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Saturday, January 21, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #558

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #558.189!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, January 21, 2017 | link 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #557

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #557.188!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, January 14, 2017 | link 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #556

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #556.187!

 

PinkFunhouse (LaFace) :: What a stooge.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, January 7, 2017 | link 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #555

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #555!

 

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

 

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

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, December 31, 2016 | link 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #554

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #554.295.347.399!

 

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

 

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

 

Hey, how about a few reviews!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, December 24, 2016 | link 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #553

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #553.185.86!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, December 17, 2016 | link 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #552

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #552.184!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, December 10, 2016 | link 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #551

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #551.183!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, December 3, 2016 | link 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #550

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #550.181.82!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, November 26, 2016 | link 

Friday, November 25, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS ROCK íNí ROLL PHOTOGRAPHS

JEFFREY MORGAN’S ROCK ’N’ ROLL PHOTOGRAPHS

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

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

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

JeffreyMorganDavidBowie.jpg
Fri, November 25, 2016 | link 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #549

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #549.180!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, November 19, 2016 | link 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #548

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #548.179!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, November 12, 2016 | link 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #547

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #547.178!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, November 5, 2016 | link 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #546

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #546.177!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, October 29, 2016 | link 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #545

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #545.176!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, October 22, 2016 | link 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #544

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #544.175!

 

David WilcoxBoy In The Boat (Stony Plain) :: I still can’t slog my noggin around the fact that the former frock-coated, long haired, handlebar mustachioed Teddy Bear who once had one of the most visually arresting looks in all of rock ’n’ roll is now a generic cue ball blooze man. But he is, and the pull-quote hypester in me wants to say: “Whether he’s layin’ pipe or shuckin’ sugar, David Wilcox still has what it takes to go the blues bustin’ distance!” But the truth-tellin’ rock critic in me has to admit: “Toss this anemic album overboard!”

 

AstralasiaVolumes 1 & 2 (MVD Audio/Voiceprint) :: Originally released on two separate cassettes, this is well-done long-format hypnotic prog rock that fuses early guitar-based Tangerine Dream pop atmospherics with an ambient marching band loop-sampled drone acid aesthetic.

 

The Great KatBeethoven On Speed (Metal Mind) :: I’d say that this overrated B-cup devil worshipper with a grue dress on could’ve been the female Buckethead, but that would be an insult to chicken chewers everywhere.

 

The Great KatWorship Me Or Die! (Metal Mind) :: Sorry, I don’t do requests.

 

Jas ObrechtYoung Buckethead, Volumes 1 & 2 (MVD Visual DVD) These two discs of rare 1990-91 performances are a must see cautionary tale for any guitarist who ever hoped to make it big. Wearing a KFC bucket on his head and armed with more God-given talent than anyone ever wished for, Bucky plies his craft with jaw-dropping ease—ultimately all to no avail.

 

Plastic Crimewave SoundNo Wonderland (MVD Audio/Prophase) :: 78 trippy mind-bending minutes of freak-out destorto thrash rock that’ll leave your bloody forehead demented and your bedroom wall royally dented

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The ReasoningAwakening (MVD Audio/Comet) :: Astonishingly excellent high quality prog rock from a band that manages to merge the classic soaring Jefferson Airplane tag team vocals of Grace Slick and Marty Balin with the heavy dexterous sound of Yes at their live in concert heaviest.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, October 15, 2016 | link 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #543

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #543.174!

 

Head Of FemurGreat Plains (Greyday) :: Wouldn’t it be nice if these Mod-decked dudes from the Windy City recorded a psychedelic smiley smile of an album that sounds just like what the Beach Boys would’ve sounded like had Randy Newman formed them instead of Brian Wilson?

 

SBBThe Rock (MVD Audio/Metal Mind) :: Straight outta Poland comes this slab of prog metal that’s alternately guitar-heavy and synth-airy with an epic ode called “Sunny Day” that’s bent outta Love It To Death. Do you hear what The Rock is cookin’?

 

Shakura S’AidaBlueprint (self-released) :: Soulful street-smart singin’ from a stridently strong sistah who belts out dem honky tonk hoodoo blues like there ain’t no tomorrow. Thirty years ago, she would’ve been one of Leon Russell’s Shelter People; she’s that good.

 

Various ArtistsThe Gift: A Tribute To Ian Tyson (Stony Plain) :: Everyone from Gordon Lightfoot to Ramblin’ Jack Elliott pitch in to hoist this long-overdue rock solid salute to one of Canada’s greatest country songsmiths. Inspirational lyric: “If whiskey was his mistress, his true love was the West.”

 

DalaWho Do You Think You Are (Universal) :: “Marilyn Monroe” is the greatest Marilyn Monroe song since “Candle In The Wind.” Which really isn’t saying much if you stop and think about it.

 

Lori YatesThe Book Of Minerva (Laly) :: “The Cameron 1985” is a sullen smack-sodden song that evokes one of Toronto’s most notorious watering holes, back in the days when Handsome Ned tore up the front room while the used syringes clogged up the toilets in the back.

 

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Handsome NedThe Ballad Of Handsome Ned (Virgin) :: I doubt that this 1989 release is still in print. But see if you can pick up a copy online somewhere because Robin D. Masyk was one of the greatest country rockers that Canada ever produced and this posthumous compilation still does him proud almost three decades later.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, October 8, 2016 | link 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #542

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #542.173!

 

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

 

The Bangkok FiveWe Love What Kills Us (Long Live Crime) :: This heavy duty mind meld of the Cult and the Beach Boys wails “You’re takin’ more shots than Muhammad Ali” while landing some pretty heavy deep tissue blows themselves.

 

Jann KloseReverie (3 Frames) :: This guy plays the kind of sensitive music that girls go ga-ga for, only with a Euro nightclub feel to it that reeks of cigarette smoke and broken hearts—and that makes all the difference.

 

Sean AshbyBrass And Gold (Black Sparrow) :: The brass comes from the very first chord which apes the opening of “A Hard Day’s Night.” The gold comes from the pleasant pop that follows. And yes, I’m being charitable.

 

FIZZLING USA DOCUMENTARY OF THE WEEK: The BeatlesDestination Hamburg: The Early Years (Weinerworld DVD) :: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but retrospective music videos really are a dime a dozen these days and almost all of them do rely on know-nothing wankers spewing half-baked opinions over a slew of still photographs you’ve seen a million times before—especially this one which is at least honest enough to shamelessly proclaim that: “This program contains no Beatles music.” Which isn’t to say that Tony Sheridan is a know-nothing wanker; he’s the only man on the planet to ever have the Fab Four serve as his own personal backing group, so his words of remembrance do count for something—even if they are spoken over the usual visual mung of blurry silent public domain footage. Even worse, the bonus 1968 audio interview with John, Paul and Ringo is played back at triple the normal speed in a processing error that would make David Seville proud. And you wonder why it says “Weinerworld” on the label.

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, October 1, 2016 | link 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #541

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #541.172!

 

SIZZLING USA DOCUMENTARIES OF THE WEEK: TadBusted Circuits And Ringing Ears (MVD Visual DVD) & Kurt CobainAbout A Son (Shout! Factory DVD) :: Here to hassle your hearing are Seattle’s two favorite opposite ends of the Sub Pop spectrum. If anyone ever asks you what grunge was all about, screen ’em these two cautionary tales. Playing heavy, smoking heavy, drinking heavy and falling heaviest of all, the entire Tad offensive campaign is presented here in full unflinching detail with equally candid liner notes by Tad Doyle himself. But at least Tad’s still alive, which is more than can be said for the star of our next show. Narrated entirely by Kurt himself from taped interviews for more than two hours over a series of surreal Cibachrome-soaked imagery, About A Son both looks and sounds like a spooky X-Files movie with Agent Cobain searching for his own long-lost abducted self. What he finds is both haunted and haunting, so buy it now.

 

SIZZLING U.K. DOCUMENTARY OF THE WEEK: Klaus VoormanComposing The Beatles Songbook: Lennon And McCartney 1957-1965 (MVD Visual/Pride DVD) :: Retrospective music videos are a dime a dozen these days, and almost all of them rely on know-nothing wankers spewing half-baked opinions over a slew of still photographs you’ve seen a million times before—but not this time. Revolver album cover designer and Plastic Ono Band member Voorman is just one of many Fab Four friends and fans featured in this informative 80 minute exploration into who did what and why when it came to writing Beatle songs. It’s all illustrated by a ream of rare licensed mint condition footage of the Fabs playing in Europe and Japan, as well as film of the contemporaries who influenced them. The bad news is that they don’t include footage of Lennon’s shameful spaz act from the unreleased Ed Sullivan dress rehearsal show in Miami. The good news is that they found another appalling live example of him doing it, filmed somewhere else!

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, September 24, 2016 | link 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #540

 

JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #540.171!

 

Ted NugentSweden Rocks (Eagle) :: This pre-Love Grenade live offering from 2006 sure ain’t no Double Live Gonzo, but it’s still a fun enough drool-cup listen. Even so, the perennial problem with Ted isn’t his still-strident politics or his still-sharp playing, it’s his still-selfish persistence in singing all of his songs by himself. With any luck, Derek St. Holmes will be back the next time around to keep Nugent’s ego in check and provide a balancing Ying to Ted’s rampant Yango Tango shtick.

 

Ted Nugent & The Amboy DukesSurvival Of The Fittest (Polydor) :: It’s got everything you could possibly want; it’s got more than you could possibly need.

 

Jethro TullJack In The Green: Live In Germany (Eagle Vision) :: Featuring 18 high-quality video excerpts from some of Tull’s numerous Deutschland appearances over the decades covering the gamut from 1970 to 1993. Definitely worth the price of admission alone is the empty television studio version of “Nothing Is Easy” from 1970, which contains several false starts before Ian Anderson finally calls it quits and walks off mid-song due to a stomach ailment. Unlike Kurt Cobain, however, Ian didn’t take a double-barreled dose of Terminalin to relieve the pain.

 

SNEERING PUTDOWN OF THE WEEK: Frank Miller & Jim LeeAll Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder (DC Comics) :: You all know Frank Miller as the creative meistermind behind Sin City and 300 who birthed an entire gloomy batgenre with The Dark Knight Returns before he tried to kill it dead with DK2 and DK3. This prematurely aborted brilliant iconoclastic deconstruction features an even grizzlier Batman infused with a decidedly unhealthy dose of Sin City Marv attitude. How unhealthy? Look, pal, any comic book that has Batman calling Wonder Woman “the Wicked Witch of Lesbos Island” deserves to be in your collection, alright?

 

Be seeing you!

Sat, September 17, 2016 | link 

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