Wednesday, July 17, 2019

I Went...SI--SI--SIRIUS...All The Way Home (again)

(a 20-minute jaunt)

"We Will Shine" - Alvin Lee · Mylon LeFevre / "On the Road to Freedom" (1973)

What a surprise to hear a song culled from this lesser-known album.  It was at Moose Antiques where I found this one.  I'd been walking around for an hour and didn't want to leave without buying something and saw this album propped by one of those black-iron kitty-cat doorstops on the floor.  It was a blind purchase apart from recognizing the name, Alvin Lee.  Nothing speed here, though.  Turned out to be a fine country-rock chill album.  A lot of familiar names hang out here.  George Harrison, Ron Wood. A few members of Traffic and other names I can't remember right now.  Go check it out.  Aged very well.

"(I Know) I'm Losing You" - Rare Earth / “In Concert” (1971)

Yep. Sirius played the entire 14-minute unedited live version.  Driving hard on the highway is a great way to experience this song.  I first heard this while listening to “JT” play it on his “Saturday Night All-Request” show on what was once called...107.3 The Road in Wichita.  I do have this album.  Part of it, anyway.  I pulled a rookie and didn't check the vinyl until I got home.  The jacket was missing the second record.  (Bin-diggin' and what with the gimmix buckles and all, ya know?)   I don't play it often, but I like knowing I have it.  Anyway, highway driving was made for Rare Earth.

"Blue Light" - David Gilmour / "About Face" (1984)

New to me, although the song did chart out at #62.  The horns caught me by surprise.  The song is very, very...high energy.  Nothing like “There's No Way Out Of Here”...which I adore.  It almost makes me think Townshend or Gabriel passed by David's studio and shouted, "Ya gotta get some horns, mate!”   "Blue Light" is just okay, but not what I'm really looking for.  How 'bout the album?


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Sunday, July 14, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Stardancer" (1972)

"Stardancer" - Tom Rapp (1972)

This was Tom Rapp's second solo album, but his Pearls Before Swine bandmates are in the studio on at least three of the songs.  The music is mostly atmospheric folk-psych bends with unique Tom Rapp flavor that Pearls Before Swine fans will recognize.  It's not all gold.  There are a couple of songs that really feel out of place and break the spell.  But overall,  this is an album that will get played.  Side one is definitely the stronger spin, but the opening title track on side two offers a very nice mind-haunting experience, too.  If you like Pearls Before Swine, you'll probably enjoy this. 

"Stardancer" (back)

Blue Thumb label

Original record sleeve.

"For The Dead In Space" - Tom Rapp / "Stardancer" (1972)

A1  "Fourth Day of July" 4:55
A2  "For the Dead in Space" 4:05
A3  "Baptist" 5:00
A4  "Summer of '55" 2:13
A5  "Tiny Song" 2:33
B1  "Stardancer" 5:42
B2  "Marshall" 2:15
B3  "Touch Tripping" 2:58
B4  "Why Should I Care" 3:07
B5  "Les Ans" 1:50

Tom Rapp - Vocals, Guitar
Charlie McCoy - Guitar, Dobro, Organ, Banjo, Harmonica, Toy Piano, Session Leader
Mike Leech - Bass Guitar, String Arrangements
Reggie Young - Electric Guitar
Jim Colvard - Electric Guitar
Steve McCord - Guitar, Musical Advisor
David Briggs - Piano
Bobby Wood - Piano
Jim Isbell - Drums, Percussion
Buddy Spicher - Fiddle, Electric Viola, Electric Violin
Weldon Myrick - Steel Guitar
Florence Warner - Vocals
Pearls Before Swine (on tracks 3, 6, 7):
Art Ellis - Flute, Wind Chimes, Congas, Vocals
Harry Orlove - Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals
Bill Rollins - Cello, Vocals

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Keep The Faith" (1972)

"Keep The Faith" - Black Oak Arkansas (1972)

If I had to confess a rock-n-roll album guilty pleasure.."Keep The Faith” by the Black Oak Arkansas gang would be one of the first on my list.  I get it.  Jim 'Dandy' Mangrum and that “back-of-the-throat snarl” is a real tangled octopus.  But somehow, I've gotten over it and now welcome that voice as just being part of the whole batshit BOA experience.  It's crazy, but dang if they're not sincere about it.   And it's sometimes easy to forget, the bandmates backing frontman Jim Dandy can seriously fire up the grill.  Those guys handling the heavy hardware are probably one of the more under-appreciated musicians in rock.  I kind of dig early southern rock anyway.  And the fact that BOA throws in a little dab of southern psych dust into the mix makes “Keep The Faith” all the crazy better.

I like using Black Oak Arkansas when I have outside work to get done.  I can seriously get some outside shit accomplished with BOA crankin'!  Try it sometime.  There are no real surprises here.  You know what you're gonna get before you even pick up the album.  Look, Black Oak Arkansas ain't never gonna be confused with Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers Band.   And their lyrics will never be confused for Dylan.  But that‘s all right.   Black Oak Arkansas, and this album, in particular, might be a guilty pleasure...but every now and then...a little 'batshit-crazy' is just what the doctor ordered.  Now, what album is your guilty pleasure?

"Keep The Faith" (back)

"Keep The Faith" (inside)

ATCO label

"Fever In My Mind" - Black Oak Arkansas / "Keep The Faith" (1972)

A1  "Keep the Faith" 3:10
A2  "Revolutionary All American Boys" 3:34
A3  "Feet on Earth, Head in Sky" 4:14
A4  "Fever in My Mind" 2:49
A5  "The Big One's Coming" 4:00
B1  "White-Headed Woman" 4:57
B2  "We Live on Day to Day" 5:16
B3  "Short Life Line" 4:51
B4  "Don't Confuse What You Don't Know" 4:45

Jim "Dandy" Mangrum - vocals, washboard
Harvey "Burley" Jett - guitar, banjo, piano, vocals
Stanley "Goober" Knight - lead & steel guitar, organ, vocals
Rickie "Ricochet" Reynolds - 12 string rhythm guitar, vocals
Pat "Dirty" Daugherty - bass guitar, vocals
Wayne "Squeezebox" Evans - drums

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Sunday, July 7, 2019

TCCDM Dig and Flip: "My Friend Dahmer" (2012)

"My Friend Dahmer"

(I stumbled upon a good-sized box filled with a variety of graphic novels at an estate sale. No official count as I've just been pulling from the box when I find time to read one.  Afterward, I post the book and go from there.)

"My Friend Dahmer"
by Derf Backderf
2012 by Abrams Books
224 pages

Dahmer, of course, is Jeffrey Dahmer...the serial killer responsible for 17 murders and having them for snacks.  But this isn't about that ugly period of his life. This is about the ugly school years prior to his mic drop.  This graphic novel is a fascinating story about Jeffrey Dahmer's school years as observed by one of his actual school mates, Derf Backderf.  It's a collection of memory snippets as remembered by the author.  Nothing really gory, but the creepy is very near the surface.  Backderf and a few of his “real” friends...would include Dahmer in their circle as almost comedy relief for their own enjoyment.  Dahmer was mostly a loner.  Lonely and socially awkward.  And from what I gathered from this highly recommended story...he welcomed the small group's attention and willingly played the goose.  Look...Backderf doesn’t exactly come off smelling like a bouquet, but he does offer Dahmer something he didn't find anywhere else.  Time and attention.  Other than that, Jeffrey Dahmer was a poster boy for isolation.

"My Friend Dahmer" (inside)

The black and white artwork is distinctive and very cool.  Even in high school, Backderf was drawing pictures of Dahmer and adding them to school posters and papers...even back then!  I found this nugget especially fascinating.  This graphic novel also includes an actual photograph from the school yearbook, but I'll say no more about that.  "My Friend Dahmer" offers us a truly unique perspective of an individual already cut from the herd before his formidable school years even got started.  Like everyone else, I have no sympathy for Dahmer, the serial killer.  But it's not too terribly difficult to feel something for the guy during those ‘early' years.  Extremely unsettling.

"We're Going To Be Friends" - White Stripes / "White Blood Cells" (2001)

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Friday, July 5, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Easy Rider Stk" (1969)

"Easy Rider" (1969)

I'm really glad I own this album, although I probably display it more than actually spin it.  As soundtracks go, the music is a perfect fit for the nomad counter-culture film.  Classic rockers like Steppenwolf and The Byrds and Jimi Hendrix Experience are on here.  I actually picked up this album for the Electric Prunes contribution..."Kyrie Eleison” ...which first appeared on their "Mass in F Minor" album. (My Electric Prunes Interview)  I love the biker/drug soundtracks that seemed to sprout wings during the late 60s.  And this is a fun one to own.

The “Easy Rider” movie, by the way, was recently shown at the Wichita Orpheum which is always a cool place to hang.  For the small few who aren't hip, the film included...Peter “I know what it's like to be dead” Fonda.  Jack “Here's Johnny” Nicholson.  And Dennis "Don't get caught watchin' the paint dry" Hopper...who also directed this film.  They play biker nomads who are searching for the meaning of freedom...smoking dope and stealing daughters.  The film has become a cult classic and is fun to revisit from time to time.
FWIW...The Band's song...“The Weight“ (which was in the film) could not be licensed for the soundtrack, so the song was included, but performed by the group, Smith. This band released two albums (1969-'70) with their best-known song being “Baby, It's You.”

"Easy Rider" (back)

Dunhill-ABC label

"Kyrie Eleison" - The Electric Prunes / "Easy Rider" clip (1969)

A1  Steppenwolf - "The Pusher" 5:48
A2  Steppenwolf - "Born to Be Wild" 3:29
A3  Smith - "The Weight" 4:29
A4  The Byrds - "Wasn't Born to Follow" 2:03
A5  The Holy Modal Rounders - "If You Want to Be a Bird" 2:35
B1  The Fraternity of Man - "Don't Bogart Me" 3:02
B2  Jimi Hendrix Experience - "If Six Was Nine" 5:32
B3  The Electric Prunes - "Kyrie Eleison" 4:02
B4  Roger McGuinn - "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" 3:03
B5  Roger McGuinn - "Ballad of Easy Rider" 2:13

The Byrds
The Holy Modal Rounders
Fraternity of Man
Jimi Hendrix Experience
The Electric Prunes
Roger McGuinn

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

I Went...SI--SI--SIRIUS...All The Way Home (again)

(a short jaunt)

"Brainwashed" - George Harrison / "Brainwashed" (2002) 

The last song on George Harrison's last album.  He rifles off verses in a rhyme cadence similar to the way Bob Dylan would stream-of-conscious an idea out. And the song ends with his familiar Middle Eastern chants.  Nothing preachy and not unpleasant.  I enjoyed all the sounds and vibes.  His son Dhani joins him.  And the way the song (album) fades out seems rather fitting.  George passed before the album was released but he did leave good instruction.  I enjoyed this song and now am curious about the rest of the album.

"Permanent Waves" - The Kinks / "Misfits" (1978)

The Kinks are giving us a bit of a sneak-peak of the new wave phase to come.  It's another one of their "fashion songs" that Ray Davies loves to tongue-in-cheek.  In this case, "Permanent Waves" suggests getting yourself as quickly as possible to an Eric Fisher (or a place of your choice) for a major hair makeover.  I had to double-check when I got home to see if I owned this album.  I do.  It was the follow-up to “Sleepwalker” (1977) which I quite liked.  But holding “Misfits” in my hand, the only thing I could remember from the album was "A Rock & Roll Fantasy."   So that gave me a reason to spin it again.  Always great to have a purpose.

"This Ain't the Summer of Love" - Blue Öyster Cult / "Agents of Fortune" (1976)

 "Feeling easy on the outside, but not so funny on the inside.
Feel the sound, pray for rain...for this is the night we ride.”
So opens the classic “Agents Of Fortune” album.  This BOC song is short and in your face.  And a great reason to kick your bike and go.  At night, of course.  Always at night.  Love the Buck Dharma solo and the Joe Bouchard burning bass.  Everyone knows this classic album, so it was especially nice to hear something pulled besides “the cowbell song!”  And a good reason for everyone to revisit my Joe Bouchard interview.


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Sunday, June 30, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Next Of Kihn" (1978)

"Next of Kihn" - Greg Kihn Band (1978)

I play “Next Of Kihn” all the time.  And like the album artwork suggests, Greg Kihn hadn't been pinned down yet.  The album sounds like Kihn is just doing his thing.  No diggity.  It leads off with a fun garagey type song and then fills the rest with catchy rockers and jangly alt-rock Jayhawks kinda stuff.  And Kihn also tosses in a couple of excellent floaty, trippy jams as well.  One is the haunting 6 1/2 minute gem...”Remember.”  The song is timeless and you feel it.  And it's probably his best song.

Many albums with songs that move around too much in their genre can be trouble.  But in this all works.  “Next Of Kihn” is one of those 'personal' fav albums that didn't get all that much love like others yet to come...but it's still the one I reach for when I need a fix.  Like certain albums are want to do.  Plus it's on the Berserkley label which is cool.  Not an expensive album to pick up at all, but it's starting to become harder to find in the wild.
FWIW...The deep cut gem "Remember" was recorded live in one single take.

"Next of Kihn" (back)

Berserkley label

"Sorry" - Greg Kihn Band / "Next Of Kihn" (1978)

A1  "Cold Hard Cash" 2:40
A2  "Museum" 3:33
A3  "Remember" 6:30
A4  "Chinatown" 4:44
B1  "Sorry" 3:21
B2  "Everybody Else" 5:08
B3  "Understander" 6:08
B4  "Secret Meetings" 5:59

Greg Kihn - guitar, vocals
Dave Carpender - guitar, vocals
Steve Wright - bass, vocals
Larry Lynch - drums, vocals

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

TCCDM Dig and Flip: "Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil" - John Berendt (1994)

"Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil"...John Berendt (1994)
388 pages

In this non-fiction novel, the author sets up shop in the 'quaint little town' of Savannah, Georgia to cover a murder trial that occurred in one of those majestic southern mansions that Hollywood is so fond of using for their movies.   The 1981 murder involves a high-profile socialite millionaire and a young hustler and shaker.  The courtroom is point and counterpoint drama.  All the evidence introduced.  The prosecutions' gambit.  The defenses' stratagem.  And of course, I wanted the truth to win out, but honestly, there was no side to truly pull for so I was mostly wearing apathy's grin by the end.

John Berendt can definitely put together some fine sentences and paragraphs.  However, the first part of the story was a whole lot of  'so what.'  I was three shy of the “100 pages or quit it" mark before things finally started to kick in.  I'm glad I stuck around.

Truth is, Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil is as much about all the eccentric Savannah characters that wander past the author's radar as the violent crime that occurred in their community.  A flambeau transvestite.  A very meticulous voodoo witch.  I loved the voodoo witch!  (As an aside, after I finished the book...I played Dr. John's "Gris-Gris" side two.)  Socialites with their problems.  "Who to invite?  Who to snub?"  The occasional nosy neighbors.  And just the general everyday goings-on in this community all make for a wonderfully strange and quirky backdrop for what, to an outsider like me, was a rather less than an extraordinary murder case.  Don't misunderstand.  I dug the intricacies of the trial...when the author got to it...but it was surprisingly the added accessories in the story that save this novel.  And what we take away...besides the obvious 'money is power' that Savannah is breathtakingly beautiful and painstakingly protective of all its old ways and customs.  That the word 'change' will always be a noun, never a verb.  And maybe by some cosmic mumbo-jumbo...the town was subliminally put on trial as well.

"After Midnight" - Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77 / "País Tropical" (1971)

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Thursday, June 20, 2019

I Went...SI--SI--SIRIUS...All The Way Home (again)

(a short jaunt)

"Aisumasen (I’m Sorry)” - John Lennon / "Mind Games" (1973)

I'll be honest. “Mind Games”...the album...was a bit of a slow grower for me.  I just wasn’t feeling it.  And I'm one who's loyalty leans into the John Lennon camp, too.  Maybe because I'd heard the title track so many times on the radio, when I finally got around to picking up the album, I'd put the title track on such a high pedestal nothing could ever compare.  So yeah, this album has been a slow grower for me.  Anyway, I’ve just never really warmed up to this song.  Every time I try to listen to mind starts to wander.  That is until it gets to the tasty guitar part at the end.  That's David Spinozza playing the guitar.  Among a lot of other things he's done, he's the guitar you hear on Dr. John's...”Right Place, Wrong Time.”  RIP to The Night Tripper.

"The Bug" - Dire Straits / "On Every Street" (1991)

I always thought this was Mary Chapin Carpenter's creation.  Nope!  This was a Dire Straits song from the band's final album.  I'd never heard the original version up until now.  Both sound just fine and dandy by me.  Both have a bit of that rockabilly shuffle thing goin' on.  Mark Knopfler makes it look so dang easy.  The band missed a cool opportunity for a great cartoon cameo with Fred and Barney.  “The Bug” might've been the next big dance craze down in Bedrock...for the Dire Straitstones.  “In Bedrock.  Splat! Splat!”

"Know You Rider" - Hot Tuna / "Hot Tuna" (1970)

This song is from Hot Tuna's self-titled debut...which was surprisingly recorded from a performance captured at a small intimate coffee shop.  Even live, this music sounds very much studio quality.  Very clean. Very clear.  Very quiet.  Some have said that Hot Tuna's..."Know You Rider" is the definitive version of this Blind Lemon Jefferson classic.  And it sounds pretty good, but this is the only version I've heard so I am no one to judge.  Hot Tuna was guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Cassidy...both longtime members of Jefferson Airplane.  I bet I've passed over this album at least a dozen times.  Mainly because it's such an ugly album cover.  Totally not fair, but pass it by, I do.  Truth be known, I get more pleasure from the electric Hot Tuna.  I don't know what their best album might be. The only one I have is the album that looks like a box of laundry detergent.  Haven't played it in a spell, but I believe I was okay with it.   But like I said, I like my Tuna plugged in.


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Monday, June 17, 2019

TCCDM In The Mailbox..."All Of Them Monsters" / Chancellorpink (2019)

"All Of Them Monsters" - Chancellorpink (2019)

"All Of Them Monsters" (2019) is a tricky balancing act between being madly in love and just being mad.  Chancellorpink (Ray McLaughlin)...singer/songwriter/musician from the great state of PA...has released his 5th album and it is some shimmery underground pop-rock that carries vocals that are very heavy neo-lounge.  Imagine Bowie and Bachrach walking into the Twin Peaks diner for a late night slice of cherry pie.  It's curious like that and I dig it.

"All Of Them Monsters" (back)

"All Of Them Monsters" (inside)

"All Of Them Monsters" (CD)

This is indie stuff, for sure.  But well-done indie.  Each song seems to create a wonderful conundrum of being catchy and slightly askew at the same time.  Not everything works, but Chancellorpink delivers more wheat than chaff.  The aptly titled, "Here To Haunt Me" and the lite-fuzz guitar gem "A Little Payback" are especially tight.  Also, the Alan O'Day song, "Angie Baby"...a #1 hit for Helen Reddy in the '70s...was an excellent and welcome surprise cover.  Overall,  "All Of Them Monsters" is an entertaining spin that rewards with every listen.  An absolute grower.  The CD package is beautiful and is available digitally as well.  (HERE)   Not a bad tightrope walk.  Go get you some.

"A Little Payback" - Chancellorpink / "All Of Them Monsters" (2019)

Chancellorpink Merchandise

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers