Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Roy Harper "Man And Myth"

By request, and by personal preference, here's the latest from folk/prog rock legend Roy Harper.

Man & Myth is the title of Roy Harper's 22nd studio album. Released 47 years after his debut album, Sophisticated Beggar, it is his first studio release in 13 years.

Background to album release

"I thought I had retired..." Harper explained in a Reuters interview. "...I was in one world, but the next world had found me, so I had to respond to it" he said. "That meant gathering my wits and going forward with a new record..." "I've written poetry, prose, essays and articles and gone through the motions of being Roy, but I didn’t have the will to make another album until recently..." said Harper. "...I was inspired to write again around 2009, by many of the younger generation finding me and asking, who are you?...".

Album promotion

On 18 July 2013 Mojo magazine's website featured the track "Time is Temporary" as their Track of the Day.

"Time is Temporary" is the sound of a man who is capable of contemplating his mortality as well as musing on coincidence, convergence and circumstance" said Harper. The track is "based on a thought... that maybe I will pass you in the street, or in a train, or a restaurant, and we'll look at each other and have the same sort of feelings, but never take it any further, never take the next step that both of us seemed to want to, so we'll never know what might have been".

In the run up to the album's release, Harper was interviewed by Laura Rawlings on her BBC Radio Bristol show on 15 August 2013. The interview closed with the track "Desert Island", from Harper's 1988 release Descendants of Smith, being played.


Of the seven tracks, four were recorded with Jonathan Wilson at his Fivestar Studios in Echo Park. "Heaven Is Here", "The Exile", and "January Man" were recorded in County Cork. Pete Townshend plays lead guitar on "Cloud Cuckooland".

Track listing

All tracks credited to Roy Harper.
  1. "The Enemy"
  2. "Time Is Temporary"
  3. "January Man"
  4. "The Stranger"
  5. "Cloud Cuckooland"
  6. "Heaven Is Here"
  7. "The Exile


  • Roy Harper – guitar, vocals
  • Jonathan Wilson - banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass guitar and backing vocals
  • John Fitzgerald - bouzouki, Oud, bass guitar, guitar - engineering
  • Pete Townshend – electric guitar
  • Tony Franklin - bass guitar
  • Jake Blanton - bass guitar
  • Jason Borger - keyboard
  • Fiona Brice - Strings and brass
  • Gillon Cameron - Violin
  • Bertrand Galen - Cello
  • Richard Gowen - drums and percussion
  • Justin Grounds - Violin
  • Matt Gunner - Horn
  • George Hart - Double bass
  • Andy Irvine - Mandola, bouzouki
  • James King - Alto saxophone
  • Vicky Matthews - Cello
  • Neal Morgan - percussion
  • Gabe Noel - Cello, Double bass
  • Tom Piggot-Smith - Violin
  • Rachel Robson - Viola
  • Bill Shanley - guitar
  • Beth Symmons - Double bass
  • Omar Velasco - clavinet and mellotron

Roy's undergoing a bit of a witchunt in the UK as we speak. Seems some woman is dredging up some old accusations of child molestation and is prosecuting Roy. Let's hope he retains his freedom to enjoy the release of this fine effort.

Keep out of Toys R Us, and stay away from the park! Later!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rare Max Load single sells for crazy amount

Man, time adds to value!

Recently, one of the rarest 70's punk 45's from the Midwest sold on ebay. It had been listed for less than a day, and a wealthy punk 45 collector snapped the obscure gem for...$2000!

An unidentified record collector and dealer from Collinsville, IL confirms that he bought the artifact from an estate sale, and found fliers from the area in a record jacket.

The story behind the rare 45: Terry Jones, Max Load founder, made a handful of hand-designed, hand-colored pic sleeves for "X-Rod/Magazine Sex" as promos for the release of their only single. They were sent to industry types, to bar owners for possible gigs, and given to superfans.

Maybe 10 of these unique items were created, at random, and quickly built a reputation around the band, and the release of the single itself back in 1979. The band is currently receiving praise that somewhat escaped them 35 years ago with a BDR Records release of Epic Records demos, their 2-sided single, and tons of archival recordings by a very prolific songwriting band from St. Louis, MO. Their recent release includes an LP, a CD, and a DVD recorded in 1981.

I'm the one, just above, with the arrow pointed at my melon!
This goes to show you, that if you have any memorabilia from the 70's rock era, get it out!
Keep your punk rocked and your pop topped! See yas next time!

Mackie CR-1202 Micro Series audio mixer

This new addition to the stable promises to be a worthy newcomer, even as it's getting up in age (but showing zero signs of wear):

The Mackie CR-1202 came out in the early 90's to fill a void in the pro audio market. Sound men operating PA's for hire need a reliable, inexpensive solution to do their job well, and home recording buffs needed the same solution for their application. Hence the diminutive but powerful 1202.

This market leader features 4 mic inputs across the channel strip, and 4 stereo line inputs. Left channel inputs are designated for stereo, and the mic inputs feature high-quality preamps with tons of headroom. It wasn't Greg Mackie's first foray into pro audio gear, he'd started building tube guitar amps in the 70's. Leaving Boeing to pursue his own business, he created TAPCO and sold millions of his first pared-down, high-quality mixers under that brand. Years later, the demand for solid components were still in demand, and he filled that need with the 1202 and it's bigger brother, the CR-1604 (16 channels of XLR inputs with the Roto-Pod accessory, and 4 aux sends, as opposed to the 2 included on the 1202).

The aux sends can be used, alternately or separately, as effects sends or monitor mixes, in conjunction with amps/wedges. The EQ section features simplistic bass/treble controls, neither sweepable. The sweepable mids feature would be added to the VLZ series, and was definitely welcomed for the guys in the trenches trying to tweeze a serious sound mix from an unruly rock band or a finicky jazz combo.

Rotary pots replace conventional faders to save space, and reduce cost. The internals were not to be skimped on, and the overall build quality is superb ("built like a brick" is how they describe it: solid and very sturdy in every way). The 1202 has an internal power supply (unlike Behringer mixers' wall wart supplies of this size class). This thing could get knocked off a rack and still work fine.

Dumbo-ear rack mounts make this mixer roadworthy, and for small groups on a small budget, the diminutive CR-1202 more than proved itself in the field, and quickly set the standard for budget- to midrange-priced mixers. Soon they parlayed their early successes by going into other audio products (SS power amps, studio monitors, etc.) and larger-format consoles.

Before selling to LOUD Industries in the 2000's, they were briefly owned by St. Louis Music, who also manufactured the Crate and Ampeg brands.

Here's the techie stuff:

S/N Ratio:  99 dB ref: +4 dBu working level (all channels assigned, 1-4 panned alternately left/right, 5-12 set at center, main line out single-ended, 20 Hz to 20 kHz)

Mic Preamp Equivalent Input Noise (EIN): -129 dBm @ 150 ohms, 20 Hz to 20 kHz

Maximum gain (mic in to main out): 86 dB (to balanced out), 80 dB (to unbalanced out)

Frequency response: 20 Hz to 40 kHz, +/- 1 dB (mic in to main line out)

Distortion: Less than 0.25%, 20 Hz to 20 kHz

Pan attenuation: -67 dB

Adjacent Channel Crosstalk (at insert outputs): -85 dB @ 1 Hz

EQ: low +/- 15 dB @ 80 Hz, high +/- 15 dB @ 12 kHz

Maximum Output Level: +28 dBu balanced, +22 dBu unbalanced (using TRS plug with ring disconnected)

Weight: 7 lbs.

This little jewel came in at a steal... $65! That's less than a quality stomp box, or high-end cables!
Timing is everything when purchasing pre-owned gear, and my timing was perfect this time! It took me less than 5 minutes to unhook my old mixer from my PA rig, swap out the wiring, and mount the board in my SKB Gig Rig! Killer sound on a budget, a definite win-win!
Keep your gear on and your ears open! Later!