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Sunday, May 15, 2022

A Quick Trip Through 58 Years of People Makin' Music: The Fall, Gene Clark, Clifton Chenier, Todd Rundgren, Julian Cope, Jean Michael Jarre, BLK JKS, Undeath, Mortuary Drape, Accept, Lil Bastards, and the Pastels

Yesterday I added a few new additions to our record collection. Here's what I picked up, as well as some other stuff I've been listening to (and one thing I haven't listened to yet).

The Fall - Slates 10" re-release from 2016. Originally an EP from 1981. I bought this without realizing -- this 2016 re-release doesn't contain the extra Peel sessions tracks that were added on a follow up re-release in 2021. The 2021 release is readily available and for the same amount I bought this one for. I'm ruined! Anyway, it's a great EP, and the linear notes are a typed letter from from former WFMU music director Brian Turner.

Gene Clark - Collector's Series Early L.A. Sessions. This is a remixed and re-released version of Clark's first album with the Godsin Brothers, remixed five years after it's release by Clark and producer Jim Dickson, and re-released on CBS in 1972. The record didn't sell upon original release, so now that country rock was finding more acceptance via bands like Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and Clark's former band The Byrds, CBS brought Clark in to re-record vocals and remix these songs. Glen Campbell and Leon Russell were on this album, too, along with the Byrd's Clarence White and Van Dyne Parks on keyboard. Anyway I have With the Godsin Brothers so I thought it would be neat to have this as a companion piece. And it does sound different. Also they took out "Elevator Operator" which I thought was a groovy jam but apparently Clark was embarrassed of it.

Clifton Chenier - Bon Ton Roulet! The King of the bayou, Clifton Chenier's 2nd album from 1967, on Arhoolie Records. All of the songs but one were recorded in Houston in '66, except "Ay Ai Ai," recorded in '64. Cool stuff. Zydeco blues. Arhoolie Records started in 1960 and is still around today.

Todd Rundgren's Initiation, from '75, Rundgren's fourth solo album. Rundgren was on an occult kick, so it's got a long proggy jam on the b-side about Theosophical, New-Agey occult stuff. Which, I'm into in theory, but I'm not sure how often I'll be spinning it, which I read on Wikipedia is sorta what Julian Cope said about it:

"When asked if Rundgren had influenced his music, with perceived influences of Initiation on Queen Elizabeth and Rite², Julian Cope responded that he and Thighpaulsandra loved "A Treatise on Cosmic Fire", "but we both bemoaned the fact that it was recorded so long before ambient music had been defined that Todd treated it as an ever-evolving, almost prog-rock piece. We both loved huge elements of that piece but found that we never listened to it. So we tried to build that Todd-like transcendence into our own piece of music [with Queen Elizabeth]."

The first side of Initiation is rockin' tho. Meanwhile, from Discogs:

"(Initiation) is a one of the longest running single disc LPs ever issued (1 hour, 7 minutes and 34 seconds; side B's total time is almost 35½ minutes). However, because of its fragility and reduced dynamic range, the following note was printed on the inner sleeve: "Technical Note: Due to the amount of music on this disc (over one hour), two points must be emphasized. Firstly, if your needle is worn or damaged, it will ruin this disc immediately. Secondly, if the sound does not seem loud enough on your system, try re-recording the music onto tape. By the way, thanks for buying the album" The final suite 'A Treatise On Cosmic Fire' was sped up by half a step to fit the disc with ease, this is why 'Prana' on the 'Real Man' 45RPM 7'' single sounds slower, as that was the speed that was intended to be heard, except all discs and CD reissues play the sped up version used for the original LP. To slow it to the correct speed, using software such as Audacity, reduce the speed by -5 percent."

Here's a 2015 remaster of a track off the first side, the rockin' "The Death of Rock'n'Roll." That's Rick Derringer on bass:

I've also been on a Julian Cope kick. Here's 30 minutes of his ambient project, Queen Elizabeth, mentioned in the Cope quote above:

Continuing with the noodly electronic theme for a moment, I also picked up a copy of Jean Michael Jarre - Equinoxe. From 1978, this is the follow up to Oxygene, which I have, and Jarre's fourth album. I was reading about these two albums under "Critical Reception" on Wikipedia, and apparently critics really didn't like the electronic stuff at the time. I dig it though, and certainly I'm not the only one, so those critics were wrong. Go figure! Here's a video for "Equinoxe 5":

I found a copy of the Secretly Canadian release of BLK JKS Mystery EP with "Lakeside" on it, I dunno if y'all remember that song from 2009? Neat atmospheric, indie/post-alt type of song, very groovy. They're from South Africa. Apparently they had an album out in 2021. They fell off my radar after "Lakeside." The rest of the Mystery EP is as great as "Lakeside" -- spooky, rockin'. There's some pretty wild psych guitar on the track "Mystery."

I had originally went to the record shop to pick up the latest Undeath album, It's Time...To Rise From the Grave, which is killer old school death metal from Rochester, put out by Prosthetic Records. The band really nails it. Here's the video for "Defiled Again." Brutal fun!

But I got home and I had the wrong album -- they gave me Mortuary Drape's latest, Wisdom-Vibration-Repent instead. Mortuary Drape is Italian death metal. I've listened to about half of this now, and it's good - competent, enjoyable:

I took the Mortuary Drape EP back and it turns out someone else who wanted Mortuary Drape got my Undeath album. So instead I picked up a copy of Captain Beefhart and the Magic Band's Strictly Personal, their second album.

This is The Fall doing "Beatle Bones 'N' Smokin' Stones" for a Peel Session in 1996. "Beatle Bones 'N' Smokin' Stones" is from Strictly Personal.

When we were driving to the record shop, the wife and I heard for the first time Accept's "Pandemic," released on Nuclear Blast Records back in 2010. Why wasn't this song playing everywhere the past few years??!?

Though I didn't buy it, we did look up this single when we got home. Wish I would've bought it! Lil Bastards' "Bitch Get A Job," from the halcyon days of 1992. Youtube comments mention this is the earliest work from a producer called Dougie Diamonds -- I'd never heard of him. This 12" put out on Livin' Large Records appears to have been Lil Bastards' only release:

I've also been getting into the Pastels. Here's "Yoga," from 1995's Mobile Safari. There's a video for this, but the only available version I could find was a shitty upload from someone taping MTV2.

Finally, not as poorly recorded but also not exactly hi-fidelity, check out Julian Cope and backing band pretending to do "I Gotta Walk" on Top of the Pops in 1994:

"I know what your father is saying right now...and he's wrong."