Bandcamp Does It Again!

Back on March 20, Bandcamp waived its share of all sales, in order to support artists whose livelihoods were effected by the COVID-19 pandemic (especially because of cancelled live shows and tours).  The results were astonishing: $4,300,000 in sales of downloads, CDs, LPs and merch, 15 times a normal Friday’s take.

So, to their credit, Bandcamp is doing it again.  And again.  And again.

On May 1, June 5, and July 3 (the first Friday of each month), we’re waiving our revenue share for all sales on Bandcamp, from midnight to midnight PDT on each day.

(Over 150 artists and labels are offering discounts, exclusive items, merch bundles, and more this Friday.)

It may sound simple, but the best way to help artists is with your direct financial support, and we hope you’ll join us through the coming months as we work to support artists in this challenging time.

And, in case you’re wondering, there’s tons of recorded goodness available at Bandcamp from these Progarchy-favored artists:

If your budget allows it, and you need a prog fix, why not do your shopping at Bandcamp this Friday?


— Rick Krueger

Cedric Hendrix, I Can’t Be the Only One Hearing This

Given that my series on The Albums That Changed My Life has stalled, it’s good that I never started the parallel series I contemplated last year: The Books About Music That Changed My Life.  (Yeah, clunky title.)

I’ve mentioned some of these before.  Nicholas Schaffner’s The Beatles Forever shaped my teenage Fab fandom; John Culshaw’s Putting the Record Straight served up vignettes of classical composers and conductors — quintessential concert musicians — in the “artificial” environment of the studio; Joe Jackson’s A Cure for Gravity is a sharp, sardonic memoir by an uncannily observant musician, warily treading the path to pop stardom.  And there are more: Glenn Watkins’ passionately encyclopedic Soundings: Music in the 20th Century (which I read in pre-publication form for his class at the University of Michigan School of Music); Greil Marcus’ giddy, eccentric cultural study Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music; Sid Smith’s frank, definitive band biography In the Court of King Crimson.

I don’t think Cedric Hendrix would put himself in the same league as these authors.  But reading his first book, I Can’t Be the Only One Hearing This: A Lifetime of Music for Eclectic Ears, provided a similar experience for me.  Finishing it up, I thought, “Yeah.  That’s what it’s like.  He caught it.”

Continue reading “Cedric Hendrix, I Can’t Be the Only One Hearing This”

David Bowie’s Berlin Years, Boxed

The next David Bowie box set, A New Career in a New Town, is coming on September 29. This one covers 1977-1982 (Bowie’s last years on the RCA label), including the “Berlin Trilogy” and other notable collaborations with prog rockers.  Contents on 11 CDs or 13 LPs:

  • Low (with Brian Eno)
  • Heroes (with Eno and Robert Fripp).  A EP of foreign-language versions of the title track is also included.
  • Stage (with the pre-King Crimson Adrian Belew and Roger Powell of Utopia in Bowie’s live band) in 2 versions: the original album and the 2005 version (with songs in the concert running order & bonus tracks, including 2 new ones).
  • Lodger (with Eno, Belew and Powell ) in 2 versions: the original album and a new remix by Tony Visconti (exclusive to the box).
  • Scary Monsters (with Fripp).
  • A new exclusive compilation, Re:Call 3, which includes singles, B-sides, extended versions, and Bowie’s collaborations with Bing Crosby and Queen.

This is my favorite period of Bowie, so I’m genuinely excited for this release.  Lots more details and a price tracker at Paul Sinclair’s marvelous Super Deluxe Edition website.


soundstreamsunday: “Born Under Punches” by Talking Heads


Again with the Eno! Always with the Eno! I’ve said it before here, but there’s no avoiding Brian Eno in any discussion of late 20th century pop and rock, and his work with the Talking Heads is just one more example of his everywhereness.

Having developed a friendship with David Byrne and seeing in the Talking Heads a vessel for pushing forward a longstanding passion for African music as realized by Fela Kuti, Brian Eno produced two records for the band that became central to their story.  But it was on the second of these albums, Remain in Light, where Eno and the Talking Heads — with a significantly fleshed-out band — captured a critical density of sound measuring up to the giant slabs of Afro-Beat/Jazz jams Kuti conducted.  The record, importantly, also marks a point in transit for Adrian Belew, who in a span of three years would go from Zappa to Bowie to Talking Heads/Tom Tom Club to King Crimson, while beginning his own fruitful solo career.  Belew’s presence on Remain in Light (1980) and King Crimson’s Discipline (1981) make the albums a natural pair, as Fripp’s great reinvention of Crimson drew heavily from his new guitarist-vocalist’s recent adventures.

Remain in Light contains only one well-known Talking Heads song, the superb “Once in a Lifetime.”  The balance of the record spins extended grooves cooked up from percussive, bass-driven jams borrowing in their feel from an African music aesthetic, creating a shared kinship too with the Eno/Byrne collaboration My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, albeit voiced more organically.

This live version of “Born Under Punches” shows a Talking Heads — with Belew, Busta Jones on second bass, Bernie Worrell on keys, Dolette McDonald on backing vocals, and extra percussionists — morphing into a band that, as George Clinton might say, could tear the roof off the sucker, a product of the ever-shifting crossroads Brian Eno always seemed to leave in his wake.

soundstreamsunday presents one song or live set by an artist each week, and in theory wants to be an infinite linear mix tape where the songs relate and progress as a whole. For the complete playlist, go here: soundstreamsunday archive and playlist, or check related articles by clicking on”soundstreamsunday” in the tags section above.