Three Recent Likes


The three tunes here all came through on the airwaves at Crotchety HQ very recently. Each one acquired a green heart ‘like’ on my Spotify account.

Let’s start with a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song from a concert that they recorded at the very end of 1969. The Lee Shore was first released on a 1991 compilation album, Carry On, which was new to me until I listened to my Release Radar a couple of weeks ago. On that playlist was a 1971 live performance by Stephen Stills and David Crosby, which reminded me that I haven’t featured CSNY here yet. So, to fix that unforgivable omission, here’s a YouTube video of the earlier version from Carry On.

This performance captures the band at their very best, shortly before their seminal album, Déjà Vu, was released in 1970. It’s a wonderful example of the consummate guitar work and exquisite harmonies of the foremost folk rock band of the day.

Next, we have another episode in Peter Gabriel’s series of tracks being released at each full moon in 2023. When Panopticom was mentioned here in January, I was puzzled by the ‘Bright-Side Mix’ appended to the title. I didn’t know then that all the tracks in the series are being offered in both bright-side and dark-side mixes. I’ve chosen the slightly ominous-sounding dark-side mix this time.

The four kinds of horses in the song title are (presumably) taken from Zen Buddhism. They are: the excellent horse, who will run slow and fast, right and left, at the driver’s will, before it sees the shadow of the whip; the good horse, who will run as well as the first one does, just before the whip reaches its skin; the poor horse who will run when it feels pain on its body; and the bad horse who will only run when the pain penetrates to the marrow of its bones. The allegory is supposed to say something about how each of us may learn to be a better person. And the song lyrics pick up the theme.

Ah, you say you’re something different
But you do it all again.
Four kinds of horses, four kinds of men.

Your mind is made up
So certain what is right.
But when they order everything
Will they see you were born so bright?

Peter Gabriel

For my third ‘like’, I’ve chosen Kingfisher from the 40th anniversary edition of Bert Jansch’s Avocet album. Why that should feature in a playlist created in 2023, though, is a mystery. The original record was released in 1978 and 40 years on would be 2018, so that radar blip must have taken another 5 years to echo back from its target. There’s something fishy going on here.

The Avocet album is a collaboration between Bert Jansch and Martin Jenkins. This instrumental could be the soundtrack to a wildlife documentary. Over the backing music of Bert Jansch’s folk guitar, Martin Jenkins’ violin sings the song of the kingfisher, while Danny Thompson’s acoustic bass provides the commentary. It’s a short film for nature lovers and T.V. viewers wherever they may be.

Back in the 60s, there was a little joke going round:

Reality is an illusion caused by mescaline deficiency.

Quoted in Harry Bleachbaker, a novel by N. F. Simpson

With that in mind, if my musical treats are not to your taste, I can offer three more things you might like: psilocybin, peyote, ayahuasca. But you’ll have to source them yourself. And I will not be held responsible for their effects.

Psychedelic triptych

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