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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Miki Pannell
Me and Mr. M.T. Wallet 
(Heroe de la Guitarra Records)

That Miki wields a formidable guitar and is well skilled at its application will surprise no one familiar with his Demented Are Go / Soulteros / Royal Scumbag Orchestra past. This new solo turn captures a remarkable aspect: one placidly reflective, inclined toward tasteful rumination, and even genteel. Lush, swept-away choral flourishes that sometimes recall the Beatles are unanticipated qualities, but are appreciated, nonetheless. 

Recommended "Hurricane Mari," "British Artists," "Barbie and Ken," "Hymn For the Homeless Part 1: I'll Be On My Way," "Hymn For the Homeless Part 2: Me and Mr. M.T. Wallet," "Hymn For the Homeless Part 3: Me and Lady Lucky," "Hypnotized," "By the Lake," "An Epitaph"

Video "Hurricane Mari"

Monday, September 18, 2017

Dollywood Confidential

Sunday night's Stephen Colbert-hosted Emmy awards broadcast fully met expectations, as a poncy parade of powdery silver-screen snoots took turns under-handing slurs at the President of the United States. 

By logical extension, the American people who support Trump, and the country itself, were also targets of the foppish Hollywood hissters.

Positively adrip with show-people contemptuousness for Real America, the Emmy Awards broadcast reaped the lowest ratings ever posted by that stomach-turning orgy of self-congratulation. 

Average Americans in their living rooms by now know to avoid the treasonous, glittering falderal Hollywood invariably choreographs. (Despite this broadcast crashing into utter splinters, though, next year's show will surely be cut from the same scornful fabric. They hate us even more than they covet viewership.)

Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda appeared onstage, both to clumsily reference their 1980 film 9 To 5, and gigglingly smear the President. (Apparently, you can take Jane out of Hanoi, but you can't take Hanoi out of Jane.)

Some critics have noted that Parton herself did not comment during the awkward anti-Trump dido, merely raising her eyebrows as Tomlin and Fonda read scripted attacks. Those observers suspect Parton's silence might indicate disagreement with her erstwhile co-stars.

But, the singer hardly deserves exemption from sharing in the blame for only driving the getaway car. 

Parton well knows of Left intolerance. Only recently, an identity-addled Slate essayist joined in contemporary mania for historical reinvention, decrying Dollywood's Dixie Stampede. And, of course, she has throughout her career made much of the 'common folks' theme.

Given that, her volitional cooperation in the Emmy broadcast's flat anti-regular Americans antic conflicts with both her experience and cultivated image.

Dolly Parton may have chosen to participate in an act for which she did not herself feel enthusiasm, but that offered her profit. I believe there's a word for that.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Blue Coupe
Million Miles More (self)

Spectacular product issues when the brash energies of youth are focused by wisdom gleaned from journeyman background. Always welcome at the rock and roll party are song hooks successful in conversion, heavy guitar riffs that wind and bind with growled authority, and a trippingly compelling pounding that logically recalls the venerated Blue Oyster Cult and Alice Cooper bands from which sprang this titanic supergroup.

Also contributing are Dictator Ross the Boss, NYC sirens Tish and Snooky, BOC eye-harvester Buck Dharma, various devout members of Steppenwolf and Radio Birdman, and some singer named Furnier.

Recommended "Ride With Me," "Prophets, Dukes, and Nomads," "Hallow's Grave," "Modern Love," "Everybody Goes Insane," "Used Car," "Supernatural Love"

Video "Ride With Me"

The Astro Zombies
Frog's Legs (Crazy Love Records)

Skeletal, antsy Psychobilly, as yet saluted by glory-wrapped French guardsmen of the Old School Great War. Heaped dollops of mischievousness and maleficence.

Recommended "Use My Axe," "Fish Fingers," "Mad," "Frog's Legs," "Monster Stroll," "Burlesque Show," "Crazy Monkey"

Video "Use My Axe"

JD and the Straight Shot
Good Luck and Good Night (self)

Not nearly so much artificially matched from distinct origins as of obviously natural correspondence -- so apt that they could never thrive in any others' company  -- the unabashedly expressive lyrics and gentle, animated music here in residence find effectiveness well beyond mere background distraction.

Recommended "Run For Me," "Redemption Train," "Ballad of Jacob Marley," "Never Alone," "Moonlight," "It's Your World, Now"

Video "Run For Me"

The Bad Breed
Snake Girl (Dangerhouse)

Imagine slowly waking in an unfamiliar, slippery and pulsing, keyboard exotica reality, one as conversant in passing, amiable western lilts as driven rock and roll, and led to crowning triumph by scissor-fanged and whomping guitars. A strange circumstance, perhaps. But one perniciously pleasant. Franz? 

Recommended "Snake Girl," "Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down," "Love Or Glory Man,"

Video "Snake Girl"

Lawen Stark and the Slide Boppers
On the Run (Drunkabilly Records)

Solid and wood-grained rockabilly without counterproductive fancy-pants airs about arty exposition. Real music for real people in the real world. Fun, and loads of it.  

Recommended "," "Pepper Hot Baby," "On the Run," "Come On, Let's Go," "I Got Devils," "Forget Me Never," "I Can't Lose"

Video "Pepper Hot Baby" (Live)

Rockabilly Kitty Rose
Gotta Wind Down (Crackerjill Music)

Wonderfully basic rockabilly -- forceful in its bursting, with honking sax coloration and blues wisdom -- is all the base Kitty requires from which open up and exclaim her rockin' heart out. And a mighty, mighty heart it is.

Recommended "Bourbon Bound," "Gotta Wind Down," "Up Side Down (You Turned My)," "Walking Blues," "Drop Dead Gorgeous," "Black Cherry Tree"

Video "Bourbon Bound"

Jim Diamond and the Groove Syndicate
Somewhere Somehow (Bigtone Recording)

Fortunately reissued tracks communicating the just-plain joyfulness of knowing exactly where fun is and how best to get to it. There is in these high-stepped blues passages great jubilation. Jim's guitar compels all to gladly follow.

Recommended "Down So Long," "Surfin' the Blues," "Don't Be Sad," "Tempest," "Desperate Man," "Highway 401"

Video "Down So Long"

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Clockwork Psycho
I Don't Give a Fuck (Diablo Records)

Like heady sweet wine in whose crimson murk floats crunched-up windshield glass. 

Recommended "I Don't Give a Fuck," "Library of Abandoned Hope," "Go Away," "Dead Boy," "Secret Me," "After Midnight"

Video "I Don't Give a Fuck"

Black Patti
Red Tape (Rhythm Bomb Records)

With each winged harp note and serious string pluck, Peter Crow C. and Ferdinand Kraemer summon anew the unassuming blues spirituality of an era long-since passed, but alive yet to all truly hip to the American music canon.

Recommended "Ask Your Mama," "Wooten Stomp," "Goodbye Little Baby," "I'll Never Come Back Home," "Frenchman Street Rag," "A Stroll With Mr. Roll"

Video "I'll Never Come Back Home"

Milwaukee Wildmen
Blood Moon Shadow (Diablo Records)

Angry, menacing rock 'n' roll shook the forbidden club. It assaulted innocent ears for blocks around. 

Inching open the club's rear door, a timid square peered fearfully inside. It was midnight-dim, save for the stark beams of randomly placed lights, He stared in open-jawed horror at the monstrous tableau within: A crush of bodies pulsed -- jerking, gyrating, and slamming into monstrous union. Swerved brutality deafened. 

Onstage, the delinquent authors of the riotous racket leaned into their breakneck dirty business, eyes blazing with the fervency of undead hitmen. 

And the songs. They were irresistible, onrushing, and like some grisly brew of feral howling, one-percenter stridency, and the arrogance of a thousand dark-side beasts.

The square eased shut the door he should have left unopened. He knew the unspeakable scene he'd beheld would forever stalk in his brain.

Recommended "Die Alone," "Dark Shadows," "Leaves a Scar," "Not Too Late," "Psycho Like You," "Black Machinery," "Dead Heroes"

Video "Dark Shadows"

Sandy and the Wild Wombats
Devoted to Rock (Bear Family)

Each hopped-up instrumental element explodes straight at you with blood-churning relish. In formidable burliness, and with stylistically particular mind, the minimalist Rockabilly romps, batters, and delights as only it can. (The hallowed Paul Burlison exemplar sometimes gestures in lightning-strike leads.)

Recommended "I Gotta Move," "Rockabilly Man," "Wild Night," "Cure Your Ills," "Hey, Hey, Hey"

Video "I Gotta Move"

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Charlie Pickett featuring Peter Buck
That's What I Like About Miami 
digital track 
(Bloodshot Records)

The Floridian landscape of torn wreckage and despondent humanity horribly evident in Hurricane Irma's wake requires that all able take up the amelioration task, however we are able, and to the limits of our potentials. Art, too, is summoned to its feet; its peculiar charms are here manifested in a laid-back groove that echoes in reassuring counterpoint to nature's indifferent ugliness.

Proceeds, as should be the case, are directed to the salvation effort.

Supper Club Riot (self)

The siren of riches ripe for discovery leads aspirational souls to wander away precious years in its pursuit. But, that it seldom delivers cash wealth only matters if you don't tally the more valuable rewards of the heart. 

By the way: This is some of the finest and most elemental rural tune-raising you're likely to ever hear.

Recommended "Swing Valley Drifter," "Sweet Sweet Girl," "Build Your Gallows High," "Space-Age Chevy," "Brassy Dame," "Jail Cell Bop," "Supper Club Riot"

Video "Swing Valley Drifter"

Mouse Zinn
The Embassy Recordings 
(Foot Tapping Records)

The starry collaboration between legendary UK rocker Zinn and globally-saluted, first-chair guitar man Darrel Higham benefits still more from crackerjack auxiliary by Doels Gordon and David. Rockabilly a-crackle at topmost level. 

Recommended  "In Thoughts of You," "One Thing I Ain't Got," "Shush, Don't Tell 'em," "Folkstone Skies," "Mooshatanio,"  "That's the Way," "Searchin'" 

Video "In Thoughts of You"

Joe Simon
Music In My Soul: The Best of Joe Simon

Wikipedia's Joe Simon entry relates that, as was so of others later famed in secular R&B, he first cultivated his resonant baritone talent in the church. He soon realized renown beyond local circumstance with the Golden West Gospel Singers. But, it was in the pumping, jumping Country-Soul and R&B sounds of the temporal plane that greater fame would become his.

First issued as a 1976 10-track LP by minor Sound Stage (and later by CBS, according to some accounts), this compendium was in 1997 re-released by Rhino. An additional 10 songs joined the original listing. Songs begin with electrifying 1960s waxy moments.

Joe Simon carved his name on 1970s and 1980s charts. And, surely, his dynamic, insistent way with a groove compelled many to shake, grind, and cast their hands wildly, as though in the rapture of some irresistible impulse. It was party music of joyfully liberating rank.

Eventually, though, Joe abandoned secular stylings, returning to the pulpit as both singer and preacher. And, there, too, regard came to "Bishop Joe Simon" -- though of a fundamentally disparate variety.

Joe Simon was in 1999 inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Foundation as a Pioneer Award honoree. His songs have in more recent days been sampled by Outkast, Lil' Kim, and Memphis Bleek. Despite their efforts, though, those latter-day admirers did not approach even near to the legend's impactful significance.

Recommended "Say (That Your Love Is True)," "When You're Near," "The Chokin' Kind," "When I'm Gone," "The Whoo Pee," "It's a Miracle," "Don't Be Looking In My Mind," "It's Hard To Get Along," "Farther On Down the Road," "That's the Way I Want Our Love"

Video "Say (That Your Love Is True)"

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Eddie and the Head-Starts
My Name Is Eddie (Rhythm Bomb Records)
4-track disc

Those whose hearts pulse and toes tap with honest, unashamed love for unadorned rockabilly as coined in decades previous have new cause for rejoicing, and for heading straightaway for the local record shop. 

Recommended "My Name Is Eddie," "Playmate"

Video "My Name Is Eddie"

The Silver Shine
Reloaded (self)

It is to both their credit and our reward that the players responsible assert themselves in full-on fashion from beginning to conclusion. Psycho storm and punk elan thrown into ferocious collusion, busting amuck through every impediment arranged.

Recommended "Jolene," Made of Chrome," "In the Middle of Nowhere," "Anyhow," "Dreams," "Just Make Your Guns," "Raise Your Glass"

Video "Jolene"

Guitar Slingers
Rise of the Cybermen (Diablo Records)

His eyes suddenly wide, the youthful United Worlds of the Solar System radio operator pressed hard an earpiece, and motioned frantically for his supervisor.

"What the devil are you picking up?!"

The stunned operator's features betrayed his perplexedness. "I'm not sure, sir! But, it sounds fierce! And kind of odd!" He shook his head. "Not like any planet normal men could inhabit. And, yet -- I feel compelled to keep listening!"

The kid was never the same, again.

Recommended "Rise of the Cybermen," "Dr Theme," "The Invasion"

Video "Rise of the Cybermen"

Doyley and the Twanglords
Twang Solo (Diablo Records)

Not unexpectedly, Philip Doyle evokes the psychobilly fury of past associations (Klingonz, Demented Are Go, Guitar Slingers). Illustrating that his inspirations are of wider span, though, are technicolor cinematic flairs, Mexican zest, and daringly adventurous surf expostulations. Doyley's stringed-neck articulations, torn off at flabbergasting light speed, elevate ambitiousness to creative realization.

Recommended "Twangzilla," "Hava Nagaila," "Django Il Basardo," "The Shaft," "Johnny Dangerously," "Graviton," "Zorch X14"


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Down By the River (self)

Fires ablaze in his eyes, the guitar-slingin' preacher was a man possessed: waving his arms, and exhorting those assembled beside the rushing blue waters to heed his fervent call:

"Yes, I want ya to follow us, right on down to the river! I want ya to let the music flow through ya like the cool, life-givin' waters of rock and roll salvation! Come with us, down by the river church, because there's room for us all, in those waters, amen! The only thing we ask of ya is that ya lay those burdens down, before ya get in the water! Lay 'em right down, on them rocky shores, church!  Lay those burdens down, and stand up with the wonder of rock and roll!" (Track 1: " Call To Worship")

His raucous ministry rang out with a backwoods, seething SwampRockabillyBluesCountry born of simple humanity, but daring to grab out for something more: A wondrous deliverance trusted in by all who that night plunged in and abandoned temporal travails. 

Recommended "Down By the River," "Josie," "Bible/Gun," "Dirty Fingers," "Coffin Maker's Son," "Prodigal Son"

Video "Down By the River"

Vince and the Sun Boppers
Spinnin' Around (Rhythm Bomb Records)

For all their chops, the young, hungry '50s men convening in the unassuming 706 Union studio knew that good-time spiritedness had to figure outstandingly in the efforts undertaken. This new disc features that same fun element in each economical and bouncing rockabilly tune. Further distinction lies in players' understanding of hillbilly country's fundamental belonging in the business. 

Recommended "Spinnin' Around," "Let's Get Ready," "Oh, Baby," "You Mean Love," "Frank's Barber Shop," "Red Headed Mama," "Rockin' My Way"

Video "Spinnin' Around"

Rick and the Ramblers
Green Mountain Standard Time 
(AirFlyte Records)

When Rick and the Ramblers' tour bus broke down in the middle of rural nowhere, the propitious happenstance meant just one thing to locals: Barn dance!

In the good-naturedly swinging tradition of cowboy-hatted western haystack ensembles before them, Rick Norcross and amiably tuneful friends keep songs clear-sounding, light on their feet, and of such heel-kicking infectiousness as to raise the roof clean off the rust-red place and guarantee a hot time in the old town, tonight. 

Recommended "Texoma Bound," "They Say You Can't Take It With You (When You Go)," "Fly Trouble," "Don't Do Me Like That With Your Cowboy Hat," "Shelburne Yesterday," "Green Mountain Standard Time"

Video "Texoma Bound"

The Yawpers
Boy In a Well (Bloodshot)

Some stories are best shouted with declarative hoarseness, their febrile insistence buoyed onward by muscular musicality that strains against pretty much everything. Come occasionally valleys of rumination. Then, roaring again breaks the door.

Recommended "Reunion," "A Decision Is Made," "Mon Dieu," "Face To Face," "No Going Back," "Linen For the Orphan"

Video "Reunion"

The Living End
Shift (Dew Process)

As is characteristic for Australian punk psychobillies The Living End, judicious composition is ever mindful of the guitar riff's import; it can lead rock and roll's titanic deluge, assuming an authority with whose swaggering and demonstrative aegis the thunder-clapping whole triumphs. And then some.

Recommended "Monkey," "One Step," "Up the Junction," "Wire," "Further Away," "Life As We Know It"

Video "Monkey" (live)