Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Horse Head Has An Idea:..."X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes" (1963)

HERE'S AN IDEA!

Once this B movie sci-fi gets the premise out of the way...a doctor working on developing X-ray vision for the betterment of medicine...the movie really takes off and quickly becomes more fascinating and fun.  Our doctor's vision increases from reading papers hidden in a folder to watching men and women dancing naked at a party.  Unfortunately, the doctor's eyesight begins to see more than the human mind can possibly take.

It's low budget for sure but has a big heart.  The cast is totally in it to win it.  Extra-bonus is comedian Don Rickles cast as a sleazy, greedy carnival huckster and he kills it.

"X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes" (1963)


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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Friday, January 25, 2019

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

(a short jaunt)


"Tomorrow Is The Last To Be Heard" - Gypsy / "Gypsy" (1970)


I love the band Gypsy.  What a kick-ass surprise to hear this come outta my speakers.  Excellent proto-prog, psych-dusting stuff.  Piercing guitar. Wild keyboard. Tight harmonies. Very majestic.  This song was from their self-titled debut album and a double LP to boot.  When I bought this album the first time years back at a garage sale, it was missing the second record. That was my bad. “Once burnt; lesson learnt.”  (That was a little of my Barney Fife education showing.). Anyway, hearing this song again reminded me of the morning I spent with James Walsh / Gypsy.   Check it out.


"Hear Me Lord" - George Harrison / "All Things Must Pass" (1970)


I'm surprised I've never heard this one before.  It's a wonderful song.  I'm sure there are plenty of outtakes of George Harrison without the Phil Spector “Wall of Sound”  treatment, but in this instance, I think it really works.  George's vocals are in top form and the fuller Spector sound makes for a more moving experience.  Clever even.  And definitely more interesting than the title might imply.  I've since learned Billy Preston is responsible for the piano.


"Wicked Game" - Chris Isaak / "Heart Shaped World" (1989)


Nothing sounds like this.  When this song comes on the radio, especially at night, it takes everyone to their own special memory spot. That private one. Very cool and very intense. Perfect.

"WILMA,  I'M HOME!"

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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Sunday, January 20, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Desire" (1976)

"Desire" - Bob Dylan (1976)

"Blood On The Tracks" and "Desire" are probably my two favorite Bob Dylan albums.  I like this period.  The albums are like bookends.  Dylan looking back.  Dylan looking forward.  But while “Blood...” is heart-on-the-sleeve personal and poignant, “Desire” is more hook and ladder, feint and dodge.  And they are the two Dylan albums I reach for the most often.

“Hurricane” was the song that received all the media attention.  It was exciting and in your face.  A cry for justice.  If there was a better play-by-play about crime and solution than this, I've never heard it.  But it was his other gem, “Isis” that really steals the wheel for me.  The way Dylan's piano forewarns of things yet to come is just killer.  Sounding like a tongue-in-cheek troubadour spewing cryptic poetry.  The unexpected wordplay throughout this 7-minute song is so satisfying.  Head-spinning stuff.  He also had a different backing band on this album and their presence adds atmosphere and mystery to every song.  And that violin by Scarlet Rivera dancing in and out all over this record is absolute magic.  Everything works. Nothing is wasted.  Everybody has their own compass when it comes to Bob Dylan albums.  Mine leads me here.

"Desire" (back)


record sleeve (front)


record sleeve (back)


Columbia label

(I could not find any original recordings of "Isis" (live versions just won't do it justice) but here's another beautiful gem culled from "Desire" performed extraordinarily well live.) Enjoy.

"Oh, Sister" - Bob Dylan (early live performance)


TRACKS:
A1  "Hurricane" 8:33
A2  "Isis" 6:58
A3  "Mozambique" 3:00
A4  "One More Cup of Coffee" 3:43
A5  "Oh, Sister" 4:05
B1  "Joey" 11:05
B2  "Romance in Durango" 5:50
B3  "Black Diamond Bay" 7:30
B4  "Sara" 5:29

PERSONNEL:
Bob Dylan – vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano on "Isis"
Scarlet Rivera – violin
Emmylou Harris – background vocals
Rob Stoner – bass guitar, background vocals
Howard Wyeth – drums, piano
Dominic Cortese – accordion, mandolin
Vinnie Bell – bouzouki
Luther Rix – congas on "Hurricane"
Ronee Blakley – background vocals on "Hurricane"
Steven Soles – background vocals on "Hurricane"

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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Thursday, January 17, 2019

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

(a short jaunt)


"Turn The Page" - Rush / "Hold Your Fire" (1987)


I'm not much of a Rush follower, but I can certainly understand those who are.  I'm mostly a cherry pick kind of guy when it comes to this band.  That's just me.  But this one rawks hard.  It rawks...and without overstaying its welcome.  I swear Geddy's bass is on a mission from God!  But it was extra nice hearing Alex Lifeson's guitar driving around a bit.  Pretty underrated in the guitar world scheme of things.  I don't know how this song shakes out with “true” Rush fans.  Or this album for that matter.  But "Turn The Page" sure hit the cherry pick sweet spot for me.


"Better Days" - Graham Nash / "Songs For Beginners" (1971)


Graham's debut album with this awesome song was released shortly after his break-up with his then-girlfriend, Joni Mitchell. I found this album at an estate sale buried in the middle of at least 70 gospel records.  I was only half-way looking. Just killing time really.  It's an awesome album and a quarter took it home.


"Love In Vain" - Rolling Stones / "Let It Bleed" (1969)


Robert Johnson did it first, but I like this version a lot.  However, I hated that the song followed "Gimme Shelter" on "Let It Bleed." It's just too early to slow it down.  But when I'm in the mood for some, this is good.  Here's Mick Taylor working slide on the stage. (It was Keef playing slide on the album)  "The blue light was my baby.  The red light was my mind."

"WILMA,  I'M HOME!"

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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Sunday, January 13, 2019

TCCDM Dig and Flip: "John Prine: In Spite of Himself" (2015)

"John Prine: In Spite of Himself"...Eddie Huffman (2015)
212 pages

NO SPOILERS:
I've come to believe that the secret to true happiness lies somewhere farther away from an old pawnshop and maybe a little closer to a 4-minute spin on a tilt-a-whirl.  Anyway, finding this John Prine biography to read was right up my alley. And this one is pretty good for what it is.  The book takes the reader from John Prine's discovery in Chicago while delivering the neighborhood mail and walks us through each of his recordings from his amazing self-titled debut (1971) to "Standard Songs For Average People." (2007)  Also from his struggle with the record company to his own successful "Oh Boy" record label.  And his scary battle with cancer.  There are plenty of name-drops and funny Prine-isms and you will fall in love with John Prine if you haven't already.  But what the book is sorely lacking is some actual deep one-on-one conversations with the man.  Look I enjoyed Eddie Huffman's book offering.  But what I hunger for is a true John Prine memoir where JP really opens the gate.  I spoke with John Prine after he performed at the Wichita Orpheum back when I was in college.  It was my first interview and it was short...but I'll never forget it.  Here's John Prine.

"When I Get To Heaven" - John Prine / "The Tree Of Forgiveness" (2018)


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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Friday, January 11, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" (1969)

"Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" - Bob Seger System (1969)

This isn't the "Old Time Rock and Roll" Bob Seger.  Huh-uh.  Not yet, anyway.  This is the experimental Bob.  The risk-taking Seeg.  And he doesn't disappoint.  The lost gem killer "2 + 2 = ?" is on here.  Plus the classic title track.  But there's plenty of goodness to go around.  There's some psych flavor sprinkled throughout and a bit of tasty fuzz-g.  Plus there is an enjoyable ethereal presence on a song or two.  And it all works.  Bob Seger hadn't yet fallen into that comfortable sweet spot trap he would later ride to the bank.  On this, his 1969 debut album, the 'ramblin' gamblin' man' is true to his name...taking chances and letting chips fall.   And for me, the entire listen was a head-nodding surprise.  For whatever reason, this album has been a hard one for me to pick up.  But last month I stumbled on a nice clean copy...a 70s record club reissue...for a good price and I've spun it many times since.  Don't sleep on this one, you might be surprised.

"Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" (back)


Capitol label


"Gone" - Bob Seger System / "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" (1969)


TRACKS:
A1  "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" 2:20
A2  "Tales of Lucy Blue" 2:23
A3  "Ivory" 2:25
A4  "Gone" 3:25
A5  "Down Home" 3:10
A6  "Train Man" 4:05
B1  "White Wall" 5:15
B2  "Black Eyed Girl" 6:30
B3  "2 + 2 = ?" 2:47
B4  "Doctor Fine" 1:05
B5  "Last Song (Love Needs to Be Loved)" 3:02

PERSONNEL:
Bob Seger – vocals, guitar, piano, organ
Dan Honaker – bass, vocals
Pep Perrine – drums, vocals
Bob Schultz – organ on "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man"
ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS:
Michael Erlewine – blues harp on "Down Home"
Glenn Frey – b-vocals/acoustic guitar on "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man"
Penny Lawyer – b-vocals

Good stuff.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Horse Head Has An Idea:..."The Sadist" (1963)

HERE'S AN IDEA!

"The Sadist" (1963)...is one of those forgotten b/w B-movies that sort of slipped through the cracks.  It stars cheeseball Arch Hall Jr. who has a bit of that Michael J. Pollard look goin' on...but without any of the charm and talent.  Yet he has a quirkiness that draws me in.  The story is based on the infamous Charles Starkweather murder spree.  It's all very low budget, filmed in a junkyard out in the desert, but the movie takes place in 'real-time' which adds an interesting sense of urgency.  Sure, Arch Hall, Jr. is annoying as hell, and you can almost see him overthinking his lines and expressions...but it's one of those black and white cheapies that's fun to watch anyway.

"The Sadist" (1963)


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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Thursday, January 3, 2019

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

(a short jaunt)



"First Names" - Lee Michaels / "Space And First Takes" (1972)


This is a great late night driving song.  Long churning jams with intent just suck me right in.  The added psych trippage hitting the sweet spot is bonus.  And along with Lee Michaels is Drake Levin (Paul Revere and the Raiders) bending strings as well.  Surprised, I am!  The jam carries you along until your car becomes one with the highway.  Killer deep cut!



"Comin' Back To Me" - "Jefferson Airplane / "Surrealistic Pillow" (1967)


This might not be Marty Balin's best song...but it certainly is my favorite.  Beautifully sad. And it haunts like hell.  The song always wants to take me somewhere...and sometimes I let it.



"A Day In The Life" - Jeff Beck / "Live at Montreux Jazz" (2001)


I'm a snob when it comes to hearing Beatle covers.  It's a hard bitch for many to scratch.  But occasionally, someone gets it right.  Jeff Beck plays this Lennon classic like he's holding John's head in his lap.  Beck is taking care of him with tribute and respect. And what I had first expected to be just another throwaway song to add to the “covers” pile..became a gift to everyone who ever loved him.  Wow!

"WILMA,  I'M HOME!"

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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