Monday, June 27, 2016

Freak Out! - The Mothers of Invention

Today marks the 50th anniversary of one of my favorite, and one of the most influential to me personally, release #1 by Zappa. This also happens to be the debut album by The Mothers of Invention, bestowed upon the unworthy Earth on June the 27th, 1966. Where to start, where to start.... Well, I don't really know? I think this is one of the greatest records ever made, and should be on the lists for guitarists to listen to, and for fans of music in general. In fact I'd go as far as the only reason for it to not be on a top 100+ list is only if you Rolling Suck, or you've never heard it prior to compiling it to the list. It also happens to be quite funny, and is not super serious (well at some parts). All and all its just a really a great rhythm & blues record. I can go on and on forever about the history but why do that. I wanted to note for this review that i will not be using the CD, because that's the most common version of the album (the '87 remix/'95 Rykodisk versions). I will be using the original vinyl mixes (Disc one of MOFO), and also my vinyl copy of the album. Why? Well, why not do the original version for the anniversary.
  1. Hungry Freaks, Daddy: Opening the album we get this, this rocker that just takes you there. With the help of Elliott's lead and the other Ray's tamborine, but it's the song in general. Something nice about this is it has something to say and it says it,  being pretty funny along the way (kinda). I think the lyrics are straight and the point I don't really think this could have opened better with what's present. Plus that solo, damn Winged Eel Fingerling.... 
  2. I Ain't Go No Heart: An instant classic, I love this song so much. This is a bit less punchy, like it doesn't feel like a rock song with a punch as much as a rhythm and blues number. This has a timpani and feels very large, again we get some great playing and this song is so crafted, and sounds so great. I love the middle eight and it's so fucking large. I'm serious you could easily turn this into a big band television/orchestral piece. Also that ending......... he's a bumber every summer.
  3. Who Are The Brain Police?: A complete change of tone. The first two tracks where upbeat, fast and exciting. Upbeat as in not downers sonically, this couldn't be any more opposite. This sounds as if you were on a bad acid trip and your senses were slowed down. There are moments, during the verses before the refrain, of the Umpalumpa song. The thing is, that came out 5 years after this. This also is pretty trippy, as mentioned, and I think (as much as it sounds like I'm sucking his dick) a really nice contrast from the first two. The sound isn't boring, and overall it sounds like a nice change of pace really. I can't every begin to tell you how much I love the freak out in this thing and it's such a fucking great song.
  4. Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder: A doo-wop classic, sung by Ray Collins. This is a solid tune, and does a great job of replicating the sound and style. This isn't quite as silly sound ling as say, Oh in the Sky, but its a got some boy soprano from Roy. This tune also works and feels like its fit in a movie from the 50s very snugly. Great tune that really "is very greasy". The song progresses, though it's probably an inside joke, it contains one of my favorite lyrics about khakis. And the song becomes more silly after that but it's still done pretty straight for the style. Also fuck, Eugene that's some fucking fire piano playing.
  5. Motherly Love: This is rather funny. I could be misreading this, but I feel like when you hear Motherly Love its like (and as the lyrics hint) love from a Mom. But the lyrics also hint at it being "love" from a Mother. Thus is a solid R&B number, and just rocks. This also has some funny little sounds here and there and some nice playing, as with the rest of the record. But it's solid bro.
  6. How Could I Be Such a Fool: This is a song that's grown on me oh so much. It's sort of weird, where the others thus far rocked or were kind of shallow this song musically is sad. Like I feel like Zappa could be making a joke, but this song is so fucking good. Like if he wasn't a cynic I feel like this could be a great break up song. The arrangement..... Fucking Amazing, and it comes and goes so fast. I feel like it is like a relationship, grasp it and get what you can and give what you can to it while its still here. This might be one of best songs here to be honest. Also Carol Kaye plays 12 string guitar on this track.
  7. Wowie Zowie: This is a fun little ditty that could very easily be a children's song. I feel like he was going for that too with some of the lyrics. But then, I mean it's bizarre.... I still love it. The xylophone makes it more playful but it still has the that great hook. 
  8. You Didn't Try to Call Me: This is another huge song that is phenomenally put together. Pet Sounds is a masterpiece, fuck that noise everything here kills that fucking notion. This song is a great and I really don't have much to say other than this is hilarious, but sonically it's great.
  9. Any Way the Wind Blows: Another break up song, another classic. This song is very memorable and has that fun Wowie Zowie feeling but is a bit more serious maybe. You know the whole gauntlet of what this album puts you thought, why can't all music be this compelling, fun, exciting, scary and interesting. Also there's a neat background to this story in the liner notes of the original Lp
  10. I'm Not Satisfied: Is it wrong to find this track funny. While it isn't as mellow dramatic as the lyrics, well extreme, to ITIGKM this sonically sounds like a "depressed" teenager. Don't get me wrong, it's a great tune, it's just it fits so well with this shallow, one dimensional character. Like really, I can't help but laugh at this song. The music is so big and so large, as with all the other tracks.
  11. You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here: This title is a bit misleading. but it's such a weird song. Like really, it's got that kooky feeling to it but I also feel like it might be a love song. But then again, most love songs aren't really that deep, so maybe it's just the satire :) I love the music and the lyrics have me rolling on the floor and I can so fucking quote this. The call and response, in the Zappa's dead pan. Plus I caught that Caravan reference.
  12. Trouble Every Day: One of the best blues song ever. Seriously; not only does the music have balls and kick ass, the message is equal to that of the music. Actually the lyrics might be more relevant today than back then, at the very least are still relevant today. This really is s song to aspire to pull off if your a musician who isn't just in it for quick doe, but rather the are, craft and power of music. Really, I'm serious, flawless.
  13. Help, I'm A Rock: On the vinyl this and the following track were the two sections of one track, but for the sake of the way the thing is why not. This is a bizarre track, which I don't really know how to describe. I know the rhythm section is really doing a great job keeping the beat but the voices sound like they're freaking out. This also has some kind a funny stuff, but it feel a bit like an experiment. There is a section that changes but I believe it to be the In Memorium of Edgar Varese but yeah, hear it yourself, but I personally love it.
  14. It Can't Happen Here: Another quotable tune, that is just all kind of wonderful. I love it and it makes sense that it follows what just happened. Also this is an all a capella tune. Well that's at least for most of it, there's this piece spliced in there..... it's fucking great. Feels sort of improvised. I also think parts of the next track, or parts of this track, are in the next track. But they mention Suzy.
  15. The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet: "Suzy, Suzy Creamcheese. What's gotten into ya darling" what a way to end the record, that voice introduction then go straight into the Varése quote with the lion or whatever it's called. Love the drum beat in that beginning and this is the sound of chaos. I really think you need to hear it yourself, also it's nice to hear it not so reverby as on the Freak Out! cds. I love sounds and how stuff works and Zappa obviously know how to do dat shit. The thing picks up pace and starts to sound like white noise almost. As the song progresses it becomes complete chaos until it becomes a sort of reprise of It Can't Happen Here then going into a sort of Mr. Bungle/Were Only In It For The Money/Lumpy Gravy thing for the last four or so minutes. It's really something to hear, not only does it make me smile, but I love every second.
Overall I have to give this a 11/10. I didn't highlight anything because there are kind of all my favorite songs. Actually upon re-visitation I might like this more than Abbey Road. Even if you think his humor is stupid, his writing is to silly, or his music is to complex to swallow; I am under the belief there is still something here for you to find and take home. From the novelty to the political messages to the blues rockers and doo-wop tracks. From the avant-garde experiments and musique concrete compositions to the down right and instantly quotable song. No matter your taste, no matter your style, there will be something for you to take from this 1966 classic double album. And to be honest, these songs are so damn catchy I can't imagine you not coming away with something you sing. I mean I can't stress that enough. This is the perfect starting point to get into Frank's enormous body of work, and its also one of his best. Also if I didn't make it clear, check the lyrics out, it'll be worth it trust me.

LISTEN TO THIS RECORD, I couldn't fit it in the Albums to hear before you die with the amount of characters in the Blogger label section. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Drug In Me Is You - Falling In Reverse

It's funny how I've done the other two and not this one yet. I mean I've had this on CD since the day it was released, so I don't know why it took so long to do this thing. Maybe cus it was already out, who knows. What I happen to know, is the fact that this is the debut studio album by Falling In Reverse. Now when it comes to music you can't judge it by a persons personality. If you did that Dick Jagoff wouldn't be rich. I feel like I'm always backing up Ronnie, even though I probably shouldn't. I hope you picked up on the key words in the sentence. Does this thing hold up, and can I look past the nostalgia.... let's find out.
  1. Raised By The Wolves: This opens the album and is a pretty solid opening. It gets you kind of excited, and I remember I was pretty pleased when I first heard it. I think it still stands up as a solid tune. I really like the electronics and the what could be programmed drums :D but I think it works. While I could see this bothering people, I think it works here. It's a pretty decent song and isn't too poppy or lame or whatever. I like the keys on this and funny ETF name drop. The only part I'm not on full board with is the whole, Guillotine "quote".
  2. Tragic Magic: I remember going back and forth with this track. I though it was okay, but then I'd think it was dumb and stupid or pointless, then back to okay and so on. Okay, now off the bat I kinda cringed and this song doesn't really..... This is kinda of the other side of this record. Shit. I mean like it isn't terrible, but I just, I won't ever listen to this song again to put it clearly. I get, lyrically, where he's kinda coming from I guess. After all he was locked up in da klink for a few years. Also classy lyrics.
  3. The Drug In Me Is You: This is the title track, and when it came out I was hooked. I remember listening to this thing about 100 times. I was obsessed with it. Now it's 5 years later, so I have to see if it "holds up". I mean, it isn't terrible. I think it's an easy listen and doesn't really bother me like the last track. It's decent enough.
  4. I'm Not A Vampire: Ewwww, this tune. You know I only kinda liked this song at first but it kind of only grew away from me. I mean by the time the music video came out I was done with it. It's kind of a stupid song and I think more of a filler. Also the singing on this kind of bugs me. Like Another track I'll never return to again. I mean the solo's nice, but I can here solos better and far more intresting on other albums. It's kinda neo-classical influenced but really Jason Becker, Yngwie, Symphony X the list goes on and on.
  5. Good Girl Bad Guys: Ewwwww. This song is kind of cancer. It's not as cancerous as say anything on Hate Me, but the only thing that's okay is the solo. But again there are much more memorable solos and cooler ones on other records I've heard. Montey even made more memorable solos, like I can't remember this even after just hearing it.
  6. Pick Up The Phone: This is another song I can now say is kind of crap. Really I kind of don't get why I liked this so damn much. I mean they have a phone in here, and they did try some attempts at novelty (?) I don't even know I just really and kind of irritated a bit to be honest
  7. Don't Mess With Ouija Boards:  This ain't half bad, and is kind of a Gulliotine cousin. But then when I revisit it, the click that was once there is no longer there. I think the best part is the double time, maybe if you could call it that. The solo is nice, but that transition from the solo after the verse...... Ewwww. Then the sort of breakdown. I'd rather listen to Pray for Plauges.
  8. Sink or Swim: I feel like this is supposed to be deep, but never once did I find it deep. I guess another song that comes and goes, I feel nothing really. I guess the one part where it changes styles is okay.... kinda.
  9. Caught Like A Fly: At one point I'd cry during this song, how fucking shallow I was. Actually I can't really even listen to this carnival barker until that part. How could would it be if there was a solo, that fit, in the beginning of the song. The piano part doesn't hit the same way it used to, all though I guess it's not half bad. The slower parts. If only there was a spanish or acoustic guitar playing along to that part.
  10. Goodbye Graceful: This isn't terrible, it's okay. Decent solo, other than that just okay. I just kinda want this to be over.
  11. The Westerner: This is essentially the grown up more mature fleshed out Day I Left The Womb. This still is a song I like and have to say is a solid track. I still think it's got the use of auto-tune to help and not criple the song. While I'm not as in love as I once was, It's a decent song.
Overall I have to give this album a 5/10. So does this album hold up years later. I know DIYLF is still awesome, I still enjoy dat shit, but diz shit..... I don't really know. Well I know how I feel,  as clearly expressed above,  but like what caused it. Maybe my tastes evolved over time. I am grateful for this record though, I learned I need to step up my soloing and make them more memorable and interesting. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Lonely Teardrops - Jackie Wilson

This is the sophomore LP by soul legend, Mr Excitment himself, Jackie Wilson. I have a confession, I only ever heard of him because of the stupid Jackie Wilson Says track by Van Morrison. But hey, that caused me to look him up. Well that and the fact the Isley Brothers samples the "say you will" from Lonely Treadrops for Shout. But in the short number of months I've been a fan, I have listened to a huge chunk of his discography.I'd go as far as saying that I think he's phenomenal and really can make most anything great.
  1. Lonely Teardrops: Opening we get a heavy fucking hitter. By that I mean a solid fucking track. I love this song and its so great to sing along with. Jackie's so fucking good here, he just transcends this track. While lyrically its somewhat shallow (or rather just not really realistic), he's just so good you don't notice. A doo-wop classic, a doo-wop masterpiece. 
  2. Each Time (I Love You More): This is not as powerful as the opener, but none the less it's a solid doo-wop tune. With some great vintage 30's or 40's sound choir I could imagine in a Christmas song. Plus another great singing performance from Jackie. Also I'm kind of a sucker for that piano progression. While some I think are good, but more in the just because I'm a sucker for doo-wop, this is a solid and nice track. Like I can't think of any that have a chorus behind the singer that harken Christmas record (old school stuff as mentioned earlier).
  3. That's Why (I Love You So): A much more lively song than the last. I really like this progression, it's got some nice horns and some pretty solid performance all around. And it's about two minutes long so it doesn't overstay it's welcome. While I love How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You by my hero Marvin Gaye, it's a bit long. This is great and sweet and simple and the perfect length.
  4. In The Blue of the Evening: I had to laugh a bit, the second this started I was like this is very old school Sinatra feeling. Well I looked it up and it was originally by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with some vocals from Frank Sinatra back in August 1942. This is actually a really great tune and I want to check out the original afterwords. A great crooner tune and really nice vocal jazz number. A shame I don't see it more often when I listen to vocal jazz albums, there are some standards that I don't think are as good as this tune. Who knows, maybe it is and I just didn't look hard enough. I like this arrangement a lot. Also I should mention that organ and saxophone...... top notch. There are the songs I love to sing along to.
  5. The Joke (Is Not on Me): The song has great performances from the baking vocals, and has a nice swing to it. Actually the structure reminds me of maybe a rewrite of Quarter to Three. The thing is this is a bit less "exciting", that don't mean it's bad or worse (though I perfer Quarter to Three). This has a great guitar solo in the tune and this album is surprising me with it's variety. Not just in the songs, but the styles and takes. 
  6. Someone to Need Me (As I Need You): Classic doo-wop and you know it is more than welcome. I love the, dare I say (cuz I might be wrong in my phrasing or word), tremolo strings. I mean it's a doo-wop tune, and it's a really good one. I don't think I can say much more than that, other then fucking great arrangement. They really made this thing sound big.
  7. You Better Know It: This is a pretty solid soul tune, while it sounds like any other Isley Brother/insert soul artist from this time period, I still enjoy this. It's fun up beat and harmless. It isn't cheesy like some other songs (Another Saturday Night - PS I love that song) it's just nice you know. This also kind of reminds me of Tutti Fruti. I still dig this tune though.
  8. By the Light of the Silvery Moon: The horns here are muted, and it give this that vocal jazz feeling. Like the other kind or one of the other kind. I could see this song being in a musical and the chorus sounds really good with him. Like really they compliment him. There are times I listen to the chorus and I don't like it, Ray Conniff Singers *cough*, but they really work good here. This is a fun song, incas I didn't make that clear. Also that band that comes in and plays the tune behind him.... nice :) PLus I love that accordion thing at the ending.
  9. Singing A Song: That intro made me feel lik this was taken from a musical. Actually I could see this being in a musical if I'm being honest. I you're not snapping along to this song.... I don't even know. It's pretty fast, but the little calls of the instruments and the whole thing. Pretty tasty. I think my favorite part is the chorus where the strings come in. Damn this things great. It's really well constructed and I just wanna listen to the strings.... damn.
  10. Love Is All: See, how can you hate him? listen to the way he sings. This is very soothing and I feel like Ray Conniff would be infinitely better with mister Wilson.
  11. We Have Love: I don't know why, I just love these numbers. I also think it's perfect not every song is like this, but these are the stand outs to me a bit. Like there is something in this type of soul where it touches my soul. This is also very well put together and just great.
  12. Hush-A-Bye: This is kind of an appropriate closer to the album. It's soft and very smoothe and has a very old feeling to it. Like that Sintra feeling as mentioned earlier. This feels like it's the ending and I don't really know what more to say than that. It's good.
Overall I have to give this album by Jackie Wilson an 8/10. This is great, really check it out. It goes by fast, and there is enough of a variety to keep you interested. Plus once you start to dig his vocals, he's really good bru. To be completely honest I'd have this entire album on my iPod because these are all songs I'll revisit outside of the album. Really there is more substance here than on most rock or metal albums I've been revisiting that I loved years ago, or ones that I've heard recently. To be honest I could see this being even higher rated in the future. Oh also hats of to mister Dick Jacobs for his great orchestration and direction. This whole thing is just so fun and great check it out.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! - Megadeth

This is the 1985 Combat Records debut album by thrasholes Megadeth. FYI that was a compliment, if I said douchestep or something else non-Metal it's be an insult. I've previously reviewed Super Collider and So Far, So Good... So What! on this blog, and I figured why not get this one over with because it was fairly simple. This album features Chris Poland, Dave Ellefson and Gar Samuelson and was self produced by Dave. This is actually the last of the big four's debut albums to be released, Fistful of Metal was released in January 1984 this was released in June of 85. Just a fun fact.
  1. Last Rites/Loved to Deth: Opening with a quote from a classical piece, that for whatever reason I'm to stupid to recall. When I look it up, I discover it's Bach's Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor. I think it's a nice intro, and once it ends and the song starts it has a nice punch. Now the "verses" kind of sound like a mess, like they don't really sound like they lined up correctly. As it progresses it sounds like it comes together better, and David Ellefson's poppy bass sounds like it fits better. A decent song, but the solo isn't really there.
  2. Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!: This opens rather promising, and the vocals sound very demonic with the shrieks. The plays a riff, that almost sounds like a chase, and I love the bass and drums accompanying it... tasty. Nice and angry too.
  3. The Skull Beneath The Skin: The way this opens I was expecting it to maybe be fast but this isn't as fast as some the others this far. This is fast but parts are slower when its just drums and the bass. This is a nice speed metal tune though, and tells the tale of how Vic became Vic. If your interested I'd definitely look up the lyrics. It's kinda neat, but then again Black Magic and Occult interests me. Not like I'd practice or believe it, but in the same way Ancient Egyptian mythology interests me.  
  4. Boots: The infamous cover of the Nancy Sinatra classic. This is basically a thrash/speed metal cover of the tune. I mean is there really much more to it than that. I mean the stupid fucking beeps on the reissue sound terrible, laughably terrible. But this is an angry song and I like it.
  5. Rattlehead: Ah the track named after Vic, one of the many metal mascots to grace album cover with the likes of Eddie the Head or Snaggletooth or even more recently the Deathbat. Even though it's named after him, its about head banging. I like the tune and solo, but yeah.... I mean it's not really mind blowing. 
  6. Chosen Ones: This almost sound like it could pass as a Priest song. Really, I'm serious. It's actually a bit refreshing after 5 tracks of essentially the same thing. Yeah this isn't really THAT different, but it feels different enough I guess to where I like it. Plus tasty solo, and great bass fill. Plus the song is about Monty Python. 
  7. Looking Down The Cross: A very beefy song topic, about the "real" last thoughts of Jesus. The song in its own is interesting and has a nice build into the song, which appears to fade in. I really like that solo and I feel like this song is being given room to breathe. This sounds like a Megadeth song by the way, and has that sinister feeling that they are great at. Also this is possibly the best song on the album, like really. It's the most unique, sonically different, and kinda has this sort of Iron Maiden bass gallop. This could pass as a Maiden song, but that's not necessarily bad. I kinda think this is one of the songs that I'll revisit, and while it may not have the punch I want it to have, looking back like none of these songs do. This really sounds like classic Megadeth, and I feel like if he revisited this song it'd be phenomenal on the level of other songs like Peace Sells or Tornado of Soul.
  8. Mechanix: This is the original version of the Metallica classic known as The Four Horsemen. While the affirms rioted track is better crafted, this track is very fast and about sex using a car as a euphemism. This could basically be looked at as if you sped up the track and took out the nuances and structures and made it much more straightforward. I still enjoy this, thought you can't top the others
Overall I have to give this album a 6/10. This sounds very loose, and I like that. At the same time, its very one note. Like I feel like these songs were recorded live all in one take and the album was cut on track after another. I mean the songs fit together well, but like..... It's very self produced sounding.... Which it is. I also feel like there is a sort of demo feeling to the album, which isn't a bad thing, but it doesn't sounds as focused. Like all the songs are of the same mind set sort of. If you weren't paying attention it'd be easy to mix one into the other. At least their next album would feature a more cleaned up sound and more focused. Just check it [this one] out, its worth a listen or two. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

16 and Savaged - Silverhead

This is the second, and final studio album, by glam rock group Silverhead. It was released on Purple Records and features Michael Des Barres, one time husband of the beautiful Miss Pamela and also know as Murdock on MacGyver. By the way, I know both of those things and watch the show on occasion. It also features Nigel Harrison  who was a member of Blondie and co-wrote some of their biggest hits, including their biggest hit. The last person, while not a member, played on the record Ian MacDonald. The saxophone player, you know he played with Giles Giles and Fripp and Foreigner and the lesser known Centipede. Oh, also Rabbit Budrick, who tours with The Who was a player on the record. Okay, so I'm gonna be honest, I don't expect great things from this record, but who knows maybe I'll be surprised.
  1. Hello New York: Off the bat, the drum beat reminds me of something else. Is that bad, not necessarily. The song though, Ramblin' Gamblin Man, is more interesting than what sounds this. This feels very much like a glam rock song. This really could pass as a Mott the Hoople song, but not as interesting. Also Mikey, your vocals are kinda rough but not in the good Ian Hunter way. That saxophone doesn't help the comparison to Mott :D
  2. More Than Your Mouth Can Hold: While the track has some nice slide work, I can't help be think Mott, again. I know it's probably gonna be a terrible review if this keeps up but yeah.Oh, yeah this is a rocker.
  3. Only You: Hey, at least this isn't a rocker and has some organ. To be honest, I feel like if this  was in a slightly different setting, with some slide guitar or steel string rather, it'd make a goo Nashville Sound song. Like maybe a Dolly Parton or Tammy Wynette singing this, this could actually be a solid track. But this here, I mean it fits... I guess, but I feel like it could be better you know. I do like the organ though.
  4. Bright Light: Shocker, here's another rocker! Though, I like the break down section a bit, even though the vocals are almost in the back of the mix. But whatever. Nice solo, kinda, but again, nothing special.
  5. Heavy Hammers: Oh how cheeky, but seriously.... This is getting irritating. There isn't anything here at all. Where's the fucking beef, meat power. I cam up with new lyrics. "I got nothing to say baby, we can't think of anything, how about yoooooo". Also this song has a reggae maybe to it, but it fucking sucks. Like this is terrible. This would be good if it was 2 minute long not 3 1/2.
  6. Cartoon Princess: Let's play where's Ian or Rod Stewart. I could see Rod singing this, also at parts Robert Plant. Nice wah wah.
  7. Rock Out Claudette Rock Out: ............................................ Rod?!?!?!?!?!?! You know this could bat against Aerosmith and other rock giants.
  8. This Ain't A Parody: Gotta wonder if Axel Brawn was a fan of this album, or this song at least. I really hope this group is a pardoy, because then at least you could say it isn't funny. But like if this is a "we are for real"..... oh no! Cringe! Were Not A Parody, Heres The Shithead. As the song starts, I don't even want to sit thought this, because it's just a cringe building.
  9. 16 And Savaged: I know everybody loves a good statutory rape song. To be honest, if  it's good I don't mind. But it's not here, so I do. Let's fuck 16 year olds, cus Rock n Roll.
Overall I have to give this album a 5/10. This is another rock record that is just easy to digest. I like the cover a lot, and it's pretty notable, but outside of that there isn't anything here that can't be heard better elsewhere. I kinda predicted it wouldn't be that great of a review. I mean the playing is well enough, but again there is not much to take away as memorable or new or fresh or original, even if you look at that point in time...... Though I will pick up a vinyl copy some day ;).  Hopefully I'll have a few more reviews up this week, the ones I picked are quick and easy to do.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Road Tapes, Venue #3 - Frank Zappa

This is the third release in the, Road Tapes series released by the Frank Zappa family. It contains concerts, all thus far with The Mothers, and was started back in 2012. This recording finds itself from July 5th, 1970 and was recorded at the Tyrone Guthrie Theater, in Minneapolis Minnesota. The only part of this concert that's ever been released was the 9 minutes that make up Nancy & Mary Music off Chunga's Revenge. I once had heard a bootleg, parts, from the month, July 2nd (?) 1970. So its been years, but yeah. Basically the point is I can probably guess how this will sound, but let's be hopeful.
  1. Tyrone Start the Tape: I can assume, based off the past few releases, this is either a chat/rap or just tuning up. Like this probably isn't really a track, more of a thing left in to get you in the feeling of the show. A preamble if you may. And to my surprise, I'm correct.
  2. King Kong: Right off the bat we get Kong, which by now is actually pretty solid. While I enjoy the 60's performances, they weren't as together. By that I mean, it has parts that aren't as interesting. But to my surprise, this isn't the same exciting version I've heard on albums/recordings from this period. I mean it isn't terrible but it isn't mind blowing. It's more at the tempo of the original, maybe a bit faster, but not nearly as fast as it'd eventually become. I really like the keys in this one. In fact that might be my favorite part. 
  3. Wonderful Wino: I was glad to see this, and the next few tracks on the track listing. I like the performances of these tunes during this tour/era. This isn't half bad, I like the Bringing In The Sheers intro, but this performance, and the quality of the audio.... I could listen to Freaks & Motherfu*#@%! or Disconnected Synapses. I mean really, I was hoping this'd be awesome and it kind of isn't. 
  4. Concentration Moon: I dig this, but the second this started my heart sunk. I really should just be listening to Freaks & Motherfu*#@%!.
  5. Mom & Dad: This is another favorite of mine, but what is brought to the table. Nothing new.
  6. The Air: A great tune from Uncle Meat. Just listen to Playground Psychotics version.
  7. Dog Breath: This version isn't half bad, I kinda dig it. It's pretty fun. It isn't mixed with Uncle Meat or anything so it goes by pretty fast. 
  8. Mother People: This is another track I can dig, but I doubt I'll ever re-listen to it. I mean I'm open to other performances of this, but the Money versions so ingrained in me its almost like trying to make a better star wars than Empire or the original. 
  9. You Didn't Try to Call Me: Again, what's the fucking point. The ending is nice, but yeah I don't really see much of one. 
  10. Agon - Interlude: This is a selection from the Stravinsky composed Agon ballet. I really like when they played Petrushka in the song, and loved the Octandre but like what's the point. Why not release a Zappa covers Stravinsky and some of his other favorite composers album. That'd be much better and more interesting instead of giving us a load of bullshit that sounds terrible. Now on to the thing I've been waiting to hear, and it goes by so fast I couldn't make heads or tails. When I came back to hear it again, if I didn't know it was this before, I could easily mix it up for a little segue and not a Stravinsky cover or quote. 
  11. Call Any Vegetable: Better version's on Just Another Band From L.A. All thought I did like the Invocation and Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin and the solos aren't horseshit. It's good enough, thought again the other versions better. When it gets to Soft-Cell Conclusion I think it's okay, but they best part is the solos. They really get into the jam, and to be honest, it's pretty freaking great. I'm not gonna lie. Everyone here is doing a great job, and I love the drums during that solo.
  12. King Kong / Igor's Boogie: Kong Returns, with Igor's Boogie attached to it. While I prefer this over the first attempt at a Kong this clocks in at about 22 minutes and it isn't half bad to be honest. Like this might be the first track I genuinely want to come back to. I don't want to get into too much detail, I would rather someone...... Maybe check this one song out on YouTube or something. Ian's sax solo is pretty interesting to me I don't know. This is realistically one of a few tracks I'll come back to. Also I like what I'm hearing from Ansley. Then there is this vocal thing and it goes into a Zappa solo, this is what I like to hear on a new record. While not completely new, it isn't the exact same thing I can find on something else. And if it is it's still solid in it's own right.
  13. It Can't Happen Here: Oh also, great right, this track is 3 minutes long and the first 40 or so seconds is the song and the rest is a preamble into Sharleena.
  14. Sharleena: This is a favorite of mine from the era, which I feel like is a solid tune. I like this live setting for the song, I really like the way the organ sounds. While were back to the noticeable lesser quality vocals (recording wise not singing) I wish it was louder. I don't know if you care to know this, but this was recorded the month following the studio version. The album version is dated June 1970, this is July 5th, 1970. I think its a solid rendition of the tune. I also like the guitar in it.
Now on to the second disc of the album. 
  1. The 23rd "Mondellos": This begins the second show and this just happens to be preamble basically.
  2. Justine: So I had to look up where this song was from originally, and it's a cover of the Don and Dewis track from 1958. Something I noticed when I looked it up was the fact that the Harris credited as a writer is Sugarcane Harris. So that made me wonder, while anticipating the record, is he on this thing. He very well could be, And to my dismay, this turned out to be a flop. It kind of was terrible to be honest. Kind cock rocky, but in a bad way.
  3. Pound For A Brown: I actually quite enjoy this version of the song. I mean it's not a far cry from other Mothers of Invention versions, but I still dig it. I like how it's kinda laid back and chill. While this isn't Zappa's most energetic or into it solo, I still like the tone of the solo.
  4. Sleeping in a Jar: I like the flow into this track a lot, it was seamless and I only knew because it said the track changed on my iTunes scrobbler. This is a well enough jazzy version of the track, and I dig it. There are theses electronics that sound like they would be on an album, because of studio mess about's, but they aren't I dig those. Ansley starts up this drum patter I really liked
  5. Sharleena: Why the fuck have the same song twice, really. This is another version of the track. I mean this is basically the same as the album and the other version. So really it's like having the same track twice.
  6. "A Piece of Contemporary Music": Now I don't know if this is a joke or not, but it kinds reminds me of the Mario song at parts. But it also sounds like something that I really dig. I like the playfulness of it, and dig what's going on here. The track is pretty solid in my eyes. It's almost like a free formed Bebop Tango sort of. Or maybe a first attempt at something like that. Then there is a part that reminds me so fucking much of Desert Search for Techno Allah. This definitely is a proto Mr. Bungle piece. Just check it out your self.
  7. The Return of the Hunchback Duke: This piece also includes The Little House I Used to Live In and Holiday in Berlin. I don't think this is as good as the other long track, and I think maybe it's because of their singing that goofs it up. I mean I'd rather it just be an instrumental, but it isn't terrible. There are moments I hear something great, but far more that are just okay or average I guess.
  8. Crusing For Burgers: You know I don't know how I feel about this. I mean I really dig later versions of the track, but I mean I don't know if I'm feeling this version. It kinda feels like somethings missing.
  9. Let's Make The Water Turn Black: This is kinda faithful to the original, but I mean again, nothing really new here.
  10. Harry, You're A Beast: Same thing as the last track. If were being honest.
  11. Oh No/Orange County Lumber Truck: They managed to make an underwhelming version of those..,,... HOW! HOW!!!!! Really I've heard a fucking 20 minutes version of this on Road Tapes 
  12. Call Any Vegetable: Again, why have the same song twice. It's not even like its on different dates, it's kinda the same thing. The only real saving grace is here there's a sax solo instead of a guitar solo. But I mean, I guess that's a nice difference, but then why..... I just feel like the two inclusions were pointless. I mean it's a concert, but still. And sadly, I am kinda bored at this point. I just want this to end.
  13. Mondello's Revenge: Hey another talking track. Not really much else Going in to be honest. 
  14. The Clap (Chunga's Revenge): Okay, so I'm not exactly sure what to expect. It's called Chungas Revenge, but the last tracks title hinted at that being Chunga's (alla Buffalo's Revenge). But I also know that there exists an percussion only track on that album that shares this title.  Wait, that intro got me, really it pulled me in. It sort of woke me up if were being honest. This isn't amazing, but you know fuck it, it's good enough and I dig it. While it's kinda lowkey, it mean other songs on this were to so it kind of sonically fits you know.
Overall I have to give this third installment a 6/10. To be honest there is no point in this being released. Other than the new tracks, there was no reason. I was excited to hear this, I was like maybe it'll be as good as the other ones. I was very wrong, in fact I decided to continue this review to tell people not to pay for this unless you absolutely need to. I will list now albums that have been released in that make this pointless basically (in order of release). Chunga's Revenge, Filmore East - June 1971, maybe 200 MotelsJust Another Band From L.A., You Can't Do That On Stage series Vol. 1, 3 and 6, Freaks & Motherfu*#@%!Disconected Synapses, Tengo Na Minchia Tanta, two tracks off At The Circus, Swiss Cheese/Fire!, Playground Psychotics, Carnegie Hall, Finer Moments and you know what, if you're so inclined listen to the fucked up John & Yoko mixes of songs off Playground Psychotics off their 1972 live album Some Time in New York City. I figured since I knew how I felt there wouldn't be much of a reason to hold off on this review. Maybe I'm being to harsh, I mean the instruments are the highlights, but then again I've heard better versions you know.

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye

This is the 1961 debut album by the one and only soul legend, the man who stood up to Berry Gordy, the Prince of Soul, the one the only Marvin Gaye. I love Marvin and think he's great, that goes for everything about him minus the drug stuff. Though the '70s/80s is the cream of the crop, he has other solid records/tracks prior to those monsters. Before he was every woman's "man" he was every woman's "guy", so to say. Something I read some where was he was described as a "clean college boy" prior to 1971. On this cover he looks like a youthful fellow, maybe even a little stubborn. This was followed by the, better all around, 1962 album That Stubborn Kinda Fellow. That features the titular track, Pride And Joy, and also the awesome Hitch Hike. This was Marvin's debut though, and it was the #2 Motown release, second in chronological order to Hi... We're The Miracles (also that bands debut). This is basically a Jazz standards album. I'm not sure if these tracks were "standards" yet, but listen to any Jazz record by any artist and there's bound to be one of the following tracks, more or less. I always see
  1. (I'm Afraid) The Mascarade Is Over: Opening the album we have a cover of the Magidson/Wrubel classic. Now the thing is, this isn't half bad. While he isn't really singing the way he would later, this ain't half bad. There is a charm to the way he's singing this song and I gotta support it. He's also singing restrained, he isn't really using the power he'd use on later records. Maybe he wasn't good enough, maybe he was just going for a certain sound, who know. I still dig it. My only complaint is its 5 minutes long, maybe cut it at 3 minutes or so. But I still like the song. 
  2. My Funny Valentine: Of the many versions Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, Carly Simon, Bill Evans, Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald among others. Actually, the original dates to 1945 and was by a guy named Hal McIntyre. I don't love this version, but I do like the drums when they pick up. But I mean I just don't really care for the way this overall sounds. I do like the  chorus, but I don't know how often I'll visit though outside of the novelty of re-visitation and the review. 
  3. Witchcraft: Another track that I know, and I love this version. This is exciting, where the last two were more laid back and crooners. This really is a nice change of pace and shows good track listing. This is just such a fun damn song, I don't know if I like this or Sinatra's version more, but I love the guitar tone and the drumming. There is a nice guitar solo by someone who don't get credit. Fuck You Berry Gordy and you no crediting performers. This really is an early stand out and make you wanna listen to the rest of this thing. I love the head.
  4. Easy Living: This is a cover of the Billy Holiday song track from 1950's. A laid back number, there is something about this that makes me wanna smoke a cigarette relax and reflect on certain things. This is a very pretty song, and I'll be damned if Sinatra didn't do a version (though Nat King Cole or Sammy might be better fit to do this). I really like the drums here, brushes on the snare. I also really like the guitar lines and it sounds pretty damn slick. I'd love to get a copy of the lead sheet to this track. Also I cant forget to mention that piano that opens and closes the track. 
  5. How Deep The Ocean (How High The Sky): This is a famous Irving Berlin song. This is a other more laid back vocal jazz number. A solid tune, and this is a pretty solid version of the song. 
  6. Love For Sale: This along with track two are very often covered jazz standards. Some other versions include the likes of Cannonball Adderley, Billy Holiday, The Manhattan Transfer. Written by Cole Porter my boy Marvin does a solid job. I dig the big swing to it, and there are some tasty drum fills. I like that guitar and the bass' tone. This kind of feels like a Bond theme. 
  7. Always: This is a cover of the Irving Kaufman song of the same name that dates to 1926. This track has also been covered over the years by artists such as Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra and Patsy Cline. The shuffle drum rhythm is really nice here and works quite well. I think the solo in here is a nice thing, a detail not in all the others. And I can't believe it's here at all, Marvin isn't even playing the guitar either. To be honest, I really like what the Soul Brothers did here. 
  8. How High The Moon: By this song the formula and style is beginning to loose its interest. Yes if you listen oht of context its a swell rendition. I don't think this is the best song here, but I think (as mentioned above) swell enough. 
  9. Let Your Conscious Be Your Guide: Is this a fun number that really doesn't sound out of place on a Motown record. With an organ, that sounds like it was in The Champ, piano that has that doo-wop progression, mono chorus vocals that sound large and a. I've performance from Marv.... Plus some nice drums, brushes. This is very revisit-able. 
  10. Never Let You Go: Following the Motown sound, we get another hip dance number. I could actually see Smokey singing this. The chorus is a bit silly, but I still enjoy and dig the tune. There's a swing to that is fun, and great piano solo. I like the little details in the song. I wonder if this was intended for The Miracles, but then again the pianos a bit more rock and roll then they are. I could kind of see this being a cover on maybe Beatles For Sale or With The Beatles
  11. You Don't Know What Love Is: This is a classic jazz standard covered by numerous artists. This song is really great and a solid haunting way to end the record. This is a solid cover and works well to end everything. I also love the arrangement. 
Overall I have to give this a 7/10. This is Gaye's debut album and it's packed full of Jazz standards. Now what's weird about this is I didn't really dig the vocals of Marvin throughout it this album, until I sort of learned to appreciate jazz more. After being a bit more versed on this, I kinda love this thing. I mean, its pretty solid and while not nearly his best, its not anywhere near his worst. It's pretty solid.