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Rock snob comedy: In the studio with David Bowie, Brian Eno and Tony Visconti, 1976
02:21 pm


David Bowie
Brian Eno
Tony Visconti

“Don’t you wonder sometimes…”

This latest animated installment of a “behind the scenes” moment in the life of David Bowie from British comic Adam Buxton is very fucking amusing. What really went on with the recording of Low‘s “Warszawa”? This fly-on-the-wall speculation of what transpired at the Château d’Hérouville studio during those sessions is probably, what, 90% accurate? 95%?

All voices by Adam Buxton (damn his Bowie is good!). The animation was produced by The Brothers McLeod. More Bowie animations (and more) at Adam Buxton’s YouTube channel.

Thank you kindly to the original rock snob himself, Steven Daly!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Here Comes the Collapsed Lung: Brian Eno had a very busy 1974
08:42 am


Brian Eno

Quite soon after his ouster/resignation from the ranks of Roxy Music in 1973, Brian Eno was mulling over what his next move would be. His first instinct was to hold a press conference to tell his side of the story, but he soon decided he’d just look poorly and opted not to say much. Instead the restlessly creative Eno was already making plans to make plans. A lot of plans.

In July of that year he told the NME’s Nick Kent: “My main idea is to drag together a bunch of bizarre people, who will probably all hate each other, give them some strange instrument to play and get people to pay to watch them make fools of themselves.”

Then there was the idea for a backing group called Luana and the Lizard Girls. Kent wrote:

One of the members of this perverse combo will be Eno’s current female correspondent, Peggy Lee La Neir Soiree, a dusky beauty with intriguing abilities as a dancer and a strong sense of rhythm. “She sings bass lines to me when we embrace. She goes ‘Dum-dum-dah dah-dum-dum’. Incredible. She’s never played bass in her life but I know she’d be incredible at it.” There may well be two bass-players “There’s another girl called Phyllis who’s incredibly sexy and a great dancer. I’m thinking of having a girl drummer, as it happens. Also I’ve found this dancer - she’s such a tart. I saw her dancing at the Speakeasy one night and it was the most exciting thing I’d ever seen - really it was. She stopped the whole place - no one would dare go on the floor simply because they were frightened of getting in the way of her flailing arms. She did this great thing of dancing like a lunatic for 12 seconds, then stopping and leaning against a wall smoking a cigarette. Then she’d suddenly jump out and start dancing again. I was fascinated by the discontinuous aspect of it all.”

The admittedly sex and pornography-obsessed musician also found inspiration from one of his more inventive S/M fantasies:

“You see, the dancers in the Lizard Girls could also be wired up to my new instrument, the ‘Electric Larynx’ which I humbly consider to be a major innovation of sorts. It had its origins in, uh, bondage - it was actually an excuse to legitimise bondage by convincing the. bondee that it was actually a musical instrument they were wearing rather than just a form of restraint. It’s a series of microphones built into a choker fed through a complex series of electronic devices to produce from the sound of human voice the high pitch of an electric guitar while still possessing the flexibility of the ‘vox humana’. The player - or the captive as we prefer to know her - is wired up from the back of her neck directly into the synthesizer. The sound, with more than one person, is fantastic, like a constant guitar solo.”


Alas Luana and the Lizard Girls were not to be.  For Here Come the Warm Jets, Eno brought in a cast of some of the most musically adept and far out sidemen his avant garde reputation could attract including King Crimson’s Robert Fripp and John Wetton; Hawkwind drummer Simon King; Bill MacCormick, bass player of Robert Wyatt’s Matching Mole; Paul Rudolph of Pink Fairies; guitarist Chris Spedding and all the members of Roxy Music save for Bryan Ferry.

But these guys all had day jobs with their own groups and were merely moonlighting on Eno’s project. Ultimately it was The Winkies a pub rock band with glam rock outfits who were snagged by Eno to be his backing band for the Here Come the Warm Jets UK tour. That trek commenced in February of 1974 and went on for just five shows before Eno was hospitalized with a collapsed lung. He never really performed live much at all after this and there are precious few mementos of any sort of live promotion done for this album. A few, but not many.

Like this poster:

You’re wondering who Rod Crisp is, aren’t you?

There is one live recording of one of the Eno/Winkies shows, from Kings Hall in Derby on February 13th, 1974, but it is an extremely lo-fi audience recording. You can grab an mp3 of that show at the Doom and Gloom from the Tomb Tumblr and Shards of Beauty has a lossless version of the same show.

On February 19th, 1974 Eno and The Winkies were taped for a John Peel session performing “The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch” and a cover version of Peggy Lee’s “Fever.” “Baby’s on Fire” and “Totalled” (a rocky precursor to “I’ll Come Running”) were recorded for Peel’s BBC Radio show on February 26th. The session aired on March 5th, 1974.  The Holy Grail of Eno fandom is Eno, a 24-minute documentary directed by Alfons Sinniger that includes Eno and The Winkies playing four songs in the studio, presumably at these very sessions. The film has so far not turned up on YouTube or been bootlegged to the best of my knowledge, although there is a tantalizing 30 seconds from it that appeared in the 80s Roxy Music home video release Total Recall. It’s not “lost” it just hasn’t escaped yet.

After he recovered, Eno mimed his first solo single, “Seven Deadly Finns” on Dutch television’s TopPop program in April:

Eno performed at Island Records infamous June 1, 1974 concert with fellow cult figures Nico, Kevin Ayers and John Cale. His songs are first, “Driving Me Backwards” and then “The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch”:

Eno gave this interview to a late night American disc jockey in Detroit on July 21st. One of the topics is how much he hated touring, which comes up twice. He mentions that the recording of his second album, the as-yet untitled Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) would commence in London soon after this interview. At the end he’s explaining the meaning of “The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch” but sadly it gets cut off:

Still 1974, Eno and Snatch’s Judy Nylon made this video for Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)‘s “China My China”:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Legendary Fripp & Eno concert from 1975 will finally see official release
07:34 am


Brian Eno
Robert Fripp
Malcom LeGrice

Robert Fripp’s web presence, Discipline Global Mobile, has announced that an oft-bootlegged Fripp/Brian Eno show recorded in Paris in 1975 has been mixed and mastered to the best possible quality, and pre-orders are now being taken by Amazon, Inner Knot (US), and Burning Shed (UK/Europe).

Hearing the tapes in fully restored audio quality, it’s easy to understand why it attracts such reverence now and perhaps, why the shows attracted such hostility then. No Roxy Music hits, No King Crimson riffs, just a duo sitting in near darkness with a reel to reel tape recorder, improvising over the pre-recorded loops with a filmed background projection. Replace the reel to reel machine with a couple of laptops/iPads/sequencers and the core of much current live performance from electronica to hip-hop was there some thirty years in advance. At the time, audiences responded to such a glimpse of the future with booing, walkouts and general confusion.

Thanks to the discovery and restoration of the original backing tapes, it was possible - with much painstaking restoration work by Alex Mundy at DGM - to isolate, de-noise and match the live elements from the performance tapes to the studio loops to produce the final recording.


An article by Frippertonics archivist Allan Okada (OK, you know, “Dangerous Minds Contributor” is a damn cool title, I won’t lie, but “Frippertronics Archivist” sounds like a mighty sweet gig, too…) describes the concert itself thusly:

Fripp just recently disbanded King Crimson at a point which many would describe as their artistic pinnacle. Eno also recently parted ways with Roxy Music at a similar juncture and then aborted his first and only extensive solo tour after only a handful of shows, due to a collapsed lung. Fripp & Eno live in concert? What would they do? All the shows in Spain and France were, not surprisingly, accompanied with unrealistic fan expectations, hoping for a presentation of ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’ combined with ‘Baby’s on Fire’ perhaps? What this audience got was something entirely different. The programme was largely improvised and totally instrumental. Adding to the event’s unorthodoxy was the absence of all conventional stage lighting. The sole illumination was provided by Malcolm LeGrice’s colour saturated and looped short film ‘Berlin Horse’ projected behind the two shadowy figures on stage, visually mimicking the music. The result was an unprecedented live performance format, years ahead of its time. It was also mind-boggling to most of the unsuspecting 1975 audience, yielding wildly different reactions. Reportedly about half the shows on this tour were also plagued with some sort of major technical hazard, stemming from the venue, the PA or the duo’s stage equipment. In Saint-Étienne, the audience went as far as booing the duo off the stage! Fortunately for us here, this Paris Olympia performance was technically flawless and from a musical standpoint, incredibly inspired.

You can judge the show’s level of inspiration yourself—as mentioned above, bootlegs have been around forever, and they are of course on YouTube. See what you think.

The trance continues after the jump.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Lady June’s Linguistic Leprosy’: Art rock obscurity featuring Brian Eno and Kevin Ayers

When she died of a heart attack in 1999 at the age of 68, her obituary in The Independent called “Lady” June Campbell Cramer “a great British eccentric and cosmic prankster.” That’s already a pretty good claim to fame, but the obit went on to say that her “most achieved performance was herself: she succeeded in turning her existence into living art, bristling with humour.”

“Lady” June—the honorary title given to her due to her upper-crust, aristocratic voice (she sounded like a stoned Judi Dench) and the fact that she was the de facto landlady of many a progressive musician from the Canterbury set—was a sort of free-spirited hippie bohemian poetess and multimedia performance artist who ran with the crowd that included Gong and Soft Machine, who she first met in Spain in the early 1960s.

According to Daevid Allen, who was in both groups, June’s Maida Vale flat was “London’s premier smoking salon”:

“She was ferocious in the mornings until the first joint arrived: she’d hover over you with a wet cloth demanding that you clean the stove.”

Gilli Smyth of Gong, Allen’s wife, was her best friend, and it was at a dual birthday party June threw for herself and Smyth that a drunken Robert Wyatt fell out of a window, falling four stories and leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

In 1973, June took part in the chaotic BBC Radio 4 series If It’s Wednesday It Must Be… with Kenny Everett and former Bonzo Dog Band member Vivian Stanshall. Later that year she recorded Lady June’s Linguistic Leprosy, her surrealist poetry set to music by her longtime friend (and longtime tenant) Kevin Ayers and Brian Eno, who lived nearby. The recording was made in the front room of her apartment (along with Gong’s drummer Pip Pyle and David Vorhaus of White Noise) and is said to have cost just £400. A wary Caroline Records—a Virgin subsidiary set up to release things with little to no commercial potential in the first place—pressed up just 5000 copies, but the album sold out quickly when news of her famous collaborators got around. June performed on bills along with Gong, Hawkwind, The Pink Fairies and Hatfield and the North.

“Lady” June Campbell Cramer returned to Spain in 1975 and became an active and creatively fulfilled participant in the artists’ community of Deya in Majorca. It is primarily for the company she kept—and this one remarkable album—that we remember her today. Lady June’s Linguistic Leprosy was re-issued on CD in 2007 by Market Square.


“The Letter”

“Tourisy”/“Am I”

“To Whom It May Concern”

“Some Day Silly Twenty Three”

“Missing Person,” a gorgeous number from a 1984 French various artists release entitled History of Jazz.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Lou Reed and Brian Eno, together at last: it’s ‘Metal Machine Music For Airports’

When the mashup phenomenon hit remix culture a dozen or so years ago, I found the whole business exhilarating. DJs were gleefully combining a capella tracks with instrumental beds from often wholly incompatible songs and making it work, sometimes giving valuable new context to classics, sometimes even creating tracks that improved on both of their sources. People like dsico, Freelance Hellraiser, and the massively gifted and almost frighteningly prolific Go Home Productions were fashioning technically impressive and admirably witty pop-song syntheses.

What I’m sharing with you today isn’t nearly as advanced as all that.

Some clever or stupid person (it’s such a fine line) using the nom de YouTube “machined01” has mashed up Lou Reed‘s immortal noise prank Metal Machine Music with Brian Eno’s groundbreaking Ambient 1: Music for Airports. Not a dazzling technical feat, surely, but the results, surprisingly, are really lovely.

‘Metal Machine Music For Airports 1

‘Metal Machine Music For Airports 2

‘Metal Machine Music For Airports 3

‘Metal Machine Music For Airports 4

Feel free to kick the concept up a level and play all four at once.

Here’s a fantastic TV clip of Eno talking about Music For Airports, and how he arrived at the ideas that would codify just about all of the ambient music that followed. It’s not very long, and well worth the few minutes of your time.

A big ol’ hat tip is due to Pitchfork/The Wire scribe Marc Masters (who also co-wrote the book on No-Wave, as it happens) for this find.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s ‘Oblique Strategies,’ the original handwritten cards
02:36 pm


Brian Eno
Peter Schmidt

Oblique Strategies
The concept behind Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies, a set of 115 cards with elliptical imperatives designed to spark in the user creative connections unobtainable through regular modes of work, is now a commonplace. Every Barnes & Noble sells kits for breaking writer’s block—hell, you can even buy them in the form of playing dice with questionably useful words like “REDEEM” and “TRAP” on them. In 1974, when the original Oblique Strategies set was developed, it was a more radical intervention with roots in Eastern philosophy.

In his college years Eno was fascinated by the Fluxus movement. Oblique Strategies was almost certainly inspired by George Brecht’s 1962 Fluxus work “Drip Music”:

George Brecht produced this thing called “Watermelon” or “Yam Box” or something like that. It was a big box of cards of all different sizes and shapes, and each cards had instructions for a piece on …  All of the cards had cryptic things on them, like one said, “Egg event—at least one egg.” Another said, “Two chairs. One umbrella. One chair.” They were all like that, but the drip event one said, “Erect containers such that water from other containers drips into them.” That was the score, you see. I did a simple one which won an award.

Meanwhile, Peter Schmidt, a German composer and painter, had recently finished a project involving 64 paintings inspired by the I Ching.
Peter Schmidt and Brian Eno
Peter Schmidt and Brian Eno, London, ca. 1977

The cards had instructions like, “Honour thy error as a hidden intention” and “Remember those quiet evenings.” Here are some (not all) of the original cards. Both the cursive and the block print are Eno’s handwriting.
Oblique Strategies
Oblique Strategies
Oblique Strategies
Oblique Strategies
Oblique Strategies
Sets of the cards have been available since the 1970s. The first four editions are out of print and collector’s items (and priced to match). The 5th edition is currently available from Eno’s website for £30 (about $50). In 2013 a limited 6th edition of 500 numbered sets were available but quickly sold out.

The following account comes from Brian Eno: Visual Music by Christopher Scoates:

Unlike the Fluxus scores that Eno had used years earlier, which were essentially directives for performance, the Oblique Strategies cards were idea-generating tools and tactics designed to break routine thinking patterns. While born of a studio context, Oblique Strategies translated equally well to the music studio. For Eno, the instructions provided an antidote in high-pressure situations in which impulse might lead one to default quickly to a proven solution rather than continue to explore untested possibilities: “Oblique Strategies evolved from me being in a number of working situations when the panic of the situation—particularly in studios—tended to make me quickly forget that there were other ways of working and that there were tangential ways of attacking problems that were in many senses more interesting than the direct head-on approach.”

In fact, while producing David Bowie’s album Heroes (1977), Eno and Bowie used Oblique Strategies on the song “Sense of Doubt.” They each picked a card but didn’t reveal its content. “It was like a game,” Eno recalled. “We took turns working on it; he’d do one overdub and I’d do the next. . . . As it turned out they were entirely opposed to one another. Effeciively mine said, ‘Try to make everything as similar as possible,’ and his said ‘Emphasize differences.’”

1977 “Sense of Doubt” video directed by Stanley Dorfman and reworked by Peter Wachsman:

Brian Eno discusses the Oblique Strategies cards with Jarvis Cocker in a 2010 BBC Radio 6 interview:

via William Caxton Fan Club (i.e. John Darnielle’s Tumblr)

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Oblique Strategies: The Oracle of Brian Eno
01:08 pm


Brian Eno
Peter Schmidt
Oblique Strategies

Artist Peter Schmidt and Brian Eno

You can’t swing a dead spirit animal guide in a metaphysical bookstore without hitting stacks and stacks of oracle cards and inspiration cards. Like many things in the last quarter of the twentieth century, such as ambient music, Brian Eno can take partial credit for inventing such cards.

I say partial credit because his famous Oblique Strategies: Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas cards, now available as a free Android and iPhone app or on this website, were predated by Yoko Ono’s instruction cards in the mid-1960’s. Eno and his friend, painter and multimedia artist Peter Schmidt made their Oblique Strategies cards in late 1974. They discovered that they had both been working on similar lists of aphorisms for getting through difficult moments while doing creative work, but from the different paths of music and visual art. They collaborated, combining some of Schmidt’s foundational The Thoughts Behind the Thoughts cards from 1970 and Eno’s own early homemade Oblique Strategies cards.

Eno invented the cards for his own personal use when working under time constraints in a recording studio. They came in handy when working with other artists as a producer, particularly ones who were stressed out in an intimidating studio environment. They are widely respected as one of the tools used by Eno when recording David Bowie’s Berlin trilogy of albums in from 1976 to 1978, Low, Heroes, and Lodger.

Eno told Charles Amirkhanian at KPFA in Berkeley in 1980:

The Oblique Strategies evolved from me being in a number of working situations when the panic of the situation—particularly in studios—tended to make me quickly forget that there were others ways of working and that there were tangential ways of attacking problems that were in many senses more interesting than the direct head-on approach. If you’re in a panic, you tend to take the head-on approach because it seems to be the one that’s going to yield the best results Of course, that often isn’t the case—it’s just the most obvious and—apparently—reliable method. The function of the Oblique Strategies was, initially, to serve as a series of prompts which said, “Don’t forget that you could adopt this attitude,” or “Don’t forget you could adopt that attitude.”

The first Oblique Strategy said “Honour thy error as a hidden intention.” And, in fact, Peter’s first Oblique Strategy—done quite independently and before either of us had become conscious that the other was doing that—was ...I think it was “Was it really a mistake?” which was, of course, much the same kind of message.

The deck’s first edition was privately printed in a limited, numbered and signed edition of 500 in 1974. They fetch over $2000 when they come up for auction now, but it took a decade for that edition to sell out. Software publisher Peter Norton asked Eno for permission to create a new set for him to give away as Christmas presents in 1996.

If you want a physical copy of the new fifth edition, which came out in May, you can buy them for £30.00 (about $47) at Eno’s online shop.

The usefulness of the cards’ brief philosophical shake-ups and kicks in the eye has expanded far beyond the art world. It’s been helpful for anyone needing a fresh perspective in the face of a deadline or under other pressure. Creative blocks can turn into a vicious downward spiral, and the cards are an excellent tool to introduce lateral thinking to break the negative tape loop in one’s head. You knew corporate culture, with its annual retreats and meetings featuring motivational speakers and team-building exercises, would eventually find a use for the Oblique Strategies cards as well. And it has.

Here are ten random card messages:

Discover your formulas and abandon them

What are you really thinking about just now

Use ‘unqualified’ people

Do we need holes?

Think of the radio

The inconsistency principle

Would anybody want it?

Make what’s perfect more human

A very small object - its centre

Listen to the quiet voice

The insights are a bit reminiscent of Zen koans, New Agey affirmations, the I Ching (Schmidt did a series of drawings based on the 64 hexagrams in 1972), and the multitude of inspirational cards available on the market. They aren’t technically oracle cards, since you don’t have to call upon angels, ascended masters, faeries, spirit guides, or other beings of light to use them, but if you believe in a creative muse, that’s exactly what they can be.

Jarvis Cocker discusses the Oblique Strategies cards with Brian Eno in a 2010 BBC Radio 6 interview, below:

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Leave a comment
Happy birthday Brian Eno!
01:44 pm


Brian Eno

“Bon Anniversaire” to Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno. The polymath musician, intellectual, visual artist and noted pornography enthusiast was born on this day in 1948, making him now officially a senior citizen.

Brian Eno: A Sandbox In Alphaville by Lester Bangs

Brian Eno Frisbee vs. Bryan Ferry Kite

Music for Wanking: Brian Eno discusses his porno collection with Chrissie Hynde, 1974

Below, Brian Eno interviewed recently in New York as part of the Red Bull Music Academy. Of special note, his notion of “scenious” or the special kind of creativity that happens when there are large numbers of collaborators in a particular “scene.”

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Music for Wanking: Brian Eno discusses his porno collection with Chrissie Hynde, 1974
08:56 am


Brian Eno
Chrissie Hynde

Photo by Lance Loud, courtesy of Kristian Hoffman
Brian Eno’s reputation as an aficionado of rather extreme pornography is by now well-known, but at the time of future Pretender Chrissie Hynde’s 1974 profile in the NME, he was just letting the cat out of the bag. What an extraordinary thing for a pop star, even one with Eno’s avant garde pedigree, to admit to in 1974!

But what’s even stranger is the casual reference to Eno being an “elite” film star. What the hell does that mean? Is he referring to actually being in the films himself?

“It’s a burning shame that most people want to keep pornography under cover when it’s such a highly developed art form - which is one of the reasons that I started collecting pornographic playing cards I’ve got about 50 packs which feature on all my record covers for the astute observer.

“There’s something about pornography which has a similarity to rock music. A pornographic photographer aims his camera absolutely directly, at the centre of sexual attention. He’s not interested in the environment of the room.

“I hate the sort of photography in Penthouse and Playboy which is such a compromise between something to give you a hard-on and something which pretends to be artistic. The straight pornographers aim right there where it’s at.

“Which is analogous to so many other situations where somebody thinks one thing is important, so they focus completely on that and don’t realize they’re unconsciously organizing everything else around it as well. I have such beautiful pornography - I’ll show you my collection sometime.

The last guy invited me up to see his etchings.

“One theory is that black-and-white photography is always more sexy than colour photography. The reason for this is provided by Marshall McLuhan, who points out that if a thing is ‘high definition,’ which colour photography is, it provides more information and doesn’t require participation as much as if it is ‘low definition’.” I.e. a horror play on the radio is always very, very frightening because the imagery is always your own. If youUre choosing your own imagery, you’ll always choose the most frightening, or in the case of pornography, the most sexual.

“The idea of things being low definition has always interested me a lot - of being unspecific - another thing which is a key-point of my lyrics. They must be ‘low definition’ so that they don’t say anything at all direct. I think the masters of that were Lou Reed and Bob Dylan (on “Blonde on BIonde”). The lyrics are so inviting.

“DO YOU KNOW WHAT ‘burning shame’ is by the way? It’s a pornographic term for a deviation involving candles.


“Very popular in Japanese pornography. They’re always using lit candles because Japanese pornography is very sadistic, partly because of the Japanese view of women, which is a mixture of resentment and pure animal lust.

“In the traditional view, a woman is still expected to be at the beck and call of her husband, so that manifests itself in that kind of pornography. Of which I have a few examples, of course.

“Mexican pornography is an interesting island of thought because they seem to be heavily into excretory functions. The traditional American view is that anything issued from the body is dirty. It’s incredibly puritanical and it resents bodily fluids, so if one is trying to debase a woman, you cover them with that and hence you get the fabulous term ‘Golden Showers’ - the term for pissing on someone, which some well- known rock musicians are said to be very involved in . .

“Here come the warm jets?”

“That’s certainly a reference.”

That he’s considered to be a film star of sorts in a few very ‘elite’ circles. - Any chance of him making a comeback to the Screen?

“Some of the movies I did were very funny - they had to pretend to have a plot. Ha ha. [Emphasis added]

“Can I show you my pubic area?” (! ! !) He exposes his stomach down to his, ah - about six inches below his Navel. “Absolutely bare! Now I’ve got this beautiful bare belly! I’ve got this new Japanese thing, you see and the Japanese don’t have much hair on their bodies ‘Japanese culture I tip as the next big thing.”

I glance nervously over at the flickering candle on the windowsill. Out of nowhere, Eno produces a very extraordinary looking object which he explains to be the ‘Double Punkt Roller’, a massage device used in Victorian times. I marvel at its aesthetic qualities and he assures me that it can only be fully appreciated when used on the bare buttocks. We conclude that art which demands participation holds the greatest appeal.

I have a friend who swears up and down he once saw Eno in a sleazy mid-70s porno loop, in a big “daisy-chain” orgy scene (“Who else had such a hairstyle back then?” he’d ask). I always dismissed this, but maybe he was right?

Read more:
Everything you’d rather not have known about Brian Eno by Chrissie Hynde

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Another Green World’: Another documentary on Brian Eno
02:30 pm


Brian Eno

Another Green World, a 2010 Arena episode profiles musician/polymath intellectual Brian Eno. He’s seen in the studio, talking about Roxy Music, working with David Bowie and U2, and conversing with friends like Richard Dawkins, Malcolm Gladwell, journalist Paul Morley and record producer Steve Lillywhite about science, art, and making things.

The title track of Eno’s 1975 album Another Green World has been used for the famous Arena title sequence since the program debuted that same year.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Brian Eno Frisbee vs. Bryan Ferry Kite

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Brian Eno music video for ‘China My China,’ 1974
01:30 pm


Brian Eno
Judy Nylon

Here’s a vintage Brian Eno rarity, a 1974 promo video for “China My China,” which also features Judy Nylon of Snatch.

According to the poster:

A Pre-MTV pre-release promo for Eno’s 1974 LP Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy. Brian performs in front of a stack of tube TVs backed by Judy Nylon and Polly Eltes on guitars. Polly and Judy also sing on the LP. This was recorded in 1974 at Island Records in Shepherds Bush where it languished for all these years in the tape storage room.


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Editions Of You’: Roxy Music (w/ Brian Eno) live at Montreux, 1973
09:24 am


Brian Eno
Roxy Music

Insanely great live Roxy Music performance from Montreux at the Golden Rose Festival, April 29, 1973. Even if the sound is a little ropey (and Eno’s microphone does not appear to be working at all) this is a pretty worthwhile clip for Roxy fans, as they’re really putting their back into it, here.

Like much European TV of the era, the camera operators hardly know where to point their gear, but eventually you do get a glimpse of Eno at work during the number’s crazed synth solo.


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Thrill of It All: The Roxy Music Story

Hard to believe but it’s forty years since Roxy Music released their debut single “Virginia Plain” and made an unforgettable appearance on Top of the Pops. It was a moment that influenced a generation, the same way David Bowie had earlier the same year, when he seductively draped his arm over Mick Ronson’s shoulder as they sang “Starman” together. It was a moment of initiation, when millions of British youth had shared a seminal cultural experience by watching television.

Of all the programs on air in 1972, by far the most influential was Top of the Pops., and Roxy Music’s arrival on the show was like time travelers bringing us the future sound of music. 

Listening to “Virginia Plain” today, it hard to believe that it wasn’t record last week and has just been released.

This documentary on Roxy Music has all the band members (Ferry, Manzanera, MacKay, Eno, etc) and a who’s who of musicians (Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Jones, and Roxy biographer, Michael Bracewell), who explain the band’s importance and cultural relevance. Roxy Music have just released The Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982 available here.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

Roxy Music live in 1972, the full radio broadcast

Bonus clip of ‘Virginia Plain’, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Brian Eno: ‘Music for Films’ design contest announced
11:24 am


Brian Eno

Dangerous Minds pal, Los Angeles-based architect John Bertram, is sponsoring a new design contest at his Nabokov-obsessed blog, Venus febriculosa. This time, however, the contest is to create alternate art for Brian Eno’s decidedly minimalist (in every respect) Music For Films:

Brian Eno’s album covers have always tended toward the interesting, (one or two I find exceptional, notably Music for Airports), and he was fortunate to count work by the brilliant artists Tom Phillips and Russell Mills among them. On some level, however, the covers have always seemed more intent on establishing Eno’s artistic, intellectual, and theoretical bona fides (and, especially with the earlier albums, his overall weirdness) than anything else. The cover for Music for Films, however, is radically different.  Not so much designed as intentionally left blank, the chocolate brown Helvetica text is pushed to the extreme upper edges of the texture-less and indescribably beige cover (the same text layout was used to good effect for the Cluster collaborations After the Heat and Begegnungen). This apotheosis of neutrality avoided the plain brown wrapper look in favor of what in retrospect seems closer to the generic packaging popular in grocery stores in the late ‘70s (or perhaps a reference color from Interiors, Woody Allen’s beige-est Bergman-esque film, also from 1978). Importantly, the cover is not ‘conceptual’ in the way that Richard Hamilton’s design for The Beatles’ White Album is, nor has it the cool rigor and studied minimalism of any number of ECM or Factory Records covers that – brilliant as they are (and they are brilliant) – somehow appear positively baroque in comparison. Rather, music and cover co-exist nicely as a unit, the latter providing no commentary on the former (or anything else for that matter), simply existing as a visual analogue to the wordless music. It’s a nice conceit.

The contest will be judged by Geeta Dayal, staff writer at and author of Another Green World; famed graphic designer and typeface maven, Frith Kerr; Medicine man and former DM blogger Brad Laner, who contributed to Brian Eno’s Another Day on Earth album; Russell Mills, artist; illustrator and Eno collaborator on More Dark Than Shark and cultural critic Rick Poynor, who also collaborated with Mills and Eno on More Dark than Shark.

There are a lot of DM readers who are both graphic designers and Eno fans, so get your engines started. Deadline for entry is September 1, 2012 and the winner will receive $500 (and some additional Eno-related prizes that have yet to be announced.)

Go to Venus febriculosa.for more information.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Early version of Byrne/Eno’s ‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’
09:41 am


Brian Eno
David Byrne

A bootleg of an early version of David Byrne and Brian Eno’s groundbreaking 1981 album, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts can be downloaded at the My Wall of Tapes blog. Note that his boot has a different track listing from the “Ghosts” bootleg that has been in wide circulation since the early 1990s.

Interestingly, the blogger there mentions that his source for this tape was none other than David Byrne himself:

it is a pre release version of david byrnes first solo album, which was given me by david, when i stayed at his place in alfabet city, in 1981, i distinctly remember that there were two ukrainian funeral homes in the street.

There are several other tapes of Talking Heads studio and live rarities (and much more) at My Wall of Tapes, so maybe the provenance described is accurate.

I wonder if the neat-freak printing on the card below is David Byrne’s?

In any case, I’m still downloading it. My Wall of Tapes has some amazing stuff, check it out.


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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