Saturday, July 22, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #584
Sat, July 22, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #584.217!
Dennis O’Neil & Curt Swan – DC Comics Classic
Library: Superman — Kryptonite Nevermore (DC Comics) :: In 1971, definitive Supes artist Swan and definitive
Green Lantern writer O’Neil teamed up to clean up a cluttered iconography by finally putting the kibosh on
a multicolored crutch called Kryptonite. It’s an exciting read that features Clark Kent during his TV reporter phase—a
gig he definitely didn’t dig, which only goes to show that even Superman once had a day job that really sucked.
– Calling Out (Weewerk) :: If Trent Reznor has formed the Velvet Underground, their first unbalanced album
would’ve sounded just like this.
Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Jack Davis, Al Jaffee, and Arnold
Roth – Humbug (Fantagraphics Books) :: After they definitively defined satire for Bill Gaines’
MAD but before they refined it for Hugh Hefner’s Little Annie Fanny, unparallel parodists Kurtzman and Elder
ran rampant for themselves when they published these 11 exceptional issues of comic art anarchy. This two-volume hardcover
box set has been reproduced from the original art and digitally restored to make everything look even better than when it
first came out in 1957. This long-overdue definitive edition of Humbug is an essential slice of satire from the masters
of the genre.
Mother Mother – O My (Last Gang) :: And if Lou Reed had formed Blondie, their first
unbalanced album would’ve sounded just like this.
Ross Andru and Mike Esposito
– Get Lost! (Hermes Press) :: Andru and Esposito were no Kurtzman and Elder, but they sure gave it their best
shot with this short-lived comic book from 1953 that provided some direct competition to MAD—so direct, in fact, that
Bill Gaines tried to sue them out of existence. He lost, but by that time the damage had been done. Now see for yourself what
got Gaines’ goat in this gorgeously restored paperback that collects all three issues.
SATIRICAL PLATTER OF
THE WEEK: Stan Freeberg – “St. George And The Dragonet” (Capitol) :: Three million copies
sold in three weeks in 1953? Hoo-hah, that’s one sizzling single!
Be seeing you!
Saturday, July 15, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #583
Sat, July 15, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #583.216!
Little Stevie Wonder – Tribute To Sister Ray (Blowtown) :: I wish...
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Isaac Hayes – Juicy Fruit (Disco Freak) (Hot Buttered Stax) :: Hello there, children!
After the well-deserved reaming that I gave the mis-mastered Black Moses last week, I’m pleased to give this
guilty pleasure from 1976 a resounding rave reissue review.
Did I say guilty pleasure? Well, maybe it’s eternally embarrassing
for you to admit but say it loud: I’m a disco freak and I’m proud! My favorite Bowie song? “John, I’m
Only Dancing (Again)”! Roxy Music? “Dance Away”! Rolling Stones? “Miss You”! KISS? “I
Was Made For Loving You”! Lou Reed? “Disco Mystic”! That’s right, while you were sucking in the ’70s
to the plodding puds of Boston and Buffett, I was snortin’ up the sexy sounds of Donna Summer, Pattie Brooks, Gloria
Gaynor, Andrea True, and Amanda Lear.
Now when it came to canvassing the brother contingency, there’s no denying that James Brown hit
the apex of audaciousness when he asked: “Stevie Wonder, do you see those cakes? Brother Ray Charles, I know you see
those cakes!” on his booty call anthem, “For Goodness Sakes, Look At Those Cakes.” But guess who first laid
the groundwork for such “cheekiness” years earlier with this ribald title track rap?
HAYES: Say, Miss, my partner wanna
know somethin’ here. He said that you had the mumps when you were a kid and both your jaw swoll up and they went down
in your chest. Is that true?
MISS: Naw...them wasn’t mumps, them was lumps.
HAYES: Well, I guess you’re tryin’ to tell
me them watermelons in your back pockets too.
MISS: Yeah...y’wanna squeeze?
HAYES: Man, she’s a juicy fruit.
MISS: Yeah ... anybody
wanna stick o’this?
HAYES: Juicy fruit? She got fruits all over!
Supplemented by such smooth sonic seducers as “Music To Make Love By”
and “Lady Of The Night,” this is an ace album of aural arousers that’ll have you pulling out your hatchet
to cut that head until the juices run out!
Be seeing you!
Saturday, July 8, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #582
Sat, July 8, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #582.215!
Little Stevie Wonder – The 12 Year Old Genius (Tamla) :: Talent
is an asset...
FIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Isaac Hayes – Black Moses (Stax) :: The good news is
that they diligently duplicated the original multi-flap album cover that unfolds into a cross showing Hayes in all his unchained
glory. The bad news is that they also carelessly copied the double album’s original vinyl configuration, which backed
Side 1 with Side 4 and Side 2 with Side 3 so that both platters could be stacked on top of each other and played on a turntable
in drop-automatic sequence. That’s right, this negligent new reissue takes Sides 1, 4, 2, 3 and sloppily slaps them
on the compact disc in that incorrect order—which means you’re not hearing Black Moses in its original
sequence as Hayes intended you to hear it back in 1971.
Little Stevie Wonder – Tribute To
Uncle Ray (Tamla) :: ...and Little Stevie has it.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Ray Charles –
Genius: The Ultimate Collection (Concord) :: Anyone who read the very first record review that I wrote in the inaugural
edition of this column—you could look it up and I suggest that you do—might think that I don’t like Ray
Charles. What I don’t like is record companies that ascribe marketing musical MENSA awards on dead musicians who aren’t
around anymore to humbly debunk them. And if Charles did come up with that ego-aggrandizing Genius Loves Company title himself,
then he obviously needed to give his head a few more shakes before he hit the road to Heaven. I mean, if Ray Charles is a
genius, then what does that make Stevie Wonder? As the great German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once said: “Talent
hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.” Which makes this one hell of a talented
Stevie Wonder – Music Of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness’ First
Finale, Songs In The Key Of Life (Tamla/Motown) :: Genius.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, July 1, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #581
Sat, July 1, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #581.214!
Sum 41 – All the Good Sh**: 14 Solid Gold Hits 2000-2008 (Aquarius)
:: I’ll say what these smug dealers are too pussy to spell out on their album cover because they’re afraid of
losing valuable Wal-Mart sales: This juvenile generic angst rock is shit.
Johnny Winter And… –
Live (Columbia) :: I tossed this one on the old Victrola and 30 seconds into the first paint-peeling track, “Good
Morning Little School Girl,” the graft-takers at Toronto’s City Hall had passed a noise ordinance banning me from
ever playing this album again. Can’t say I blame ’em.
Doug Cox & Salil Bhatt
– Slide To Freedom 2 (Northern Blues) :: A passel of peacenik paeans primarily played to power your interplanetary
pud into place!
Synthetic Elements – Trashed Out Paradise (Filthy Beast) :: Anyone expecting a Moogster
mash because of the band name will be surprised to find an ambitious pop-rock offering which has some early Alice aural theater
lurking in the background. Next time, they should let their inner Coop out.
SIZZLING PLATTERS OF THE WEEK:
Jeff Jarrett – King Of The Mountain (TNA Home Video) :: I hate monopolies, especially big bloated
ones that ruthlessly swallow up the competition and then callously humiliate former employees by publicly blacklisting them
from work on live television. So when professional wrestler Jeff Jarrett put his money when his mat is and bucked the odds
by successfully forming his own competitive brand of Total Nonstop Action fifteen years ago, he ended up getting the best
revenge. Now comes this whopping 12-hour, four-disc set which, unlike previous wrestling compilations, alternates every match
with a lengthy in-depth interview segment that tells the entire story of Double J’s guitar slingin’ career from
his early years of toil and turmoil in the regional promotions to now. Augmented by a wealth of rare archival footage, this
veritable half-day history of the wrestling profession is essential viewing for anyone who’s a champion of free enterprise—especially
since JJ’s back ruling the roost at Impact Wrestling—which is why King Of The Mountain is the retro-wrestling
DVD of the week.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, June 24, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #580
Sat, June 24, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #580.213!
Mark Olson & Gary Louris – Ready For The Flood
(HackTone) :: I know you won’t believe it, but this sounds just like McCartney & Lennon when they did their acoustic
Everly Brothers bit during Let It Be—and that’s definitely saying something, so believe it.
– Auk/Blood (Jericho Beach) :: I’ve heard a few throat-singing albums in my time, but never one that
reminded me of Nico’s Janitor Of Lunacy until now. That is, if Nico had played her larynx instead of her harmonium.
Through – The Complete Truth (Trustkill) :: This one sounds like Paul Stanley fronting a double-time
thrash-screamo band. At least it does during the melodic singing parts. Of which there aren’t many.
Sweet – Sunshine Lies (Shout! Factory) :: “Matthew Returns With a Power-Pop Stunner!”
raves the cover sticker, which ain’t a bad call. And although I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a “kaleidoscopic
masterwork,” like the additional small print does, I’d certainly recommend it solely on the vintage anarcho-punk
Donovan Rundgren vibe.
Mardeen – Read Less Minds (Collagen Rock) :: Proto-atypical teenage
angst-rock that, inexplicably, has a late ’70s early ’80s jingle jangle post-punk patina. Maybe this is what Lodger
shoulda sounded like. Maybe not.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Cameron Latimer – Fallen Apart
(Black Hen) :: This may be a first: An album that just doesn’t just includes a lyric sheet, but a lyric sheet that’s
notated with all the necessary chords needed to turn it into sheet music. And although it’s usually at this point in
the proceedings that I’d lambaste this record raw for not being nearly as smart as that bright idea, this is one country
album that’s actually even smarter—right down to the looping title track which, incongruously, sounds just like
a high quality outtake from Paul and Linda’s Ram.
Paul McCartney - “Ram
On” (Capitol) :: Paul. Ram on. Paul Ramone. Geddit?
Be seeing you!
Saturday, June 17, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #579
Sat, June 17, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #579.212!
Mark Burnett & Sonny Barger – Survivor: Altamont
(FOX) :: You can’t say “48th Anniversary” any better!
Alan Davey – Captured
Rotation :: (MVD Audio/Hawkwind) :: Hawkwind meets power pop on this catchy pop rock meisterwack.
– The Hawkwind Remixes (MVD Audio/Voiceprint) :: One good head deserves another and, boy oh boy howdy, do they
ever find each other in spades on this celestial compendium that time travels from 1993 to 2002 and back again in a cool Cosmic
Supermarket kinda way.
Magic Mushroom Band – Feed Your Head: Live ’89 (MVD Audio/Voiceprint)
:: The album title is a fully great 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 bloat downstream as the
MMB cover everything from Zappa and Harrison to Ayers and Hendrix in one long luxuriously languid trip.
– Live 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 solo show, at the Roxy
in Los Angeles, is an excellent showcase for his distinctive voice which, eerily enough, still sounds exactly like 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: Fish – Communion: 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 two-fer that’s easily as excellent as anything Gabriel did during
his first three solo albums.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, June 10, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #578
Sat, June 10, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #578.211!
Styrofoam – A Thousand Words (Nettwerk) :: Just what you always
wanted: a lightweight bloopy blorp Casio-pop album with a perpetual half-life that’ll never decompose.
Slash – Decomposing (Cut-Throat vinyl) :: A two-sided series (78) of electro-ambient instrumentals
(45) which can be played at any (33) turntable speed (16).
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK – FELONY COUNT ONE:
A Thousand Knives Of Fire – The Last Train to Scornsville (Small Stone) :: Ah gots tuh be honest with
yuh: I ain’t never heerd no Small Stone record that I didn’t like ’cause this here Deetroit label don’t
put nuthin’ out but elpee after elpee of nonstop, purebred, fuzz-infested, primo heavy, thudaholic, crungefyin’,
pudknockin’, hog-straddlin’, pool cue-wieldin’, booze-belchin’, weed-snortin’, speed-freakin’,
hard-humpin’, babe-ballin’ music. In other words: Small Stone is the greatest rock ’n’ roll record
company in America and this album is on Small Stone so you just know that it’s got the gooshin’ gonad goods splattered
all over it. Bonus points for dividing their album into two sides. Extra points awarded for having a feelthy title track that
makes bands like Blue Cheer and Kyuss sound like Simon & Gofunkle yo’self.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE
WEEK – FELONY COUNT TWO: Gideon Smith & The Dixie Damned – South Side Of The Moon (Small
Stone) :: It’s obviously a given that I like this record, but lemme tell ya why the gol-durned South done gone ’n’
rise again. Y’see, unlike the above-noted disc of the long Knives with its sludge-slammin’ sound, these Dixie
rebs play faster ’n’ cleaner behind a growl-gnarlin’ voice that sounds as if it wuz freshly dug up from
some Civil War battlefield. Points deducted for having the bad sense to play too many heavy love ballads (ref: “Daughter
Of The Moon”) ’cause heavy love ballads, no matter how heavy, are still ballads—and ah hates ballads. Points
reinstated with for having the good senses to follow up the heavy love ballads with tracks like the butane-blisterin’
behind-squirtin’ “Black Cat Road.” Oh, yassss!
Be seeing you!
Saturday, June 3, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #577
Sat, June 3, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #577.210!
The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound (Side One Dummy) ::
This ain’t no Johnny Horton nod, nor is it no Charles Boyer nod off. It’s an angst-rock overdose that’s
lightly seasoned with a working-class twist of Bossteen. Bonus points for writing a song about the world’s greatest
Steve Miller fan entitled “Miles Davis & The Cool.”
Steve Gammond – Down The
Tracks: The Music That Influenced Bob Dylan (Eagle Media DVD) :: From Guthrie and Seeger to Ginsberg and Corso, all wrapped
up in one neat little 90-minute educational package, just like the title says.
Walls Of Jericho –
The American Dream (Trustkill) :: Welcome to their throbbo, pulsato, screamo nightmaro.
& Tom Sykes – No Such Thing As A Free Ride? (Goose Lane Editions) :: Here’s a book
that contains riotous road tales recalled from the soft shoulder by the likes of David Peel, Jayne Country, Jello Biafra and
Randy B-B-B-Bachman. Need a ride? Get in!
Steve Miller Band – Live From Chicago (Coming
Home) :: Ever wonder why Miles Davis virulently hated Steve so much in his ghost-written autobiography? Mebbe he was kind
of green with envy that he couldn’t write the kind of popular hit songs or pull the kind of adoring audiences that Mr.
Miller managed to do. If so, then it’s a good thing that Miles can’t see the jam-packed aisles that The Joker
still fills on this recent triple CD-slash-DVD set. Bonus points for dedicating “Jungle Love” to Miles. Kind of
SIZZLING SALESMAN OF THE WEEK: Neil Diamond – Live 1976: The Thank You Australia Concert
(Eagle Vision DVD) :: Leathered like Jimbo Morrison and posin’ like Elvo Presley, Neil runs through all his hits
here on this Oz televised romp—but it’s the bonus segment featuring his live-from-the-stage commercials that’ll
make you want to buy this one. How cool is he? Cool enough to ignore the cheesy script dialogue he’s handed and savagely
rip into sponsors Cadbury and Pioneer with withering ad-libs worthy of Groucho Marx.
Be seeing you!
Friday, June 2, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS ROCK íNí ROLL PHOTOGRAPHS
JEFFREY MORGAN’S ROCK ’N’ ROLL PHOTOGRAPHS
Fri, June 2, 2017 | link
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
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:
Saturday, May 27, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #576
Sat, May 27, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #576.208!
Cory Woodward – Princess Of The Skies (self-released) :: The first
impression is of a guy expertly aping Springsteen, but then the subtle nuances in his voice filter through, exposing eerie
elements of early Presley and Plant with a slight skein of horrorbilly.
The Funk Brothers – Live
In Orlando (Eagle Vision DVD) :: Motown’s unsung backing band comes out of the shadows to skillfully show off its
still-silky smooth sonic stylings.
Delta Spirit – Ode To Sunshine (Rounder) :: The joyful
piano-pumpin’ “Trashcan” is the greatest song that Leon Russell never waxed during the height of his whoa-wailin’
Holy Trinity heyday—and the rest of the album has a ruff ’n’ tumble feel that ain’t too shabby neither.
– The DVD (MVD Visual) :: A generic 30-year retrospective for the faithful, filmed live in Louisiana and New
York, with the requisite historical interviews just in case, like me, you’ve never heard of them before.
Lindh Project – Live In Poland (MVD Visual/Metal Mind DVD) :: After eight Tolkenish studio albums,
Sweden’s answer to ELP rips prog rock a new one on this voiceless virtuoso show.
– In Princeton (MVD Visual/Voiceprint DVD) :: The synthman on Yes’ Relayer album goes acoustic
and hits the Steinway—literally—by smackin’ it silly with his hands almost as much as he fingers it feverishly
with his rigid digits.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Iggy Pop – Where The Faces Shine, Volume
1: The Official Live Experience 1977-1982 (Easy Action) :: This exhaustively titled, Igg-authorized, six-disc box-set
chronicles his solo live act, one disc per tour. But it’s the riotously insane show from San Diego State University
on the Lust For Life tour that’s more than worth the price of admission alone. I mean, you just gotta hear
it to believe it—and even then you’ll doubt that your delicate little shell-like ears were telling you the auditory
truth, ’cause it’s the absolute best live solo Iggy show you’ll ever hear. Do you feel that beat?
Be seeing you!
Saturday, May 20, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #575
Sat, May 20, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #575.316!
The Beatles – “Birthday” (Apple) :: Exactly!
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson – TAAB2: 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!
Saturday, May 13, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #574
Sat, May 13, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #574.207!
Plastic Crimewave Sound – Plastic 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 Sutch – Screaming Lord Sutch And
Heavy Friends (Atlantic) :: Better!
AC Newman – Get 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 Reed – Metal Machine Music (RCA) :: Better!
– Swagger (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.
– Arc (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 June – Lady
June’s Linguistic Leprosy (Caroline) :: Better!
Blue Hands – Hot Puppies (THP)
:: The synth stylings of vintage Gary Numan coupled with an ’80s cross of Sandi’s Sunsets and Siouxsie’s
Yoko Ono – Approximate Infinite Universe (Apple) :: Better!
– First Neighbours (Copperspine) :: Primo Portishead-ish pop paeans!
SNIVELING PLATTER OF THE
WEEK: These Green Eyes – Relapse 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 Manson – Lie (self released)
:: Well, five out of six ain’t bad.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, May 6, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #573
Sat, May 6, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #573.206!
Heath Ledger – The 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 Iva – Our 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 Phelps – The 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 Interior – Brain
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 Halo –
The 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 Blanc – Daffy Duck (Warner Bros.) :: Throw
down hith voith and you haf Heeth Leather doing Thuh Choker. Go on, try it. Yull thee.
Be theeing you!
Saturday, April 29, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #572
Sat, April 29, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #572.205!
David Bowie – Low (RCA) :: The premise.
Hooker – Anthology: 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
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The Doors – Live 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 Lowe – Bowi (Stiff) :: The punchline.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, April 22, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #571
Sat, April 22, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #571.204!
SIZZLING BOX SET OF THE WEST: Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys – The
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
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!
Saturday, April 15, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #570
Sat, April 15, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #570.203!
The Orchid Highway – The Orchid Highway (Naughty) :: They’re
not The Beatles but an incredible simulation!
Wovenhand – Ten Stones (Sounds Familyre) ::
Ambitious angst anyone?
Okkervil River – The 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.
Skybombers – Take Me To Town (Albert Productions)
:: Strangely believe it, Skybombers are the new Cheap Trick and Take Me To Town is their Heaven Tonight.
– 13th 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.
– Toy 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.
– After 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 Band – Pay Me No Mind (Northern Blues)
:: The earthy Hendrix influence is undeniable but so is the playing, so it’s a whitewash.
She (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 Silver
– Twelve 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!
Saturday, April 8, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #569
Sat, April 8, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #569.202!
Head – Save Me From Myself (Rykodisc) :: Al Snow doesn’t
meet the Monkees in this swirling amalgamation of neo-NIN heaviness hitched with Jonathan Davis melodies.
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 Letcher – Harmonium (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 Fennario – Songs 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.
– For 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 Petals
– Kicking 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.
– Petal Pusher (Atria Books) :: Well,
whaddya know? One of them did!
Be seeing you!
Saturday, April 1, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #568
Sat, April 1, 2017 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #568!
Bruce Springstone – Greetings From Bedrock Park (Hanna-Barbera)
:: Includes the hit single “Quarry Days.” Rest in peace, Bill.
Jethro Tull – Draculung
(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 Cheer – Agents
Of Eruptum (Phillips) :: I wish!
The Who – Who’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.
Aerostones – It’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 Presents – The 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 Zeppelin – Led 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.
– Manzarek, 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.”
& Brian Eno – My 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 Sabbath
– Paranoid Mutha (Atco) :: I wish!
Styx & Stones – Break My Bones (Plaster
Caster) :: They all laughed when Dennis DeYoung and Mick Jagger waxed some tracks together. Well, they’re not laughing
Jam – 4 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 Clash – Sandradeesta! (Rocket)
:: They all laughed when Elton John re-formed The Only Band That Matters. Well, they’re not laughing now.
& Hugh Cornwell – Boston Stranglers (Death Row) :: They’re definitely not laughing
– “Don’t Fall Out Of The Apple Tree” (Fiji Gin) :: It only hurts when he laughs.
Dylan – Fang On Fang (Columbia) :: I wish!
Ted Nugent – The Ted Offensive:
Triple Live Gonzo In Afghanistan (Armed Forces Radio Network) :: You were waiting for that, weren’t you?
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Nirvana – Arrivederci! (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.”
Boulders – Get Yer Yabba Yabbas Out! (Hanna-Barbera) :: Includes the hit single “No Excavations.”
Rest in peace, Joe.
Be fooling you!
Saturday, March 25, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #567
Sat, March 25, 2017 | link
MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #567.200!
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Thor – Keep 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 Thompson –
I 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!
Saturday, March 18, 2017
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #566
Sat, March 18, 2017 | link
MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #566.199!
– Blood 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 Gordon – The 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
Ten Shekel Shirt
– Jubilee (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.”
McLachlan – Rarities, 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 Fight – In 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
– And 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 Union
– Breakin 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.