Sunday, 28 March 2010

Heartbleeder #1: Brian

I'll tell you something. You can hurt people really easy without even trying. In fact, the less you try, the harder you can hurt them.

Sad songs say so much. Fuck of Elton John.
The sadness of Brian Wilson of bottomless, he's got one heavy soul. This song is personal, created in a cloud of hash above a pool of tears. He put it out on his own to meagre success whilst the band was touring europe singing his old surfing songs. Then it closed Pet Sounds. He played it to his wife Marilyn and they both cried. She could see him on the train waving goodbye.

'Caroline, No'- Brian Wilson(Capitol 5610, 1966)

Monday, 22 March 2010

Cold turkey & a stick of tea...

'Cold Turkey'- Big Boy Pete(Camp 602005, 1966)

Pete Miller hailed from Norwich, a backwater city also famous for Alan Partridge & Justin Fashanu, and being still unaccessable by motorway in 2010. He had been making records with the likes of Joe Meek & touring with early 60's package tour stalwarts Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers for nearly ten years before he made this brainbusting bubble of psychedelic pop groovery and vanished to San Francisco forevermore.

Above: Jaywalkers fans sit unimpressed in Northampton's ABC Theatre, trying to get their tickets worth after Peter Jay & crew had finished & the other band, 'The Beatles', came on and ruined the night.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Alex Chilton

Like he'd give a shit what anyone thought, no matter if most would say he was as good as anyone. Must say though, truly fucking awesome work Mr. Chilton, thanks.

'Hey! Little Child'-Alex Chilton(Aura AUS 117, 1980)

Saturday, 13 March 2010

The (New) Call Of The Freaks

Nick Cave once ranted, mid-interview, on MTV, about how such TV channels were killing the magic that made him fall in love with the whole road in the first place. All he had was a record, maybe some names on the back of a 12" sleeve, at best an odd photo of the band. At the time i thought what a grumpy old goat, but he had a bloody good point.

The mystique is all gone. You can get hint of it with someone like Jandek, but its rare as gold hen's teeth. Even the cool new underground stuff you hear on obscure blogs usually have a myspace link. Its necessary now of course, but all too real. Robert Johnson didn't come from the crossroads with a good internet service provider.

Its a fine thing to banish any elitism, but imagination is a lost magik. The full horror of who pre-packed pop-stars like Ke$ha really are is laid bare and repeated like water torture on cable TV interviews every 20 minutes.

When Elvis Presley was first aired in Great Britain, with just an odd name & a backing band of two, it may as well have been a martian invasian. With all the international press they could possibly get, i wouldn't recognise one of Vampire Weekend if they came to fix my server, so diluted & uninteresting things have become.

So for just that reason, and with these needs in mind, i do enjoy listening to older & older stuff.

I mean, what the hell is going on in this platter by Luis Russell & His Orchestra?
If you want, you can get some photos of Luis online, or a basic biography, but you will never know enough to kill the magic here.

This is an incantation. A whole exotic new world in its three minute existence, a graveyard dance, bosomy gingham silhouette on a full Chicago moon, spats grazed on the sidewalks on a hangover monday, green sick in a trash can, and then its gone, and thats it, no questionable opinions in a Rolling Stone interview to get in the way. Its anything i want it to be & mean.

Its Halloween every day in the mind of Luis. Who knows what depraved orgies were incited when his band played this in strange velveteen ballrooms.

'The (New) Call Of The Freaks'-Luis Russell & His Orchestra(Okeh, 1929)

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The Real Thing-Russell Morris (1969)

Originally a bit-too-close facsmile of Status Quo's 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men' written by Johnny Young, it was transformed Midas-like by eccentric producer Ian "Molly" Meldrum, the kind of chap who went into a studio and asked the guitarist to "play cold stars on a black night sky" and could get a record company to hand over $2000, the amount it cost to make a whole LP back then, to get the results.
Meldrum stretched the play-time to an unfeasable 6.20 minutes with a delightfully self-indulgent 3-minute Walrus of an ending with some Lennon-ish Goon voice declaring somesuch about 'usability of the product' (in fact Organist Brian Cadd reading the back of the box of the master tape reel) mixed with a recording of the Hitler Youth singing "Die Jugend Marschiert" (Youth on the March) across splats of phased drums & electric string swirls.

On completion, 'The Real Thing' was the most expensive record production ever made in Australia. When the record execs flew into Melbourne to hear a studio playback of the completed golden egg, a ragingly drunk Meldrum panicked, stole the master tape and ran into a neighbouring golf course in the night with a bottle of bourbon to consider his next move. He knew there was no way they would get it. He was right. They thought it the biggest load of wasteful crap they had ever heard, and only distributed enough copies locally in the hopes of breaking even.

The times being what they were, the company couldn't bury it so easily. Morris himself drove copies up to Sydney, visited DJ's, and handed the platter over, asking them to play it. You could do crazy things like play what you liked on the radio in that time, so they did, and it became number one for 4 weeks in Australia in 1969, and became a decent international hit. Boss man knows best.

'TheReal Thing'-Russell Morris(Decca, 1969)

Above: The hateful record execs hand over the platimun disc to Russel Morris at the tail end of 1969.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Lynn Taitt-Sooooooooul Fooood

Just enough winter sunshine through the streaky windows to warrant a stinging tear from my sick eye & the first spin for 2010 of this rocksteady evergreen good-timer from recently gone on legend Lynn Taitt.

"...mix em it?....Sooooouul Food!"

'Soul Food'-Lynn Taitt & The Jets(Pama Records, 1968)