Saturday, November 10, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #651
Sat, November 10, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #651.311!
Owl City – Live From Los Angeles (Eagle) :: I never heard of these
nerds before, but after suffering through their mundane music and banal between song banter...
“Los Angeles, California, I
wanna thank you so much for being here with us this evening! It’s kind of a special evening there’s, there’s,
like, cameras everywhere! We’re shooting our first ever DVD so... Please smile... Please look beautiful... Oh, wait!
You’re L.A.! No problem!”
...I never want to hear them again.
Santana – Greatest Hits Live At Montreux 2011
(Eagle) :: Carlos Santana’s greatest hits moment was at Woodstock long before he got stupid and started wearing t-shirts
adorned with the smug mug of mass murderer Ernesto “Che” Guevara. But if you can forgive him that heinous
ethical lapse, then maybe you’ll enjoy these two video discs which prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Stupetana’s
dim-wittedness doesn’t extend all the way down to his guitar playing. But he’s still an ignorant clod.
– Live In France 1961 (Eagle) :: I’ve never cottoned to Ray Charles and I’ve spent years in therapy
trying to figure out why. Initially I thought it was because I didn’t like the way Ray bobbed his head from side to
side—but then my head shinker pointed out that I didn’t mind it when Stevie Wonder did the exact same thing. Then
I thought it was because I didn’t like the way Ray sang in a guttural growl—but then my head shinker pointed out
that I didn’t mind it when Joe Cocker did the exact same thing. So I gave this restored and remastered black and white
television special to my head shinker; cancelled my remaining couch sessions; and didn’t go back no more, no more, no
more, no more.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Lamont James – Poppies (self released) :: You better
go out and get yourself a box of push pins and a really big map ’cause this here Lamont James is all over it. First
he comes across like some kinda cross between Aquashow era Elliott Murphy and The Beatles era John Lennon
at their most acoustically mellow (“Today”). Next he morphs into Around The World In A Day era Prince
(“Song Of You”) and Candy-O era Cars at their most synthesizer saturated (“Sorry”). Then
he has the good sense smarts to plug it in and crank it up on a cover of Teenage Head’s seminal single “Picture
My Face.” After that he deftly deconstructs things down with an ambient electronic instrumental like “Kaüzendüx”
that eerily evokes Stockhausen at his short waviest. But best of all is track twelve which lasts all of twenty seconds and
contains naught but a syncopated drum solo. “Hey,” thinks I at the five second mark, “this reminds me of
‘Premier Drums’ on The Who Sell Out.” So I take a look to see what the song title is and wouldn’t
ya know that it says: “Moonie.”
Be seeing you!
Saturday, November 3, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #650
Sat, November 3, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #650.307!
Them murderous master race ratzis may have been lousy at winning world wars and taking over the world,
but what they lacked in dictatorial smarts they more than made up for on the Krautrock ’n’ roll front lines—as
evidenced by these three formerly Verboten videos.
SIZZLING VIDEO OF THE WEEK #1: Ian Hunter and Mick
Ronson – Live At Rockpalast – Gruganhalle, Essen, Germany – April 19 & 20, 1980 (MVD
Video) :: First up we have everybody’s favorite deuce on the loose, that joined at the fret titanic tag team of Hunteronson
who separately and together did more for the advancement and preservation of beefy, but never beefcake, kick like a mule rock
’n’ roll than anyone else on the planet—especially Riki Monsoon, who shredded strings for such theatrical
mascara wearers as Lou Reed; David Bowie; Mott The Hoople; and Bob Dylan.
This one shows them on their Welcome To The Club
world tour wherein they plow through a number of Mott classics from “All The Way from Memphis” and “All
The Young Dudes” to a number of solo Hunter classics from “Once Bitten Twice Shy” and “Cleveland Rocks”
to a book ended beginning and end featuring Ronson soloing on “FBI” to begin the show and “Slaughter On
Tenth Avenue” to end it—both of which, frankly, are worth the price of admission alone.
SIZZLING VIDEO OF THE
WEEK #2: Roy Buchanan – Live At Rockpalast – Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany, February 24, 1985
(MVD Video) :: They’re still calling Roy Buchanan “the world’s best unknown guitarist” and
I have to agree, even though I was buying his records back in the ’70s. But if you’ve never heard of
him, let alone heard him play, let alone seen him play, then this performance, which was recorded a mere three years
before his controversial death at the age of 48, is essential viewing to put it mildly.
Buchanan is also the world’s
most visually unlikeliest guitarist you’ll ever see, what with his cocky beret and rummy whiskers and professorial
corduroy jacket. But once you’ve witnessed him effortlessly blaze through everything from Henry M’s “Peter
Gunn” to Booker T’s “Green Onions,” you’ll understand why Roy Buchanan will always remain the
guitarist’s guitarist. As always, the standout centerpiece of the show is his jaw dropping seven minute version of “The
Messiah Will Come Again,” which cleans everybody’s clock from James Marshall to James Patrick and literally
has to be seen to be believed—and even then you’ll doubt what your unbelieving eyes are beholding.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK #3: Public Image Limited – Live At Rockpalast – Zeche Bochum, Germany, October
31, 1983 (MVD Video) :: Last, but certainly not least, is this quaint little full-length exercise in musical restraint
by that suave stylist Mr. John Lydon, who pulls out every stop to show all and sundry why PiL are one of the minimalistically
greatest—not to mention metronomically gratest—regressive art rock combos to ever hit the boards. Then again,
with a set list that impressively includes everything from “Public Image” and “Flowers Of Romance”
to “(This Is Not A) Love Song” and “Anarchy In The U.K.” how can you go wrongo, boyo? Bonus points
for including rehearsal footage of “Annalisa” and “Chant.”
Be seeing you!
Saturday, October 27, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #649
Sat, October 27, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #649.306!
Phil Spector – Back To Stereo (Philles) :: After the Supreme Court
refused to overturn the life sentence of convicted murderer Phil Spector—thus ensuring that he’ll stay behind
bars where he can’t threaten anyone anymore—every record company that the disgraced producer ever worked for jointly
agreed to delete all of Spector’s original mono recordings from their back catalogues and then have Academy Award winning
Lucasfilm sound sculptor Walter Murch digitally remix the original studio multi-tracks into THX benchmark stereo and 9.1 surround
sound at Skywalker Ranch. As one veteran record executive explains in the liner notes to this ten disc box set: “I’ve
been waiting to get back at that bald-headed bastard ever since he pulled a gun on me during the recording of ‘He
Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss).’ Mono. What does that woman slayer think this is, anyway? 1950?”
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Andre Williams – Hoods And Shades (Bloodshot) :: The first thing you notice is
that the album cover comes gang bangin’ atcha straight outta some kinda drive-by ghetto blasted vintage blaxploitation
one sheet: I’m talkin’ ’bout a tricked out pimp daddy flashin’ dual solid gold JAIL and BAIT knuckle
rings with his meaty mitts wrapped around two dishy thunder-age bikini-clad gun-toting foxes; a Cagnesque exploding oil refinery;
a double barreled pump action guitar; a trench coated machete wieldin’ maniac escapin’ a fiery inferno multi car
collision via a danglin’ helicopter ladder; plus a sinister as sin cadre of terrorist fist-jabbin’ Unabomber
And with songs like the moralistic “A Good Day To Feel Bad” and the animalistic “Jaw Dropper”
and the hoodooistic “Mojo Hanna” you’d better believe that this one’s got the ginchiest gonad-grabbin’
goods ’cause Williams has forgotten more about life than you’ll ever learn so mebbe it’s about
time for you to pick up on what he’s putting down, y’hear?
SIZZLING VIDEO OF THE WEEK: The B-52s –
With The Wild Crowd! Live In Athens, Georgia (Eagle) :: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: show
me a live-in-their-hometown reunion album and I’ll show you a lazy litany of last gasp let down expectations—but
not this time I won’t ’cause this is the most kinetically frenetic fun fiesta since their pulsating
Party Mix! radically redefined what a remix record should sound like. And now that you can actually see
them in action on this outta sight two hour video in their Day-Glo get ups in front of a vertiginous Time Tunnel
backdrop, you’ll agree that these kitschy camp runamuck jive bombers haven’t missed a strategically placed lick
since their “Private Idaho” and “Love Shack” hit single heyday. Not only do they rock harder than
ever, their witty retro-ironic antics jibe with today’s pop culture landscape in a kooky cool way that vitally resonates
even more than it did thirty years ago. That’s why the line to elect supersexy Cindy Wilson into the Rock Hall starts
Be seeing you!
Saturday, October 20, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #648
Sat, October 20, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #648.305!
The Monkees – Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. (RCA)
:: While the Beatles and Stones spent 1967 getting doped up and recording their hippy-dippy stoner albums Sgt. Pepper’s
and Satanic Majesties, these hardcore radical Yankee outlaws were singing about drug pushers (“Salesman”);
horny teenage sluts (“She Hangs Out”); a naïve girl getting brutally gangbanged by the Hells Angels (“Cuddly
Toy”); promiscuous groupies on the prowl (“Star Collector”); and suburban surreal estate (“Pleasant
Valley Sunday”). That’s right, a Hells Angels gangbang. Who you gonna believe: me or your own ears?
PLATTER OF ALL TIME: Rolling Stones – Live At Altamont (December 9, 1969) :: And speaking of the Hells
Angels, you can watch Gimme Shelter over and over again until the cows come home but you’ll never
be able to truly understand the horrific tragedy of Altamont until you’ve lived through this harrowing audio experience.
If anyone in
the entire history of rock ’n’ roll ever deserves to be awarded a Purple Heart for bravery far above and beyond
the call of duty, it’s the five anonymous fearless audience members who had the guts to tape the individual pieces that
collectively comprise this complete hour and a half concert, which was recorded during the middle of the night in what was,
literally, an outdoor combat zone patrolled and brutally enforced by a hostile horde of Hells Angels.
What makes this aural document the
most historically important Rolling Stones live concert ever is that, unlike a sterile soundboard tape, this revelatory
recording plunges you right into the front row at Altamont as an actual audience member instead of as a
safely detached spectator—and it’s nothing short of astonishing to hear how rapidly events inexorably
Minutes into the first
song one audience member cheerfully says: “Have a good time!” To which another replies with equal ebullience:
“You too!” By the third song everything’s already irrevocably doomed. “Let me outta
here!” someone yells, only to be anxiously told: “There’s nowhere to go, man!” When the singer
impotently demands to know “who’s fighting and what for?” an irate man instantly bellows back at him: “Who
do you think?” Next a woman screams: “Get a doctor!”
By the time Sam “Everything seems to be
ready, are you ready?” Cutler takes the microphone to announce: “We’ve also lost, in the front here, a
little girl who’s five years old” and the band breaks into—wait for it—Jimmy Reed’s “The
Sun Is Shining,” everything has become so surrealistically appalling that you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
When they eventually get around to playing “Brown Sugar” in public for the first time, one person has been murdered
and who knows how many others have been injured.
“...like one of you could control one little girl...”
the singer admonishes.
And the band played on.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, October 13, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #657
Sat, October 13, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #657.304!
Automan – Backseat Surprise (Unkle Dunk) :: It’s a good
thing that Darrell Dwarf—double d, geddit?—Miller is a better singer songwriter than he is an album cover
designer ’cause his “record design, concept and graphics” suck worse than an unplugged Hoover with a full
And speaking of full bags,
I’m all for having some anonymous skirt’s double d’s displayed on an album cover but the next time
around he really oughtta hand-jive some Ohio Players jackets for inspiration first—at least they didn’t
neuter their nude cover photos by running them as a pseudo-solarized negative image. That said, the music is an appealing
power pop pud that owes more than a little to the kind of boozy bar band bombast that made the ’70s famous.
And speaking of the ’70s, here’s an acidic flashback to the September 1976 issue of Cheap Thrills when
I was just a callow youth who wrote the following record review and actually thought it was funny; then again, I did
edit the rag, for Pete’s sake.
And speaking of Pete Townshend, who recently wrote a public apology for using offensive
words like “blacks” and “queers” and “rape” when he wrote Quadrophenia in 1973,
I likewise echo his sentiment that: “One day I would be made to apologize. I do so here. Now.”
Thankfully, after decades
of intense sensitivity training, my writing style has now evolved over the past 40 years to the point where I would never
write something as irresponsibly heinous like this today:
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The Ohio Players – Contradiction
(Mercury) :: It’s long been a proven scientific fact that all women have brains the size of a pea. I know it,
you know it, and the Ohio Players know it. Just like Pleasure; Pain; Fire; Water; Ecstasy; Money; Leather;
and Greed before it, Contraception continues the Players’ search for the Eternal All-Nite Party
and the funky, foxy All-Nite Lay that goes with it in some secluded upstairs bedroom.
I mean, just dig these liner notes:
“I’ll only use you when absolutely necessary...” Right on! And how about these lyrics: “Women
are feminine and that’s all right with me ’cause they make my manhood feel good.” All right, indeed!
And dig that naked broad ridin’ that horse inside the fold-out sleeve! Thumpa Thumpa City! You betcha!
Them Ohio Players know
that a woman’s proper place is either in the kitchen makin’ dinner or in the bedroom makin’ babies. So keep
the OP on the turntable at ALL TIMES ’cause you never know when you just might be in the mood to put your lady in her
proper place (and we all know where that is).
Next to the Ohio Players, Barry White is a fag and all women nuthin’ but slaves.
Do you hear me? SLAVES! Alright, it’s time to get down. You know what to do. Now get to it.
Beulah, peel me a grape.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, October 6, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #656
Sat, October 6, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #656.302!
The Who – “Tattoo” (Decca) :: Best song title ever!
– “Tattoo” (Interscope) :: Best song title ever!
The Beatles – “From
Me Tattoo” (Parlophone) :: Worst song title ever!
SIZZLING REISSUE OF THE WEEK: The Who –
Quadrophenia Maximum: The Director’s Cut: Super Deluxe Edition (Polydor) :: This definitive four disc edition
of the ’Oo’s masterpiece lives up to its exhaustive title by including over two dozen demos plus a profusely
illustrated book written by the album’s big nosed songwriter that’s one hundred English pounds—er, pages.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK: The Who – Live At The Cow Palace (November 20, 1973) :: When the ’Oo went
on their 1973 “whirlwind” tour of North America to promote Quadrophenia, they weren’t kidding around
because within twelve days it was all over but the drinking.
Luckily, this privately recorded two hour black and white videotape—a
three camera shoot which was “liberated” from promoter Bill Graham’s personal archive—captures the
band’s opening night in San Francisco as they struggle with a dodgy quadraphonic sound system and a druggy quadriplegic
drummer who passes out not once, but twice, after imbibing animal tranquilizers and booze.
Then, with the cameras still rolling,
the big nosed guitarist steps up to the microphone and asks the music question: “Is there a drummer in the house?”
At which point teenage audience member Scot Halpin accepts the offer, is allowed up on stage, and actually sits down behind
Keith Moon’s drums. Then things really get interesting.
SIZZLING BOOK OF THE WEEK: Richie Unterberger
– Won’t Get Fooled Again: The Who From Lifehouse To Quadrophenia (Jawbone) :: Even the biggest ’Oo
fan will be impressed by this painstakingly researched digest that comprehensively covers the band’s most prolific post-Thomas
period. I learned more about the ’Oo in the first 25 pages than I did in the last 25 years! Bonus points for quoting
a CREEM Magazine interview that I did with “Old Big Nose” back in 1975 about the ’Oo’s legendary rock
opera Bible One.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Pete Townshend – Live At The Roundhouse
(April 14, 1974) :: What makes this audience recording of Pete’s first ever live solo concert so charming to listen
to is the fact that it actually is a solo performance in that the bulk of the show consists of Pete playing his electric
guitar accompanied only by a primitive rhythm generator. “This next one is a little bit more complicated,” he
says prior to playing “Big Boss Man” as he strives to set the machine to a new preset rhythm. “Fox Trot
2 on the beat box.”
The crowd is a rowdy boisterous lot that results in a lot of banter between the artist and his audience
of hard core fans. “I come from a rough neighbour’ood,” he warns a heckler before launching into
an eclectic selection of songs ranging from Jimmy Reed’s “Goin’ To New York” to Tim Harden’s
“If I Were A Carpenter” and an even more arcane assortment of ’Oo songs ranging from “Tattoo”
and “Happy Jack” to “The Seeker” and “Let’s See Action.”
He even takes a break to spin two
demo recordings of “My Generation” and give a prototypical Professor Pete pontification on how they were made
in his home studio. “Note the stutter!” he proudly points out as the first tape plays.
Bonus points for rewriting “Magic
Bus” to include this new inspirational insecurity verse: “I’m so nervous, I’m sure it shows. Don’t
say anything about my great big nose!”
The Who – Bible One (Eel Pie) :: Coming soon!
Be seeing you!
Saturday, September 29, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #645
Sat, September 29, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #645.297!
Andrew Dice Clay – Dice Rules: Live At Madison Square Garden (Vestron
Video) :: Boy, what a difference three decades can make, huh? Vestron Video isn’t around anymore and, for the most part,
neither is Dice. But this concert film from 1990 shows why he’s still the only comedian to sell out Madison
Square Garden two nights in a row—and get a standing ovation, before he even says a word, just by shrugging
his shoulder and lighting a cigarette. Hey wussa madder you can’t take a joke oh!
David Lee Roth
– DLR Band (Wawazat!) :: Boy, what a difference two decades can make, huh? Wawazat! Records isn’t around
anymore and, for the most part, neither is Roth. But this...
Van Halen – A Different Kind Of Truth
(Interscope) :: ...never mind.
Various Artists – Insomniac’s Electric Daisy Carnival Experience
(Ultra DVD) :: This trippy two hour documentary by Kevin Kerslake contains music and performances by Underworld, Chemical
Brothers, ReSeT!, N*E*R*D, Kid Cudi, Daft Punk, Will.I.Am, Travis Barker X A-Trak, Swedish House Mafia, Steve Aoki, Simian
Mobile Disco, Mstrkrft, Moby, Laidback Luke, Kaskade, Fedde Le Grand, DJ AM, Deadmau5, David Guetta, Boys Noize, Benny Benassi,
Afrojack, Above & Beyond, 112th Planet and a whole host of other spell-check challenged band names that may or may not
mean anything to you but it behooves me to tell ya that this must see celebration of life is the best audio-visual exhibition
yet of how endemic rave culture has become, from the brain bleachin’ beats to the far-flung fashions to the theatrical
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Dex Romweber Duo – Is That You In The
Blue? (Bloodshot) :: Given Dex’s depressionist “Vincent Van Gone” painting on the front and his baleful
Victorian gaze on the back, you’d be excused for thinking that this was some kinda downer disc on the inside—but
the twangin’ saxabilly rave up that opens this album immediately puts a steel-capped boot to that theory. Armed
with a hypnotic voice that sounds like a monster mash-up between Iggy “Frankenstooge” Pop and Belá
“Lounge Lizard” Lugosi, this here Dexter dexterously dishes out an imaginary Lo-Fi soundtrack to a lost
Rodriguez and Tarantino double creature feature that the Cramps never got to score. Bonus points for the Enoesque “Kitchen
Utensils” percussion credit given to skin smasher Sara; and for waxing a cover of Billy Boy Arnold’s “I
Wish You Would” that actually gives Bowie’s version on Pinups a run for its money in the sonic corrosion
Be seeing you!
Saturday, September 22, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #644
Sat, September 22, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #644.294!
Maxeen – Maxeen (Side One Dummy) :: Despite having a glam band
name and an album produced by vintage Ramones producer Ed Stasium, this album’s pretty vacant and I don’t
2Pac – Nu-Mixx Klazzics (Death Row) :: This grave robbin’ rehash vaults Tupac
Shakur into first place on the ‘Most Records Released By A Dead Musician’ list: 293, thus breaking the previous
record of 292 which was formerly held by Jimi Hendrix. But once you get past the obvious Slade influence in the album title,
there isn’t anything else here worth noting unless you want to hear half a dozen new vocalists making topical references
to al-Qaeda in an attempt to make Tupes more relevant to a new generation of post-9/11 homies. File under: Slayola.
– Everywhere But Home (Roswell) :: Anyone else would’ve popped a few antacids and gotten a quickie divorce
but noooooooo. So thank heaven for nagging wives and upset stomachs or else we’d never have this three-hour
documentary to kick around. You get so much blast for your buck on this single disc delight that it’s kinda hard to
know where to begin. The Toronto show? The Washington show? The Reykjavik show? Look, isn’t it about time that you recorded
over that old VHS copy of Live! Tonight! Sold Out! and stepped into the twenty-first century? Or would you rather
take the easy way out—you know, like your denim-clad grunge hero did—and administer yourself an extra strength
shot of Terminalin? Nah, I didn’t think so.
Natural Dreamers – Natural Dreamers (Frentic)
:: Imagine Lou Reed being so depressed in 1966 after the first Velvets album tanked that he loaded up on smack and scotch,
stumbled into a studio, and recorded an amateurish half hour of rudimentary jangling discordant instrumentals before finally
overdosing. Well, this record is worse.
The Wildhearts – Riff After Riff (Gearhead)
:: Ever wonder what KISS would sound like if they were influenced by the Monkees and produced by Todd Rundgren? Me neither.
PLATTERS OF THE WEEK: Ike Turner And The Kings Of Rhythm And Blues – A Black Man’s Soul (Tuff
City) & Sam And The Soul Machine – Po’k Bones & Rice (Tuff City) :: If you’re
in the meat market for some ultra fine ’n’ funky make-out music to slip on before you slip it in, then these two
are right up your back alley. Ike’s A Black Man’s Soul is a percolatin’ slice of pudenda
poppin’ screwdoo whose trippy spatial stereo separation will have you bouncin’ up against the buckboard. Then,
just when you think that you’ve spunked out for the night, “Unca” Sam Henry’s previously unreleased
organ-driven Po’k Bones & Rice will get you back up and keep you there for the duration. Music
so drenched in slick shiny sweatola it could only have been recorded in ’69—if you catch my drift.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, September 15, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #643
Sat, September 15, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #643.287!
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – “I Put A Spell On You”
(Grand) :: Amateur.
Suicide – “Frankie Teardrop” (Red Star) :: Amateurs.
– “I Love The Dead” (Warner Bros.) :: Amateur.
Rolling Stones – “Too
Much Blood” (Rolling Stones) :: Amateurs.
David Bowie – “We Are The Dead”
(RCA) :: Amateur.
Iggy & The Stooges – “Death Trip” (Columbia) :: Amateurs.
Crawford – Mommie Dearest (William Morrow & Co.) :: Nothing like writing a withering tell-all
exposé about your Mother while she’s still alive and then waiting to publish it until after she’s dead
and unable to defend herself. She’ll get you, my pretty...
Cult – “Joan Crawford” (Columbia) :: Now listen up and listen good ’cause I’m
here to tell ya that you can forget all about your Screamin’ Jay Hawkins moaning “I Put A Spell On You”
and your Alice Cooper screaming “I Love The Dead” and your David Bowie crooning “We Are The Dead”
and your Mick Jagger camping “Too Much Blood” and your Rob Zombie and your Marilyn Manson and your Stooges and
your Suicide and every other Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour wannabe wax-recording spook show shockmeister because
this is the most humorously horrifying song ever recorded, bar none, son—and I’m talking about humor
that’s so black it seeps into an ultraviolet vein.
It all begins with an introductory gothic piano solo after which the
band steps in to support a set of premonitory apocalyptic lyrics, the likes of which would make Bruce Springsteen roll over
and tell Jim Steinman the news:
“Junkies down in Brooklyn are going crazy; they’re laughing just like hungry dogs in the
street. Policemen are hiding behind the skirts of little girls; their eyes have turned the color of frozen meat. The sky is
filled with herds of shivering angels...”
Then comes the scared stiff stutter-step chant that leads up to the caveat chorus:
“No. No, no, no.
No, no, no-no-no-no-no-no: Joan Crawford has risen from the grave...”
And as if all that wasn’t enough
to set the squalid scene, there follows a rapid-fire sound effects montage of coffin-cracking grave-escaping paranormal pandemonium
gone wild including: the shriek of screeching tires; an automobile collision; a ringing telephone; a vacuum; a crying baby;
ten pins falling in a bowling alley; a crowing rooster; a cash register being rung; a race track bugler; a starting gate bell;
howling dogs; a steamship horn; and a burglar alarm that slowly fades into silence as a swirling vortex of scabrous sound
heralds Joan Crawford’s return from the other side to confront her delinquent daughter:
Home... Christina... Come to Mother... Christina...”
The result is an uncanny audio experience that eerily evokes a mental
image somewhere between the shambling misshapen creatures that “Ghastly” Graham Ingles used to draw for EC Comics
and the equally unsettling thing waiting on the other side of the door in The Monkey’s Paw.
– Mommie Dearest (Paramount) :: ...and your little lapdog too!
Be spooking you!
Saturday, September 8, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #642
Sat, September 8, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #642.285!
Hacienda – Big Red & Barbacoa (Alive) :: Don’t let the
laconic opening track fool ya ’cause once they get going these mofos are more hyperactive than a gang-bangin’
nympho on her backdated birthday—and twice as hot. Bonus points for recording “I Keep Waiting” which is
the greatest cross-border song that the Beach Boys never recorded.
The Plimsouls – Live!
Beg, Borrow & Steal: October 31, 1981 Whisky A Go Go (Alive) :: Recorded close enough to the end of the ’70s
to remain a certifiably cool historical document of the times, this one captures the rockin’ Plimsouls at their finest
as they show why they’re the long lost missing musical link in an pop-rock lineage that stretches back to the Beatles
and was inherited by Cheap Trick.
Brian Olive – Brian Olive (Alive) :: And speaking of
rock royalty, sauntering out of left field like some kinda mutant bastitch offspring between piano-pimpin’ Randy Newman
and sax-swillin’ David Bowie comes this genial gent who sounds like he was born after spending nine months with his
sonic sensibilities slowly soaking in a vat of rock ’n’ roll.
The Black Keys – The Moan
(Alive) :: When I first heard this white boy gitbox and traps duo on the radio whilst driving thought Mississippi, I initially
took them to be denizens from the swamp-steeped colored contingency. That’s ’cause these four tracks are so stewed
in primo distorto in-the-red primitivism it makes Raw Power sound like Wish You Were Here—and if you
don’t believe me, just listen to their reverbo tremolo cover of Die Stooches’ “No Fun” which makes
the original sound like it was recorded by the Longenes Symphony.
The Nerves – One Way Ticket
(Alive) :: This certified cool catch-all compendium is the definitive must have one disc distillation of the Nerves’
late ’70s power pop puds. Almost everything you’d want to hear is here including their initial four track extended
player; a brace of rare demos; and an overdose of live tracks—twenty songs in all. Bonus points for using vintage liner
photos by Bongo Beat Records prexy Ralph Alfonso who, appropriately enough given the content, is Canada’s answer to
the late great Greg Shaw of Bomp Records fame.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Buffalo Killers – 3
(Alive) :: Maybe that’s a wily reflection on their band name but, boy, do these guys ever have their vintage Buffalo
Springfield sound down pat, with a scoop of classic Neil Young mixed in to make everything go down smooth. Luckily for them,
they somehow manage to transcend the comparison by managing to paradoxically come up with their own twangy sound, as witnessed
by songs like the short and sweet “Everyone Knows It But You” and the utterly amiable “Circle Day”
which is sloppy enough to have a choppy verve and swerve all its own. For what it’s worth, there’s something happening
here. What it is, is exactly clear.
Ramones – It’s Alive! (Sire) :: Geddit?
Be seeing you!
Saturday, September 1, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #641
Sat, September 1, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #641.284!
Paul Rodgers – Live At Montreux: 1994 (Eagle) :: Jeepers Mister
Kent! Miss Lane and I were listening to this great new Paul Rodgers compact disc and you should have heard it when Brian May
came out on “Good Morning Little School Girl” to shred our ears with some of the gnarliest guitar work you ever
heard! Even better was when Mister Rogers did the mandatory crowd-pleasing closers of Bad Company’s “Can’t
Get Enough” and Free’s “All Right Now”! But best of all was when he introduced the bass player by
asking: “Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s John Smithson”! What do you think of that, Mister
Communion – Black Country Communion 2 (Mascot) :: Well, Jimmy, it sounds to me like you’d also
enjoy listening to the best hard rock band in the world.
Night Beats – Night Beats (Trouble
In Mind) :: Monophonic beach blanket garage music that sounds like it was recorded by Kill Spector in his death row jail cell—and
with song titles like “Dial 666” it probably was.
Henry’s Funeral Shoe – Donkey
Jacket (Alive) :: Pudknockin’ power trios are so passé these days ’cause any plugged-in spuzz
can make a ton of noise if he’s got two guys covering his amp. Luckily, the minimalist in me prefers a power duo
just like this two-headed guitar and traps aggregation which cranks out more gritty and grimy blooze rock than you’ve
got a legal right to hear, y’hear?
Mikal Cronin – Mikal Cronin (Trouble In Mind)
:: Jing-janglin’ pop-infused guitar ditties lacquered with a charming patina of primitivism that’ll have you hunkered
down and hankering for a hanky, they’re that heartfelt.
Radio Moscow – The Great Escape Of
Leslie Magnafuzz (Alive) :: This heavy funked-up fuzzbox-infused excursion into the ether is so chock full o’unexpected
sonic delights it sounds like some kinda illegitimate sonic offspring of Iron Butterfly and Kyuss. Or is that Blue Cheer and
Grand Funk? Either way, it’s so terminally trippy that you’ll get a contact high just by listening to it.
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Nathanial Mayer – Why Won’t You Let Me Be Black? (Alive) :: What’s
that? You want to talk about what? Soul? What about soul? You think you know soul? You don’t know
soul. You’ve got what? Stax? Motown? Please. Don’t embarrass yourself. That’s
not soul. That’s showbiz. As processed as a pomaded ’do. You want soul? You want Nat Mayer. Now that’s
soul. Rough. Raw. Soul. Of course he looks old. Man lived almost six and a half decades before he went to see the
Lord. He’s doing more for soul dead than you’re doing alive. What’s that? Well, you could listen
to his record for one thing. Might learn something. Be like soaking your head in some brains. What’s
Be seeing you!
Saturday, August 25, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #640
Sat, August 25, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #640.283!
Elvis Presley – Fun With Elvis On Stage (RCA) :: Wherein the record
company that gleefully gave the world Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music—a quadraphonic two album set consisting
of nothing but over an hour’s worth of relentless shrieking atonal feedback—cheerfully compounds the fracture
by also issuing for your listening pleasure this non-singing, non-dancing, all-talking monophonic two sided album which ain’t
nuthin’ but a haphazard cut-and-paste forty minute audio collage of Elvis goofing around with his screaming audiences
As far as audio car crashes go, it’s kinda like listening to the Rolling Stones’ Get
Yer Yas Yas Out! if that album contained nothing but the bantam singer’s banal banter. I mean, can you
see any difference between Mick Jagger saying: “Ah think ah bust a button on mah trousers; hope they don’t fawl
down” and Elvis Presley saying: “My belt’s falling off, my suit’s getting too big... You know what
I can’t do? Get my belt tightened up.” Nah, I didn’t think so.
It reminds me of the time back in 1970 when I saw the Jefferson
Airplane and Grace Slick kept asking if anyone in the audience had a safety pin because her red dress kept falling down and
she—but I digress.
One thing you do have to give Elvis credit for is that he always appears lucid enough to know where he is
and what he’s doing at all times, as witnessed by the following extraordinary moment when he stops the proceedings to
candidly confess: “I don’t know what happened, folks; I just go nuts sometimes” before rhetorically
asking: “You didn’t know you were coming to see a crazy man, didja?” and then concluding: “They’ll
put me a straight jacket and take me away.”
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Lindsay Buckingham – Seeds
We Sow (Eagle) :: Lindsay sure don’t look none too happy on the album cover where his doleful demeanor is made
manifest by the tense white-knuckle stranglehold death grip he has on his guitar. And while that may sound like a recipe for
unbridled musical melancholia, the good news is that this is the most enjoyable and eccentrically ingenious melancholy album
you’ll hear this side of Unca Lou’s Berlin or Unca Neil’s Tonight’s The Night or
Unca John’s Fear. Bonus points for daring to transform the Stones’ saccharine “She Smiled Sweetly”
into a deeper and far more dangerous realm of heartfelt desperation. Mmm-mmm-good!
Be seeing you!
Thursday, August 23, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS ROCK íNí ROLL PHOTOGRAPHS
Thu, August 23, 2018 | link
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
David Bowie (1976 Station To Station tour) :: Lou Reed (1974 Sally Can’t Dance tour)
:: Iggy Pop (1977 The Idiot tour) :: Bob Dylan (1978 Street Legal tour)
:: George Harrison (1974 Dark Horse tour) :: Paul McCartney (1976 Wings Over
America tour) :: Pete Townshend (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: Johnny Winter
(1976 Captured Live! tour) :: Jeff Beck (1975 Blow By Blow tour) :: KISS
(1977 Love Gun tour) :: Alice Cooper (1975 Welcome To My Nightmare tour) :: Freddie
Mercury (1977 News Of The World tour) :: Amanda Lear (1975 Sweet Revenge tour)
:: Rod Stewart (1977 Foot Loose & Fancy Free tour) :: Mick Jagger (1975 It’s
Only Rock ’n Roll tour) :: New York Dolls (1975 Tokyo Dolls Live tour) :: Keith
Richards (1975 It’s Only Rock ’n Roll tour) :: Ian Hunter (1989 YUI Orta
tour) :: Elton John (1974 Caribou tour) :: Mick Ronson (1989 YUI Orta
tour) :: Steven Tyler (1977 Draw The Line tour) :: Sparks (1975 Indiscreet
tour) :: James Brown (1986 Gravity tour) :: Miles Davis (1985 You’re
Under Arrest tour) :: Roger Daltrey (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: Bruce Springsteen
& Clarence Clemons (1975 Born To Run tour) :: John Entwistle (1976 The
Who By Numbers tour) :: Keith Moon (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: The Who
(1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: and more!
Ask any dealer
and he’ll tell you that the best way to get someone hooked on your product is to give them a free sample, so here’s
just a small taste of what’s coming your way when you click on the eleven gallery links to your left:
Saturday, August 18, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #639
Sat, August 18, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #639.282!
Sly & The Family Stone – Woodstock (Atlantic) :: Everybody’s
got their own favorite musical Woodstock moment and this hyperactive fourteen minute medley remains mine. Not only will the
sheer level of exuberance on display keep you up at night for weeks, just one listen is convulsively callisthenic enough to
make you shed all those excess pounds in the process. Say, whatever happened to Sly Stone anyway?
SIZZLING PLATTER OF
THE WEEK: Sly Stone – I’m Back! Family & Friends (Cleopatra) :: 30 YEARS IN THE MAKING and
ALL NEW RECORDINGS brazenly blares the superhype cover sticker only to ’fess up with a back cover blurb which admits
that this ain’t nothin’ but an elpee of re-recorded gazillion year old greatest hits—and don’t that
just sound like a misguided recipe for sonic disaster even if it is ably aided and abetted by a buncha high profile
guest stars ranging in rank from Jeff Beck and Ray Manzarek to Bootsy Collins and Johnny Winter?
Little Richard once pulled a similar
stunt when he re-recorded his greatest hits live in the studio for a package called, oddly enough, Little Richard’s
Greatest Hits Recorded Live. And although that album actually managed to buck the odds by being the amped-up
equivalent of his earlier studio work, let’s face it: rare is the time that such revised recordings actually work—which
is why I’m pleased as punch to report that this one works just as well.
The first reason why it works is because,
like Richard’s record before him, Sly’s timeless classics are beyond any revisionary butchering.
The second reason
is that the hired gun choices are well thought out vis-à-vis which song they’re assigned to. F’rinstance,
having Manzarek do the organ work on “Dance To The Music” is an inspired move that turns mischievous when he has
the temerity to start his solo by tossing in the riff from “Light My Fire.” Equally enthused is veteran saxsmith
Ernie Watts’ wailing work on “Stand!” And if John Dawson’s work on “Thank You” is relatively
invisible due to a mix down mishap, whatcha gonna do, brother, when Beckamania runs wild over “(I Want To Take You)
Higher” with an insane outta control high octane intensity that sets the stage for his fellow Bootzilla Orchestra confrere
Mister Collins, who likewise stomps all over “Hot Fun In The Summertime” with his registered trademark bass and
The third reason
is that Sly’s voice, while ragged, remains right enough to strike the proper funky tone just like it used to do.
In other words,
I’m Back! is a sly way of reintroducing Sly to a brand new crowd. Whether it’ll foreshadow a fresh era
of Sly Stone musical inventiveness is anyone’s guess but, despite his past proclivities, I sure wouldn’t
bet against the cat, would you?
Bonus points for indulgently including some radical eletrodub mixes that’ll
have you bouncing off the walls so fast it’ll make your head spin.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, August 11, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #638
Sat, August 11, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #638.281!
Terry Riley – A Rainbow In Curved Air & Persian Surgery
Dervishes (Columbia) :: Terry is the “Riley” in the Who’s “Baba O’Riley” because
he’s the visionary musician who influenced Pete Townshend’s ARP synthesizer sequencer work on Who’s
Next—and both of these innovative electric organ albums are the unrivaled apex of trippy hypnotic meditative trance
music. By way of contrast, 1966’s landmark A Rainbow In Curved Air is an iridescent triumph of intricate studio
overdubbing while Persian Surgery Dervishes is an extraordinary amalgamation of two live performances that Riley
gave in 1971 and 1972. Just make sure that you listen to both albums either through headphones or with your ears strategically
spaced between two speakers to properly experience the full spiritual stereophonic effect.
– “Come Out” (Nonesuch) :: Now your mind is sufficiently lubricated to take on this equally-epochal
phase-shifted spoken word transmogrification.
Bill Cosby – Is A Very Funny Fellow...Right!
(1963) - I Started Out As A Child (1964) - Why Is There Air? (1965) - Wonderfulness (1966) - Revenge
(1967) - To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With (1968) (Warner Bros.) :: Others may have been the Rolling Stones
or Doors of stand-up comedy but, back in the seminal ’60s, Bill Cosby was the undisputed trend-setting ground-breaking
Beatles of stand-up—and these six albums, released in six consecutive years, the latter half of which were recorded
while Cos was co-starring with the equally urbane Robert Culp in I Spy, prove it. If you haven’t heard them
in decades, then it’s about time that you heard them again. And if you’ve never heard them, then it’s
imperative that you do because Wonderfulness; Revenge; and To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With
are to comedy what Rubber Soul; Revolver; and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band are to
music. And speaking of musical comedy...
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Bing Crosby & Dinah
Shore & Bob Hope & Frank Sinatra & Judy Garland &
Jimmy Durante & The Andrew Sisters & Frank Morgan & Jerry
Colonna – Dick Tracy In B Flat (Armed Forces Radio Service) :: This hour-long episode of Command
Performance, which was originally broadcast to our brave men and women in uniform on Valentine’s Day in 1945, is
available as a free ‘old time radio’ public domain download and proves that they really don’t make
’em like they used to. After all, where else can you hear Crosby as Dick Tracy and Hope as Flattop, exchanging
dialogue like this:
HOPE: Drop that gun and turn around, Tracy!
CROSBY: If that voice belongs to who I think it does, I may never
What a pleasure. I’ve always wanted to have a gun in this guy’s back.
CROSBY: Yeah, and you can pull it up
a little, too.
HOPE: Sorry, I was gonna blow your brains out.
Be seeing you!
GARLAND: Flattop, I appeal to you on bended knee!
HOPE: Kid, you appeal
to me in any position.
Saturday, August 4, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #637
Sat, August 4, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #637.280!
Sonics Rendezvous Band – Live, Masonic Auditorium, Detroit, January
14, 1978 (Alive) :: This exhilarating, apostrophe deficient, comma-clad, louder than life lease-breaker was recorded
in living mono on a lousy Maxell C-90 audiocassette and yet I still keep playing it habitually. Now that’s
what I call the hallmark of a truly great live rock ’n’ roll album—and so will you as soon as you
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: James Williamson & Iggy Pop – Kill
City (Alive) :: I bought this long-lost missing link between Raw Power and The Idiot when it first
came out some zillion years ago, at which point I lauded it as quite the auditory accomplishment. But that’s nothing
compared to how enthused I am about Kill City now that it’s finally been remixed from the original masters
under the watchful eye of album producer Straight James himself—even if he isn’t actually credited as such on
the record; you can trust me on this one, folks.
You can also trust me when I tell ya that the new and drastically improved
sound is more potent than a broken beer bottle heaved at your bobbing peroxide head. Purists may be peeved that a few songs
get fiddled around with by fading up a few new multi-tracks in lieu of the older ones—most notably during the guitar
passages on “Kill City”—but no matter how much you may have the original vinyl version burned into your
brain, I guaranteed that your noggin will gladly accept these new values after only a few rotary motions. And while we’re
talking about the title track, it behooves me to point out that the handclaps now crack as crisply as a snappin’ slave
ship whip while the ragged backing vocals actually have a dissipated Exile On Main St. edge to them. Oh, and did
I forget to mention the barely audible part of the proceedings wherein an agitated Igg apes Williamson’s unreasonably
abrasive guitar fills with his own inimitable imitative vocal screech just before he begins the vocals? I thought not.
As for the rest of the
album—from the sax-soaked noir ballad of inoperable obsession “Johanna” to the clued-up cautionary
street-walkin’ tale “Sell Your Love”—Kill City remains a achingly mature work that eschews
the brainy turn-of-phrase lyrics and brutal turn-of-stomach music of Raw Power in favor of a far more thoughtful
and elegiac eleven step program of sanity survival.
And if things didn’t quite work out exactly as planned, don’t fault the
two primary participants because they gave it their best shot while laboring under a stacked deck of circumstances that would’ve
crushed lesser mortals like you and I into dust. That both James Williamson and Iggy Pop not only managed to subsequently
survive but successfully thrive only proves that they are the greatest.
Iggy & The Stooges – Raw
Power (Columbia) :: Because man does not live by achingly mature work alone.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, July 28, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #636
Sat, July 28, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #636.279!
Tiesto – Just Be (Magic Music) :: Eh, what a maroon. The sticker
on the front cover brags that Tiesto’s “The #1 DJ In The World” yet he begins track one with over three
minutes of aimlessly anemic synthesized symphonic string music that would make even Jean Michael Jarre cringe with embarrassment.
Three minutes? Dude, you lost your bass and drum audience at the 15 second mark. And take a letter, Maria: we like our B&D
tracks blended and crossfaded into a single cohesive soundscape, not individually separated. Oh, and one more thing: if you’re
going to steal your album cover from Eno’s Before And After Science, then you’d gosh darn well better
live up to it instead of dishing out the usual high-hat disco dross clichés.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK – SIDE ONE: The Beatles – Let It Be: Deluxel 35mm Widescreen Stereo Edition
(Double D) :: After spending big chunks of change to finally restore the Let It Be movie for public consumption,
it figures that Paul and Ringo would then get cold feet and veto its release on the grounds that it makes the band look bad.
Which is a nice way of saying that they both watched it and were horrified to find that it makes the bassman look like a domineering
boss man and the drummer decidedly comatose.
Luckily you can watch this release instead, which is the most pristine copy
you’ll ever find—especially since it includes not only the original thin theatrical soundtrack but a new and vastly
improved digital one that’s been synced to the studio stereo multitracks and the original Nagra tapes. The back cover
blurb says that the source material is a videotape which was recorded when the film was shown in widescreen format on the
BBC back in 1982, but don’t you believe it because the high visual quality says that this came from a good telecine
of an original 35mm print. My friend, can you prove otherwise?
SIZZLING VIDEO OF THE WEEK – SIDE TWO: The Beatles
– Get Back: The Outtakes (Double D) :: And while you’re at it, make sure that you pick up this definitive
two disc collection of Twickenham and Apple outtakes which contains just about everything that you’d want to see, from
the infamous Goon Show encounter wherein a smack-smitten Lennon dispenses some timely personal advice to a bathroom-bound
Peter Sellers: “Just don’t leave the needles lying around, you know. We’ve got a bad reputation now with
John getting busted and that!” to the mixing board moment when the band decides to release “Get Back” as
their next 45:
George: Let’s put it out as a single.
John: Okay, let’s knock it off as a single then.
George: What was the last
George: Let’s finish it off as a single.
Paul: [slyly smiling] Oh yeah?
John: We’ll do “Part Two” on the backside.
Paul: [slyly smiling]
I’m easy, lads.
Be seeing you!
Saturday, July 21, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #635
Sat, July 21, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #635.278!
Alice Cooper – Alice Cooper Goes To Hell (Warner Bros.) :: Amateur.
– Mooniture (self released) :: So I’m spinnin’ the first song and suddenly thinking that, no, the
absolute last thing I wanna do is say that Anna is the new Nico ’cause she seems to be way too normal to be
saddled with that kind of calamitous tag. But every time I hear the viola sonorously slither up beside her, I get
flummoxed into thinking that I’m listening to some kinda vintage John Cale creation before remembering that, no, Anna
seems to be way too normal to be saddled with that kind of calamitous tag. And then I’m spinnin’ the
second song which starts: “The inside of my head sounds like a choir of trumpets ever since the accident” and
suddenly I’m thinking that, yes, Anna is the new Nico ’cause she’s way too abnormal to be saddled
with anything less than that kind of calamitous tag.
AC/DC – Highway To Hell (Atlantic)
Desmond Grundy – Oddly Enough (self released) :: So I’m spinnin’ the
first song and suddenly thinking that, no, the absolute last thing I wanna do is say that Desmond is the new Lou
Reed ’cause he seems to be way too normal to be saddled with that kind of calamitous tag. But every time I
hear the gnarly destorto guitar grinding up behind him, I get flummoxed into thinking that I’m listening to some kinda
vintage Velvet Underground gradation. And suddenly I’m thinking, yes, that’s cool because nobody sounds
like Unca Lou anymore—not even the old reprobate himself ’cause he’s way too normal these days
to be saddled with that kind of calamitous tag.
– You Must Be Certain Of The Devil (Mute) :: Amateur.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Notar
– Devil’s Playground (Tyrannosaurus) :: When it comes to writing and rapping, Notar can go toe to toe
with the best of ’em and then best the rest of ’em. What immediately elevates this admirable effort above and
beyond all other recent rap records is the sheer ambitious scope of the studio production coupled with an accompaniment of
eclectic instrumentation that effortlessly oscillates from track to track between hot snatches of Prince-style synthesizer;
deep scratches of melodramatic Queen choir backing vocals; and wet splashes of Zeppelinesque guitar and strings.
But what really
anchors the proceedings with a rock-solid foundation are the songs, which range in rage from the sulfuric subject
matter of the cautionary title track to the social satire of the anthemic “Alcoholic” to the so-goofy-it’s-great
musical history lesson “Perseverance” which dares to narratively name-check a whole gaggle of groups from the
Yardbirds and Velvets to Boston and Rush. Now that’s what I call being a professional. Bonus points for having
a name that, backwards, reminds me of a 1976 comedy album title.
Bill Cosby – Bill Cosby
Is Not Himself These Days Rat Own Rat Own Rat Own (Capitol) :: Riiight!
Be seeing you!
Saturday, July 14, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #634
Sat, July 14, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #634.276!
Alyssa Reid – The Game (Wax) :: “I didn’t see that
coming” says a stock-sampled voice at the end of the first track, and it sure knows whereof it speaks because this one
starts out with a plaintive solo piano paean in the sensitive style of Tori Amos only to shift into a brief church choir vamp
that hints at a potential future as an art rock practitioner. Then everything belly-flops into a generic mung of breathy squeaky-voiced
girl power angst-ridden ballads and mandatory guest star macho raps, all of which come straight outta Xerox Studios complete
with embarrassing cringe-inducing lyrics like this one: “I feel like Spider-Man, you got me flyin’ offa the wall.”
Calling Doc Ock!
Ramones – “Spider-Man” (Sire) :: Julie Taymor should’ve hired these
guys instead. So what if they’re all dead? They’d still do a better job.
– Phantoms (Modern Outsider) :: And so would these guys ’cause they crank out a power pop pulse
that has absolutely everything you want to hear as the summer winds down and the winter winds up—and that includes a
surfeit of jing-jangly guitars; chirpy-chick vocals; and skin-slammin’ beats to keep your ten toes aligned and tappin’
in time. Even better, they’re not adverse to shifting gears and submerging into an echoing ethereal environment of evocative
emotion. You know, kinda like a midnight meeting of the minds between Portishead and Sandii & The Sunsetz.
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The Doobie Brothers – Live At The Greek Theatre: 1982 (Eagle) :: Brothers and
sisters, I’m ashamed to admit it now but, back in the day, I had no time for these guys—which only goes to show
what kind of a snooty stuck-up snob I was. Maybe if they’d called themselves the Coke Brothers instead, I might’ve
been interested. And you can bet your bottom dollar that an old Glam Rock adherent like myself would’ve been there in
a Jobriath heartbeat had they gone the blown tranny route and called themselves the Smack Sisters. Heck, even an inner city
moniker like the Crack Cousins could’ve caught my attention but, c’mon, the Doobie Brothers? Oh, pshaw;
it is to laugh.
Well, better late if ever I always say—and that’s why I’m man enough to ’fess
up and admit that I was as wrong as wrong can be when I lifted my leg on these guys ’cause this is one of the hottest
and downright funkiest live albums I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. Shucks, even the smooth-as-silk make
out ballads have enough pudenda-pounding potential to make you wanna conduct your own baton-brandishing bedspring
symphony, if you catch my drift. But whatever you do, don’t make the same mistake that I did. Go out
and buy this raucous rip-roarin’ record now, while there’s still time to save your musical soul.
I guess I should’ve
listened to Frampton Comes Alive and Saturday Night Fever when they came out, too, huh?
Be seeing you!
Saturday, July 7, 2018
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #633
Sat, July 7, 2018 | link
MEDIA BLACKOUT #633.275!
Jim Morrison music by The Doors – An American Prayer
(Elektra) :: Morrison Hotel may be the apex of his Doors career but, if you ignore the superfluous bonus tracks and
stick with the original vinyl incarnation, this is Jimbo’s finest solo moment, however posthumous. His surviving
band mates did him good by crafting an album that’s so restrained it sneaks up on you every time you think
you’ve got it memorized. It’s just too bad that the singer himself never got to hear it becaus—oh, that’s
right, I almost forget: Jim is alive, man!
Bad Company – Live At Wembley (Eagle) :: I
saw them in the ’70s on their first North American tour as the opening act for someone—maybe it was Screaming
Lord Sutch—and they were so good that I walked out before the headliners even hit the stage—possibly
it was the Masked Marauders—and went straight to my friendly neighborhood record store; shelled out $2.99 to buy a copy
of their debut album; headed home; slapped it on the old Victrola; and was shocked by how dead ass dull it was compared
to their dynamic live show. Well, this new offering is the butane barn-burner I expected to hear that night,
from Paul Rogers’ hyper-studly “Can’t Get Enough” to Mick Ralph’s Hoople-standard “Ready
For Love” and beyond. Wait, I remember, it was Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys!
– Live: The World’s On Fire (The End) :: The only band that matters never sounded as bludgeoningly brutal
as they do on this audio-video twofer. When the singer sagely says: “I hear thunder but there’s no rain! This
kind of thunder breaks walls and window panes!” he ain’t talkin’ about unbridled nature, he’s talkin’
about an unnatural aural assault propelled by a bowel-buffeting bass that’s so severe it makes the bottom end
on “Instant Karma” sound like a crumpled ball of tin foil by comparison. Despite ostensibly being a tour souvenir
album inevitably infused with a surfeit of songs from Invaders Must Die, all the global game changers are accounted
for, including the iconic “Firestarter” and the heroic “Smack My Bitch Up.” The real Prodigy
experience, however, is on the second disc’s full-length video, which readily redefines what a live performance oughtta
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt – All Wood And Doors (MVD
Audio) :: Already they’re calling this one a CSN version of the Doors, but that’s just lazy shorthand by so-called
“music journalists” who never heard of the Kingston Trio. C’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon now;
trust me, Babe: can’t you see that I am not afraid to say that this tastefully acoustic guitar session is nothing
less than a bluesy stripped-down symposium that showcases how truly timeless their greatest hits really are? Bonus points
for being accompanied by erstwhile Doors members Robbie Krieger and John Densmore; plus previous Monkee Peter Tork.
Hey hey, they’re the Doorkees!
Stronger than dirt!