29 October 2010

Quiet Village 'Circus Of Horror'

With shop window displays turning the lurid colour of squeezy cheeze and more cheap tat on sale than you can shake a sweatshop-produced witch's broomstick at, its hard to ignore the fact that Halloween is upon us. Rather than rant on about the rise of this mawkish, consumerist, Americanization of the calendar, we may as well embrace it, if only to dust off records like the 'Monster Mash' and the immortal Ray Parker Jr and get ragingly drunk. Here's a derailed ghost train ride through the darker corners of the psyche, featuring pagan howls, fire-stoking guitar, siren samples etc. courtesy of  Quiet Village - AKA Joel Martin and Matt Edwards, whose Fragments Of Fear mixtapes are a must have for Halloween party kitchen atmos.

28 October 2010

Townes Van Zandt 'Who Do You Love?'

A decent cover of the country rock standard immortalised by Ronnie 'The Hawk' Hawkins in his performance during The Band's 'Last Waltz' motion picture. "I walk forty seven miles of barb wire, use a cobra snake for a necktie, got a brand new house on the roadside made out of rattlesnake hide." A hit of badass bragging that is unlikely to win the affections of the fairer sex hailing from outside the southern states of America or the Australian outback. 

27 October 2010

David Crosby 'Cowboy Movie'

David Crosby 'Cowboy Movie'

Crosby's first solo album featured contributions from an all-star cast including Jerry Garcia, Graham Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Phil Lesh and Paul Kantner - filling the famous Topanga Canyon with cosmic vibes and orgiastic sighs. Trying to think of an equivalent geographical hub of American creativity nowadays and the only thing that springs to mind is Silicon Valley - just up the road in California state. Big Dave was more into microdots than microchips at the time, as the album title suggests.

20 October 2010

Dr. John 'I Walk On Guilded Splinters'

Often covered, never bettered - Dr. John AKA The Night Tripper stirs a big wooden spoon into his hypnotic voodoo gumbo and ladles out a burbling portion for the masses. Prepare to have your heart melt like butter and st-st-stutter to this winding, fire engulfing masterpiece.

19 October 2010

Al Green 'Georgia Boy'

In 1977 Al Green departed from his famed Hi Rhythm Section band and long time producer Willie Mitchell, tried his hand at lead guitar and penned songs for 'The Belle Album'. The album was well received by critics but never sold in nearly the same volumes as earlier works, despite being arguably his most assured work since 'Call Me'. 'Georgia Boy' is a sweet piece of down-home country soul with a loose bluesy jam feel that gets right underneath the skin and demands repeated listens.

16 October 2010

D.R. Hooker 'Forge Your Own Chains'

D.R. Hooker 'Forge Your Own Chains'

Psychedelic, self-help, lounge-jazz invented and laid to rest in the duration of one song. D.R. Hooker rocks a brave look post-Manson that is half cultish troubadour, half prophet. Hard to tell whether he's addressing himself or someone else in this song. They're selling hippie wigs in Woolworths man.

15 October 2010

Big Bill Broonzy 'Don't Tear My Clothes'

Photograph © Terry Cryer

Big Bill was evidently a sharp dresser and couldn't abide his threads being torn to pieces by horny mamas clamoring to see if his bedroom skills were as nimble as his musical ones. A nice problem to have one might imagine.

12 October 2010

The Velvet Underground 'Foggy Notion'

The Velvet Underground 'Foggy Notion'

Cale-era Velvets with a barrage of kinetic rock 'n roll - Foggy Notion was one of the tracks off their unreleased album for MGM Records, due for release in 1969, but only reaching the light of day in the '80s. Doug Yule cuts particularly loose on lead guitar, 'metronomic' Mo tucker looks after percussion whilst Reed sings about calamine lotion.

11 October 2010

US69 '2069: A Spaced Oddity'

US69 '2069: A Spaced Oddity'

Astro-travelling closer to the sought after US69 LP 'Yesterday's Folks' on the Buddah Records label, a gem that successfully melds psych moods with funk, jazz and eastern flavours without being a convoluted crock of shit. This one is ideal fodder for star-gazing, meteorite-spotting and quiching out in gardens. Check the title track for tough breaks, breezy reed pieces and tongue-in-cheek vocals. In fact check out the rest of the album, its a real grower. 

07 October 2010

The Elcados 'Chokoi & Oreje'

The Elcados 'Chokoi & Oreje'

This psychedelic groover is taken from the compilation pictured above, ominously titled 'The World Ends' - the latest installment on the always-excellent Soundway re-issue label. The material is sourced from Nigeria in the '70s when musicians were absorbing the psychedelic rock and funk sounds of the West and wringing them back out in their own viscous incarnations. The backdrop was one of intense political strife and upheaval following internal power struggles and the fallout of the Biafran War. This is a feral six-minute taster of the kind of musical responses being posted to the unrest and the West, that manages to reference James Brown, Hendrix and Fela Kuti whilst retaining its own beguiling individuality. Compilation alert!

06 October 2010

Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood 'Sand'

Lifted from their 'Nancy & Lee' comp/album from 1968, a package of timeless, haunting and elusive songs. 'Some Velvet Morning' will be known to many, the video of which presents Nancy as the very human incarnation of the goddess Phaedra. Hazlewood was a psychedelic cowboy and pop hit master, who rocked the fat slug tash like only a few in history have successfully managed (mainly cricketers as it happens). 

05 October 2010

Brian Auger 'Listen Here'

A pinch and a punch for the first of the month from Brian Auger with added slaps, kicks, snares, organ and wild guitar noodlings for good measure.