Saturday, October 14, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #596
Sat, October 14, 2017 | link
MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #596.231!
Lanz – Liverpool: Re-imagining The Beatles (Moon Boy) :: Shrewdly
eschewing the cloying saccharine sentimentality that mars most Beatle tribute records, pianist Lanz and his band exhibit a
thoughtful jazz-tinged sensibility that sees original melodies tastefully blended into lush new realms of atmospheric sound
such as “Because I’m Only Sleeping” and “Rain Eight Days A Week.” Add on a couple of sublime
Fab-inspired originals and you’ve got an exceptional album the likes of which either Creed Taylor or Manfred Eicher
would’ve been proud to have released during their CTI and ECM heydays.
Fred – Go God Go
(Sparks) :: What if George Harrison’s Beatles had been an ’80s pop band instead of a ’60s pop band?
Yakuza – Of Seismic Consequence (Profound Lore) :: If you’re
looking for a one way doom ’n’ gloom excursion that’ll leave you stranded out where the busses don’t
run, then this is the prog metal album for you. It surprisingly surpasses all aural expectations by fusing ominous ambient
atmospherics with mournful midnight mass saxophones and bone powdering guitar. Season with echoing vocals that evoke the best
of Kyuss’ John Garcia and the Obsessed’s “Wino” Weinrich and you’ve got a recipe for disaster—literally.
Please, sir, I want some more.
Matt And Kim – Grand
(Red Ink) :: What if John Catto’s Diodes had been an ’80s synth art rock band instead of a ’70s punk art
Dance Party – Touch (Hell Ya!) :: It sure didn’t take me long to realize that
this is a hip hybrid of The Time’s frail-chasin’ masculinity and the Rolling Stones free-basin’ femininity
back when they were going through their pansy sailor suit and trawled on makeup phase—or am I thinkin’ of the
New York Dolls after they went Commie? Either way, this outrageous oral extravaganza is a smart ’n’ sassy synth-soaked
power pop pastiche of disco-dancin’ pud-poppin’ bathroom bliss.
Sevendust – Cold
Day Memory (Asylum) :: Melodic melodies and three part harmonies inharmoniously merge with malodorous Drano-drinkin’
vocals. File under: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Kilmister.
Great Lake Swimmers – Lost Channels
(Weewerk) :: According to the front cover promo sticker, Mojo mag says this is “Ambient Zen Americana” but that’s
an ignorant lie by a rag that reviews too many records for its own good. I know ambient when I hear it and this ain’t
it unless you consider folk songs sung by a Neil Young impersonator Music For Fairports.
– Lady Luck (Nettwerk) :: Maybe I’m dreaming, but on tracks like “It’s Time” and “A
Chance” she sounds like a female Eno doing her own airy side two of Before And After Science. Then again, maybe
I gotta lay off them pickles and ice cream before I go to bed.
The United Steel Workers Of Montreal
– Tree On The Tree (Weewerk) :: They’ve got the greatest band name since the Reverb Mofos and they’ve
got the greatest album cover since Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop. Then how to explain that, instead of muslin-bleachin’
metal, I get wonky banjo-pickin’ shades of Boiled In Lead? Beats me, but I like it.
– Kleerup (Astralwerks) :: Synthesizers! Sequencers! Drone! Need I say more? More!
Brent Randall And Those
Magnificent Pinecones – We Were Strangers In Paddington Green (Endearing) :: If Gilbert O’Sullivan
and Julee Cruise had formed the Asylum Choir instead of Leon Russell and Marc Benno, this might have been the ’luded
The Hundred And Thousands – The Hundred And Thousands (Nettwerk) :: Sounding like
Midge Ure’s Ultravox with a Cheap Trick chaser, this might be the ultimate apex of ’80s Euro synthopop.
Orphans – Yonder (Sparks) :: Unlike a double D divorcee with too much hooch under her heaving halter-top,
this one takes a while to get going. But when it does, it quickly unleashes a sensuous six minute violin-laden instrumental
that quickly kicks into shorter schizo songs with gnarly Aqualung vocals which are loaded with personality—and
I’m all about personality.
Barzin – Notes To An Absent Lover (Monotreme) :: Sensitive
soft-spoken songs about lost love and broken hearts that taps into a sliced open Bryan Ferry vein.
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Romi Mayes – Achin In Yer Bones (self released) :: Many moons ago I lauded this
hot hellcat for her last release Sweet Somethin’ Special. Well, she’s back with yet another set of electrified
countrified cautionary tales told from a small town woman’s view. Only this time she seems be in a lot lighter mood,
which is even better—but don’t let your guard down ’cause this is one dangerous dame.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, October 7, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #595
Sat, October 7, 2017 | link
MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #595.230!
Zappa – Return Of The Son Of... (Razor & Tie) :: Brown singers
don’t make it.
Matheson – In Vein (I Can’t Read What The Name Of The Record
Label Is Because The Logo Is Printed In Glossy Black Enamel Against An Equally Black Matte Finish) :: Look, I’m all
for artsy black on black Warholian art direction but not when form impedes function, alright? That said, this is a folksy
pop album with rusted edges of insanity that some blind folks might like—but if you can’t read any of the lyrics
or album credits, who will love this lad’s In Vein?
Foreigner – Waited Up Til It Was Light (Nettwerk) :: What we got
here is some erratic experimental pop music the likes of which used to be regularly served up by Stiff and Island. It’s
Jam packed to overflowing with noisy unbridled enthusiasm and joyous burbling Vibrators spunk. Male and female vocals collide
as if they were yanked from an Orson Welles optical soundtrack and guitars wail with a frenzied out of control Buzzcocks aesthetic.
In fact, I haven’t heard such a bracing barrage since Robin Scott’s M. Or is that Howard Devoto’s Magazine?
SIZZLIN’ PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Tim Hus – Hockeytown (Stony Plain) :: It’s that time of year when I start to get a-thinkin’ about
my annual Top Ten list and this joyous upbeat country celebration of what it means to be a prairie-bred Canadian is already
on it, the only question bein’ how high a rankin’ it’ll receive by the end of the year.
Y’see, I spent several of my teenage
summers livin’ on a farm in Prince Albert and some of my adult years residin’ in Saskatoon, so I can testify to
the veracity of such Saskatchewan songs as the two-fisted “Saskatchewan Son-Of-A-Gun” and the culinary-berry “Talkin’
Saskatoon Blues.” But don’t you go thinkin’ that this is some kinda concept album about the land that Dief
The Chief made famous ’cause it ain’t.
Tim rambles from coast to coast to coast on numbers like the rail-rumblin’ “Canadian Pacific,”
the molten-hammerin’ “Hamilton Steel,” the fish-flounderin’ “North Atlantic Trawler” and
the patriotic title track which comes complete with no less a Canadian icon than Foster “He shoots! He scores!”
Hewitt callin’ the play-by-play. “Hockeytown” is poised to become the new unifyin’ Canadian
national anthem, so you can forget all about them playin’ “O Canada” at the next puck drop—and I’ve
attended three Stanley Cup parades in Toronto so I should know.
There’s no mistakin’ that Tim is the heir—and boy is it ever apparent—to the
wood-splinterin’ cowboy singin’ legacy of the legendary Stompin’ Tom Connors. But don’t take my
word for it, just ask Stompin’ Tom yourself the next time you see him and Tim Hus sharin’ a stage.
And after you hear Hockeytown
you’ll know why this is one of the best albums of the year—and Howe!
Be seein’ you!
Saturday, September 30, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #594
Sat, September 30, 2017 | link
MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #594.228!
Black Stone Cherry
– Folklore And Superstition (Roadrunner) :: Wherein one of the best hard rock bands in America blends the best
of Aerosmith and Alice in one timpani shredding session.
Anemo – Stentorian (City Canyons)
:: They’ve got the same pop vocal stylings and 4/4 backbeat of Eurythmics with a heapin’ helpin’ of hard
rockin’ Heart. That I didn’t clue in to this initially means that they’ve got their own thing goin’
Bob Dylan – Both Ends Of The Rainbow (MVD Visual) :: Wherein the usual bunch of windbag
wankers expound on Bob’s born again phase—as if the actual records themselves weren’t good enough.
Heads – Any Port In A Storm (Universal) :: These four white guys do echoed dub like it genetically
runs through their veins—and who knows, maybe it does.
Rick Wakeman – Rick Wakeman’s
Grumpy Old Picture Show (MVD Visual) :: Wherein prog rock’s greatest keyboardist hangs up his cape to try his hand
at biographical multi-media stand up comedy—but don’t laugh ’cause he actually manages to pull it off thanks
to his prattle-punctuatin’ piano passages.
Mark Berube & The Patriotic Few – What The Boat
Gave The River (KBM) :: I dunno if Mark Berube ever heard Marc Benno’s Asylum Choir work, but this one sure sounds
like he did, right down to the mix’s schizoid stereo separation.
One Second 2 Late – World
Time Bomb (Red Ink) :: Wherein one of the best hard rock bands in Canada blends the best of old Korn and new Korn in
one bagpipe shedding session.
SIZZLING TV SHOW OF THE WEEK: Jefferson Airplane – Go Ride The Music
(Eagle Vision) :: This live in the studio session originally ran on NET’s Fanfare program back in 1969 and
contains seven full-length songs from the Volunteers era, including a slow vamp on their then-current single “Mexico”
as well as the elusive “Emergency” which was never waxed but remained a live staple—plus an extended barn-burning
throwdown on “Volunteers” itself. Points deducted for Jorma’s ever-present swastika pendant. What a maroon.
Be seeing you!
Friday, September 29, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS ROCK íNí ROLL PHOTOGRAPHS
JEFFREY MORGAN’S ROCK ’N’ ROLL PHOTOGRAPHS
Fri, September 29, 2017 | link
While you’re visiting, don’t forget to view the dozens of essential selections from my vast
archive of hundreds of extremely rare and previously unseen rock
’n’ roll photographs from the 1970s and 1980s—all of which were taken by myself from my front row center
seat at various venerable venues; vintage historical portraits which include the following rock stars caught in their youthful
David Bowie (1976 Station To Station tour) :: Lou Reed (1974 Sally Can’t Dance tour)
:: Iggy Pop (1977 The Idiot tour) :: Bob Dylan (1978 Street Legal tour)
:: George Harrison (1974 Dark Horse tour) :: Paul McCartney (1976 Wings Over
America tour) :: Pete Townshend (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: Johnny Winter
(1976 Captured Live! tour) :: Jeff Beck (1975 Blow By Blow tour) :: KISS
(1977 Love Gun tour) :: Alice Cooper (1975 Welcome To My Nightmare tour) :: Freddie
Mercury (1977 News Of The World tour) :: Amanda Lear (1975 Sweet Revenge tour)
:: Rod Stewart (1977 Foot Loose & Fancy Free tour) :: Mick Jagger (1975 It’s
Only Rock ’n Roll tour) :: New York Dolls (1975 Tokyo Dolls Live tour) :: Keith
Richards (1975 It’s Only Rock ’n Roll tour) :: Ian Hunter (1989 YUI Orta
tour) :: Elton John (1974 Caribou tour) :: Mick Ronson (1989 YUI Orta
tour) :: Steven Tyler (1977 Draw The Line tour) :: Sparks (1975 Indiscreet
tour) :: James Brown (1986 Gravity tour) :: Miles Davis (1985 You’re
Under Arrest tour) :: Roger Daltrey (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: Bruce Springsteen
& Clarence Clemons (1975 Born To Run tour) :: John Entwistle (1976 The
Who By Numbers tour) :: Keith Moon (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: The Who
(1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: and more!
Ask any dealer
and he’ll tell you that the best way to get someone hooked on your product is to give them a free sample, so here’s
just a small taste of what’s coming your way when you click on the eleven gallery links to your left:
Saturday, September 23, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #593
Sat, September 23, 2017 | link
MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #593.227!
Comic Book Heroes – Take A Seat (self released)
:: I was gonna say something suitably snide like: “If real superheroes were as lame as these four Supersnipes,
the world would be run by supervillains.” But it turns out I’m only half wrong because, just like the Hawk, they
got enough Whoish power chord trappings to wake me up. Unfortunately, just like the Dove, they also got enough Hagarish power
ballad trimmings to snooze me down.
North Side Kings – Suburban Royalty (I Scream)
:: These screamos write liner notes that brag: “This is the song Ice-T wishes he wrote in place of ‘New Jack Hustler’.”
Ice-T – Home Invasion (Rhyme Syndicate) :: And this is the album the North Side Kings
wish they’d made in place of Suburban Royalty. Yeah, right on.
Fear Nuttin Band –
Yardcore (Bodog) :: Jahve nuttin d’feah bwah dis Korny wrekord widjil leeve
fuh evva indie infuhmmy, mon.
The Notwist – The Devil, You & Me (Domino)
:: Love their way, they’re the new Psychedelic Furs!
Bad Luck Charms – Bad Luck Charms
(I Scream) :: I scream, you scream, we all scream for this slovenly hard rock cross between the New York Dolls and Wild Man
Keaton Simons – Can You Hear Me (CBS) :: You’re breaking up.
– Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (Rocket) :: Can you hear me now?
Your Vegas – A
Town And Two Cities (Universal Republic) :: It was the best of Hall & Oates, it was the worst of U2.
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: John Oates – 100 Miles Of Life (Phunk Shui) :: Strangely believe it, this one
sounds a whole lot like DaBo’s Young Americans, which ain’t no insult by a long shot when you consider
that it’s got a similar trifecta of breathy pseudo-soul lead vocals, smooth pseudo-soul background vocals, and slinky
pseudo-soul strings—the only difference being that the erstwhile Mr. Jones never slipped into gritty pseudo-stud David
Lee Roth vocal mode from time to time like pseudo-soul Oates does here.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, September 16, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #592
Sat, September 16, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #592.226!
Joe Cocker – Bird On A Wire (Eagle Rock DVD) :: Boy, what a difference
a few decades can make, huh? Long after his 1970 Mad Dogs prime, we find the Rotating Rocker in Doucheland backed
by a buncha lanky Eurodisco-dressing dudes ’n’ dudettes. Luckily, his voice is in fine fettle and his hair still
reasonably long, even if he doesn’t paw at it once. Bonus points for belting out a boisterous “High Time We Went.”
Gaalen – Soft Airplane (Flemish Eye) :: When he’s not using an effective falsetto similar to
Bryan Ferry (“Willow Tree”) or a droll mid-range that evokes Neil Young (“Bones Of Man”), he’s
using his own plaintive voice to front a series of oddball Eno-esque pop songs that remain upbeat, despite the mordant subject
Obscured By Clouds – Psycheclectic (Psycheclectic) :: An ambitious prog rock album
where surface-sutured layers of trippy textures and trances melt into ominous simmering swatches of deep-seated psychotronic
sensations before slowly coalescing together again.
Palmyra Delran – She Digs The Ride (Apex East)
:: She begins with a “Wipeout” riff and then shifts into third gear—it’s all right—with a classic
janglin’ guitar-driven groove that manages to stuff a wild surfin’ bird with a beach blanket bikini.
– Dreamtime & Words From The Front (Collectors’ Choice) :: These ’80s solo albums
from Television’s anchorman sound like early herky-jerky Talking Heads in places, but it’s the wonky up-tempo
tracks like “Mr. Blur” and “Present Arrived” that prove it all night like an analog TV set jammed
between channels—and don’t I miss that sound!
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Family Force 5
– Dance Or Die (Tooth & Nail) :: Cheap Trick and Flavor Flav meet the Jacksons and KISS on this utterly
charming album that dares to mix high energy power pop and low brow ghetto funk with a big heapin’ helpin’ of
Teutonictronics lathered thick on top. I haven’t had so much fun listening to an album in days, so ketchup!
Be seeing you!
Saturday, September 9, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #591
Sat, September 9, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #591.225!
SIZZLING PLATTERS OF THE WEEK: Phil Manzanera – The 801 Series
(Expression/MVD Audio) :: 801 was the Plastic Ono Band of mid-’70s progressive supergroup rock ensembles, a nebulous
ever-shifting central shaft around which revolved some of the greatest English art rock adherents ever: Roxy Music’s
Phil Manzanera, Eno, Andy Mackay, Paul Thompson and Eddie Jobson; 10cc’s Lol Creme and Kevin Godley; Quiet Sun’s
Bill MacCormick; Curved Air’s Francis Monkman; and many others ranging from Tim Finn to Simon Phillips. Now, for your
pleasure, Manzanera has assembled his 801 tape archive into the following four separate live albums, all of which are on his
Expression Records label in the UK which is distributed in the US by MVD Audio.
801 Live :: When it came out in
1976, 801 Live was immediately acclaimed as being one of the greatest sounding live rock albums ever released—and
that goes double now that it’s been reissued in this definitive new expanded dual disc edition. The first platter contains
the original live album augmented by a few numbers, which were left off the original vinyl pressing due to space limitations.
The highlights include blistering versions of songs from Eno’s first three solo albums as well as Manzanera’s
own underrated Diamond Head record. The second disc finds the live album duplicated track for track, only this time
in a studio setting during a rehearsal recorded a few days before the gig.
801 Manchester :: Shortly thereafter, 801
hit the road to support their new studio album—which explains why there’s a surfeit of surefire songs from Listen
Now performed, along with an unexpected Roxy cover that’s literally out of the blue.
801 Live @ Hull ::
Getting back to mono, this excellent audience recording captures the band in a form that’s arguably even fiercer than
on the above-noted sonically superior stereo Manchester tape—which was rabid enough to begin with.
:: If it proves anything at all, this incongruous Latin throwdown proves that Manzanera does not live on art rock alone.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, September 2, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #590
Sat, September 2, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #590.224!
Caledonia – We Are America (self released) :: I know where this
band of Canuckleheads is coming from when they kvetch about America culturally sucking Canada dry. Sure, they mean it as a
protectionist slam, but I wouldn’t have it any other way—besides, being a good Detroiter, I’m a Vernors
Snooks Eaglin – Baby, You Can Get Your Gun! (Hep Cat) :: Anyone widda moniker like
“Snooks” has gotta be cool but, as you might’ve already guessed, that ain’t his real handle: It’s
Fird, which is even cooler—just like the beyond butane blues-infused scorchers which ignite this reissued 1986 session.
– The Baby Snooks Show (CBS) :: Geddit?
Odis – Feel (Miss Press) ::
Miss Odis regrets how bands these days sound like everyone else. But here’s an admirable exception with a pulse that’s
hard to put my finger on but I’ll sure try: I hear a loud Living Color rock aesthetic at play here, ably augmented by
a Southern sensibility with a playful underpinning of Prince. Too many slushball ballads, though.
– Funny Girl (Columbia) :: Oy vey, baby!
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Chairlift –
Does You Inspire You (Kanine/Columbia) :: I may hate ballads, but I bought this one nevertheless because the sticker
on the front cover claimed that it contained “beguiling heroin ballads, nodding deeply to David Lynch’s Angelo
Badalamenti-scored oeuvre.” Musically, that happens to be true. Vocally, it goes without saying that Caroline Polacheck
is no Julee Cruise—which is understandable. She’s more like a sonorous soporific pop suturing of Beth Gibbons
and Eno—which is unmedicated.
Angelo Badalamenti – Music From Twin Peaks (Warner
Bros.) :: Number one in a field of none.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, August 26, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #589
Sat, August 26, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #589.223!
Ray Charles – A Message From The People (Concord) :: I don’t
care if the sun don’t shine—but if I hear this flamboyant, cloying, overwrought, terminally maudlin, tear-jerkin’
melodramatic version of “America The Beautiful” one more time, I’m gonna kill something.
– Solidago (New Song Recordings) :: Looking to score? Then match a few candles and play these sensitive songs,
which’ll woo any weepy woman on the rebound. Works for me!
Dee Dee Ramone – History
On My Arms (MVD Visual) :: You’ll wanna buy this Dee-V-Dee for the three filmed documentaries but you’re
gonna keep it for the bonus home-recorded album Dee Dee Blues on which the man who gave us the speaker-shredding “Wart
Hog” redefines abrasive with a monocaustic mind-numbing set that makes Unca Lou’s overdrive antics on “I
Heard Her Call My Name” sound like Jeanine Deckers plucking “Dominique” on downers. Then Dee Dee takes a
well-deserved break to berate his cat while he skillets some eggs for breakfast.
SIZZLING MODERN PLATTER OF THE
WEEK: Ray Charles – Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music: Volumes 1 & 2 (Concord) :: Half
of these two dozen tracks sound like a Jackie Gleason string seduction session while the other half swings in kinetic “And
away we go!” akimbo mode. Mercifully devoid of his usual annoying vocal mannerisms, this is Raymond’s finest auditory
POST-MODERN PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Big D And The Kids Table – Fluent In Stroll (Side One Dummy) :: Chirpy
chicks chirpin’ Linda McCartneyesque backing vocals against a horny horn backing while the suave Romeo upfront sells
you the goods with a punky swagger worthy of a singin’ Stooge in sidewinder Soldier mode. The first song is
called “Doped Up Dollies On A One Way Ticket To Blood,” which tells you all you need to know about how mentally
stable these cool cats are. Add an overflowing side platter of ska slathered with a hot throbbing organ and you’ve got
an album that’s so fulla fun you’ll plotz your pud.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, August 19, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #588
Sat, August 19, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #588.222!
SIZZLING ROCKUMENTARY OF THE WEEK: Bill Fishman – My Dinner With Jimi
(Rhino Films) :: I’d say that this was the greatest rock ’n’ roll movie ever made—except for the small
fact that my name happens to be on the back cover of every copy of Mayor Of The Sunset Strip saying the exact same
thing. What I can say, however, is that this is the greatest rock ’n’ roll movie ever made about how the Turtles—aka
Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan aka Flo & Eddie—hit it big in America with their 1967 Beatle-bashing mega-smash single
“Happy Together,” and then went to England where they hung out with George, Ringo, Paul, John, Charlie, Brian,
Keith, Bill, Mick, Jim, Frank, Twiggy, Donovan and Hendrix. The screenplay’s penned by Kaylan himself, so you can be
sure that the factual accuracy is spot-on, insofar as drug-addled recollections go. It’s a hell of a hoot and one of
the essentials for anyone who ever had a rock ’n’ roll heart.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Ted Nugent
– Motor City Mayhem: The 6,000th Concert (Eagle) :: When I reviewed Love Grenade in Detroit’s
Metro Times, I wrote that “the only way Ted could’ve improved this album is if he’d hired Derek
St. Holmes to sing half the songs.” And when I reviewed Sweden Rocks in this column, I likewise opined that
“with any luck, Derek St. Holmes will be back the next time around to keep Nugent’s ego in check.” So you
can imagine my delight that Ted finally got off the pot and brought St. Holmes onstage to sing “Hey Baby” and
“Stranglehold” for this live twofer, which is also available on video, and which was recorded in Detroit way back
when during Theodore’s 4th of July milestone 6,000th performance celebration. Even better, if you watch the companion
video you can actually see Ted lower his wireless mic to give St. Holmes an unimpeded vocal spotlight. Best of all, they can
still sing and play the high notes just like they did back in 1975 on Nugent’s first solo album.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, August 12, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #587
Sat, August 12, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #587.220!
Broadway Calls – Good Views, Bad News (Side One Dummy) :: You
know I’ve had my share. Well, my woman left home for a brown-eyed man who plays in a generic teenage angst rock band
that should’ve closed out of town on opening night, but I still don’t seem to care.
Lee Harvey Osmond
– Quiet Evil (Latent) :: I guess “John Wilkes Partridge” was already taken, huh?
Orchestra – Mean Everything To Nothing (Favorite Gentlemen) :: Early prissy Bowie meets early pensive
Reznor backed by early primo Page.
Charles E. Caine – The Mayor Of Hell (Warner Bros.)
:: James Cagney may be the star of this 1933 prison flick, but who can deny that good old Charlie Caine steals the show as
Tommy ‘Stupe’ Gorman?
23 Rainy Days – Wonderful Disaster (Radio Active) ::
Their own website describes them as being “Dark Pop Synth Rock” so who am I to argue that they’re wrong—especially
when that happens to be an accurate assessment of this exemplary slice of arch ’80s anxiety.
SHOMOE OF THE WEEK: Jesse James – Jesse James Is A Dead Man (Spike) :: And speaking of past blasts,
here’s one dead man who used to turn me on with a kinetic fury and oddly incongruous laconic Zen-ness that evoked memories
of Raw Power and A Gift From A Flower To A Garden being played simultaneously at full volume. This linear
ancestor to the pistol-packin’ outlaw may look and sound like David Lynch but the death-defyin’ stunts he pulls
off are still worthy of Evel Knievel in his outta-mah-head prime. It also adds more fuel to the argumentative fire that Spike
once was the greatest heavy metal television network casting broads, but not no more.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, August 5, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #586
Sat, August 5, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #586.219!
Bart Davenport – Palaces (Antenna Farm) :: Burt Bacharach is more
like it and I like it, like it, yes, I do.
Bad Flirt – Virgin Talk (Kartel) :: What’s
to like? How about perky power pop fuelled by fun-filled female vocals, a wickedly witty sense of humor, an enclosed pamphlet
with a suitable-for-autographing poster, and the words “THANK YOU” in huge type on the flip side.
& The Brokeoffs – Dirt Don’t Hurt (Transdreamer) :: Murder-in-the-makin’ songs
like “My 45” show why American slothic lives on this banjofied country hoedown which was recorded with the safety
Deas Vail – White Lights (Brave New World) :: No! Psychedelic Furs meet Yes! Maybe?
Present – El Rey (Manifesto) :: Heavily tremoloed contemporary ’80s angst rock with a Europatina
that says: re-gift.
Rae Spoon – Superior You Are Inferior (self released) :: A woman singing self-penned
songs like “My Heart Is A Piece Of Garbage. Fight Seagulls! Fight!” and “Come On Forest Fire Burn The Disco
Down”? Crazy, man, crazy. Roll over Leonard Cohen and tell Lewis Furey the news.
The Moody Blues
– Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 (Eagle) :: Prog schlock.
SNIVELING PLATTER OF THE WEEK:
Rhino Bucket – The Hardest Town (Acetate) :: Gee, you’d think that these callow mugs would be
grievously ashamed of slavishly aping AC/DC so blatantly, right? Well, you’d be wrong. Dead wrong. I guess the name
“Vomit Bucket” was already taken, huh?
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Carlos del Junco – Steady
Movin’ (Northern Blues) :: The greatest harmonica player in the world is back with another album that only serves
to further cement his already stellar reputation—and if you think what he does in the studio is jaw-dropping, then you
just gotta see him live to get the full gist of his uncanny ability. Bonus points for writing a clever Canucklehead harp tribute
to the GFOS called “Mashed Potatoes Canada” that loiters with intent on the corner of Good God Boulevard and Hit
Be seeing you!
Saturday, July 29, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #585
Sat, July 29, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #585.218!
The Black Crowes – Warpaint Live (Eagle Rock) :: I’d never
heard these guys before but after listening to this one, I’m in no hurry to hear them caw again. The first track, “Goodbye
Daughters Of The Revolution,” is a great Exile On Main St. meets the Allman Brothers pastiche, but that’s
exactly why I ended up nodding off halfway through. Whereas Exile served up a surfeit of creative variety, this brash
rehash is nothing but a monotonous one-trick phony that takes fawning sycophantic fanboyism and then shamefully runs it into
the ground—and the fact that they actually stoop to cover “Torn And Frayed” only proves my point. It also
makes me want to play Exile again and forget about this fraud on the run.
Zac Harmon –
From The Root (Northern Blues) :: Avid octogenarian eaters like myself will be able to relate to a smooth snatch-suckin’
song like “The Older Woman” because it’s mmm-mmm, finger-licking good. And although Zac will no doubt declare
that his song ain’t about gettin’ down and rootin’ around in the underground, he’d be wrong because
the cumstomer is always right!
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Gary Lewis & The Playboys – The Complete
Liberty Singles (Collectors’ Choice) :: How cool is Gary Lewis? He’s the son of Jerry Lewis. He looks like
Supercar’s Mike Mercury. An unreasonable chunk of the songs that he cut were co-written with producer Snuff
Garrett and arranger Leon “Holy Trinity” Russell. He recorded a Kellogg’s Corn Flakes song called
“Doin’ The Flake” that out-milks the Rolling Stones’ Kellogg’s Rice Krispies song,
“Wake Up In The Morning.” But coolest of all is the uncanny spot-on impersonation that Gary does of his dad when
he savages the grisly ballad “Time Stands Still” by singing it in a nasally spastic-retardo voice that out-Jers
Jer. Two discs? Forty-five tracks? All in mono? La la la, nice record!
Jerry Lewis – Jerry Lewis
Just Sings (Decca) :: He’s no Gary Lewis, but who is?
Be seeing you!
Saturday, July 22, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #584
Sat, July 22, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #584.217!
Dennis O’Neil & Curt Swan – DC Comics Classic
Library: Superman — Kryptonite Nevermore (DC Comics) :: In 1971, definitive Supes artist Swan and definitive
Green Lantern writer O’Neil teamed up to clean up a cluttered iconography by finally putting the kibosh on
a multicolored crutch called Kryptonite. It’s an exciting read that features Clark Kent during his TV reporter phase—a
gig he definitely didn’t dig, which only goes to show that even Superman once had a day job that really sucked.
– Calling Out (Weewerk) :: If Trent Reznor has formed the Velvet Underground, their first unbalanced album
would’ve sounded just like this.
Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Jack Davis, Al Jaffee, and Arnold
Roth – Humbug (Fantagraphics Books) :: After they definitively defined satire for Bill Gaines’
MAD but before they refined it for Hugh Hefner’s Little Annie Fanny, unparallel parodists Kurtzman and Elder
ran rampant for themselves when they published these 11 exceptional issues of comic art anarchy. This two-volume hardcover
box set has been reproduced from the original art and digitally restored to make everything look even better than when it
first came out in 1957. This long-overdue definitive edition of Humbug is an essential slice of satire from the masters
of the genre.
Mother Mother – O My (Last Gang) :: And if Lou Reed had formed Blondie, their first
unbalanced album would’ve sounded just like this.
Ross Andru and Mike Esposito
– Get Lost! (Hermes Press) :: Andru and Esposito were no Kurtzman and Elder, but they sure gave it their best
shot with this short-lived comic book from 1953 that provided some direct competition to MAD—so direct, in fact, that
Bill Gaines tried to sue them out of existence. He lost, but by that time the damage had been done. Now see for yourself what
got Gaines’ goat in this gorgeously restored paperback that collects all three issues.
SATIRICAL PLATTER OF
THE WEEK: Stan Freeberg – “St. George And The Dragonet” (Capitol) :: Three million copies
sold in three weeks in 1953? Hoo-hah, that’s one sizzling single!
Be seeing you!
Saturday, July 15, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #583
Sat, July 15, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #583.216!
Little Stevie Wonder – Tribute To Sister Ray (Blowtown) :: I wish...
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Isaac Hayes – Juicy Fruit (Disco Freak) (Hot Buttered Stax) :: Hello there, children!
After the well-deserved reaming that I gave the mis-mastered Black Moses last week, I’m pleased to give this
guilty pleasure from 1976 a resounding rave reissue review.
Did I say guilty pleasure? Well, maybe it’s eternally embarrassing
for you to admit but say it loud: I’m a disco freak and I’m proud! My favorite Bowie song? “John, I’m
Only Dancing (Again)”! Roxy Music? “Dance Away”! Rolling Stones? “Miss You”! KISS? “I
Was Made For Loving You”! Lou Reed? “Disco Mystic”! That’s right, while you were sucking in the ’70s
to the plodding puds of Boston and Buffett, I was snortin’ up the sexy sounds of Donna Summer, Pattie Brooks, Gloria
Gaynor, Andrea True, and Amanda Lear.
Now when it came to canvassing the brother contingency, there’s no denying that James Brown hit
the apex of audaciousness when he asked: “Stevie Wonder, do you see those cakes? Brother Ray Charles, I know you see
those cakes!” on his booty call anthem, “For Goodness Sakes, Look At Those Cakes.” But guess who first laid
the groundwork for such “cheekiness” years earlier with this ribald title track rap?
HAYES: Say, Miss, my partner wanna
know somethin’ here. He said that you had the mumps when you were a kid and both your jaw swoll up and they went down
in your chest. Is that true?
MISS: Naw...them wasn’t mumps, them was lumps.
HAYES: Well, I guess you’re tryin’ to tell
me them watermelons in your back pockets too.
MISS: Yeah...y’wanna squeeze?
HAYES: Man, she’s a juicy fruit.
MISS: Yeah ... anybody
wanna stick o’this?
HAYES: Juicy fruit? She got fruits all over!
Supplemented by such smooth sonic seducers as “Music To Make Love By”
and “Lady Of The Night,” this is an ace album of aural arousers that’ll have you pulling out your hatchet
to cut that head until the juices run out!
Be seeing you!
Saturday, July 8, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #582
Sat, July 8, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #582.215!
Little Stevie Wonder – The 12 Year Old Genius (Tamla) :: Talent
is an asset...
FIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Isaac Hayes – Black Moses (Stax) :: The good news is
that they diligently duplicated the original multi-flap album cover that unfolds into a cross showing Hayes in all his unchained
glory. The bad news is that they also carelessly copied the double album’s original vinyl configuration, which backed
Side 1 with Side 4 and Side 2 with Side 3 so that both platters could be stacked on top of each other and played on a turntable
in drop-automatic sequence. That’s right, this negligent new reissue takes Sides 1, 4, 2, 3 and sloppily slaps them
on the compact disc in that incorrect order—which means you’re not hearing Black Moses in its original
sequence as Hayes intended you to hear it back in 1971.
Little Stevie Wonder – Tribute To
Uncle Ray (Tamla) :: ...and Little Stevie has it.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Ray Charles –
Genius: The Ultimate Collection (Concord) :: Anyone who read the very first record review that I wrote in the inaugural
edition of this column—you could look it up and I suggest that you do—might think that I don’t like Ray
Charles. What I don’t like is record companies that ascribe marketing musical MENSA awards on dead musicians who aren’t
around anymore to humbly debunk them. And if Charles did come up with that ego-aggrandizing Genius Loves Company title himself,
then he obviously needed to give his head a few more shakes before he hit the road to Heaven. I mean, if Ray Charles is a
genius, then what does that make Stevie Wonder? As the great German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once said: “Talent
hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.” Which makes this one hell of a talented
Stevie Wonder – Music Of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness’ First
Finale, Songs In The Key Of Life (Tamla/Motown) :: Genius.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, July 1, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #581
Sat, July 1, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #581.214!
Sum 41 – All the Good Sh**: 14 Solid Gold Hits 2000-2008 (Aquarius)
:: I’ll say what these smug dealers are too pussy to spell out on their album cover because they’re afraid of
losing valuable Wal-Mart sales: This juvenile generic angst rock is shit.
Johnny Winter And… –
Live (Columbia) :: I tossed this one on the old Victrola and 30 seconds into the first paint-peeling track, “Good
Morning Little School Girl,” the graft-takers at Toronto’s City Hall had passed a noise ordinance banning me from
ever playing this album again. Can’t say I blame ’em.
Doug Cox & Salil Bhatt
– Slide To Freedom 2 (Northern Blues) :: A passel of peacenik paeans primarily played to power your interplanetary
pud into place!
Synthetic Elements – Trashed Out Paradise (Filthy Beast) :: Anyone expecting a Moogster
mash because of the band name will be surprised to find an ambitious pop-rock offering which has some early Alice aural theater
lurking in the background. Next time, they should let their inner Coop out.
SIZZLING PLATTERS OF THE WEEK:
Jeff Jarrett – King Of The Mountain (TNA Home Video) :: I hate monopolies, especially big bloated
ones that ruthlessly swallow up the competition and then callously humiliate former employees by publicly blacklisting them
from work on live television. So when professional wrestler Jeff Jarrett put his money when his mat is and bucked the odds
by successfully forming his own competitive brand of Total Nonstop Action fifteen years ago, he ended up getting the best
revenge. Now comes this whopping 12-hour, four-disc set which, unlike previous wrestling compilations, alternates every match
with a lengthy in-depth interview segment that tells the entire story of Double J’s guitar slingin’ career from
his early years of toil and turmoil in the regional promotions to now. Augmented by a wealth of rare archival footage, this
veritable half-day history of the wrestling profession is essential viewing for anyone who’s a champion of free enterprise—especially
since JJ’s back ruling the roost at Impact Wrestling—which is why King Of The Mountain is the retro-wrestling
DVD of the week.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, June 24, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #580
Sat, June 24, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #580.213!
Mark Olson & Gary Louris – Ready For The Flood
(HackTone) :: I know you won’t believe it, but this sounds just like McCartney & Lennon when they did their acoustic
Everly Brothers bit during Let It Be—and that’s definitely saying something, so believe it.
– Auk/Blood (Jericho Beach) :: I’ve heard a few throat-singing albums in my time, but never one that
reminded me of Nico’s Janitor Of Lunacy until now. That is, if Nico had played her larynx instead of her harmonium.
Through – The Complete Truth (Trustkill) :: This one sounds like Paul Stanley fronting a double-time
thrash-screamo band. At least it does during the melodic singing parts. Of which there aren’t many.
Sweet – Sunshine Lies (Shout! Factory) :: “Matthew Returns With a Power-Pop Stunner!”
raves the cover sticker, which ain’t a bad call. And although I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a “kaleidoscopic
masterwork,” like the additional small print does, I’d certainly recommend it solely on the vintage anarcho-punk
Donovan Rundgren vibe.
Mardeen – Read Less Minds (Collagen Rock) :: Proto-atypical teenage
angst-rock that, inexplicably, has a late ’70s early ’80s jingle jangle post-punk patina. Maybe this is what Lodger
shoulda sounded like. Maybe not.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Cameron Latimer – Fallen Apart
(Black Hen) :: This may be a first: An album that just doesn’t just includes a lyric sheet, but a lyric sheet that’s
notated with all the necessary chords needed to turn it into sheet music. And although it’s usually at this point in
the proceedings that I’d lambaste this record raw for not being nearly as smart as that bright idea, this is one country
album that’s actually even smarter—right down to the looping title track which, incongruously, sounds just like
a high quality outtake from Paul and Linda’s Ram.
Paul McCartney - “Ram
On” (Capitol) :: Paul. Ram on. Paul Ramone. Geddit?
Be seeing you!
Saturday, June 17, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #579
Sat, June 17, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #579.212!
Mark Burnett & Sonny Barger – Survivor: Altamont
(FOX) :: You can’t say “48th Anniversary” any better!
Alan Davey – Captured
Rotation :: (MVD Audio/Hawkwind) :: Hawkwind meets power pop on this catchy pop rock meisterwack.
– The Hawkwind Remixes (MVD Audio/Voiceprint) :: One good head deserves another and, boy oh boy howdy, do they
ever find each other in spades on this celestial compendium that time travels from 1993 to 2002 and back again in a cool Cosmic
Supermarket kinda way.
Magic Mushroom Band – Feed Your Head: Live ’89 (MVD Audio/Voiceprint)
:: The album title is a fully great dead giveaway that if Grace Slick and Donovan were singing together in the TransLove Airplane,
then this would be their Bless Its Pointed Little Head. So turn off your mind, relax, and bloat downstream as the
MMB cover everything from Zappa and Harrison to Ayers and Hendrix in one long luxuriously languid trip.
– Live In La La Land (MVD Audio/Opio/Voiceprint) :: Devoid of the usual surrounding prog rock bombast, this
minimal direct-to-DAT double live album of the Yes man’s recent guitar-and-piano-only one-man solo show, at the Roxy
in Los Angeles, is an excellent showcase for his distinctive voice which, eerily enough, still sounds exactly like it did
way back in the early ’70s—soaring high notes and all. I guess Anderson must have a painting of his larynx hanging
in an attic somewhere.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Fish – Communion: Live At St. Mary’s
Church Haddington, East Lothian, August 27th, 2006 (MVD Audio/Chocolate Frog) :: Just like those who perpetuate the Gabriel-Collins
Genesis debate, there will always be those who will forever be of the opinion that Fish was Marillion, and those others who
feel that any post-Fish incarnation of Marillion is equally legitimate. I happen to think that both camps are right, which
means I have ample enough room in my ears for this two-fer that’s easily as excellent as anything Gabriel did during
his first three solo albums.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, June 10, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #578
Sat, June 10, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #578.211!
Styrofoam – A Thousand Words (Nettwerk) :: Just what you always
wanted: a lightweight bloopy blorp Casio-pop album with a perpetual half-life that’ll never decompose.
Slash – Decomposing (Cut-Throat vinyl) :: A two-sided series (78) of electro-ambient instrumentals
(45) which can be played at any (33) turntable speed (16).
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK – FELONY COUNT ONE:
A Thousand Knives Of Fire – The Last Train to Scornsville (Small Stone) :: Ah gots tuh be honest with
yuh: I ain’t never heerd no Small Stone record that I didn’t like ’cause this here Deetroit label don’t
put nuthin’ out but elpee after elpee of nonstop, purebred, fuzz-infested, primo heavy, thudaholic, crungefyin’,
pudknockin’, hog-straddlin’, pool cue-wieldin’, booze-belchin’, weed-snortin’, speed-freakin’,
hard-humpin’, babe-ballin’ music. In other words: Small Stone is the greatest rock ’n’ roll record
company in America and this album is on Small Stone so you just know that it’s got the gooshin’ gonad goods splattered
all over it. Bonus points for dividing their album into two sides. Extra points awarded for having a feelthy title track that
makes bands like Blue Cheer and Kyuss sound like Simon & Gofunkle yo’self.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE
WEEK – FELONY COUNT TWO: Gideon Smith & The Dixie Damned – South Side Of The Moon (Small
Stone) :: It’s obviously a given that I like this record, but lemme tell ya why the gol-durned South done gone ’n’
rise again. Y’see, unlike the above-noted disc of the long Knives with its sludge-slammin’ sound, these Dixie
rebs play faster ’n’ cleaner behind a growl-gnarlin’ voice that sounds as if it wuz freshly dug up from
some Civil War battlefield. Points deducted for having the bad sense to play too many heavy love ballads (ref: “Daughter
Of The Moon”) ’cause heavy love ballads, no matter how heavy, are still ballads—and ah hates ballads. Points
reinstated with for having the good senses to follow up the heavy love ballads with tracks like the butane-blisterin’
behind-squirtin’ “Black Cat Road.” Oh, yassss!
Be seeing you!