God of Hell (the only one I know), Huata is the best doom band this side of the ocean since the death of Robespierre (my hero for ever). Incredible. I've waited for such a band in this country since I discovered EyeHateGod, Buzzov-en or UpsideDownCross 20 years ago. This is exactly the music I consider the flower of evil, the rose of death, the cream of blood. All else seems so useless compare to this fuzzy walk of neanderthals getting out of their graves to make us know that we ruined their project of a peacefull and loveable world, and that religion, specifically christianism, has led us to the worst divorce between brain and body in animal world. But all my prose is fucking nonsense and what you need to do is listen to this great EP. It's in free dl on their myspace and you can also dl it here. It's all dirty and extreme, an evisceration of sounds, it makes your archaïc brain vibes and shakes your nucleus accumbens (this I fear, will only make sense for the students or searchers in neurophysiology who read this blog, probably not much). There's also traces of Mudhoney or Tad in it, a grunge smell in some way (real one, not the rubbish called like it and played by Pearl Jam or Stone Temple Pilot). It seems that they're searching for a new drummer to go on. Hope they'll find it quick and release a full time LP on a normal label soon cause they are a revelation. The second decenny of this 21st century after the birth of the Christ is theirs.
Don't ask me questions about this UK progressive psychedelic band (with a rather dull name I must say), I don't have any information about them except the ones, sparse, I found on various blogs these late years. All I know is that this album is a fascinating testimony of the creative peak of these years that seemed to allow all fantasies and experiments. I wrote about this LP in a series entitled "S'Heaven Tease" and published in a French Rock mag called Xroads. Pussy is in the last issue, published these days. Since it's not so easy to get it by now, I propose to listen to it here and taste if you like it as much as I do. It's not a masterpiece, but an excellent album with some wonderful moments such as this "Tragedy in F minor" (in streaming below), maybe borrowed to some classical tune but no matter since the arrangements make these short minutes a moment of rare beauty and emotion, perfectly fitted for the most depressives among us. You'll see that throughout the album, the influence of Syd Barrett is "pregnant", but sometimes one may think of the Doors or Steppenwolf. An unusual melting pot that should have provided to the band more recognition at the time but the critics were less than enthusiastic. It's time to rehabilate this underrated gem.
Here we doom again with Lumberjack Feedback. Strange name for a band and strange name for a track. There must be an explanation but I ignore it. They are French and someone advised me to listen to them recently, and I immediately found myself convinced how good they were. Since I am an Omega Massif amateur, it was difficult not to succumb to the assaults of their atmospheric and sludgy instrumental doom, less Pelicanesque that I feared at the onset of the track. They have played recently with Kylesa and they should find a way to the international scene soon I think (but in doom, the impossible and the possible walk hand in hand, the "hands of doom" of course). Sad that they did not propose at least 2 tracks, it would have been easier to create a fake single (or more exactly EP since the track is 15 min long). And moreover they could have released a CR-R with a sleeve and so on, for weird old men like me, nostalgic of the object. If I feel free to post this track, it's because they propose to dl it freely on their own site. Moreover, I'm sure that to be posted on a blog in MP3 is better for a band than to wait for a potential buyer, rich enough to spend money on a record he listened to 30 s only. So bath yourself in this muddy darkness and enjoy it here.
Since I discovered Rose Kemp's Unholy Majesty, I became quite obsessed by this singer, presently the most talented female singer (why "female"?, actually both sexes confounded) of these times. You could hear one song from this album on my (unsuccessfull if I judge by the dl rate) d(k)oom compilation here, but if I created this fake 7" it's because you can help her in pre-ordering her next album here. She wants (and I think she's right), to shunt the record labels and sell directly her music to the listeners. She needs the money to do the promotion and the tour (lately she opened for Porcupine Tree, not the kind of band she should be associated with I think) and you can contribute to it (I did it yesterday) by this simple act. You're sure that the money goes to the artist and you are active and not just the spectator of the difficulties of your fave artists to create in this sharks world that is music biz. I chose these two songs for this fake single because they share a common contemplative atmosphere, less doomy or acoustic than other songs of the album, and because there are on youtube 2 live documents of their playing live onstage shot recently. So it's a good package. But of course if you have the album, there's nothing new for you. Enjoy it here.
If you don't have the album, buy it the quickest you can (not dl it in poor MP3 format, it's a great waste, this music warrants the best quality to provide its full dimension).
Wholeness Sound. As the wholeness sounds Width and omens resonate Tell me how to see Talk to me without your tongue Chandelieralarbra Chalk board in a red / black room Oh, you're the wallpaper Flattened in a vain cartoon Never leave my side There no direction I can look I've never been afraid To stand beside myself before Tell me I can thrive here Although I'll never be a part Of the soud of eight people And only one beating heart
Saturday Night. The leer on your face And the colour of the cocktail remain in my mind Why? It's been years / And I thought the bruises would fade And I'd look back and I'd smile It hasn't happened yet and I fear it my take a while Because we're all lairy and lost and this is such a pointless cost Because it's young and I'm saturday night and I'm last train gone Because it's young and I'm saturday night and I'm not all bad But this is the worst weekend that I've ever had Because we're all lairy and lost and this is such a pointless cost Because we're all lairy and lost and this is such a necessary lust
Jay Reatard is dead. After Vic Chesnutt and Rowland S Howard in 3 weeks (and I may have missed some other ones), it's a hard time for good music. And in the case of Jay Reatard, it' seems all the more injust, that he seemed to be on the way to become at least a sort of star, not in the sense that Beck, the Strokes or the White Stripes have been. No, this kind of star born only by the common vibration between a man and people via a certain arrangement of notes. In a way, it was more as Kurt Cobain became one 20 years ago. But it will not be the case. Those who looked at my songs selection for 2009 here saw that I chosed a song from his last album in the 14. It was "I'm Watching You". An infectious melody I had in my head days and days when I got the album, and that I still listen to with pleasure (and today with a great sadness). I think it would have been a great single A-side. The one I fakely create today (act of derision but what else?) with another great track from the splendid Watch Me Fall album, "Nothing Now". The 2 can be interpreted differently now he's dead. If they don't represent the main atmosphere of the album (much more pop punk that this, and when I say punk, I mean the one played by the Adverts, not grunge or college rock), they show where Jay may have been able to go if he had been left the time. A real waste. When I listened to this album (and reading some bad reviews made me mad and wonder what kind of shit have some self-claimed critics in their bloody ears), I also think of bands such as Polyphonic Spree (for the voice) and Sparks (for the voice too but first for the melodies) and the 2 songs posted today are both anthemics of these comparisions. I was too very touched by the constant self-depreciating lyrics, an elegance I appreciate although many simulate it more that they feel it deep inside. No more words. If you have the LP, this fake single has not a single interest but if you never had heard about Jay Reatard, try it here and share our regrets, with reatard.
No lyrics, but for streaming, both songs. And a video of "I"m Watching You" live from a show in Brooklyn raising one question: did they play in front of statues or of real humans? Seeing how the "things" in the audience don't move their ass on this fantastic song, I bet it is the first hypothesis.
Too long without doom's never good for health for those whose food is death. So here's another band, actually an Australian one (wo)man-band whose first (and last) LP has been one of my fave of the year 2008. Categorized as old-school doom, the music of Mandy VKS Cattleprod (and a drummering woman) is for me much more inherited from Nico fronting Black Sabbath (try to imagine) than from Pentagram as usaully said. However, don't expect the Iommi's riffs except the slower ones that he played on Master Of Reality. The album is quite in the same bloody vein than the Rose Kemp LP released the same year, Unholy Majesty, although less inventive and more contemplative, much darker and deleterious (see the cover to imagine the atmosphere) than Rose universe. There is something of Esoteric in this macabre cocktail but you'll add your own references if you are a connoisseur of the genre I'm sure. To summarize, you will appreciate it if you like depressive music sung by desperate and angry women (there is a real anger under the apparent resignation). Only the 3 first tracks (30 min the whole) compose the LP, the 5 next are demos recorded previously, but the best is to listen to this as a whole LP. Not impossible that it will be the only release of Miss Cattletprod under this name since I found no news (even on their unofficial myspace) of MurkRat. I added the video of "Believers" you can find on youtube, a very interesting visual object, perfectly in line with the aural atmosphere produced by the "band". I chose another song for the streaming "The Predatory Herd". Suffer it here.
Here's a rare picture of the band.
This fake EP only to provide to visitors a bonus track featuring on a special version of the Kinks Choral Collection and entitled "Postcard From London". Sung with past-lover Chrissie Hynde, it's a really moving song, full of nostalgia and sadness, but as always with Ray Davies, sweetened by a gently smile, far from any pathos. Finding such lyrics and such a melody, hommage to a city and a woman he loved long ago, is a tour-de-force that no-one better than this great artist could have achieved. Honestly, I don't want to compare, but I doubt Dylan or Lennon-McCartney (I don't even speak about the pale copies most consider as songwriters these 20 last years) could reached such celestial horizons in a 4-min format song. Only Brian Wilson was able to do it. The idea of this EP is to gather 3 songs that Ray Davis wrote about London during the last 40 years. The first is "Waterloo Sunset", one of the 5 best melodies of all times (and it's not only a subjective judgement, it is often the result when some polls are driven among various panels), here in its choral version (from the Kinks Choral Collection LP released this year). The second is "London Song", a fantastic and under-rated song that closed the Storyteller album released about 10 years ago. And the last, this year, "Postcard From London". Enjoy it here.
For streaming, you can hear first "Postcard From London" (take a handkerchief with you) and then "London Song". You can also watch the video and read the lyrics (if you click on the youtube video) of the former below.
Here we find Procol Harum 20 months after the concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra that gave the official Live release everyone knows. The band played 7 times with an orchestra between these 2 dates (but I don't know any bootleg from these concerts, if you know tell me please) and the Hollywood Bowl concert will be the last experience of the band with a complete orchestra until 1992, with (again) the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Compared to the Edmonton concert, the band seems in more relax mood this time and personnally, I prefer this last one even if some may find that the music is less somptuous, which is the case. I'm not usually amateur of live bootlegs but I've always made an exception for Procol Harum since hearing the various interpretations of their songs is a constant delight. Hearing how they slightly modify a thing here and there, raising shivers in your back at different moments, is a for me a consolation in life for more than 35 years. This is a reason Procol Harum will be the rare band I'll share some of them here. At the time they played with the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra, they had released Grand Hotel 5 months before an album that was received enthusiastically worldwide but did not sell as much as expected. Mick Grabham had taken the guitar after the short Dave Ball staying. Actually, this concert sounds as a Grand Hotel with Orchestra more than the previous one that closed the 60's period of the band. The sound is quite good for a bootleg and one can listen to it as an official one without being bothered by the production. I post here the version edited by Lobster records a decade or so ago. I don't think the sound is different from the ones found here and there but I don't think so. For streaming I chose one of my fave Procol song, "Simple Sister". The version here is much better than the one released as bonus track on the Salvo re-release of the Edmonton concert. Enjoy this fantastic moment of music here or there.
Below is the lineup of the concert
And below some pictures taken during the concert (or the rehearsal) by Roberta Holyoak and sent to the Beyond the Pale site by Mick Grabham himself.
This is a much more difficult exercise than usual for me, because music , although omnipresent in my life, has been more often present in its nostalgic form than associated with a true desire for exploration. Let’s dispose of nostalgia immediately, with what will be my album of the year, the Ray Davies’s Kinks Choral Collection recorded with his child neighborhood choir (Crough End). All the titles get a new "grandeur" with this choral treatment and all should listen to it. I cheated a little (just a little) to insert The Go-Betweens, a wonderful group whose poetry and music led me to work their repertoire.The city council of Brisbane decided to give their name to a bridge of the city ; I would have chosen a street or an avenue, that is why I’ve extracted "Streets of Your Town" from the sublime 16 Lovers Lane Acoustic Sessions. Then two albums from which I expected a lot and for who did not disappointed me. Ian “still alive and well” Hunter's "Up & Running" from his Man Overboard LP (this man definitely improves with age) and Prefab Sprout 's "Let’s the Change The World with Music" (which isn’t a new album but an LP rejected by the label in 1992) and which is nevertheless a true solo album by Paddy McAloon whom magical talent exploded again in "Sweet Gospel Music". Then Elvis Costello, for an astonishing foray into the world of bluegrass and his energetic "Complicated Shadows", and Solas with "Seven Curses", a song from their amazing 2008 album Love & Laughter but with a version recorded in October 2009 (so this is relevant to this compilation) at the Festival Mandolines de Lunel (which, I remind you, John Paul Jones is the godfather). For opening, The Nits (the most underrated band of the pop planet) whose nickname is "the three Beatles", and "Hawelka" does not lie this adage. To close with individualities, Mr Patterson Hood (singer, guitarist, composer and soul of Drive by Truckers) taken from his second solo album Murdering Oscar, ”Screwtopia", a quite funny title, but he tells anyone that he ‘s a die heart Todd Rundgren fan since he is twelve. This year was musically characterized by a rather "laid back" attitude as you see (hear), but I bet that 2010 will bring me back to more electric sounds such as those one can find in the fantastic Trail of Dead’s last opus The Century of Self (band of the decade definitely). I hope the Conrad Keely ‘s genius ,which is condensed here in "Isis Unveiled" will be acknowledge before the band split. My last musical choice for 2009 (but the order of this presentation is not the order of the songs on the compilation) is an edited one. I actually just gathered the first and last tracks of the Baroness Blue Record, the way I'm sure it was recorded during the sessions. And here it is, as a complete track. The pictures for the virtual sleeve were chosen by dk and were taken by Peter Franck (his site here). For the songs, it is here. Below, the streaming is the Nits song.