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The River to Where?
May 24, 2013 09:29 AM PDT
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The days get longer at the end of spring on the Island City. The blues is what we have and all to much of them. Here is an hour long diversion into the world of the blues, the only medicine that works against the opposing forces.

All of these records came straight from my original 45s from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. All electric blues ballads and assorted tempos of the deep emotions that the blues offer us in hard times. There are heavy themes on this mix heartbreak, sadness, despair, suicide, cheating, false-hearted love, anger, betrayal and an occasional moment of gentle love and complacency.

I've been reading the jazz musician Mezz Mezzrow's auto-biography written in 1946. I was struck by this passage he described listening to prisoners singing the blues at night while in his cell.

"This would get one of the other cats, and he'd yell, "Sing 'em brother sing 'em," trying to take some weight off himself. Then the first one, relieved of his burden because somebody has heard him, as if the Lord himself had heeded his prayer, answers back with a kind of playful resentment- he'd be admitting that he had the blues but he's coming out of it now and he can smile a little. So he comes back with, "You can make it, brother, but you'll never be the same." And now some third guy, who'd been listening to this half-sad half-playful talking back and forth, would feel the same urge and chime in, "You might get better, poppa, but you'll never be well." -Mezz Mezzrow

The sound of the music coming through the cells must have created a very unique atmosphere.
Keeping that in mind some of these records are in poor shape. I usually clean up the more serious pops and clicks but somehow they seemed to be a part of the general mood and atmosphere. There will never be another anything else like the sound of a scratchy record, jail or the blues.

Thanks for listening, Tom LG

photo by rosey lakos
www.clockvinestudios.com

Island City Four Fifty Nine Postmeridian
February 28, 2013 10:17 AM PST
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The Island City has been good to us. The sun seems to be constantly be shining and the view from ClockVine Studios is truly amazing. This episode is like an answer to the last mix (Brick & Other Things) and features gentlemen vocalists singing about various angles of love. Each record is an original press 45 recorded between the 1950s-1960s. There is a wide range of music from the time period that may not be defined as rhythm & blues however the music all fits into that universe. The influences include blues, big band, soul and pop vocals. On this one I focused on the darker side of sound but there's still a few pieces that lighten it up a bit.

There's one interesting piece of music history here too. If you don't already know it the city that I live in, Alameda is known as the Island City. One of the songs on this mix was written by a local resident named Bobby Sharp and made famous by someone very well known. I thought it was fitting to include his song here since he just passed away in January.

Anyway here's the new one! Thanks for listening!

-TLG

photograph by rosey lakos
www.clockvinestudios.com

Brick and Other Things
February 06, 2013 07:24 PM PST
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The change in atmosphere continues to present various moods in the studio lately. We're on to the second month of 2013 and I am ever so glad. Things are progressing mostly in a positive manner. We have moved from the cabin and settled into our 1920s apartment on the Island City. I've picked up a number of new gigs, recorded a few podcasts and have really gotten a good start on ClockVine this year.

When I get an idea for a podcast its usually while I am just listening to records for fun. I'll find a song and put it in a stack for later. The more digging I do the more records end up in that stack until I have enough material to record. Since I do not plan sets I always end up with a number of records that won't make it into the set. LIkewise I'm usually flipping through records while I am recording because there's usually something on the shelf that I neglected to pull. The result is a random creation of sound and emotion.

This set is particularly interesting because it has a narrative that differs from previous episodes. All of the records feature women R&B vocalists with one exception and its there for a reason. Its also partially based on the paradox of love. We have all loved someone who hasn't reciprocated the way we hope they would. We have all been hurt, lied to and deceived at some point. I know everybody has experienced the opposite also. We have all experienced hope, desire and given ourselves completely to love. It is a wonder that we can at once feel love and anger. I mean honestly who hasn't done the hurting themselves? At one moment we can express our deepest dreams to our loves and at the next feel like hiding and escape into the darkness. Is there anything more confusing? Love can be really, really horrible when we don't get it. On the other hand is there anything more amazing than love when it is good? Nope.

This mix will take you from the very first hurt through denial through forgiveness and hope and back to plain and simple hurt. It brings to light worry, regret and determination and it questions friendship and trust and how we manage to balance the two. This is a mix that we can all relate to on some level. It is an hour long journey into an all female soul, girl groups, rhythm & blues, vocal ballads mix from the early to late 1960s. All the records are straight from original press 45s. Thanks for listening. -TLG 2013

photograph by rosey lakos
www.clockvinestudios.com

(Dedicated to my dear friends m+n)

Two Days and Something Else
January 22, 2013 06:51 PM PST
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Here it is you guys. I know its been a long time coming but a lot has happened since I last recorded. This is not only my first mix of 2013 but it is also my first since moving back to to the east bay. I used to live at the end of a windy dirt road in the mountains in a small cabin in the forest but now I live in an apartment that was built in the 1920s and sits above an Indian food restaurant. The dramatic change that I have experienced as an artist over the last few months is staggering. At first the new view was overwhelming. The turntables are facing north in front of the windows and all I can see are turn of the century brick building rooftops and the 1932 Alameda theater facade with the giant neon "A L A M E D A" blade sign glowing a light red throughout the entire room. This is like living in an Edward Hopper painting during the day and a noir film after dark. It is incredible to say the least.

It has taken me two months to get my bearings and today at long last I found the drive to create a new mix. This is one of those beautiful 1950s-60s kitschy dark exotica, instrumental, sad ballad and spooky surf sorta experiences. Pretty much my favorite kind of music from these decades. Music with no real name for me. The sound like so many of my other sets can be kinda sad and melancholy but it can also be a bit more angry and tough.

I recently read a book called "Love is a Mixtape" by Rob Sheffield. Its a true story of a guy who's wife dies suddenly in his arms and how creating mix tapes with records gave him a way to communicate his grief. It was a form of communication between them until her death. Music has such a powerful memory connection and I have found a philosophy in communicating through it. This new mix is the result of many months of serious change that I have experienced in the last year. I am glad to be rid most of 2012. Here's to new music travels. Thanks for listening.

drawing by Lex Lakos (my nephew)

The Last Leaf That Ever Fell
October 25, 2012 10:18 AM PDT
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Here it is, the last podcast episode that I will ever record from this mountain cabin. I have lived here deep in the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains for the last three years. This is the studio that I have recorded in since we came back here and it is now time for us to pack up our lives and go to a new destination.

It would be impossible to describe the events in my life of the last 10 months. All I can say is that I will never be the same man again. I have changed permanently and beyond the former human being that I was. This change was unintended and I was derailed for a number of months. Looking back at these events I would not be able to honestly say that I have a single regret. This is the year that I discovered the truest meaning of love and forgiveness. Let me state right now that there are few things more powerful on this Earth than the gift of true forgiveness. Nothing will set you free quicker, trust me.

So, here is what I have to express today, an hour long excursion into the contemporary universe of dreampop, synth, indie-electronic, post-punk, shoegaze and other assorted modern music from 2009-12. It is a combination of emotions and atmospheres that tie the last 10 months together. Ever song was recorded from the vinyl LPs or 7"s. Thank you for listening. -Tom LG

photo: rosey lakos 2012
www.clockvinestudios.com

The Fog That Followed Me
August 24, 2012 09:17 AM PDT
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We received this anonymous message yesterday in the mailbox on a handmade, type-written postcard. I do not know the opening quote or the author. This was a response from a traveler of the time portal who wrote about their experience at Sides Speakeasy. This was our longest running weekly music experience which featured original music on records from the 1920's-40's. We put the project on the shelf for a couple of months to prepare for new adventures but our world fell apart just after. I didn't realize the impact that this event had on the community and I didn't know until it was long gone how much I would miss the people who would come every week. The following message was on the card....

"As an American you definitely can live w/out Jazz, or any music. The only thing you need to live is some food & water. The question of art in general is non-essential. You don't need a bed to sleep. You don't need to cook food to eat it. Most of the things that you are surrounded by, you don't need them. But when you have these things around you it makes you feel good about livin' in the world. And it gives you something to look forward to, and also it gives you a way to connect yourself with everything that is happenin'.."

"Monday night is that thing. Sides Speakeasy is that connection. That little extra style, that song that made you stop & see the beauty in the world or made you dance. That little something to make you feel special & sweet. That little hat or jacket, with a little flower on it..."

This episode is dedicated to the person who wrote this and sent it to the end of a dusty mountain road. This is an emotional journey into the darkness of 1920's-40's sad ballads and haunting sonic medicine. Thanks for listening.

-DJ Tom LG

photograph by rosey lakos
www.roseylakos.com

Sidewalk Cracks
June 18, 2012 10:33 AM PDT
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Soul music, sometimes that's what it takes to get where you're going. Hard times, sad times and moments of bliss are reflected in this moving piece of aural ambiance. All the records on this mix are from original press 45rpms from the 1960's. The selections speak for themselves. Northern Stompers, Southern ballads and other assorted tempos for your mind and body. Thanks for listening.

film photograph by www.roseylakos.com

Dry Branches
April 29, 2012 08:32 AM PDT
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Earlier this month on April 9th I celebrated my 19th year spinning records. When I first started I was solely an electronic music DJ. I focused on techno and ambient strictly. That was in 1993 and since then I have explored an entire universe of genres and atmospheres.

It wasn't until 2001 that I began to seriously dive into the "oldies" records. The ironic thing is that most people who have met me in the last 10 years really only know me as a vintage music DJ and they have no idea that I come from this other world of DJing where technique, etiquette and philosophy are vastly different from vintage music DJs.

I love records but not many DJs to be honest. Part of what drove me away from actively pursuing spinning the electronic music scene after 18 years was the stigma of the "scene" itself. In many music scene genres like rockabilly and electronic for example there's a preconceived idea of what and who that DJ is because of what they wear or what they play. I have spent the last 10 years trying to reverse that scene mentality.

When I started spinning vintage records I quickly realized that I did not want to be labeled with a new scene any more than I wanted to be labeled with the other scene that I was dividing myself from. I got lots of advice from other DJs who suggested that I change my DJ name so I didn't confuse people with the different scenes that I was spinning for. I did not take that advice. I started to notice that I was becoming a "DJ" not a techno or a rockabilly DJ but a music explorer who was going to experiment with records as I saw fit.

So this is where I'm at after 19 years of doing this thing. I can appreciate the diversity of formats but I'm not intrigued by new DJs who have never touched a Techinics 1200 and I don't care about the never ending genre wars especially in the electronic music scene. I'm only interested in records and being a DJ. That being said I have created a brand new mix of electronic dance music recorded straight from the records to your ears. Unless you're listening to a lot of different kinds of music it might be hard to see the connection between vintage dance music and contemporary "electronic" but I have argued many times that rock'n roll, jazz and blues are the original techno.

This was recorded in one take using vinyl 12"s from 2001-2011. This is also the first electronic mix I've made for a year. For me part of the excitement of mixing is beat matching. I get an adrenalin rush and my hands actually shake. This physical reaction to mixing is why I love to spin records, I just wouldn't get the same feeling if I was using another format. Genrify what ever you want, sub-divide everything until there's nothing but a name. I'll just call it techno like we did in 1992. Techno with a dash of disco, tribal, house, acid and progressive. Go dance. This is dedicated to Cricket & Broccoli for the amazing gift! Thanks for listening.

*photograph rosey lakos www.roseylakos.com

White Moon, Black Trees
April 05, 2012 10:39 AM PDT
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As 2012 progresses I sit alone in the quiet cabin and think deeply about the events of the last three months. Winter was harsh and beautiful, spring has been harsh and beautiful. What was once a clear view of my future has turned into a sometimes unsettling unknown. These days I require something deeper in my records and I have found much solace in this music. This is my first mix of 2012 and it's a serious one. Since the last episode in December I have lost another friend to death and I am working my way through the depths of grief.

In the spirit of creating a meaningful aural ambience for my health and well being I patched together this hour-long sonic road to travel. It is another unusual concoction of post-punk, shoegaze, britpop and atmospheric indie records from the 1980s to the present. Starting off on the acoustic side of this universe I managed to draw in a variety of sounds and emotional states of mind. I originally made this mix for the benefit myself but I have been so moved by it that I feel compelled to share it with the rest of the world.

*Photograph by rosey lakos www.roseylakos.com

Cold Smoke on Water (Final Episode of 2011)
December 27, 2011 11:17 AM PST
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This is the last Lost in Fog episode I will record in 2011.

I recorded this just a few days before Christmas in our cabin in the Redwoods. This is a typical collection of sounds that I think express the range and variety of the sound I have created for these kinds of music. The result is an hour long music experience which takes us through the underworld of 1950s-60s exotic instrumentals, surf, rhythm & blues and assorted vocal oddities from original press 45s and LPs. In the same universe as the Red Radio series.

I love Lost in Fog and it has been a pleasure to share this music with the far reaches of the world. Here's to the new year coming up, best of luck to everyone. Thanks for listening. -DJ Tom LG

(photo by rosey lakos 2011 www.roseylakos.com)

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