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Preview: A List Of Things We Lost

Unbreakable Records


Updated: 2018-03-05T17:48:53.649-05:00




Claiming that people in a theater speaking up for diversity and security for all Americans are somehow violating the precepts of a safe space is ABSURD. They were emboldened to speak BECAUSE it is a safe space.
Subverting and misusing the language of the opposition is straight out of the Fascist Handbook. If media wants to help fix this, we all need to stop worrying about trivialities and start (re)learning about how our modern dictators have risen to power... early warning signs are already in place. Trump tweets reach 15 million people, most of whom take his idiocy as fact. Bannon is the brain, and he knows exactly what he's doing.



OK, it's time to get and stay political until further notice. 
More music might follow, but for now, it's ideas and action that count.

For starters: the media. Enough hand-wringing about how "we all got it so wrong." Even when it's in the context of not understanding the "other", it's still so us-centered and smacks of the solipsistic nature that creates echo chambers. Which, sorry to say, is not what lost this election.

Mainstream media, you have no influence. Even if you'd got it right, the people who voted for Trump would still have done so!

Most Trump voters are the ones who got it wrong. Nothing that they want - or, more importantly, need - will be addressed by Trump. (The Trump voters who got it right are going to be rewarded with tax breaks, cronyism and more political power.)

Now, if Ted Cruz and Mitt Romney had any balls, instead of showing themselves to be the power-hungry, hypocritical, spineless losers that they are... well, those are people with some degree of influence, who could maybe try to make a difference; if they worked with Dems and kept their principles, we'd have a shot at keeping things from going 100% to hell.



Axelrod pulls no punches on this funky indictment of our country's shameful history... a reprise of which we may be entering soon if more people don't start taking action.


This is the Body, this is the Blood...


 As always here at Unbreakable Records, we strive to bring you the odd, unknown, and unknowable.  Peter Ivers' Band Knight of the Blue Communion falls well into all three categories. 

For starters, I just love the apostrophe after Ivers' last name - like the band belongs to him.  The cover states that the record "features" Yolande Bavan, who sings on almost all the tunes, whose throaty keen is somewhere between Grace Slick and Catherin Ribeiro.  Ivers released a second band band album in '71, replacing Bavan (who was Sri Lankan) with the more sultry Asha Puthli; one more self-titled, apostrophe-less band album in '74, and a solo album two years later pretty much marked the end of his career as a leader.  He was a jarring, angular guitarist (
and Harvard grad) with a funky bent and maniacal, proggish leanings in his compositions, and, of course, lots of love for the eastern thang, as evidenced by the singers he chose to work with.

His outre sensibilities led David Lynch to tap Ivers to write a tune for Eraserhead, and then to be chosen to host New Wave Theater, the local LA-based, Billboard-related punk variety show that helped introduce the world to Bad Religion, Fear and the Dead Kennedys, among many others.

Sadly, Ivers died in 1983, at only 36 years old.  These disturbing details come from ye olde Wikipedia: "In 1983, Peter Ivers was found bludgeoned to death with a hammer in his Los Angeles apartment. The murderer was never identified. Harvard established the Peter Ivers Visiting Artist Program in his memory.  Josh Frank and Charlie Buckholtz have written a book about Ivers' life, art and mysterious death, In Heaven Everything Is Fine: The Unsolved Life of Peter Ivers and the Lost History of New Wave Theatre (published 2008). On the basis of new information unearthed during the creation of this book, the LAPD has reopened their investigation into Ivers' death."

Though his recorded legacy was brief, there's some down n' dirty moments not to be missed on his debut. . . Anoint thyself!

Shakin' All Over


I first learned about Alfonso Lovo when I was reviewing his fusion masterpiece La Gigantona for our esteemed friends at Ugly Things.  Released by the Numero Group, the album fit firmly in the label's "cult cargo" tradition: self-financed, unreleased, bitingly funky.  From the liners, I learned of an earlier Lovo album, the mouthful-of-a-name Terremoto richter 6:25 - managuaTerremoto was recorded in 1972, when Lovo was a student here in the States, in response to a devestating earthquake in his home of Managua, Nicaragua.  It's not quite as strong as Gigantona, and shorter; but for a thrown-together response to an ecological crisis a continent away, it's pretty goddamn good.  Bristling with emotion, introspection, outward frustration, Terremoto also allowed Lovo to define his future musical evolution.  Many of the tracks act as a blueprint for Gigantona, with Latin-influenced acoustic guitar, burbling horns and lightly psychedelic touches.

(image) (image)

Hey, why not shake things up?



(image) It's on, and it's gonna be bigger than ever.  Held at the scenic, sceney Williamsburg Waterfront, the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair will once again have tons of vendors of both new & old vinyl, DJ sets, beer & more!

As always, Unbreakable will be there repping old school flavor with our table of crates heavy on Jazz, Rock, New Wave, Soul, and oddball assortments for your digging pleasure.  

Other collectors and some stores will be selling, too, but no one has the selection (or the prices!).  Be sure to check out the map & stop by UR first.

The labels represented include DFA, Secretly Canadian, Domino, Luaka Bop, Polyvinyl, Rough Trade, Warp, and Sacred Bones, just to name a few.  There will also be serious DJ sets from the likes of Sandra Electronics, Autre Ne Veut, Caroline Polacheck (from Chairlift) and Optimo.

Sponsored again this year by our good friends at the Red Bull Music Academy, which has its own fair share of one-and-done events worth checking out all month.


Before Miami


Here's another dirty digging gem, literally - found sitting in a pile of "garbage" on 109th St. between Lexington & 3rd.  As I saw the owner of the Botanica throwing his records away, I verified that he wasn't looking to sell them before scooping up about 50 on my way to a meeting.  Nothing like showing up to discuss contract negotiations and tenure with both arms stacked full of dusty wax...

A couple of duds on here when Roy pushes the schmaltzometer to 11, but otherwise full of fiercely funky nuggets; this album as such is unavailable in its correct running order.

Rapid Eye Movement


Not quite as deep as Jazz Raga, not nearly as low-key as Bacchanal, Gabor Szabo's Dreams fits into his oeuvre - and the spirit of the times - perfectly, a lovely fusion of jazz hipness and psych weirdness.

Cello orchestration, flamenco overtones, spacey suites and one of the best Donovan covers ever . . . Dig it, and dig in . . .

I Don't Recall. . .


Little-known but uber-groovy electronic soundtrack from the mid-80s La Mama scene: drum machine, MIDI sequencers and early computer programming. . . ah, heaven. . . Ricci has been on the scene since the late '70s, though his early works still remain unissued.  Diverse instrumentation and thoughtful arrangements, placing him in the later pantheon of electronic/minimal/Avant-Garde classical composers.Many of his more recent works are available for minimal cost directly from the composer himself here, so go ahead and support!  Sealed deadstock copies of Music From Memory were available for a short time (and 60 bucks) from Invisible City Editions, but no longer. . .  so follow it here to head down the rabbit hole with Ricci's blippy mnemonic device. . .[...]



          September 30, 2012          Dear Jack,          I've been with you for a while now, having been a fan from the first note of the first song of White Blood Cells back in 2001.  Even as you made music or musical choices that I didn't love, I always tried to come see you play when you were in New York.   More than once I've called you our generation's only living guitar god.         Saturday's show at Radio City Music Hall was bullshit.          I respect any musician's decisions about his or her music.  No one should place expectations on how long a musician should perform for.  But when every other set on your tour has been twice the length of this sold-out show of 5,000 people, paying an average ticket price of $61, you're getting paid to perform a service.  That's called WORK, brother - around $300,000 for a single night ain't bad (yes, I know you don't get it all).  Playing half a concert and then sprinting off the stage means you're shirking your duties.           I'm a teacher; if I show up and half my class is off the wall, won't listen, or talks over me... I don't get to walk out of the room and go home.  I have to figure out how to make it WORK, to do the best job I can for my students; they're the people I'm working for.  That's what people do at WORK - they do their job.               You did your job lazily, poorly.  Bad sound is a disappointing fact of live music.  Bad will towards the people who put you where you are is a disappointing, weak character trait.                  You're an inventive, DIY kinda guy.  If it was, in fact, a sound issue, then fix it. You get to choose your venues.  You get a soundcheck.  You get a sound guy for the stage monitors, and another one for the audience.  You don't like the sound?  Fix it.  Don't pay Radio City their exorbitant venue fee for a hall that sounds like shit.  But don't charge your fans for something that's not their fault.  Tell us, the ones who helped make it a sold-out show, that you're gonna power through, because that's what rock n' roll's about - persevering, & rocking the fuck out of whatever bad situation you find yourself in.             For the record, I was trying to start cheers of "Come back, Jack!" even when I knew by the house lights, the roadies turning off amps, that it was futile.  But by that point, the confused and dispirited audience wasn't into it - they were just ready to boo you.  Standing around for thirty minutes like a bunch of hopeful assholes, wondering why we just gave up our Saturday nights - and a fair amount of money - to see someone who doesn't seem to care about how our evening ends... it didn't sit well with people. That's the way to lose a lot of fans.                      Anyway, you just lost this one.          Long live the good times,          Alex[...]



A while back I stumbled upon this in a box of random buys - you know, the kind where you're thumbing & thumbing, thinking, over & over again, "Why did I buy this huge lot of crappy records?" until you pull out the one that has all these weird-ass Fluxus folks doing spoken word, recordings of semiotic theory lectures & out pieces like "Typewriter in D" and "How To Make Love To A Sound."  It's got William Borroughs and Buckminster Fuller. It's called Revolutions Per Minute (The Art Record) [Charing Hill 1982].  That sounds promising. There are gnomic, philologic-philosophic pangyrics scattered among post-punky musical selections & even some country.  So you think, "Hm... this isn't so crappy..." Then you see that it's signed by the producers, Jeff and Juanita Gordon; then you check up on it & you see it's worth a good couple-a Benjamins.

What, you mean you never have those kind of days?

This was about two years ago.  Then, just this summer, my good friend Christopher Z. Gordon (you might know him better as the manager of the fiery Randall, he of deep, unending animal observations) sent me a press release for a gallery show that his dad was curating.  It was based on the similarly-assembled Andy Warhol tribute titled 15 Minutes, which was released as an art-and-music multi-disc set last spring by Sony (and which, coincidentally, I reviewed briefly in conjunction with the opening).  That set was co-produced by Jeff Gordon, the same one (I assumed) who'd produced Revolutions Per Minute.

Wait - Chris Gordon... Jeff Gordon... I'd always known his dad was an artist.  But such a common last name that I never made the connection.  A few emails later, & it turns out I'd been drinking & smoking & playing punk rock with Jeff Gordon's son for the last decade.  Crazy, man, crazy.

Also turns out that Jeff doesn't have his own copy of R.P.M. and isn't so hip to turntables any more, but the request came through for a CD copy - one I was more than happy to oblige.  In so doing, I figured there was no reason not to help spread the brilliance & include it on the List.

True to form, there are indeed many revolutions - as well as devolutions, evolutions and convolutions - every minute on this behemoth of a collection.  Thanks to Jeff & Juanita Gordon for assembling 30 years ago, & to Chris for helping me get it together in the 21st Century to post!

Turn the beat around.



Free Life's self-titled debut [Epic JE-35392, 1978] is yet another platter from the land of how-we-like-'em: groovy & with pretty much no information available at all.  About all one can ascertain is that this, the band's only full-length offering, was produced by Phillip Bailey, just out of Earth, Wind and Fire and a few years before his solo career (which spawned possibly my favorite soul/pop hit of the '80s, his "Easy Lover" duet with Phil Collins).

(image) Musically, Free Life drew from the same disco-funk well as EWF, but on the slightly lighter side.  Not consistently my cup of tea, but there are enough good moments and strong tracks to keep the listener's interest ("Dance Fantasy" was released in a couple of different versions and is a mildly sought-after 12").  Even with the backing of a known R&B quantity on one of the most major of major labels, the band did nothing after their debut (save for "Dance Fantasy" also being a split single with Billy Ocean's hit "Nights" in 1980).

But don't let their lack of success slow you down... live the Free Life!



It's always nice when a musician gets a second chance at practicing his or her art.  Often, these less commercially-inclined ventures are the ones that bring the artist more satisfaction than chasing after mammon's grail.  It looks like this might be the case with Patty Dee.

Until recently, every search I made for her came up blank, other than listings for her ultra-rare 7" 45 and 12" EP on Discogs.  I don't usually like to post things without background info, but in this case (as with one of the other posts coming up soon) I didn't have much choice; so I was happy to see upon looking again that Ms. Dee is still in the saddle, albeit in a much different way.

Her longer effort, Fade The Night Away [Aircut 002, 1979], has five songs that touch upon the darker side of minimal pop, with droney vocals and low-register synth melodies a trademark.  None of her collaborators seem to pop up much on Google searches; but the fact that Dee started her own label to release her own music, even in the heady DIY daze of the late 70s, is impressive.

That label, Aircut, only released these ultra-rare sides, & even so, they haven't really surfaced until recently.  Turns out that, presumably after a lack of success, Patty Dee folded Aircut, only to revive the label in the early aughts, to promote her continuing passion of playing the steel drum.  A quick glance at her current site (see link above) shows a devotion to Carribean music and the steel drum in particular, that Dee uses to engage and enhance her community.

Funny, the paths people travel.  Looking at the post-punk sneer she has on the cover, one would be hard pressed to envision Patty Dee in the role she has now. . . but here we are, after a bid to Fade The Night Away, in the equatorial light of a new day. . . .



For those lovers of the (thankfully) bygone "freak folk" era of the early aughts, Accolade's self-titled debut [Capitol ST-597, 1970] is a small gem in the original genre.  The jazz-inflected, all-acoustic arrangements are mostly guitar forward, but supported by excellent bowed bass and wind instruments, though, surprisingly, precious few harmonies.

It's also a great example of how bizarre the rare vinyl market is, as you can find about 5 copies for sale online at most given times, yet at auction it routinely goes for $35, and is often set-listed for far higher.  For my money, it's not nearly enough like the Incredible String Band or Pentangle to warrant such erratic pricing, as most of the tunes are straight up folksy or bluesy light-rock numbers.  Also not sure why some people list it as having breakbeats - there's definitely some tight drumming in a funky mold, but a quick check on the essential Who Sampled shows that no one ever actually has used any of the record.  However, their superb cover of "Nature Boy" is on par with their label-mate Gandalf's freakier version, and makes the LP worth a listen, at the very least. . . although the inner Joycean in you will be severely disappointed that despite the amateur wordplay in the lyrics, the 12-minute "Ulysses" has nothing to do with Leopold Bloom's wanderlust but, rather the actual travels of Odysseus (guess a four syllable name was a little harder to chisel into the form and flow of the song). 

As a result, the mostly feel-good music comes off like the UK equivalent of the Lovin' Spoonful, while the excellent flute throughout puts me in mind of Jade Warrior, but less fuzzy and progressive.  Perhaps an even better comparison would be that Accolade was doing their across-the-pond version of American blues in the way that Danny Kalb & Stefan Grossman tackled British trad folk on their much underrated Crosscurrents.  

In any event, praise is definitely due to Accolade for having nestled comfortably in the weft of the flowing cambric of UK psych-folk's historical tapestry.



(image) I'm not always one for the '80s-inspired, Joy-Division-poseur camp (cf. my feelings that Interpol is completely insufferable and borderline unlistenable), but this is a special, spectral record that deserves some wider attention. Although they'd been around the Los Angeles South Bay area since 1983 (releasing an impossible-to-find 12" 45 album with connections to SST), this self-titled disc from 1988 is Wog's sole artistic statement. A duo consisting of Aret Madilian, a Turkish-born Armenian who emigrated to L.A., and the dubiously-named Ari Excel, Wog were far more than wannabes. Influenced by '80s greats, they convert - and sometimes subvert - the idiom to great effect. Madilian is a multi-instrumentalist who created most of the multi-layered musical underpinnings, while Excel sang and played bass.

The cover broadcasts the enigmatic nature of the music, which exists in a hazy dusk of synthesizer arpeggios. Even so, Wog took their name from a Stranglers song, though the band had little in common with the rockier elements of their namesake providers. Instead, they lay down a darkwave minefield that explodes with creativity on every track.

Issued by what was seemingly their own private label, Claudestine Records, Wog [Claudestine 01] appears to be the label's only release, and a worthy entry into the missing-link minimal/darkwave canon.

Madilian currently lives in France and fronts the haunting, fragile Delavan. Meanwhile, nothing can be found regarding Excel, indicating that this was, in fact, a nom de musique - although the anagrammatically-named Air Excel is the Tanzanian national airline, inviting speculation that Madilian's partner was perhaps similarly repatriated...?

Go Wog. . .




Sunday blues? Dottie Clark gets you, baby. Her album for the Mainstream label, I'm Lost [56006, 1962], is as crackin' a debut as you're likely to find. Mainstream did a lot with vocalists early on before moving full force into heavy psych, breaking both Big Brother & the Holding Company and the Amboy Dukes. But despite a few flops here n' there, it's a label that often signals a worthy purchase, and many of their one-off artist releases are pretty sweet.

Clark was from Washington, D.C., and, with the exception of a stray 45, never made another record. Not much is known about her save for the sparse liner notes that give the basic pitches for why she's a rising star: "excellent voice, beautiful phrasing, and a tremendous amount of experience." Obviously written by someone at the label, since they're anonymous. Guess Mainstream couldn't spring for Nat Hentoff or Leonard Feather. Thing is, the liner notes aren't far off - sure, she's no Ella or Sarah or Dinah or whoever, but Dottie Clark's voice sticks with you. It contributes just as much to the feel of each song as the arrangements themselves. She's haunting, hurt, bluesy; brassy when she needs and vulnerable when she wants.

This has much to do with the arranging. Joe Cain, who's name isn't as well known as some others of his era, was an Italian-American trumpeter (b. Joseph Caiani) who became enamored of, and then a part of, the Latin jazz explosion of the 1950s. He worked with some of the early greats (Tito Puente, Vincentico Valdes, Charlie & Eddie Palmieri) as an arranger, and then moved to producing records for the fabled Tico label until it folded in 1975. Along the way, Cain asked Hugo Montenegro to be his mentor. Montenegro declined, but gave this advice: write for the singer-as-star, not the musicians he was conducting.

This dictum plays out perfectly on I'm Lost, on which Cain snagged several jazz heavyweights (Geurge Duvivier, Herbie Lovelle) and a handful of sessionmen who bridged the burgeoning jazz-to-rock gaps of the time (Vinny Bell, on guitar, invented the electric sitar which he played on the Lemon Pipers' "Green Tambourine", and Lovelle had drummed for Bob Dylan on some Freewheelin' outtakes). The resulting sound is large, yet intimate, the six-piece band never overwhelming Clark, instead allowing her to take command of the song, whether it's a bubbling pop chart or a simmering torch song.

Most of the tunes are unfamiliar to me, though a little searching reveals that at least a few tunes are older - if not super famous - standards. Unfortunately, no writing credit is given, just publishing info on the vinyl's label. And, semantics aside, I'm Lost has the kind of mystery behind it we like here at A List: enough to get a foothold on, more than enough to get an earful of.



Well, it's been nigh on a year-and-a-half since I posted something. Why? Hmm... Let's just go with that old cliched chestnut, "Life got in the way."But feeling newly-invigorated (& finally having some free time), I now return to posting lost gems - starting with this life-affirming volume of songs for swingin' Jews.Yes, you read that correctly. Bet you didn't think they existed, just like Jewish sports heroes, Jewish astronauts, or Jewish country club members. In fact, the thirteen ditties on Jewish-American Songs For The Jet Set [Tikva T101, 1965] are mostly originals by the songwriting team of Moe Jaffe & Henry Tobias, and have a solid lounge pedigree. Tobias got his start as a Tin Pan Alley songwriter, providing music to his brother Charlie's lyrics. Although they never quite hit the sophisticated stride of other brother acts, the Tobias' sub-Gershwin-styled numbers did well, and their early hits were sung by Bing Crosby, Jimmy Dorsey, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and even Lou Rawls. Among the most famous of the Tobias tunes are "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree" and "If I Had My Life To Live Over". Although Tobias made his name in New York, he was originally from Worcester, Mass - but don't worry, as the son of a struggling tailor, he came by his Jewish bona fides naturally. His autobiography, "Music In My Heart, Borscht In My Blood" is out of print but you can still snag a copy if you try.Moe Jaffe, similarly, emigrated to the NYC metropolitan area - from Vilnius, Lithuania. Jaffe put himself through college at UPenn's Wharton Business and then Law Schools (Jewish Ivy League students, too!), playing with his own combo. He eventually wrote the minor hit "Collegians", which schmaltz-meister extraordinaire Fred Waring made a huge hit. Jaffe continued on as a songwriter, crafting “If You Are But a Dream" with his old college partner Nat Bonx - "Dream" was picked up by Jimmy Dorsey, who introduced it into the early Sinatra canon, making it consistent number for Ol' Blue Eyes even in his later years. In 1948, Jaffe wrote the unforgettable "I'm My Own Grandma".By the time Jaffe & Tobias collaborated on the music herein, which was also the premiere release for the short-lived Jewish music label Tikva, the former was subsisting on royalties from his publishing company's ownership of Tony Bennett's hit "I Left My Heart In San Francisco". They found a less memorable vocalist in Bernie Knee, who has about as much personality as an armchair. Musical accompaniment was by Irving Fields & his orchestra. Fields had an array of exploito-exotica "bongos" records in in the mid-20th century (Bagels & Bongos being my obvious favorite), and subsequently went on to write campaign songs for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, Rudy Giuliani and even George Pataki. My dismay at this tangent aside, Fields' playing is pleasant enough, but gets repetitive - his right hand apparently never met a melodic minor trill it didn't like.The messages of the songs, sprinkled here & there with Yiddish (despite the "All Vocals Sung In English" disclaimer on the front cover), are positive, community-building and, as with all great Jewish things, occasionally mildly self-effacing. The English-only "Dayenu" isn't a translation, but rather has new lyrics that benefit from a secular optimism; "Alef Beiz" is a counting-style song that also introduces listeners to the Hebrew alphabet; "Passover Time On The Range" indulges in the everlasting wish of Jews to join that one group they never really could - cowboys; and "Orthodox, Conservative or Reform" posits th[...]



Love it, love it, love it. Another band I can find barely anything on. Stars' self-titled debut [Barclay 90030, 1976] was a triumph of oddness, no, madness, in its pan-genre approach. Led by Simon Lait, Stars was an incomparable session band, Brits who recorded this one-off for the French label Barclay, which was in turn pressed in Canada. Love it.

(image) A few connections can be made to early psych-prog progenitors like Atomic Rooster - who's drummer, Ric Parnell came over for the project - and, through Stuart Uren, Stray, who's Saturday Morning Pictures is a hazy classic, & who's first LP goes for silly dough online

A true child of the 70s, Stars used hard-hitting, flawless playing to evoke a playful, disco-fusion vibe with serious rock pedigree. "That Was Yesterday" is a deceptively mellow intro that bursts into the kind of wah-ing synths that make Herbie Hancock's Thrust the beast it is. There are also strong odors of Zappa, particularly the George Duke/Napoleon Murphy Brock era that immediately preceded Stars' release: "Heart Of Stone" features all gruff-voiced and slinky and shit, his stuttered vocal verse and the bizarro-harmony Stax horns melting perfectly into virtuosic fuzz-wah guitar funk.

The album rocks on in several variations on these themes, a bocce match between Zappa, Herbie, Yes, Steely Dan, & Stevie Wonder. "Platform Soul" is the perfect play of them all, treading the line between Mahavishnu wonkery & slinky modern soul. Just as inspired is the closing gamut, an incongruous cover of "Not Fade Away", that's nonetheless a break-laden jaunt into good times that refuse to give up.

Stars recorded this sole album before moving on to other, greater things. Parnell eventually created the role of Mick Shrimpton in Spinal Tap, while Lait became a successful producer, working with the inimatble Betty Davis on her Crashin' From Passion LP.

But thanks for Lait & co to take a moment and bring the Stars they saw so briefly down to us.



Yes, it's been a while. Who knew that having a long-distance relationship turn short distance would take up so much time? In the intervening months since the sadly-neglected Kepzelt Riport posted below, I've found scads of scalding (new) old vinyl in the stacks. After taking the time to rip them, I found a couple that are actually available for sale directly from the artist, so, in accordance with the List's ethos, am not posting them. Follow the link to buy 'em!Potter St.-Cloud, Potter St.-Cloud [Mediarts 41-7, 1971]. Great anti-war country psych concept album. David Potter also has single MP3s for download on his site, as well as the rare first record under Endle St. Cloud's name, the even earlier Beantown sound of the East Side Kids, & Potter's work with Lee Michaels. Check it out. . . [Coincidentally-received fact: there are 1,000 people in the U.S. named "David Potter" - ed.]Dwayne Friend Picks Happy Goodman Hits [Canaan 463, 1967]. Smokin' instrumental album from "Mr. Gospel Guitar", who was admired by Chet Atkins & Eddy Arnold. At age 70, Friend still plays around, & has a huge catalog of his own material available through his site. Sweet, trebly picking laid smoothly within that impeccable White gospel production. Get thee hence. . .Stardrive, Featuring Robert Mason [Columbia, 1974]. Bumpin' & rockin' synth-funk excursions by Mason & co., who needed to build his own synths to get the sounds he was hearing in his head. Far out! Wounded Bird did a CD reissue of this one but it's out of print. I'd have put it up myself but cursory research reveals that you can get it at Akashaman's stellar blog. . . Speaking of the '70s, I'll be back shortly with some outrageous finds from the latter half of the decade, as well as a bunch of rare '80s synth & powerpop for the fall . . . Stay tuned! - AMS[...]



This is one of my recent favorites, a smokin' blend of Hungarian folk, American psych, Krautrock and more. In keeping with my not wanting to repeat information that's easily located on the 'net, you are directed here to learn more about this seminal eastern European jam band.Excellent heavy riffing, lovely femme-fronted acid-pop-folk, a crazy-ass cover like some kind of Dada Cheap Thrills... yum.While online info credits the album to Locomotiv GT (which is the backing band for the whole record), it's properly a joint collaboration between singer Anna Adamis, Locomotiv GT guitarist Gabor Presser, and the much older, influential anti-communist satirical writer Tibor Gery. The title, Kepzelt Riport Egy Amerikai Pop-Festivalrol [Qualiton SLPX 16579, 1973], translates to "Fictitious Report on an American Pop Festival", the likes of which had already been winding down by '73 (hey, don't blame them, even under Kadar's "New Economic Mechanism", underground hippies and writers in near-exile couldn't keep that current). As far as I can tell, the additional text on the cover, "Osszes Dalai", means "Dalai Lama"... so although it doesn't seem to have to do with the title itself, flower power wafts throughout the album. Despite being an entirely studio-based effort within a standard rock format, the album definitely conveys a freewheelin', free lovin' feeling through production & the songs, which, oddly, are all in English on the album label, with titles like "The Trees Are Mourning, Too" and "Dream Yourself Away". The band - which would explore some of the blues-rock idioms in more depth throughout the decadeNot such a frequent find on vinyl (though a few on eBay are listed at reasonable prices), and since I ripped it for myself I've been listening to it almost every week. New things are revealed with each spin - guess they were luck enough to avoid the brown acid.For some reason I can't embed this link, but copy & paste from below... don't let it stop you from getting naked and getting on down![...]



Well, I'm finally back. Been a while. Lots of heavy things going down in this ol' life, including a new job, new girlfriend, &c and so forth. Still been selling wax from the stacks of the record store I bought way back when, and have been amassing a hefty collection of things to post up here. I'm at work on a memoir on this crazy experience, which may be serialized here as it's written... stay tuned on that one. For now, thanks to everyone for your support while I've been absent. Hopefully this will be the first in a series of weekly(ish) posts of great, rare vinyl.What better way to start it back up than with a perfectly thematic title?Jerry Williams' Gone [Warner Bros. BSK3291, 1979] was crying to me when I picked through the boxes and found it, mostly because of the crazy-ass psychedelic horror cover - a pulsing, technicolor hand with the middle finger missing and replaced by a tick (or aphid? or ladybug?). The back cover ain't too bad, either, lots of freaky hand lettering and weird symbology. Since I'd never heard of the guy, I had no idea what to expect musically. Since it was sealed, I first had to look it up to see if it was worth mad money (can't unseal those big-ticket LPs...).I found a couple of online reviews of it, but no downloads. Luckily, it only goes for about $5-7 on eBay so I tore into it. Though some of what I read was kind of tepid, I think this is one's a keeper. Jerry was a Texan, a sessionman of great repute, a member of the Leon Russell entourage, friend to Steve Cropper & Duck Dunn (who appear on the Otis Redding cover)... lots of stuff to recommend a spin. I'll let Bill Bentley's excellent bio piece in The Austin Chronicle give you all the info you need. Musically, I don't think that it's hyberbole to call Gone a fusion of Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison, Steve Winwood, Steely Dan... excellent late-70s funky fusion moves, new soul grooves and crunchy guitar workouts. Williams' voice does really recall Stevie's, with a completely authentic blue-eyed soul wail that's equally at home on the grittier rock tracks.The songwriting is strong throughout - "Giving It Up For Your Love" was even a hit for Delbert McClinton in the early 80s. The catchy pop-soul tunes like "Philosophizer" and "Easy On Yourself" top the list of mostly originals, while the take on "I've Got Dreams To Remember" is maybe the best Otis Redding cover I've heard (not that there are that many, thankfully), where Williams sounds spot-on like Van Morrison. "This Song", the ominous album closer, features Jerry's voice in multiple overdubs on top of a dark synth bed, a la something off of Songs In The Key Of Life.Though he played with tons of other talented - and huge - names (Little Richard, High Country, Dave Mason, Leon Russell, David Briggs), Williams apparently preferred to hang in the shadows. His only other solo foray is a wildly out-of-print self-released CD called "The Peacemaker", which features Eric Clapton, Mick Fleetwood, Nicky Hopkins, Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Oates. What?!?! This gem, though, was apparently deleted soon after release and has never seen print on CD. Unfortunately, my copy has a slight skip on the first song of Side B, but otherwise is in beautiful shape... so before it's gone again, get Gone while ya can....[...]



Well folks, it's that time again, when the Brooklyn Flea puts on its now-annual record & vintage clothing fair. This time, it'll be in a hot spot under the Manhattan Bridge, in DUMBO. See below for info & directions.

(image) Unbreakable Records will of course be there representing, with a manageble yet mighty trove of super-rarities of all sorts, including:

~ One FULL box of 80s/new wave/power-pop/synth-pop
~ Some massive old psych platters, long out of print
~ Funky fusion, avant/out madness, & plenty of sample-worthy cheapo records ($3-$5)
~ Hard-to-find old rock, doo wop, jazz & soundtracks!

Be there!



(image) Here's another great one that has been way overlooked by the overlords of the WEA vaults. Based on the Atco label (see the opening paragraph of the last post) and the naked Jane Fonda on the cover, this one was begging to be played as soon as I saw it. As an adaptation of an Emile Zola book by nouveau vague sleeze king Roger Vadim, the soundtrack to The Game Is Over [Atco 33-205 - mono version!] hits its mark perfectly.

Jean-Pierre Bourtayre and Jean Bouchety are listed as the composers of this warm-moods-meets-fuzzy-tones monster, but two songs on Side B, "Baby You Know What You're Doing" and "Don't Tell Me", feature the Arthur Brown Set - yup, that Arthur Brown, three years pre-"The Crazy World Of..." His voice is instantly recognizable, though the band rocks more of a garagey go-go than the unstable prog-psych it would become known for.

It was also a first for Bourtayre and Bouchety, who would go on to compose for a handful of other French films and TV, though neither of them extended their careers much past the 80s. Both, however, are sought after "library" composers, and with this soundtrack, it's not hard to see how that came to be. (for a taste, head to Table-Tournante's Soul Train). Languorous sitar introduces the album, and the continual pairing with flute themes makes almost every song an enjoyable listen. Occasionally, the mood veers toward shimmying exploito fuzz, and also features a wide range of pleasing instrumentation that could mark it as a soundtrack, or even an early experiment in retro-lounge, and has all the elements in place for obscure sample-hungry DJs.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but don't anticipate it will be particularly enjoyable (although I'll admit, I do love the Vadim/Fonda combo in Barbarella). Either way, the music stands on its own, divorced from the movie (titled La Curee in French), a feat that some other, later psych/rock soundtracks achieved (most notably, Zabriskie Point and Performance). But as far as early entries go, The Game Is Over sure is a good start.



Once, in talking about collecting records with Apothecary Hymns bassist Rob Fellman, he made an astute remark which I’ve always agreed with: “You can’t really go wrong with albums on Atco and Atlantic.” Certainly, all of the classics are worth repeated listens. But Attlantic, under the funky purview of Jerry Wexler and the Ertegun Brothers, had lots of undiscovered diamonds, especially in the rural rock coal mines.There’s no better example of both the underground cred and above-ground appeal of the Atlantic catalog than B. Lance’s Rolling Man [Atlantic SD7218, 1972]. Bob Lance was a songwriter first, scoring serious soul cred by penning Aretha's hit "The House That Jack Built" (also on Atlantic). But other than that, and the album’s personnel listed on the back, you’d be hard-pressed to find out anything more, even armed with matrix numbers and Google’s search engine. The only other connection to anything tangible is guitarist Kenny Mimms’ name being mixed in with Duane Allman’s in relation to Muscle Shoals recording sessions. Certainly, one listen to this, Lance's only full length, proves that the B. Lance wasn't lacking in white rural R&B pedigree.And Rollin’ Man definitely has an Allman aftertaste to it, but as an album, I kind of enjoy it more than, say, Idlewild South. It’s raucous but understated, less histrionic, and feels completely authentic. Groovier than the Stones and grittier than the Faces, the Lance band gets right down to business and doesn't stop til the last note, cooking up a gurgling gumbo of southern harmonies, overdriven guitar leads, white gospel and wailing organ. The simple arrangements belie the attention to detail and depth of sound – check out the rave-up on “Something Unfinished”, or the simmering Saturday night vibe of kinda-title track "John The Rollin' Man”. The ballads are all tastefully executed and never a drag, although if I had my druthers, the album would end on another rocker rather than the subdued blues of "Tribute To A Woman". Drummer Jimmy Evans sounded familiar, but there are so many freakin' musicians by that name, I can't tell if he's the Nashville singer/songwriter, the rockabilly revival king, or someone completely different. Can't even get much info from a production credit, because Lance,arranged and produced it all himself! But you know what? I’m glad I don’t know anything about this one. It kind of gives it its own little mystery and makes me excited to think about that good ol’ Rollin' Man rumblin' back onto my turntable. [...]