Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Dandyls - Porous Gates

I first met Evan Fillon, aka Frut Dangoes, on the streets of Lakeview about 6 years ago. If I recall correctly, my musical partners in crime and I were loaded on some sort of cheap whiskey and roaming the streets on a Saturday night playing banjos and guitars for passersby when Evan came strolling up with a suitcase full of harmonicas. We jammed and drank for a good long while and a friendship was born. Evan has been a true inspiration over the years. His dedication and work ethic towards his craft (whether it be theatre, music, writing, etc) is truly humbling.

This album here by his band, The Dandyls, was recorded as a two piece with Evan and his friend Sean. I believe the band is larger in live settings now. Very unique and far-out post-free-folk aesthetic going on here. Whenever Evan sings, his whole soul is coming out of his face with an intensity and urgency that I rarely see/hear. It's also kind of startling. In a good way. "Crickets" is one of my favorites here. Clocking in at just under 18 minutes, its a free form drone folk banjo and guitar journey that adds washes of feedback and retains a beauty and feeling that is hard to place, let alone capture. Chanting the words "i love you, i miss you, i love you, i miss you" can be pretty universally resounding and cathartic for just about anyone. There's also a cover of "Not Fade Away" that only Evan would be able to pull off in this manner. Not to mention, he records a fantastic version of a song written by yours truly on this album. Open the gates.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Oracles - Beet The Meatles

I was perusing last night and noticed that the amount of listeners for The Oracles' first album, Beet The Meatles, was significantly lower than for their opus that is Optimus Grimes. Many of you who actually follow this blog probably already have this album and know the legend of the short-lived Oracles band. As I've explicitly stated numerous times before, The Oracles were and still are one of my favorite bands of all time. No exaggeration. The talent seeping from these 5 individuals was stunning enough in their own rights, but when you put all of them in a room behind instruments TOGETHER?! What happened was pure magic. The collective songwriting/arrangements that would rival John Lennon, George Harrison and Brian Wilson. The level of intuitive communication between the members on a more significant plane than we typically see on a day-to-day basis. The hilarious inside jokes that came about on stage that, sometimes, you feel you might understand as well. And then there were the jams. The all out heart-on-our-sleeve-let's-blow-this-building-up-with-nothing-but-magic-and-sound jams. Seeing this band play live would leave me happy for weeks. They toured once to the west coast in the summer of '05 and I'm glad they were able to do so. People NEEDED to see this band. Their mysterious demise will be left for another soul to relay, but for now let's celebrate what they made.
The first time I got this CD-R, it had the Bob Dylan cover (Love/No Limit Zero) on the disc. Later versions dropped this for some reason. An amazing rendition of that song, to say the least. "In The Dark" will forever hold a special place in my heart and brain.

These were the songs that started it all. Andy's description via

"A lo fi band with many vocals and generally good intentions."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ryley Walker and Daniel Bachman - Of Deathly Premonitions

These two guitar virtuosos have been crisscrossing the country all summer playing shows in every nook and cranny possible. Ryley Walker is one of the most talented guitar players I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. This music is right up the alley of John Fahey, Sandy Bull, and Leo Kottke. Recorded in a barn in Virginia, this album offers up incredible variations on acoustic fingerpicking in open tunings complimented by an esoteric electric guitar, and at times, an air organ. This has just the right amount of psychedelia spread over a thick foundation of "traditional" folk music. Serious talent here. Daniel Bachman also plays under the name Sacred Harp which is in a similar vein. You can order this tape and other Ryley Walker recordings from Plustapes. Listen to the premonitions.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ross Goldstein-Trail Songs

This fantastic LP was also released on Specific Recordings along with the previously posted Frank Budgen. My friend Nick ordered the Frank Budgen LP and this one came with the order, free of charge. It was a quite a surprising listen and is some of the most uniquely composed pop music I've come across, hitting the red on the "weird" end of the pop spectrum. From

About “Trail Songs” by Ross Goldstein.

“Trail Songs” is a psycho-linguistic roadtrip through the topography of American bubble gum music. Ross’ poetically counter-jingoistic lyrics serve as giant, colorful billboards on a highway of beautiful, infectious melodies.

About Ross Goldstein.

Ross Goldstein is an American Musician and Artist/Photographer. His “United States of Belt” recording project is a subliminal exploration of the American landscape/mindscape, combining field recordings, experimental music, and studio magic. Goldstein resides in Troy, NY where his collection of hand-painted signs play a vital role in keeping the public bewildered about what the hell is going on.

I wish I still had a scanner to post pictures of the inside gatefold artwork. It's basically the same picture as the Sgt. Pepper's gatefold with a load of tripped-out crazy-colorful collage work plastered all over the original picture.

Take the ride.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Frank Budgen-The Legend Of Frank Budgen: Vol. 1

Finally digitizing some vinyl. This is one of my favorite records that I own. I cannot write a better description that what is on the back of the record jacket. Read this now.

From a one page manifesto entitled "Moon Shine Man" written by Budgen contained in the booklet:

"I lit the fuse and ran, and those skeptics caught up quick. I don't know if they'll be with me next year but that's their prerogative. I been livin' on a mud puddle for a thousand years. I don't change. A snake does what a snake does and a shithouse dynamiter... ain't much different than a snake. He can slither and he can lay an ambush. If civilized America wants to stop this thing they've gotta stop ten million years. I don't think they've got the brass. And I'm here to say, some of us are always gonna blow up the shithouse, whatever it is. That's what we're here to do.

I've been in the desert all my life. The sun knows something and it sunk in to me. I ain't from Europe. I ain't from New York. I ain't even from New Mexico. I'm from the rocks. The sand. The sun. The moon. The hot springs. The world. The stars.

Not everyone around here has lost their sensibilities. Just most."

Try the mystics.

Buy the farm.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

icarus syndrome-Trempeleau

I know this blog is getting to be a bit of an homage to all things Andy Herald, but hell, who's arguing with that? Anyways, this here is another topper on my all-time favorite albums list. If I recall correctly, I was handed this double CD-R on my first visit to the 7th Street Space in 2004. I had seen an early incarnation of the infamous Oracles (then under the guise of "The Icarus Syndrome Band" I think). I listened to the CD's all the way back to Chicago at a very early hour of the morning when I should not have been driving. "Wake Up" came through the speakers and I felt as if this album had been recorded specifically for my drive that evening/morning. I've probably listened to this album more times since then than any other that I own. It is completely and utterly timeless to me and is always something I come back to time and time again. It is a recording fit for all seasons. This album has been by my side through the hardest of times, break-ups, and bullshit as well the brightest and most memorable moments of love in my life. If icarus syndrome ever had a White Album, this would be it. I remember playing this a lot in a record store I worked at in Colorado some years ago. My manager described the sound of this album as the feeling one has when they're aware of being in between a deep dream and waking up, something he had always wanted to achieve in music.

Upon further research of the numerous incarnations of "Trempeleau," I realized this had been put out as a double CD (at least two different versions/track arrangements) as well as a condensed version on cassette. The more I conversed with others who had copies of Trempeleau, the more I came to know that there were also different versions of some of these songs that made it on some releases but not on others. I've collected here, to the best of my ability, the album in its original 2 disc format (as I received it in 2004, at least) as well as a handful of alternate takes/mixes of some of the tracks. This album is mixed so heavily around segues that on the more recent CD version I acquired, there were slight differences in the mixing and overlapping of said segues. I've only included 2 of these ("Do You Know" and "Oklahoma Kid") as most proved to be only slightly different. If any of you out there have other versions or takes of these tunes, let me know and I'll post them here. Due to the condition of the original CD's when they were finally ripped for the first time, they are some slight imperfections in a couple spots but nothing too major. Thanks to Bob Aspatore, Paul Kim, and Andy for helping nail down some of these songs. Outtakes.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Walt Falbo - The Digger Demos: Vol. 1

Here we have a nice collection of acoustic covers by a gentleman named Walt Falbo who resides in downstate Illinois. This was recorded as a demo for a show he played at a bar aptly named "Digger's." There's even a great cover of "Zool" by the infamous Oracles.


1. Busted (Johnny Cash)
2. T.S. Eliot (East River Pipe)
3. Golden Days of Missing You (Silver Jews)
4. Queen of the Savages (The Magnetic Fields)
5. Cold Blooded Old Times (Smog)
6. Village Green Preservation Society (Kinks)
7. Road Worn and Weary (Supersuckers)
8. Farewell Ms. Carousel (Townes Van Zandt)
9. Sexx Laws (Beck)
10. Bananas and Blow (Ween)
11. Dirty Work (Steely Dan)
12. Illegal Smile (John Prine)
13. Revolution Blues (Neil Young)
14. You Have To Be Joking (The Flaming Lips)
15. Zool Part One (The Oracles)

Friday, March 18, 2011

We Shave - In The Flesh

We Shave is spearheaded by Memphis resident, Brendan Spengler. Twisting experimental pop and psychedelia here, Brendan manages to achieve a completely listenable and addicting album. When I first bought this tape, I just kept flipping it over and over for a couple weeks straight. I've never heard an artist tackle covers of Faust, Harry Nilsson, and Wagner all on the same album and execute them all with a stunning sense of originality. This is one of my favorite Night People releases and consequently one of my favorite albums from 2010. Here's what Sean Reed of Night People says about it:

"tinged with outsider garage rock and velvets leaning noisy rhythm zones with a bit of Eno esque dream sound. In the Flesh is good for all moods, all times of day, and all zones from city to country road."

buy the tape here.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Satyajit Ray - Scores of Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray was an Indian filmmaker. Born in the city of Kolkata (then Calcutta), into a Bengali family prominent in the world of arts and letters, Ray studied at Presidency College and at the Visva-Bharati University, at the poet Rabindranath Tagore’s Santiniketan. Starting his career as a commercial artist, Ray was drawn into filmmaking after meeting French filmmaker Jean Renoir and viewing the Italian neorealist film Bicycle Thieves during a visit to London.

Ray directed thirty-seven films, including feature films, documentaries and shorts. Ray’s first film, Pather Panchali, won eleven international prizes, including Best Human Document at Cannes. Along with Aparajito and Apur Sansar, the film forms the Apu trilogy. Ray worked on an array of tasks, including scripting, casting, scoring, cinematography, art direction, editing and designing his own credit titles and publicity material. Apart from making films, he was a fiction writer, publisher, illustrator, graphic designer and film critic. Ray received many major awards in his career, including an Academy Honorary Award in 1992.

Wes Anderson used some of Ray's tracks in the film "The Darjeeling Limited." Score.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

King Blood - Eyewash Silver

I was going to rip this vinyl of King Blood after I was baited, hooked, and sold a copy at the record store a couple weeks ago. My record player has been acting up recently, making it hard to transfer LP's. Luckily, I found a rip of this psychedelic scuzz rock gem on Hot On the Heels of Love. (Apologies for my lackadaisical approach to posting of late). The "blown-outness" of this recording is remarkable yet retains a core beauty of hypnotizing and trance-inducing repetitious guitar riffs dripping with glitter fuzz.