Sunday, February 18, 2007

If it wasn’t for Mr H then christ knows how long it would have taken me to discover "Unknown Passages – The Dead Moon Story". Of course, I was aware of the band and the rabid passion with which people who had seen them had for this Northwest trio. Never having had the luck to catch their live thing, DM was something I appreciated from afar. For me, their recorded output never did them justice and was a factor i never considered re-addressing until I clocked this. Go ahead and disagree if you want to but there’s something about this documentary that adds that all important fourth dimension and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Dead Moon has achieved success far and beyond material sales or the conventional trappings of what passes for it day to day. Dead Moon Heads who have been baptised at one of their shows have every right to be protective because this combo was a real treasure.

If they’d ever made it to this part of the world there would be a faction of Deid Moon Heids here also but they didn’t and sadly the band is no more. This testament to them exists though and it will only help stoke the legend. As cool people go, I don’t think they come any more groovy than Fred and Toody Cole. And Andrew Loomis their drummer helps propel the whole thing with a singular abandon. A long-haired, often bevvied diplomat of the first water with quite the collection of Nomads t-shirts. It’s made me listen to the records with fresh ears. Now I can flesh it all out. If the people who program the Edinburgh Film Festival had been doing their job circa 2004/5 then I’d have seen this and maybe been able to rectify the fact that I never saw them before it was too late. Dead Moon is a singular example of something that will live on forever because the fire that fuelled it comes from deep within the souls of real believers. This film is the "It's A Wonderful Life" of rock docs. Maybe they could come back as the George Bailey Trio?

This is available in the UK from Volcanic Tongue and in the US from Magic Umbrella. If you come outta the end and you’re not a fan then there’s something wrong with you.
When it comes to stretching a cross-cultural pop canvas then nobody can extend it to the limits of the Pilot.

Taking in literary and musical landscapes of every imaginable type and blending them to come up with something like "Secrets From The Clockhouse" takes a specific ability. So step inside the world of Sushil K. Dade, a man that would seem to apply the laws of film direction to create cinematic music that will provide a soundtrack to your wellbeing. A concept? Not sure but it’s thematic heart beats with a collective spirit bound to a consciousness which covers as many bases as I’ve ever heard co-existing comfortably in one setting. From psychedelics through folk to free jazz. It's all part of the beat that belongs to Future Pilot AKA.

There’s a rendition of Sun Ra’s “Nuclear War” that brings together Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Davy Henderson from The Fire Engines, Mike Watt and wir ain Stewart Cruickshank. I didn’t believe it either until I heard the evidence. Sounds weird, right? Well it couldn’t be more un-weird if it tried. This is a deeply commercial exercise that’ll reward repeated visits. The skewed-ska of “Eyes of Love” should have been a hit already, being that it features Stuart Murdoch and Sarah Martin from Belle and Sebastian. Karine Polwart’s one-minute long “Lights Of The City” ushers in the recurring theme of the piece which acts as the cement between the various movements.

"Secrets from the Clockhouse" is on the Creeping Bent imprint. Distributed by Cargo.

The first festival of rock documentaries from former Yugoslavia
Jeffrey Lee Pierce on Dutch TV: Pt 1 & 2...