Bones in the Desert
The new album by Jack Logan and Scott Baxendale, featuring members of the Drive-By Truckers, is now available on vinyl or digital download. A driving, at times swampy guitar record with a dark and eclectic Southern perspective.

No harder than the rest

No memories of writing or recording this…not much of a recommendation, eh? This might have been an OK tune for the Liquor Cabinet and a great tune to put in a Mel Gibson action movie back before he got wasted and said all that insane stuff that made everybody hate him. HERE

Bell bottoms and peace signs

Being born at the tail end of the fifties, my initial cultural experiences took place in the most over-analysed, mythologized decade ever, namely the Sixties. This is not to say that there wasn’t plenty to analyze and mythologize…there certainly was! Of course living in rural Illinois and not even hitting my teens before the decade was over didn’t provide me with a lot of exposure  to the massive societal upheavals taking place, but WLS, a powerful blowtorch of a radio station out of Chicago, did expose me to  at least the more popular examples of one of the most celebrated  elements of the time…the music.

Which brings me to a few of my recent Cheap Vinyl purchases…I recently went to visit my parents in rural Illinois and I always make a point of hitting the thrift shops, flea markets, and a long-standing, hippie-operated record store in the area in search of cheap records. Unlikely as it may seem, these trips have yielded sleeveless but perfectly playable copies of late 60’s cult group Blue Cheer.  After scoring the debut “Vincebus  Eruptumum” for free at the hippie record shop a couple of years ago, my latest trip yielded a 25 cent copy  of their second offering “Outsideinside”.  Unlike the debut which was a very straightforward affair that featured charmingly heavy and somewhat clumsy versions of hoary staples like “Summertime Blues” and  “Parchman’s Farm”,  “Outsideinside” is a much more ambitious affair…lots more  sixties studio tricks and added instrumentation but still retaining the ham-fisted elements that make them just as much MC5 as, say, Cream or Hendrix. Speaking of Hendrix, he was obviously a big influence on the Cheers…lots of wah-wah and distortion and one tune borrows liberally from “Little Wing” for it’s changes, but their lack of finesse works in their favor so that they end up producing tunes that vaguely foreshadows stuff like AC/DC  and even Seattle grunge. I’ve already spun it multiple times and enjoyed it each time…

I don’t recall hearing the Cheer on WLS, but I distinctly remember looking through the stacks of used comic books at the dime store when  Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody To Love” came blaring over the instore PA. An earlier version of that tune and “White Rabbit” appear on the two-record live set “Grace Slick and the Great Society” that I recently scored for 3 bucks at a local flea market. I was initially surprised by the excellent sound quality considering when it was recorded and by what a kick-ass singer Grace Slick was! While you can definitely detect the typical 60’s folk influences in her delivery, Grace ain’t no weepy Joan Baez type. There is an aggressive power in her style that is decidedly unhippie-like, and while she occasionally goes a bit over the top, that aggression makes for a compelling listen. She is also free of the “blues mama” cliches that made contemporaries like Janis Joplin tedious at times. The liner notes consist of nothing but a lengthy Airplane-era interview of Grace conducted by Rex Reed(!) so there is virtually no info on The Great Society.  My impression is that they sound like those “swingin'” soundtracks of movies and TV shows of the time…technically crude with weedy, eastern-influenced “psychedelic” guitar and the occasional  noodling flute solo…certainly not everyone’s cup of Kool-Aid but I kind of dig it. There are a few tunes sung by  one or another of the band dudes but Grace is clearly the draw. The only song with her on lead vocals that I could do without hearing again is Dylan’s “Outlaw Blues” but there’s no great shame in that since, aside from maybe the Byrds, the majority of the plethora of Dylan covers of the time did nothing for me… All in all, a very worthwhile record that has sparked a new interest in an artist I had not payed any attention to in many years…Sorry Kosmo, but I may be purchasing some Jefferson Airplane LPs in the near future!

Lastly we have a record whose single I also heard many times on WLS…Namely “Fire” which appeared on “The Crazy World of Arthur Brown” LP.  I know next to nothing about Arthur Brown and his Crazy World but I do know that this is a highly entertaining record! Apparently Mr. Brown was an English eccentric/lunatic who was known for a pretty radical, highly theatrical stage show before he began  his recording career. I’m not sure I can come close to describing this record, especially after only spinning it a few times…very (well played) keyboard based, mostly organ with some piano…don’t really recall hearing any guitar at all but I could be wrong…some strange horn and string interludes and intros…some period R&B-isms, including a James Brown and a Screaming Jay Hawkins (yes, it’s the tune you think it is) cover but those are the exceptions and not the rule…odd arrangements, weird lyrical themes involving fire and metaphysics/drugs/whatever, occasionally unhinged vocals…what’s not to like? this one will take many more spins to get a handle on and I’m definitely looking forward to it…plus, I really dig the sleeve art…

On an unrelated note, I know the last time I mentioned the whole “Bulk” reissue business it sounded like it was off the table. I probably shouldn’t say anything at all because it’s still a LONG way from becoming a reality, but as it turns out it’s not completely out of the realm of possibilities yet. I will definitely not be mentioning it again unless the contracts have been signed and the masters are at the pressing plant, but I thought it would be okay to mention it for the few of you that may still be interested.


schlock group

OK folks, as you know I’m not really generating new content anymore…I have been playing with my pro-tools-like computer program on occasion only because it’s kind of fun, and the stuff I’m producing is weirdo techie-sounding junk with no singing or lyrics. Nothing that would be of interest to any of you I assure you. SO, just to keep the blogamadoodle staggering along, I’m going to throw up (ewwwww) some stuff that may have appeared on the long-gone “Priceless Trax” blog but, I’m pretty sure, never appeared here. As you also know I lost all my sales receipts in a extra-terrestrial meteor shower…

THIS is a tune I did with the Possibilities gang around the time of “Monkey Paw”. It always struck me as a good theme for a pre-fab Monkees-like TV show. It will probably strike you as a shockingly pitch-challenged piece of ape shit.

kosmo kollaboration

Our man Q inquired about  the origins of “Buzz Me In” and  how a lo-fi dweeb such as meself came to work with the notorious Mr. Vinyl…Well, the key figure here is tireless restauranteur and music freak Clay Harper who I have known since  his days fronting the legendary ATL outfit The Coolies.  Kosmo has promised to jump in here so check out the comments for the scoop…

teach me the rules

Found an acoustic practice tape that I think features Kelly, Bob, and some of the Possibilities chaps. This tune was the only thing that was ever reviewed on Robert “The Dean” Christgau’s site (and possibly his old Village Voice column). He has since deleted it because I’m, y’know, insignificant. I think he liked it OK though. HERE

Since I’m not producing any new content I may be recycling things that appeared on my previous blog, but with the player on the Mediafire site you don’t have to download it to see if you’ve already heard it. As you know, all my menus and grocery lists were vaporized in a enigmatic panty raid…