Some of you may think Kim Fowley did great albums only in the 60's and 70's, others may be less severe but consider that in the last 10 years he didn't issue anything as strong as he used to. They are wrong. Given that 2012 seems to be Kim's year with no less than 3 LPs out or on the way out, it's a mandatory mission for me to post one of them here to illustrate my point. My point is that Kim Fowley is the only living artist in the rock to do music as essential in 2012 than in 1968. Age doesn't seem to have any effect on his singularity, inventivity, subversivity, deepness, poetry. 666 has been released in January and is truly a wonderful and exciting piece of music. Not a weak song, not a jokey track, a renewed profoundness in the themas and the way to sing them. Most of the texts are about his experience with illness and hospital. It provides often the same thrilling feelings that the best Paddy McAlloon songs in the Prefab Sprout era. What more can I say except this? It's one of his best album to date and will be one of the albums of the year so far to my ears. Don't limit yourself to the dl of this LP here. Go then on itunes (here) or emusic (there) and BUY IT, BUY IT, BUY IT for Kim's sake. Bad I don't know anything about the players and composers on this LP cos' they would deserve to be cited. They serve the bad old man of rock 'n' roll with talent.
A very long time I hadn't heard such a fantastic album of funeral doom. This is one. And I am all the most surprised to hear the mixed reviews of several so-called specialized sites who, apparently, have lost their aural taste listening too much second-hand shit for their chronicles. Malasangre is an Italian band, and this is their new LP after 7 years off. The black metal voice of the singer, the obessive and macabre construction of riffs, the growing intensity, the lyrism in the arrangements, all this makes this 2 tracks LP (35 min each) one of the best album of the year so far. There is also a certain Khanate flavor that makes things still more exciting. I can't imagine fans of Skepticism, Moss or Khanate won't adopt this new opus as the sonor coffin of their suicidal thoughts. Enjoy (if the term is appropriate)here. For me, it's pure masterpiece. In particular "Na Ma", the second track, one of the highobscurity of the year without a doubt.
Sorry, I can't listen to something else than Mott these days, so I go on in the posts about this band. Here their first single, a masterpiece in its style, a manifesto of what this band would be about. A thick and heavy way to play the Stones on A-side, and a thick and heavy way to play Dylan on B-side. And at the end, being better than the Stones and Dylan (yes I think what I'm writing even if I know both ones have done some genius records in their life). The A-side was on their first LP but here it's in the mono and edited version of the single, not the version driven from the album. The B-side was a non-LP Hunter's ballad and nothing else than a wonderful one. What else can I say? Not much actually. More to come. And enjoy it here (before censorship hits me one day). PS. True good idea Ian Hunter shaved his Gary Brooker style moustache. Sorry, no streaming, tilidom is said to be temporary unavailable. Maybe tomorrow.
My second coup-de-coeur is for a band from South Africa called Strage, and who proposes freely his new (and first) 5-track album here. They are affiliated under the banner of Cult of Luna or Pelican but honestly, I think they do a much more "human" music. Think Sleep and Kyuss playing some Pelican-like themas and you got an approximate idea of the music played by this trio. Among the vast amount of new releases I listened to, this all-instrumental band is the only one (with Fire in the Cave, see previous post) I felt necessary to promote here. I would like that you dl these new shits the same as you do with old ones. Unfortunately, it's not the case. Music is not only for masturbating on souvenirs but for fucking with new stuff. Enjoy it here.
I must confess (although I'm a complete atheist) that these last weeks, I was not able to find, among the dozens of new releases in doom/sludge/noise/dark metal I listened to, anything that deserved, at least in my views, to feature on this blog. After the fantastic LP from the Black Skies (here) and the excellent last offers from Valve (here), Spelljammer (here), Blood Red Water (here) and Witchstone (here), everything paled in comparison. This blog is not here to promote all the bands that require it (such as so many blogs about these musical styles) but to celebrate the bands I think are over the mass, the ones who propose something I think is exceptional. This is the case with 2 bands, the first being this monstruous quintet from Florida (Orlando) who reaches some summit when it comes of sludgy riffs, muddy symphonic accents, horrific and heavy as hell melodic themas. Mixing more genres I have the place to describe here, they are one of the most aggressive and killing music I heard since Meth Drinker last year (here). And they sometimes cut the climax with quiet parts that make the whole more sapid than we would have dreamed it could be. Don't hesitate to run (virtually) on their bandcamp to support them (here). Meanwhile have a try here.
This is the second attempt of Mott in 1971 to have a hit single, and what a strange idea to chose this song (covered by Neil Young on his Tonight's The Night LP some years later) written by the Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten, who will die next year of drug overdose. Strange since it's the sort of songs that was totally fitting in Crazy Horse repertoire but certainly not in Mott's one. Moreover it's Mick Ralphs who sings it and not Ian Hunter. Not really appropriate to install the band sound in the ear memories. The song and the cover are rather anecdotical but not easy to find so here it is. The B-side is not better, drivent from Wildlife, also written and sung by Mick Ralphs, and also more US folk-rock inspired than really Mott world. Ralphs had a rather bad influence on the band during the summer 70-summer 71 period, and it was urgent that Ian Hunter took the lead again. You understand that this was a complete mistake single that failed miserably when released in September 1971. For curiosity, take it here. Below a picture of Danny Whitten, not long prior to his death. The cover sleeve is a fake I created myself since the original single had none.
Recorded between 1976 and 1978 in Hamburg (the 3 first songs of side 1), London (the 3 first songs of side 2) and LA-West Hollywood (the rest), this album has always been one of my KF fave although I admit that the Hamburg songs are rather weak and dated. But all in all, there's enough to make it a wonderful sonor companion to "International Heroes". Styles are incredibly varied, from a sort of late 70's soul-disco (the Hamburg songs) to the Dylanesque style of "In My Garage", via the splendid rough rock of Earl Mankey's "Negative", the Motownesque "North American Man", the glorious "Teenage Death Girl" (could have been a Runaway track) and of course talk-over experimental pieces such as "Sunset Boulevard". There's also a reworked version "Control" that seems to be directly out of the 'I'm Bad" LP. And you can find a delicately musically backed tale half-sung half-talked "Black Camels of Lavender Hill". One of his best success in this rather risky style. Tom Waits comes to mind when listening to this piece. And the album closes with one of his most extraordinary track, the fast-as-an-evil-car "Blow Up". Released by Illegal Record, it's a shame (and a guilty one) that it had never been reissued in CD version. Here is an official vinyl rip off that can be bought on some commercial sites. Rather better than the ones you can find on the net on various blogs, and better than the one I could have done (I'm not the king of vinyl rip-off I must say). Hope some day, a correct reedition will be out. Meanwhile, you got this if you don't own the vinyl LP. It's, for any KF amateur, an unavoidable link in the long chain of records created by the master of space glam and cosmos madness. I would like to add that all the real KF fans feel clearly than under his provocative fake megalomania and chaotic lyrical world there's a true melancholic and modest way of seeing the world (and hismelf). Trying to do everyday a larger than life day is the manifestation of how he considers boring usual life. Sorry for the weak resolution of the cover sleeves, my large format scan is out for months and I got no money to buy a new one. If you buy the vinyl, you'll have the lyrics in, and KF's words to explain each song. Enjoy it here. Below a picture of Kim Fowley with the same girl than on the cover sleeve, actually his then wife Cindy X Fowley, and below with Diane Diamond, who co-wrote 3 songs on the album ("In My Garage", "Love Is A Game" and "Blow Up").
After the commercial failure of Wildlife, and during sessions for a putative but unreleased AC/DC LP (see a previous post), the band finds that it would be a good idea to record with the famous producer Shadow Morton and notably a song aimed at being a hit. It would be a miss and, in Spring 1971, the single will faded unnoticed. It's true that it's far from being one of their best. On the B-side, a wonderful Hunter's ballad ("The Debt") that has been added in the AC/DC re-created LP. The cover sleeve was awful, the kind we were used to between 1970 and 1972. Enjoy this forgotten 7" here.
There goes happiness Down that stream Pick me up, put me down again Just when I was on my feet I get stoned every day My best friends, they both went away It's a debt And I've got to face it alone Been a long long time now Been a long time high Making up promises that went While I'm in the sky Ain’t a clue, not a trace I see her all over my face It's a debt I've got to face it alone
And in my sleep, my troubled mind Won't let go leave the past behind It's a drag, so it seems I must live my life in dreams I must laugh while the other man weans Guess it's the season Brings a man down All my fingers are stuck on my toes And my feet are off the ground Yesterday the world went away I can't seem to find the strength to play It's a debt I've got to face it alone
And in my sleep my troubled mind Won't let go leave the past behind It's a drag, so it seems I must live my life in dreams I must laugh while the other man weans Guess it's the season Brings a man down All my fingers are stuck on my toes And my feet are off the ground Yesterday the world went away I can't seem to find the strength to play It's a debt I've got to face it alone It's a debt I've got to face it alone
A putative aborted single, these 2 tracks seem to have been recorded in 1983 and maybe Chris Spedding was involved or at least the guitarist tries to sound similarly. Included on the Hotel Insomnia heteroclyte compilation, here they are coupled on the same fake single in order to be heard separately as an individual entity. Not the best he did but pleasant basic rock stuff actually. And the lyrics are, as usual, full of this mix between fake megalomania and real self-disgust. Although I chose "Failure Rock" as A-side (more commercial power), "1983: Year of the Bleeding Trees" (what a song title) is actually much better. Let's go 30 years back and enjoy this putative single here (I tried to use a picture of the master in the first hald of the eighties for this fake cover sleeve).
One of the most hidden musical secret of our times is the genius of JFG. Not a surprise for those who visit this blog regularly since I posted previously several LPs or fake singles from this extraordinary composer. After the great Winter of Love LP some months ago, here a fresh new CD, recorded with his (Ir)Regulars, somewhere between France and Germany during their German tour last spring. Not a live LP anyhow but 12 songs perfectly well produced in studio. Some featured on previous releases but all in new versions, other songs are new. As usual, it's totally stunning and deserves to be in your playlist of this year. If you dig Jonathan Richman, Robyn Hitchcock, Peter Perrett, Wreckless Eric, Vic Godard, the Jazz Butcher, Perfect Disaster and even the Fall or the Strokes, you shouldn't miss such an artist. And of course if you dig Slapp Happy since the B-side of this fake single is a cover of their "Casablanca Moon" (sung by Julie Mercadié, the backing vocal girl of the band, here in front voice, JFG backing her). The A-side is a personal choice, a song about feeling unwell with others in some mundane context, a feeling I had so many times in my life it explains I'm rather an ermit today. And more than the lyrics, the song is a winner, the kind you listen to on mornings to give you some motivation to confront all the day's shit that is waiting for you outside. So, enjoy it here and go take the previous ones. And buy it then anywhere you can find it (e.g. here), you won't be deceived. And you, numerous US visitors, try to convince some label to distribute it in your land.
This post has several justifications. First, to celebrate the victory of the bad man of rock 'n' roll on death, this bitch was waiting for him during his last bladder cancer operation, but she missed him. He's back and we're proud of him not to have leave us alone. Then because he'll be in France in April and it's a marvellous perspective to, at least, see on stage a man I listen to since 1973 (I was 15 and Outrageous changed my life). Last, to show to those who would think that KFdid only great things during the late 60's early 70's that they are wrong. He had done great ones all over his "career", and even if some of his albums are really nonsense bullshit, some in the last 20 years are jewels. This is one of them. Consisiting in a collaboration with Francis MacDonald, the drummer of Teenage Fan Club and member of BMX Bandits, who plays and arranged everything on the album, KF doing the lyrics and the voice. The result is a wonderful album full of songs that would deserve to be standards (just listen to the 4 below). KF is very severe with him in the booklet (included in the rar file), saying he's not the good one to sing these songs and wishing they would be covered by real singers. I disagree. Everything is better when KF sings it. We don't need good singers. We need real men. And Kim Fowley is real. Few are. So enjoy this gem here. More to come.
I'm not a nationalist, even not a patriot, but it's always a true satisfaction, even a proudness, to have a good band in this country not really known for its ability to make interesting rock music over the half century. But now, after Huata, UFO Gestapo, Lumberjack Feedback, Modern Funeral Art and some more, I've the pleasure to post a new one providing some devilish bad vibes to the world, and this is a great offer you'll agree I'm sure. What is their style? The best is to listen below on their bandcamp, but in a few words let's only say it's in no way a plagiarism of some other UK/US/Nordic band (as too often here) but a singular approach of post-rock sludge (think Ocean) with a Godflesh sound flavor and a real wildeness often a little overplayed in this country. There are also some death metal reminiscences (more specifically Meathook Seed) and calm post-rock moments rather rare in this music style (eg. the 1st minute of "Into the Shadow of the Black Sun"). A complex mix of several of the extreme metal of the last 30 years, but never boring or intellectualized. I got no more to say than "go and buy their CD here they need some cash to go on". However they offer it freely and it's so usual in France where bands have often a retrograde vision of relations of musicians with their work, considered as a product to protect and sell and not spread and offer. Enjoy it here.
Imagine Kyuss without their desert atmosphere but digging a macabre and dark one instead, imagine Sleep being a little less sludgy or (according to the period) Sabbath-imitators, and you'll have an idea of the music played by this new and great band from Canada (Calgary). Actually, Black Sabbath is their main influence, more specifically the Paranoid/Master of Reality period one, but what is interesting here is that you don't feel here the problematic retro-band approach of much of the Sabbath "suiveurs". They play it fresh and contempory, even if of course Iommi is the guru of the guitar player (listen to the solo of "The Devil's Bridge"). They add to the Sabbath heritage the growing intensity of Stoner and some Sludge elements. They offer their EP (25 min so not far from an LP) on bandcamp. I hope they'll have some solid format to sell one day. Didn't find any picture of them on the net (neither on their myspace and didn't find any facebook page). So we have only their drawn skull for illustrating this post. Go quick here to enjoy or go to hell.