Monday, December 31, 2018

Horse Head Dig and Flip: Justice League Of America Archives - Volume 1

Graphic Novel Find
"Justice League Of America Archives - Volume 1"

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

"Justice League Of America Archives - Volume 1"
by Gardner F. Fox --  Mike Sekowsky (Illustrator)
1992 by DC COMICS 
256 pages 
Includes: The Brave and the Bold  #28-30 and
Justice League of America  #1–6.

This beautiful hardbound archive collection is all about nostalgia.  A time when friendship and teamwork were all that mattered.  A time of innocence. A time of confidences.

JLA is made up of seven superheroes that team up to combat a "dangerous" giant starfish (I'm serious) determined to take over the Earth.   The superheroes include Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter (who I was not familiar with at all) Wonder Woman and the two big cajones...Batman and Superman.  Also very cool is the JLA hold an election later to include Green Arrow.  Corny, but cool.

"Justice League Of America Archives Vol 1"
 (book jacket removed)

"Justice League Of America Archives Vol 1" 

Comic books from this era were generally pretty whack anyway and these are no exception.  Aliens from other worlds or crazy scientists from our own challenge the JLA in one ridiculous plot after another.  It's all silly fun and charming in its way.  As I said, this is all about the bass.  No treble.  To be honest, it's the camaraderie of our heroes that make us feel good.  And when I'd finally put the book away, I imagined an 11-year old boy...surely 70 by now...under his blanket, flashlight in hand, turning pages and saving the world.

"Old Friends-Bookends" - Simon & Garfunkel / "The Concert in Central Park" (1981)

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Friday, December 28, 2018

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."37 Minutes Of Group Therapy" (1969)

"37 Minutes Of..." - Group Therapy (1969)

There isn't a whole lot out there about this 60s band that hails from New York.  Over at Discogs, they pin down Group Therapy as being psych rock...and there is a bit of trippage goin' on.  I read somewhere they sounded like a poor man's Vanilla Fudge...and they do, sort of, lean in that general direction.  But they're not as sludgy...or trippy.  A few songs do fuzz it up, but not nearly enough. It would have been nice to hear the band really light it up.

Their label gave Group Therapy a nice gatefold unipak for their sophomore effort though, and I'm a sucker for gatefold albums. The copy I found appears to have been well-taken care of as the unipak has not come unglued yet.  For those who might not be aware, a gatefold with a unipak sleeve means you have to first open your gatefold in order to access the record.  The idea was to protect the record from accidentally sliding out...and not a bad idea in theory.  Unfortunately, the unipak is notorious for separating from the gatefold and getting beat up.  Whaddyagonnado?
Look, "37 Minutes Of..." isn't anything special, by any means, but Group Therapy does offer a few songs that are fun and salvages the wax.  Sometimes just finding something unusual or seldom-seen in the wild is its own reward.
(LKF...the Beach Boys gem...“Sail On, Sailor"...was co-written by lead singer, Ray Kennedy and that's a pretty cool feather.)

"37 Minutes Of..." (back)

"37 Minutes Of..." (inside gatefold)

Philips label

"Wait" - Group Therapy / "37 Minutes Of..." (1969)

A1  "Remember What You Said" 3:05
A2  "Wait" 6:07
A3  "River Deep, Mountain High" 4:43
A4  "A Very Happy Day" 3:21
A5  "I Got to Live" 2:40

B1  "Can't Stop Lovin' You Baby" 2:59
B2  "I Must Go" 4:00
B3  "Cheer Up Baby" 2:09
B4  "Willie" 2:57
B5  "I Can't Believe It" 3:48

Ray Kennedy - vocals 
Art Del Gudico - guitar, bass, vocals 
Jerry (The Kid) Guida - organ, keyboards 
Tommy Burns - drums, vocals,  
Michael Lamont - drums, percussion

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Friday, December 21, 2018

I Went...SIRIUS...All The Way Home

(a short jaunt)

"Flip The Switch" - The Rolling Stones / "Bridges to Babylon" (1997)

This was the opening track on their 23rd studio album.  And it was also one of the first albums I bought with my own money.  Actually, it was a nicely packaged CD.  The song has Charlie and Keef driving the bus right out the gate.  In fact, the whole album sounds like everyone showered, shaved and had a healthy breakfast.  Fun lyrics.  It was the best thing they'd done in years.  "Bridges..." still sounds fresh and I played the shit out of it.

"Space Captain" - Joe Cocker / "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" (1970)

In small doses, I enjoy Joe Cocker, but his music has been a little hit and miss for me.  However, JC always seemed to bump it up a notch...I mean, really commit...when he had his good friends at his back.  And when that happens, I'm all in.  Here's a good example and one seldom heard.  Love the playful "ooohs and ahhhhs" in the middle, too

"Leave It With Me" - Blodwyn Pig / "Ahead Rings Out" (1970)

This is a jazzy-flutey instrumental with a catchy riff that moves the song right along if nothing else.  Jack Lancaster provides the jazzy pipes and guitarist (and frontman) Mick Abrahams jumps in the middle to add some licks of his own.  Abrahams was the original guitarist for Jethro Tull, leaving after their first album.  First time hearing Blodwyn Pig on the radio!  Making driving a better time.


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Monday, December 17, 2018

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Kinks Kontraband" (1988)

"Kinks Kontraband" - The Kinks (1988)

I picked this up back in November from a private record flipper I affectionately refer to as..."The Garageman."  This is an unofficial Kinks release.  A bootleg mix of  BBC live recordings and outtakes.  Side One is definitely the stronger.  It's filled with 9 early live BBC recordings and a demo.  Yes, their two early biggies are on here, but it's the lesser known that really ices the cake.  One is the never studio recorded song by the band..."This Strange Effect."  It has a haunting, floaty vibe that dances on trippy and is just killer.  Side Two opens with a tasty garage-fuzz outtake of..."Time Will Tell."  There is also a rare live track from the Preservation period..."Slum Kids"...and is a nice rescue.  The album's last three songs are later stuff, and I like them, but I just didn't hear much difference in the outtakes.  I'll leave that to true Kinks aficionados to discuss.

If you're curious, it being bootleg and all, the vinyl recordings sound great.  This is a Canadian press on Reprieve.  (Not Reprise.)  The label has a man strapped into an electric chair with the guard's hand near the switch.  Very kool!  I don't know how many were pressed, but this is a  pretty hard one to find.

"Kinks Kontraband" (back)

Reprieve label

"This Strange Effect" (BBC Sessions) - The Kinks / "Kinks Kontraband" (1988)

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Friday, December 14, 2018

I Went...SIRIUS...All The Way Home

(a short jaunt)

"Don’t Bogart That Joint" (live) - Little Feat / "Waiting for Columbus" (1978)

This song is over and done before anyone could even begin to accuse someone of hogging the doobie.  In a little over a minute, Little Feat reminds everyone how much fun they're having.  Happy driving.  Many consider "WFC" one of the best live albums ever recorded.

"Revelation" - Fleetwood Mac / "Penguin" (1973)

My appreciation of Bob Welch during his Fleetwood Mac period has grown in leaps and bounds.  Love this song.  Bob's guitar work is diamond and I've always been a sucker for the way Bob's floaty vocals add haunting mystery to some of the songs.  Plus John McVie's driving bass on this jam is just killer.  Btw...the penguin has been Fleetwood Mac's mascot since the early days when John and Christine were just lovebirds living near the London Zoo.

"The Pause of Mr. Claus" (live) - Arlo Guthrie - "Arlo" (1968)

Okay, they snuck another xmas song in on my drive home.  The song is short and cute and I like the young Arlo vocals on this. It's what any respectable folkie would sing about.

"Good Old Rock‘n’Roll" - Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys / "The Street Giveth...and the Street Taketh Away" (1969)

This is a rock and roll medley that became a top-40 hit for the Cat Mothers.  It's good for what it is, but that medley trick has been done a bazillion times in a bazillion bars ad nauseam.  I dig hearing shit like this live, but it's kinda 'meh' on the radio.  A nice cool factor though is that the album was produced by Jimi Hendrix.


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Horse Head Has An Idea: "Merry Christmas Mr. Bean"


"Merry Christmas Mr. Bean" (1992) an episode from the UK television show that ran for four seasons called, you guessed it..., "Mr. Bean."  This had been in my "watch-later" box for months, along with other holiday finds, to curl up with as the "silver bells" get closer.  I'm really glad I did.  This is a wonderful little gem.  It follows Mr. Bean from the evening before Christmas until the big day.  It's all very funny and sweet and a tad melancholy in that special Mr. Bean trademark fashion.  This should be annual watching along with The Grinch...Charlie Brown...and The Andy Griffith Xmas episode.  It will never grow old, only endearing.

"Merry Christmas Mr Bean"  (1992)

Good Stuff

Casey Chambers

Saturday, December 8, 2018

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."You Broke My Heart So..."

"You Broke My Heart So..." - Spooky Tooth (1973)

This was Spooky Tooth's 5th album.  The one with the ridiculously blunt title.  When I finally got the gatefold home and gave the inside a better turned out to be a bait-n-switch.  The inside is an exaggerated drawn picture of a crazy-mad woman doing the "jaw-breaking."  Pretty funny.  And the album's pretty good, too.  New guitarist Mick Jones (Foreigner) replaced Luther "Ariel Bender" Grosvenor on this album and gives Spooky Tooth a more guitar-driven sound.  Don't get me wrong.  Original member, Gary Wright is still heavily involved.  His solid keyboard work and backing vocals always seem to give songs a groovy ethereal vibe even on the more harder tracks.  I like reading AMG, but their 2-star rating of this album, I think, is way off!  Apart from a couple of weaker tracks, there's not a bad song on here.  For some reason, Spooky Tooth is one of those bands that seem to always fly under-the-radar. That's a bonus for folks like us.  Their albums can always be found cheap...and this one is worth a pop.
(btw...the Mike Harrison vocals on "Self-Seeking Man" sound like a young and dangerous Cher!  And it's awesome. Go Tube it.)

"You Broke My Heart So..." (back)

Inside Gatefold (watermarks on bottom)

Album Insert w/tracklist & essay

A&M Records label

"Old As I Was Born" - Spooky Tooth / "You Broke My Heart So..." (1973)

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Friday, December 7, 2018

TCCDM Dig and Flip: "Mornings On Horseback" by David McCullough (1981)

"Mornings On Horseback"...David McCullough (1981)
445 pages

This biography from David McCullough is a little bit different.  This one focuses on the life of Theodore Roosevelt before he runs for president.  Before he reaches the age of 30 even.  We learn in Teedie's childhood years...(yes, that's what he was called before the T.R. moniker caught on)...he was mostly a sickly kid that struggled with wicked asthmatic attacks.  Which is a tough gig, for sure, but his family was so very rich that whenever he had one, they'd pack up and take him on a trip.  Lots of trips! To the south. To the north. Across the ocean and other various places around the world to ease his suffering.  And sometimes Teedie would weasel an unnecessary trip or two just because he could.  Now I trivialize with tongue in cheek, but I think we can all agree the poor boy suffered from extreme bouts of entitlement, too.

However, as he entered high school and college, T.R. became pretty much a balls-out badass. Taking on all kinds of daring challenges and adventures.  Yeah, that weaselly little kid who played his folks like a fish grew up into a firestick of energy.  And as much as I rolled my eyes reading about his childhood, he won me back with his unfettered determination and successes in almost everything he attempted.

In those years, T.R. hadn't advised anyone about the size of "stick" they should be carrying around with them, not yet anyway, but history tells us that he soon would.  This biography is not David McCullough's best.  That bar is set pretty high anyway.  But his "Mornings on Horseback" is still an enjoyable education.

"Rider In The Rain" - Randy Newman / "Little Criminals" (1977)

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Monday, December 3, 2018

I Went...SIRIUS...All The Way Home

(a 20-minute jaunt)

"Tragic Magic"  -  Traffic / "Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory" (1973)

One of the reasons I love traffic is Chris Wood.  His honking jazzical sax always adds mystery and trip to the Rock whenever it raises its head.  On this instrumental jam, Wood feeds his sax through a pick-up and wah-wah pedal.  Nice one for highway driving.

"Slipping into Christmas" - Leon Russell / "Slipping Into Christmas"  7" (1972)

What a tasty gem!   After all the over-played songs of the season have been regurgitated...(and we're just barely kissing December)...Leon Russell saves the day.  Evidently, this Xmas blues song was only released on a 45 in 1972 and then quickly disappeared into the void.  "Well deck the halls with teardrops, Scrooge ain’t got a thing on me."  I'll take all of this you got!

"Bus Rider" - The Guess Who / "Share The Land" (1970)

My ears hear a little BTO on this one.  If you were to minus the glorious Burton Cummings vocals, of course.  It rocks!  And, yeah, Cummings throws in the 'GD' word at the end.  Surely, the single was edited, right?


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers