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Saturday, May 20, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #575

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #575.316!

 

The Beatles – “Birthday” (Apple) :: Exactly!

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Jethro Tull’s Ian AndersonTAAB2: Thick As A Brick 2: Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock? (Chrysalis) :: This ain’t no imaginary review, it’s the real schlemiel. But first, how’s about a brief except from an interview that Mr. Anderson and I did a while back:

 

JEFFREY: I don’t suppose I could talk you into mounting a touring road show of A Passion Play to show those ABBA and Queen musicals what real rock theater would be like.

 

IAN: [laughs] Well...

 

JEFFREY: I mean, this is the ideal time.

 

IAN: I think you just hit on the problem with my objections to anything like that because of the words rock theatre. There was a time when the idea of a more theatrical form of rock music did seem as if it was quite fitting. And I suppose in 1972 and 1973 it seemed to me that it was possible to do. But the trouble was that, while we went down that route ourselves—in a humorous way, I mean, it was never meant to be sort of serious; it was always meant to be a bit tongue in cheek and a bit fun...

 

JEFFREY: Well, some of us got that.

 

IAN: Yeah! Well, this was the era of Monty Python and the Flying Circus and it was all that surrealistic British humor sort of finding an outlet.

 

*** *** ***

 

So why plug into Thick As A Brick again? As Ian explains in the TAAB2 booklet, 2012 marked both the factual 40th anniversary of the original TAAB album and the fictitious 50th birthday of the album’s ten-year-old “lyricist,” precocious prodigy Gerald Bostock. Which is more than reason enough for Anderson to create a new prog rock concept album that dares to posit half a dozen different possible alternate universe scenarios of what Gerald might have done with his life over the past 40 years—with several overt and oblique nods to such past Tullian triumphs as Aqualung and A Passion Play along the way.

 

Of course, the big tip off that the proceedings, although serious, aren’t to be taken too seriously, is the album’s official attribution to Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson which tags this ambitious effort as being neither a canonical Tull record nor an extra-curricular solo Anderson album.

 

Eschewing the unbanded single song cycle that defined both TAAB and APP, the new TAAB2 is divided into 17 separate songs, only one of which—“Gerald Goes Homeless: Adrift And Dumbfounded”—truly sounds as if it had been recorded back in 1972. Which only goes to show that Ian could easily have expertly aped his back catalogue had he wanted to. That he chose not to live in the past and come up instead with something that sounds thoroughly modern while still evoking echoes of the past, is a testament to the man’s continual creativity.

 

Really don’t mind if I sit this one in.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, May 20, 2017 | link 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #574

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #574.207!

 

Plastic Crimewave SoundPlastic Crimewave Sound (Prophase) :: Against a fuzz-tone wall these dirt bags growl: “I am planet-crushing! Still look like Peter Cushing!” Which I thought was a pretty oblique nod to the ’50s Hammer horror hero until I realized that they were making a pretty obvious pun on his ’70s Death Star stint. Oh well.

 

Screaming Lord SutchScreaming Lord Sutch And Heavy Friends (Atlantic) :: Better!

 

AC NewmanGet Guilty (Last Gang) :: Like a harder-edged Donovan backed by a wash of Sgt. Beatlesque mellotrons and a wave of good Wilsonesque vibrations? This one’s straight outta 1967—and it’s about time!

 

Lou ReedMetal Machine Music (RCA) :: Better!

 

Lucie IdloutSwagger (Sun Rev) :: She struts into the room with a sexy cum-wither attitude that smacks of the pop-sodden ’70s when stereo guitars wailed and ball-busters like Suzi Quatro and Joan Jett railed.

 

Neil YoungArc (Reprise) :: Better!

 

Fake Problems – It’s Great To Be Alive (Side One Dummy) :: This one starts out sounding like Tom Waits fronting the E Street Band, complete with overblown Bat Out Of Hell orchestrations, before settling into a big Dictators groove.

 

Lady JuneLady June’s Linguistic Leprosy (Caroline) :: Better!

 

Blue HandsHot Puppies (THP) :: The synth stylings of vintage Gary Numan coupled with an ’80s cross of Sandi’s Sunsets and Siouxsie’s Banshees.

 

Yoko OnoApproximate Infinite Universe (Apple) :: Better!

 

PorticoFirst Neighbours (Copperspine) :: Primo Portishead-ish pop paeans!

 

SNIVELING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: These Green EyesRelapse To Recovery (Black Ledge) :: More utterly bland and boring predicable soulless teenage angst rock that you’ve heard done a dozen times before, all of it sounding as if it were formed by the same sonic cookie cutter without a single shred of redeeming human personality. I could name half a dozen albums that are better than this faceless tripe without even trying.

 

Charles MansonLie (self released) :: Well, five out of six ain’t bad.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, May 13, 2017 | link 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #573

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #573.206!

 

Heath LedgerThe Joker (Warner Bros.) :: Speed up his voice and you have Mel Blanc doing Daffy Duck. Go on, try it. You’ll see.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK – GIRL DIVISION: Von IvaOur Own Island & Girls On Film (Ruby Tower) :: I gotta confess that I’m still an all day sucker for this soulful hard rocking eletropop trio with their minimal Kraftwerkian retro synthesizers, primitive electronic percussion, and sultry sassy vocals. When multi-positional Jillian Iva isn’t proudly standing on her feet and singing about being a liberated sister, she’s busy getting down to expertly turn grown men into simpering shot wads of incapacitated goo. Then she walks out on them, laughing.

 

Michael PhelpsThe Bong Show (Olympic Gold Medalist) :: Remember how he got caught smoking pot? I still say that Speedo did the right thing to stand by him, as did Phelps’ other sponsors: Smacko, Cocaino and Heroino.

 

Lux InteriorBrain Cramp (Bad Karma) :: Yeah, but is the world really gonna miss a guy who received paintings by convicted death row serial killer John Wayne Gacy—and then received a portrait of himself from the killer that was so grotesque that he couldn’t hang it on the wall? What a maroon!

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK – BOY DIVISION: Burn HaloThe Self-Titled Debut (Rawkhead) :: Now this is how I like my rock ’n’ roll: served piping hot and nasty with a pounding passel of bowel-buffeting bass and drums; relentless rhythm guitars spewing out in split stereo; laser-like leads riding high right in the middle; and prototypical Draino-drinkin’ glass-garglin’ scotch-swillin’ three pack a day vocals that make that guy in the Cult sound like he’s auditioning for the title role in a remake of Disney’s The Incredible Mr. Limp Wrist.

 

Mel BlancDaffy Duck (Warner Bros.) :: Throw down hith voith and you haf Heeth Leather doing Thuh Choker. Go on, try it. Yull thee.

 

Be theeing you!

Sat, May 6, 2017 | link 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #572

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #572.205!

 

David BowieLow (RCA) :: The premise.

 

John Lee HookerAnthology: 50 Years (Shout! Factory) :: These incendiary barn-burnin’ boogie-chooglers from the Detroit blues legend—especially the early minimal ones spanning 1948 to 1962—are such a priceless passel of butane blooze that even the thief who comes only to steal and kill and destroy wouldn’t be able to scrape up the kinda serious scratch needed to finance their soul-servin’ purchase. I can’t stop listening to them and neither should you.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The DoorsLive At The Matrix 1967 (Doors Music Company) :: When this recording first surfaced more than 30 years ago as a Trademark Of Quality bootleg entitled Moonlight Drive: Recorded Live At The Matrix 1967, I reviewed it in the May 1976 issue of CREEM thusly:

 

“What we have here are 12 tunes from their Waiting For The Sun period. Good sound quality, and I guess that I should be happy with that, but I’m not ’cause it reminds me too painfully that Jim Morrison was the best rock vocalist that ever lived and I can’t help but wonder what he’d be doing today, if...”

 

Well, that ancient vinyl bootleg of the best live Doors album ever has finally been reincarnated as this new 24-song twofer that’s been fully restored from the original stereo master tapes by none other than Doors producer Bruce Botnick himself. What I don’t recall hearing the first time around, however, is the classic “Back Door Bozo” moment—and let’s face it, there’s at least one classic “Back Door Bozo” moment on every live Doors record—when the singer ad-libs: “All right, I’ll put it in the ass right now!” before the solo in “The End.” The end, geddit? I guess that’s what Botnick means when he writes in the liner notes that: “Jim includes a lot more poetry not heard on any other recordings.” And I guess that’s why I no longer wonder what Jimbo would be doing today, if…

 

Nick LoweBowi (Stiff) :: The punchline.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, April 29, 2017 | link 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #571

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #571.204!

 

SIZZLING BOX SET OF THE WEST: Bob Wills And His Texas PlayboysThe Tiffany Transcriptions (Collectors’ Choice) :: Once every eon, a box set comes along that definitively redefines the form by best enabling the experience of contextually listening to an artist’s specific body of work. Perhaps the ten-disc set The Complete Charlie Parker On Verve did it for you. Or maybe it was the seven-disc set of the Stooges’ 1970: The Complete Funhouse Sessions. Or perchance it’s this exciting ten-disc rip-roarin’ roundup.

 

Although not nearly as accomplished a songwriter by any stretch of the imagination, popular radio and silver screen bandleader Bob Wills was nevertheless, in his own unique way, the Duke Ellington of country music—a man who managed to transcend and transform the limitations of his genre to become the King Of Western Swing. And the timeless tunes heard herein on these platters cover the apex of his accomplishments from 1946 and 1947, a period during which he was influencing such young’uns as Chuck Berry and Clint Eastwood.

 

The 150 tracks on these swingin’ sides are taken from the large transcription discs they were originally cut on. These oversized platters allowed for the recording of longer songs per side, an invaluable aid for any musician who liked to stretch out—and boy howdy, does Wills ever stretch! Along with scores of such country classics as “Milk Cow Blues” and “New San Antonio Rose,” you’ll hear diverse big band, pop and jazz standards made popular by the likes of Glenn Miller, the DeJohn Sisters and, yes, even the never-waning Duke. Plus, the newly restored sound is as clear and crisp as a 1880s Colorado morning.

 

You can still see vintage archival footage of Bob Wills on TCM, but don’t be a tenderfoot: Go online while you’re waiting for his next appearance and buy this essential must-have collection now because only a city slickin’ dude would dare delay another decade.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, April 22, 2017 | link 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #570

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #570.203!

 

The Orchid HighwayThe Orchid Highway (Naughty) :: They’re not The Beatles but an incredible simulation!

 

WovenhandTen Stones (Sounds Familyre) :: Ambitious angst anyone?

 

Okkervil RiverThe Stand Ins (Jagjaguwar) :: This is the absolute second-best cabaret angst record I’ve ever heard. It’s only the second cabaret angst record I’ve ever heard, but it’s the absolute second-best.

 

SkybombersTake Me To Town (Albert Productions) :: Strangely believe it, Skybombers are the new Cheap Trick and Take Me To Town is their Heaven Tonight.

 

Fish13th Star (MVD Audio/Chocolate Frog) :: If you thought prog rock was dead, then you ain’t heard nuthin’ until you’ve heard this epochal space-spannin’ offering from Marillion’s main man.

 

Sally TomatoToy Room (Severe Enterprises) :: These words I speak are true: this ambitious four act rock opera is operating in an arena that’s so far out there it makes Welcome To My Nightmare sound like nap time in a deaf mute kindergarten.

 

Ayla BrookAfter The Morning After (Saved By Radio) :: Sensitive love songs and plaintive paeans that anyone who ever had a heart can relate to.

 

The Homemade Jamz Blues BandPay Me No Mind (Northern Blues) :: The earthy Hendrix influence is undeniable but so is the playing, so it’s a whitewash.

 

CaamoraShe (MVD Audio/Metal Mind) :: Are you ready for a bombastic two-disc rock opera based on the novel by H. Rider Haggard? If you ever owned a copy of Jesus Christ Superstar, you are.

 

KISS – “She” (Casablanca) :: Honey, it’s not one a’doze.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Rhonda SilverTwelve Pieces Of Silver (Prism) :: Backed by the expert likes of Guido Basso and Jeff Healey, these silky smooth songs of songstress Silver’s smack of slinky late night rendezvous in a swank penthouse bar and morning after musings in a sodden neighborhood saloon. Even better, she belts out her original blues with enough gusto to make you down another round. So set ’em up, Joe.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, April 15, 2017 | link 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #569

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #569.202!

 

HeadSave Me From Myself (Rykodisc) :: Al Snow doesn’t meet the Monkees in this swirling amalgamation of neo-NIN heaviness hitched with Jonathan Davis melodies.

 

Albert Hammond, Jr.Como Te Llama? (Red Ink) :: Just when you thought you’ve heard it all, along comes this English-speakin’ pop outing that actually contains a piano ballad called “Feed Me Jack, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Peter Sellers.” Really.

 

Chris LetcherHarmonium (2 Feet) :: You wanna talk about obscure? Let’s talk about how Chris gets bonus points for opting to unleash a charmingly chiming multitracked cover version of “Wait” from Unca Lou’s Street Hassle album—and that’s the album’s worst track compared to all the originals!

 

Emory Joseph FennarioSongs By Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter (Iris) :: If the Grateful Dead’s entire back catalogue had sounded as consistently great as this folksy jumpin’ jive record does, then all of their albums would’ve sold even more than they did.

 

Kathy GriffinFor Your Consideration (Music With A Twist) :: Excuuuuse me, but a dizzy dame that records a comedy album just to win a comedy Grammy (insert obligatory trademark symbol here) award and then earnestly writes, “I hope you find it funny” in the liner notes? Yeah, funny strange.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Zuzu’s PetalsKicking Our Own Asses (Rhino Handmade) :: This kooky cool catch-all that captures their four-year max out comes a-twangin’ and a-ramblin’ into town with a surfeit of top down female pop verve ’n’ squelchy distorto swerve that sounds every bit as vital as it did 20 years ago. They sing about gun-totin’ and smack-shootin’ and heartbreak-achin’ but most of all they crow ecstatic about gettin’ the last laugh on the droolin’ dorks that they attract like, uh, flies—all fueled by a Melanie-worshippin’ perpetual motion motor that evokes shredded Nirvana and poppy Ramones and brainy Talking Heads. One of these ditzy dolls oughta write a book.

 

Laurie Lindeen Petal Pusher (Atria Books) :: Well, whaddya know? One of them did!

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, April 8, 2017 | link 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #568

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #568!

 

Bruce SpringstoneGreetings From Bedrock Park (Hanna-Barbera) :: Includes the hit single “Quarry Days.” Rest in peace, Bill.

 

Jethro TullDraculung (Chrysalis) :: They all laughed when Ian Anderson announced that he was going to write a progressive art rock opera about a rummy child molesting vampire. Well, they’re not laughing now.

 

Blue Öyster CheerAgents Of Eruptum (Phillips) :: I wish!

 

The WhoWho’s On First (Track) :: They all laughed when Pete Townshend announced that he was going to write a rock opera about Abbott and Costello. Well, they’re not laughing now.

 

AerostonesIt’s Only Rock In A Hard Place (Toxic Glimmer) :: They all laughed when rock’s big-lippers finally united. Well, they’re not laughing now. Includes the hit single “Dude (Looked Like Lady Jane’s Got A Gun).”

 

Don Kirshner PresentsThe Byrds, The Beatles & The Monkees (Colgems) :: They all laughed when Mr. Rock Concert reunited three of the world’s greatest bands. Well, they’re not laughing now.

 

Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin XI: Live At Carnegie Hall (Atlantic) :: They all laughed when Bun E. Carlos replaced John Bonham on this box set. Well, they’re not laughing now.

 

The DoorsManzarek, Densmore, Krieger & Jones Ltd. (Camden) :: They all laughed when Davy Jones was hired to replace Jim Morrison. Well, they’re not laughing now. Includes the hit single “The Doors Into Summer.”

 

David Byrne & Brian EnoMy Life In The Bush Of Your Wife (Sire) :: They all laughed when these aging art fops decided to record music for adulterers. Well, they’re not laughing now.

 

Black Oak SabbathParanoid Mutha (Atco) :: I wish!

 

Styx & StonesBreak My Bones (Plaster Caster) :: They all laughed when Dennis DeYoung and Mick Jagger waxed some tracks together. Well, they’re not laughing now.

 

Cars Traffic Jam4 Way Stop (Motown) :: They all laughed when Ric Ocasek, Steve Winwood, and Paul Weller created a new supergroup. Well, they’re not laughing now.

 

The ClashSandradeesta! (Rocket) :: They all laughed when Elton John re-formed The Only Band That Matters. Well, they’re not laughing now.

 

Tom Scholz & Hugh Cornwell – Boston Stranglers (Death Row) :: They’re definitely not laughing now.

 

Keith Richards – “Don’t Fall Out Of The Apple Tree” (Fiji Gin) :: It only hurts when he laughs.

 

Phyllis DylanFang On Fang (Columbia) :: I wish!

 

Ted NugentThe Ted Offensive: Triple Live Gonzo In Afghanistan (Armed Forces Radio Network) :: You were waiting for that, weren’t you?

 

SPLATTER PLATTER OF THE WEEK: NirvanaArrivederci! (Swan Song) :: Recorded in Rome, this final vinyl features cover versions of: “So Long It’s Been Good To Know Ya,” “Suicide Solution,” “Auf Wiedersehen,” “Don’t Try Suicide,” “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag,” “Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide,” and “Lay Down And Die, Goodbye.” Includes the hit single “Dead Man’s Kurt.”

 

The Rolling BouldersGet Yer Yabba Yabbas Out! (Hanna-Barbera) :: Includes the hit single “No Excavations.” Rest in peace, Joe.

 

Be fooling you!

Sat, April 1, 2017 | link 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #567

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #567.200!

 

FIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: ThorKeep The Dogs Away: 30th Anniversary Special Edition 1978-2008 (Scratch) :: Y’know what I hate? I hate reading an awkwardly worded press release that says: “And beyond simply being a great Canadian album, easily Keep The Dogs Away holds it’s [sic] own nicely along the finest efforts of Sweet, Ziggy-era Bowie, Mott the Hoople, Sweeney Todd, T-Rex and the like.” Which is a grievous insult to really great Canadian albums like Neil Rush’s Tonight’s The Fly By Night. Thor’s the only musician on that list whose record I never shoplifted because it’s as aurally anemic now as it was back then. Admittedly, the title track is a pretty good power-pop bopper but, unfortunately, it’s stuck soaking in a static-strewn stew. With so many original unsold vinyl copies lying around, you’d think that someone could’ve found a factory sealed one in mint condition and ripped a new master from it. But no one did, which is why I’m mighty sore.

 

FIZZLING BOOK OF THE YEAR: Dave ThompsonI Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto (Backbeat Books) :: Y’know what I hate? I hate reading a wretchedly written press release that says: “If the title alone doesn’t polarize a roomful of music critics than [sic] nothing will.” Take it from me: Anyone who writes dozens of chapter titles like “Fat and forty-plus, or had your Phil of Collins yet?” and thinks that they’re witty is a talentless deballed hack who isn’t even qualified to write a Thor press release. But what I really hate is reading an embarrassing introduction by the once lucid Richard “Gulcher” Meltzer who sadly can’t write anymore and shouldn’t even try to. File under: The Aesthetics Of Schlock.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, March 25, 2017 | link 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #566

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #566.199!

 

AnimoBlood In The Water (self released) :: Juvenile generic angst in their red-stained underpants. Why can’t you ever find a great white shark when you really need one?

 

Mike GordonThe Green Sparrow (Rounder) :: There’s a lot here to like, such as the hip-swingin’ “Voices,” which reminds me of jazzy Stanley Clarke merged with poppy Todd Rundgren. Then “Andelmans’ Yard” morphs into a silky Steve Miller vibe—and that’s even better.

 

Ten Shekel ShirtJubilee (Rounder) :: This one reminds me of the thoughtful moderate up-tempo ballads that Unca Lou used to offer up, especially on the third Velvets album—and Lou was always a softy at heart. But in addition to such sensitive songwriting, I’m equally encouraged that TSS are also capable of picking up the pace apiece as they prove they can do on a track like “Spark.”

 

Sarah McLachlanRarities, B-Sides & Other Stuff (Nettwerk) :: She is woman, hear me snore after listening to these sappy and slushy MOR songs without a single shred of personality. And with a lame résumé like that, how much do you wanna bet that she’s probably a Canadian?

 

Throw The FightIn Pursuit Of Tomorrow (Cordless) :: Yet another generic angst-in-their-pangst band with an original song called “Ready For War” that should’ve been a John Cale cover.

 

GhostkeeperAnd The Children Of The Great Northern Muskeg (Saved By Radio) :: Here come the warm red stripes as Eno meets Linda McCartney on this delightfully wonky electropop album that’s augmented with a delirious dash of early Alice Cooper!

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Blacklist UnionBreakin Bread With The Devil (B.L.U.) :: Cooze-infused badass rock ’n’ roll that manages to mix within a scant half hour a hyper speed freak Japanesque glamatronic melody vocal style with a crushing Motörheadesque guitarasonic rave-up. One of the best albums of the year, even if they do slip up by putting the photo of a big-bosomed babe on the actual disc instead of the front cover.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, March 18, 2017 | link 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #565

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #565.197!

 

Robert ChristgauChristgau’s Consumer Guide (MSN) :: He’s the Leonard Maltin of music!

 

James KingGardens In The Sky: The Bluegrass Gospel Of James King (Rounder) :: Just like heroin or Ernie Kovacs, religious bluegrass music is an acquired taste in that you have to be receptive to both the religion and the bluegrass to get into it. But seeing as how James King is the genre’s premier practitioner, this compilation consisting of mostly previously released tracks from his earlier albums is well worth the effort.

 

TiestoIn Search Of Sunrise 7: Asia (Black Hole) :: Points deducted for putting an Armani Exchange logo on the back cover.

 

Various ArtistsStax Goes The Beatles & Soulsville Sings Hitsville: Stax Sings The Songs Of Motown Records (Stax) :: Hearing Issac Hayes melt “Something” into a sensual, 12-minute, soul-searing sermon is one thing; hearing the Bar-Kays turn “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” into a suspenseful, 12-minute, senses-shattering soul-noir session is another thing entirely.

 

Watermelon SlimNo Paid Holidays (Northern Blues) :: If I had a boil-burstin’ mug like his, I’d sing the blues too.

 

Stone RiderThree Legs Of Trouble (Trustkill) :: The album title says it all—but just in case you’re still on the nod, lemme spell it out for ya in simple words that even you can understand: This is loutishly loud ’n’ distorted wah-wahified full throttle musical mayhem that’s custom made for some seriously savage stained mattress screwing. Yeah, I thought that might wake you up. And speaking of loose screws…

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Chase FrankMidnight Manor (self-released) :: Chase is a girl and, boy, can she ever write; sing; and play a whole host of everything, from deep-sixed dirges (“Sad Song”) and upbeat rockers (“Doubt”) to decadent Euro-sautéed cabaret torch numbers (“Bipolar Belle”). I also get the feeling that’s she’s got a loose screw or two rattling around somewhere in that big beautiful brain of hers—always a plus in my book.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, March 11, 2017 | link 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #564

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #564.196!

 

PoisonSeven Days Live (Armoury) :: What can you say about an album that actually dares to list one of its eleven songs as: “Drum Solo”? You said it.

 

Walls Of JerichoRedemption (Trustkill) :: Five femme-fueled power ponderances asking that musical question: is Candace Kucsulain the new Nico?

 

Fear Nuttin BandYardcore (Bodog) :: Jahve nuttin d’feah bwah dis Korny wrekord widjil leeve fuh evva indie infuhmmy, mon.

 

3 Doors Down3 Doors Down (Universal Republic) :: There’s a lot of potential here for the kinda classic riff-laden crunge rock that Columbia and Warner Bros. used to regularly release during the mid ’70s—but only if they ditch all the barf-bag ballads first.

 

And The MoneynotesNew Cornucopia! (Prairie Queen) :: Imagine a kooky, countrified, vaudevillian cross between wittily written Sparks and musically playful Boiled In Lead with an all too brief added dash of Lennonesque guitar.

 

Less Than JakeGnv Fla (Sleep It Off) :: Soulful speed-freakin’ ska widda bouncy English Beat!

 

The FashionThe Fashion (Red Ink) :: Now why do I get the feeling that these cool cats would’ve fit in perfectly on Bowie’s Nineteen-Eighty Floor Show?

 

Walter MeegoVoyager (Red Ink) :: Seriously soaked in synths, this is the best Eurotrash electropop since the end of the ’80s.

 

The Green Hour BandThe Green Hour Band (Kingdom) :: And this is the greatest garagedelic rock album I’ve heard all week. These poor little Greenies have hallucinated an LP that sounds like Their Satanic Majesties Request as recorded by the Beatles and released on ESP Disc. It’s far-out, man.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Priya ThomasPriya Thomas Is Blood Heron (Boiling Pt) :: Poetess Priya is Canada’s answer to Patti Smith, only she’s a much better singer; a much better writer; and a whole lot smarter. Plus, she lives up to the song title “Your Guitar, My Undoing” by unleashing a blistering solo the likes of which hasn’t been heard since Fripp lost a grip on Here Come The Warm Jets.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, March 4, 2017 | link 

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
Sat, March 4, 2017 | link 

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 

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