Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"get him outta my face!"

can't deny the level of yawn for the black crowes (ed note: ballbuster's bat signal just went off). to these ears, their sludgy blend of rock star posturing and rootsy trappings makes us appreciate foghat & april wine for being what they were, dummass rock bands w/ no pretensions other than sleeping with my girlfriend (hold up). this, however, is quite possibly the funniest news story of the year, and not just because it happened on rock journalism & tittie behemoth maxim's watch, but because we got a sneaking suspicion they won't have to change anything about the review once they do hear the record.

joe gibbs, RIP

put the knife down nascar fans. bummer. had no idea about the charley pride lawsuit. there's some great compilations out there that are essential listening. here's a great place to start.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

jimmy eight cat's top reissues of 2007

continuing in no particular order

Flying Burrito Brothers, Live at the Avalon Ballroom 1969 (Amoeba Records)

Back in what I like to call “The Dating Years” (vs. the “Grateful That There’s No Male Equivalent of Spinster Years”) I briefly dated the girl of my dreams. My 23 year old dreams I might add, just wizened enough to think about the rest of my life, but not yet bludgeoned by decades of wretched choices, misplaced affection and a pathological tendency to for mistake deep-seated neuroses for charm. After what was probably the best month of my young, drunk, ambitionless life the whole thing crumbled one night for reasons that made little sense then and are irrelevant now. I ended up at the house of a friend who was also a collector, crying in whatever shitty beer happened to be on sale that week.

Digging through crates of records he pulled out “Gilded Palace of Sin” and “Burrito Deluxe”, the first two Flying Burrito Brothers’ albums. “You know, I think you’re about ready for Gram Parsons.” Christ was he right, Gram Parsons UNDERSTOOD.

In the years since Parsons’ death and ensuing beatification, it seems that every note he recorded with the Burritos has been released. They’ve all been with the “Burrito Deluxe” era band with founding bassist Chris Etheridge gone, Bernie Leadon on guitar and Chris Hillman switching to bass. And none of them have been live recordings.

This is something else entirely, a genuine historical find, not quite the Coltrane/Monk Carnegie Hall set, but not all that far from it. Lo-fi versions of these recordings have been circulating for years, but the tapes used here were recorded by soundman/LSD manufacturer Owsley Stanley when the Burritos opened for the Grateful Dead, and benefit from Owsley’s legendary attention to sound. This is the greatest Burrito’s line-up, with ex-Byrd Mike Clarke on drums and Hillman’s occasionally trippy guitar style and emotional harmony singing. And although this is billed as part of the Parson’s archive, it’s as much a testament to co-leader Hillman and serves as a tribute to pedal steel player Sneaky Pete Kleinow who died last January. Kleinow used the pedal steel as a rock instrument, and a lot of what people think of as being the Burritos’ sound is because of him.

Consisting of two separate shows, there is much repetition between the two discs, but that also means you get not only get eight songs the Burritos never recorded, you get two versions of six of them. And that means no matter what disc you listen to, you rebound from the heartache of “She Once Lived Here” with the kiss off of “Sweet Mental Revenge”. My 23 year old self would find comfort in that.

Obsessive record geek nit-picking: While the discs themselves list the “The Flying Burrito Brothers” as the artists, the cover bills “Gram Parsons with the Flying Burrito Brothers”. They were never called that and the band was at least as much Chris Hillman’s as his, if not more so. It’s not quite as irritating as the cash-in albums from the seventies from “Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground”, but it’s still retroactive renaming.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

45 du jour

Drive-By Truckers That Man I Shot (off of Brighter Than Creation's Dark)

just gettin to this record. i'll leave the full review to UG (succinct MF that he is). stuck in the damn bullseye slot is the dbt's tour-de-force (n that's sayin somethin). took me off guard. a lackluster first listen was jolted by the opening chords. squallin tale of iraqi (i suppose) remorse pulls the record together (funny, my initial thought upon hearing first verse was that it was patterson's answer to gangsta rap). once i got back for second listen of album everything was firin ... lovin the chick vocals (coulda dealt with one less of hers, HFA is pretty bad, but i ain't really complainin) ... cooley's first ain't 'gravity's gone' but it's growin on me (and his charlie rich vocal on 'lisa's birthday' is tha bomb) ... i was thinkin this was hood takin the band back, but a quick speed-listen to "blessing and a curse" reminded me different ... "southern rock opera" just got a neighbor

noted: feb 14 ... record of the year with a big lap lead

damn if 'dress blues' wouldn't sounded great on this un, but fuckit, they don't need him

jimmy eight cat's top reissues of 2007

in no particular order we begin

Love The Blue Thumb Recordings (Hip-O Select)

One of the many annoying things about record collectors (beside their habit of talking to me) is that outside of their pet schizophrenic Brian Wilson (and Elvis if you’re Dave Marsh, whose blaming every somnolent latter-day performance on RCA and Colonel Parker essentially reduces Presley to a mongoloid in a sequin jumpsuit), they frequently subscribe to what could be called the “on/off switch” theory. Artists who are at the pinnacle of their creativity one album aren’t even worth considering the next. Lou Reed on the Velvet Underground’s Loaded is a genius. Lou Reed on his first solo album a year and a half later, using many unreleased Velvets songs is a hack. Many record goons abandon Arthur Lee’s Love after the original band breaks up following “Forever Changes”, partially because Bryan MacClean is gone. Yeah, MacClean’s Love songs were great, all four of them. The harder rocking band that recorded “Four Sail” (on Elektra) and “Out Here” (found here), still had Arthur Lee singing and writing at his peak, albeit a bit more self-indulgent, with ten minute drum and guitar solos. “False Start”, the second album found here, isn’t quite as good, but still has some great songs, and on one track, Lee’s pal Jimi Hendrix. The live disc is a little wobbly in recording quality, but is further proof that this version of Love deserves serious critical re-evaluation. The whole package does.

Obsessive record geek nit-picking: it omits the shortened versions of “Doggone”, “Love is More than Words or Better Late than Never” and “Gather Round” that were used on the early eighties comp “Love Live/Studio”.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

the departed, part deux

i would rather make out with keith richards than watch this film ... make that keith richards AND ronnie wood.

you gotta watch somthin when the writers strike

we don't like people spendin $$$, but this internet show is the best thing we've seen since the late david sanborn NBC sunday night show. and nigel godrich is behind it, so we can't stop ourselves. bon voyage ... tina?