Sunday, July 9, 2017

Less than You

Less than You
I’m not sure that I know how to be human. Sure, sure I’ve been among your kind for almost six hundred years but there are things that confuse me.
            I wish I could be a good person. They’re many among your kind that do so many positive deeds.
            Yet others are opposed to a better way.
            Let me site some specific occurrences that leave me baffled as to how to emotionally orient myself.
            There are those beautiful women that give their charms to those who deserve it most.
            A little boy smiles at a passerby.
            A tender woman singing for no discernable reason.
            How do I respond? My dear pretty human friend, how would you react?
            Do tell me please.
            I don’t understand what it is to feel right.

Yours in writing from a void of self-avoidance,

Count Robot

Monday, May 8, 2017

Record Store Day 2017

Yes, Record Store Day is a way back in the rearview mirror.
But there’s little doubt that you’re not asking what did Count Robot get for Record Store Day?
Well we hit a couple of stores and I wound up with London Fog by The Doors.
For those who haven’t heard about this release it’s a record/cd of the very first gig by the Doors.
Is it good? Well if you’re a real Doors fan, its essential. If you’re a casual fan, skip it.
It’s great to hear them play many covers and a couple of solid originals to a crowd that is eating it up.
Go forth and dig it.

Yours in deep listening,

Count Robot

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Beauty is beauty

Beauty is beauty
Playboy beauty meant something once
Now there’s a vapid desire to allure with nothing to bare
Nothing of beauty to show

In days before there was modernistic Grecian artistic beauty of female form
Women as art is beautiful infinite magic

Sell boredom and nothing

You lost the scene because of a narrowing vision of blonde implanted artifice perfection, but only to an eye so dull
Once up a time there was a story in every photo
Now there’s boring

Yours in art loving,

Count Robot

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Great Moments in Astro Al History.

Ok that’s not really the title of this blog entry unless it’s meant sarcastically. Let’s call this post, Not So Great Moments In Astro Al History. I like capitalizing all the first letters. Makes them all feel equal.
A few years back Astro Al played the opening set for a psychedelic mini-festival at the Armory in Somerville. There was a rapturous belly dance by the spellbinding Samarra, spacey projections (the Astro Al projections were made just for this show), some cross jamming by the artists, and good tunes by all involved. Tim World rocked their set. Joe Turner and the Seven Levels did a solid groove of a show.
Well, after the Astro Al set was done, between acts your moronic narrator, decided to pack up some gear which we had previously heaped into a pile off to the side of the stage since we were in a hurry to let Tim World get on stage so they could take the music to the goat spirits in the crowd.
As I was removing the cable for my electric ukulele things turned sinister. The last song of our set was Swamphead Blues. If you’re unfamiliar with that song watch this here video.

Now that you know the tune perhaps you could understand the ukulele's frame of mind. My own instrument hated me for playing a garage rock punk three-chord barrage on it.
So as I pulled on the cable the ukulele vented its anger upon me by twisting in my hands and bashing me in the face. It was rather painful and unpleasant. I challenged my ukulele to a duel. We fought the next afternoon. The results were inconclusive.
Or maybe I just slipped and the ukulele bashed me in the skull and the rest of it was the scattered paranoia caused by a concussion.
            Maybe I’m not even writing this and you’re not even reading this.
            Who knows? I sure don’t.

Yours in historical friction,

Count Robot

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Rant in a Jazz Riff

            I am an artist. There, outed and pouted I am.
            It would be wonderful to make a living as an artist type in word or sound or both. Neither is terribly likely. Oh woe and waaa to me.
            Famous I’ll never be.
            But an artist is all I can be.
            All self-absorbed misery is worth it to me.

Yours in riffing free notes,

Count Robot

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Count Robot’s Top 3 Albums of 2016

            2016 was filled with amazing gifts of recorded music. Far, far too many to
list in detail. Yes, 2016 had it share of tragedy, but it as an abundant giver of great albums.
            So here we go good readers, here’s the ones that Count Robot digs the most from 2016.

Number 3
 Opeth: Sorceress
            This is their statement of awesome. There is a lot of grandiose wild guitar metal and classical playing that speaks to my love of Queen. The title track Sorceress starts with a great funky jam before turning into an epic heavy jam with Mikael Akerfeldt’s operatic soaring voice steering the song in every direction it needs to go. This song is a pure classic and it could carry an entire bland album but the rest of the tunes on this album are far, far, from that at all.
Another wonderful standout track is Will o the wisp. Blending acoustic guitars with keys and twistingly wistful lyrics, this tune brings out some of the best of Opeth. This song has a burning sense of yearning. Another great track, Strange Brew has inspiringly macabre lyrics to match its deft time changes. Yes, this is going to be a hard album for them to top.
Here’s the title track for you.

Number 2
Trance to the Sun: Via Subterranea
            Many of us waited at least three years for this crowd-funded release to come to fruition. Was it worth it? Yes. This is a stunner of sound art. Is this the best Trance to the Sun recording ever made? Perhaps. A little more time will tell because that is a big feat. It’s tough to judge yet as it only came out in December of 2016, but it climbed to the number three spot of the best cds of the year after only one listen. A third spin brought it to number two. Further listens didn’t get it to the number one spot of 2016. Sorry Trance to the Sun.
            This isn’t just a collection of unique songs, this is an addiction. I want to do nothing but listen to this record for months.
            Max Mystic opens the set and takes us to a hazy dreamland between pop, psychedelia, goth, and the indescribable. It has beautiful alluring sonic spaces, guitar wizardry and freaking finger snaps! The drumming (not a machine!) is tasteful and not overwrought. Yes a real drummer by the name of Daniel Henderson is now in the band and what a great addition he makes. Off and through the wall lyrics zigzag around this tune. Wow. If I could eat this song I would be sated for years.
            Another amazing track that must be singled out is Lost Garden Gnome Hotline. Yes, that is really the name of an incredible song that you should listen to right away. The words are so insane they would make Syd Barrett’s ghost jealous. This ditty booms, blasts, lulls, soars, crawls, and messes with your headspace in a delirious manner.
            Ashkelon Sain’s production and guitar playing are all delivered with a masterful stroke. What also is amazing about Ash here, is his bass playing. Sure there’s been tasty bits of bass playing on prior Trance to the Sun releases but nothing that sounds as deep and bouncy as on this audio tome.
            Before moving on, it is necessary to mention the force known as singer Ingrid Luna Blue. This record would not work if she didn’t deliver such a haunted nuanced, childlike, torch burning, wailing, rocking, monument to the power of the human voice. It’s all there in each breath and note.
Here’s Max Mystic

Number 1
The Claypool Lennon Delirium: Monoliths of Phobos
            The two masterful musicians involved in this project are Sean Lennon and Les Claypool. They play every note on this stunning gem of a recording. I had no idea Lennon was such a great drummer until I heard his attack on the skins contained herein.
This album has some of the best of the best of Les Claypool’s bass wizardry on it. Check out his playing on Bubbles Burst. It’s solid groove oriented and unlike his usual self in a perfect way. Yes, he also gets showy but not in an obnoxious way at all. His interplay with Lennon’s spacious psych guitar soundscapes conjures up the best of the acid/prog rock vibe. There’s perfectly balanced grit and perfection on this album. Raw where it should be and smooth as silk when required. Discordant key fills here and there but just when needed.
The lyrics to all the songs are fried in a great way; stories of chimps, pills, fairies, perverts, and more pills. Oxycontin Girl is a damning railing chilling story song about a woman getting sucked down into an opioid world. “Who’s going to be the one to drive her to the ER?” That line hits me every time I hear it.
Let’s discuss the standout track a bit more. Bubbles Burst is a psychedelic classic. This song could have been written last year, next year, or 1960-70 whenever. It has deep roots of space rock. There’s reverb swarming through the core of this slow burning track. Lennon’s guitar playing on this track is monstrous. He rips through a powerhouse of an acid drenched stretch of wails, notes, distortion and sonic booms. A tie-dyed blast of magic.
            This disc came out early in 2016. On the first listen I had no doubt it would make the top of 2016. It has held that spot despite so many amazing cds being born that year.
Hopefully this will be an ongoing collaboration. More please!
Here’s Bubbles Burst.

There were so many great songs and albums in 2016 that I could go on and on about. Maybe some other time I’ll rant about them.

Yours in the amazing world of sounds,
Count Robot