F*ck Yeah

The Guardian’s coverage of Dylan’s winning the Nobel Prize for Literature seemed spot on.
The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar
BOB DYLAN
Prayed in the ghetto with my face in the cement,
Heard the last moan of a boxer, seen the massacre of the innocent
Felt around for the light switch, became nauseated.
She was walking down the hallway while the walls deteriorated.

East of the Jordan, hard as the Rock of Gibraltar,
I see the burning of the page, Curtain risin’ on a new age,
See the groom still waitin’ at the altar.

Try to be pure at heart, they arrest you for robbery,
Mistake your shyness for aloofness, your silence for snobbery,
Got the message this morning, the one that was sent to me
About the madness of becomin’ what one was never meant to be.

West of the Jordan, east of the Rock of Gibraltar,
I see the burning of the stage,
Curtain risin’ on a new age,
See the groom still waitin’ at the altar.

Don’t know what I can say about Claudette that wouldn’t come back to haunt me,
Finally had to give her up ’bout the time she began to want me.
But I know God has mercy on them who are slandered and humiliated.
I’d a-done anything for that woman if she didn’t make me feel so obligated.

West of the Jordan, west of the Rock of Gibraltar,
I see the burning of the cage,
Curtain risin’ on a new stage,
See the groom still waitin’ at the altar.

Put your hand on my head, baby, do I have a temperature?
I see people who are supposed to know better standin’ around like furniture.
There’s a wall between you and what you want and you got to leap it,
Tonight you got the power to take it, tomorrow you won’t have the power to
keep it.

West of the Jordan, east of the Rock of Gibraltar,
I see the burning of the stage, Curtain risin’ on a new age,
See the groom still waitin’ at the altar.

Cities on fire, phones out of order,
They’re killing nuns and soldiers, there’s fighting on the border.
What can I say about Claudette?
Ain’t seen her since January,
She could be respectably married or running a whorehouse in Buenos Aires.

West of the Jordan, west of the Rock of Gibraltar,
I see the burning of the stage,
Curtain risin’ on a new age,
See the groom still waitin’ at the altar.
Copyright © 1981 Special Rider Music

Old School

The Shelters‘s Rebel Heart jangles at its beginning, but its Byrdsian overtones give way to straight Stonesian grease.

Liar is almost the same song without the jangle!

Everybody sings, guitarists Chase Simpson and Josh Jove front the band and drummer Sebastian Harris and bassist Jacob Pillot give it a chooglin’ bottom.

The Shelters strike me as in the league of Wussy, similar to Blues and Lasers, and, the band reminds me of the sorely missed, defunct The Quarter After.

Somewhere it is always 1967.

Slow Joshua Tree desert funk. Love the Fender Jaguar!

He Sailed Over

“He sailed over, he wouldn’t fly.” Cleveland Plain Dealer journalist Jane Scott, quoting David Bowie’s wife.

David Bowie’s American debut took place at Cleveland Music Hall on September 22, 1972. I had graduated from high school on the far east side of Cleveland four months earlier. I don’t recall why there were so many of us still around, but, nevertheless, Jamie Cohen had supplied a group of us with passes to attend the after party at the, I believe, downtown Sheraton.

None of us were in anyway fans of Bowie’s music. That said, I managed a record store, Music Madness, on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, and the owner, Marc Epstein played the shit out of Bowie’s new record, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. By that September, I had heard it tens of times.

My own tastes echoed the folk-rock foundations laid in by my musically worldly friend Jamie, whose father started and owned the Disc Record Chain. 1972 was a good year too: Little Feat (Sailin’ Shoes,) The Band (Rock of Ages,) Ry Cooder (Into the Purple Valley,) Grateful Dead (Europe ’72,) Bonnie Raitt (Give It Up,) Brinsley Schwarz (Silver Pistols,) Manassas, Richard Thompson (Henry the Human fly) were just a few highlights. Still, we were hardly hipsters. My social group was full on into the cosmic cowboy artifice etched for us by the cover of The Flying Burrito Brothers’s The Guilded Palace of Sin.

And that was the sensibility we marched into the Sheraton with, on a chilly September night. The bouncers did throw one of our own down the stairs. Other stories unfolded.

Nobody caught a glimpse of Bowie.

Over the years I heard a lot of Bowie. The Man Who Fell to Earth is one of my top twenty favorite movies. Bowie is probably the best example of a musical giant who is not in my own subjective pantheon.

***

David Bowie and Michael Jackson and Prince are the great auteurs of post-hippie era pop. RIP Mr. Bowie.

The Flying Burrito Brothers: The Guilded Palace of Sin

The Gilded Palace of Sin isn’t strictly a country rock record. But when Parsons chose to mix the country with whatever else, he did it so well that it drew the ire of the Nashville establishment who felt that Parson’s music was a stain on the wholesomeness of pure country music. A sort of hippie invasion, if you will. Looking back, it’s funny to think about. Not only Nashville’s revulsion at Parson as an unsavory character—because there were no unsavory characters in country music—but also because country rock and country pop now dominate a large section of the consumer music market. That sort of genre blending, the country aesthetic mixed with dance beats or rock riffs, is a flower off the tree of Parson’s Cosmic American Music. Although I’m not so sure he would be happy with the dumb-downed legacy that is the current state of country music. American it is. Cosmic it is not.
Counterbalance No. 153: Flying Burrito Brothers’ ‘The Gilded Palace of Sin’ by Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger

The Guilded Palace of Sin remains for me, after forty-six years, one of my favorite pop records of all time, certainly in the top five.

I put the following compact disc in my car player and listened to it twice.

fbb

The hook for me, once again, was Sneaky Pete Kleinow’s pedal steel magic. His playing reinforces my own sense that The Burrito Brothers were a psychedelic country band, with Sneaky’s shapeshifting steel fronting the lead guitar aesthetic with its leaps between swirly chorus-effect and bandsaw fuzz.

Plus, marvels of lip-synch and stand-up pedal steel.
https://youtu.be/WCgxmc6gcOA

Sneaky Pete also anchored The Flying Burrito Brothers on tour.

https://youtu.be/ZTYIMtHk4H4
Calgary, August 1970

There are some fine audio-only concerts from 1970 on youtube.


Seattle Pop Festival – July 27, 1969


December 6, 1970 – Lyceum Ballroom – London, England

Hoon’s Tune & Muso Faves of Faves – 2014

Over the past week I’ve unveiled some of the music that brought me satisfaction and, often, extraordinary moments of sonic alignment–which is how great music strikes me, and, has struck me for forty-five years.

Nowadays it is clear that musical culture in the USA revolves around everybody being their own mix master. Almost all the music mentioned in the previous week’s post can be sampled via Spotify or Pandora. It can be purchased at iTunes or Amazon or GooglePlay, yet the best place to purchase it, is at the artist’s web site–where such an opportunity exists.

The following is my ordering of my very favorite releases from last year. This evaluation isn’t intended to parse artistic merit. It just serves my desire to name Wussy the album of the year, and to put their superb Attica in the company of other peerless examples of vital musical artistry.

12 ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS – 2014
1. Wussy – Attica |buy direct| ***record of the year*** 
2. The Swans – To Be Kind |buy direct|
3. Sam Newsome – The Straight Horn of Africa A Path to Liberation (Art of the Soprano, V2) |buy Amazon|
4. Noura Mint Seymali (Mauritania) – Tzenni |buy direct|
5. D’Angelo & The Vanguard – Black Messiah |buy Amazon|
6. Hassan Hakmoun (Morocco) – Unity |buy Amazon|
7. Tisziji Munoz – Taking You Out There! Live |buy direct|
8. Irma Thomas – Full Time Woman (The Lost Cotillion Album)
|buy Lousiana Music Factory|
9. Aya Nishina – Flora [from 2013] |buy|
10.The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream |buy direct|
11.Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds In Country Music |buy direct|
12.FKA Twigs – LP1 |buy Amazon|

Special Mention – Archival Discovery of the Year


John Coltrane – Offering – Live at Temple University |buy Resonance Records|

Hoon’s Tunes and Muso Faves 2014 – Pop, Rock, Country&Folk

Wussy-Attica

Wussy is the greatest rock band in the world today. Hear for yourself. Go for it.

Their 2014 album has been given due by experts.

They sound like a merger of The Band’s earthiness and The Replacements’ garage power.

Great songs hammered home by musicians wholly devoted to do the hammering.

ROCK
Wussy – Attica!


The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream
Arial Pink – Pom Pom
Ex Hex – Rips

POWER POP

The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers
Sloan – Commonwealth
Bell Gardens – Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions

VOICE

FKA Twigs – LP1
Amy LaVere – Runaway’s Diary
Alison May – Loved Dark
Grouper – Ruins

COUNTRY/FOLK

Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds In Country Music
Amelia White – Old Postcard
Angaleena Presley – American Middle Class
Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn – Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Billy Joe Shaver – Long in the Tooth

OLD HIPPIES – “OLD-TIMER’S DIVISION”

The Both – The Both (Amy Mann & Ted Leo)
various artists – Link Of Chain A Songwriters Tribute To Chris Smither
Jon Dee Graham – Do Not Forget
Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems

ARCHIVAL DISCOVERIES
The Velvet Underground / live
R.E.M. – Complete Rarities I.R.S. 1982-1987
Love – Black Beauty
The 13th Floor Elevators – Live Evolution Lost
Grateful Dead – 1972-11-18 Houston, TX
Grateful Dead – Dave’s Pick’s Volume 10 1969-12-12 Thelma, LA Dec 12 1969

REISSUES
Bob Dylan & the Band – The Complete Basement Tapes
The Velvet Underground / s.t.