Ben Christophers - My Beautiful Demon (1999)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:21 AM 0 comments

With a fragile-to-the-point-of-breaking voice like Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and the soulful singer/songwriter background of Jeff Buckley, Ben Christophers is a remarkable discovery for anyone who thinks the former's gotten a tad too willfully obtuse and the latter's gotten a tad too, well, dead. But co-writer/producer David Kosten takes Christophers' raw, passionate talent and provides dazzling arrangements that range from funky and futuristic to lush and textural. The album opens with the haunting title track, which allows Christophers' shimmering guitar and yearning vocals to hang in open space, adorned with only minor synths and samples that lend an ambient, hypnotic appeal. "Give Me Everything" couldn't sound more like an OK Computer outtake, cranking the amps up to ten for an arena-ready anthem that rides atop an infectious, off-time rhythm. But Christophers' emotional songs also show an incredible attention to detail. Lines like "I'm thrown, it's like you're still here/in among my heart/I'll always sleep on my side/even though you're gone" plumb the depths of heartache, while a throw-off phrase like "Your smile is shining like a razor blade" paints poetic pictures that cut to the heart. But the most effective track is the closer, "Skyscraper," a gorgeous lullaby with an achingly beautiful chorus: "Goodnight silver star/Goodnight angel's eyes/From the skyscraper/the world turns out of sight." By the end, you're ready to jump on board the bandwagon before the rest of the world catches on.
Tracks
01. My beatiful demon
02. Give me everything
03. Before the winter parade
04. Stay
05. It´s been a beautiful day
06. Sunday
07. Healer
08. Remote control
09. Always
10. Skyscraper
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Virgin Prunes - If I die, If I die (1982)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:39 AM 0 comments

If I Die, I Die is the Virgin Prunes' proper debut album. The first three (of seven) parts of a conceptual work entitled A New Form of Beauty, issued as 7", 10", and 12" singles preceded it in the same calendar year. Produced by Wire's Colin Newman, the album's 12 tracks are the epitome of post-punk adventurism. Here, tribal drums and edgy, spooky, detuned guitars and bouzoukis cross paths and meld with synthesizers and primitive drum machines in an onslaught of off-kilter creativity where everyone from the Fall, PIL, New Order, Siouxsie & the Banshees, and even Bruce Springsteen are called in for reference in a brew that is dangerous, primal, and excessive. Two androgynous frontmen in the foppish Gavin Friday and alluring Guggi create alternate ambiences from warped yet sweet Irish balladry to shrieked poetry. And while the set is messy to be sure, it is far from off-putting. In fact, it is easily the band's most consistent and enduring effort. The albums opens with the haunting, nocturnal minimalism of "Ulankulot," an intro with tom toms and drifting keyboards layered carefully in the background, wordless chanted backing vocals and an electric bouzouki courtesy of guitarist Dik. It immediately gives way to its antecedent "Decline Sand Fall." It's the same tune, only Friday is out in front of it digging deep into the temporality of childhood and what remains of it. Its effect is startling, nocturnal, and tense. In "Sweethome Under White Clouds," the theme is given dimension as Guggi and Friday wail like muzzeins over a reverbed guitar coming from the netherworld and augmented by a soprano saxophone and a synth bassline. "Pagan Lovesong," the album's proper single, is one of the most angular cuts on the set. Here, the Prunes employ a riff straight out of early Gang of Four, chant their refrains, and swirl the keyboards and drum machines à la Devo yet keep everything so gothic and strange; it's not only compelling, it's infectious. The rest of the album follows suit, with the raucous new wave of "Baby Turns Blue," and the mainstream rockist "Ballad of the Man" that sounds like a wrong-speed outtake, Springsteen's The River and the Mott the Hoople version of "Sweet Jane!" This is a wonderfully confounding and sometimes campy and often disturbing exercise in unfettered creativity that has stood the test of time very well. It is the most necessary Virgin Prunes record of all and captures best what they were capable of when focused
Tracks
01. Ulakankulot
02. Decline and fall
03. Sweethome under white clouds
04. Bau Dachong
05. Pagan lovesong
06. Baby turns blue
07. Ballad of the man
08. Walls of Jericho
09. Caucasian Walk
10. Theme for thought
11. Chance of a lifetime
12. Yeo
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The Paupers - Ellis Island (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:16 AM 0 comments

Ellis Island, the second album by the Paupers, contains a front cover color photo of the four bandmembers inserted on a Sgt. Pepper-style collage by Ollie Alpert. Inside the LP is a very psychedelic black-and-white picture of the group, which also features 16 single photos of Cambell, Mitchell, Prokop, and Beale -- photos which you can cut out to make a flick book. Like a trendy flicker ring with more sustain, you can see the musicians move in the optical illusion if you follow the instructions. Problem with this concept was that there was no Andy Warhol to splash his name on the cover and get the idea some attention à la the famous banana cover. If Verve had difficulty understanding the Mothers of Invention and the Velvet Underground, where the Paupers fit in was anybody's guess. Adam Mitchell takes seven of the nine lead vocals as the band touches on a variety of psychedelic styles, beginning with "South Down Road." This opening track plays like Procol Harum battling the Electric Prunes -- it's eight and a half minutes of acid blues on an interesting album by an interesting crew. Mitchell's originals, four co-written with Skip Prokop, are an odd bunch. It seems Procol Harum won the war on the first song because "Cairo Hotel" sounds like they've now taken on Kaleidoscope U.K. in a battle of the bands. The intellectual display quickly disappears when the country comedy of "Another Man's Hair on My Razor" brings side one to a close. OK, it's amusing, but despite all the Sgt. Pepper trappings, there's no "Lucy in the Sky" in these grooves. Al Kooper guest stars on keyboards, and maybe they should have taken his "This Diamond Ring" and jumped the gun on Frijid Pink by reinventing that pop classic with a wall of distortion. Side two's opener, "Numbers," could be "Eight Miles High" meets Simon & Garfunkel's "Fakin' It." "Numbers," with its Strawberry Alarm Clock guitars and Janis Joplin bassist-to-be Brad Campbell singing lead, is jarring, but that's the rule on this album. Campbell would go on to track I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! and Pearl with Joplin, as well as Joplin in Concert. That live album was collected and assembled by Elliot Mazer with some of the tracks recorded by Fred Catero, both men involved with the Paupers' Ellis Island project. Interesting to note the credible resumés involved in this esoteric project. Skip Prokop's one solo composition is also his one vocal. The man who would perform on Live Adventures of Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield and create the band Lighthouse does an off-key Keith Moon-style vocal over a dreamy track, the Small Faces phase shifting meets...you guessed it...Procol Harum. This track is minus the fuzz guitars, instead employing the strings, piano, and effects, giving the listener some breathing room. Adam Mitchell takes the vocals back from here on out -- it's a dramatic "Yes I Know" written by Campbell, Prokop, and Mitchell, six minutes and 23 seconds of more psychedelic blues. This music would've been a blessing for the latter-day Blues Magoos and Electric Prunes, groups who moved away from these types of sounds, much to the chagrin of their fans. Without the hit singles those groups enjoyed, the Paupers' Ellis Island never got the attention it kind of deserved. It is both vintage and obscure, which could make it quite collectable at some point in time
Tracks
1. South Down Raod
2. Cairo Hotel
3. Can't Go On
4. Another Man's Hair on My Razor
5. Numbers
6. Oh That She Might
7. Yes I Know
8. Ask Her Again
9. Julliana
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Standing on the Verge of Getting It On is a 1974 album by Funkadelic, released on After releasing the more commercial record "Cosmic Slop" in 1973 , Funkadelic returned with the amazing "Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On" a year later. The result was a more focused rock album that really packed a punch without any filler. George Clinton and genius guitar player Eddie Hazel wrote all of the compositions on this classic.
The album kicks off to a roaring start with "Red Hot Mama." After a humorous introduction by George himself, a fierce guitar lick by Eddie Hazel breaks the ice and smoothly intertwines with Bootsy's slap bass and the precise keyboard playing of Bernie Worrell to creative one of Funkadelic's most sophisticated grooves yet.

Next, the hard rocking "Alice Of My Fantasies" bursts into frame. This is one of Funkadelic's heaviest songs, with amazing solos and hard hitting percussion. Very similar to Led Zeppelin's early material. A Funkadelic Classic, essential for driving.

"I'll Stay" Slows things down a bit as it kicks in with an eerie bassline that, while not very original, is extremely catchy. This is a reworking of an old Parliaments song. Not my personal favorite on the album, but by no means is it filler.

Side one of the LP closes with the brilliantly executed "Sexy Ways,"
a more R & B number with an incredibly catchy melody. This song was one of the last of its kind that Funkadelic would play before they evolved to more uptempo funk and *gasp* disco styles.

Things start off with another bang on side two. The title track "Standing On The Verge of Getting It On," Is simply outstanding. A song that was originally a concert groove transformed into one Funkadelic's catchiest and most memorable songs. This song almost speaks for itself.

"Jimmy's Got A Little Bit Of Bitch In Him" follows. The song is a lighthearted look at one of George's gay friends. While the subject matter may be iffey to some people, the groove is solid enough to make anyone's head bob. I commend Funkadelic for being non homophobic and writing this song. If only the modern rap artists of today could try learning from the example that George and company set.

The final song is "Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts" another instrumental song very similar to "Maggot Brain." This song demonstrates the immense talent of Eddie Hazel with a guitar solo that is unrivaled by many other soloists of the time.

"Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On" is not only a great funk album, it is a rock and roll classic. It should be up there with other 70's greats. There are only two Funkadelic albums that I would give 5 stars to: this album and "One Nation Under A Groove." This is a good album to start on if you are just getting into the funk of funkadelica. If you buy one Funkadelic album buy "One Nation Under A Groove," If you buy two, buy that and this fine album. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. By C. Knowles.
Tracks
1. Red Hot Mama
2. Alice in My Fantasies
3. I'll Stay
4. Sexy Ways
5. Standing on the Verge of Getting It On
6. Jimmy's Got a Little Bit of Bitch in Him
7. Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts
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Underground american prog band which fused rock and jazz. Album released on Vanguard in 1969. The album may interest fans of acid psychedelia with a strong jazzy haze. The group originated from Indianapolis and was fronted by Tom Hensley, an excellent keyboard player who would become a sought-after studio musician during the seventies, working with Leonard Cohen, Hall & Oates and David Blue to name but a few
Tracks
01. Shining
02. Boxes
03. The grand illusion
04. Long hard journey
05. Mirror
06. Pieces/together/pieces
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Nickel Bag - Doing Their Love Thing (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:12 AM 0 comments

Released on the Kama Sutra label in 1968. Arranged by Larry Fallon.

They played the Red Lion a lot. In the summer of 1969 The Nickel Bag toured with Steppenwolf and played with The Turtles, The Buckinghams, The Flock, The Fifth Dimension, The Shadows of Knight, and others. Their bassist Bill Brackin also substituted as bass player for the Seeds of Doubt, another local C-U band a couple of times when their bass player was sick.
Tracks
01. How do I love thee
02. A red, red rose
03. Lover's litany
04. The night is darkening around me
05. She walks in beauty
06. Shall I compare thee
07. God's gifts
08. She was a phantom of delight
09. Tears, idle tears
10. Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
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Kitchens of Distinction - Strange Free World (1991)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 7:28 AM 0 comments

With the help of noted producer Hugh Jones (Echo and the Bunnymen, R.E.M., among many others), the Kitchens sound more comfortable with the studio and just plain bigger. The amazing opener, "Railwayed," starts with a sweet, echoed guitar riff aiming for the heavens above a brisk rhythm exchange then kicks into a catchy chorus. Following that, the re-recording of their early single "Quick as Rainbows" turns out even better, combining a great lyric melody — and a great lyric, reflecting on a person's inability to find love, delivered with Fitzgerald's trademark dry yet emotional voice — with ripping music, building higher and higher as the song goes until Swales' guitar beautifully explodes over everything down to the final angry lyric. Strange Free World can't top that sublime beginning, but it often gets quite close. Fitzgerald's gay-themed lyrics seem almost more urgent and in many ways more powerful this time around, as on the forceful declaration of "Gorgeous Love" in the face of homophobia and in the sad, angry reflection on the past captured only in "Polaroids." Musically, the tunes sound quite ambitious in many ways, often steering away from conventional verse-chorus-verse formulas; "Aspray" is a fine example, ending with a repeated chant of "Beach/Burned/Nausea!" while guitars crash like waves. World ends excellently, with the band's best tune, "Drive that Fast" (a hymn to escape and self-determination that charges forward and takes no prisoners), leading into the love-drunk "Within the Daze of Passion" and the slower-paced but still big-sounding "Under the Sky, Inside the Sea," with trumpets by Kick Horns member Roddy Lorimar. Quite a fine effort.
Tracks
1. Railwayed
2. Quick as Rainbows
3. Hypnogogic
4. He Holds Her, He Needs Her
5. Polaroids
6. Gorgeous Love
7. Aspray
8. Drive That Fast
9. Within the Daze of Passion
10. Under the Sky, Inside the Sea
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Raven - Raven (1969)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 7:09 AM 0 comments

Raven was first discovered internationally by then Beatle, "the late George Harrison." In 1968, Harrison was sent a live tape recording ("Live at the Inferno") of the band by Raven's personal manager, Marty Angelo. Harrison liked the tape and sent a telegram to Angelo expressing his desire to produce Raven for the Beatles newly formed record label, Apple Records. Harrison's interest in Raven is mentioned in a Beatles' tell-all book entitled, The Longest Cocktail Party. Angelo writes more about his experiences with Harrison and Apple Records in his book, Once Life Matters: A New Beginning. More on Raven HERE!!
Tracks
01. Feelin'Good
02. Neighbor, Neighbor
03. Green Mountain Dew
04. No Turning Back
05. Let's Eat
06. Howlin' For my Baby
07. Frumpy
08. None of your Jive
09. Bad News
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Ray Owen´s Moon - Moon (1971)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:55 AM 0 comments

Ray Owen was the original vocalist in British outfit Juicy Lucy, and he appeared on their first self titled album in 1969. He left the band, his replacement being Paul Williams, and formed his own band, with Dick Stubbs and Les Nicol on guitars, Ian McLean on drums and Sid Gardner on bass. Their first and only album, which is quite rare and collectible, was released on Polydor Records, and it featured a number of really good riff laden tracks, in addition to a stunning version of Hendrix's "Voodoo Child", which Owen would redo in the mid 90's when he reformed his own version of Juicy Lucy. His career after Ray Owen's Moon is much of a mystery, as no record can be found of any other bands he may have featured with afterwards. As was mentioned, he reformed Juicy Lucy in the mid nineties and released an album called "Here she comes again" on HTD Records, with three unknown, but very good, musicians. For the record, Paul Williams also reformed another version of Juicy Lucy in the mid to late nineties, under the name "Blue Thunder".
Tracks
01. Talk to me
02. Try my love
03. Hey sweety
04. Free man
05. Don't matter
06. Voodoo chile
07. Ouiji
08. Mississippi woman
09. 50 years years later
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The Residents - Eskimo (1979)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:32 AM 0 comments

The most rewarding, the most difficult, and the most accomplished of all the Residents' albums, this was their departure into the field of imaginary ethno-musicography that they had begun on "Six Things to a Cycle" on Fingerprince. Ostensibly a musical documentary on the Eskimo, this is an album of icy atmospheres, poetic electronics, and imaginary landscapes, concocted around a loose narrative told in the liner notes. There's also a subtheme of indigenous populations overrun by western commercialism (is that native chant actually "Coca Cola is Life"?). Ex-Henry Cow member Chris Cutler plays a lot of the percussion on the album, especially on the finale, "Festival of Death," the only real piece of rhythmic music here, which shines out as anything but dark or sinister. In any other group's hands this would have been a pretentious disaster, but the Residents pull it off through spirit, humor, and sheer bravado.
Tracks
1 The Walrus Hunt
2 Birth Residents
3 Arctic Hysteria
4 The Angry Angakok
5 A Spirit Steals a Child
6 The Festival of Death
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Mars Bonfire - Mars Bonfire (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:44 AM 0 comments

Mars Bonfire has earned himself rock & roll immortality, not to mention lifetime royalty checks, for penning Steppenwolf's inescapable classic "Born to Be Wild," that eternal anthem of would-be bikers and weekend hellraisers worldwide. The power of the song has been blunted over the years, thanks to endless cover versions (including a duet between Ozzy Osbourne and Miss Piggy on the Kermit Unpigged album), and ironic use in sitcoms, films, and TV commercials. A listen to Bonfire's own recording of "Born to Be Wild" on this solo outing can remind one just how powerful the song really is. Bonfire's take is druggier than the balls-out Steppenwolf hit, a slippery psychedelic tone without the dramatic dynamics and steamroller rhythm. It's still an upbeat rocker with twisting fuzz guitar leads, but Bonfire's vocals suggest a college kid dropping acid at a house party, while John Kay makes the same lyric into a threat. Bonfire didn't possess the macho bombast of his ex-bandmates; his self-titled debut is a lost masterpiece of introspective psych-pop full of great tunes. The lead track, "Ride With Me, Baby" lays out everything on his mind with a groovy, dirty, Sunset Strip vibe. Bonfire manages to get out lines like "the beautiful thing has fallen thru with cancer, death, deformity" without sounding clumsy, and he catalogs his worries, woes, and hopes over six minutes of overdriven organ and guitar. "Night Time's for You" is another great rocker, a rather sinister celebration of the dark, while "Sad Eyes" and "Christina's Arms" are sweeter pop numbers. Even at his most sensitive, Bonfire never drifts into the ether, keeping things grounded in hard rock instrumentation, so that even ballads like "Tenderness" and "How Much Older Will We Grow?" are loud, full-band affairs. Bonfire's talent as a songwriter was obvious to Steppenwolf, as they would go on to raid this album for a full four songs over the course of their career ("Tenderness," "Ride With Me, Baby," and "The Night Time's for You" all appeared on For Ladies Only). This debut was repackaged a year later with a different track order as Faster Than the Speed of Life, but Bonfire was unable to net any hits of his own, and he retreated into private life
Tracks
A1 Ride With Me, Baby (6:07)
02 Born To Be Wild (2:58)
03 Sad Eyes (2:25)
04 Lady Moon Walker (2:45)
05 Tenderness (4:30)
06 How Much Older Will We Grow? (5:47)
07 So Alive With Love (2:45)
08 In Christina's Arms (3:15)
09 Little Girl Lost (2:35)
10 Time To Fly (2:30)
11 Night Time's For You (2:12)
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Kaleidoscope - Incredible (1969)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:27 AM 0 comments

The musicians in this band are all first rate, with chops and groove to spare. Why this band is so obscure is beyond me. Of course, I then set out to find everything they ever recorded! Yes, they are that good!

"Incredible Kaleidoscope" is full of exploration. The first track, "Lie To Me" is a very groovy middle-eastern psychedelic rocker with exceptional rhythm section work from the newest members at that time, the amazing Paul Lagos (Drums) and Stuart Brotman (Bass).

Track 2, "Let the Good Love Flow" is a slightly goofy country rock tune with some nice violin work from Templeton Parcely.

Track 3, is Kaleidoscope's take on Howlin Wolf's"Killing Floor". Once again, the rhythm section is laying it down, clean! Lagos turns in a swinging, jazz tinged solo while Brotman supplies the funk.

Track 4, "Petite Fleur" is straight outta the bayou. How many rock bands will even attempt cajun music, let alone succeed?

Track 5, "Banjo" highlights David Lindley's championship banjo playing.

Track 6, "Cuckoo" is a tough hard rock groove complete with Max Buda's scorching harp riffs.

Track 7, "Seven-Ate Sweet" is possibly the apex of Kaleidoscope's studio recordings, a ferocious fusion of middle-eastern and hard rock, in a fluid 7/8! And all the band members blow amazing solo's! Especially Solomon Feldhouse on Clarinet and Oud! One of the great unknown 60's long tracks!! An all time favorite!!

I am a fan of all of their recordings and recommend them all. A compilation might be a better place to start and most of them feature the stronger tracks on this album.
Tracks
1. Lie to Me
2. Let the Good Love Flow
3. Killing Floor
4. Petite Fleur
5. Banjo
6. Cuckoo
7. Seven-Ate Sweet
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King Adora - Vibrate You (2001)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:09 AM 0 comments

Albums such as King Adora's Vibrate You come along every couple of years. Albums by bands such as Hanoi Rocks, Manic Street Preachers, Suede, Atari Teenage Riot and Supergrass--brash young glam-sleaze merchants, borrowing heavily from the wannabe supermodel smack addict imagery of the New York Dolls, the full-on subversive pop charm of the Kinks, Pixies and whoever else supplies a vibrant explosion of youth and colour, and with their own set of rules. And thank God for that. Rock needs all the deviant scum it can get. Vibrate You is superior to most of its breed because it never loses sight of the year in which it was made--so there are plenty of electronic samples and squelchtastic dance beats--or that pop music should be brief and glorious, two minute spurts of excitement. The lyrics flirt with controversy, of course--"Big Isn't Beautiful" is written through the eyes of a male anorexic, "The Law" is a depraved tale of debauchery, while a title like "Supermuffdiver" is self-explanatory. For all these reasons, King Adora's debut is addictive, jagged and totally sexy.
Tracks
1. Smoulder
2. Bionic
3. Big Isn't Beautiful
4. Friday Night Explodes
5. Aftertime
6. Law
7. Whether
8. We Are Heroes
9. Super Muff Diver
10. Asthmatic
11. Music Takes You
12. Suffocate
13. Scream And Shout
14. Aceface
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Deep Purple - The Book of Taliesyn (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:54 AM 0 comments

The Book of Taliesyn is the second album by English rock band Deep Purple, released in 1968 by Tetragrammaton in the US, and by EMI's Harvest Records in the UK, and Polydor in Canada and Japan in 1969.

The album follows the psychedelic/progressive rock sound of Shades of Deep Purple; however, there is a harder edge to several songs, beginning to show the new sound Deep Purple would introduce in 1970 with Deep Purple in Rock.

There are three cover versions on this album - "Kentucky Woman", originally from Neil Diamond, "We Can Work It Out" from the Beatles and "River Deep Mountain High", known from Ike and Tina Turner version. Kentucky Woman was released as a single, though the single version was edited for time.

The album's name is taken from a famous 14th century Welsh manuscript including certain poems attributed to the 6th century poet Taliesin.
Tracks
1. Listen, Learn, Read On (4:03)
2. Hard Road (Wring That Neck) (5:16)
3. Kentucky Woman (4:45)
4. Exposition / We Can Work It Out (7:09)
5. The Shield (6:08)
6. Anthem (6:02)
7. River Deep, Mountain High (6:36)
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