Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Various - Fast 'n' Bulbous: A Tribute To Captain Beefheart (1988)
This long-out-of-print, rarely seen album from the early days of compact discs is possibly one of the best tribute albums ever. Well at least it's one of my favorites! A couple famous bands, some not-so-famous, a few dimly remembered 80's bands and some you never even heard of. Maybe one or two of these groups were formed just for this release it's hard to tell the packaging is skimpy with no liner notes at all. Whatever. Whether these bands are trying to emulate Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band or whether they're trying to own the material, every track is a success. Every track smokes. Shreds. Rocks. You know what I mean. This is a very enjoyable album and I don't think you need to be a hard-core Beefheart fan to get into it.

1. Zig Zag Wanderer - The Dog Faced Hermanns
2. Ella Guru - XTC
3. Clear Spot - The Scientists
4. Ice Cream For Crow - The Membranes
5. Long Necked Bottles - The King Of Luxembourg
6. Sun Zoom Spark - The Beat Poets
7. Hot Head - That Petrol Emotion
8. China Pig - The Primevals
9. Electricity - Sonic Youth
10. Harry Irene - Good And Gone
11. Frying Pan - The Screaming Dizbusters
12. Big Eyed Beans From Venus - The Mock Turtles
13. Gimme That Harp Boy - The Beat Poets
14. Crazy Little Thing - The Primevals


Part 1__Part 2

Monday, October 12, 2009

Crabby Appleton - Crabby Appleton (1970)
"Perhaps it was the name of this band that limited their success. It certainly wasn't because of their musical product as the 1970 debut album by Crabby Appleton is a truly remarkable collection of songs. Unfortunately, all that most people know about Crabby Appleton is their power pop hit "Go Back". "Go Back" is a quality opening cut yet it is only a small piece of the package that is so much more complex and fulfilling.

I was 14 years old when I first heard this release and it opened my eyes to a broader spectrum in the musical rainbow. It was Christmas 1973 and Crabby Appleton had already disbanded without me even knowing that they had existed. I was excited when I opened a gift from overseas relatives containing two tapes: Grand Funk "We're An American Band" and this release by Crabby Appleton. I was quite familiar with the heavy rockin' sound of Grand Funk but had no idea what to expect from Crabby Appleton. Playing these two tapes back to back was a shock to my system as the musical contrast was obvious. There was nothing heavy about Crabby Appleton and still I couldn't ignore the fact that they were smokin'. I was intrigued by the complexity of Crabby Appleton's music which on the surface appeared to be smooth and simple. The interplay between the guitar, keyboards, and percussion fascinated me. This was a band that blended so many elements into their music that I couldn't help but to be hooked.

Thank goodness Collector's Choice decided to release this gem on CD along with the band's second album "Rotten To The Core". I now have them both and am pleased with not only the music of Crabby Appleton but with the product that Collector's Choice has issued. The sound quality is very good and the liner notes are informative. Regarding the debut album, the liner notes provide really good insight into the formation of the group and into the similarities in the styles of certain songs on this release with bands like Santana, Left Banke, and The Zombies. Yet, what I hear at times in the performance of keyboardist Casey Foutz are shades of Atomic Rooster, The Doors, Iron Butterfly, Steppenwolf, and even ELP (Check out "Hunger For Love" for the Emersonesque ending.). Percussionist Flaco Falcon adds a touch of Santana and El Chicano to the mix while singer-guitarist Michael Fennelly's performance on "Go Back" reminds me a lot of the guitar work in Cream's "I Feel Free".

This is one of the few releases that I can listen to multiple times back-to-back and not get tired of hearing it. There is a lot to like on this one and I strongly recommend it. " (CU82 amazon.com)

1. Go Back
2. The Other Side
3. Catherine
4. Peace By Peace
5. To All My Friends
6. Try
7. Can't Live My Life
8. Some Madness
9. Hunger For Love
10. How Long Will It Take

Felix "Flaco" Falcon - Percussion
Michael Fennelly - Guitar, Vocals
Casey Foutz - Keyboards
Hank Harvey - Bass
Phil Jones - Drums


Part 1__Part 2

See ya

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Dreamworld - On Flight To The Light (1980)
"DREAMWORLD is the project of Klaus and Rolf Fichter, two brothers who are multi- instrumentalists. You may remember them as the leaders of the band YATHA SIDHRA who put out a significant album called "Meditation Mass" back in 1972. Well they played in different groups after that then decided to create their own music in 1980 calling their band DREAMWORLD. Here's a quote from them about their music: "We think that our music expresses a deep sensibility for fundamental human desires auch as warmth-tenderness - happiness and love. DREAMWORLD wants to uncover beautiful things in ever-changing variations". So like "Meditation Mass" this is very laid back but more modern of course. There are sections I like much more than their previous project but also passages that I'd like to forget. The singing and lyrics are below average in my opinion but we get some really good instrumental sections. "Ways Of Love" features acoustic guitar, bass and light drums before the keys and vocals join in. Electric guitar and organ 3 minutes in to end it. "Beneath Silence And Storm" is divided into 3 parts. "Part I" opens with strummed guitar and wind as flute comes in. Great sound here. Vocals before 3 minutes. "Part II" opens with piano as drums and spacey synths take over a minute in. Organ joins in too as we get that classic Krautrock flavour. Nice. Spacey sounds swoosh in late. "Summerdays" opens with birds chirping as this trippy beat comes in. Flute after a minute. Vocals 2 minutes in. It's not the best tune on here. "Dreamworld's Symphony" is a 4 part suite to end it. "Introduction" has these light keys as flute comes in followed by synths and percussion-like sounds. "Between Trees And Oiseaux" has some harmonica in it with bass, percussion and keys. Vocals after 2 1/2 minutes. "Un Reve se Realise" sounds like SANTANA early with all the drums and percussion. I really like the drumming after 3 minutes. Electric guitar before 4 minutes. Vocals and organ 6 minutes to the end. Good song. "Endless Tenderness" has this laid back beat with acoustic guitar, keys and flute. Vocals 3 minutes in. Very much a hit and miss affair for me but well worth 3 stars. It's better than I thought it would be." (progarchives.com)

1. Ways Of Love (3:27)
Beneath Silence And Storm
2) Part I (4:34)
3) Part II (6:03)
4. Summerdays (4:36)
Dreamworld's Symphony
5) Introduction (2:56)
6) Between Trees And Oiseaux (5:01)
7) Un Rêve Se Réalisé (6:47)
8) Endless Tenderness (4:28)

Klaus Fichter - Vocals, Electronic Drums, Congas, Cymbals, Gong, Synthesizer, Guitar
Rolf Fichter - Vocals, Synthesizer, Mellotron, Vibraphone, Flute, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass


Part 1__Part 2

See ya!