Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lost Gem: "Lay Down Burden" - Brian Wilson (1998)



"And if I had the chance...
I'd never let you go.
Just want you to know."
~ Brian Wilson ~




Brian Wilson, of course, was the leader of the Beach Boys...but he was much more than that.

Brian was a composer and innovator in the various ways of creating vocal harmonies and instrument dalliances that were once unheard of.

Absolutely groundbreaking stuff.

And he made the music sound so warm...fun and ridiculously simple to our ears...we forget how wicked-smart he was/is.

I'm a cheerleader...when it comes to Brian.

He practically disappears off the face of the earth in the seventies and eighties...battling demons of various ilk.  Almost forgotten.  Only to walk back in and successfully and bravely pull it all back together.

Brian Wilson's music makes us feel better. Simple as that.

Lost Gem:--> "Lay Down Burden"...is a perfect example of complex simplicity,,,making harmony and instrument sound Pre-School and Higher-Ed at the same-freaking-time.

The fragile genius with the egg-shell heart.

Have you heard this one?


So many years spent running away
How many times I wished I could stay
Too much emotion a hole in my heart
Feeling alone since we've been apart
And if I had the chance
I'd never let you go
Just want you to know

Lay down lay me down
Lay me down
Lay down burden.

How many things I wanted to do
How many times spent thinking this through
So many nights spent here by the phone
Wonderin' if you felt just as alone
And while some things have all been
Crazy from the start
It's tearing me apart

Just remember the way I held you
You're always in my heart.

Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lost Gem: "Homeless Brother" - Don McLean (1974)



"Smash your bottle on the gravestone...
and live while you can."
~ Don McLean ~


One of the more neglected albums from the seventies..."Homeless Brother" (1974) was from our Americana troubadour...Don McLean.

Filled with beautiful and catchy songs that sound like they've been around forever...McLean sings of the spirit in every man.

Don McLean is a genuine McTreasure.

Lost Gem:--> "Homeless Brother"...This mid-tempo folk gem flows effortlessly from verse to verse with McLean throwing out one great observation after another like candy at a Shriner's parade.

All the more relevant today...and one can't help but feel the chill of knowing..."there, but for the grace...".  A classic.

Have you heard this one?


I was walking by the graveyard, late last Friday night
I heard somebody yelling, it sounded like a fight
It was just a drunken hobo dancing circles in the night
Pouring whiskey on the headstones in the blue moonlight
So often have I wondered where these homeless brothers go
Down in some hidden valley where their sorrows cannot show,
Where the police cannot find them, where the wanted man can go
There's freedom when your walking, even though you're walking slow
Smash your bottle on the gravestone and live while you can
That homeless brother is my friend.

It's hard to be a pack rat, it's hard to be a 'bo
But living's so much harder where the heartless people go
Somewhere the dogs are barking and the children seem to know
That Jesus on the highway was a lost hobo
And they hear the holy silence of the temples in the hill
And they see the ragged tatters as another kind of frill
And they envy him the sunshine and they pity him the chill
And they're sad to do their living for some other kind of thrill
Smash your bottle on the gravestone and live while you can
That homeless brother is my friend.

Somewhere there was a woman, somewhere there was a child
Somewhere there was a cottage where the marigolds grew wild
But somewhere is just like nowhere when you leave it for a while
You'll find the broken-hearted when you're traveling jungle-style
Down the bowels of a broken land where numbers live like men
Where those who keep their senses have them taken back again
Where the night stick cracks with crazy rage, where madmen don't
pretend
Where wealth has no beginning and poverty no end
Smash your bottle on the gravestone and live while you can
That homeless brother is my friend.

The ghosts of highway royalty have vanished in the night
The Whitman wanderer walking t'ward a glowing inner light
The children have grown older and the cops have gripped us tight
There's no spot round the melting pot for free men in their flight
And you who live on promises and prosper as you please
The victim of your riches often dies of your disease
He can't hear the factory whistle, just the lonesome freight train's
wheeze
He's living on good fortune, he ain't dying on his knees
Smash your bottle on the gravestone and live while you can
That homeless brother is my friend.
That homeless brother is my friend.


Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lost Gem: "Grateful When You're Dead/Jerry Was There" - Kula Shaker (1996)




"Oh I'm telling you man...
Jerry was there."
~ Kula Shaker ~


Kula Shaker's debut..."K" (1996)...was psychedelia kool and mysticism magic...led by airman Crispian Mills.

Drawing from the best of that late sixties rock-and-roll whip...Kula Shaker...grabs ahold of the carnival rings and make it their own.

Call this awesome album...Psychetrippyticism Rock.


Lost Gem:--> "Grateful When You're Dead/Jerry Was There"...is an explosion of influences. Starting with some Hendrix riff spankage (courtesy of Mills)...and winding down with some Jerry Garcia trippage.

"Knock. Knock."
"Who's there?"
"Major Crankage...and I have orders for you to TURN IT UP!"

Have you heard this one?


I'm painting, I paint a picture in your mind
If you're driving roads to suicide, I know you can sympathise
If your love is a cheatin' and if you're blinded by the pain
Your honeymoon in summer is a picnic in the rain...
You'll be grateful when you're dead
Grateful when you're dead
Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba.

I'm shaking, I shake the spear before your eyes
Well if you know your history, you will read between the lines
If you're waiting for a vision, to illuminate your mind
To leave this world of misery, oh eave it all behind...
You'll be grateful when you're dead
Grateful when you're dead
Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba

Jerry was there,
Jerry was there.

You'll be grateful when you're dead
Grateful when you're dead
Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba

Oh I'm telling you man, Jerry was there
You could feel his presence everywhere
Oh I'm telling you man, Jerry was there
You could feel his presence everywhere
"I seen him man - looked me right in the face"

Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lost Gem: "Coney Island Baby" - Lou Reed (1975)


"When you're all alone and lonely 
in your midnight hour.
And you find that your soul
it's been up for sale
."
~ Lou Reed ~


Many fans that tested the RnR waters...on Lou Reed's earlier 1975 notorious release..."MMM"...surely felt...bitten by a copperhead and stung by a scorpion.

The experience was an unexpected head-shaker.

So when Lou dropped "Coney Island Baby" later that same year...most had to be thinking..."fool me once..." and spent their hard earned money elsewhere.

But cream almost always rises to the top...and Lou Reed proved once again why he is and always will be a savior to rock.

The door-breaking Lou Reed is a street reporter. A chameleon...challenging us to see life in colors not found in your basic crayon box.

Lost Gem:--> "Coney Island Baby"...the title track and it's all about the vibe. And this tune oozes with undeniable vibe.

Lou recites early memories over a stripped down arrangement that is unusually warm.  There is an emotion that comes through that feels clean...real.  Yet still has the familiar grimy odors of the "dirty blvd."

Finally, Lou makes it sound effortless...like anyone can do what he does.
But nothing's ever that simple.  Not really.

Have you heard this one?


You know, man, when I was a young man in high school
you believe it or not I wanted to play football for the coach
And all those older guys
they said he was mean and cruel, but you know
wanted to play football for the coach
They said I was to little too light weight to play line-backer
so I say I'm playing right-end
wanted to play football for the coach
'Cause, you know some day, man
you gotta stand up straight unless you're gonna fall
then you're gone to die
And the straightest dude
I ever knew was standing right for me all the time
So I had to play football for the coach
and I wanted to play football for the coach

When you're all alone and lonely
in your midnight hour
And you find that your soul
it's been up for sale

And you begin to think 'bout
all the things that you've done
And you begin to hate
just 'bout everything

But remember the princess who lived on the hill
Who loved you even though she knew you was wrong
And right now she just might come shining through
and the -

- Glory of love, glory of love
glory of love, just might come through

And all your two-bit friends
have gone and ripped you off
They're talking behind your back saying, man
you're never going to be no human being
And you start thinking again
'bout all those things that you've done
And who it was and what it was
and all the different things you made every different scene

Ahhh, but remember that the city is a funny place
Something like a circus or a sewer
And just remember different people have peculiar tastes
and the -

- Glory of love, the glory of love
the glory of love, might see you through
yeah, but now, now
Glory of love, the glory of love
the glory of love, might see you through
Glory of love, ah, huh, huh, the glory of love
Glory of love, glory of love
Glory of love, now, glory of love, now
Glory of love, now, now, now, glory of love
Glory of love, give it to me now, glory of love see you through
Oh, my Coney Island baby, now
(I'm a Coney Island baby, now)
I'd like to send this one out for Lou and Rachel
and all the kids at P.S. 192
Coney Island baby
Man, I'd swear, I'd give the whole thing up for you.


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lost Gem: "Midnight Moses" - Sensational Alex Harvey Band (1972)



"Underneath 
the green veranda...
singin' a song 
for mad Miranda."
~ Sensational Alex Harvey Band ~


"Framed" (1972) was Sensational Alex Harvey Band's..."Knock! Knock!  We're coming in!"...debut.

This eclectic Scotsman Alex Harvey challenged music fans to "...just try and stay out of their way, just try."  Impossible.

Their music was rock solid poundage and theatrical trippage.

Oozing with in-your-face confidence...SAHB...did whatever they wanted with brash and undeniable musicianship.

Lost Gem:--> "Midnight Moses"...is a sledge-driven ball-bruiser with Harvey throwing down the gauntlet...like Ernest T. Bass at a Window Breaker's Convention.
Zal Cleminson...the mime-faced, guitar-spank lord......brings the strings in wicked-creep fashion.
Enormously underrated...and way ahead.

Have you heard this one?


Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey
Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey
Underneath the green veranda
singin' a song for mad Miranda
They call me the Midnight Moses
everything I touch is comin' up roses

Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey
Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey

Tell me where I'm goin'
I've got no way of knowin'
I wish I was a forest ranger
danger, danger, danger

Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey
Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey

I had an afternoon fever
when I flew off to Geneva
I just took me a notion
to fly right across the ocean

They call me the Midnight Moses
but I'm comin' up...comin' up roses
I had an afternoon fever
when I flew off to Geneva.


Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Lost Gem: "Sail Away" - David Gray (1998)



"I've been talking drunken gibberish.
Falling in and out of bars."
 ~ David Gray ~


This is the ...bobble-headed Chesire cat...David Gray's fourth CD.  And a brilliant piece of work it is.

"White Ladder" fills the speakers with an array of addictive heady grooves..meant for icing it down for the evening.

It's strictly for three hours past sundown enjoyment.

DG throws down some mature music..both relaxing and romantic...and perfect for those occasional return visits into memories.

Lost Gem:--> "Sail Away"...is a wonderful vibatious groove tune...that says absolutely nothing new about love.

But David's conviction of the words...remind all of us...of that private bittersweet aching...for something we've lost...and how urgently we sometimes desire to have it back.

There are no do-overs in love........Ah...but just once.

Have you heard this one?


Sail away with me honey
I put my heart in your hands
Sail away with me honey now, now, now
Sail away with me
What will be will be
I wanna hold you now

Crazy skies all wild above me now
Winter howling at my face
And everything I held so dear
Disappeared without a trace
Oh all the times I've tasted love
Never knew quite what I had
Little Darling if you hear me now
Never needed you so bad
Spinning round inside my head

Sail away with me honey
I put my heart in your hands
Sail away with me honey now, now, now
Sail away with me
What will be will be
I wanna hold you now

I've been talking drunken gibberish
Falling in and out of bars
Trying to get some explanation here
For the way some people are
How did it ever come so fa
r

Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lost Gem: "Up And Down" - The Cars (1980)



"You might have been
a crack shot shooter...

hung up on your figurine."

~ The Cars ~


Tight red miniskirt thighs flash naughty possibilities off the wet city pavement.   Neon lights simply had no chance.

That was The Cars.  

Led by Rik Ocasek...The Cars were a ground-breaking band out of Boston with a heart of..."cold".

"Panorama" was The Cars third studio album...and the deliciously icy aura...throws a darker shadow on the oft-sentimental...tunnels of love.

And it was made for...urban high speed window-down cruising.

Midnight moments...both urgent and nameless. Yet oddly beautiful.

Lost Gem:--> "Up And Down"...is a brilliant example of new wave and classic rock meshing into an amazing ear-candy explosion...much bigger than its separate parts.

Have you heard this one?


Do you have to be so hard to get.
Especially with those emerald eyes.
You might have been a neon lover.
But you didn't have to advertise.

Well come on, well come on.
You might have been a crack shot shooter.
Hung up on your figurine.
Under the cold and darkly sky.
You're the only light I've seen.

Well come on, well come on.
And it happens every time.
I'm still hanging on the line.
Don't want to go up and down.

You don't have to be so tough.
I'll tell you when I've had enough.
You don't have to reek with charm.
You won't have to twist my arm.
Well come on, well come on.

Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
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Monday, April 5, 2010

Lost Gem: "Rat Bat Blue" - Deep Purple (1973)



"Hey baby,
what you gonna do...

when the lights go up on you ?"

~ Deep Purple ~


"Who Do We Think We Are"(1973) ...was the seventh studio album from Deep Purple.

And it had the dubious task...the impossible task...of trying to follow up their signature high-mark..."Machine Head"...with another slam-dunk.

And, guess what? This extremely overlooked Deep Purple rock-pounder...almost pulls it off.

This is classic rock at its blistering best...with several songs that will have new listeners scratching their head wondering why these tunes from..."WDWTWA"...have been criminally ignored.

Lost Gem:--> "Rat Bat Blue"...is a get-out-of-the-way...Purple rocker.
Catch some awesome Blackmore riffing. And wicked...I mean wicked...Jon Lord keyboard play.

Classic vocal rock god...Ian Gillian proves why he couldn't be replaced. Add bassist Glover and drummer Paice...and you have a pretty good recipe for churning rock butter.

Have you heard this one?


Hey baby, what you gonna do
When the lights go up on you ?
What's your name, can I drive you home ?
Sweet woman, are you all alone ?
You're the one for me
I'm gonna keep you busy as a bee, could be, could be
Rat bat blue

Now, get up woman, don't be slow
It's getting late and I wanna go
No cause for acting big
Got to love, got to live
Stick around with me
I'm gonna show you things you never thought you'd see,
you see
Rat bat blue
You're so fine

Get out ! You didn't understand
I'm a hard loving man
No way you can satisfy
The way you look, the way you lie
And when you shut the door
Make sure I don't see you 'round here no more
Rat bat blue
Alright


Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lost Gem: "Gotta Get Away" - Randy Meisner (1980)


"It's been too long a time.
I've been ready to go...
But I just couldn't face it.
~ Randy Meisner ~ 


"One More Song" (1980)...unfairly found itself a room near the ice machine in the..."Motel Six discount bin".

Maybe it was the changing musical climate...but...ex-Poco/Eagle...Randy Meisner's music was sadly being dismissed.

The underrated solo work of  Randy Meisner ...was certainly as enjoyable as any of the other Eagles who tripped off alone on their own vinyl spins.

Meisner's work is filled with honest...earth-strong songs...and may surprise many how well the music still holds up. 

Lost Gem:--> "Gotta Get Away"...is Meisner's humble farewell to "life in the fast lane"...and captures nicely the warm down-to-earth...L.A. country-rock sounds...proving this Eagle still knew how to fly.

Have you heard this one?


I gotta get away
Gonna leave this town today
It's been too long a time
I've been ready to go
But I just couldn't face it
My back's to the wall
Ooh, don't you know
I can't take it no more

This time in my life I know I won't be coming home
Can't you see in my eyes I'm gonna have to go it alone
I don't know where I'm going
All I know
Is that I gotta get away from here

There ain't nothin' in these dusty streets
But there's something in these dreams
I don't know what they mean
They come and they go
And they keep haunting me
Night after night
I turn them away
But they keep calling

This time in my life I know I won't be coming home
Can't you see in my eyes I'm gonna have to go it alone
I don't know where I'm going
All I know
Is that I gotta get away from here

Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
Follow Me On  FACEBOOK  &  TWITTER