Saturday, June 07, 2008


* I've Got to Know by Utah Phillips. I downloaded this one just a couple of days after Phillips died in late May. I stumbled across this album on eMusic was searching for some good songs to play on my tribute to Phillips on The Santa Fe Opry.

This is a 1991 album, recorded during he first Gulf War when Korean war vet/pacifist Phillips was pretty pissed off at the U.S. government. As always, Utah tells the story best (from his Web site):

"During the Gulf War, I got plenty good and mad. I parked my car and wouldn't drive it because I said it wouldn't run on blood. Then, with the help of Dakota Sid Clifford, I went into a small but very fine studio here in Nevada City. I said to Bruce Wheelock, the engineer, `Set up two mikes and start the tape. I'll tell you when I'm done.' For the next seventy minutes I spouted, fulminated, and sang about war, peace, pacifism, and anarchy. I used songs, poems, and rants to make the point, and said, `Okay, turn off the machine.' Bruce said, `Don't you want me to edit it?' I said, `No! I'm mad! Leave it the way it is!'

King Khan & BBQ
The King Khan & BBQ Show I was so happy that an American label (Vice Records) was releasing a King Khan & The Shrines best-of The Supreme Genius of King Khan & The Shrines) that I decided to download the album from Khan''s other band that I didn't have. (The one I do have is What's For Dinner?, which I got from eMusic a few months ago.)

The two-man King Khan & BBQ Show is a minimalist project for Khan, as the Shrines is a 9-piece soul outfit with a horn section. However, it's a fuller sound for BBQ (aka Mark Sultan), who normally plays as a one-man band.

This band, however isn't your normal high-throttle blues-bomb duo like The Black Keys, The Bassholes, etc. Sure there's some of that , though these guys usually swerve more to a garage-band sound. You hear aural references to both "Psychotic Reaction" and The Syndicate of Sound's "Little Girl" in "Lil' Girl In The Woods." But what really sets them apart is their wonderful do-wop sensibility that permeates several tunes here. This magic is evident on the first track "Waddlin' Around." Plus, you can even hear a little Righteous Brothers call-and-response in "Bimbo's Theme."

* Recapturing the Banjo by Otis Taylor. Otis gets together with a small army of his fellow contemporary blues warriors -- Alvin Youngblood Hart, Corey Harris, Guy Davis, Keb Mo' -- and jazz banjo man Don Vappie for a banjo-driven feast of sound. These guys want to reclaim the banjo as an African, and African-American instrument. There's old songs, new songs, and fresh takes on some of Otis' greatest hits.

For my complete review in Terrell's Tune-Up, CLICK HERE.

Flammend' Herz by The Dead Brothers . This instrumental album is a soundtrack by Voodoo Rhythm Records' Swiss "funeral orchestra" for a documentary by Andrea Schuler and Olifr Rutz about Germany's oldest tattoo parlour. The cuts tend to be short (only one tune here being over three minutes), establishing an atmosphere for just a moment, then moving on to the next one. You'll hear traces of gypsy jazz, banjo, accordion, tuba and even some spooky slide whistle on "Geistzug." The Brothers rock out on the first half "Road Worker Blues" (before it turns into a piano meditation) and Sicilian folk music on "Mai Lo Cantado Il Blues." And there's a way-too-short take on one of my favorite Leon Redbone tunes "Lulu's Back in Town." Some interesting stuff, but don't get this before you hear The Dead Brothers' most recent record Wunderkammer, which I reviewed a couple of years ago and also is available on eMusic.

* 10 tracks from The Pretty Things by The Pretty Things. After hearing a snippet of the song "Pretty Thing" by The Pretty Things on the latest Sonic Nightmares podcast, I decided I needed to play that on my Bo Diddley tribute on Terrell's Sound World. So I spent my last 10 tracks of the month on 10 of the 17 tracks available on this 1965 album. Asumedly for some legal copyright reason the song "13 Chester Street" isn't available on eMusic. So I took my points from Pepsi bottle caps and got this stray download from Amazon. So imagine my disappointment when I found out the damned Amazon Mp3 is damaged. Makes weird popping nosies. I want my Pepsi back!

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