Showing posts from 2006

Best Records of 2006

I hope you all had a great holiday this year. Since I haven't really been hearing a lot of new music this year, my list will be a combination of new discoveries along with reissues and new releases from 2006. Here's my "Best of 2006" list just in time for the new year. Have a safe and happy new year, and I'll see you next year!

1) Comets on Fire- Avatar- This time around the boys from Santa Cruz tone down the cacophonous swirl of saxophones, psych garage guitars and echo-drenched vocals for a more laid back classic rock sound. Don't get me wrong though, the opening track Dogwood Rust still pummels you with a mind-melting hard rockin' listening experience. Think Jefferson Airplane mixed with MC5.

Comets on Fire- Dogwood RustandLucifer's Memory

2)Fred Lane- From the One That Cut You- I discovered this album on the fantastically diverse blog Palestinian Light Orchestra. The record is a mix of skronking big-band free-jazz with loopy sound effects, goofy absu…

On the 8th Day of Christmas...

Blue Yule

This is the second installment of Christmas goodies for your stocking. I hope you enjoyed the Where Will You Be Christmas Day album that was posted yesterday. I decided to give you a double dose of Christmas goodness today. Blue Yule, which was released by Rhino Records in 1991, is an essential compilation of Blues greats such as Lightnin' Hopkins, Sonny Boy Williamson, John Lee Hooker and Big Jack Johnson belting out their Christmas favorites. Blue Yule is one of my favorite Cd's to spin during the Christmas season. It is the Christmas sound spiked with raw, soulful performances from some of the greatest artists in Blues. If you like a little bit more whiskey in your eggnog, then you'll love Blue Yule. Please go here or to your local record store and pick up a copy of this CD.

Christmas Cookin'

The second part of this post is dedicated to "The Incredible Jimmy Smith" and his astonishing Hammond B3 organ playing. Jimmy Smith first released Christmas Co…

This Time It's Really Christmas

Where Will You Be Christmas Day?
After working at a record store for four years, you can imagine that I was inundated with non-stop Christmas music during the Christmas season. I really began to despise Christmas for becoming such an over-commercialized event, a "Hallmark Holiday" if you will. That was, until my ears came across this fantastic overview of old-timey blues, jazz, bluegrass and cajun recordings called "Where Will You Be Christmas Day?". This recording was released by the good folks over at Dust to Digital, who are also well known for releasing the definitive gospel box set called "Goodbye Babylon".
"Where Will You Be Christmas Day" is comprised of rare recordings from 1917-1959 that have been digitally remastered from the original 78's. I have been cracking this one out every Christmas since it was released in 2004, and I hear something new and exciting every time. It includes accapella gospel singing, old-timey bluegrass picki…

Christmas Comes Early

I know I said that the Evan Parker show would be up in a couple days, but the Christmas season has been kickin' my arse so far. In the meantime, I have been listening to loads of Free Jazz gems that I discovered on Pharaohs Dance, Reality Unit Concepts and Church Number Nine . They have live shows and out-of print records from artists such as Sun Ra, Pharaoh Sanders, Frank Foster and Milford Graves that are free to download for your listening enjoyment. Be sure to check them out as well as Destination Out, which featured a link to an article from the New York Times on the state of Jazz music in the blogosphere.

This article was inspired by a posting made by the pioneering composer and trumpeter Dave Douglas on his label's website, Greenleafmusic. Douglas was essentially challenging writers or lovers of jazz music to create an unbiased overview of jazz music from 1973-1990. Eventually, Ethan Iverson, the pianist from the Bad Plus, responded to this challenge by making a post on …

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

One of my loyal visitors asked me if I could post some Chico Magnetic Band sometime. Your time has come my friend. If I had to throw in my two cents on this one, I would say that it is a wild excursion through a drug-hazed psychedelic nightmare that features unintelligible multilingual lyrics, acid-rock guitar freakouts, metronomic space-rock and a dead-on cover of "Crosstown Traffic". I first heard of Chico Magnetic Band about a month ago when I visited the incredibly informative Lost in Tyme blog. This blog features an endless selection of psych-rock, blues, folk and garage rock albums that are all available to download via Rapidshare. It seems like the link is still working for the Chico Magnetic Band, so go check it out!


This link for Chico Magnetic Band was no longer active on Lost In Tyme, so I have re-upped it here.

Here is an excerpt from the Lost In Tyme description of the Chico Magnetic Band.


Sonic Bootleg Continued

Well as promised here is the second part of the Sonic Youth show at the Crystal Ballroom. Crystal Ballroom is a hit-or-miss venue for sound, but I recorded this one pretty close to the front at the left side of the stage. Hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did. Sonic Youth- Crystal Ballroom Part 2 On to other things: In my endless search for new music, I have encountered some of the most amazing blogs that deserve some mention here. Some of them are on my Blogroll and others will be on there when I get a chance to add them. I will give you a brief description of what they feature, so you have a pretty decent idea whether or not you'll be into them. Palestinian Light Orchestra- This eclectic blog features full album downloads of mainly rare or out-of-print records such as 60's Psych Rock, Free Jazz, offbeat novelty records and whatever else they deem as interesting. They have recently featured Sun City Girls, Fred Lane, Patty Waters, The Godz and Wild Man Fischer. Check it out f…

Sonic Bootleg

First, I have been retooling the blog to be easier on the eyes, so let me know what you think. Yesterday I couldn't publish this post due to Blogger having issues again. This service has really been pissing me off lately, but I guess you get what you pay for.
Second, I really would appreciate it if you guys would leave a comment, instead of doing the download-and-run routine. I spend a lot of time making this a blog that everyone will hopefully enjoy and appreciate, and all I ask for in return is a little bit of feedback. Tell me what you like, what you don't like, what you think would make it better, etc.
Well enough of that, let's get onto the music.
About 4 years ago, I waited in line for an hour-and-a-half to see one of my favorite indie-rock bands play an in-store at Music Millennium. They were touring in support of their new album called Murray Street for approximately 350 ecastatic hardcore fans frothing at the mouth. The band did not disappoint at all, despite playi…

Junkies on the Run

This week I have been inspired to create a mix that matches the winter landscape of the dreary Pacific Northwest. This is due partly to my moods being affected by several days of continuously dismal weather, and partly because I have been listening to the Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hourshow on XM radio. If you haven't heard this show yet, do yourself a favor and check it out. Bob has an extensive knowledge of music and he focuses on a different theme each week. Thus far, he has covered themes such as flowers, food, jail and weather in his mixes. Here is a link to a site that offers them all for free download.

My theme today is on the drug heroin. We all know that heroin has played a significant part in destroying the lives of many talented musicians such as Billie Holiday, John Coltrane,Charlie Parker, Kurt Cobain andMiles Davis. It hooks you, reels you in and then spits you back out into your own personal hell, fending for yourself in the darkened corners of your mind. Hero…

It Came From Memphis Part 4

I sincerely apologize to those dedicated visitors to my blog for not updating this over the past week. I am using Blogger Beta, and it is having issues with text and picture placement. Also, Blogger seems to be down a lot for maintenance lately. So, if the text and spacing don't seem to look right on the page, it's because Blogger isn't displaying it properly. If anyone has any ideas about switching to another free blog service that works better, I'm all ears. Well, enough about that! Let's get on to the final installment of the It Came From Memphis series.

The Box Tops

The Box Tops:The LetterandI Must Be the DevilI Must From: The Best of the Box Tops: Soul Deep [Arista, 1996] Alex Chilton first struck an emotional chord with the nation after receiving critical acclaim for the Box Top's first single "The Letter" in 1967. "The Letter", produced and written by Dan Penn, became one of the highest-selling records of 1967. However, Chilton was only…

It Came From Memphis Part 3

Moloch, a pioneering Memphis blues-rock band led by the exceptional guitar player Lee Baker, released its sole album at Ardent on National in 1970. They promoted the release of this album by playing a show with punk stalwarts Iggy Pop and Mc5 at the New York State Pavilion. However, their sound is purely 12 bar-blues with delta slide guitar, harmonica, frenzied guitar solos and tight drumming. Moloch was highly influenced by Blue Cheer, Hendrix, Rolling Stones,Led Zeppelin, The Faces and countless other blues-influenced 60's rock groups . Unfortunately, the band's sound never caught on, and they didn't receive the acclaim that was due to them. Lee Baker went on to produce and play guitar on Alex Chilton's highly underrated album Like Flies on Sherbert and Big Star's swan song Big Star 3rd.

Moloch's only record is out of print, but it is available as an import here. That being said, this is the best place to witness the stunning guitar artistry of Lee Baker, ou…

It Came From Memphis- Part 2

The Insect Trust:Special Rider Blues
From: The Insect Trust [Capitol Records, 1968]

The Insect Trust:Our Sister the Sun
From: Hoboken Saturday Night [ ATCO Records, 1970]

For this segment of the Memphis post, I will focus on the incredibly eclectic folk-blues-jazz collective known as The Insect Trust. Their name came from a local poetry journal called the Insect Trust Gazette which was derived from the William Burroughs novel Naked Lunch. The backbone of the band was formed in Memphis in 1966 as a trio called The Solips,which featured Nancy Jeffries on electric bass and vocals, Robert Palmer on alto sax and recorder and Bill Barth on guitar. The Insect Trust was born in New York in 1967 and was comprised of Robert Palmer (the popular rock critic with Rolling Stone and New York Times) on alto sax, clarinet and recorder, Nancy Jeffries on vocals (the vocalist for Peter Stampfel's Swamp Lillies before the Holy Modal Rounders became a functional unit), Luke Faust on banjo-guitar, banjo a…

It Came From Memphis

I just finished reading an amazing novel by Robert Gordon called It Came From Memphis. It is a raw, unadulterated account of how the southern white and black cultures in Memphis circa 1950's meshed to create passionate, free-spirited art that inspired legions of like-minded artistic geniuses. Consummate delta musicians such as Furry Lewis, Johnny Woods andAretha Franklinjoined forces with the maverick recording engineers of the day, such as Jim Dickinson, John Fry, Sam Phillipsand Don Nix, to produce some of the greatest musical treasures ever pressed on wax. Since reading this book, I have been inspired to research the myriad of producers, musicians, deejays and other eccentric folks who made Memphis such a special place. Here is the first entry in this series of obscure and eccentric musicians who came from Memphis.
Tav Falco & the Panther Burns:Bourgeois Blues From: Behind the Magnolia Curtain [Rough Trade, 1981] Tav Falco & the Panther Burns:Drop the Mask From: Drop Your …

It's Been a Long Time...

The Oblivians- Guitar Shop Asshole and Do the Milkshake
From: Popular Favorites [Crypt Records 1996]

Short, furious blasts of distorted, amped-up three chord lightning. Alcohol-fueled reckless abandon. This is what's missing from the Rock-n-Roll of today. Too much time is being wasted on multi-million dollar record deals and talentless hacks who parade across our televisions every night, claiming to be the next best thing. I implore you to forget about the next best thing, and instead listen to the sleazy, balls-out rockin' sounds of the Oblivians.

The Oblivians are from Memphis, Tennesee, the city which spawned Mud Boy and the Neutrons, The Mar Keys, Moloch, Furry Lewis, Johnny Woods and countless others. It's no wonder that this talented three-piece garage-rock group was spawned from such a musically diverse and free-thinking place like Memphis. The Oblivians sound is a trebly, lo-fi super-charged garage rock full of gruff vocals and lyrics about sex, drugs and well... Do…

All Hallows Eve

I came up with some non-traditional Halloween songs for this post. These songs are all made by artists who aren't typically known for crafting spooky music, but they still evoke the Halloween spirit.

Lenny Bruce:My Werewolf Mama

This is an extremely rare track featuring Lenny Bruce on vocals, sounding like a demented cross between Screaming Jay Hawkins and Tom Waits. It features such fiendish lyrics as "Bite me on the neck- I said bite me on the neck- When you stop bitin' I'll be a total wreck- You're my werewolf mama- freaky as you can be" This should start your Halloween off on the right foot.

Dean Gitter: The Reaper's Ghost

I don't know much about Dean Gitter, but I spotted this track on the absolutely incredible Scar Stuff site. Eerie thoughts enter your mind when lyrics like "The reaper crossed the hayfield as sets the blood-red sun" are sung over a delicately strummed acoustic guitar. Here is a link to his post on this album. The site is…