Monday, February 28, 2011

Abner Jay

Having a one-man-blog is much easier than having a one-man-band. I should know; I hate people and have tried playing everything myself many times. Anyways, I was reminded of Abner because Nick — a band member who I can stand — was recently posting some stuff on facebook thanks to a mutual pal who got us turned on to his genius. Since this comp of hard to get self released records is out of print and a newer comp is a very limited vinyl pressing, I thought I'd share. Read more about the amazing history of Abner here and check this shit out!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

John's Children

Unfairly pigeonholed as "Marc Bolan's band" (he was only a member for four months), John's Children were a fantastic mod/psyche group that existed from '66 to 1970 and continue to play sporadically today.
Again, this one is a favorite of mine. It gets some criticism due to the primitive playing and recording...but aside from the great songs and violent energy, that's kinda why it's great. So if you're into stuff like The Pretty Things, the Who, and the Seeds or are a Bolan fan (he sings on a few songs), prepare to tune in and turn on!

Thomas à Beckett

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Thought I'd post one more early "horrorcore" (rap with dark, horror-like lyrics) record that I really liked once upon a time. This one has Wu-Tang's RZA hooking up with members of Stetsasonic ("Talkin' All That Jazz") and the late Poetic (AKA Grym Reaper).
Thanks to the RZA, the music comes off as very Wu-Tang Clan, with the vocals are similar to Ol' Dirty Bastard or Onyx (who would fittingly work with the Wu Tang later). Songs like "2 Cups of Blood" and "1-800-Suicide" set them apart though, and were the kind of thing that terrified white suburban mothers across America in the early '90s.
For me it kind of gets a little old after four or five tracks, but there's some solid stuff on here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Free Spirits

From what Amazon says, this CD is only available for $28 from a private, dear reader (readers?) I can FINALLY post one of my favorite records of the 1960s.
Now, this record has been advertised as the first Jazz-Rock record, whch IMHO sounds pretty dreadful but thankfully the genre-blending result that Out of Sight and Sound pulls off is fucking brilliant.
Great songs and an ear for 60s pop, but with more complex rhythms and time signatures. According to Unterburger's liner notes and interview pieces, their live shows were much freer, sometimes jamming out a tune for an hour or doing a ten minute unaccompanied sax solo. The reason this record come out so different is that their label wanted short, under 3 1/2 minute pop songs. At the time the band was frustrated but have come to like the record —hopefully as much as I do.
In their brief run as a band, they opened for Hendrix, the Doors and the Velvet Underground (where at one point Free Spirit member Chris Hill jumped on Mo Tucker's set for an improv jam).
Since I got this CD four or five years back, someone has asked "What band is this?" every single time I've played the opening track "Don't Look Now". If you get the chance, check out Larry Coryell's 1969 solo record that features not only the Free Spirits' drummer, but members of The John Coltrane Quartet.
All I can say is that if this isn't what you listen to for the rest of the day, I'm packing up this blog and going home.

Bad News Cat
(link fixed)

C86 / CD86

It was 1986, and the UK's New Music Express (NME) put out one of the best "mix tapes" in rock history. In a 2006 issue of World Magazine ex NME stafer Andrew Collins described C86 as "The most indie thing to have ever existed". It's also arguably what led to a flourish of girl bands and girl musicians thanks to its exposure of groups such as The Shop Assistants, The Primitives, Miaow and others.
Although I have no shame in saying that I'm an out of the closet Twee fan, it's unfair to call this a "twee comp". Sure there's jangly guitar pop, but many tracks are drenched in noise and guitar fuzz. Listen to the Jesus and Mary Chain song or the very early Pop Will Eat Itself tune, "Black Country Chainsaw Massacre". This is indie pop music without the homogonized indie pop formula.
I wish I could say that in 1986 this tape changed my life, but by the time I heard it somewhere in the late 90s via the internet, I was already a fan of many of the featured bands. When I bought this new 48 track CD comp (that BTW is different and better than the original C86 comp -should I have mentioned that earlier??) I got a ton of great stuff I'd missed out on and the best thing in my "various artists" iTunes category.

C30 C60 C90 Go! (cd1)
C30 C60 C90 Go! (cd2)

Saturday, February 12, 2011


When Esham A. Smith was just a 13 year old kid in Detroit, he made the dark, violent rap album Boomin' Words from Hell. It's a solid record, and it's primitive low budget recording adds to it's charm. The real draw here though is Esham's dark lyrics and the flagrant use of vocal samples from popular gangsta rap songs of the era. Red Rum could be the blueprint for future horrorcore groups to follow such as ICP and Flatlinerz. He would much later briefly sign with the former's label.

Make sure you check out Esham's third record, KKKill the Fetus: "It's just another embryo, attached to an umbilical; You can let that baby grow, but I'd kill it though; kill the fetus ". Fuck yes.

Some old wicket shit!!!

The Nils

I admit to being a Men Without Hats fan, but the greatest thing that band ever did was giving the Nils money to record their first EP.
The Nils started when brothers Alex and Carlo Soria were young kids in Montreal (Alex being only 12). They didn't release much during the years they were active and recording (though they started in the late '70s and reunited in the '90s, their recorded output was 1982-1987), but what they did is essential for fans of power pop, early Minnesota bands like the Replacements and Hüsker Dü, or anything played with heart really.
Unfortunately Alex committed suicide in 2004 when he was 39 years old. If you like this comp of early Nils recordings ("Call of the Wild", the "Now" demo, "Sell Out Young" and "Paisley") check out their LP, Alex's post-Nils band Chino and his solo record.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Obsessed

"The Church Within" marked The Obsessed's major label debut, and unlike seemingly EVERY other band to get on a major label during the 90s, the lineup of Wino, Greg and Guy put out the band's best material. Sadly it was their last.
The origins of The Obsessed lie with their band Warhorse (before they changed their name) way back in 1976 (yep, only a year after Motorhead started —where's the Wino documentary?). Well, as we all know, Wino joined St. Vitus after the departure of Scott Reagers, and The Obsessed broke up. After Wino left Vitus, they reformed, released some old stuff, and recorded a new record (featuring ex Across the River and future Kyuss bass player Scott Reeder) called "Lunar Womb". Dig that one up too.
It's hazy but I kinda of remember that they were set to tour Europe —with the Melvins maybe? — and their record label pulled the plug due to poor sales. Anything THIS good that doesn't sell makes me lose faith in humanity.
In anycase, the band went on to form Goatsnake and Sunn O))) with Wino forming several new bands and rejoining Vitus.

Torn In Half Like A Dollar Bill

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Rockin' Vickers

Probably most famous as being Lemmy's first band, the Rockin' Vickers were in their own right one of the best early British bands outside of the Pretty Things, the Who, and the Kinks. Alright and the early Beatles stuff too. Check out the solo on Townsand's pre "The Kids Are Alright" song, "It's Alright" with Lemmy trying to outdo Dave Davies solo on "You Really Got Me". Unfortunately the group disbanded before writing more than a couple original tunes. Instead of rambling on about the CD, I'll tell about the only time I met Lemmy.
It was at an Evil Angel porn party in Vegas during the AVN awards. Too $hort was the stage attraction and I was kinda drunk when Lemmy came walking up straight toward me. Instead of ignoring him like I should have done, I had enough liquid courage to actually bother the guy - however not being too drunk to know not to ramble and seriously interrupt his search for poon.
"You were wrong in your biography", I said. "I like "Kiss of Death" just as much as your old stuff". He smiled and said thanks. I then asked "When is the Rockin' Vickers stuff going to be reissued"? (I think it prolly was in print as an import looking through google, but I had been looking for it since my bootleg tape vanished and couldn't find it on CD). He then sort of chuckled and said something like "those guys something something something and laughed". Yeah, Lemmy is kind of hard to understand in a noisy Too $hort porn party. I said thanks and goodbye or something and left him alone.
Later he came up next to me at the bar and I offered to buy him a drink (does anyone charge Lemmy for drinks anyway?) he said thanks, but he had one. He stayed there and started talking to a stripper / porn star type. After 10 minutes she asks him: "What band are you in again?" "Motorhead, luv" he said.

Shake, Rattle & Roll

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mahavishnu Orchestra

Well, with Greg Ginn coming to the bay area soon, and my buddy and bandmate Nick asking me to co-DJ some tunes at the show, I thought I'd post what supposedly influenced Greg to get more experimental with Black Flag (for better or worse): Mahavishnu Orchestra's "Birds of Fire".
The Mahavishnu Orchestra was formed by John McLaughlin, guitar player for the Miles Davis Band who had played on the classics Bitches Brew and In a Silent Way. Birds of Fire is actually MO's second LP; their first release was the equally great The Inner Mounting Flame with the face melting track "The Dance of Maya". Check it out if you like this one. After Birds of Fire, John McLaughlin continued to play for Davis and release Mahavishnu Orchestra reocrds with different line ups. Call it prog, rock, call it jazz fusion or just jazz this is a great record that should appeal to most anyone who digs Focus, Goblin, Eloy, Miles Davis, ELP, and even Black Flag.
If you're hearing it for the first time, find out why (according to Wikipedia) Jeff Beck calls McLaughlin "the best guitarist alive".

Unlike most of this blog, copies are easily found for cheap online with used copies as low as $3.60 ― so if you like it buy it!

Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love