Last Autumn, Melanie lost Peter Schekeryk, her beloved husband, friend and producer for more than 40 years, and honestly it's surely one of the hardest thing she had to face in her life. Remembering how I took her in my arms at the end of an interview 5 years ago, and how it felt to have her so close to me some brief but eternal seconds, I would have liked to make my poor arms a small shelter for a pain but I'm sure she has her children to do that much better than I could have. After a long silence during which I was also unable to listen to anything by her, I bring back some forgotten songs and these are really forgotten since they were on an unissued LP recorded (it seems) in 1979 and which should have been released between Ballroom Streets in 1978 here and Arabesque in 1982 there. Listening to it, I realise it's a great waste that it was not released since there are enough good songs to make of this LP a great addition to her discography. I discovered this LP here where you can find a load of Melanie's stuff. There is not the work I did for the 90's albums i.e., to reorganize things according to the time it was recorded, but you have many albums in their raw versions. On this Crazy Lady (the name is derived from the 1st song and is not mine) Melanie sings divinely, often with a very low voice and I love it this way. The album doesn't suffer from the sound option of the period it was recorded since it is more roots (blues or rock, with some soul) than all the rest she will do in the years before and after. I don't know why it was not released (it is said they didn't pay the studio sessions but it would need to be confirmed). Most of the tracks will stay on this lost LP but some will survive such as the Stonesy "Roadburn" or the delicious "Take A Bath". I did an alternative cover sleeve with pictures I think were taken in the right period. Enjoy it here and have a deep thought for her. Cos' we love her forever, don't we?
Yes my darling daughter. Mother may I go out dancing? Yes my darling daughter Mother may I try romancing? Yes my darling daughter What if there’s a moon mama darling And its shining on the water Mother must I keep on dancing? Yes my darling daughter Mama must I keep on dancing Keep on dancing? Yes my darling daughter Mama must I keep on dancing keep on dancing? Yes my darling daughter What if he’ll propose Mama darling As the night is growing shorter Mother must I keep on dancing? Yes my darling daughter Mama must I keep on dancing Keep on dancing? Yes my darling daughter Mama must I keep on dancing keep on dancing? Yes my darling daughter What if there’s a moon and it’s shining on Shining on the water Mother must I keep on dancing? Yes my darling daughter Mama must I keep on dancing Keep on dancing? Yes my darling daughter Mama must I keep on dancing keep on dancing? Yes my darling daughter What if he should insist on fond embrace, mama How’m I gonna keep him in his place? If his manner becomes a shade improper Tell him that your heart belongs to Papa Mama must I keep on dancing Keep on dancing? Yes my darling daughter Mama must I keep on dancing keep on dancing? Yes my darling daughter Mama must I keep on dancing keep on dancing? Yes my darling daughter?
I fear I won't have anything to say else than if you're in sludge you can't miss such a gigantic LP. With Indian, this is another milestone for this year. It's not an easy listening but who needs it. The way sludge goes satisfies me still more than I hoped, avoiding a certain kitsch imagery and focusing on music only and its climax. But let's spare words and dl it here, or listen to it there, and then buy it (not mandatory, they just ask if you want to leave something, what I did of course). Thx to Shinju Gumi for alerting me about this band.
As Patto's Monkey's Bum here or Jack Bruce Band's Jet Set Jewel there, this 4th Jonesy LP has not been released after its recording, and has never been issued with a correct sound, this time because it seems the tapes were stolen and lost forever. Jonesy was a UK progressive stronly influenced by King Crimson, featuring the brothers Evan-Jones and, during 2 LP, Alan Bown. After winning the price of the year Best Album by the Montreux Jazz Festival jury, they felt in a turmoil of problems leading to their split. But, as a swansong (actually a swanalbum), John and Trevor Evan-Jones decided to record the album they dreamt of and this was this Sudden Prayers Make God Jump. Virgin records was interested to release it but the 2 musicians were under contract with another label that didn't want to let them go but seemed not inclined to release this LP. The stealing episode closed the dilemna. Never was heard again from these 2 brothers in the musicland. This LP is really fascinating, based on a sort of bleak personal experiment, and full of references to the Beatles (more specifically the Lennon psychedelic area), to the Pink Floyd (the Barrett's one), although musically, we are somewhere between the Strawbs of Hero & Heroine and Yes, and even sometimes Manfred Mann Chapter III. Interesting cocktail. We dream to get by a miracle the real final produced version but this document gives an idea of what could have been. A perfect example of forgotten songs you'll agree I suppose. Enjoy it here. In streaming I put a song not really representative of the album but one of my faves. Lyrics are particularly depressing.
Third single from the band, not a great one to my ears, but I want to stick to the order of relase so here it is. This is the short version of the song featuring on their first LP (Strange Boutique). The B-side is better actuall, with its latino flavor. Enjoy it here.
The Monochrome Set. I fascinate, infatuate Emphatically You're dreary, you're base, deary Your face is weary for me I'm heaven sent, so eloquent And curiously I entertain your tiny brain So spuriously The Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set The Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set I'm charming, dear, disarming, dear Alarming to see You're lazy, you're limp, baby Your mind is crazy for me My rhetoric, so magnetic Aesthetically I'll nominate you to abominate Anticipate me The Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set The Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set I captivate, enraptivate Emphatically You're funny, you're dead, honey But you're always money to me I'm adorable, you're deplorable It's not a lot of fun It's gruesome, but we're a twosome So, hey, hey, hey, here we come
In the new issue of Xroads, a French music mag about rock music (without any speciality except maybe quite a lot of US-inspired adult or americana rock) in which I got a chronical about doom, I write a kind of sludge story with a record (single, EP or LP) every month. For the 12th episode (previously there were several records I posted here such as EyeHateGod, Grief, Asbestosdeath, FuManchu, Neanderthal or Autopsy) I talked about It Is I, the band Tom Choi formed after leaving Asbesdosdeath (who became Sleep). It's really a stunning muddy album with many influences larger than the ones usually heard in the genre (such as Godflesh or the Stooges for example) and a psychedelic flavour that isn't without similarity with the Electric Wizard of Let Us Pray 9 years later. The vocals were quite grinding and this may explain why this band is so rarely cited when seminal bands of the past are cited. A reason to verify it was a great one and that it deserves to stay as a milestones in the unpaved sludge pathway. There was no further record released and the career of Tom Choi did not reach the same popularity of those of the future Om and High On Fire. Too bad. Enjoy it here.
Like Jack Bruce's Jet Set Jewel (here), this album is one of these great LP refused by their label, here not by RSO but by Island, a label that benefits from a good reputation but which was able to reject such a great record on the simple basis that progressive was out (but the music here is certainly not progressive, they must have glue in their ears) and because Ollie Halsall quitted the band during the sessions (it's true the guitarist was an important piece of the whole but Mike Patto shows here that he was competent enough to take the band in charge, here he composes alone 4 songs) and they did not want to release an album without a tour featuring the guitarist that played on it. Many say that this album was rather good with some excellent songs on it. I consider it is great and as a whole, would have been the best thing Patto would have released. On the songs recorded after Ollie Halsall left, Mel Collins played sax and it's a perfect alchemy with Mike Patto voice. Unfortunately, contrary to Jet Set Jewel, no official release with the original studio sound has been done (shame on Island) and all we got is this rather crappy sound but songs are so good I listen to it quite often actually, one of the rare albums I accept to hear in these conditions. There were 2 unofficial versions, one on Audio Archives and one on Akarma (I included the back cover in the rar file so you can have the song titles) but both are bad either. I decided to do another sleeve since the 2 of these releases are rather arbitrary. I illustrated the title, which is not really about the butt of monkeys but about a chess strategy, the reason why I took this chess game showing I hope, the famous Monkey's Bum disposition (although it's a strategy, so no fixed image can illustrate it). In hommage of this great band, don't hesitate to dl it here, hoping someone at Island one day will have the courage to release it in respectful form. In streaming I chose "Pick Up The Phone" an unusual Patto song, but it has a superb Kinks flavour (Preservation era) and would have deserved to be a hit.
After some years while I appreciated math-rock (in the middle part of the nineties), I became fed up with this style and quite stopped to listen to it. I discover rather lately this album released 6 years ago by an US band (from Kentucky) called Foxhole , and honestly this is the best math-rock thing I heard in my life (except maybe for the first Don Caballero albums). The idea to insert a trumpet in their sound architecture is a complete success and totally changes the rather annoying atmosphere of usual math-rock. In fact, their music explores much wider horizons than math-rock. Listen to the intro track (in streaming below) and you may think you are hearing a New Orleans trad. band playing a funeral hymn. There was no further LP released (only an EP) but it seems they are on the way to record a new one. I hope so cos' I listen to this one quite often these days and I'll need another one soon. We'll all need actually. Cos' you will dl it here and enjoy it so much you'll do too.
It's not really the whole BBC session (the 22th December 1971, with John Peel talking of course, this is THE man) that Peace (the band Paul Rodgers formed between may and december 1971 during the Free breakup) since contrary to what is said on the sleeves (not the one posted here, that I did myself from a montage here) "Like Water" is cut after only some seconds for a reason I ignore, so I didn't put it in the rar file. Actually, a visitor sent me the link to this source but after, that I actually found another one with the abhorted "Like Water" version. So here is a fake single with 2 songs that Paul Rodgers will take back more than one year later on the Heartbreaker LP but that he did not propose apparently for the Free At Last one at the beginning of 1972. Since they are two undying classics, to listen to them in their initial version is moving. "Heartbreaker" didn't change much once in the Free hands, whereas the fantastic "Seven Angels" is less bleak here than he will be in its final version, and the voice not totally finalised. Don't forget that Paul Rodgers played all the guitar parts here and is quite good at it. The sound is not top quality but can be listened to without too much pain. A welcome addition to the studio EP I posted here. Enjoy it here. Now I wait to get the studio versions of these 2 songs. If you got it...
I did my biweekly sport session today listening to this album and I felt ready to participate to the next olympic games (except what I do is not an olympic discipline). Somewhere between Zeni Geva and Lightning Bolt, they sound sometimes as the Captain Beefheart of the post-noise movement if this movement had any reality. This LP, released one year ago, seems one of the most well guarded secrets and it's not fair cos' you won't listen to something craziest (but an euphoric crazyness) in your life. Their name is quite provocative but this participates to their sulfurous aura. Don't miss this gem. It should have been in my fave albums list of last year but I'd not listened to it enough to realise how it was great. Thx to superdahu to send me the link. Enjoy this destructive sonor bomb here.
This second Monochrome Set single is one of the greatest singles ever released in the post-punk years, and even one of the great singles in rock history. Everything to make it a standard. A real symphonie in a 2 min format, with a melody you remember all your life and an arabian flavour that is sapid for the least, all the quality that this period was able to bring with simple means (where are the today standards in the lo-fi secondhand bullshit that we are offered?). Another reason to show respect for Bid who was the author of this gem. And the lyrics are genius for sure. Enjoy it here.
Eine Symphonie Des Grauens. I’m dead and dank and rotten My arms are wrapped in cotton My corpse loves you, let’s marry (Get smart, once)Every night at sleepy time (Get smart, twice)I hang my skin out on the line (Get smart, sing) Oh, darling, would you be, be mine
I’m in love, I think I’m in love] I’m in love, I think I’m in love] I’m in love, I think I’m in love] (Chorus) I’m caught in a mesh of veins My fingers and flesh and brains My skull gives head, so let’s wed (Get smart, once)Every night when all alone (Get smart, twice)I drape my flesh around the phone (Get smart, pray) Oh, darling, would you be my own (Chorus) Don’t cry, beautiful, it’s just a phase To the father and the son and the holy ghost I chant and I pray, I love You know, God works in mysterious ways To the father and the son and the holy ghost I sing and I pray, I love I’m soft and slightly stinking My arms are small and shrinking My lips kiss dirt, oh, let’s flirt (Get smart, once)Every night at half past one (Get smart, twice)There’s a little taste of things in come (Get smart, chant) Oh, darling, can I be your son (Chorus) Don’t scream, baby, it’s just a coma To the father and the son and the holy ghost I chant and I pray, I love You go to heaven, I go to Roma
A visitor (webbacity, many thx to him, his blog's here), posted in a comment, a link to a bootleg in which there's the BBC session that Peter Hammill recorded (for John Peel) on the 24 July 1973. The sound is quite shitty (he said lo-fi) but not to the point of making these songs unlistenable and honestly, they still provide the intensity and the emotion of the playing. So, here's an addition to the less incomplete BBC sessions posted here some months ago. Miss still some to have the complete and furthermore, an official one would allow to hear them with a better sound quality. But for any Peter Hammill addict as we are some, this is a mandatory testimony. Enjoy it here. In streaming, the song that made Hammill one of my all time favorite singer, "German Overalls". The first (and last) time I was in Germany, the first thing I did was to put this song in my CDplayer and listen to it. The song is about the VDGG disbanding after a disastrous german tour.
German Overalls. Mannheim: rainy Saturday with no money nor friend... only Tequila can end the boredom. Try to reach London for a pocket of hope; we're children, we grope in the dark. Hugh spends his last Mark on coffee and cheese... I feel just like a refugee.... Rathaus-keepers and traffic police, middle-aged maids with rotting teeth, industrial magazines and old Sunday Times: reading material/bleeding lines. What are we doing here? Memorial menace, eager for revenge, has begun to bend our minds. Shower-curtain imperative in the presence of acid; now, feeling placid is death. I try to hold my breath as the P.A. comes down.... here we all are in Ktown! The Big Wheel never fails to grind around... it drags me up/it drugs me down. Seven senses wonder 'Can this be real, Or am I become a performing seal?' Why are we dying here? I walk the streets alone, try to find a sign of love. I've crushed the plaster-bone in the freaky clubs. I have bit the fruit but all I live for is to play and I'm tired of the nights and the days of airports, taxis and motorway showers, groping for a key in the afterhours. David takes to travelling in the van, he knows that we all can understand: we're at the mercy of the Kosmos tour, making a pilgrimage to the German Lourdes... but we're still crippled here. Cathedrals spiral skywards; I think I'm getting vertigo. I think I don't know what is real. One more sudden spotlight; one more madness is over; I must not show a sign of fear. Words echo round my ears, I think I'm going to laugh... think I'll just go and take a bath, guess I'll wash my clothes, don't you know I'll grow to go and make my name, maybe be a servant in the Famegame; stake my sane and rest my life on the line.... Now lay me asunder and rend my mind; at the fall of the curtain let this be my ghost.
Totally opposed to the Coatham show disaster (listen here at your own risks), this live show 2 days later is quite a winner with a Koss back in (I mean guitaristically) and a band proposing a new Free style that would give their fabulous Heartbreaker album some months later (they were in studio rehearsals at the time of this concert). It is to remembered that 2 songs from their future new LP ("Heartbreaker" and "Seven Angels") were composed by Paul Rodgers for Peace 2 years before (if someone has a recorded testimony for that, I'm a taker). Actually, this band was more or less his own now that Andy Fraser was gone and Paul Kossoff was in or out according to his mental state (and the negative action drugs did in it). But the important is that in this show, after the wreck of the previous night, the band is in rather in form, Kossoff remembers how to play the songs and even take some nice solos, and the recorded quality is good enough to be something one can listen too like a normal album (don't expect an official LP quality one but it's not the shit 95% of bootlegs propose). I'm not sure the setlist is the best they could do ("I'm On The Run" composed and sung by Rabbit is a nonsense in a Free set and comes much too soon in the concert, the blues one could be OK for a closer but has nothing to do in the middle of the set) but this was their choice. In conclusion, I really think this one is one to enjoy the listen (here).
Imber Luminis is a side-project of Deha, the man assuming the vocals in Deviant Messiah, a French black/death metal band, but the music here has nothing to do with this furious style since it's contemplative melancholic doom, and although it can be considered as a bit simplistic, there is an inner beauty, morbid for sure, but absolutely breathtaking to my ears (my lungs should I say). Tonight, in my state of mind, I can barely imagine music more appropriate. Any other in which I would have felt the willing to impose it's pretention would have been out immediately given the hate for any posture I feel in me this evening. I hope this man will go on in this way cos' it's certainly a derelicted one but ô so important to share with other cadaver brains like us. Note that there is only one long (39 min) track here, no vocals (for a vocalist it's interesting). You can go Deha's blog here. Happy to have something else to cherish in my country. Enjoy it here.
Here's one of the worst and pathetic concert, not only by Free but maybe by any band I've heard. Played in Coatham the 12th October 1972, Free has lost Andy Fraser (replaced by Tetsu on bass and Rabbit on keyboards) but also Paul Kossoff, although on stage, but totally elsewhere. I've never heard a guitarist so out of it in my life. It's like he doesn't know how to play, not only the songs, but more largely, to play guitar. It's pathetic and difficult to listen to until the end. If I post this disastered show, it's because it's an historic document that proves how this great guitarist was a wreck some nights, because the sound is correct (an important parameter for me) and because 2 days later, in Berkshire (next post), Koss would be operational again, and it's fascinating that he could be so different in a so small interval of time. The only track that was not totally ruined was "Child" since Paul Kossoff was not really necessary. But all the rest is a pain to hear. Listening to this document, it's not difficult to understand that Andy Fraser decided to be out and that Paul Rodgers decided to rent someone on guitar to supply his lost friend. Can't say enjoy it, so have an ear to it here.
Child you're talking of freedom Painted on your garden wall It's not there at all Child you're talking of wisdom You say wisdom is a golden rule You ain't no fool But you don't know who it is Who calls you name In the light of the golden moon You don't know who it is who brought you here And chained up your heart So soon Child you're life is a fairytale And it's not the same And the clouds You're hiding behind In your misty mind have disappeared Like a sailor far from the shores of your dreams And far from the love of your home Sailor lost on your own misty seas And the chains on your heart, baby Might be my love Might be my love It's so confusing And you feel that you're loosing yourself But, there over the mountain You thought you'd never have to climb There's a road Reaching and stretching To the corner of your mind Like a river casts aside the dust And grows and grows as it flows The feeling deep inside of you Must break like a dam So set you free So set you free So set you free
Astral Quest is the band of Jean-Marc Devaux, not only a great guitarist but also a talented songwriter. Under the Astral Quest banner, he released 2 albums, the last being posted here (I encourage you to dl it, it deserves it). Some years ago, he was asked to cover a Procol Harum song for a double CD compiled by the Beyond the Pale site. Sorry to say that except for the Astral Quest splendid reprise, the whole is rather embarrassing. I don't know why I didn't post this cover previously since I know many Procol amateurs come on this blog. So I conceived this fake 7" with this cover on A-side backed with my fave song of the last Astral Quest LP. Enjoy it here.
It's always the same story. You take your "matinée" for listening to unknown sludge, doom or noise shits you never heard of before. Time's passing and you feel today you won't discover anything fitting your taste, you become quite dubious to find anything able to shake your old remnants of enthusiasm, and, when you're near to give up and go back to your usual trivial daily occupations, you jump on your chair. You got it, this is the stuff you'll adopt in the sonor Noah arch of your brain. This band is named Haggatha, he's from Vancouver and he's great. It's heavier than human stupidity and succeeds in making this massive mud celestian as an Airbus A380. In the sludgy doom genre, not far from Thou or Indian, they stand proudly with this LP as candidates for leaders with very subtile themas on guitar. I hope they'll keep this quality in the future. You can find their myspace here and their bandcamp there. Enjoy this gem here but then go quick buying their stuff on solid support, thx.