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?
SIZZLING 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!