Saturday, April 21, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #622
Sat, April 21, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #622.262!
Oh Susanna – Soon The Birds (Outside Music) :: Ain’t nothin’
I like to do more on a gloomy day than listen to a large-lunged songstress with the ethereal voice of an angel casually croon
lines like: “Black is the color of your dark, dark soul” and “They’ve come much too late for by rope
I am hanged” and “Your wretched face you cannot scour” and... Hold on, I think the pilot light on my gas
oven is out; lemme go light a match and look.
Diamanda Galás –
“Wild Women With Steak-Knives: The Homicidal Love Song For Solo Scream” (Mute) :: Exactly!
Trouble – Anchor Tattoo (Aisling) :: It’s not often I hear an album that’s an authentic
joy to listen to, but I’ll be gosh darned if this isn’t one of them. Not only is the uplifting music refreshingly
bright and poppy, but Jen Slocumb’s distinctively charming vocals shine through with a bright light of their own that
perfectly compliments the proceedings. Best of all, the insightfully inspiring lyrics won’t let you down when you require
a much-needed lift.
True Widow – As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumference Of
The Hearth (Kemado) :: As if getting the “Longest Album Title Of The Year” award wasn’t enough, True
Widow have managed to build on that impressive accolade by creating the most disconcerting disc of the year to date. The ponderous
melancholy music is a heavier than heavy dirty destorto cross between Leigh Stephen’s Blue Cheer and Jimmy Page’s
Led Zeppelin—impressive, I know—while the echoey female vocals sound like Nico auditioning for Portishead and
the echoey male vocals sound like Lou Reed auditioning for Nirvana—addictive, I know. And when they both duet...
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Gangpol & Mit – The 1000 Softcore Tourist People Club (Ipecac) :: I’ve
got a good mind to join this club and beat myself over the head with it because this is nothing less than the craziest retroactive
synthesizer album you’re likely to hear this year. You’ll turn on to its classic primitive Telex pedigree!
You’ll tune in to its even cooler Casio meets ARP aesthetic! You’ll drop out to its Tull meets
Crimson prog rock passages! Then you’ll awaken to its eerie Walter Carlos lounge lizard Theremin vibe and anxiously
ask yourself that timeless musical question: Well, how did I get here?
Timothy Leary –
You Can Be Anyone This Time Around (Douglas) :: I bet you wish you’d recorded an acid rap album with
Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, Steven Stills, and John Sebastian!
Mark Farner – Grand Funk: Live Album
(Capitol) :: “Hey, I keep getting shocks off this mic, can you switch the ground around? I know it’s a hell of
a rush but I can’t take too many!”
Be seeing you!
Friday, April 20, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS ROCK íNí ROLL PHOTOGRAPHS
Fri, April 20, 2018 | link
JEFFREY MORGAN’S ROCK ’N’ ROLL PHOTOGRAPHS
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, April 14, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #621
Sat, April 14, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #621.261!
Pushking – The World As We Love It: A Rock And Roll Journey (Armoury)
:: Y’know, I gotta be honest with ya when I tell ya that at first listen I didn’t have the faintest idea what
this was supposed to be until heard between the lines and subsequently sussed out that these here Pushkings are a long-time
Russkie rock band who decided to celebrate their comrade accomplishments by getting a buncha bona fide rock stars to help
them re-record their songs—which wouldn’t be no big deal except for the fact that they actually did manage
to recruit an all-star roster that includes the likes of Alice Cooper, Paul Stanley, Billy Gibbons, Glenn Hughes, Steve Vai,
Steve Stevens, and Dan McCafferty, amongst others. The end result sounds like nothing less than some kinda inadvertent over-wrought
progressive rock album the likes of which puts lesser wheezes to shame.
Zodiac Mindwarp And The Love Reaction
– Tattooed Beat Messiah (Mercury) :: These days he’s probably known only for co-writing Alice Cooper’s
“Feed My Frankenstein” on Alice Cooper’s 1991 album Hey Stoopid, but this long player from three
years earlier shows you in part why Zodiac Mindwarp got that gig. Imagine if you will—if you can—a seriously
unhinged hybrid between the booze-bathed shamanism of Jim Morrison; the hook-laden pop of Marc Bolan; the sex-obsessed lyrics
of Ted Nugent; the guitar-powered rock of Van Halen; plus the sleaze-sodden style of Lemmy Kilmister, and you might
have an idea of what Tattooed Beat Messiah sounds like. If not, then perhaps song titles like “Skull Spark
Joker” and “Spasm Gang” and “Holy Gasoline” will do the trick ’cause Zodiac makes Zombie
sound like Zsa Zsa.
Stratovarius – Elysium (Armoury) :: Hey, you can trust me when I tell you that nothing
says prog rock better this year than the eighteen minute title track that concludes this aurally adventurous album from Finland.
From archetypal soaring vocals to prototypical dexterous guitars and synths, this one’s got pretty much everything that
you’d want to hear, y’hear?
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Obscura – Omnivium
(Relapse) :: This album is your absolute worst nightmare come true—and I mean that in nicest possible way. The ominous
Giger’s Alien meets Lovecraft’s Cthulhu front cover and attached booklet just reek of high production values,
from the multiple foldouts to the enameled spot printing on every page. In fact, it’s such a much welcomed dose of visual
relief in this day and age of aesthetic bankruptcy that artist and designer Orion Landau deserves to win a slew of awards
for his work, which looks like nothing less than Roger Dean on a very bad trip. As for the music, it’s a technically
adept blend of growling progressive death metal speed thrash that takes the Metallica template best exemplified on Master
Of Puppets and then exponentially ups the ante by injecting itself into a radically hyper-proficient realm that’s
actually sonically intimidating.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, April 7, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #620
Sat, April 7, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #620.260!
David Lynch – Twin Peaks: The Definitive Gold Box Edition (CBS)
:: Achievement is its own reward; pride obscures it.
Tony Castles – No Service (Famous Class) ::
Like Jethro Tull and Englebert Humperdinck before them, this Tony Castles ain’t just the name of a real guy, it’s
also the name of an honest to Abe band—and on this five tracker they wax dreamy ethereal tunes that’ll go down
good whilst watching dreamy ethereal Lynchian creations backwards on mute.
Angelo Badalamenti – Soundtrack
From Twin Peaks (Warner Bros.) :: Exactly!
A Skylit Drive – Identity On Fire (Fearless)
:: What promisingly starts out like Pete Townshend playing piano for Queen rapidly dissolves into the usual generic tattooed
teen angst anthems, replete with the customary constipated vocals. Hey kids! More harmony vocals! Less growling! More synthesizers!
Less double time drum beats! Do that and you’ll really have a unique identity that’ll ignite on fire!
– Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Warner Bros.) :: Exactly!
Darlings – Warma
(Famous Class) :: An extended player with five pop paeans so powerfully primitive they make Lou Reed’s Velvet Underground
sound like Arturo Toscanini’s NBC Symphony Orchestra—and the fact that they have a guitar player who looks like
Jimmy Page circa ’77 don’t hurt none neither.
David Lynch – Industrial Symphony
No. 1: The Dream Of The Broken Hearted (Warner Home Video) :: Initially available for twenty years only on VHS, this
short 1990 sequel of sorts to Wild At Heart features Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, and The Man From Another
Place. So why it was summarily drilled and dumped into the 99 cent delete bin mere minutes after it was released I’ll
Go Radio – Lucky Street (Fearless) :: Tramps like these, baby
they were born to record pseudo-Springsteeninsh power popsicles primed to make all the mung dudes pump their puds with hyper-hormonal
haste while all the stung dudettes cream their jeans with pre-pubescent passion.
Julee Cruise – Floating
Into The Night (Warner Bros.) :: Lynch’s languid production produces an eerie ethereal aural apogee of dream pop
where emotions melt and synapses soften.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Norma Jean – Meridional
(Razor & Tie) :: With songs like “Kill More Presidents” and “Deathbed Atheist” you’d be
hard-pressed to guess—even after reading the lyrics which are printed in such teensy tiny type that only an angel dancing
on the head of a pin could read them—that these guys are a Christian metal band but, strangely believe it, it sho ’nuff
seems that they are. Not that it matters a whit, given that this is some of the best metal I’ve met since Pantera gave
up the ghost.
Kyle MacLachlan – Diane... The Twin Peaks Tapes Of Agent Cooper (Simon & Schuster
Audio) :: Available only on cassette and nominated for a best spoken-word performance Grammy Award in 1990? Even the Lynchpin
himself couldn’t dream up something as wonky as that.
Owl’ll be seeing you!
Saturday, March 31, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #619
Sat, March 31, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #619.308!
Bruce Springstone – Greetings From Bedrock Park (Hanna-Barbera)
:: Includes the hit single “Quarry Days.” Rest in peace, Bill.
Jethro Tull – Draculung
(Chrysalis) :: They all laughed when Ian Anderson announced that he was going to write a progressive art rock opera about
a rummy child molesting vampire. Well, they’re not laughing now.
Blue Öyster Cheer – Agents
Of Eruptum (Phillips) :: I wish!
The Who – Who’s On First (Track) :: They
all laughed when Pete Townshend announced that he was going to write a rock opera about Abbott and Costello. Well, they’re
not laughing now.
Aerostones – It’s Only Rock In A Hard Place (Toxic Glimmer) :: They all laughed
when rock’s big-lippers finally united. Well, they’re not laughing now. Includes the hit single “Dude (Looked
Like Lady Jane’s Got A Gun).”
Don Kirshner Presents – The Byrds, The Beatles &
The Monkees (Colgems) :: They all laughed when Mr. Rock Concert reunited three of the world’s greatest bands. Well,
they’re not laughing now.
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin XI: Live At Carnegie Hall
(Atlantic) :: They all laughed when Bun E. Carlos replaced John Bonham on this box set. Well, they’re not laughing now.
– Manzarek, Densmore, Krieger & Jones Ltd. (Camden) :: They all laughed when Davy Jones was hired to replace
Jim Morrison. Well, they’re not laughing now. Includes the hit single “The Doors Into Summer.”
& Brian Eno – My Life In The Bush Of Your Wife (Sire) :: They all laughed when these aging
art fops decided to record music for adulterers. Well, they’re not laughing now.
Black Oak Sabbath
– Paranoid Mutha (Atco) :: I wish!
Styx & Stones – Break My Bones (Plaster
Caster) :: They all laughed when Dennis DeYoung and Mick Jagger waxed some tracks together. Well, they’re not laughing
Jam – 4 Way Stop (Motown) :: They all laughed when Ric Ocasek, Steve Winwood, and Paul Weller created
a new supergroup. Well, they’re not laughing now.
The Clash – Sandradeesta! (Rocket)
:: They all laughed when Elton John re-formed The Only Band That Matters. Well, they’re not laughing now.
& Hugh Cornwell – Boston Stranglers (Death Row) :: They’re definitely not laughing
– “Don’t Fall Out Of The Apple Tree” (Fiji Gin) :: It only hurts when he laughs.
Dylan – Fang On Fang (Columbia) :: I wish!
Ted Nugent – The Ted Offensive:
Triple Live Gonzo In Afghanistan (Armed Forces Radio Network) :: You were waiting for that, weren’t you?
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Nirvana – Arrivederci! (Swan Song) :: Recorded in Rome, this final vinyl features
cover versions of: “So Long It’s Been Good To Know Ya,” “Suicide Solution,” “Auf Wiedersehen,”
“Don’t Try Suicide,” “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag,” “Rock ’n’
Roll Suicide,” and “Lay Down And Die, Goodbye.” Includes the hit single “Dead Man’s Kurt.”
Boulders – Get Yer Yabba Yabbas Out! (Hanna-Barbera) :: Includes the hit single “No Excavations.”
Rest in peace, Joe.
Be fooling you!
Saturday, March 24, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #618
Sat, March 24, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #618.259!
Eisley – The Valley (Equal Vision) :: Wherein this uncanny valley
dares to ask the following musical questions: 1. What if Kurt Cobain had written for The Beatles instead of John Lennon and
Paul McCartney; 2. What if three women sang those songs instead of John, Paul, and George; and 3. What if Prince had produced
them instead of George Martin? The answer is: 4. It’s about as good as you’d like to think that it is.
– Who’s Got Mine? (MVD Audio) :: What can you say about four recidivist reprobates
who have managed to stay sober long enough to spew out a suitably snotty sonic hellspew of a hard rock album that sounds like
an alternate universe booze-based tribute to the bile and tribulations of Bon Scott? You *hic* shed it!
– “Whiskey Man” (Decca) :: Exactly!
Pete Townshend – “However Much
I Booze” (MCA) :: Exactly!
Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys – The Tiffany Transcriptions
(Collectors’ Choice) :: Although he’s not nearly as accomplished a songwriter by any stretch of the imagination,
popular radio and silver screen bandleader Bob Wills was nevertheless, in his own unique way, the Duke Ellington of country
music: a man who managed to transcend and transform the limitations of his genre to become the King Of Western Swing—and
the timeless tunes heard herein cover the apex of his accomplishments during 1946 and 1947. That’s why this exciting
ten disc box set is a rip-roarin’ rotatin’ roundup that only a city slickin’ tenderfoot dude would dare
dismiss. However, just the very fact that these tracks were recorded some 65 years ago begs yet another musical question:
Who gives a flying hoot about Bob Wills today?
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Hot Club Of Cowtown – What Makes Bob Holler: A Tribute
To Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys (Proper) :: They’ve been around for many a moon, but this is the first time
that the Hot Clubbin’ trio of Elana James, Whit Smith, and Jake Erwin have documented their affection for the King Of
Western Swing in such an overt manner—and it’s an accolade that’s well worth the wait because each one of
these fourteen tracks will transport you back to the much simpler days when all manner of swing was king and country swing
in particular ruled the roost.
Even better, I’m pleased to report that almost half of the album is dedicated to covering a number
of classic Willis original compositions that span Bob’s entire career from 1935’s “Maiden’s Prayer”
to 1950’s “Faded Love.” There are also a few song selection surprises along the way, most notably the inclusion
of the Hot Club’s toe tappin’ take on Bob’s very first Vocalion single “Osage Stomp.”
Now if all that doesn’t make you
want to toss your ten gallon hat high up in the air and holler a rip-snortin’ “Aw-haw!” then I plumb reckon
that I don’t rightly know what will.
Saturday, March 17, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #617
Sat, March 17, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #617.258!
Various Artists – Sin-atra (Armoury) :: Not since fellow inmates
Charles Manson and Phil Spector went into Corcoran State Prison’s recording studio to record Evilis: A Burning Tribute
To The King has there been such a cloven collection of cover versions! These twelve over the top metal permutations of
every Old Screw Eyes classic ranging from “New York, New York” to “Strangers In The Night” are warbled
by twelve over the top metal performers ranging from Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider (“It Was A Very Good Year”)
to Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander (“Fly Me To The Moon”). Take it from me, pallie: this is one platter that’s
sizzling whether you like it or not!
David Lee Roth – “That’s Life”
(Warner Bros.) :: Meanwhile, back in 1986, Diamond Dave was paving the way with this Sinatra single that hit number 85 on
the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Warm Ghost – Uncut Diamond (Partisan) :: I don’t know which
is the more amazing achievement: that this six track EP dares to merge the synth suaveness of Gary Numan via the mordant melodies
of Trent Reznor and the arch artiness of David Sylvain via the doomed romanticism of Bryan Ferry—or that it all somehow
actually manages to work.
The Jeff Healey Band – Get Me Some (Eagle Records) :: Sure this
one’s over a decade old now but, strangely believe it, it’s still fresh enough to sound like it was recorded five
minutes from now. Prepare to get deliriously giddy with delight as you listen to how Healy effortlessly switches gears from
rock to blues to ballads with equal authoritative aplomb.
Marillion – Live From Cadogan Hall
(Eagle Records) :: If you’re one of those snooty prog rock adherents who always felt that Marillion died when Fish left,
then it’s time to undrape the crêpe and embrace the saving grace that this double disc offers. With a sound quality
that’s past pristine and a song selection that’s practically pluperfect in every way, there’s no reason
why you should wait any longer at the window for your favorite former singer to reappear so douse that candle before you torch
the curtains, kid.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Krissi Moses – Freak! (self released) :: She coos...just
like a woman, yes she does. She chirps...just like a woman, yes she does. And she cajoles...just like a woman. But she breaks
your balustrade into a puddle of oozing mush like a little girl with a sledgehammer in her vengeful mitts because this titanic
tart isn’t a super freak by any stretch of your feeble imagination: she’s a super ultra mega freak who
reeks with enough pouty ’n’ perky vocal punk attitude to slaw your drooling slack-jawed visage a permanent skin
peel while her band cranks out enough primo power pop to make you wanna grab her by the hand; track down a preacher man; and
change her name so that you can be her next willing victim.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, March 10, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #616
Sat, March 10, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #616.257!
Third Place – Welcome To Lifeland (self released) :: Third place
is second loser and this generic wad of angst rock doesn’t do anything to change that. Welcome To Lifeless
is more like it.
Mick Jagger & The Red Devils – Unreleased Blues Album (embargoed)
:: Now lemme see if I got this straight: the guy spends the last quarter of a century hacking out lame Stones albums that
should’ve been put to sleep before they ever saw the light of day and he keeps this superlative solo session
from 1992 sitting on the shelf? Look, I’m all for selfless devotion to craft, but this is the most sincere music Jagger’s
made since Exile so do a search and download it now before you write the guy off entirely—assuming
you haven’t already done so.
The Rolling Stones – “Claudine” (embargoed)
:: And if you have, you’d better likewise listen to this 1980 outtake from Emotional Rescue which
is nothing less than the greatest track that the Rolling Stones weren’t allowed to release. Not only do the withering
lyrics about actress Claudine Longet and her involvement in the 1976 shooting death of her boyfriend, skier Vladimir “Spider”
Sabich, go beyond black humor into an ultraviolet—and ultra-violent—vein, they redeem all of the singer’s
dodgy musical indiscretions for the past fifty years, they’re that good: “She shot him once right through the
head. She shot him twice right through the chest. The judges ruled it was an accident, Claudine. Accidents will happen!”
Bonus points for having the drummer accentuate each “gunshot” with a rimshot.
Peter Green Splinter
Group – Time Traders (Eagle Records) :: Ably augmented by harp ’n’ horn, this tasty 2001
album from Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green harkens back to the glory days of classic blues rock when gents like John Mayall
and Eric Clapton used to rule the royal roost—which more than makes sense given Green’s own Slowhand-supplanting
stint in the Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. And because it’s still grievously unfortunate that Green’s
untimely departure split up Splinter in 2004, maybe it’s about time that you revisited this overlooked gem and mourned
along with the rest of us.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The River Junction Band – Limited Edition
EP (self released) :: One of the things that I love best about attending Canadian Music Week each year is all the stray
records that struggling musicians leave lying around for someone like me to pick up—which I do. This five track slice
of hot toe-tappin’ country honk one starts off a mite too slow for my liking but then the band wisely floors it to exceed
the speed limit, which is where they always oughtta cruise ’cause that’s where they do their best gitbox pickin’
and violin pluckin’. Bonus points for having a dynamite he ’n’ she dual duet combo and inspirational lyrics
like: “Born country, it ain’t hard to tell: my Mama was a Christian and my Papa was Hell.”
Be seeing you!
Saturday, February 24, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #615
Sat, February 24, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #615.255!
Alessandra Comini – Egon Schiele’s Portraits (University
Of California Press) :: Back in the ’70s, legendary British mime David Bowie was tagged in various rock rags to play
early 20th century Austrian painter Schiele in a movie called The Wally that never materialized save for a photo
of Bowie looking suitably wan with a book about Schiele casually strewn at his feet; but not this massive 500 page hardcover
which would’ve been a tad too heavy for such a scrawny snow-snorter to heft.
It’s too bad that the flick never
got filmed because Schiele’s seriously skewed life was just as deeply disturbing as his seriously skewed illustrations
were—which is why I spent many a sleepless night kicking the gong around and wondering what the result would look like
if some visionary with a brimming brainpan dared to use Schiele’s herky-jerky artwork as a twisted template to create
an iconoclastic landmark animated series.
Peter Chung – Æon Flux: The Complete Animated
Collection (Paramount) :: It’s been twenty long years since Peter Chung first transmogrified Egon’s
art into Æon’s artifice and yet, as this definitive three disc set shows, the end results have never been more
eerily ahead of their time than they are now—no mean feat in a world gone wacky. If you’ve never been exposed
to Chung’s uncanny covert environment, you can now make up for lost time by immersing yourself for hours in the deep
end of the Æonetic pool where sixteen pretty much non-linear episodes await to indoctrinate you.
If it were easy
to tell you what they’re all about I would, but the best I can do to give you a hint of what awaits you is to quote
that great poet Grace Slick, who once wrote about a time “when logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.”
Except that the crazy world of Peter Chung makes Lewis Carroll’s looking glass landscapes seem like the very picture
of photorealism; or as the phantom voice in Porky In Wackyland warns: “It can happen here!”
And in this Æon paean, it most certainly does.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Drew Neumann
– Eye Spy: Ears Only Confidential (Tone Casualties) :: Not since the great Carl Stalling gave Warner Bros.
cartoons their own unique sonic personality has there been such a perfect melding of sound and vision as that applied to Chung’s
art by Neumann. This two disc instrumental soundtrack to the Æon Flux series is what Bowie’s Low
would’ve sounded like had he teamed up with The Equalizer’s Stuart Copeland instead of Eno; or if id
Software had hired Wendy Carlos to record Quake instead of Trent Reznor. But don’t take my word for
it: mosey over to Drew’s website here where you can buy the enhanced three disc version directly from him and
then decide for yourself.
Carl Stalling – The Carl Stalling
Project: Music From Warner Bros. Cartoons 1936 – 1957 (Warner Bros.) :: Exactly!
Be seeing you!
Saturday, February 17, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #614
Sat, February 17, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #614.255!
George Harrison – “Awaiting On You All” (Apple) ::
Leave it to a white guy from England to rhyme “Jesus” with “visas.”
The Madison Square Gardeners
– Teeth Of Champions (self released) :: From the guitars to the organ, the music is straight outta Dylan’s
Highway 61 Revisited but the vocals are strictly of the Elliott Murphy Aquashow ilk—and that’s
an inspirational combo that’s hard to beat, especially when the songwriting is easily on par with both of those stellar
Ice Cube – “We Had To Tear This Mofo Up” (Priority) :: Leave it to a
black guy from America to rhyme “Jesus” with “Adidas.”
Ringo Starr – “The
End” (Apple) :: Best drum solo ever?
Paul McCartney – “Kreen-Akore”
(Capital) :: Best drum solo ever?
Ron Bushy – “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (Atco)
:: Best drum solo ever?
Peter Criss – “100,000 Years” (Casablanca) :: Best
drum solo ever?
John Bonham – “Moby Dick” (Atlantic) :: Best drum solo ever?
– “Topsy Part Two” (Apex) :: A million-selling, certified gold, number one single from 1958 that’s
just a drum solo? Best drum solo ever!
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: De Staat – Machinery
(Cool Green) :: It ain’t often that an eclectic album scores high marks on the intelligent quotient test and then registers
an even higher rating on the crunge-o-meter, but De Staat’s funk-fuelled Machinery sho ’nuff does both:
first by oozing out a surfeit of creative artistic brain-power-pop (ref. Roxy Music; Devo; Robin Scott’s M); and then
by reeking with an unreasonable overdose of snarky sonic style and amped-up attitude (ref. KMFDM; Prodigy; Living Color).
Where to begin? With the
herky-jerky Morse code guitar-driven chunk rock of “Ah, I See” that sounds like a bouncing buzz saw skewering
a sheet metal trampoline? Or with the James Brown drill sergeant depiction of animal meat by-product processing on “Old
MacDonald Don’t Have No Farm No More” that’ll make you wanna chow down on a tasty Big Kahuna Burger?
What about the pec-pumpin’
beats of “Sweatshop” that’ll have you in sync while you sate your iron addiction? Would I be remiss in missing
the crazy carnival whirligig of “Psycho Disco” that keeps on chooglin’ until the sows come home? It really
doesn’t matter because, from the sporadic synth-stuttering stylistics served up on “Tumbling Down” to the
real cool hand that “Keep Me Home” deals down with its spiritually soulful chain-gang wail, this is one radical
record to be reckoned with!
The Who – Magic Bus: The Who On Tour (Decca) :: Best live album
Be seeing you!
Saturday, February 10, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #613
Sat, February 10, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #613.254!
Bill Cosby – To Russell, My Brother, With Whom I Slept (Warner
Bros.) :: Boy, I guess we’ll never see anyone with enough guts to use a slyly-suggestive title like that these
SIZZLING BOOK OF THE WEEK: Mickey Leigh with Legs McNeil – I Slept With
Joey Ramone (Touchstone) :: Thankfully, this is the complete antithesis to Legs’ earlier oral history of punk Please
Kill Me, which was so direly depressing that even I couldn’t bear to keep it around. But just like the
above-noted Cosby comedy classic, I Slept With Joey Ramone is heartfelt to a fault in the way that it narrates how
brothers relate to each other—in this case Mickey to Joey—with the big difference being that there’s understandably
nothing in Cos’ tale about the wages of Mickey’s monkey; the variances of being an iconic rock star; or the tragic
too-tough-to-die trauma of terminal cancer. But don’t let that stop you from reading one of the most compassionate
rock books ever written because you could do a lot worse and, let’s face it, you probably already have.
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The Rolling Stones – Ladies And Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones (Eagle Vision)
:: It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway: try as it might, this movie, which is the only officially Stones-sanctioned
document of the Stones’ legendary 1972 Tour Of The Americas, doesn’t come even remotely close to capturing
the unearthly Olympic Gods Walking The Earth essence of what it was like to actually be there, in the same room as
them, to bear witness at what was arguably the Stones’ greatest last live stand; the argument being that you can always
find some snooty purist who will eagerly insist that it all went downhill after 1966, never mind ’69.
That said, this isn’t
anywhere near the sad slice of cinema that I initially deemed it to be after I saw it during its initial theatrical run in
1974. Back then, I staggered away with a bad taste in my eyes and the distinct feeling that the whole thing was nothing but
a bunch of self-indulgent, big-lipped, vanity close-ups of the singer. Then again, I did sit through two consecutive
showings of the Beatles’ Let It Be in May 1970 because I didn’t think that I’d gotten my two dollars
and fifty cents worth the first time around, so I’m a tough audience to begin with.
However, I’ve mellowed enough in
my dotage to now see this for what it really is: a well-shot rollicking romp that displays every band member in equal dollops
of drag and has a sonically superior soundtrack that’s probably the best we’re likely to hear in lieu of their
oft-bootlegged Klein-cancelled live album—and if it’s no Stones In Exile, well, what is these
– CS Blues (Embargoed) :: This is!
Be seeing you!
Saturday, February 3, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #612
Sat, February 3, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #612.253!
George Harrison assisted by Bernie Krause – Electronic
Sound (Zapple) :: The last word in noise!
The Aquabats! – Hi-Five Soup! (Fearless) ::
All music’s stupid as a spud, but rare is the record that’s worthy of being tagged stoopid—and
just like Lou Reed’s The Bells, the is one heckuva stoopid album that’s so satirically smart it actually
dares to be D-U-M-B. Some might even go so far as to say that there hasn’t been such a peerless parody platter since
the heyday of “Weird Stan” Freeberg!
Stan Freeberg – St. George And The Dragonet
(Capitol) :: Except that Hi-Fi Stupe! won’t sell a million copies in three weeks like Stan’s seminal
single did back in 1953—and that’s just the facts, Ma’am.
Braids – Braids
(Kanine) :: What if the Phaedra-era Tangerine Dream and the Bedside Companion-era Nash The Slash had pooled
their considerable synth skills to wax a record that featured a chirpy chick’s ethereal vocals? The result would’ve
been this delightful disc that’ll have your ten toes tapping and your seven synapses snapping!
assisted by Crazy Horse – Arc (Reprise) :: The last word in noise!
– Live On The Sunset Strip (Stax) :: If you’re ready for Star Time, then this two disc distillation of
Redding’s four night stint at the Whisky in 1966 is definitely ready for you. What’s that you
say? You’ve heard enough versions of “Respect” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” to
last you a lifetime? Then may I suggest going directly to the second platter to play Otis’ ten minute throwdown
on “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag”? It’ll make you get up offa that thing; dance and you’ll feel
Ben Ottewell – Shapes & Shadows (ATO) :: Ben’s got an original voice and
he uses it to sing well-crafted songs that are about as heartfelt and literate as you’re likely to hear these days.
Toss in some tastefully sparse album cover art direction and you’ve got an entire package that’s well worth perusing—so
mebbe y’oughtta pick up a copy ’n’ settle down to give it a spin. Nine tracks, no waiting.
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges (Constellation) :: On this
astonishing new avant album, sax master Stetson somehow manages to make his instrument evoke everything from the watery mystique
obsequies of Gavin Bryars and the echoic reverb distortion of Unca Lou’s live work with Zeitkratzer to the surreal hypnotic
sequential drones of Terry Riley and Steve Reich as channeled through the altered sonic states of Basil Kirchin—an uncanny
aural achievement made all the more impressive by the fact that Stetson plays everything in one take without any overdubs.
Bonus points for having Laurie Anderson occasionally chime in with arcane words of wisdom and Shara Worden for likewise haunting
the proceedings with her plaintive singing.
Lou Reed assisted by Lou’s speed – Metal Machine
Music (RCA Quadradisc) :: The last word in noise!
Be seeing you!
Saturday, January 27, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #611
Sat, January 27, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #611.252!
Alice Cooper – Lay Down And Die, Goodbye (Straight) :: If lacquering
his liver for years with Budweiser and Canadian Club didn’t kill him, then nothing will. File under: Too Tough
Elton John –
Someone Saved My Life Tonight (MCA) :: If Bernie hadn’t pulled Reg’s head out of that gas oven, we never
would’ve have had the pleasure of hearing him subsequently shill: “Sassoon says so much”! Anyone got a match?
– Got A Match? (Paramount) :: I beg your pardon!
Ozzy Osbourne – Suicide
Solution (Epic) :: If the bat-bite rabies didn’t kill him, then nothing will. File under: Too Tough To
– Fade To Black (Elektra) :: What, they’re still alive? Amateurs!
Sexual Suicide (NPG) :: File under: Freddie Mercury.
Freddie Mercury – Don’t Try
Suicide (Elektra) :: Ironic, innit?
Paul McCartney – Suicide (Capitol) :: You’d
think that writing a song called “Suicide” at age fourteen would portend something dire, but daddy says nothing
doing. File under: Too Tough To Die.
David Lee Roth – Jump (Warner Bros.) :: When he
sings “Go ahead and jump!” what did you think he was talking about? Hopscotch?
– Auf Wiedersehen (Epic) :: Need a push?
Sparks – Here In Heaven (Island)
:: Only Ron Mael could write a song about a suicide pact in which the woman reneges—as sung from the point of view of
the man who, having gone first, said goodbye cruel world: “Now I know why you let me take the lead.”
– Suicide Is Painless (Columbia) :: Number one with a bullet!
Grand Funk Railroad –
Born To Die (Capitol) :: What, they’re still alive? Amateurs!
Woody Guthrie –
So Long, It’s been Good To Know Yuh (Elektra) :: Even Okies get the dust bowl blues.
– Rehearsals For Retirement (A&M) :: Merely the greatest—and, regrettably, most prophetic—album
Trent Reznor – Gave Up (Nothing) :: When the singer describes
his music as being “an ultra fast chunk of death” and then repeatedly wails “I tried, I gave up” you’d
think that he would’ve backed up his brag by now, but no. File under: Too Tough To Die.
Too Tough To Die (Sire) :: Really?
Iggy & The Stooges – Death Trip (Columbia)
:: What, they’re still alive? Amateurs!
PRESCIENT PLATTER OF THE WEEK – SAD ONE: Michael Hutchence
– Suicide Blonde (Mercury) :: Professional.
PRESCIENT PLATTER OF THE WEEK – SAD TWO: Kurt
Cobain – I Hate Myself And I Want To Die (Geffen) :: To a fault.
Dorothy Parker – Résumé (Enough Rope) :: “Razors pain you; rivers are damp. Acids stain you; and drugs cause cramp. Guns aren’t
lawful; nooses give. Gas smells awful; you might as well live.”
Be seeing you!
Saturday, January 20, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #610
Sat, January 20, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #610.251!
The Franco Proietti Morph-Tet – Live! A Weekend At Centre St. Ambroise
(Bongo Beat) :: With saxes a-wailin’ and turntables a-twirlin’ and Moog synths a-bloopin’ and a-blorpin’
these fourteen hipsters casually carve out a bluesy reggaefied swatch of decidedly distant retrophonic monophonic sound that’ll
send you soaring into a groove-approved altitude where the java is always piping hot and the jive is always pluperfectly cool.
Hour Band – Coming Of Clockwise (Scratch) :: The gnarly destorto fuzz bomb beginning behooved me to
believe that this might be some kinda Cobainish revival meeting, but the drawlin’ adenoidal protesting vocal convinced
me that this is nothing less than a hopped up and harped up high octane folkified version of Blue Cheer.
TV – Black And White: Live (Bongo Beat) :: The sound quality may rival the Velvet’s Live
At Max’s Kansas City for sonic sludgery but that only adds to the authentic feel of this career-spanning work which
was recorded all around the world during this century, yet uncannily sounds as fresh as if it was recorded in 1977 during
punk rock’s heyday—and I was around back then so I should know...and I most certainly do.
Luke Mulholland Band – Further (self released) :: Growlin’
blooze rock that occasionally gets elevated out of the ordinary by a gnarly guitarist who hails from the same loopy fretboard
fraternity as Satriani and Beck. But why credit this to your “Band” on the outside when you don’t list a
single musician on the inside?
– Peace Sign (Bongo Beat) :: Backed by sound production so crisp it never needs ironing, Paul expertly essays
the kind of songs that Judas stopped slinging after he revisited Highway 61–and if you don’t believe
me, just listen to the acidly acerbic “Greaseball Town” and try tellin’ me that I’m wrong.
Lee Dewyze –
Slumberland (Wuli) :: The way I see it, this is nothing less than a trippy Donovan Harrison concept album about Winsor
McCay’s Little Nemo In Slumberland. Dewyze’ll deny it of course but, with songs like “Princess”
and “Another Sleep Song,” he really shouldn’t.
Brown & The Prairie Dogs – Do What You Should (Bongo Beat) ::
This is the kinda tub-thumpin’ cawntry hawnk that’d go good from behind a bottle of beer that’s in front
of a chicken wire wall. Careful with that pool cue, Eugene!
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The Savage Nomads – What The Angel Said (Alaska Sounds) :: When Mick Jones says:
“I can’t think of anyone better than the Savage Nomads to rock the whole world” it’s kinda like the
Beatles endorsing Badfinger. But that don’t diminish the endorsement’s impressiveness none because this five track
extended player is one helluva Clash course in everything that I like about loud guitar-driven rock ’n’ roll—especially
when it’s fuelled by a soulful saturation of heartfelt passion like this disc is. Had it been pressed in plastic, it’d
be a magnificent seven.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, January 13, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #609
Sat, January 13, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #609.249!
Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops & Hooligans (Elektra) :: Music whores
a vacuum which is why, now that Michael Jackson’s gone, space has opened up for Bruno to moonwalk into his void with
an album that merges an ace imitation of MJ’s voice with Freddie Mercury’s breathy archness, all sheathed in a
synthesized swirl that’s straight outta the ’80s—and as we all know, nothing says the ’80s
better than Bruno!
Bruce Willis – The Return Of Bruno (Motown) :: That’s right, Motown.
What were you expecting? Stax?
Cybill Shepherd – Moonlighting (MCA) :: Stax,
you idiot! Not stacked! Stax!
Miles Davis – The Man With The Horn (Columbia)
:: It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that schwing!
Grace Kelly & Phil Woods
– Man With The Hat (Pazz) :: Sometimes I think that you can’t find a jazzier cat than big boppin’
sax man Woods. As if studying with the great Lennie Tristano wasn’t enough, he then married Bird’s widow Chan
and shuffled off to Paris. You’ll probably know him best for his smooth solo on Billy Joel’s syrupy single
“Just The Way You Are” but don’t hold that against him because he’s more than made up for
it by joining sax siren Kelly for this new album of smooth soundin’ duets. Bonus points awarded if she calls her next
album Dial S For Sax.
Grace Kelly – Dial M For Murder (Alfred Hitchcock) :: Geddit?
– Live With What You Know (Bongo Beat) :: What if The Who Sell Out-era Who and the Rubber Soul-era
Beatles had recorded an album together? The result would’ve been this practically perfect in every way pop record, which
is nothing less than Dave Rave’s apex of auditory expression. In fact, it’s so sonically stellar that it would’ve
easily made my Village Voice 2010 Top Ten list had I heard it last year—so let that be a lesson to
all you tardy publicists!
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Jonny Burke – Distance & Fortune
(Dreamcar) :: Jonny comes rockin’ outta left field in 4/4 time with a voice that sounds like snarky Alice Cooper; lyrical
skills that easily evoke Elvis Costello on a magnanimous day; and wiry Keith Richards riffs which simply reek with
the sonic simplicity of Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel.” Then he unexpectedly detours into Elliott Murphy country-folk
territory for a spell before blasting out the other side in full-bore rock mode again. If I didn’t know any better,
I’d say that this is the sound of someone who’s completely confident in the knowledge that he can do just about
anything he wants to in the studio—but I do and he can.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, January 6, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #608
Sat, January 6, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #608.248!
Ray Santilli – Alien Autopsy: Fact Or Fiction (FOX) :: No comment.
Networks International – Michael Jackson’s Autopsy: What Really Killed Michael Jackson
(Discovery Channel) :: No comment.
& John Oates – Live At The Troubadour (Shout!
Factory) :: One day, when I’m old and I can’t stand listening to loud rock ’n’ roll anymore, I’m
gonna sit myself right down in a wicker rocking chair and mellow my mind with this smooth sounding triple disc audio-visual
combo that touches almost every career base from their early days to their mega-platinum hits. But not today.
- #1 Record & Radio City (Fantasy) :: A twofer blend of generic up-tempo pop rockers and geriatric snoozak
ballads, the latter of which would’ve sounded a whole lot better had they been done by Todd.
– Echo Garden (self released) :: And speaking of the Runt, multi-instrumentalist Nasson unleashes a charmingly
naïve Rundgrenish crash course in pop music styles that begins with Brian Wilson, ends with Rick Wakeman, and has more
than a few ambient stops along the way to whet your whistle for much more.
Paul Langlois – Fix This
Head (Ching) :: Wherein the Tragically Hip’s guitarist hunkers down to come up with one of the most moving debut
albums I’ve heard since Johnny MacLeod redefined what it means to be a triple threat singin’ songwritin’
guitarist—and if you’ve ever heard any of Johnny’s albums, you’ll know that’s mightly impressive
Johnny & The G-Rays – “Trying To Chew My Head” (Attic) :: Exactly!
Jamz Blues Band – I Got Blues For You (Northern Blues) :: When he reviewed Grand Funk’s On
Time in Rolling Stone, Lester Bangs wrote that “the drumming is guaranteed to send you up the wall.”
I’m a Don Brewer fan so I didn’t agree, but after hearing the brutal monotonous bashing on this
album, I have to admit that I now know how he felt. I Got Bruise For You is more like it.
– Watch The Years Crawl By (Rock City Recording Company) :: I hate listening to whiny adenoidal singers
but I gotta admit, after hearing this record, that if I had to listen to one whiny adenoidal singer as the years
crawl by...I’d listen to Kurt Cobain.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Dave Koz – Hello Tomorrow
(Concord) :: They may tag sax sessions like this as being “contemporary jazz” these days, but that sounds like
some kinda condescending old fogey “Boots Randolph” label to me because where I hang out—on the
corner of Coryell and Deodato—it smacks of nothing less than good old-fashioned “fusion” to me. Sure, the
liner notes and track notations are strictly new age feel-good folderol, but that’s more than offset by having Herb
Alpert on trumpet and Sheila E. on vocals. Bonus points for resisting the temptation to call his album Koz And Effect.
– Now And Zen (Atlantic) :: Sheesh.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, December 30, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #607
Sat, December 30, 2017 | link
MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #607!
Presented for your
needle-droppin’ groove approval, in semi-strict random ethno-alpha-numerical order so as not to show any undue kickback
payola favoritism, is Jeffrey Morgan’s 2017 Top Ten List Of Records as they appear on my official ballot
for this year’s Village Voice rock critics poll, which I’ve been voting in annually ever since Robert
Christgau was kind enough to give me the nod some five decades or so ago. In other words, and I’ve got a million of
’em, these are my Sizzling Platters Of The Year, all of which deserve repeated spins on your old grand-dad’s Victrola.
Don’t ask why! Just buy them!
Various Artists – Make America
Great Again (Greatest Songs Of The USA) (Curb) ● Obscured By Clouds – Thermospheric
(Psycheclectic) ● James Williamson & Dennis Tek – Acoustic K.O.
(Leopard Lady) ● Edward Sayers – Underdog / Overlord (self released) ● Stolen
Apple – Trenches (Pagani) ● Plasmatics – Live! Rod Swenson’s
Lost Tapes 1978-81 (MVD) ● Jenna Nation – You Don’t Know (self released)
● Iguana De Banda – Etiqueta Negra Del Lugo (Boca Del Rey Discos)
● Various Artists – 24 Classic Blues Songs From The 1920s Volume 14 (Blues Images) ●
Donald Trump – Make America Great Again (Culture Factory)
Saturday, December 23, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #606
Sat, December 23, 2017 | link
MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #606.243!
& The Broadcasters – Living In The Light (Stony Plain) :: Exemplary axe execution elevates this
one into the upper blues guitar echelon, but so-so singing drags it back down into the pedestrian part of town where side
two of Jimmy Page’s Outrider lives.
Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters – Spread The
Love (Stony Plain) :: Exemplary axe execution elevates this one into the upper blues guitar echelon and an utter lack
of vocals keeps it there. Bonus points for covering “Cristo Redentor.” Points deducted for including
a liner note quote from a pulchritudinous Padre plugging your positive qualities as a human being. Ronnie, Ronnie, Ronnie.
Next time, ditch the shameless self-promotional spiritual payola and let your God-given gift of music do the talkin’
for you instead, alright? Oh my brother, testify!
Duke Robillard’s Jumpin’ Blues Revue
– Stomp! The Blues Tonight (Stony Plain) :: Era-specific pastiches never work because the practitioners can
never duplicate the primitive period sound that they’re aping but boy does he ever do these rhythm ’n’ blues
to death and die tryin’ in the process. The closest that the Duke comes to cliché is when he covers “Frankie
And Johnny” and “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” but most everything else that he chooses to uncover
is spot on, from Ike Turner’s “Tore Up” to Helen Humes’ “Million Dollar Secret.” Clocking
in at over an hour in length, this is one retro record that’s an absolute must for your next rent party.
– Passport To The Blues (Stony Plain) :: You might like this one better if you’re a modern era maven
but, as your physician, I’d advise you to take both of these and crawl to me in the morning. Your papers please!
– Happen Again (Iceworks) :: Whether you know it or not, you know Andy as the wunderkind singer-songwriter
responsible for such infectious worldwide mega-hits as the Archies’ “Sugar Sugar”—and admit
it: your brainpan’s jukebox is playing “Sugar Sugar” right now just by reading that song title,
innit? Well, never one to rest on his considerable royalty checks, this tasteful new long player is everything that you’d
expect from such a staunch pop stalwart as Andy. Smart singing, smart songwriting and smart playing all add up to Happen
Again being the best solo album that John Lennon never lived to record. It’s also the new album that Bryan Ferry
wishes he’d recorded instead of Olympia.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Black Country
Communion – Black Country Communion (J&R Adventures) :: The vocals are of the scotch-garglin’
style that made Steve Marriott and Bon Scott benchmark wailers; the bass is a bowel-buffeting beast that’ll massage
your innards from stench to stern; the slick-swervin’ guitar is straight outta mid ’60s studio nirvana; and the
pulse-pounding drums with their thick bludgeoning beats sound uncannily just like John Bonham of Led Zeppelin—which
they oughtta since the skin-smashin’ stick man is none other than Bonzo’s son Jason. Toss in
some synth-soaked atmoogspherics and you’ve got a recipe for the kind of good old-fashioned “Black Country Rock”
that Mom used to hate!
Be seeing you!
Saturday, December 16, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #605
Sat, December 16, 2017 | link
MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #605.242!
Kristy Lee – Live At The Soul Kitchen (self
released) :: All rise! Court is in session! The honorable Judge Kristy Lee presiding! Wielding an acoustic guitar like a gavel,
this rightfully irate woman dispenses Alabama justice in the form of cautionary tales like the aptly-titled “45”
in which an abused woman shoots her abuser in self-defense with Exhibit A. The female jury in the audience is solidly on Kristy’s
side because she’s got too much soulful personality and heartfelt passion to be held back by the quivering likes of
you, you worm, so stand up and take your medicine like a man. Guilty on all counts! Next case.
– Ruminate (MVD Audio) :: The album cover outside shows a skeleton awash in flames while the album music inside
shows the vocalist buried alive in dense slabs of Spectorish sound; a sonic distinction that almost makes this the Exile
On Aladdin Sane St. of death metal. Double bonus points for having a singer who actually sings instead of screams and
for having a band that’s smart enough to take their musical cues from Powerman 5000—not that they’d ever
Elizabeth And The Catapult – The Other Side Of Zero (Verve Forecast) :: From the
label that gave you Billie Holiday comes another woman y’gotta watch out for, what with her woeful tales of doomed romance
like “Go Away My Lover” on which she laments: “Darling won’t you go? Leave me to my tower, leave me
all alone.” But it’s not all Garboesque fun ’n’ games because there’s a dark Lynch-pin
supporting these proceedings that’ll make you nervously laugh at her insightful lyrics and then suddenly think: does
she really mean it?
Jonas & The Massive Attraction – Big Slice (self released)
:: Having studied such previous purveyors as Springsteen and Aerosmith, it’s apparent that Jonas & The Massive Attraction
want to prove it all night that they’re the new modern masters of the Power Ballad; an aspiration which they admirably
achieve on three quarters of Big Slice. But since man does not live on ballads alone, I’m pleased to say that
the remainder of the record is a raucous romp of ramped up heavy duty rock ’n’ roll that, with a little bit of
dedication to the cause, could very end up reverberating all the way back to the sonic neighborhood where Buzz Shearman’s
legendary band Moxy used to live—and yes, that’s a challenge.
FIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Bryan Ferry
– Olympia (Virgin) :: I was looking through my record collection for some rejects to give away as Christmas
presents when I came across this prime candidate. The come-hither satin sheets cover photo may look like a Roxy Music
throwback but this ballad-bloated album ain’t no Stranded by a Country Life mile. Which only goes
to show that you can lead Bryan Ferry, Eno, Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay and Chris Spedding back to the fountain of rock, but
you can’t make them drink.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, December 9, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #604
Sat, December 9, 2017 | link
MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #604.241!
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK – SIDE ONE: Betty Moon
– Rollin Revolution (self released) :: Back in the ’70s my all time fave femme singer was Wendy Herman
of Angletrax so you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m pleased as punch to report that this here Moonage Babedream
is a heavy hard rockin’ revolutionary Hermanesque hellion who’s got a slinky ’n’ sly predatory eye
on your danglin’ prize. “I’ve got skin and know how to use it and I wanna lose it,” she confidently
declares on “I’ve Got This” so who are you to say nay? Bonus points for having the refreshingly
good taste to salute her roots by covering Grace Slick, who was my all time fave femme singer back in the ’60s don’tcha
know. Points deducted if she doesn’t call her next album Moonage Babedream.
– Band Of Joy (Rounder) :: Although I may listen to Manic Nirvana more than any other Plant platter,
I know deep down in my heart of hearts that Fate Of Nations is his artistic apex. Luckily, Band Of Joy happily
straddles the sonic fence somewhere between the two in that it’s much less manic than Manic and far less fateful
than Fate. In other words, it’s a relaxed romp that’s part honeydrippin’ desire, part flower power
posy, and part tremolo trouble.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK – SIDE TWO: Bachman Turner Overdrive
– Bachman & Turner (Box Of Songs) :: So what if this album is technically credited to “Bachman
& Turner”? I’m never afraid to call a spade a spade, which is why I’m tellin’ ya that this is
a BTO album as sure as the day is long—and the day’ll never end as long as you’ve got this hot
wax drippin’ off your turntable on eternal auto-repeat. But don’t take my word for it: just listen to
the infectious “That’s What It Is” with its thick hunka-chunka power chords and st-st-st-stuttering vocals
’cause in BTOland things ain’t never gonna change.
Led Zeppelin – A Work
In Progress: 15 Camera Mixed Edition – The O2 Arena, London, UK, 10th December 2007 (no label) :: If the heavy
bludgeoning sound doesn’t kill you, the band’s preternatural performance will. You can’t buy it in stores
so download it now—and whatever you do, make sure that you get this two disc edition ’cause
it cleans the clock of the officially released Celebration Day. So if you want to hear the drummer’s spot-on
impersonation of the singer wailing “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” this is the place to be, see?
PLATTER OF THE WEEK – SIDE THREE: Leon Russell & Elton John – The Union (Rocket) :: It’s
always admirable when a legendary rocker gives a helping hand up to another legendary rocker whose star has inexplicably and
unjustly dimmed. Bowie did it for Lou and Iggy when they needed it and now Elton is doing likewise for Leon on this long player
that proves you can go back home again—and for me personally, home is when I first saw them performing
live: Leon in 1971 at O’Keefe Centre and Elton in 1974 at Maple Leaf Gardens. Bet you didn’t think they knew how
to rock ’n’ roll but, back then, they sure as shootin’ did.
I say did because, as is often the case
with efforts of this ilk, there are no real out ’n’ out rockers on The Union; that’s what albums
like Leon Live and Rock Of The Westies are for. Instead, there’s a heartfelt poignancy that’s
never wistful because this is one helluva joyous celebration of two men’s mutual musical respect. You can still pick
out Leon’s distinctive piano playing a country mile away, and if he doesn’t sing in that fever pitch whoa-wailin’
style that he used to do back when he was filling football stadiums, his voice still has as much soulful resonance
as it ever did—especially on number like the archetypal tune “Hearts Have Turned To Stone,” which sounds
like a 1971 outtake from Leon Russell And The Shelter People during his “Holy Trinity” heyday.
Me, I’m more than
happy to have a Leon-Elton-Neil Young duet on “Gone To Shiloh,” not to mention “Snakey” Jim Keltner
on drums; Bernie Taupin on lyrics; Brian Wilson on background vocals; and T Bone Burnett on guitar and production—not
to mention heartfelt liner notes by Elton himself and a painterly ‘old masters’ cover photo by Annie Leibovitz.
But most of all, I’m especially happy that in 2010 the world is once again getting to hear a man who was one
of my main musical heroes back when there were musical heroes worth having.
Yeah, I miss Leon, too.
Be seeing you!