21.11.14

Iron Butterfly - Live at the Galaxy (1967)


This album has been dug out of the vaults some place not yet known and was most likely done from a late ’60s sound board/mixer or even a table top reel-to-reel recorder. With that said, the quality reflects that recording procedure and the time frame. The actual recording date was November 9, 1967. Although this show has been around a number of years as a full blown bootleg this is its first release as a true recording with all the pomp and circumstance it really deserves.

The album is dirty, grimy and heavy…everything we have come to expect and love about Iron Butterfly. It has that high quality bootleg feel, but don’t let that fool you. It feels live and truly gives you the aural experience of a late ‘60s club concert! You can almost smell the reefer wafting through the air and clink of glasses and bottles in between songs. Don’t expect the quality of your favorite boy band’s new release though or you’ll be absolutely disappointed.

This set encompasses 6 songs from their 1st album, “Heavy” which hadn’t been released yet. You can hear the future being born in these 6 songs. “Iron Butterfly Theme” is here in still an unpolished state but still very recognizable and moving. Many of the songs will cause you to listen to them several times to understand how much more work went into them to bring them to the final form we saw upon release of the “Heavy” album.


Even more amazing is the fact 3 songs found here weren’t released until their 3rd album, “Ball”, which went to #3 position on the USA music charts in 1969. That’s a full 2 years after they recorded them in this performance. You may have to listen close to recognize them but the development will stun you.

There are also 3, still unreleased songs, in this set list. They are “It’s Up To You”, Gloomy Day To Remember” and “Evil Temptation”. One has to wonder why they didn’t spend more time to polish and complete them at some point. I will go out on a limb and speculate that maybe the large amount of band member changes did not let that happen. That is unfortunate for Iron Butterfly fans around the world.

With all this said this is not an album for your typical radio listener or non-rock fan. What this album is though is a historical account of one of rock’s most famous and favorite bands. If you are a Iron Butterfly collector, music history aficionado or just someone who is interested in the growth of your favorite Iron Butterfly tune than this is a MUST HAVE ALBUM for you. I found it to be a great listen and will add it to my music collection when the vinyl version is released on June 10, 2014. The CD version is being released on May 27, 2014 for those of you who can’t wait for the vinyl. All I can say is…we miss you Iron Butterfly!



Tentacle - The Angel Of Death (1971)


Excelent and obscure band of Heavy Psych from Scotland. Psychedelia mixed with progressive elements from Scotland to the English (not Scottish) folk. Tentacle unknown band from Scotland, produced, led by Jim West… manager groups Bodkin and Soho Orange….all these bands have something in common…

They are Scottish,the recordings were made at the turn… 1971/72,all were produced by Jim West Originally recorded at Central Scotland Studios at Falkirk in 1970/1971. Tentacle are playing fine guitar rock on the high level similar to Morly Grey, Dark, Janus,T.2.

Tentacle were a little known psych/hard rock band from Scotland that managed to eke out one album in their day, Angel of Death released in 1971. This rare German CD contains, built…”Wonderfully morose scottish rock with some flowery, folk-derived, electric guitar work and heavy bits that don’t get too loutish. Musically it is very close to T2 and Bachdenkel (especially the 20-minute suite), Opened up with oddly minimalistic, almost hypnotic “My Destiny – My Faith” running for twenty minutes the album creates eerie but compelling atmosphere begins with two guitars in harmony funeral almost every note an odor of death in an emotional atmosphere, folk, voice gives a melancholy and together they create an intimate piece, twenty minutes of paralysis where no tricks, just passion for the instruments despite what some are easier than it sounds, because in essence we are dealing with an unfinished project, which in the particular sound reminds me of Janus and the great atmosphere of its main theme:”Gravedigger”…


So, that cadaverous friend who wants to see realized their dreams in the warm breasts of a woman can only seduced knees while she wanton indifference, shy and despotic shown unfathomable. That is the comedy between life and death, enjoy it! It is one of those albums that at first don’t seem vibrant but they haunt you for a long while after the last song is over…ends with a 30-second Epitaph. Between them are three songs are more psychedelic than close to progressive is a morose and dynamic album with epic, songs, just as you start to grow a bit weary of the vibes,. It is a pity that it takes just 37:46.

Angel of Death is a morose and dynamic album with epic, songs, just as you start to grow a bit weary of the vibes, The Angel of Death is a strange one, the sound is very good…Yeah i’d go as far as saying 1971 was the greatest year of all-time for music never to be matched before & definitely after thoughts on this Tentacle gem…five track: riff/melody stuck in my head. (source)



Ennio Morricone - Veruschka (1971) [OST]


Większość czytelników widziała zapewne film Antonioniego "Powiększenie" (Blow Up). Jest tam kilka scen z ikoną świata mody końca lat sześćdziesiątych - Veruschką, które należą do jednych z najbardziej znanych w historii kina i nic dziwnego. Zapadają w pamięć ponieważ są swoistym dziełem sztuki i nie chodzi li tylko o urodę modelki. Być może jest wiele urokliwych modelek - nie znam się na tym. Sedno tkwi nie w materiale, ale w jakich "rękach" się znajdzie. A Veruschka znalazła się w rękach nie byle kogo - Antonioni, Morricone i inni. Potrafili oni wydobyć jakąś niesamowitą plastyczność urody swojej modelki i wkomponować to w swoje dzieła. W nich własnie Varuschka wciąż żyje.


Vera (Veruschka) Gottliebe Anna Gräfin von Lehndorff urodziła się 14 maja 1939 w Królewcu (Kaliningrad) w rodzinie szlacheckiej pochodzącej z Prus Wschodnich. Jej ojciec, hrabia Heinrich Graf von Lehndorff-Steinort, był zaangażowany w nieudany zamach na Hitlera 20 lipca 1944 w Wilczym Szańcu i został stracony. Matka trafiła do obozu pracy.Po wojnie dorastała z matką i trzema siostrami w obozach dla uchodźców i u znajomych. W latach 60. dzięki wzrostowi 1.86cm zaczęła robić karierę fotomodelki we Florencji pod imieniem Veruschka. Została pierwszą niemiecką "supermodelką".Jej filmowym debiutem był film z 1966 w reżyserii Michelangelo Antonioniego Powiększenie, w którym zagrała modelkę pod swoim pseudonimem. Veruschka była chyba pierwszą modelką, którą fotografowano z "bodypaintingiem". Prezentowane zdjęcia to powrót do korzeni. Przepiękna kobieta umiejąca oddać na zdjęciach swoją osobowość.


Veruschka in Africa with Peter Beard



Veruschka was born in 1939 in East Prussia as Countess Vera Gottliebe Anna von Lehndorff-Steinort. For a short time, she enjoyed a wealthy lifestyle residing in East Prussia in a 100-room house on an enormous estate that had been in her family for centuries. Her mother was the former Countess Gottliebe von Kalnein (b. 1913). Her father was a German nobleman and army reserve officer who became a key member of the German Resistance after witnessing Jewish children being beaten and killed.



Transfigurations

When Veruschka was five years old, Heinrich Graf von Lehndorff-Steinort was executed for attempting to assassinate Adolf Hitler in the July 20 Plot. After his death, the remaining family members spent their times in labor camps until the end of World War II. By the end of the war, her family was left homeless. As a young girl, she attended 13 schools. Her traumatic childhood experiences later triggered heavy depression in 1974. She has three sisters: Marie Eleanore "Nona" (b. 1937, married Jan van Haeften and Wolf Siegfried Wagner, son of Wieland Wagner and grandson of composer Richard Wagner), Gabriele (b. 1942, married Armin, Edler Herr und Freiherr von Plotho), and Katharina (b. 1944, married Henrik Kappelhoff-Wulff).


She studied art in Hamburg and then moved to Florence, where she was discovered at age 20 by the photographer Ugo Mulas and became a full-time model. Back then tall models were not considered desirable in Paris, but there she met Eileen Ford, head of the prestigious Ford Modeling Agency. In 1961, she moved to New York City, but she did not score any bookings. To stand out, she returned to Munich and told people that she was really from Russia and changed her name to create a mysterious persona, which earned her many bookings. She had also garnered attention when she made a brief yet powerful five minute appearance in the cult film Blowup by Michelangelo Antonioni in 1966 (Premiere named the scene the sexiest scene in film history despite the fact that there was no nudity).


In the same year, she did her first shoot wearing nothing but body paint, which she would continue to do for years. She once worked with Salvador Dalí and photographer Peter Beard, who took her to Kenya, where she painted herself with black shoe polish to resemble surreal plants and animals in an attempt to "go native". At her peak, she earned as much as $10,000 a day.

In 1975, however, she departed from the fashion industry due to disagreements with Grace Mirabella, the newly appointed editor-in-chief of Vogue, who wanted to change her image to make it more relatable and approachable to average women. In 1985, she entered the art world, putting on a body-painting show in Tribeca; on her naked body, she was painted with different outfits transforming her into wild animals and several archetypes, such as film stars, dandies, gangsters, and dirty old men. Occasionally, she still appears on catwalks, for example, as a guest model in the Melbourne Fashion Festival in 2000 in Australia. (wikipedia)

Parliament - Osmium (1970)


The first Parliament album as such was a mixed-up mess of an affair — but would anyone expect anything less? The overall sound is much more Funkadelic than later Parliament, if with a somewhat more accessible feel. Things get going with an appropriately leering start, thanks to "I Call My Baby Pussycat," which makes something like "What's New, Pussycat?" seem like innocent, chaste conversation. After a stripped-down start, things explode into a full-on funk strut with heavy-duty guitar and slamming drums setting the way, while the singers sound like they're tripping without losing the soul — sudden music dropouts, vocal cut-ins, volume level tweaks, and more add to the off-kilter feeling. Osmium's sound progresses from there — it's funk's fire combined with a studio freedom that feels like a blueprint for the future. Bernie Worrell's keyboard abilities are already clear, whether he's trying for hotel lounge jams or full freakiness; similarly, Eddie Hazel is clearly finding his own epic stoned zone to peel out some amazing solos at the drop of a hat. As for the subject matter and end results — who else but this crew could have come up with the trash-talking, yodeling twang of "Little Ol' Country Boy" in 1970 and still made it funky with all the steel guitar? Other fun times include the piano and vocal-into-full-band goofy romantic romp of "My Automobile" and "Funky Woman," where over a heavy groove (and goofy Worrell break) the titular character lives with the consequence of her stank: "She hung them in the air/The air said this ain't fair!" Amidst all the nuttiness, there are some perhaps surprising depths — consider "Oh Lord, Why Lord/Prayer," which might almost be too pretty for its own good (Worrell's harpsichord almost verges on the sickly sweet) but still has some lovely gospel choir singing and heartfelt lyrics.




The Joneses - Criminal History (2000)


The Joneses were a punk rock band from Southern California. Founded in 1981 by guitarist and singer Jeff Drake, the band included numerous players over the years. The incarnation of the Joneses that was voted "Best Live Band" in the 1984 L.A. Weekly Reader's Poll included, in addition to Drake, three ex-Mau-Mau's, Scott Franklin (the Cramps), Paul Black (L.A.Guns), and Johnnie Sage (Christian Death).

The Joneses first seven-inch, 45 rpm single was Criminals in My Car b/w Jonestown. They next released a pair of songs, Graveyard Rock and Pillbox, on the 1982 BYO Records compilation, Someone Got Their Head Kicked In. The EP Criminals was the Joneses next released recording. Hell Comes to Your House, Volume 2, included the three Joneses tracks: I'm Bad, She's So Filthy, Black Cat Bone. Keeping Up With the Joneses, was released by Doctor Dream Records in 1986. Criminal History, released by Sympathy for the Record Industry in February 2000, is a 20 track retrospective of the Joneses recorded material.


Jeff Drake - vocals, guitar
Steve Houston - vocals, guitar
Steve Olson - vocals, bass guitar
Rhys Williams - guitar
Greg Kuehn - piano
Mitch Dean - drums

One of the last of the great "loud and snotty" REAL trashy glam rock'n'roll bands who WERE 100% authentic were Hollywood's Joneses. The Joneses really did have that raunchy, fifties rhythm and blues stilletto appeal that always informed the REAL Johnny Thunders. Whiney, brattish, sneering vocals, yearning high-lonesome for another fix, scuzzy dueling guitars shades of the greats, horny piano pounding worthy of Jerry Lee or Little Richard, catchy choruses that you could never be certain about-was he singin' about dope or chicks? Either/both/probably dope, mostly.Jeff Drake was a total white Chuck Berry/Hank Williams Sr./Johnny Thunders style street fightin' dandy. A diamond geezer. A Gentleman Gangster of the Old West. The Genuine Article. Born in Anaheim, and raised in Merced, California, Jeff absorbed a steady stream of Elvis and country music from his Pa and later dug the stomping British glam he heard on the radio. Jeff Drake's scorchin' brand of rhinestone junkie cowpunk has been an influence on not only all them lousy Sunset Strip bands who copped the whole cowboy glam and creepers look from him and the Clash and Andy McCoy and Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Keith Richards and Gram Parsons, but his look and sound have also left their whine-stain on loads of the best underground rock bands we got left out here in the shanties of Jonestown. Bands like American Heartbreak and the Dragons. The Chamber Strings and the Saviors.Slow Motorcade and New Romantics. From the Hangmen to the Humpers. A lost generation of FLASH METAL OUTLAWS all owe a toast to the original "rocknroll bankrobber", JEFF DRAKE and his ragged lot of scarvey ramblin' men.


THE HOLLYWOOD JONESES first made their splash in the early eighties by appearing on some much-beloved hardcore punk compilations and by being the stand-out track. Their seemingly ill-conceived appearances alongside all the testosterone crazed hardcore surfer bands was appropriate in a way, however, because the early 80's Orange Co. punk scene nurtured Jeff's glitterbilly revival right alongside all the Thrasher aggression skatepunk bands, and Drake goes back like a rocking chair with cats like Duane Peters and Steve Olson. After getting the sack from the purist Aristocats ("Not Howdy Doody enough") Drake put together the early Joneses with people like Olson and Ron Emory (T.S.O.L.) and Paul "Mars" Black (Mau-Maus, L.A. Guns)and developed a rabid club following playing with groups like Social Distortion, TSOL, and the Blasters. They were always going through line-up changes with former members returning to the group from time to time, and their pianist going off to fame and fortune with Johnny Rotten and Bob Dylan. Chicks, pills, booze,drugs, family feuds, all the usual perils of rock'n'roll decadence. Danny Sugarman managed 'em for awhile but everybody was deep into heroin and all the major labels were "gun-shy", in spite of starting to court all the fake junkie glam rock "guns" bands. All their records are essential, collectors item, must-own artifacts, with singles fetching $75 and I know Bleeker Bob's probably still got "Keeping Up With THE JONESES" in a plastic sleeve on the wall for like $150. Even their earliest songs like "Pillbox" and "Criminals" and "She's So Filthy" still get covered by greasy kid punk bands from coast to coast. Though widely renowned for their pulse-hastening rave-up originals, the JONESES also always had exquisite taste in covers: "Chip Away". "Crocodile Rock". "Your Cheatin' Heart". and J.D.'s been threatening to record a Bowie "Pin-Ups" style cover record for years now if Long Gone John from Sympathy can ever pry his lips way from Jack White's ass long enough to pony-up some of that precious studio-time. (source: sleazegrinder.com)

Iva Bittová & Bang on a Can - Elida (2005)


Words like "approachable" and "engaging" are rarely invoked when describing the work of so-called avant-garde musicians, and it sometimes seems true that avant experimentalists bend over backwards to push mainstream listeners away rather than welcome them. Not so Iva Bittová, a composer, violinist, and vocalist who proves that the avant-garde can be broadly appealing without compromising its adventurous spirit. On Elida, Bittová succeeds in humanizing the Bang on a Can All-Stars, that collective of New Yorkers often primarily noted for mind-boggling technical skills when tackling the formidable minimalist and post-minimalist works of modern composers like Louis Andriessen and the Bang on a Can collective's own Michael Gordon. Here, a six-piece incarnation of the All-Stars is her backing band, and the musicians prove to be ideally suited to the task, a dose of Bittová's Eastern European folk, chamber music, and cabaret proving the ideal formula to reveal their softer and more intimate sides. That is not to suggest that the All-Stars have lost their edge here, or that Bittová's unbridled exuberance is not on full display. Thankfully, Bittová's singing (in her native Czech) remains far from the plastic posturing of the typical mid-2000s pop diva, yet her catalog of wild vocal techniques is not avant-garde for the sake of being avant-garde -- it seems a natural and effortless outgrowth of her music's core melodies and rhythms and the artfully yearning images painted by her lyricists (Richard Müller, Vladimír Václavek, and Vera Chase).

The album follows a thoughtful and well-conceived trajectory, with Bittová's shouting, babbling, and skittering vocals making an early entrance on "Malíri V Parízi" (Painters in Paris) but seeming to slide gracefully into a mature beauty before the listener's ears as the album progresses, although she never completely abandons her childlike playful qualities. Likewise, her violin assumes increasing prominence as Elida's initial cabaret atmosphere (with Lisa Moore's wonderful pianisms on full display) makes way for a fuller -- yet often delicate and understated -- ensemble sound. Bittová dips into idiosyncratic yet compelling jazz-like scatting on "Bolís Me, Lásko" (You're Hurting Me Babe), while the two-part "Zapíshej" (Whistle), an album highlight, displays her wonderful talents in synchronous singing and violin playing, both in the uptempo folk dance-like opening and the piece's centerpiece, a beautiful extended 5/4 vamp taken at a measured pace, colored by a mysterious guitar motif, driven by subtle bass and brushed drums, and embellished with pizzicato strings. Gypsy flavors can be heard in both "Zapíshej" and "Hopáhop Tálitá," the album's two lengthiest pieces, particularly in Evan Ziporyn's clarinet lines, and one also hears echoes of Tom Cora in Wendy Sutter's cello on the title track, which flirts with avant European folk-rock and may have certain listeners recalling Nimal or Skeleton Crew (an impression enhanced by some Fred Frith-like guitar from Mark Stewart, a member of Frith's Guitar Quartet). Elida is an essential release in Iva Bittová's catalog, and a fine introduction to her music for those unfamiliar with her. And it's a worthy Bang on a Can All-Stars entry, too, particularly if you're not in a mood for minimalism. (amg)

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