When the time will come to complete the list of the five faves of the year, sure this LP from Mona de Bo, a band from Riga will be in it, close to Daughter (here) and Xasthur (there). I'm often not fond of this style that Sigur Ros are considered the leaders by now, but this duo succeeds in doing with it a musical world totally fascinating and in which you can drown easily on sad evenings. Not a weak track (except maybe when they become a little too drony to my ears) and an alchemy that many could dream of. This LP was donwloadable free on their site but you can (and should) buy the concrete version since the package (and of course the sound) worth it a million times. Enjoy the listening here.
To celebrate their reformation this year and their recent tour with the great Tinsel Teeth (what a package, here's a testimony of this show), here's their famous first album for Skingraft Soak The Saddle. Those who like a mix between Shorthy, US Maple and Devo but more extreme than both reunited, will cherish this milestone of psychotic noise. Short for a long player but so intense that more would be too much. Hope they'll release some more cos' our times need AOR disjoncted electric madness. Meanwhile, enjoy this gem here.
With each record (EP or LP), Thou improves his art and this last one is a kind of summum in sort, an achievement for sure in which you immerse like in a river of black mud (what all oil industries will do with water on earth if we let these bastards free to win shitfull amount of money). "Another World is Inevitable" says one title of this album. It's a way to put a little light in this bleak sound tunnel and doomed future that is ours (mine is to be soon dead but I think of those who'll stay). Honestly, Thou is incredibly good at what they do. Not many to compete. It's doom, sludge but still much more, it's emotive music, not the emotions you'd like to feel but they're the ones you feel so I'll say it's highly relevant. And they even provide a doom equivalent of Alfred Schnittke in "Summit Revisited". If you come here for old rarities from some underrated great ancients, be kind to the current ones. And Thou sure are. Hands up and end joy this masterpiece freshly released here.
What else to say that listen and shake your head (or whatever you want to shake, it's no harm for anyone) on this 25 min of Stephanie's furia, not forgetting her 3 1st class and half-naked noise-makers of our trouble times. Thanx to Shiny Grey Monotone here for making this show available. Usually I try not to post something freshly posted elsewhere but for Tinsel Teeth (and some other faves of mine) I do it. No streaming since there's not space between songs. Songs are 1) Dirty Dozen Eggs, 2) Danielle (new song not recorded) 3) Like rubber sniffing glue 4) Failure to Perform (funny name when you see them play live) 5) Horizontal Hustle (new song not recorded). Enjoy it here.
Here's the 15th and last Shocking Blue single of the Robbie van Leeuwen/Mariska Veres era. It was clear that RvL was at the end of his creative process with the band since the 2 sides are quite weak. The single would not chart either and this surely contributed to decide RvL to quit. We were at the beginning of 1974 and after 6 years the duo was finally off. Sad it was with this one. The cover sleeve is probably not the single but the LP but I failed to find the original 7" one (and this is one of the rare SB single I don't have in my disco). I'll try to compile an As & Bs compilation of these 15 singles, the As & Bs album that you can find mix all the periods without any caution of the release order (I hate that) and include pre-Mariska and post RvL singles. The band will actually go on about a year with a new guy on guitar and composition but without being a total disaster, it had not the special SB' touch. The show was over. Hope you appreciated it if you were not too familiar with this underrated band that lacked the ambition to reach a better historical status. Enjoy this last episode here.
Dream on dreamer And tell me 'bout the secrets of your soul. Your lips still there, a mysterious smile And the reason why I wanna know. Dream on dreamer And tell me 'bout the feeling in your mind. I'm so [...] just to know right now What will happen and what has been. Maybe there's loving in your heart And you tell me that we will never part. Maybe an ocean of love is waiting for me. Dream on dreamer And tell me 'bout the secrets of your soul. Your lips still there, a mysterious smile And the reason why I wanna know.
And below a last tribute to the great Mariska with one of her (their) most moving song. RIP Mariska.
Most of my life, I've hated to see any human wearing sandals. These late years, I finally found some pleasure in seing female feet in these open shoes (but both feet and shoes must have some esthaetic qualities) and I can now see the sexcitating dimension of women in sandals. But men definitively not. I can become verbally aggressive if one of them dares to go in town (particularily in Paris) with their naked toes (and often with short pants, just in case we had doubt about their hairy legs). Since it's the time for this visual epidemy (without any known vaccination), I exorcize my angryness with this Wreckless Eric song that was on his album with Amy Rigby released 2 years ago (a new one is on the way) that the great jfg (yes, the jfg of this LP here) indicated me and sent me. For the cover sleeve, I was happy to find this picture that fits perfectly well with my (and Wreckless) intention. Learn it and sing it when you're passing by one of these ugly homosapiens ignoring that between naked feet and covered feet, all else is ugly. Enjoy this fake single (with a stomping B-side called "First Mate") here.
Somewhere between Drunk With Guns, The Saints and the Stooges is Kim Phuc (the name of the little girl burned by Napalm in Vietnam and who was the subject of the famous picture that contributed to stop this war, the one I used for the Television Personalities live song about Vietnam here). Weeks and weeks I have this single ready to post cos' I feel it's an urgency all visitors of this blog are aware a great punk rock is alive and well (hum...I can't assure they're well). This single is probably the best thing that occurred in rock (in its ancient acception) these late years. The little Jello Biafra tone in the singer's voice is a delicatessen for my ears. And tonight, I'm in the kind of mood (hating myself and about everyone else and wanting to die, not the first time but I'm still there) to post it. They've released another one ("Weird Skies") and it's a complete gem too. Go to hear all that on their myspace here. And enjoy (not really the right word but who cares) the "Wormwood Star" single there.
Johnny Marr has always been one my fave composer/guitarist and the work he's done with the Smiths can be considered as a musical treasure for humanity (and fuck off with their US folky songwriters that could make me drop dead as soon as they try to tune their guitar). Unfortunately, his post-Smiths career has been quite a disaster. In offering this song (except lyrics) to Robyn Hitchcock, a genius I'm sure you know that (no ? "pauvre de vous"), and in playing it with him, he shows that he's still a great great musician and both they release one of the gems of the year. Driven from the Propellor Time LP released in March 2010, a less satisfactory album than the splendid last year's Goodnight Oslo, it must be noted that this LP was actually recorded in 2006 (read a great interview of RH here, it's not the usual load of stupid mouth bullshit you can read eg. "Much of our unhappiness stems from our isolation, as Lennon sings so beautifully. If we are trapped in the illusion of our own identity, as we are inevitably sealed in the compartments of our own bodies, then we are lonely lamps waiting to be extinguished"), so before Goodnight Oslo. Strange Robyn Hitchcock waited so long to issue it with such "invités" than Johnny Marr and also John Paul Jones playing mandolin on the B-side of this fake 7", a wonderfull Dylanesque song called "Born on the Wind" (in streaming below since I post the "Ordinary Millionaire" clip). I created this DIM cover sleeve from pictures by Sundew, a very interesting eastern photograph very Jan Saudek-influenced, you can find the site here. And don't miss the Robyn Hitchcock news here. And last, enjoy this fake single for your summer there.
I just try to do whatever I can And if I should cry, well you know I’m only a man To say you’re only human To say you’re just a man What does that mean?‘Cause I checked out, and it’s easy to be a half A half of nothing But another man in a scarf Avoiding confrontations, don’t look me in the eye When I’m looking at you Are you doing the Caesar? I always find a reckoning Always find you beckoning towards me in the air You embrace me in your memory You were young and NME and I was in my hair I’m not an ordinary millionaire I, said the skull, I was bound to end up this way I’ve got no love ‘Cause it’s not in my DNA You say you’re only human My, what big eyes you have! When you’re looking at me Are you doing the Caesar? I don’t know what you’ve done to me I don’t know what you want from me I only know you’re there I don’t know where you’ve gone from me I know you don’t belong to me I only know you’re there I’m not an ordinary million I’m not an ordinary million I’m not an ordinary millionaire .
On summer, I usually listen to Dr John, Todd Rundgren, Leon Russell and Al Kooper. And this summer is no exception. Dr John and Al Kooper are back in my life and it's a consolation in these desolitary times (a neologism I assume) too hot to work (although I do). Here I post one of my fave songs of all times (written by Al Kooper and covered first by the Animals), the gospel-influenced (actually it's a gospel) "Bury my Body" (and the lyrics are the kind I find my taste) which was driven from the Kooper Session LP that he did with the young guitar genius Shuggie Otis, although only the first side of the album was good for me (long instrumental blues bore me to death most of the time). These 2 single-songs were from the 1st side and even the B-side is a gem so I'm not afraid to say that it is one of the best singles of all times (a complete chart failure and never mentioned in Al's discographies, even on his site although it has really been released). Since I didn't find the cover sleeve, I committed one again with a splendid Laurie Lipton drawing I find relevant to the lyrics. Enjoy this cemeterhymn here. And dance to it while your body can still do it. I'll ask to be bury with this song on an ipod in case my soul got ears after death.
Bury my body Lord, I don't care where they Bury my body Lord, I don't care where they Bury my body 'Cause my soul is gonna live With God, oh, oh, oh, yeah Lead me Jesus, lead me Why don't You lead me in the middle of the air? And if my wings should fail me Won't You provide me with another pair Please God I don't care where they Bury my body Lord, I don't care where they Bury my body 'Cause my soul is gonna live With God, oh, oh, oh, yeah I said alright You know it's alright It's alright, c'mon Bury my body Lord, I don't care where they Bury my body Lord, I don't care where they Bury my body 'Cause my soul is gonna live With God, oh, oh, oh, yeah
Lead me Jesus, lead me Why don't You lead me in the middle of the air And if my wings should fail me Won't You provide me with another pair Please God I don't care where they Bury my body
Lord, I don't care where they Bury my body Lord, I don't care where they Bury my body 'Cause my soul is gonna live With God I said hey, baby My soul, my soul, my soul Gonna live, live With God
With their 14th single, released 5 months later, in September 1973, Shocking Blue failed for the first time to reach their home charts and it was clearly the end of the story if they didn't find the way to it. Unfair since the song is quite good, the most Grace Slick-like of their whole career, strange idea when you know that in 1973 the Airplane was an old souvenir. But it's true there was the Starship. The B-side is an unconvincing attempt to mix mandoline and reggae. Robbie van Leeuwen was not scared by the most extreme cocktail. Enjoy it here.
If you (must I say love or like, let's say) appreciate Christophe (his name is Bevillacqua) and Alain (with or without the "Z") Kan, you must dl and listen (and who knows buy) their one and only collaborative LP, called Pas Vu Pas Pris ("not seen, not caught") and released in 1980. Actually, Alain Kan was the brother of the then-wife of Christophe and it's quite strange two of the best French songwriters were tied by family relations. Unfortunately, this LP was musically weaker than the previous one, Le Beau Bizarre (you can dl here), and even lyrics did not fit as well Christophe's world than the Bob Decout ones. However, the album is still enjoyable, darker, rockier (although the ugly cover sleeve may indicate a beach album, in fact it's very urban and unsane) than everything Christophe had done to this day. Probably the Alain Kan influence. I was near to call this post The Complete Pas Vu Pas Pris Album, since the song "Question Ambiance", written by Alain Kan and Christophe, was excluded from the LP and was only the B-side of the awful "L'Italie", the unavoiding (s)hit that Christophe had to release to make a decent live with his music. This song had nothing to do on the LP and would have been advantageously replaced by "Question Ambiance". Because I included the back cover sleeve and the lyrics sheet in the file (with some pictures I sticked at the time I bought it, 30 yrs ago), I maintained "L'Italie" and added as bonus trax "Question Ambiance". Not a masterpiece but an interesting adjonction to any good Christophe discography. Enjoy it here.
The first song of the album and the second (unsuccessfull) single of the LP
From the album, "Minuit Boul'vard" is the only song played by Christophe at each of his live set. Here, a not-too-bad quality catch in 11/2009
Is it still possible in the XXIth century to do blues without being obsolete? Sometimes I'm doubting, but with Australian Abbe May here or today's Hell(vetic)'s Kitchen, I must answer yes. Of course there's a lot of other bands playing revitalised blues but most of the time they've something that bother me, a cultural approach I feel tiring. I only like when the blues is to the bones. It's the case here. You are near the old rural blues à-la Robert Johnson, but also the Chicago one, more John Lee Hooker and Willie Dixon (my 2 faves ones) than Muddy Waters or BB King. And you can also find traces of Kevin Coyne, Creedence Clearwater Revival or Led Zeppelin approaches of blues and even the Liars or Oxbow. All in all, this is one of the best blues album released in the last decade and you should not ignore it. Try it here and buy it next via heir myspace there. They need it. And don't miss them if they play not far from your estival stay.
In April 1973 was released the last single of the band (their 13th) to chart in Nederland. It could have been a miss since although musically it's back to the Creedence Clearwater Revival basics (more "Proud Mary" than "Born on the Bayou"), vocally, Mariska Veres adopts a whining and plaintive tone that is quite unusual. Maybe she was trying to Bolanise her voice. I like it but not sure their public was not a little confused by this new style. The B-side is better than the A one, a kind of T.Rex-plays-the-blues kind that is rather sapid. But the ambition of the previous year seems to vanished for a poorer approach of arrangements. Moreover, the clothes and hair styles of the band are less and less consistent with a serious consideration by mainstream rock. They'll pay it soon. Don't know why they were not aware of that at the time. Enjoy this single here.
The B-side (at least in NL, since it was "In My Time Of Dying" in some countries)
A clip from a TV appearance where they mime "Oh Lord" with lyrics below (cos' they're good depressing ones)
Oh Lord, blow the cold wind out of my life. I need love, love sweet love, I need just a little bit now. Hard legs and stormy eyes,[...] lips to ease my pain,Rough me through that lonesome night,Don't let me hope in vain.Make it alright, alright, alright...Oh Lord, blow the cold wind out of my life.I need love, love sweet love,I need just a little bit now.Crazy arms to hold me tight Is what I want to get me by.I wait for a baby in jeans,Let me have my sweety pie.Make it alright, alright, alright...Oh Lord, blow the cold wind out of my life. I need love, love sweet love,I need just a little bit now.Oh Lord, blow the cold wind out of my life.Oh Lord, blow the cold wind out of my life.Oh Lord, blow the cold wind out of my life.
You want to know what I call a great, a fucking great doom-sludge band, therefore listen to Cough (not Coughs, another band that I'll post something here one day maybe), dl their 2008 album, then buy it, then buy the next one (they just signed to Relapse Records, so a really widely distributed album should be available soon). They're of course in the the straight descending line (a French expression I translate although I don't know whether it means anything in English) from the Electric Wizard of Dopethrone, but they have their own style and I particularily love the way they manage to propose clear proto-Sabbath (see the T. Shirt below) riffs à-la EyeHateGod. And the singer is first class, sounding as a real human, not the usual meat in this style. A real classic to my ears. Please, dear 70's amateurs, have some curiosity and do with great contempory bands what you would like music fans in the 70's would have done with your beloved old bands. Enjoy this masterpiss (yes I know easy one this one but my brain's burned out tonight) here.
We may not have a decent football team in this country but we have fantastic doom bands and since I despise the former and love the latter, it's OK for me. When I write "we", I mean French (yes the arrogant bastards, cos' my compatriots are actually arrogants, for most of them, if you could understand what they write in forums you should be horrified, all these so-called geniuses). After Huata, Eibon, UFO Gestapo, Lumberjack Feedback, Modern Funeral Art, here's General Lee, from the north of France, and in post-rock doom style, a genre I consider more and more as sterile, they propose something I can't help to find exciting and celestian. The voice is screaming for sure and that may explain there's not in it this arty dimension I dislike more and more in Isis, Mogwai and Pelican. They have been signed by Hip Hip Hip (what a name !) and they should release their next LP soon. Meanwhile, listen to their last, Hannibal Ad Portes, released in 09/2008 and about which I'd written a very positive review in Xroads mag. After, buy the CD version since, don't forget, the MP3 sound is really a shame compared to wav (moreover the sleeve is nice). Enjoy it here. And follow their adventures on their myspace there.
In december 1972, Shocking Blue released this 12th single A-sided by an excellent song called "Eve & the Apple". This will allow them to stay in the Nederland charts but not to get back in the charts anywhere else. Sad once again because the production is strong and this track could have been a Xmas hit. But it seemed the Shocking Blue times were over and that they would stay a national glory. This is all the more a pity that the B-side is a song full of pathos showing Robbie van Leeuwen could succeed even in a more melodramatic domain. So, in brief, another forgotten treasure from this great band you can enjoy here.
Here's my small contribution to the annual distinction of the summer hit, the one that will help to face tourists (Paris is the most visited place in the world !), heat, people dressed ugly (specially these awful tongs) and all the shit associated with this season. This year my choice is for "Kissed It" by Macy Gray, helped by Slash's Velvet Revolver. This song succeeds in mixing for the first time in history the best of Motown with the best of Glam. It's like T. Rex sung by Tina Turner (this occurred but it was not so good), or Gary Glitter backing Mary Wells (this never occurred). There is something of Prince and Denim (the Lawrence band) in the splendid last LP of Macy Gray, one of the greatest singers of all the time for those who missed the last decade and her gorgeous "I Try" in 1999. Strangely, she did not release this song on a single A-side (but released first the excellent "Beauty In The World" and then the danceable "Lately") but plays it regularily on TV shows. Hope it will however be a hit. It deserves it. On the B-side of this fake single, "That Man" another rocky one from the LP (that is much more soul oriented than these 2 songs might make you believe). Listen to the great voices of today. Listen to Macy Gray here.
A version of this song on Later with Jools Holland below
Below some pictures showing what a gorgeous lady Macy Gray is.