Sunday, March 9, 2014
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #410
Sun, March 9, 2014 | link
JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #410.11!
Ron Artest – Motor City Madhouse (NBA) :: Bill Cosby
Reloaded (Slaystation) :: Play online as either Biggie or 2Pac and solve the conspiracy! Assault and battery not
Ali Shaheed Muhammad
– Shaheedullah And Stereotypes (Penalty) :: Shaheed my words because this stereo tripe isn’t dullah,
– Straight Flush Ghetto (Liquor and Poker) :: Some people think the world has had enough of noisy rock songs.
But I listen to these funky punkabillys and I see it isn’t so.
Sarah Fimm – Nexus (self-released) :: Earnest and plaintive, this sultry synthesiren
is the new and improved Peter Gabriel. Which makes her a whole lot easier on the ears and, especially, the eyes.
Million Dollar Marxists – Give It A Name
(Gearhead) :: Frothing like a dog that’s been infected by the rabies, this hard-rocking quintet ain’t no million-dollar
– Head Off (Candlebone) :: Remember how Dylan was rumored to have secretly recorded an album while he was in
seclusion after his motorcycle accident left him temporarily brain damaged? Well, here it is.
Nitromusk – Things I’ve Done (Stratospheric)
:: The Rutles meet Cheap Trick. Surrender, but don’t give your day job away because the Delete Police are calling your
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Dry Kill
Logic – The Dead And Dreaming (Repossession) :: Lead screamer Cliff Rigano is smart enough
to know that variety is the spice of life and man enough to show the world that he can also actually sing. Factor in stellar
musicianship and shrewd arrangements and you have the reason why DKL is one small step away from rightfully claiming the heavy
Be seeing you!
Sunday, March 2, 2014
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #409
Sun, March 2, 2014 | link
JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #409.10!
The Who – The Who Sell Out (Decca) :: Automobile commercials.
Hewlett-Packard commercials. The CSI franchise. And you thought they were just being ironic.
Wu-Tang Clan – Greatest Hits (BMG) ::
Bill Cosby is right.
– O.D.B. (Roc-A-Fella) :: D.O.A.
Wolf Eyes – Burned Mind (Sub Pop) :: Vicious, you hit me with this neural nullifying
slice of neurotic electronica from Ann Arbor.
AM – Francophiles & Skinny Ties (AM Mayhem) :: Not since the legendary Masked Marauders
waxed “I Can’t Get No Nookie” has there been such a fun-filled send-up of the early Rolling Stones.
Amy Correia – Lakeville (Nettwerk) &
Tom McRae – Just Like Blood (Nettwerk) :: These two stunning new albums of thoughtfully intelligent
pop music will renew your flagging faith in the lost art of emotive singing and insightful songwriting.
Anavana – Anavana (Zip) :: Part sassy
Debby Harry and part sultry Sade, funky is the word for this debut disc by chameleonic pop singer Annastasia Victory Kuporosova
and her reggae-tinged band.
– Set Yourself On Fire (Arts & Crafts) :: Ignore the inane title because you won’t find a more delightfully
ethereal pop album to play this winter while you’re dashing through the snow.
Feverdream – Freeze (Coalition) :: “Shake hands
with my johnson,” sings René van Lien of the Netherlands. “Do you know what it feels like to be that hung?”
No, but if you wait here a moment, I’ll go get a rope so you can tell me.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE MONTH: The Gun Club – The Las Vegas
Story (Sympathy For The Record Industry) :: Remastered and reissued. Discordant and disconcerting. Off-key and off-kilter.
Haunting and harrowing. Sardonic and psychotronic. A grievous mistake and a genuine masterpiece.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, March 1, 2014
JEFFREY MORGANíS ROCK íNí ROLL PHOTOGRAPHS
JEFFREY MORGAN’S ROCK ’N’ ROLL PHOTOGRAPHS
Sat, March 1, 2014 | 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:
Sunday, February 23, 2014
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #408
Sun, February 23, 2014 | link
JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #408.9!
The Beatles – Turn Me On Dead Man (Vigotone) :: Before he died of cancer, not only
did Abbey Road engineer John Barrett secretly make hours of pristine cassette dubs of unreleased Beatles songs direct from
the original multitrack masters, he also actually remixed many familiar classics. So take this bootleg, brother, may it serve
– Through These Eyes (self-released) :: Poignant easy-listening pop ballads aren’t usually my cup of
tea, but I know a good voice when I hear one, and this Detroit songwriter has the pristine pipes to go the distance.
Project Oragnge – Megaphobe (BMG Canada)
:: These mothercanuckers keep Canada united by recording their vapid songs in both official languages so the French can be
just as bored as the English.
– Cryptooology (Skin Graft) :: Finally, a garage band that plays nothing but mental instrumentals that sound
like the schizoid diagrams on the back of an Anthony Braxton album.
Paul Reddick – Villanelle (Northern Blues) :: Producer Colin Linden gives Reddick’s
exceptional new album the rough echoing distorto sound of a vintage field recording. Very uncanny and very good.
The Dollyrots – Eat My Heart Out (Panic
Button) :: Sky-high production values, a streetwise attitude, the chirpiest female vocalist this side of Stiff Records and
album art to die for. Literally.
Band – Dog (Exowax) :: Imagine if Freddie Mercury had played killer guitar and formed
both the Mothers Of Invention and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Now go listen and treat yourself.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The John Butler Trio –
What You Want (Lava) :: By mixing spiritually sublime orchestrations with heavy lowdown hoedowns, this sampler serves
notice that guitarist Butler is a future force to be reckoned with.
Be seeing you!
Sunday, February 16, 2014
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #407
Sun, February 16, 2014 | link
JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #407.8!
Ciara – Goodies (La Face) :: Lady sings the cooze.
Bury Your Head – Cover Your Tracks (Victory)
:: This bruising metal may not be what Mickey Spillane had in mind when he wrote about the white noise that roars in Mike
Hammer’s brain every time he empties his nickel-plated .45 into a commie’s guts, but it’s a good start.
Avril Lavigne – Under
My Skin (RCA) :: Gosh, I miss Grace Slick.
Grace Slick –
Manhole (RCA) :: Ask your mom.
Thicket – Sexual Breakfast (SAF) :: I admire Afandi A. Menduno for playing all the instruments
on this album, but I’d admire him even more if he knew how to write a good song.
Aqui – Aqui (Ace Fu) :: Tiny Tim joins Devo for the
last enjoyable word in cosmic space rock.
To Fall – Villainy & Virtue (Victory) :: I know the genre demands such Exorcist
silliness, but I really hate to hear an otherwise excellent metal band being ruined by the laughable guttural raspings of
a Drano-drinking “vocalist” who doesn’t know that satan sounds like Lionel “22” Twain.
Groove Armada – The Best Of (Jive) ::
Gayer than satan.
– Show And Tell (J) :: Attention groupies! Thirsty for the kind of classic cock rock that used to make tinsel
tarts like Sable Starr fall gaping to their knees? Well, crawl this way!
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Roxy Saint – The Underground Personality Tapes (Star
Blue TV) :: This DVD proves that ribald rocker Roxy is the sleaziest skank walkin’ the plank today. So roll down your
window and give this nasty girl a backseat whirl. Once around the block, Jeeves...slowly.
Be seeing you!
Sunday, February 9, 2014
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #406
Sun, February 9, 2014 | link
I WISH THEY ALL COULD BE JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #406!
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Nancy Sinatra – Shifting Gears
(Boots Enterprises) :: Contrary to what you may believe after reading this record review, I am not on Nancy Sinatra’s
Granted, I have admired her work
ever since I first heard her barrier-busting clarion calls of liberation back in the ’60s, but the only tenuous connection
I can lay claim to is that, ten years ago, I wrote an unabashed endorsement of a movie she appeared in called Mayor of
the Sunset Strip which was printed at the top of the DVD’s back cover.
But that’s it. Which is why I can afford to ditch four decades of filigree
fancy rock writing rhetoric and tell you, without any fear of getting a vengeance visit from the Payola Police, to click this link and buy her new album now!
Don’t worry, I’ll
wait here until you get back. If you get back. Because after you’ve sampled how she owns the opening selection
“As Time Goes By,” you’ll be so hooked that listening to the remainder of the record is the only thing you’re
gonna have on your mind.
If, as the theory
goes, there’s a little bit of rebellious Nancy Sinatra in everyone come Saturday night, then you can safely bet your
last dollar bill that there’s more than a little romantic Nancy Sinatra in everyone come the next morning.
Sometimes, however, there’s the occasional hard letdown to contend with as the day dawns.
Ever arise on a Sunday morning surrounded by the unholy architecture of empty bottles, crumpled cigarette packages and assorted
scraps of cold food? Alone? After being given the gate by your gal or guy the night before?
Then step right up and have a seat because Nancy’s got a little story she thinks you should know. Fifteen
of them, in fact, spanning half a century of popular music from the ’20s to the ’70s. And every single one of
them is guaranteed to renew your flagging faith in romance and remind you that each day is Valentine’s Day.
That’s because Shifting Gears’ lushly stringed standards,
all which were carefully harvested from a personal archive of previously unheard performances straight outta Nancy’s
secret mountain vault, have been deftly assembled by the artist herself into a bona fide concept album whose sequence
deftly delineates the development of a love affair.
Impressive, I know. But not nearly as impressive as the fact that, I kid you not, this is Nancy Sinatra singing
at her soul-stirring best. And thanks in no small part to the production and luxurious arrangements of her long-time and late
lamented Wrecking Crew collaborator, the truly legendary Billy Strange, it’s like getting to hear a long lost Reprise
album that never got assigned a matrix number.
go on, but for once I won’t. Because if I do continue to wax ecstatic about how wonderfully refreshing Nancy
Sinatra’s Shifting Gears album is in this day and age of computerized do it yourself dross; or about how it’s
got the swankiest four-on-the-floor album cover ever thanks to the most-modern artwork of JoSH AGle, I’m liable
to get all tongue-tied and say somethin’ stupid. Which means there’s only one thing left for me to do. Start walkin’.
Be seeing you!
Sunday, February 2, 2014
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #405
Sun, February 2, 2014 | link
JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #405.7!
Megadeth – The System Has Failed (Sanctuary) :: President Mustaine. Got a nice ring
to it, don’t it?
& Dita von Teese – Wedding Bell Blues (Straight) :: Ooooh, marriage. How anti-Christ of
Live Free Or Die (Sudden Death) :: These Bush-bashing Canuckleheads hate censorship and love freedom of speech. That’s
why they printed a parental advisory warning on the front cover of their new album.
Straylight Run – Straylight Run (Victory) :: Just when
I thought that their stock-in-trade was crafting sincere, plaintive dirges, along comes the buoyant “Tool Sheds and
Hot Tubs” to make me think that they just might have what it takes to be the next Blondie. But only if they let the
girl sing more. A lot more.
– Pickin’ On Pink Floyd: A Bluegrass Tribute (CMH) :: Are you ready for a banjo and fiddle version of
“Astronomy Domine”? I mean really ready? Sid was, but that was 40 years ago. And look where he is now.
Nightwish – Once (Roadrunner) :: Unexpected
company coming over? Need a fast recipe for Finnish meatloaf? Step 1: Take the heavy metal riffs of Black Sabbath, the lush
orchestrations of Andrew Lloyd Webber, the bombastic arrangements of Jim Steinman and the soaring poperatic vocals of Emma
Shapplin. Step 2: Just add water and hurl.
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Limblifter – I/0 (Limblifter) :: Imagine the Psychedelic Furs meeting
Duran Duran and the Human League and you’ll have a good idea why this is one of the best nostalgic pop romps your delicate
shell-like ears will ever hear. Emotive vocals, superb musicianship, smart lyrics and spiffy arrangements all add up to make
this an absolutely delightful listen.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #404
Sun, January 26, 2014 | link
JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #404.6!
Brian Wilson – Smile (Live In Concert) :: Yeah, I love paying big bucks to watch a
medicated wax dummy spend the entire evening reading from two teleprompters that are force-feeding him his own lyrics.
John Frusciante –
Inside Of Emptiness (Record Collection) :: If you thought his last extended player reeked, then you won’t want
to smell this plugged john’s fresh runny sonic stool of amateur aural excrement.
Gov’t Mule – Déjà Voodoo (ATO) ::
Formulaic but enjoyable Southern rock that’ll go down smooth with a full 60-ouncer, a loaded 12-gauge and an exposed
set of 36DDs.
– Untucked (Kataphonic) :: Honey-voiced blonde swan dives into the deep end of the Pop Life pool and surfaces
for an enjoyable hour-long float.
– Not Going Anywhere (Blue Note) :: But if you prefer your chanteuses soporifically wandering barefoot in the
moonlight, then say hello to the new Nico.
– Shoplifting (Kill Rock Stars) :: By melding the herky sound of Pere Ubu with the jerky vocal phrasings of
Patti Smith, this four-track EP shows more than enough primo potential to justify a full-length album.
3 Inches Of Blood – Advance And Vanquish
(Roadrunner) :: Some critics have accused these guys of musically retreating. They didn’t retreat. They just advanced
in the opposite direction.
OF THE WEEK: Low Millions – Ex-Girlfriends (Manhattan) :: Because I’m a soft touch
for old-fashioned pop music with killer riffs and witty lyrics, I got instantly hooked when I heard “Eleanor,”
the first song on this debut disc. Not since a spurned Bryan Ferry penned Roxy Music’s Siren has there been such a long-playing
ode to the angst of urban abandonment.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #403
Sun, January 19, 2014 | link
JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #403.4!
Halfacre Gunroom – Wrecked (Icarus) :: You say halfacre, I say half-assed, let’s
call the whole thing off.
– Black Is Beautiful (True Love) :: Despite liberally quoting everyone from Be Bop Deluxe to the Who to the
Dolls, this spry toe-snapper is one of the better retro rock ’n’ pop albums to wash ashore this year.
Lethal Dose (First Look DVD) :: Alien vs. PETA. PETA
– Hot Snakes! Live At Copperfield’s 1989 (Blue Wave) :: What’s cooler than cool? This classic blues
band with Kenny Baker and Deacon Jones in tow, covering “Cissy Strut” years before Jackie Brown.
Todd Kerns – Go Time! (HRM) :: He’s
got the lanky glam looks and the guitar glam hooks. Now all he needs is a bar of soap to wash out his dirty mouth ’cause
Mick Ronson never had to cuss to be cool.
Artists – It Was 40 Years Ago Today: A Tribute To The Beatles (Bullseye) :: Three years
in the making, this joyous labor of love is the absolute best Beatles tribute album you’re likely to hear. Fifty creative
covers by 50 eclectic artists ranging from Al Kooper to Andrew Gold, with every cut a genuine gem.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Death From Above 1979
– You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine (Last Gang) :: Don’t let their unwieldy moniker put you off
because this minimalist dynamic duo from Toronto (Jesse F. Keeler on synthesizers and bass; Sebastien Grainger on drums and
vocals) successfully combines the plaintive wailing vocals of Robert Plant with the primitive psycho synths of Suicide and
the bludgeoning big beats of Killing Joke. And that’s no laughing matter.
Be seeing you!
Sunday, January 12, 2014
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #402
Sun, January 12, 2014 | link
JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #402.2!
South Park – The Passion Of The Jew (Paramount DVD) :: Oh my God, they killed... Sorry,
The Rolling Stones
– “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (ABKCO) :: Dismayed that the Stones are shilling for
Coca-Cola? Then you’ve obviously never heard the Rice Krispies TV jingle they recorded for Kelloggs back in 1963.
Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow
(Paramount Pictures) :: Where’s Buckaroo Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers when we really need them?
Finn Brothers – Everyone Is Here (Nettwerk)
:: It’s true that the wonkiness exhibited by Neil and Tim during their glory days with Split Enz and Phil Manzanera
has been burnished to a smooth mature sheen on this low-key release, but the last time I looked you weren’t getting
any younger either.
Monday Night Football
(ABC) :: Seeing Dennis Hopper back on a chopper in his old Easy Rider Buckskin Billy duds is the closest we’ll ever
get to the late Terry Southern’s proposed Biker Heaven sequel.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Faces – Five Guys Walk Into A Bar... (Warner Bros.) ::
Here’s why this 64-page book is the greatest chronicle extant about the greatest bar band the world has ever known:
Everyone candidly chimes in with tales of brave inebriation; more than half of the photographs on display were taken by esteemed
CREEM Magazine shutterbugs at Faces concerts either in Detroit or Ann Arbor; strangely enough, all of them are in focus; and,
if you act now, you’ll also get four free records to which you can drink, sing, or anything (even shake a leg now and
Be seeing you!
Sunday, January 5, 2014
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #401
Sun, January 5, 2014 | link
THE BEGINNING OF JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #401.1!
Ray Charles – Genius Loves Company (Concord) :: And modesty hates egomaniacs.
Last of the Famous – The Music Or The Misery
(FourFiveSix) :: Make mine misery because these Clash City Poppers don’t rock my casaba.
Norman Brown – I Might (Warner Bros.)
:: Sexy, soulful old-school make-out music for tough guys who’d rather be inside bangin’ than outside gangin’.
The Hentchmen – Form
Follows Function (Times Beach) :: Funky reverb garage surf music with a Leigh Stephens fuzz-tone pedigree and cool black
turtleneck lyrics like: “I was only five when I saw the scene of that Charger versus Steve McQueen.”
Junior Boys – Last Exit (KIN/Domino)
:: Hall & Oates join Kraftwerk. File under: Outenzi Touchenzi.
Wyclef Jean – Welcome To Haiti: Creole 101 (Sak Pasé) :: Those of you who don’t
speak Spanish, Creole or French can look forward to Jean’s next album: Welcome To America: English 101.
Minnie Driver – Everything
I’ve Got In My Pocket (ZOE/Rounder) :: Hide the straight razor because this set of sad songs is the best melancholy
music since Sinatra’s Only The Lonely.
Janiva Magness – Bury Him At The Crossroads (Northern Blues) :: On the prowl with a
sexy growl, this blues-beltin’ babe provides the perfect yoni yang to Minnie’s yearning ying.
Elvis Costello – The Delivery Man (Lost
Highway) :: And you thought marriage would mellow him.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The Briggs – Leaving The Ways (Side One Dummy) :: Absolutely
the best high-energy hybrid of the Clash and Metallica you’re likely to hear in many a moon so go out and get it, got
Be seeing you!
Sunday, December 29, 2013
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #400
Sun, December 29, 2013 | link
THE END OF JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #400!
Management would like to take this opportunity to correct a number of items which
originally appeared as statements of fact over the past 399 editions of the award-winning weekly column Jeffrey Morgan’s
Media Blackout. An investigation into the matter has concluded that the statements made by Mr. Morgan were, in fact,
completely false and deliberately made to misinform the reader including, but not limited to, the obfuscating use of a fictional
alias. As a result of this serious breach of ethics, and in keeping with our policy of transparency, Mr. Morgan has been dismissed
from his position and his column will be reiterated beginning next week until a suitable replacement can be found. Management
regrets the errors.
Martha Raye is not the mother of Johnny Ray.
Brian Jones was not pushed.
Elvis is not Orion.
Nothing happens if you watch
Pink Floyd At Pompeii while listening to Judy Garland At Carnegie Hall.
Alice Cooper did not play Eddie Haskell on Leave It To Beaver.
Axl Rose is not a member of Falun Gong.
Eugene Levy never sued John Lennon.
Jerry Mathers was not killed in Vietnam and he is not the father of Eminem.
Lou Christie does not make good cookies.
Bob Dylan was not replaced by a double after dying in a motorcycle accident.
The Beatles are not Klaatu.
Nelson is not a member of Cheap Trick.
disfigured Kurt Cobain is not alive and hidden away in a private sanitarium.
The woman heard yelling “ ‘Paint It Black,’ you devils!” on Get Yer Yas Yas
Out is not Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme.
Mick Jagger did not kill the Kennedys and neither did you.
Will Rogers never met Allan Klein.
The New Vaudeville
Band never released an album titled Jesse Winchester’s Cathedral.
Robert Johnson was not stood up at the crossroads.
Clapton is not God.
did not produce Screaming Lord Sutch And Heavy Friends.
Paul is not dead.
Jim isn’t alive, man.
Lou Reed and Rex Reed are not twin brothers.
Lester Bangs did not play Michael Stivic on All In The Family.
Pete Townshend never took part in the Battle Of Britain.
Paul Reubens did not replace Freddie Mercury in Queen.
John Bonham was not one of the Marx Brothers.
Slade were not illiterate.
Band did not record Music From Pink Floyd.
Bryan Ferry never crossed the Mersey.
the fifth Beatle.
And, in the end, the love you take
isn’t equal to the love you make.
will not be seeing you.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #399
Sun, December 22, 2013 | link
PENULTIMATELY JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #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, most 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 David Bowie 36 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.
– We 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 “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 Cash – The 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.
– Christmas 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?
Sunday, December 15, 2013
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #398
Sun, December 15, 2013 | link
THE BEST OF JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #398!
Presented for your approval, in strict numerical and alphabetical order so as not to show
any favoritism, is Jeffrey Morgan’s 2013 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 five decades ago. In other words, and I’ve got a million of ’em, these are my Sizzling Platters
Of The Year, all of which deserve a spin on your Victrola.
42 – Levin Minnemann Rudess – Levin Minnemann Rudess (Lazy Bones) :: If I’ve
said it once, I’ve said it three times: a chronological glance at your record collection will prove that, as rock ’n’
rollers get older, it’s utterly inevitable that they get softer—and I’m not talkin’ about virility
in the sack, I’m talkin’ about volume in the studio.
As maxims of maturity go, TURN IT DOWN seems to be their overriding axiom of aging because, with the obvious aberrant exception
of Jeffrey Beck, every single raucous rock musician who ever lived has lived to see the day come when their sonic six-guns
were hung up in exchange for a pipe and slippers.
such much-vaunted volume advocates as Neil Young and Jimmy Page have had disconcerting bouts of flaccidness recently—assuming
that they even bother to wake up to show up. And don’t you start me talking about former noise boy Miles Davis,
who prematurely blew all his goo on Dark Magus only to thereafter be reduced to the sad spectacle of shooting blanks,
as evidenced by such sterile secretions as You’re Under Arrest and Doo-Bop.
But there’s always an exception to the rule, and this fourteen track all-instrumental
album is it, with a certifiable emphasis on the mental because Levin Minneman Rudess takes everything that
you thought you knew about complex progressive art rock and effortlessly transmutes it from traditional fusion into
a new element of audio contusion that you won’t find on any heavy metal periodical table. But please don’t let
me be misunderstood: I’m not talkin’ about mental as in crazy coo-coo mental, I’m talking mental
as in sonically supernatural Magneto-style metal manipulating mental. I could go on, so I will.
“Marcopolis” is the scene-setting first track and it’s the heaviest Wired
outtake that Jan Hammer and the aforementioned Mr. Beckola never had the radical wherewithal to wax.
“Twitch” is the aptly-named second track and it’s an epileptic stutter-step
that easily evokes Rick Wakeman as his most operatically speed freak soused.
“Frumious Banderfun” is the frisson-fusing third track and it’s an eerily evocative echo
of Frank Zappa during his hellacious jazzbo phase with a side order of Oriental-themed crunge-o-phonics thrown in for bad
For those of you keeping score at home, that’s
just the first three frames and already we’re talking about a skillfully impressive Heinie Manush-style on-base
slugging percentage—with eleven innings left to play. So break out some peanuts and Cracker Jack and hear for yourself
how effortlessly the spasm-inducing All Star team of Levin Minneman Rudess takes the field and commands a one-sided rout that
rookies a quarter of their age only wish they could muster. Batter up!
11 – Johnny McLeod – If You’re Living (self released) :: In
a perfect world, Johnny McLeod would need no introduction. But since this is a less than perfect world, allow me to set the
audio table for you by reiterating what I said about him in the August 1985 issue of CREEM: America’s Only Rock ’n’
Roll Magazine, wherein I wrote:
MacLeod with The Young Pioneers – Dynamite In The Stove (True North/CBS) :: Even
though I live in Toronto, you can count on one hand the number of times I’ve bent your ear about Canadian talent in
the ten years I’ve been writing for CREEM, so bear with me on this one because Johnny is the only singer-songwriter
I’d put serious money on. He released one album (Every Twist Reminds) in 1980 with his former band the G-Rays,
and has spent the last half decade leading up to this triumphant moment. The man’s lyrical and musical depth knows no
equal, so I’m not going to give you a comparison against which you can judge him. But considering the current value
of the U.S. dollar against the Canadian dollar, I’d say that a trip across the border to but this album would be more
than worth your while.”
Thirty years later I
stand by those words—especially the parts about the money and the lyrical depth. However, with the release of this new
album, I would add one extra word which is not to be bandied about lightly:
I happen to know a few things
about poetry, which is I’d like to point you in the direction of a few song titles which grace this heartfelt confessional
because they alone should give you a good indication of the kind of emotional insight we’re dealing with here: “Never
Is Your Soul Alone.” “The Pleasures Life Reveals.” “If You’re Living.” “More Than
I Can Do.”
Oh, and then there’s “Here’s
Your Moment” which begins:
is feeble and thin. Soon its weight will cave itself in. Go and bid your reward to begin. Here’s your moment. Here’s
the offer that hangs from your name.”
why I’d still put serious money on Johnny MacLeod—and so should you because, both spiritually and intellectually,
odds are you won’t get a better rate of return for your dollar.
To get a copy of If You’re Living, contact Johnny at: Box 113, 31 Adelaide Street East,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5C 2H8
78 – Ollie
Vee – Lonesome Girl (Dang Snapit) :: Here’s a tattooed up the wazoo chicka-boom trio that knows
how to slap an album design together and then slap a like-minded record inside it that easily evokes the album cover aesthetic
that shows a tarted up solitary skirt longingly looking out a hotel room window at the obligatory blinking red neon sign that’s
bathing her deep blueness in shards of cascading crimson like she’s in an Edward Hopper painting.
Lissen, any song that begins with the line: “Well, we get hopped up every night”
like “Looking For A Fast Time” does is my kinda album. But lest you go thinkin’ that this is some kinda
Tonight’s The Night dour downer, lemme tell ya that it’s an uptempo rock-a-billy rave up that owes its
more melancholy moments to the David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti produced Floating Into The Night album that songstress
Julee Cruise waxed way back in 1989. In fact, this entire baker’s dozen of slinky swinging songs would be right at home
on the jukebox at the Double R Diner. And if you don’t believe me, just ask Norma Jennings the next time you drop by
for a slice of cherry pie and—excuse me—a damn fine cup of coffee.
So if any wiseacre tries to brace you into thinking that Ollie Vee’s Lonesome
Girl is some kinda tremolo tribute to the late lamented likes of Roy Orbison or Handsome Ned, well, you just blow a thick
pardon my dust plume of second hand smoke into their smug mugs ’cause hep cats like us, we both know a whole heckuva
lot better, don’t we? That’ll be the day.
35 – Art Decade – Art Decade (self released) :: If you screw on your thinking cap,
you just might remember what I said about these cat’s début long player back in MB353 but, if not, I’ll
reiterate for ya:
– Western Sunrise (Eldest Only) :: A lesser league of leeches woulda called themselves “Chant Of The
Ever Circling Skeletal Family” or “Homo From Aldebaran” but, the way I see it, if you’re
gonna name your band after an obscure ’70s David Bowie instrumental, then choosing the atmospherically arch decadent
“Art Decade” is definitely the way to go—and, boy howdy, does this excellent album ever live up to that
makeshift moniker and go go go!
“The first two
seconds sound like a James Brown intro before everything suddenly switches into a string-soaked Beatlesque art rock escapade
which owes more than a lush nod to Queen Mercury in the vocal arrangement and songwriting department. There’s also an
admirable element of ’80s symphonic synthesizer pop in place to spice up the proceedings—but don’t think
they’re not capable of breaking out the big audio dynamite because the longer you listen, the louder things get.
“Bonus points for including a glossy full color
twelve page booklet that contains nothing but twelve full bleed paintings which are completely devoid of text—and that’s
an extreme visual treat that even Eno and Peter Schmidt never attempted to do at their Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)
and Before And After Science art rock peak of perfection.”
That’s how they began the year last February and, wouldn’t you know it, here they are again
with a year-ending roundhouse to polish things off and lemme tell ya that it’s a good ’un. If anything, it’s
even more of a string-soaked Beatlesque art rock escapade (Greylock Hill”) which owes more than a lush nod
to Queen Mercury (“Boredom”) in the vocal arrangement and songwriting department. And while many a band from Badfinger
and ELO to Cheap Trick and the Knack have successfully mined that particular pop vein at various points during their careers,
keep in mind that it’s by no means as easy to do as it sounds—just ask Brian Wilson.
So if you didn’t take my advice at the beginning of the year, now’s
your chance to make amends unless, of course, you’re waiting for the band to gnaw some blotter acid and “head”
into their psychedelic period—which might not be such a bad idea. I mean, think about it, man. Aren’t
you curious about what a lysergically-soaked Freddie Mercury would sound like? I’m curious. I’m very
curious. Are you curious?
99 – Blackmore’s
Night – Dancer And The Moon (Frontiers) :: Wherein, sixteen years and seven albums later, guitarist
Richie Blackmore and songstress Candise Night continue to record intelligent epic audio adventures which aesthetically embody
everything that folk-fueled contemporary medieval music should be—and this outstanding album of enlightened enchantment
is their best one yet. If a part of your soul has ever responded positively to the ornamental elements offered up by Robert
Plant in “The Battle Of Evermore” or by Ian Anderson in “Songs From The Wood,” then this renaissance
record has your name engraved on it. And should you find that your soul is unnaturally inured to such sentiments, then let
this be the introductory album to set your wandering spirit straight.
01 – David Francey – So Say We All (Laker Music) :: Although it doesn’t
happen as often these days as it used to, every once in a while a record will be released that’s so exceptional and
intelligent it actually defies criticism—and this album happens to be one of them.
From its admirably understated front cover photo of the artist walking away from us into
the Light, to its last muted note, folk singer David Francey’s thoughtful So Say We All is about as honest
and authentic an offering as you’re likely to hear; one that’s imbued throughout with a surfeit of universal Truth.
Light. Truth. No ordinary words, for what they denote
are no ordinary values. And, poet that he is, Mr. Francey profoundly understands the power of these words because he knows
that they have no frame of reference within which to exist without their contrarian opposites of darkness and lies—and
David Francey is intimately familiar with those words as well.
Yet, but because he is a poet, Mr. Francey is able to use his insightful lyrics and expressive
voice to cathartically transcend the pensive past and look beyond today’s frailties toward a more hopeful future for
himself and, by extension, for us all. That’s why So Say We All is nothing less than an enriching audio affirmation
of life and the indomitable power of the human spirit to endure—but don’t take my word for it when you
can heed those of the artist himself:
on this album,” Mr. Francey writes in the album’s introduction, “seem to me to encompass what proved to
be a very difficult year. From the heights of joy to the depths of grief, the lesson learned was to celebrate every day spend
on this side of the soil and to keeps marching no matter what comes our way.”
So when one or more of these fourteen heartfelt songs makes you laugh or cry or simply smile
with a knowing nod of recognition—and one or more of them will—it’s because they speak not just of who we
were yesterday or who we are today, but of who we would like to be tomorrow. That’s because they also encompass yet
another extraordinary word: Faith. Faith, and a renewed belief in the future and what you can do to be a positive part of
It’s easier than you think. David Francey’s
already done the hard work. All you have to do is listen.
69 – Kate Reid – Queer Across Canada (self released) :: Whadda gal. Goes from Stand-up
Folkie (I’m Just Warming Up) to Shepherding Activist (Doing It For The Chicks) to Social Educator
(Queer Across Canada) all within the span of three albums—faster than the time it would take you or I to change
a futzed fuse.
But that’s the point. Always
the brightest bulb in the box, incandescent Kate wasn’t whistling in Dixie when she said she was just getting started
’cause even then she had a far-flung audio agenda of acceptance in mind that’s finally come to full-blown fruition
on her latest long player, which is nothing less than an informative curriculum of facts and a sonic support group.
Vocally, Kate’s pipes are in fine fettle and equally
as emotive whether she’s breaking the verbal speed limit on “The Mothers’ Day / Fathers’ Day Conundrum”
or getting down with a funkified cover of the venerable Sister Sledge unity anthem “We Are Family.” Musically,
Kate breaks new ground by adding an expertly arranged plethora of horns; woodwinds; strings; and choir, all to good effect—especially
during the more introspective passages which’ll have you daubing your eyes.
Much has been made of the charm which radiates throughout her albums—and rightly so, because Kate’s
refreshing sense of humor has always been the spoonful of sugar that makes the tolerance go up. And while Queer Across
Canada is no exception to that rule, Kate admirably aspires to up the ante by taking her message of love out of the intangible
ether and into the physical classroom where, like any life lesson worth learning, it can be rationally discussed and expertly
applied without censure.
But for those of you who
are of the opinion that humor has no place when dealing with such a serious societal topic, I’d like to draw your attention
to the comics section of the world’s newspapers on August 7th, 1952—a mere 61 years ago.
For it is there, in the great Walt Kelly’s legendary comic strip Pogo, that
the following prescient exchange takes place between the eternally poetic Churchy LaFemme and the eternally practical Howland
“Why don’t women marry people what understands them?”
“Like other women.”
54 – Daphne Lee Martin – Moxie (Telegraph Recording Co.) :: There ain’t nothing
I like better than ringing in the new year by listening to a brand spanking new album that gives me renewed hope that all
is well in Recordville—and, strangely believe it, this happens to be that album in that it lives up to its ballsy name
and double dares ya to crank it up all the way up to maximum volume with your noodle wedged right between the speakers.
Y’see, not since the good old white label advance
test pressing days have I been so blindfold flummoxed by an audio outing. That’s because, devoid of an album cover or
track listing or anything else to guide me along except for a plain white sleeve and textless disc, I’m forced to do
the free-association poetic stutter-step instead—something I ain’t done since I reviewed 801 Live and
So just what the heck is this
mutant offspring anywho and where the heck do I begin to get a greased handle on it? With track one’s melodramatic operetta
that fuses Casio casino music with a spooktown carnival hoedown?
Or mebbe track two’s sultry Peggy Lee meets the Doors feverish black coffee combo?
Or how’s about track three that opens with a syncopated “Memo From Moxie”
backbeat which then melodically fuses “Down By The River” with a brace of bubbly Telex synthpoptronics?
Or with the Bennett-cum-Gurdjieff-ish voice overs of track four?
Track five’s Hitchcockian country hoedown?
Track six’s clandestine Tarantinish tryst?
Track seven’s surreal dub confab?
Track ten’s swanky vo-de-oh-do night club megaphonics?
And speaking of keeping track, you may have noticed that I’ve omitted two prime numbers; that’s because they’ve
been left vacant for you to describe. To play along at home, all you need is a copy of Daphne Lee Martin’s
versatile new album Moxie and two cranked up speakers for you to wedge your noodle between; your rejuvenated spirit
will thank you for it in the morning—and remember kids: Neatness counts!
24 – The 24th Street Wailers – Live In Halifax (self released) ::
Way back in the good old golden days of vinyl (ask your Mom), this is the kind of live “blues” album that would
automatically get filed away in the “rock” section of your friendly neighborhood record store right alongside
such other supersonic scorchers as Johnny Winter’s live on the stage Live: Johnny Winter And and Jimmy Cavallo’s
live in the studio The Houserocker!—which should you give you a pretty good idea as to the kind of rarified
jumpin’ jive that eagerly awaits you within these groovy grooves.
Powered by Emily Burgess on guitar; Michael Archer on bass; and Jonathan Wong on sax, this up-tempo high
octane offering will have you bouncing off the walls with such unbridled stucco-slamming gusto that you’ll never want
the proceedings to end.
But what really makes
this merry go-round such a stellar standout is the sensational singing of traps mistress Lindsay Beaver, who has a vivacious
voice that’s the most octavely outrageous since Grace Slick first stormed the Fillmore. Just one listen to her note-perfect
performance on the self-penned “Never-Ending Day” will have you building a candle-lit shrine next to your Victrola
in honor of her pluperfect pipes.
And should you happen
to burn down the joint by mistake, fire up the 24th Street Wailers’ Live In Halifax on your portable audio
delivery device and you’ll be too busy bouncing down the block to give a good cahoot.
44 – My Gold Mask – Leave Me Midnight (Goldy Tapes)
:: Word on the superhype street has it that MGM “singer Greta Rochelle has been compared to Siouxie Sioux and Courtney
Love” and that “their sound has been called goth garage”—which is all well and good if you’re
looking for a snappy press release pull-quote. Me, I dimly recall them saying similar things about Japnopop band Sandii And
The Sunsetz back in the ’80s and they missed that refugee boat by a country mile as well.
That said, there’s no denying that MGM do have a distinct Banshees sheen
to their dense echoing sound, but I’m here to tell ya that the proceedings ain’t all angsitified doom-laden gloom
by a long shot because on tracks like “Burn Like The Sun” I hear an atmospheric power pop patina worthy of The
Diodes just aching to break free. And “Lost In My Head” is nothing less than a subconscious tip of the Hatlo hat
in the direction of above-noted Hula mistress Sandra O’Neale via the Sadistic Mika Band—not that they’d
ever admit it, of course.
So forget what all the experts
say and listen to me instead when I tell you that My Gold Mask’s Leave Me Midnight defies all expectations
by taking you where you least expect to go along the most sonically scenic route your ears will ever hear—and if that’s
not a snappy press release pull-quote, then I don’t know what is!
Be seeing you!
Sunday, December 8, 2013
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #397
Sun, December 8, 2013 | link
JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #397!
Bruce Springstone – Greetings From Bedrock Park (Hanna-Barbera) :: Includes the hit single “Quarry
Days.” Rest in peace, Bill.
– 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) ::
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.
The Dorkees – 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.”
David Byrne & 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.
Iggy & The Tricksters – Cheap Power (Columbia) :: They
all laughed when Bun E. Carlos was hired to replace Scott “Rock Action” Asheton. Well, they’re not laughing
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 now.
Cars Traffic 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.
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 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?
SPLATTER 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
The Rolling Boulders
– Get Yer Yabba Yabbas Out! (Hanna-Barbera) :: Includes the hit single “No Excavations.” Rest in
Be leaving you!
Sunday, December 1, 2013
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #396
Sun, December 1, 2013 | link
SLUSH PILING JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #396!
Jimmy Lynch – Nigger Please! (MVD Audio)
– Good Morning Harakiri (Small Stone) :: Dawning!
Little Suns – Normal Human Feelings (High Romance) :: Illuminormal!
Deville – Hydra (Small Stone) :: Minky!
Redd Foxx – I
Ain’t Lied Yet! (MVD Audio) :: Truthful!
Larman Clamor – Frogs (Small Stone) :: Leaping!
Destroy This Place – Destroy The Place
(Bellyache) :: Razing!
– Let It Roll (Small Stone ) :: Spellbinding!
These Hearts – Yours To Take (Victory) :: Rending!
Five Horse Johnson – The Taking Of Black Heart
(Small Stone) :: Captivating!
– Now And Forever (Victory) :: Eternal!
Sun Gods In Exile – Thanks For The Silver (Small Stone) :: Ramrodding!
The Virgin Marys – King Of Conflict (Wind-Up)
The Fury Of A Patient Man! (Small Stone) :: Raging!
Canned Heat – Live At Montreux 1973 (Eagle) :: Sterno!
Mother Of God – Anthropos (Small Stone)
– Penguin Prison (Downtown) :: Elegant!
Momantha – Backwoods Payback (Small Stone) :: Squealing!
Don Nix – Living By The Days (Real
Gone Elektra) :: Hawtlix!
– Moon Queen (Small Stone) :: Lunachix!
Counterparts – The Difference Between Hell And Home (Victory) :: Parsing!
Lo-Pan – Salvador
(Small Stone) :: Hi-Praise!
– Dance Of The Wicked (Victory) :: Gavotting!
Skanska Mord – Paths To Charon (Small Stone) :: Styxxy!
The Duke Spirit – Bruiser (Fiction) ::
– Holding On (Small Stone) :: Soaring!
Tear Out The Heart – Violence (Victory) :: Rending!
Nightstalker – Dead Rock Commandos (Small
Stone) :: Kolchakking!
– Revolution Rhapsody (self released) :: Raptivating!
Abrahma – Through The Dusty Paths Of Our Lives (Small Stone) :: Chartopping!
Skillet & Leroy & Lawanda
Page – 2 Or 3 Times A Day (MVD Audio) :: Insatiable!
Green Leaf – Nest Of Vipers (Small Stone) :: Biting!
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Thomas Alexander
– Piano Madness (self released) :: Gershwinnner!
Be Seeing You!
Sunday, November 24, 2013
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #395
Sun, November 24, 2013 | link
I’LL KEEP IT WITH JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #395!
Bob Dylan – Selfie (Columbia) :: As if
remixing old albums wasn’t bad enough, now they’re retitling them.
John Foxx – Metamatic (Metal Beat) :: This decades ahead
of its time concept album about the Kennedy assassination contains automated metal machine music that’s so charmingly
cold and coolly calculating it makes Gary Numan sound positively human by comparison. It’s the perfect gift for the
conspiracy theorist on your holiday shopping list who has everything—and so is this:
Vincent Bugliosi – Reclaiming History: The
Assassination Of President John F. Kennedy (Norton) :: One volume. Five pounds. 1,600 pages. 1,000 additional
pages of supplementary notes and sources on two portable document files on one compact disc. All this plus the greatest
conspiracy joke on page 1,489? Case closed!
Andrew Lloyd Webber & Mick Jagger – Tumbling Dice, Superstar
(Bialistock & Bloom) :: Which twin wins the Tony? Neither one since “Tumbling Dice! Tumbling Dice! Who are you?
What have you sacrificed?” is the world’s worst ill-advised Broadway lyric ever.
Various Artists – Annie: The Musical: The
New 2012 Broadway Cast Recording (Shout! Factory) :: Because as every rock critic knows, you’re never fully dressed
without a simile.
SAINTLY PLATTER OF THE WEEK:
The Sojourners – Sing And Never Get Tired (Little Pig) :: I saw these three cool cats
strutting their barn burning stuff at Folk Alliance earlier this year so I’m more than pleased to testify that they’ve
got a brand new long player out that continues to showcase their unique style of gospelized funk-fuelled spiritual three part
harmonies. So do yourself a very big favor and pick up on what these number one soulful brothers are putting down
because you could do a lot worse than spend some of your finite heartbeats listening to The Sojourners. Indeed, you probably
already have so spin this platter pronto and set yourself on the road to redemption before it’s too late!
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The Flowers Of Hell –
Odes (Optical Sounds) :: Word has it that Unca Lou loved this thematic tribute album to himself that came out in
2012—and rightly so, given that it cannily coalesces the best of his Velvet Underground excursions with some rare solo
transmogrifications such as a rare first draft early lyric interpretation of “Walk On The Wild Side” that’s
well worth the price of admission alone. But Lou’s dead so you’ll have to take my word for it in 2013
that this is now the most poignant Lou Reed tribute album you’ll hear this year. Bonus points for including
a Nicoized version of “Mr. Tambourine Man” that would’ve sounded right at home on Chelsea Girl.
Be seeing you!
Sunday, November 17, 2013
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #394
Sun, November 17, 2013 | link
DIANE, I’M READING JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #394!
Nirvana – In Utero: The 20th Anniversary Super
Deluxe Edition (DGC) :: As if it wasn’t already one of the most intelligently and psychotically abrasive fingernails
across a chalk board rock albums ever recorded, along comes Big Black guitarist and original producer Steve “Skinng”
Albini to make it an even more intelligently and psychotically abrasive fingernails across a chalk board rock album.
Ah, but is it the most intelligently and psychotically abrasive fingernails across a chalk board rock album of all
Big Black –
Songs About Fucking (Touch & Go) :: Of course not.
SIZZLING ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Ollie Vee – Lonesome Girl (Dang Snapit) :: Here’s a tattooed up
the wazoo chicka-boom trio that knows how to slap an album design together and then slap a like-minded record inside it that
easily evokes the album cover aesthetic that shows a tarted up solitary skirt longingly looking out a hotel room window at
the obligatory blinking red neon sign that’s bathing her deep blueness in shards of cascading crimson like she’s
in an Edward Hopper painting.
Lissen, any song that begins with the line:
“Well, we get hopped up every night” like “Looking For A Fast Time” does is my kinda album. But lest
you go thinkin’ that this is some kinda Tonight’s The Night dour downer, lemme tell ya that it’s
an uptempo rock-a-billy rave up that owes its more melancholy moments to the David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti produced Floating
Into The Night album that songstress Julee Cruise waxed way back in 1989. In fact, this entire baker’s dozen of
slinky swinging songs would be right at home on the jukebox at the Double R Diner. And if you don’t believe me, just
ask Norma Jennings the next time you drop by for a slice of cherry pie and—excuse me—a damn fine cup
So if any wiseacre tries to brace you into thinking that Ollie Vee’s
Lonesome Girl is some kinda tremolo tribute to the late lamented likes of Roy Orbison or Handsome Ned, well, you
just blow a thick pardon my dust plume of second hand smoke into their smug mugs ’cause hep cats like us, we both know
a whole heckuva lot better, don’t we? That’ll be the day.
John Wayne – The Searchers (Warner Bros.) :: Exactly!
Kyle MacLachlan – Diane... The Twin Peaks Tapes Of Agent Cooper (Simon & Schuster
Audio) :: Available, appropriately enough, only on analog audio cassette and nominated for a best spoken-word performance
Grammy Award in 1990? Even the Lynchpin himself couldn’t dream up something as wonderfully wonky as that.
I’ll see you again in 25 years. Meanwhile...
Sunday, November 10, 2013
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #393
Sun, November 10, 2013 | link
LIVE’R THAN JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #393!
The Rolling Stones – 1962-2013
(51 Year Anniversary) :: “The Rolling Stones lasting twenty, thirty years—what a stupid idea that would
be.” – Lester Bangs, CREEM, December 1973
The Rolling Stones – Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live 2013 (Eagle Rock) :: Lissen bub, when it comes
to historical audio-visual documentation, me and the Rolling Stones, we go way back.
That live archival audience recording of the Stones’ matinee show at Maple Leaf Gardens on July 15, 1972
that’s been making the bootleg rounds for the past forty years? Three guesses who tape recorded it from the Gardens’
press box and has the two original audio cassettes and the press pass to back up his brag? You betcha boots.
Think you’ve seen every Rolling Stones photograph there is to see? Three guesses who shot
close to two hundred color transparencies and black and white negatives of the Stones in 1975 and then promptly filed
them away for safe keeping in a bank vault where they’ve remained sight unseen for the past forty years? You betcha
So when it comes to the cinematic side of things, “that’s
no big surprise” that I’ve seen ’em all on The! Big! Screen! from Gimme Shelter and CS
Blues to Ladies & Gents and Crossfire Hurricane—and if you’ve never seen any
of those aforementioned flicks projected large’r than you’ll ever be, then you just haven’t seen
But don’tcha let an elitist attitude like that stop
you from perusing the Stones’ latest life affirming concert film which conceptually picks up where the end of Crossfire
left off—and when I say “life affirming” you best believe that I dang nab mean life affirming.
And you can set aside the ancient age factor ’cause these chain-smoking cats are spryer than a spring chicken on a roof
of hot rocks, lemme tell ya. Louder, too.
But nobody ever attends a Rolling
Stones concert just for the music, even if the band does play all their greatest hits with note-perfect precision,
just like they did on the original studio recordings. So when it comes to matters of sartorial splendor, there are no flies
on the singer who easily evokes the past by wearing a long-sleeved black top that’s strikingly similar to the one he
donned during the ’69 tour, minus the astrological symbol. Then he daringly slips into something a little more comfortable;
namely, a shortened knock off of the blousy white dress that he unabashedly adorned when he was reciting Shelley during his
first Hyde Park performance—a few lines of which he also nostalgically reiterates for the poetry buffs in attendance.
Why, he even goes so far as to tell the audience how “beautiful” they are in a nod to his infamous stage patter
All this plus the only guitarist to leave the Rolling Stones and
live, Mick Taylor? You betcha boots, which is why not only is this the greatest retrophonic Rolling Stones concert film released
this year, it’s the perfect DVD gift for that recidivist reprobate on your seasonal shopping list who missed seeing
it on The! Big! Screen!
So feel free to go ahead and disregard that above-noted
short-sighted Bangsian quote because you don’t have to be a staunch Stones supporter to know that they’ll still
be straddling stages and doing it to death a mere nine years from now when they saddle up for their 60th Anniversary
Tour. After all, if the past half century has taught us anything, it’s that you should never sell the Rolling Stones
short when it comes to making music and making money.
Oh, and three guesses
what song 70-year-old Mick “I Don’t Want To Be Singing ‘Satisfaction’ When I’m 40” Jagger
signs off with? You betcha boots.
Be seeing you!
Sunday, November 3, 2013
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #392
Sun, November 3, 2013 | link
BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #392!
Chilliwack – Lights From The Valley (Mushroom) :: The liner
notes say that Chilliwack means “Valley Of Many Streams” in Halq’eméylem.
Doucette – Mama Let Him Play (Mushroom) :: Papa make him
Chilliwack –Dreams, Dreams, Dreams
(Mushroom) :: And Wikipedia says that Chilliwack means “Going Back Up” in Salish.
Doucette – The Douce Is Loose (Mushroom) :: And if his name
was Douchette this album woulda been called...
– Breakdown In Paradise (Mushroom) :: But judging from the small print that says: “We acknowledge the
financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) for this project,”
I think Chilliwack means “Taxpayerola” in Freedian.
The Sattalites – The Best Of Canadian Reggae (Solid Gold) :: Not to be confused with the Sunnalights;
Monnalights; Tuessalights; Weddalights; Thurssalights; or Friialiites, these here Sattalights have been rolling their own
funky brand of reggae longer than the Department of Canadian Heritage and Canada Music Fund has been providing financial support
for decades-old deleted discs like this. So, before it gets drilled anew, you would do well to give it a spin and hear
for yourself what the Canuckistan taxpayer is being forced to shell out and support these days against their collective will
under the dubious guise of historical value.
OF THE WEEK: Art Decade – Art Decade (self released) :: If you screw on your thinking cap, you just
might remember what I said about these cat’s début long player back in MB353 but, if not, I’ll reiterate
“Art Decade –
Western Sunrise (Eldest Only) :: A lesser league of leeches woulda called themselves “Chant Of The Ever Circling
Skeletal Family” or “Homo From Aldebaran” but, the way I see it, if you’re gonna name your
band after an obscure ’70s David Bowie instrumental, then choosing the atmospherically arch decadent “Art Decade”
is definitely the way to go—and, boy howdy, does this excellent album ever live up to that makeshift moniker and go
“The first two seconds sound like a James
Brown intro before everything suddenly switches into a string-soaked Beatlesque art rock escapade which owes more than a lush
nod to Queen Mercury in the vocal arrangement and songwriting department. There’s also an admirable element of ’80s
symphonic synthesizer pop in place to spice up the proceedings—but don’t think they’re not capable of breaking
out the big audio dynamite because the longer you listen, the louder things get.
“Bonus points for including a glossy full color twelve page booklet that contains nothing but twelve
full bleed paintings which are completely devoid of text—and that’s an extreme visual treat that even Eno and
Peter Schmidt never attempted to do at their Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) and Before And After Science
art rock peak of perfection.”
they began the year last February and, wouldn’t you know it, here they are again with a year-ending roundhouse to polish
things off and lemme tell ya that it’s a good ’un. If anything, it’s even more of a string-soaked
Beatlesque art rock escapade (Greylock Hill”) which owes more than a lush nod to Queen Mercury (“Boredom”)
in the vocal arrangement and songwriting department. And while many a band from Badfinger and ELO to Cheap Trick and the Knack
have successfully mined that particular pop vein at various points during their careers, keep in mind that it’s by no
means as easy to do as it sounds—just ask Brian Wilson.
So if you didn’t take my advice at the beginning of the year, now’s your chance to make amends
unless, of course, you’re waiting for the band to gnaw some blotter acid and “head” into their psychedelic
period—which might not be such a bad idea. I mean, think about it, man. Aren’t you curious about what
a lysergically-soaked Freddie Mercury would sound like? I’m curious. I’m very curious. Are you
Be seeing you!