Sharing music videos by cutting and pasting URLs is so Web 2.0. In the age of social media, a new way of sharing music is needed. And you know, Plug.dj might as well take up that mantle. This new site lets you have songs and music videos shared in a virtual setting of its very own. By signing in with your Facebook, Twitter or Google account, you’ll be able to start streaming songs to all of your friends in a really lively setting. Or (to use the expression used on the site) to “start a party”. You’ll have your own avatar, and so will your friends. And these avatars will dance to any song that you play.
What’s even better, Plug.dj comes with a multilingual chat. Anything you type there can be translated into 8 different languages, so that using the site to make new friends is really easy. And the more you use the site then the more features you’ll unlock for your profile. These include new dance steps, strobe lights and laser shows. And also, all-new avatars. In more places than one, Plug.dj resembles a big social game.
And leaving aside how cool something like this is for making new friends, there’s no denying how useful Plug.dj can be to DJs and artists. The former will get to share their latest mixes with everybody, and the latter to release new music videos in the most interactive of settings – one that will encourage new fans to provide their feedback like never before.
I haven’t talked a lot about the tracks that were contributed by fellow musicians yet. “Evolution” is Ronnie Lane’s all-acoustic take on a Small Faces track named “The Stone”, with him playing rhythm and Pete leading the way. For its part, “Forever’s Not Time At All” comprises mostly Billy Nicholls’ vocals and Caleb Quaye’s instrumentation – he handles bass, drums and guitars. “Forever’s Not Time At All”, incidentally, was a phrase inspired by Meher Baba. And the same applies to the coda of “Let’s See Action”, as “The Nothing & The Everything” was one of Baba’s teachings.
As far as Pete’s original compositions go, we have “Time Is Passing”, yet another song from the aborted Lifehouse project and one that did not surface as a Who recording until the remastered “Odds & Sods” saw release in 1999. A note on the Who’s version on that disc: what you listen to is only half the song. The other half (including a French horn and the full bass part) are missing, although the exactly opposite version of the song does exist, featuring the missing instruments and lacking the other ones. Some bootlegger even managed to combine the two mixes and come up with the “definitive” version of “Time Is Passing” by the Shepherd Bush’s combo.
The other original track is “Sheraton Gibson” a small ditty about hitting the road. Whether Pete alludes to touring or striking down the pathway of spiritual enlightenment is up to each listener… Continue reading →
Pete Townshend As Depicted On The Cover Of His First Solo Record, "Who Came First" (1972)
Pete Townshend’s love for Indian Avatar Meher Baba produced the critically-acclaimed Tommy album in 1969, but there was more to it. As a “Baba Lover”, Townshend was involved with other devotees in the production and internal release of albums that included not only music but also poetry readings. Those were to fall into the hands of bootleggers and be repackaged before too long, and that was the reason Pete’s record company offered him the chance to assemble an official disc. That disc was to be named “Who Came First”, it was issued in 1972, and it was to be Pete’s first release outside of The Who.
As I explained in the general introduction to Pete’s music, “Who Came First” was not really a “solo” album as a literal host contributed to the record. Caleb Quaye, Ronnie Lane and Billy Nicholls lent their interpretative skills to three of the nine tracks that were featured on “Who Came First”, and the album also included a painting by Mike McInnerney (he who had illustrated “Tommy”). Lyrics were likewise composed by other Baba lovers, with both McInnerney’s wife and Maud Kelly having writing credits of their own.
Pete provided some Who demos, a few original numbers and an adaptation of Baba’s Universal Prayer (“Parvardigar”). He also tackled Jim Reeves’ “There’s An Heartache Following Me”, as it was one of Baba’s favorite Western songs. The other was “Begin The Beguine”, and Pete did also cover it on another of those tribute albums. It didn’t make it into “Who Came First”, though.
The Who demos included “Pure & Easy” and “Let’s See Action”. The inclusion of “Pure & Easy” was phenomenal if only because a Who version was not issued until the “Odds & Sods” album almost 5 years later. The song was the genesis of the whole “Lifehouse” project, and its omission on the “Who’s Next” disc has always been mourned. As Dave Marsh said, it wouldn’t have “saved” the album itself. Rather, it would have “perfected” it. Continue reading →