Augustines - in a word; intense.

Augustines – in a word; intense.

Click on the link here for Audio Player – Augustines – Live at Haldern Pop Festival 2014 – August 9, 2014 – WDR Rockpalast

Brooklyn-based/now Seattle-based Augustines tonight, in concert at the Haldern Pop Festival in Germany this past August. It’s always interesting to hear how a band like Augustines get received overseas. A band known for their intensity and overwhelming shows, they were opening for Patti Smith, and the audience loved them.

Around since 2010, Augustines (or originally called We Are Augustines until last year when they dropped We Are in favor of simply Augustines) have been well received on home turf. But with a debut album released in 2011 (Rise Ye Sunken Ships) to great reviews, they embarked on an extended stay in the UK, they’ve been spreading the word around and picking up a loyal and growing audience in the process, now on both sides of the Atlantic.

Tonight’s gig at Haldern was part of the promotion of their second (s/t) album. Initially embarking on a headlining U.S. tour and then over to Europe where this festival appearance comes in. Their U.S. tour this year marked the first time they were headlining, which was a clear indication Augustines have arrived.

And if you aren’t familiar with them, here’s a great opportunity to hear what they’ve been up to this year, and further proof you need to catch them when they head into your town soon. Fall by their website, like them on Facebook and get plugged in to what they’ve got planned in the coming months.

There is always something immensely satisfying about any band that plays from the heart. The real-deal is always more preferable. Augustines fills that bill nicely.

Crank this one up and celebrate Friday while you’re at it. Augustines at Haldern Pop Festival, recorded on August 9th, 2014 by the venerable WDR in Germany.

In search of a decent wage - in hopes of a decent life.

In search of a decent wage – in hopes of a decent life.

Click on the link here for audio Player – William Green – Address to 58th Convention of AF of L – October 3, 1938 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

The state of Labor in America in 1938 was in turmoil to a degree. Strikes at Auto plants and Mines turned violent. A wave of Union Busting was taking place, efforts were underway to associate Labor Unions with Communist front organizations. In the midst of all this was a rift between two organizations – The American Federation of Labor and the recently established Congress of Industrial Organizations, which was a spin-off of trades unions.

So in the midst of claims of Communist infiltration of the rank-and-file, also came dissident factions between the two unions themselves. And the bad blood would prevail until 1955 when the two memberships finally merged.

AF of L President William Green lays it out in an opening day address to the 58th annual convention in Houston, Texas. He also lays much of the controversy and fear at the feet of CIO President John L. Lewis.

The world of Labor in the 1930s was contentious and potentially dangerous. But we were coming out of a depression and the work force wasn’t entirely back on its feet. There was still a lot of adjusting to do and it would eventually take a war to get America full productive again.

But on October 3rd, 1938, it was opening day of the 58th Convention and William Green was busy addressing the delegates in Houston, and giving an assessment of Labor as it stood during those precarious times.

L.A. around this time of year occasionally catches on fire. It did in 1978.

L.A. around this time of year occasionally catches on fire. It did in 1978. (Photo: Julie Keese)

Click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS World News Roundup – October 24, 1978 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

If the world wasn’t complicated enough on this October 24th in 1978, parts of it were catching on fire.

Almost like clockwork, Southern California went through the ritual; a dry Santa Ana wind combined with lots of dry brush and a spark, combined to create firestorms which swept through the coastal communities of Malibu, Pacific Palisades and most points in between. Damage in the millions, displaced in the thousands, temperatures in the triple digits – all vowing to come back some other day when it was all over this time. To repeat the process because, well . . .that’s what living in Southern California is all about.

But there was other news that day. An anticipated Inflation address by President Carter was expected to be a frank assessment of a frustrating problem and the unpleasant steps needed in order to deal with it. Nobody was looking forward to it, but it was something everyone had to face.

A new go-around in Moscow on Strategic Arms talks were “useful and constructive”, according to a statement from Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. Both the U.S. and the Soviet Union were optimistic the talks would lead to an agreement sooner, rather than later.

The Israeli Cabinet was busy debating the final draft proposal of a Peace Treaty with Egypt. Fingers were crossed and debate went long and loud.

A fire at a pipeline near Houston had claimed 6 and left 40 injured.

It was a busy day.

And that was just a sampling of it, as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.

Travis - one of Brit-Pop's Springboard bands.

Travis – one of Brit-Pop‘s Springboard bands.

Click on the link here for Audio Player – Travis – Live at Glastonbury 2009 – BBC 6 Music

One of the early influential bands in the Brit-Pop movement, Travis have had a long and celebrated career. Starting in 1990, the Glasgow quartet have been cited as paving the way for such bands as Coldplay and Keane, and have 7 albums and numerous awards to their credit.

Although considered an Indie/Alternative band, Travis have crossed into Pop territory on a number of occasions and it’s helped spread their popularity to a worldwide mainstream audience which they have enjoyed ever since.

Here they are in a 2009 performance at Glastonbury, recorded by the stellar BBC 6 Music.

Get ready for the weekend . . . .

The Shah of Iran - in town for tests - just tests. Honest.

The Shah of Iran – in town for tests – just tests. Honest.

Click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS World News Roundup – October 23, 1979 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

News for this October 23rd in 1979 was a harbinger of things to come.

On this day, The Shah of Iran arrived in New York from Mexico, for what was described as a “battery of tests” at New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center. The Hospital disclosed he was “in serious condition” but did not elaborate what he was suffering from.

Despite protests, it was looking like the Shah was going to stay.

Moshe Dayan‘s resignation from the day before went into effect today. At a press conference, Dayan confirmed his decision to step down was based largely on the autonomy talks with Egypt and that the Begin government had other plans which he didn’t agree with.

And in Japan, Prime Minister Ohira’s hope for re-election was in the hands of two men; both of whom were former Prime Ministers Ohira helped push from power when Ohira initially ran for office. Nothing like eating a large helping of Crow in order to save your political life. The alternative seemed worse; resign.

President Carter was assembling a task force to outline relief efforts for famine conditions in Cambodia.

And the Presidential commission reporting on the Three-Mile Island Nuclear Power plant accident earlier in the year finally completed its report. The report was expected to raise a red-flag over the issue of safety with Nuclear Power, but it won’t recommend a freeze on the construction of new Nuclear Power Plants, nor on the licensing of plants already under construction. the report was expected to be tough, including asking for the dismantling of the present Nuclear Regulatory Commission and reforming it into an Agency, with a Director and an oversight board focused on safety and several other measures.

Meanwhile, the cleanup at Three-Mile Island was underway. An air-bubble was preventing the cleaning of contaminated water and nuclear technicians had been struggling to come up with a solution.

Ted Kennedy was ramping up the rhetoric in what was looking like a serious run for the Presidency in 1980. In an appearance in Philadelphia the previous night, Kennedy intensified his attacks on Carter’s leadership, mentioning it some 17 times in the course of an address in support of the Mayoral candidacy of William Green.

And Big Oil was busy being Big Oil, with Exxon reporting a 118% increase in profits for 3rd quarter 1979 over the same period in 1978.

That’s how it went, and a whole lot more this October 23rd, 1979 as reported by the CBS World News Roundup.

Blodwyn Pig - underrated but highly memorable.

Blodwyn Pig – underrated but highly memorable.

Click on the link here for Audio Player – Blodwyn Pig in session – 1970 – BBC Radio 1

The name may not ring too many bells, unless you were a longtime follower of Jethro Tull, and then it would all make sense. Blodwyn Pig was founded by Guitarist Mick Abrahams who, if fans remember, was a founding member of Jethro Tull. Abrahams would leave shortly after This Was came out and went on to a solo career. One of those stop-offs was by way of Blodwyn Pig, who had two albums out and were, during their tenure, a staple of many Underground FM stations here in the States. Their big hit was Dear Jill, a ballad that just hit the right chords with listeners and was their most memorable hit.

After Blodwyn Pig’s demise, Mick Abrahams continued his solo career with various lineups of bands. But this short-lived band was remembered fondly by a lot of people.

As a reminder, here is a session the band did in 1970 for John Peel which features mostly material from their Ahead Rings Out album.

Crank it up and enjoy.

Daniel Lebhardt - Hungarian pIanist with 100% French Music.

Daniel Lebhardt – 100% Hungarian pianist with 100% (mostly) French Music.

Click on the link here for Audio Player – Recital by Daniel Lebhardt – Louve Museum Concerts – September 25, 2014 – Radio France Musique

Over to Paris this week for a concert by the celebrated rising-star Hungarian Pianist Daniel Lebhardt in what the program describes as a “100% French Piano Music Concert” recorded at the Louve Museum this past September 25th by the always brilliant Radio France Musique recording team.

A rather short concert, but excellent concert of music by Séverac, Alkan, Widor, Ravel and Debussy. Definitely a concert worth repeating more than once, twice or ten times. Just wonderful stuff.

And to prove it – here’s what’s on the player:

Concert donné le 25 septembre 2014 à 12h30, Auditorium du Louvre à Paris.

1. Déodat de Séverac
Baigneuses au soleil

2. Claude Debussy

3. Charles-Marie Widor
Après la fête Op 71 n°5
Valse oubliée Op 71 n°4

4. Charles Henri Valentin Alkan
Chanson de la folle au bord de la mer Op 31 n°8

5. Maurice Ravel
Gaspard de la nuit

6. Bela Bartok
Etude op 18 n°1      

Daniel Lebhardt, piano

Okay, the encore is Bartok, which doesn’t make it really 100% French, but it’s worth the price of admission for the Widor alone, whom I haven’t heard nearly enough of his piano music – since most everyone thinks Widor is a composer for the Organ. Surprise-surprise.

Great concert and perfect to tune the rest of the world out with.

Turn it up and relax – it’s the middle of the week, after all.


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