Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Groovy Thing To Be

And you thought these flower children had an easy time of it back in the summer of love, right? No way, brothers and sisters... A-a-a-a-Achoo!

Find this great spoof on the amazing third volume of the renowned Pebbles series, rightly subtitled The Acid Gallery.

The Jefferson Handkerchief - I´m Allergic To Flowers MP3

Friday, March 27, 2009

Harder Than The Rest

Culture has always been my fave reggae vocal trio, despite tough competition from similar outfits as the Heptones, the Congos, the Mighty Diamonds, Israel Vibration and the Abyssinians, to name but a few. Albert Walker, Kenneth Dayes and especially the charismatic ´Keeper Of Zion Gate´ Joseph Hill (´49-´06) had that certain je ne sais quoi which separates the true greats from the mere mortals.

Their very rootsy early output (Africa Stand Alone, their magnum opus Two Sevens Clash, Baldhead Bridge, Harder Than The Rest and Cumbolo) is especially dear to my heart. Here´s one song each from these late seventies classics. "When the two sevens clash - you better do right..."

Culture - Two Sevens Clash MP3
Culture - Innocent Blood Mp3
Culture - Baldhead Bridge MP3
Culture - Holy Mountain Zion MP3
Culture- Poor Jah People MP3

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Groove Me

When you´re done reading here, I advise you to check out a new, collective blog called Groover´s Paradise. The simple but highly effective purpose of that blog is to ´celebrate the great music of the 20th century in three sentences or less´. Sounds good, right? So far the spotlight´s been on artists like Doug Sahm, Buck Owens, The Flatlanders and Swamp Dogg. And yes, yours truly is planning to post there quite often as well...

A song I could have written about on Groover´s Paradise, but which I´ll use here instead to illustrate this entry, is Dylan´s Billy, a wonderful song found in four different arrangements on the somewhat underrated soundtrack to Sam Peckinpah´s Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid western. Dylan never performed this Mexican flavored beauty from ´73 in concert... until a few days back, when he suddenly decided to surprise a lucky Stockholm crowd with it. Nice organ. And many thanks to the taper of course.

Bob Dylan - Billy 7 MP3
Bob Dylan - Billy (live 23-3-´09) MP3

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Together Through Life

Just in case you didn´t hear it somewhere else already: there´s a new Dylan album coming out in late April. It´s called Together Through Life and features a photo by Magnum photographer Bruce Davidson on its cover, while David Hidalgo of Los Lobos is said to play accordeon on every track. Produced by Dylan´s alter ego Jack Frost, the album is supposed to sound like it was recorded for the famous fifties-label Chess. Cool or what? Some intriguing song titles: I Feel A Change Coming On, My Wife´s Hometown and If You Ever Go To Houston...

Dylan´s European tour starts next week (dates here), but it´s been a while since Dylan debuted his new songs live before an album was officially released, so don´t hold your breath. But you can always prove me wrong by predicting Dylan´s setlists over at the Never Ending Pool. Hurry!

On Dylan´s official website you can read part 1 of a rather entertaining interview with His Bobness by Bill Flanagan, who´s known as the author of Written In My Soul, a heartily recommended collection of conversations with songwriters about their art. One fine quote to wet your appetite: "I see that my audience now doesn’t particular care what period the songs are from. They feel style and substance in a more visceral way and let it go at that. Images don’t hang anybody up. Like if there’s an astrologer with a criminal record in one of my songs it’s not going to make anybody wonder if the human race is doomed. Images are taken at face value and it kind of freed me up".

While we´re waiting with bated breath for the follow-up to Modern Times (´06), let´s listen to a relatively obscure Dylan gem called Abandoned Love. Dylan performed the song only once in concert, and when he had apparently just written it at that. Sitting in at a Ramblin´ Jack Elliott gig at New York City´s Other End club on July 3, ´75, he must have surprised everybody in attendance with this intense and biting acoustic rendition of yet another lament about his desintegrating marriage to Sara. ´My head tells me it's time to make a change, but my heart is telling me... I love ya but you're strange.´

Abandoned Love was later recorded in the studio during the sessions for what would turn out to be Desire, and thus features that characteristic drum sound and Scarlet Rivera´s lyrical violin, but was eventually left off the album for some reason or other. Fortunately, it ended up eventually on the Biograph box. ´Won't you let me in your room one time, 'fore I finally disappear...´ Great song.

Bob Dylan - Abandoned Love MP3
Bob Dylan - Abandoned Love (live) MP3

Friday, March 13, 2009

Three By Eric

Eric Taylor that is, a way underrated singer/songwriter. All three songs below stem from his gripping ´01 masterpiece Scuffletown, the one with the beautiful Edward Hopper-inspired painting on the cover. Sparse and melancholic, as albums in this genre should be. Where I Lead Me is a Townes Van Zandt cover, and a good one at that. His rambling mix of Delia - that ancient beauty better known through Blind Willie McTell and Dylan - and his own Bad News somehow reminds me of Patti in Horses-mode, or Astral Weeks-Van. Check ´em out and tell me what you think ok?

Eric Taylor - Happy Endings MP3
Eric Taylor - Where I Lead Me MP3
Eric Taylor - Delia/Bad News MP3

Monday, March 2, 2009

Slip Inside This House

The move went fine, and all them boxes are more or less unpacked by now. The phone, iMac, stereo and fridge are connected already, and what more can one ask for really? But as I still got a million other things to do, I don´t really feel like blogging extensively at the moment. Here´s a few cool songs about houses and homes to keep you happy for the time being though.

Two classics, at least in my book: Arthur Lee´s Love and Roky´s Elevators. A beautiful demo by that good ole silver fox Charlie Rich, plus a great song by those way underrated Finnish guys 22-Pistepirkko. And last but not least a fairly recent - and fantastically titled - track by Woodpigeon, an upcoming talent. Enjoy!

Woodpigeon - Home As A Romanticized Concept Where Everyone Loves You Always And Forever MP3
Charlie Rich - Feel Like Going Home (demo) MP3
22-Pistepirkko - Don´t Go Home Joe MP3
13th Floor Elevators - Slip Inside This House MP3
Love - A House Is Not A Motel MP3