Wednesday, January 15, 2014

John Paul Jones' duo Minibus Pimps readies album for March 3 release; Cloud to Ground pairs him with Helge Sten

Source: Fact Magazine
A duo project featuring John Paul Jones is ready to release an album. Jones's partner in the project Minibus Pimps is Helge Sten, a composer and performer of ambient music. The album is due March 3 with the title Cloud to Ground.

"The music is highly avant garde electronic music," advises an announcement by the label SusannaSonata.

Sten worked as a solo artist under the moniker Deathprod and as a member of Supersilent. Jones jammed with Supersilent in live settings part of each year between 2011 and 2013. On other occasions over the same years, Sten and Jones also performed as a duo, using the name Minibus Pimps. Live clips follow after the jump.

Jones, aside from his live work with these acts, and an upcoming opera, most recently appeared on the two most recent studio albums by Seasick Steve: 2013's international release Hubcap Music and the UK-only 2011 release You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks. Prior to this, in 2009, Jones surprised everyone by releasing an album and touring extensively with the high-profile studio trio/live quartet Them Crooked Vultures.

For more insight on Sten's past work, try this Spotify playlist.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Classic Led Zeppelin posters unearthed for sale

In case you somehow missed these two big news items today:
  1. Happy 70th birthday to Jimmy Page!
  2. Robert Plant has just announced plans to tour Europe and Japan this June, July and August. Fourteen live shows are on the books with his band the Sensational Space Shifters. Check out his website for all the details.
Here's another item that will be of interest to collectors of Led Zeppelin concert posters. We've probably all seen these UK posters from the Bath Festival 1969 and 1970.

The Bath Festival in 1969 featured Led Zeppelin fourth on the bill.
Although Led Zeppelin headlined the Bath Festival 1970, all band names were printed in the same size, much to the chagrin of Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant.

Henrietta Bannister, daughter of Bath Festival promoter Freddy Bannister, emailed me today about two forgotten posters her family had just discovered. Reprints are now available for sale through her company, Rock Music Memorabilia.

Bath Pavilion 1968
One is the poster for Led Zeppelin's show at the Bath Pavilion half a year before the first Bath Festival. The date was Dec. 16, 1968, within two weeks before the group left for their first tour of America. An earlier version of the poster advertised the Jeff Beck Group as the headliner, but Beck was becoming unreliable at that time and canceling shows. This was one of those instances. As the Rock Music Memorabilia website explains: "At short notice we received a phone call from Peter Grant's office saying Jeff Beck was unable to appear, but if we wished we could have the New Yardbirds, now known as Led Zeppelin." Henrietta Bannister's email to me expands on this: "Led Zeppelin replaced Jeff Beck because of illness. In fact, my father was quite annoyed because in 1968 Jeff Beck was a much bigger attraction than Led Zeppelin." The concert poster reprint being sold today lists Led Zeppelin in Beck's place and contains a disclaimer about the previously advertised headliner. This poster should also be of interest to fans of Muddy Waters and The Who as their own Bath Pavilion dates are also listed.

Alternate Bath Festival 1969
The other newly discovered Led Zeppelin artifact is an alternate Bath Festival 1969 poster. As the original poster features a faceless and bare-chested woman, some store owners complaining that it was obscene refused to advertise the show with it. They were given this alternate poster design instead, which features the side of the woman's face in a lot more detail.

For a limited time only, a set of these four posters is available from Rock Music Memorabilia at a special discount of over 30 percent off. For more specific information, visit In the spirit of full disclosure, I've been offered one of these sets for mentioning this here.

Friday, January 3, 2014

RIP Phil Everly

We mourn the loss of the remarkable Phil Everly, who today has died at the age of 74. Here's Robert Plant singing not one but two Everly Brothers songs with Allison Krauss on 2007's Raising Sand.

In 2008, Plant picked up an award for one of those Everlys tunes and said, "I'd like to thank Don and Phil Everly for getting me through my teenage years, and I'd like to thank Alison for helping me get through my late 50s."

Speaking of Robert's age, he is now decidedly in his mid 60s, specifically 65. John Paul Jones just celebrated his birthday today, making him 68. Jimmy Page is set to become the first Led Zeppelin member to make it to 70 this Thursday.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ushering in 2014, Jimmy Page announces future releases

"It's good news for the New Year," says a message posted Jan. 1, 2014, on Jimmy Page's website. "The first of the Led Zeppelin releases - comprising of Led Zeppelin I, Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin III and their companion discs - will be released this year."

(Editor's note: So the title of Led Zeppelin's first album is Led Zeppelin I, Jimmy? What's the title of the one after Led Zeppelin III?)

In the New Year's message, Page also:
  • announces some solo material -- "I've also been working on some of my own material from the archives that will be unleashed in 2014."
  • sends fans his well wishes -- "Hello there and Happy New Year to you all. I hope you are enjoying the holidays. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the support you've given the website." []
  • references a blues song when he closed with the words, "Let The Good Times Roll!"
  • and signs the message with his name and autograph.
Coincidentally (or perhaps not), New Year's Day 2010 was when UK's The Independent caught Page admitting that he was already "a year behind" on a project with "lots of new music to present."

Page followed up in July 2011 by launching his website and using it twice in its first nine months to sell vinyl pressings of his past solo work. The first, Death Wish II, was a re-released soundtrack album Page had originally released on the Swan Song label in 1982. The second, Lucifer Rising and Other Soundtracks, contained instrumental solo material Page had recorded in the 1970s but had not released.

Walking into Clarksdale, the 1998 album he recorded with Robert Plant, marks the last time Page recorded a full album and released it within months. That disc will enjoy its 16th anniversary in April.

A literal interpretation of Page's remark today about future Led Zeppelin box sets holds that fans can expect one release this year, namely, what is presumably a 6-CD box set focusing on the first three Led Zeppelin albums, recorded in 1968, 1969 and 1970. The set would include the three albums in their original running order with as many as three additional discs of bonus material.

This year will then usher in the fourth intentional wave of rebranding and repackaging Led Zeppelin's studio material. Between 1990 and 1993 came the original self-titled 4-CD box set along with the Remasters, Box Set 2 and Complete Studio Recordings sets. A pair of single-CD sets, Early Days and Latter Days, followed between 1999 and 2000, later to be combined and sold as one. Mothership followed in 2007, offering a remastered look at an updated 2-CD summation of the group's studio tracks.