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PIGSHIT: TEN YOU MAY HAVE MISSED In 2018

Lindsey Buckingham got kicked out of Fleetwood Mac (again), The Monkees made their first-ever Christmas album (!), and I am still waiting for that big Turtles Battle of the Bands Commemorative Special Anniversary Collectors Edition. In the meantime though, I remained happily singing along beneath headphones to (in strictly Alphabetical order)…  


EDGAR BREAU
Edgar Breau
(Flying Inn Recordings)

Understandably kept quite busy piloting Simply Saucer since his Patches Of Blue in 2012, this marvelous return to root launches from the man’s consistently astonishing acoustichords into realms only hinted at on previous releases. Meticulously, beautifully recorded by Jordan Mitchell and Adam Bentley at their TAPE Studio, the often haunting aural landscapes – evident often during each track’s decaying moments, so as to ensure the listener’s listening – support and perfectly compliment the album’s deceptively tranquil lyrics. And Edgar’s eye, not just ear for detail has rarely been as keen (“Days Of Golden Sunlight”) nor as sharp (“Mount Idaho”); even when cast with W. B. Yeats (“He Wishes His Beloved Were Dead”)!  Kim Deschamps’ pedal steel adds ideal touches, to the N.ville North of “Martha’s Back” for instance, and Colina Phillips’ vocal harmonies are of course, and I quote, knockout. Not since my most recent digital encounter with Johnny Dowd have I spent such a fulfilling three-quarters of an hour with the lights out, and the campfire slowly fading.       

 

“D.O.A.: A RIGHT OF PASSAGE”
(MVD Rewind)

Celebrating, if that’s the correct word, the 40th (!) anniversary of the Sex Pistols’ ill-fated inaugural tour of the U.S. – and subsequent implosion – this more-than-bountiful Blu-ray + DVD edition contains still-incendiary mosh-eye footage of John Paul Steve ‘n’ Sid wow’ing (all the while confusing, baiting, and too often inflaming) the unsuspecting denizens of Atlanta, San Antonio and Dallas et al, then heads to the very heart of the matter – the decaying rot of James “No Future” Callaghan’s once Great Britain – to watch Generation X record “Kiss Me Deadly,” ex-Pistol Glen Matlock’s Rich Kids attempt a pretty lame “Pretty Vacant,” and X-Ray Spex, the Dave Clark Five of the New Wave, belting out their cheeky “Oh Bondage Up Yours.” The bonus Punk Documentary That Almost Never Was featurette (actually, it’s longer than the main attraction!) is absolutely Required Viewing as well, if only to discover the hidden connection between p-u-n-k and High Times Magazine, followed by – wait for it! – vintage footage of Barbara Walters interviewing Malcolm McLaren.  

 

FLAMIN’ GROOVIES
Fantastic Plastic
(Sonic Kicks/Severn Records)

Technically a 2017 release, which didn’t arrive at the sty til early oh-18… but it’s still not a minute too late to miss! Jumpin’ just like the Groovies we all know and will always love, right off the bat “What The Hell’s Goin’ On” shakes solid not-so-slow death, maximum mid-range on each and every guitar with the rhythm a compressed Wall of Deep Sound. Even when riding NRBQ’s “I Want You Bad,” or their ol’ Bay Area Beau Brummel pals’ “Don’t Talk To Strangers,” the impressively intact C. Wilson/C. Jordan vocals most notably retain a sense of substance and style which has punctuated this band for (how can it possibly be?!!) fifty-plus years and counting. Sure, while the retro MAD Jack Davis/Beatles ’65 packaging may well point direct towards the Larry Williams bass beneath “Crazy Macy,” the “Street Fighting Man” licking “Let Me Rock,” and the wonderfully Flamin’ Springfield “She Loves Me” – to say nothing of the big beat ballads “Lonely Hearts” and “I’d Rather Spend My Time With You,” Fantastic Plastic bends, not buckles with the undeniable durability and strength of the Flamin’ Groovies …NOW.

 

THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE
Electric Ladyland
(Legacy Recordings)

As the boomers – or at least their hearing – slowly but surely all f-f-fade away, what remains of the recorded music industry scramble to squeeze the last remaining blood off the tracks of warehoused catalog items prior to shuffling them permanently out to audio pasture. Hence the ongoing onslaught of Deluxe Remastered Super 50th Anniversary Numbered Limited Special Signed Commemorative Collectors Editions of each and everything from that White Album to Big Green Village Pink on down. But! One such big bonus Yule box deserves a fate much better than play-once-stick-up-on-some-shelf; in fact, its contents have aged not one note since first appearing upon countless turntables a half-century ago. Produced and directed in true cinematic fashion by Jimi alongside studio savant Eddie Kramer, a 2018/19 visit to Ladyland is every bit as mind-boggling and, yes, ear-shattering as it was circa ’68. And its Electric extras, including demos, out-takes, grungerful Hollywood Bowl concert plus expanded Making of Electric Ladyland Blu-ray only serve to enhance and enlighten this bona fide classic. Why, even its original Jimi-approved (but never used) front cover has been reinstated: another example of how this is one 50th Anniversary done entirely right.

JOHN & YOKO
Imagine / Gimme Some Truth
(Eagle Rock Entertainment)

And! Not to be one-upped by that above-mentioned White anniversary, the Lennon quarter of our forever Fab equation is more than fairly represented by these 152 (!) minutes of gorgeously upgraded sight and sound, centered on and around the recording of his most popular-ever long-player. The original 1972 Imagine film – the world’s first “video album” as it turns out – is still a joy to behold, guest-starring Dick Cavett, Jack Palance, George Harrison and, ever the debonair perfectionist, Fred Astaire …though it’s still not entirely clear who that man and/or woman wandering around London in a black bag is. 1999’s Gimme Some Truth: The Making of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ Album is just that; to watch things getting, um, testy as Phil Spector tries voicing his high “Oh Yoko!” harmony in the Lennons’ right-by-the-kitchen Ascot Sound Studio is, as Yoko says, “home cookin’.” Self-indulgent, ultra-big-budget glorified home movies, you say? Well, I say Where else are you going to be able to watch Miles Davis shooting hoops with John Lennon as Andy Warhol skulks in the shadows with Jack Nicholson, shooting off Polaroids?!

 

CHRIS RICHARDS AND THE SUBTRACTIONS
Peaks and Valleys
(Futureman Records)

Barely a minute into this disc and we’re already thoroughly, willingly submerged by every single Vox-happy, ooooh-ahh’ing, tom-tom’d beat; long a specialty of Chris’, but the first we’ve heard from this incarnation of his since 2012’s Get Yer La La’s Out. And now with Andy Reed – yes, he of Bay City’s Reed Recording facility – on board, the musical team is complete, and completely compatible. Andy’s keyboards, be they a Wing-y Moog on the “Weekend,” dash of Mellotron (“The Coast Is Clear”) or strings “Wrapped In A Riddle” color but never overwhelm he and Chris’ angular axes and luscious vocals. Yes, those vocals! Meanwhile, “Maybe That’s All” is the BEST track Cheap Trick hasn’t cut …yet, and “Call Me Out” stars guitar lines worthy of, dare I compare, ex-Mac Lindsey. But it’s throughout the four infallible minutes of “In A Sense” all of these Subtractions’, er, pluses ring finest as Larry Grodsky’s drums pitch against, then wash amongst the 6-strings, Todd Holmes’ lock-step bass, and (speaking of Bay City again) wholly Roller-worthy backing choral. Bonus Points are due too towards Chilton/Bell’s “Thirteen”: it takes a big band to tackle Big Star, but it’s just one of many many peaks Chris has hit herein. As he regularly does.     

SEX CLARK FIVE
Mrs. Von Braun You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter
(Records to Russia)

Four songs, Seven inches, Nine minutes: my still favorite strum ‘n’ drummers from Alabama offer vinyl obsessives ample reason to heave their latest too-big-stickered Record Store Day hauls off the turntable, making way for something altogether groove-ier. Track-by-lovely-track then, the final 30 seconds of “Saint Barbara” would not have sounded a tad out of place inside a Saucerful of Secrets or even The Who Sell Out, why “Quasar” wasn’t chosen as The Big Bang Theory theme I’ll never know, cue up “Painting” if you ever wondered what Del Shannon (!) produced by Joe Meek (!!) would’ve sounded like, and “Paper Rock Saber” takes a mere three-minutes-five to flawlessly encapsulate those first four Doors albums …with Sexier lyrics and vocals, it should go without singing. Which reminds me: Their grand new Live! album (SC5 in NYC for CMJ on 11/1/91) should be grabbed ASAP as well. “A typically out of control show,” in their own wide words.

 

LANE STEINBERG
Lane Steinberg & His Magical Pony
(Lane Steinberg)

Leave it to Lane to again provide me with just about the fun-nest, most rewarding forty minutes I’ve spent (after taxes) all year. This time ’round and ’round however, the man is joined by a stellar assortment of fellow DIY-at-home writers and players: R. Stevie Moore, Irwin Chusid, the remarkable David Grahame and, for a splendidly understated little trio of Broadway-bound trinkets, the piano of Tot Taylor. One screen over, “You’re Not Connected To The Internet” sports a decidedly dial-up sound, “Everyone Thinks I’m Happy Now” rests upon one phenomenal cat indeed, “Crazy As A Shithouse Rat” must certainly be The Title – perhaps even Zeitgeist? – of The Age, and “Another Early Autumn” with perhaps even “Portofino” makes one won-won-wonder why Lane isn’t writing (for starters) Brian Wilson’s next couple of albums. After all is said and sung, I will conclude by saying “Magical” only begins to describe the ever-melodious goings-on in and around this astounding collection …and, come to think of it, this one too.

 

TODD AND JINGYU
Find Me Find You: A Story
(Todd Lerner Music)

Delicate yet disarming, always enchanting yet occasionally striking; purely adjectively speaking this seemingly merry skip down a romantic trail belies the over ten years it took to write and record. For not a solitary word or chord is ever overwrought or self-consciously labored. The piano-focused à la Left Banke Michael Brown/Odessey and Oracle Rod Argent arrangements – which, most cleverly, build and bloom as the album progresses – remain sparse, while often nuanced (the vocals especially). Speaking of which, Jingyu and Todd’s voices mix, match, then will overlap and counterpoint …the better to subtly conjure the musical dialog their dance relates. Then, as in “Everything Is Good,” a simple whistling “da-da-da” can, and does, suffice. Then, a minute later, “Where It Goes” demonstrates a remarkably complex, though again seamlessly tossed-off mastery of time and tempo. Find Me Find You is truly unlike anything I have heard this year; I now hope you hear it soon yourself. P.S.: and, as the couple themselves suggest when cueing up the tracks, “if one listens in order they tell a fully-integrated story on finding romantic love.”    

 

“WHITE LACE AND PROMISES: THE SONGS OF PAUL WILLIAMS”
(Curry Cuts)

For those who may have in 2018 – or, for that matter, 2019 – question the very concept of the “tribute album” (not to mention the compact disc itself), I would suggest even a cursory listen to any of the twenty-three tracks on this downright delight-filled, yes, tribute to iconic songwriter / singer / actor / supreme 70s talkshow guest Paul Williams. Everything about this endeavor, right down to Craig Dorfman’s rock and roll reporting introductory notes reflect much, much love within its labors. As its subject unquestionably deserves. From the Davenports’ “Evergreen” clear through Brandon Schott’s “I’m Going To Go Back There Someday” the material, as challenging as it may be stands not only the test of four decades’ time, but also the approaches, often whimsical yet always respectful, each participant offers. And while several bravely recast, as in “update” I suppose one could say (Cait Brennan’s “Old Fashioned Love Song” and even more so XNYMFO’s “Dangerous Business”) the existing templates, wisely none ever stroll too far from the indelible, impactful originals. Even Sitcom Neighbor, as they take my All Time Fave PW tune “Out In The Country” straight back to America …as in Gerry, Dewey etc. that is. Paul Williams is most deserving of such a talent-heavy nod, of that there can be no doubt. Thankfully, Andrew and all at Curry Cuts have now produced it.         

 

by Gary Pig Gold

 

Categories
Features

PIGSHIT: 12 YOU MAY HAVE MISSED IN 2012

MissingPigThose Beach Boys and Rolling Stones weren’t the only septuagenarian rockers celebrating 50th (give or take) Anniversaries over the past twelve-or-so months, absolutely not. Just about each and every singer/songwriter/guitarist still standing – well, those with lucratively deep catalogues ripe and ready for recycling, that is – had multiple multi-media packages (and, in the Stones’ case, four-figure-plus concert tickets) competing for what remained of a loyal boomer’s nest egg throughout 2012.

So should you feel so inclined, unless you’re still busy searching for the real Bob Dylan via David Dalton’s Book Of The Year “Who Is That Man?” that is, may I wholeheartedly suggest investing in:

Categories
Features

PIGSHIT: The Monkees Present…

It may have taken me over forty years, but on June 16, 2011 I finally got to see one of my all-time favorite rock ‘n’ roll bands, The Monkees in concert.

Sure, at the highly tender age of eight-and-a-half I was undoubtedly, along with at least 73 million others, the ideal candidate to contract a terminal case of Beatlemania when Paul, George, Ringo and “Sorry girls, He’s Married” Britishly invaded The Ed Sullivan Show all those years ago. Instantly, I will admit, all aspirations of becoming an archaeologist and/or Formula One racer forever vanished beneath a monophonic haze of swirling seven-inch Capitol 45’s upon my parents’ hitherto genteel hi-fi console …that is, when I wasn’t Lennon’ing around the basement strumming one of dad’s old tennis racquets attached via kite string to an upturned cardboard washing machine Vox – I mean box.

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Features

Apparently, Punk Is Dead…

July has brought about many exciting things for yours truly in the world of music and celebration (and the occasional disappointment) but in the midst of the supernova that is summer 2012, I had my first taste of something completely different – Vans Warped Tour.

Now, let me begin by saying that while I am a metalhead by profession, I am open to all sorts of music and excited at the possibility of discovering something new and awesome and I had never been to VWT and my hair was standing on end to experience something fresh. Unfortunately for me, and for the Warped Tour, I do not think I could have ever been prepared for what I experienced.
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Features

PIGSHIT: Ten reasons why the New York Dolls are STILL lookin’ fine on television

1. The fully, perfectly B&W action kicks straight off down some desolate roadside with a dusty, yet meticulously trashy-as-ever Dolls being asked "how you, um, guys got together." "I met Arthur on MacDougal Street," says Johnny. "Na na na, that's not how it started," complains Sylvain, as nearby twigs 'n' cigarette butts suddenly become airborne. And? We're off !!

2. Vintage "Lookin(g) For A Kiss" performance footage is expertly intercut with shots of our not-yet-ready-for-celluloid heroes as they walk down Hollywood Boulevard, checking out the neighborhood novelty-slash-porn shops, cruisin' Frederick's, and catching David JoHansen actually experimenting for perhaps the first time with a terrifyingly great big proto-Poindexter coif.     

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Voice of Addiction “Reduce, Reuse, Resist”

Ian Tomele grew up being exposed to the classic punk sounds of Dead Kennedys, Sex Pistols and many other influential bands. It should come as no surprise, then, that Tomele would go on to create his own band, a modern punk/rock band called Voice of Addiction.

Earlier this summer, Voice of Addiction went on a mini-tour to release their fourth album entitled Reduce, Reuse, Resist. This 13-song release contains great punk/rock music. Voice of Addiction is composed of not only singer/bassist Ian Tomele, but also guitarist/singer Jeff Walschon and drummer Andy Petty. This trio creates music that could easily categorize as “rock,” even though there are plenty of punk influences in both the music and the lyrics of their songs. The overall rock feeling that exists throughout the music creates music that still has the attitude, but also contains plenty of creativity in the songs. And the band also includes some ska influences into their sound, as well. This gives the music from Voice of Addiction’s music a lot of depth to it.

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Reviews and Suggestions

The Grown-Up Kids: Get Up Kids Turn Comeback Kids with “There Are Rules”

Where were The Get Up Kids at the start of the millennium?  As a listener coming at their latest record, I heard a mash-up of sounds one wouldn’t immediately associate with the band – electro, funk and post-punk are some that spring to mind. Graphically speaking, the cover is sophisticated. The image on the front of the LP is of a woman holding a mirror to her face, where the mirror reflects the ocean to the viewer: a Lacanian articulation of femininity and its evolving self-reflexivity through the play of the gaze. The viewer gazes at the woman, who in return gazes into open space and vast water.

The Get Up Kids came onto the scene in the ’90s wake of Pavement, Weezer and Green Day. After splitting up in 2005, the band reassembled and began touring extensively throughout most of 2008 and 2009, developing an underground community with other bands such as Rocket Fuel is the Key, Coalesce and Braid. Their latest record, There Are Rules, is a departure from Vagrant Records – the album was released on their own label at Quality Hill Records. Mixed by Bob Weston and produced by Ed Rose, the sound retains the band’s early nineties garage aesthetic while adding the liberties of technological editing. When the Get Up Kids graced the ’90s, critics initially referred to them as an “emo band” however, the kids have fought with such branding since their inception. While they were influential to the Midwest emo movement of the early ’90s, they play with genre more than they identify with it.

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Features

PIGSHIT: GPG ON GG

A full disclosure right up front, one and all:

‘Way back in the 1980 hey!day of my fanzine, The Pig Paper, a certain Kevin Michael Allin sent over a sweetly autographed, stuffed with promo material copy of an album called Always Was, Is and Always Shall Be, which had been newly issued on none other than David “The Pope Smokes Dope” Peel’s Orange Records imprint. It sounded then, and remains today, a most spirited indeed collection of incredibly powerful pop in that classic Stooges / New York Dolls mold, with lyrics – especially heard in a, shall we say, immediate post-Pistols frame of ear – not really all that “shocking” whatsoever.

Now, Kevin Michael grew all the way up to become, of course, GG Allin, who by the time of MVD Visual’s grand, new Live in Boston 1989 DVD was still quite happy to remain focused upon the fun as opposed to the, well, feces of his craft. If you catch my career-spanning drift. For example, even before mounting the stage at The Middle East in Cambridge, MA on our particular hot August night in question, this disc treats us to thirty-five full minutes worth of GG, long-suffering bassist/brother Merle, and their young AIDS Brigade band “Gettin’ made up for the show,” as this chapter’s most accurately called. Why, we can even spot vintage Elvis on the wall, the carpet underfoot seems to have actually been vacuumed for the occasion, and the guys before the mirror seem no more rotten or vicious than, say, Monkees kept up after eleven.

Categories
Live Rock and Roll Rock News

Ronnie Wood, Mick Taylor and Stephen Dale Petit are joining forces to save The 100 Club

Ronnie Wood, Mick Taylor and Stephen Dale Petit are joining forces to save The 100 Club.

Rolling Stones guitarists Ronnie Wood and Mick Taylor are rumoured to be amongst an increasing list of renowned musicians who will join New Blues guitar pioneer Stephen Dale Petit live onstage on December 1st at London’s famous, under threat, 100 Club.

The 100 Club has the an incredibly unique history and heritage, hosting history-changing appearances from stars like Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong in the 40’s, Howlin’ Wolf and BB King in the 50’s, The Stones, The Who & The Kinks in the 60’s, The Clash & The Sex Pistols in the 70’s and Oasis and Travis in the 90s. More recently The White Stripes and The Kings Of Leon have used it as their venue of choice for intimate London gigs.

As widely reported here and in recent broadsheet and tabloid press, the 100 Club is threatened with closure. Guitarist Petit, who has strong connections with many of the Guitar World’s greats, is mounting the benefit gig to raise awareness and support for the club.

California-born Petit, who has headlined the prestigious club nearly a dozen times, says ‘The first gig I went to in the UK was Alexis Korner at The 100 Club. There is no other venue like it on earth ‘ when you walk downstairs it’s like entering a magic portal. I always feel honoured to perform there, and this show is going to be extra special’.

Organizers will not be drawn on an increasing list of stellar rock names, rumored to be making an appearance on the night, currently flooding the internet. They will only comment that more guests will be confirmed at www.stephendalepetit.com in the coming days.

Meanwhile Facebook page membership has rocketed from nothing to over 15,000 in a matter of days and a website www.savethe100club.co.uk features thousands of fans comments.

Tickets are £35 advance, £38 on the door.

Online at www.wegottickets.com/event/96517

All profits go to the Save The 100 Club campaign.