29.6.16

Young Marble Giants - (1981) Testcard 7''

Young Marble Giants were a post-punk band from Cardiff, Wales, a trio formed in 1978. They consisted of Alison Statton (vocals), Stuart Moxham (guitar) and Phillip Moxham (bass), occasionally joined by keyboardist Peter Joyce.
They made one great album, Colossal Youth (1980), on Rough Trade, recorded very cheaply often using the first take. Extremely low-tech drum machine effects and home made synthesizers featured.

Yusef Lateef - (1968) The Complete Yusef Lateef


When Yusef Lateef left Impulse! for Atlantic in 1967, he was transitioning his musical impulses once again. Lateef has, from the beginning, been an artist for whom a holistic approach to the musical aesthetic has been paramount. The title of this album is misleading in that it may suggest to the casual viewer a retrospective. It is anything but. Lateef is referring here to the complete in the sense that it contains the completeness of his musical vision at a given time. Lateef's Atlantic period has been unjustly undervalued, and this recording is a case in point. With a lineup consisting of Lateef on oboe, flute, saxophones, and even vocalizing, Detroit's venerable Roy Brooks on drums, bassist Cecil McBee, and pianist Hugh Lawson, the surface would point to a straight-up though adventurous "jazz" date. It's not. Lateef engages deeply in spiritual music here on the modal, Eastern-flavored opening track, "Rosalie," and shifts immediately to playing the blues on "In the Evening." (How many cats can you say play the blues on the oboe?) In 12 bars, Lateef phrases against the backbeat and holds McBee in a corner long enough to stride out of a series of minor-seventh changes. On "Kongsberg," the band moves into a second-line New Orleans R&B groove, with Lateef blowing a big, fat, dirty yowl. It would be perfect for bar walking except that in some places it's too quick and in others it's too tender. "Stay With Me" is a beautiful ballad driven by McBee's droning pizzicato lushly followed by Lateef's flute playing melody. Lawson comps in between notes for a more exotic feel, and Brooks plays a series of subtle but shifting rhythms in counterpoint to the changes. "Brother" is along the R&B trail once again, but it's crossed with Lateef's own modal trademarks in ostinato and legato phrasing. The set closes with Lateef singing a broken, mysterious love song in true Paul Robeson fashion on "You're Somewhere Thinking of Me." With his strength as both a rhythmic and a melodic player, McBee once again leads the band through these spare yet knotty, elongated changes. The finger flute solo by Lateef stands in sharp contrast to his baritone vocals and makes for an eerie yet compelling end to an album that is as fine as any of his Prestige or Impulse! recordings.

Woods - (2014) With Light And With Love

Combine their rustic, throwback image and prodigious work ethic and Woods is about as literal as the term “cottage industry” gets in indie rock—not only do they run a label, they also throw an annual get-together in Big Sur consisting of “two days of mellow music and celebration.” And it's possible that attending the Woodsist Festival is the only way to find people who engage in heated debate about how one would rank Woods’ discography. By 2012’s Bend Beyond, they’d released five proper LPs in as many years, all just about equally good. Their impeccable consistency can make you wonder if Woods have the impulses or incentive to truly go for it. The result of a relatively lengthy two-year process, their new album With Light and With Love might not be a bold reinvention, but there's an unmistakable focus and determination that can serve as a proper substitute for overt, bar-raising ambition.
Similar to the Men’s Tomorrow’s Hits and Future Islands’ Singles, other 2014 albums by respected "lo-fi" bands recording in a “real studio”, With Light and With Love is a reminder that while Woods' hard-touring, road-dog reputation has solidifed their fanbase, people show up in the first place because the band can write great songs. This isn’t a jamband who occasionally stumbles onto golden tunes: Jeremy Earl’s high, distinct voice is predisposed to melodies that quickly corkscrew their way into your memory. The differences between the classicist pop-rock of “Only the Lonely” and early Shins mostly come down to the vocal effects being used.
"Only the Lonely" is one of the many times where the relatively sparkly production of With Light and With Love shortens the distance between Woods and quasi-indie acts that fill much bigger festival bills. “Moving to the Left” isn’t their first shot at a crossover, but it's their best; they emphasize their rhythm section with caricatured, bulging bass and a snappy, near-synthetic drum track that typifies Yoshimi-era Flaming Lips. Earl sings, “It feels strange/ It feels the same”, and that’s really With Light and With Love summed up, since nothing Woods do here will alienate anyone other than the most hardcore 4-track enthusiasts. “Moving to the Left” still slowly unravels into a coda filled with wah-wah guitars, and it’s preceded by the requisite Woods woodshedder that takes up an inordinate amount of the LP’s space. The title track is over 9 minutes, yet it never feels improvisatory or exploratory or tacked on—the wigged-out soloing isn’t meant to show Woods’ considerable chops, only to serve the masterful return to its forceful chorus.
Still, With Light and With Lovenever makes much of a fuss about its aims. Earl’s lyrics are inquisitive in nature without giving you much to chew on, taking on the form of homilies about self-discovery and existential doubt. No matter how many times I’ve heard him sing “Are we floating by and by/ Are we moving to the left?”, the question never sounds particularly answerable, let alone urgent. And towards the back half, Woods occasionally revert to a genial folk-rock band that can anonymously blend into "indie BBQ" playlists.
But the versatility of Woods becomes more evident throughout the album, as they spread outwards rather than building upward: you get B3-infused soul (“Leaves Like Glass”), breezy psychedelia (“New Light”) and darker shades of American Beauty (“Shining”), giving jamband types, roots fans, folkies, indie kids and DIY fetishists a place to link up. “Breakthrough”, “masterpiece”, “bold leap”—those aren’t words that really seem applicable to With Light and With Love, or Woods for that matter, but they’re allowing themselves to be extremely likable for a larger crowd.

Warm Soda - (2013) Young Reckless Hearts

"'Young Reckless Hearts' is about trusting your intuition at the moment you break free from whatever is holding you back," Matthew Melton tells Rolling Stone. "No matter the consequences."

Warm Soda - (2015) Symbolic Dream

Matthew Melton goes for the hat trick with Warm Soda’s third LP, “Symbolic Dream”. Vacuum-sealed and impeccably arranged power-pop for that teenage sweet tooth.
The nooks and crannies of this little banger, from the subtle turnarounds, to the perfect hi hat sound, reward repeat listens. He’s covering familiar bases with Symbolic Dream - it’s the finely tuned 80s Corvette that’s gonna get your ass kicked out of school, it’s your girlfriend’s dad hanging up the phone, it’s the world intruding on a nascent romance that just wasn’t meant to last…but he keeps it fresh-faced as that new girl in AP Chemistry.

Wand - (2015) Golem

Following up their debut full-length on Ty Segall’s God? label, Wand presents their second album, Golem, on In The Red. Recording with Chris Woodhouse at his Hanger studio in Sacramento, Wand summons the dark and heavy power of the riff. Back in September 2013, Wand was quietly dismembered and ritually eaten in the hills near Dodger Stadium. Wand was reborn as “Wand”—an obese organ falsely organized as four overjoyous nerds. Four flesh balloons betting on a few aging amplifiers. Rumor has it they listen to Here Come the Warm Jets on loop all day and plot mail fraud. What’s more, they allegedely stole Dale Crover’s car and sacrificed it to the weather near the Los Angeles County Line. A few things, at least, are certain: Wand hears ghosts. Wand prefers serpents. The Sun is the mother of every fiction. All phenomena will be consumed in alphabetical order, but desire will recirculate ad infinitum. If all else fails, Wand will just devour more hands.

VA - (2006) Southern Fried Funk

Artist: VA
Title Of Album: Southern Fried Funk
Year Of Release: 2006
Label: Grapevine
Genre: Funk, Soul
Quality: MP3
Bitrate: 320 kbps
Total Time: 01:01:05
Total Size: 147 Mb

Tracklist:
1. AllenToussaint - Get Out Of My Life Woman (3:05)
2. Lee Dorsey - Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (3:07)
3. Warren Lee - Underdog Backstreet (2:48)
4. Eldridge Holmes - Pop Popcorn Children (2:50)
5. ZZ Hill - It's A Hang Up Baby (2:29)
6. Tony Borders - Lonely Weekend (2:20)
7. Eldridge Holmes - The Book (3:13)
8. Diamond Joe - The ABC Song (2:37)
9. Ted Ford - Real Soul (3:28)
10. Tony Borders - High On The Hog (2:12)
11. David Batiste - Funky Soul (4:19)
12. Chuck Carbo - Can I Be Your Squeeze (2:31)
13. ZZ Hill - I Think I'd Do It (2:25)
14. Betty Adams - Make It Real (Ride On) (2:55)
15. David Batiste - Funky Hips (3:19)
16. The Explosions - Garden Of Four Trees (2:42)
17. David Robinson - I'm A Carpenter Part 1 (2:26)
18. David Robinson - I'm A Carpenter Part 2 (2:32)
19. Eddie Bradford - Can You Handle It (2:15)
20. Jewel Bass - I Tried It And I Liked It (2:34)
21. The Basic - Milk (2:39)
22. Eddie Bradford - You Made Your Bed (2:19)

VA - (2000) O Toi, Beatnik... LP

Obscure songs from the French beat 1965-67
Side 11 Les Senders - Le cheveux longs
2 Jonadan - Priere surnaturelle
3 Les Masters - Mon Chameau
4 Les Chevelles - Ton ombre me suit
5 Les Volcans - Quand tu nous tiens
6 Les "Z" - Pourquoi
7 Ricky Gomez - Mais quoi, oui quoi, pourquoi
8 Les Bowlers - Il est trop tard

Side 2
1 Les Sparks - Rien n'a d'importance
2 Nicolas Nils - Try To Understand
3 Equipe 79 - J'aime ta voix
4 Les Witackers - Un ami
5 Les Forthrights - Lettre d'un innocent
6 Gilles Benoit - Ma jeunesse
7 Gougnou - C'est bien fait pour moi
8 Les Porte-Clefs - Les porte-clefs

VA - (1996) The Sound Gallery Vol 2

Like volume one, this offers a further ungodly helping of perky British easy listening music from the EMI vaults, spanning the mid-'60s to the mid-'70s (with one ringer from 1960 thrown in). It's another mosaic of television/soundtrack themes, corny instrumental versions of rock hits (Lord Sitar's treatment of "I Can See for Miles" is bound to break the ice at parties), uptempo, brassy go-go music, and the occasional odd touch that leaves you convinced that some frustrated authentic musician was inserting progressive touches on the sly. There are even a couple of artists with heavy rock credentials: Beatle producer George Martin weighs in with the ponderous "Theme One," while Mike Vickers (once of Manfred Mann) does "On the Brink." It's still way too superficial to be taken seriously, but then, that was never the intention.

VA - (1995) The Sound Gallery Vol 1

The mainstream always lags way behind the cutting edge, so it wasn't until the end of the '60s that easy listening began reflecting such pop innovations as psychedelia and funk. The Sound Gallery is a collection of 24 tracks cut between 1968 and 1976 for British mood music LPs. This is easy listening at its peppiest, with considerably more bite (if that's the right word) than its American lounge/cocktail cousin. Go-go horn charts, wah-wah guitars, and vaguely rock-ish drums make these sound like nothing so much as soundtrack pieces to late-'60s and early-'70s movies that were trying desperately to be mod and trendy. Occasionally something packs some real oomph -- Neil Richardson's "The Riviera Affair," for instance, is brisk and uplifting '60s soundtrack music at its finest, and other tracks have touches akin to the more mainstream work of great film composers like Ennio Morricone. But it's really stretching credibility to try and pretend that this stuff is any less lightweight in the '90s, when the whole easy listening genre is undergoing rehabilitation at the hands of collectors desperate to find something new to excavate.

11.1.16

Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - (1976) ST LP



Richman's second collection of Modern Lovers, over which he was billed (eventually, the group name would be dropped) had a lighter rock & roll sound than the first. In fact, as often as not, Richman played acoustic guitar. And his lyrical concerns had similarly lightened up, to the point of childlike whimsy on such songs as "Hey There Little Insect" and "Here Come the Martian Martians." But the focus was still Richman's unabashed vocalizing (the word "sings" is put in quotes on the back cover), giving the whole album an amateurish charm.