It was brought to my attention by the FM Shades blog that Charles Gocher from the Sun City Girls passed away on February 20th at the age of 54. Charles had been battling cancer over the last three years, but apparently he only wanted his immediate family and friends to know about his illness. I was privileged enough to witness his frenetic free-jazz inspired drumming and spoken-word at a Sun City Girls show at Dante's in Portland, OR on 11/13/02. It was a sight to behold , and an experience that I will never forget. I wish I had gone to the band's last show in Portland, but unfortunately I can't turn back the hands of time. In honor of Charles and his recordings with the Sun City Girls, I am posting an album from the Sun City Girls' limited edition Carnival Folklore Resurrection Series called The Handsome Stranger which primarily focuses on the profanity-laced beat poet stylings of Gocher with Alan and Rick Bishop complementing him with a loungey jazz backdrop on piano and guitar. It kind of sounds like a tourrettes-inflicted Tom Waits walking at midnight while tripping on acid in the seedy underbelly of the big city. This is definitley not the angular dissonance or Middle Eastern Ethno-rock that most people associate the Sun City Girls with, but we love them because they are unpredicatable. Here is a review from All Music Guide on The Handsome Stranger
Also, as an added bonus, I am posting a Sun City Girls live gig from Montreal, QC that sounds pretty good. Let's lift our glasses and toast to a truly legendary drummer, poet, linguist, comedian and human being.
Here are some links with dedications to Charlie from the past week.
Sun City Girls Homepage
DRC Message Board
SCG- The Handsome Stranger.rar
SCG- Live in Quebec Part 1.rar
SCG- Live in Quebec Part 2.rar
I was listening to KBOO radio about three weeks ago and sadly discovered that Dan Lissy, one of the original founders of Music Millennium, had passed away after experiencing a heart attack in front of Music Millennium. I scoured the web for pictures of Dan, but this little picture was all I could find. I used to work at Music Millennium and was fascinated with Dan's stories about opening the store in 1969 and only selling releases on Takoma Records and other underground record lablels. He was a huge John Fahey and delta blues fan which ultimately led to the "Delta Dan" nickname he was given by his circle of friends. Dan had a very eccentric personality and a subversive sense of humor, and you could always count on him speaking his mind. Even though I wasn't close to him, I feel a certain emptiness knowing he's gone. For those of us who knew Dan personally, may our memories of him make us smile, laugh and reflect a little about how precious life is. Here is an obituary from the Oregonian.
I am posting a couple Fahey songs in honor of Dan. These are both taken from Fahey's concept album America which featured reworkings of classic American hymns, gospel and folk songs. It is a masterpiece of fragile folk, intricate fingerpicking and slow blues. If you haven't heard of Fahey before and you like these songs, make sure you check out Of Rivers and Religion, Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death and Death Chants, Breakdowns and Military Waltzes.
John Fahey- Amazing Grace and Jesus Is A Dying Breadmaker
From: America [Takoma, 1971]