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

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Horse Head Has An Idea:.."Ringside Padre" (TV - 1956) MICHAEL LANDON


Long before Michael Landon played the traveling angel...Jonathan Smith.  Long before he became the Little House father...Charles Ingalls or the Ponderosa heartthrob...Little Joe.  And even before Michael Landon was cast as the infamous and original “Teenage Werewolf” (that role would find him the very next year)... the young Michael Landon copped a role in the '50s TV series...”Crossroads.”  A show that dramatized the lives of clergymen and the problems they faced.  In this episode, Landon is cast as an eager, up and coming pugilist.  A talented young boxer with a priest/coach trying to protect him from a criminal pair who want nothing more than to make quick money off the kid.  This story was meant to raise awareness about how underage boxers were being thrown to the wolves against brutal and well-seasoned professionals.  And with predictable and sometimes dangerous results.  (Rules have since changed requiring boxers to be at least 18 years of age to fight professionally.)

It's a hoot watching Michael Landon deliver his lines with over-the-top enthusiasm.  As is the good-hearted priest who throws out one-liners equally corny and enjoyable.  This drama is very much a typical moral story for the time.  Whether you're a huge Michael Landon fan or are going to enjoy this quick 23-minute story.
FWIW...the actor playing Landon's dad, Leo Penn, is the real-life father of Sean, Chris, and Michael Penn.

"Ringside Padre" / "Crossroads" TV Series (1955-1957) - MICHAEL LANDON

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Mr. Flood's Party" (1969)

"Mr. Flood's Party" -  Mr. Flood's Party (1969)

Mr. Flood's Party was a psych band who left us this wonderful self-titled gem.  It's a slice of shadow psych...but not too dark.  Floaty, at times.  The arrangements are really interesting and the vocals are tight.  There are no shanks on this album.  No groaners.  It's all a good trip, and the aroma of incense floating around a blooping lava lamp would not be out of place.

The band hailed from NY and possibly took their name from a 1920's poem of the same name.  And I so dig the album cover.  I need to find a shirt or button with that image on it.  I've kept my eyes open for this album a long time but it's just not floating around in the wild.  Not for me to find anyway.  So this was a bit of a pony-up for me, but I think I did pretty good.  I made an eBay bid...fair, but lowball...and woke up the next morning with good news.  I don't eBay very often, but when do...I use the Ron Pompeii “Set it and forget it” bidding technique.  It usually fails, but every once in a while, I catch the ring.  $22 shipped for those curious. My copy is still in shrink with a saw-cut.  If you can find this one for under $'re getting a pretty good deal and should probably grab it.

"Mr. Flood's Party" (back)

Cotillion label

"The Liquid Invasion" - Mr. Flood's Party / "Mr. Flood's Party" (1969) 

A1  "Northern Travel" 6:29
A2  "Deja Vu" 4:55
A3  "Advice" 3:06
A4  "Prince of Darkness" 3:55
A5  "Simon J. Stone" 2:30
B1  "Stanley's Tea" 2:09
B2  "The Liquid Invasion" 4:09
B3  "Garden of the Queen" 3:39
B4  "The Mind Circus" 6:50

Freddy Toscano - vocals, guitar, keyboards
Michael Corbett - vocals, flute, percussion
Jay Hirsh - vocals, guitar, keyboards
Marcel Thompsen - guitar
Rick Mirage - bass
Tom Castagnaro - drums

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Sunday, June 9, 2019

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

(a short jaunt)

“Around The Plynth” - The Faces / “First Step” (1970)

This version of The Faces is missing the wallpaper blistering vocals of Steve Marriot who left for different dreams.  And while “Around The Plynth” is a great song, I can't help wondering how little Stevie's driving vocals would sound on this one.  The Rod Stewart vocals are fine here, but just a little too polite.  Little Stevie could outright get in your face.  And that, I would love to have heard.  Still, this is one of those wonderful deep cuts that makes vinyl lovers smile.  And that's Ron Wood doing the major surgery with his slide.  Spin this little gem next time anyone tells you Ron Wood is overrated.  Just killer!   Also, this is another track for your headphones.  Plenty of left and right bounce goin' on.  The Faces have always been a cherrypick band for me, but they never fail to throw down a song or two where they sound like they're just an angels breath away from being a runaway train.  And that's the train you want to be on.

“California Stars” - Bob Seger / “Ride Out” (2014)

Mid-tempo ballads is the kind of stuff Bob Seger can sing in his sleep. Vocals are warm and honest and so familiar.  Surprisingly, these lyrics were written by Woody Guthrie way back in the '30s.  Wilco's Jeff Tweedy rescued Woody's words and added a nice arrangement to them in 1998.  I have now heard both and I think Seger's warmer vocals win the day by the smallest of noses. "I'd like to rest my heavy head tonight on a bed of California stars.”  I'll have to catch a closer listen to the rest of the lyrics, but the melody is earworm stuff for sure.

“Wang Dang Doodle” - Savoy Brown / Street Corner Talking (1971)

Savoy Brown has never lacked for musicians waiting in the wings for an opportunity to shine.  The list is a phonebook.  This Savoy Brown album was released following the departure of Lonesome Dave, Roger Earl, and Tony Stevens who went on to form the classic rock radio staple, Foghat.  But nothing ever seems to slow down the Savoy Brown band.  Here is another excellent cover of another excellent Willie Dixon classic jam.  And on  "Wang Dang Doodle," the band sounds like they're playing with a chip on their ass-kicking shoulders daring anyone not to bop their head or move their freakin' feet.  My appreciation for Willie Dixon's footprint on the rock-n-roll community has risen faster than water from the Kansas rains.  I don't know how the rest of the album holds up, but Savoy Brown's “Wang Dang” Dixon cover is one of the best dang "Wang Dang" covers ever sang, dang it!  Crank it.


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Sunday, June 2, 2019

TCCDM Dig and Flip: "Just Kids" - Patti Smith (2010)

"Just Kids"...Patti Smith (2010)
304 pages

If you are already a Patti Smith fan, like I am, you're gonna fall in love with her all over again.  If you're just driving by the house to check out her curtains, you're gonna want to pull in the driveway and sit a spell on the porch.  Because “Just Kids” is time well spent.

“Just Kids” is an amazing and extremely personal snapshot about two young people unexpectedly crossing paths and forming what would become an almost unbelievable friendship.  That would be Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe.

But it's much more than that.  The strong connection between these two reads like one of those “stars in alignment” kind of things.  Fate takes the wheel.  Two kids, both compelled by the love of “The Arts” and the need to create...find themselves pulling resources, living month-to-month and week-to-week in the edgiest and unlikeliest parts of New York City where the underground arts and music breathe.

Patti's descriptive share of time spent at the infamous Chelsea Hotel is like being a fly.  And it‘s spooky amazing how Robert and Patti cement themselves into this somewhat private world.  It was also interesting how the famous and the not so famous just regularly bump into each other.  The underground cool.  If you're just fit in.  It was a different time.

In the end, this beautiful memoir is Patti Smith sweetly honoring a ‘last request' from her best friend, Robert Mapplethorpe who died in March of 1989.  To tell everyone about their extraordinary bond that helped see them through it all because no one else would believe it.  Just kids, after all.

"Gloria" - Patti Smith / CBGB (1975)

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Friday, May 31, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Low" (1977)

"Low" - David Bowie (1977)

"Low" is my favorite from Bowie's 'Berlin Trilogy' phase and was his 11th album.  It fluctuates around in my top-5 Bowie albums but never has quite settled.  "Low" is a great album though. all about experimental electronica and snarling, jarring guitars.

Side A is short and catchy with Bowie throwing out cool lyrics over cool synths and guitar rhythms.  Nothing ever sounds complete.  Nothing ever gets resolved.
Side B is colder and very...Brian Eno-esque.  All instrumental.  And though I have no reason to doubt Bowie was actively involved in the all sounds very..." tastes great, less filling" like.  And again, nothing really sounds complete.  Nothing gets resolved.  Perhaps it's all a metaphor for our pathetic little lives.  And maybe that was the point.  And maybe me thinks too much!

I absolutely love side A.  And sometimes...I love side B.  But only sometimes.
And then there are those times when I absolutely need them both.  It can all be so alienating.  Historically, this record will always be held up as a musical envelope pusher.  And it's remarkable how fresh and exciting this record still sounds today.  I read somewhere that when "Low" was first released, customers would test their stereo equipment with this album.  Me, I like headphones and this one goes a long way to scratching that sweet spot.

"Low" (back)

My copy was rescued from the collection of "Garageman" Gary Hess.  He brought it up to one of the regular Hutchinson Record Swaps.  The album has a gold promo stamp embossed on the back cover, however, there was nothing identifying it as such on the RCA Victor label.  Oh yeah, about my top five Bowie albums. Right now I have...
1)  "Ziggy..."
2)  "Station..."
3)  "Hunky Dory"
4)  "Low"
5)  "Scary Monsters."

I'm actively looking for a clean copy of "Diamond Dogs" which is sorely underrated and might give the list a push.  As for Bowie's later stuff, I haven't tasted much, is what it is.
FWIW..."Low" ranks #249 on RS list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

RCA Victor label

"What In The World" - David Bowie / "Low" (1977)

A1  "Speed of Life" 2:46
A2  "Breaking Glass" 1:51
A3  "What in the World" 2:23
A4  "Sound and Vision" 3:03
A5  "Always Crashing in the Same Car" 3:29
A6  "Be My Wife" 2:55
A7  "A New Career in a New Town" 2:51
B1  "Warszawa" 6:20
B2  "Art Decade" 3:43
B3  "Weeping Wall" 3:26
B4  "Subterraneans" 5:39

David Bowie - vocals, sax, guitar, pump bass, harmonica, vibraphone, xylophone, pre-arranged percussion,  keyboards, Synth, "instruments"
Brian Eno - keyboards, Minimoog, Synths, vocals, guitar treatments, "instruments"
Carlos Alomar - rhythm guitars, lead guitar
Dennis Davis - percussion
George Murray - bass
Ricky Gardiner - rhythm guitar, lead guitar
Roy Young - pianos. Farfisa organ
Iggy Pop - b-vocals
Mary Visconti - b-vocals
Eduard Meyer - cellos
Peter (Robinson) and Paul (Buckmaster) - pianos and ARP

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

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

(a short jaunt)

"The Doctor" - The Doobie Brothers - "Cycles" (1989)

I'm not crazy in love with it, but those wonderful Tom Johnston vocals are so familiar, it's hard to stay in a bad mood.  The original members got back together for this album and that's always a good time.  And this song, in particular, sounds like it could have been an outtake from one of the early “The Captain and Me" sessions.  Feels like a summer day.

"Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" - Porcupine Tree / "Deadwing" (2005)

This is pretty epic stuff.  It has a very gentle, but dark, Floyd-like intro ("Animals,” to my ears.) Then morphs into something more distorted.  The delicious outro returns to a dark floaty ambiance.  The lyrics are mysterious and haunting and add to the already psychy-prog setting.  Like there's more going on than what you think you hear.   12 minutes of perfect.  Porcupine albums, come to me.

"A Ride Back Home" - John Mellencamp  / "Life, Death, Love and Freedom" (2008)

I recently saw John Mellencamp perform back in April and I'm not so sure that he didn't play this one. Mellencamp played a lot of his less familiar songs that evening.  Unfamiliar, but entertaining just the same. “A Ride Back Home” is a beautifully simple, warm and weary song.  And it resonates a universal truth we all have felt at one time or another.  Like the artist trying to give a piece of himself away.  I've seen reviews touting this album as one of Mellencamp's best.  I haven't spun it yet, so maybe it is.  But I'm the jake who still believes, “Nothing Matters and What If It Did” is his real true gem.  I do know one thing.  I've shelved John Mellencamp away on more than one occasion, only to be pleasantly surprised by another 'lil bastard' gem like this one.  So I'll not be doing that again.  I expect, when all the smoke has cleared, JM's body of work will be looked at in an even more appreciative light.  I hope so anyway.


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Monday, May 27, 2019

Horse Head Has An Idea:.."Bill Evans Gets Ready To Play" (1966)


Getting to watch jazz legend Bill Evans prepare for a television taping is like being a fly on the wall.  This was for a show in Copenhagen, Denmark, 1966...and we see everything!  We see Bill discovering that the piano the TV producers provided him has a funked-up damper pedal.  We see bassist Eddie Gomez ripping off runs, working his fingers and getting ready to go.  But more especially, we watch Bill Evans trying to catch the fill-in drummer, Alex Reid, up to speed.  Now Alex was no hack, he drummed for everyone all over Denmark...but Alex has an awful lot of information thrown at him to eat and has a very short time to digest it all.  So, you can almost hear Alex sweating.  Bill does try to relax his drummer, reminding him it is only a rehearsal.  But even then....the pressure can be felt.

And it’s nice watching Eddie trying to help chill out the new drummer who clearly does not want to let Bill Evans down.  And it's very cool watching Eddie try to lighten the mood.  But, of course. that's what you would expect from these real jazz masters of their craft.  Seeing all the banter and preparation is just amazing.  It's easy to see that Bill Evans will not suffer fools gladly.

This is 20-min of textbook stuff not to be missed. All music fans will love and appreciate the behind-the-scenes last-minute preparations in all its uncensored glory.

"Bill Evans Gets Ready To Play" - Bill Evans Preparing for a TV Taping (1966)

Jazz Video Guy's mission is to continue to create great lost jazz
and has a GoFundMe page if you're interested.

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Friday, May 24, 2019

TCCDM Dig and Flip: "Capote In Kansas" (2006)

"Capote In Kansas"

(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.)

"Capote In Kansas"
by Ande Parks,  Chris Samnee
2006 by Oni Press
128 pages

Once upon a time, Truman Capote had the idea to take a trip to Kansas in hopes of writing a non-fiction “novel.”   It was a ground-breaking idea.  The story was to be about the horrific and unnecessary murders of the entire Clutter Family that took place in Holcomb, KS in 1959.  The story would be called “In Cold Blood”...and go on to become one of the most critically acclaimed books of the 20th century.

However, this graphic novel is not about the hideous murders.  It is an abbreviated telling of Truman Capote, a talented high society New York dandy trying to get his big story.  His experience trying to collect information about the Clutter Family...and the crime...from an understandably mistrusting close-knit community.  It is about being a very strange fish in a very different pond

"Capote In Kansas" (inside)

The story is a fast read.  The author plays around a bit with ideas of what might've been going on in Capote's head during that time.  Interesting, but not a whole lot of substance.  The black and white artwork certainly falls in line with the subject,  Unfortunately, I noticed a couple of panels where the Capote figure wasn't quite on the mark.  I'm quibbling, I know!  Overall, “Capote In Kansas” is not a bad time-kill, but not a must.  If you're going to read it, I would highly recommend reading the outstanding “In Cold Blood” first.

"Don't Talk To Strangers" - Dio / "Holy Diver" (1983)

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers