Monday, April 04, 2005

Getting sentimental over. . .me.

Re: my previous post about the Eighth Street Bookshop, a day or so after I posted it, one of the names on the "honor roll" got in touch with me and reminded me of a least one more entry to add to the list. . .David Moskowitz. How could I have passed him over? Nice guy and a friend. . .at the time.

I would also like to note that there is another article about Eighth Street on the net that nicely captures the zeitgeist of the time and place. Written by a chap who once worked there: MG Stephens. Highly recommended.

Speaking of old aulde tymes, on another site I frequent, someone submitted a post inquiring along the lines of "Whatever happened to Spider Barbour of the "one (critical) hit wonder" LP, Chrysalis.

Here's what I just now wrote back:

I remain in touch with Spider (as well as our mutual friend Ellen McIlwaine---another Woodstock music legend). Spider still lives in the Woodstock area. The lone Chrysalis album is vastly underrated. Spider did another one not too long ago and is interested in trying to rerelease the MGM album. Curiously enough, I had some alternate takes of the Chrysalis songs that even Spider didn't have---don't know why?---and I sent them to him. We used to have a little duo act together and performed at the Sled Hill and a few other Woodstock boites. Might even have some tapes around here somewhere. Spider is a unique and wonderful soul!!!

Googling just now, I found a mini-review that sums up Chrysalis rather nicely. Signed by "AM"?

"One-shot masterpiece from genius songwriter Spider Barbour. His songs show remarkable lyrical and musical depth. Acoustic rock (not quite folk-rock) songs dominate, but the album is full of surprises, from searing fuzz guitar to the whacked-out fantasy “Dr. Root’s Garden” that closes the album. There are spots of jazz, prog (way before its time) and music hall, all of which can ruin psychedelic records, but work incredibly well here because they’re part of Barbour’s vision, not just attempts to be trendy. Favorite lyric: “God is a ring of smoke, wrapped around my finger, a wasp without a stinger, buzzing in my ear." Other lyrics veer towards the psychological and emotional with equally memorable results. Barbour’s voice is soothing and appealing. Nancy Nairn is used sparingly but effectively (two and a half songs) as the other lead vocalist. Her unhinged performance on “April Grove” adds to the appeal and strangeness of the album but is effective precisely because it’s not overused. Some other songs are stunningly beautiful and tragic. One of the all-time greats." [AM]

If anyone is interested, maybe I'll post an MP3 here (for a limited time) someday.

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