Saturday, November 30, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Bang" (1972)

"Bang" (front)

I've heard many from the vinyl community describe Bang's self-titled first album as being similar to Black Sabbath.  And I admit, it really does have that vibe.  The riffing and tempo changing style is familiar and great.  And the Ozzy-ness in the vocals is hard to miss, as well.  It kicks ass and I really enjoy the similarities.  Bang brings some pretty clever and contagious songs that headbang nicely.  But Bang's songwriting lacks the heavy gloom and darkness that Sabbath would take to the bank.  Had their writing been heavier in that regard...who knows?  Still, this is a strong album and stoners should appreciate this early taste of '70s proto-metal.  Bang was the band from Philly who deserved a better fate.  Pick it up when you find it.

"Bang" (back)

Capitol label (lime w/purple logo) 

"The Queen" - Bang / "Bang" (1972)

A1  "Lions, Christians" 3:58
A2  "The Queen" 5:24
A3  "Last Will and Testament" 4:09
A4  "Come With Me" 4:12
B1  "Our Home" 3:26
B2  "Future Shock" 4:38
B3  "Questions" 3:50
B4  "Redman" 4:58

Frank Ferrara - vocals, bass
Frank Gilcken - guitar, b-vocals
Tony D'Iorio - drums

Bang Website

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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Monday, November 25, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Share The Land" (1970)

"Share The Land" - The Guess Who (1970)

This is a great album that can almost always be found for $1...$2...maybe $3 dollars.  And it's a killer spin for your listening pleasure.  Loaded with no less than 4 radio songs with the rest of the album equally as entertaining.  The lost gem for me was the epic 9-min closer. “Three More Days.”  Not a minute is wasted.  It stays interesting from beginning to end with Burton Cummings sounding fantastic without going over-the-top.  It felt like a real band effort.  No egos.  The other is the hard-rockin' “Hang On To Your Life" which I didn't know I knew until I spun the record.  The song has a killer harmonic hook that never gets old.  An under-appreciated treasure.  And the psych fade out of this song has a surprising, almost Morrison-like, recitation about something or other.  It's quirky and I dig stuff like that.

For the small amount of coinage, this is a solid album.  There is even a bit of a Black Oak Arkansas vibe going on with one of the songs..."Coming Down Off the Money Bag"...and on first listen I was throwing eye rolls to whomever I could make eye contact with.  But on subsequent listens...I think it was a risk that worked.  Don't pick the needle up...let it ride.  I think you'll get it.  This was the first album minus Randy Bachman, but the new Guess Who bandmates could not have gotten off to a better start.  Cummings dials back the lounge-act bit.  A habit that would slowly sink the band in the years to come.  But here, he is in fine form.  Find this. Buy this.

"Share The Land" (back)

"Share The Land" (Gatefold Unipak)

"Share The Land" (inner sleeve - front)

"Share The Land" (inner sleeve - back)

RCA Victor label

"Hang On To Your Life" - The Guess Who / "Share The Land" (1970)

A1  "Bus Rider" 2:57
A2  "Do You Miss Me Darlin'?" 3:55
A3  "Hand Me Down World" 3:26
A4  "Moan For You Joe" 2:39
A5  "Share The Land" 3:53
B1  "Hang On To Your Life" 4:09
B2  "Coming Down Off The Money Bag" / "Song Of The Dog" 3:54
B3  "Three More Days" 8:55

Burton Cummings – vocals, keyboards, flute on (B3)
Kurt Winter – lead guitar, b-vocals
Greg Leskiw – guitar, b-vocals, lead vocal on (B2)
Jim Kale – bass, b-vocals
Garry Peterson – drums, b-vocals

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Sunday, November 24, 2019

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

(a short jaunt)

"Shanghai Blues" - Robbie Robertson / "Sinematic" (2019)

All right. Some new stuff from The Band legend...Robbie Robertson.  And he sounds like he's on a mission.  This has one of those cool sort of a spoken word recitations goin' on.  About a mob boss in Chinatown you don't even want to think about crossing.  Robertson is just someone easy to pull for.  I'm not the biggest fan of The Band...but I always thought he was a pretty cool hoss.  "Sinematic" is Robbie Robertson's 6th solo album.

"Thoughts And Words" - The Byrds / “Younger Than Yesterday” (1967)

“I thought I was on top of it all
Everyone else was so small
Then I knew what you wanted to do
I knew what you wanted to do.”
Chris Hllman penned this hot little biscuit and it's a sexy psychedelic monster.  The solo break is killer and waaay too short.  And doesn't it sound like McGuinn and Crosby are enjoying themselves?  A good song brings a band together.  This was The Byrd’s 4th album.

"Out The Blue" - John Lennon / “Mind Games” (1973)

This song sounds like a leftover outtake from The Beatles White album.  It certainly would not have been out of place.  Just a beautiful song that seems to brush the soft shoulders of regret.  That's what I hear anyway.  "Mind Games" was John Lennon's fourth studio album.


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Friday, November 22, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Red Weather" (1969)

"Red Weather" - Leigh Stephens (1969)

Leigh Stephens was the lead guitarist for Blue Cheer for crying out loud, so his cred has already been nailed to the rock wall...but this album doesn't bring the thunder of that kinda noise.  However, Stephens' first solo album does have its crank-it moments.  They're pretty good, but they don't blow out your windows.  Mostly, there is an earthier chill-out spell being cast.  And it's this quirkiness that gives the album a bit of a psychy-vibe.  The album is a different octopus.  It's probably your "Blue Cheer" expectations that will let you down.  Leave your notions at the door and you might discover a few gems.  "Red Weather" is by no means a necessity for your 'psych' collection, but it's still a nice one to own.  It has a great cover to display and Stephens does give us a few deep tracks worth discovering.  A bit of a grower.  My album was a record club copy.

"Red Weather" (back)

Philips label

"Red Weather" - Leigh Stephens / "Red Weather" (1969)

A1  "Another Dose of Life" 4:47
A2  "Drifting" 6:41
A3  "Indians" 4:47
A4  "I Grow Higher" 5:39
B1  "Red Weather" 3:14
B2  "If You Choose Too" 5:10
B3  "Joannie Mann" 5:05
B4  "Chicken Pot Pie" 3:12

Leigh Stephens - vocals, guitar, bass
Ian Stewart - keyboards
Nicky Hopkins - keyboards
Kevin Westlake - drums
Mick Waller - drums
Eric Albronda - vocals  (A1)
Kevin Westlake vocals (A1)

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
Follow Me On FACEBOOK 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

TCCDM Dig and Flip: "Cover" (1987)

"Cover" - Jack Ketchum (1987)
302 pages

I've always been a big fan of Jack Ketchum and the creepy, twisting tales he enjoyed spinning around us, but "Cover" just didn't have enough 'shim in the shang-shang.'  A Vietnam veteran back from the war just can't deal, so he excuses himself from the table...preferring to isolate off in some secluded woods to try to work through some pretty messed-up memories.  On the other side of this coin is a small group of city shakers off to the forest for a little weekend back-to-nature break.  Of the same general vicinity.  This reads much more like an average thriller than a typical JK horror novel.  The story reads fast and “Cover” does have its moments, but when you pull your book-dart away from the final're left with a story that's already been chewed a few times.  Still, when Ketchum goes off on a few of the main character's flashbacks...(the best parts of the story)...the shiat gets disturbingly real...real fast.   Entertaining, but not the first Jack Ketchum novel to start with.

"Cover Me" - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band / "Born In The USA" (1984)

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Music To Eat" (1971)

"Music To Eat" - Hampton Grease Band (1971)

The Hampton Grease Band's only album...“Music To Eat”...has reached a bit of cult status of sorts.  At one time, this album ranked as being the sorriest selling Columbia album ever...second only to a nobody yoga album.  That in and of itself is an oddly cool rep to possess.  This 88-minute double album is filled with quirky avant-garde rock.  There are plenty of silly and strange moments and at times the album has a bit of the Beefheart or Zappa vibe going-on.  But mixed in with all the weird cornucopia are some really good jamming sessions and psych dipping.  Much of it crank-worthy.  Yes, there is some eye-rolling weirdness, for sure, but overall my listening experience teeters to the side of ”just ride it.”  I don't love this album, but I like it enough to make room for it on my shelf.  “Music To Eat” was a hard one for me to find, probably because those that stumble on it, hold on to it.  There are enough interesting changes throughout these two squares...if you don't like what's happening, just wait a few minutes and get hit with a different stick.

"Music To Eat" (back)

"Music To Eat" (gatefold inside)

Columbia label

Columbia company sleeve

"Halifax" (first 10 min.) - Hampton Grease Band / "Music To Eat" (1971)

A1  "Halifax" 19:36
B1  "Maria" 5:27
B2  "Six" 19:31
C1  "Evans"
       a. "Egyptian Beaver" 5:18
       b. "Evans" 12:30
C2  "Lawton" 7:48
D1  "Hey Old Lady and Bert's Song" 3:19
D2  "Hendon"
       a. "Spray Paint" 1:15
       b. "Major Bones" 2:05
       c. "Sewell Park" 5:18
       d. "Improvisation" 11:35

Bruce Hampton (Col. Hampton B. Coles, Ret.) - vocals, trumpet
Glenn Phillips - guitar, saxophone
Jerry Fields (Bubba Phreon) - trombone, drums, percussion, vocals
Mike Holbrook - bass
Harold Kelling - guitar, vocals, composer, cover design

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Sunday, November 10, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."One Nation Underground" (1967)

"One Nation Underground" - Pearls Before Swine (1967)

“One Nation Underground” is filled with odd folk-psych melodies and a floaty moodiness that gives the listener a mind-loosening experience.  It's hard to explain but Tom Rapp is good at it.  Pearls Before Swine's debut is not completely covered in psych dust, but the album sounds clever and sometimes strange.  The opening track "Another Time" is a subtle example of Rapp on target.  There are a couple of heavier songs in the folk-psych mode.  "I Shall Not Care" is probably my favorite.  And the biting Vietnam jab, "Uncle John" is one of the better anti-war tracks I've heard.  The oddest track is the Dylanesque "Playmate" which is good but feels a little outta place.  I'm not sure what was the point.  I've since come to enjoy the Dylan take quite a bit.  Overall, "One Nation Underground" is a nice piece of folk psych that holds up pretty well.  Btw...Tom Rapp tries slipping in a bit of F-U-C-K in Morse code a few times on "(Oh Dear) Miss Morse."  The song was quickly pulled from the radio stations when complaints were made.  The idea was silly but kind of cool.

"One Nation Underground" (back)

ESP label

"I Shall Not Care" - Pearls Before Swine / "One Nation Underground" (1967)

A1  "Another Time" 3:07
A2  "Playmate" 2:24
A3  "Ballad To An Amber Lady" 5:20
A4  "(Oh Dear) Miss Morse" 2:04
A5  "Drop Out!" 4:10
B1  "Morning Song" 4:11
B2  "Regions of May" 3:30
B3  "Uncle John" 3:00
B4  "I Shall Not Care" 5:26
B5  "The Surrealist Waltz" 3:28

Tom Rapp - vocals, guitar
Wayne Harley - autoharp, banjo, mandolin, vibraphone, audio oscillator, harmony
Lane Lederer - bass, guitar, English horn, Swinehorn, Sarangi, celeste, finger cymbals, vocals (on "Surrealist Waltz")
Roger Crissinger - organ, harpsichord, clavioline
Warren Smith - drums, percussion

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
Follow Me On FACEBOOK 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

TCCDM Dig and Flip: "Hillbilly Elegy" (2016)

"Hillbilly Elegy" - J.D. Vance (2016)
257 pages

From his early years surviving in a dysfunctional family home surrounded by dysfunctional neighbors, author J.D. Vance gives a compelling story about his own personal and painful journey growing up in the deep Appalachian areas running through Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio.  Poverty and abuse was just the way it was.  Love was often shown with violence.  Violence and loyalty went hand-in-hand.  His mother was an addict bringing in one boyfriend after another into their home.  Sometimes hanging around for a few months.  Other times, only a few days.  His teenage years were a juggle of bad grades and bullies.  The Marine Corps was soon knocking. (A common escape for young men in a hopeless town.)  Finally, Vance made it into college.  And Ivy League school at that.

Stories like this one are not that unusual.  They happen.  But it's always a BIG surprise when they do.  It's like the rural Appalachian areas are trapped under an oppressive dome that's filled with nothing but take-a-way dream-snatchers.  And nothing is ever a quick fix.  A government program here.  A scholastic incentive there.  I'm generalizing, of course, but most times the help must first come from within.  And then from within the home.  "Hillbilly Elegy" is a great memoir filled with hard soap and plenty of love.  I'm glad I finally picked this one up.  A surprisingly wonderful read.

"Hillbilly Highway" - Steve Earle / "Guitar Town" (1986)

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Monday, November 4, 2019

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

(a short jaunt)

"Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" - "The Rolling Stones / "The Rolling Stones No. 2" (UK 1965)

This is the fantastic unedited UK album version.  On the US release, “The Rolling Stones Now!”...the song tapped out at a measly 3-min clip and it's not nearly as hot.  I used to ignore early Stones albums, dismissing them as merely albums with a hit single and filler.  But man, was I wrong.  The more I listen to that early British r&b Stones swag...the more I want to hear.  Give Keith Richards' “Life” biography a page-spin sometime.  It will really open your eyes.  This isn't throw away stuff.  This is the Stones loving what they do.

"Girl From The North Country" - Joni Mitchell & Johnny Cash / "Best Of The Johnny Cash TV Show: 1969-1971" (2007)

A young and gentle Joni Mitchell and the big man Johnny Cash.  The juxtaposition of these two artists knock this song right out of the park.  Joni's voice, for sure, is golden, but it's John's hard, yet vulnerable, vocals that sells it all for me.  One of the best covers from a very small few I like.

"Back-Door Angels" - Jethro Tull / "War Child" (1974)

"In and out of the back-door, ran one front-door angel.
Her hair was a golden-brown.
She smiled and I think she winked...her...."

Probably my favorite deep track from this album.  It has the great and under-appreciated Martin Barre throwing down cool guitar burns.  Choice Ian Anderson lyrics with just the right flute attention that I like.  “Warchild” was a little bit under the high-bar from what came before it...meaning I just didn't enjoy it right away.  But the album is a grower with several gems to be discovered.  I find this album in bins everywhere and for very little jingle.  Certainly worth revisiting. 


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers