Monday, March 26, 2007

Harry's Lost Weekend

Harry Nilsson - Pussy Cats

When the Walkmen did a note for note rerecording of this, it reminded me to pop it off the shelf and give it a listen. If you can get past the mid-70's production sheen, especially the way the horns sound (shudder), it's a damn fun spin.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Gil Phones It In

Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson - 1980

This is the third of the missing three GSH records from the end of the me decade. They were being reissued at a snail's pace on TVT until Gil ran afoul of the law a few years back.

Bluntly, this is no Bridges. The album has a similar sound - synths, jazz, Fender Rhodes, etc. And Gil isn't going to all of the sudden start singing soprano. But the songs are not at the same level.

A couple places, the record kicks into higher ground - Shut 'Em Down is a favorite, 1980 is pretty good. But there is a sleepiness to this record that suggests bad drugs to me.

From here, Reflections is actually pretty good all the way through, but the other Arista albums are worth avoiding. The 1993 comeback album (some comeback, Gil) is worth a spin, and is some god-awful EVH guitar away from being a nice return to form. I still hold out hope that Gil will get it together for a monster record before it's all over, although I hear his health is pretty bad these days.

I'll Be Darned

The Damnation of Adam Blessing

Man, you'd think from the title, the year, and the homebase (Cleveland) that this would be a metal band. Not at all, though. Maybe they'd have done better if they were called the Darnation of Adam Blessing.

For me, the bands from Detroit seemed to do a good job of incorporating a natural sounding soul feel into rock. The Rationals, SRC, MC5, hell, even the Stooges if you listen to the rhythm section were way more groovy than any white band outside of the Rascals. Even though the DoAB were from across state lines, I think they had a similar thing going on.

In fact, I'd compare these guys pretty closely to SRCs second record Milestones. If you took that album, stripped out the Hammond Organ, and beefed up the guitars, you'd have something like this. They both have a nice Zombies undercurrent with that soul feel that makes for some good listening.

Please comment on the Sharebee service. I'm still making up my mind who'll have my business.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Walking With a Limp

Aksak Maboul - Onze Danses Pour Combattre la Migraine

According to Wikipedia, Aksak is a Turkish word meaning walking with a limp. Heavy, dude.

This is an album put out by a Belgain band in the late 1970s. Don't be afraid, though, because they don't sound Belch at all.

No, they sound French. Which is similar, but different. French, in the sense that it sounds half way in between synth music, and romantic dinner music, with maybe some carnival stuff in there to make it a little weird.

This is really about as close as I've heard to someone catching the happy up-tempo Autobahn rock of Kraftwerk. Still, it's got enough of the non-synth sing-songy stuff to temper the Kraftwerk influence.

Ah, hell, I don't know. I've had a coupla Belgian beers, and I think you all would like a Belgian record. So dig it.

Another NWW list favorite.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

IRA Comes Back, Phoenix-Like

Frank Wright

Frank Wright was an avant-garde sax player from the ESP stable. If you had to pick a prototypical player from the scene, Frank would be it. Not nearly as distinctive as the more lionized heroes of the scene, and not as obtuse as the most unlistenable honkers.
These are both very listenable albums, at least as far as ESP goes. Grab 'em fast, I've apparently got an angry deleter hanging around.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

IRA Solicits Help From Sympathizers

Someone with a lot of time on his hands just ripped down all of my recent links for the second time in two weeks. This is getting very irritating. I'm not going to let this person win, but I need to figure out how to do this better. Please give me some suggestions, loyal readers.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Return of the Lord

Lord Buckley - His Royal Hipness

Not much to say about this one. Either ya dig what the Lord is putting down, or you can't get it through your sphere. As you like it.

If you are a fan, and it sounds like you are, catch the youtube clip of the Lord on the Groucho Marx show. He is obviously scaring the shit out of the housewife he's matched up against. This was a cat that lived about a half century before his time.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

More ESP Goodness

Marzette Watts and Company

This is the earliest Sonny Sharrock recording I'm aware of. He's not really a big part of this one - there are a lot of folks on this one making their mark. But he's already way far out from the other jazz guitar pickers of his day.

I've read that Marzette and Patty Waters were an item at the time. He's on her record, and I bought this hoping she'd return the favor. No such luck. It's pretty cool, regardless. In fact, it's a pretty representative ESP session (jazz version) of the time.

Monday, March 5, 2007

No Music on This Disc At All

Luc Ferrari - Presque Rein

Luc Ferrari was a musique concrete composer from way back, having worked with the early greats. This was a series of compositions from, as well as I can tell, most of the 1970's.

He might have been chronologically a little long in the tooth, but this is still some pretty out there stuff. In fact, there isn't a note of performed music that I can find on here. All found sound manipulation. Like the beginning of a mid-period Floyd album, but the band never kicks in.

My French skills are absent, so I don't really know much about this. I'm guessing it is a compilation from several different lp's because of the near 80 min run time. The track listings are a little weird - 10 tracks, but only 4 names. I tried to make that clear on the tags.

Another from our series of NWW nuggets. You can see why they liked this - it is only dissimilar from early NWW in mood, not style.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Minimalism of Design


I love the way the minimalism of the titles for this record are so beautifully matched to the content of the grooves. It takes three words to get the band name, the record title, the song titles (Studio and Live), and the way the tracks were recorded (er, Studio and Live, by Anima).

Anima were the Fuchs husband and wife team plus two. They did fully improvised new music. No studio gimmickry or nuttin' - turn on the tapes and let 'em rip. The instrumentation is pretty odd - no guitar-based Krautrock, this one - drums, bass, horns, piano. Some of the horns appear to be homemade bizarro instruments. Lots of hollerin' and wordless vocals, too.

This is the second of the three records that make up the best work of the group. As far as I can tell, it's the hardest to find, and I don't see that it's available on CD at all. Dig this one, it's pretty psychedelic, a lot more than you'd guess from that description.

Another Nurse With Wound favorite. I'll try to get a couple more of those up this week.

Re-up: by request

Milford Graves Percussion Ensemble:

Thanks Rockers

Thanks for all the support the IRA has been getting from its loyal readers. We'll have lots of good posts over the next week, including a couple requests, some NWW list stuff, some ESP favorites, and maybe even a new record or two. Let's keep the discussion lively, and keep the requests a comin'. You readers make this fun.