Friday, September 29, 2006


The Beginning Of a New Age


Mogollar was a Turkish rock band. If you have followed this ultra-cool scene, you may have heard them on a compilation or so. Here's their second album from about 1971 or so.

This album sounds very little like you might expect. First, it's completely instrumental. Second, that tuff fuzz-tone that marks the best Turkish rock is AWOL. All in all, there's some kinda cool stuff on the album, although some of it veers a little toward Windham Hill for my taste.

But about track 12, when the bonuses kick in, hold the bus. All of the sudden we get the vocals, the fuzz, and the rock'n'roll attitude. Hang in there until then, or hit the skip button.

There are even two specimen of the rarest of all species - the English language Turkish song. Wow - I hadn't know such a thing existed. I think, although I wouldn't swear to it, that Baris Manco sings on a couple of those bonus tracks.

My computer thinks that this album is by Damon and Naomi. It's not, I promise. Sorry for the confusion.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Freaky, dude

Indian War Whoop - The Holy Modal Rounders

These guys are actually both still alive nearly 40 years later. This is a shocker, as they were clearly using some pretty heavy shit back then.

The two album sides are presented as single tracks, for your approval. This is because they run together. Sometimes coherent songs emerge, sometimes they don't. Sometimes the chair gets up and walks across the room. The lamp is talking to me in gibberish, but I pretend I can't hear it. Wmeslbsblerg.

As you would expect, after an album like this, the Rounders were picked up by a much bigger label (Elektra - not quite a major yet, but they had the Doors). They spent their advance money on hard dope and made an even better record.

Monday, September 25, 2006



The Godz, sort of

The Godz - Godzundheit

After sitting on hiatus through the fall of psychedelia, the rise of the Eagles and Zeppelin, and the near-death experience of free jazz, the Godz decided to rise from the dead to show 1973 who was boss. Or else they decided to make a limp fricken singer-songwriter album. Hard to say what the motivation behind this was, but it probably wasn't chemical.

This one starts like a mother, with the Lester Bangs approved Whippenpoof Song. That's kind of cheating, though, because it was five years old at the time, and recorded with the real Godz lineup. If you haven't heard it, you should. Bracingly out of tune, and more rock than anything on the first two albums. I like it.

(digression) There was a special underground NY psych that existed at the time. Marked by ineptitude, attitude, and flyswatter guitar, it was the damn goods. Godz, Fugs, early VU, Rounders, probably a couple others I'm not thinking of right now. You can trace a straight line through that to the Skip Spence record and right on to Jandek, then it stops cold.(digression over)

The rest of this album goes between limp ballads (Paul Thornton), bar rock (Jim McCarthy), and sort-of-weird outsider rock (Larry Kessler). Take it or leave it, I recommend mostly the latter. The Jumpin Jack Flash cover is actually kind of cool.

There are two other late "Godz" albums ESP rereleased on CD during the 90's. Contrary to the labels claims, these are not unreleased Godz sessions, but solo albums by Jim and Paul. Like the Beatles solo albums of the early-70's wasteland, they are to be avoided at all costs. I'll put up the third Godz in the next week or so, but I'm feeling the need to diversify a bit for the time being.

Amazingly, three fourths of the pictured band look exactly like Bud Cort. The statistical probability of that must be staggeringly low.

I think I messed something up here. Let's get rid of this redundant post. Instead, more requests for ESP-disks might go here.


Are these guys serious?

The Godz - Contact High With....

This record is about as subtle as its title. Make no mistake, this is a heavy doper freakout album. To the max.

If you judge a record on technical skill, this one rates about a half-tick above the Shaggs, meaning it doesn't rate at all. If you've downloaded Godz 2, and think you've heard how bad a band can be, that album sounds like Yngwie Malmsteen compared to this one. Not to single one of these guys out, but man, that bass player sounds like he's playing a different song most of the time.

So why do people like this? Is it because Lester Bangs thought it was funny? Because it has some primitive untamed charm? Because it has an honesty other records don't? Probably at least all three, maybe more reasons that don't occur to me.

I'll focus on the honesty, though. I have my fair share of freakout records, and this is one of the top few. Compared to a band like Smegma, for example (not to pick on them too bad, but they are on the stereo right now), these guys really seem to mean it. This is no academic exercise. This is full-on fuck you culture war in a way that the Chicago Seven would have well understood.

This is from an original pressing. It says mono on the label, but I'll call BS on that - there is about as wide a stereo separation as you'll ever hear on this. Vocals on one side, drums on the other is a rare arrangement. There's some noise, especially on the back end. If you want pristine sound, buy the goddam CD.

I see the band is suing the label for the right to release this as part of a box set. Right on, Godz. I hope there is some live or otherwise unheard stuff kicking around. I'll bet it is hilarious - these guys were known for confrontational performances well before Iggy got his dander up.

Sunday, September 24, 2006



Seventh Sons - Raga (4 am at Frank's)

According to the liner notes, this album was recorded live at a loft show in 1964. This three piece, augmented with a flute, rips through a single song for 32 minutes. Other than some wordless stuff, there is no singing. Just rhythmic modal jamming.

Except that there is no damn way this was done in 1964. First of all, according to other sites that talk about Buzzy Linhart's career, they didn't even get together until 1965 or 1966. Second, there was no ESP-disk to record it until the end of that year. I think it is more likely that it was recorded in about 1966, when they reportedly were doing similar styles backing up Fred Neil in live performances. This is a big deal, because this recording is groundbreaking in 1964, and one of many a couple years later.

Either way, it's a bit of a yawnfest. It is much more listenable as album sides.

If anyone has Buzzy's first solo album ('buzzy'), I'd love to hear it, hint, hint.


I own this, but I can't exactly say why

Milford Graves Percussion Ensemble

This is posted by request from a loyal reader. As such, I'll be kind to it. I have owned this for a while, and still probably haven't been through it end to end in a single sitting. Frankly, I find it a bit of a chore, but I usually do with drummer-led sessions.

I'm sure I got this because it was referenced somewhere as a real good one. So someone must like it. I was thinking this was a Nurse With Wound one, but I guess not.

This is a duet for percussion between Milford and Sunny Murray. These guys play on a lot of stuff I really dig, but that's the best I can say for it.

I like this ESP-disk stuff precisely because it is not for everybody. I've particularly enjoyed a bit of debate over the merits or lack thereof of the Godz. That kind of discussion of good records is the reason for the site. The next ESP will be another one that I'm sitting on the fence about to keep the debate moving. Then, more Godz.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Sounds tribal.

The Godz - Godz 2

Are you ready? Because here is the dang holy grail. For your Friday night pleasure. I hope some of you are tore up enough to dig it.

This here lp is the opposite of the usual career path. Most bands, at least in the mid-60's, do a first album with a hit and a bunch of covers and filler. Then, the second album gets all arty-farty. They get dropped by the label, blah, blah.

Not the Godz. They started so far frickin out that they had to come back to earth to find some song structure. When they did? hooo-boy.

Dig Radar Eyes, if you will. One chord plus a sneaky second. If they gave an Oscar for Best Use of Tremolo in a Supporting Role, this would own it. A song so good, they rip it off twice before the album is over.

Dig their cover of a beatle song, if you will. The beatles, fer godz sake. Since none of them could actually *play* it, they just do it acapella. Which makes it 10000% better.

There is something about not being able to play a trap set straight forward that gives a band a special something. The VU had it, and everyone who tries to cop them misses it. The Godz had it, too. And they go a step further by miking the kit like a jazz player, giving it a room vibe that is usually not on a rock record. Gee-zis, that sounds nice.

I gotta say, though, I found a site doing some, er, research for this post that had a picture of the Godz as they is now. Take it down this instant! Please don't wreck the beautiful mystery of these three perfect records by showing me that they look like normal 60 year olds now.

I want some damn comments. Especially from you who haven't heard this yet. I'd love to know that this record hit someone else as hard as it hit me. Then tell me if you want more of these.

And, of course, other ESP bands you are interested in. I think that we're about to spend a few weeks on a serious ESP retrospective. Thank godz I got that glam shite out of my system.

The Ernest and Julio Gallo Horn Section

Peggy Scott and JoJo Benson - Soulshake

I love this period of soul music. It's really the end of southern soul. Within a year or two of this record coming out, soul went all Philly, or else got funkadelicized. But for a while, there were some really adventurous post-Otis soul records coming out of the south.

This one is more Otis than most. Specifically, these are about all rewrites of Tramp by Otis and Carla. And they do a creditable job of hitting both of their styles pretty hard.

But it wasn't the voices that made me buy this right off the turntable at the store where I first heard it. This record has some of the flat-out dopest backing tracks of any soul record I own. First off, lots of the tracks feature electric sitar as the lead instrument. This is cool, an underused gimmick in soul (and don't talk to me about the frickin Box Tops, because I don't wanna hear it)

Better yet, there is a nice sloppy in the pocket groove to the rhythm section and the horns. Unlike a Stax or Muscle Shoals session, these guys are loooooose. I've never really heard a loose horn section before. It's a cool effect. I like to think that it was late and night, and there was a little drinkin goin on. But maybe they were just underrehearsed. Anyway, the horns sell this one for me.

If you like this, there is a good SSS label comp that came out about a year ago. Lots of other treasures on that one.

Godz tomorrow.


Does anyone know much about that Rapidshare bonus points? Can I use them to renew my member ship or anything? Please help, if you can.

Also, I've been finding a lot of good new blogs this week. Including the following: (the Boris / Sunn O))) collaboration!!) (dig that Missing Links comp - I love that band) (The Third Eye, oh yeah) (That Andy Votel comp has been on heavy rotation at my house since spring. Really good) (if you don't have Music to Eat, what the hell is wrong with you. Get it now.)

Anyway, welcome to the club, fellers. Now add me to your links, will ya?

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Another misfit toy album

Joe Harriott - Indo-Jazz Suite

If you are following this blog, and having trouble getting a hand on the PLO aesthetic, let me give you a hand. I'm not so much into a single genre, as the records that are a little weird for a mass audience. The land of misfit toy records. This immediately excludes 99+% of current records - truly weird barely exists anymore. But there was a time when labels were OK with sneaking out a trial balloon from time to time.

Like this one. On Atlantic, fer christsakes. Joe Harriott, England's Ornette wanna-be, hired a sitar player, copped Ornette's band name, and dropped a gem.

It's about what you'd expect from an Ornette Coleman/sub-Shankar sitar duet. The second collaboration is more of the same, and the source of the much covered Acka Raga. Give it a try.

For those of you who care about such things, this is burned from a mono promo copy in pretty damn good shape for 40 years old. Raga time!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Genius or incoherent noise?

Cromagnon - Orgasm

Cromagnon was a weirdo duo of bubblegum songwriters from Connecticut who decided to get their rocks off on an ESP-disk. A good idea, really. If your day job gets you down....

Some of the tracks get into some really neat psychedelia, predicting some of the more out moments of the '80's (say the demented Butthole Surfers of Locust Abortion Technician). Some are a little more tedious and hard to get to. My feeling about which tracks are which can shift from listen to listen, which I take as a good thing.

This is a Nurse With Wound list item, so you trainspotters, spot away. Why this was chosen among all the weird stuff on the label (along with the damn unlistenable Milford Graves Percussion Ensemble) is a bit of a mystery to me. What of the mighty Godz? Ed (Who) Askew? Patty Waters? Noah Howard? Go back and rectify this, Stapleton.

Again, by request. Keep those comments coming.

Such a tame disc

Pharoah Sanders Quintet (Pharoah's First)

This here disc is Pharoah's first date as a leader, and the third issue by the gargantuan ESP-disk label. I love all things ESP, but looking through the blog, I haven't really posted many of them. I'll have to start rectifying that.

For those of you who know Pharoah from his work with Coltrane and beyond, this might seem like a bit of a surprise. It's surprisingly straight bop in a lot of ways. There's a piano, for gosh sakes. And a walking bass. And quick chord changes.

But then Pharoah blasts in with that tone, and you know this is no Dexter Gordon lp (nothing wrong with Dexter, by the way, just a comparison). In about six months after this was cut, he was in outer space with the expanded Coltrane group. Here, he's counting down to blastoff.

Maybe one of you collector nuts can help me with this. Every other reference to this record I've seen has the cover on the CD reissue - black and white swirly pattern. Mine has a kick-ass Jay Dillon (from the Godz - coming soon) pen drawing of a psychedelicized woman figure. Why did I luck out with the great cover? Is this a bootleg issue (common w/ ESP, even on CD)? An original (if so, why change to a crappy cover)?

If you dug it, it's a nugget

Crushed Butler - Uncrushed

I wanted to make sure that this one didn't get away from us at the PLO. This mini-lp was donated by loyal reader "anonymous," a reader who far and away dominates our meagre comment lists.

This record reminds me quite a bit of the Deviants and Edgar Broughton, if not as lysergic as either. Pretty straight forward, aggressive, pre-punky. These are demos, so don't think you'll get good sound quality, but who the hell cares about that.

The guy in the band went ahead and formed Hammersmith Gorillas after this. They were a third-string glam band that pops up on all those junkshop glam comps. Good stuff, too.

Take a bow, Anonymous.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Birth of Turkish Rock

Erkin Koray - The Singles Collection v. 1

Erkin Koray was the first Turkish rock star. He started playing covers of American rock and roll music in the late 50's. He was even stabbed for having long hair. Take that, you namby young American punkers.

This is a collection of his singles from the 60's leading up toward his first full length album. The albums come in and out of print in the states, and aren't all that hard to find. I don't think these singles have ever come out here, with the exception of a couple that ended up on his first lp. This collection is a CD-R put together for the geek market.

The first couple of singles are pretty corny, but that's the case with a lot of the beat era bands. By the '67 stuff, you can start to hear his style form. Searing electric saz and guitar leads, treble all day long, modal soloing. If you haven't heard any of the Turkish psych stuff, prepare to get your head blown off. If you are a fan of the style, it starts here.

Erkin is still out there rockin'. According to the picture on Wikipedia, he looks a lot like Neil Young these days, wacky eyebrows and all. He's one of the few people out there who evented his own genre. Compare him to Fela or Scratch Perry or Kraftwerk or whoever the hell you want, he's earned it.

Monday, September 18, 2006


By request, again

Simply Saucer - Cyborgs Revisited

Boy is this a great record. For those of you that haven't heard this, SS were a Canadian group of the wasteland period (post-psych, pre-punk). Like a few of the other kick ass bands of the period, they were almost completely unique. And completely invisible.

I've heard this record compared to Syd's Floyd quite a bit. I can dig it, but only if we're talking about the Syd of Vegetable Man and Scream Thy Last Scream. There's no See Emily Play pop structure going on here at all.

I think a more apt comparison is the very earliest of Pere Ubu. The one with Peter Laughner. This has that same damaged sense of song structure - there are very few verse/chorus things going on here. Even the solo sections have a crazy non-standard structure to them. Also like the Ubu, there is that ubiquitous non-musical electronics that really sells it for me.

But unlike Floyd or Ubu, this is a space *rock* band, meaning that the singer is got that garage punky snarl to him. This is the piece that takes this band from being part of a group to being flat out unique.

If you haven't written songs before, it may be hard to truly appreciate how difficult this type of song construction is (don't you hate it when reviewers say this kind of shit...). Most songs are written as groove A (aka verse), groove B (chorus), and maybe C or D (bridge, coda, intro, etc). Each piece needs to fit somewhat, but as long as they are similar keys, it works OK. Simply Saucer might go A, B, C, D, semi-A, C backwards, E, Q, freak-out, B with each part melting into each other, rather than abrupt transitions. Good stuff.

I posted the original album only. There is a CD version that is available, so I'm sort of breaking the house rules by posting this. I'm justifying in a couple ways. One, it's a request. Two, it's rare enough that many folks who would love it haven't heard it. Three, there is a ton of bonus stuff on the CD release, so you'll get something new when you actually buy it (and you will, it's that good).

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Drugs'll Do It To Ya, Rock, Rock, Rock

Butch Willis and the Rocks - Forthcomings

This is the first micro (private?) press strange ass non-commercial record I ever bought. At the time, I had no idea that this was its own world. I just heard a couple of these songs on the local college station, and thought they were cool.

Specifically, those songs were Drugs'll Do It To Ya and The Girl's On My Mind. Some college rock DJ thought enough of my hometown to toss these into heavy rotation for a few weeks, enough that we could get 'em on tapes. Twenty years later, I still know every word.

When I found the record again after several years away, I was overjoyed. Now, you can be, too.

Read an interview with Butch here.

I've enjoyed the upturn in comment frequency. Keep 'em coming. It keeps me interested.

Friday, September 15, 2006

What's Australian for glam?

Stevie Wright - Collection

The new Ugly Things has an article in it about 1970's Australian rock. The author tries to define a new genre of "Grillfat Rock", with this being a prime example. Me, I think the last thing we need to do is retroactively define a new genre, especially one with a name that don't make no sense.

Instead, I'll choose to think of this record as the halfway stop between the Easybeats and AC/DC. If you don't know the Easybeats, you should. They made impossibly complicated (try to play along to Friday On My Mind sometime) and catchy pop songs. Little Stevie Wright was their singer.

Like everyone else, at the dawn of the 70's, he decided to get heavy. These songs stretch out, but they retain that blue-eyed soul voice that this fella was known for. Evie was the hit, I think.

After a few solo records, Stevie got more wasteder than a jobbing musician can get away with. His guitar-playin, songwritin, producin buddies Vanda and Young took George's little brothers Angus and Malcolm to the bank with a stripped down and solo'ed up version of the sound on this CD.

By request - the drones have it

Velvet Underground - Live 1966

This is from a vinyl bootleg of the music the wayyyy early VU made for a film in January of 1966. Basically, they set up, and let rip on a single chord for an hour. Nico mumbles along here and there. You can't hear him, but Nico's son Ari shakes a tambourine.

I've seen the film, and this definitely loses something without the visual. The crappy sound quality really pulls some of the force out of the experience, too. If you are a fan of the band, do seek out this movie. It's not terribly hard to come up with - I've got a VHS copy over here at the joint.

Even with the problems with the sound quality, this is a great addition to a VU collection. It sounds like a completely different band than the other live boots and official releases from the Doug Yule years.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

New Kids on the Block

A warm PLO shout out to Grown Up All Wrong, a new mp3 block just getting started today. If his other stuff keeps pace with his first post, I'll be a frequent visitor.


I know you are gay because...

Jobriath - S/T + Creatures of the Night

In the 40-Year-Old Virgin, two of the supporting characters have this dumb little verison of the dozens where they banter back and forth with insults that start with "I know you are gay, because..." Ending that sentence with " own both Jobriath records" would probably be about as complete a victory as possible in that game.

I can say without threat to my masculinity that I own and enjoy both Jobriath records. They are pretty standard glam rock, more on the Broadway end than most. The songs are catchy enough to stay in your head for a while, like this kind of music should. I'm especially prone to getting stuck on Space Clown and Scumbag for hours and hours.

If you thought that Scissor Sisters had an original sound and shtick, sorry to burst your bubble.

A CD comp came out a couple years ago, but the two original albums contain a bunch of stuff that didn't make the CD. Like it or lump it. This is probably it for the glam for a while, at least until I buy some more records. We're going to go back to the weird stuff now.

Do you want to hear the most annoying noise in the world?

Lou Reed - Metal Machine Music

This is a record that is far more talked about than listened to. There are really two schools of thought on this one.

1) This is a big fuck you from Lou to his label to close out his contract. It is awful, and Lou knew it was awful, and we're left holding the bag for a $5.98 double album.

2) This record is a great laugh -at rather than laugh-with comedy piece. Rock stars do the strangest things!

I'd like to propose a third interpretation. This is the logical culmination of the "take lots of speed and make lots of noise" path of art that Lou went down from time to time. Like White Light / White Heat, without the songs. Anyone who has heard the music from the early hour film the VU made for Andy (shall I post this?) will recognize this approach. In fact, you can pretty well draw a straight line connecting the early boots > the first couple albums > MMM. It's Sally Can't Dance that's the weird one.

Lou obviously worked really hard on this. There are lots of edits, back maskings, harmonic juxtapositions, etc. It isn't easy to listen to, but if it weren't by LOU REED, it would be one of those obscure NWW records we all go potty over.

Of course, Lou had some help working hard. I can't believe that none of the reviews of this record that I've ever read make any mention of the fact that he subtitled the album with the chemical structure of amphetamine. Can you imagine an artist doing that today?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Johnny Rotten's favorite album

Peter Hammill - Nadir's Big Chance

This is an album cited by Johnny Rotten as a big influence on his first popular band. Because of this, it's gotten a reputation as some sort of prescient pre-punk punker. I don't quite buy that.

This album is really not *that* different from a van der Graaf album. Pete is still in his dramatic semi-operatic style. I think what people are responding to is the way the more guitar based arrangements accentuate the similarity between parts of his style and the later safety pin set. Because when Pete gets excited, he gets snarly. He's there about a quarter of the time on this lp.
I like this album, but there's a lot of vdGG and Hammill stuff I like better. Try any of the great group albums (H to He, Least We Can Do, Pawn Hearts, Godbluff) or maybe one of the first couple solo records, and I think you'll see what I mean.

There is a little scuff on the back side, and a slight skip. Sorry, rockers, this isn't an easy album to find in the states, so it's the best I can do.

In appreciation: Dead Moon

I just got the new 2CD Dead Moon comp yesterday. Two discs, about 50 tracks, no crap.

If you aren't familiar with Dead Moon, they are a three-piece rock band from Portland. Fred Cole, the singer, has been in many bands since the late '60's. He even had a minor chart hit with "You Must Be a Witch" by the Lollipop Shoppe in about '68. They became Dead Moon when he taught his wife to play bass about 20 years ago.

Most current punk bands, especially on the West Coast, are a combination of different levels of the following ingredients: the Dolls, the Stooges, the Ramones, X, the Cramps, the Clash, and the Sex Pistols. Almost all of them suck. Complete wastes of time.

When Fred, Toody and Andrew hit the boards, it's always 1966. Not in a crap we-got-some-pudding-bowl-haircuts-and-Voxx-amps sort of way, but because it's no frills damaged garage punk rock. And because it's the goddam right thing to do.

Sad state that it takes a couple of grandparents to teach us how to rock, but I'm glad they are out there still doing it. Now go buy that CD.

I'll have a share post this afternoon.

Monday, September 11, 2006


It's OK, They're Doctors

Doctors of Madness - Figments of Emancipation

This album represents about the end of the road for glam rock. It ends right where it is supposed to - sort of a pre-punk snottiness. If you take away the violin, tighten up the songs, and maybe dumb down the riffs a notch, you're pretty well there.

But the violin is still there, innit? This record sounds to me a lot like the Cockney Rebel stuff (if you don't have their first two, you really should). Violin-based and dark as hell. The big difference being that Steve Harley from CR is kind of a ponce, and Kid Strange isn't so much. Minor difference, though.

I'm thinking about adding a couple more glam ones before moving on. Your comments will convince me whether I should.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Born To Be Weird

Kim Fowley - Outrageous

This is one of my personal all-time top 20. I posted it by request from a comment under the other Fowley posting. I didn't realize this is back out of print in the states, meeting our criteria for being on the blog.

The instrumental sound of this one is very Born To Be Wild-era Steppenwolf. I'm guessing that Mars Bonfire is on this one, and maybe some of the band themselves. But you didn't buy this for the musical backings.

A big chunk of this album is Kim doing what Kim does best. Talking shit in the parlance of the day. And on this day, it was purely drugs and sex. By the middle of side two, he's off into the coolest fake acid trip anyone has gotten onto vinyl.

If you are into the Stooges, Krautrock, or bizarro stuff, you'll love this. If you are into all three, this will be your new favorite album.


Laugh Along With Mental Illness!

Napoleon XIV - The Second Coming

Napoleon XIV was Jerry Samuels, a DJ who liked to play with his varispeed, a good quality in the eyes of your humble reporter. He had a surprise hit with a novelty song about going wacky.

In the style of labels of the time, they hired a songwriter to write a bunch of songs in the style of the hit. Well, they kind of missed it. Most of them are jokes about mental illness, but none of them are all that funny. The hit is the shit, the rest is mostly shite.

But there is one more track that redeems the hell out of this thing. The Explorer, track 2, is a Firesign Theatre-style sound effect piece about masturbation. It just might be better than the song you know. Dig it, while you still have ears to listen.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


A Record For the Little People

We Are Ever So Clean - Blossom Toes

For a period of time around '67, every damn album out of England (except for the Stones, who could give a shit) was a series of ballads for the forgotten little people. The Eleanor Rigby's and the Well Respected Men. I find this very irritating and contrived most of the time - "Songs of the Common Man By Big Rock Stars!". I'm glad it was a passing phase.

This album came out in that era, and is sort of marred by this flaw. Otherwise, it kicks ass. Nice light psychedelic production touches. Good harmony singing. Catchy choruses.

A couple years later, these guys came out with a second album with a nice Cap'n Beefheart / Edgar Broughton Band weird blues feel. Definitely worth seeking out, though you'd never guess it was the same band.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Hang on!

Hold on, friends. I'll have some new stuff up next week. For now, having time crunch and problems with CD recorder. I'll solve over the weekend.

While you are here, please do me a favor friends. If you have a rare record blog, please add me as a link. Leave a comment, and I'll do the same. If you visit, collect, etc, start one of these. It's free, fun, and gives back to your friends.

I saw Polyphonic Spree again last night. They are really good - far better than the glossy mags give them credit for. They are one of the only modern bands that can hold my attention for an hour or more. Catchy songs, good shtick, sexy chicks, lots to like here. They are nice people and very sincere, so help 'em out and buy their new ep.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Home of Punk Rock - Oklahoma?

Debris' - Static Disposal

Like Armand Schaubroeck, this is one of those records that defined the punk rock sound years before the Sex Pickles et al. took it to the bank. There are three records I recommend that you get if you think the English safety pin kids invented this sound.

1) Neu '75. Hero is the Sex Pistols.
2) Peter Hammill's Nadir's Big Chance. Kind of a stepping stone from Prog and Glam to punk. You know Johnny Rotten had this one. (note: I'll post this, if people want it)
3) The Debris. You'll understand when you listen. This one may more predict the later, more hardcore punk.

There's lots of others. The Heartbreakers, Simply Saucer, Chrome, ahh, I've been through this before.

The twist on this record, other than the sheer in-your-face unlistenability, is the liberal use of electronic effects. By the time this sound had a name and an image, electronics were mostly taboo. Unless you were French.

This is another one of those Nurse With Wound list items, for those of you who keep score. This is from a now out-of-print reissue CD with lots of bonus stuff. Try to find a copy before they are all permanently snapped up.

Are You Afraid of the Dead?

Grateful Dead - Vintage Dead

It is sort of a given in rock snob circles to hate the Dead. Like the Doors, Zeppelin, the Eagles, and Steely Dan, the Dead are supposed to represent all that is wrong with the mainstream. I'm here to say, it ain't necessarily so.

Thought experiment: say the GD broke up in '69 (almost did - they were broke and the record co. almost dropped them). I'll respectfully submit that in that alternate universe, the Dead would have a standing up there with near-misses like the MC5 and the Velvets.

Preposterous? Nay, I sayeth. Let's run the checklist:
1) Fighting against the man? Check.
2) Identifiable and influential sound? Check.
3) Studio innovations? Double-check.
4) Memorable songs and singing? Well...

And therein lies the rub. The songwriting of the early Dead was pretty far behind the instrumental prowess. But hell, you could say that about a lot of the bands we go crazy over.

Here's a (subjective) beginner's guide to getting started with the Dead.
Stone classics: Anthem of the Sun, Europe '72, Wake of the Flood
Pretty cool: Most of the other Warners stuff.
Have their moments: American Beauty (the CSN harmonies aren't so good), Blues For Allah, Mars Hotel, Go To Heaven (really.)
Steer Clear: Terrapin Station and Shakedown Street (disco Dead), Built to Last, the Touch of Grey one (forgot its name....)
Live Stuff: Anything from 1968, 1970-4 should be pretty good. 1969 and 1975-1983 can be spotty. Stay away from Brent and Vince eras, unless you go for MIDI keyboards and guitar synths.

This posting is a bootleg from 1970 or so. It is a very early Avalon performance (late '66). The energy is low, perhaps an artefact of the poor recording quality. They would be a lot better in a year or two.

Comment rule: if you are going to belittle the Dead (and part of the reason for this post is to kick off fun debate), you've got to list a favorite guilty pleasure band. And it has to be non-MOJO approved.

Friday, September 01, 2006


Shameless Self-Promotion

The MBE - Bafflemania

This is a CD that came out earlier this year, that I play on and helped with production of. These cats is crazy, no doubt. This is easily the most overproduced private press album of all time. Not in some pro-tools digitized way, but in a spend weeks in a real studio recording massive overdubs of bizarrely treated instruments way.

Dig a few details:
1) Mighty Mouth at one point is backward cymbal, acoustic sitar, 12-acoustic, guy singing through a slinky
2) How's Your Fuzzy Box breaks into backwards drums, backwards sitar, AM radio, and cowbell though tape echo.
3) I Woke Up Dead is a duet for banjo and sitar. Each starts in one speaker and drifts to the other, changing sides on every note
You'll find other sonic details like this if you pay attention. One of my big beefs with modern record production is that cool little details don't make it into records anymore.

Anyway, please let me know what you think of this. Anyone who wants a copy can give me some contact info, and I'll get you one for shipping plus a coupla bucks.

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