Would you look at that, you blink and it’s summertime, 2016! I know, let’s think about music as a blissful way to hide from all of the things that are currently breaking the world even harder than it already has been. Way to go humans!
This week’s blog holds many distracting gems to tickle your ear-holes and keep you going through this typically rainy but momentously important week. There’s some Prog, 60s weirdness, Metal, Industrial, Haitian and loads more. let’s get cracking:
Moodymann, Moodymann, 2014 KDJ 2×12″. Now I’ve bleated on about Kenny Dixon Jr. many-a-time on here before but I’m gonna do it again. This man makes thought provoking and challenging House music like nobody else does right now, buying this album is like buying part of an art installation, the way that fans are about KDJ releases is something that will be part of his legacy. With this album Dixon is pushing you to buy into his brand of Every Man Bastardry, he knows his audience and plays it very well with a knowing chuckle that’ll quickly drop if you were to ever challenge his chops. This albums features disturbing and gorgeous artwork by Ken Karner.
Various Artists, Haiti Direct, 2014 double LP compilation on Strut. This comp is filled with such gloriously upbeat sunshine music. Compiled by Hugo Mendez of Sofrito, it took years to make and surely won’t disappoint. It’s nothing short of perfection for summertime listening, it’ll bring a smile to your face and set your brain to holiday mode instantly.
Animal Collective, Here Comes The Indian, from 2003 on Paw Tracks. Animal Collective albums can sometimes be a little “hit and miss” but you can be sure that any of the many albums they’ve released over the years that feature Panda Bear will be good ones. This album features all four members of this experimental group from Maryland and is a good indicator of things to come, it was their first release as a group and they went on to steadily make an album a year. All of their live performance and general attitude towards being musicians leaves a bit of a sour taste in ones mouth but you don’t have to stand beside them with all that nonsense, just enjoy the awkward bashy goodness.
Acid King, III, originally from 2005 on Kreation Records. This album has had many different pressings on a variety of fancy waxes. Acid King are a solid Stoner band from California, with a female frontwoman this band stand head and shoulders above a lot of other groups in this style and from that area. This album is a balls-to-the-wall Doomy Stoner delight, it’s got everything you’d want from a Cali band that have been going at it for a good 23 years. In case you were wondering; the group’s name is inspired by the crimes of Ricky Kasso in the 80s. Neat!
Mark Kozelek, White Christmas & Little Drummer Boy Live, 2007 4xLP box set with lots of goodies. This is a compilation of songs only previously released on CD. It features a couple of brilliant AC/DC covers by Kozelek, not to be missed. As much of a wanker Kozelek could be perceived to be (because of articles like this) there is absolutely no denying his ability to write heart-wrenching music that’ll leave you in a heap on the floor, utterly bereft at the stories he weaves and insights into a mind so completely broken by the experiences that have made him the grumpy musician he is today. It doesn’t bother me too much that he’s portrayed as a villain in the media, it’s all part of the carefully constructed facade to keep people the hell away from him. If his voice and lyricism doesn’t break you in some way then you might be jaded enough to work in a record shop… “Some people love what I do and some get fuckin’ pissy / but I don’t give a fuck, one day they’re all gonna miss me.”
Black Sabbath, Paranoid, 70s UK Vertigo “large swirl” with a matte sleeve but no mention of Simpson/Big Bear, comes with original Vertigo inner. Now, there’s not much left to say about this album that hasn’t been said already, the dawning of Heavy Metal, the only Sabbath album to enter the UK Album Chart until 2013, featuring stone-cold-classics. It’s all been said but the fact remains that Metal as we know it today would not be the same without this album, end of! There are many stories and legends surrounding this album upon it’s release in the 70s, Sabbath were flicking the v’s to a lot of people at this time and the way they viewed the whole scenario is summed up nicely by Ozzy here: “That album title had nothing to do with the sleeve, what the fuck does a bloke dressed as a pig with a sword in his hand got to do with being paranoid, I don’t know, but they decided to change the album title without changing the artwork.”
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bayou Country, 1969 Australian issue on Liberty. The first of three CCR releases in one year Bayou County is heralded as one of the greatest CCR releases, with Proud Mary being one of their most identifiable tracks Fogerty claims to have birthed many of the album’s best known and loved tracks whilst staring at a blank wall in his tiny flat. Remember though folks, don’t listen to CCR whilst driving, The Dude has taught us that much.
Charles Manson, LIE: The Love And Terror Cult, 1974 US issue on ESP Disk. The second
coming pressing of Charles Manson’s truly strange but actually pretty good album of music. Somehow Charles Manson is still a go-to for shock and gore, the image featured on the front of this album will probably still chill some people to the core but just imagine with me, if you will, that he hadn’t been so psychopathy and had achieved his “success” through being a straight-up folk singer. Things might have turned out very differently for Charlie. There are still not a huge amount people that know the man even made music and wouldn’t listen to it even if they did know if it’s existence. If you can put all the craziness out of your mind (or hold it there for an even more awkward experience) and listen to his music I can assure you that you’ll be struck by the warmth of his voice. That may seem like an irresponsible statement, it probably is, but I’m in no way uneducated about Charles Manson. There is no way around it; he’s a fascinating man. There are tracks on this album that are chilling, haunting and in their own way beautiful. Everything that The Family went on to do and left in their wake makes this album all the more interesting, I think. Every time I’m given the opportunity to discuss Manson I tell people this: he has never actually been convicted of killing anyone, ever. There is no denying that the things that happened were unforgivable and broke the minds, hearts and worlds of many but vilifying a broken mad man who had been entirely fucked by the system is not the answer…
Groundhogs, Split, UK first pressing on Liberty with a fully laminated gatefold sleeve. This album is so, so good. I cannot recommend it enough. The entire A-Side is “split” into four pieces and the lyrics inspired by a panic-attack experienced by Tony McPhee. For me (a seasoned panic attacker) all parts along with the artwork for this album surmise what a person experiences during a panic attack perfectly. It’s not just a momentary experience that lasts as long as the actual attack does but the build up, time it takes to pass and then everything that comes with it afterwards is expressed musically and lyrically here.
As always, a playlist of all the tracks featured on this week’s blog can be found here. Until next week…