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Saturday, April 13, 2024

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #936

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #936.570.203!

The Orchid HighwayThe Orchid Highway (Naughty) :: They’re not The Beatles but an incredible simulation!

WovenhandTen Stones (Sounds Familyre) :: Ambitious angst anyone?

Okkervil RiverThe Stand Ins (Jagjaguwar) :: This is the absolute second-best cabaret angst record I’ve ever heard. It’s only the second cabaret angst record I’ve ever heard, but it’s the absolute second-best.

SkybombersTake Me To Town (Albert Productions) :: Strangely believe it, Skybombers are the new Cheap Trick and Take Me To Town is their Heaven Tonight.

Fish13th Star (MVD Audio/Chocolate Frog) :: If you thought prog rock was dead, then you ain’t heard nuthin’ until you’ve heard this epochal space-spannin’ offering from Marillion’s main man.

Sally TomatoToy Room (Severe Enterprises) :: These words I speak are true: this ambitious four act rock opera is operating in an arena that’s so far out there it makes Welcome To My Nightmare sound like nap time in a deaf mute kindergarten.

Ayla BrookAfter The Morning After (Saved By Radio) :: Sensitive love songs and plaintive paeans that anyone who ever had a heart can relate to.

The Homemade Jamz Blues BandPay Me No Mind (Northern Blues) :: The earthy Hendrix influence is undeniable but so is the playing, so it’s a whitewash.

CaamoraShe (MVD Audio/Metal Mind) :: Are you ready for a bombastic two-disc rock opera based on the novel by H. Rider Haggard? If you ever owned a copy of Jesus Christ Superstar, you are.

KISS – “She” (Casablanca) :: Honey, it’s not one a’doze.

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Rhonda SilverTwelve Pieces Of Silver (Prism) :: Backed by the expert likes of Guido Basso and Jeff Healey, these silky smooth songs of songstress Silver’s smack of slinky late night rendezvous in a swank penthouse bar and morning after musings in a sodden neighborhood saloon. Even better, she belts out her original blues with enough gusto to make you down another round. So set ’em up, Joe.

Be seeing you!

Sat, April 13, 2024 | link 

Saturday, April 6, 2024

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #935

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #935.569.202!

HeadSave Me From Myself (Rykodisc) :: Al Snow doesn’t meet the Monkees in this swirling amalgamation of neo-NIN heaviness hitched with Jonathan Davis melodies.

Albert Hammond, Jr.Como Te Llama? (Red Ink) :: Just when you thought you’ve heard it all, along comes this English-speakin’ pop outing that actually contains a piano ballad called “Feed Me Jack, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Peter Sellers.” Really.

Chris LetcherHarmonium (2 Feet) :: You wanna talk about obscure? Let’s talk about how Chris gets bonus points for opting to unleash a charmingly chiming multitracked cover version of “Wait” from Unca Lou’s Street Hassle album—and that’s the album’s worst track compared to all the originals!

Emory Joseph FennarioSongs By Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter (Iris) :: If the Grateful Dead’s entire back catalogue had sounded as consistently great as this folksy jumpin’ jive record does, then all of their albums would’ve sold even more than they did.

Kathy GriffinFor Your Consideration (Music With A Twist) :: Excuuuuse me, but a dizzy dame that records a comedy album just to win a comedy Grammy (insert obligatory trademark symbol here) award and then earnestly writes, “I hope you find it funny” in the liner notes? Yeah, funny strange.

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Zuzu’s PetalsKicking Our Own Asses (Rhino Handmade) :: This kooky cool catch-all that captures their four-year max out comes a-twangin’ and a-ramblin’ into town with a surfeit of top down female pop verve ’n’ squelchy distorto swerve that sounds every bit as vital as it did 20 years ago. They sing about gun-totin’ and smack-shootin’ and heartbreak-achin’ but most of all they crow ecstatic about gettin’ the last laugh on the droolin’ dorks that they attract like, uh, flies—all fueled by a Melanie-worshippin’ perpetual motion motor that evokes shredded Nirvana and poppy Ramones and brainy Talking Heads. One of these ditzy dolls oughta write a book.

Laurie LindeenPetal Pusher (Atria Books) :: Well, whaddya know? One of them did!

Be seeing you!

Sat, April 6, 2024 | link 

Saturday, March 30, 2024

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #934

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #934.568.201!

Bruce SpringstoneGreetings From Bedrock Park (Hanna-Barbera) :: Includes the hit single “Quarry Days.” Rest in peace, Bill.

Jethro TullDraculung (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 CheerAgents Of Eruptum (Phillips) :: I wish!

The WhoWho’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.

AerostonesIt’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 PresentsThe 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 ZeppelinLed 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.

The DoorsManzarek, 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.”

David Byrne & Brian EnoMy 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 SabbathParanoid Mutha (Atco) :: I wish!

Styx & StonesBreak My Bones (Plaster Caster) :: They all laughed when Dennis DeYoung and Mick Jagger waxed some tracks together. Well, they’re not laughing now.

Cars Traffic Jam4 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 ClashSandradeesta! (Rocket) :: They all laughed when Elton John re-formed The Only Band That Matters. Well, they’re not laughing now.

Tom Scholz & Hugh Cornwell – Boston Stranglers (Death Row) :: They’re definitely not laughing now.

Keith Richards – “Don’t Fall Out Of The Apple Tree” (Fiji Gin) :: It only hurts when he laughs.

Phyllis DylanFang On Fang (Columbia) :: I wish!

Ted NugentThe Ted Offensive: Triple Live Gonzo In Afghanistan (Armed Forces Radio Network) :: You were waiting for that, weren’t you?

SPLATTER PLATTER OF THE WEEK: NirvanaArrivederci! (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.”

The Rolling BouldersGet Yer Yabba Yabbas Out! (Hanna-Barbera) :: Includes the hit single “No Excavations.” Rest in peace, Joe.

Be fooling you!

Sat, March 30, 2024 | link 

JEFFREY MORGAN'S ROCK 'N' ROLL PHOTOGRAPHS

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 prime:

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 Legaltour) :: George Harrison (1974 Dark Horse tour) :: Paul McCartney (1976 Wings Over America tour) :: Pete Townshend (1976 The Who By Numberstour) :: 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:

 

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Sat, March 30, 2024 | link 

Saturday, March 23, 2024

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #933

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #933.567.200!

FIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: ThorKeep The Dogs Away: 30th Anniversary Special Edition (Scratch) :: Y’know what I hate? I hate reading an awkwardly worded press release that says: “And beyond simply being a great Canadian album, easily Keep The Dogs Away holds it’s [sic] own nicely along the finest efforts of Sweet, Ziggy-era Bowie, Mott the Hoople, Sweeney Todd, T-Rex and the like.” Which is a grievous insult to really great Canadian albums like Neil Rush’s Tonight’s The Fly By Night. Thor’s the only musician on that list whose record I never shoplifted because it’s as aurally anemic now as it was back then. Admittedly, the title track is a pretty good power-pop bopper, but unfortunately, it’s stuck soaking in a static-strewn stew. With so many original unsold vinyl copies lying around, you’d think that someone could’ve found a factory sealed one in mint condition and ripped a new master from it. But no one did, which is why I’m mighty sore.

FIZZLING BOOK OF THE YEAR: Dave ThompsonI Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto (Backbeat Books) :: Y’know what I hate? I hate reading a wretchedly written press release that says: “If the title alone doesn’t polarize a roomful of music critics than [sic] nothing will.” Take it from me: Anyone who writes dozens of chapter titles like “Fat and forty-plus, or had your Phil of Collins yet?” and thinks that they’re witty is a talentless deballed hack who isn’t even qualified to write a Thor press release. But what I really hate is reading an embarrassing introduction by the once lucid Richard “Gulcher” Meltzer who sadly can’t write anymore and shouldn’t even try to. File under: The Aesthetics Of Schlock.

Be seeing you!

Sat, March 23, 2024 | link 

Saturday, March 16, 2024

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #932

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #932.566.198!

AnimoBlood In The Water (self released) :: Juvenile generic angst in their red-stained underpants. Why can’t you ever find a great white shark when you really need one?

Mike GordonThe Green Sparrow (Rounder) :: There’s a lot here to like, such as the hip-swingin’ “Voices,” which reminds me of jazzy Stanley Clarke merged with poppy Todd Rundgren. Then “Andelmans’ Yard” morphs into a silky Steve Miller vibe—and that’s even better.

Ten Shekel ShirtJubilee (Rounder) :: This one reminds me of the thoughtful moderate up-tempo ballads that Unca Lou used to offer up, especially on the third Velvets album—and Lou was always a softy at heart. But in addition to such sensitive songwriting, I’m equally encouraged that TSS are also capable of picking up the pace apiece as they prove they can do on a track like “Spark.”

Sarah McLachlanRarities, B-Sides & Other Stuff (Nettwerk) :: She is woman, hear me snore after listening to these sappy and slushy MOR songs without a single shred of personality. And with a lame résumé like that, how much do you wanna bet that she’s probably a Canadian?

Throw The FightIn Pursuit Of Tomorrow (Cordless) :: Yet another generic angst-in-their-pangst band with an original song called “Ready For War” that should’ve been a John Cale cover.

GhostkeeperAnd The Children Of The Great Northern Muskeg (Saved By Radio) :: Here come the warm red stripes as Eno meets Linda McCartney on this delightfully wonky electropop album that’s augmented with a delirious dash of early Alice Cooper!

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Blacklist UnionBreakin Bread With The Devil (B.L.U.) :: Cooze-infused badass rock ’n’ roll that manages to mix within a scant half hour a hyper speed freak Japanesque glamatronic melody vocal style with a crushing Motörheadesque guitarasonic rave-up. One of the best albums of the year, even if they do slip up by putting the photo of a big-bosomed babe on the actual disc instead of the front cover.

Be seeing you!

Sat, March 16, 2024 | link 

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #931

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #931.565.197!

Robert ChristgauChristgau’s Consumer Guide (MSN) :: He’s the Leonard Maltin of music!

James KingGardens In The Sky: The Bluegrass Gospel Of James King (Rounder) :: Just like heroin or Ernie Kovacs, religious bluegrass music is an acquired taste in that you have to be receptive to both the religion and the bluegrass to get into it. But seeing as how James King is the genre’s premier practitioner, this compilation consisting of mostly previously released tracks from his earlier albums is well worth the effort.

TiestoIn Search Of Sunrise 7: Asia (Black Hole) :: Points deducted for putting an Armani Exchange logo on the back cover.

Various ArtistsStax Goes The Beatles & Soulsville Sings Hitsville: Stax Sings The Songs Of Motown Records (Stax) :: Hearing Issac Hayes melt “Something” into a sensual, 12-minute, soul-searing sermon is one thing; hearing the Bar-Kays turn “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” into a suspenseful, 12-minute, senses-shattering soul-noir session is another thing entirely.

Watermelon SlimNo Paid Holidays (Northern Blues) :: If I had a boil-burstin’ mug like his, I’d sing the blues too.

Stone RiderThree Legs Of Trouble (Trustkill) :: The album title says it all—but just in case you’re still on the nod, lemme spell it out for ya in simple words that even you can understand: This is loutishly loud ’n’ distorted wah-wahified full throttle musical mayhem that’s custom made for some seriously savage stained mattress screwing. Yeah, I thought that might wake you up. And speaking of loose screws…

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Chase FrankMidnight Manor (self-released) :: Chase is a girl and, boy, can she ever write; sing; and play a whole host of everything, from deep-sixed dirges (“Sad Song”) and upbeat rockers (“Doubt”) to decadent Euro-sautéed cabaret torch numbers (“Bipolar Belle”). I also get the feeling that’s she’s got a loose screw or two rattling around somewhere in that big beautiful brain of hers—always a plus in my book.

Be seeing you!

Sat, March 16, 2024 | link 

Saturday, March 2, 2024

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #930

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #930.564.196!

PoisonSeven Days Live (Armoury) :: What can you say about an album that actually dares to list one of its eleven songs as: “Drum Solo”? You said it.

Walls Of JerichoRedemption (Trustkill) :: Five femme-fueled power ponderances asking that musical question: is Candace Kucsulain the new Nico?

Fear Nuttin BandYardcore (Bodog) :: Jahve nuttin d’feah bwah dis Korny wrekord widjil leeve fuh evva indie infuhmmy, mon.

3 Doors Down3 Doors Down (Universal Republic) :: There’s a lot of potential here for the kinda classic riff-laden crunge rock that Columbia and Warner Bros. used to regularly release during the mid ’70s—but only if they ditch all the barf-bag ballads first.

And The MoneynotesNew Cornucopia! (Prairie Queen) :: Imagine a kooky, countrified, vaudevillian cross between wittily written Sparks and musically playful Boiled In Lead with an all too brief added dash of Lennonesque guitar.

Less Than JakeGnv Fla (Sleep It Off) :: Soulful speed-freakin’ ska widda bouncy English Beat!

The FashionThe Fashion (Red Ink) :: Now why do I get the feeling that these cool cats would’ve fit in perfectly on Bowie’s Nineteen-Eighty Floor Show?

Walter MeegoVoyager (Red Ink) :: Seriously soaked in synths, this is the best Eurotrash electropop since the end of the ’80s.

The Green Hour BandThe Green Hour Band (Kingdom) :: And this is the greatest garagedelic rock album I’ve heard all week. These poor little Greenies have hallucinated an LP that sounds like Their Satanic Majesties Request as recorded by the Beatles and released on ESP Disc. It’s far-out, man.

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Priya ThomasPriya Thomas Is Blood Heron (Boiling Pt) :: Poetess Priya is Canada’s answer to Patti Smith, only she’s a much better singer; a much better writer; and a whole lot smarter. Plus, she lives up to the song title “Your Guitar, My Undoing” by unleashing a blistering solo the likes of which hasn’t been heard since Fripp lost a grip on Here Come The Warm Jets.

Be seeing you!

Sat, March 2, 2024 | link 

Saturday, February 24, 2024

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #929

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #929.615.255!

Alessandra CominiEgon 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 ChungÆon 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 NeumannEye 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 where you can buy the enhanced three disc version directly from him and then decide for yourself.

Carl StallingThe Carl Stalling Project: Music From Warner Bros. Cartoons 1936 – 1957 (Warner Bros.) :: Exactly! 

Be seeing you!

Sat, February 24, 2024 | link 

Saturday, February 17, 2024

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #928

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #928.614.255!

George Harrison“Awaiting On You All” (Apple) :: Leave it to a white guy from England to rhyme “Jesus” with “visas.”

The Madison Square GardenersTeeth 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 songsmiths.

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?

Cozy Cole“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 StaatMachinery (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 WhoMagic Bus: The Who On Tour (Decca) :: Best live album ever!

Be seeing you!

Sat, February 17, 2024 | link 

Saturday, February 10, 2024

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #927

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #927.613.254!

Bill CosbyTo 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 days, huh?

SIZZLING BOOK OF THE WEEK: Mickey Leigh with Legs McNeilI 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.

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The Rolling StonesLadies 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 days?

Robert FrankCS Blues (Embargoed) :: This is!

Be seeing you!

Sat, February 10, 2024 | link 

Saturday, February 3, 2024

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #926

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #926.612.253!

George Harrison assisted by Bernie KrauseElectronic 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 FreebergSt. 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.

BraidsBraids (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!

Neil Young assisted by Crazy HorseArc (Reprise) :: The last word in noise!

Otis ReddingLive 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 better!

Ben OttewellShapes & 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.

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Colin StetsonNew 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!

Sat, February 3, 2024 | link 

Saturday, January 27, 2024

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #925

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #925.611.252!

Alice CooperLay 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 To Die.

SuicideFrankie Teardrop (Red Star) :: What, they’re still alive? Amateurs!

Elton JohnSomeone 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?

Frank GallupGot A Match? (Paramount) :: I beg your pardon!

Ozzy OsbourneSuicide Solution (Epic) :: If the bat-bite rabies didn’t kill him, then nothing will. File under: Too Tough To Die.

MetallicaFade To Black (Elektra) :: What, they’re still alive? Amateurs!

PrinceSexual Suicide (NPG) :: File under: Freddie Mercury.

Freddie MercuryDon’t Try Suicide (Elektra) :: Ironic, innit?

Paul McCartneySuicide (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 RothJump (Warner Bros.) :: When he sings “Go ahead and jump!” what did you think he was talking about? Hopscotch?

Cheap TrickAuf Wiedersehen (Epic) :: Need a push?

SparksHere 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.”

The MashSuicide Is Painless (Columbia) :: Number one with a bullet!

Grand Funk RailroadBorn To Die (Capitol) :: What, they’re still alive? Amateurs!

Woody GuthrieSo Long, It’s been Good To Know Yuh (Elektra) :: Even Okies get the dust bowl blues.

Phil OchsRehearsals For Retirement (A&M) :: Merely the greatest—and, regrettably, most prophetic—album cover ever.

Trent ReznorGave 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.

RamonesToo Tough To Die (Sire) :: Really?

Iggy & The StoogesDeath Trip (Columbia) :: What, they’re still alive? Amateurs!

PRESCIENT PLATTER OF THE WEEK – SAD ONE: Michael HutchenceSuicide Blonde (Mercury) :: Professional.

PRESCIENT PLATTER OF THE WEEK – SAD TWO: Kurt CobainI Hate Myself And I Want To Die (Geffen) :: To a fault.

Dorothy ParkerRésumé (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!
Sat, January 27, 2024 | link 

Saturday, January 20, 2024

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #924

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #924.610.251!

The Franco Proietti Morph-TetLive! 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.

The Green Hour BandComing 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.

Alternative TVBlack 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.

The 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?

Paul HydePeace 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 DewyzeSlumberland (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.

Graham Brown & The Prairie DogsDo 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!

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The Savage NomadsWhat 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!

Sat, January 20, 2024 | link 

Saturday, January 13, 2024

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #923

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #923.609.249!

Bruno MarsDoo-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 WillisThe Return Of Bruno (Motown) :: That’s right, Motown. What were you expecting? Stax?

Cybill ShepherdMoonlighting (MCA) :: Stax, you idiot! Not stacked! Stax!

Miles DavisThe Man With The Horn (Columbia) :: It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that schwing!

Grace Kelly & Phil WoodsMan 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 KellyDial M For Murder (Alfred Hitchcock) :: Geddit?

Dave RaveLive 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 BurkeDistance & 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!

Sat, January 13, 2024 | link 

Saturday, January 6, 2024

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #922

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #922.608.248!

Ray SantilliAlien Autopsy: Fact Or Fiction (FOX) :: No comment.

Discovery Networks InternationalMichael Jackson’s Autopsy: What Really Killed Michael Jackson (Discovery Channel) :: No comment.

Daryl Hall & John OatesLive 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.

Big Star - #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.

Arthur NassonEcho 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 LangloisFix 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 praise indeed!

Johnny & The G-Rays“Trying To Chew My Head” (Attic) :: Exactly!

The Homemade Jamz Blues BandI 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.

ArthurWatch 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 KozHello 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.

Robert PlantNow And Zen (Atlantic) :: Sheesh.

Be seeing you!

Sat, January 6, 2024 | link 

Saturday, December 30, 2023

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #921

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #921.607!

Sherman, set the Wayback Machine to 2017 where we will present, for everyone’s needle-droppin’ groove approval, in semi-strict random ethno-alpha-numerical order so as not to show any undue kickback payola favoritism, Jeffrey Morgan’s 2017 Top Ten List Of Records as they appeared on his official ballot for that year’s Village Voice rock critics poll. These were his Sizzling Platters Of The Year, all of which deserved repeated spins on your old grand-dad’s Victrola. Don’t ask why, Sherman! Just buy them!

Various ArtistsMake America Great Again (Greatest Songs Of The USA) (Curb) ● Obscured By CloudsThermospheric (Psycheclectic) ● James Williamson & Dennis TekAcoustic K.O. (Leopard Lady) ● Edward SayersUnderdog / Overlord (self released) ● Stolen AppleTrenches (Pagani) ● PlasmaticsLive! Rod Swenson’s Lost Tapes 1978-81 (MVD) ● Jenna NationYou Don’t Know (self released) ●  Iguana De BandaEtiqueta Negra Del Lugo (Boca Del Rey Discos) ● Various Artists24 Classic Blues Songs From The 1920s Volume 14 (Blues Images) ● Donald TrumpMake America Great Again (Culture Factory)

Be seeing you!

Sat, December 30, 2023 | link 

Saturday, December 23, 2023

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #912

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #912.606.243!

Ronnie Earl & The BroadcastersLiving 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 BroadcastersSpread 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 RevueStomp! 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.

Duke RobillardPassport 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!

Andy KimHappen 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 CommunionBlack 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!

Sat, December 23, 2023 | link 

Saturday, December 16, 2023

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #919

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #919.605.242!

Kristy LeeLive 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.

ImmolateRuminate (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 admit it.

Elizabeth And The CatapultThe 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 AttractionBig 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 FerryOlympia (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!

Sat, December 16, 2023 | link 

Saturday, December 9, 2023

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #918

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #918.604.241!

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK – SIDE ONE: Betty MoonRollin 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.

Robert PlantBand 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 OverdriveBachman & 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 ZeppelinA 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?

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK – SIDE THREE: Leon Russell & Elton JohnThe 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!

Sat, December 9, 2023 | link 

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2021.02.28
2021.02.21
2021.02.14
2021.02.07
2021.01.31
2021.01.24
2021.01.17
2021.01.10
2021.01.03
2020.12.27
2020.12.20
2020.12.13
2020.12.06
2020.11.29
2020.11.22
2020.11.15
2020.11.08
2020.11.01
2020.10.25
2020.10.18
2020.10.11
2020.10.04
2020.09.27
2020.09.20
2020.09.13
2020.09.06
2020.08.30
2020.08.23
2020.08.16
2020.08.09
2020.08.02
2020.07.26
2020.07.19
2020.07.12
2020.07.05
2020.06.28
2020.06.21
2020.06.14
2020.06.07
2020.05.31
2020.05.24
2020.05.17
2020.05.10
2020.05.03
2020.04.26
2020.04.19
2020.04.12
2020.04.05
2020.03.29
2020.03.22
2020.03.15
2020.03.08
2020.03.01
2020.02.23
2020.02.16
2020.02.09
2020.02.02
2020.01.26
2020.01.19
2020.01.12
2020.01.05
2019.12.29
2019.12.22
2019.12.15
2019.12.08
2019.12.01
2019.11.24
2019.11.17
2019.11.10
2019.11.03
2019.10.27
2019.10.20
2019.10.13
2019.10.06
2019.09.29
2019.09.22
2019.09.15
2019.09.08
2019.09.01
2019.08.25
2019.08.18
2019.08.11
2019.08.04
2019.07.28
2019.07.21
2019.07.14
2019.07.07
2019.06.30
2019.06.23
2019.06.16
2019.06.09
2019.06.02
2019.05.26
2019.05.19
2019.05.12
2019.05.05
2019.04.28
2019.04.21
2019.04.14
2019.04.07
2019.03.31
2019.03.24
2019.03.17
2019.03.10
2019.03.03
2019.02.24
2019.02.17
2019.02.10
2019.02.03
2019.01.27
2019.01.20
2019.01.13
2019.01.06
2018.12.30
2018.12.23
2018.12.16
2018.12.09
2018.12.02
2018.11.25
2018.11.18
2018.11.11
2018.11.04
2018.10.28
2018.10.21
2018.10.14
2018.10.07
2018.09.30
2018.09.23
2018.09.16
2018.09.09
2018.09.02
2018.08.26
2018.08.19
2018.08.12
2018.08.05
2018.07.29
2018.07.22
2018.07.15
2018.07.08
2018.07.01
2018.06.24
2018.06.17
2018.06.10
2018.06.03
2018.05.27
2018.05.20
2018.05.13
2018.05.06
2018.04.29
2018.04.22
2018.04.15
2018.04.08
2018.04.01
2018.03.25
2018.03.18
2018.03.11
2018.03.04
2018.02.18
2018.02.11
2018.02.04
2018.01.28
2018.01.21
2018.01.14
2018.01.07
2017.12.31
2017.12.24
2017.12.17
2017.12.10
2017.12.03
2017.11.26
2017.11.19
2017.11.12
2017.11.05
2017.10.29
2017.10.22
2017.10.15
2017.10.08
2017.10.01
2017.09.24
2017.09.17
2017.09.10
2017.09.03
2017.08.27
2017.08.20
2017.08.13
2017.08.06
2017.07.30
2017.07.23
2017.07.16
2017.07.09
2017.07.02
2017.06.25
2017.06.18
2017.06.11
2017.06.04
2017.05.28
2017.05.21
2017.05.14
2017.05.07
2017.04.30
2017.04.23
2017.04.16
2017.04.09
2017.04.02
2017.03.26
2017.03.19
2017.03.12
2017.03.05
2017.02.26
2017.02.19
2017.02.12
2017.02.05
2017.01.29
2017.01.22
2017.01.15
2017.01.08
2017.01.01
2016.12.25
2016.12.18
2016.12.11
2016.12.04
2016.11.27
2016.11.20
2016.11.13
2016.11.06
2016.10.30
2016.10.23
2016.10.16
2016.10.09
2016.10.02
2016.09.25
2016.09.18
2016.09.11
2016.09.04
2016.08.28
2016.08.21
2016.08.14
2016.08.07
2016.07.31
2016.07.24
2016.07.17
2016.07.10
2016.07.03
2016.06.26
2016.06.19
2016.06.12
2016.06.05
2016.05.29
2016.05.22
2016.05.15
2016.05.08
2016.05.01
2016.04.24
2016.04.17
2016.04.10
2016.04.03
2016.03.27
2016.03.20
2016.03.13
2016.03.06
2016.02.28
2016.02.21
2016.02.14
2016.02.07
2016.01.31
2016.01.24
2016.01.17
2016.01.10
2016.01.03
2015.12.27
2015.12.20
2015.12.13
2015.12.06
2015.11.29
2015.11.22
2015.11.15
2015.11.08
2015.11.01
2015.10.25
2015.10.18
2015.10.11
2015.10.04
2015.09.27
2015.09.20
2015.09.13
2015.09.06
2015.08.30
2015.08.23
2015.08.16
2015.08.09
2015.08.02
2015.07.26
2015.07.19
2015.07.12
2015.07.05
2015.06.28
2015.06.21
2015.06.14
2015.06.07
2015.05.31
2015.05.24
2015.05.17
2015.05.10
2015.05.03
2015.04.26
2015.04.19
2015.04.12
2015.03.22
2015.03.15
2015.03.08
2015.03.01
2015.02.22
2015.02.15
2015.02.08
2015.02.01
2015.01.25
2015.01.18
2015.01.11
2015.01.04
2014.12.28
2014.12.21
2014.12.14
2014.12.07
2014.11.30
2014.11.23
2014.11.16
2014.11.09
2014.11.02
2014.10.26
2014.10.19
2014.10.12
2014.10.05
2014.09.28
2014.09.21
2014.09.14
2014.09.07
2014.08.31
2014.08.24
2014.08.17
2014.08.10
2014.08.03
2014.07.27
2014.07.20
2014.07.06
2014.06.29
2014.06.22
2014.06.15
2014.06.08
2014.06.01
2014.05.25
2014.05.18
2014.05.04
2014.04.27
2014.04.20
2014.04.13
2014.04.06
2014.03.30
2014.03.16
2014.03.09
2014.03.02
2014.02.23
2014.02.16
2014.02.09
2014.02.02
2014.01.26
2014.01.19
2014.01.12
2014.01.05
2013.12.29
2013.12.22
2013.12.15
2013.12.08
2013.12.01
2013.11.24
2013.11.17
2013.11.10
2013.11.03
2013.10.20
2013.10.13
2013.10.06
2013.09.29
2013.09.22
2013.09.08
2013.08.25
2013.08.18
2013.08.11
2013.08.04
2013.07.28
2013.07.21
2013.07.07
2013.06.30
2013.06.16
2013.06.02
2013.05.26
2013.05.19
2013.05.12
2013.05.05
2013.04.21
2013.04.07
2013.03.31
2013.03.24
2013.03.17
2013.03.10
2013.03.03
2013.02.24
2013.02.17
2013.02.10
2013.02.03
2013.01.27
2013.01.20
2013.01.13
2013.01.06
2012.12.30
2012.12.23
2012.12.16
2012.12.09
2012.12.02
2012.11.25
2012.11.18
2012.11.11
2012.11.04
2012.10.21
2012.10.14
2012.10.07
2012.09.30
2012.09.23
2012.09.09
2012.09.02
2012.08.26
2012.08.19
2012.08.12
2012.08.05
2012.07.29
2012.07.22
2012.07.15
2012.07.08
2012.07.01
2012.06.24
2012.06.17
2012.06.10
2012.06.03
2012.05.27
2012.05.20
2012.05.13
2012.05.06
2012.04.29
2012.04.22
2012.04.15
2012.04.08
2012.04.01
2012.03.25
2012.03.18
2012.03.11
2012.03.04
2012.02.26
2012.02.19
2012.02.12
2012.02.05
2012.01.29
2012.01.22
2012.01.15
2012.01.08
2012.01.01
2011.12.25
2011.12.18
2011.12.11
2011.12.04
2011.11.27
2011.11.20
2011.11.13
2011.11.06
2011.10.30
2011.10.23
2011.10.16
2011.10.09
2011.10.02
2011.09.25
2011.09.18
2011.09.11
2011.09.04
2011.08.28
2011.08.21
2011.08.07
2011.07.31
2011.07.24
2011.07.17
2011.07.10
2011.07.03
2011.06.26
2011.06.19
2011.06.12
2011.06.05
2011.05.29
2011.05.22
2011.05.15
2011.05.08
2011.05.01
2011.04.24
2011.04.17
2011.04.10
2011.04.03
2011.03.27
2011.03.20
2011.03.13
2011.03.06
2011.02.27
2011.02.20
2011.02.13
2011.02.06
2011.01.30
2011.01.23
2011.01.16
2011.01.09
2011.01.02
2010.12.26
2010.12.19
2010.12.12
2010.12.05
2010.11.28
2010.11.21
2010.11.14
2010.11.07
2010.10.31
2010.10.24
2010.10.17
2010.10.10
2010.10.03
2010.09.26
2010.09.19
2010.09.12
2010.09.05

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