, time and weather have been against me as well as lack of motivation to do the hard yards involved in struggling up hills. Harley sent several emails tempting me out over the winter and I finally succumbed to his invitations. Looking at Broken Hill on Topo maps, it looked innocuous enough for an easyish  trip to ease myself back into tramping for the season.
    Broken Hill is a stand alone lump just south of Purple Hill and Lake Pearson and east of Mt Wall and Mt Cockayne in the Cragiburn Ranges and reaches the lofty height of 1486M.
    Four of us set off along the four wheel drive track on a cool and partly cloudy day. This track was designated The Narnia Track in reference to the movie that was filmed in these parts several years ago. After a couple of kilometers we branched off on another road not shown on my topo map but visible on Google earth, which took us into the area where we could access the part of the hill we wanted to climb. This track took us through the burnt out wilding pine forest that had been hit by a large fire a couple of years back and had an interesting beauty of it's own but wouldn't have looked out of place in some Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Movie. We leave the track and wend our way through the burnt trees heading for a low saddle from which to access the ridge we wish to ascend. Part way up the ridge to the point 1355 we stop to regroup and have first lunch, there is a light but quite cold South East wind keeping us cool and well wrapped up. The tops are pretty easy travel and mostly flat with the occasional rock scramble as we attained Broken Hill itself and enjoyed the views and took the obligatory photos.The route down involves continuing along the South West ridge before dropping off through an easy bush bash through very open beech forest and linking to another farm track below, although we kinda missed our connection at first. Finally it's a longish slog along the farm road back to the car through a thick forest of wilding pines. Anyway, this trip ended up a little longer than I thought it would as we ended up walking 17.9KM and climbing overall 1185M in 7 hours 21 minutes. I coped pretty well considering.

    Sunday, September 20, 2015

    The Uncle Roddus weeks playlist 14/9/2015-20/9/2015

    Album of the Week.

    Here is what has been massaging (and sometimes pummeling) my ears this week.
    In no particular order, but kinda in the order I listened to them.

    • John Zorn - Pellcuidar-A Dreamers Fantabula, Tzadik 8333 (2015 CD)
    • Klezmerson - Amon - John Zorn's Book Of Angels - Masada Book Two Vol 24, Tzadik  8328 (2015 CD)
    • Bill Connors - Theme to the Guardian, ECM 1027 1975 (LP)
    • Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Free For All, Blue Note ST 84170 (1965/2014 LP)
    • Alabama Shakes - Sound & Colour  (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Alan Jackson - The Bluegrass Album (2013 TIDAL streaming)
    • Larry Young - Unity, Blue Note ST 82241 (1965/2014 LP)
    • Wayne Shorter - Speak No Evil, Blue Note ST 84194 (1964/2014 LP)
    • Bettye LaVette - Worthy (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Jane - Together, Brain 0060-389 (1972 LP)
    • Charles Lloyd - Wild Man Dance (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Cornelia - Balun (2015 Tidal streaming)
    • HowellDevine - Modern Sounds of Ancient Juju (2014 TIDAL streaming)
    • Jan Garbarek - It's Ok to Listen To The Grey Voice, ECM 1294 (1985 LP)
    • The Velvet Underground - Loaded, Cotillian 8122-79613-5 (1970 LP)
    • Bloodrock - Bloodrock USA, Capitol ST645 (1971 LP)
    • Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free ( 2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Joey Alexander - My Favourite Things (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Mbongwana Star - From Kinshasa (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd - Cosmologies, Nuvoid Jazz Records 46/200 (2014 LP)
    • Leftfield - Alternative Light Source, Infectious INFECT223 (2015 CD)
    • Medeski, Martin & Wood - Combustication, Blue Note CDP7243 (1998 CD)
    • John Zorn - Hen To Pan, Tzadik 8329 (2015 CD)
    • Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage, Blue Note ST 84195 (1966/2014 LP)
    • Arild Anderson - Clouds in My Head, ECM 1059 (1975 LP)
    • Steve Kuhn - Ecstasy, ECM 1058 (1975 LP)
    • Jason Moran - Soundtrack to Human Motion, Blue Note (1999/2014 LP)
    • Sonny Clark - Cool Struttin', Blue Note 1588 (1958/2014 LP)
    • Grant Green - Idle Moments, Blue Note ST 84154 (1965/2014 LP)
    • Neil Young + Promise of the Real - The Monsanto Years (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Sleaford Mods - Key Markets (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • The Rugbys - Hot Cargo (1969 TIDAL Streaming)
    • Cecil Taylor - Unit Structures, Blue Note BST 84237 (1966/2014 LP)
    • Thelonious Monk - Genius of Modern Music Vol. 2 Blue Note 1511 (1952/2015 LP)
    • Marialy Pacheco - Introducing (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Kenny Drew - Undercurrent, Blur Note ST 84059 (1960/2014 LP)
    • Sonny Rollins - A night at the Village Vanguard, Blue Note  1581 (1957/2014 LP)
    • Hank Mobley - Soul Station, Blue Note ST 84031 (1960/2014 LP)
    • The Teardrop Explodes - Kilimanjaro, Mercury 6359 035 (1980 LP)
    • Sun Ra - Other Strange Roads, Roaratorio, roar33 (1965/2014 LP)
    • Joe Henderson - State of the Tenor, Live at the Village Vanguard Vol 1, Blur Note  (1985/2014 LP)
    • Elvin Jones - The Ultimate Alvin Jones, Blue Note BST 84305 (1968/2014 LP) 
    • The Horace Silver Quintet - The Cape Verdean Blues, Blur Note ST 82240 (1965/2015 LP)
    • Various Artists - Blue Break Beats, Blue Note (1992 CD)
    • Deuter - Terra Magica (1997 TIDAL Streaming)
    • Wayne Shorter - Adams Apple,. Blue Note BST 84232 (1966/2015 LP)
    • The Ornette Coleman Trio - At The Golden Circle, Stockholm Vol 1, Blue Note ST 84224 (1965/2014 LP)
    • Led Zeppelin - Presence, Swan Song/Atlantic (1976/2015, reissue LP)
    • Evan Johns And The H Bombs - Rollin' Through The Night ,Alternative Tentacles virus47cd  (1993 CD)
    • Rosanne Cash - The River and the Thread, Blue Note (2015 CD)

    It's been a busy week music wise, a large shipment of Blue Note Records arrived in my mail box and my amp came back from the repair shop after one of the tubes faulted, also the turntable is back after I broke the needle on it recently. Thank god for insurance.
    Now that I'm getting back into collecting Vinyl records again, my wallet is taking a pretty hard hit but the results have been pretty impressive. There is, at present, a bit of a vinyl revival going on, with plenty of reissues getting the deluxe 180g vinyl treatment with original sleeves and many new releases being available on record as well as CD. Even The Warehouse(our Walmart) is now selling new vinyl. There is still a lot of second hand records around the scene and that is where I will probably be concentrating my collecting. There are a lot of obscure records out there that have still not been reissued on CD and it is great fun trawling through the record bins at my local shop and finding some obscure records that I couldn't find on CD. As some will notice, I posted a couple of videos on the blog recently about some of the recent records I have bought and I did this in response to another blogger I know who has been making these sorts of video for some time now and uploading them to YouTube as part of a Vinyl Community. A large group of record collectors and vinyl junkies share about their vast collections. Some really interesting records get shown on these videos.
    So now that I have had a high end turntable for a couple of months I can turn my attention to the age old question" Does vinyl sound better than CD?" and the resounding answer is....Ummm.
    It's a pretty subjective area and subject to all sorts of variables. The quality of the vinyl pressed, the mastering, the original production, the gear you listen to it on and your state of mind and personal beliefs all influence the answer to that question. CDs are fabulous with their zero background noise and their sonic clarity as well as their size and convenience of use. I have some fantastic sounding CDs that are almost jaw dropping in their sonic qualities, especially played on some really good gear. I guess one of the biggest draw backs of CD is the amount of compression that apparently goes into the music  to get the higher volumes that most popular music seems to need these days and so due to the limitations of the amount of data that can be stored on the CD, the increased volumes that they are produced at is apparently done so at the cost of sonic clarity and I can certainly point out some great CDs that I struggle to listen too nowadays due to the poor quality of the production.
    Vinyl on the other hand suffers from scratches and surface noise that are impossible to avoid. Granted, on most clean records when the music gets going the background noise is not noticeable but on the quieter musical parts even a brand new record straight out of the sleeve had noise that crackles or hisses along behind the music. Sonically speaking for clarity, the CD will always win, but again original production has an influence on that. In saying that though, listening to records through my current VPI turntable and Valve amp, there have been some jaw dropping moments coming from my small record collection, especially from those early 70's ECM records, which just blow everything else out of the water, even the Blue Notes. The other thing I am finding about vinyl is the listening experience is more involving or addictive even and I am finding my self playing more records than CDs at present, but that also may be because of the newness of it all(again). At the end of the day, listening to music on record is a different experience than listening on CD. Is it better? Sometimes, but it is cool. I do suspect for a lot of vinyl collectors, nostalgia plays a big part of the puzzle and I am experiencing a bit of that as well but now I'm hooked.

    The hot album this week is the debut record of Jane, a West German progressive rock band that released this gem on the Brain label back in 72. Classic Krautrock which has a floydian vibe and a singer that sounds like an amateur Robert Wyatt, which is all ok sounding but what really impressed me was the great guitar solos which push this record into great listening territory. A wonderful find and was quite lucky to fins this pretty clean LP in my local record outlet. Rating 4/5.

    And Here is my latest Vinyl collecting Video.

    Sunday, September 6, 2015

    Uncle Roddus Adventures in record buying.

    This is something new. A video post on the latest vinyl records I have purchased.

    Monday, May 4, 2015

    Mt Taylor 3 May 2015

    Uncle Roddus Tramping diary: Tramp No.160
    Mt Taylor 3 May 2015

    Mt Taylor is a 2300 meter peak overlooking Lake Heron in the Hakatere conservation reserve. We had spotted the peak on a recent ascent of nearby Mt Barossa and discussed the possibilities of climbing it. It turned out the Club was running a trip there soon after so I happily signed on. The intention was to park at Lake Heron and head into Double hut before the climb up Taylor. We were going to do this in one day instead of the usual overnight at Double Hut. After meeting at Mt Somers township, we arrived at Lake Heron just past 9am on a stunning day and were off on our adventure at about 9:20am, heading on a pretty direct route across the flats and a good pace. We reached the old musters hut, Double Hut, at about 10:40am where I had to do some patch up work on some blisters that were forming on the back of my feet. Fifteen minutes later we were off again for the more interesting part of out journey as we rock hopped up the south branch of the Swin River to the base of the sput we ascended. A short rest and regroup was taken along with some refueling before we started on the most arduous section of out walk. The first 500m ascent to point 1766 was taken at a brisk pace, being aware of the limited day light we had to get back to the cars, but after this the less fit members of the six in our group slowed some what and by point 2062 one member decided he wasn't going to make it in time and headed down into the Swin and back to the hut to wait for us, a second member was struggling with his knee and soon also dropped off sown to the Swin. The three super trampers in the group soon took off from this scribe, who was wondering if he too might not make the summit in time, but plodded on slowly and actually did make the summit at about 2:45PM and then only had a couple of minutes to snap some photos and have a drink before the descent started. We dropped off about half way between Mt Taylor and point 2084 and enjoyed a patchy scree for a quick decent down to the upper reaches of the Swin. We caught up with the knee person and proceeded down the straight forward boulder hop back to the hut by about 5pm, The other member had left a note saying he had already headed for the cars and so we rested for about 10minutes before the big slog back across the flats just as the sun was setting behind the distant mountains. About two thirds of our way back I looked back towards Taylor as we walked in the gloaming and noticed the light of the moon just about to crest the very mount we had just climbed and we were soon after presented with a very impressive moon rise and as it was near full, we managed to get back to the lake without head torches, arriving at the cars just on 6:30pm. We had to wait another 30 odd minutes for knee person to arrive, but all made it back safe and sound if somewhat sore. Approx distance 27KM, height gain 1650M, time 9 and a quarter hours.