Friday, July 20, 2007

Godess of Fortune LP Krsna Rock Part 21

This seems to be a real attempt to leverage George Harrison's name to get people to buy an essentially devotional LP. Late 70s, 7 tracks produced by Mr.Harrison. More than likely the same cast of characters that were on the Apple Krsna LPs. In fact thanks to Wikipedia, it is clear this is a reissue of the Apple Radah Krsna LP.Different song order and some altered spelling but the same seven tracks. Well done and enjoyable. Back Cover says "special issue" which may or not mean private press or Harrison Vanity Press, or Copyright issue/out of print issue. Hard to say, but someday I will get to the bottom of the gnarled and twisted shell game that makes up the Hara Krsna record label families. Label says "Spiritual Sky" which could be the label and their is another pressing with a maroon label and different record label name. So try and keep that all straight. This is pretty minimal in the liner notes dept. Back cover is a cool obtuse artistic statement about something-must be good art then! Hara Krsna Mantra and Govinda Jai Jai are both here which were hits from the Apple/Hara Krsna records.
Side 2 opens up with some guitar work that could be GH and is one of the few Western instruments to turn up. This track bears the ancient name "Sri Isopanisad" but is the closer to a folk blues or "acid-folk" feel which I missed on the Apple version. Either way another cool devotional entry in the Krsna Rock Series.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

El Michels Affair w/Raekown PJs

The El Michels Affair are a good trippy acid jazz/soul jazz type band, but they came across the genius idea of doing covers of Wu-Tang. 2 45s into what I hope is a long series right now and they were good enough to get a guest spot from Lex Diamonds himself on this track. Rae spits his standard back in the day coke slinging story rhyme over a rootsy Brooklyn groove.
Side 2 has the instrumental and some bonus beats. Including the monster surprise "this one's for my baby" which opens with a wicked string hook before settling down. It wouldn't be hard to see these guys rocking behind Amy Winehouse if the Dap-Kings were busy.
An added bonus is the nice artwork which most 12"s don't get. Very nice.
I guess getting stoked on Wu-Tang covers and cameos is some nostalgia shit, but if you were buying records like 36 Chambers,Iron Man, or Only Built for Cuban Linx when they just came out, you know how mind blowing these guys were. There were a few Hip Hop groups that totally changed up the game. Think Public Enemy and NWA for example. It's hard to remember how wild these records were once they have become holy grails or classics.
Truth and Soul Records.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Roger White "The Mystery Of Tallahatchie Bridge" 45

In addition to "Compared to What" there is another song that I am obsessed with, "Ode to Billie Joe". Bobbie Gentry's story of Billie Joe Macallister has had a long life and has been covered several times. This song had a real pop culture mystery appeal-why did he do it? did it happen? why?
Well like any country artist fluent in the concept of "answer records", Roger White stepped up to the plate to tell you why. Coming over a fairly straight cover of the tune, he lays out the what, wheres, and whys for a truly enjoyable twist in the world of Billie Joe covers. Not going to give it away, but the "seeds of love" are involved.
There apparently as many answer records as covers so stay tuned for another OCD series of installments.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Swobo Heresy Jersey

It is hard to come up with reasons, not to support Swobo, but when they combo their skills with some graphic nods to "Breaking Away" only a heartless dink could resist.
This jersey is not wool, hence the name Heresy(Side Track number one. Between Exits 18 and 19 Northbound on 128, there was for years a bridge with "Heresy" spray painted on it which would always make me smile as I drove under the bridge. Approximately six month ago some genius tagger threw is dumb ass name over it and forever bummed me out. Thanks Douche!)
The graphic design veer a little close to "high end underground fashion"(a term I heard first dropped by a dude who also wanted a "custom Surly"-so I don't know if he always speaks in oxymoron's or not... Side Track #2). Brown jerseys will always remind me of SE Racing so they get a pass. And obtusely name checking "Breaking Away" will get you another free pass. So based on appearances alone this jersey is a hit.
But it is unfortunately a functional world, so how does it do perform? It has been hot here in New England and this jersey was just right. Despite the darker color, it was very light weight and a perfect warm weather jersey. No complaints on rear pockets and the price is right. The cut is "American" which means a large leaves room for your gut and since it is not full zip it will make you look skinny if you are. Sleeves are surprisingly loose and non binding which could cost you seconds in a time trial, but, get real, you are on a group ride-so chill.
Whether you want knickers, wool jerseys, bikes, or bottle openers Swobo is on it. So find a way to support them and Avoid the bummer life!

Upcoming product reviews may include Stella Azurra cork tape, Vittoria Open tires, and Chrome knickers. I bet you are on the edge of your seats......
Vetta cyclocomputers get the gas face.

Stuey Get Well Soon

Stewart O'Grady got worked Sunday at the tour. Broken ribs, collapsed lungs,etc. You can send him some goodwill at his website. Anyone who brings his team black rubber bracelets that say "Harden the Fuck Up" and is also that years winner of Paris-Roubaix can do no wrong in my eyes.
So I wish him a speedy recovery and quick return to the bike like his fellow country men Henk Vogels and Nathan O'Neil.
Aussie's are the new Belgians
PS Buy some O'Grady gear at the website above. So much cooler than more Disco kit!

Surprise Package 'Open a ..."LP Woburn stand up!

Woburn's own Casa Grande records(CG-1911 if you are curious) dropped this 8 song masterpiece. Imagine a powerpacked duo of drums and organ(Hammond X-77) according to the liner notes. Gene Gawron and Lee Elliot wail through a group of classic covers. "It Never Rains in Southern California", "I can see clearly now","Lodi" and more. If you stumbled into whatever Holiday Inn Lounge these guys were in, you would have been in for a good time. Bill Murray could sit in on vocals. Tear jerkers are here too, "Didn't We","Crying Time"... One side for rocking and one side for drinking and bumming out appears to be the concept. Not a bad idea.
They make a lot of noise for a duo and the drummer is pretty hyper pushing the tempo. Vocals are delivered with a lot of energy. The organ playing is frantic bordering on a spastic hockey rink style. Almost as if, they had convinced themselves that with a little more gusto they could play themselves out of whatever lounge or dive bar they were in.
So Surpise Package had the chops, the outfits(check Gene on the back cover-between the mutton chops and white boots, he could be a Lemmy stand in), the tunes, but apparently not the luck as this was discoverd at the Salvation Army for 50 cents.
If there was only one damn drum break this could be a "private press","breaks","holy grail" level obsucre record, but we/they are not that lucky and that keeps this obscuro nugget in your price range if you ever stumble across it. But meanwhile while I am trying to be psyched about this, a record collecting assoicate of mine is picking up Floyd bootlegs for two bucks a pop in NH. I guess you know who really scored that day.......


Excellent day of riding on Sunday thanks to the Charles River Wheelmen's Climb to the Clouds Century out to Wachusett and back. I quiched out and took the 80 mile option that skipped the actual climb up Wachusett. It was super hot and I did not have the legs. Plenty of water and food stops. Course was well marked and arrowed (minor annoyance #1 I did the Seven Hills Wheelmen Quabbin Century earlier this summer and it was like they only had half a can of paint and were afraid to use it-markings stunk, but the ride was awesome. So props to Charle's River for doing it right). There were so many crashes in the first hour, that it felt like a Cat 5 race, but once it all strung out it was fine.
But of course a five hour ride can't be without some annoyances. What is up with people trying to ride down on their aero extensions in a group or paceline? I realize that most tri-geeks are anti-social or OCD solo trainers, but do you lack that much common sense? Regardless of whether you are in front or behind me, your hands had better be near your brakes. My fat ass will give you more aero benefits than your bars. And it is amazing the looks you get when you call someone out. It's like they don't even understand what a potential menace they are. There was a good article in the back of Velonews about this last month check it out if you see it. There are way too many people on six thousand dollar bikes that can't ride in straight line. It takes time not money to be a good cyclist and you've got to pay attention and listen and learn.
I read about something called a "bento box" on NYCBikeSnob and was excited to actually see them in person-attached to the bikes of the offending aero idiots. How much of a time penalty is it to reach into your jersey pockets for a gel? Is that really worth strapping a mini glove compartment to your bike? Being a roadie I live in a glass house, but so little of the tri-geek way of life makes sense. When you get so good that the only thing stopping you from winning is that, strap on the bento box. Until then shut up, pedal, and suffer like everyone else.
So I got off track. Good job to CRW!!! Thanks for your hardwork putting it together, but maybe next time have some water at the finish???