Hawkwind — The Elf and the Hawk
(Black Widow BWRCD 026, 1998, CD)
by Dane Carlson, Published 1999-11-01
This is a must have, Hawkfans. The Elf & the Hawk is a reissue of Brian Tawn’s fanzine Hawkfan (No. 12 to be precise) from 1986 plus a few bonus tracks. Hawkfan is the Hawkwind newsletter, and Brian wanted to do something different for issue 12, so he originally pressed it to vinyl. Sadly, the CD doesn’t display the vinyl’s excellent Bill Jones artwork, but it is fantastic. The LP consisted of seven tracks: Hawkwind performing new pieces “Ejection” and “Ghost Dance”; some “Friends and Relations” type bands; the tasty synthesizer of Bill Jones’ (yes, the cover artist) Dark Empire project on “The Human Race”; a killer psych guitar jam by Syndrone called “Synprovisation”; cult favorite Underground Zero’s Aimless Flight (one of their best); and the only opportunity to hear the demo recordings done by Michael Moorcock for his “Entropy Tango.” I was surprised at how good this track is, and there’s some great jamming by a mystery guitarist.
Newly added for this Black Widow release are “Burn Me Up” by Dave Brock and a Phil Howard (Spacehead) cover of “Spirit of the Age.” The real highlight here is the inclusion of Alan Davey’s EP from 1987 called “The Elf”-excellent! Playing all the instruments, Alan creates a sound highly reminiscent of Hawkwind incorporating a thundering bass line and a psych guitar wailing on top. Even the drum machine is done well. You can see why Dave Brock wanted this guy in the band. Tawn included this EP on the reissue CD as a way to let Hawkfans know this guy was the real deal. Kudos to Black Widow for making this available again. Highest recommendation.
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more