In June 2020, to keep himself amused during the pandemic lockdown, Gary wrote about his five favourite Beefheart albums. We’re pleased to present them here on the Radar Station —————————————————- CAPTAIN BEEFHEART: I’LL GIVE YOU A BUNCH OF FIVES 5-count them-5 seminal albums by CAPTAIN BEEFHEART AND THE MAGIC BAND As a follow-up to my 3 Part Tribute to the one and only DON VAN VLIET a/k/a CAPTAIN BEEFHEART just completed on Facebook, as promised here are my 5 recommended favorites of the 11 studio albums Don released with his truly MAGIC BAND. I’m gonna dole them out as the week progresses, okay? And hereRead More →

Few rock artists as washed up – and seemingly past it – as Captain Beefheart was in 1974 have come back with new music as dazzling as that on Bat Chain Puller. Having flirted disastrously with commercialism, the nadir of which was Bluejeans and Moonbeams, he took a lengthy sabbatical, returning two years later, aged 35, with an album legendary for the wrong reason – it has never been released. Occasionally it harks back to the complexities of Trout Mask Replica but is more measured, with a vivid, plangent, colourful sound. The remit is as wide as anything Beefheart had attempted before: pop songs, poeticRead More →

This is the Beefheart album very few people are going to hear unless the record and management companies involved with the Captain get moving. It sees Don Van Vliet returning to an area somewhere between ‘Trout Mask Replica’ and ‘Clear Spot’, undoubtedly his most satisfying period. Possibly to prove the claim that he created the sound of his original Magic Band, the Captain has found himself an unidentified band and – guess what! They sound just like a Magic Band. Not the Magic Band, but they go a long way to rediscovering the drive from years past. The album opens with the title track ‘BatRead More →

The mule kicked off a new one and the stockings ran up Seam Crooked Sam bandana frock stuffed with smoke and ears out flopped like bowlin’ pins hog troughs hocked and wallered in cool mud bins and patent leather hooves split in twos rooms for rent down t’ Ben’s Frendsa danced in a frenzy choked a juke bird with froth glass ferns and turpentine urns her sawdust daily keep and whiskey creeps down her neck naked front and red leatherette peen button set where her fanny sweat raised her wrist-a-fan and a mouse coughed cotton through a screen door cracked sand rooms rent only toRead More →

Brickbats fly at my fireplace Upside down I see them in the fire They squeak and roast there Wings leap across the floor Fold up the wall shadows The window curtain ghost Throws my heart and dusts my throat My mind caught by the corner Gradually decides its safe Becomes a bat itself Flexes its little claws Curse its leather wings With loud, hollow pops Around the room Threatening to dash its brains Somehow at the last minute Retreats and becomes a natural glue And holds fast and slow In every other motion Making the night more interesting Becomes a cold, liquid breeze That freezesRead More →

It has been a week now since the cd landed on my mat. It has been in my cd-player ever since. Even now – at work – I find it playing in my head. I had never heard these recordings prior to this edition. I don’t really download, didn’t buy the bootlegs and, although tempted by the wicked Ozit, decided not to line their pockets – mostly because of fear of incurring the wrath of the good people of the Fireparty. It’s such a shame that this didn’t come out when it was intended to. It would have meant room for moving on to otherRead More →

Track list Bat Chain Puller Seam Crooked Sam Harry Irene 81 Poop Hatch Flavor Bud Living Brick Bats Floppy Boot Stomp Ah Carrot Is As Close As Ah Rabbit Gets To Ah Diamond Owed T’Alex Odd Jobs Human Totem Pole (The 1000th And 10th Day Of The Human Totem Pole) Apes Ma Bonus tracks Bat Chain Puller (alternate mix) Candle Mambo Hobo-Ism Publicity blurb It turns out that The Dust DOES Blow Forward ‘n The Dust DOES Blow Back. As Don would say “That’s incredible.” Incredible that we get to release this directly from the Vault to you. This, being the Original and Definitive IssueRead More →