Monday, March 29, 2021

Dream You There


 











During lockdown, Nick and Warren didn't sit still for long. Instead of lamenting their twice-cancelled world tour, the duo (no other Bad Seeds present, no guitars either) decided more or less on a whim to record a fresh batch of songs. Ellis went in for some heavy orchestrating, at times almost claustrophibically so. Cave decided to wear his most dramatic mask: he's really in your face here. But after a couple of spins, I'm still not sure if Carnage really is my vaccine of choice.

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - Albuquerque

Friday, March 26, 2021

Knocked Out Loaded






 







Down the road down the road... What's your fave version of the immortal Junco/Junko Partner? From the '51 original by James Waynes onward, here's only a tip of the iceberg.

James Waynes - Junco Partner (Worthless Man)
James Booker - Junco Partner
Nobody's Children - Junco Partner
Dr. John - Junko Partner
The Clash - Junco Partner
Chris Bailey - Junko Partner

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Want To Be There

 












You've got yourselves an invitation to the famous Dark Town Strutters Ball. American Primitive guitar avant-la-lettre, courtesy of the great Harry Taussig. From 1965, and never going out of style.

Harry Taussig - Dark Town Strutters Ball

Monday, March 22, 2021

Far Out

 












Lonnie Liston Smith: quite the resumé. Played with Art Blakey, Miles, Roland Kirk and Pharoah Sanders. Here he travels the spaceways in fine style. Buckle up and take that trip.

Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes - Astral Traveling

Friday, March 19, 2021

Almighty


 

Noel Ellis, son of 'godfather of rocksteady' Alton, carried on the reggae family tradition overseas. From 1983, his self-titled debut remains arguably the finest roots record ever to come out of Canada.

Noel Ellis - To Hail Selassie

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Fly Away


 











Finally officially available: Neil & the Horse's 1990 tour warm-up gig at the intimate Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz. Which meant not only the first live outing of a bunch of songs from the just released Ragged Glory album, but also the first ever performance of Zuma's intense Danger Bird. Strap in, here we go.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Danger Bird (live '90)

Monday, March 15, 2021

No Consolation

 












The demos part is what makes Richard Hell's Destiny Street Complete really interesting. Here's the best of the batch, a cool song in typical Hell style with fine fine guitar work by the late great Robert Quine -somewhat surprisingly - Ivan Julian. "You know the power only comes from your dread..."

Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Smitten

Saturday, March 13, 2021

On The Side

 












Spotlighting some recent side projects today. First up: Bardo Pond offshoot Vapour Theories takes an instrumental trip and lives to tell the tale. Noisy, but kinda ambient all the same. If that floats your boat, go here to get it. Pleasant jangle pop with falsetto-ish vocals and obvious Flying Nun overtones more your thing? Check out Painted Shrines, featuring Jeremy Earl of Woods fame, there.

Vapour Theories - High Treason
Painted Shrines - Heaven And Holy

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Shake It


 











Exactly one year ago on this day, I attended my last live rock gig: Modern Nature on stage in the intimate Sala Vol here in town. Good night out, but the writing was already on the wall of course. Just a few days later, lockdown started and all venues had to shut up shop. Here's hoping they won't all have closed for good - mayday mayday, one of my faves already did - by the time we're finally allowed back in.

Modern Nature - Mayday

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Desert Steel


 











Concerto for guitar and drum machine. Bobby Lee hails from Sheffield and may be as British as they come, but he's got that JJ Cale down-in-the-desert choogle thingy down pat. Atmospheric as hell, and out now on the always interesting Tompkins Square imprint.

Bobby Lee - Impregnated By Drops Of Rainbow

Monday, March 8, 2021

Darker Shade

 












A welcome reissue of a lofi rarity by the guys of the Drag City label. It's the year of 1969 and we're in Portland, Maine, where Bill Stone and pals record his first (and only) album. Sometimes dreamy, sometimes jazzy, slightly psychedelic, and always interesting. Nice find.

Bill Stone - Purple

Friday, March 5, 2021

Solar Beat


 











Along with Television, Pere Ubu has long been my fave seventies artpunk combo. Unique sounding band to say the least. So the appearance of a live set from 1977, lofi as it may be and with two songs incomplete, still feels a bit like heaven. Download it for a steal here.

Pere Ubu - Heaven (live '77)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Count The Stars


 











Just got the sad news that reggae legend Neville O'Riley Livingston, better known as Bunny Wailer, passed away yesterday at 73. The Blackheart Man was the last surviving co-founder of Jamaica's legendary (Wailing) Wailers: Bob Marley left us in 1981, Peter Tosh in '87. Miss him, my brethren.

Bunny Wailer - Dream Land
Bunny Wailer - Rise And Shine

Monday, March 1, 2021

Think A Likkle














Two glorious extended mixes of prime Culture. Double roots reggae fulfilment, my Jah people.