If, like me you're in the Skullflower era Orange Canyon Mind, your mind will be blown by the first track of this LP ("Cognitive Dissonance"). It's one of the most breathtaking thing I heard for quite a long time. Afterwards, the post-rock à-la Isis dimension is more pregnant but the wilderness of what's played (à-la Neurosis) avoids any rubbishness so frequent in this music style (but now frequent in most of what I listen to, whatever the school the newcomers adhere to). If you are users of this blog, you won't be surprised by my choice, cos' you got here what I love in this mix of extreme sludge-doom-noise I consider the only music providing a credible sound equivalent to our times. All else honestly seems to me rather out of subject (I'm half a century old but don't want to listen to recycle music and needs relevant music as I wanted it when I was 13 and listened to Black Sabbath or Procol Harum). Except some melancholic singers who explore their innerself with all the deadly content (from Melanie to Lana Del Rey). But here we have the soundtrack of our purulent times. There's something of a tribal approach (I'd said Indian, the civilisation and the band) in the drum beat that makes it sound all the more wild and non-WASP. Sometimes it's strangely very very calm and beautiful (the bridge on the end of "Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy", whatever Takotsubo may mean, or the first part of "It Was All Very Sudden").If you miss it, it's a real waste. Enjoy it here. And then go there to support them the best you can (they're from Washington DC). After Vestiges (here) and Alda (there), Replenish records show they are one of the best label of the times.
In May 1974, a second single from Ronnie Lane and his band Slim Chance (in which Gallagher & Lyle had been replaced after they went to form an eponymous duo) is issued. A-side is one of the most delicate and elegant pop song ever released, but unfortunately it will fail to reach summons in the charts for a reason I ignore. Lyrics may seem old-hippie style (but Ray Davies' were not different at the time) but what remains is this extraordinary clarinet (English call it French clarinet), this subtile violin subtitles and this aerial melody. The kind of aeternal pop sweety tune that will put some joy in future generations minds as it was able to do when it was released, and as it is still able to in mine tonight. And there's a lot to do in the shitty state of mind I'm in. Enjoy it here (hoping that it'll not be removed too fast by our vigilant PPP ( protectors of private property)). It's in flac for a better sound quality. I won't put it in this format everytime but for singles I'll sometimes try. Below an interesting document from the Melody Maker, one MM file about Slim Chance published between the single and the album. PS. Since the single had no cover sleeve, I did one with the superb picture from the Anymore For Anymore LP from which both sides of the singles were taken.
Surely one of the most impressive album I'll listen to over the year. Not without weak moments, not without technical approximations in the production and playing, but creating a really deleterious atmosphere all the way long. Imagine this album is about 73 min long (finally a double vinyl album) and keeps all along the way a doom path based upon Black Sabbath with a kind of Electric Wizard treatment, but with a much more artisan approach, I would even say lo-fi, far from metal actually and its obsession of efficiency, grandeur, pomposity, technicity. In other ways, I totally adhere to this kind of project. If you're in 70's old shit and you come on this site to catch some, please be curious enough to listen to this gem, I'm sure you won't regret it. And then go here to buy it please. Before, enjoy it here.
After leaving the Faces, Ronnie Lane formed a band called Slim Chance (maybe the chance he thought he had to have success) and released this first 3 song single that was actually quite successful, staying 3 weeks between the 11th and 12th position in the charts. When I feel the world is really too thick and vulgar, I often listen to Ronnie Lane, one or the most delicate singer songwriter of history. His style may seem a little soft and naive and too much Harrison-influenced, but actually you got here the germs of the Jacobites, the Waterboys, Tom Petty and so much more. Times being quite rough in France these days with the fascist party reaching more than 30% of votes in some parts of the country, I needed Ronnie Lane gentle and nice approach of music to cure my head from this shit (and shit is much more sane than these sub-human brains). The first post about the singles he released during his brief period with this band. To note that the files are in flac. I don't change them in mp3 cause the quality is too much deteriorated afterwards. You just have to have VLC to listen to them. Enjoy it here. Note that "Done This One Before" has been covered by ex-Acid Bath Dax Riggs.
I was sure I would find the music I needed tonight to consolate me from the load of bastards that live in my country and where 1 from 5 votes for a xenophobic and sub-nazi party (it was election day today, I loathe this stupid ritual but for once, I participated to it but it's again a disaster). So Romero does perfectly the game with this fantastic new single. I posted their previous one here and this one is again a gem. Actually, what I love with this band is that you never know what's coming next. They are quite unpredictable, sometimes Melvinians, sometimes Sleepians, sometimes Kyussians, always good, never in the pale copy. This single is free to dl so don't hesitate to ask it here or take it there directly.
Here what Kim Fowley wrote about this album last January "Check out Burning Bones...I'm their lead singer. They are all burn victims that I met in the hospital when I was doing rehab from Bladder Cancer Surgery. We are the ugliest band in Rock N' Roll. We can never play live because 2 guys died since the session, & the other ones are still doing the "skin graft boogie" Pain is the secret element in Rock N' Roll :) ♥". Can't say whether this is the fucking truth or one of this legendary way to rewrite reality that Kim is so good at but what I know is that this 3rd offer from the man in 2012 is another winner, a Kim-Fowley-goes-voodoo-blues that nobody should overlook. There are some immortal gems in this album and more good songs in it than in any of the so-called masterpieces of boring singer-songwriters that the music industry defecates on us all the year long. If I post it, it's not for you to steal money from Kim who needs it to survive but because you'll be able to be sure that it's for you. So take it here, and then go and buy it here or there. And go to hell with your Tom Waits, hear the real shit, not arty one dressed in fake crazyness.
Almost a year after the Philadelphia show, it's a very different band we find here. Verden Allen and Mick Ralphs are gone (the latter to form Bad Company with Paul Rodgers), and in are ex-Spooky Tooth Luther Grosvenor (who had to change his name god-knows-why for Ariel Bender), Morgan Fisher and occasionally Blue Weaver. This live show in Los Angeles, caught during their Autumn US tour, is only 4 tracks long (sad but I didn't find more, if you have, let a comment), and has been broadcast it seems by the Midnight Special TV show. The reason why you can see the 4 videos of the songs here, here, here and here (sorry, the guy has desactivated the integration of some of them for some stupid reasons). The sound is not totally satisfying but it can be listened to without too much effort. It's clear (if I may use this term for a so sludgy sound) that the band is much more aggressive that it was in the Bowie period featuring Mick Ralphs. And it's for me the best era of the band, although many (and Ian Hunter first) say that retrospectively Ariel Bender was not the good choice. It's heavy and light, it's bubble gum and pompous, serious and totally weirdos, it's at the best of what glam could be. Enjoy it here. Sorry for the cover sleeve, that's the kind of stupid visuals I do when I feel like a little erotic-kitsch. I thought it was fine with this offer, surely a dude called Angeline driving to Memphis.
In 1974, the band had to find a decent following to the great Next LP, in other words, something next, and more than anything else, had to find the studio formula that would help them to be more than the "best live band of the country" since the labels wanted their "products" to sell records to keep them signed. So an idea was to find a producer and the choice was Shel Talmy, a rather forgotten one in 1974, but a legend for being the man behind the Who and Kinks records in their beginnings. But actually, the sessions that were intended to give birth to an album called Can't Get Enough, would turn into a disaster, at least according to the band, since Shel Talmy didn't respect how they wanted to sound and turn them in a sort of "Louis Prima and his big band for the seventies" that mainly horrified Alex, who wanted to be part of the band and not the frontman. So everything was recorded again with another produced (their friend David Batchelor) and this gave the famous Impossible Dream. Everyone thought the tapes had been lost and destroyed but actually Shel Talmy had one, and this was released 3 years ago by MLP under the strange name of Hot City with a rather ugly cover sleeve. Strange since the album had a name, and for the cover sleeve, it was not difficult to imagine that the US cover for The Impossible Dream would have fitted for the LP (but I guess they didn't own the rights). Is this album a complete miss? Not really but sure it would have been a complete failure at the times, since in 1974 nobody would have received this sort of mix between old comedy and burlesque jazz, progressive music, and hard rock with a real enthusiasm. Just remember the way were received the 2 Preservation albums (from the Kinks) the same years. And it's true that Shel Talmy didn't catch the point in making SAHB sounded as a compact outfit when they were cultivating this particular dismembered approach of music. There are some good surprises however, such as "Long Haired Music" or "Tomahawk Kid", in versions rather better than on the official album. But all in all, it was not a success. But too much words. Enjoy this out-of-oblivion testimony of one of the greatest band in history, here. All pictures below are from a show in April 1974 and were taken by Dan Cuny.
I cancel a Kim Fowley's post for this great album from a Washington DC band mixing Black Metal - Post Rock and Folk with a rare agility. After Deafheaven and An Autumn For Crippled Children (and of course Wolves In The Throne Room) another sign that this hybridisation with Black Metal can be fruitful (rotten fruits but fruit nevertheless). Except the rather dull acoustic track, the album is a complete success and take you off the ground in a similar way that Subrosa but with a music that is more mystic and conceptual. It could be boring but it's not. It seems a solid format will be out soon but meanwhile this can be dl freely on bandcamp here or a direct link there. Savour it. More great new releases to come soon.
Sure that if I had listened to this LP last year it would have featured in my top 10 of 2011. Consisting in 3 females (2 on electric violin) and 2 males, this band from Salt Lake City proposes a splendid gothic rock avoiding all the usual kitsch "scories" that this style is often infected with. What is the most stunning is their ability to create songs that you remember, sort of classics of our times in a style where lazy repetition of ancient formulas is frequent. The atmosphere is dark but in a romantic way (romantic à-la Goethe and Freidrich) and the ambiance distillates a delicate sense of anguish with great crescendos (the final of "Dark Country") taking you off the ground for some celestian destinations. Violins are never invading the sonor space but sure adda lot. You can find a critic here, writing all this in a much better style than I can do with my poor English (even citing Joyce and where you can read that this "music doesn’t necessarily defy categorization, but it certainly discourages it", and that's fucking truth). This very long LP is so rich and complex in its structure that it'll take you quite a while to explore all it has to give. If you are in Dark Castle, Subarachnoïd Space, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, the Unthanks or Siouxsie & The Banshees, Daniele Dax or Curved Air (for the oldests), you will surely find here reasons to be excited. So try it here and then support them in buying this wonderful album here.
About 18 months later (I mean after the previous post of a live record here), Mott is back in the USA, but now with a successful LP in their hands, we got here the glam version of Mott and no more the heavy and thick rock band we used to know. Not that they are completely different but it's an evidence the band is in the Bowie circle and, similar to Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, there's a Ziggy perfume in their rock now. The main difference is that the Jerry Lee Lewis plays Dylan dimension has quite disappeared and has been replaced by a Bowie-Ronson play the Kinks approach. I personnally prefer this version of Mott than the previous one but both were great don't misunderstand me. Even if honestly "Sweet Jane" is totally out of place in the Mott repertoire (and finally "All The Young Dudes" was too) and that some rockers are taken on a much too quite pace (such as a quite awful "Honky Tonk Women" version). Here, we find them in Philadelphia in November 1972 (the tour during which Ian Hunter will write his superb Diary of a Rock 'n' Roll Star), and Bowie will join them for his "All The Young Dudes" (you can hear it clearly on the chorus and Ian Hunter introduces him before the song) so it's quite an unusual show. The sound is not the one you can wait of an official live record but this can be listened for pleasure (I don't post low-quality live records). And the versions of the songs from All Young Dudes LP don't have this shitty producing that ruined the album. And the "Hymn For The Dudes" and "Sea Diver" versions are ones of the best ever heard. This concert has been released on various CDs, notably All The Way From Stockholm To Philadelphia by Angel Air, but here it is on its own with a DIY cover sleeve. Enjoy it here.
Yesterday I saw Kim Fowley with Snow Mercy play in the Saint Merri church in Paris and this was an incredibly strong emotional experience. He improvised (almost) all the texts and litterally created in front of us the music he played, thanks to the great French musicians that backed him with a "formidable" adaptative ability (they are called the Electric Virgins I think). It was the first (and surely the last) time I saw my all-time-hero on stage and I couldn't be anything else than impressed by this legend of rock 'n' roll offering in no way the usual pathetic face of "ghosts-of-what-they-were" old artists but novative, subversive and transgressive creative force at 72 and 4 bladder cancers survivor. Now this post. It's about his last LP called Now and released last month. You will think I'm a complete fan and finally you're not wrong but again I find this new album totally stunning. Although I regret not to have any details about the players (they should be cited after all), it's again a clear sign that Kim Fowley has rarely been in a more creative state than in these last months. He escaped death for the best since he offers us some great insight in human condition via a much more experimental approach of music than on his recent and fantastic 666. There's a rocker handful (the 2 intro songs) but several more adventurous tracks (notably the splendid "Artificial Sunshine" and "Demons-Underdogs-Assassins", the 2 in streaming below), but also the moving and wonderful "Toxic Rivers Overflow" (also in streaming below) with a celestian and arabian atmosphere. Sometimes we're not far from the old Fall style ("Master of Disaster"). But better to stop my useless commentary about an unavoidable new piece of the Kim's puzzle that he will leave to the world. Please try to buy here it after catching it here to taste.
Of course I can't remake history, but I'm sure that if Guy Stevens had liked this Stonesian song composed by Mick Ralphs and sung by Ian Hunter (a Guy Stevens idea actually) and recorded in January 1970, and if the band had released it in single during spring 1970 ("with "if", you could put Paris in bottle" says a French expression), they could have been the first heroes of the glam wave that will have to wait until February 1971 and T. Rex's "Hot Love" to appear. Yes, with their approach of the Stones, Mott created the so-specific Bolan's riffs that would enflame teenagers some months later. To verify what I'm saying here, listen to the intro of "Going Home" and you'll know I'm not joking. But not only this song was not issued in single, it was even not retained for the Mad Shadows LP next September and had to wait 10 years to be heard, on the 2 Miles From Heaven compilation. Incredible indeed. And the proof Bolan didn't steal his riffs idea from it. On the B-side, the unreleased studio version of the Penniman's "Keep 'A' Knocking" cover that was included live on the Wildlife LP more than 1 year later. Sad that this single didn't exist. Enjoy it here. Below a picture of Guy Stevens doing the Chuck Berry's duck walk.
Quite a long time I didn't post black metal here. I must admit the genre must be really stunning to my ears for me to adopt it. It was the case with Xasthur or last year's An Autumn For Crippled Children. This year, the only thing that made me thrill in this style is this demo by a German band called Sun Worship. Some compare their way to approach black metal to Wolves In The Throne Room and Blus Aut Nord. All I can say is that there is a "grandeur" in their music that gives it a larger-than-life (and death) dimension that most in this genre fail to reach. I hope this first demo (I love the cover sleeve) is announcing a long series of great albums. Meanwhile enjoy this deleterious music here. Their bandcamp is there.
In June 1971, we find Mott The Hoople in the USA for their second tour in this eldorado for all English bands hoping for complete recognition, this land being the craddle of the music they had adapted in their island. The tour was a little chaotic since Free, the band they supported, cancelled the tour due to disbanding, but there was a handful of shows and this is one of them (no information where) with 5 songs only and a crowd not much hotter than in Sweden (and a good sound quality). But when they played "Walkin' With A Mountain", things got better (they always got better with this rocker). The highpoint of the set is the wonderful version of "Angel Of The Eighth Avenue" (in streaming below), closing this testimony of the band going back to their heavy sound. Remember they were trying to find a new breath after their failed attempt to play some US-CSNY-influenced rock. Enjoy it here. I did the cover sleeve. I'm not sure that Ian Hunter had this maltese cross guitar in June (he got it in September). I should have verified but some of you will surely make a comment about it. Below some videos from a show in France (Taverne de l'Olympia) captured 2 months later.
It's only April but you want to be sure to listen to an album that'll feature in your (and others) list of the best LP of the year? I got what you need: Ronson from Grass Is Green. This unexpected and splendid mixture of Drive Like Jehu, Boat, Let's Active, Trail of Dead, Slint and the db's is doing my days, my weeks, my months and will do it for me this year. There's even some Sonic Youth meets Prefab Sprout emanations. Admit that you shouldn't be still reading this commentary and be on their bandcamp to buy (only 5$ and unfortunately no solid format to get) this incredible fresh, complex, intelligent, elegant, touching, modest and thrilling piece of music here. Honestly I got some difficulties to imagine how 4 young men can achieve such a perfect thing in 2012. Years ago it would have seemed less miraculous since there was a trend for this noisy math-pop but today, so many are slipping on sub-musical grounds I declare my admiration for these Bostonians. It's their 3rd album but the first I listen to (I'll try the previous ones when I'll have used this one completely). Don't think they are really exciting on stage, this is more music to hear at home, but I only say this after seeing some videos). This music will sound too university-inclined for many of my doom and sludge visitors and 70's aficionados, but let's have a try for a change (here), you won't be deceived I promise. An absolute must. PS. Don't know if Ronson deals with our Michael Picasso, companion of Bowie, Dylan, Hunter and Morrissey, but it gives the album a little more for me.