Happy New Year: 2012 in review

…Yes, I’m still largely a one-post wonder, and that one was 5yrs ago. Happy New Year!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 10,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 17 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Keith Levene to release digital LP Search4AbsoluteZero via “virtual skateboard”

I’m going to apologise first here as I’m doing this out of fanboyism. But as I’ve had the honour of electronically conversing with Keith Levene (former PiL guitarist and keyboardist of the classic period), I can’t turn down acting like a billboard for his press release. And I’m also genuinely excited about what this guy’s going to release as his musical history has shown him to be unique. If you haven’t heard PiL’s Metal Box, I also recommend you check that out. This video might tempt you.


December 17, 2012: Clash/Public Image Ltd. founding member, Keith Levene, will release his digital album entitled Search4AbsoluteZero via a process which he describes as his “virtual skateboard.”

Levene devised this internet-based concept while recalling the manner in which he distributed the bootleg version of Public Image, Ltd.’s unfinished fourth studio album, Commercial Zone, in the streets of New York City for a few months in the late 1983/early 1984 timeframe.

Back then, the fiercely independent composer/musician’s principal distribution channel was primarily comprised of a red-wheeled skateboard which he employed to travel from one place to the next in the Big Apple.

“I’d skate up to the pressing plant and pick up about 10 boxes of records which I wheeled back on the board. After that, I’d physically bring a box of LPs to the purchaser via my skateboard. I’d have to dodge cars and taxis and negotiate the streets in whatever weather until the last box was sold. Then I stopped.” Levene recalls.

Search4AbsoluteZero, which Levene describes as “the parity release” to the recent Jah Wobble/Keith Levene LP Yin and Yang, wraps up unfinished business of Public Image, Ltd.’s highly acclaimed second album the Metal Box. This unfinished business was largely focused around a series of “Metal Box in Dub” shows in Europe and Japan featuring Levene, Public Image, Ltd.’s original bassist Wobble, singer Nathan Maverick, drummer Marc Layton-Bennett, and trumpeter Sean Corby.

“Like the Metal Box, Search4AbsoluteZero was done in one take, off the top of our heads,” Levene explains. “Search was recorded in a similar way, not by design, but it worked out that way. It’s the way I compose all my work. Nothing is ever planned or contrived. The music just seems to flow out of me. It’s always been that way.

Levene is “very, very happy with Search4AbsoluteZero. I wouldn’t release it otherwise. I just couldn’t do it.”

Search4AbsoluteZero contains Levene’s original artwork, a video, and nine tracks, including the title tune which was co-written by Layton-Bennett. The title tune is a haunting instrumental, which is comprised largely of a solitary guitar, drums, and an electric piano. Also included in the digital release will be a recent interview of Levene by Tony Dale, the legendary “long haired hippy roadie” of Fodderstompf fame.

Levene states that the digital version of Search4AbsoluteZero will be available for a very limited period of time via his virtual skateboard, just as Commercial Zone was delivered through his actual skateboard.

Levene will announce ordering instructions regarding his virtual skateboard delivery process and how to purchase Search4AbsoluteZero via his Twitter account @missingchannel and email at famusgorg@gmail.com or www.keithlevene.com.

To learn more about Search4AbsoluetZero and/or for press inquiries regarding Keith Levene, contact:
Kathleen M. DiTondo

Some chords and some words

A few months ago I heard Bruce Springsteen’s classic 1982 album Nebraska for the first time. I’m not a huge Springsteen fan, but every time I heard about this one I was intrigued. And then not disappointed.

I’m a musician myself, although my ability to play melodic instruments is a little less than intermediate. But on hearing this simple album of well-crafted acoustic songs recorded to a basic tape recorder (that lo-fidelity definitely enhances the feel), I thought “I could have a go at that.” So I am. I can’t sing well, but I can polish it up with a bit of practice; not that I’ll be attempting anything operatic.

I got an acoustic guitar and picked up a pen and some paper, and I’ve already got rough demos of a handful of songs. I want to have an album-ful and record them properly. I’m not saying I’m going to make the next Nebraska, just that I want to see if I can make an album all by myself. I’ve been in bands before, and even still jam noisy stuff weekly with a friend, but any attempts at progressing it gets aborted quickly.

I plan to nicely record less than a dozen songs sometime next year and give it away for free. It won’t be very long and I won’t be going around clubs attempting to promote. My goal is this: Can I do it, and can I make something worthy?

I mightn’t finish it as I haven’t promised myself that. But as I’m finding it fun and relaxing I might get there. I don’t want to carbon-copy Nebraska (or even Bob Dylan who could’ve written Nebraska himself), but as blues stories are always more interesting than happy ones it’s going to be a bit bleak. But bleak is always interesting.

I might not blog again until the new year, so I’ll say it now: Seasons Greetings!