Friday, March 21, 2008

Jesus Christ Surferstar

Easter - time for those who celebrate the occasion to have something other than the standard pious muck to listen to. Grab this and give to the minister, preacher, bishop, evangelist of your choice and freak them out. Hey, now is your chance to "spread the word" -- heeheeheee

Phil Dirt:

What a cool concept! Andrew Lloyd Webber's controversial rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar goes to the beach - mostly. 21 instrumentals and a handful of interesting vocals. Most of the instros are surf. The whole package is well done. Vocal tracks on this amazing CD include a delightful faux-pomp performance of "Strange Things Mystifying" by Prawns With Horns, the traditional surf backtracked "Simon Zeabotas" from Pipelines, the heavy garage fuzz and organ pound of Babyshaker's "Damned For All Time / Blood Money," the dry edged power of "The Arrest" from the HiFi Ramblers, and the Texas heavy fuzz of Johnny Vortex's "Juda's Death." Phil Dirt

The songs are quite strongly melodic which play very well to the surf structure – they stand up as instrumentals. I wind up adding the lyrics in my head. One of the few tributes that stand out as a solid collection on it’s own and in some ways – depending on your mood – improves on the original. Get the original below and go with the flow on Easter, however the wind blows.

Disc 1
1. Overture - Daikaiju2. Heaven On Their Minds - Urban Surf Kings3. What's The Buzz - The Waistcoats4. Strange Things Mystifying - Prawns with Horns5. Then We Are Decided - Breakfastime6. Everything's Alright - Susan & Surftones7. This Jesus Must Die - Atomic Mosquitos8. Hosanna - El Ray9. Simon Zealotas - Pipelines10. Poor Jerusalem - Lava Rats11. Pilate's Dream - 3 Piece Suit12. Temple, The - Ward 6913. I Don't Know How To Love Him - Crime Factor Zero14. Damned For All Time/Blood Money - Babyshaker

15. Last Supper, The - Hypnotic IV16. Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say) - Surfones17. Arrest, The - HiFi Ramblers18. Peter's Denial - Fabulous Planktones19. Pilate & Christ - Capacitors20. King's Herod's Song - Susan & Surftones21. Could We Start Again Please - Noseriders22. Judas Death - Johnny Vortex23. Trial Before Pilate - The Supertones24. Superstar - The Atlantics 225. Crucifixion - Longhorn Devils26. John Nineteen Forty One – Aqualads



Jesus Christ Superstar - 1st Original Cast Recording

There are at least 10 to 15 recordings of this great Rock Opera circulating around but this is the first and still the best of the original cast efforts. I feel it captures the essence of what Weber and Rice were trying to create. The main thing I love about this is the way it really captures that early 70's sound. Those fuzz guitars and moog synthesizers just send chills down my spine. Ian Gillan of Deep Purple is by far the best Jesus. I know this will upset fans of Ted Neely, tough. This is the best version of Gethsemane I’ve heard. I also feel that Murray Head does the part of Judas justice. Other highlights are Yvonne Elliman as Mary and Barry Dennen as Pilate. You don’t have to be into religion to appreciate that this is a superb album full of great songs and a great classical score provided by a top orchestra as the London Symphony. There is even one song that topped the U.S. charts in 1970, before this legendary Rock Opera made its debut on Broadway in 1971. "Superstar", was released as a single and it climbed the Pop and Rock charts of the United States and England so by the time this production premiered on Broadway people already knew about JCS in a way. Don't be fooled by the later recordings of this production --- this is the original and still the best. If you want to listen to JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, the way is was meant to be, this is one. Don't mess with an original unless you plan on improving it. Of course, there are exceptions – see above…..

1. Overture - Alan Doggett/City Of London Ensemble
2. Heaven On Their Minds - Murray Head
3. What's The Buzz/Strange Thing Mystifying - Pat Arnold/Tony Ashton/Peter Barnfeather/Madeline Bell/Brian Bennett/Lesley Duncan/Kay Garner...
4. Everything's Alright - Yvonne Elliman/Pat Arnold/Tony Ashton/Peter Barnfeather/Madeline Bell/Brian Bennett/Lesley Duncan...
5. This Jesus Must Die - Pat Arnold/Tony Ashton/Peter Barnfeather/Madeline Bell/Brian Bennett/Lesley Duncan/Kay Garner...
6. Hosanna - Pat Arnold/Tony Ashton/Peter Barnfeather/Madeline Bell/Brian Bennett/Lesley Duncan/Kay Garner...
7. Simon Zealotes/Poor Jerusalem - Pat Arnold/Tony Ashton/Peter Barnfeather/Madeline Bell/Brian Bennett/Lesley Duncan/Kay Garner...
8. Pilate's Dream - Barry Dennen
9. The Temple - Pat Arnold/Tony Ashton/Peter Barnfeather/Madeline Bell/Brian Bennett/Lesley Duncan/Kay Garner...
10. Everything's Alright - Yvonne Elliman/Ian Gillan
11. I Don't Know How To Love Him - Yvonne Elliman
12. Damned For All Time/Blood Money - Murray Head/Brian Keith/Victor Brox/Andrew Lloyd Webber

Disc: 2
1. The Last Supper - Pat Arnold/Tony Ashton/Peter Barnfeather/Madeline Bell/Brian Bennett/Lesley Duncan/Kay Garner...
2. Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say) - Ian Gillan
3. The Arrest - Murray Head/Ian Gillan/Paul Davis/Pat Arnold/Tony Ashton/Peter Barnfeather/Madeline Bell...
4. Peter's Denial - Annette Brox/Paul Davis/Pat Arnold/Tony Ashton/Peter Barnfeather/Madeline Bell/Brian Bennett...
5. Pilate And Christ - Barry Dennen/Pat Arnold/Tony Ashton/Peter Barnfeather/Madeline Bell/Brian Bennett/Lesley Duncan...
6. King Herod's Song (Try It And See) - Mike D'Abo
7. Judas' Death - Murray Head/Pat Arnold/Tony Ashton/Peter Barnfeather/Madeline Bell/Brian Bennett/Lesley Duncan...
8. Trial Before Pilate (Including The 39 Lashes) - Barry Dennen/Victor Brox/Ian Gillan/Pat Arnold/Tony Ashton/Peter Barnfeather/Madeline Bell...
9. Superstar - Murray Head/Andrew Lloyd Webber
10. Crucifixion - Ian Gillan
11. John Nineteen Forty-One - Jesus Christ Superstar




Elemental Instrumentals

Southern Wisconsin is beautiful country. Lots of scenic hills and pasture land. I recommend you drive through it if you haven't. Mostly folks of German and Scandinavian descent. Cheese. Beer. That's what you expect, and that's what you can look forward to. Not exactly a hotbed for recording studios back in the late 50's/early 60's. But it seems that a fella named Jim Kirchstein set up shop somewhere around Madison back in the day, and that many a young man with dreams of stardom stuck in his head made way to Kirchstein's studio. Here is the 1st of 3 volumes that document those recordings. "Elemental," is an all instrumental bash of guitars and saxophones that show, while Wisconsin is a bit off from the ocean, the kidz out there were definitely aware of the wonders of "surf music." This is a very fun collection of groups that aspired to making hits like the Chantays "Pipeline," or the Surfaris "Wipe Out." Check out track one here: "Scalping Party." No political correctness back in '62. Listen and you will know what I mean. 28 tracks in all, covering the years 1959-1965. Many excellent guitar performances. Highly recommended for enthusiasts of that era, or to folks with a love for music off the beaten path.

1. Scalping Party - The Tornados 2. 7-0-7 - The Tornados 3. Wasted! - P.J. Zakonsky
4. Moon Race – Citations 5. Trackin' - P.J. Zakonsky 6. Rocker - The Montereys
7. Fall Out - The Stage-Men, 8. Moon Dawg - Johnny & The Shy Guys
9. Hades - Frank Gay & The Gayblades, 10. Rewind - Grand Prix
11. Sands of Arabia - Teen Tones 12. War Party - The Catalinas
13. Rotation - The Six Shooters 14. Cyclone – Nocturnes
15. Slippin' and Slidin' [Semi-Vocal] - Citations
16. Rick-O-Shay - The Tikis 17. Lonely Huns - Attila and the Huns
18. Spin Out - Teen's Men 19. Odyssey - Thundermen
20. Rawhide - Vikings Guadeloupe 21. Midnight Express - WillieTremain's Thunderbirds, 22. Tic Toc - The Continentals 23. This Way Out - The Furys
24. Voodoo Walk - The Voodoos 25. Side-Winder - The Vibratones
26. Mondo Caravan - The Caravans 27. Rock Casual - The Stage-Men,
28. When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again – Crossfires



Crazy 'Bout An Automobile - Rippin' R'n'R Car Songs

Hey if you don’t have a nice 50's hot rod, you still need this set of great songs. Roll down the windows and blast this, you'll feel so cool at every stoplight. Great music about cars. Every style from r&b, to rockabilly is here and all the songs are uptempo and purrfect for cruisin' baby!!! Add this set to the killer 3 disc set posted over at Twilight Zone – in links – and you’ll have the coolest car tunes ANYWHERE. Go get it there and rev all night.

1. Four in the Floor - The Shutdowns 2. Move Out, Little Mustang - Rally-Packs
3. Hot Rod - The Mar-Keys, Georgie Morton 4. Rocket 88 - Jackie Brenston
5. Buick '59 - Vernon Green, The Medallions
6. Brand New Cadillac - Vince Taylor, Vince Taylor
7. Cruisin' - Hollywood Vines 8. Drag City - Jan & Dean
9. Bucket "T" - Ronny & the Daytonas 10. No Wheels - The Chordettes
11. You Can't Catch Me - Chuck Berry
12. Roll, Hot Rod, Roll - Oscar McLollie & His Honey Jumpers
13. Speedin' - The Medallions 14. Flat Tire - The Del Vikings
15. Cadillac Man - The Jesters 16. Every Woman I Know (Is Crazy 'Bout an Automobile) - Al Vance 17. Maybellene - Mercy Dee 18. Car Hop - Exports
19. Custom Machine - Bruce & Terry 20. Hot Rod Lincoln - Charlie Ryan, Timberline Riders 21. Gas Money - Jan & Arnie 22. Black & White Thunderbird - The Delicates
23. Why Don't You People Learn to Drive? - Gene Vincent
24. Hey Little Cobra - The Rip Chords 25. Route 66 Theme - Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra



Rock'N'Roll Inferno - Rock and Rockabilly

This is a great collection of 50's Rock n' Roll songs that focuses more on a certain sound and energy than it does on hits - and that's its strong point. Songs like Mel McGonnigle's Rattleshakin' Mama illustrate the raunchy,sleazy menace of early rock n' roll way more than say, a big hit like Lavender Blue (dilly dilly - yuk!!) The main problem here is that three of the "HITS" are re-recordings. Little Richard's "Lucille" is not the original Specialty Records version. The same goes with Gene Vincent's "Say Mama" which sounds like it's from the early 70's. Bill Haley and the Comet's "Shake Rattle and Roll" is an exception, although a re-recording, it is actually a very cool version with a great,spooky sax riff. Other than that, the soundbite's and radio snippets are great and overall it's a good collection of primitive,wild r'n'r from a very exciting period in American music and culture. This is a much needed relief from an age where the top music stars are overproduced supermodels, and good looking pretty boys who cannot play an instrument much less write one of their songs. Before the age of MTV, when pop stars had to look good, there was the golden age of Rock radio, and this disk is a reminder that there was a time when the focus was on the music, warts and all, not the glitter.

1. Intro - Alan Freed Hosting the Moondog Show (1954)Alan Freed
2. When Sin Stops The Nighthawks Featuring Buddy Holly
3. Tore Up Tommy La Beff 4. Maybellene (Live) Elvis Presley
5. Rock and Roll Baby Billy And Mickey 6. Lucille Little Richard
7. Nuclear Survival Course Record Album (1954)commercial
8. Rock and Roll Show Ray Ellsworth 9. Say Mama Gene Vincent
10. Something Special Don Duncan 11. Shake, Rattle and Roll Bill Haley & The Comets 12. Satellite, Explorer 1 Launch (1958) Various Artists
13. Roc-a-Chica Warner MacK14. I Love Ya Honey Jimmy Apostle
15. 57 Chevy Commercial Various Artists 16. Stop and Rock Freddie Montell
17. Black Knee Socks Tommy Palm 18. No More, No More Johnny Fuller
19. Linda Lou Kenny & The Be-Bops 20. DJ Bob Neal Talks to Elvis (May 6th, 1955) DJ Bob Neal & Elvis 21. Dixie Fried Carl Perkins 22. Hang Out Lloyd Arnold Katche 23. Debate Over the Meaning of Rock 'n' Roll (1958)
24. Rattle Shakin' Mama Mel McGonnigle 25. Dood it Bobby Martin
26. Discussions on the "Beat Generation" (1959)Allen Ginsberg & Margaret Mead
27. Mona Lisa Conway Twitty 28. Square Town The Darts
29. Rootie Tootie Baby Lee Mitchell And The Combo 30. Radio Jingle (1957) Eddie Cochran 31. Cool Cool Baby Lafayette – Yarborough
32. You Don't Bug Me Terry Daly And The Nu-Tones
33. Outro - Alan Freed's Farewell to Fans (November 12, 1959) Alan Free



Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Goldentones- Atlantis

2nd effort is much more melodic and interesting than the first one which you can get at Boppeslag - see links. Fine maturity in songwriting and melody.

1. F*fWD 2. Aurora 3. Midnight 4. Kalypso 5. Spitfire 6. Praying Mantis
7. Moon Pair 8. Palms Motel 9. Departure 10. Summer Vacation 11. Tornado Warning 12. Freestyle 13. Outbound 14. 1961

Shadowy Men From a shadowy Planet - Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham

Along with Man or Astroman?, Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet released several outstanding indie instrumental albums in the 1990s. This is their second and probably best one, and still sounds great almost 15 years later. Borrowing as much from UK pre-Beatles instrumental legends the Shadows as the reverb-drenched American surfmeisters of the '60s, Toronto's Shadowy Men are a tough act to duct-tape to the chair. These '90s guys keep squirming loose to add unexpected elements to their brew. Benny Goodman's "Swing, Swing, Swing" pops up in "I Know a Guy Named Larry." And "Bang Bang," the Sonny Bono tune, tellingly combines gypsy swagger and 007 intrigue with a rockabilly bridge. Like San Francisco's Mermen, this is kinda surf and kinda not. When the Shadowy Men play Brian Wilson's "In My Room," you can bet they've got a pail of water balanced over the door, just waiting for some sap to walk in. Fans of this band should also check out 'Fresh Gasoline' by Phono-Comb.
1. Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham 2. Reids Situation 3. I Know A Guy Named Larry
4. Exit From Vince Lombardi High School 5. Aunts Invasion 6. Running Meredith
7. Bang Bang 8. Hot Box Car 9. In My Room 10. Dewy Drops Of Spring
11. 5 American 6 Canadian 12. Who Painted Whistler's Mother
13. Case Of The Missing Lady Fingers 14. Jackpot 15. D. Tour
16. Hunter S. Thompson's Younger Brother 17. Misogomy And The Object
18. Ben Hur Picked Off In A Gazebo 19. Who's Afriad Of Alyson Hymer/Wow Flutter Hiss 20. You Spin Me Round '86 21. Babakganoosh 22. Siesta Cinema
23. Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham (Reprise) 24. Bonus Track 25. Bonus Track

the Black Shadows - BlueXotica

BlueXotica is a solid blues instrumental that will have you grabbing your air guitar or make you want to get up and dance. Some of the tunes are an interesting combination of Blues and Surf music that is somewhat similar to Iko-Iko and even the Paladins. Others are Blues/Rock numbers and still others straight 12 bar blues. If you are looking for something a little unusual with a little variety but still on the bluesy side, I recommend giving this CD a play. I think you will enjoy it.

1. Shadowcaster 2. Whiplash 3. Cashbox 4. Lap Dancer 5. Jet Black Mirror
6. Cry Baby Cry 7. Texas Berrys 8. Slippin' 9. Peralta 10. The Pounce 11. Watch Out! 12. Lo Straniero Dannato



Liv and Let Liv - Surfin' Pachebel

This strange fun series of semi-variations on that song they ALWAYS play at weddings - Pachelbel's "Canon". It provides the motif throught out the whole cd. There’s more than just electronic surf here, so the title is a little misleading. There's ambient trance-dance and the full orchestral version. The Willi Willi - Groove Salad sequence does deliver as futuristic surf music from the Moons of Jupiter, & that largely through the subtle, persistent fretless bass of Ken Simmons."Waikiki Pachelbel" is worth the price of admission alone. You don't even have to like surf music to enjoy this cd - it's doesn't sound anything like surf music you've ever heard. Get this cd and hang ten with the old fart.

Surfin' Pachelbel 2. Run as a Liquid 3. He'enalu 4. Poppin' Pachelbel 5. Wili Wili 6. Groove Salad 7. Waikiki Pachelbel 8. Surfin' UFO



The Lounge Lizards

Long before John Zorn's blend of hardcore and jazz in Naked City - in archives --, John Lurie put together this intense jazz-punk hybrid. It has a sleazy, gritty sound that shows the early development and experimentation of the long-running institution that is The Lounge Lizards.
Lurie's sax plays many of the melodies, but perhaps more of a feature is the insane scraping sounds of Arto Lindsay's guitar and Evan Lurie wildly tinkering on the electric piano. Drummer Anton Fier's style sounds a bit more rock than jazz, which also adds to the punkiness.
The material is mostly by John Lurie, and falls somewhere between sexy, loungy jazz ("Ballad", "You Haunt Me" and a pretty straight reading of Earle Hagen's "Harlem Nocturne") and upbeat crazy pieces ("Wangling", Thelonius Monk's "Well You Needn't" and "Epistrophy"), at times somewhat Frank Zappa-ish, as another review mentioned. Later incarnations of The Lounge Lizards saw Lurie adding more and more horns, then other instruments and eventually creating a more layered sound, which incorporated some elements of classical and African musics (among countless others). All of their work has been great, but this, their debut album still remains the most fresh and exciting.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes Frank Zappa's early 70's output ("Grand Wazoo", "Waka/Jawaka", "Weasels") and/or Henry Cow ("Leg End", etc.). If this is your first taste of this sort of music, it may take a while to grow on you. But once it does, you'll be listening to all music with different ears.

1. Incident On South Street 2. Harlem Nocturne 3. Do The Wrong Thing 4. Au Contraire Arto 5. Well You Needn't 6. Ballad 7. Wangling 8. Conquest Of Rar 9. Demented
10. I Remember Coney Island 11. Fatty Walks 12. Epistrophy 13. You Haunt Me


Monday, March 10, 2008

The Spotnicks - Back to the Roots

If you like guitar instrumental music from the early 60s, this CD is essential. The USA had the Ventures--England had the Shadows--and from Sweden came the Spotnicks. With lead guitarist Bo Winberg, the Spotnicks really have a unique sound that this beautifully mastered CD captures. In addition to being a fine musician, Bo was an electronics expert, making his own guitars and amplification systems. This was a key to the Spotnicks' "outer space" sound.This CD contains a number of their most famous, original recordings, including "Johnny Guitar", "Karelia" and, of course, "The Spotnicks Theme". Served by EEK THE CAT!~!
01. (00:02:48) The Spotnicks - Ghost Riders In The Sky02. (00:02:41) The Spotnicks - Hot Toddy03. (00:02:31) The Spotnicks - Avah Ginala04. (00:02:12) The Spotnicks - Old Faithful05. (00:03:24) The Spotnicks - Highway Boogie06. (00:03:51) The Spotnicks - Johnny Guitar07. (00:02:55) The Spotnicks - Diamonds08. (00:02:31) The Spotnicks - I'll Remeber You09. (00:03:27) The Spotnicks - Sleep Walk10. (00:01:57) The Spotnicks - Moonshot11. (00:01:41) The Spotnicks - Wabash Cannonball12. (00:02:37) The Spotnicks - Karelia13. (00:02:04) The Spotnicks - Busted14. (00:02:53) The Spotnicks - Space Walk15. (00:02:14) The Spotnicks - The Old Spinning Wheel16. (00:03:21) The Spotnicks - Memories Are Made Of This 17. (00:03:40) The Spotnicks - Last Date18. (00:02:49) The Spotnicks - In The Mood19. (00:02:14) The Spotnicks - Tinta Verde20. (00:01:57) The Spotnicks - Spanish Gypsy Dance21. (00:01:46) The Spotnicks - The Spotnicks Theme22. (00:01:57) The Spotnicks - Amapola23. (00:02:46) The Spotnicks - Big Jump24. (00:02:14) The Spotnicks - Moonshot Special25. (00:02:47) The Spotnicks - Ghost Riders In The Sky (Karaoke Version)26. (00:03:40) The Spotnicks - Last Date (Karaoke Version)27. (00:01:54) The Spotnicks - Amapola (Karaoke Version)

Blazin' Longboards - Soundtrack

The soundtrack to a surfing documentary, this turns out to be one of the more entertaining albums of the year while ranging far and wide over the landscape. The Aqua Velvets and the Mermen contribute snarling, twanging, crashing surf guitar stomp, with an assist from Scott Henderson on the frantic jazz guitar tip (having these three start out the album with back-to-back cuts is a perfect approach). To lighten and leaven things, there are contributions from Peppino D'Agostino, Jerry Riopelle, Strunz & Farah and Willie & Lobo, making for an album that revs the engines from time to time, but never hits the point of burnout. Great guitar styles throughout. twangtastic.

1. Bravado - The Aqua Velvets 2. Honeybomb - The Mermen 3. Hole Diggin' - Scott Henderson 4. Spanish Blue - The Aqua Velvets 5. Tarantula - Peppino D'Agostino
6. Be My Noir - The Mermen 7. Beyond The Dunes - Peppino D'Agostino
8. Sweet Meanderings - Willie & Lobo 9. Ida Y Vuelta - Strunz & Farah
10. Calypso Facto - Peppino D'Agostino 11. Ocean Beach - The Mermen
12. Swampabilly Hop - The Aqua Velvets 13. Bahia De Banderas - Willie & Lobo
14. Naked - Jerry Riopelle 15. Too Many Gittars - Scott Henderson
16. Follow Your Dreams - Jerry Riopelle



The San Andreas Fault - Encantada

Robert Spain (aka Warmowski) started the 1980s Chicago punk and 1990s rock bands The Defoliants and Buzzmuscle. Fusing the sounds of rock, soundtracks, punk and surf is his obsession as a writer and multi-instrumentalist.
Pete Machine is a classically trained guitarslinger who puts the heartbreak out in front of the aggro proceedings. In a band without a singer, his bittersweet melodies are the emotional focus. The debut from Chicago's premeire exporter of reverb. Punk rocker multi-instrumentalist Robert Spain collects guitar dandy Pete Machine and a crew of aggro-pop pounders to produce the sound of heartbreak instrumental-style. One vocal love letter to California is included. Compelling instrumental songs? Debussy meets the Plugz meets Roy Orbison? Hardly any singing? Good enough for me. Long silence between last cuts. Nice soundscapes similar to Friends of Dean Martinez but more accessible. Worth a listen.

1. Encantada 2. Fault Herald 3. Maestro's Gone 4. splinterlude 5. Go Sleepy
6. Bags Unlimited 7. Sympatico 8. Fault Herald (vocal) 9. Bonus


Nelsonics - Ruins of Rome

Their infectious sound combines influences ranging from 60s mod to surf rock into one soulful go-go groove. THE NELSONICS have left the Woody at home in Milwaukee and hopped across the pond for a whirlwind tour of Europe armed with nothing but a rented "Go Go Motorscooter" and a CD of the grooviest tunes of the year, namely RUINS OF ROME - the coolest new party record on the international scene. You can't help but get moving when THE NELSONICS take the stage. Their infectious sound combines influences ranging from 60s mod to surf rock into one soulful go-go groove. The Nelsonics formed in 2001, taking audiences by storm with their high-energy live show. The following summer, released the band's debut LP - which received rave reviews for its blend of instrumental grooves, organ-based R&B, Latin rhythms, big beat hooks and reverb-drenched guitar.

RUINS OF ROME comes complete with 11 original gems that showcase a musical maturity not usually found in the genre plus one adventurous cover of Midwest legends The Bent Scepters (aka The Diplomats of Solid Sound).

THE NELSONICS are Don Nelson (drums, percussion, vocals), Don Turner (organ, sax, theremin, vocals), Terry Vittone (guitar, vocals), and Jon Ziegler (bass, vocals). Collectively, they set the standard in instrumental groove. With RUINS OF ROME, they have added a new dimension to their music...vocals on 8 of the 12 tracks...enhancing the commercial appeal of their music beyond their instrumental roots. Ugh. RUINS OF ROME delivers the floor stomping goods for those in the know and blows open the doors for an entire Roman Legion of new fans. Fun even with the vocals. Get their first all instro shot in the archives.

1. International Jet Set 2. X-Ray Skinny 3. Soul Skippin' 4. My Toyota
5. Come N' Get Me 6. Forbidden Harem 7. Date With Danielle
8. Go Go Motorscooter 9. Ruins Of Rome 10. My Convalescence
11. Mission 2 Mod 12. Let's Go To Mexico


Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Aqua Velvets – Radio Waves

The coolest (Yes,COOLEST) thing about surf music is that it is ALWAYS better live than recorded in a studio. This post is all about the RAW RARIN' GUTBUSTIN' Drive of live surf music. This is some of the ABSOLUTE best guitar rock you will find anywhere - The Aqua Velvets, Mermen, Los Straitjackets, Laika and the Cosmonauts, 50 Ft. Combo, and technically not surf, serious guitar virtuosity - Eric Johnson. I'll be on the left coast all week this week shooting promos with Oscar and Emmy winner Cloris Leachman for one of my projects so I wanted to leave you all with some major waves, just in case I stay longer than expected.

We start with fan faves - the Aqua Velvets. Although this is technically a "live" record, the fact that it was recorded during radio broadcasts gives it a very polished studio feeling, blending the best of both worlds. This CD spans the career of the Aqua Velvets from beginning to recent, and it satisfies completely. It contains all the classic Aquavelvet hits (a good starting place for you first time Velvet-heads). The extra disk is a great addition too. It includes a very cool version of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." You gotta here this surf version of the grunge classic to believe it. That song alone is worth the price of admission! If you were to have one modern surf music CD in your collection, may this be the one...

1. Intro KFJC 2. Swampabilly Hop 3. Bravado 4. Diamond Head 5. Spanish Blue
6. Gringo 7. Martini Time 8. Green Sunshine 9. Surfmania 10. Hawaiian Blue
12. Beauty And The Beach 13. Intro KPFA 14. Mexican Rooftop Afternoon
15. Guitar Noir 16. Subterranea 17. Surf Nouveau 18. Holly Tiki 19. Nomad 20. Nervous On Neptune 21. Walk Don't Run 22. Apache 23. Pipeline/Auld Lang Syne

Bonus: 1.Smells Like Teens Spirit 2. Baja 3. Spanish Blue 4. Green Sunshine




The Mermen - Live At The Haunted House

From the opening salvo of "Pull of the Moon"'s hellaciously swirling guitar riff, the Mermen's Live at the Haunted House reveals itself as an atypical live record. Culled from a series of frequent appearances between 1991-1994 on Phil Dirt’s surf show (broadcast on Los Altos Hills, CA's KFJC-FM), this 74-minute tour de force captures all the majestic reverb, lovely tonality, and loose humor that made this San Francisco trio cult favorites in the mid-'90s. As if acknowledging its unusual, live-in-the-studio limitations, Live at the Haunted House contains seven numbers never released on Mermen studio albums — including the perennial showstopper "Casbah," on which guitarist Jim Thomas uses his whammy bar as a virtual finger trampoline. "Slo Mo HVO" is shorthand for the band's wonderfully languid take on the "Hawaii Five-O" theme, while "Quiet Surf" and "Gulch of Spleens" (an original song unavailable elsewhere) each pulse with reserved sway. Finally, there is "The Whales Are Coming and Boy Are They Pissed," a meaty sloppy joe of surf standards, classic rock staples, Yiddish traditionals, and American show tunes. Bits of "Miserlou," "Paint It Black," "Hava Nagila," and "America" all provide high points throughout the track's 11 minutes and 32 seconds, none of which are as nutty as exhausted drummer Martyn Jone's faint screams of "Hurry up!" before the marathon medley's raging coda. Other feathers in Live at the Haunted House's cap are the updated versions of two songs from the band's distortion-free 1989 debut, Krill Shrimpin’: "Lonely Road (Krill Slippin')" and "Splashing With the Mermaid"; each brims here with additional warmth. Contrarily, the five songs that also appear (in different versions) on Food For Other Fish seem peripheral to the cause at hand; the apparent thrust of this album is to showcase songs unavailable elsewhere. Keeping that in mind while not expecting a live best-of set is perhaps the best way to enjoy this quirky, yet ultimately essential Mermen collection. Psychsurf at its best.

1. Pull of the Moon 2. Honeybomb 3. Lonely Road (Krill Slippin')
4. Cashbah-America 5. Into the West - Be My Noir 6. My Black Bag
7. Gulch of Spleens 8. Quiet Surf
9. Whales Are Coming and Boy Are They Pissed (The Victor-Latinia-Mise ...
10. Unkown 11. Spalshing With the Mermaid 12. Penetration 13. Slo Mo HVO



Los Straitjackets – Damas Y Caballeros

Excellent live cd by the best surf instrumentalists playing today. This album really cooks from beginning to end. The band is blessed with two great guitar players in Danny Amis, from the legendary New York band the Raybeats. And the very impressive Eddie Angel, who does double duty with the excellent roots rock band the Planet Rockers. Two musicians with many years playing experience, and it shows on this live set. The entire band is so entertaining to see live. Drummer Jimmy Lester is hilarious with his Spanish banter he does between each song. Also the stage antics of bass player Pete Curry, a very talented musician, songwriter himself, who used to lead the excellent Calif. surf band the Halibuts. For already converted Straitjacket fans, there are several songs here that have never appeared on any of their previous albums. Two Link Wray songs: "BRANDED", and a fantastic version of "RAWHIDE" which ends the album. "SQUAD CAR", a hot rod tune that Eddie and the Showmen did in the early 60's. "DRIVING GUITARS" which is an old Ventures tune. "LAST DATE" an instrumental by country legend Floyd Cramer. Great version! And what live surf set would be complete without the instrumental standard by Farina and Farina called "SLEEPWALK". My favorites though, are the songs they do from their first album "The Utterly Fantastic And Totally Unbelievable Sound of Los Straitjackets". This album is a surf classic that was produced by the one and only Ben Vaughn. Every surf fan should have this one. Songs included off this are "TAILSPIN", a killer version of "ITCHY CHICKEN", and my alltime favorite Jacket tune "LYNXTAIL", a cool tune that is a combination of Duane Eddy and Link Wray, with a few neat blues licks thrown in for good measure by Eddie Angel. Another favorite here is "MY HEART WILL GO ON" (LOVE THEME FROM THE TITANIC). Yeah, that's right, the Titanic theme. The way it's done here though, they make it sound like it should have been a surf song all along. It's stuff like this that really seperate this band from all the surf band pretenders out there. Live surf albums don't come along very often. And as it goes, this is the best one I've ever heard. This is a must-have for any fan of tasty surf music, and it comes highly recommended. Catch the wave and hang ten with the masked ones. You'll be glad you did.

1. Introduction of los Straitjackets 2. Outta Gear 3. State Fair 4. Casbah 5. Calhoun Surf
6. Itchy Chicken 7. Last Date 8. Kawanga! 9. I'm Branded 10. My Heart Will Go On
11. Squad Car 12. Rockula 13. Tempest 14. Lynxtail 15. Tailspin 16. Pacifica
17. Driving Guitars 18. Sing Sing Sing 19. Sleepwalk 20. Rawhide



Get more Los Straitjackets at Trustar Vibrations and RockIsDeadRIP - in links

Laika and the Cosmonauts - Laika Sex Machine - Live

A buddy of mine came back from Finland where he was visiting his fiancée and gave me a tape of “this whacked out Finnish surf band” which he said was right up my alley – and he was right. I loved the tape and it took years to find out who it was.

Brandonio over at RockisDeadRIP posted their fist lp - go get it there - and gave this one a major 2 thumbs up.

Review –Finland's favorite retro-rockers rev up with a generous 26-song, 75-minute set of music recorded live, predominantly in 1998 and on their home turf. Except for some brief introductions in both English and the band's native tongue, this is a non-stop roller coaster ride through instrumental rock & roll. The quartet plays with fire and fury whether covering genre classics like "Telstar" or obscurities such as Roy Budd's theme to "Get Carter." Not surprisingly, a Ventures tune gets worked in, but the group digs deep into the California band's catalog to unearth "Fugitive." The foursome charges through a unique combination of Bernard Herrmann's themes from Psycho and Vertigo in a composite renamed "Psyko." "Mission Impossible" also gets the Laika treatment as they speed and trash it up in a breathless version that doesn't break the two-minute mark. While not as recognizable, the group churns out originals with as much flair touching on hard rock with a slight Spanish matador approach on "Look! No Head!" and the "Walk Don't Run"-styled "Floating" which stands as a contemporary surf classic. Many of these tracks appear in less frantic fashion on the band's studio albums, but the live approach electrifies these versions. Certainly you'll never hear "Ode to Billy Joe" the same way after experiencing Laika's take on the song (which they rename "Sauna-Soul" for no apparent reason). With its extended playing time, there is plenty of room for experimentation on a low-down run-through of Henry Mancini's "Experiment in Terror," a showcase for Matti Pitsinki's distorted organ sounds. The rhythm section is spry but stays out of the way of the lead guitar and keyboards that drive this music. Crowd noise is minimal to non-existent, smartly keeping the focus on the tight musicianship and superbly well-recorded tunes. Better and more lively than the group's slightly less compelling studio albums, this is a rousing live performance from one of contemporary music's most talented and creative instrumental combos. Hal Horowitz

1 The Hypno-Wheel 2 Disconnected 3Sycophant 4 Tantrum 5 Floating 6 Turquoise 7 Boris the Conductor 8 Look! No Head! 9 Experiment in Terror 10 The Avengers 11 Circumstantial Evidence 12 Hi & Lo 13 Café Equator 14 Lands End 15 Psyko 16 Mission Impossible 17 Get Carter 18 Global Village 19 Enchanted Rock 20 C'mon Do the Laika! 21 Fugitive 22 Ba-Ha-Re-Bah! 23 Fadeaway 24 Sauna-Soul 25 Telstar 26 Vendetta



Eric Johnson - Alien Love Child Live

When it comes down to it, there are very few people that have such an incredible guitar sound. Eric Johnson is definitely one of those people. Voltage sag or no, his sound is almost always perfect, and on "Live and Beyond" he is a lot more raw than his studio albums. Yet, he still has that perfect tone. This is a fun album. One, because it came out a little quicker than the last one, and because of it's rawness. Johnson should be heard and seen live to really appreciate it, and this does a good job of it. He has an amazing bassist in Chris Maresh and Bill Maddox pounds on the skins.
This album is a little different than classic Johnson due to the rawness of being live, but his sound is still exceptional and his speed is still blinding. Solos on "Zenland", "Once a Part of Me", "Last House On the Block" and "Enzo Shuffle" will leave your jaw bouncing off your lap. Malford Milligan steps in to sing a couple of songs including Jimmie Vaughan's own "Don't Cha Know". His voice is a little more fitting for the blues than Johnson's own. He gets a little airy on "Elevator Sky Movie" with long delays and repeats before kicking it into a countrish overdriven speed workout. He segues into "Shape I'm In" which is very classic Johnson sound. As usual, it's on the instrumental numbers where Eric truly shines - "Boogie King," "Rain" and the superb "Zenland" especially stand out. The jaw-dropping instrumental wizardry is still there. For those who worried about the somewhat 'sterile' sound of Venus Isle, this will be a refreshing jolt of energy. Not only do Eric and the guys pull this off on stage, but the live situation commands a spontaneity that was somewhat lacking on the last album. Melody, not flash, is the order behind these songs. When it comes down to it, Johnson is an incredible axe player. A joy to listen to, and watch (although guitar players find him quite frustrating). His speed and sound are amazing, and he uses both with an elegant ease. And when Eric plays his guitar, it's a sweet sound indeed. Enjoy.

1. Zenland 2. Last House On The Block 3. Rain 4. Enzo Shuffle 5. Once A Part Of Me 6. Don't Cha Know 7. The Boogie King (Tribute To John Lee Hooker) 8. Elevator Sky Movie 9. Shape I'm In 10. World Of Trouble



Get more Eric at Trustar Vibrations - see links.

50 Foot Combo – Go Hunting

Phil Dirt from Reverb Central writes "After a couple of singles, this fine band releases a strong first CD, garagie in nature, precise in performance, and infectious in it's shifted trad stylings. They are somewhere between Mar Gaya and Martin Denny." I think they have a sound all their own that is well worth having. Lots of CRAZY stuff. This album is a killer - nice balance between powersurf and lounge-tunes. The live bonus tracks are amazing. When there's no beach around, this is a good substitute.
1. It's Alive 2. The Tunnel 3. Doe De Duip 4. Inspection #5 5. Robin Boy Wonder 6. Dimitrius 7. The Brain From Planet X 8. I Think I Shot Her 9. Drums A Go-Go 10. The Escape 11. Minesweeper 12. Hully Gully Stomp 13. Sl 54 Automatic (Bonus Track) 14. Jack The Ripper (Bonus Track)
Related Posts with Thumbnails