Sunday, July 06, 2008


*Transparency by Sky Saxon. I noticed that Saxon -- lead singer of The Seeds -- has a new album out called King of Garage Rock, featuring covers of old '60s hits (mainly, but not all "garage" classics.) I listened to a few samples, but I decided I liked Transparency better. This is a 2005 album full of spacey psychedelic rock. Reminds me a little of The Black Angels, though most of the tracks here are less than four minutes long.

One of my favorites is "Walk Alone," in which Saxon enters lounge territory. At one point he's crooning something about the government. Otherwise it reminds me of some of Nick Cave's sleazier material -- or maybe Iggy Pop's classic live version of "One for My Baby (One More For the Road)."

* On His Way by Johnny Paycheck. Here's some hardcore honky tonk from Paycheck. These songs are from the 1960s, when Paycheck was an up-and-comer. He was still part of George Jones' band when he recorded some of these tunes, such as his early hit, Hank Cochran's "A-11" and "Heartbreak Tennessee."

Indeed, during this period especially, Paycheck was the Possum's greatest disciple. No, Paycheck's voice was no match for Jones', but he explored many of the same dark corridors. "Pride Covered Ears," at the moment my favorite song on this album, deals with heartache and madness. (Probably drunkenness too.) Also worth noting is "He's in a Hurry" (the kicker line is "He has to get home to my wife.")

Historical note: There's a Hank song here, "Help Me, Hank, I'm Fallin'," but it's about Cochran, (who wrote the country classic "Please Help Me I'm Falling") not Luke the Drifter.

One eMusic bummer: Assumedly due to some music-industry swinishness, the song "The Lovin' Machine" isn't available for download here. Luckily I've been drinking a little Pepsi lately.

* Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Nigerian Blues. A few weeks ago Dave Barsanti (Spinfx) did a show featuring funky, psychedelic African music on his KSFR show The Twisted Groove (which follows The Santa Fe Opry on Friday nights -- or, technically, early Saturday morning.) Some of my favorite songs he played were from compilations from a British label called Soundway Records, including one called Nigeria Disco Funk Special.

I immediately checked e-music for this record, as well as another Soundways collection called Nigeria Rock Special - Psychedelic Afro-Rock and Fuzz Funk in 1970s Nigeria. As it turns out, eMusic currently has just one Soundway album, this double-disc, 26-track eclectic compilation. It's not exactly what I was looking for, but it's pretty darn good.

One of my favorites on Nigeria Special is "Akula Owu Onyeara" by a band called The Funkees. It's a slow groove featuring this cool bluesy hook by a slinky organ and some intense vocals. And there's some crazy wah-wah guitar on The Hykkers' "I Want A Break Thru." And the band Mono Mono obviously had been listening to a lot of Santana before recording "Ema Kowe Iasa Ile Wa."

I'm hoping this is only the first Soundways record to appear on eMusic. Give us some fuzz funk!

* Every Day is Saturday by The Dictators . Thanks to these fuckers, I had the cheesy chorus of "I Stand Tall" stuck in my head for days. Lord, help me!

I reviewed this in Tune-Up on June 27. CLICK HERE to get all my words of wisdom.

Stand tall!

* We Won't Change Our Style by Hollywood Sinners. Spanish garage rock doesn't get much better than this.
I reviewed this album in the same column I reviewed The Dictators. If you're too lazy to scroll back up to the link CLICK HERE.
In addition to this album, I also downloaded The Sinners' single "Todo El Mundi Hacienda el Dawn," which also was released, at least on eMusic, in mid-June.

* And while I was checking out releases on The Hollywood Sinners' label, Dirty Water Records. I discovered a two-song release (from a 7-inch vinyl record) called El Humo Te Hace Mal/Te Pegare by Los Peyotes, an Argentine garage quintet who apparently worship The Seeds and The Mysterians. I want to hear more!

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