Thin Lizzy Liners Pt. 3 | Vagabonds Of The Western World

February 25th, 2015

vagabonds

Our favorite bits from Kevin ‘Sipreano’ Howes’ liners for Thin Lizzy’s third album Vagabonds Of The Western World:

  • “Perhaps it was the weed, perhaps it was the Guinness, but Thin Lizzy had somewhat unrealistic expectations after their recent commercial success.” The label was expecting “Whiskey In The Jar Pt. 2,” but the band wanted to reinforce that they were a serious band. They released “Randolph’s Tango,” expecting a huge hit.

“When we were on the road,” Eric Bell recalls, “we would stop at service stations, and Phillip would buy all of the music papers. The first page he’d turn to was the chart. ‘Where is it?’ he’d say. ‘It’s fucking nowhere.’ And this went on week after week. I think we got one mention.” – Bell

  • Philip was … heavily into being Irish, even though he was a black man. He loved Ireland and he loved the Celtic mythology and the drawings and the Book of Kells type of artwork. Philip was steeped in that. He read quite a bit about that, and it was one of his best subjects in school. He was genuinely into that mythology of Ireland, so he started using it in his own work, you know.” – Bell

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  • The album cover was designed by Phil’s friend, Dublin-based artist Jim Fitzpatrick, who was also known internationally for his iconic and often reproduced two-tone 1968 portrait of Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara. He also specialized in Celtic art and science fiction illustrations. He’s still making art in Ireland, and the above is a piece of his.

  • On the Vagabonds cover you can find: Phil, Bell and Downey, a futuristic aircraft, Celtic engraved stone tablets, a floating city, and there’s even a little red mouse running across the bottom left corner.

Batman #232 - Page 10

(Image via BareBonesEZ.Blogspot)

  • “As kids, we all used to read Batman and The Green Lantern, but Philip had retained that. Touring England, we’d be driving down the motorway and would occasionally stop at a service station to get a cup of coffee or use the toilet. Philip would often come out with about six Marvel or DC Comics under his arm, [The Incredible] Hulk, whatever was out in those days. I remember him pointing to these little squares, and inside the square, about the size of a postage stamp, would be a drawing of Silver Surfer standing on top of a hill or Batman standing at the top of  a building. All of their poses would be very dramatic, and Philip used to point these out to me and say, ‘Hey Eric, look at the way he’s standing there.’ He took that on. He started trying out these dramatic poses that these heroes would have. Very strong, static, balanced sort of poses.” – Bell

  • Radio Luxembourg DJ David ‘Kid’ Jensen was a huge Lizzy supporter since day one, yet band had never met him. Finally, Phil’s mother Philomena said to the boys, ‘Well, what you’re going to do now is, I’m going to get you a big magnum of champagne, the best that you can get, and you’re going to fly over and meet this man and thank him very much.’ And so they did. Kid interviewed them live on air. Bell and Downey got smashed on the champagne and spent the whole interview giggling in the corner while Phil tried to keep it together.

  • David ‘Kid’ Jensen is the voice that opens ‘The Hero and the Madman.’

New Distro Label: Futurismo!

February 24th, 2015

futur

We’re delighted to present a fresh, bright label from London for whom we’ve just begun distributing. Futurismo‘s manifesto states:

We believe that neither pop nor art should be mutually exclusive, that the past and the future can synchronize in the moment, just as creativity, danger and fun can co-exist on the same plane. Life should be about fun after all. Serious fun.

Since it’s start in November of 2014, the label has put out several releases revolving around the genres of new wave, post-punk, no wave, avant garde pop, and synth punk. And with an eye to not only music, but art and fashion as well, Futurismo is a tastemaker to watch.

Delaney Jae Williams, the label’s director says:

My aim is to generally release objects by artists that need reappraisal or reinstating in the consciousness, using high-end production and forward thinking, innovative design. My intention is to give more attention to lesser known records than major labels give to revered recordings. My main interests are unreleased recordings and redux versions of existing records that include new artwork and extras.

We’ve got three great new releases from Futurismo available for preorder, each with multiple color variants:

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Thin Lizzy Liners Part 2| Shades of a Blue Orphanage

February 23rd, 2015

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Our favorite moments from Kevin ‘Sipreano’ Howes’ liners for Thin Lizzy’s second album Shades of a Blue Orphanage

  • Regarding the critical reception of the bands eponymous first LP: “Upon release, the album had sunk faster than a leaky wooden vessel attempting to cross the Irish sea.”

  • “We weren’t self-sufficient by any means. You’d depend on your girlfriend  or mom sending you some cash  from Ireland, just to exist.” – Downey on the band’s early days in London.

  • Sipreano On ‘Buffalo Gal’: “[it] contains stout elements of what many perceive as the ‘classic’ Thin Lizzy paradigm: anthem meets nostalgia aimed straight at the heart.”

  • Sipreano on the band member’s unique music tastes: “Bell was a total blues freak, while Downey threw jazz and R&B into the mix. Lynott was perhaps the most eclectic.” Bell states, “When we travelled in the van, Philip would have cassettes of ZZ Top, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, and then you hear James Brown and people like Wilson Pickett and all these soul guys who were coming out at the time.”

  • If David Bowie was on, Philip would be watching him, like fucking every move.” – Bell on Phil watching other acts from the sidelines.

  • Lizzy did covers of “Street Fighting Man,” The Doctor Who theme, and “If 6 Was 9″ as part of their set list before and during the making of Blue.

  • Bell on the birth of “Whiskey In The Jar-o”:

“We were rehearsing in a pub in London, and there was nothing happening. We couldn’t get any songs together. It was just a negative sort of day,” says Bell. “Philip picked up a guitar and started singing these old folk songs on his own, just for a laugh. After about ten minutes of this, he eventually got onto ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ [a traditional Irish folk song]. At this point, me and Brian said, ‘Aw, fuck it!’ and we started having a laugh as well. So we started playing along with him until Ted Carroll (co-manager) came into the room. He had been looking for a new amplifier for me, an HH transistor amp. No valves. We were excited to try it out.
Ted said, ‘What was that song you were just playing as I came in?’
Phil said, ‘Wot? Fuckin’ good amplifier, Ted!’
‘Yeah, what was that song?’
‘Ah, man, we were only fuckin’ messin’ about.’
‘Yeah, but what was the song?’
‘Oh, “Whiskey in the Jar.”‘
‘You know what? I was standing at the bottom of the stairs before I came up, and I heard you playing that, and I said to myself, “I think that’s a fucking hit record!”‘
And we all fell about laughing, you know. We thought he was having a joke. About six weeks later we were recording ‘Black Boys On The Corner’ for the A-side of our next single, and we really hadn’t got a B-side together.
Ted was there that day and said, ‘Why don’t you try “Whiskey in the Jar”?’
We were all, ‘You gotta be kidding! We are not that type of fucking band.’
And he said, ‘Well if you haven’t got anything, why don’t you try it?’
The rest was history.

  • Decca switched the sides of their ’72 single so that “Whiskey” was on the A-side. Lynott was furious. And when the single was sent to radio stations it came with a little bottle of ‘liquid courage’ and a Thin Lizzy sticker.
  • On Lynott dressing the part of a frontman: “Philip was besotted with clothes,” remembers Bell. “When I first met Phillip he was wearing white Oxford bags [loose fitting trousers], brogues, and a sort of Humphrey Bogart groom coat. He was worse than a woman, you know [laughs]. Really he was.”

Free Basin’ Fridays | Michael Chapman – Window (Clear Vinyl) IG Photo Contest!

February 20th, 2015

free baseWindow

Next Tuesday marks the official release of Michael Chapman’s  Window, the final installment of our ongoing series reissuing Chapman’s groundbreaking albums for Harvest Records. This album blends pastoral folk with baroque psychedelia and it is super awesome.

In celebration of the release, we thought it might be fun to see what’s going on outside your window. Post your favorite photo that you’ve taken either of your window or of the view outside your window on your Instagram account for a chance to win a copy of Window on beautiful clear vinyl!

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To enter, follow us on Instagram (@lightintheatticrecords), post your photo and hashtag it with #IWantWindow and @lightintheatticrecords in the caption. The staff here at Light In The Attic will announce a winner on Friday, February 27th and  commenting on the winning photo with instructions on how to get in touch. Original content only please.

We’ll post all the submissions we get in an album on our Facebook page for the world to see and feature select favorites on our blog and other social channels!

Get to snappin’, ye Ansels and Dianes. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

 

 

Thin Lizzy Liner Notes: Favorite Quotes Part 1 (S/T)

February 20th, 2015

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Below is a selection of our favorite quotes and anecdotes from our good buddy Kevin ‘Sipreano’ Howes’ liner notes for Thin Lizzy’s eponymous first album. Howes is a record collector, archivist and curator who has played a huge role in several LITA projects (Jamaica to Toronto, Native North America, etc.) and was co-producer of this Thin Lizzy reissue.

  • On Lynott when Bell scouted him out: “Tall, black, and skinny as a nail, Lynott had been booted out of the well-known Skid Row because of off key vocals on a promotional television appearance. Undeterred and assisted by minor tonsil surgery, he was working hard at improving his delivery and secretly adding bass to his arsenal…”

  • Soon after forming the band, Lynott and Bell moved into a house in Clontarf, a posh area of Dublin: “Close to the sea, the split-level apartment quickly became a communal sanctuary to a cast of girlfriends, pals, and assorted bohemian acquaintances with monthly bills and rent being the only drag.” Downey was a regular guest.

  • The older, upper class residents of Clontarf eventually got fed up with the Thin Lizzy house and wrote a petition with about thirty signatures to kick them out! It didn’t work. (Until the band relocated to London when they signed to Decca.)

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Tin Lizzie, the female robot character from Irish comic ‘The Dandy,’ after whom Bell named the band.
(Image via The-Slipper.Blogspot.com.)

  • The origin of the name ‘Thin Lizzy’: Bell recalls, “Like every other red blooded Irish kid, I read The Beano and The Dandy and The Topper and The Beezer. There was this female robot in The Dandy comic called Tin Lizzie. I remembered the name for some reason and mentioned it to the guys. They all looked at me like ‘You gotta be kidding, it’s desperate!’ ‘Wait a minute,’ I said. ‘It’s called Tin Lizzie in the comic. T-I-N. If we put an ‘h’ in it, it’s pronounced Thin, but the people in Dublin [who don’t pronounce their h’s] will still say Tin.’ So they had to make an effort to say it, a very profound idea.”

  • Thin Lizzy’s first gigs were throughout the Irish countryside, following traditional showbands. “Farmers were coming into the dance with cow shit on their boots,” Bell recalls.

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The North American album cover of the LP.
(Image via ThreeChordRegression.Blogspot.com.)

  • The UK album cover features “a surreal fish-eye photo of a wheel-less car” whereas, the North American release featured a “distinctive image of a Ford Model T (aka, a Tin Lizzie) puttering up the profile of a lady’s well-curved hip.”

  • Ivor Raymonde, famed UK arranger for Dusty Springfield and  others, played Mellotron on “Honesty.”

  • “Clifton Grange Hotel” is “a play-by-play account of [Phil’s] beloved mother Philomena’s Manchester, England Inn.” Whenever the band were within forty miles of the place Phil would say, “Right, let’s go back to me mom’s!” “It was an oasis. She really looked after us,” recalls Bell.

  • About this reissue Bell says, “It’s incredibly nostalgic, positive, but very melancholy as well. The three of us were extremely close at one point. I’m really chuffed because when it was first released, we couldn’t give it away, and then you think after all this time, it’s still valid.”

LITA x Ace LA Lizzy Jam

February 16th, 2015

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Join us Monday, February 23rd, from 8:30pm-1am on the Ace Hotel rooftop in Downtown Los Angeles where we will be dancin’ in the moonlight and spinnin’ vinyl in celebration of our two new Thin Lizzy reissues! We’re joining forces with guest DJ Chris Ziegler/LA Record! It’s gonna be sweet.

I Love Lizzy Art Contest Results!

February 16th, 2015
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1st Prize Winner by Pedro Silva from Portugal
(www.facebook.com/pedrosilva.artwork) 

Love Philip (1)

2nd Prize Winner by Nick Sharp of England

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3rd Prize Winner by c.w./Super Invincible Records of Taiwan
(https://www.facebook.com/superinvincible)

 

In conjunction with our new Lizzy releases and Valentine’s Day, we held an I Love Lizzy art contest/love fest! Fans from all over the world sent us their submissions, we posted them all in an album on our Facebook page, and the good people of the internet voted by ‘liking’ their favorites. The three submissions with the highest number of likes won Thin Lizzy vinyl and posters, with the 1st place winner receiving all three Lizzy albums that we’ve reissued! Our winners this year hailed from Portugal, England, and Taiwan- so cool! We couldn’t be happier with the beautiful pieces we got to see and the interesting people we got to ‘meet’ all over the globe. Stay tuned for the next big one! Thanks so much to all who submitted.

Still Winners In Our Book:

Thin Lizzy cover LP

by Sebastien Ségui
(http://www.kongoartwork.book.fr/galeries/posters/)

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“Eye Heart Lizzy” by PE
IG: @venery_and_pesos

blue lizzy

by Garrett Brown
IG: @circagarrett

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by Oscar Nordblom

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by Owen Ashworth
(www.advancebasemusic.com)

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by ABE

Cosmic-Thin-Lizzy

by Jeff Lowe
Portfolio: zilchdesign.com; IG: @lowefidelity

AV-Thin-Lizzy-Valentine

by Amy Vecchione

 

Friends of LITA | Q&A with Grammy-Nominated Writer & Producer Alec Palao

February 12th, 2015
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Photo of Palao via barrymcarlos.wordpress.com.

Alec Palao knows a lot about music. Alec Palao also knows a lot of nice words. It was this killer combination that led to a Grammy nomination for the liner notes he wrote for our Stone Flower comp (which he also produced!). This music archivist, consultant, journalist, and ‘unofficial custodian’ of Sly Stone‘s musical legacy was kind enough to pause the tunes for a moment and answer a few questions for us.

What is your relationship with Sly Stone? 

Just that of a fan, aficionado and, along with a few other knowledgeable folks like Neal Austinson, Ed Lanier and Edwin and Arno Konings, an unofficial custodian of his musical legacy. I first met up with Sly back in 2009 when I licensed some material from him on behalf of Ace Records for the compilation Listen To The Voices, spending several days with him in the process. We reconnected in 2013 when LITA needed to license the Stoneflower material for the I’m Just Like You set.

What was your process for writing these album notes?

I had a lot of information from my original chats with Sly back in 2009, and we conducted a specific interview at the beginning of last year about Stoneflower. I was also fortunate to have a lot of additional strong material provided by the Konings twins, from the research they have been doing for their definitive, in-depth Sly biography (with which I am also involved); that included quotes from the members of Little Sister and 6ix, as well as manager David Kapralik and recording engineer Richard Tilles (I also met with Richard and talked to him at length). The twins and I have shared a lot of Sly information between ourselves over the years, so really it was just a matter of pulling it together in a relatively linear fashion – and hopefully making it entertaining as well as educational!

What struck you as most interesting while researching these liner notes?

I’m probably a little different to most music writers in that invariably I have also compiled the set I am annotating, and have often transferred/edited/remixed the audio. The process of doing the latter, in particular, really provides an authoritative perspective on the body of work you are commenting upon. In the case of Stoneflower, going through the session tapes was particularly enlightening as I discovered just how Sly constructed this music, and its stark difference to the highly-orchestrated sound that he was known for with the Family Stone. Standing back a bit, this simply confirmed something I already knew: that the turning point in the way he made his own music – i.e. the use of a drum machine as a template – was in actual fact a turning point in popular music that still has relevance today. Not enough credit is given to Sly Stone for the creation of what is now known as “beats”. No matter how simple his stuff may sound to modern ears, it can all be traced back to “Family Affair,” There’s A Riot Going On and even before that, the Stoneflower label productions showcased on the LITA set.

Do you have a favorite Sly memory?

Well, he’s still around, so I hope to have further favourite memories of Sly! There’s quite a few already, but the time I spent with him in 2009 is something I won’t ever forget. Watching him make music on his laptop, playing old or unreleased tracks and getting his reaction, and just having the opportunity to have meaningful, one-on-one conversations about his music and his view on life in general. Forget the negative publicity out there about the man – Sly is still one of the funniest, smartest, most incisive people you could ever hope to meet.

How do you feel about the dying art of liner notes? Why are they important and can we keep the tradition alive? 

I don’t think the art of liner notes is dying per se, I just think that for the most part the level of research and hard work that one would hope to find in many reissues is all too sorely absent. Using Wikipedia is just so much easier, and the frequent howlers spotted in many liners is testament to today’s over-reliance on the internet. With all due respect to anyone who writes about older music for a living, if there is a fixed amount of copy and a deadline, many tend to go into “hack” mode and trot out the cliches or the glib prose, unless they have knowledge and passion for the subject matter. There is also the “argument” – just why is this music important? Most liner notes nowadays are rather unconvincing in that department. But you can always tell when a writer does have the all important passion.

What’s the best music journalism or nonfiction you’ve read recently?

The first part of Mark Lewisohn’s massive Beatles trilogy, Turn On (the expanded version, of course). Truly astounding and revelatory research from one of the very few qualified to talk about the Fabs.

Palao’s liner notes will not only educate you about Sly, they will learn you up some big ticket vocab words too! (Like ‘terpsichorean,’ which means ‘relating to dance,’ and ‘sobriquet,’ which is another word for ‘nickname.’) 

What’s the secret to your massive vocabulary… the British school system’s superiority?  

Maybe a good thesaurus? I tend to show my writing to my wife Cindy first, and she frequently chastises me over the use of “fifty cent words”! Seriously, I’m not trying to be pretentious, but I hate repetition in writing, and there are times I wish to say the same thing in different places in different ways. Plus I love the English language and like many others, am appalled at how dumbed-down so much writing about popular culture has become.

Anything exciting you’re working on at the moment?

Always . . . for LITA, next up is more work on the LHI catalog. Plus some others that I won’t spill the beans on yet!

 

 

Read our favorite quotes from Palao’s Grammy-nominated Sly-ner notes here!

 

Donnie & Joe – ‘Ride The Tide’ Music Video!

February 11th, 2015

Filmmaker, record collector, and the man who picked out a forgotten Donnie & Joe LP in a thrift shop in Spokane before the rest of us got wise, Jack Fleischer, has made a music video for ‘Ride The Tide’ from Still Dreamin’ Wild: The Lost Recordings 1979-81. Finally one of these songs gets the sublime music video treatment it deserves! Big thanks to our friend Jack and to everyone who helped make this awesome video.

Credits:
Directed by Jack D. Fleischer
Cinematography by Chris Adler
Edited by Chris Adler
Produced by Jack D. Fleischer and Light in the Attic
co-produced by Dylan Fergus

Starring:
Kaiso Hill as Donnie
David Gironda Jr. as Joe
Eva Sinotte as Girl on the Beach
Jack Sills as Motorcycle Donnie
Wardrobe by Emily Moran
Wardrobe Assistant – Mieko Romming
Gaffer – Joshua Gleason

Jack Fleischer Would Like To Thank:
Zorthian Ranch
Alan Zorthian
Richard Pluim
Oscar Camacho
Jack Sills
Kye Potter
Lydia Hyslop

Shot on location in Malibu and Altadena, CA.

We released Still Dreamin’ Wild last year. It’s available for purchase here!

THIN LIZZY TUESDAY!

February 10th, 2015

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Today marks the official release of our two new Thin Lizzy reissues Shades of a Blue Orphanage and Vagabonds of the Western World. We’re celebrating these releases with two events in New York City and a very special doodcast from DJ Fitz!

DJ Fitz’s Thin Lizzy Special

DJ FITZ DOODcast Thin Lizzy Special by Fitz5000 on Mixcloud

“Thin Lizzy are hands down the greatest Rock Band of the 1970s. They had Amazing Jams, Deep Basslines, and seriously Funky Drums, ask Afrika Bambaata, he will tell you. They stood out from the pack, mainly due to the Amazing Romantic, Mythical Songs written by Phil Lynott — tales of Heroes, Madmen, dangerous men and above all, the Banshee. They hold a special place in my Heart. Peace.” - DJ Fitz!!!

(His twitter @dj_fitzdoodcast if you want to tell him how he got your heart a-flutterin’!)

 

 

New York, We’re Comin’ For Ya (And We’re Bringin’ Lizzy!)

 

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In New Yawk, on Thursday, 2/26:

  • Listening Party at Captured Tracks in Greenpoint from 4pm-6pm (195 Calyer St. in between Manhattan Ave & Leonard Ave)

Super cool record shop Captured Tracks is doing a super cool thing: dedicated listening booths for individual labels. And we get to be one of the first!

  • LITA DJ Night at Daddy’s in Williamsburg, 9pm-1am (437 Graham Ave)

If you’re in NYC come warm us up by boogying down! We hail from delicate climes… Also, Thin Lizzy’s already started shipping out, so if you haven’t yet, get yours!