Friday, July 9, 2010

The Raincoats- Fairytale In The Supermarket 7"

The first Raincoats album is one of my favorites ever. But disregard...hype is a horrible thing.
However, the Raincoats still remain a unique band. This is their debut E.P. from 1979 and the first two tracks were used on the first album, and, this is why fans might be interested in, there is a different recording of "Adventures Close To Home."
I highly recommend letting the Raincoats into you life.
And/or keeping them there.

The Mummies- Runnin' On Empty Volumes One & Two

Where to start on the Mummies...the first time I ever heard them was at a house I used to hang out in, when I was 18, that belonged to 3 gutter punks, a really creepy guy, and a crackhead, where I had to hide my beer in the windowsill, between the closed glass and the screen, to ensure that I would be the one to drink somehow fits...
These two LP's were compiled posthumously (they "existed" from late 80's-early/mid 90's) in an attempt to cash in (if you ever see the records be sure to read the liner notes, even if you find them hard to believe, they are really entertaining) but are no less loose, drunken full throttle junk rock, or as they put it, "Budget Rock," all for a good time, money and/or beer if possible, belo-fi mayhem. Like hearing the rotting corpse of rock n' roll out for one last go.
There is a sense of humor in every last thing they do. The Devo covers are a nice touch too (branching out further than their Dwarves and Thee Mighty Caesars covers).
And, go figure, you should play these albums fucking LOUD.
To quote the liner notes: As we close this "electrifying" anthology; keep in mind that for a cut rate outfit which bore closer semblance to a vaudevillian act than that of a legitimate rock group, "The Mummies were proof that you CAN eat shit and live."

Volume One

Volume Two

ignore everything I've said, just watch

Alexander Spence- All My Life (I Love You)/Land Of The Sun

If you have never heard Skip's solo album, "Oar," (still available from Sundazed) I highly recommend starting there.
Any album by a guy who, after a drug induced axe attack on a friend while on tour, upon being discharged from a mental institution in New York, rode a motorcycle down to a Nashville studio to record a solo album, (and also being the original drummer for Jefferson Airplane, hired because he "looked cool" even though he said he couldn't play drums, and then got kicked out because he wasn't a good enough of drummer, and then being in early Moby Grape) is bound to be "interesting"...then you find that the bonus tracks on the CD get even stranger... (AKA it's really good).
This 7" is all I've been able to find of his since that late 60's solo album.
The first track (from '72...solo in studio) almost sounds like it could be an early Moby Grape outtake. The lyrics, sung by almost anyone else, are moronic...BUT few musicians are quite as sincere as Skip...and his simplicity only amplifies it.
Track two is where it gets interesting to me. I've heard a lot of this guy's stuff from the 60's and one song from the 70's, but for the next thing I hear is a solo track from '96 that he sent to the X-Files people because he heard they were putting a CD together and thought his song would fit their "spooky" theme...he had definitely stayed weird.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Zbigniew Preisner- The Double Life of Veronique

If you haven't seen this movie, do yourself an ENORMOUS favor and see it as soon as possible (along with the rest of Krzysztof Kieslowski's amazing filmography). Seriously!
If you're searching for the currently incredibly overpriced, out of print soundtrack, I assume you've seen the movie and I don't need to tell you how great it all is...or spoil it for anyone else.
Like with any movie, the less you know in advance, the better.

Michel Legrand- Le Cinema de Michel Legrand (Nouvelle Vague)

I am a total dork for French New Wave films, and Michel Legrand is probably my favorite of the regular New Wave composers ("Band of Outsiders" is still left off, dammit...if you have it, please share it). I love his other albums from this time period, but even those records have the same kind of cinematic energy and seem to be crying out to be used in films.
The tracks from Godard's, "A Woman Is A Woman," each begin with commentary from Godard make me wish I knew French...
The only other movie on here I've seen is Agnes Varda's "Cleo from 5 to 7," (great music, great great movie) but all of the other music still has the Legrand charm, even without having seen the movies. Need to find the ones in print in the US on Netflix? Probably, yes. Please re-release "Lola," dammit.

The Impalas- Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)/Fool, Fool, Fool

The A-side should be familiar to some. I would prefer it to be more like "I ran all the way home, just to say fuck you," but that wouldn't have sold as many copies, unfortunately. The main reason I posted this was for the excellent B-side...a should be classic in white boy Doo Wop.
Boo fuckin' hoo.

Leni Okehu and his Surfboarders- "Hawaiian Holiday"

Another score from the Salvation Army (Attn. Greensboro residents: last time I was there they had another copy...$1). Another great record for doing absolutely nothing on balmy summer days. The lazier, the better. The more they try to be rock n' roll, not so hot, but all tracks are brief and relaxing...too much longer may have overdone it.
Sit back, sip, and be silent.

Teenage Dance Party with King Uszniewicz and his Uszniewicztones

I posted the other 2 King U. albums at the very beginning of this blog. I definitely prefer those two to this one, but that is not saying anything against this record in any way, shape, or form.
There is a long write up there, too.
But what made Cub Koda [of Brownsville Station ("Smokin' in the Boy's Room") fame] want to record them is that he realized it just wasn't the drunkenness or an off night, they just were THIS BAD. Even though this album is probably the most "competent" of the 3. The first two tracks were actually issued as a single on Koda's "1 Shot" label. Their only release in their six year existence, and at least it was put on the jukebox at the Orbit Room, the bowling alley where they where regular performers, until it burned down.
I think if I could go back in time and be in any band I wanted...I would want to be a U-Tone.
All 3 LP's are still available from Norton Records. If they've managed to track down Ernie "King" Uszniewicz yet, please put some royalties in his pocket. These 3 records are priceless artifacts of the most true rock n' roll band of all time. Great for having drinks with friends.

Harmonica Blues- Great Harmonica Performances of the 1920's and 30's

If I could find all these Yazoo comps on vinyl I would be a very happy man. Just got this one...for the time being...
The harmonica seems like the most obvious choice for blues musicians, it's a very proletariat instrument:
1) It's cheap
2) It's one of the most portable instruments. Pocketsize!
3) It's loud
4) It can imitate all kinds of sounds (the first track is train sounds...not my favorite track, but just pick up a harmonica and try for yourself. Not so easy)
The players on this record are definitely masters of their craft (the first ever black musician on The Grand Ole Opry was De Ford Bailey...last track on this comp.). This is just great blues, besides. Great stuff now that the dog days of summer are upon us. uhhggg.
Plus R. Crumb's cover art is fantastic...sums it all up.

Charlie Ryan & the Timberline Riders- Hot Rod Lincoln/Thru the Mill

Late fifties hillbilly rap rock? More like rockabilly storytelling which Bob Dylan came to be famous for, in a more pretentious way. Too bad he never used slide guitar for sound effects or was this direct and down to earth...common folk ain't into all that poetry shit.
The A-side is a rockabilly classic, but as time goes on I think I prefer "Thru the Mill." Worrying about your music "career" versus your crappy day job? Sounds awful familiar...
"I said that job wasn't fit for a jackass. I'm still here..."