Thursday, July 29, 2021

recommended gigs

 Friday 7-30-21 - Junkyard at Vamp'd

Friday 7-30-21 - Thee Hypnotiques at the Usual Place

Friday 7-30-21 - Three Rounds, Jerk!, Dude Cougar, Wednesday's Downfall at the Double Down

Saturday 7-31-21 - Shanda and the Howlers at the Sand Dollar

Saturday 7-31-21 - The Souvenairs at Tiki Di Amore

Wednesday 8-4-21 - Franks'n'Deans Weenie Roast with LA guests Moon Rocks

Friday 8-6-21 - The Psyatics at the Double Down for our Devil You Know record release show and for John Armstrong's birthday. With Thee Swank Bastards, Big Like Texas and Sector 7-G!

Saturday 8-7-21 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki

Saturday 8-7-21 - the Dirty Hooks at Taverna Costera

Sunday 8-8-21 - the Scoundrels and MondoVermin at the Dive Bar

Thursday 8-12-21 - Hopeless Jack and Shotgun Sawyer with Fuzz SoLow and Prophet Greene at the Dive Bar

Friday August 13 - Frankie Lee and the Infernos and Green Fuzz at the Gravy Train Saloon

Saturday 8-21-21 - Metalachi, Los Carajos, Sheiks of Neptune and No Que No at the Dive Bar

Friday 9-3-21 - the Maxies, Franks'n'Deans, the Implosions at the Double Down

Friday 9-24-21 - Sunday 9-26-21 - Punk Rock Bowling Festival

Saturday 9-25-21 - The Darts at Evel Pie with tons of other bands - PRB-related

Friday 10-8-21 - the Dickies with the Sheiks of Neptune at the Dive Bar

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

RIP Dusty Hill



ZZ Top Bassist Dusty Hill Dies at 72
 ---
I've been a fan ever since "La Grange" and "Tush" hit the airways and dig all of their guitar-driven tunes (not so much the synth stuff). This is a surprise to me and what a bummer - never got to see them.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Can - Tago Mago

 


Although I have known about Can for decades, and friends and critics have raved about them, I have never gotten around to exploring their sounds until now (thanks to pal Rob Bell for hipping me to this one). This is their second album, recorded in a castle in Cologne, with new vocalist Damo Suzuki, and is highly regarded for its sonic expeditions and blend of styles, from jazzy improvisations to funk rhythms to avant garde noise to tape manipulations and beyond. 

While a lot of the record sounds like what it was - a free form, progressive rock jam - there is overall structure and rhythm to the numbers, although there are periods of trippy, spacey, atmospheric sounds. The opening "Paperhouse" is a formatted rock song, for the most part, with jammed-out segments, but always keeping a beat behind it all and with plenty of dynamics, including some reasonably high energy sections. This blends pretty seamlessly into "Mushroom", which is certainly more spaced-out'n'echo'd, not to mention slower'n'stonier but with complex rhythms behind it all. "Oh Yeah" begins with a literal explosion (or was that "Mushroom" ending?) but turns into a slow, organ-led, somewhat meandering piece - again, kinda spacey on top with interesting rhythms underneath and fairly incomprehensible lyrics but it evolves into a more upbeat, organized piece. 

In the 18+ minute "Halleluhwah" they get downright funky, albeit with plenty of weirdness and sound manipulation'n'crazed vocalizing continuing, building, twisting and turning into many various' n'fascinating facets, that is followed by the 17 + minute "Aumgn", filled with more noisy manipulations, echo'd effects, slide guitars, keyboards and openness, starting'n'stopping, sounding somewhat like a more frightening Pink Floyd in their UmmaGumma explorations. 

In "Peking O" they once again go through many phases in one 11 minute piece, with plenty more aural freakouts and direction changes, at times sounding like hobbits arguing, at times sounding Zappa-ish, at times more Pink Floydian and other times like inmates in an asylum or a horror movie soundtrack. For the finale, "Bring Me Coffee or Tea",  they're akin to jazz in space, in an avant garde, free form kinda way.  

Very groovy stuff, in a psychedelic fashion - I will definitely need to scrutinize more of their repertoire!

Iggy Pop - I Need More

 

I don’t know how long ago I picked up this 1982 autobiography that Iggy put together with Anne Wehrer - probably not long after it came out - but it had been a long time since I revisited it and his new lyric book reminded me of it so here we are.

I’m not sure what Wehner’s role was specifically (other than as a trusted old friend and confidante) but I wouldn’t be surprised if she simply transcribed interviews with Pop, as the book is very conversational, and she most likely put it together in some coherent fashion. He veers from topic to topic and while the book attempts to be relatively chronological, there are plenty of time jumps, as well.

The man is obviously very intelligent, charismatic and entertaining and tells a captivating tale. How much is true is up to you to decide but it’s always a good'n'compelling time. He recounts many/most of his famous'n'infamous stunts, life-threatening situations, drug-addled adventures, crazed gigs, looney-tunes associates, the women in his life, and innumerable other exploits.

The book is packed with photos, as well, also famous'n'infamous, plenty of live shots through the ages along with posed, studio projections. The man was always incredibly photogenic and so these are always a treat.

Of course, by now, nearly 40 (!!) years later, the man is still around and he certainly should do a sequel (or has he and I don't know about it?) but this is truly an exciting rock'n'roll read. Highly recommended!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Til Wrong Feels Right - Iggy Pop


 I've been an Iggy fan for damn near a half century now and have read a number of books on the gentleman, including his autobiography (although it looks like I never reviewed it here, so maybe i'm do to re-read that one and review it) and I tend to pick up whatever I can find at a reasonable price. This 2019 tome is primarily a gathering of Pop's lyrics, along with the occasional remembrance from the man himself or his acquaintances. The pages are packed with superb photos - many that you've seen before but also some rarer outtakes - although they are not necessarily in the same chronological period as the lyrics. Some photos are images inspired by the lyrics and many pages are also filled with simple, creative graphics to offset the words.

Of course, his early lyrics were (he freely admits) downright monosyllabic, but there were bits'n'pieces that always escaped me - like was it "all across the USA" or "war across the USA" in "1969" and I finally learned that he is shouting "Ram It!" in the break in "TV Eye" - or, at least that is what he wants you to believe! The Igster was never a dummy, though, and later on his lyrics become more, well, lyrical, with straightfowardness mixed with what is practically poetry.

 Iggy works within his own rhythms and while they are sometimes fairly traditional, at times they are radically syncopated, as only his mind can create. Some of the phrasing can almost sound clumsy but somehow he makes it work at the last minute. His early works are shouts at the world, pure rock'n'roll, primal and visceral, primitive to the extreme, as r'n'r should be. He went through many changes over the years and certainly matured, and the music tended to become slicker, but he would still sometimes write about dicks or peeing or fucking, but then in the next phrase there can be a clever turn or a declaration of love or a revelation of growing up and being "serious". 

While he is not considered a lyrical poet as some of his contemporaries are, his words do speak to the heart of rock'n'roll. This might be a bit of an ego endeavor but it does work. Fans should definitely get this one.

RIP Chuck E Weiss

Chuck E. Weiss, Songwriter and Fixture of L.A. Music Scene, Dies at 76
 ---

recommended gigs

 Thursday 7-22-21 - The Souvenairs at 18Bin

Friday 7-23-21 - Shanda and the Howlers at Soul Belly BBQ

Friday 7-23-21 - Franks and Deans at Tiki di Amore

Saturday 7-24-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Gravy Train Saloon

Monday 7-26-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Friday 7-30-21 - Junkyard at Vamp'd

Friday 7-30-21 - Thee Hypnotiques at the Usual Place

Saturday 7-31-21 - Shanda and the Howlers at the Sand Dollar

Saturday 7-31-21 - The Souvenairs at Tiki Di Amore

Wednesday 8-4-21 - Franks'n'Deans Weenie Roast with LA guests Moon Rocks

Friday 8-6-21 - The Psyatics at the Double Down for our Devil You Know record release show and for John Armstrong's birthday. With Thee Swank Bastards, Big Like Texas and Sector 7-G!

Saturday 8-7-21 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki

Saturday 8-7-21 - the Dirty Hooks at Taverna Costera

Sunday 8-8-21 - the Scoundrels and MondoVermin at the Dive Bar

Thursday 8-12-21 - Hopeless Jack and Shotgun Sawyer with Fuzz SoLow and Prophet Greene at the Dive Bar

Friday August 13 - Frankie Lee and the Infernos and Green Fuzz at the Gravy Train Saloon

Saturday 8-21-21 - Metalachi, Los Carajos, Sheiks of Neptune and No Que No at the Dive Bar

Friday 9-3-21 - the Maxies, Franks'n'Deans, the Implosions at the Double Down

Friday 9-24-21 - Sunday 9-26-21 - Punk Rock Bowling Festival

Saturday 9-25-21 - The Darts at Evel Pie with tons of other bands - PRB-related

Friday 10-8-21 - the Dickies with the Sheiks of Neptune at the Dive Bar

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Soundtrack)

 


After seeing the movie a couple of years ago, I was mainly raving about the soundtrack to the film more that the movie itself, although I enjoyed it. But who can argue with a couple of hours packed with hip 60's numbers? The soundtrack CD is set up more-or-less like a radio show, with some hep DJ patter in between some of the tunes, including real cats like the Real Don Steele, and even some period advertisements. 

There's a fairly good variety of Top Forty, AM Radio sounds, ranging from the opening soul of "Treat Her Right" to the garagey rock'n'roll of "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man", the pre-psych of Deep Purple's "Hush" and "Kentucky Woman", the garage pop of the Raiders, who pop up several times, Buffy Sainte-Marie's folky "The Circle Game" and Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson", Neil Diamond's kinda corny "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show", Jose Feliciano's take on "California Dreaming", Mitch Ryder's Detroit high-energy, and, of course, a remix of Vanilla Fudge's version of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" that is the background for the climax of the film.

Fun stuff and cool to have all in one place, but not much here that any fan of 60's music wouldn't already have (although there are a few oddball surprises). Hopefully, it helped turn on some younger folks to this amazing era, though.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs

 


This is yet another album that I was surprised to find that I never spoke about, as it is another demented favorite. Recorded after Syd left Pink Floyd in early 1968, it took some time to finish, as Barrett was not in his best mental shape, but his replacement in PF, David Gilmour, pulled it together into a relatively cohesive, oddball package. 

The songs are, overall, fairly mellow and acid-drenched, opening with the quiet, pretty ballad "Terrapin" that moves into a more upbeat, Pink Floyd-ish psych-pop with "No Good Trying" - although there's a bit of odd rhythms here'n'there, this one sounds like it could have been a pop single in the PF mold. "Love You" is a bit of vaudeville silliness, but "No Man's Land" is a well-written bit of hip psych with a nice melody and a trippy mid-section, although "Dark Globe" shows Syd's more erratic side, with his voice cracking and him losing his place in a song that would have been a strong one if it had been edited with a bit more sympathy. "Here I Go" is somewhat rambling and sorta forgettable, even with some nice changes, and while "Octopus" goes off on some unusual tangents, it is one of his better songs, with a strong chorus and tripped out lyrics. Syd adapts James Joyce's poem "Golden Hair" into a sweet, pretty ballad, "Long Gone" could easily be a Pink Floyd outtake with its soaring organ work, "She Took a Long Cold Look" seems more improvisational and Syd almost trips over himself trying to fit all of the words into "Feel" followed by embarrassing vocal mistakes and missteps that are left in and, again, should have been edited to make "If It's In You" more of a traditional song, although I suppose it shows Syd's mental state in this fashion. It all ends with "Late Night", another powerful ballad that includes someone's melodic slide guitar work and one of Syd's better vocal performances.

I truly love this record for its songs as well as its look into the mind of a slightly deranged but brilliant artist. David Gilmore - and Roger Waters - did a lot to make this a somewhat coherent statement, but, as I noted, there could have been just a touch more work done to remove some of the embarrassment. Regardless, this is a true psych pop classic. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

The Souvenairs at the Tropicana Clark County LIbrary

 






The Clark County Library uses its auditorium for all sorts of events and this afternoon's (2:00pm) live show for local jump/jive combo, the Souvenairs was a fine gig to help break the fast of live shows. This "old timey music" combo was only able to play a couple of gigs before COVID hit but is now ready to get back into the swing (literally) of things (if the anti-vaxxers don't f'k things up for all of us) and have several more upcoming shows.

The basic 2 guitar, bass, drums (and occasional piano) group plays a variety of styles, but is big on hep-cat jump-jive - "Alabama Jubilee", "Five Guys Named Moe", "Birth of the Blues", Fats Waller's "Your Feet's Too Big", etc - but throws in a few slower torch song, some blues, ballads, a little Calypso, maybe a touch of Exoctica and whatever else they feel like. The musicians are all top notch and the lead guitarist (sorry, I didn't catch anyone's names except bassist Ruckus and they don't have themselves listed on their FB page) especially caught my eyes and ears (although he was too quiet) with his fleet-fingered, jazzy runs. For this gig they had two female guest singers, which gave another nice flavor to the proceedings.

Fun stuff and I could imagine these cats actually making some money with this as they are truly talented and put on a great show. Dig it!


Thursday, July 15, 2021

recommended gigs

Friday 7-16-21 - Three Bad Jacks, Dead at Midnight and the Writhers at the Dive Bar

Friday 7-16-21 - Franks'n'Deans, Happy Campers, Battering Ham, Blvd Bullies at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Saturday 7-17-21 - Franks'n'Deans at the Gravy Train Saloon

Saturday 7-17-21 - the Souvenairs at the Clark County Library - 2:00 pm

Saturday 7-17-21 - the Pluralses, Cadaver Pudding, and Gones UK at the Double Down

Monday 7-19-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Thursday 7-22-21 - The Souvenairs at 18Bin

Friday 7-23-21 - Shanda and the Howlers at Soul Belly BBQ

Friday 7-23-21 - Franks and Deans at Tiki di Amore

Saturday 7-24-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Gravy Train Saloon

Monday 7-26-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Friday 7-30-21 - Junkyard at Vamp'd

Friday 7-30-21 - Thee Hypnotiques at the Usual Place

Saturday 7-31-21 - Shanda and the Howlers at the Sand Dollar

Saturday 7-31-21 - The Souvenairs at Tiki Di Amore

Wednesday 8-4-21 - Franks'n'Deans Weenie Roast with LA guests Moon Rocks

Friday 8-6-21 - The Psyatics at the Double Down for our Devil You Know record release show and for John Armstrong's birthday. With Thee Swank Bastards, Big Like Texas and Sector 7-G!

Saturday 8-7-21 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki

Sunday 8-8-21 - the Scoundrels and MondoVermin at the Dive Bar

Thursday 8-12-21 - Hopeless Jack and Shotgun Sawyer at the Dive Bar

Friday August 13 - Frankie Lee and the Infernos and Green Fuzz at the Gravy Train Saloon

Saturday 8-21-21 - Metalachi, Los Carajos, Sheiks of Neptune and No Que No at the Dive Bar

Friday 9-3-21 - the Maxies, Franks'n'Deans, the Implosions at the Double Down

Friday 9-24-21 - Sunday 9-26-21 - Punk Rock Bowling Festival

Saturday 9-25-21 - The Darts at Evel Pie with tons of other bands - PRB-related

Friday 10-8-21 - the Dickies with the Sheiks of Neptune at the Dive Bar

Monday, July 12, 2021

The Pine Hill Haints - The Song Companion of a Lonestar Cowboy

 


Yep, pretty much any time I've seen the Haints, they have had a new record out, and last weeks' show was no exception, so I had to grab it! I've been a fan of their "ghost music" since I first heard them and every record has been a keeper, and this is another goodie!

This CD comes with a simple cardboard sleeve with no info other than the song titles and the cover art, so I'm not sure who is accompanying Jamie and Katie, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is essentially the same configuration that was here in town, although that sounds like JD Wilkes' harmonica wailin' on a number of the tunes.

This 15 song set starts off with Jamie's distinctive guitar riffin' which brings the band in on a gallopin' beat for "Fall Asleep", that sounds to me like the story of the album title's "lonestar cowboy". "Back to Alabama" is another upbeat bluesy/cowpunk/Americana number as only the Haints do, then they do a groovin' interpretation of Bo Diddley's "Pretty Thing" (where that band got their name, of course) with (I believe) Wilkes blowin' some fine harp, they bop thru the jazzy blues of "Satchel Paige Blues" with more help from Wilkes, "John Henry" is given a marchin' drum and fiddle treatment, there's a bit of zydeco in the cowboy tale, "Lone Star Kid", while "Drop and Fall" has a vaguely 50-ish feel mixed into their brew.

The short'n'sweet "Midnight Mayor" continues with a bit of 50's stylings, then they give an extended, individualistic workout on Muddy Waters' "Catfish Blues", highlighted by saw'n'harp! "Fighting For the Wrong Side" has more of an accordion-fueled, Americana feel, "Stare at the Fire", with additional atmospheric accordion, sounds like you should be singing it around the campfire (hence the title, I suppose), "Louise" seems almost like an update on "Corina, Corina", the staccato "Downtown Blues" brings in some Dixieland jazz via a hip trombone/harmonica duo, while "Wade in the Water" is cooly moody with spooky saw working against the minor chords, and they close out with a fiddle-led cajun waltz in "Tithy Dunbar".

If you know the Haints - and you should - then you know that this is another one that you should own. If you don't but you dig early Americana/zydeco/blues/etc., then you should certainly find this and see them the next time they come to town!

Friday, July 09, 2021

The Pine Hill Haints at the Dive Bar, Thursday July 8, 2021

 It's only been a few years since I first saw the PHH (on good pal's Rob Bell's recommendation) but I have been enthralled ever since and have done my best to catch them whenever they come to town and pick up the new album that they have invariably recorded in the interim! This gig was my first since mid-March of 2020 (the longest I've gone without live music in at least a decade, most likely considerably more) and a worthy one it was!

Besides being a fine frontman, vocalist (I really dig his tuneful, southern voice), guitarist, fiddler and harmonica player, Jamie is also a damn nice'n'personable guy who even knows who the Gizmos are! The Haints personnel tends to vary but every time that I've seen them, he has had the lovely'n'talented Katie on his right, accompanying him on mandolin, washboard and as one of the most accomplished saw players I have ever seen! Sparse drums and washtub bass keep the strong backbeat and this time out they had the accordian/trombonist whose name I have never caught, but who added quite a bit to the sound. 

Their self-proclaimed "ghost music" is a conglomeration of Americana, Cajun, bluegrass, blues, gospel, country, Celtic and whatever else they feel like throwing in - maybe some doo-wop or even reggae (oh yeah, they even covered a Misfits song!), if they are so inclined. Whatever it is, it is damn good and it is always a party with this group with the audience always joining in, dancin'n'singin', hootin'n'hollerin' and "feeding the kitty" (their cat-shaped tip jar) to request one of their songs from their impressive catalog. 

Unfortunately, as it was a Thursday night and my first time out in so long, I left before they finished so that I could be sure that I still knew how to navigate the nighttime roads and get up in the morning! Hopefully, we can get this damn pandemic behind us (Please Get Vaccinated!) so that we can get back to shows like this on a regular basis.

Thank you to Nate'n'Angie and the Dive Bar for hosting this fine event!







Thursday, July 08, 2021

recommended gigs

Thursday 7-8-21 - Pine Hill Haints at the Dive Bar

Friday 7-9-21 - Thee Swank Bastards, Open Fist, Stagnetti's Cock at the Double Down

Friday 7-9-21 - Monk and the Po Boys at Soul Belly

Saturday 7-10-21 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki

Monday 7-12-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Monday 7-12-21 - Goldtop Bob at Founders Club

Saturday 7-17-21 - Franks'n'Deans at the Gravy Train Saloon

Saturday 7-17-21 - the Souvenairs at the Clark County Library - 2:00 pm

Saturday 7-17-21 - the Pluralses, Cadaver Pudding, and Gones UK at the Double Down

Monday 7-19-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Friday 7-23-21 - Shanda and the Howlers at Soul Belly BBQ

Saturday 7-24-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Gravy Train Saloon

Monday 7-26-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Friday 7-30-21 - Junkyard at Vamp'd

Saturday 7-31-21 - Shanda and the Howlers at the Sand Dollar

Friday 8-6-21 - The Psyatics at the Double Down for our Devil You Know record release show and for John Armstrong's birthday. With Thee Swank Bastards, Big Like Texas and Sector 7-G!

Sunday 8-8-21 - the Scoundrels and MondoVermin at the Dive Bar

Thursday 8-12-21 - Hopeless Jack and Shotgun Sawyer at the Dive Bar

Friday August 13 - Frankie Lee and the Infernos and Green Fuzz at the Gravy Train Saloon

Saturday 8-21-21 - Metalachi, Los Carajos, Sheiks of Neptune and No Que No at the Dive Bar

Friday 9-3-21 - the Maxies, Franks'n'Deans, the Implosions at the Double Down

Friday 9-24-21 - Sunday 9-26-21 - Punk Rock Bowling Festival

Saturday 9-25-21 - The Darts at Evel Pie with tons of other bands - PRB-related

Friday 10-8-21 - the Dickies with the Sheiks of Neptune at the Dive Bar

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Terry Reid - Original Album Series

 

Although I have heard many people talk about Reid for decades, I was never familiar with his work, so when I found this bargain 5 CD set, I sought it out to give me an overview of his work. Famously, Jimmy Page asked Reid to join his New Yardbirds but he declined due to other commitments and recommended Robert Plant instead. Apparently, Ritchie Blackmore was also interested in having Reid replace Rod Evans in Deep Purple although that obviously never happened, either. Despite his critical acclaim and a number of people covering certain songs of his, Reid never really gained the fame'n'forture of many of his peers.

On his debut, apparently his producer convinced Terry to cover Sonny'n'Cher's "Bang Bang", with limited success, but the following "Tinker Tailor" is a groovy, super catchy, upbeat riff-rocker that highlights Reid's voice and has some hiply simple guitar interactions. The rest of the album, unfortunately, is somewhat forgettable - nicely sung and performed, with a mix of pop and a touch of psych'n'soul (and, oddly, some calypso!), but the songs just aren't "there", although there is an interestingly jazzy take on "Season of the Witch" and he borrows from the Yardbirds' "Still I'm Sad" for "Writing on the Wall" that bizarrely segues into a weird reading of "Summertime Blues". 

I think that his second album, simply titled Terry Reid, works better overall - maybe he had more of a hand in the production - and the bluesy opening "Superlungs, My Supergirl" is damn catchy, with a bass riff that the Heavy stole outright, showing Reid's continuing influence. Again, the songs are not super strong, in general, although "Making Time" (not the Creation tune) is a powerful, organ-dominated, (slightly Santana-ish?) bluesy jam that flows into the soulful take on Lorraine Ellison's "Stay With Me Baby" that almost sounds as if the Small Faces were doing it! Not so sure about his jazzy version of Dylan's "Highway 61", especially after hearing so many other people do it so well. Of course, the song here that most people will know due to Cheap Trick's pretty damn spot on cover is the great "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace" and this album closes with another tough one, "Rich Kid Blues". 

For his third album, River, Reid's sound is a bit more southern'n'swampy - I was just listening to the Black Crowes and the initial number, "Dean", could easily have been done by that combo. This feel continues in the slide-guitar-driven "Avenue" and "Things To Try" while "Live Life" has a fine, funky groove, the title cut "River" is a somewhat Latin-flavored acoustic ballad which is followed by another acoustic ballad, this one being the very sparse'n'quiet "Dream" before the finale, yet another quiet, David Crosby-ish, harmony-fueled acoustic ballad, "Milestones". This record started out particularly strong but three long acoustic ballads at the end, while not bad songs, completely brought down the energy and the initial feel of the record. 

Totally reinventing himself, 1979's Rogue Waves is pretty much a clean-cut guitar power-pop record, although quite a bit heavier on the pop than the power! After a decent power-pop-ish opening, he does two Phil Spector songs, "Baby, I Love You" and "Then I Kissed Her", but they kinda lose their power as they are slowed down to a dirge-like pace. "Stop and Think It Over" is more AM Radio-oriented pop, as is the title cut, while the odd, slower take on "Walk Away Renee" sounds somewhat like Artful Dodger! "Believe in the Magic" is pretty amazingly bland but "Bowangi" (no idea what or if the title is supposed to mean anything) is actually a pretty good, soulful groover, even if it could have been given a bit more "oomph". and for the closer, Reid shows that he was having a hard time writing for this album as it's yet another cover, this time a strange, incredibly slow, power-ballad take on "All I Have to Do Is Dream", which, unfortunately, loses most of it's lovely melody in this manner. 

Regrettably, the 5th CD in this set is Reid's 1991 release, simply called Driver, which is pure, over-produced, keyboard/synth-dominated, easy listening, 90's drivel. I'm sorry to say, but this is so bad that it is truly unlistenable.

I wish I could say that I liked Reid's stuff more than I do. I can tell the man had talent, but he was not much of a songwriter and didn't get suitable material for his records. There's a few good cuts here'n'there, but nothing to really rave about.

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Give My Poor Heart Ease - William Ferris


 Ferris is a Southern white man who has chronicled African-American musicians since the 1960's and in 2009 compiled this book of his interviews with obscure musicians, preachers, and lay folks throughout the south. He tape recorded performances and interviews, video-taped some live music (accompanying the book is a CD and DVD) and took some terrific'n'expressive black'n'white photographs of his subjects. 

In the introduction Ferris takes great pains to explain that he is not a stereotypical southern white and that he grew up with more liberal values through his parents, who employed a number of people of color on their farm. Ferris became fascinated with their stories early on and was happy to discover that he could make a living by chronicling their tales.

There's a large variety of people that Ferris talks with and the tales they tell range from the religious to musical to prison stories to drunken ramblings on all manner of topics. The folks are generally not traditionally schooled, and some have old-school superstitions, but they have passion and they speak freely of their own personal experiences. Sometimes the fact that Ferris only transcribes the speaker and none of his (presumed) prompts, makes it sound like the interviewer is rambling in a non-sequitur-ish way, which, at times, makes the reading a little odd. But, there is a lot of unique narratives that combine to give a strong feeling of the African American experience in the South. Interviews with BB King and Willie Dixon are juxtaposed with transcriptions from drunken house parties, giving a wide spectrum of views.

The CD is a fine collection of down-home blues and the DVD has some great footage of the area, prison life, parties and church services from the 60's and 70's. Sometimes it doesn't flow as easily as it might, but the interviews, photos, films and music makes this package more than worthwhile.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

recommended gigs

 Saturday 6-26-21 - Trevor and the Swingin' Johnsons at Tiki di Amore

Monday 6-28-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Friday 7-2-21 - Thee Hypnotiques at the Golden Tiki

Saturday 7-3-21 - the Delta Bombers, the New Waves, ITLYTKY at the Usual Place

Saturday 7-3-21 - the Dead Dolls at Rusty Spurs

Monday 7-5-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Wednesday 7-7-21 - Franks'n'Deans Weenie Roast returned to the Double Down with Green Fuz and more!

Thursday 7-8-21 - Pine Hill Haints at the Dive Bar

Friday 7-9-21 - Thee Swank Bastards, Open Fist, Stagnetti's Cock at the Double Down

Monday 7-12-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Saturday 7-17-21 - Franks'n'Deans at the Gravy Train Saloon

Saturday 7-17-21 - the Souvenairs at the Clark County Library - 2:00 pm

Monday 7-19-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Friday 7-23-21 - Shanda and the Howlers at Soul Belly BBQ

Monday 7-26-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Friday 7-30-21 - Junkyard at Vamp'd

Sunday 8-8-21 - the Scoundrels and MondoVermin at the Dive Bar

Saturday 8-21-21 - Metalachi, Los Carajos, Sheiks of Neptune and No Que No at the Dive Bar

Friday 9-3-21 - the Maxies, Franks'n'Deans, the Implosions at the Double Down

Friday 9-24-21 - Sunday 9-26-21 - Punk Rock Bowling Festival

Saturday 9-25-21 - The Darts at Evel Pie with tons of other bands - PRB-related

Friday 10-8-21 - the Dickies with the Sheiks of Neptune at the Dive Bar

Booker T and the MG's - Original Album Series

 


After reading Booker T's fine book, I realized that I had a very limited amount of his music in my collection and this discount, 5-CD set was an easy'n'affordable way to remedy that situation! This no-frills set compiles the group's first five albums with miniature replicas of the original cover artwork and no extra information whatsoever. But if it's simply the music that you're looking for, this is a fine way to get it!

Known for his classic Hammond B-3 sound, Booker was backed by Stax's finest integrated group - Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn on guitar and bass and Al Jackson on drums. Soulful white dudes giving the guitar'n'bass an edge and Booker'n'Al providing the funky rhythms'n'melodies. Al was a seasoned pro by the time the group got together in the Stax studio, backing other artists and, literally in their spare time, coming up with hits on their own. Per his book, Jones would normally come up with the initial riff/melody line and the rest of the guys would chime in and fill out the sounds. Of course, they also did plenty of cover tunes of all styles - soundtrack numbers like "Exodus", rock'n'roll tunes like "Twist'n'Shout", plenty of Ray Charles songs, easy listening like "Never My Love", the surfy "No Matter What Shape", lots of soul tunes, a couple heavies like the Vanilla Fudge-ish take on "You Keep Me Hanging On" and pop cuts such as "The Beat Goes On", all with their own funky interpretation.

Of course, the originals really shine here, with "Green Onions" being the massive hit, but other greats like "Soul Dressing", "Tic-Tac-Toe", "Chinese Checkers", "Hip Hug-Her", "Slim Jenkins' Joint" and a bunch more suave coolness.

I think that these sets are superb packages - lots of music for your money! Great as either a starter pack if you don't have the MG's in your collection already (and you should!) or just to have everything in one place. Dig it!


Monday, June 21, 2021

Time is Tight - Booker T Jones

 


I know that everyone knows Booker T and the MG's from their massive hits like "Green Onions", "Hip Hug Her" and, of course, "Time is Tight". They were also the house band at Stax and backed up more hits than one can imagine.

Subtitled "My Life, Note by Note", Booker tells his story in a free-wheelin' kind of way, jumpin; around chronologically, but still managing to keep a coherent storyline. Brought up in a loving, musical family, they had enough money to help indulge Booker's passion for music by supplying various instruments, all of which he managed to conquer. After brief, non-serious flings with piano and drums, Booker started learning wind instruments, beginning with clarinet then oboe and saxophone, which is the instrument in which he made he debut as a studio musician! He learned pretty much every instrument available and played most in various bands before committing (more or less) to his beloved Hammond B-3.

I really dig Jones's laid back writing style - intelligent, conversational, fun and informative. Before starting this book I had no idea that Booker was still a teen in high school when he wrote (with the MG's) "Green Onions" and became a hit making machine. Even while juggling the MG's and being part of the Stax house band, backing stars like Otis Redding and Carla Thomas, he graduated high school and went to college in Bloomington, Indiana - commuting to Memphis! - and finished his studies, joined a fraternity, student taught and got married and had a kid! Man, to be young and have that kind of energy again!

By far my favorite part of the book is something that most musicians ignore or gloss over - the details of the studio sessions! Who played what, who wrote, who arranged, how many takes, and the interaction between the musicians. I don't think that it is overdone or too detailed and I would hope that even non-musicians would be fascinated by the stories - I love this stuff and, of course, it makes me go and listen to the songs all over again with a new appreciation.

As with most music related biographies, once the artist is past their prime period, the story loses a bit of its fascination. Booker is an interesting character and he basically became a rancher who occasionally made some music, but had some famous friends that he continued to work with (white and black - moving to LA he fell into the Laurel Canyon crowd), though his family situations were often shakey. A number of chapters are devoted solely to his family'n'children, who he is rightfully proud of, but they do not have anything to do with his musical career, so I pretty much skim those tales. I did like his remembrances of playing for President Obama though!

Well worth it for the enlightening'n'witty stories of his band and Stax at its prime. It turns out that Jones is a fine writer as well as musician. This did make me buy more of his music - more on that soon!

Friday, June 18, 2021

Tony Fate - Fate Machine

 


This is the second CD that Tony Fate produced (alongside Truck Stomp!) during the pandemic (don't you just hate productive people?!) and it's another monster! This is also all instrumental, but with plenty of variety and an overall soulfulness'n'funkiness complete with pseudo strings'n'horns, keys, wah-wah, and so much more.

 Pure funkiness abounds in the opening "Automatic Lover" but it's combined with powerful guitars and a crazed lead break for a wild cauldron of cool. Hip keys and a stompin' back beat highlight "Mr. Meanie", followed by the first of four "interludes", this one being a short acoustic blues guitar piece proceeding a monstrous "Magnus Opium" - power chords, rollin' drums (drum machine?) and more keys for accents. "Yay Yay" is a quirky, almost techno/rap beat with silliness on top but it melds into some more hep funk, "Baron Landscape" (hah!) is a ballad with an Asian feel and an odd laugh track in the middle (!), "Interlude #2" is an extremely brief piano bit, succeeded by the heavy'n'fleeting "Warlord" and more tough funk for "Where's My Damn Money" with some excellently fuzzed out'n'freaky leads. "Fire With Fire" is nicely percussive - I think this is all drum machines but Tony is doing very cool'n'interesting things with them - with more funky bass and keys. "Mars Africa" is a riff-laden bit a Isaac Hayes-ness, "Interlude #3" passes by in the blink of an eye, while "Freak Flag" again has some Mid-Eastern textures mixed into the funkiness, "Interlude #4" is a spoken piece and the finale is a nice keys'n'strings ballad called "Who Do You Think You Are" that includes a jazzy key'n'guitar lead section.

Tony is truly one of the more creative instrumental writers on the planet these days - he can create unique pieces that are still melodic'n'memorable, with impressive arrangements and many varied feels. You can always tell it's Tony - partly due to the creativity, but he also has his own sound - but he can write in a variety of different styles and it's all good! Once again - super recommended!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

recommended gigs

 Saturday 6-19-21 - Soldiers of Destruction, Talking Bombs, Tasty Nuggz at the Double Down

Monday 6-21-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Saturday 6-26-21 - Trevor and the Swingin' Johnsons at Tiki di Amore

Monday 6-28-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Saturday 7-3-21 - the Delta Bombers, the New Waves, ITLYTKY at the Usual Place

Monday 7-5-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Wednesday 7-7-21 - Franks'n'Deans Weenie Roast returned to the Double Down with Green Fuz and more!

Monday 7-12-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Monday 7-19-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Monday 7-26-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Friday 7-30-21 - Junkyard at Vamp'd

Saturday 8-21-21 - Metalachi, Los Carajos, Sheiks of Neptune at the Dive Bar

Friday 9-3-21 - the Maxies, Franks'n'Deans, the Implosions at the Double Down

Friday 6-24-21 - Sunday 9-26-21 - Punk Rock Bowling Festival

Saturday 9-25-21 - The Darts at Evel Pie with tons of other bands - PRB-related

Friday 10-8-21 - the Dickies with the Sheiks of Neptune at the Dive Bar

King Tony and the Witch Hunters - Truck Stomp!


King Tony is none other than the mastermind behind great bands like the Grey Spikes, the Bell Rays and the Black Widows (among others), Tony Fate, and he made good use of his time during the pandemic and released not one, but two, instrumental CDs! This one is country based - one of Tony's many musical loves - in the old school, traditional sense, but he can't help but put his own twists'n'turns on the theme, with hints of surf, garage, soundtracks and other influences.

Starting things off with "Mother Trucker", Tony cops some riffs/melodies from famous songs while incorporating them into a hip country bopper while "Hot Heap" is pure honky tonkin', and "Gear City" has some tough, hot roddin', Link Wray-in' riffs. There's some surf in the country for "Time Will Tell" which also incorporates some cool fuzzy slide, "Black Road" is a fast-paced melodic tune with a bit of organ in the background for added texture, "Hightailin'" is a homage to Jerry Reed (at least in my mind) with very hip dual harmony guitar leads, "Dirty Wheels" gives ya all the low-end, tremelo'd country riffs you could ask for, "13 Balls of Power" has a cool'n'hard-edged instrumental call'n'answer, "Hell on the Highway" has more of a swing/soundtrack groove, then things really rev up for the frantic riffin' of "Truck Drivin' S.O.B.". "Knights of the Red Eye" is a country-ish Link Wray-styled, power-chord number (with some more subtle organ), then back to pretty darn sweet'n'pure country for the title cut, followed by a Tex-Mex-ish tune, "Seniorita XL" before culminating in "Ugly Palace", which is less country and more atmospheric, in a Link Wray kinda way!

Tony keeps all of the tunes short'n'sweet, as a good instrumental should, and keeps them all interesting, creative and original. On this CD he is aided'n'abetted by Earl Smith on guitar, Rubo Eliaz on bass and Max Fargo on drums - unless those are all aliases for the man himself, which is always possible! Tony has too many influences for anything to sound overtly traditional, but for those with an open mind about their music, this is more terrific stuff from Mr. Fate!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Pink Floyd - Piper at the Gates of Dawn


 I realize that damn near anyone who would click on this blog is gonna know this record, but bare with me - I want to have a record of it here since I was surprised that I hadn't written about it previously. The CD that I have is the UK version (vastly different track listing than the US vinyl version that I have owned forever) which includes a couple of extra tracks not on the US record - pretty disconcerting when I first heard it. This album is one of the true landmarks of the psychedelic era and pretty much sounds like one of singer/guitarist Syd Barrett's LSD trips.

With a pulsating bass line, keyboard quicks and, eventually, guitar power chords under spacey vocals, "Astronomy Domine" is positively a journey to the outer reaches but it also manages to be grounded with a strong beat and some real energy - not an easy feat! One of the catchier tunes is the oft-covered "Lucifer Sam" - filled with hip riffs, melodic vocals, some neat instrumental interaction and a rock'n'roll arrangement - very groovy! "Mathilda Mother" moves back'n'forth from an almost ambient verse to a lick-laden chorus to a jazzy/Mid-Eastern bridge - yes, there is a lot going on here! Sounding a bit like a acid-filled child's fairy tale (which happens a few times on this record), ""Flaming" seems almost a description of a trip and is followed by the odd vocal sounds combined with jazzy piano for the mostly instrumental "Pow R. Toc H." and then Roger's off-time, noisy, somewhat anarchic (in a good way!) "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk", with their version of a "rave-up", which is vastly different in a psychedelic way  than how the Yardbirds would perform. We then get "Interstellar Overdrive", famously "stolen" from Love's "Little Red Book", another instrumental that ebbs'n'flows with wild dynamics, moving from heavy r'n'r to ambient, open sounds before returning for a crushing ending. Another child's tale is the percussive-dominated "The Gnome", an I Ching-based ballad for "Chapter 24", while "Scarecrow" has more unusual, raindrop percussion behind the descriptive lyrics, and the finale, "Bike", sounds a lot like Syd's post-Floyd, child-like solo work.

With Barrett at the helm, Pink Floyd sounded like no other group at the time or since, and while they garnered fame'n'fortune after replacing him, their songs'n'style were never quite as strong or manic as here. A 60's masterpiece, to be sure!

The CD includes a nice booklet with plenty of photos along with the lyrics and, hey, I just found out that the record's title refers to the god, Pan. Am I the last to know that?!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Patti Smith - Babel


I feel under Patti's spell once I first heard Horses and  bought everything the Patti Smith Group did in its first incarnation and saw them as often as I could. I truly enjoyed her merging poetic imagery with garage rock'n'roll and while I think that the poems may work better when put to music, her written words have always been pretty damn dynamic. I bought this when it first was released due to my fascination with her other work and still dig her fairly unique word play.

This book combines various imagery - Patti's own photos and artwork along with those of friends, peers and those she admired (Mapplethorpe is, of course, represented a few times, as are other friends) - with her poems, prose and wildly imaginative short stories. Babel is, as anyone slightly familiar with religion knows, the tower that men built to bring themselves closer to god who then, in his anger at their hubris, destroyed it and took away man's common language, causing chaos and confusion among men, which stopped them from working together. So, communication is one key theme in this book, loosely speaking, and free association and wordplay - "atrophy a/trophy" being an example - is a favorite tool, as well. 

It's kinda fun to guess who she is referring to in various writings - "neo boy" is Tom Verlaine, natch - and what parts ended up on her recordings - quite a number of bits'n'pieces here as this was written about the same time of the first few records - there's even some writings that became Blue Oyster Cult lyrics (she helped them a number of times). She is certainly a sexual being and writes of many fantasies with both men and women, among other fantastical tangents and her personal, nonlinear fairy tales.

Truthfully, there are times when her free association loses me, but the power of her words on paper is undeniable and always worth perusing. Fans should positively own this one.

The Avengers Died For Your Sins

 


As everyone knows, the Avengers were a San Francisco-based 70's punk band, fronted by the charismatic'n'dynamic singer Penelope Houston and rivaling the power'n'energy of any other group of the time. They only released a 3 song EP during their tenure, but after opening for the final Sex Pistols show in SF, Steve Jones produced some further recordings that appeared after their break-up and since then there have been a number of different releases. This compilation contains studio and live cuts from '77 and '78 along with a few songs that were put down by the Scavengers, a later variation on the group.

Right from the start of "Teenage Rebel" we get a high-energy mix of the Who (reminds me a bit of "My Generation") and chant-along, call'n'answer punk rock'n'roll - damn, remember when punk rock was just stripped down rock'n'roll? More of the same in "Friends of Mine", with maybe a little similarity to X here, although I'm not saying who influenced who, while the politically incorrectly-titled, but damn catchy, "White N*gger", has some Sex Pistols stylings though wrapped in their own originality. (BTW, there was a bit of a movement in the mid-to-late 70's to defuse'n'dilute this offensive term - maybe a bit naive, especially coming from white rock'n'rollers, but it was done with good intentions.)

"The Good, the Bad and the Kowalskis" is a pretty hilarious title for another great punk rocker, more call'n'answer coolness in "I Want In", they get frantic in "Crazy Homicide", then appropriately moody (yet still melodic) for "The End of the World". They present a live, wildly frenzied "American in Me", a hard-hittin' "Open Your Eyes", a crazed "Car Crash", "Tiny Pink Noise" is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it piece, and the ultimate punk rock anthem is, naturally, called "Fuck You". I assume in order to give Penelope's voice a break they cover the Ventures in "Joker's Wild" then back to the chant-along punk rock for "Something's Wrong", pure power in "Desperation", followed by punk empowerment in "I Believe in Me", a raucous "Money" and ending with their terrific anthem "We Are the One".

Naturally, the live recordings lose some fidelity but are a terrific record of the frenzied energy of their shows. This is a wonderful document, but also search out their other studio recordings. Another great, often overlooked, band!

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

The Screamers - Strength Through Intimidation


 Subtitled "the 1978 Gexa X Demos", this record consists of good quality recordings of this truly seminal and unique punk band that never released anything during the group's short tenure. With a weird mix of vocals/synth/electric piano and drums, the guitar-less punk band had snarling vocals on top of 60’s influenced (like most 70's punk bands, they did a 60's tune, in their case it was an updated "The Beat Goes On") noise combined with touches of new wave/Devo synth twitches, bleeps'n'boops, live'n'powerful'n'propulsive techno-type beats, punk aggression and lots of other wackiness. 

I remember seeing them once back in the day but was not overly impressed due to my love of guitars - I really wish that I could see that show again today - I believe that I would feel very differently about it now. But, singer Tomato du Plenty is legendary as a frontman and the band was the breeding ground for the likes of Tommy Gear, Paul Roessler and KK Barrett (not to mention a teenage El Duce, in an early, Oregon-based configuration!). Their live act ensured them headlining status in LA and they were also successful while touring as far away as NYC.

Though keyboard-driven, the sound is highly aggressive'n'abusive, with plenty of nods to guitar-based punk rock - it's pretty fascinating that they created a hard-edged, high-energy sound within their self-imposed limitations. It's truly is a pretty unique sound that to this day is different than most anyone else has accomplished, as most keyboard-based combos are more atmospheric and/or techno.

This is a great document of what could easily have been yet another legendary but lost band. Anyone who digs the early punk scene should certainly own this!

Brian May The Definitive Biography - Laura Jackson


 Even when not playing in Queen, Brian May has been keeping a positive public profile online with his various accounts where he interacts with his fans, endorses guitars'n'effects, talks about his health and much more. He is charming'n'charismatic and friendly'n'forthright and just seems like a damn nice guy, so it seemed time to get to know him a bit more.

May is probably best known for being the only (?) astro-physicist/rock star on the scene today, and it seems like he has always been a level-headed, decent person, an above-average student, a technician and a fine player. He had a difficult time deciding whether to remain in the sciences (he continued he studies throughout the early days of Queen and, of course, went back for his degree(s) later) or devote his time to music, but the allure of rock'n'roll grabbed him. As with most people his age, he played in a number of groups early on before falling in with Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor and, eventually, John Deacon. He and his dad famously built his signature guitar and the perfectionist in him/them made one that was coveted by all those who heard it. Again, as with most bands, the group was turned down numerous times before finally garnering a record contract and, with plenty of hard work, also garnering fame'n'fortune.

Success came somewhat slowly due partially to health issues with May and Mercury affecting their first few tours of America, a vital audience that needed to be tapped, not to mention some vicious critics. But once the hits started coming they didn't stop for decades and the band became one of the biggest and flashiest in the world - perfect timing for punk rock to rail against! I do think it's funny that Jackson compares Queen at their peak to ABBA! While they both rely on harmonies, I would certainly not associate the two!

Most of the rest of the story mainly lists the various recordings'n'tours that the band performed, as well as detailing May's further health issues, along with family and romantic ups'n'downs, side projects and, naturally, Freddie's failing health (he continued to record with the band throughout his illness, along he could not tour) and early death. As we know, after letting Queen lie for a number of years, May and Taylor resurrected the name with various sidemen along with their continuing individual projects that continue to this day.

Not overly exciting, but a good overview of the man and the band - well worth it for fans.

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Syd Barrett - Opel

 


Of course, I've been a Syd fan ever since I first heard Piper At the Gates of Dawn, and, later on, found his two solo LPs and his comp with some previously unreleased items on it (damn, I guess I have not reviewed any of those - I will have to rectify that when time permits).  But, when I heard about this record with more unreleased numbers, I had to pick it up, as well, especially after just reading his biography

While a few of the numbers here are new to listeners, most are different versions of Syd's psyched-out/ childish/ wonderfully whimsical musical tales. Often just Syd and his guitar, the purest form of his acid-drenched vision, while occasionally there are other musicians doing their best to pull everything together in a cohesive form. "Lanky (Part One)" and "Clowns and Juglers" (later titled "Octopus") are highly successful group offerings, sounding considerably like they could have been included on Piper while "It Is Obvious (take 3)" is a solo take with Syd going back to his roots and "borrowing" from the blues standard "I'm a Man" and "It Is Obvious  (Take 5)" is acapella and bears no similarity at all to take 3! 

Fans of other reality-challenged musicians like Jad Fair, Jonathan Richman and others will certainly dig this although his proper solo records, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett are probably the places to start. Fans who already have those will definitely want this one, as well!

GL Crockett and Big Walter Price - Rockin With the Blues

 


I definitely picked this one up after I learned that Big Walter Price originally performed "Pack Fair and Square" - made famous by the J. Geils Band - and this was one of the few releases of his that is currently available. It doesn't seem that GL Crockett had anything to do with Price - the scant liner notes included do not indicate any relationship - but his handful of cuts are a welcome addition to this collection.

Opening the CD is Crockett's "Look Out Mabel" which is pure, rockin''n'boppin' rockabilly, and I'm surprised that this wasn't a hit for him, while he gives a heartfelt slow blues in "Did You Ever Love Somebody" (there's two versions of both of those tunes) and "It's A Man Out There" is a fine take on Sonny Boy Williamson's "One Way Out". He gets positively funky in "Watch My 32" and goes for the deep, soulful blues for his remaining cuts.

For Price's contributions, there’s a little bit of everything here - slow blues, jump blues, Jimmy Reed-style swamp blues, and a bit of everything in between , even a Fats Domino like stroll and an Andre Williams-ish talkin' blues! The piano-playing Price also has some church organ on his blues, giving them a different feel, and Albert Collins appears on some of the cuts, as well, with some stinging lead guitar. Of course, one of the highlights is the horn-driven, Big Joe Turner-ish jump-jive of "Pack Fair and Square"! I love the r'n'r take that Geils did, but this really swings!

I didn't know too much about either cat before copping this one, but it's a ripper! 

Friday, June 04, 2021

Live Skull - Cloud One


 I know absolutely nothing about Live Skull but my pal Rob turned me on to this 1986 release from this NYC noise band and I'm trying to wrap my head around it in a coherent way. I'm hearing all kinds of influences, from Sonic Youth to early Siouxie to PIL to various 4AD bands and more. There is a bit of melody in the mayhem and they use the basic two guitar/bass/drums line-up in a fairly unique way. Having two singers (male and female) helps to add another dimension of difference to the drone but these aren't particularly memorable "songs" as much as they are angular soundscapes - nothing wrong with that, of course!

Funnily, I read a review saying that this record was more "rock" than their earlier work since I, who is not familiar with said earlier work, had been thinking that this record was particularly dirgey/droney and somewhat lacking in the propulsion that some other noize bands utilize. I can hardly imagine what their previous album was like. Of course, immediately after saying that, "Haircut For Pigs" comes on and it is comparatively up-tempo, although with its own weirdnesses.

I definitely dig the two guitar interaction along with the various vocalizations. The more I listen, the more I think it's a combination of Sonic Youth and first album Siouxie and the Banshees (with maybe a hint of Savage Republic), but with their own twist, naturally. If you're so inclined, this is highly intriguing! 


Thursday, June 03, 2021

recommended gigs

 Friday 6-4-21 - Thee Hypnotiques at the Golden Tiki

Friday 6-4-21 - The Dickies with Gob Patrol and Sector 7G at the Fremont Country Club

Saturday 6-5-21 - The New Waves at the Golden Tiki

Sunday 6-6-21 - Shanda and the Howlers at the Golden Tiki

Monday 6-7-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Monday 6-7-21 - Goldtop Bob at the Founders Club

Friday 6-11-21 - Thee Swank Bastards and Stagnetti's Cock at the Double Down

Monday 6-14-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Saturday 6-19-21 - Soldiers of Destruction, Talking Bombs, Tasty Nuggz at the Double Down

Monday 6-21-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Saturday 6-26-21 - Trevor and the Swingin' Johnsons at Tiki di Amore

Monday 6-28-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Saturday 7-3-21 - the Delta Bombers, the New Waves, ITLYTKY at the Usual Place

Monday 7-5-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Wednesday 7-7-21 - Franks'n'Deans Weenie Roast returned to the Double Down with Green Fuz and more!

Monday 7-12-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Monday 7-19-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Monday 7-26-21 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

8-21-21 - Metalachi, Los Carajos, Sheiks of Neptune at the Dive Bar

Friday 9-3-21 - the Maxies, Franks'n'Deans, the Implosions at the Double Down

Saturday 9-25-21 - The Darts at Evel Pie with tons of other bands - PRB-related

Friday 10-8-21 - the Dickies with the Sheiks of Neptune at the Dive Bar