Pop / Rock

Savannah: Crank It Up

Prior to verifying the Bob Berry production credits & dedication to Tommy Bolin on the back I’d momentarily assumed this was some newfangled overly retro hipster thing that had somehow managed to become authentically ringworn. I mean, you have to admit, the band bears an uncanny resemblance to the male cast members of Fox’s “That […]

Inneke Kusumawati – Pengen Kenal

If you, like me, habitually check out Indonesian krontjong pop records, you know many of them look promising and some might have a good sounding backing band. But in the end, the songs are for the bigger part pretty formulaic. I was very happy to find this one though. The excellent backing group De Galaxies add […]

Estudiantina Electronica – Colombianas con vestido Hippie

A fun instrumental exploito record from Colombia 1974. The cover, with face painted hippie chics and the title, “Colombians in Hippie Clothes”, promise at least some psychedelic music. The drum-organ-guitar-bass combo has more of a cool South American surf/go go sound but derails frequently enough. In fact, I was initially a bit disapointed in this […]

Johnny Devlin – Nervous Wreck

Sometimes it seems a bit easy to overlook just how much of a nuclear blast upon music worldwide old Elvis Presley really was. What with so many images of overweight Vegas Elvis floating around it’s pretty easy to forget that young budding singers everywhere wanted to be just like him. Now by everywhere, I don’t […]

Ani Ma-Amin

Debbie Friedman leads a group of Minnesota musicians in a set of songs that comprise, in her words, a “musical montage spanning generations of Jewish liturgical and biblical vision”. Debbie’s voice is strong and sometimes the language sounds almost Japanese in nature. And so it kind of reminds me of Happy End in instrumentation and […]

Sunstorm – Summers Day

I have never seen this label before & I guess from the number that it’s maybe the third or fourth release on what appears to be a private or custom label out of Lincoln, Nebraska. I don’t think it’s related to the other large custom Century label at all. I don’t know if the band […]

Virgin Release: Turn It Down/Hey Now!

OK, so, for whatever reason, lately I’ve felt guilty that I rarely contribute any content to my own website anymore. It happenes sometimes and I’m sure it’ll pass but in the meantime you’ll have to forgive my desperate, half-assed stabs at writing about records I no longer own in genres I know zero about. For […]

Jack Wood – ‘Born To Wander’

Off-the-wall (yet very catchy) mix of Hank Williams & Yma Sumac – another obscure title produced at the Fenton studio in Grand Rapids – in my private mindgarden this is a deep funk floorfiller. [Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Black & White – Samba-Soul-Beat

It’s not immediately clear to me what the correct name of this German group is. The graphic design leaves you the choice whether it’s Daniela und Ann or Black & White. I’ll take the latter. I’ve had the record for a while and always liked the music. Rumour has it the two girls, refered to […]

Carole Caroompas – Target Practice

Probably the most unique and unassuming record I purchased at the 2008 WFMU record fair. Housed in a plain sleeve with a screen printed bird and real feathers waxed-on to the cover, Carole Caroompas’ only record from 1981 is a sure winner for fans of minimal pop. Carole is/was an established L.A. visual artist who […]

Burk Price: Distant Visions (Maya)

I first heard Burk Price’s “Synthezoid Heartbreak” over the phone from Ohio when I lived in London but it was the B-side “Distant Vision” that flipped my neurons when I received it in the mail. For me, it was a downbeat psychedelic masterpiece: the perfect down-tempo meter, heavy skins work, an ambitious arrangement, perfect change-ups […]

Marquee Revue: Live

The generic ‘sun-dial’ cover keeps delivering hits, here in the form of an early 70s club band who pack a lot more punch than expected. Straight outta Omaha, the Marquee Revue have more in common with fuzzed out hippie cover bands like Smack or Marble Phrogg than the lounge-rock acts they’re usually lumped in with. They […]

Moods: Live At Turner Hall

Apart from everything else, the great state of Texas produced a number of cool club band LPs in the 1960s. Kenny & The Kasuals’ “Impact” is familiar to many, and the Jades from Dallas cut two enjoyable albums in a similar style. The Moods, from Luling, didn’t release this until 1969, but for all practical […]

Experiencia – Passo a Passo

I bought this LP in Lissabon some eight years ago. I’d never seen it before or since. Rock is not my expertise, but it seems to me this is a record that should be better known. I’m afraid it’s really rare though. They play folk-funk with some latin-rock influences, cool percussion in the mix. It […]

Paul Becker & Hearing Things: Safe

Quirky local record with what has to be one of my favorite covers ever. Musically it’s a somewhat uneasy mix of ultra lightweight punk, bland AOR, and ballads with an almost prog bent. A tough one to figure out as there seems to be a whiff of novelty to it, but also some fairly sound […]

The Bugs – Twist & Shout

There has to be heaps of them, the budget “cash-in” labels, every country has them, every record collector knows them. There are labels dedicated to “cash-in” LPs only, 45s only also. The “Hit” label is one of the 45 ones, a reasonably prolific one at that. According to the label discography ( http://www.globaldogproductions.info/h/hit.html ) there […]

Bari & The Breakaways – I Can’t Explain

Quite possibly the finest & most fully realised R&B band to emerge from a sixties New Zealand scene that had a number of fine bands. The Breakaways were the first to get a taste of national success, inspired by bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Kinks & the Pretty Things. “I Can’t Explain” was […]

Quincy Conserve – Epitaph

It seems that when you start out collecting records you are magically drawn to find specimens in your preferred genre which were created by local musicians. The problem you often encounter when collecting relatively niche genres is that the local examples you find will usually be pretty sub-standard compared with what you get from overseas. […]

The Druids – Doctor Friend

Great 60’s pop that’s as addictive as the street pharmaceuticals discussed in the song. The lyrics, which deal with serious drug addiction, are cheerful and bouncy. But what really keeps me coming back (ha) are the breezy background harmonies. The flip, “She’s got secret (to hide)” is also a great tune in a similar style. […]

Alyeska Woman: Reflection

Anchorage, Alaska rarely reaches into the depths of winter cold like Fairbanks (where I live) does. If it did, Alyeska Woman would have been an entirely different record. It would not radiate its almost hopeful vibe nor would it sound as nice. Anchorage has, for a while anyways, been Alaska’s largest city. In 1974, this […]

Blerta – Freedom St. Marys

Blerta was the brainchild of legendary New Zealand drummer, bandleader & actor Bruno Lawrence. He formed Blerta in 1971, with the name standing for “Bruno Lawrence Electric Revelation Travelling Apparition”. Blerta was held together as a band through to 1975 & it’s ever revolving membership included actors as well as musicians. It was conceived & […]

Allison Durbin – I Have Loved Me A Man

This LP was the first by New Zealand singer Allison Durbin. She had released several 45s prior to this but it was the overwhelming success of the LP’s title track that really made her a star here in late sixties. The 45 of ‘I Have Loved Me A Man’ was apparently the biggest selling local […]

The Fourmyula w/Shane – Alive

This album was recorded at the Wellington Town Hall, probably around late 1969 or early 1970 and features two of the biggest artists in New Zealand rock music of the time.  The Fourmyula were at this stage in time between their attempts at breaking the UK market & were playing a much heavier style of […]

Lulu – From Lulu With Love

I picked this up on the cheap for “I’ll Come Running”, which was recently comped on the Rhino “Girl Groups” boxset. Why it was included I have no idea, as it’s not a “girl group” at all, but I digress. It turns out the real keeper here is Lulu’s completely unhinged, Wanda-Jackson-on-speed-and-3-lines-of-coke / Johnny Rotten-10-years-earlier […]