Thursday, April 15, 2021

TCCDM 4 For Friday



The Hogs Ear Report shares his top vinyl finds stumbled on in the wild from last year.  Always fun and interesting.

Many consider "Rain" to be The Beatles finest b-side moment at The Beatles Bible.

Go back and watch this 80s classic spot-on punk film..."Suburbia" directed by Penelope Spheeris.

Bookmark this and keep it handy.  A quick and easy way to contact Amazon for help.


"Oh My" - UFO / "Phenomenon" (1974)

Good stuff.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

I Went...SI--SI--SIRIUS...All The Way Home (again) #35

(a short jaunt)


"Welcome To Goose Creek" - Goose Creek Symphony / "Welcome To Goose Creek" (1971)

"It's just a way of life so easy to find.
But it won't be on maps they make.
And you can't buy it on time."
Man, but this stuff is some summer lake cabin...front porch feel-good...thigh-slapping music.  Rootsy with a weed-induced (or not) country-rock authenticity.  The band sounds like they were located somewhere in the mountains of Appalachia, but nope, they were from Phoenix.  And the band owns a piece of real estate in the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall-of-Fame.  I imagine it's pretty hard to stay angry with Goose Creek Symphony around. (OWN)


"Water Song" - Hot Tuna / "Burgers" (1972)

Hot Tuna has always been a little bit hit-or-miss for me, but dang if they don't knock this song outta the park.  This song was culled from "Burgers"...their debut studio album and is about as lost gem as one can get.  Just a delightful instrumental with Jorma Kaukonen's fingers dancing on his guitar strings and Jack Casady making sure his bass pushes things forward.  And yep, you can hear Papa John Creach's bow skating on his violin strings, as well.  The song is really good for the spirit.  Makes me curious about what the rest of the album sounds like.  By the way, if any of those names sound familiar, they should.  They were all members of Jefferson Airplane. (NEED)

"Trilogy..." - Loggins & Messina / "On Stage" (1974)

When it comes to Loggins and Messina, I've always been in the Messina camp.  Jim Messina was already a veteran from both Buffalo Springfield and Poco by this period.  And "Trilogy..." was mostly Messina's to write and arrange.  It was what he liked to do.  Loggins was the poppier and prettier of the two, I suppose, but Messina was responsible for not letting too much sugar spill on the floor.  It was that balance in the music that I enjoyed the best. Here is the interview I had with Jim Messina. 
   
"WILMA,  I'M HOME!"

Good stuff.

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Sunday, April 11, 2021

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."The Howlin' Wolf Album" - Howlin' Wolf (1969)

"The Howlin' Wolf Album" - Howlin' Wolf (1969)

Howlin' Wolf might not have liked the time he spent making this record as the story goes, but that doesn't diminish in the least just how much I enjoyed it.  Even some of the most pissed-on albums have been fondly embraced.  This is not your traditional Howlin' Wolf blues, but it doesn't drift too terribly far from the roots.  This is blues with a psychedelic bend that avoids many of the familiar cliches.  Oh, and like it or not, it does kick some Howlin' Wolf ass.

Members of Rotary Connection back up the legend and help fill the office with some good noise.  And guitarist Pete Cosey, who played with Miles Davis for a long run is especially fresh letting his guitar loose to trip and freak.  Cosey takes many of the songs for a little fuzz and wah-wah ride and is a big reason the album is so much fun.

"The Howlin' Wolf Album" (back)

Favorites include the psyched-out "Evil" and is the trippiest spin.  The classic "Smokestack Lightnin'" slips into a very cool hypnotic groove.  "Built for Comfort" is fuzzy and funky and I've never heard a bad version of this one.  "Tail Dragger" has great Wolf vocals and excellent Cosey guitar play.

The Cadet Concept label was a branch of Cadet Records and used for their more experimental artists and albums like Status Quo and Rotary Connection.  And for what it's worth, RS ranked Howlin' Wolf #54 on their list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time."

Cadet Concept label

Cat #
LPS-319
SIDE A  MATRIX
LPS-319  17472  (MR in a circle)  △12919  SIDE-1
SIDE B  MATRIX
LPS-319  SIDE-2  17473  (MR in a circle)  △12919-X 

"Tail Dragger" - Howlin' Wolf / "The Howlin' Wolf Album" (1969)

TRACKS:
A1  "Spoonful" 3:48
A2  "Tail Dragger" 4:20
A3  "Smokestack Lightning" 5:48
A4  "Moanin' At Midnight" 3:13
A5  "Built For Comfort" 5:17
B1  "The Red Rooster" 3:48
B2  "Evil" 4:06
B3  "Down In The Bottom" 2:43
B4  "Three Hundred Pounds Of Joy" 2:34
B5  "Back Door Man" 6:17

PERSONNEL:
Howlin' Wolf - guitar, harmonica, vocals
Morris Jennings - drums
Louis Satterfield - bass
Hubert Sumlin - guitar
Pete Cosey - guitar, bowed guitar
Roland Faulkner - guitar
Donald Myrick - flute
Gene Barge - electric saxophone
Phil Upchurch - guitar

Good stuff.

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Friday, April 9, 2021

TCCDM 4 For Friday



Here's a new video of John Lennon and his song "Look At Me" with previously unreleased footage of John and Yoko.  Somewhere in-between sweet and sad with his heart hanging on his sleeve.

Rolling Stone made a list of their "40 Of The Greatest One-And Done Albums" with a small comment about each choice.  A few surprises.  A lot of head-scratchers.  And a few wtfs!  But a whole lot of fun to check out.

Man of 10,000 sound-effects Michael Winslow runs through some spot on Hendrix.  A cup of Zeppelin.  And...Tina Turner?  I didn't see that one coming.  Excellent stuff

So much fun watching Mellow Yellow and The Psych Professor share their belated "Top 10 Vinyl Finds of 2019."  Good friends sharing good record scores.  Time well spent. 


"Mambo Sun" - T. Rex  / "Electric Warrior" (1971)
"On a mountain range, I'm Dr. Strange."

Good stuff.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

I Went...SI--SI--SIRIUS...All The Way Home (again) #34

(a short jaunt)


"Lord Of The Thighs" - Aerosmith / "Get Your Wings" (1974)

Not really a deep track as this one is usually one of the two or three songs radio plays from the album.  Still, I seldom hear it anymore.  The silly play on words of the "Lord Of The Flies" book from English class is exactly the kind of twist young boys would make during an afternoon assembly.  I'm not sure which I like best...the snarly vocals of Steven Tyler or the twin guitars with Brad Whitford taking the lead.  This jam was supposedly the last song written for this their second studio album. (OWN)


"Waiter, There's A Yawn In My Ear" -  Manfred Mann's E. B. / "The Roaring Silence" (1976)

Which came first: the song or the album cover?  The song is an excellent trippy-prog instrumental that crushes.  And with some tasty soloing in the middle.  Both synth and guitar.  The song may not have a distinct direction but it's some ear-pleasing headphone shit just the same.  This was the 7th album by Manfred Mann's Earth Band and the album that first contained one Springsteen cover ("Blinded By The Light") and then was quickly re-released with an added Springsteen cover. ("Spirit In The Night")  Both great, but the latter was far more interesting.  As for "Waiter..." well this one is a bit of a forgotten biscuit. (NEED)  


"House In The Country" - Blood, Sweat & Tears / "Child Is Father to the Man" (1968)

Crickets to the left of me.  Strange mumblings and noises to the right.  Here I am stuck in the middle with you!  I never knew BS&T dabbled in the pop psychedelia smoke, but on this, their debut album, they went there a time or two.  And good for them.  I never was much of a fan of BS&T...mostly because I found lead singer David Clayton-Thomas' voice stylings kinda boring.  A single here and a single there, but certainly not for an entire album.  That's just me.  When Al Kooper left, so did I.  Fortunately, David is nowhere to be found on this one. (OWN)

"WILMA,  I'M HOME!"

Good stuff.

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Sunday, April 4, 2021

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Strange Affair" - Help Yourself (1972)

"Strange Affair" - Help Yourself (1972)

Help Yourself was an English rock band from London who had a bit of that trippy West Coast rock spirit.  Their 2nd album "Strange Affair" is warm, catchy, and psych dusted enough to give the listener a good feeling.  Plenty of good playing on all fronts.  Vocals are especially solid, at times recalling the timbre of America and CSN, and yet retaining their own flavor.  
 
"Strange Affair" - Help Yourself  (back)

Favorites include the outstanding 10-minute psych-biscuit "The All Electric Fur Trapper."  Floaty and fuzzy.  Trippy and groovy.  Just a great spin.  "Movie Star" sounds right out of a CSN cookbook left at Laurel Canyon.  "Brown Lady" is a groove with harmonies sounding very much like America.  “Many Ways of Meeting” closes us out with a satisfying gentle ballad that's not cheap, maintaining the good vibe of the album.  

My copy came with a printed inner sleeve that included an interesting story about the legend of "The All Electric Fur Trapper."  There is a smallish corner-cut at the bottom-left and $5 let me rescue the album from Garageman G.  The band released four albums between 1971-1973 and they all received above-average props.  A few band members went on to work with George Harrison, Jeff Beck, ELP, and others.  If you stumble on one in the wild...don't sleep.

(record sleeve front & back)

United Artists Records

Cat #
UAS-5591
SIDE A  MATRIX
UAS 5591-A-1  1T  Eck   
SIDE B  MATRIX
UAS 5591-B-1  1T  Eck

"The All Electric Fur Trapper" - Help Yourself / "Strange Affair" (1972)

TRACKS:
A1  "Strange Affair" 3:21
A2  "Brown Lady" 4:40
A3  "Movie Star" 5:45
A4  "Deanna Call and Scotty" 3:44
B1  "Heaven Row" 4:00
B2  "The All Electric Fur Trapper" 11:55
B3  "Many Ways of Meeting" 3:54

PERSONNEL:
Malcolm Morley - vocals, guitar, keyboards
Richard Treece - bass, guitar, vocals, harmonica
Paul Burton - bass
Ernie Graham - guitar
Jojo Glemser - guitar
Dave Charles - drums, percussion, vocals

Good stuff.

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Friday, April 2, 2021

TCCDM 4 For Friday



One of my favorite stops over at Bloggerrhythms is his "Almost Hits" series. I love the song he chose to throw at us and was surprised it never quite grabbed the bar.  It also reminded me of an episode of "Stranger Things."

A beautiful and fascinating "before and after" photoshoot dramatically shows the power and attraction of an honest smile at deMilked.

Twisted Sifter shows an amazing 4-minute compilation of famous silent film special effects cleverly accomplished before the go-to green screens became the thing.  

Long-time Vinyl Community member Earhead Six suggests a starter package of psych records you can find on the cheap for anyone interested in dipping their toes into the proverbial lava lamp.  (On hiatus these days, but looking forward to his return.)


"The Hero And The Madman" - Thin Lizzy / "Vagabond Of The Western World" (1973)

Good stuff.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

I Went...SI--SI--SIRIUS...All The Way Home (again) #33

(a short jaunt)


"Good Clean Fun" - Allman Brothers / "Seven Turns" (1990)

Apparently, this was the first time that the "Midnight Rider" Gregg Allman and the "Ramblin' Man" Dickey Betts shared writing credits.  That's pretty cool that they finally did and really surprising that it took'em so long.  Southern rock and the boys are getting'er done.  It only took'em nine studio albums to get there.  Anyway, the song sounds like a jukebox good time to me.   And boy, don't it make ya feel good hearing Dickey tear it up in the middle. (NEED)


"Mr. Radio" - ELO / "The Electric Light Orchestra" (1971)

Old radio tuning sounds at the beginning and experimental studio trickery at the end is very cool and a bit trippy.  No one can mix the classical strings with pop-rock so seamlessly as ELO.  I'm guessing Jeff Lynne was the man behind the curtains on this one.  And the song from the band's debut album certainly casts shadows of greater things yet to come. (NEED)


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

The Rolling Stones version of the Solomon Burke soul classic was a full five-minutes on their UK album, “The Rolling Stones No. 2.”  On the US album counterpart, "The Rolling Stones, Now!" the song was trimmed down to a measly three-minute spin.  Across the pond, the young Stones were trying to show their appreciation and inspiration in the wax.  And that's the album to try and hunt down. (NEED)

"WILMA,  I'M HOME!"

Good stuff.

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Monday, March 29, 2021

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."YES" - YES (1969)

"YES" - YES (1969)

Part of the fun of collecting vinyl is spinning the egg from whence a legendary band has hatched.  In 1969, YES released their eponymous debut album sans guitarist Steve Howe...sans keyboardist Rick Wakeman...hell, even artist Roger Dean was missing.  On this enjoyable debut, Peter Banks was wielding the ax.  Tony Kaye was commandeering the keys.  And David Gahr was responsible for the album cover.

And still, the band was cooking with electric gas even then.  However, the album was more prog-pop than we were used to.  Elements of jazz snaked into the mix.  And, oh yeah, the band added a few psychedelic flourishes here and there.  In fact, if you are someone not especially fond of YES, check out this biscuit.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

"YES" (back)

Favorites include the wickedly clever cover of The Beatles, "Every Little Thing."  Beatle covers are pretty much a snore for me, but with a few exceptions.  (Spooky Tooth quickly comes to mind for their great take on "...Walrus.")   YES takes an average Beatle song and makes it their own.  They also turn The Byrds, "I See You" into a jazzy 7-minute jam feed with everyone having a go.  "Looking Around" rocks balls with Kaye, Banks, Squire, and Bruford bouncing off each other.  Harmonies, led by Jon Anderson, are a joy.  "Survival" closes out the album with rushes of gorgeous chord changes so nice for the head.    

My copy is a 1975 US Presswell repress that I found at a Hutchinson Swap Meet once upon a time.  I actually like this US album cover better than the cartoon bubble found on the UK version.  Both albums included a double-sided lyric sheet when issued.  Unfortunately, I am the owner of a lonely missing lyrics sheet.  Whaddyagonnado?

Atlantic sleeve

Atlantic label

Cat #
SD 8243
SIDE A  MATRIX
ST-A-691679B BB-1  AT/GP  PR  
SIDE B  MATRIX
ST-A-6916 8C-BBB-1  AT/GP  PR

"Looking Around" - YES (1969)

TRACKS:
A1  "Beyond and Before" 4:50
A2  "I See You" 6:33
A3  "Yesterday and Today" 2:37
A4  "Looking Around" 3:49
B1  "Harold Land" 5:26
B2  "Every Little Thing" 5:24
B3  "Sweetness" 4:19
B4  "Survival" 6:01

PERSONNEL:
Jon Anderson – vocals, incidental percussion
Tony Kaye – organ, piano
Peter Banks – guitars, b-vocals
Chris Squire – bass, b-vocals
Bill Bruford – drums, vibraphone

Good stuff.

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Friday, March 26, 2021

TCCDM 4 For Friday



NightFire shares their list of the best horror novel that takes place in each state.

By his own admission, Elijah Wood is a record nerd.  And he talks about his most recent vinyl pick-ups at What's In My Bag.

Echoes In The Wind shares the surprising musical artist that takes up most of his digital real estate.

Always fun watching Jeff over at the Vinyl Community's Burnout Shelter show his record finds. 


"Just Passing" - Small Faces / b-side (1967)

Good stuff.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Early Morning Blues And Greens" - Diane Hildebrand (1968)

 "Early Morning Blues and Greens" - Diane Hildebrand (1968)

Diane Hildebrand had been writing songs for TV shows and musical acts like The Monkees and folk-psych band The Lewis & Clarke Expedition when she recorded her only album for Elektra Records.  "Early Morning Blues and Greens" is a very cool singer-songwriter album with a dark, sometimes melancholic, air about it.  The album is not without a little bit of psych flavor floating around, as well.  And the unfamiliar vocals of Hildebrand are pretty nice to hear.

"Early Morning Blues and Greens" - Diane Hildebrand (back)

The album is on the highly-regarded Elektra Records 4000 series and can usually be had for under $10...if you can find a copy in the wild.  Side One is the stronger, but the drop-off is hardly noticeable.  Favorites are "Jan’s Blues."  "From Rea Who Died Last Summer."  "The Reincarnation Of Emmalina Stearns."  And "You Wonder Why You're Lonely."  Sorry, it was hard for me to choose.  I found my used copy in the New-Arrival bin at Spektrum Records.

Elektra Records sleeve

Elektra Records label

Cat #
EKS-74031
SIDE A  MATRIX
EKS 74021A-MON  (MR in a circle) △12501
SIDE B  MATRIX
EKS 74021B-MON  (MR in a circle) △12501-B

"Jan's Blues" - Diane Hildebrand / "Early Morning Blues and Greens" (1968)

TRACKS:
A1  "Jan's Blues" 2:53
A2  "Thumbin'" 2:43
A3  "From Rea Who Died Last Summer" 2:12
A4  "There's a Coming Together" 2:41
A5  "And It Was Good" 2:58
A6  "Gideon" 2:00
B1  "Early Morning Blues and Greens" 3:10
B2  "The Reincarnation of Emmalina Stearns" 3:20
B3  "You Wonder Why You're Lonely" 3:50
B4  "Come Looking for Me" 2:07
B5  "Given Time" 3:15

PERSONNEL:
Diane Hildebrand - vocals, guitar
Colin Cameron - guitar, bass
Tony McCashen - guitar, banjo, bass, harmonica
Russell White - piano, harpsichord
Malcolm Elsensohn - drums, bongos, percussion
David Dawson - autoharp
Fred Myrow - organ
James Decker, Sheridon Stokes - horn section

Good stuff.

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Sunday, March 21, 2021

I Went...SI--SI--SIRIUS...All The Way Home (again) #32

(a 20-minute jaunt)


"Deserted Cities Of The Heart" - Cream / "Wheels of Fire" (1968)

Surprisingly, I don't own this album.  But the song, the last track on side two, sounds like a legit lost classic to me.  Where have you been all this time radio-radio?  It has a blistering Eric Clapton solo with Ginger Baker committing homicide on his drums for good measure.  Jack Bruce does the rest.  This was Cream's 3rd album, a double package half studio/half live.  And for what it's worth, "Wheels Of Fire" checked-in at #205 on RS 500 greatest albums of all time. (NEED)


"Breathless" - Todd Rundgren / "Something / Anything?" (1972)

I have a love/hate relationship with this most-talented chameleon.  Todd is a shape-shifter.  A swimmer of deep waters.  Tightwires without a net.  Pulls his bow while blindfolded.  And sometimes he gets too clever for his own good.  But sometimes he gets it right.  "Something/Anything?" is one of my favorite double-albums and the song "Breathless"...is as cool and uplifting an instrumental as you'd want.  Totally dig it.  And yet this song is still one of the weaker tracks found on the album.  Todd Rundgren is HOF overdue. (OWN)  


"Boogie Motel"  - Foghat / "Boogie Motel" (1979)

Foghat gives fans exactly what they want.  No flash.  No flames.  Just some good, friendly boogie blues-rock.  Put on some classic 70s Foghat, toss me something cold from the fridge and I can get some work done.  Summers are a great match for a band like Foghat.  Just crank it and forget it.  "Boogie Motel" was Foghat's eighth album and the last one of the decade. (OWN)  Here is a conversation I had with Foghat drummer Roger Earl in 2019.

"WILMA,  I'M HOME!"

Good stuff.

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Friday, March 19, 2021

TCCDM 4 For Friday



Bookgasm reviewed the latest novel from Stephen King.

The Hits Just Keep On Comin' cherry-picks a few songs from the weekend of March 9, 1991.

Vinyl Community's PsycheDerek shares his personal list of Top 20 Psych Albums on ABC Records.

The Wicker Tree (2011)...not as good as the original film, but is still a bit of fun nonetheless.

"Turn Your Head" - Rare Bird ‎/ "Somebody's Watching" (1973)

Good stuff.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."The Outlaw Blues Band" - The Outlaw Blues Band (1968)

"The Outlaw Blues Band" - The Outlaw Blues Band (1968)

The Outlaw Blues Band's self-titled album is a unique mix of stinging blues guitars and tasty blows of jazz horn and vibraharp in all the right measures.  The blues-rock and jazz blend make for a cool, sometimes downright avant-garde journey.  And for 1968, sounds fresh and a few years ahead of its time.  There's a couple of weaker tracks, but mostly this is a satisfying album on many levels.

The album was a total blind purchase.  I'd never seen the album, but it was from '68 and the cover looked interesting.  Tagged at $14, I may have overpaid, but I wanted to leave the store with something.  Weighing my chances of stumbling on the album again, I pulled the trigger.  I'm really glad I did.  The square sounds better with each spin. 

"The Outlaw Blues Band" (back)

Favorites are the psych-dusted "I've Got To Have Peace On My Mind."  The heady "Death Dog Of Doom" is an 8-minute cacophony of 6/8 sounds and beats with everyone having a shine.  "Tried To Be A Good Boy..." is a really good bluesthing with sax, guitar, and harmo trading conversation.  Out of Los Angeles, The Outlaw Blues Band recorded two albums in the late 60s.  And though not expensive, both have become a bit of a deep-square find.  

"The Outlaw Blues Band" (inside gatefold)

BluesWay label/ABC Records

Cat #
BLS-6021
SIDE A  MATRIX
BLS 6021 A  ABC-S- 659-A  LW  
SIDE B  MATRIX
BLS 6021 B  ABC-S- 659-B  LW

"I've Got To To Have Peace On My Mind" - The Outlaw Blues Band / Self-Titled (1968)

TRACKS:
A1  "Tobacco Road" 4:36
A2  "Tried to Be A Good Boy (But I'm Worse Than A Nazi)" 6:21
A3  "How Bad Love Can Be" 4:04
A4  "I've Got To To Have Peace On My Mind" 3:24
B1  "Lost in the Blues" 3:04
B2  "Death Dog of Doom" 8:10
B3  "Sweet Sixteen" 4:32
B4  "Two 'Tranes Running" 3:14

PERSONNEL:
Phillip John - vocals, lead guitar
Joe Francis Gonzales - bass, vocals
Leon Rubenhold - harmonica, vocals
Joel Whiteman - saxophone, flute, vibraharp, prolonged inhalation
Victor Aleman - drums, percussion


Good stuff.

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Sunday, March 14, 2021

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Forever Changes" - Love (1967)

"Forever Changes" - Love (1967)

"...the streets are paved with gold and if someone asks you, you can call my name."  "Forever Changes" was Love's 3rd studio album and is considered a masterpiece of psych folk-rock perfection.  There is a gaggle of accolades to be found on google, so I won't rehash too much.  But for any new spinners, "Forever Changes" is a rather unusual album of acoustic psych-rock sprinkled with stinging bites of electric guitar and tasteful touches of horn that occasionally drop in.  Both melodies and lyrics are heady and mind-pleasing.  Suffice to say, the album is an essential square to own and spin.

"Forever Changes" (back)

"Forever Changes" has been reissued several times, but nice early pressings can still be found.  So you definitely have choices.  My copy is not OG, but lingers very close to the house.  And it bangs nicely.  Favorites are "A House Is Not A Motel."  The psych-haunted "The Red Telephone."  "Live And Let Live" has cool and strange lyrics and biting guitar.  And of course, the opening track "Alone Again Or" is perfection.  Love recorded seven albums total, but "Forever Changes" was the last recorded with all original members. 

Elektra Records

Elektra sleeve

Cat #
EKS-74013
SIDE A  MATRIX
EKS 74013 A (MON-1)  (MR in a circle)  △11348  Rd (scribbled) 
SIDE B  MATRIX
EKS 74013 B (MON)  (MR in a circle)  △11250-X  Dm (scribbled) 

"A House Is Not A Motel" - Love / "Forever Changes" (1967)

TRACKS:
A1  "Alone Again Or" 3:15
A2  "A House Is Not A Motel" 3:25
A3  "Andmoreagain" 3:15
A4  "The Daily Planet" 3:25
A5  "Old Man" 2:57
A6  "The Red Telephone" 4:45
B1  "Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale" 3:30
B2  "Live and Let Live" 5:24
B3  "The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This" 3:00
B4  "Bummer in the Summer" 2:20
B5  "You Set the Scene" 6:49

PERSONNEL:
Arthur Lee - guitar, vocal
Bryan MacLean - guitar, vocal
Johnny Echols - guitar
Ken Forssi - bass
Michael Stuart-Ware - drums, percussion
ADDITIONAL:
The Wrecking Crew

Good stuff.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

TCCDM Dig and Flip: "The Last Oracle" - James Rollins (2009)

"The Last Oracle"
by James Rollins
(2009)
Paperback, 462 pages

NO SPOILERS:
A James Rollins novel is one you reach for when you just want to curl up and burn some pages with a good adventure.  Mixing strange facts with plausible ideas, Rollins has carved out a well-known niche that keeps readers coming back.  Pages filled with plot twists and thrilling ducks and dodges that longtime readers have come to expect.     

"The Last Oracle" finds a secret organization located in the mountains near Chernobyl planning to take over the world by using savant children who have shown a talent for strong intuitions and accurate premonitions.  This mystery adventure includes over-the-top cold war experiments, under-reported nuclear waste sites, and the Sigma Force left to figuratively clean up the mess.  The story is a fascinating and enjoyable adventure with enough action and louies to keep the reader on their toes.  Not in my top five, but still one heck of a ride.  

"I Can See For Miles" - The Who ("'Pop Go the Sixties" 1969)

Good stuff.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

I Went...SI--SI--SIRIUS...All The Way Home (again) #31

(a 20-minute jaunt)


"Talking About the Good Times" - Pretty Things / 45 single (1968)

This lost gem of a song was supposed to be on The Pretty Things 4th album ..."S.F. Sorrow"...but at the last minute it was released as a single instead.  The album itself is considered by many to be the very first "concept" album.  I've yet to hear it, so I don't have a dog.  But if this is just one of the songs that didn't make it onto that album, I'll take all the leftovers they got.  Yeah, I know I could stream it, but for some records, ya just gotta hold it in your hands and spin it for yourself. (WANT)


"What About Me" - Quicksilver Messenger Service / "What About Me" (1970)

Every one of the Quicksilver Messenger Service albums I own, I found residing in a $1 or $2 bargain bin somewhere.  And I enjoy every one of'em.  This was their 5th album.  Pretty good bang for the buck.  How about any of you guys? (OWN)


"It's About Time" - The Beach Boys / "Sunflower" (1970)

For the longest time, I avoided Beach Boys albums simply because the album covers were so lame.  Unfair, but it is what it is.  If Roger Dean or Hipgnosis had threw down a nice design, no telling how things would've changed.  Anyway, “Sunflower” is a great album.  No Brian here. (Brian was mostly out to lunch.)  And that's okay because "Sunflower" really shines a light on just how talented and important his brothers Carl and Dennis Wilson were.  "It's About Time" is a nice surprise, isn't it?  Rockin' balls and pins.  Just fantastic.  This was The Beach Boys 16th studio album. (OWN)

"WILMA,  I'M HOME!"

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Come And Have Some Tea With The Tea Company" - The Tea Company (1968)

"Come And Have Some Tea With The Tea Company" - The Tea Company (1968)

The Tea Company, from out of New York, left behind one album. The music was intentionally trippy and a bit freaky with an album cover that leaves little doubt as to the kind of "tea" they are thinking about.  Side one is the deeper psych for the head and side two has a more poppy psych vibe.  And I loved it.  The band dive in with both feet.  Nothing too heavy, but tasty studio trickery abounds and make for some pleasing psych moments.

Some of the lyrics are a tad cheesy in places, but they are sung with a sincerity that begs forgiveness.  I dug it.  The album has become a sought-after essential for psych lovers and nice copies are starting to sting the wallet.  Still, as record hunters are want to say...good deals can be had.  My copy was a "right place, right time" find for low dollar from a local seller known as Garageman G. 

"Come And Have Some Tea With The Tea Company" (back)

Favorites are "Flowers"...the 10-minute mind-trip about unrequited love that slips into something much different.  I first heard this one played on The Psychedelic Experience several years ago and was hooked.  The opening track "Come And Have Some Tea With Me" is a great opener that sounds just like the album cover looks.  The Tea Company does a 9-minute version of the Vanilla Fudge classic, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” and they kill it.  Nail to wood.  Finally, seeing the "Lipton Tea Man" on the back cover is the coolest thing ever and would make a great t-shirt should anyone have a printer.

Smash Records

Cat #
SRS-67 105
SIDE A  MATRIX
SR 67105-A- S1  MR  D
SIDE B  MATRIX
SR 67105-B- S1  MR

"Come and Have Some Tea With Me" - The Tea Company (1968)

TRACKS:
A1  "Come and Have Some Tea With Me" 3:32
A2  "Flowers" 10:09
A3  "Love Could Make the World Go Round" 3:36
B1  "You Keep Me Hangin' On" 8:50
B2  "Don't Make Waves (Water Sound Effects)" 1:39
B3  "As I Have Seen You Upon The Wall" 2:46
B4  "Make Love, Not War" 2:36

PERSONNEL:
Frankie Carr - vocals, guitar
Al Vertucci - guitar, vocals
John Vancho - bass, vocals
Mike Lassando - drums, b-vocals

Good stuff.

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Thursday, February 25, 2021

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."The Time Has Come" - The Chambers Brothers (1967)

"The Time Has Come" - The Chambers Brothers (1967)

It is the psychedelic "in-your-face" "Time Has Come Today" that punches everyone's ticket.  Written by Joseph and Willie Chambers, "Time..." is an eleven-plus minute psychedelic tour de force filled with revelry and pronouncement.  It has a wonderful middle freakout with dripping time all powered by some of the most definitive cowbell ever put to wax.  The song is a fun, but blistering warning to those who promote war and inequality.  It's a polaroid of the times.   It is why the song has been used a gazillion times in films and television and documentaries.  The rest of the album is mostly straight r&b in various shades of pretty good, but nothing comes close to touching this tour de force.

"The Time Has Come" (back)

Other favorites are the first three tracks on the album.  The fun and energetic opener "All Strung Out Over You."  The oft-covered "People Get Ready" is nicely done and reminds everyone how smooth and soulful The Chambers Brothers were.  And the harmonica-driven "I Can't Stand It" written and played by Lester Chambers, is tasty stuff.  You can easily find a nice copy of "The Time Has Come" for a five-spot or less and I'm glad I have it in my collection.

Columbia 360 Two-Eye label

Cat #
CS 9522
SIDE A  MATRIX
o XSM118795-1F  1 J D
SIDE B  MATRIX
o XSM118796-1F  1 J  1G  C

"I Can't Stand It" - The Chambers Brothers (1967)

TRACKS:
A1  "All Strung Out Over You" 2:30
A2  "People Get Ready" 3:52
A3  "I Can't Stand It" 2:42
A4  "Romeo and Juliet" 4:32
A5  "In The Midnight Hour" 5:32
A6  "So Tired" 4:05
B1  "Uptown" 2:56
B2  "Please Don't Leave Me" 3:00
B3  "What The World Needs Now Is Love" 3:20
B4  "Time Has Come Today" 11:06

PERSONNEL:
Willie Chambers - guitar, vocals
George Chambers - bass, vocals
Joseph Chambers - guitar, vocals
Lester Chambers - harmonica, vocals
Brian Keenan - drums

Good stuff.

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Monday, February 22, 2021

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Cellophane Symphony" - Tommy James And The Shondells (1969)

"Cellophane Symphony"Tommy James and the Shondells (1969)

"Cellophane Symphony" was Tommy James and the Shondells' 7th album and is filled with trippy and catchy pop and soul psych goodness.  And as fun and enjoyable as this 1969 psych offering is, the album didn't even break the Top 100 on Billboard.  You can find it in the wild for single bills and it's a steal of a deal when you do.

Favorites are the nearly 10-minute psych-driven instrumental title track and the floaty and equally exhilarating rush of "Changes.”  “I Know Who I Am” is especially groovy and funky and a bit of a worm.  And the top 10 hit “Sweet Cherry Wine” is always nice to hear.  I'd never paid attention to the lyrics before, but the song was a protest against the war.  There is enough variety on this album to entertain without drifting too far away from the boat, which is cool.  There are two 'throw-away' songs that close out both sides of the album, a bit novelty in nature, but they're good for what they are and nothing to lift the needle over.  Tommy James is not really an underrated artist, but he is very much under-appreciated, I think.  His music was a sneaky kick in the ass for AM radio and easily transcended FM with little effort.  “Cellophane Symphony” is an enjoyable biscuit and one to keep an eye out for.

"Cellophane Symphony" (back)

Roulette Records

Cat #
SR-42030
SIDE A  MATRIX
RSD 535A  ℬℯ𝓁𝓁 𝒮ℴ𝓊𝓃𝒹  9-69 AB
SIDE B  MATRIX
RSD 535B  ℬℯ𝓁𝓁 𝒮ℴ𝓊𝓃𝒹   9-69 AB

"I Know Who I Am" - Tommy James and the Shondells / "Cellophane Symphony" (1969)

TRACKS:
A1  "Cellophane Symphony" 9:37
A2  "Makin' Good Time" 2:41
A3  "Evergreen" 2:07
A4  "Sweet Cherry Wine" 3:57
A5  "Papa Rolled His Own" 1:46
B1  "Changes" 5:36
B2  "Loved One" 4:02
B3  "I Know Who I Am" 3:25
B4  "The Love Of A Woman" 4:29
B5  "On Behalf Of The Entire Staff And Management" 3:53

PERSONNEL:
Tommy James - vocals, guitars, keyboards
Eddie Gray - guitar, b-vocals
Ronnie Rosman - keyboards, b-vocals
Mike Vale - bass, b-vocals
Pete Lucia - drums, percussion, b-vocals

Good stuff.

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Sunday, February 14, 2021

Interview -- Michael Conner Humphreys (Actor)





"There's a lot of benefits.
But there's also a lot
of fallbacks, too."
~  Michael Conner Humphreys ~ 





He was just eight years old when Michael Conner Humphreys was cast as one of the most iconic characters of all time in one of the most iconic films of all time...“Forrest Gump.” (1994)  The movie won the Academy Award for Best Picture of the Year while stacked up against equally powerful films...“Pulp Fiction” and “The Shawshank Redemption.”   And after the filming was over and the dust had settled, Michael decided he'd had his fill of longline auditions and just wanted to be a regular kid again.  And so he walked away.  He finished school.  He chose to join the military, serving in the Army, and among other things, worked a dangerous tour in Iraq.  Presently, Michael Conner Humphreys' life has come full circle...finding him diving back into the acting pool...honing his skills doing theater and stage, and studying the craft.  There's still quite a bit of truth in the oft-quoted saying..."Life is like a box of chocolates..."  Michael Conner Humphreys.  Go get you some.

Michael Conner Humphreys Interview -- February 2021
Michael Conner Humphreys

Casey Chambers:  You barely had time to give your first-grade teacher an apple before you were cast in one of Hollywood's all-time great pictures.  So acting was already your thing?

Michael Conner Humphreys:  Well, prior to actually getting the role in the movie "Forrest Gump," I was just a fan of films like most kids were.  I was really into Steven Spielberg's stuff.  "Indiana Jones" in particular.  I liked "Star Wars."  I was really into anything that was science-fiction or fantasy.  Military stuff too like "Top Gun" and all that.  It was all '80s and early '90s movies because that's the age I was at the time.  And I told my mom a couple of times that one day I would like to make movies.  It was just an arbitrary thing for a six or seven-year-old kid to say, really.  But whenever the audition rolled around in Memphis, which is where we lived at the time, she was like, 'Hey, there's an audition for a movie. Would you want to go try out for it just for fun?'  So we went and I actually ended up getting the part.  It was really just luck when it came down to it.

Casey Chambers:  And what a great movie and part to score.  What was that audition like for you?

Michael Conner Humphreys:  Well, for "Forrest Gump"...they obviously had no idea what child they wanted to use for the role, so they did open calls in the South because they were looking for a kid who was from the South.  Atlanta.  Memphis.  St. Louis.  Places like that.  They had put out an ad saying they were looking for a kid of this age and this height and all that stuff who looks like Tom Hanks.  And my mom just took me in, like I said, for the fun of it.

The first time I went in, I didn't even read from the script. They just asked us a few questions.  Me and the other kids.  They asked us questions and had us talk to the camera for about 10 minutes and then we left.  Then about a week later, I got a call back saying, 'Hey, you've been narrowed down to a smaller lineup.'  So I went back in and actually read from the script that time.  A week after that, I got a call to go to L.A. where I actually auditioned for Bob Zemeckis, the director of the film.  So within two weeks, it went from just chatting with some people to actually going in and doing a screen test.  It started out with about 5,000 kids and two weeks later, it was down to three of us.  I would compare it to like doing, "American Idol" or something like that.  You're just kind of in a lottery-type situation.

"Forrest Gump" Official 25th Anniversary Trailer

Casey Chambers:  How much did you know about the movie and story going in?

Michael Conner Humphreys:  Man, I knew nothing about the film itself.  My mom and everybody else told me that it was a Tom Hanks film.  They kept saying...Tom Hanks...and I'm like, 'I don't know who you're talking about.'  Being an eight-year-old kid, I had seen Tom Hanks movies. but I did not know who he was by name.  It wasn't until I met him in person.  And then I was like, 'Oh! It's that guy!'  I had seen "Big" and "Splash" and all that good stuff.  I also figured out that the director Bob Zemeckis had also done, "Back To The Future" and other films that I was a big fan of.  But as for the movie, I really knew nothing about it other than who was going to be in the film and who was directing it.  It was all kind of a mystery to me, to be honest.  Because even when they explained the story to me...as an eight-year-old kid...I could not take it in, y'know?  I was just too young to really understand what was going on.  So it all came down to just...it was a day by day thing for me.  'Today, you're going to do this. Today, you're going to say this.'  It just is what it is.

Casey Chambers:  Where were most of your scenes shot?

Michael Conner Humphreys:  South Carolina.  All of them.  The majority of the film that's set around the Gump house and area is gonna be in South Carolina just outside of Charleston.  I had a little bit of stuff I did in L.A.  Pre-production and post-production stuff and whatnot.  But yeah, it was all done in South Carolina, and it all just kind of happened.  I was watching an interview with James Cameron, and he was talking about kids and films, pointing out how kids have a remarkable way of just dealing with whatever's thrown at them.  They don't know how the world's supposed to be yet and so they just take it as it is.  And so when I was doing all this stuff...I just dealt with it casually.  It was no big deal.  It was no big change in my life.  Had I been older, I'm sure I would have been like, 'Oh my God, I'm in a movie. And I'm with all these people.'  But as an eight-year-old, it was just, 'Hey what am I doing today?'

Casey Chambers:  Oh, for sure.  It's really easy for us to forget that sometimes.  Looking back, are there any scenes that were especially memorable for you?

Forrest Gump...with Elvis

Michael Conner Humphreys:  Well, as far as my scenes go, I liked the scenes on the bus. That was pretty cool because as a kid, I was so impressed with the production aspects.  The bus was obviously not a real school bus.  It was on a trailer and it was being towed.  And I was so enamored with just how they actually shot it...the practical effects involved in everything.  Getting to do stuff like that and seeing how they actually set it up was really impressive.  But to be honest, the scenes that really stick out for me are not my own.  I enjoyed witnessing some of the other scenes being shot including the Vietnam scenes with Tom Hanks in particular.  The Vietnam scenes were shot on the tropical islands off the coast of South Carolina.  On the islands off the coast of Buford.  So I actually got to be present when those were being shot.  I was actually punching the buttons that set off all the explosions and everything.  They were just trying to keep me entertained. (laughs)  But those are the things that really stick out for me.  Not so much my own scenes.

Casey Chambers:  "Blowed up real good!" as John Candy would say. (laughs)  After the movie was completed, when did you have the opportunity to watch "Forrest Gump" for the first time?

Michael Conner Humphreys:  I'm sure there was a premiere and everything in L.A. prior, but I actually went to see the movie in Memphis with my family when it was released nationwide.  I guess it was June or July of '94.  And yeah, I just went and saw it for the first time like everybody else. However, I had like 20 of my family members with me. (laughs)  I went in not thinking about it.  And as I was coming out of the theater, all of the other moviegoers recognized me...realizing who I was...and it turned into a big scene at that point.  So that was my first tactile experience with fame and all that. (laughs)

Casey Chambers:  Excellent.  A little paradise by the dashboard popcorn machine. (laughs)  How strange was it seeing yourself on the big screen?

Forrest Gump...on the school bus

Michael Conner Humphreys:  Oh, it was weird.  It was really weird.  I didn't really know what the story was about and if you had tried to tell me then, I wouldn't have understood.  So watching it for the first time, I was like, 'Oh, I see how this all fits together now.'  And I was genuinely surprised to see how the Forrest character turned out in the long run.  And then coming out of the theater, I was not expecting any kind of reaction from other people.  It was so great.  And it was at that point I realized, there was something really special about this movie.

Casey Chambers:  Oh man, it's an Oscar winner that people really enjoy watching again and again.  You were also nominated for an award.

Michael Conner Humphreys:  There was some "young artist only" award that I was nominated for.  I honestly don't remember the actual name of it, but it was not an Oscar.  Not an Academy Award.  But I do remember that I got something in the mail for it and that was nice.  And I received the German equivalent of an Oscar. when I went to Germany to promote the film about a year later.  And Tom Hanks actually gave me an honorary Oscar.  Just from him in particular.  I've got the only Tom Hanks Oscar in the world, I believe.

Casey Chambers:  That's a cool button to button.  You mentioned Germany.  So you were doing some traveling for the film then.

Michael Conner Humphreys:  Nowadays, whenever they release a film, it all comes out at the same time.  Worldwide streaming and whatnot.  But in '94 or '95, they would release the film by region every six months in different parts of the world. So it would come out in Europe and it would come out in Asia.  Then it would come out, y'know, just here and there. So from the release of the film in '94 until I'd say about '96...I was traveling worldwide to promote the film.  Every time it came out in a new region.  At that time it was easier to send me than it was to send Tom Hanks or Gary Sinise or whoever to do it. So for about two years, they would send me to Germany, England, Japan...just various places to promote it.  It was really cool.  I was getting to travel the world.

Casey Chambers:  How exciting that must have been.  You were doing the kind of traveling most of us don't get to do 'til after high school or college if ever.

Michael Conner Humphreys:  Oh yeah.  It was all just an insane experience.  I never really had a chance to think about it all until years later...as I grew up and it was like, 'Oh, wow, I can't believe I did all that.'  But yeah, it was just a very surreal, but very valuable experience, I would say.

Forrest Gump...running

Casey Chambers:  You mentioned Tom Hanks earlier.  As a young kid, do you remember much about working with him?

Michael Conner Humphreys:  From what I remember he was always very nice.  They had cast me to do the part and I had this really deep Southern accent.  And sometime into the film...Bob Zemeckis, the director had realized, 'Okay, we're going to have to get this kid to start talking like Tom.  He's going to have to start talking and acting like him or else this isn't going to work.'   But since I was just eight years old, Tom had the idea, 'How about we just do it the other way around?  How about I talk like him and I act like him?'  And so they went with that.  So I was in this situation where Tom started to study me. (laughs)  My way of speaking.  My way of moving.  My way of everything.  He just started to like study me intently for weeks.  Tom was basically trying to turn Forrest into the adult version of me as an eight-year-old child.  For weeks I was just with him all the time and he was just engaging with me at all moments.  Trying to like...become me, I guess you could say.  So he ended up doing that and it worked for the character.  He was just a really cool guy.  Really down to earth.  I've met a few people over the years that are on his level of fame...and I've never met anyone that didn't somehow let it go to their head.  They always call him the nicest guy in Hollywood.  I don't know if he is or not, but I'd say if he's not the nicest guy, he's probably the most genuine.

Casey Chambers:  That's a really nice share.  Thanks for that.  You stepped away from acting after the film.  And later, after finishing school you decided to join the military.  Thank you very much for serving.  And now you're jonesing to do more theater and film.

Michael Conner Humphreys:  Absolutely.  It's a weird thing.  By the age of like 10 years old,  after doing that movie and promoting it, I was at the point where I just wanted to be a kid.   You can't convince a 10-year-old to spend all his time doing auditions.  I was just not interested in it.  My parents didn't force me and I'm glad they didn't.  So I just left it.  But there are consequences of having been in a successful film and then trying to be a regular person.  That doesn't always work out that well.  I went through my years as a teenager trying to be a regular kid, but I always had that following me around.  And it affected everything.  And y'know, it was great.  There's a lot of benefits.  But there's also a lot of fallbacks too.  Whoever met me after that...only knew me as that.  So it affected my social situation.  By the time I was 18 or 19, I was like, 'Well, hell, I've got nothing else to do, why don't I just go be in the army?'  So I did.  I joined the army.  Went to the war in Iraq.  Was like, 'Hey, maybe this is another form of success.'  Anyways. the fallout of having been in a war.  The PTSD and all that other crap.  It basically took me about 20 years to get around to saying, 'Hey, what do you want to do with your life?'  So the last few years, I've actually been doing theater and acting classes and trying to get back into it sincerely.  I have found that the acting has been like therapy after being in Iraq.  The acting and PTSD therapies have been one and the same as far as I'm concerned.

Casey Chambers:  It'd be great seeing you out in front of the camera again.  And the added benefits of working the stage is just bonus.

Michael Conner Humphreys:  Oh yeah, definitely.  The thing you'll find with a lot of veterans...is that you've got two kinds of trauma coming out of a war.  There's the shell shock kind where somebody slams the car door and you think a gun went off and you jump.  And then you've got the other kind.  Which is the untraumatized trauma.  When you deal with the trauma by sealing it all off and not letting it affect you.  But the problem with that is that nothing affects you.  You lose your emotions.  You can't love.  You can't hate.  That kind of stuff.  And that's something I've dealt with a little over the last decade, after coming back from Iraq.  Once I started doing theater and classes, it's been a really enlightening experience getting back into acting.  It's definitely something I would like to pursue.  I'm working my way back into it.  Obviously, the events of 2020 have temporarily put a hold on that, like for everyone else.  But things are looking up.  I hope they are for everyone else too.

Casey Chambers:  I always like to find out what kind of music people have been getting into, so would you mind sharing an album that you particularly enjoy?

"Unknown Pleasures" - Joy Division (1979)

Michael Conner Humphreys:  Well, I'll tell you right now.  I've got two.  One of my lifelong favorite bands is Nine Inch Nails.  I've always loved Trent Reznor and anything he does.  Always been one of my faves.  So, always worth mentioning there.  And also, I just discovered Joy Division last year.  They're an English band from the late '70s and early '80s.  Post-punk.  They call it post-punk.  They only had two albums before their singer committed suicide.  He was an epileptic.  He had a bunch of depression issues and whatnot.  They were only around for a brief period, but I've heard them referenced a million times by other bands and artists.  I was always like, 'I really need to check them out.'   And then last year, I started listening to them and I swear to God, they don't have a single song that has not been copied a hundred times by somebody else.

"Shadowplay" - Joy Division / "Unknown Pleasures" (1979) 

They are up there with your David Bowie's and your Pink Floyd's and your Led Zeppelin's and Rolling Stones. When the story is all said and done, they will be at the top of the list of one of the most influential bands ever.  Yeah, they're worth a listen if you've never heard them.  As far as an album goes, "Unknown Pleasures." (1979)  That was their debut album.  I mean, you can't find a song on there that's not just insanely...I don't even know what the word is for it, man.  It's just influential and creative.  It's just everything it has to be. Just amazing.

Casey Chambers:  You're making everybody want to grab their copy and give it another spin.  Good stuff.  Thank you so much for hangin' out with me this morning.  It's been a lot of fun and I appreciate you taking the time.  Stay safe out there and hope to see you soon.

Michael Conner Humphreys:  Yeah man, absolutely.  Thank you.


Good stuff.