Friday, January 18, 2019

I Finally Got The Memo, RE: Thunderegg



Have I got a story for you!

I sold a record on Discogs. The customer paid for the record and then sent a message. "Are you the Sal from The John Sally Ride?" To quote my old pal Rob, "This is the smallest world in the world." Turns out, the customer was Facebook friends with John Dunbar and had been digging our new record, "Nothing Doing." That made my morning, so I mailed his record out with a bonus test pressing of the JSR's first album. He loved it and thanked me by sending me his new album.

And that's why I am here.

The customer is Will Georgantas and his band is Thunderegg. The project that is Thunderegg, led by Georgantas, has been making records since 1995, first here in New York City, then Princeton and currently in the Bay Area.  Their new album is "Cosmos" and man oh man, do I love it!



The opening track, "Planetarium" has two parts, beginning as some shoegazy vibe which then opens up into, dare I say it, Teenage Fanclub territory, and yet...I did not turn it off. (First time readers--I am not a shoegazer nor a TF fan...at all.) My patience, and need to do the right thing paid off. "Cosmos" got closer and closer to my wheelhouse, like Jason Falkner and Brian Eno being produced by David Gilmour. This record is the surprise hit of my week.



Thank you Will, for the record and for the great music.

Check out "Cosmos" by Thunderegg. 


Thursday, January 17, 2019

"His Christmas Album Is Good."



Sometimes, Facebook users just don't get me. A friend asked, "Which musician would you most like to see come back to life?" I suggested Eric Clapton, to which someone commented, "He is still alive." I then suggested listening to "Old Sock," to which someone else said, "His Christmas album is good."

Oh, heavy sigh.

Then, a real friend got into the act and asked, "Was Clapton ever REALLY alive?" I said, "Yes. 1965-1970, and then again in 2005 for one solo." That solo is up top and it never ceases to both amaze and bring me to tears.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Come Join My Orchestra: The Greatest CD Boxed Set Ever





Grapefruit, an imprint of the brilliant U.K. label Cherry Red, has released what I will call one of the greatest 3 CD sets I have ever heard. I will let them explain:

"In the immediate wake of ground-breaking albums like Rubber Soul, Revolver and Pet Sounds, the British and American music scenes became increasingly ambitious and cerebral. As the major recording studios becoming ever more sophisticated, a new generation of musicians and producers sought to emulate the backroom auteur status of Brian Wilson or the symbiotic relationship between George Martin and The Beatles.

A new, more melancholic strain was introduced into British pop: expansive orchestral arrangements merged with the burgeoning psychedelic mind-set to create such studio-bound masterpieces as Days Of Future Passed and (of course) Sgt Pepper, with harpsichords, oboes, flutes, recorders and French horns providing a moody, introverted chamber pop flourish.

Wilson and The Left Banke led the way in the US, but Britain was also awash with acts mining the baroque pop seam. Honeybus, The Zombies, Donovan, Nirvana and many others made significant recordings in that field, fusing mournful minor chord melodies with fey vocals, ornate arrangements and what had previously been considered non-rock instrumentation.


Come Join My Orchestra covers British baroque pop’s formative years and its integration into a wide variety of genres, ranging from Johnny McEvoy’s exquisitely sculpted take on traditional pop balladry and a clutch of dyed-in-the-wool folkies (Ian Campbell, Bert Jansch etc) to McCartney acolytes (Fickle Pickle, Mike Batt, the Gerry Rafferty-led Humblebums) and symphonic/art rock bands like Procol Harum and Barclay James Harvest."










I picked this up on Amazon for $23! It contains one gem after another. Of course, if this brand of pop is not your cup of tea, then please, carry on. Nothing to see here. But considering what some of these individual singles cost, $23 might be the bargain of a lifetime.  It was difficult choosing what songs to highlight. There are 80 sprawled across three discs and all of them kill me.  I decided on what you see here, including Neil MacArthur up top, who of course, is Colin Blunstone of The Zombies, and Festival below, who if you didn't know, is 10cc. Sandwiched in between are The Matchmakers and Fickle Pickle.

This set is a must. I'm gushing.





Here's what you get!

DISC ONE:
1. COME JOIN MY ORCHESTRA – Al Jones
2. (DO I FIGURE) IN YOUR LIFE – The Honeybus
3. COATHANGER – Clifford T Ward
4. POOR JIMMY WILSON – The Strawbs
5. THE BETTER SIDE – The Freedom
6. ACORN STREET – Michael Blount
7. FLOWERS NEVER BLEND WITH THE RAINFALL – The Toast
8. DISAPPEAR – Gilbert
9. THE SOUND OF THE CANDYMAN’S TRUMPET – Tony Hazzard
10.YOUR DOG WON’T BARK – Picadilly Line
11.CAN’T FIND TIME FOR ANYTHING NOW – John Williams
12.WOE IS LOVE, MY DEAR – Bert Jansch
13.SANDY – The Matchmakers 14.ISANDULA ROAD – Jonathan Gill
15.AM I VERY WRONG? – Genesis
16.AWAY, AWAY – The Money Jungle
17.STICKS AND STONES – Warm Sounds
18.YOU’RE NOT IN MY CLASS – The Alan Bown!
19.MELINDA (MORE OR LESS) – Curved Air
20.I’M GOING HOME – Edward Jenkins
21.DON’T TRY TO EXPLAIN – Neil MacArthur
22.EVERYMAN – Stackridge
23.DO YOU LOVE ME – Deep Feeling
24.TODAY – Festival
25.PRIVATE HAROLD HARRIS – The Ian Campbell Group 26.NOT SO YOUNG TODAY –

DISC TWO:
Five Steps Beyond
1. POPCORN, DOUBLE FEATURE – The Searchers
2. BARTERERS AND THEIR WIVES – The Rockin’ Berries
3. JUSTINE – Julian Brooks
4. COURTYARDS OF CASTILE – The Bliss
5. MOTHER DEAR – Barclay James Harvest
6. COMPETITION – The Orange Bicycle
7. I SEE WONDERFUL THINGS IN YOU – Mike Batt
8. DORIS COMES TODAY – Bill Fay
9. YEP – Bridget St John
10.THIS SONG IS GREEN – Billy Nicholls
11.CHERRYBELLE – Chris Neal
12.I COULD WRITE A BOOK – Wil Malone
13.WINDFALL – Offspring
14.POET – Audience
15.DEAR AMANDA – The Regime *
16.BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR – John Pantry
17.LETTERS FROM HER – Forever Amber
18.IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME – Andy Ellison
19.FILLIN’ A GAP – Paper Bubble
20.ILLINOIS – Nirvana
21.FATHER DICKENS – Johnny McEvoy
22.A LITTLE SMILE ON CHRISTMAS MORNING – The Annie Rocket Band
23.HE’S VERY GOOD WITH HIS HANDS – Barry Booth & His Orchestra
24.CHARLOTTE ROSE – The Majority
25.GENEVIEVE – Angel Pavement 26.LUSKUS DELPH (LIVE WITH EDMONTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA) – Procol Harum
27.THE ANSWER IS – Marc Brierley
*PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

DISC THREE:
1. SATURDAY – Fickle Pickle
2. WRITER IN THE SUN – Donovan
3. A ROSE FOR EMILY – The Zombies
4. RICK RACK – The Humblebums
5. SHE SANG HYMNS OUT OF TUNE – The Freshmen
6. BROKEN BICYCLE – Kes Wyndham
7. CLOUDY – The Factotums
8. I’LL KEEP SMILING – Simon, Plug & Grimes
9. MIST ON A MONDAY MORNING – The Move
10.STRANGE PEOPLE – The U-No-Who
11.IF I THOUGHT YOU’D EVER CHANGE YOUR MIND – Edwards Hand
12.PICTURE ON THE WALL – Clive Sands
13.NEW KIND OF FEELING – Lea Nixon
14.ONLY FOOLING – Chris Baker
15.MRS RICHIE – Harmony Grass
16.ROSEMARY – A. & A. North
17.ROW ROW ROW – Peter Sully
18.TIME SELLER (SINGLE VERSION) – The Spencer Davis Group
19.THOUGHTS ON A RAINY DAY – Katch 22
20.TUESDAY – The Mellow Yellow *
21.THIS LITTLE MAN – Grapefruit
22.FACE IN MY WINDOW – Sheridan/Price
23.SMOKEY BLUE’S AWAY – Muffin
24.BREAKFAST – Richmond
25.ALL MY LIFE – Agincourt
26.SHADES AND SHADOWS – Elliot Mansions
27.GOODBYE – John George
*PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A Fine Idea At The Time



I've been obsessed with the Everly Brothers "It Only Costs A Dime" since the day I first discovered it on the b-side of "The Price Of Love." Yes, it's a great little tune, clocking in at less than 2 minutes. But, that intro and the feel and the sound of both the drums and acoustic guitars was appropriated by Elvis Costello for "Brilliant Mistake," the opening cut on "King Of America."

What interests me here is not one artist ripping off another, because once both songs take off, the resemblance, for the most part is over. It's also not a case of two songs sounding the same, like say "What's Going On'" and "Mercy, Mercy Me," both by Marvin Gaye.  I just can't think of another pair of songs that begin precisely the same way, then open up to something completely different. Maybe you can, and over the course of a day's worth of comments, my obsession will wane when I see that this practice is not uncommon at all. Until then, I am shocked that this Everlys/Costello thing, after a Google search,  has only been mentioned three times...all by yours truly. I guess I am easily amused, the older I get.

Okay, carry on.



Sunday, January 13, 2019

Songs Of The Week, 2019: 1/5-1/11




Get Into Something- The Isley Brothers
Heaven & Hell- The Easybeats
Determination- Todd Rundgren
Days- The Kinks
Old Castles- Paul Weller
Sunshine Girl- The Parade
Forget About You

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Get Into Something- The Isley Brothers
This was my SOTD on Saturday, 1/5. My John Sally Ride bandmate and pal, Sal Maida opened up his Spin Cycle radio show with it the next morning. Great minds think alike, and so did we.

Heaven & Hell- The Easybeats
And speaking of both Sal Maida and the JSR, this track came up a number of times during rehearsals and recording of our newest record. Maida thinks it is The Easybeats masterpiece and I agree. Amazing record-making.

Determination- Todd Rundgren
Felt like hearing this one, from the always accessible "The Hermit Of Mink Hollow."

Days- The Kinks
And speaking of The John Sally Ride, John Dunbar was interviewed for the Sweet Sweet Music blog and was asked if there was a song he wished he had written. This was his choice, and of course, I felt like hearing it.

Old Castles- Paul Weller
And speaking of Sal Maida's excellent radio show, Spin Cycle, he played this track off of the latest Paul Weller and it was the first time I heard anything from "True Meanings." I dug it.

Sunshine Girl- The Parade
Maida also played this pop gem in the same set.

Forget About You- The Motors
When I get older, I want to write a pop song as good as this...even if it is Build Me Up Buttercup...sideways, sorta.

Friday, January 11, 2019

"Off The Shelves, January '19" : THE WEEKEND MIX



This may seem like a random collection of songs, and I guess maybe it is. But they were all selected from an ever-growing folder of music I call "Off The Shelves." It began back in my CD retail days, when I had access to everything and took it all home. I ran out of room very quickly and needed to weed out the CDs that only had a song or two that interested me. Those songs were imported into an iTunes folder that now holds a little over 1,000 of these highlights. This mix highlights those highlights.

That Dirty Tricks tune sounds like Steve Winwood fronting Deep Purple.
That Starclub tune sounds like a lost Big Star tune.
That Spy Mob tune sounds like a cross between Steely Dan and Todd Rundgren.
Beth Nielsen Chapman's cover of the Laura Nyro tune outdoes them all.

There are a few you might already know, but I love them all and you know, maybe they'll sound good altogether.

TRACKLIST
2040- Spy Mob
Tanqueray- Johnnie Johnson & Keith Richards
Summer Can't Come To Soon- A.J. Croce
Call My Name- Starclub
Used To Be My Used To Be- Bram Tchaikovsky
Holiday- Nazareth
That's How I Got T Memphis- Kelly Willis
I'll Take My Chances- Swirl 360
Baby Sitter- Betty Wright
Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do- Otis Rush
Surrender- Terence Trent D'Arby
Rough Landing, Holly- Yellowcard
Wait Till Saturday- Dirty Tricks
Stoney End- Beth Nielsen Chapman
Where The Boys Are- Get Wet

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

You're Welcome/I'm Sorry


"Repeat this hook line, over and over/Until you've got it, memorized."