Posts Tagged ‘Various Artists’

Various Artists "Just Like Heaven: A Tribute to The Cure"

“Just Like Heaven” features 16 cover versions of Cure favorites by a bevy of indie artists, including; The Wedding Present, Dean & Britta, The Rosebuds, Tanya Donelly & Dylan in the Movies, The Submarines, Elk City, Class Actress, Joy Zipper, Black Francis, and so many more. Mastered by West West Side Music (Galaxie 500, The Wrens, Fleetwood Mac). Original illustrations and artwork by Melinda Rainsberger.

These tribute albums have become so ubiquitous and are so generally asinine that this one comes as a genuine, and at times quite moving, surprise. It’s not just that the artists who contributed are clearly doing so without any of the usual ironic detachment, but also that many of them have clearly thought very carefully and often very insightfully about their arrangements and interpretations. Elizabeth Harper & the Matinee deliver a sweetly sad and admirably straightforward version of “Pictures of You,” one that clears away the layers of gauzy, torpid psychedelia that characterized the (excellent) original version to create a song that has a very different spirit without sacrificing anything of its essence. Cassettes Won’t Listen give “Let’s Go to Bed” a slightly stiffer, more electro interpretation — again, one that reveals a depth of regret and bitterness that was better hidden in the original. It should probably come as no surprise that Tanya Donelly would pick the slightly creepy “Love Cats” to cover, in a duet version with the gruffly insinuating Dylan in the Movies turn “Close to Me” into a strangely detached disquisition on the obsession and self-disgust that animated the original, while Kitty Karlyle turn “In Between Days” into a brilliantly edgy slab of rough-and-ready pop-punk. Not every interpretation is equally brilliant, but every one of them shines an interesting new light on this powerful material.

An outstanding compilation… this is a must for all Cure fans – NYC Daily News
A genuine, and at times quite moving, surprise. – All Music Guide
Indie darlings past and present come together to repaint the mood swinging lyrics and remix the eternal sunshine of The Cure hits. – Rolling Stone

The National - "Never Tear Us Apart" (INXS Cover)

“Songs For Australia” is the new Julia Stone-curated compilation benefitting Australian brushfire Relief. The compilation features artists including Damien Rice, Joan As Police Woman, Kurt Vile, Martha Wainwright, Sam Amidon, and more covering Australian classics by the likes of Nick Cave, Sia, Gotye, and Gang Of Youths. Upon the announcement of “Songs For Australia” we heard Stone’s own rendition of Midnight Oil’s “Beds Are Burning,” and today we get to hear one of the album’s more anticipated tracks.

The National’s contribution to the compilation is a cover of “Never Tear Us Apart” from INXS’s world-conquering 1987 album Kick. It’s a mostly faithful rendering that nonetheless seems like it could slip right into the Trouble Will Find Me tracklist — which makes sense given that the INXS original already existed in that melancholy National sweet spot (as opposed to the tight-leather funk of “Need You Tonight,” although Matt Berninger’s stage maneuvers do bare some resemblance to Michael Hutchence’s moves in that song’s video).

The National’s “Never Tear Us Apart” cover,is taken from the album ‘Songs For Australia’; an extraordinary album made by a collection of artists from around the world who have each donated their time to record a cover of an Australian song.

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On Monday, February 17th, to mark the occasion of David McComb’s birthday and the release of “Truckload Of Sky: The Lost Songs of David McComb Vol 1”, Rob Snarski, Romy Vager, Alex Gow, Robert McComb, Phil Kakulas, Graham Lee and Bruce Haymes will be performing an intimate acoustic, performance. 
This event will be taking place on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation. We pay our respects to elders past and present, and we acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.

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Releases February 17th, 2020

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Next up in the Grapefruit psychedelia collection and due for release January 31st is ‘A Slight Disturbance In My Mind – The British Proto-Psychedelic Sounds of 1966’!
This 3CD collection features 84 tracks examining the ‘experimental pop’ element of the British music scene during that epochal year with a dazzling mix of nascent psychedelia, introspective pop & freakbeat!
Housed in a clamshell box containing a 52-page booklet crammed with biographical information and priceless period photos and memorabilia.

While the likes of “Rubber Soul”, ‘See My Friends’ and ‘Still I’m Sad’ had served notice in 1965 of British pop’s heightened level of ambition, 1966 would prove to be an even more tumultuous twelve-month period as experimentation and innovation grew to new levels.

• The release that August of “Revolver” – whose cataclysmic closing track ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ landed amongst the record-buying public like an impenetrable missile from outer space – brought the concept of psychedelic music out of the margins and into the mainstream.

• However, psychedelia – condemned by national newspaper The Sun as “the new and dangerous sound in pop music” – had been percolating throughout the year. The word was already in subterranean use in America, adapted by the likes of The 13th Floor Elevators and Hollywood hustler Kim Fowley, who in late 1965 had become the first person to promote a record with the term “psychedelic”.

• Arriving in London in March 1966, Fowley became a proselytising influence for the new sound, instructing bemused young British bands to “act psychedelically”. His sojourn coincided with the relocation of Californian band The Misunderstood, whose incendiary sound and stage act was a major influence on a new generation of British acts.

• Meanwhile, serial pioneers The Yardbirds were making increasingly audacious music, their new manager Simon Napier-Bell instructed the young John’s Children to become “the first psychedelic group”, while mod band The Creation developed an intriguing pop-art approach.

• Featuring 84 tracks, A Slight Disturbance In My Mind: The British Proto-Psychedelic Sounds Of 1966 examines the “experimental pop” element of the British music scene during that epochal twelve-month period with a dizzying, dazzling mix of nascent psychedelia, introspective pop and what’s been retrospectively labelled freakbeat.

• We feature vital contributions from some of the era’s biggest names (The Kinks, The Yardbirds, The Hollies, The Animals etc), a bunch of highly collectable cult classics, a huge stash of unissued-at-the-time nuggets and early outings for such future legends as Bowie, Bolan, Slade and The Bee Gees.

• Housed in a clamshell box containing a 52-page booklet crammed with biographical information and priceless period photos and memorabilia, A Slight Disturbance In My Mind is a glorious snapshot of British pop storming the gates of a new, strange and wonderful dawn.

Custom etching of Mose Allison on Side D. Features performances by Taj Mahal, Robbie Fulks, Jackson Browne, The Tippo Allstars featuring Fiona Apple, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Chrissie Hynde, Iggy Pop, Bonnie Raitt, Loudon Wainwright III, Richard Thompson, Peter Case, Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin, Anything Mose, Frank Black, and Amy Allison with Elvis Costello. Includes Ever Since I Stole The Blues DVD, a Mose Allison documentary by Paul Bernays.

Wainwright remembers, “For many years I made a point of going to see Mose Allison play wherever I could -In London, Chicago, LA, and , of course, in my hometown of New York. I considered his gigs essential listening and going for me was, not to get too highfallutin’ , a pilgrimage. When I nervously would approach to say hello to him after a show I was always thrilled that he seemed happy to see me. Mose’s cover version of my song “I’m Alright” was an unparalleled highlight of my career and I can only hope he would have approved of my stab at “Ever Since The World Ended.”

Mose’s daughter Amy Allison teamed up with musician/producer Don Heffington to honor her father’s rich catalog of songs. “We were talking about my dad’s legacy and thinking about all the musicians who were fans, and how a tribute album featuring some of these artists would be cool, especially if it were to benefit a worthy cause. Don said “Let’s put it together ourselves” and introduced the idea (and me) to his friend producer/engineer /studio owner Sheldon Gomberg. Sheldon ALSO happens to be on the board of Sweet Relief Musician’s Fund, an organization started by Victoria Williams to benefit musicians in need. And so it began…”

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides assistance to career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. Grant recipients include recording artists, club and session musicians, and composers and songwriters from every musical genre. Since its inception, Sweet Relief has helped musicians with medical and living expenses, including insurance premiums, prescriptions, medical treatment and procedures, housing and food costs, utilities, and other basic necessities.

Born in 1927 in the Mississippi Delta, Mose John Allison grew up listening to jazz and blues greats such as Louis Armstrong, Memphis Minnie, Duke Ellington, Louis Jordan and the Nat Cole Trio. He learned to play piano and trumpet as a boy. After a stint in the army and then several years playing in clubs around the South, he moved to New York City to make his career as a pianist, songwriter, and performer fronting his own trio. Allison performed with jazz greats such as Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, and Gerry Mulligan, and developed a distinctive style of playing that fused blues and jazz with succinct and timeless lyrics. Mose Allison became a favorite among his peers and his songs have been covered by other great artists such as Van Morrison, The Who, Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, The Clash and many others. Allison passed away in 2016 at the age of 89.

More Oar - A Tribute To The Skip Spence Album (Black Friday 2019)

Robert Plant, Beck, Tom Waits, Skip! celebrating its 20th anniversary, modern harmonic presents the first ever vinyl edition of More Oar ‘ a Tribute to the Skip Spence album.

in addition to the full album’which features covers from Robert Plant, Beck, Mudhoney, and others’this edition features the wild skeletal recording of ‘Little Hands’ by the Flaming Lips that was originally intended as a collaboration with Robert Plant.

Great version of Skip’s amazing song…Plant praised Spence’s solo album OAR, thus the reason he agreed to contribute to the tribute album “More Oar”. Skip made magnificent song writing contributions to Moby Grape percussion to Jefferson Airplane and guitar riffs with Quicksilver Messenger Service but had a tragic life battling mental illness and was homeless in the last stage of his life dying way too young of lung cancer at 52.

A double LP pressed at Third Man, this set also includes liner notes from the original album’s producer.

Tracks: Robert Plant – Little Hands / Mark Lanegan – Cripple Creek / Alejandro Escovedo – Diana / The Durocs – Margaret Tiger-Rug / Jay Farrar & The Sir Omaha Quintet – Weighted Down (The Prison Song) / Mudhoney – War In Peace / Robyn Hitchcock – Broken Heart / Diesel Park West – All Come To Meet Her / Tom Waits – Books Of Moses / Greg Dulli – Dixie Peach Promenade (Yin for Yang) / The Ophelias – Lawrence Of Euphoria / Flying Saucer Attack = Grey – Afro / Alastair Galbraith – This Time He Has Come / Engine 54 – It’s The Best Thing For You / Outrageous Cherry – Keep Everything Under Your Hat / Beck – Furry Heroine (Halo Of Gold) / The Minus 5 – Givin’ Up Things / Skip Spence – Land Of The Sun / The Flaming Lips – Little Hands

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The truest testament to a song’s power is how it plays with others. Songs written by the performer are more likely to land in the singer’s stylistic and vocal wheelhouse; take away that crutch to witness the song’s true strength and character. So while Tom Waits’ genius has been beyond dispute for at least a quarter-century, hearing his songs performed by the dozen female artists of “Come On Up to the House: Women Sing Waits” casts new light on their brilliance.

Freed from Waits’ gravelly, way-down-in-the-hole brogue, his female interpreters discover dramatic new shapes and colors within them. Were the songs not almost literally cut from the same cloth, one might worry that the range were too wide, rather than marveling at the adaptability of the songs and their singers.

Waits’ songs are notable for their cast of real people, damaged in keenly observed ways (“broken China voice,” “weeds in your heart”), often lost and/or lonely, walking a thin line between hope and despair. Iris Dement’s voice feels especially well-suited to traffic such emotions. In one album highlight, she turns the loping blues of “House Where Nobody Lives” into a harrowing tears-in-your-beer country ballad as stark and empty as a Kansas horizon, the house’s advancing disrepair and neglect evoking a doomed relationship.

Corinne Bailey Rae also does an exemplary job of making “Jersey Girl” her own, even after the Boss put his imprint on it decades ago. Amplifying the song’s nostalgic ’50s sway, Rae takes the “sha la la” and runs down a well-lit doo-wop alley. She gives Waits’ rough-hewn swagger her own soft-focus coo from the lip of Juliet’s balcony, answering the testosterone-fueled come-on with fake eyelash flitter and skate-away shimmy that’s equally tender and alluring.

Newcomer Angie McMahon makes quite an impression on “Take It With Me,” transforming the world-wizened, Leonard Cohen-like piano meditation on aging into a bright airy alterna-pop number in a vein popular a decade ago (think Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson). The Aussie singer, who released her critically-acclaimed debut “Salt” in July, uses the spare arrangement to her advantage. She lets the silences linger, her mellifluous voice gliding over sustained, intermittent guitar strums, lyrics dropping in and out like station-hopping reflections. When she sings “All broken down by the side of the road, I was never more alive or alone,” you feel both.

Various-artists releases tend to have the discomfiting quality of a series of job interviews. But Waits’ compositions already tend to be so distinct that the different voices feel almost better to properly capture such varied, vividly conceived perspectives.

So even if sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer don’t necessarily deepen the emotional tenor of the much-covered “Ol’ 55,” the way their voices harmonize remains heavenly. Similarly, Patty Griffin doesn’t really need to do much tweaking to Waits’ haunting child-murder tale, “Ruby’s Arms,” but just to open her pipes, which effortlessly port the saddest payload, a first-rate bellhop of ache.

It doesn’t take much work for Aimee Mann to make “Hold On” hers either; something about Mann’s voice naturally conjures the tossed-off intimacy of a coffee shop confession between besties. The talent on the album is so thick, it’s taken this long to mention Roseanne Cash’s hypnotically matter-of-fact “Time.”

Such fine material in the hands of skilled interpreters is a delight. It isn’t even necessary to be familiar with the originals to enjoy this collection. There’s hardly a bad apple in the dozen and the sequencing seems to amplify the songs’ dogged, hopeful mien. If there’s a quibble, it’s that five of the 12 tracks are from “Mule Variations,” which feels like too much given the breadth, quality and depth of Waits’ catalog.

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This is such a terrific effort, it would not be surprising if it spawns a raft of imitators. Given the present-day wealth of talented female singers, it seems obvious to reinterpret a variety of feted male artists from a feminine perspective. “Women Sing Waits” sets the idea off to an inspiring start.

Various Artists
“Come On Up to the House: Women Sing Waits” Dualtone Music

released November 22nd, 2019

Fuzz Club Records “The Reverb Conspiracy, Volume 6” It’s a double LP on white vinyl.

The aim and a desire with the Reverb Conspiracy compilations are to uncover and celebrate the best in fuzz, reverb and drone from every corner of the globe. Where the first five volumes were hailed as a Nuggets-like documentation of the European psych scene, Reverb Conspiracy Vol 6 sees the compilation go global: bringing together bands from South Africa, Australia, the USA, Germany, Brazil, the UK, Italy and Russia.

Also including the label’s own Medicine Boy’s shadowy noise-pop (DE) and Nest Egg’s motorik “mood music for nihilists” (US), plus Steeple Remove’s dub-inflected post- punk (FR) and Crimen’s heady, repetitive psych-rock (IT) – there is Aussie garage-psych outfit Nice Biscuit, a new cut of Bikini Kill-meets-Oh Sees noise from Julia Robert (SA), as well as lo-fi garage-pop from Super Paradise (UK) and the double-barreled psych-blues wig-outs of Frankie & The Witch Fingers (US).

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In the compilations darker moments, though, there is the hypnotically face-melting “space-surf” of Japanese Television (UK), goth-tinged post-punk from Float (UK), murky psychedelic stoner-rock from Brazil’s Firefriend, relentlessly driving krautrock courtesy of Verstärker (USA), the heavy space-rock drones of Psychic Lemon (UK) and Moscow’s Selbram, who deal in a jagged alt-rocksound that takes its cues from No Wave, psych and the “pulse and noise” of city life.

Tracklist:
1. Julia Robert – Mud Girl
2. Nice Biscuit – Out Of Sight
3. Frankie And The Witch Fingers – Underneath You
4. Medicine Boy – Water Girl
5. Firefriend – Surface To Air
6. Nest Egg – DMTIV
7. Steeple Remove – Ferris Noir
8. Float – Watch
9. Crimen – Flahzz
10. Japanese Television – Tick Tock
11. Selbram – This City You Know
12. Super Paradise – 6:30
13. Verstärker – Mit Glück
14. Psychic Lemon – Interstellar Fuzz Star

Number 9.  Brown Acid is back, right on time, with a fresh batch of the dankest hard rock, heavy psych, and proto-metal bangers you’ve never heard before. As usual, all of these tracks were licensed legitimately and the artists were paid. It ain’t easy, but it’s the right thing to do! And although the quantity keeps rising, our quality control hasn’t suffered. You won’t find even one throwaway track here, or on any volume, just pure unadulterated heaviness from the after-Altamont era. This Trip is All-American, and in addition to the eight 45 sourced jams and one hard rock holy grail LP track, it includes a previously unheard song by a completely unknown band that’ll melt your mind. So crack a cold one, crank the volume knob, and let the Brown Acid seep into your skull yet again.

Garage turkeys have long been familiar with the Minnesota-based group The Litter, who have some very collectible 45s and LPs, but the related band, White Lightning, isn’t nearly as well-known. White Lightning released only one single and one LP (under the name Lightning), but they had far more recordings than they released, and “Prelude To Opus IV” is just one of the band’s many outstanding unreleased tracks. White Lightning took the chops the ex-members developed in The Litter and kicked it up a notch in the heaviness department. They were risk-takers and innovators and were the first Power Trio and first to play through Marshall full-stacks in the Upper Midwest. Their guitarist was the first to play a Flying V in the region. They also happened to be named after LSD. Brown Acid material all the way!

Jon Uzonyi’s Peacepipe released one single in 1969 on the eclectic California-based Accent label, and it’s one of the most scarce Brown Acid inclusions. It’s crunchy as hell from the get-go, and the psychedelic touches only add to its allure. Lyrically, it’ll empty your half-full cup in a heartbeat, and the thunderous drums and gigantic guitar riffs will make you want to refill your glass immediately… with the hard stuff.

In 1975, Tom Stevens and the rest of Magi went into Uncle Dirty’s Sound Machine in Kalamazoo, Michigan and recorded nine tracks. Just 1000 copies of the LP were pressed, and its title and lead-off track is “Win Or Lose” from their self-released 45. The long-player has been bootlegged at least twice, but until now, Magi’s recordings have never been legitimately reissued. This revved-up, rural proto-punk cut has enough snarl to start a fight, but the vibe leaves you with the impression that the brawlers will bond over beers no matter who comes out on top!

“The Rise of Flood” by the New York group, Flood, is one of the best LPs released in 1970. Its extreme rarity is the only logical explanation for its ridiculous underrated-ness. Before Flood, the same group released a 45 under the, obviously radical name, Fiberglass Vegetables. The laid-back heaviness on this rural banger will hook ya immediately. The B-side is a non-LP track which you’ll be hearing on a future Trip if you choose to stay turned on and tuned in!

Sid Bradley is Erik. Erik is Sid Bradley. And he self-released this 45 on his own Eden imprint back in ’73. “Rebel Woman” is an up-tempo banger that resides where hard rock and prog overlap. The composition, performance, and recording quality is exceptional. It probably sounds like a magnum opus compared to some of the other stuff we’ve included in this series, but it still fits. By the way, Sid is still writing and recording music, which is not surprising considering how accomplished he is. His recent releases can very easily be found online.

Stonewall’s story is one of the most tragic in rock history. These guys should have been huge, and to say that they were robbed, is the understatement of the century. A very different story of rock stardom could have been told if it weren’t for egregious mismanagement, and a loophole in the law at the time that allowed labels to blindly rip off bands in order to minimize their tax liability. However, like a phoenix from the ashes, the Stonewall record survived over 40 years of neglect, and it now holds its place in rock history as one of the greatest records that almost never saw the light of day. “Outer Spaced” is just one of the eight tracks that we could have included on here from their sole LP, which was recorded in 1972, and “released” on Tiger Lily in 1976. In 2019, Permanent Records legitimately issued it for the first time EVER on vinyl and digitally.

The Zukus 45 has been in the collection for quite some time, and for that amount of time, we’ve been “looking high, looking low” to track down the members of the band. If Zukus were a snake, they would’ve bit us! Right under our noses, Zukus had an online presence unlike any other band we’ve worked with before, but, under a different name: Ice, which is the preferred moniker of Jim Lee’s group. “For some reason,” they used the name Zukus (pronounced zuck-us) for their sole 45 on Toya Records back in 1972. Pack this organ-driven, break-beat-laden banger in your pipe and smoke it!

Space Rock was comprised of a group of Macedonian immigrants living in Detroit, Michigan, none of whom spoke English. At one time, the vocalist, George Bisinov, even won first place in a Macedonian music festival in Detroit! Despite the language barrier, they rocked like red-blooded Americans and both sides of their 45 are top notch. The A-side “Dark Days” is a dirgier affair, whereas “Going Down The Road” locks into a speedy riff fairly quickly after the bizarro circus intro, and it never lets up. According to George, Space Rock recorded numerous other original songs, but they’ve been lost to tape deterioration. If only we could have saved them!

On the phone, Jim Fulton of Buckshot is a very soft-spoken, polite, and humble Texan. Hard to believe considering how macho his delivery is on “Bar Star”! This track is generally cocky in the best possible way. Dual lead guitars take center stage on this shreddy groover and, at just over two minutes in length, it’s a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am jam if there ever was one. Hamilton St. Records out of Houston supposedly released this back in 1976, but based on how rare it is, it’s hard to believe it was ever released at all.

Brown Acid can be found in some of the least likely places, as long as you can pay close attention. One iota of distraction could’ve caused 29.9 to have remained in obscurity for another 50 years! This band came into our lives while watching the cult horror film Effects. The film is entertaining to say the least, but the star for us is a very short clip of background music in a scene where one of the characters is looking through a stack of bondage polaroids. As the photos are being flipped through, a boombox blasts a Pentagram-esque hard rocker that caught our attention immediately. We tracked down the director of the film, John Harrison. Turns out the song in Effects was by a band John played in with his brother, Doug, and a couple of other guys in the late-60s. They called themselves 29.9, and they recorded “Paradiddle Blues” and a few other tracks, but never released any of them, until now.
Thank YOU for supporting the Brown Acid series. The Tenth Trip is just around the bend.

Hey buds, dig into these summer jams and cool off your mind.

The BBiB 2019 Summer Jam Sampler is $5 minimum BUT all proceeds will be going to RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services; a nonprofit that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to under-served immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and South Texas.
AND anyone who pays $10 or more, will be entered to win several prizes that range from vinyl to BBiB t-shirts to tote bags to test pressings! We will have several winners. And you can feel good about your donation to RAICES. Obviously it’s money that is much needed right now.

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Released July 15th, 2019