Friday, December 29, 2017

What Love?

It's that time of year again, my amigos da musica, so hallelujah, here we go. FTSOTS presents the ten push and pulls of the year, not forgetting the finest reads around. Always a pleasure. Winning artwork - 'his dreams of music', yes sir - comme d'habitude by Tinca. Dig in and crack up.

1. Jake Xerxes Fussell - What In The Natural World
Jake Xerxes Fussell - Pinnacle Mountain Silver Mine
2. Colter Wall - s/t
Colter Wall - You Look To Yours
3. Joan Shelley - s/t
Joan Shelley - The Push And Pull
4. Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up
5. The Feelies - In Between
6. The Weather Station - s/t
7. Hiss Golden Messenger - Hallelujah Anyhow
8. Here Lies Man - s/t
9. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Lotta Sea Lice
10. John Moreland - Big Bad Love

Flamenco dept:
Luis Moneo - Mi Cante, Mi Palabra

Top books on music:
1. Erin Osmon - Jason Molina: Riding With The Ghost
2. Clinton Heylin - Trouble In Mind: Bob Dylan's Gospel Years
3. Reinhard Kleist - Nick Cave: Mercy On Me
4. Allan Jones - Can't Stand Up For Falling Down: Rock'n'Roll War Stories

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Crowed For Me

Our famous end-of-year list is nearly ready, but patience please, let's put the old stuff to the test first. 'Cause hell yeah, 2017 sure was a great year for reissues and compilations of all kinds. Here's the top of the iceberg, already starting to melt. Suitcase of Songs artwork by the wonderful Tinca. It's flashback time, my amigos da musica...

1. Lal & Mike Waterson - Bright Phoebus
Lal & Mike Waterson - The Scarecrow
2. Bob Dylan - Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13
3. Neil Young - Hitchhiker
4. v/a - Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock '69 - '73
Ryo Kagawa - Zeni No Kouryouryoku Ni Tsuite
5. Erasmo Carlos - Carlos, Erasmo...
6. Lynn Castle - Rose Colored Corner
7. Grateful Dead - Cornell '77 & Dave's Picks Vol. 24: Live In Berkeley '72
8. Lloyd Parks - Time A Go Dread
LLoyd Parks - Shake Up Yu Dread
9. v/a - Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares
10. Alice Coltrane - The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda

Monday, December 25, 2017

Too Hot

After cool cool sets covering Lloyd Parks and producer Bunny Lee, this here's the third much recommended roots reggae compilation of 2017. Coxsone Dodd's legendary Studio One is where it's at on Black Man's Pride. You can't possibly go wrong with this wicked selection of big names (Alton Ellis, Horace Andy, Sugar Minott) and obscure outsiders. Of the latter category, here are the rather marvellous Classics. Seen?

The Classics - Got To Be Cool

Friday, December 22, 2017

Underneath My Fingers

Don't really find myself listening to a lot of so-called indie rock anymore, but this here heartwarming collection of duets calls for an exception. The combination of ace songs, relaxed vibes, and a pleasant air of unpretentiousness sets this Aussie/US combination far apart from the pack. The Neil & the Horse flavoured track below, written by Courtney Barnett's partner Jen Cloher, just happens to be my current fave.

Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Fear Is Like A Forest

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Walk This Way

Instrumental freakfolk bliss from the Windy City courtesy of Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker, with a little help from a cellist from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra no less. I'm off to spiderland, folks. Care to join me?

Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker - I Heard Them Singing

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Forever And Ever

Just got the sad news that Michael George Haynes, better known as Michael Prophet, has left us. The Jamaican reggae tenor was only 60 years old. I always admired his rootsy work with Yabby You in particular. Miss him, my brethren.

Michael Prophet - Praise You Jah Jah

Monday, December 18, 2017

Close My Eyes

Just got the sad news that Pat DiNizio passed away last week. The leader of New Jersey powerpop combo supreme the Smithereens was just 62. Miss him.

The Smithereens - Blood And Roses
The Smithereens - House We Used To Live In

Friday, December 15, 2017

Oh What Fun

"If you want another drink, there's plenty more under the sink..." A soul shakedown party is in order, as For The Sake Of The Song turns 10 today. Hurray and all that, my amigos da musica. Lovely jubilee artwork by the mighty Tinca. Fools, and fool's hats.

Bob Marley & The Wailers - Soul Shakedown Party
Wanda Jackson - Let's Have A Party
Porter Wagoner - The Life Of The Party
Kevin Coyne - Having A Party
The Heptones - Party Time
Allen Toussaint - When The Party's Over

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Give It To You

I'm sure the Dead had a groovy time playing at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza back in '78, but for a number of reasons, the recorded results were anything but stellar. Here's the one exception really, featuring Nubian oud player Hamza El Din and his students. Hey now, mighty mellow...

Grateful Dead - Ollin Arageed

Monday, December 11, 2017

Soul Trane

And of course, there's always the genius of John Coltrane. Every once in a while one needs to be reminded of that, my amigos da musica. So here we go again, with a trio of fine fine early tracks.

Wilbur Harden & John Coltrane - Tanganyika Strut
John Coltrane - Minor Mishap
Tadd Dameron & John Coltrane - Mating Call

Friday, December 8, 2017

Sky On Fire

This just in from the oversight dept: totally forgot about Mark Lanegan's new album. A useful reminder by the Swede over at Unthought Of, Though, Somehow put me back on the right track. For as the somewhat overproduced Gargoyle probably isn't the best the former Screaming Trees frontman can offer, that golden baritone is always irresistable.

Mark Lanegan Band - Sister

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Heavy Load

On a new live album called The Chapel, our beloved heavy folkrockers of Heron Oblivion surprisingly go wild with a Sir Doug classic. That's the lovely Meg Baird in the role of singing drummer, folks, doing her best Sandy impression. "And it sure does wig me out, when I think about what went down..." Indeed.

Heron Oblivion - Crossroads
Sir Douglas Quintet - At The Crossroads

Monday, December 4, 2017

Into The Fire

Another record store day surprise, from the lost and found department this time. New Stuff is an endearing collection of late-nineties acoustic demos by the legendary Waylon Jennings, who sadly passed away in 2002. Recently rediscovered by his son Shooter, this unadorned batch of songs may not be outlaw country's holy grail, but it sure is fun to hear 'old number one' in such an intimate setting.

Waylon Jennings - Good Time

Friday, December 1, 2017

Ready To Go

Seems like a good day to sample some wacky country and rockabilly gems from the first 2 volumes of the amazing Hillbillies In Hell series. As this stuff is highly addictive, you'll understand that I'm currently on the lookout for parts 3 and 4. Soon, soon.

Benny Joy - Dark Angel
Margie Singleton - Jesus Is My Pusher
Buddy Knox - I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself
Jimmy Newman - The Devil Was Laughing At Me

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Freezing Me

A Record Store Day surprise: Jason Molina (of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. fame) covering the Sabs. Sparky always was a fan of Ozzy & co, and this is a short but very sweet homage. Bonus bonanza: the coked-up proto stoner rock original.

Jason Molina - Snowblind
Black Sabbath - Snowblind

Monday, November 27, 2017

For Sure

A writer's block for our Bonnie Prince? After last May's rather lacklustre collection of Merle Haggard interpretations, Knoxville's finest has now surprisingly decided to cover the whole of Norwegian singer Susanna Wallumrød's Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos album. A polished and somewhat subdued affair prominently featuring banjo and violin, Wolf Of The Cosmos has its moments, like the hopeful track below.

Bonnie Prince Billy - Better Days

Friday, November 24, 2017

Cherry Blossom Special

This endearing cover of Bob Dylan's I Shall Be Released, with new lyrics in Japanese, is only one out of many goodies on an exemplary, brand new Light In The Attic compilation mining the rich folk-rock scene of late sixties and early seventies Japan. Sun's about to rise...

The Dylan II - Otokorashiitte Wakaru Kai

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

It's Golden

That prolific guitarist Steve Gunn has been at it again, this time doing the instrumental thing with John Truscinski on drums and synths. Their hypnotic lovechild is called Bay Head, and is out now on the cool Three Lobed label. File under soothing music.

Gunn-Truscinski Duo - Flood And Fire

Monday, November 20, 2017

It Had To Be

Just got tickets for the upcoming Barcelona gig of Duquende, the mighty Catalan gypsy singer from Sabadell. Finally, for the last time I went to see him, the concert got cancelled at the last moment for some reason or other. And as it's a homenage to flamenco legends Camarón de la Isla and Paco De Lucía, and the masterful Diego del Morao is helping out on guitar, what can possibly go wrong? !Mucha ilusión!

Duquende - Niquelao

Friday, November 17, 2017

Visions Of Nina

The title song of Simon Joyner's new Step Into The Earthquake album sure is one dark Dylanesque  beauty. "Nina takes a drag out in the rain, and dries her hair at the piano..."

Simon Joyner - Earthquake

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Meet Me

Out Of Range is the 5th album by L.A. combo Gun Outfit already, and a huge step forward it is, too. Sounding like some westcoast version of the Feelies at times, their meandering cosmic Americana would make an excellent soundtrack to any roadtrip with destination anywhere.

Gun Outfit - Strange Insistence

Monday, November 13, 2017

Something Good

A choice morsel of virtuoso flamenco guitar, courtesy of Gerardo Nuñez. Once named as heir to the throne of Paco de Lucía, all his classic albums, the lovely Jucal among them, are now long out of print as far as I know. Which is definitely odd.

Gerardo Nuñez - Jucal

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Dead Moon Night

Just got the sad news that Fred Cole has passed away. The legendary garage rocker, best known for his work with the Lollipop Shoppe and Dead Moon, was 69. Miss him.

Dead Moon - Dead In The Saddle
Dead Moon - D.O.A.
Dead Moon - Walking On My Grave

Friday, November 10, 2017

Hey Joe

Featured Joe Henderson in rare avant garde mode with Alice Coltrane recently, and here's some more of his magic. First shining as a sideman with such greats as Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner, Larry Young, and Lee Morgan, then on his own with a track each from the tenor's much recommended Page One and  Inner Urge albums. It's six pack time then so, jazz cats.

Horace Silver - Song For My Father
McCoy Tyner - Blues On The Corner
Larry Young - If
Lee Morgan - Totem Pole
Joe Henderson - Recorda Me
Joe Henderson - El Barrio

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Down The Track

Hurray, the vaults ain't empty yet. To wit: there's a brand new volume of Dave’s Picks in the shops, recorded live in Berkeley '72, a fine fine year in Dead live history. It's an impeccable 'Bear' soundboard with Garcia in full flight, so what are you waiting for? Extra extra: it's 30 Days Of Dead month again, with a free mystery download every day over at Deadnet. Hey now!

Grateful Dead - He's Gone (live Berkeley '72)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fool's Paradise

Hallelujah, Bob cats. It's time to rejoice, as Trouble No More, the 13th volume of the Bootleg Series, covers our Nobel laureate's underrated gospel years ('79-'81) with a ton of steaming live tracks and rare outtakes. Of which the glorious Making A Liar Out Of Me clearly is the biggest surprise, as even the most diehard Dylan collectors didn't even know it existed. "I can hear the sound of distant thunder from an open window at the end of every hall..."

Bob Dylan - Making A Liar Out Of Me

Friday, November 3, 2017

Cosmic Cats

It's been a wonderful year for Alice Coltrane reissues, and here's yet one more. The Elements suite originally came out in '73, and found Trane's widow collaborating with Joe Henderson, in what's definitely an uncharacteristic cosmic soundscape for this former bop tenor player. Sounds great - and definitely eastern flavoured - though. Dig in, jazz cats.

Joe Henderson feat. Alice Coltrane - Water

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Tot Sants

Today's no-brainer: an instrumental Low outtake for your listening pleasure. It's no Warszawa, but it will have to do.

David Bowie - All Saints

Monday, October 30, 2017

Rest My Head

Care for some some honest Americana from Nashville? Meet Blank Range, whose Brad Cook-produced Marooned With The Treasure is the real deal alright.

Blank Range - Crimson Moon

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Make A Move

Hola republica, hola nou pais. Not sure how long it will last, as Franco's henchmen are knocking at the gate as we speak, but it sure feels good to be part of the new Republic of Catalunya.

The Redskins - Keep On Keeping On!
Comsat Angels - Independence Day
Robert Wyatt - At Last I Am Free
Bob Dylan - Chimes Of Freedom (live Oxford, Ohio '00)
Syl Johnson - I'm Talkin' 'Bout Freedom
Raimon - Veles E Vents

Friday, October 27, 2017

Oh Jenny

"Yellow jokes come out of your mind..." Now that's a compliment. Just rediscovered the krautrock smorgasbord that is Faust IV: very yummy indeed.

Faust - Jennifer

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Town To Town

The rural Appalachian freakfolk of Sarah Louise and Sally Anne Morgan sounds almost ancient at first listen, but that drone gives 'em away. The duo's debut album, under the House and Land moniker, just came out on the Thrilljockey label. Simply charming.

House and Land - Rich Old Jade

Monday, October 23, 2017

Lights Flashing

Blue Boy seems to be selling something... Let's check it out and take a trip with the lovely Susan Christie. Could you give me a dime?

Susan Christie - Yesterday Where's My Mind

Friday, October 20, 2017

Hear Me Cryin'

The blues according to the Dead, featuring that legendary weirdo  Ron 'Pigpen' McKernan on vocals. Howling like a dire wolf of course. Whoohoo!

Grateful Dead - Smokestack Lightnin' (live Port Chester '71)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Children Of Jah

Heading over to Jamdown now with a fine new reggae compilation on the Kingston Sounds label, channeling that majestic mid-seventies rockers sound concocted by the Revolutionairies (Sly & Robbie et al) with legendary producer Bunny 'Striker' Lee. Prime example below.

Junior Delgado - Devil's Throne

Monday, October 16, 2017

All Aboard

We're going on a trip, jazz cats. Its distict Indian flavour is delightful, and what's more, this musical journey features the mighty Pharoah Sanders on sax. Satchidananda, in case you were wondering, was a famous swami Trane's widow was following at the time on her road to enlightenment.

Alice Coltrane - Journey Into Satchidananda

Friday, October 13, 2017

All Nite Long

Ready for some classic rockin' cajun from East Texas and Southwest Louisiana, folks? Good, as the acclaimed Yep Rock imprint has just re-released the mighty cool Swampland Jewels compilation, which originally came out on the Goldband label back in '79. Let the bon temps rouler... and ride that crawfish if you dare.

Cleveland Crochet & Jay Stutes - Sugar Bee

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Anything Different

Only debut albums should be self-titled in my book, but let's be mild for once and forgive the Weather Station. As it stands, the Canadian combo's fourth offering is simply too good to be cast aside for such petty reasons. With bonus points for lush but functional string arrangements and even a flute here and there, The Weather Station raises only one question really: might young Tamara Lindeman be Joni Mitchell's illegitimate offspring?

The Weather Station - Kept It All To Myself

Monday, October 9, 2017

Crunch Crunch

The fifth (!) Kozelek product of the year sees our quirky Ohioan get together with keyboardist Ben Boye and drummer Jim White. Works a treat. Chew on this wicked feline impersonation for starters: "When you're a cat you can sleep all day and say fuck all that..."

Mark Kozelek with Ben Boye and Jim White - House Cat

Friday, October 6, 2017

A Day Late

And a dollar short, as they say. "But it was soon patent to every observing mind that the ways of wealth were not the ways of honor..." Indeed. Presenting a greedy six pack + for your listening pleasure, my amigos da musica.

Wynn Stewart - Another Day, Another Dollar
David Wiffen - You'll Never Make A Dollar That Way (Mexico)
The Stained Glass - Dollar Sign Friends
The Mekons - $1,000 Wedding
Funkadelic - Funky Dollar Bill
Ka - $

Bonus track:
Johnny Dollar - Action Packed

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Hurts Like Hell

The always fantastic Numero Group is at it again, this time with a monster compilation of Acid Nightmares. Recorded in the tail-end of the psychedelic sixties, these 18 mega-obscure stoner scorchers are sure to fry your brain. Do take this good-bad trip if you dare...

Bulbous Creation - Hooked

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Scar In The Sky

Just got the sad news that Tom Petty has passed away. The Florida-born leader of the Heartbreakers died of cardiac arrest in an L.A. hospital. He was just 66. I've always had a weak spot for their eponymous debut album. Miss him.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Luna

Monday, October 2, 2017

White Light

An old fave of mine by Nico, from the chanteuse's new wave-tinged Drama Of Exile album. "Her love lies like a broken glass..."

Nico - Henry Hudson

Friday, September 29, 2017

How I Feel

Obscure sixties soul from Toronto by fine singer annex transgender rights pioneer Jackie Shane. "Tell her that I'm happy, tell her that I'm gay..." Collected works, which comes down to six singles and a steaming live gig, out now courtesy of the mighty Numero Group.

Jackie Shane - Any Other Way

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Darker Darkness

The new Hiss album is getting rave reviews almost everywhere, but I'm not completely bowled over yet. It all sounds a bit tinny to my ears, which doesn't fit the fat Caledonian soul vibe they're after, while the new drummer sure could use a bit of funk in his playing. Don't get me wrong, the wonderfully titled Hallelujah Anyhow is a decent record, and one with an uplifting message at that, but it somehow lacks the magic of MC Taylor & crew's earlier work. Here's hoping it will grow on me.

Hiss Golden Messenger - Harder Rain

Monday, September 25, 2017

Talk To Me

Time for a postpunk oldie ('80) by Pylon. Michael Stipe was a fan, but the big time never came for this cool combo from Athens, Georgia. You really do need their Gyrate album though, reissued on cd a couple years back as Gyrate Plus. Like wild good vibes indeed.
Pylon - Cool

Friday, September 22, 2017

Keep Dreaming

Inexplicably, the opener of Chris Forsyth's new album proves nothing but a weak Television pastiche. I was just thinking that he could do so much better when things indeed picked up, culminating in the absolute highlight that is the title track: an inventive and hypnotic stretched-out thing of beauty. Here goes.

Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band - Dreaming In The Non-Dream

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mark My Words

Luis Moneo Lara, younger brother of the more famous cantaor El Torta, is a rarity in flamenco circles, as he's not just a singer but an accomplished guitarist as well. On his first solo effort at 56, he's backed by his son Juan though. Great stuff con corazón from Jerez.

Luis Moneo - Mi Parecito Juan

Monday, September 18, 2017

Come On In Here

Mr. Young originally decided not to release Hitchhiker because he felt these David Briggs-produced, single night acoustic '76 recordings sounded too stoned somehow for his liking. The majority of this strong collection of songs, featuring such classics as Campaigner and Powderfinger, would eventually find its way to later albums of course, but to hear this stripped-down, mellow and intimate session after all these years is truly a joy.

Neil Young - Hawaii

Friday, September 15, 2017

Time Hurts

Just got the sad news that Grant Hart has passed away. Hüsker Dü's legendary singing drummer was only 56, way way too young. Miss him.

Hüsker Dü - Sorry Somehow
Hüsker Dü - Pink Turns To Blue
Grant Hart - 2541