Somewhere in this man is a 21st century version of th Great Gatsby or something.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
This band must have a good record collection because they wear their influences pretty openly. They could also be some longtime record store employees Germs tribute artwork (which was kind of killed in the 90s but well done here). Public Enemy title variation "it takes a nation of assholes to hold us back" Clearly a DC and Chicago influence from this band from Cleveland Ohio (which seems to have no ex members of Integrity or Confront). Somewhere between Nation of Ulysess and Trenchmouth. There is also a more straight ahead rocking element that would be at home on Touch and GO. For some reason they occasionally remind me of the Didjits, Zen Guerill, and the Refused. That said it is an enjoyable record. 14 shots. No fucking around. Political but in the DC way. Obtuse if you will. Listened to this driving from Boston to the Cape and I didn't skip any tracks so is a good sign. Albini did the production and Cold Sweat is the label.
Todays' stage could be decisve but it is unlikely a break could go with any key player. If anyone wants to unseat Levi it will have to be today because tomorrow's circuit race will be one for the sprinters.
It would be nice to see Horner of Jakob Pil take a flyer and shake things up, who knows......
Benediction Moon self titled. Now this is a record by and for Hara Krishnas. Side One has 4 tracks of fried-hindu hippie folk/rock. Not psych to my ears, but clearly less produced than the Golden Avatar and lacking the studio musicians of Hansadutta. One of the 4 is a traditional raga. Side 2 is a full side of his Divine Grace chanting the Maha Mantra with accompaniment. Gatefold LP contains breakdown of the songs and an explanation of the maha mantra with purport by Pradupadha. Nice Picture of Prabupadha.
This is a pretty crazy release made by a group of Krishnas(? maybe just hippies) living on a commune in New Zealand. Private Press. If the Golden Avatar record reminded me of the goofy side of California Hippies, this record ,makes me think of the real deal. Hippies in loin cloths living in tree huts like Ewoks arguing about how to build compost toilets or cars that run on tofu. When this arrived in the mail box, I knew I was on the right track. In fact of all the records I got this might be the crown jewel of Krishna Psych.
Hansadutta Swami has/had at least 2 records. "The Vision" is a pretty disjointed experience. His voice has an unsettling kind of manic edge to it as he warbles sort of atonally and with minimal regard to the songs rhythm about all the troubles of life in the material world. I saw this record compared to Syd Barrett and it does have an unhinged element to it but it reminded me more of Manson than Barrett. It did grow on me over time.
Have not heard the other I think "self-titled" LP. Some countryish guitar and piano appear. A little harmonica. This really has a country rock kind of feel to it. Recorded around 1979 in the Berkely area.
Most lyrics are composed by Hansadutta and cram a lot of thoughts into the songs. Krishna influence is obvious, but his "poetic" take on modern life and illusion.
There is perhaps a nod to later krishna rockers Shelter with the song "think before you drink". I had hoped for a lyrical level more akin to Dan Higgs, but it was not to be. The warble in his voice on the country waltz "Oh sraagrati Vaisnava Soul" makes him sound like Gram Parsons gone completely around the bend. He opens up side 2 with a an upbeat "you'rs so wise" with lyrics like "I thought I was God/but I'm less than a dog/I will sit at your door/Taking scraps from your floor" you know it's a good time.
Hansadutta got himself in a far amount of trouble with the Krishnas and the law, and I am conflicted about his impact on life and ISKON, but this is a tale of Krishna Records and clearly he was down to make them. He still has a website, but doesn't seem to be selling these records.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Cavaliers Unlimited The Nasty b/w Soul Vein 45. Cali-Tex Records CT-106. Straight out of Portland OR 1969 comes these 6 brothers, the Cavaliers Unlimited. Saved from obscurity by DJ Shadow. Good Look Shadow.
The Nasty is a nice instro. Packs a lot into a short track. Nasty sound, Good drum breaks, nice horns, solid guitar lead. Production has a nice overdriven feel-you could picture the speakers shaking in the studio. Raw like cocaine straight from Boliva.
Soul Vein is the B Side and it has a heavier groove and lets the organ player stretch out.
Licensed from the band so it is all legit and probably the only way you will here this 45. Few copies are "known to exist".
Today should be a good day
Probably the most well know Krishna advocate was Geogre Harrison, who managed to get Apple to release some records by the Radah Krsna Temple.
This record is from 1970 and there were 2 singles from it(Govidna and Hara Krishna Mantra). There is also a red wax Japanese pressing of this that turns up on Ebay every once and awhile for big loot. There are versions of the singles with and without picture sleeves. This record benefits from the fact that Harrison plays a variety of instruments-harmonium, guitar, bass. Basically traditional chants set to music.
Gatefold lp with lyrics, translations, and an overview of Krishna Consciousness. Probably the easiest Krishna related record to find and the most competently performed, but lacks the ecstatic energy of the Krishna Festival Kirtan LP and is remarkably grounded when compared to records to be reviewed later.
This LP is still available on CD.
Hara Krishna Festival on Hara Krishna records. A 1974 album of German Krishnas chanting with accompaniment. A recording of a Kirtan or group chant. Side one is one track. 3 more tracks on side 2. Do you want to reach a transcendntal realm by "vibrating sacred hymns"? Try this. This is a much more grounded and stable performance than either Benediction Moon or Hansadutta, but is a devotional chating record, not a "folk/psych/whatever" traditional rock record. This is HKR1003, I wonder if there is a HKR001 or HKR002? Gotta track them down.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Golden Avatar " Change of Hearts LP Jazzy 70s rock with some strings. I guess you could bag on it and call it Godspell like. The vocals remind me of Ed from firehose, but my wife says Will Oldham(which in her world is not a compliment)9 Tracks 1976 on Sudarsharn Records. 2nd track "Questions,Questions" kicks off with some congas and has a decent sax solo. Kinda fusiony. A heavily orchestrated "bhagavad gita" lays out a song length summary of arjuna's struggles. Flute riff is nice. Vocals really have that Ed from Ohio feel and the song veers from feebly symphonic to upliftingly soft rock to steely danish guitar solos. The mid 70s sound is heavy on this record. "Seers of Truth", "You are not that body", and "govinda" are other songs with a more overt nod to Krishna. In fact "you are not that body" has some real tower of power horn stabs and comes the closet to rocking in a kind of overproduced blue oyster cult kind of way (the groove is like "career of evil"). Definitely the highlight track and the only one I would put on a 70s Krishna mixtape.
The record finishes strong with the track "time for going home" with the chorus "going back to godhead". Ill synthesiser solo half way through after which it breaks down into a maha mantra fade out. I guess this would be the 2nd contestant for Krishna
Record is dedicated to his Divine Grace and uses a lot of Krishna graphics, but doesn't seem to be devotees as musicians. Thanks list includes George Harrison, Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond and John Fahey?? Unique mix. I can't help but picture a bunch of dudes in California wandering through the wreckage of the 60s struggling to figure their lives out and creating this in an effort to sort it out. Not unlike the parents in the movie Valley Girl. I imagine recording sessions cut short for colonics and regression therapy. And even though it is easy to bag on, it has some elements that are endearing. You can tell they are swinging for the fences and that will cause you to strike out as much as hit home runs. That said it is unlikely I will be pulling this out of the crates too often.
This was the 2nd of my mailorder purchases to arrive and based on the music here, I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of this decision to become the leading expert on Krishna Rock, but wait until the next installment when things really start looking up. I am still hoping for the Hara Krishna version of the Black Sabbath, and if there is a Hara Krishan Blue Cheer please let me know ASAP!
I selected the graphics from the inner sleeve for the photos because the front cover was a little heavy on winged fairies (as opposed to the Pink Fairies)
He also has socks and wristbands
This kid must have a giant heart to survive that and come back and that is worth support. Probably more worthwhile than contributing to the I believe Tyler or Floyd fund.............
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
This is a genre of music I never would have stumbled on if not for EBay. Most people know of George Harrison's support of the Krishnas and his getting a couple records out on Apple. Or maybe the thing on the soundtrack to HAIR. People my age and younger corpmen know about Krishna in hardcore thanks to the Cro-Mags and Shelter or maybe Husker Du. But there were several bands and records that were at least Krishna influenced if not recorded by and released by Krishnas. One night my curiosity got piqued when I saw some Indian records a favorite seller had listed. A few simple searches helped me track down about 7 records. Without Ebay it would have taken me years if ever to discover this "sub-genre" (can I dub it "krishna folk-pysch" yet?) It remains to be seen if the genre is worth discovering.
Over the last month I have been listening to and acquiring more of these records which I will be reviewing here in the coming weeks. Some seriously odd shit from communes to ashrams to rock clubs. Chant and be Happy!
This is the first record up. It just references Hara Krishna and is clearly not played, made, or for other Krishnas. Either way a
The Happenings "Where do I go/Be-In(Hara Krishna) Sounds like Jethro Tull with the flute replaced by steel drums. Pretty standard fare using current events to make a bohemian statement. Could be a cover from the soundtrack to HAIR? Not sure because I never saw the movie, but in that vein. Jubilee Records. Made it to #17 on WRKO in Boston back in July of 1969. Take that Howie Carr!
And yes that is a white label promo in the photo, take that record scum. It's mint.
This record would be worth it for the cover alone. Tight picture of Muhammed Ali. Would stand alone as a poster. The fact that it comes with 12 tracks of hard to find funk is a nice bonus.
Funk forced to fit onto the confines of the 45 is possibly my favorite form of music. You cut out the chance of 12 minute prog-fusion jams and bring it right down to its gritty essence.
Starts out with Gus "the groove" Lewis and if you like James Brown, you will like him. Makes sure Larry the bass player gets his moment in the sun.
Alvin Cash and Archie Bell are the big names on this comp, but the lesser known artists bring it. In fact Archie Bell's track sounds like a funkadelic trippy leftover that probably shouldn't have seen the light of day. Earl Foster drops "jodine's walk" which is a nice hammond workout with a rock feel to it. Ricky Williams brings "discoteque soul part 2" to the table and unlike the former Miami Dolphin, I don't think anyone was drug testing this Ricky because there's just one thing he wants you to do "PARTY!" Nice breakdown with congas or bongos or something. slight afro-funk groove. Instrumental "sophisticated funk" brings us home. By my count that's 4 out of 6 on side one as bangers that you will want to replay.
Side 2 opens up with Moody Sec working it out on "00-43 GM", bass line seems to bite Ina gadda da vida pretty effectively. This is the B-Side to a 45 with marva hodge and brighter lights than me consider it a "dutch mod dancer" and "dancefloor killer". The Wah Wah Pedal rears its head next on John Phillips Soul and His Stone Marching Band. With a name like that you can guess what you are getting "Soul Line" a little more psych. Nice drum break opens up "they say" by Ray Pereira. Nice funky instrumental.
Closes with "big brown drums" by drum set which for all the drums in the title and name wasn't has percusso-centric as you would think with a nice guitar lead. 4/6 killer on side 2 nets you 8/12 killer and only one track that made me want to skip it. This comp earns the right to have Ali on the cover.
Soul City Records drops 18 tracks of "60s Soul, R&B, and Boogaloo. This is a German label not to be confused with the English Soul City. There is a german webiste on the back cover but is not active. A dead end. If you want to learn the jerk, broadway sissy, james brown bougelou, the dip, the ape, the monkey, the broom, or the funky, funky horse this is the comp for you.
I have expressed my love of lyrical wit on here several times and this comp toes the party line. Singers are mainly shouters and the sax's are maninly bar walkers.
Willie Wicher owns side one with the story of "hoopy doo". Side 2 brings us Jimmy Soul doing "take me to los angeles", but Sir Latimore waits til half way side 2 to set it off with "shake and vibrate" and Picket-esque stomper with a great bassline, breakdown, and backing vocals. This comp saves the best for last and the last half of the 2nd side keeps the hits coming. Allen Greene gives you "neck bone -soul food is what they call it baby!" Good organ and sax groove. Dorothy Parker drops her best Martha and the Vandellas impression on "shindig city". Lester Young and the California Playboys bring it home with "funky,funky,horse part one" and this is not a that Lester Young and this is not some post bop ode to heroin. It is a nice workout on a "mustang sally" type groove.
Overall I had higher hopes for this comp and it didn't contain one mega standout track, but it is a solid line up of soul and r&b that you will probably find yourself
CSC are having a good Tour of Cali despite Dave Z crashing out. Haedo yesterday and Jens Voigt today. Jens is a WWDIS hero, so seeing him get a win early in the season is a nice thing. And what a suprise he won out of a long breakaway..... Bike racing lost some of the thrill in the Armstrong era and it's nice to have guys like Voigt,Horner,Vino,Valverde, Bettini, Boonen, etc racing. That can animate a race and aren't afraid to get in the wind and power away. Guys who let heart and legs take over the head.
With only a 3 second lead, Leiphemer will have to do something special to avoid losing the lead in the TT on Friday.
Bettini and O'Grady were both in the top 10 today. Ryder Hesjedal was in the top 20. He looked good for Discovery last year in the Vuelta.
Bell records #681. This 1967 cover of Bobby Blands song that is pretty much the kitchen sink of souls songs. If there is an element that makes a soul classic, it is in here. If you were to give someone a blueprint of all the elements a great soul song needs, this would be it (allright maybe it would be Wilson Pickett -Land of 1,00 Dances or Edwin Starr 25 Miles, but......)
Heard it for the 1st time on John Funky's radio show on MBR. Took me about three weeks to track it down. Got a copy for $1.50 Played it. Loved it. Left it on the stereo. One of my kids or maybe even my wife decides to play a Thin Lizzy LP..... and I find Oscar Toney Jr, behind the stereo cracked! Nice job family!
Not the end of the world because there always a couple copies on EBay and you can find this in stores to for short money. This is a real nugget of Soul Galore.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
20 years deep in the doom game, and Wino is still touring and dropping new albums with the energy of someone half his age. Hidden Hand's Ressurection of Whiskey Foote is anothe link in the chain he is forging. Lightning Hill is the banger on this one which features new bassist taking on some of the vocals and someone has a developed a real Blackie Lawless vocal style-check out Broke Dog. That is a good thing.... The record starts of slow, but builds up and finishes strong. They are definitely pushing some new grooves and guitar sounds which keeps the fresh and prevents it from getting lost in the tidal wave of doom records coming out. Most of which are willing to trade "limited" pressings in favor of compelling riffs. 2CD version has the Devoid of Color EP as a bonus, but if you are a Wino fanatic like me you already have it, but if you don't the footage of Wino in the garden is almost as good as Ozzy making breakfast in Decline Part 2.
Wino has played on how many classic records? Obsessed, St.Vitus, the totally underated Spirit Caravan. He is the real Dr.Doom.
3rd (and continuing on the feet) The shoes in case you forgot he is champion of Italy and since he is an Olympic winner and Italian..... more gold. Bettini is out of hand.
I must admit that I was shocked that his time trial bike was a basic red and black with no bonus color schemes alluding to other victories.
Life is tough for the cricket from la california
Thanks to Pezcycling for being there, doing the a hardwork, and letting me play Mr.Blackwell.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Picked this up online last month. I went through a real Jimmy Smith LP completest phase that was a little on the OCD side so I have steered clear of his records for a while. But then I started buying tons of BlueNote 45s. Stopped before it got out of hand, but saw this during that period. "Verve Celebrity Scene" 45 box set "special disc jockey record" 5 45s Mostly parts 1 and 2 versions of Verve classics like "hoochie coochie man" and "walk on the wild side".
Not sure who the target audience was for these sets. If it was DJs, why the box? Who knows. There was another set like this for Wes Montgomery that I didn't get.
I got out of the bluenote 45 phase pretty quick, because so many of them are one song given the part one/part two treatment which isn't that fun from a listener perspective.
Elvin Jones was a bad motherfucker. How he ended up in this trippy hippie western is beyond me. But the hippies are lucky he didn't shoot everyone. I guess the acid was pretty good cause how else do you go from Coltrane to a metallic silver vest and a six shooter?
Elvins Jones. RIP. I can only hope I am this energetic when I am his age.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
I can't wait for this to come out.
Last year I picked up two "American International Pictures" 45s that had 60 and 30 second spots for movies. In this case "the brute and the beast" and "the young, the evil, and the savage".
Hard to imagine this was a cost effective way to promote B-movies, but I am glad they exist and obviously make for great sampling opportunities.
I checked a site that has an "American International Records" discography that put out full soundtracks to some pretty crazy and some classic b-movies
The Beast and the Brute is a dubbed over Fulci Western about a crew of villians who "carry their hate in their holsters and a name on every bullet in their belt". Tough Stuff which might have done better with a literal translation of it's original Italian title "Massacre Time".
"they live, they love, they die!" is the tag line for a depraved boarding shcool movie called "the young,the evil and, the savage" Your heart will stop beating!
One thing I love about digging for records is how you continue to discover odd genres and records. It especially fun when you stumble onto records like this for a couple of bucks.
Pastrami Melted "hello boston" How a record like this got made even in the 70s is beyond me. Described as "pop psych" The singer warbles about leaving SF on a motorbike and somehow ends up in boston. I would hope, he got attacked once he got here especially after declaring "hello boston, I'm Johnny Appleseed" and working in a rhyme with "tangerine" later. Maybe that helped pave the way for the Flaming Lips song 30 years later.... The music is reminiscnet of what you would hear in a Dirty Harry or Deathwish movie when the Bronson/Eastwood rolled, disgusted, into the hippie bar and a bunch of stoned hippie actors were wailinga away on stage pretending to be a band. I always hope "psych" records will sound like blue cheer or the 13th floor elevators. Unfortunately, they often sound like this. Metromedia records
Next up Alvin Cash and the Registars on Mar-V-lous covering "Boston Monkey" (by Otis Redding? at least he had a more popular version) Upbeat with a JR Walker style sax. Lyrically, this is my kind of song. Nothing over a 3rd grade reading level. Andre Williams played a part in the early days at Mar-v-Lous where he spent time when on the outs with Berry Gordy. Small World. Killer single. I think J.Geils covered it on a live record, but don't let that scare you away.
Somedays when your out buying records themes start to appear, you find a bunch of records on folkways, or a bunch of reords from one city, or in the case 45s about Boston. Though outside of the word Boston in the title, they don't have much in common.
It is hard to make a living playing in a band and just as hard to make your rent running a record label. So it is impressive that King Coffey from the Butthole Surfers decided to start a label back in the 90s. But either way the trance syndicate was born. With the SLA logo stolen for their own you could tell you where in for some fucked up shit from Texas.
I am not a fan or everything they put out but two bands stood out at the time and have stood the test of time for me -the cherubs and johnboy
Cherubs. Although they seemed as fucked up as the Buttholes, the music pushed the whole Drunktank/Unsane sound to a more brutal level. Icing was the 1st record and the one that made me take notice of Trance Syndicate. The music was pretty standard noise rock, but the vocalist set it apart. Real high pitched odd voice. This band could clear a room fast. Loud and abrasive. Heroinman the 2nd lp started and ended with the sound of an off the hook phone that summed up what they were shooting for grating repetitive rock. They nailed it on this record. They were pretty much fucking perfect.
They had a couple singles, splits, and comp appearances. Faded away before they could suck too bad. Trance released a comp that compiled all the singles and odd tracks. The rumor mill brought me a story that the guys had a lowrider bike club. Nice. Cooler than the fixed gear zomibe armies rolling around the bean.
Also fitting into the sorta NYC influenced noise aesthetic was Johnboy, but unlike the cherubs these guys brought it a little more fast and furious. If the Cherubs wanted to rub salt in your wounds, Johnboy wanted to blow your fucking head off. They had more of a bastro or hammerhead type influence. No joke. Power. Pistolswing was the 16th trancesyndicate release and a in tie for my favorite release from them with Heroinman(Heroinman gets the edge due to the cover) This record had all the time changes and sick parts that would crop up on later "tech" style metal and hardcore records. Vocals were a helmety type bark and howl. Saw them play once at the Penalty Box down by North Station. Maybe like 10 people there? Probably with Kudgel and maybe Today is the Day???( I remember seeing them there and the drummer had a headphone mike -ouch. Looked cool on tommy lee) They fucking blew everyone off the stage. Claim Dedications was their 2nd LP and it was good, but not quite pistolswing, but still better than a lot of its competition back in the mid-90s.
Fianlly Trance Syndicate gets a big thank you, for putting out a Roky Erikson record "all who may do my rhyme" and the hit single "we are never talking". Awesome record that kept Roky in the public eye.
So for that I offer a hearty salute to the Trance Syndicate