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.

Apologies to the hoyles…

As most of you know and understand when I do these little cheap vinyl reviews I’m doing so after one or two cursory spins…strictly first impressions. And I will continue to do so because, really, who cares what I think? It’s an opinion and not usually a particularly valuable one. But for whatever reason, I spun the “Bluegrass According To The Hoyles ” disc again last night and it’s really quite solid and I would have to say calling their picking and singing “competent” is a little unfair. Bluegrass, like reggae is a very particular kind of music that appeals to particular tastes and while I enjoy both on occasion, I really don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.

THE HOYLES RULE!!!!!

free vinyl

A couple of weeks ago on one of my thrift shop vinyl hunts there was a large tub of sleeveless vinyl LPs being offered for zero cents. Against my better judgement I fished through the vat of plastic for anything that looked mildly interesting (and playable) and this is what I came up with…

GRAHAM PARKER-“Squeezing Out Sparks”– Arguably GP’s finest work (I still prefer “Howling Wind”), I already had a copy but the vinyl was in such good shape I picked it up anyway. This is an incredibly focused record in which backing group the Rumour displays a very sharp, tight, almost Dr. Feelgood intensity and Parker’s pissed-off vocalizing  matches  it song-for-song. A few numbers I could do without but the good stuff is very good indeed. I still marvel at Brinsley Schwartz’s propulsive lick on “Nobody Hurts You”…BOOTSY COLLINS- “My Name Is Bootsy Baby”–Wherin the P-Funk alum lays down the funky grooves and mostly talks a bunch of entertaining bullshit over the top. I would guess it was 4:20 when this was recorded and it’s kind of a mess, but like I said, an enjoyable listen full of weirdness including an out-of-nowhere Tommy Iommi-sounding guitar quoting “Auld Lang Syne”, random keyboard squiggles, party crowd sounds and more…JAMES GANG-“In Concert”–typical 70’s live record elevated by Joe Walsh’s inventive-for-the-genre guitar playing and some decent tunes. I particularly like the sole keyboard-driven tune “Tend My Garden”…CLAUDIA SCHMIDT-“Midwestern Heart”–Fairly pleasant, acoustic folk…a little too earthy and unpretentious for it’s own good…THE HOYLES-“Bluegrass According To The Hoyles” –Competent picking and singing but nothing ear-opening. Sort of interesting choice of covers including “Nashville Skyline Rag”, the Hag’s “Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink”and THREE (!) New Riders Of The Purple Sage tunes… HARRY NILSSON-“Nilsson Schmilsson”–Also one I already had. Really good record with all the hits from this tuneful and eccentric alkie…if you haven’t seen the documentary on him it’s worth a look…EMMYLOU HARRIS-“Luxury Liner”–My fave ELH record, contains two written by the other GP including the percolating title cut and “She”, a nice version of Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho and Lefty”, and a really good tune by Mr. Consistant Rodney Crowell called “You’re Supposed To Be Feeling Good”…PAUL DAVIS-“Southern Tracks and Fantasies”–A very odd record that I found entertaining. Ambitious in it’s way and sort of a concept record, the songs go from pretty good to godawful, and Davis reminds me of a cross between Elton John and Barry Manilow ( UPDATE: Elton John and Barry Manilow? He sounds nothing like that. More like a gospel-southerny, more commercial Little Feat with some acousticy and pianoey bits. Major apologies to  Paul Davis fanatics that probably would have sent me nasty emails had you ever seen this which you haven’t so you’ll probably never see this either. And furthermore there’s nothing really godawful here, it’s just not my bag at all at the moment…There, I feel better.) , but thankfully more interesting than either, due mainly to his inability to be as commercial as those mega-platinum fellows (although he’s obviously trying)…THE HOLLIES-“The Hollies (1974)”–This contains what may have been their last big hit “All I Need Is The Air That I Breathe” .These guys are known for their vocals but what I found most interesting about this record is the guitar playing which is inventive and tasteful and borders on Robbie Robertson-like in places. Pretty lightweight, but playful and easy on the ears…CHEMICAL BROS.-“Out Of Control” 12″–My oldest son is into electronic stuff so I’m starting to develop a little bit of a taste for it. Well arranged, holds my interest for the most part…TRICKY w/DJ MUGGS & GREASE 12″EP–I was marginally familiar with Tricky from his association with PJ Harvey and I really dug this. Very dark, foreboding hip-hopish stuff, includes an ironic cover of Boney M’s “Pop Music”…JAMES TAYLOR-“Mudslide Slim And The Blue Horizon”–Haven’t mustered the courage to spin it…MELANIE-“Stoneground Words”–This was the biggest surprise of the lot. I remembered her from her AM radio hits “Brand New Key”and “Candles In The Rain”, but had never really considered acquiring any of her work…and, on paper, a bleating hippiechick folksinger doing a pretentious song-cycle looks like sheer torture but I have to say this is a really nice record! While the vocal similarities to Stevie Nicks/sheep should have been a deal-breaker, I warmed up to it remarkably quickly and found her to be an emotive and relatively restrained singer. Despite some dodgy lyrics there are also some clever turns of phrase and the real attraction turns out to be the extremely well thought-out and effective arrangements provided by hubby Peter Schekeryk…all in all a compelling listen, and it’s discoveries like this that make these cheap vinyl searches worthwhile.

Where were you in ’95?

…Apparently I was at the Ga. Theater for at least a night, astride the inebriated juggernaut that was The Liquor Cabinet…pretty decent recording, performance has it’s moments, and embarrassing stage patter is included. HERE

I thought I had posted this here but it may have been on the old”Priceless Trax” blog…If you’ve already heard it I apologize. My “Enjoy Music” logs and records were destroyed in a catastrophic earthquake.

I can’t get no…

…Satisfaction.

Most of you know I loves me some Rolling Stones, have since the day Kelly Keneipp put an eight-track tape of “Hot Rocks” into heavy rotation in the ’66 Impala back in 1976 (or was it his Mom’s ’67 Pontiac “woody”station wagon, AKA “The Starship”?…Yes, the 70’s were like that y’all) . For a bit over a C-note I could go see ‘em  in June over at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. The truth is I have never even contemplated attending one of those big stadium shows since seeing ‘em at Soldier Field in Chicago on the “Some Girls” tour, so ahhh…no thanks.

The question I hear most people ask is “Why the hell are they doing this?” and the consensus is usually greed, vanity, or both. Not unreasonable assumptions and probably a big factor but, naive as it may sound, I think they still like doing this. It’s really all they’ve ever done and all they know how to do. And for all the shit about wheelchairs and Geritol, I think it’s incredible that they still want to. I understand that it seems embarrassing, maybe even pathetic. I understand that at this point they are utterly incapable of producing anything that comes within the same cosmos as their finest work, live or in the studio. Keith looks like a melting witch. But still…I can’t help pulling for ‘em.

BTW, there’s something a bit screwy with the blogamadoodle and it’s refusing to display photos…Sorry Karel, but that Wonder Woman costume malfunction post will have to wait…

Cheap Vinyl roundup, volume whatever…

IMG_2866

 

Yes, I have still been sniffing around in thrift shops and other various establishments in search of more LPs that I need like I need a root canal. What’s that?…y’know…a root canal. A big canal full of roots. What would I do with that aside from paddling a gigantic hot pepper canoe through it? Nothing, that’s what.

Alrighty, first outta’ da’ box is LA roots-punk outfit X…I initially turned my nose up at these folks as well as the Germs, Circle Jerks, Black Flag, and all those West Coast bands because I thought since the Pistols had broken up and the Clash and the Ramones (Remember End Of The Century?) were evolving away from short, loud, fast that punk was DEAD, DEAD, DEAD …I did finally take notice when somebody turned me on to Wild Gift and Under The Big, Black Sun. To my ears, even their first record never fit into whatever my definition of punk was at the timeConsensus seems to be that this record may not be quite as solid as the first three but I like it quite a bit. Solid songwriting, the Doe/Exene vocal combo was and remains quite unique, Billy Zoom pulls off the 50’s/ Garage/Punk  blend flawlessly, and the Bonebrake fellow is a machine behind the traps. What’s not to like? I saw ‘em live around the time of this record and they tore it up… The Bowie record I have only listened to once and I did not quite assimilate the folky, Donovan-on-steroids vibe. Nothing really stuck with me beyond the familiar title track. Needs a few more spins I s’pose…I was in England when “Brass In Pocket” was climbing the charts and I was taken immediately with Chrissie H.’s super-sexy delivery and that slinky little groove. When I heard the rest of the LP it wasn’t really what I was expecting but I was pleased nonetheless and after listening to it again for the first time in ages I find that it holds up nicely…I have been neither an AC/DC supporter or detractor( though I admit to being sick of a few of the hits). I always figured them for a “Ramones for the metal set” and after spinning Flick Of The Switch I will stick by that evaluation. These brutish little Australians only have a couple of moves but they execute them with total confidence and despite the impression that anyone could do this, no one does…at least not with the reptilian gusto they employ…I sort of missed out on the whole Jeff Beck/Yardbirds deal and I’m thinking that my introduction to him as a solo artist was probably Wired or Blow By Blow which, at the time, I had no interest in whatsoever. Truth, while still featuring ample examples of the Beck chops, is actually the dawn of the Jeff Beck Group, a sort of Led Zeppelin configuration that featured future Faces (ooooh how ’bout that alliteration, eh?) Rodney Stewart and Ronald Wood.These fancy boys are certainly not as powerful as the Lead Balloon boys but Rod sounds good, Beck shows off but not to excess, and I have to say that I mostly enjoyed my one spin through it and will most likely “go there” again… The Ohio Fucking Express! Need I say more? Well, I suppose I should. I was a clueless little preteen when the Classic Bubblegum Era was in full swing so I got to hear stuff like “1-2-3 Red Light” and “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” in real time on the AM airwaves…what’s funny is I thought that stuff was beneath even me since I was already diggin’ on Sly and CCR, but of course now I absolutely adore this simplistic, faux-psychedelic, garage poop. There is a tune on here that is perhaps the most blatant “Louie, Louie” rip-off ever attempted and it’s fabulous in a indescribably non-fabulous way. Five Bazooka Joe-pink stars! …It’s never easy forging ahead after your iconic group with an utterly distinctive sound and style disintegrates. The band David Johansen put together for this record was a spunky E-Street/Silver Bullet sort of outfit that played with a considerable amount of bar-band fire. That may sound condescending but it’s not meant to be because I like this live David Johansen Band record just fine…and I bet the folks that witnessed it in person enjoyed themselves immensely…EXCEPT for the ones that just couldn’t get past their longing for the sloppy majesty of Johnny Thunders and the Dolls, and I do sympathize. However, I’ll wager even they would agree this beats the pants off of Buster Poindexter…I have been less interested in C&W lately than perhaps anytime in the last 25 years or so but when I spied this Gary Stewart record for 3 bucks I snapped it up. I’ve been a fan of Mr. Stewart ever since hearing his classic honky-tonk tunes like “Single Again”, “Whisky Trip”, and “She’s Acting Single (I’m Drinking Doubles). Mr. Stewart had a lot of Hank in his vocal delivery and if you poke around the internetweb for info on his personal life, you’ll find some Hank-sized demons as well. Some of his later material flirted with Allman Brothers-style country rock but You’re Not The Woman You Used To Be is firmly in the hardcore honky tonk vein  and is all the better for it. The manic, maniacal, almost-verbose “Snuff Queen” has to be heard to be believed. And no, it is not a reference to snuff films, it is one of TWO references to women chewing tobacco contained on the record. Let’s see Nick Cave try that!…And finally we have Music from Big Pink, a surprisingly decent original copy for the price (two bucks). I hadn’t  listened repeatedly or intently to this record until sometime in the 2000s and had foolishly thought of these hairy dudes as Dylan’s back-up group whose most well-known songs (to me) were “Cripple Creek” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down , neither of which I was crazy about  (still not faves but appreciated). However this record just tore me up over time and when I hear those lethargic, Salvation Army horns on “Tears Of Rage” it makes me want to sail a raft down the Mississippi with a jug of corn liquor and a corn-cob pipe. And a bag of sandwiches.