Ed Askew at the Ding Dong Lounge, NYC
Ed Askew — Mr Dream
from Ask the Unicorn (1968)
Nothing excites music collectors more than the idea that the master tapes to some long-lost album may be lurking in some musty garage. Because the hunt always sweetens the honey, doesn’t it?
The mysterious Ed Askew probably deserves the medal for most unreleased albums of the 1970s and 80s, after his record label ESP-Disk ran out of money and couldn’t press his recordings. But Drag City, De Stijl and ESP have since dusted the spiderwebs off Askew’s recordings, much to the excitement of nerds like me who covet this sort of thing.
You can stream a handful of tracks from his first two albums, Ask the Unicorn and Little Eyes over at moteldemoka. And in a couple weeks, Drag City will add to the pile with a first time release of his lost 1984 cassette, Imperfiction.
Ed himself has been roaring out of hibernation, posting eight albums of material, new and old, at his bandcamp. He’s also been tearing up the web—you’ll find his comments on pretty much any blog featuring his tunes. Over at Big States, where you can hear ‘Boy with a Hat,’ a hissy gem from Imperfiction, Ed offered up these details about the sessions:
all i had was a sterio recorder and one radio shack mic, and my basement apartment was only a few yards from a road, and had a lot of traffc. so there is a rumble in the background. i’m playing harpsichord. [sic]
On other songs, like ‘Mr Dream,’ Ed played on a 10-string Martin tiple—what he’s called a sort of baritone ukelele.
There’s reason for excitement for us NYC folks—because we may actually be able to see the tiple in action. He’s playing the Ding Dong Lounge on Columbus and 106th on March 19th. And that’s not all! Fellow lost-and-found psychedelic folkie Gary Higgins is on the bill too! To be sure, a show not to miss.