Saturday, November 20, 2010
Been getting kind of lazy about posts. Yes, this too can be found elsewhere online but there is often times a LOT of Sun Ra material to sift through. This is one of my favorites.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Been a long time since I've posted, I know. Schoolwork, travels, and moving have prevented me from doing a decent job on this blog over the past few months. A friend emailed me and urged me to keep it up so here I am frantically trying to type a draft of a research paper on Alan Lomax and simultaneously posting this here gem.
I know we probably all have our share and favorites of early Beck material and this one is probably available elsewhere online but I couldn't help myself after this came on shuffle about a half hour ago. I think I got this from a friend whose ex bought a bunch of early Beck bootlegged CD-R's (Banjo Story, Golden Harvest, etc.) off ebay some years ago and this was in the lot. It was so great to hear Beck go back to his acoustic roots for this show opening for Bob Dylan in 97, right around the success of Odelay's big band approach. There are versions of songs from the yet-to-be-released "Mutations" on here but the real treasures for me are the songs from "One Foot In The Grave" and the Jimmie Rodgers cover. Found the photo online. Is that really Beck? Here's the song list:
2. Waiting For A Train
4. Cold Brains
5. Girl Dreams
6. Sing It Again
7. Leave Me On the Moon
8. One Foot in the Grave
9. Dead Melodies
11. Little Sparrow
12. Nobody's Fault But My Own
13. He's a Mighty Good Leader
14. I Get Lonesome
4. Cold Brains
5. Girl Dreams
6. Sing It Again
7. Leave Me On the Moon
8. One Foot in the Grave
9. Dead Melodies
11. Little Sparrow
12. Nobody's Fault But My Own
13. He's a Mighty Good Leader
14. I Get Lonesome
I've got some more vinyl and cassette rips coming up soon...
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I grabbed this from roommate's friend's computer late last night while drinking gin and tonics with PBR sidecars. Gorgeous, gorgeous a cappella doo wop at its best here. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of info on this Detroit-transplanted-to-Jersey-group but you can read the All Music Guide write-up here. It confirms what was Danielle telling me about these recordings being made in a hotel room before one of their gigs. This was the perfect music to hear at 2 in the morning after getting buzzed on gin and chain smoking cigarettes. Beautiful.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Sterile Garden is the brainchild of my good buddy, Jacob DeRaadt in Fort Collins, CO. This experimental noise/ambient project has changed sounds and approaches many times throughout the last few years I've known him but the effect never ceases to amaze me. Jacob uses anything from contact mic-ing sheet metal to live cassette collages to running 80's drum machines through weird pedals to quarter inch tape loops and more to create a sometimes dissonant and sometimes beautiful atmosphere of grinding mechanical sound. On this recording he uses all tape loops with a little help from Alfred Beattie on violin. I remember when Jacob was recording this at our old band house in Fort Collins and how the sounds wafting up from the basement while I'd be napping would give me some really far out dreams. By and large, this guy is one of the most avant-garde and prolific musicians to come out of the little known Fort Collins cesspool of talent. He also runs a label called Basement Tapes that you can check out here I remember Jacob once telling me that one of the main inspirations for Sterile Garden is that static-y hum that live telephone and electricity wires make when it's really humid or right after rains. Awesome.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Ben emailed me the conversions of this rare gem a while back and I've been waiting for him to do a little write up on it, but this record is too good to not post. Haven't been able to find much info on this record except that it was released on Herwin and looks to be ultra-rare/expensive. There are a total of 16 tracks here from three different artists: Mother McCollum, Eddie Head and Family, and Edward W. Clayborn, The Guitar Evangelist. These songs definitely have some powerful gospel driving them. Mother McCollum's "Jesus Is My Air-O-Plane" is an awesome declaration of her faith. There's also great versions of "Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!" and "I Shall Not Be Moved" on here. The recording is a bit grainy at times but I imagine that's due partly (or mostly) to the way the original songs sounded when they were put together for this comp. Thanks again to Ben for converting this to the digital realm. If you liked This Old World Is In A Hell of a Fix then you're gonna love this.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Friends Forever was a Denver band during the early to mid 2000's that underwent several line-up changes. Notorious for playing shows from INSIDE their van outside of the clubs they were booked at and using full on fireworks and homemade lightshows(see video below), this band completely ruled. They play a particular brand of fun-ass-hell noise rock that drives an 18-wheeler in a demolition derby. Think Lightning Bolt playing new wave, which makes sense since this album was released on LOAD records in 2003. Killball is a concept album. From LOAD's website:
FRIENDS FOREVER'S KILLBALL details an ultra-violent future where games are played to the death. KILLBALL is similar to American football circa 1920-2016, except the players wear no pads and are given PCP to ensure a grizzly game. Each player is equipped with a switchblade and a machete. To be tackled is to be destroyed. Tonight you have been chosen to play KILLBALL. Can you win?
Saturday, July 24, 2010
This is a compilation of summer songs that my friend Morgan put together when she asked her friends to write and record a summer jam. Here's what she has to say about it:
For maybe five years, maybe more, I had been talking about doing a summer jam challenge- getting my friends who write songs to write and record “the ultimate summer jam,” whatever that means to them. It finally happened. There are 15 songs on here, most of them are by friends in or from Michigan (since I see them more often and could bug them about finishing their songs, I guess). I kept pushing the deadline back, mostly because I didn’t have any ideas for my own summer jam, but then my friends Jeremy and Ryan and I came up with something (the third song on here) so I could finally put this thing together. A few people said they had something in the works that they couldn’t finish in time, so maybe there will be a volume 2?
Morgan's track by Psykedisco totally fucking rules, too. There's a little something for everyone on this diverse collection. This is solid evidence that there are super great things going on in MIchigan right now.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Killer lo-fi garage punk from Detroit. Bought this CD-r from 'em on tour a couple years ago. Kevin's guitar style is so raw that it hurts. If I had balls, I would strive to play guitar like this. This album has alternate versions of some songs on their two major releases like "Air Conditioner" and "Hey Una." I'm really partial to the song "Flowers."
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Hoyt Axton had a long and varied career as a country-folk musician/actor from the early 60's and in to the 80's. This is his first album recorded during the early 60's in San Francisco. I should point out that this is missing the first and fourth track because of it being a pretty bad rip from Limewire as I had an extremely hard time tracking down this album. Normally I wouldn't post an incomplete album like this, but I think this one is worth it anyway. The rest of the songs are fine though. Hoyt had a booming voice that could fill an arena. The sound on this record fits in quite nicely with the folk revival that was going on in Greenwich Village at the same time. It would be easy to write Hoyt Axton off as a squarish folky from that era but I think that undermines some true talent here. He has some serious soulful moments on this record and plays one of my favorite versions of "John Henry" ever recorded.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Found this little gem hiding in the 7" bin at the record store where I'm currently employed. It's a 2000 reissue on Norton of Lou Reed's earliest recordings. The first side is two songs written by Reed and recorded with studio musicians in late 1962. They were recorded for a producer named Bob Shad and were apparently Lou's first lead vocal performances. Side B was recorded in 1958 with Lou Reed's high school "band" called The Jades. On the back of the sleeve it quotes Reed as saying "The Jades wasn't a band. It was just one guitar and two other guys singing." Phil Harris was the lead singer for this band so I don't think Lou actually sings on these tracks, though they did get studio cat King Curtis to play sax on the recording. Lou Reed was 16 years old when these songs were recorded. The music is FAR from any similarities to the Velvets and is much more straight forward 50's pop music. The songs are great though, and it's really neat to hear where this iconic American musician got his start.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
I was gonna wait for Mark to post this on the You're Sitting On It blogspot, but I already had this uploaded a while ago. I understand that Andy recorded this cassette right after working at a group home for the developmentally disabled. The imagery in the lyrics invokes thoughts of waking up in an embryo woven from the fabric of dreams. Thanks to Paul Kim for the sweet digital copy of this.
Friday, May 7, 2010
i met Matt Grothman, sax player of Womans Worth, about 8 years ago while i was living in LA. We were both studying recording at Musician's Institute and bonded quickly over such things like the fact that the only prior recording experience both of us had was on a 4-track cassette deck. Matt sort of took me under his wing for the time we were in school together. i was a naive 18 year old "punk" at the time and Matt played me music that i had never been exposed to before. Some of these albums ended up being my favorites till this day ("One Foot In The Grave" by Beck, "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," Sonic Youth's "Sister" just to name a few). He also took me to shows at The Smell which, at that time, was still a relatively little known space to the masses of greater Los Angeles. Matt took me to my first ever underground "loft show" consisting of Joan of Arc, Hella, and The Wives. Matt played with The Wives on and off while they were a band and before Dean and Randy went on to start No Age. That one show changed my perspective on music for the rest of my life and i owe a debt of gratitude to Matt for bringing me in to that realm. This album by Womans Worth is a no frills hardcore free-jazz freakout. This is some serious next-level shit here using drums, trumpet, and sax. It was really amazing to see these guys play live in Denver a few years back and they have since disbanded. The trumpet player went on to start a band called High Castle. i lost the cover to this CD-R long ago so the picture is just a live photo. So much for No Lecture.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Another quintessential Dekalbian project. It's hard for me to describe the Metroids. It's definitely quirky pop music of sorts that may enter in to, dare i say, "new wave" territory (i use the term "new wave" for lack of a better word). It's definitely energetic and largely synth-based. Gary Butterfield, Nat Kundanis-Grow, and Andy Herald were the masterminds behind this band which is now defunct, sadly. It was really nice to get this cd-r (released on Bad Elk Records) a few weeks back and hear some great songs that these guys played live but i had never heard on recording, "W For Tungsten" comes to mind. i think one of the main things that impressed me most about this band was the way the chord progressions were structured. i guess i mean to say that listening to them challenged the way i thought of typical phrasing and progressions yet they maintained an accessible and fun flavor to it all. If you like the recording, please support the artist and buy it from the link to Bad Elk Records, posted above. i'll bet it's pretty cheap. Get Mad, Titan.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wolfman America played at Brandon's NYE bash in Freeport at around 3 or 4 in the morning and it was quite zen. i had never met this dude before then and i think his name is Mike. From what i hear, he's been attending some sort of ongoing forest retreat in the Northwest where they basically show you how to survive in the woods with no commodities. This here is a CD-R released on Chicago's Mosstapes label. Plenty of lo-fi noise-folk on this here gem. The insert says this was recorded in Palatine, IL and Seattle, WA. Sounds like it was done on a handheld tape recorder in a warehouse. All the songs are burned as one track. The song that grabbed me when i saw him play live starts about twenty minutes in, called "Where Death Is Always a Fresh Face," according to the liner notes. You can listen to some very different sounding stuff on the dude's myspace. Get ready, Amerika.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
TFA had a particular sound that would sort of integrate itself in to my brain processes while seeing them play live. Everything about that band just felt natural; from how they played together as a group to how the sounds came and went at just the right times and allowed your mind to breathe. This instrumental epic post-rock masterpiece is their third and final full length (i guess it would be their fourth if you count Bob's first solo album under the same name). The band went through a few line up shuffles over the years and i was always impressed at how well their sound adapted to these changes. i had the honor to play with TFA at their last show ever in August of 2009. It was such a memorable experience for so many reasons, but mainly it was just great to finally partake in this music that just seemed to feel so natural in the first place. Hailing from Dekalb, IL, this is yet another in a long list of truly amazing bands/musicians from that town. i heard they got big in Japan.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Guy Blakeslee is the front man for the LA based psych-rock outfit, The Entrance Band. Guy's early material is much more folk/blues based and was released under the name "Entrance." i found out he self-released this CD-R of songs a year or two ago and i asked him about it when i saw the band play Denver last year. He said i could order it through his website but since i didn't have a credit card i just gave him cash on the spot. After a few months of emails and returned mail, i finally received this homemade cd from him. There's a couple alternate versions of Entrance songs on here, mostly in the folk/blues vein as well as a a few covers of some traditional tunes like "Cocaine Blues" and "Mary, Don't You Weep." There's also a really great Joan Armatrading cover on here. Really good stuff. Guy's voice can be quite chilling at times but completely spot on. His range is just incredible. Check it out, Darling.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Round 2 here of the Willow 2006 recordings. i transferred these recordings a few years back, but upon recent listens i feel like i probably have more recordings from that year somewhere. There's a lot of the Chris Bathgate/Michigan crew on this one here. These takes are all after hours campfire jams from Saturday night. Throw another log on the fire.
Willow Folk Festival is a down home cornfield folkztravaganza that takes place in northern Illinois near where i grew up. It is a strongly rooted yearly tradition for a lot of the attendees, including myself. It is a two day event that allows people to camp in the cow pasture across from the church for which the festival raises money. A hay bale wagon is positioned as a make shift stage that is open for performances during the day. At night, numerous fireside jam sessions occur until wee hours of the morning between peoples of all different ages, backgrounds, and musical ability. In 2006, i started bringing my handheld tape recorder to document the commencement of amazing peoples and amazing musics. I have countless cassettes chronicling the last 4 years (except 2008 when my recorder was rained on) and have been meaning to digitize and organize the recordings in some sort of fashion. So here, for your listening pleasure, is the first of many volumes of my Willow tape recordings. This batch is solely performances from the stage during saturday and sunday as opposed to the more rawkus campfire jams (soon to come). I don't know the name of EVERY artist or song so i just left everything labeled as "various artists." This compilation is by no means ALL of the performers from that year, but mainly my favorites of the lot. Plus i wouldn't have enough tape to record EVERYBODY that plays. Folk it up.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
This man needs no introduction to those that are familiar with the badssness he exudes. i will, however, attempt to summarize a bit about this individual here. Little Howlin' Wolf is an outsider experimental blues musician hailing from Chicago's south side. His history is far too vast to do justice here, but he was a regular fixture as a street musician during the 70's through much of the 90's appearing at places like Maxwell Street and Michigan Avenue playing everything from sax to guitar to double nose flutes and whatever else he could lay his hands on. His approach to music is so true and pure in its seemingly haphazard style that one comes to realize only much later that this in and of itself is a skill that few people possess. i've had the great pleasure to befriend this man over the past 5 years and even record some of his music. It is truly an experience to interact with this man and i am even now having trouble putting it in to words. Here is what his official myspace says for his bio:
This album is some of the best rock and roll i've heard in a long time. They somehow manage to encompass all that is awesome about this genre without making it lame or overdone. i'm always a huge fan of any hint of psychedelia in my rock and roll and these boys use just the right amount, especially on the last track "Long Road Home." Many thanks to Dustin from Plustapes for giving me the go ahead to post this as well as a clean digital copy. If you like what you hear, then please go buy this tape from the Plustapes website. This cassette label has a knack for putting out nothing but quality stuff with great looking art. If you've ever loved rock music to any extent, then you need to listen to this album.
Good friend Matt Sage, the mastermind of M. Pyres, forwarded me this sweet compilation of unreleased M. Pyres material that he put together for this blog. I have to say that this some of my favorite M. Pyres music to date. I'm particularly partial to the song "Radar Dust." Matt tells me he used to sail a sunfish boat as a youngster (hence the title) and talked of how that played a part in his music over the years. There are definitely some dream coated seaworthy sounds on this mostly instrumental experience. There is also a beautiful collaboration here with Sterile Garden, experimental Colorado musician (expect more from him on this blog in the future). Sail Away.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
This old-timey, religious folk/blues comp was ripped from vinyl and given to me by my good buddy, Ben. The story of how he came across this is pretty neat. Ben worked at a now defunct record store in Colorado where, some years ago, a relative of Dawn Greening came in to sell the recently deceased's record collection. Dawn Greening was essentially the founder of Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music, conducting the first classes from her living room in 1957. More info on Dawn Greening can be found here. Ben picked up the majority of the store's purchase at a reasonable rate and scored a buttload of cool stuff. This comp is downright stunning at times. It includes "Let Jesus Lead You," a very early Skip James recording (later adapted by Beck on "One Foot In The Grave"), as well as a track by Washington Phillips. Both of these artists had recordings reissued years later by our beloved Mississippi Records. One of my favorite tracks is the Reverend Robert Wilkins singing "Old Time Religion" which may or may not be the origin that Captain Beefheart pays homage to when he sings similar lines. i don't know much about the label or the year this comp was issued as Ben owns the original vinyl. Maybe he'll post in the comments? Be forewarned that the rip is a bit crackly, due mostly to the age and quality of the record. i think it adds to the overall listening experience, though. Thanks to Ben for this. We certainly are in a hell of a fix.
i saw Quiet Hooves play about a month ago and was pleasantly surprised. A fun group of folks making catchy avant-pop tunes from Athens, GA. The song Hott R Nott has been my wake up call ever since picking up this split ep from them. If you like what you hear, you can download more of their stuff for free from their collective website, here.
Well, here i am jumping on the blogwagon. My intentions with this blog are mainly to post music that i haven't been able to find elsewhere in the blogosphere. i will begin with a rip of one of my favorite recordings of all time, no lie. icarus syndrome's "Lord Calverts Cave," released on the cassette label, Rugburn Records, in the summer of 2006. i find myself coming back to this recording time and time again, never tiring of it's haunting tones. A bit of a back story of what this album means to me:
Andy gave me this cassette in conjunction with Vondervotteimittis (which can be found here) that fateful summer. The boys and i had been digging the sounds for a few weeks at the old Treehouse on Barry St. in Chicago. i especially took a liking to it and seemed to be primordially drawn to the incessant beautiful drone tones. Brandon and i took a stroll to the local liquor store around this time to peruse the whiskey. On the bottom shelf we noticed one called "Lord Calvert". "Holy Shit!", i exclaimed, "this must be what Andy's album is referring to!" Neither of us was familiar with the Lord at that point. We picked up a handle and headed home. The rest of the night got kind of blurry for me. There are strange mystic properties at work in Lord Calvert whiskey that none of us were expecting. It was a different KIND of drunk for all of us, i think. Things were very intense, loud, and primal. The last thing i remember clearly was Dave beating on the stove with a screwdriver to the beat of a Black Sabbath song. i remember feeling a strange introspectiveness magnified like never before on other whiskies while still maintaing a social character. When i came to in the morning, i was face down on the couch with my head hanging over the side staring at a pile of my own drool. Dave informed me that later in the night i not only opened up to him and cried on his shoulder but that i slipped and gave my head a crack sometime in the course of the night. i remember none of this. The rest of the guys had similar experiences of their own pertaining to the force of which the Lord cast his will upon them. The profound and almost ethereal onslaught of opaque epiphanies that this whiskey brought me immediately made sense in the context of Andy's tape. Since then, the Lord has been present at countless nights of intense truth searching with close friends, naked camping trips, the craziest of Sinners' shows, and more. Andy later made a trio of songs dedicated to Lord Calvert on his October Cassette album, concluding with one titled "The Retirement of Calvert." i've said it before and i will say it again; getting hammered on this whiskey (not just drunk, but HAMMERED) is like looking in to the depths of the human soul with all its beauty and ugliness congealing as one undeniable truth.