Tuesday, June 6, 2023

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Tin Tin" - Tin Tin (1970)

"Tin Tin" - Tin Tin (1970)

Tin Tin's self-titled album was released in 1970, and though the music sounds like it's trying to play catchup, the square is a surprisingly good spin.  Tin Tin was a duo from Australia who wrote and sang their own songs and most of the tracks stand-alone pretty well.  

An overall baroque-ish pop aura surrounds many of the songs, but there is some occasional psych dust tossed around, albeit light.  A couple of tracks that flash some grit.  Plus one quivery mellotron hit song that I didn't know I had ever heard before.  As you might have guessed, there is a tad of Bee Gees vibe going on as well. (The album was produced by Maurice Gibb after all.)  But hints of The Easybeats and Small Faces can also be discerned.  

"Tin Tin" - Tin Tin (back)

Favorites include:
"Toast And Marmalade For Tea"
"She Said Ride"
"He Wants To Be A Star"

My copy is a very clean white-label promo.  The album cover has a round promo sticker and also a hype sticker for "Toast and Marmalade for Tea."  I first saw this record at a record swap with a $6 price tag, but I left it behind.  When it was time to split, I'd forgotten all about the record.  A few weeks later I saw the album again and bundled it up with a few others for even less.  "Tin Tin" is one of those low-dollar purchases that help make up for the expensive ones.

White Promo ATCO label

SD 33-350
ST-C-702033-A  ▽  AT  aB  PR  W
ST-C-70234 C  LW  ST-C-20  AT  SP PR

"She Said Ride" - Tin Tin / "Tin Tin" (1970)

A1  "She Said Ride" 2:42
A2  "Swans On The Canal" 2:13
A3  "Flag / Put Your Money On My Dog" 4:24
A4  "Nobody Moves Me Like You" 1:55
A5  "Tuesday's Dreamer" 1:22
A6  "Only Ladies Play Croque" 2:21
B1  "Family Tree" 2:31
B2  "Spanish Shepherd" 2:36
B3  "He Wants To Be A Star" 2:12
B4  "Toast And Marmalade For Tea" 2:22
B5  "Come On Over Again" 3:30
B6  "Manhattan Woman" 3:08
B7  "Lady In Blue" 3:30

Steve Groves - vocals, acoustic guitar, drums; sound effects
Steve Kipner - vocals, piano, drums, harpsichord, bass, guitar, mellotron, percussion
Maurice Gibb - bass, piano, harpsichord, mellotron, drums
Gerry Shury - orchestral arrangement (A2, B4, B7)

Good stuff.

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Saturday, June 3, 2023

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Electric Band" - The Glass Family (1969 - Rei 2015)

"Electric Band" - The Glass Family (1969 - Rei 2015)

The Glass Family was a trio from the West Coast area that opened for almost everybody but was never the bride.  They have an occasional Doors-like vibe going on, thanks to some tasty keyboard sprinklings here and there, mixed with some of that cool Country Joe hippie west-coast swag.  But that description is only my lame attempt to guide you in the general direction.  Each song surprises with its arrangement choice and tends to avoid many of the songwriting tropes of the 60s.  The square has groovy moments of a floatadelic spirit, but not without its moments of fuzz bite and sting as well.  Some might not catch the magic, but dude, the magic is all over the place.  It's clear from the hippie house on the album cover that all friends are welcome...but don't cause any shit that you're not prepared to clean up as the fella holding the plunger implies.  

I picked this up a couple months ago at The Record Ship.  And the square was not even in the New Arrivals.  How cool was that?  Just mixed in with the other LPs in the alphabet bins.  (A reminder to take some time to flip, you just never know.)  The Glass Family's debut..."Electric Band"...is a fantastic psych album.  Original copies will pull the high dollar if you can find one.  But this 2015 Maplewood Records reissue is a fine way to go.  

"Electric Band" - The Glass Family (back)

Favorites include...
"House Of Glass"
"Once Again"
"The Means"
"Agorn (Elements Of Complex Variables)"

Some reissues are getting a little bit out of hand price-wise, but for $25, this double LP in a gatefold sleeve hits the sweet spot.  The first LP is a reissue of the original album.  The second LP is archival recordings of never released tracks.  In fact, the second LP was supposed to be the band's first album...but their record company turned it down.  Inside the gatefold are photographs, an interview, and plenty of band information. 

"Electric Band" - The Glass Family
(inside gatefold)

Maplewood Records label
(vinyl one / vinyl two)

Cat #  
TGS - A  MWR0001 A  S 94790  RE-1  37658.1
TGS - B  MWR0001 B  S 94791  RE-1  37658.2
TGS - C  MWR0001 C  S 94792  RE-1  37658.3
   TGS - D  MWR0001 D  S 94793  RE-1  37658.4   

"House Of Glass" - The Glass Family / "Electric Band" (1969) 

A1  "House Of Glass" 3:12
A2  "Born In The U.S.A." 2:32
A3  "Once Again" 2:40
A4  "Sometimes You Wander (Henry's Tune)" 3:01
A5  "The Means" 4:11
A6  "Do You Remember?" 3:22
B1  "I Want To See My Baby" 3:46
B2  "Lady Blue" 2:48
B3  "Passage #17" 2:32
B4  "Mr. Happy Glee" 2:37
B5  "Guess I'll Let You Go" 2:48
B6  "Agorn (Elements Of Complex Variables)" 4:12
C1  "Where'd You Get That Smile?" 3:19
C2  "School Book Blues" 2:51
C3  "Funny Feeling" 3:34
C4  "Baby's Gone" 3:11
C5  "Traveling" 5:06
D1  "Two x Two" 4:01
D2  "The Day That The Earth Stood Stoned" 4:05
D3  "Nightwrap For Dee" 3:55
D4  "Highway 1" 2:58
D5  "House Of Glass" (Alt Vers) 3:05

Ralph Parrett - vocals, guitar
David Capilouto - keyboards, bass
Gary Green - drums, percussion

Good stuff.

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Sunday, May 28, 2023

TCCDM Dig and Flip: "Stinger" - Robert R. McCammon (1988)

Robert R. McCammon
Paperback, 538 pages

I wasn't exactly sure what this novel was going to be about.  I avoid reading the front and back blurbs beforehand so as not to give too much away.  Dig the surprise, I guess.  But I had a pretty good inkling this wasn't To Kill A Mockingbird.  Anyway, Stinger is a page-turning, treehouse kind of sci-fi/horror story.  A violent chase between one ET and another ET ends up in a little nowhere town in Texas.  A dying town where the days and nights are filled with a slow sweltering bucket of monotony.  And the town folk know everybody, but mostly just keep to themselves.  That is until an alien standoff hits the fan and the community needs to work out their own differences for the greater good. 

There are multiple plots going on and a variety of town characters to meet and sift thru and this keeps everything on the edgier side.  The violence is bang and McCammon spares no gore in the telling.  The dialogue feels right and the pages turn easy.  Not his best, but still good.  It's fun, entertaining, and even better with a Klondike Bar.    

"Invader" - Judas Priest / "Stained Class" (1978)

Good stuff.

Friday, May 26, 2023

TCCDM 4 For Friday

(4 For Friday)

*  20 valuable bits of advice to consider.

There are flipbooks to flip, and then there is this one.

*  So that's the end of The Great Wall of China.  Never seen it.  Now I have.

*  A reminder how to check and cancel subscriptions on your iPhone or iPad.

"No Hard Feelings" - The Avett Brothers / "True Sadness" (2016)

Good stuff.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Synthesis" - Cryan Shames (1968)

"Synthesis" - Cryan Shames (1968)

"Synthesis" is mostly an entertaining pick-up.  It starts off with a cool garage burner that's a lot of fun.  But it's also the hardest track on here.  Still, there are a few baroque-ish lightly-dusted tracks to be had.  Atmospheric of the good kind.  Unfortunately, Cryan Shames, from Hinsdale, Illinois never completely commit to the tasty mind-play fun.  Mixed throughout this square are original pop AM offerings that are not bad songs at all.  "First Train To California," for example, is a sunshine gem.  But nothing at all like the opening track or the atmospheric mind-trip stuff found on here.  I like both, but I wish the band had just flipped a coin and headed off in one direction. 

The album "Synthesis" can be found for under $10 easily, and is a good pick-up when you do.  Walk away if the price is jacked.  Don't over-expect when you drop the needle and your ears will be more pleased than not.

"Synthesis" - Cryan Shames (back)

Favorites include the opening burner "Greenburg, Glickstein, Charles, David Smith & Jones"
The dreamy and floaty "Baltimore Oriole" and "A Master's Fool."  And the catchy "The Painter Man."  This album was to be Cryan Shames' last.  My copy has the tiniest of a bb hole in the top-left corner.  Killing a bit of time, I Googled the word Synthesis for a "last word" on this album.  A brief definition: "a combination of ideas to form a whole."

(Columbia two-eye label)

Cat #
CS 9719
0  XSM137868-1B  1  T
0  XSM137869-1E  1  T

"Greenburg, Glickstein, Charles, David Smith & Jones" - Cryan Shames / "Synthesis" (1968)

A1  "Greenburg, Glickstein, Charles, David Smith & Jones"
A2  "Baltimore Oriole"
A3  "It's All Right"
A4  "Your Love"
A5  "A Master's Fool"
B1  "First Train To California"
B2  "The Painter"
B3  "Sweet Girl Of Mine"
B4  "20th Song"
B5  "Let's Get Together"
B6  "Symphony Of The Wind"

Tom "Toad" Doody - vocals
Jim "Hookie" Pilster - vocals, percussion
Alan Dawson - vocals, drums 
Dave Carter - vocals, guitar
Isaac Guillory - vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards
Lenny Kerley - vocals, guitar, bass 

Good stuff.


Sunday, May 21, 2023

I Went...SI--SI--SIRIUS...All The Way Home (again) #66

(a short jaunt)

"Dark Star" - Crosby, Stills & Nash / "CSN" (1977)
"Forgive me if my fantasies might seem a little shopworn.
I'm sure you've heard it all before.  I wonder what's the right form."

I love the build-up to the dance.  Tiptoe congas and snares.  Cock-strutting guitar.  Shoulder-tapping drums.  All leading up to Stephen Stills cutting to the chase.  We know each other all too well.  And with his partners,  Graham Nash and David Crosby, they knock it outta the park.  As much as I like "Shadow Captain," this one should've been the opening track.  And I would've voted for an extended intro.  This was CSN's 2nd studio effort in this teamwork combination...and the one I play most often. (OWN)

"Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" - Terry Reid / "Bang, Bang You're Terry Reid" (1968)
"You grew up, and I left town. I would always call you mine.
You would always laugh and say,
 'Remember when we used to play Bang Bang.'"

"Holy Schnikes!"  This version turned into a beast.  And I'll be honest, I like Cher's version, too.  I mean Sonny wrote the song after all.  But Reid's vocals are killer.  And along with Reid's band...they turn this song into a much different kind of salad.  Like a manic, twisted late-nite movie of the week.  Turn it up! (NEED)

"Pretzel Logic" - Steely Dan / "Pretzel Logic" (1974)
"I would love to tour the Southland
in a traveling minstrel show."

This gem was buried on side two.  A bluesy groove that's nothing particularly special, yet I'm tranced all the way through it.  The lyrics, like most of Steely Dan's lyrics, are always on the fringes of opaque fooling all of us into thinking we understand it.  But it's only our version of what happened at the scene of the crime.  Nothing more.  That's why we feel so smart when Steely comes home.   So good.  They're the pride of the neighborhood.  But that's a different story altogether.  This album falls under number three in the Steely Dan catalog. (NEED)


Good stuff.


Friday, May 19, 2023

TCCDM 4 For Friday

(4 For Friday)

*  A two-year time-lapse showing how braces actually correct your teeth.

*  Here are 23 interesting pieces of data in visual form.  I love this kind of stuff.

*  Driverless taxis in operation in Beijing.  And that's how that works.

Every Stephen King movie ranked.  I watch'em, but never over-expect.  I had no idea I missed so many.  

"Helicopters" - Barenaked Ladies / "Maroon" (2000)

Good stuff.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Little Queen" - Heart (1977)

"Little Queen" - Heart (1977)

I was familiar with Heart's classic "Barracuda" and the fun rocker "Kick It Out"...but I'd never heard this album in its entirety.  And as famous as Heart became, I was mostly clueless about all but their major radio hits and never gave the band too much thought.  So, in a spending mood, I saw the gorgeous "Little Queen" album, the one with the Renn-Faire cover, offered for a reasonable piece of coinage and snagged.

I got myself an education.  The songs and musicianship are just excellent.  I'm not sure why I thought it would be otherwise, but the album sounds like it was truly a full-on band effort and not just an Ann and Nancy Wilson affair.  Along with Ann Wilson's Plant-like vocals, "Little Queen" is a contrast of rockers and gentler folk rock head-trips in much the way Zeppelin would often conjoin their harder stuff with dives into the folkier pool.  And I honestly enjoyed Heart's acoustical ventures a lot.  For the most part, the album sugars the ear from needle drop to label.  And the vinyl experience really brings it out.  The spinning of the wax did it for me.  This is a good square to play for doubters. 

"Little Queen" - Heart (back)

Apart from the major radio hits, favorites include:
"Love Alive" 
"Little Queen"
"Go On Cry"

My copy is an original Santa Maria pressing and was mastered by KENDUN as indicated by a stamp in the deadwax.  The album has a nice textured jacket cover and a custom vinyl lyrics sleeve.  I don't remember what I paid, but being the vinyl cheapskate guy that I often am, it was probably less than $10.  Most know this, but Nancy Wilson had a cute cameo in the film..."Fast Times At Ridgemont High."

(custom record sleeve front/back)

Portrait label

Cat #  
JR 34799
S  PAL-34799-1Q  Go For It  SX T  KENDUN B  B
1 S  PBL-34799-1 AD  SX  KENDUN - a  JG  'BEAUTY TAKE US'  B  2

"Go On Cry" - Heart / "Little Queen" (1977)

A1  "Barracuda" 4:20
A2  "Love Alive" 4:21
A3  "Sylvan Song" 2:12
A4  "Dream Of The Archer" 4:30
A5  "Kick It Out" 2:44
B1  "Little Queen" 5:10
B2  "Treat Me Well" 3:24
B3  "Say Hello" 3:36
B4  "Cry To Me" 2:51
B5  "Go On Cry" 5:52

Ann Wilson - lead vocals, flute 
Nancy Wilson - guitar, b-vocals, lead vocals (B2), autoharp, mandolin, piano, guitar, blues harp, 
Roger Fisher - guitar, mandolin, 
Howard Leese - guitar, Mellotron, piano, b-vocals, Moog bass, string arrange., mandolin
Michael DeRosier - drums, tabla, percussion, timpani, chimes
Steve Fossen - bass
Lynn Wilson Keagle - b-vocals (B4, B5)
Seal Dunnington - b-vocals (B4, B5)

Good stuff.

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Sunday, May 14, 2023

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Family Entertainment" - Family (1969)

"Family Entertainment" - Family (1969)

From Leicester, England, Family released a musical discourse of seven studio albums, each one climbing the UK charts.  But rarely do their albums show up in bins around here.  Especially the early stuff.  I guess Family just wasn't promoted much in the States.   I'll have to pass the baton to someone else doing a Masterclass about the band.  But as for this epistle, I will tell you that "Family Entertainment" was the band's 2nd album and included their signature track..."The Weaver's Answer."

After cleaning and playing this record the first time, I was left with a bit of a..."That was okay, I guess, but what did I just listen to?"  I brewed some Chock full o'Nuts and watched the rest of the Cubs game.  That same evening I dropped the needle again on "Family Entertainment" and it was a much more enjoyable spin.  I guess my head wasn't in it the first time. 

"Family Entertainment" - Family (back)

The music is a cacophony.  Art rock, if you will.  A little proto-prog, nothing heavy.  Two songs with a light psych touch.  A little folk rock.  A country-rock sorta thing.  A classic rock banger.  Many styles can often sink a ship.  Here, it somehow dodges the iceberg.  Side one is easily the stronger, but get up and flip it anyway.

Favorites include "The Weaver's Answer"..."How-Hi-The-Li"..."Face In The Cloud."  My copy is a German pressing on the orange over tan Reprise label.  GEMA is printed on the left side of the spindle.  I found it with a VG+ and a $10 price tag at The Record Ship and I'm digging it more with every spin.

W7:Reprise label

Cat #  
RS 6340 / 6340
030881  Manufactured in Germany
030882  Manufactured in Germany 

"How-Hi-The-Li" - Family / "Family Entertainment" (1969)

A1  "The Weaver's Answer" 5:01
A2  "Observations From A Hill" 3:12
A3  "Hung Up Down" 3:13
A4  "Summer '67" 3:18
A5  "How-Hi-The-Li" 4:59
B1  "Second Generation Woman" 3:14
B2  "From Past Archives" 3:21
B3  "Dim" 2:32
B4  "Processions" 2:49
B5  "Face In The Cloud" 2:55
B6  "Emotions" 5:11

Roger Chapman - vocals, percussion
John "Charlie" Whitney - guitars, organ, piano
Jim King - saxophone, piano, vocals
Ric Grech - bass, violin, vocals 
Rob Townsend - drums, percussion
Nicky Hopkins - piano
The Heavenly Strings / strings
Dave Mason - possibly sitar on (B5)

Good stuff.

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Sunday, May 7, 2023

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Elephant Ball" - Crystal Syphon (2015)

"Elephant Ball" - Crystal Syphon (2015)

Crystal Syphon shared the stage with all of the west coast puppies...holding their own and making fans wherever they played.  And when not working the stages, they were making music in the studios.  But for whatever reason, none of it was ever put to wax.  Finally, in 2012, Roaratorio gathered together some of Crystal Syphon's songs for what became their "Family Evil" album.  And then a wonderful follow-up album "Elephant Ball" in 2015.  Both are some tasty West Coast psych rock offerings and are recommended.

The album "Elephant Ball" is music from 1967-'69 and starts off with three studio recordings, the first being a fantastic Iggy-like garage-punk track.  A couple of excellent and groovy folk-rock tracks follow.  And then Crystal Syphon really gets their magic beads going.  Six tracks performed at the Fillmore West in November of '69.  And I'll take all of that you got.  The songs all have that wonderful jammy west coast flavor and I dug all of it.  It all sounds very much of the era...as it should...and yet still sounds oven fresh.  I don't know but it just does.  Cosmic floatery and acid trancery.  The musicianship is high-level with subtle quirks and pleasant diversions.  The vocals and harmonies are anything but cheap and pay off in spades.

"Elephant Ball" - Crystal Syphon (back)

Favorites include:
"Sing To Me"
“It’s Winter”
“There Is Light There”

I had to back-check where I picked this album up and it turns out it was on Amazon.  The album was at a good price, too...under $20...and I used money left on a gift card.  I've spun this album beaucoup.  "Elephant Ball" just hits that sweet spot.  I'm still waiting to get my hands on Crystal Syphon's first album which is supposed to be an even stronger square.

Roaratorio label

Cat #
ROAR - 37-A  SAFF  1
ROAR - 37-13  SAFF  1

"There Is Light There" - Crystal Syphon / "Elephant Ball" (2015) 

A1  "Dawn Sermon" 1:18
A2  "For All Of My Life" 3:12
A3  "Tell Her For Me" 3:27
A4  "Elephant Ball" 4:26
A5  "Sing To Me" 8:36
B1  "It's Winter" 3:26
B2  "Snow Falls" 5:15
B3  "Don't Fall Brother" 3:20
B4  "There Is Light There" 6:31

Tom Salles - vocals, guitar, percussion
Jim Sanders - vocals, guitar (A1 - A3)
Jeff Sanders - vocals, organ, percussion
Dave Sprinkel - vocals, percussion, organ (A1 - A3)
Bob Greenlee - bass
Andy Daniel - drums (A1 - A3)
Marvin Greenlee - drums (A4, A5, B1 - B4)
All songs written by Crystal Syphon

Good stuff.