Thursday, June 13, 2013

Swampland 'Zine and album review....

    A couple years back I wrote an album review for a friend's website/'zine called "Swampland." It was really cool and I wish I could have written more for the 'zine, too bad it is now obsolete. The album review I wrote was for Jail Weddings' "Inconvenient Dreams" EP. Great stuff! Read the review, check out the EP, and the "Swampland" site; there is a link at the bottom of this post. The contents of the 'zine website include more reviews, interviews, and various writings and art. Be sure to check it out, some great Rock 'n' Roll in its pages. Thanks.

   My music listening experience usually involves a scratchy hair-line cracked blues 78, or an obscure Midwest garage 45 covered in sticker goo. My motto these days is "after '65 it's pick and choose," thus relegating myself to a most uncomfortable plight; that of the disgruntled music fanatic that declares there is no good music anymore. So there is a need to be modern, to search it out, and to aid in the survival and preservation of the spirit of pure individualism in music, similar to preserving those fragile rare-as-hell country blues 78's.
    Enter Gabriel Hart, tortured musical genius and front man of two legendary L.A. bands: The Starvations and Fortune's Flesh. These bands set the soundtrack to an education in inebriation, the dull thump of brass knuckles slamming into the center of one's face, floor fuckin' in rat-like dwellings, the blare of the siren on the ambulance as you're taken by the hospital for a clean up before they carry you to your jail cell. Aw, that jail black coffee!!! 

   But times change, you have to abandon your abandoned hell and ensconce in something a little healthier. So we arrive at Gabe Hart's 4th project, the nine-piece "gang of musicians," Jail Weddings. Their fresh-out-of-the-oven offering is the EP "Inconvenient Dreams. A beauty of a musical junkpile that beckons to take the listener on some strange trip, upon first listen one finds himself feeling lonely at some kind of bizarre mid-sixties teenage talent show set in the bayou of Louisiana. An itchy sense of modern day paranoia love confusion creeps in through the beat of the drum and the "girl group" vocals. You are left with the understanding that love lost is love gained is love lost, and love ain't perfect. "Cheat On Your New Lover With Me," displays some sweet crunchy garage guitar work, "These Fleeting Moments" best exemplifies the "death doo-wop" idea. "I'm My Own Doctor," tells the story of some sick death-lover who takes he cues from a New Orleans hoodoo man. "(Do You Think We're Gonna End Up On) Skid Row," brings in a heavy Dale & Grace influence, had they been informed of our sick corrupt world here in the 21th century. The last track "I Am Fucking Crazy," flirts with absurd love. We've been turned inside-out, we now put our worse faces forward. We've torn down the dam and let the evil waters flood our neighborhoods, and in time little beautiful rivulets of melody will bleed into the unscathed fields on the outskirts of town. All the while the music of the Jail Weddings will be blaring from some loud speaker. Swampland

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Little Lowell praises the Lord!

I came upon this very different and interesting LP at the local Goodwill. It is a 70's country gospel Rite Pressing. Little Lowell Mason, a.k.a "The Singing Midget" a.k.a "The world's smallest gospel singer, (and his group, The Masons) hail from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mr. Lowell is 46 inches tall. I did not record the music for this post, just a photo of this amazing cover of this LP. From the crazy and weird world of record collecting. Also, enjoy this over-the-top comprehensive website profile on the man himself. The website profile features great pictures, a nice bio, and a "where is he now?" section with a link to his personal website. So don't let "The Little Man with the Big Voice" escape the confines of the sideshow that is the section of your brain that adores life's anomalies. And as an added bonus here is a very cool website/blog by the great Deke Dickerson.
Deke's Link

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Here is Prison/Death Row(2nd post of the day!)

Prison, murder, Death Row, and infidelity; what great subjects for a song. The writer of this particular song is none other than Marty Robbins. I don't think Marty himself ever cut this song. The way in which Rex Douglas sings it, it doesn't seem like it would have fit in with what Marty Robbins was singing in the late 60's. There does exist a version by Rex Allen on the "Hacienda" label. Although Rex Douglas' version is much more raw and rockin', Rex Allen gives it a good go. I love the feral honky-tonk damnation of this song. Just wild! Great guitar work! I love how it just chugs along, never decreasing it's pace. I really couldn't find much information on the artist or the label. So I ain't got too much left to write. I hope you all enjoy this sleazy 45 about the things that make the world go 'round....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A "Best" Side

Apart from a couple great R&B covers, I've never really thought much of Manfred Mann. Don't get me started on "Blinded by the Light." While record hunting I always come across hundreds of copies of "John Hardy," and "Quinn (The Eskimo). I view those records as being a little on the weak side. This gem is the exact opposite. I found it in a lot sale that I bought. The A side is "Ragamuffin man." The A side is very poppish, not really my cup of tea. But when I flipped the 45 over, I was pleasantly surprised to hear this psychedelic dirge. I love its overall drone-like sound. The lazy, dreary, drug-induced vocals. The fuzz guitar. A pure 100% gold Psychedelic nugget! Definitely shines a new light on the Manfreds.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Stan Jr.

Nothing makes me happier than finding a picture sleeve (and the 45) from the 50's and/or 60's of an obscure country artist. It only helps that said artist has one of the coolest hairstyles ever! I recently found this picture sleeve in an abandoned warehouse, where an ex-record dealer keeps his left over records. By perhaps, divine intervention, it was nicely ensconced in the 25 cent box.
Not much is known about Stan Jr. Some record-collector pals of mine in a Facebook group placed the record in about December '66. I also found out that someone named Curley Smith also recorded on the Bolt label. According to the short bio on the back of the picture sleeve Stan (Anderson) jr. started out in Rock n Roll bands at the age of sixteen, and upon a friends advice switched to Country & Western. I would say, with "Whoops," he kind of mixed both worlds. Nowadays, Stan jr. does some kind of traveling tribute/memories/oldies type of show. Perhaps he squeezes this song in! As it is a pretty decent song. The B side is a ballad that hasn't quite hit me yet, so I did not bother posting it. Stan Jr. can be found on Facebook, he also has a website, For your enjoyment Stan jr. With "Whoops," plus a photo of his awesome hair!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hillbilly in a Garage

One sub-genre that is quickly becoming one of my favorites, is country garage. The possibility that said genre actually exists is probably very unlikely. This 45 could be considered country garage. Nice honky-tonk vocals and silly country-oriented lyrics; coupled with a more rock band sound, fuzz guitar included! I love the guitar work on this tune!
Not much is known about Bob Withers, definitely a 60's release. Much has been documented on the legendary Nashville-based Bullet label, aside from a couple other labels; Bullet is one of my favorites. I love most of the stuff released on the label and I love the design of the actually label on the record! They released some great early 50's hillbilly bop, as well as some killer R & B/blues.
The 45 was more than likely recorded after Jim Bulleit sold the label to Red Wortham. Instead of writing out the entire label's history I will give you the link to their homepage

Monday, March 21, 2011

I've tried..............but failed

Very little info can be found on most of the records I post on here, this one is no exception. This 1968 garage 45 out of Indianapolis by the Early Mourning reeks of teenagers, garages and ineptness. When I first played this 45, which I grabbed from an antique shop a few towns away, my immediate reaction was to put it up for sale; but it ended up growing on me in a big way. It is probably my favorite and weirdest garage rock 45 that I own.
I love how the band sounds like they are barely hanging in there, and that a mistake can and probably did happen the first ten takes. The lack of a guitar solo, and the inability to keep time is proof of their ineptness. But, of course, that is the reason why I love the 45. This is proto-punk. It also sounds like it could have existed in any decade, from the sixties up till today. I bet one could throw it on a compilation of "early tracks," by Lou Reed/Velvet Underground, or Neil Young or (90's grunge group) Nirvana. It is, inadvertently, ahead of it's time. Here is a link on Indiana 45s/bands that I find very useful and fun: