Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Inside My Heart, Inside My Dreams

Time to remember two of my musical heroes today. On June 29 back in 1975, the great Tim Buckley passed away. If someone would ask me to describe the voice of an angel, I´d simply play him some Buckley. The majestic The River perhaps. "If you come to love me, you'll stay forever..."

And also on this day, in 1979, singer, songwriter and slide player extraordinaire Lowell George breathed his last. Hardly a week goes by without me groovin´ to the sounds of Little Feat. To paraphrase one of his lines from Spanish Moon: "I´d pawn my watch, and sell my ring, just to hear these guys sing..."

Tim Buckley - The River MP3
Little Feat - Spanish Moon MP3

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 25

It´s the silver jubilee of Wild Weekend, which means the ghost in the iPod cooked up a six pack of eclectic tunage for aural advancement twenty five times already. Fifty beckons. Get with it and get down.

Let´s start with Gram and his Flying Burrito Bros, giving a glorious Aretha-inspired soul injection to their cosmic American music. From The Gilded Palace Of Sin, a countryrock masterpiece everybody should own. All together now: "Take me to heart, and I´ll always love you..." And don´t forget: Nudie suits (see album sleeve) rule. Next up are Ohio´s prime noisemakers the New Bomb Turks and one of their trademark punk blasts. Stop press: their singer Eric Davidson just published a book on the scene his band was part of in the nineties. I just got my copy of We Never Learn - The Gunk Punk Undergut 1988-2001 and it looks übercool, so expect the full lowdown in these pages real soon.

Flying Burrito Brothers - Do Right Woman, Do Right Man MP3
New Bomb Turks - Cryin´ Into The Beer Of A Drunk Man MP3

Nothing beats Sandy Denny singing ye olde Wild Mountain Thyme. From Fotheringay 2, the aborted second album that finally saw the light of day a couple years back. Not as amazing as the eponymous debut mind, but still well worth it. "All around the bloomin´ heather, will you go, lassie, go..." You can almost smell the stuff. Off to Washington DC now, where Eggs fried up some adventurous indiepop in the mid-nineties. Their homage to the city of Evanston in Illinois features some fine trumpets to boot. Over easy indeed. Find it on Exploder (´94).

Fotheringay - Wild Mountain Thyme MP3
Eggs - Evanston, IL MP3

Grant Hart will forever be known as the singing drummer in Hüsker Dü, but this doesn´t mean his solo work should be underestimated. His stint with Nova Mob for instance, yet another band name derived from the Burroughs oeuvre, produced such majestic songs as Admiral Of The Sea. Here´s the 79 A.D. version. And the last track of this Wild Weekend milestone happens to be a roots reggae monster from ´78 by the rather obscure duo of Albert Bailey and Clifton Howell, also known as Earth & Stone. Dig that Channel One rockers sound. "False rulers of the world, them have to get a beatin´..." Hear hear.

Nova Mob - Admiral Of The Sea (79 A.D. Version) MP3
Earth & Stone - False Ruler MP3

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Been Down This Way Before

Off soon to see Dylan tonight, in Poble Espanyol in Barcelona. Umpteenth time, but catching the master live will always be a very special thing to me. Although I´d settle for Blind Willie McTell or Ain´t Talking, what I´m really hoping for is a rare outing of the great Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power). "I just gotta pick myself up off the floor, I’m ready when you are, señor..."

Bob Dylan - Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power) MP3

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

An Elvis From Hell

"Gonna buy me a graveyard of my own,
kill everyone who ever done me wrong...
Gonna buy me a gun just as long as my arm,
kill everyone who ever done me harm..."

Now that´s what I call a declaration of intent.

The Gun Club - For The Love Of Ivy MP3

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 24

In the midst of World Cup madness, here´s yet another edition of Wild Weekend. Always aiming to broaden your musical horizon, featuring the grooviest sounds from all around the globe. This week we travel from Paris to the Punjab, from Trinidad to the Big Apple, and from California to Ohio. Take that trip.

Let´s start with the masterful DJ Shadow and a track from one of my all-time fave albums: Endtroducing..... No matter how many times you spin that disc, one still discovers new details every time. Wonderful song title too by the way. What does your soul look like? Answers on a postcard please. Meanwhile the Sabri Brothers, pride of the Punjab, use an old-fashioned harmonium and tons of hand-drums to hypnotise the hell out of you. Kali Kamaliya Wale translates as ´one who wears a black shawl´, which for some reason unclear to me evokes the prophet Mohammed. From Ya Habib, an excellent career overview of these Pakistani legends.

DJ Shadow - What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 4) MP3
Sabri Brothers - Kali Kamaliya Wale MP3

Ready for that tropical calypso sound? The wonderfully named Wilmoth Houdini asks his beloved a vital question: "Where did you sleep last night, Caroline?" Thinking hard, Wilmoth decides he won´t get fooled again: exit Caroline. From 1927, and with a fiddle to die for. Next up: some fine barbed-wire pop in the Pavement mould by Moviola, a near forgotten combo from Columbus, Ohio. Find the druggy Wisdom Teeth on the recommended The Year You Were Born (´96). "Sheets are gone, won´t miss them at all, because I don´t want to fall asleep tonight with a storm like this..."

Wilmoth Houdini - Caroline MP3
Moviola - Wisdom Teeth MP3

Sonic Youth protégés Cell never made it big, but their near-psychedelic guitar onslaught still rings true today. Check the soaring Stratosphere for proof, people. Were these New Yorkers the true heirs of Television? Questions, questions. And we´ve reached the end of another Wild Weekend with some prime jazz melancholy courtesy of tenor giant Dexter Gordon. Recorded in ´63, when Dex was living in gay Paree and doin´ alright.

Cell - Stratosphere MP3
Dexter Gordon - Willow Weep For Me MP3

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Here Comes Spanish Johnny

"Spanish Johnny drove in from the underworld last night..." Oh yes. The Boss has him sittin´ on one of those typical New York City fire escapes in all his bruised glory, watchin´ the kids playin´ down in the street. "Hey little heroes, summer's long but I guess it ain´t very sweet around here anymore..."

Meanwhile in Dublin, the lads from the Virgin Prunes think better of it when Johnny comes a-knockin´. "He said ´Do you wanna join my gang?´, I said ´You must be joking...´ Spanish Johnny got caught and went to jail to be a nice fellow for a long time..."

Bruce Springsteen - Incident On 57th Street MP3
Virgin Prunes - Ballad Of The Man MP3

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 23

In between watching the first world cup matches in South Africa, and working hard to get rid of that mothball smell coming out of my faithful Orange jersey, I still managed to find a bit of time to put the iPod to work again. The result? Wild Weekend number 23: six diverse, winning tracks with no vuvuzela in sight.

Lets kick off this week´s edition with a fun song that guest editor Tom Waits picked for the accompanying cd of this month´s edition of Mojo magazine. Rock & roll forerunner Hank Ballard, father of the twist, really works his Midnighters into a frenzy here. I´ve got to admit I´ve never heard Graham Nash´s ´71 solo effort Be Yourself, but that will have to be corrected soon. I really got curious for the real deal after listening to an excellent, just-released tribute to that album, featuring the likes of Vetiver, Port O´Brien and Robin Pecknold of the Fleet Foxes. It even has the omni-present Bonnie Prince Billy singing in Spanish... Olé! Agua!

Hank Ballard & The Midnighters - Let´s Go, Let´s Go, Let´s Go MP3
Bonnie Prince Billy - Simple Man In The Mirror (Hombre Sencillo) MP3

Time now for Greg Sage, the Portland, Oregon loner with the ever-present bandana who made some highly impressive albums under the Wipers moniker during the eighties. The lyrical Prisoner hails from Silver Sail (´93), his last really great outburst. And for all you reggae loving brethren out deh, here´s a treat from yet another exemplary Pressure Sounds compilation: Life Goes In Circles, which showcases Tommy Cowan´s influentual Talent Corporation stable. Exhibit A: Please Officer, a hardhitting roots rocker by Earl Zero.

Wipers - Prisoner MP3
Earl Zero - Please Officer MP3

Weirdo collective Sun City Girls has such a huge back catalogue that I won´t urge you to pick up all their releases at once. But why not start with the often brilliant Torch Of The Mystics (´90) and take it from there? And last but certainly not least, let´s put the spotlight on the kings of space rock: Hawkwind. Not really my bag normally, but Days Of The Underground has always been a guilty pleasure. "We smoked Durban poison and turned all this noise on..." I´m off to watch another game of footy now... catch ya later.

Sun City Girls - Radar 1941 MP3
Hawkwind - Days Of The Underground MP3

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Small Coin

Was pleasantly struck by the following passage in Peter Matthiessen´s phenomenal travel-meets-Zen book The Snow Leopard today. "It is related that Sakyamuni once dismissed as of small consequence a feat of levitation on the part of a disciple, and cried out in pity for a yogin by the river who had wasted twenty years of his human existence in learning how to walk on water, when the ferryman might have taken him across for a small coin..."

Neil Young - Cripple Creek Ferry MP3
Delmore Brothers - Brown´s Ferry Blues MP3
Bum - Your Disciple MP3
Cuban Heels - Walk On Water MP3

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 22

Back right at the end of another Wild Weekend, after a week-long hiatus caused both by a short trip abroad and some quite irritating computer problems. My router had re-programmed itself all on its own for some reason, and it took a while to get it to function again. But finally, here´s edition # 22, and once more the shuffle function of my iPod decided what goodies you´re going to enjoy. I know it's all been done before, and it's all been written in the book, but let´s carry on regardless, before the waters of oblivion come rushing in.

First up is Polly Jean Harvey, with a menacing plea from To Bring You My Love, her excellent third album. "Come home to your son, tomorrow might never come..." If I were Billy, I´d come running. Time to say hello to Valery and Vivien now, who in real life were the wives of poet TS Eliot btw. One of my fave tracks from the Basement Tapes. It´s about time all existing tracks from these intimate Woodstock sessions, false starts and all, were released properly. A new Bootleg Series installment perhaps Bob? And now that we´re at it, how´s Chronicles pt. 2 coming along?

PJ Harvey - C´mon Billy MP3
Bob Dylan & The Band - Too Much Of Nothing MP3

J.A. Caesar was certainly one of the weirdest exponents of the Japrock genre. His piece de resistance was the Kokkyou Junreika album from ´73, which you really should track down somewhere. An aural trip if there ever was one. Here´s a fine taster. More weirdness, in krautrock disguise this time, comes courtesy of Faust. These adventurers from the tiny town of Wumme really were years ahead of their time. "Who is satisfied? Who wouldn't sell his mind?
Who can really say?" Indeed.

J.A. Caesar - Haha Koishiya Sangoshou MP3
Faust - It´s A Bit Of A Pain MP3

Soul scorcher anyone? Try Mable John and an intense adulterers ballad from ´67 called Same Time Same Place. From the Stax stable of course. These understated horns and that swirling organ get the job done majestically. And we´ll conclude this Wild Weekend with a short but sweet ditty by Gumball, that fine early nineties noisy pop trio led by Don Fleming of B.A.L.L. fame. Hasta la proxima!

Mable John - Same Time Same Place MP3
Gumball - This Town MP3