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Saturday, February 25, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #563

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #563.192!

 

Orchestral Maneuvers In The DarkOMD Live: Architecture & Morality & More (Eagle) :: Archly melodramatic like an old Bette Davis Warner Bros. weeper populated by ciggy-smokin’ automatons. Now, Voyager meets I, Robot.

 

Gary NumanDance (Beggar’s Banquet) :: Paul Henried.

 

Marian McPartlandTwilight World (Concord) :: She’s been ticklin’ the ivories longer than you’ve been listenin’ to ’em, but Marian is still as adept as ever at evoking slinky soundscapes. And although the album title may evoke echoes of Weegee’s flashbulb and Mark Hellinger’s Naked City, this is one instrumental outing that smacks of sensuously smooth seduction all the way. Tasteful bass and traps included.

 

Charles Lloyd QuartetRabo de Nube (ECM) :: There’s something swank about live jazz recordings that even the greatest studio sessions are unable to match, and this contemplative one by multi-reedman Lloyd has a definite emotional magic that charges the ether. It may not be the best live jazz album ever—you know which one that is—but it’s still a good ’un.

 

Felonious BoschNew Dark Ages (Omnium) :: I’ve always wondered why more bands never picked up the studded gauntlet that Ian Anderson threw down decades ago with Jethro Tull, but I’m pleased to announce that humorously brainy mediaeval music continues to live on in this charming new release. And no, “Straight To Hell” and “Cooper’s Attic” aren’t about Alice.

 

MOLTEN PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Boiled In LeadSilver (Omnium) :: Speaking of which, these guys have proved over the years that they can adeptly tackle everything from delicate trad ballads to heavy Springsteen rockers, but on Silver the modern masters of mediaeval music have cold-cast their coolest album yet. And although they may not agree with that description of them—they also expertly essay sounds from Ireland to North Africa to Algeria—if you’ve never heard BIL before, then you owe it to yourself to get righteously enlightened because they’re the solid gold standard.

 

Crash RomeoGave Me The Clap (Trustkill) :: Romeo is burning.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, February 25, 2017 | link 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #562

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #562.191!

 

SIZZLING REISSUES OF THE WEEK: Creedence Clearwater RevivalThe 50th Anniversary Editions: Creedence Clearwater Revival; Bayou Country; Green River; Willy And The Poor Boys; Cosmo’s Factory; Pendulum (Fantasy) :: All six of these watershed recordings are so timeless and transcendent that they defy definition. Not only do they make hackneyed terms like “classic” and “essential” seem hopelessly inadequate, such pedestrian descriptions actually diminish the pure heartfelt music contained in these grooves—and this hoodoo half dozen is fuelled by a chooglin’ groove unlike any other.

 

It’s no exaggeration to say that in 1969 and 1970, Creedence Clearwater Revival owned North America with what seemed to be a never-ending string of superb, socially conscious hit singles. When I saw them in 1970 on their Cosmo’s Factory tour, John Fogerty, clad in his signature checked flannel shirt, led the band through a blistering set that lasted a scant 40 minutes from start to finish. I know because I actually timed them just to make sure that I got my five bucks’ worth and, boy, did I ever! In that short time span, the guys played all of their hits and still had enough time to spare for extended throw-downs on “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and “Suzie Q.”

 

Now, the folks who ramrodded the resurrection of Stax records, Concord Music Group, have given us back another national treasure trove of riches in far superior condition than they initially found it. The pristine restored sound quality stunningly surpasses every previous digital version; the dozens of bonus studio outtakes and live tracks are truly revelatory; and the insightful liner notes, by such knowledgeable veteran authors as Dave Marsh and Robert Christgau, tell you all you need to know about how CCR managed to successfully straddle the ’60s and ’70s in a way that no other travelin’ band did.

 

But the real reason why you have to buy these six albums is to hear the most exhilarating American music ever made—and to joyously rediscover why you love rock ’n’ roll so much.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, February 18, 2017 | link 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #561

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #561.195!

 

Ted NugentSweden Rocks (Eagle Vision DVD) :: I like Ted, but his cackling, bug-eyed rants are beginning to scare even me.

 

Fred “Herman” Gwynne, Yvonne “Lily” De Carlo, Al “Grandpa” LewisThe Munsters: The Complete Series (Universal Studios Home Entertainment) :: If y’wanna suss out someone’s secret psyche, ask if they’re a Munsters or Addams person. The big diff being that The Addams Family was an early ’60s TV series about a clan of oddball oddities who knew that they were queer and reveled in it. The Munsters, on the other hand, were monsters with a heart and soul of gold who knew that they were beautiful, while the rest of the human world—including, alas, their comely niece Marilyn—were seen as pug-ugly unfortunates.

 

So when it comes to the small screen, there’s no denying that I’m a Munsters man. Let’s face it: Raúl Juliá did an admirable job of aping John Astin’s original Gomez on the big screen. But who in their right mind could ever imagine anyone else even coming close to conveying the unique humanistic charm of Fred Gwynne’s portrayal of Herman Munster? Not me, and I’m as sane as they come.

 

You’ll be commonsensical, too, after you dig into this mega-box that holds all 70 socially satirical episodes plus a whole slew of bonus features—including rare episodes filmed entirely in unliving color, like the unearthed pilot. It’s downright spooky how well The Munsters holds up over 50 years later.

 

Alfred HitchcockRear Window, Vertigo, Psycho (Universal Studios Home Entertainment) :: Each one of these definitive two-disc versions technically surpasses every earlier incarnation extant, but you’ll want to buy all three just to hear the actual audio extracts from François Truffaut’s legendary 1962 interview with Hitch, which are extraordinary and invaluable.

 

SIZZLING RERUN OF THE WEEK: John CarradineHaunted Hollywood (Syndicated) :: Count Alucard himself hosts this sordid series of 100-year-old Béla Lugosi films, all of which are piteously presented in the absolute worst possible sub-VHS picture quality imaginable. Scary!

 

Boo spooking you!

Sat, February 11, 2017 | link 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #560

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #560.194!

 

Rock Scully40th Anniversary Summer Of Love Oral Archive (MVD Audio/Beanbag) :: A one-hour excursion into all things aurally acidic. If you weren’t around to experience the substance-soaked ’60s like I was, then this is one heck of a primo primer—and if you were, it’ll fill in all the blanks that the blotter sheets easily erased.

 

E.S.I.Eye Contact (Jericho Beach) :: With piano a-pounding and strings a-slummin’ this offering offers supremo smoky Euro cabaret rock. Bonus points for covering Neil Young and Lou Reed and making them sound like art rock drone originals.

 

City SleepsNot An Angel (Trustkill) :: Pseudo-proto-prog in punk’s clothing.

 

Ron BlakeShayari (Mack Avenue) :: I’m not saying that tenor saxman Blake has it in him to record the modern-day equivalent of A Love Supreme, but this spiritual record proves that if he ever does decide to give it a shot, that he’s on the right path. And speaking of paths...

 

Andrew StermanThe Path To Peace: Music Inspired By The Inner Journey Of Mahatma Gandhi (Orange Mountain) :: If you meditate to only one jazz album this year, this be the one!

 

Arthur LymanBwana Á (Collectors’ Choice) :: Not since the likes of Les Baxter and Yma Sumac has there been such a Polynesian proponent. If you like to pump to a Tiki pulse, then this is place to empty your milk-filled coconuts.

 

Johnny HallydayLive At Montreux 1988 (Eagle Rock) :: France’s answer to rockabilly never made it big stateside ’cause here in America we like our greasers to sing in English. Then again, after hearing him butcher the lyrics to “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” en anglais, I can see why he’s stuck to French for the past 50 years.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Caroleen BeattyYou’re Only As Pretty As You Feel (Black Beauty) :: The vexatious voice behind the recent remake of Eno’s Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) goes solo on this trippy EP that covers the likes of Jefferson Airplane and Ginger Baker’s Air Force. Dig it!

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, February 4, 2017 | link 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #559

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #559.193!

 

Ghost BeesTasseomancy (Youth Club) :: Any time I hear an album with violas and violins on it, I know I’m in for a rough emotional ride. But nothing prepared me for this eerie evocation of everything that lies dormant deep in the back of my consciousness. Frankly, it scares me.

 

Cinderpop{Fig.13} a lesson in science (Popoganda) :: They’ve certainly got the “pop” part down cold so if I’m a tad disappointed that the sound isn’t nearly as “cinder” as I’d like, fella. I guess that’s my fault for listening to so much Freddie Mercury during my wonder years.

 

Freddie MercuryMr. Bad Guy (Columbia) :: “My, that’s a big one.”

 

The ShakeWell, Oh Well (self-released) :: These guys shake some traction by renaming a song by “Peter” Townshend into “This Is My Generation” and then reworking it as radically as Bowie revamped “I Can’t Explain” on Pinups. They’re loud and they rock—that is, when they’re not busy playing songs that aren’t loud and don’t rock. Next time, lay off the ballads, boys.

 

SIZZLING ACOUSTIC PLATTER OF THE WEEK: DianaThe Great Catastrophe Of The Sixth Sign (self-released) :: Diana DiGiovanni sure knows how to write a song that’s full of drama and passion—and on this excellent EP she slings together five of her best. Then, armed with only her acoustic guitar, she opens up her heart full of soul and sings them with a voice that’ll validate your very being. So check her out and learn something important about yourself.

 

SIZZLING ELECTRIC PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The Virginia City RevivalA Bandin’ The Herd (Dawn Of The White Light) :: These hard rock hellions have manufractured (sic) a masterful libel-thumpin’ travelin’ snake oil salesman road show that just oozes out the best preverted (really sic) social commentary since the early Mothers Of Invention. If the late great John Carradine had formed a rock ’n’ roll band way back when, he would’ve formed the Virginia City Revival. This way to the egress!

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, January 28, 2017 | link 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #558

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #558.189!

 

François Thomas & Jean-Pierre BerthoméOrson Welles At Work (Phaidon Press) :: It’s a monument to his undisputed congenital genius that, despite a maddeningly meager output of a mere 12 feature films completed over the span of 33 years, Orson Welles remains one of America’s greatest movie directors nearly a quarter century after his death. Now comes this long overdue and comprehensive 300-page hardcover from Phaidon which will show you why Orson is still held in such high esteem—and I do mean show, because this stylish retrospective is the biggest and best-illustrated biography of Welles ever published, an ambitious undertaking that dares to do an extensive examination of the man’s entire bravura cinematic career in sequence. The immortal story begins with Welles’ early days on the boards and on the radio with the Mercury Theater in New York; follows him through his notorious trials and tribulations in Hollywood; and finally charts his project-laden globetrotting latter decades—it’s all true.

 

And although the initial appeal of the book lies in its vast archive of more than 400 rare archival studio production photographs, drawings and documents, the true crux of Orson Welles At Work can be found in the accompanying text which, over the course of 25 chapters, painstakingly delineates both the methodology and psychology behind Welles’ movies, with the authors being especially adept at noting whether his creative decisions were made by accident, design, or necessity—it’s terrific!

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: EverlastLove, War And The Ghost Of Whitey Ford (Martyr Inc) :: Heavier than the specific gravity of a cosmos-suckin’ black hole, this savage slice of protest rap rock will have you convinced that Everlast are the public airwaves’ new Public Enemy—and that’s no radio hoax. Inspirational lyric: “To the victors go the spoils and that’s oil wells. Call Orson Welles, ’cause the world’s at war and the front line’s just outside your front door!”

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, January 21, 2017 | link 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #557

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #557.188!

 

Andreas ÖbergMy Favorite Guitars (Resonance) :: A little too slick for my liking, this polished smooth tribute to the usual jazz guitar suspects has a dated feel to it that smacks of old Stanley Clarke albums and Deodato’s 2001.

 

The PriddleConcern (Sparks) :: Kinda like David Bowie’s Man Of Words, Man Of Music album only not nearly as good.

 

Christa CoutureThe Wedding Singer And The Undertaker (One Foot Tapping) :: This ain’t no Adam Sandler WWE crossover; this is a bosomy babe with embedded metal in her face who sings with an earnest endearing style that’s kinda like Meryn Cadell via Alanis Morrissette, only better in a mellow mood. That is, when she’s not veering off into a foot stompin’ “Yellow Submarine” vein, which she only does once but should do far more often.

 

ApocalypticaWorlds Collide (Red Ink) :: Them Finnish cellists what gave us Apocalyptica Play Metallica are back with a full band recording that’s got more heavy integrity than anything Metallica’s recorded since …And Justice For All and is infused with the kind of art rock patina that Eno and Eddie gave Roxy Music.

 

Vesta VarroExit Here (Eavesdrop) :: Sappy teenage angst? Anyone?

 

Kensington PrairieCaptured In Still Life (Anniedale) :: Kensington Prairie is Rebecca Rowan—and Rebecca Rowan has crafted an excellent album that’s totally innocent but never naïve…and therein lies the difference.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The FriggsToday Is Tomorrow’s Yesterday: Singles & Unreleased Songs (Apex East) :: The Monkees meet the Troggs on this way cool compilation, which features some of the greatest songs by one of America’s greatest girl garage groups. Includes torrid tracks from their super ultra rare 1994 CREEM Magazine pastiche FRIGGS: America’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll Parody 10” EP.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, January 14, 2017 | link 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #556

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #556.187!

 

PinkFunhouse (LaFace) :: What a stooge.

 

LoveOut Here (Collectors’ Choice) :: Well it’s 1969, OK? And Arthur Lee is conducting a cosmic clinic that easily outstrips what passes for progressive rock today—especially on the exhaustive “Doggone,” which abruptly shifts gears at the three-minute mark from a melodious ballad into an inna-gadda-be-kidding mode for the remaining nine minutes. Oop-ip-ip oop-ip-ip, yeah!

 

Three Dog NightGreatest Hits Live (Shout! Factory) :: This previously unreleased barn-burner from 1973 just decimates their two earlier live offerings. Bonus points for injecting “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)” with this ad-lib: “The radio is blastin’, someone’s knockin’ on the door. I’m lookin’ at my girlfriend, she’s O.D.’d on the floor!”

 

Marty Robbins & Tammy WynetteLegendary Performances (Shout! Factory) :: These two DVDs contain 30 recitals filmed between 1957 to 1981 and are a veritable golden age country music goldmine. Don’t miss the bonus footage of Tammy’s wedding which, alas, isn’t scored to her singing “D-I-V-O-R-C-E.”

 

Frankie ValliHeaven Above Me (Collectors’ Choice) :: CC has just reissued eight of the Joisey Boy’s albums from 1967 to 1980, but the one to get is this delirious disco disc that dares to devolve Gershwin’s “An American In Paris” into a 135-bpm snow job. Oscar Levant wept.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Tom SnyderThe Tomorrow Show: John, Paul, Tom & Ringo (Shout! Factory) :: The greatest interviewer in talk show history raps with three Beatles in archival footage that displays his uncanny ability to disarm his guests and get them to open up—as witnessed when Ringo, sitting in Neil Bogart’s house, candidly confesses to being called a fag at school. And you wonder why he wanted to open a chain of women’s hairdressing salons.

 

George HarrisonPlayboy Interview (February 1965) :: “Ringo and I are gettin’ married to each other. But that’s a thing you better keep a secret. People would probably think we’re queers.”

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, January 7, 2017 | link 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #555

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #555!

 

Presented for your needle-droppin’ groove approval, in semi-strict ethno-alpha-numerical order so as not to show any undue kickback payola favoritism, is Jeffrey Morgan’s 2016 Top Ten List Of Records as they appear on my official ballot for this year’s Village Voice rock critics poll, which I’ve been voting in annually ever since Robert Christgau was kind enough to give me the nod some five decades or so ago. In other words, and I’ve got a million of ’em, these are my Sizzling Platters Of The Year, all of which deserve repeated spins on your old grand-dad’s Victrola. Don’t ask why! Just buy them!

 

My Life With The Thrill Kill KultSinister Whisperz II: The Interscope Years (1992-1996) (SleazeBox) ● Bun E. CarlosGreetings From Bunezuela! (BunMart) ● Iggy PopPost Pop Depression (Loma Vista) ● The Flowers Of HellSymphony No. 1 (Optical Sounds) ● James Clark InstituteYesterday’s Misadventures (Clark Institute) ● World’s Forgotten SonsWorld’s Forgotten Sons (self released) ● Levin Minnemann RudessFrom The Law Firm Of Levin Minnemann Rudess (Lazy Bones) ● Kris MoauroColours (Canadian American) ● As WatersAs Waters (self released) ● Various Artists24 Classic Blues Songs From The 1920s Volume 13 (Blues Images) ● Lou ReedMetal Machine Music: 41st Anniversary Edition (RCA Red Seal)

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, December 31, 2016 | link 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #554

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #554.295.347.399!

 

This is Bob “Media Blackout” Hope coming to you live from the Big Room upstairs where I’m filling in for Jeffrey Morgan, who’s away this week celebrating Christmas by listening to some of the latest rice-paddy platters in Da Nang Trong province. You know what ‘Da Nang Trong’ means, don’t you? That’s Vietnamese for “Exit strategy? We don’t need no stinking exit strategy.”

 

No, but I’m really thrilled to be here on the road to ruin, as my good friend Joey Ramone would say. In fact, all of the Ramones are up here, although it took them a while to clear customs. They were forty pounds overweight, and that was just their hair. Yeah, and I hear Joey’s going to record a new Christmas song with Bing Crosby as soon as the old groaner recovers from that “Little Drummer Boy” duet he did with new arrival David Bowie 39 years ago. Just wait until he finds out that Joey’s been taking sarong lessons from Dorothy Lamour. Isn’t that wild?

 

Hey, how about a few reviews!

 

John Lennon“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” (Apple) :: Hippie.

 

Various ArtistsWe Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year (Armory) :: Look, even I can only take so much of Bing singing “White Christmas” before I get a hardcore hankerin’ to dreck the halls with gobs of metal. That’s why I’ve been listening nonstop to this twelve track compilation of carols, which features everyone from Lemmy to Alice to Dio. I’ll be deaf for Christmas, if only in my screams.

 

Christina“Things Fall Apart” (ZE) :: I thought Britney Smears was a basket case until I heard this record. It originally escaped back in 1981 on A Christmas Record and it’s still the most mentally disturbed Noël number ever released. And that includes Jerry Colonna’s rendition of Johnny Bower’s “Honky The Christmas Goose.”

 

Rhonda Silver“Chri$tma$ On Credit” (Silver Shadow) :: You can forget all about Eartha Kitt mewing out the high-priced “Santa Baby” for the umpteenth year in a row because this is the new torch song for today’s troubled times. You’ll sign up for a government bailout when you hear sultry songstress Silver croon: “You know that Santa’s got the blues ’cause he ain’t got no green. Looks like Mrs. Claus has picked his pockets clean!” In other words: Cash is king.

 

Johnny CashThe Johnny Cash Christmas Specials: 1976-1979 (Shout! Factory) :: Hey, and what better way to celebrate the season than by watching this four disc box set containing the Man In Black’s holiday television specials. Cash doing Christmas would be reason enough to watch at any time, but what really makes this a seasonal must see is the truly eclectic line up of guest stars, including everyone from longtime stage stalwarts June Carter and Carl Perkins to country legends Merle Travis and Roy Clark to seminal Sun rockers Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis.

 

The BeatlesChristmas Time Is Here Again! (Fan Club Flexi-Disc) :: Hippies.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Mr. T“I Told You Hannibal: I Ain’t Gettin’ On No Sleigh!” b/w “Shut Up, You Crazy Yule!” (T-Neck) :: Boy, I wanna tell ya, ain’t that something?

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, December 24, 2016 | link 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #553

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #553.185.86!

 

GoldfingerHello Destiny (Side One Dummy) :: Any deplorable basket case who thinks that a song called “Handjobs For Jesus” is funny should either be eviscerated by an industrial laser or decapitated by a flying derby—or both. And then have their remains fed to the cleft palate butler. Garch a har?

 

Tim Lee 3good2b3 (Paisley Pop) :: Elliott Murphy meets Lou Reed meets Bob Dylan. But then again, they always have, haven’t they?

 

David MartelI Hardly Knew Me (Kindling) :: What begins with a long lingering Tangerine Kraftwerk electrowash inexplicably—but brilliantly—morphs into a Monkees’ Head vibe. Then it gets even better.

 

Song Of The SirenCity Lights Are Blinding You (self-released) :: Jazz-tinged pop paeans that hint that the Patti Smith Group would’ve sounded a lot better had Lenny and the boys been blessed with a less pretentious babe up front.

 

Old Man LuedeckeProof Of Love (Black Hen) :: Old man take a look at my review of your new banjo album it’s a lot like…well, remember those old ads that said: “Gee, Ma! It’s A Wurlitzer!” No? Then I guess you’re not all that old, after all.

 

Marian McPartlandTwilight World (Concord Jazz) :: I don’t know if this album of sensually slinky piano-led pieces is playing in that late-nite diner that those coffee drinking habitués are inhabiting in Edward Hopper’s painting “Nighthawks.” But if it isn’t, it should be.

 

Moreland & Arbuckle1861 (Northern Blues) :: A blues ’n’ roll concept album about Kansas? That rocks as hard as Johnny Winter in his slip-slidin’ prime? Fatty, what will they think of next?

 

Samuel JamesSongs Famed For Sorrow And Joy (Northern Blues) :: Well, howsabout a cover sticker blurb from none other than the aforesaid John Dawson that rightly proclaims Mistuh Sammy as: “Fantastic! Great voice and a great playing style! Traditional blues done with a hip twist!” In other words, it’s almost as good as Performance and Exile On Main St. combined.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: James BrownI Got The Feelin’: James Brown In The ’60s (Shout! Factory) :: Didja hear about the gig Mr. Dynamite gave on live television in 1968 to keep Beantown from burnin’ down after MLK’s death? You can see it now via this three-disc set, which contains a documentary about the show, the full-length monochromatic broadcast itself, and a rare period colorcast of JB on TV.

 

The myth is that the GFOS showed up to save the day, but the reality is that not only did he not come up with the idea to broadcast his already-scheduled show on live television—you can thank Boston’s Mayor for that—after Hizzonner told the town to stay home and watch the JB Revue on the tube, an irate Looking Out For Soul Brother No. 1 got on the bad foot by demanding that he be paid $60,000 to recoup the loss incurred by tanking ticket sales and box office refunds.

 

But the big payback is a bitch, which is why the high point of the proceedings is watching Butane James’ own personal Altamont ignite when he loses control of the show after inviting the audience to climb up and join him onstage.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, December 17, 2016 | link 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #552

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #552.184!

 

TotoFalling In Between Live (Eagle Vision) :: Why does the singer look like Burton Cummings?

 

AmericaLive In Central Park 1979 (Eagle Vision) :: Need proof that they’re better than Neil Young?

 

FlipperLive (MVD Visual) :: Beyond primitive or beyond belief?

 

Various ArtistsA Tribute To Edith Piaf (Eagle Vision) :: Doesn’t anyone speak English anymore?

 

Mink DeVilleLive At Montreux 1982 (Eagle Vision) :: Since when does playing thirty seconds of “Harlem Nocturne” qualify you to play a jazz festival?

 

Earth, Wind & FireIn Concert 1981 (Eagle Vision) :: And you thought Labelle had a cornball costumed act?

 

GillanThe Glory Years (Eagle Vision) :: If this compilation stands tall with lotsa live fun from 1981 and a buncha bonus Euro TV vids, then why is it so short?

 

Dead BoysReturn Of The Living Dead Boys: Halloween Night 1986 (MVD Visual) :: Do two versions of “Sonic Reducer” and an intro by Joseph Ramone atone for Stiv’s Nazi uniform?

 

Pat Metheny GroupImaginary Day Live (Eagle Vision) :: Should I say “So What” if this 10-year-old film contains a surfeit of slo-mo, blurry special effects and mini box split screens that does the music a decidedly dated disservice?

 

MetricLive At Metropolis (Last Gang) :: Does Euro disco syntho electro pop done 20 years too late rate?

 

Quincy JonesLive At Montreux 1996 (Eagle Vision) :: Not exactly Duke Ellington Live At Carnegie Hall, is it?

 

SIZZLING PLATTERS OF THE WEEK: Stray CatsRock Therapy & Blast Off (Hep Cat) :: If you only know the name Brian Setzer from his big band Yuletide excursions, then there’s no questioning the fact that these two must-have reissues—which originally hail from ’86 and ’89—are what you been a-missin’, oh boy. The buoyant bouffant energy and oily enthusiasm that oozes outta these rockabilly records like a tube of Brylcreem slowly squished under the rumblin’ wheels of a Ed “Big Daddy” Roth customized classic is nothing short of refreshingly authentic.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, December 10, 2016 | link 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #551

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #551.183!

 

Mel TillisMe And Pepper; Your Body Is An Outlaw; Southern Rain (Collectors’ Choice) :: Wherein we have three timely reissues of Mel’s 1979-1980 albums for Elektra. The first is a competent enough but slightly pop-skewed effort that’s for completists only. The second, recorded with his band the Statesiders, is a much rootsier move in the right direction. It’s the third, however, that hits all the right classic country notes from the record cover art right on down to the solid song selection. Now if only Collectors’ Choice would also reprint the full album credits instead of leaving them in illegible miniaturized form on the original back cover reproductions…

 

Ben JelenEx-Sensitive (Custard) :: If this weepy boo-hoo chickfest is what not being sensitive sounds like, then I’d sure hate to hear how emasculated he gets in sundress sensitive mode. Ben Dover is more like it.

 

Black Francissv n f ng rs (Cooling Vinyl) :: Are you ready for the crossbreeding of insane John Cale and droll Kevin Ayers? Or is that wonky Todd Rundgren and rural Neil Young? Either way, I sure am!

 

JW JonesBluelisted (Northern Blues) :: Three reasons why this pic-a-nic basket fulla blues is smarter than the average bear: (1) It has a great title; (2) It has liner notes by Big House harpmeister Elwood Blues; and (3) The music actually lives up to both (1) and (2). In other words, it doesn’t make a single boo-boo.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Mike GarsonConversations With My Family (Resonance) :: Most everyone’s introduction to Mike Garson was when they heard his still-stunning schizo-schizero piano solo on Bowie’s “Aladdin Sane,” not to mention his subsequent noir noodlings on Mick Ronson’s vastly underrated Slaughter On Tenth Avenue album. And although those heady days are long gone, he’s still busy flexing his ample jazzbo chops on thoughtful solo excursions like this new one of his which is alternately brassy and orchestral.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, December 3, 2016 | link 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #550

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #550.181.82!

 

Jan And DeanThe Complete Liberty Singles (Collectors’ Choice) :: From “Surf City” and “Drag City” to “Dead Man’s Curve” and “The Little Old Lady (From Pasadena),” each one of these Hemi hits is guaranteed to light up your Christmas tree every time. Red light! Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys helped Jan and Dean write some of their hits and he sung on them as well. Yellow light! Jan and Dean’s original recording of “Bucket ‘T’” smokes the Who’s later Moon-equipped cover version. Green light! Jan and Dean wrote some of the hippest lyrics ever, as evidenced by this suave little gem from 1964: “They wear organdy dresses and high-button shoes, they read Playboy magazine and Hot Rod news.”

 

Various CreatorsBatman: Gotham Knight – Two-Disc Special Edition (DC Comics/Warner Premiere DVD) :: I recommend this Anime-infused series of six separate segments, penned in part by the pulp-pedigreed likes of Dark Knight author David S. Goyer (the truly trippy “In Darkness Dwells”) and 100 Bullets co-creator Brian Azzarello (the spiritually somber “Working Through The Pain”).

 

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn BandThe Whole Fam Damnily (Side One Dummy) :: Wherein the ragged but right Rev. rasps out a gnarly backwater batcha tub-stompin’ songs o’protest ’n’ faith, all wrapped ’round a seismic swath of tremeloed slide gitbox ’n’ harp that’ll turn you into a testifyin’ witness givin’ state’s evidence that this here long-player sho ’nuff sounds like a stripped-down high-energy cross between High On The Hog and Led Zeppelin III.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: New York DollsLive At The Fillmore East (Sony) :: Some wonky word wankers wrote that I was thoroughly Scrooged for viciously smearcasing the Dolls’ reunion album as a too little too late pasty-faced pastiche that was nothing more than a David JoHandsome solo album in sell-out drag—but I was right, no matter how many other critics waxed blowjobian over it. So why do I heartily recommend this new ragged rehash? Because it’s the energetic antithesis of its slick and soulless studio predecessor, that’s why. It also helps that they dug deep into their solid songbook to run through a number of less obvious numbers, such as “Jet Boy” and “Pills” and “Puss ’n’ Boots” before finally bringing down the curtain with a heartfelt tribute to El Thunderoso on “Lonely Planet Boy.” As a matter of fact, this album is so good, you’ll almost forgive the singer for foisting Buster Poindexter on us. Almost.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, November 26, 2016 | link 

Friday, November 25, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS ROCK íNí ROLL PHOTOGRAPHS

JEFFREY MORGAN’S ROCK ’N’ ROLL PHOTOGRAPHS

While you’re visiting, don’t forget to view the dozens of essential selections from my vast archive of
hundreds of extremely rare and previously unseen rock ’n’ roll photographs from the 1970s and 1980s—all of which were taken by myself from my front row center seat at various venerable venues; vintage historical portraits which include the following rock stars caught in their youthful prime:

David Bowie
(1976 Station To Station tour) :: Lou Reed (1974 Sally Can’t Dance tour) :: Iggy Pop (1977 The Idiot tour) :: Bob Dylan (1978 Street Legal tour) :: George Harrison (1974 Dark Horse tour) :: Paul McCartney (1976 Wings Over America tour) :: Pete Townshend (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: Johnny Winter (1976 Captured Live! tour) :: Jeff Beck (1975 Blow By Blow tour) :: KISS (1977 Love Gun tour) :: Alice Cooper (1975 Welcome To My Nightmare tour) :: Freddie Mercury (1977 News Of The World tour) :: Amanda Lear (1975 Sweet Revenge tour) :: Rod Stewart (1977 Foot Loose & Fancy Free tour) :: Mick Jagger (1975 It’s Only Rock ’n Roll tour) :: New York Dolls (1975 Tokyo Dolls Live tour) :: Keith Richards (1975 It’s Only Rock ’n Roll tour) :: Ian Hunter (1989 YUI Orta tour) :: Elton John (1974 Caribou tour) :: Mick Ronson (1989 YUI Orta tour) :: Steven Tyler (1977 Draw The Line tour) :: Sparks (1975 Indiscreet tour) :: James Brown (1986 Gravity tour) :: Miles Davis (1985 You’re Under Arrest tour) :: Roger Daltrey (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: Bruce Springsteen & Clarence Clemons (1975 Born To Run tour) :: John Entwistle (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: Keith Moon (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: The Who (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: and more!

Ask any dealer and he’ll tell you that the best way to get someone hooked on your product is to give them a free sample, so here’s just a small taste of what’s coming your way when you click on the eleven gallery links to your left:

JeffreyMorganDavidBowie.jpg
Fri, November 25, 2016 | link 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #549

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #549.180!

 

Alan DaveyCaptured Rotation :: (MVD Audio/Hawkwind) :: Hawkwind meets power pop on this catchy pop rock meisterwack.

 

AstralasiaThe Hawkwind Remixes (MVD Audio/Voiceprint) :: One good head deserves another and, boy howdy, do they ever find each other in spades on this celestial compendium that time travels from 1993 to 2002 and back again. Oddly enough, parts of it sorta sound like a discofied Nash The Slash’s American BandAges album — but that only makes it all the more cooler in a Cosmic Supermarket kinda way.

 

Magic Mushroom BandFeed Your Head: Live ‘89 (MVD Audio/Voiceprint) :: The album title is a gratefully dead giveaway that if Grace Slick and Donovan were singing together in the TransLove Airplane, then this would be their Bless Its Pointed Little Head. So turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream as the MMB cover everything from Zappa and Harrison to Ayers and Hendrix in one long luxuriously languid trip.

 

Jon AndersonLive In La La Land (MVD Audio/Opio/Voiceprint) :: Devoid of the usual surrounding prog rock bombast, this minimal direct-to-DAT double live album of the Yes man’s recent guitar-and-piano-only one-man show at the Roxy in Los Angeles is an excellent showcase for his distinctive voice which, eerily enough, still sounds exactly as it did way back in the early ’70s—soaring high notes and all. I guess Anderson must have a painting of his larynx hanging in an attic somewhere.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: FishCommunion: Live At St. Mary’s Church Haddington, East Lothian, August 27th 2006 (MVD Audio/Chocolate Frog) :: Just like those who perpetuate the Gabriel-Collins Genesis debate, there will always be those who will forever be of the opinion that Fish was Marillion; and those others who feel that any post-Fish incarnation of Marillion is equally legitimate. I happen to think that both camps are right, which means I have ample enough room in my ears for this twofer that’s easily as excellent as anything Gabriel did during his first three solo albums.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, November 19, 2016 | link 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #548

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #548.179!

 

Night RangerHole In The Sun (VH1 Classic) :: This one starts out sounding like a Gary Numan album from 1979—but don’t worry, Kyoto, ’cause it doesn’t take long for the proceedings to kick into the kind of stereophonic dual-guitar speed-freak flights of fret-finaglin’ fancy that, as much as I hate to admit it, is the very epitome of classic rock incarnate. ¡Mucho recomendado!

 

The Great OutdoorsSpring (DDG) :: This three-track EP evokes folksy blues in a simple Beggar’s Banquet slide style that’s sincere enough to make me want to hear a full-length album—and I hate folksy blues almost as much as I hate ballads.

 

Ndidi OnukwuluThe Contradictor (Jericho Beach) :: Unlike other Billie Holiday wannabes, this is what a real soulstress sounds like. Ndidi’s brass-backed album bubbles with sharp-edged passion and smooth sensual singing that puts everyone else to shame shame shame.

 

Matthew Sweet Sunshine Lies (Shout! Factory) :: Beginning with the ballsy backwardelic intro, this fuzzy Nazz-fueled album is pure pop incarnate, the likes of which you haven’t heard since the heady heyday of the ’60s and ’70s. If you’re in the market for a very cool aural amalgamation of Todd Rundgren, Brian Wilson, and Badfinger, then step right up ’cause this is one of the best pop albums you’ll hear so far—and it’s so good.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The BrownsThe Complete Hits (Collectors’ Choice) :: Lissen, bub, any country song from 1963 called “Looking Back To See” that contains the rhymin’ line: “And the way that she was stacked, I wished I had a Cadillac” deserves to be stashed in your overendowed record rack, alright?

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, November 12, 2016 | link 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #547

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #547.178!

 

ZZ TopAnimalizer (Warner Bros.) :: Includes the hit single “Squirrel Necklace.” (Lester Bangs was one of the great rock writers…)

 

Lydia LunchVideo Hysterie: 1978-2006 (MVD Visual/Atavistic) :: Although the picture quality improves as the years progress, there’s something truly horrific about the early multigeneration VHS footage—especially “Orphans” which is reprehensible for its inclusion of actual death scenes. But that’s what punks did back in 1978.

 

The Comics Journal No. 209Who Speaks For Sparky? (Fantagraphics Books) :: David Michaelis’ warty biography Schulz And Peanuts ignited a controversy which is examined here with 100 pages of in-depth debate, including an exhaustive 52-page rebuttal essay by Charles M. Schulz’s son Monte. This issue is a milestone in comics journalism and essential reading for any Peanuts fan.

 

The WeddingThe Sound The Steel (Brave New World) :: The chugga-chugga good news is that this is one of the few new choo-choo albums released since Trans Europe Express and Station To Station. The shrugga-shrugga bad news is that it’s just another snooze-snooze jangly generic angst album.

 

Lou Reed & Iggy PopThe Last Spike (RCA Red Seal) :: Includes the hit single “Last Vein to Cocksville.” (…but I was better.)

 

SIZZLING SHOW OF THE WEEK: ZZ TopLive From Texas (Eagle Vision DVD) :: These jamokes can be pretty dead ass dull on stage at times but luckily this ain’t one of those occasions; I guess being filmed by a multicam crew lubricated their level of gregariousness. Everything you wanna hear is here except for “Doubleback.” But that’s tres cool ’cause you’d be too exhausted for it anyway by the end of this hour-and-a-half greatest-hits romp. So crank up the bass to boost the most brutal drum sound on the planet and then stick around for the bonus features—one of which reveals what iconic ’50s movie legend they stole their signature hand gesture from.

 

Lester BangsPsychotic Reactions And Carburetor Dung (Page 180) :: Geddit?

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, November 5, 2016 | link 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #546

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #546.177!

 

David BullockJustice League: The New Frontier (DC Universe/Warner Premiere DVD) :: Not only is this streamlined adaptation of Darwyn Cooke’s epic graphic novel The New Frontier vastly entertaining, it’s also extremely thought-provoking in how it expertly evokes both the ’50s shadow of the McCarthy era and the ’60s sunshine of the Kennedy era—but don’t worry ’cause there are more than enough action scenes in this JLA origin story to keep your pulse pounding for all 75 minutes.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Ian McLagan & The Bump BandNever Say Never (Maniac) :: Strength can manifest itself in many ways, but spiritual strength is the hardest and humblest strength of all to master—which is why Mac is a far better man than I for having the emotional wherewithal to dig deep and come up with a sensitive soul-searing album like this in light of the tragedy he’s had to endure. Just listening to Never Say Never brings a tear to my eye, so I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it must be for Mac to actually sing these songs, especially the two poignant heartbreakers that bookend this album. But it’s not all heartache, because sandwiched in between them are more than enough keyboard-driven Faces-style rockers and beer barrel bashes to make you grin ’n’ bear it.

 

SIZZLING DOCUMENTARY OF THE WEEK: Murray LernerAmazing Journey: The Story Of The Who (Universal Studios Home Entertainment) :: The director of the Who’s 1970 Isle Of Wight film is back with this definitive film in which battle-scarred survivors Townshend and Daltrey both bravely step in front of the camera and frankly come to grips with what was and what will never be again. Go out and buy this one now to (1) hear in their own words how they managed to come out of it alive; and (2) experience Lerner’s revolutionary new visual vinyl-video verity.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, October 29, 2016 | link 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #545

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #545.176!

 

AttritionThe Eternity EP (MVD Audio/Two Gods) :: Julia Weller sings with a haunting voice that combines the best of Nico with Diamanda Galás; Martin Bowes plays psychotic electronics that make Eno sound positively sane; and Franck Dematteis plays viola that makes nut case John Cale sound like nuanced Pierre Fournier. Recorded in 1996, this timely reissue is a must for anyone who listens to music that’s recorded out where the buses don’t run.

 

HiLoTronsHappymatic (Kelp) :: Not only is “And if you fall, I’ll follow you” a witty enough pop lyric, it’s entirely indicative of the buoyantly bouncy tenor of this album which sounds like a Euro-skewed version of Devo with a slap-dash dollop of English Beat and Talking Heads via Malcolm McLaren. But not Eno.

 

MothergongAmsterdam (MVD Audio/Voiceprint) :: This one’s recorded live in you know where at—I kid you not—the 2006 Unconventional Gong Gathering by a trippy psychedelic fusion band that’s fronted by a doozy of a chantoozie named Gilli Smyth who sounds just like the second coming of Lady June. Now just in case you don’t know who Lady June is—and let’s face it, why would you?—she once recorded an obscure art rock album with Eno and Kevin Ayers called Lady June’s Linguistic Leprosy. Come to think of it, Gilli Smyth may even be Lady June for all I know—and I know a lot.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Peter PrimamoreGrancia (MVD Audio/Blue Apples Music) :: “No synthesizers or samples were used and the ensemble was recorded live in the studio without a click track,” says this non-Eno artiste in his egghead liner notes. He then proceeds to wax elaborate about the organic feeling of his work which, truth be told, is every bit as intriguing as he says it is—albeit in a gamut-spanning orchestral country fusion style which evokes a memory array that extends all the way from Cale’s The Academy In Peril to Mahavishnu’s Birds Of Fire to Miles’ Aura. Impressive, I know.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, October 22, 2016 | link 

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