It's been awhile since the last Choice Cuts was posted, but I wanted to get some music up here since the last post was primarily meant to spread awareness about my partner's health problems. Happy 4th of July to everyone! Be on the lookout for Summer Mix 2013 in the next week or so.
It is once again time for me to reach back in the refrigerator for some "choice cuts". Each time, I will be featuring sizzling and succulent morsels that are grabbing my ear right now that range from funk to country, from afro-beat to garage rock, etc. Sometimes there will be a theme to these songs that ties them all together in a nice bow, but other times the songs featured will just be a musical hodgepodge of eclectic delights. Without further ado, lets see what "choice cuts" the vinyl butcher has prepared for us today.
Blossom Toes- Peace Loving Man
From: If Only For a Moment [1967, Marmalade]
When first hearing the name of the band and the overtly positive song title, you might be misled to think that you are about to hear another garden-variety psych pop band trying to evoke the 60’s flower power experience. I can assure you that this assessment couldn’t be further from the truth. What you get instead is a song that confounds all of your expectations right from the start. I stumbled across this song on YouTube when I was doing research for my psychedelic podcast. Even though I already had this Blossom Toes album on my hard drive, I hadn’t yet been exposed to the wonders of this ever-shifting behemoth of a track. It begins subtly with a short ambient interlude that shifts instantly into the first verse where the lead singer’s full-throated growl is almost aggressive to the point of being comical. Then, out of nowhere comes the most blissfully melodic chorus this side of the Byrds or Buffalo Springfield. After this, there is a really short second verse that segues into a creepy, tripped out section that incrementally builds in tempo until the strained, blood curdling screams of the vocalist bring the listener back home. From here, there is a progressive instrumental bridge that leads us back into the chorus, a quick return to the lyrics from the first verse and then an electrifying guitar solo that suddenly ends without notice. Despite barely being a footnote in the history of rock, this song just might be the earliest example of music that predated the birth of death metal.
James Knight and the Butlers- Uncle Joe
From: Black Knight [Cat, 1971]
This track starts out unassumingly as a classic soul song, but slowly develops into a psychedelic funk monster. With two verses under his belt before the song gets cooking, Knight lets the horn section take center stage at about the 1:53 mark of the track. At this point, the track gets progressively funkier, and the dirty fuzz guitars commence to kick out the jams. Then, the horns echo in the distance while Knight interjects random grunts, screams and guffaws through his echo effects pedal. Over the next two and a half minutes, a distorted, psychedelic guitar solo and chicken scratch rhythm guitar completely dominate the track. As the song slows down, the final verse is introduced for about 30 seconds. Towards the end of the track, the horns, frenzied fuzz guitar and vocals all fight for the same sonic space, resulting in an orgiastic onslaught of sound. This is probably what James Brown’s music would have sounded like if he and the JB’s had swallowed thirty tabs of acid one night, and then decided to have a jam session with Eddie Hazel from Funkadelic. This track is certainly not for the faint-hearted, but it will serve as a fantastic addition to the collections of those adventurous sonic spelunkers out there.