Longtime Doom & Gloomsters will probably already have this, but if not, click the above link for a re-up of this weird/wonderful compilation of unreleased Shakey in the 80s.
Let me recommend this thing! A dreamy new collaboration between Olivia Mancini and Randy Scope chock full of lush sounds, lovely vocals and extremely pretty melodies. Olivia and I go way back as the rhythm section of Vassar College’s legendary Freezermen, but don’t let my personal bias sway you — this is excellent stuff!
Miles Davis - trumpet
Gary Bartz - saxophones
Keith Jarrett - keyboards
Michael Henderson - bass
Ndugu Leon Chancler - drums
Charles Don Alias - percussion
James Mtume Forman - percussion
Via Infinite Fool
Bob Dylan - Massey Hall, Toronto, Canada, April 20, 1980
The full, pro-shot video of this legendary concert — maybe one of the best examples of Dylan in his full Gospel period, with a killer band featuring Spooner Oldham, Fred Tackett, Jim Keltner, Tim Drummond. Not to mention the fierce backup singers, whose opening set you should not skip. None of the hits are played, this is just straight-up born again Bob. And of course, there’s this sermon, delivered before “Solid Rock”:
“All right. Anyway, I read the Bible a lot, you know, I mean it just happens I do and…So it says certain things in the Bible that I wasn’t really aware of until just recently. And, you know, at universities, you know, it’s like…they have a higher learning people there. They teach them different…like philosophies, so people they study all these different philosophies like Plato and who else now? Who? Jimmy Reed. Well, I can’t remember all their names. Nietzsche and those people like that. Anyway, in the Bible it has specific…it tells you specific things and in the Book of Daniel, and in the Book of Revelation, which just might apply to these times here. And it says certain wars are gonna, soon about gonna happen. I can’t say exactly when, you know, but say, pretty soon anyway and…So, at that time, you know, it mentions a country to the furthermost north and it has its symbol: the bear. It’s also is spelt R O S H in the Bible, now, this is written quite a few years ago, so it can’t really but apply to one country that I know. Unless you know another country that it can apply to. Maybe you do, I don’t. But then there’s another country called, I can’t remember what the name of it is, but it’s in the eastern part of the world and it’s got an army of 200 million foot soldiers. Now there’s only one country that that could actually be. So anyway, I was telling this story to these people. I shouldn’t have been telling it to them, I just got carried away. And…I mentioned to them, “Well, you all watch now because Russia is gonna come down and attack the Middle East.” It says this in the Bible. And I been reading all kinds of books my whole life, magazines, books, whatever I could get my hands on, anywhere, and I never found any truth in any of them, if you wanna know the truth. But these things in the Bible they seem to uplift me and tell me the truth. So I said this country is gonna come down and attack, and all these people, there must have been 50,000…[voice of band member): “If there was one.”] If there was one, that’s right. No, I don’t know, there wasn’t 50,000, there was, I don’t know, maybe 3,000, they all just booed. You know, like they usually do, they just booed. I said Russia’s gonna attack the Middle East and they all went “boo”. They couldn’t hear that, they didn’t believe it. And a month, a month later Russia moved their troops into, I think, Afghanistan, it was, and the whole situation changed, you know. I’m not saying this to tell you, you know, that they was wrong and I was right or anything like that. But these things that is mentioned in the Bible I pay mighty close attention to. So it does say that, talking about this man here called Anti-Christ. Now we’ve had a lot of previews of what the Anti-Christ could be like. We had that Jim Jones, he’s like a preview. We had Adolf Hitler, a preview. Anyway, the Anti-Christ is gonna be a little bit different than that. He’s gonna bring peace to the world for a certain length of time. But he will eventually be defeated to. Supernaturally defeated. And God will intervene. But you’re still gonna have to be aware of these things. You need something strong to hang on to. I don’t know what you got to hang on to, but I got something called a solid rock to hang on to that was manifested in the flesh, and justified in the spirit, and seen by angels, preached on in the world.”
Head over to Aquarium Drunkard for this very highly recommended Soft Boys gig! And if you haven’t already got it, my Soft Boys, Vegetable Men covers comp is still available…
After a little bit of radio silence, the great rare music blog Ghost Capital has re-emerged, seemingly better than ever. Tons of great stuff to check out. I think I’m going to dig the ultra-scarce Phil Yost LP on Takoma first!
Very casual but very amazing broadcast featuring these two American heroes, shortly after they were “rediscovered.” Must’ve been a fairly bizarre experience for them, after having been ignored for 30+ years, to suddenly be on the radio, interviewed by fawning fans. James, in particular, seems to be taking it all in a stride, though — as if he expected it to happen all along. Al Wilson, later of Canned Heat, pops up too. A very worthwhile listen via Midnight Cafe.
Get on the good foot with this recording of the James Brown Revue, via Big O. Cool that the full JB’s warm-up set is included here. If you’ve ever wanted to hear Maceo and Co. play hits like “Theme From Shaft” and “Backstabbers” today is your lucky day, my friend. Also tons of good Danny Ray flamboyance to enjoy — and of course, Mr. James Brown himself is incandescent.
Eyewitness Account: “Fripp proceeded to melt the walls, including a rendition of what I believe was “1983,” with Fripp ending it by adding progressively longer muted silences, allowing you to hear only his rapid solo guitar arpeggios in the gaps. I recall as the silences got longer, he also progressively lowered his solo guitar volume, until you could only hear the sound of him picking the strings with no amplification. Quite amazing to have absolute total silence with that many in attendance. When he finally stopped, he received a standing ovation, which ended the performance. He may have returned for an encore, but that was undoubtedly the highlight. Another point of interest, at the August 12th show (and possibly at this show), a then completely unknown Jim Carrey opened the show with an incredibly entertaining stand up comedy routine.”
Here’s something fun — the Midnight Cafe has a speculative version of an unreleased 1975 Van LP, which was to be called Mechanical Bliss, Naked In The Jungle, Not Working For You or Stiff Upper Lip. And yes, the album art above is the same as the album art that graced the cover of Steely Dan’s Royal Scam — it was originally created for Van Morrison. Weird, right? Fagen and Becker later claimed it was “the most hideous album cover of the seventies, bar none (excepting perhaps Can’t Buy A Thrill).” Haha, those guys. Anyway, this is a pretty cool collection — the very detailed details of which can be found over at the Midnight Cafe. Some tunes would appear on subsequent LPs, some tunes would be finally released on the outtakes collection The Philosopher’s Stone and others would be lost to the mists of time — like the truly strange title track. Van has a weird sense of humor, that’s for sure.
“Across The Tappan Zee” - Glenn Jones with Laura Baird
Lovely rendition of this clawhammer duet, which appears on Jones’ My Garden State. Lots of love for the mighty Tappan Zee Bridge!
Dig it — I reviewed three fantastic/fresh Takoma School/American Primitive releases for Aquarium Drunkard: new ones from Chuck Johnson and Glenn Jones plus the latest amazing Imaginational Anthem comp. Johnson’s Crows In The Basilica is out now on Three Lobed and you can go listen/buy at their Bandcamp site. Seriously beautiful stuff. You can also check out this killer live performance from last year’s Hopscotch Festival. Since we’re on the subject — is there some sort of fund drive I can do here so I can go to this year’s festival? It is pretty much the musical event of my dreams. HELP ME REALIZE MY DREAMS.
3 Blocks From Groove Street
Yo La Tengo rolls through my neck of the woods next week in support of their very very nice Fade LP. I’m excited! Incredibly, it’s been close to six years since I last saw YLT — they don’t make it out to Colorado all that often and I think the last time they were here my wife had just given birth to our daughter. Excuses, excuses! Anyway! Today, I’m digging back into ye olde Sunsquashed Archives to bring you this vintage recording of Georgia, Ira and Stephan Wichnewski playing The Cubby Bear in Chicago, IL in the bygone spring of 1988. They almost sound like a totally different band, to be honest — and a pretty ferocious band at that. The New Wave Hot Dogs-heavy set is packed with snarling guitars, snarling vocals and other snarling things. It’s a blast. Stick around ‘til the end for Ira’s solo (but very electric) rendition of the Jackson Browne favorite “Somebody’s Baby.”
This is also a good time to plug Jesse Jarnow’s excellent bio of the band, Big Day Coming. Buy!
I wrote a bit about Superior Viaduct’s highly recommended reish of Henry Flynt’s avant hillbilly opus, Graduation, over at Aquarium Drunkard. A really awesome, one of a kind record. If you want to sample some of Henry’s other work, head over to Ubu Web, where there are some out of print recordings and a great WFMU interview from 2004.