Monday, June 25, 2018

Ebony & Ivory













Santa brings you da funk, inna Côte d'Ivoire stylee. Get down.
Santa Nguessan - Manny Nia

Friday, June 22, 2018

Troubled Waters





















In 2011, Josh T. Pearson's stark and fragile Last Of The Country Gentlemen appeared seemingly out of nowhere to become one of the albums of that year. Recording a follow-up, to put it mildly, took a while. And now the much rockier, and rather bombastic The Straight Hits! is finally among us, I'm not really sure if it was worth the wait. Typical case of beard gone, inspiration gone? Answers on a postcard please.
Josh T. Pearson - A Love Song (Set Me Straight)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Is This Love?





















Got some jingly jangly Robyn for you today. Always a treat. In a better world, this man wouldn't be a cult hero, he'd be a bona fide star.
Robyn Hitchcock - Madonna Of The Wasps

Monday, June 18, 2018

Treat You Kind



















This one just in from a decent but not really remarkable new Townes tribute. Cue fellow Texas legend Terry Allen, still very much alive and kicking, who tries to steal away your mind.
Terry Allen - White Freightliner Blues

Friday, June 15, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Matter Of Survival





















"Won't somebody hand me a bible, won't you give me that number to call..." Have to admit I'm not too well-versed in late-era Van, as I kinda stopped paying attention since the fine A Sense Of Wonder from '85. This gem from the late nineties sure is up there with his classic stuff though. Honking sax a bonus. Not too original a choice admittedly, as Greil Marcus - love him or hate him, I never really can decide - named a whole book on Van the Man after it. Oh well, here goes. Take that ride.
Van Morrison - Rough God Goes Riding

Monday, June 11, 2018

Cymraeg Primitive





















A very young, female disciple of the Takoma school of picking? From Cardiff, Wales, to boot? Check! Presenting Gwenifer Raymond, whose debut, You Were Never Much Of A Dancer, will be released later this month on the renowned Tompkins Square label. Here's a fresh little taste.
Gwen Raymond - Bleeding Finger Blues

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Beating Hearts





















If you like Hiss Golden Messenger, here's two new releases that may pique your interest. First up is Durham's Phil Cook with his second longplayer People Are My Drug, on which the current HGM guitarist and organist takes another soulful, often New Orleans-inspired trip. Modern gospel by MC Taylor's main man.
Phil Cook - Another Mother's Son






















Next stop Asheville to meet the Dead Tongues, brainchild of former HGM guitar slinger Ryan Gustafson. If you like your Americana a tad more subtle, Unsung Passage is a must-have release. Bonus points for the lovely album cover, which takes one back to them dear private press albums of the early seventies.
The Dead Tongues - Won't Be Long

Monday, June 4, 2018

All Aboard





















V for vibes? Most definitely. The Shjips never sounded so warm as on their new fifth record, a modern California trip full of hypnotic guitar riffs and sizzling synths. "Sitting alone, staring at the sun..." V for victory.
Wooden Shjips - Staring At The Sun

Friday, June 1, 2018

But Of Course













Yesterday's Guardian featured a heartwarming feature on Irmin Schmidt, at 81 the last man standing of krautrockers supreme Can. Wonderful anecdote: "By all accounts a brilliant musician from an early age, he was already a professional classical pianist when he signed up to study under Stockhausen at Cologne’s Rheinische Musikschule. Czukay was a fellow pupil, and Schmidt is rather proud of the fact that, when Stockhausen was later played a selection of experimental German rock tracks, he dismissed all of them except Can’s 1971 track Aumgn. When he found out who had made it, he said: ‘Well, of course it’s good – these were my students.’”
Can - Aumgn

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Gone Home





















Mr. Cobb almost singlehandedly restored my faith in modern country music last year with his moving debut Shine On Rainy Day. Follow-up Providence Canyon has more of a swampy country-got-soul vibe, which may be a big help crossing over to a rock audience. Still: "If you thought he looked country, oughta heard him sing..."
Brent Cobb - King Of Alabama

Monday, May 28, 2018

Screamadelica





















The second installment of African Scream Contest is finally here and was it worth the long wait? You bet it was. Analog Africa, a label so scrupulous it hired a guy trained by the KGB to track down their highly obscure artists to pay them royalties, did it again, and selected the grooviest and rarest sixties and seventies Afro-funk from tiny Benin. Diggers supreme, satisfaction guaranteed.
Black Santiago - Pauline

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Evidence Of Truth





















All hail the Bar/None label, which has seen fit to finally re-release this wonderful '87 album by Feelies offshoot Yung Wu, featuring percussionist Dave Weckerman on lead vocals. Ready for some more crazy rhythms? Thought so.
Yung Wu - Spinning

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Learning To Crawl





















Congrats to our birthday boy from Duluth, as the one and only Robert Zimmerman turns 77 today. Many happy returns, Bob. "And I've picked up a couple more years on you babe and that's all..."
Bob Dylan - A Couple More Years (live Portland '80)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Friend Of Mine





















Live mayhem from Chris Forsyth & co, paying tribute to Dinosaur Sr. on a London stage earlier this year. That classic stripped-down trio sound I always love so much really packs that punch. Find it on a roaring digital-only album called Rare Dreams: Solar Live 2.27.18 you can order here.
Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band - Don't Be Denied

Monday, May 21, 2018

Family Affair





















All dig this wonderful track from a legendary late sixties South African jazz masterpiece. Winston ‘Mankunku’ Ngozi was the man alright.
Mankunku Quartet - Dedication (To Daddy Trane And Brother Shorter)

Friday, May 18, 2018

Some More Girls





















As a promise is a promise, here's another girly girly six pack for ya. All lovelies, all good-uns. Second verse, same as the first, as da brudders sang. Gorgeous artwork as usual by Tinca. Cherchez la femme encore!
Arthur Verocai - Sylvia
Jack Nitzsche - Marie
Nicky Hopkins - Dolly
Jim Sullivan - Rosey
Bobby Rush - Sue
Henri Bowane - Marie Louise

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Eyes On Me















A publication called Paste Magazine recently ran a feature on 15 so-called buzz bands from New York City, which piqued my interest until it turned out to be just another manifestation of your run-of-the-mill indie rock with all the danger expertly removed. Move on, nothing to see here. This short and sharp ditty from Brooklyn combo Fits was about the only one I could really stand. Buzz buzz.
Fits - Ice Cream On A Nice Day

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Ascended





















Just got the sad news that Glenn Branca has passed away. The avant garde guitarist and composer from New York, a king of alternative tunings, was just 69. His no wave band the Theoretical Girls and especially his magnum opus The Ascencion were a huge influence on the Sonic Youth generation. Miss him.
Theoretical Girls - You Got Me
Theoretical Girls - U.S. Millie
Glenn Branca - The Ascencion

Monday, May 14, 2018

What You Need





















Soulful Americana pop from the Oregon version of Portland, complete with fiddle and pedal steel. Feels like a warm bath alright. Out now on the never boring Kill Rock Stars label.
Horse Feathers - Don't Mean To Pry

Friday, May 11, 2018

Said It So Well





















Hailing from Cornwall but now firmly based in the Big Smoke, Red River Dialect just may be in it for the long haul. A stately piano intro sets the tone, a fiddle kicks in, and all is well with the world. Reminds me of the Triffids a bit, which is no mean feat indeed. Find Open Sky (Bell) on the pastoral Broken Stay Open Sky, which came out last February on the always interesting Paradise of Bachelors label.
Red River Dialect - Open Sky (Bell)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Up And Down My Spine





















The Santa Monica Flyers live, ladies and gentlemen, need I say more. A very welcome addition to the canon. Real as the day is long.
Neil Young - Tonight's The Night  (live L.A. '73)

The really real thing, albeit extremely lofi, is this one though. I know I've posted it before, but in case you missed it back then, here goes, with all 34 tequila-fueled minutes of the thing... Ragged glory indeed.
Neil Young - Tonight's The Night (live Chicago '73)

Monday, May 7, 2018

Coming Around





















"The bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began..." Good 'ole Dave, probably the man with the best job in the world, continues his documenting of prime live Dead. For what's already volume 26, he picked a fine fine '71 show at Albuquerque's Civic Auditorium. Keith Godchaux's on keyboards here, as Pigpen was sadly absent for health reasons. He was back in time for the equally groovy bonus disc though, which spotlights an Ann Arbor gig later in the same year. Hey now!
Grateful Dead - The Other One (Live Albuquerque '71)
Grateful Dead - Tennessee Jed (live Ann Arbor '71)

Friday, May 4, 2018

Some Girls





















And lovely ones at that. All beauties, even... Presenting a girly girly six pack, with fine art as usual by Tinca. Here goes, my amigos da musica, and be on the lookout for part 2. Next week or so. Cherchez la femme!
The Triffids - Madeline
The Verlaines - Angela
Slint - Darlene
The Go-Betweens - Karen
Acetone - Louise
Pond - Agatha

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Never Had A Chance














All hail the late axe hero from county Donegal. The Rory Gallagher remasters have finally dropped and lord, the ones I've heard so far really sound sharp. The mighty Deuce remains my all-time fave, but some of the later albums sure have their moments, too. Take Blueprint ('73) for instance, where the steaming blues rocker below hails from. "Walk on thin ice, skate on razor blades..."
Rory Gallagher - Walk On Hot Coals

Monday, April 30, 2018

Funny On Me





















Seems like he's always in the van going from gig to gig as jamming on stage is what he really likes, but our man Riley still found the time somehow to record a new album, his fifth already and the least folky thus far. Jazzy with a prominent flute, and sometimes even guilty of venturing into prog rock territory, Deafman Glance definitely has its moments, but I've heard him in better form to be honest. Still stoked to go see Chicago's finest again when he's playing my fair city on an extensive European tour this fall though, as the last time was quite a treat.
Ryley Walker - Opposite Middle

Friday, April 27, 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

All A Dream





















Flashback to that revered Paisley underground sound of the mid-eighties. The more or less forgotten Rain Parade always was the most psychedelic of the bunch, and their best songs have aged surprisingly well. "So sad this had to end, some broken things don't mend, they lie where they fall..."
The Rain Parade - This Can't Be Today
The Rain Parade - You Are My Friend

Monday, April 23, 2018

Epico!





















An intriguing psychedelic moodpiece from '75 Brazil, complete with sitar, flute, piano, and sax. Movie soundtrack material, ain't no doubt about it.
Lula Côrtes e Zé Ramalho - Omm

Friday, April 20, 2018

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Floated Down

















Attention banjo lovers, as we've got a lovely take on Child Ballad #10 here, the oft-covered, near-ancient Northumbrian murder ballad also known as The Two Sisters. Find it on last year's recommended I Wish I Were A Sparrow album by Meg's sister Laura.
Laura Baird - Dreadful Wind And Rain

Monday, April 16, 2018

Swinging In The Breeze





















It's been thirteen years since his last outing, but the charming Tree Of Forgiveness is definitely worth the long wait. At 71, with a voice that's slowly going, old man John Prine is still going to town alright. “I once had a family, but they up and left me with nothin’ but an eight track: Another Side of George Jones...” Good company I'd say.
John Prine - Knockin' On Your Screen Door

Friday, April 13, 2018

Ding Dong





















Glasgow's Trembling Bells take us right back to the pined-for Britfolk heydays of the Fairports on this epic track from their new Dungeness album. "The whole human charade is a striptease down to the skeleton..." Hear hear.
Trembling Bells - Christ's Entry Into Govan

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

To Memorize





















A lovely slice of jazzy early seventies pop courtesy of Robb Kunkel, who caught my ear last year already on the cool but a bit too hit-and-miss Tumbleweed Records anthology Sing It High, Sing It Low. Dig that soaring violin, my amigos da musica... Reissue out now, on Light In The Attic of course.
Robb Kunkel - Whispermuse

Monday, April 9, 2018

Say It Again





















Soul survivor Bettye sings Bob. Her brand new Things Have Changed, produced by Keef sidekick Steve Jordan, is a bit of a mixed bag to be honest. The rollicking title track and the funky, New Orleans-flavoured beauty below - say hi to Trombone Shorty - sure are hot stuff though.
Bettye LaVette - What Was It You Wanted

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Free Again














Just got the sad news that Cecil Taylor has passed away. The magical pianist from New York City was a true pioneer of free jazz. Miss him.
Cecil Taylor - Excursion On A Wobbly Rail
Cecil Taylor - Steps

Friday, April 6, 2018

Blow Up





















A 'mad, crazy, careening out of control, fighting with my guardian angels rock 'n' roll story' anyone? Thought so. Cue Everything Is Combustible, the memoir of former Television guitarist Richard Lloyd. Fun anecdotes galore, as Lloyd is a wacky guy with a huge appetite for drugs, drink and debauchery, never afraid to pay the price, daft philosophies a specialty. Small wonder he lived to tell the tale.
Television - Oh Mi Amore
Television - Adventure
Richard Lloyd - Misty Eyes

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Hey You





















Cool hairdo, ditto Stones cover. "Tu, tu, te puedes largar..." Find it, with a load of similar gems, on a fun compilation called Beat Girls Español! 1960s She-Pop from Spain and get off of my cloud already.
Sonia - Aquí En Mi Nube

Monday, April 2, 2018

Not Coming





















Truly bummed that I won't be able to attend the Thousand Incarnations of the Rose festival, held in John Fahey's home town of Takoma Park later this month. A homage to all things American Primitive, it will be guitar and banjo picking heaven for sure. To console those who can't make it to this Valhalla, there's a wonderful compilation out under the same moniker. Featuring Fahey of course, plus fellow giants as Leo Kottke, Robbie Basho, Harry Taussig, and Peter Walker, it's a long overdue primer on a highly influential movement.
John Fahey - Night Train To Valhalla
Sandy Bull - Little Maggie

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Deepest Ocean





















"From the mountains of Madrid to the coast of Barcelona..." Gonna be in the presence of greatness tonight, as we've got tickets to see the Nobel-winning legend from Hibbing perform in our Ciudad Condal, and in the classy Liceu opera house at that. It's the 30th year of the Never Ending Tour already, ain't that something? And wouldn't it be awesome if he pulled out this fitting old chestnut once again for a change? Cherry on top, Bob...
Bob Dylan - Boots Of Spanish Leather (live Glasgow '98)

Friday, March 30, 2018

In The Dream




















Canada calling, and we're listening. 'Cause some days all you need is a healthy dose of innocent, ramshackle indierock. Charmed, I'm sure.
Nap Eyes - Boats Appear

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

In Knots





















The finest krautrock comes from Japan these days, and if this taster from the upcoming Minami Deutsch album is anything to go by, With Dim Light is gonna be a psychedelic trance monster that puts Godzilla to shame. Out next month on the mighty Guruguru Brain label, so start saving up, my tomodachi.
Minami Deutsch - Tangled Yarn

Monday, March 26, 2018

Cryin' Pity





















Unlucky late sixties outfit from the Windy City plays a mean version of ye olde I Know You Rider. Lowdown dirty shame these guys never got to make another album. "March wind gonna come and blow all my troubles away..." Jam!
Mountain Bus - I Know You Rider

Friday, March 23, 2018

Away Too Long















Fool for you again... Spotlight on the Thompsons then so, with a glorious track each from four great albums. Pour Down Like Silver ('75) happens to be my personal dark sufi folk fave, but Bright Lights Tonight ('74), Hokey Pokey (also '75) and Shoot Out The Lights ('82) are not too far behind. "Everything you do you do for me..."
Richard & Linda Thompson - The Calvary Cross
Richard & Linda Thompson - I'll Regret It All In The Morning
Richard & Linda Thompson - For The Shame Of Doing Wrong
Richard & Linda Thompson - Wall Of Death

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Got It Yet?





















A most mellow affair, the 15th effort from Hoboken's finest. Kaplan, McNew and Hubley sound more sixties than ever here, and that's not a bad thing at all. Lovely miniatures float by lazily, and all is well with the world. What riot could they possibly be on about?
Yo La Tengo - She May, She Might

Monday, March 19, 2018

Aching Deep Inside





















"As he rode down the drive, he turned on the radio and Buck Owens came through the old speakers. 'At least they're playing a good song,' he said as he leaned over to the cooler on the floor and found a beer. He opened it, took a long drink and sighed." That's from Willy Vlautin's new novel Don't Skip Out On Me. Helluva book.
Buck Owens - Excuse Me (I Think I've Got A Heartache)

An what's more, as Vlautin is also active in the band Richmond Fontaine, he and his chums recorded an atmospheric instrumental soundtrack of sorts to the book as well. Cool stuff all around.
Richmond Fontaine - Meeting Billy In El Paso

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

In My Dreams





















Lovely day out, spring has finally sprung, and have I got the ideal soundtrack for you: a lazy duet from '67 between future tropicália greats Gal Costa and Caetano Veloso. "There will always be hope in my heart..."
Gal Costa e Caetano Veloso - Coração Vagabundo