Saturday, March 28, 2009


photograph by david l. segal.

Another Fred Wesley and James Brown collaboration. Featuring the JB's.

JAMES BROWN: BOSS from "Black Caesar (Original Soundtrack)" LP (Polydor) 1973 (US)

Friday, March 27, 2009

arthur alexander & sex

john tobler's punk cash-in, phoebus publishing, 1977.

the sex clothes were shocking
but they were art.
i know 'cause i've got them on my wall.

- Marco Pirroni
"punk.", colegrave & sullivan.

This comes courtesy of Crispin over at Reel Cool.

Better known here in the UK as the lead track on The Rolling Stones January, 1964 EP, this Alexander composition was originally the a-side of a Dot Records 45 released in the US in 1961.

Born in Sheffield, Alabama in 1940
, Arthur Alexander was critically acclaimed as a Country Soul pioneer and cited by some as a major influence on the Beatles' John Lennon. A R&B hit on Nashville's Dot Records, the recording was laid down in a rudimentary studio occupying an old Tobacco warehouse in Muscle Shoals on the Tennessee River. It made enough waves across the Atlantic that it found its way onto the in store jukebox in Malcolm McLaren's SEX on the Kings Road, eventually making it onto Marco Pirroni's retrospective compilation.

ARTHUR ALEXANDER: YOU BETTER MOVE ON from "You Better Move On b/w A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues" 45 (Dot Records) 1961 (US)


we do wie dü

'church' organist, larry clark gives it up for black monk time, 1966.

As I have intimated previously, I have procured tickets for consecutive nights of Mark E. Smith & The Fall's Glasgow bash, kicking off this evening on the Renfrew Ferry now permanently moored at Anderson Quay on the River Clyde. A location not ten minutes' furious pumping of feet from my hulking block of flats.

Last of the 'projects'. Lost of the Mohicans.

I have lived here for a decade now. We shuffle through yards of refuse jettisoned from windows with no fear of censure, let alone tonsure. Yesterday it was tentacles of imported squid - unthinkably exotic only a few years ago - today it is rudely hewn dreadlocks, a carpeting of scalps.

Up until the mid sixties, when Glasgow's Clyde Tunnel was first opened to traffic, the Renfrew Ferry was the only means of bridging the main artery of water separating Yoker on the North West and Renfrew on the South. Crucial if one found employment just an awkward stone's throw on the other side of town. Similar ferries had operated the same route since the 17th century as an effective means of trade, and long after the Tunnel began conveying road transport the Renfrew Ferry enjoyed sustained commercial success beyond its years; only ceasing operation in 1984 as a result of Glasgow's declining shipbuilding industry coupled with, ironically, a rise in private vehicle ownership.

In 1964, a little over a year in the Irish wake of the Kennedy assassination, for many Glaswegians a motor car was still an undreamt of luxury.

So. What the f@ck has all this got to with the Monks, you might ask ? Indulge me. A noted admirer of the Monks, five US ex-sevicemen who formed a garage band in post-war Germany, I was introduced to their shit via "Black Monk Theme" which made its appearance on The Fall's '90 opus, "Extricate".

Rosa and I will be on the ferry tonight*. Babysitters have been arranged. Drinks will be poured. Zen Master, I love that woman.


Gary Burger: guitar, lead vocals; Dave Day: electrified banjo, vocals;
Larry Clark: organ, vocals; Eddie Shaw: bass, vocals;
Roger Johnston: drums, vocals.

Produced by Jimmy Bowien. Recorded in Koln, Germany, November 1965.

MONKS: I HATE YOU from "Black Monk Time" LP (Polydor) 1966 (US / Germany)

MONKS: SHUT UP from "Black Monk Time" LP (Polydor) 1966 (US / Germany)


Thursday, March 26, 2009

curse of the mole people

virgil vogel's "the mole people", 1956.

Arranged by John Pate and Riley Hampton. Engineered by Roger Anfinsen.

Written and produced by Curtis Mayfield; one year befor
e his 30th birthday.

Trivia for pigeon fanciers and trainspotters:

The Underground (subway) in Glasgow - originally opened to the public in 1897 - is widely referred to as 'The Clockwork Orange', owing in part to the one-time corporate colour of
Greater Glasgow Passenger Transport Executive. Confusingly, the paint used to decorate the carriages was officially coined 'Strathclyde PTE Red' as a result of political sensitivity - after the fact - to the city's major sectarian divisions. The third oldest subway system of its kind in the world, it operates on only two lines of track, an inner and outer circle, each running counter-clockwise and servicing just fifteen stations across the heart of the city.

Worryingly, many of those lesser stations operate on a single platform. It is all too easy to imagine oneself toppling - or being shoved - on to a live rail or, worse, directly in front of an oncoming train. It is not remotely a child friendly mode of transport, or one to be countenanced by the squeamish.

Parents cling to their offspring, chalky faces paralyzed with anxiety.

When I was a mere kid myself, the passenger seating consisted of bare wooden planking, and those narrow platforms were only dimly lit by naked sixty watt bulbs strung sparingly overhead on cables as substantial as rat chewed threads of skirting board insulation. The carriages were claustrophobic and unsanitary. A smell of piss and beer. One huddled into a corner and held one's breath. Avoided eye contact with the obviously inebriated and simply sat it out; rattling along through black tunnels rank with underground pockets of natural gas. Good times.

Another child farther along forced to give up his seat for an elderly weasel in an overcoat while a fat man sleeps it off splayed out on the bench with one unlaced shoe dangling.

The Tokyo Tube may pack them in like sardines - inert and upright, and red eyes streaming from the Sarin - but at least its trains are spotless.

CURTIS MAYFIELD: UNDERGROUND from "Roots" LP (Curtom) 1971 (US)


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

hell, there it is

inner sleeve of "hell", 1974.

Not the scratchy funk you might have good reason to expect hot on the coals of the Contortions. But itchy.

Arranged and produced by James Brown and David Matthews.  
Released on 7" ahead of the double LP, "There It Is".
Written by Manny Rosen; James Brown; David Matthews; Charles Bobbit.


Hell. On second thoughts, let's all cook it up a little.

Bonus a-side from '71 written by Fred Wesley and James Brown: "
She Got To Use What She Got To Get What She Wants".

JAMES BROWN: KING HEROIN from "King Heroin b/w Theme From King Heroin" 45 (Polydor) 1972 (US)
JAMES BROWN: HOT PANTS (PART 1) from "Hot Pants (Part 1) b/w Hot Pants (Part 2 & 3)" 45 (People) 1971 (US)

Monday, March 23, 2009

off white #1

james chance, lydia lunch and chums on the bowery, summer 1978.

No Yorker, James Chance...

found a home on the pages of those earliest issues of 'The Face', a fashion & music monthly launched in the UK in 1979.
The writing in that magazine, while mostly fine, unquestionably played second fiddle to its sharp graphic content; in particular the cutting edge typography of Neville Brody.

High contrast monochrome images of Chance with his saxophone jockeyed for column dominance under retro features on US manufactured pomades - 'Black & White' from Memphis, Tennessee
- and colour spreads on Vivienne Westwood kilts kissed arse with Jah Wobble, Levine and Lydon. Robert Elms briefly proclaimed Trevor Sorbie the new Vidal Sassoon. Free Jazz was considered the new punk.
The afterbirth of No Wave was considered and cool.

Like a good many New York City icons, of course, James Chance was no native son. Born James Siegfried on April 20th, 1953, his birthplace was actually in the industrial midwest - Milwaukee, Wisconsin - but relocating to NYC in the 70's, the newly Christened Chance / White / Black formed an early alliance with Lydia Lunch (who wrote and sings on "Stained Sheets") in the seminal Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, championed by Bri
an Eno, and out of the abrasive ashes of the No Wave scene first the Blacks then the Contortions were reborn.

Recorded at Blank Tape Studios, NYC, in the Autumn of 1978.

Jody Harris: guitar; Pat Place: slide guitar;
George Scott: bass; Lydia Lunch: vocals;
Don Christensen: drums; James Chance: saxophone.

Ray Mantilla: congas; Anya Phillips: vocals;
Kristian Hoffman: piano, vocals.

Produced by Bob Blank.
"Tropical Heatwave" written by Irving Berlin.

JAMES WHITE AND THE BLACKS: STAINED SHEETS from "Off White" 12" (Ze Records) 1979 (US)
JAMES WHITE AND THE BLACKS: TROPICAL HEATWAVE from "Off White" 12" (Ze Records) 1979 (US)


Sunday, March 22, 2009

terry melcher's favorite toy

Do not f@ckin' worry or...

alternatively, hold your breath. I have not been born again; once in a lifetime is quite enough.

Written by Ira and Charles Louvin, this is simply a dress rehearsal from the "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" sessions with Gram Parsons on vocals.

Fitting on a Sunday. Said Gary Usher:

“ McGuinn was a little bit edgy that Parsons was getting a little bit too much out of this whole thing.... He didn't want the album to turn into a Gram Parsons album. We wanted to keep Gram's voice in there, but we also wanted the recognition to come from Hillman and McGuinn, obviously. You just don't take a hit group and interject a new singer for no reason.... There were legal problems but they were resolved and the album had just the exact amount of Gram Parsons that McGuinn, Hillman and I wanted. ”

Those legal issues apparently revolved around the fact that Parsons was still under contract to Lee Hazlewood at the time of recording. Roger McGuinn was sufficiently "edgy" to erase the approved master vocals produced by Gary Usher and replace them with his own solo performances.

"The line-up for the album was very short lived. After playing a handful of concerts throughout the Los Angeles area, including a party at Ciro's (where the original line-up of The Byrds first gained acclaim) for legendary publicist Derek Taylor, the band embarked on a short European tour. Tapes reveal a very schizophrenic ensemble playing psychedelic-oriented material alongside the Nashville songs. A lipsynched performance on television found Parsons, who, in between concerts, had visited Stonehenge and befriended Keith Richards in what would become one of rock's most infamous associations, sarcastically miming McGuinn's "Eight Miles High" solo on dobro."

Well. F@ck it, brothers and sisters. I am a huge fan of Roger McGuinn's nasal Dylan interpretations. No doubt about it.

This is a document, not a traffic ticket.

THE BYRDS: THE CHRISTIAN LIFE (REHEARSAL, TAKE #11) [BONUS TRACK] from "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" CD (Columbia Legacy Edition) 1997 (US)


gram for gram, pound for pound

dennis hopper by andy warhol, 1971.

A joint

Gram Parsons and Roger McGuinn composition; originally released as the flip side to "Bad Night at the Whiskey" ahead of the new LP.

It did not chart.

The follow-up of sorts to Parsons' vehicle, "Sweetheart of the Rodeo", by this point McGuinn was the sole remaining original Byrd in a line-up featuring the great Clarence White on guitar (head directly for departures via the mighty The Adios Lounge for a definitive education). Parsons, of course, had defected too to cook up The Flying Burrito Brothers with McGuinns's former co-pilot and partner in crime, Chris Hillman.

It's a flatbed affair on four bald tyres and a cracked windshield.

Roger McGuinn: lead vocals, guitar; Clarence White: lead guitar, vocals; John York: bass, vocals; Gene Parsons: drums, vocals.

THE BYRDS: DRUG STORE TRUCK DRIVIN' MAN from "Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde" LP (Columbia) 1969 (US)


Friday, March 20, 2009

what the world needs now


one year before the Queen of Soul's definitive version, Dionne Warwick recorded this song on her Scepter released LP, "The Windows of the World", essentially one more Warwick / Bacharach vehicle to add to the catalogue; seven of the eleven tracks recorded were Burt Bacharach arrangements.

There is no escaping the songwriting genius of Bacharach and David.

The world would be a considerably shabbier place without their contribution.

By way of an aside. While visiting my local pharmacy this morning to collect a prescription, Rosa encouraged me to purchase a pack of ten plastic cigarette filters. They look not unlike a syringe attachment, but by design extract so many ml's of tar before it reaches the lungs. One filter is supposedly sufficient to absorb the crap from five to ten cigarettes in much the same way a carbon filter works on an automobile engine.


After just three cigarettes, chain smoked between 10 AM and 10:30 AM, my synthetic fragment of mass produced Chinese grotequery was choked on a seeming surfeit of crude oil refinery byproducts.

I smoke too much. I know this. Just don't rub my f@cking face in it. I am allergic to the taint of ill advised - or premature - congratulations.

Or. Maybe I am just a killjoy ?

My son was sitting at his fold-down table with an HB pencil clutched in his fist. "What can I draw ?" he said. "Your pension," I replied.

He didn't laugh.

Jerry Jemmott: bass; Roger Hawkins: drums;
Spooner Oldham: electric piano, organ; Tommy Cogbill: guitar;
Aretha Franklin: piano, vocals;
Floyd Newman, Willie Bridges: barritone saxophones;
Andrew Love, Charles Chalmers: tenor saxophones;
Wayne Jackson: trumpet.

Arranged by: Arif Mardin, Tom Dowd. Produced by Jerry Wexler.

ARETHA FRANKLIN: I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER from "Aretha Now" LP (Atlantic) 1968 (US)


it's a girl, mrs. walker

photography by david montgomery.

Original recording produced by Kit Lambert at Kingsway studios, London in October 1967.

These two, neither included on the final album remarkably - the second a Keith Moon composition - manage to sound even more like the Monkees than the Monkees. Some stellar syncopated drumming from Keith; a little Spanish Syd filtered strumming from Pete; and a fade-out on the first track which sounds suspiciously like the intro to the pompous 80's dross of "I Don't Like Mondays".

Friday, here we come.

Remixed and remastered by Andy Macpherson & Jon Astley at Revolution Studios.

THE WHO: GIRL'S EYES (BONUS TRACK) from "The Who Sell Out" LP (Track / MCA) 1967 (UK)

THE WHO: GLOW GIRL (BONUS TRACK) from "The Who Sell Out" LP (Track / MCA) 1967 (UK)


Thursday, March 19, 2009

stationary target

"Young Americans" era jones, 1975.

Stepping off American Bandstand - but not the white powder - The Thin White Duke turned introspective and hit the black on Bleaker Street for his follow-up release, "Station to Station", in 1976. Paralyzing psychosis and paranoia informed both the writing and performance in the studio throughout, and the blue-eyed energized soul of its predecessor was derailed in the process; taking a mysterious detour which would ultimately culminate with those synth laden collaborations with Brian Eno and old friend, Tony Visconti in Berlin between 1976 and 1977.

For all the accusations which were hurled in its direction, in hindsight "Station to Station" was potentially David Jones' most 'real' statement since "Hunky Dory", dealing as it does with genuine emotions, however numbed and blunted. The distance employed between artist and audience has little to do in this instance with artifice and industry chicanery.

The line between persona and persona non grata - a white line, admittedly - is more confused or interrupted than deliberately blurred.

I feel as passionately about this record as anything realized on vinyl between "Space Oddity" and "Scary Monsters... Super Creeps". Ever the ardent Österberg
admirer and champion, one gets the sense that with this LP Bowie finally gave himself the break of accepting his limitations as an intuitive performer and finally began to build on his own unique capabilities to adopt and absorb from varied sources without fear of criticism or put-down. The theatre is tempered with restraint and the desire to cultivate from crippling experience. The Jacques Brel, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill influences which would dominate later work make their first appearance here, with little apology, on his bold decision to end the album with a cover of Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington's "Wild is the Wind", originally recorded by Johnny Mathis for the movie of the same name in 1957.
It reeks of cabaret and greasepaint, beyond a doubt, but the face melting on stage under the footlights just as irrefutably belongs to David Jones himself.

Stay tuned, and keep reading between the lines. Keep one eye open for the train.

David Bowie: vocals, guitar, tenor and alto saxophone, Moog, Mellotron;
Carlos Alomar: guitar; Roy Bittan: piano;
Dennis Davis: drums; George Murray: bass;
Warren Peace: backing vocals; Earl Slick: guitar.
Produced by David Bowie and Harry Maslin. Recorded in Los Angeles, September-December 1975.

DAVID BOWIE: STAY from "Station To Station" LP (RCA) 1976 (UK)

DAVID BOWIE: WILD IS THE WIND from "Station To Station" LP (RCA) 1976 (UK)


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

we fuck on cinder blocks

Roll up! From the cancerous bowels of New York City...

"The most punk rock country-blues chamber orchestra on earth."
The debt owed Tom Waits here is striking - after a three minutes past midnight fashion - but other songs hint at something beyond "Rain Dogs". Front man, Johnny B. - "A Legend in his own mind" - has the kind of presence Sideshow Bob might approve of. Or Captain Beefheart painted into a corner with a cuban cigar.

Johnny B: songs, singing, guitar; Jackson Kincheloe: harmonica, lap steel;
Melissa E: accordion, keys, piano, organ;
Tucker Rountree: 1971 fender stratocaster; Doug Wright: bo' fiddle;
Lucas Leto: percussion, hammer, kit, clang, bang, kaboom.

"The band’s self-titled debut album “Electric Black” will be released on May 15th and available on iTunes and CD Baby.
It was produced by Fernando Aponte (producer of
Tito Puente) and mixed at the legendary Avatar Studios in Studio B."

ELECTRIC BLACK: OUR LOVE IS SMOKING from "Our Love Is Smoking" Promo MP3 (Mad Apple Music) 2009 (US)


my name is jack

r. crumb by charles burns.

This single, released on Fontana in the early summer of 1968 - dragging on the heels of a 45 version of Dylan's "Mighty Quinn" and Mann's theme from the kitchen sink drama, "Up the Junction" - reached the number 8 spot on the UK charts but did not even break the Top 100 in the US.

A John Simon composition, lyrically there is little about the song to merit critical favour. It is an anachronism which touches on real issues only in the most hideously superficial sense, a populist piece of bubblegum flavoured crap, but for all its crassness it nevertheless seems to form a concrete bridge of sorts between that era and the more cynical 1970's where groups like the Tom Robinson Band were positioned to explore similar avenues with sensitivity and a genuine impetus to effect change.

Whenever I hear this song I think of child actor, Jack Wilde and his rise and descent from "Oliver" through "H.R. Pufnstuf" into alcoholism and obscurity. Worse, it also makes me dwell uncomfortably on newsreel footage of Fred and Rosemary West and their house of horrors on Cromwell Street.

Whatever. In essence, it is greater than the sum of its parts.

MANFRED MANN: MY NAME IS JACK from "My Name Is Jack b/w There Is A Man" 45 (Fontana) 1968 (UK)

Monday, March 16, 2009

glendale real estate

from his glendale series, 1990-1993. photograph by wayzata camerone.

Directly inspired by Nothin' Says Somethin's featuring of an image by Wayzata Camerone in his recent post on L.A. punksters, The Brainiacs. Camerone was vocalist and saxophonist for the band from 1979 to 1981, in addition to teaching a class in photography at Art Center in Pasadena in the 90's.

Some of his arresting imagery immediately makes me think of his more famous New York contemporary, Richard Kern, yet there is something decidedly more film noir than theatrical in content which manifests itself the closer one examines his photographs; a hardboiled eroticism perfectly at home in the seedier Californian haunts once home to would-be Hollywood screenwriters and miscreants. There is little of the deliberate staginess which separates fact from imitation in Kern's own work. In his "Glendale" series in particular, shot on a
Yashica 2 ¼ format camera and printed at home in a darkroom in Glendale, one can almost smell and taste a pervading desperation. The kind of raw and gritty reportage one is more used to confronting in photojournalism and street photography.

This is an artist I hitherto knew absolutely nothing about and am glad to have been introduced to. Somewhat belatedly. The following blog is "administered by executors of the estate"; I can find no mention of his demise, or the circumstances which fueled it. Beyond those references on Nothin' Says Somethin' and his link to that site, there is sadly an absence of information on Camerone elsewhere on the net.

Given the quality of those images I have seen, that situation deserves to be addressed and rectified.

If Lydia Lunch or Sonic Youth spring to mind at the mere mention of Richard Kern, what captures or illustrates the darker tones of Camerone's minor expositions ? Beyond the music of The Brainiacs themselves, or those nocturnal after hours visitors to the club he ran in tandem ?

The selection I finally settled on is at odds with the era Wayzata Camerone occupied in time. But then again, so are his images. The vulnerable jazz of journeyman trumpeter and sometime vocalist, Chet Baker, seems to suit the monochromatic flavour rather well.
The composition was written for Baker by Elvis Costello. He had no real expectation that Chet would ultimately record it, sweet as nicotine and laced with weary resignation.

CHET BAKER: ALMOST BLUE from "Bespoke Songs, Lost dogs, Detours & Rendezvous" LP (Rhino) 1987 (US)


evolutionary spirit

You may by now be familiar with their self-released "The Evolution" EP, originally debuting in September, 2008.

A live staple on the Chicago circuit, apparently, Overman share a farm dwelling in nearby Joliet, Illinois, where they have honed their sound since their inception some six years ago. The title track, "Evolution Rocks", has already
garnered "an official endorsement from the National Science Teachers Association" with it's gentle mocking of those Christian fundamentalists determined to coerce American schools into dropping Darwinism from the syllabus. A midwestern Taliban, if you will, with zero tolerance for any empirical evidence which might undermine religious conjecture and dogma.

All very worthy, and an entertaining song certainly, but the track which immediately grabbed my attention is "Move On" with its exotic guitar overtones at least one reviewer has likened to the late John Cipollina, but to my ears is as reminiscent of a collaboration between Neil Young and Danny Whitten.

Aaron Kelly: vocals, bass; Matthew Radowski: vocals, rhythm guitar;
Russell Eggenberger: vocals, lead guitar; Jason Burley: drums.

OVERMAN: MOVE ON from "The Evolution" EP (Overman) 2009 (US)


the wrestler

I'm almost embarrassed to admit to it - though brazen enough in the final analysis - but I went to see Alan Parker's "Angel Heart" in the same theatre three days running in 1987. It was not the 'surprise' dénouement which had me coming back, really there was no surprise to be had, but it was one of those movies which inexplicably finds a willing ally behind the eyes where half dreams wrestle and break; where the ghosts of Jim Thompson and Steve Fisher adjourn to peek through shutters. Three fingers in a shot glass.

On all three occasions, I went in and came out on my own. A Travis Bickle moment without the same degree of attendant lunacy.

I have never been to New Orleans. I don't imagine to ever get there. But Parker's lazy lingering camera work leaves more of an imprint on the retina than a month's worth of reportage in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Some of you siblings may perhaps be a little startled by the decision to feature Courtney Pine, a saxophonist I invariably - and wholly absentmindedly - refer to much of the time, when citing this soundtrack, as Courtney Cox. I have no idea whether this is a subconscious insult or not.

Say hello to Epiphany Proudfoot in the rain. Lisa Bonet never looked so damn fine.

TREVOR JONES & COURTNEY PINE: BLOODMARE (DOG TAGS) from "Angel Heart (Original Soundtrack)" LP (Island) 1987 (UK)

TREVOR JONES & COURTNEY PINE: JOHNNY FAVOURITE from "Angel Heart (Original Soundtrack)" LP (Island) 1987 (UK)


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

IRSX 105

"Produced by Other Wordly Sources". Allegedly.

Released March, 1984; finally finding a permanent resting place on 1987's compilation, "Dead Letter Office".

from "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry) b/w Voice Of Harold / Pale Blue Eyes" 12" 45 (I.R.S.) 1987 (US)

Monday, March 9, 2009

radio free ontario

Do not fret. There are no plans afoot to alter this channel's remit to wallow in music of a clear and certain 'vintage'. Not significantly, at least.

Jeff Davis, it appears, first teamed up with fellow busker, Fergus Griffin, after a chance encounter on the London Underground in 1999 when Davis turned up there on a sabbatical to collaborate with Gang of Four guitarist, Andy Gill. Within days a coterie of four of sorts was established in homage to Gill when the pair ran into bass guitarist Aldo Silver and a tiny dancing monkey in the labyrinthian tunnels of Hammersmith tube station.

They eventually repaired to San Francisco and in 2004 set up shop in a log cabin in Woodside, California, expanding to a seven piece as they experimented with those songs which would form the backbone of "Your Star was Shining".

Rosa has been grooving to this tune all weekend as we've struggled to impose a sense of equilibrium on our chaotic apartment. We are succeeding rather well, I think. It reminds me more than a little of Camper Van Beethoven at their most radio-friendly. A compliment of the highest order.

Jeff Davis: lead vocals, guitar; Fergus Griffin: guitars, vocals;
Aldo Silver: bass, vocals; Stevie Utstein: cello, keyboards, vocals;
Art McConnell: drums; Shaina Evoniuk: violin, vocals;
Helen Aki: guitar, vocals.

L'AVVENTURA: ROCKET SUE from "Your Star Was Shining" CD (Elliptical) 2009 (US)


Saturday, March 7, 2009

la celestina: blue period

TW 1010.

detail from "
la celestina" by pablo picasso, 1904, in his blue period.
"Like a slingshot, only using a sibling ? Where do I get one ?"

Quite unexpectedly, I recently received an email from Jackson Del Ray of Los Angeles based experimental collective 17 Pygmies, including links to their 2008 CD release on Trackwerx, "Celestina"; a concept piece loosely based on the classic 15th Century Spanish novel "Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea" - Tragicomedy of Calisto and Melibea - by Fernando de Rojas. Thematically, the album updates the tragedy as an ill-starred deep space flight which sees a trio of voyagers lose themselves in the midst of "a giant gas nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia".

Next stop, the Twilight Zone.
From their official biography:

17 Pygmies officially began in 1982 when then Savage Republic member Jackson Del Rey (aka Philip Drucker) began jamming in a garage with keyboardist and guitarist Michael Kory (Radwaste) and drummer, soon to be singer, Debbie Spinelli from Food & Shelter and Radwaste...

Their cinematic fusion of progressive psychedelia and experimentalism - deliberately recalling the early Pink Floyd - allegedly harks back to the signature sound laid bare on 1984's "Jedda by the Sea", recorded in Santa Monica and released originally on Resistance Records in the States and Rough Trade in Europe. Quite beautiful in both its quiet and sometimes grating tribal ambience.

17 Pygmies - with new bass player, Bob Mora - are currently at work on a new CD scheduled for release later this year. Material for it has been previewed at live performances including a gig at the IPO Festival, Spaceland in Los Angeles.

Jackson Del Rey: guitar, bass, keyboard, vocal;
Jeff Brenneman: guitar;

Meg Maryatt: guitar, keyboard, accordion, vocal;

Dirk Doucette: drums.

Produced by Jackson Del Ray; mastered by Paul du Gré.

17 PYGMIES: CELESTINA (I) from "Celestina" CD (Trakwerx) 2008 (US)
17 PYGMIES: CELESTINA (V) from "Celestina" CD (Trakwerx) 2008 (US)


Friday, March 6, 2009

sibling whispers #23: rockin' with jerry lee

Quite possibly the finest review of the Killer in the raw I have come across; Jon's invocation of a night in the company of Jerry Lee in Little Nashville Opry in Nashville, Indiana - over on Poetry is for Assholes - perfectly conjures the Old Testament evangelism of bearing witness to serpents writhing straight up from the Mississippi swamplands. Not to be missed. EVOL.

JERRY LEE LEWIS: WHOLE LOT OF SHAKIN' GOING ON from "Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On b/w It'll Be Me" 45 (Sun) 1957 (US) [r]

Thursday, March 5, 2009

see no, speak no, hear no

three wise monkees.

The modern English word 'evil' (Old English Yfel) and its cognates such as the German 'Übel' and the Dutch 'Euvel' are widely considered to come from a Proto-Germanic reconstructed form *Ubilaz, comparable to the Hittite huwapp- ultimately from the Proto-Indo-European form *wap- and suffixed zero-grade form *up-elo-. [Etymology c/o Wiki]

e•vil |ˌiːv(ə)l| |-vɪl|

the evil eye a gaze or stare superstitiously believed to cause material harm : he gave me the evil eye as I walked down the corridor.
the Evil One archaic the Devil.
put off the evil day (or hour) postpone something unpleasant for as long as possible.
speak evil of slander : it is a sin to speak evil of the king.

Actually. Just a favoured tune from a highly favoured monkee.

MICHAEL NESMITH: RIO from "From A Radio Engine To The Photon Wing" LP (Pacific Arts) 1977 (US)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

not quite summer

photograph by jill krementz, USA.

UA 35 585.

They don't come any cheesier than this. Written by Florida's Bobby Goldsboro with a seasoned twist of Jim Webb, but served up with such a generous side order of homogenized slush it is enough to make one back off sheepishly like a dog stung on the nose by a clockwork bee.

Arranged by Timmy Tappan; produced by Bob Montgomery and Bobby Goldsboro.

Oh. And possibly one of the most atmospherically arranged introductions ever to adorn the hit parade. I would like to think the writing on this one is informed more by Peter Bogdanovich's "The Last Picture Show" - or Jim Thompson's pulp noir - than Paul Anka and Norman Rockwell. Feel free to tear and shred as you will.

Solicitions, siblings.

BOBBY GOLDSBORO: SUMMER (THE FIRST TIME) from "Summer (The First Time) b/w Marlena" 45 (UA) 1973 (US)