It was a real pleasure to see the reformed (at least 3 members) Monochrome Set recently (with JFG & his Regulars as support band). Some say Bid now looks a little bit like me (we must have the same age) and it could be worse as comparison. Between 1978-1980, this band was not in my faves (I was rather in ATV, Vic Godard, Buzzcocks, Wire, Only Ones or Soft Boys) but listening back to these tunes on stage, I remembered I found them quite sapid and they supported the test of time quite well. Not sure to post all their singles but here's the first, with 2 A-sides actually since "Alphaville" (anyone who names a song from a Jean-Luc Godard film got my respect) is a true gem. Strangely I find the present voice of Bid more appropriate to the melody than it was. But I'm surely getting old. Taste this sweetness here.
(Alphaville)She slits her senseless skin (Alphaville) In time to Fred Astaire (Alphaville)I know you’re always there (Don’t look now)She’s so debonair, she’s a manic depressive (Don’t look now)She’s a millionaire, and her bills are excessive (Alphaville)She feels her senses wane (Alphaville)In pleasant melody (Alphaville)I’ll take you now with me (Don’t look now)She’s a movie star, she’s a split personality (Don’t look now)She’s got oom-pah-pah, and Papa says it’s insanity Don’t look now, your mind’s deteriorating Don’t look now, and if it’s irritating I’ll know how to set it right again Don’t look now, your world’s collapsing, dear Don’t look now, and if it’s taxing, dear I’ll know how to put it back again (Alphaville)She sleeps in useless flesh (Alphaville)The rancid, blood-soaked breast (Alphaville)In sunlight and slow death (Don’t look now)She’s a movie star, she’s a little bit touched (Don’t look now)She’s so wünderbar, all gears and no clutch
And for the pleasure
You miss the Bastards, Drive Like Jehu, and Hotsnakes (or Liquid Tricks), here's the band for you (and actually for me). A good sound washing in the face, fresh energy, a bit dirty of course but a welcome electroshock to take us out of the morbid apathy doom music can lead us to. The most exciting thing I heard since the above mentioned bands, ones of my faves all styles and times, so you see what you must do: DL it as quick as you can. It's to note that the band is not a girly one contrary to what the cover sleeve may indicate. I suppose they wanted also that their cover breaks the rules and question the potential listener. I didn't find anything on this band on the net except their bandcamp here and their myspace there but all I know it's they've done a hell of album that I will (if I'm still alive, quite not sure) still fancy and promote in 10 years from now So enjoy it here.
In July 1971, contrary to what most of cover sleeves of this bootleg seems to indicate, CCR are a trio, Tom Fogerty was gone since February. Although the band is still tight and compact, and songs are often classics among classics, something's missing in this reduced format. In particular John Fogerty seems to have too much work in singing and playing rhythm and solo guitar parts. But the sound of this concert (the closing of the Fillmore West) is much better than most of the CCR bootlegs we can find here and there. Surely because it was recorded and broadcasted by KSAN FM. The setlist of this concert is quite similar to the Live in Europe released by Fantasy. The cover sleeve is derived from a painting by an Austrian guy called Jestsam42 (here his deviantArt gallery, and the whole painting below). Fits well with the music I think. This recording is posted in mp3 and in wma. The concert is in one part so I can't post singular songs. Enjoy it here.
The whole painting
Somewhere between Donovan and Marvin Gaye but with something/anything of Zappa meets Todd Rundgren, was (and is still) Shawn Phillips. This LP, that can be considered as his dawn one, is for me his masterpiece. Terrible that such a gem was so overlooked and forgotten. It contains some of the most moving of his songs and more largely, of the rock history. He might have been suddenly under a divine influence since his previous efforts were at best uneven. But here, he touches something essential in music, helped by the superb orchestral arrangements of Michael Kamen (with a Barry Ryan flavor sometimes). Among the whole setlist, "American Child", "Implications", "Lament" and "Motes of Dust" are fave of mine and are not far each time I listen to them (at least once a year) to draw tears from my old and tired eyes. So, it seems unavoidable for me to post this LP here since it really belongs to the long list of forgotten ones. I hope to help it to be back in everyone's memory. Enjoy (actually encry) it here. All the details from this album here (it's his site, so go visit the other pages too) and the lyrics there. In streaming, 2 totally opposed climaxes. But both wonderful.
American Child. I was born in Fort Worth, Texas with a silver spoon / The war was rollin,' and the deaths were tollin' and Crosby crooned / The year was '43, I started learnin' how to be and I was on my way / Partisans in Italy were fighting Mussolini's team and making hay / Then another two years of people shedding tears and it had all begun / This bludgeon of insanity, power into vanity, to make the sun / I started comprehending the beginning of the ending of the human race / Now all I want to do is stop the follow-through I want to save my face / 'Cause I'm an American child on a nuclear pile / I been pampered, I been hampered, now I'm slandered, yeah! / Children of the twenty-first haven't got sense enough to raise their minds / Too busy gettin' crazy, or learnin' to be lazy, or tryin' to find / A way of bein' funny so to make a lot of money off another man's spine / Capitalist prigs and communist pigs, well you are all so fine / Always hypocritical, I think you're hypothetical, I will not climb / Cannot get in here, can't get out of there and there is no more time / And like the man said it's a pity he is dead, that all the world's a stage / So if you want to keep it for the next performance, you had better rage / Now I got a feelin' that what we're really needin' is a lot of love / And the little man to say he can, regardless of the master plan or velvet glove / Stand up his integrity, and fight the things that he can see are oh so wrong / There is a good solution, and it's not a revolution, and it won't take long / Let loose that want to fight go slobber through the night with their neutron bombs / There is more creation in the face of devastation, there are just more slums / And if you want utopia, you cannot have myopia, it must be clear / And a little isolation, so to prop a falling nation, from its only fear.
Implications. She brought me love like no one else has ever / Brought me through these many years / She made me sound and took me 'round in ever upward swirling chandeliers / At the pain of an ending is like a cauldron seething in fire / For no one else could ever take me higher The roses sent were never meant as offerings of peace for all the tears / Nor solace for the years alone / I cannot bring myself to voice my fears / Oh, but life you are sacred, you are the only the we bear / You are adamant implication that we care / The winds of life have brought me strife, I must face up to what / I think is real, and if she wants to go to him I will not hold her back from what she feels / Ah the love gives me courage, it stops the pain and heals me inside / My very soul is a thing I cannot hide / The windows in her eyes are dark / The stars are never there as they appeared and gone is all the joy for me / She's found another man and I am here / Ah the pain of an ending is like a cauldron seething fire / For no one else could ever take me higher / In the sky to the blue of God's eye where the winds begin to blow / And the earth is brown and green and gold / With the universe above and I must not lose my love / No I must not lose my love again.
Another gem. Not in the epic doom or noise genre here, but in the pure tradition of sludge, somewhere between EyeHateGod and Autopsy but never truly passeist. No. Sludge for the XXIst century. A bit like the great Thou. Exactly what we need while nuclear pollution and civil wars are drawing a macabre and terrific picture of our (no)future. "Start Saving For Your Funeral" says one track title. Good one this one. But all are prime cuts. A future classic for you if you dig this style (and I'm sure some of you now get used to it, at least I hope). An antidote for the stupid and dull music that the record industry pours in our ears. They're US, from Indianapolis. I was there one night 2 years ago. Only in an hotel near the airport. But it seems this city begins to be a nest for great doom and sludge. I hope to get back there who knows. Meanwhile, enjoy this morbid hate LP here, and then get there to buy it in a correct quality, that means in a CD form.
You won't listen something stronger that this band this year. From Canada, they mix doom and Today is the Day/Crow with a strenght quite rare. It's noise, it's sludgy, it's heavy and violent as our most intimate self-destructive instincts. Although 2 years old, I think this LP has been reissued recently. I would like to say that I listen to a load of LPs, EPs, demos (at least some minutes of them since I quickly know if they belong to my cuppa tea cupboard), and I post here the rares I think worth the listen and the support. Here's one of the best I ever heard. Quite a shock actually. Don't miss them. Yes, take the 70's old gems but stay connected to the best of today's music. And this is one of them. Without hesitation, discussion, opposition. Enjoy it here. And buy then.
This is the last of the 3 well-recorded live sets of Free in 1970. The 2 previous (Sunderland Locarno and Croydon) have been posted previously. Don't expect the intensity of these live shows. This one is strangely weak and rather soporific. A day off it seems. Probably the fact that the radio studio with a small audience doesn't stimulate their adrenals enough. At the begining of the set, Paul Rodgers says they have been relax in Sweden, and unfortunately, it's quite obvious when listening to the show. Everything seems to be taken on a slow pace and chosen songs are mainly the sad and melancholic ones. Paul Kossoff is fantastic on one song ("Be My Friend", in streaming below) but rather catastrophic on many songs, notably "Mr Big" that is the shittiest version I heard by Free. All in all, an interesting but rather deceiving testimony of the well-known uneven quality of their prestations. Enjoy however here.
Some days ago, Leon Russell was inducted to the Hall of Fame by Elton John (whatever this sentence may mean since I'm not sure I know exactly what the hell it's about to induct someone to the Hall of Fame). A good opportunity to say here how, with Dr John and Al Kooper, this charismatic man was underrated over his career. Of course, it's his role next to Joe Cocker that gave him this special aura he's associated to, this so special look that I found so "rock 'n' roll" when I was 12 when actually it was not rock 'n' roll but gospel rock. In studio, Leon Russell never reached the intensity of his live sets (and actually was surely the less talented of the 3 for studio work). But on stage, he was able to put the room on fire only with his strange donald duck voice and his piano-à-là Jerry Lee Lewis. In this live 3 LP album, he closed his fame period, since then he'll try to touch to a wider variety of genres without the success he met with gospel rock. If the band is not as shaky as was the one playing on Mad Dogs and Englishmen, there is enough groove and excitation to make it a classic that I surprise myself to listen to very often, particularily when I don't know what to listen to and I'm not in a doom mood. Sometimes, Leon's band sounds as Mott the Hoople (pre-Bowie era). If there are many self-indulgent passages, there's enough here to make you dance all around the place in screaming the choruses with the choir. So c'mon for celebrating the old Leon here (1st part) and there (2nd part), when he (and we) was young and crazy. In streaming 2 great moments, "Roll Away The Stone" (nothing to do with the Mott's song) and the incredible version of Dylan's "It' All Over Now Baby Blue" that closes the concert.
After Free disbanded for the second time in 1973, John Bundrick aka "Rabbit", recorded a second solo LP, still less known and more forgotten than his previous one (Broken Arrows the previous year). Strange since it's really a good one, the kind of solo albums some were making a lot of money and reached celebrity with, but in this case, it's true there's, like with Todd Rundgren, something lacking in it to be widely popular. Good since what's lacking is what's making most popular albums quite shitty actually. And this one is not. If you love Al Kooper, you'll like this one, recorded with the bassist and the drummer of what will be Back Street Crawler. Actually, John Bundrick would have liked to record with Free members, Kossoff included, but they were not ready for that. So, here another recorded from the Free galaxy. And a unjustified forgotten one. Enjoy it here.
Sorry if you're heard (actually read) this one before but here's another great sludgy noise band. The perfect mixture between the Black Sabbath heritage and early Today is the Day's energy and complex constructions. The more years are driving me towards the fatal issue, the more I look back at my lifepath, the more I finally consider music, more than anyone on earth, will have been my greatest help for making this living not too heavy, and sometimes to bring me some consolation. This is the case tonight, when most people in my small universe are sources of problems, are making their so-called love and affection so selfish, or even show their putrid inside (this for those that I must talk to in my job space). Ponds are saving my evening with this EP (1st part of a 2 part-one) that is surely one of the strongest thing I heard these last weeks, specially "A New Hamshire Mirage", an incredibly strong number. They're from Massachusetts and I hope they'll do great other things. Enjoy here and then support them there in buying their stuff, it's an help you must contribute if you're not selfish bastards you too (and if you're not starving since even cheap can be expensive when you got nothing).
After Free definitively disbanded, in 1973, Paul Kossoff drowned more and more in his addict-habits, probably because, like Brian Wilson and so many more, he had been broken by an authoritative dad all his youth. But spring 1975, he finally was in charge of his band , a strange outfit composed of John Rabbit Bundrick US friends and some English ones (notably the excellent singer from the UK band Beckett, Terry Wilson-Slesser). The biggest surprise was that, except for the quite bad production, their self-titled 1st LP was a gem, somewhere between Humble Pie, Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Chicago and, of course but not so much, Free. The best was that they had as soon as the 1st LP, a collection of songs to defend on stage and that assured them an audience that would enjoy herself without asking for Free favorites (except "The Hunter", they didn't play any). Mike Montgomery, the main writer of the band (almost all songs are his signature) was a fantastic new ally for Kossoff, and to have found a nice singer, much more in the Marriott-Plant file than the Rodgers one, was a good point to avoid constant comparison. This concert catches them ar Croydon, a place so legendary for Free, at their beginnings and the excitation, energy and dynamics are all there. Kossoff is not always in tune but takes some wonderful solos. Impressed, they would sign a big contract with Atlantic, the label of Koss old pals Rodgers and Kirke. What would come later would be a total wreckage due to Paul Kossoff himself, going deeper and deeper in his demonworld of addiction and inconsequence. A boy that everybody says was nice, but unable to cope with his fatal attraction for mandrax and then coke and even heroin. His heart would cease to beat during a plane trip one year later, after months and months of a downline road with more and more uneven apparitions on stage. Enjoy this superb testimony of survival here. This concert has been released 3 times (with rather ugly cover sleeves), always under the name of Paul Kossoff, and it's a shame since he was quite proud to have a band back. So it's more respectful to give credit to the full name. The front picture was taken from a photographer calling him or herself "privatedancer" on deviantArt.
Between May and December 1971, a period Free had disbanded, each member tried to put something on feet, Andy Fraser a trio called Toby and Paul Rodgers another one called Peace, assuming vocals, guitar and songwriting. In this (badly named) band, there was an ex-Quatermass (Mick Underwood, a drummer that will back Ian Gillan solo career during 30 years) and an ex-Killing Floor (Stewart McDonald). The trio will recorded 5 songs in studio during his short-lived existence. Here are the only 3 I have ("Like Water" and "Zero BC" are from the Songs of Yesterday boxset, "Lady" from the Free Story album). A shame I did not localised the 2 other ones since it's the initial versions of 2 masterpieces: "Heartbreaker" and the heartbreaking and soul shaking doom "Seven Angels" that will both feature on the last Free LP (Heartbreaker). It's true that, although Peace was an interesting band, it's lacking the spark Free would put in the Rodgers songs. However, I find that "Zero BC" is one of the greatest songs Paul Rodgers composed and even in this quite naked version it's a gem. So, here a fake EP with some forgotten songs that deserve to feature in the Free-derived heritage. PS. The cover is mine. No record has never been released during these 9 months (but there is a Peel session I would like to find one day).
Gosh, this band from Portland succeeds in being sludge, punk and noise, without sacrificing the quality of one of the 3 genres. Yes there is some Buzzov.en and Bastards in it, but also an incredible energy that revives the punk one, and also something of the modern experimental approach of noise (Lightning Bolt if you want). But it remains down to earth, dirty as diarrhea, thick as mud, stinky as vomit. It's one of these albums that you feel maybe nobody is able to do again, cos' it's crazy, not full of references, not based on a specific project, resulting from endless discussions about this sound or this riff. Spontaneity in its most glorious form. Don't know why they took this stupid name of Rabbits (I suggest they do a cover of "The Hunter", just for laugh), maybe a private joke, but nothing's a joke in this new LP freshly released. I don't know whether it's a good thing to post it here since it can be bought at Relapse, but if they ask, I'll remove. You know, my philisophy is you listen to this MP encapsulated version and then invest in the true shit, and here is a real album. You won't regret. It's a highpoint of the year as was the Daughters album last year at the same period. Enjoy here.
The band that plays these 2 shows in September 1970 here has nothing in common with the one who played in Sunderland in January the same year (see here). "All Right Now" has been a massive hit worldwide and the 4 young musicians (they hardly reach 20 years) have now a new audience full of female teenagers and live a quite strange situation, with their muddy and bleak hard blues for people waiting to dance to hard rock standards with a pop quality, that neither Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath had. Here, they suspended some days their studio sessions for the Highway LP, and play in Croydon in front of an hysteric audience. Songs from these 2 shows gave most of the Free Live LP the following year, and some more songs from this concert were added on the 2002 reissued/remastered version but only on the Songs of Yesterday boxset was the information if songs were recorded on the 1st or the 2nd show (how were they able to play 2 so intense sets in a row, it's a mystery for me). To compile this fake LP, I chose to include the versions from the boxset (most of the 2nd show) when there was another version on the Free Live LP. It's better to have rarest versions I think. I respected the order of the setlist (and the wrong announces at the end of some songs are surely due to a fake addition on the boxset to imitate a true concert since they are not listed this way on the setlists I got from various sources, note for example that they didn't play "Moonshine" at Croydon and it's announced at the end of "The Stealer"). Only missing "Songs of Yesterday" and "The Hunter", the latter closing the concert (sad they didn't put them both in the boxset). But all in all, it's an absolute gem to listen and listen to again, here. A precious band for eternity.
What a pleasure to have 2 recent great songs from Steve Harley to post. I must say that I am quite not a lover of his late career. Not that it's bad, but compared to his ancient grandeur, it's quite common. The last LP, Stranger Comes To Town is an uneven affair but there's more to enjoy than on the previous ones. And there's more ballads, violins, real intruments than on the previous ones. And also, there's the great Stuart Elliott on drums (yes the Stuart Elliott of the first Cockney Rebel era, he always appeared here and there in the Steve Harley discography but here he's constantly behind his sticks). "No Bleeding Hearts" has the charm of the best Dylan ballads and the long final is a "ô combien delicate" conclusion to this successfull composition. On the B side, I chose to put "The Old Man", almost similarly exquisite and thus you got a rather perfect couple of songs. Enjoy it here (I fixed the link correctly on 3/03, it was not initially). Then buy the album, there's enough on it to please you. The cover sleeve was conceived from a digital composition of Mario Sanchez Nevado, a Spanish artist you can see the gallery here.