Sunday, September 25, 2005

Well here we are again!

Chicken Shack - Jahrhunderthalle, Frankfurt, 17-11-69
The vocals on this stereo tape made from the audience may sound a little distant, but you know what? Who cares!! Stan Webb's guitar is clear and his playing is just damn fantastic! Don't miss this one. Enjoy this amazing piece of Rock & Roll history.

1 Intro (by Fritz Rau, from Lippmann & Rau Concerts)
2 Instr. (without S. Webb)
3 Midnight Hour
4 Slow Blues Instrumental
5 Reconsider Baby
6 Instrumental (up tempo)
7 Have you ever loved a Woman
8 Tell Me
9 Nightlife
10 Worried About My Woman

Stan Webb: vocals, lead guitar
Paul Raymond: keyboards
Dave Bidwell: drums
Andy Sylvester: bass


Rory Gallagher & Taste - The Irish Werewolf (1970)
Recorded at the Stadthalle in Basel Switzerland in February 1970, this bootleg has Taste doing some of the best numbers from their albums "Taste" and "On The Boards", plus an eight minute version of "Pontiac Blues". I wonder what this "Irish Werewolf" bit is all about.


Brainticket - Cottonwood Hill (1971)
This, the first album by Brainticket, may be one of the most psychedelic Krautrock albums of all time. The first two tracks, "Black Sand" and "Places Of Light", sound like the type of psych/prog material you would expect from an album of this time, but the rest of the disc, "Brainticket" is a long, repetitive, almost minimalistic, variation on a chunky organ riff, lotta percussion and sound effects and sound collages. Atop all this a woman almost incoherently acts out a 'trip', vividly relating her experiences of paranoia, power, and confusion. "Something's missing - find it! find it!" she screams. Hot stuff to some of us but probably just annoying to others LOL!


Virus - Revelation (1971)
This five piece Krautrock band play some pretty trippy and heavy German prog with heavy, swirling, organ grinds, extensive guitar work-outs, flute playing, bass riffs and complex drumming. Vocals are sung in English and German and used sparingly really with some chanting and talking all adding to this cosmic experience. Overall sound is like a cross of Hendrix and Pink Floyd. Album seems aptly titled, the music being inventive and full of surprises.


Jane - Together (1972)
Jane was Germany's most popular group during the 1970's and after hearing this debut album it's easy to understand why. They play a kind of progressive, melodic, hard rock that has no equal. Breathtaking guitar solos, powerful keyboards, strong polished arrangements are all Jane trademarks. This is classic Krautrock.


Various Artists - Monster Bop
I didn't have a Garage Sale/Thrift Store find this week so I uploaded this disc for those that may need some different Halloween music. This thing has 30 tracks, mostly 1950's rock groups doing songs that are mainly concerned with graveyards, werewolves, monsters, gorillas, and such. Nothing as cool as "Monster Mash", but hey.


OK then! Until next week!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Chicken Shack - Imagination Lady (1972)
After the departure of Christine McVie Chicken Shack became, for this album anyway, a pretty ferocious power trio. This has always been my favorite Chicken Shack album. Some great originals like "Daughter Of The Hillside" and some well-chosen covers provide a launching pad for an all-out assault of throbbing basslines by John Glascock, pounding rhythms by drummer Paul Hancox, and the wah-wah driven guitar of Stan Webb. This short-lived incarnation of Chicken Shack really ground it out.


T2 - It'll All Work Out In Boomland (1970)
This is an amazing, overlooked gem of early seventies progressive rock. The guitar playing of Keith Cross is well-informed, inventive and mature, and it is hard to believe that he was only 17 years old when this record was made! The standout track is "No More White Horses", but there really aren't any weak tracks here. The musicianship is top notch, the arrangements are complex and powerful, and the vocals fit the music perfectly.

Part 1 Part 2
Steamhammer - Junior's Wailing
Steamhammer was arguably the best of the "British Blues" bands of the late sixties and early seventies. Unlike many of their contemporaries though, these guys weren't purists, they were adventurous, maybe even daring. The tracks on this compilation of material from 1970 & 1971 are full of moody and atmospheric guitar, harmonica, and flute solos. The best track is "Riding On The L & N", in which the band amplifies a basic blues number into a 10 minute long heavy duty mungo that is full of surprises. This is electrified white-boy blues at it's best.

Part 1 Part 2
Message - From Books And Dreams (1973)
OK some Krautrock! Message was an oddity in the German underground scene in that the band's roots were British. This was the band's follow-up to their excellent debut, "The Dawn Anew Is Coming", and combines a heavy British progressive style with the best of krautrock innovation. I hadn't listened to this for over a year probably until the other day, and I was kinda shocked how much I liked it! This is a real strong album, very energetic.


Necronomicon - Tips Zum Selbstmord (1972)
More Krautrock! If the band's name doesn't give you a clue, the title translates to something like "How To Commit Suicide" I think, so you have some idea of what we're dealing with here. This is progressive rock that is raw, dark and sinister sounding. There are pleasant, melodic, acoustic bits rubbing shoulders with thundering, aggressive dark rock with some choirs chiming in here and there, all to great effect. Not for everybody, but worth checking out if you are interested in vintage progressive rock. Includes bonus tracks.

Part 1 Part 2

Red Knuckles & The Trail Blazers - Shades Of The Past (1988)
This is my Garage Sale/Thrift Store find this week. Gotta get a catchy name for these things. Anyway if you aren't familiar, Red Knuckles and company are the alter egos of the bluegrass band Hot Rize. Both bands are the same guys playing different material and instruments. This is some real nice retro-sounding country music, without any of the campiness or corniness that I was expecting. There's a brilliant country version of the Beatles' "Nowhere Man", and some real catchy tunes here. I had the song "Wigwam Wiggle" running through my head all day!


OK that's it I guess. Later!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Wow it's almost Tuesday again, can you believe it? Whatever. Let's get going here -

Taste - Taste (1969)
Taste - On The Boards (1970)
In the late sixties Rory Gallagher fronted a power trio with Richard 'Charlie' McCracken on bass and John Wilson on drums. This band recorded two studio albums before imploding, and these albums are as different as they could be. The first one, "Taste" is raw. Really raw. I'm no expert, but it sounds like it was recorded live to four-track in a small studio, with little if any overdubbing or post production. Rory's guitar playing could be heavy-handed, some of the leads seem to wander, there might have been some slight issues with tuning, but Taste had soul, there's no denying that, and there are moments of greatness on this first record. The second record "On The Boards" has Rory showing a little restraint, the production is slick, the songwriting is markedly improved, with a sometimes jazzy, experimental thing going on. Personally I think "On The Boards" is the best thing Rory Gallagher ever did. As different as these two albums are, if you like guitar playing you need them both.


On The Boards:

Golem - Orion Awakes (1973)
Alright. Now for some Krautrock. All indications are that Golem's "Orion Awakes" is considered an obscure classic of psychedelia from the German underground scene of the early seventies. Well I don't really know what to make of that. If I even had one microgram of a mind-altering substance in my body, I would be afraid to listen to this thing!. There are no long drawn-out spacy instrumental jams, no songs about love and peace, the emphasis is on trance-inducing, hammering, pulsing, pounding grooves. This is some real wild stuff and deserves a listen. Interestingly, this was produced by one Genesis P Orridge, later of Throbbing Gristle.


Gäa - Alraunes Alptraum (1973)

Gäa (In English Gaia) was a suitably cosmic band of German deep-space voyagers who released one brilliant album (Auf Der Bahn Zum Uranus - On The Road To Uranus) to absolutely no acclaim, then broke up. "Alraunes Alptraum" (something about a nightmare) is a collection of unreleased material that is just as good I think as the stuff on their regular release. Gäa was the real deal, the real Krautrock deal. Enigmatic lyrics sung in German, spacy jams, quiet passages, crescendoes, climaxes, amazing instrumental interplay. If you are remotely interested in Krautrock, you should check this one out.


OK that's it for today, I hope some of you will give this German stuff a try. Smell you later!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Pink Floyd - The Man & The Journey (1969)
Recorded at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, on 17 Sep 1969, this disc has material that is rarely seen on Pink Floyd bootlegs and the sound quality is decent, if not pretty good.

1. Daybreak
2. Work/Afternoon
3. Doing It
4. Sleep (intro)
5. Sleep
6. Nightmare
7. Daybreak/Part Two
8. The Beginning
9. Beset By The Creatures Of The Deep
10. The Narrow Way/Part Three
11. The Pink Jungle
12. The Labyrinths Of Auximenes
13. Behold The Temple Of Light
14. The End Of The Beginning


Black Sabbath - Black Night In San Francisco (1970)
The first four tracks are from an appearance on the German television program "Beat Club", the rest are from a show at the Fillmore West on November 27 , 1970. Good sound quality. Bitrate 128.

1. Black Sabbath
2. Blue Suede Shoes
3. Paranoid
4. Iron Man
5. Paranoid
6. N.I.B.
7. War Pigs
8. Black Sabbath
9. Iron Man
10. Behind The Wall Of Sleep
11. Hand Of Doom
12. Fairies Wear Boots
13. Wicked World


The Ramones - CBGB's 03-31-77
Decent quality audience recording, got this off the internet a couple years ago.

1. Intro
2. Loudmouth
3. Beat On The Brat
4. Blitzkrieg Bop
5, I Remember You
6. Judy Is A Punk
7. Havana Affair
8. You're Gonna Kill That Girl
9. Carbona Not Glue
10. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
11. Commando
12. 'Tuning'
13. Babysitter
14. Glad To See You Go
15. Shock Treatment
16. Listen To My Heart
17. California Sun
18. I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You
19. Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World


OK that's it til next Monday or Tuesday.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

I forgot this was Labor Day weekend! I'm going to make next week's post a little early. Have a nice holiday all.

The Monks - Black Monk Time (1966)
This may be the greatest rock album ever made! Or maybe the best punk album ever, 10 years before punk. The Monks weren't so much "ahead of their time" as they were "outside time" like they were from another universe or something. Recorded in the waning months of 1965, while the rest of the world was singing about love, the Monks were singing about how much they hated their girlfriends! Instead of growing their hair long and wearing beads and colorful clothes, they shaved tonsures on the tops of their heads and dressed all in dark colors, like medieval monks. This music was created in a vacuum - when this album was made there was absolutely nothing to compare it to. I mean you really have to hear it to get an understanding of how insane these guys were. What is it? Punk? Noise Rock? I remember reading somewhere that the Monks possibly influenced the pioneers of Krautrock (the Monks were American ex-G.I.'s in Germany)! This is the version with 19 tracks. It's Black Monk Time!

Bitrate 320 w/covers Part 1 Part 2

Antrobus / The Flying Hat Band - Buried Together (Split CD)
Antrobus were formed in early '71 when Britain's heavy progressive rock underground scene was in full flight. The band existed for only one year, and they had no real rehearsal place and that's hard to believe while listening to the nine tracks that were never offically released. They are playing at an amazingly high standard and had accomplished song-writing abilities. Like some of their comrades, they are using flute and organ but the songs are more focused on heavy riffs and bluesy vocals. A hard-driving rock approach, similiar to that of Stray mixed with Alice Cooper Band and early Pentagram, was adopted but the ability to contrast their sound with classy melodic harmonies is apparent too. And when Antrobus were playing hard and heavy, they were an awesome force. Mixed up with a few sound-effects and a lot of guitarwork, this band had created an effectively heavy ass-kickin' sound in their short lifetime.

The second band on this split-CD is The Flying Hat Band. This was the group where Glen Tipton played, before he left to join Judas Priest. The Flying Hat Band existed for only a short time and the featured four songs are dated back to '74. The songs are also released here for the very first time, so that one can listen to some ferocious guitar leads and intense riffing. But this band doesn't sound like a Priest forerunner. "Lost Time" is fine acoustic bluesy song, with a slight Latino vibe, while "Reaching for the Stars" got a groovy rhythm-line and the album closes with excessive guitars in "Coming of the Lord". This powerful outfit wasn't around long enough to gain the respect that the energy and drive of their music demanded. This CD was released by the German re-issue label SPM International, who have also re-released such bands as Groundhogs, Janus, Bodkin, T2 and more, and the English label World Wide Records.

Part 1 Part 2

Hank Williams - Famous Country Music Makers
This is my "Bargain Bin" find of the week. The generic packaging makes it look like one of those cheap Truck Stop CD's, but this is really a terrific disc, containing 18 radio transcriptions of Hank, Audrey, and the Drifting Cowboys doing some fantastic country, gospel, hillbilly & blues tunes. From the opening track, "Happy Rovin' Cowboy", which was the Drifting Cowboys' theme, to the closing number Sally Goodin, you'll be tapping your feet or crying or getting religion. This is a great CD.


OK that's it - see you next week I hope.