"feels like its 1974
waiting for the waves to crash on the shore
but you're far inland
you're in funky denim wonderland
you and David Crosby and a bloke with no hands....."
Robyn Hitchcock "feels like 1974"
What kind of wave was it? Some look back and say it was the wave from the future which came in the form of Punk Rock. I could just as easily argue that it was the wave of popular music , drawing its' energy from deep in the past that finally broke into white water in that year. Ever since, we have just been paddling about in the shallows. All the forward momentum is still derived from sources deep in the past. The current scene is reeling from successive blows of wild, uncontrolled technology that leaps faster and faster out of anybodys control. Have you seen that great new Joss Whedon show “Dollhouse”? Its about NOW!
In the world of music ,1974 was a year of desperation and exhaustion. David Bowie was yet to have a hit in America and released "Diamond Dogs" (following the previous year "Alladinsane" and the covers collection, "Pinups") as well as the double, "David Live." Miles Davis released "Get up with it" and didn't appear in public again until 1981. Lou Reed released the live metal run through of his Velvets nuggets ,"Rock'n'roll animal" as well as "Sally Can't dance". (Meanwhile, he was working away on "Metal Machine Music " which he released the next year at the height of his dark glamour. A double album, each side consisiting of 16.01 of white noise. I remember sitting with pals who had shelled out all their pocket money to buy it, listening over and over and staring at the brilliant, cruel picture of Lou in his metal glory on the cover, trying to hear what Lou said was in the grooves. Man, that was a cultural event!)
"Feels like 1974
Syd Barretts last session
he can't sing anymore
gonna have to be Roger now for the rest of his life......"
Why not 1975? Well it was all a lot more organized then and soft rock ruled the scene. 1974 was the last of the wild, untamed times. The energy of the psychedelic years was still being felt. People still acknowledged a high, moral "underground". Stadium rock was settling in. Led Zeppelin were touring and in the middle of recording "Physical Graffitti". Bad Company were lording it over the scene in the middle of their brief, two album peak period. America crawled with British acts on tour such as the Climax Blues band, Wishbone Ash, Fleetwood Mac and Foghat. (Much like , on a tinier scale, Australia is crawling with woodchuck post rock acts today). Weird offshoots that went off unpredictably were the arrival of Bob Marley and the Wailers with their breakthrough "rock" album "Natty Dread" as well as Burning Spear releasing the heavy, mystic "Marcus Garvey". (Black music in general was and is always more in touch with the original, deep driving energies of music. Disco was really pumping out brilliant regional variations such as the "Philly sound" as well as George McRae coming from the South). The New York Dolls released "Too Much Too Soon", (produced by the Shangri La's Shadow Morton). Roxy Music released "Country Life" and Bryan Ferry put out "another time, another place". The Stooges were exhausted after making Raw Power and Iggy Pop would pretty much disappear until 1977 and "the Idiot". The Blue Oyster Cult released the last of their true mysterioso metal albums in "Secret treaties". The Allman Brothers were at a standstill. With Duane and Berry Oakley recently dead , Dicky Betts and Gregg both released solo albums. Other events included the arrival of the Bay City Rollers, David Cassidy leaving the Partridge family, the demise of the Faces with Rod Stewart leaving to totally concentrate on his solo career, the release of the second Lynyrd Skynyrd album, Pink Floyd's "Dark side of the moon" completing its second year of what was to be a decade in the American album charts, the death of Duke Ellington and the release of what was to be the last Tim Buckley album, "look at the fool".It was all happening in a weird kind of slow motion. Like an arty surf movie of the period.
"Rebel Rebel was your favourite song
on the Archway Rd where it all belonged
all those molecules of time that you thought you'd shed forever"
2010? Well , its a shadow of a lost world. Quite brilliant in the right light though. People always find ways to get lost . Much weirder in a way. All the old world charts and measurement practices are still around though. That makes it confusing. The Beatles. (In 1974 they were Nowhere!) Depends where you’re coming from. The past ...or....A thousand atomised niches all cocking a mean and cool snoot at the “others” who are all wrong. Everybody spiralling deeper and deeper into inner space. Myspace.....Face book....Friendface! At least back in those ancient , high waisted, flaring days people stood up for themselves. Now , nobody wants to be in the centre. Pity that. Come on! Even the stupid acts from 74 were unabashedly stoopid. Are there any really bad tracks out there nowadays? I mean terrible. Not like Miles said it either. Shit! Good taste and musicanship are the worst poles for any scene to revolve about. Shit songs! Dud poses! Great sounds! The boy can play!
"Pythons last series and the Guardian said
'the stench of rotting minds'
but what else could you smell back then?
you didn't have too inhale too hard
you could smell the heads festering in the back yard".
feels like its 1974
ghastly mellow saxophones all over the floor
listening to Led Zeppelin in Grimsby.....oh Christ...."
Now I don’t know if we’re totally back in some sort of new stone age or not. Certainly music is all folk again. But without the people. The actual folk. Or the fevered airwaves. It was all a bit over stretched, blown out and over pimped and primped during the 80s. You know the way commercial radio djs talk- nobody really talks like that! Bring back Wolfman Jack! People still love it. It was just exagerrated to a phoney level of importance. The electric charge and the smell of money has long gone. Its not even underground. Optical or something like that yeah? Spilling around and about somewhere in the belly of a rusting tanker I suppose. Out in some antarctic clime. Finland and Iceland is where they keep the new servers isn’t it? Cloud storage. Far away anyway. For the story. Fuckology I guess.
- dave graney
- WORKSHY - 2017 memoir out on Affirm Press. Let's get Tight - 2017 CD with Clare Moore. Moodists - Coral Snakes - mistLY. I don’t know what I am and don’t want to know any more than I already know. I aspire, in my music , to 40s B Movie (voice and presence) and wish I could play guitar like Charlie Christian or Grant Green -but not in this lifetime, I know.
2014 solo album from Dave Graney. *****"If I've learnt anything in my years of writing about music it's that if you are going to do anything of worth in this tough game, you better have your own thing. Today's generic is easily replaced by tomorrow's. And yet you need to be flexible, to follow wherever the songs demand. In the case of this, only the second credited as a solo album among 30 or so Graney releases, it's a curious yet welcoming lane he walks you down, with acoustic guitars, not much percussion, vibes, smooth sounds. At the end of it you feel like you've awoken from a strange yet pleasant summer's dream. As shot by Luis Bunuel. It ranges from off-kilter reveries (A Woman Skinnies Up a Man, The Old Docklands Wheel) through to the softly seductive (How Can You Get Out of London) and the downright arch (Look Into My Shades, Everything Is Great In The Beginning.) This is music that is neither folk, nor blues, nor country, but it's all Graney, somewhere out to the left field beyond Lee Hazlewood's raised eyebrow. It's astringent on the tongue but sweetens in the telling." Noel Mengel Brisbane Courier Mail
you've been in my mind
June 2012 super high energy pop rock album - blazing electric 12 strings - total 70s rock drive. Greatest yet! available via paypal - $20 pp
SUPERMODIFIED - August 2010 remixed/re-sung/re-strung//remastered/replayed comp via PAYPAL
also available as a digital album
Knock yourself (2009)-first ever dg solo set-filthy electro r&b-available via Paypal- $20
available as a digital album too
We Wuz Curious (2008)-blazing R&B jazz pop album available via paypal-$20
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
AVAILABLE AS A DIGITAL album
Hashish and Liquor (2005 double disc by Dave Graney and Clare Moore) available via Paypal $25
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
Single album HASHISH available as a digital release