Tag Archives: highspire

Episode 99: Separate Torso from the Spine

Brian Eno, c. 1977

Apart from a couple friends, I just don’t hear many people discussing important bands like Sonic Youth, Velvet Underground or Joy Division. Even folks who pride themselves on listening to stuff outside the mainstream (Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens, Sam Bean, etc.) don’t seem to have or desire a sense of musical history. I’m not asking that everyone be a musical savant like me, but it would be nice to see folks do their research and not dismiss some music simply because it sounds old.

This point in probably best illustrated in discussing the work of Brian Eno. The dude is responsible for so much huge, mega-popular music, but folks don’t seem to pay attention to him. It’s difficult to overstate his influence on bands like U2, Talking Heads, Roxy Music, David Bowie and Devo. (If you’re reading this blog, I assume you already have  an unhealthy amount these bands’ music on your harddrive.) Yet rarely do I ever hear anyone talk about Eno’s solo work.

I don’t think it takes particularly artsy person to appreciate (most of) his work. I just think it takes an inquisitive person who wants to discover the source for a favorite band’s inspiration. Alright, enough proselytizing.

Enjoy the show.

  1. “Kurt’s Rejoinder” – Brian Eno (Before and After Science/Polydor/1977)
  2. “Vamos Companeros” – Harmonia & Eno ’76 (Tracks and Traces/Gronland/2009)
  3. “Dem Wanderer” – Cluster (Sowiesoso/Sky/1976)
  4. “What Lies Before” – Highspire (Aquatic/Reverse Reverse/2010)
  5. “While the Cold Winter Waiting” – Trentemøller (The Last Resort/Poker Flat/2006)
  6. “Soul Love” – David Bowie (Stage/RCA/1978)


Radio Free Raytown – Episode #99 (2/18/12)

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Episode 77: Never Learned a Thing

The original 10" of Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool.

I do a lot of research about records at my father-in-law’s house.  Because he lives 10 hours away, I have to squeeze all this education into the few days a year we visit.

While there, I pour through liner notes for personnel and production notes.  I also look for pictures of other albums in an artist’s catalog.  Most importantly, however, I love the opportunity to actually see some of his records that I doubted even existed in real life.

Sure, I’ve seen the cover to the original Birth of the Cool 10″, as it’s in the liner notes for the CD reissue.  I assumed I’d have to wait and see the real thing in a museum, though.  As it turns out, my father-in-law stumbed upon the 10″ in some warehouse in Miami for $10.  He also has the first and second reissues of the album in the 12″ LP format.  Interestingly enough, all three iterations of the album feature different track listings and artwork.

It is a really good album.  The arrangements are, well…cool.  The performances stand up well, even against Davis’ later, celebrated forays into modal improvisation. It was probably the first album to really propel Davis, Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan in to the spotlight.  This was an album Capitol Records, after all, home to heavy hitters like Nat King  Cole and Judy Collins.  It was a big deal, and this week I play the Mulligan-penned tune from the album, “Jeru.”

Anyway, I think I saw the sun once in the past week.  Is this what it’s like to live in Seattle, Washington, or Manchester, England?  Sheesh.


  1. “Gleaming Endless Ocean” – Scarlet Youth (Breaking the Patterns | Homesick Music | 2009)
  2. “What Lies Before” – Highspire (Aquatic | Reverse Reverb | 2010)
  3. “Jeru” – Miles Davis (Birth of the Cool | Capitol | 1957)
  4. “Desert Island Discs” – The Jags (Evening Standards | 1980
  5. “Kites Without Strings” – The Seventy-Sevens (Pray Naked | Brainstorm | 1992)

Radio Free Raytown – Episode 77 (4/29/11)

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