In the courtroom, Joan Alton (Brick Randall) and Mike Hathaway (John St. James) are legal adversaries, but outside the halls of justice they are entangled in a torrid love affair. When Mike's wife finds evidence of her husband's extramarital activities, she confronts him with the proof, and he storms out. Unable to reach Joan, Mike stops at a local strip club where he finds comfort in a few stiff drinks and the come-on of a blonde who doesn't want to know his name. When Hathaway wakes up alone at a local motel, the blonde is gone. Soon after, he discovers that his wife has been brutally murdered, and he's the number one suspect. Suddenly, all of the people able to verify his alibi are not talking or they're turning up dead. As the police build a case against Mike, digging up all the dark secrets they can find, Mike turns to the one person he can trust and the one person who might be able to clear his name—his mistress.
The musical reconstructions industry keeps gathering pace, but few works have attracted as much attention as Mahler's 10th Symphony. Joe Wheeler (who died in 1977) was a brass-playing British civil servant with a passion for Mahler. This completion (itself in an edition by the conductor here, Robert Olson) uses the leaner orchestration of the composer's later years. But does it sound Mahlerian? Certainly more so than Remo Mazzetti's 1997 version, but neither caps Deryck Cooke's acute sense of authentic detail and color in his legendary edition.
Patricia Barber, who is both a fine keyboardist and an atmospheric singer, contributes roughly half of the material to her Premonition debut. Her dark voice and the generally esoteric program takes awhile to get used to (listeners will have to be patient), but after two or three listens, this thought-provoking and rather moody set becomes more accessible…
Never realised the breadth of the "Pop-Sike" genre until I heard Fading Yellow, a really fine compilation that hangs together beautifully as an album. That most of the tracks are obscure isn't surprising: everything is a little odd, a little ramshackle, with a strong melancholic undertow and not a little creepiness. Of course, this music is also specific to a particular time in Western pop music history so there's a strong nostalgic element, but the knowledge this music could never be exactly replicated is what also makes it so fascinating. Recommended, in a warm and loving 60s way.