domingo, 19 de abril de 2015

Shanti Das - Servant Of Peace [USA folk psychedelic 1973]

This is a commune band, also known as ‘Center Family’. The album is mostly mystical folk, and includes a ‘chant instructional’. A lot of it isn’t far from standard ‘70s singer-songwriter music, other than the spiritual lyrics. Tempos are generally sluggish and the songwriting simple, though a few songs have catchy choruses. The songs are just acoustic guitar and vocals (mostly male, though some female too), with flute or harmonica on a few, and electric guitar on one. They definitely suffer from lack of variety. Not really the kind of thing that can hold a listener’s interest for a full half hour.

Shanti Das

miércoles, 15 de abril de 2015

Tommy James & The Shondells - I Think We're Alone Now [USA pop 1967]

Tommy James & the Shondells -- the very mention of their name, even to someone who doesn't really know their music, evokes images of dances and the kind of fun that rock & roll represented before it redefined itself on more serious terms. And between 1966 and 1969, the group enjoyed 14 Top 40 hits, most of which remain among the most eminently listenable (if not always respected) examples of pop/rock. The group was almost as much of a Top 40 radio institution of the time as Creedence Clearwater Revival, but because they weren't completely self-contained (they wrote some, but not all, or their own hits) and were more rooted in pop/rock than basic rock & roll, it took decades for writers and pop historians to look with favor on Tommy James & the Shondells.


WE THE PEOPLE - AMERICAN ZOO - Visions of Time, Complete Recordings [USA garage psych 1967-68]

We present the amazing story of We The People, a 60s teen band from L.A (not to be confused with the other band with the same name from Florida) who created an amazing blend of garage, folk-rock & psychedelic sounds.

Between 1967 and 1968, the band, comprised of four young kids, recorded a few 45s for the Reena label, two of them released under the American Zoo name. Despite their young age, the band members were accomplished musicians / songwriters. They debuted in 1967 with “Feelings of my emptiness” / “For no one to see”, two amazing pieces of moody garage with superb vocal harmonies and arrangements. Their second 45, “Back Street Thoughts” / “Who Am I?” offered two pieces of introspective psychedelia with some over the top tape/echo effects courtesy of Dal Kacher, a session guitar player and sound engineer who had been part of early Mothers Of Invention. “Who Am I?” was included decades later in “Diminishing Returns”, a famous psych mix by DJ Shadow.

In 1968, the group released their third 45, this time under the American Zoo name: “Mr. Brotherhood” / “Magdalena” were another two examples of outstanding garage-psychedelia. A second pressing of the 45 was released featuring a new mix of “Mr. Brotherhood” losing one minute but incorporating some wild electronic effects. In the 1980’s, the song was included on such legendary compilations as “High All The Time” and “Psychedelic Unknowns”.

That same year, American Zoo released their last 45: “What Am I?” was a reworking of “Who Am I?” with a more psychedelic production by Del Kacher. It was backed with the earlier recording of “Back Street Thoughts.

So, the story of four young kids playing and recording top-notch garage-psychedelia is in itself amazing…but even more amazing is what happened later to some of the We The People / American Zoo members: Guitar player Bill Bottrell became a Grammy award producer, working with Michael Jackson, Madonna and George Harrison among others. Drummer Jason “Jasun” Martz toured with Frank Zappa and recorded with Michael Jackson. Today, he’s a well-known avant-garde artist and sculptor. Steve Zaillian, the first We The People drummer, became an Academy Award winning director, producer and screenwriter (“Schindler’s List” and “Hannibal” among others).

This collection includes all the We The People / American Zoo 45 sides plus two previously unreleased tracks from 1967, taken from the only surviving copy of the band’s 10” demo acetate.


lunes, 30 de marzo de 2015

FRANKIE MILLER - Full House [UK rock 1977]

Full House is the fourth studio album by Frankie Miller, released in 1977. It features a mix of Miller originals and covers, including a version of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy". The Andy Fraser composition "Be Good to Yourself" was issued as a single, and reached No. 27 the UK singles chart, becoming Miller's first chart hit.

A little more funky than most of his albums but overall, this is another fine batch of songs. Of the five originals here, one was co-written by the man who discovered Miller (Robin Trower) and one of the songs was later covered by Lou Ann Barto.


sábado, 28 de marzo de 2015

EASY CHAIR - Easy Chair [USA psychedelic 1968]

Easy Chair consisting of just three tracks and less than 20 minutes of music, the Easy Chair's one-sided demo LP is a legendary westcoast artefact. Recorded as early as April 1968, the sound is surprisingly mature and selfconfident, pointing towards the epic-psychedelic style found on 1970s classics such as Bob Smith, D R Hooker and Garrett Lund. 

Easy Chair

lunes, 16 de marzo de 2015

DAN CASAMAJOR - My Family [USA folk 1969]

Very cool period piece that beautifully captures the era of college students just starting to look inward, grow their hair and get into "reefer." Very talented guy doing folk and folk-rock, some tracks acoustic and some with sparse electric backing. Would have been right at home on Vanguard and really does deliver the goods. Rare private pressing in great shape. 

Dig the liner notes:

"Dan Casamajor is a sensitive, twenty year old college student from the quiet Northern California community of Chico. His message is so pure and right you just might take a closer look at your own life. Dan has a way of putting into words all the frustrations and restlessness of the inquiring youth of today - - - the youth that no one seems to be able to figure out."


CHAD & JEREMY - I Don't Want To Lose You Baby [UK pop baroque psych 1965] 2006 Sundazed

Of the many British Invasion acts that stormed the charts in the wake of the Beatles, Chad & Jeremy  possessed a subtlety and sophistication unmatched among their contemporaries, essentially creating the template for the kind of lush, sensitive folk-pop embraced by followers from Nick Drake to Belle & Sebastian. Chad Stuart (born in Windemere, England, on December 10, 1941) and Jeremy Clyde(born March 22, 1941, in Buckinghamshire, England) met while attending London's Central School of Speech and Drama.