Friday, October 20, 2017

Hear Me Cryin'





















The blues according to the Dead, featuring that legendary weirdo  Ron 'Pigpen' McKernan on vocals. Howling like a dire wolf of course. Whoohoo!
Grateful Dead - Smokestack Lightnin' (live Port Chester '71)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Children Of Jah



Heading over to Jamdown now with a fine new reggae compilation on the Kingston Sounds label, channeling that majestic mid-seventies rockers sound concocted by the Revolutionairies (Sly & Robbie et al) with legendary producer Bunny 'Striker' Lee. Prime example below.
Junior Delgado - Devil's Throne

Monday, October 16, 2017

All Aboard















We're going on a trip, jazz cats. Its distict Indian flavour is delightful, and what's more, this musical journey features the mighty Pharoah Sanders on sax. Satchidananda, in case you were wondering, was a famous swami Trane's widow was following at the time on her road to enlightenment.
Alice Coltrane - Journey Into Satchidananda

Friday, October 13, 2017

All Nite Long




















Ready for some classic rockin' cajun from East Texas and Southwest Louisiana, folks? Good, as the acclaimed Yep Rock imprint has just re-released the mighty cool Swampland Jewels compilation, which originally came out on the Goldband label back in '79. Let the bon temps rouler... and ride that crawfish if you dare.
Cleveland Crochet & Jay Stutes - Sugar Bee

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Anything Different





















Only debut albums should be self-titled in my book, but let's be mild for once and forgive the Weather Station. As it stands, the Canadian combo's fourth offering is simply too good to be cast aside for such petty reasons. With bonus points for lush but functional string arrangements and even a flute here and there, The Weather Station raises only one question really: might young Tamara Lindeman be Joni Mitchell's illegitimate offspring?
The Weather Station - Kept It All To Myself

Monday, October 9, 2017

Crunch Crunch



The fifth (!) Kozelek product of the year sees our quirky Ohioan get together with keyboardist Ben Boye and drummer Jim White. Works a treat. Chew on this wicked feline impersonation for starters: "When you're a cat you can sleep all day and say fuck all that..."
Mark Kozelek with Ben Boye and Jim White - House Cat

Friday, October 6, 2017

A Day Late











And a dollar short, as they say. "But it was soon patent to every observing mind that the ways of wealth were not the ways of honor..." Indeed. Presenting a greedy six pack + for your listening pleasure, my amigos da musica.
Wynn Stewart - Another Day, Another Dollar
David Wiffen - You'll Never Make A Dollar That Way (Mexico)
The Stained Glass - Dollar Sign Friends
The Mekons - $1,000 Wedding
Funkadelic - Funky Dollar Bill
Ka - $
Bonus track:
Johnny Dollar - Action Packed

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Hurts Like Hell





















The always fantastic Numero Group is at it again, this time with a monster compilation of Acid Nightmares. Recorded in the tail-end of the psychedelic sixties, these 18 mega-obscure stoner scorchers are sure to fry your brain. Do take this good-bad trip if you dare...
Bulbous Creation - Hooked

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Scar In The Sky





















Just got the sad news that Tom Petty has passed away. The Florida-born leader of the Heartbreakers died of cardiac arrest in an L.A. hospital. He was just 66. I've always had a weak spot for their eponymous debut album. Miss him.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Luna

Monday, October 2, 2017

White Light




















An old fave of mine by Nico, from the chanteuse's new wave-tinged Drama Of Exile album. "Her love lies like a broken glass..."
Nico - Henry Hudson

Friday, September 29, 2017

How I Feel





















Obscure sixties soul from Toronto by fine singer annex transgender rights pioneer Jackie Shane. "Tell her that I'm happy, tell her that I'm gay..." Collected works, which comes down to six singles and a steaming live gig, out now courtesy of the mighty Numero Group.
Jackie Shane - Any Other Way

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Darker Darkness





















The new Hiss album is getting rave reviews almost everywhere, but I'm not completely bowled over yet. It all sounds a bit tinny to my ears, which doesn't fit the fat Caledonian soul vibe they're after, while the new drummer sure could use a bit of funk in his playing. Don't get me wrong, the wonderfully titled Hallelujah Anyhow is a decent record, and one with an uplifting message at that, but it somehow lacks the magic of MC Taylor & crew's earlier work. Here's hoping it will grow on me.
Hiss Golden Messenger - Harder Rain

Monday, September 25, 2017

Talk To Me





















Time for a postpunk oldie ('80) by Pylon. Michael Stipe was a fan, but the big time never came for this cool combo from Athens, Georgia. You really do need their Gyrate album though, reissued on cd a couple years back as Gyrate Plus. Like wild good vibes indeed.
Pylon - Cool

Friday, September 22, 2017

Keep Dreaming





















Inexplicably, the opener of Chris Forsyth's new album proves nothing but a weak Television pastiche. I was just thinking that he could do so much better when things indeed picked up, culminating in the absolute highlight that is the title track: an inventive and hypnotic stretched-out thing of beauty. Here goes.
Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band - Dreaming In The Non-Dream

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mark My Words





















Luis Moneo Lara, younger brother of the more famous cantaor El Torta, is a rarity in flamenco circles, as he's not just a singer but an accomplished guitarist as well. On his first solo effort at 56, he's backed by his son Juan though. Great stuff con corazón from Jerez.
Luis Moneo - Mi Parecito Juan

Monday, September 18, 2017

Come On In Here





















Mr. Young originally decided not to release Hitchhiker because he felt these David Briggs-produced, single night acoustic '76 recordings sounded too stoned somehow for his liking. The majority of this strong collection of songs, featuring such classics as Campaigner and Powderfinger, would eventually find its way to later albums of course, but to hear this stripped-down, mellow and intimate session after all these years is truly a joy.
Neil Young - Hawaii

Friday, September 15, 2017

Time Hurts

















Just got the sad news that Grant Hart has passed away. Hüsker Dü's legendary singing drummer was only 56, way way too young. Miss him.
Hüsker Dü - Sorry Somehow
Hüsker Dü - Pink Turns To Blue
Grant Hart - 2541

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Meet Me Here





















"A falcon presses up against a birch tree in a thin white dress..." Bit late to the party, as this one came out last January already. Expertly produced by Iron & Wine's Sam Beam, Tift Merritt's Stitch Of The World is simply too strong to be overlooked though.
Tift Merritt - Proclamation Bones

Monday, September 11, 2017

So Far Away





















Back with some killer psych from 1969 by Brazil's Os Brazões, who rose to fame as tropicália star Gal Costa's backing band. For some reason they only managed to make one sole album, which is well worth tracking down.
Os Brazões - Tão Longe De Mim

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Castle Made Of Sand





















"Me pongo mirando al mar, veo como las olas unas vienen y otras van..." Moving in a southwesterly direction for some rest & recreation. First up: a flying visit to Jerez de la Frontera flamenco city, to attend the jubilee edition of the famous Buleria festival. Back in a week or two, hasta luego!
El Camarón De La Isla -  Como Castillo De Arena

Monday, August 21, 2017

On My Own





















The bearded one returns with an album that harks back to his earlier lofi efforts, and that's a good thing if you ask me. Welcome back, old buddy.
Iron & Wine - Bitter Truth

Friday, August 18, 2017

Kiss Your Boy





















Gillian Welch must be struggling with one of her frequent writer's blocks, as it's up to her trusted sidekick David Rawlings to deliver the goods again. Which he does with verve, backed by a rootsy full band and Welch helping out on percussion and background vocals. If you're in need of a delicious and diverse collection of Americana, look no further.
David Rawlings - Cumberland Gap

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Head 'Em Up


















This one's for the freaks: a lavish 5 cd box full of bluegrass treasure, brought to you by Richard Weize, a guy who used to work for the acclaimed Bear Family reissue label. They contain all the songs legendary bluegrass maestro Bill Monroe recorded for the Decca label between 1950 and '51, including numerous outtakes. Flowers are blooming indeed.
Bill Monroe - The First Whippoorwill (take 7)
Bill Monroe - Rawhide (take 6)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Just Like Jack The Ripper





















An intriguing, trippy take on a stone cold Dead classic. Settle down easy, why don't you.
Dead Rider - Ramble On Rose

Friday, August 11, 2017

Played The Part





















Probably my fave ever Lou Reed cover. What's yours, my amigos da musica?
Cowboy Junkies - Sweet Jane

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

For All Time













Just got the sad news that Glen Campbell has passed away. The legendary country singer, who started his musical career as a session player with the famous Wrecking Crew, made his best work with songwriter and producer Jimmy Webb. He was 81. Miss him.
Glen Campbell - Wichita Lineman
Glen Campbell - Where's The Playground, Susie

Monday, August 7, 2017

Smiled Down On Me





















Gone the clouds, as this is the reissue of the year as far as I'm concerned. Trust me on this: you really need this 1972 Britfolk masterpiece by Lal & Mike Waterson in your lives. Featuring Richard Thompson, Martin Carthy, Maddy Prior and Dave Mattacks amongst others, Bright Phoebus was rather misunderstood by the tradfolk mafia when it came out and soon faded into obscurity, but slowly but surely turned into a holy grail of sorts over the years. Now it's finally here in remastered glory on Domino records, coupled with a fine fine bonus disc with demos from '71. Don't miss out.
Lal & Mike Waterson - Bright Phoebus
Lal & Mike Waterson -  One Of These Days ('71 demo)

Friday, August 4, 2017

On My Side




















Neil's immortal Down By The River like you never heard it before. This is some seriously funky psychedelic stuff, brothers and sisters... Find it on a new compilation packed with goodies called Function Underground: The Black and Brown American Rock Sound 1969-1974.
Purple Snow - Down By The River

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Better Watch Out

















The Boys Next Door, precursors to the mighty Birthday Party, take on a Gene Vincent rockabilly gem. Instant mayhem of course. Like to hear the original, too? Thought so.
Boys Next Door - Cat Man
Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps - Cat Man

Monday, July 31, 2017

Punjab Calling




















Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan will always be the brightest star of the devotional music of the sufis called qawwali. Fascinating to say the least. "Ali is the one who gives dignity to those who do not have anyone to protect their dignity..."
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Ali Maula Ali Maula Ali Dam Dam

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I Like It





















Because you all need the blues according to Jessie Mae in your lives. Trust me, my amigos da musica.
Jessie Mae Hemphill - Feelin' Good

Monday, July 24, 2017

From On High





















Halfway in What A Long Strange Trip It's Been, Dennis McNally's absorbing and very extensive Grateful Dead biography, so high time to celebrate for a bit. Here's the Dead working in mysterious ways during an intense acoustic set at Harpur College back in 1970. Glorious gospel. Hey now!
Grateful Dead - Cold Jordan (live '70)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hot Heads





















It's one of 'em summers alright. Even the geraniums are wilting on the balcony, no matter how much water you give them. City definitely red hot, too hot... So how about a boiling, sweaty six pack for your listening pleasure, my amigos da musica? Hot time artwork as usual by the mighty Tinca.
The Soul Lifters - Hot, Funky And Sweaty
The Explosions - Stepping Hot
The Samurai - Fresh Hot Breeze Of Summer
Lee 'Scratch' Perry - City Too Hot
Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Hot Head
William Harris - Hot Time Blues

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Back Roads





















Johnny Darrell was one of the first ones to take on Willin', Lowell George's immortal ode to the truck drivin' way of life. Did a good job, too. That silvery guitar? The great Clarence White of course.
Johnny Darrell - Willin'

Monday, July 17, 2017

Nothing Like A Sucker





















Ann Arbor rock monster Big Chief was destined for greatness. They had the heavy wahwah grunge down pat, the Motor City funk in their pockets. Swagger and jive in spades, and some fine fine songs, too. I saw 'em live once in Amsterdam's Milky Way, where they used part of the Kiss firework display after befriending the pyrotechnics guy of the arena rockers in a red light district dive the night before. Good times, good show. Alas, they broke up in the mid-nineties, utterly frustrated with the music biz. Shame that.
Big Chief - Drive It Off
Big Chief - One Born Every Minute (Doc's Theme)
Big Chief - Fresh Vines
Big Chief - Map Of Your Failure

Friday, July 14, 2017

Go Round





















Time for some true American primitive guitar, recently released. Once a student of legendary picker Robbie Basho, Richard Osborn wasn't able to play his instrument of choice for 15 years as he hurt his hand in two separate accidents. Here's proof he hasn't lost his touch.
Richard Osborn - Still I Will Be Merry

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Miracle Workers





















Been awhile since we enjoyed a steaming six pack from the garage, so here goes. Fuzz guitars and tambourines, razor sharp organs and snotty vocals... What more could one possibly want? Sixties punk never goes outta style.
We The People - In The Past
Velvet Illusions - Velvet Illusions
New Fugitives - That's Queer
The Cryan' Shames - Ben Franklin's Almanac
The Brogues - I Ain't No Miracle Worker
Bohemian Vendetta - Enough

Monday, July 10, 2017

Ports Unknown





















A progfolk gem from one of the rarest records ever. Perry Leopold self-released his Experiment In Metaphysics album in a run of 300 copies in 1970 and managed to give most of them away from a Philadelphia street corner. Sail into the night...
Perry Leopold - The U.S.S. Commercial

Friday, July 7, 2017

From The Beaten Track





















The reincarnation of Nick Drake? Nah, but this young Windy City-based Brit in exile sure gets close sometimes. Tastefully arranged pastoral English folk with some seriously good picking in full-on Jansch/Renbourne mode. Enjoy the sounds of winter in high summer, my amigos da musica.
James Elkington - Make It Up

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Fingertips





















Back in the days, it was quite a surprise to hear the ruthless Sheffield electro postpunks of Cabaret Voltaire covering L.A. sixties punkers the Seeds. But they sure did an original and refreshing job.
The Seeds - No Escape
Cabaret Voltaire - No Escape

Monday, July 3, 2017

Moo!

















Presenting three cool songs with a bovine signature for your listening pleasure. Don't ask why. Just is.
The Suburbs - Cows
Melvins - Cow
Daniel Johnston - Walking The Cow

Friday, June 30, 2017

Diamond Sundrop





















Exploding crystal bubbles on the dreams of my tomorrows? Right on! Here's the lady barber, with a groovy track from a recent reissue on the always wonderful Light in the Attic label. Don't miss out.
Lynn Castle - The Forest

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Kiss It





















After a lengthy study hiatus, losing his trademark beard in the process, Robin Pecknold finally returns with his Foxes for their third album, and an ambitious one it is, too. The trademark heavenly vocal harmonies remain, but musically there's quite a difference: most of the tracks restlessly keep shifting shape, in ingeniously orchestrated arrangements. Progfolk indeed. I guess Crack-Up will keep us all busy for quite a while.
Fleet Foxes - Naiads, Cassadies

Monday, June 26, 2017

Très Belle





















A French chansonnier, doing it the Americana way? Check out Baptiste W. Hamon from Paris. The first track is an intriguing duet with the one and only Bonnie Prince Billy, while the second one movingly pays homage to his all-time idol. Got good taste, this mac.
Baptiste W. Hamon - Comme La Vie Est Belle
Baptiste W. Hamon - Van Zandt

Friday, June 23, 2017

Don't You Know





















Two giants of British folk guitar take on an Anne Briggs composition. "Tomorrow comes like yesterday..." Warm and lovely.
Bert Jansch & John Renbourn  - The Time Has Come

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Copy Of Zoso





















I've never been much of a hard rock enthusiast, but early Monster Magnet remains a guilty pleasure, their Spine Of God album from '91 first and formost. Maybe because David Wyndorfs brainchild was so over the top and drugged out it almost defied belief? 'Swings like god's own dick' was their motto at the time: an accurate observation if ever there was one.
Monster Magnet - Nod Scene

Monday, June 19, 2017

Tanta Ilusión





















In need of some duende in this hot weather, amigos? That's muy bien, as we've got a trio of fine examples of classic gypsy flamenco puro for you today. ¡Al cante!
Rafael Farina - A Pedirme Una Limosna
Manuel Jiménez Rejano - Cuando Escribo Mis Poemas
Ramon El Portugues - Porque Sabes Escribir

Friday, June 16, 2017

Roaming Gigolo





















At the end of this month, the renowned Tompkins Square label will re-release two rare albums by Will (a.k.a. William C.) Beeley. The folky Gallivantin' from '71 originally came out as a private press of 200 copies only, while the more countryrock-orientated Passing Dream ('79) was issued in small numbers on the tiny Malaco label. Incidentially, this was also the recording debut of future Dylan sideman Larry Campbell. Both, needless to say, are interesting to say the least. Cream on the cake dept: next year will see a brand new album by the long haul trucker from New Mexico.
Will Beeley - Gallivanter
Will Beeley - Standin' At The Station

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Did The Moonwalk



















Mark Kozelek collaborates with Justin 'Jesu' Broadrick to tackle the late Wacko Jacko. As usual, he pulls no punches. Weirdest song of the year?
Jesu/Sun Kil Moon - He's Bad