Thursday, April 19, 2007


Here's my allotted 90 downloads from eMusic this month:

* Reformation Post T.L.C. by The Fall . More than a decade ago, in reviewing some Fall album or another, I wrote, “I doubt if all the CIA’s computers could crack the garbled ranting of Mark E. Smith.” In recent years I’ve been leaning toward a conspiracy-theory explanation for The Fall’s appeal to its scattered cult.The band is actually sending coded messages to some alien/Lovecraftian sleeper cell. Some isolated Smith yelp in conjunction with some post-Standells guitar hook causes some shift in brain chemistry in some isolated listener, and next thing you know some unwitting Fall fan in Dalhart, Texas, is making a 4 a.m. drive to the Tucumcari airport to pick up a crate of something unspeakable delivered on a secret flight from Bohemian Grove.

(Does that sound familiar? Maybe you read it HERE )

* Live at The Casbah 01/14/2005 by Deadbolt. I just discovered "The Scariest Band in the World" this month when the cover of Tijuana Hit Man caught my eye at Natural Sound. I bought it and liked it -- kind of like James Elroy fronting The Cramps -- and was delighted to learn that eMusic had two live Deadbolt shows. I chose the one with the most songs (12), then added the four songs from the other show, Live at The Casbah 11/06/2004 that aren't on 1-14-2005. I'm a fan!

* The Chambers Brothers Live. First off, Ricki Lee Jones made this sale. She included it in her "Dozens" piece. (I always read these things. Also the monthly column by Lenny Kaye. Not only are they interesting reads, it's a good way to find out about albums on eMusic you might not have known were there.) This is the Brothers several years after their prime, but it ain't bad. What can you say about an album that starts off with an introduction by Wolfman Jack and ends with a nine minute version of "Time Has Come Today."?

*Precision by King Richard & The Knights (Plus Other 60's Albuquerque Groups) This is a collection of garage-band proto psychedelia, instrumental tunes and good greasy ballads (such as the lovely "Moonbeam") from Albuquerque's Lance Records, run by "King Richard" himself, Dick Stewart. The Knights have the lion's share of the tunes here, though there's also bands like The Plague, who I first discovered on a Pebbles compilation. This makes me hope that eMusic someday will pick up another Lance compilation I Wanna Come Back from the World of LSD, which includes the title song by an old New Mexico group The Fe Fi Four Plus 2 plus cuts from The Lincoln Street Exit and Santa Fe's Morfomen. I also wish eMusic had done a better job providing information about this album and the bands that play on it.

* Psychic...Powerless...Another Man's Sac by The Butthole Surfers. When you hear some of the limp crap that passes for "indie rock" in these timid times, it's hard to imagine that "alternative music" started out as crazed, dangerous, happily psychotic sounds like this.

* Dangerous Game by Mary Weiss. I downloaded the first three tracks last month. Mary is the former leader of the Shangri-La pack and this is the comeback album of this young century. You'll have to wait until Friday's Terrell's Tune-up for my complete review of this album.

* Four tracks from a Shangri-Las compilation, Choice Rock Cuts Vol. 3. This reminds me of listening to AM radio in the '60s. In fact the recording quality sounds like a goddamn AM radio . I'm no prissy audiophile, but this is so wretched it's nearly unlistenable. The Shangri-Las deserve so much much better. (There are other Shangri-La collections on eMusic, but I've been afraid to try them.)

I had two tracks left. I've been enjoying stuff from Norton Records so much lately (including Mary Weiss, Link Wray, Hasil Adkins and T. Valentine) I decided to go for the first two songs from The Life of Riley by The A-Bones, Norton founder Billy Miller's band. More on that one next month.

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