Saturday, March 27, 2010

Episode 289

Songs To Learn And Sing - Episode 289

Photo: Chris Dedrick's Be Free (AKA Wishes) - Anthology Recordings

This episode features a few tracks from Chris Dedrick's Be Free album. Confusingly my own copy of this lost gem is entitled Wishes and was reissued by Beatball Records in South Korea in 2005. In the lexicon of "lost" albums this has to be right up there. The album went unrealeased for over 30 years. Chris has said that his own daughter had never heard these songs until 2000.

Photo: Chris Dedrick's Wishes (AKA Be Free) - Beatball Records

Chris Dedrick and his brother and sisters had moved from Buffalo, NY to New York City in 1966. Calling themselves The Free Design they eventually signed a deal with Enoch Light's Project 3 Records. Kites Are Fun their debut album was released in 1967 and  by 1971 they had released five more albums. Chris was approached by a friend of his who wanted to manage him and they decided it was a good idea for Chris to record a solo record. Anyone expected another Free Design record will be in for a surprise. Its most obvious differences to the work of The Free Design is that it doesn't have dense vocal arrangements and Chris was free to experiment with instrumentation. The standout track for me is Wishes, a beautiful track about longing to be out of New York City and back in Canada. The record was recorded in Toronto and Chris relocated permanently to Canada in 1972. Chris and his business partner failed to sell the album to a record label and Chris reconvened with his siblings to record one more Free Design album, There is a Song. After that The Free Design broke up and Chris concentrated on composing and arranging for film and television. He won a Genie award for his original score to Guy Maddin's The Saddest Music In The World.

The Free Design - Light My Fire (from One By One, 1971)

Photo: Channel One's Sound To Light

This episode also featured two tracks from Channel One's rather brilliant Sound To Light album. Released late last year the album builds on the fantastic Permissions EP from a few years back and mixes a load of sounds to great effect: electronica, Krautrock rhythms and layered guitars. They played a blinding show last weekend in the Button Factory.

Episode 289 25/03/10
Shearwater - Black Eyes
The Decemberists - We Both Go Down Together
The Unthanks - Because He Was A Bonny Lad (playing Whelan's 28 March)
Patrick Kelleher - Wintertime's Doll
Patrick Kelleher - Finds You (Thread Pulls remix) (You Look Colder, remix album launched UpstairsWhelan's 16 April)
Villagers - On A Sunlit Stage (playing Harmonic, Marquee, Cork with Grizzy Bear, Midlake and Camera Obscura Marquee, 25 June)
Channel One - Soubresaut
Channel One - Retrace
Lone Wolf - Keep Your Eyes On The Road (playing The Academy 27 March)
Stornaway - I Saw You Blink
Field Music - In The Mirror
Field Music - Them That Do Nothing
On No Ono - Swim
Galaxie 500 - Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste
Galaxie 500 - Snowstorm
John Grant - Sigourney Weaver
Gonjasufi - Kobwebz
Chris Dedrick - Someday
Chris Dedrick - Wishes
Grosvenor - Taxi From The Airport
Malachai - Snowflake
Sone Institute - Plane Sailing Song
Pearly Gate Music - Big Escape
Happy Birthday - Subliminal Message
She & Him - Don't Look Back
Elisa Luu - Slowbeat
Caribou - Found Out
Cults - The Curse 

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