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 / "PaĆ­s 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

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