An alternative kind of alternative

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An alternative kind of alternative

Post  pinhedz on Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:26 am

pinhedz
Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:01 am




Stan54

I love Biff Rose. I have dreams of producing an album of instrumental solo piano by him. I think he's an amazing pianist. If Mose Allison were a better piano player and took a heroic doseof LSD you'd get Biff.

I have most of his records though his recording catalog is spotty at best. The two best LPs are Uncle Jesus Aunty Christ on UA and Half Live at the Bitter End on Buddha. I saw Rose play on a number of occasions, the most memorable one I described to him in an email I sent a couple years back that started a back & forth email relatioship that lasted about 6 months or so.

1971-72, Christmas Eve. Philadelphia, snowing heavily, I drove with my friends Marty & Janis to The Main Point coffee house on Bryn Mar on the city's Main Line. When we go there there were only 2 tickets left and three of us. it was a perfect scene, Christmas Eve, Janis was 8+ months pregnant, the whole "Christmas Story, no room at the inn" metaphor was way too strong not to get us an extra seat. We went in, tiny place, table and chairs, seats for maybe 100 people. One thing that Philadelphia was known for was a certain kind of blotter LSD. It was common to find blotter acid with all sorts of artistic images, cartoon faces, etc., but Philly blotter was serious, just a piece of mediacal quality blotting paper with a honking big gray dot in the center. You could easily split one 2 or 3 ways; I'd chewed up a whole one on the drive and was feeling the effects by the time we got there. I loved to drive on LSD, especially at night and in heavy snow; there was a real space ship warp speed quality to it.

We sat down at a table about 20 feet from the stage. A set up for acoustic bass, drums and piano. After a while the lights went off. Biff started improvising on piano; he is a phenomenal piano player, mixing a Bilkl Evans sensibility with a sort of whimsy. The LSD coming on big time in the dark, my vision full of swirling images, exploding lights, etc. there in the dark. It was all building in intensity, I was holding onto the table edge, if the lights had been on I swear my hair would have been flying back as if in a wind tunnel.

It built up and up and up to a swirling cacophony and then BOOM, it was all resolved when he struck this one massive chord. At that moment a tiny blue spot light came on and hit him in the face. It makes sense that he would have to be looking somewhere and as luck would have it he was staring right into my eyes. As the chord rang out, he sang

"He's just a shell of a man, but if you hold him to your ear you ca hear the ocean ROAR!"

And I fell out of my chair, in the dark, on the floor.

Anyway, I told Biff that and he replied, "Man! You should write the liner notes for my next album! Hell! You just WROTE the liner notes for my next album!"

Here's an April 1969 bit written by Robert Christgau in the Village Voice:

"I was watching Johnny Carson one night when up stepped Biff Rose, whose album, The Thorn in Mrs. Rose's Side, I had listened to with mixed amusement and confusion. Rose, who is essentially a comedian, can write some pretty fatuous lyrics, but it's hard to tell whether he takes them seriously. Anyway, he did his number and ambled over to the catbird seat, where he waved to his mother, rapped, and made mincemeat out of Johnny Cool. The nicest part was when Carson read from his album notes: "I'm bound and determined to be cliché free"--a little paradox, get it? Rose explained, and when Carson finally got it, he sat there for fifteen blessed seconds without a word or a moue: a triumph of hip aplomb for Rose. Hurray for longhairs."

And his Consumer Guide review of the Half Live LP:

Half Live at the Bitter End [Buddah, 1971]
Those who want something besides the Firesign Theatre to make them laugh when they're really stoned might try this goofy, well-edited tribute to the short-circuit synapse. A warning, though: I've always liked Rose on Johnny Carson. Some don't. B+

Mo Biff:




pinhedz

Stan54 wrote:... I have most of his records though his recording catalog is spotty at best.
I'm going to guess you've had "Hamburger Blues" several times, and sold it.


pinhedz

His website is, to say the least, offbeat (don't look if you're easily offended):

http://www.biffrose.com/


Stan54

I do have Hamburger Blues and have sold spare copies in the past.

The 2 best Biff records are Uncle Jesus Auntie Christ (United Artists) and Half Live at the Bitter End (Buddah).


pinhedz

How do you rate Children of Light and The Thorn in Mrs Rose's Side?


pinhedz





pinhedz




Hosni

His most famous song was co-written with Paul Williams:


pinhedz
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Re: An alternative kind of alternative

Post  Yakima Canutt on Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:34 pm

OK, but I need an alternative to all these bantha tracks


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Re: An alternative kind of alternative

Post  Yakima Canutt on Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:48 pm

OK



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Re: An alternative kind of alternative

Post  pinhedz on Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:14 am

You were supposed to put this on the "Name the alien Creature" thread. Rolling Eyes

Yakima Canutt wrote:

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Re: An alternative kind of alternative

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