viernes, 5 de junio de 2020

JORMA KAUKONEN - JACK CASADY - Before We Were Them - June 28, 1969 [USA psychedelic rock] 2019 Owsley Stanley Foundation 5

This live concert recording features recently discovered and previously unreleased music from Jefferson Airplane’s fabled guitar and bass players before they became known as Hot Tuna. Jorma and Jack are joined by Joey Covington on drums, and this intense, hard-driving muscle trio creates a sonic landscape to rival Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. This is essential listening for fans of Hot Tuna and Jefferson Airplane, with more than 70 minutes of music, including versions of the classic blues songs Rock Me Baby and Come Back Baby, as well as the familiar Airplane tune Star Track. Additionally, the set list includes 4 fully-formed, rare songs that were named by Jorma and Jack for the first time for this release — 49 years after they were played.

COPPERHEAD - Live at Winterland, September 1st 1973 [USA rock, west coast 1973] 2014 Keyhole KHCD 9016

Formed by psychedelic guitar hero John Cipollina after leaving Quicksilver Messenger Service in 1970, this sadly short-lived quartet released one fine album in May 1973. That September they played this superb set at San Francisco's legendary Winterland Ballroom, taking in most of their album and showcasing their unrivalled jamming talents, with Cipollina's searing guitar leads at the fore throughout.

miércoles, 3 de junio de 2020

TERRY & THE PIRATES - Comanche Boots [USA west coast rock 2008] Acadia ACAM 8210

Comanche Boots containing some of the last known studio recordings in existence plus never before released tracks, demos and a live version of Jungle Love later to become a huge hit for The Steve Miller Band. Along with ex Quicksilver Messenger Service guitarist John Cipollina the Pirates on this set comprise of Nicky Hopkins and Lonnie Turner amongst others.

SUICIDAL FLOWERS - The Psychedelic Sounds of [UK psychedelic 1997] White Arsenic Records NOS4R-2

From York, UK. Formed in 1989. Suicidal Flowers is a neo-psychedelic cult band. This is his third album, released in 1997 on the White Arsenic Records label. The band members were: Astro Lore, Markoff DeDephel, Helen Gee, Karl Farkas, Robin tomalin and Martin Hall.

THE INVISIBLE EYES - Laugh in the Dark [USA garage, psychedelic rock 2005] BOMP! BCD 4096-2

The Invisible Eyes -- guitarist/vocalist Aubrey Nehring, keyboardist Janet Hurt, drummer Adam Svenson and bassist Ian Barnett -- have the distinction/honor of being the last act Bomp! founder Greg Shaw signed to his label before passing away in late 2004. It's not hard to see what Shaw saw in the band -- they traffic in fuzzed-out psych-garage, with the requisite vocal sneer from Nehring -- and more often than not, they meet all the requirements for being a good garage band.
On one hand, they never transcend that label, and there's nothing to separate them from the rest of the crowded garage scene.

On the other hand, if you're a guy or gal like me, with a shelf full of garage CDs that are fun to listen to but sort of all sound the same, and you realize and are cool with that, then clear a spot for Laugh in the Dark. (How's that for a back-handed compliment?) Opener "Revelation", drenched in feedback and anchored by Hurt's insistent, vaguely menacing keyboards, sets the pace for the album. There's the galloping "Can't Wake Up", which seems to borrow its beat from "Who Do You Love?" and "Tired Night", which is much more exciting than its title suggests.

There's a few curveballs on the disc, in the form of some quick instrumental interludes -- like the oom-pa-pa "Yma"; the evil merry-go-round "Whiskey Vampire" -- which cleans the mental musical palette, but basically the Invisible Eyes establish themselves as the West Coast branch of the Detroit garage scene. There's a lot of White Stripes here (see the Jack White-esque vocals on "Monster Blues") and even more Von Bondies -- supercharged blooze stomps and guy/girl vocals abound on Laugh. Chalk it up to youth and the search for a band identity.

To that end, a few tracks on the album's back half indicate a step away from the shadow of the Motor City. "Little Loretta" is a little rootsier, with the band catching their breath and ditching some of their feedback and drone. Similarly the six-and-a-half minute long closer, "That Old Song..." finds the band in a groove, cooking on a medium boil instead of a rolling one. With cleaned up guitars and a harmonica breakdown, it's Laugh in the Dark's standout track.

Like I said earlier, Laugh in the Dark won't look out of place in any self-respecting garage fan's CD shelf; if anything, it'll make an excellent placeholder for their sophomore disc, you know, the one where the band figures out who they are, what they want to sound like and how to stand out in the garage world?

By Stephen Haag, 19 Jan 2006

sábado, 30 de mayo de 2020

THE RED KRAYOLA - Singles [USA experimental, psychedelic, rock 1970-2002] 2004 Drag City DC257CD

The very notion of the Red Krayola putting out "singles" is a little surreal, since singles are by most definitions the most commercial face of the record industry. After all, if anything was consistent about the Red Krayola throughout their career, it was their uncompromising underground uncommerciality. Yet the band actually put out a good number of singles in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, and 21 tracks from those releases -- some of them quite rare, and some them actually previously unissued -- are collected on this compilation. While it wouldn't be accurate to categorize this as a best-of, in its own way it reflects the band's evolution as well as almost any anthology could (though it doesn't have anything from their earliest, psychedelic-oriented recordings in the late '60s), Mayo Thompson being the only constant throughout their ever-changing lineups. Strictly speaking, not all of this is the Red Krayola, as the CD begins with an unreleased 1970 solo Thompson non-LP B-side, and both sides of the very rare 1970 single by Saddlesore (which included both Thompson and another early Red Krayola member, Rick Barthelme). Those three tracks are rather fried Texas acid-country-folk, but by the time of the next Red Krayola 7" (the live, unreleased "Wives in Orbit"/"Yik Yak") in 1976, Thompson was already onto the sound that would largely characterize his next two decades or so of work: jerky-tempoed, irregularly structured, at times jarring indie rock with oblique, discursive lyrics. The most satisfying tracks, perhaps, are those from the 1979-1981 Rough Trade singles in which the band also included British punk-new wavers Gina Birch, Lora Logic, and Epic Soundtracks (and on a couple singles, Pere Ubu's Allen Ravenstine). This particularly brand of scratchy, at times even funky, new wave will certainly appeal to fans of the Raincoats (Birch's principal band), though it's less accessible to pop ears, a highlight being "Born in Flames," described in the notes as "the Social-Democrats' Song from the eponymous film by Lizzie Borden." The final eight cuts come from 1993-1999 singles, Thompson's deconstruct-and-reassemble-the-jigsaw-puzzle approach to rock music remaining in full force, though the jagged edges have slightly softened. Like everything here, these aren't for impatient listeners, but bear their fruits for those looking for intellectual avant-garde rock with some substance. The liner notes (sample excerpt: "the song title rather clings the existentialistic rejections of the Punk generation to the social norm, that was out of sight in that enthusive and nihilistic community for a short while") are about as obtuse and academic as you'll find on any rock compilation, though.

THE HASKELS - The Haskels [USA punk rock 1979 lost album] 2019 Splunge Communications Inc. SPL-025

Milwaukee's Haskels were kings of the late 70's punk scene, centered at Zak's North Avenue nightclub, sharing the stage with bands like the Lubricants, Blackholes, Orbits, Plasticland and others that have found their way onto bootlegs and posthumous releases of their own. 

Their sound was a combination melded from the roots/glam/Detroit-inspired, naive retro pop sound of godfather/scenester Presley Haskel and Richard LaValliere's surreal dream-based narrative genius compositions, fleshed out by Gerard LaValliere's precise guitar attack and Guy Hoffman's unorthodox but dance-inducing beats. The band's chops as well as their charisma carried the day, as they filled clubs and held court at the Haskel Hotel, their headquarters in the run-down Brady Street area of Milwaukee's lower East side. 

The Haskels, evolved out of another popular pre-punk band of the time, In A Hot Coma, burned brightly from 1977 to 1979, supernova-ing after their last show together on New Year's Eve 1979. Presley and Gerard continued on to form the next version of the band, with Presley's Haskels releasing the classic "Taking The City By Storm" EP in 1981, while Richard and Guy went on to form the Oil Tasters, releasing two 45's and the acclaimed Oil Tasters self-titled LP on Thermidor Records in 1982. Guy later went on to drum for the BoDeans and ultimately, the Violent Femmes.