Peter Blegvad — Choices under Pressure
(Resurgence RES143, 2000, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2002-04-01
Choices under Pressure is a career retrospective done in a rather oblique (and typically Blegvadian) manner. He has rerecorded more-or-less acoustic versions of some of his best songs from previous albums, accompanied by longtime collaborator Jakko Jakszik (on guitars, keyboards, and percussion) with John Greaves and Danny Thompson taking turns on bass. As a fan of Blegvad’s first two albums, I can’t help noticing the complete absence of any songs from them on this collection; however, he does include two Slapp Happy songs: “Haiku” from their first album and “The Unborn Byron” from 1998’s reunion album Ça Va. As for songs from his own albums, he does three from King Strut and Other Stories (1990), three from Just Woke Up (1997), and two from Hangman’s Hill (1999). There are also two new songs, both collaborations with Andy Partridge of XTC. The mood varies from the simple father’s observations of “Daughter” (“That’s my daughter in the water, everything she knows I taught her.”) to the more obtuse and symbolic, such as “God Detector,” a story about a man who takes just such a device into a “house of ill-repute” looking for divinity. This collection serves as ample proof that Blegvad, in spite of the way success has eluded him, is an extraordinary songwriter, ranging from downhome singalongs to uptown artsongs.
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more