Archive for the ‘ RnB ’ Category

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band “Trout Mask Replica”

Trout Mask Replica

The Captain’s 10 Commandments for Guitarists

1. LISTEN TO THE BIRDS
That’s where all the music comes from. Birds know everything about how it should sound and where that sound should come from. And watch hummingbirds. They fly really fast, but a lot of times they aren’t going anywhere.
2. YOUR GUITAR IS NOT REALLY A GUITAR
Your guitar is a divining rod. Use it to find spirits in the other world and bring them over. A guitar is also a fishing rod. If you’re good, you’ll land a big one.
3. PRACTICE IN FRONT OF A BUSH
Wait until the moon is out, then go outside, eat a multi-grained bread and play your guitar to a bush. If the bush doesn’t shake, eat another piece of bread.
4. WALK WITH THE DEVIL
Old delta blues players referred to amplifiers as the “devil box.” And they were right. You have to be an equal opportunity employer in terms of who you’re bringing over from the other side. Electricity attracts demons and devils. Other instruments attract other spirits. An acoustic guitar attracts Casper. A mandolin attracts Wendy. But an electric guitar attracts Beelzebub.
5. IF YOU’RE GUILTY OF THINKING, YOU’RE OUT
If your brain is part of the process, you’re missing it. You should play like a drowning man, struggling to reach shore. If you can trap that feeling, then you have something that is fur bearing.
6. NEVER POINT YOUR GUITAR AT ANYONE
Your instrument has more power than lightning. Just hit a big chord, then run outside to hear it. But make sure you are not standing in an open field.
7. ALWAYS CARRY YOUR CHURCH KEY
You must carry your key and use it when called upon. That’s your part of the bargain. Like One String Sam. He was a Detroit street musician in the fifties who played a homemade instrument. His song “I Need A Hundred Dollars” is warm pie. Another church key holder is Hubert Sumlin, Howlin’ Wolf’s guitar player. He just stands there like the Statue of Liberty making you want to look up her dress to see how he’s doing it.
8. DON’T WIPE THE SWEAT OFF YOUR INSTRUMENT
You need that stink on there. Then you have to get that stink onto your music.
9. KEEP YOUR GUITAR IN A DARK PLACE
When you’re not playing your guitar, cover it and keep it in a dark place. If you don’t play your guitar for more than a day, be sure to put a saucer of water in with it.
10. YOU GOTTA HAVE A HOOD FOR YOUR ENGINE
Wear a hat when you play and keep that hat on. A hat is a pressure cooker. If you have a roof on your house the hot air can’t escape. Even a lima bean has to have a wet paper towel around it to make it grow.

(Via Music Thing)

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“Veterans Day Poppy”

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The Rolling Stones “Between The Buttons”

Between The Buttons

You’d think that we’d recommend Satanic Majesty instead of Between the Buttons, but no. The Stones were getting hang of the studio, and starting to experiment before they decided to try and get all psych on Their Satanic… but man, just because an album is psychedelic, or at least just because the cover is psychedelic, it don’t make it good. We’re not all about psychedelic music, we’re all about good music.

Anyway, there are interesting sounds sprinkled all throughout this record. A swell dose of xylophone, flutes, glass clinks, tambourines, crunch guitar, and weird sounds in general gracing each track on this killer LP. It’s psychedelic enough, and the Stones are doing what they do best… not faking it. Some of my favorites include the driving Connection, a staunchy Something Happened To Me Yesterday, and the rocking My Obsession and Complicated. All the songs on this record are great, it’s a classic Stones record with wild sounds.

If you can live without the big hits, Ruby Tuesday and Let’s Spend The Night Together, you’d be well off picking up the UK record, it’s the original lineup (on remastered Super CD or whatever they are calling it these days) because in the UK they would save the big ones for greatest hits records. Back Street Girl and Please Go Home are featured only on the UK release of “Btw” and are also available on Flowers (US). Between the Buttons is probably their best record?

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“Cool, Calm, Collected”

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The Zombies “Odessey and Oracle”

Odessey and Oracle

Forty years ago today, if you were listening to music, Sgt. Pepper was on the turntable. It’s the album that fueled the 1967 Summer of Love and it’s the true nexus of all of this music. The hard working Zombies were in the studio at this time, beginning work on their intentional swan song LP, the beautiful, unforgettable, essential Odessey and Oracle. There’s no doubt these boys were spinning Lonely Hearts while they were recording at Abbey Road.

From the Mellotron, brass sections, to Argent’s other keyboard work, the interesting (and warmly sparse) production overall, Sgt. Pep’s impact on music is crystal clear from the very beginning; these are the days when the studio became an experimental playground. But enough about the monster. The truth is, it owes more to Pet Sounds anyways.

Care of Cell 44 is a sleeper hit, and a beautiful opener. The kind that makes you flip it back to Side 1 when it’s over. The best part about the Zombies, they’ve got soul. This isn’t an experimental record, there are rhythm & blues roots in it. Even the softer fare takes it home like in Brief Candles and Maybe After He’s Gone. Tunes like A Rose For Emily (named after a short story by perhaps our best American writer) would hint at the masterpiece to come shortly after from lead singer, Colin Blunstone, whose voice is unmatched.

I wont go on much more, except to say that if you haven’t heard this, you are in for a treat. Maybe you won’t love it at first, but one day you will miss it dearly. It deserves a digipak reissue akin to that of the new Kinks VGPS package. Honestly, I would listen to any millisecond recorded at these sessions! Would love to see that for next year. But just get it any way you can.

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“Changes”

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Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band “Safe as Milk”

Safe as Milk

We’ll be coming back to the more wild Beefheart stuff here in the future, but I thought we should start here. In case you don’t already know, the Captain’s got a hell of a voice. Kind of a Howlin’ Wolf tribute and Tom Waits rival. The best part of his singing, though, are the bits that squeak out in between words; his breathing has a sonic quality all its own.

Safe as Milk is a real winner, a very accessible debut for a band whose later album, Trout Mask Replica, tends to confuse a lot of first time listeners. But this is before the days of Zappa, Antennae Jimmy Semens, and Zoot Horn Rollo and features a straighter, tighter Magic Band.

Not to say it won’t blow you away. Apparently this one was John Lennon’s favorite album in 1967. The first track hooks any listener, and nobody can ignore that overpowering vocal. Kickass guitar lines and tight rhythm n’ blues. But a hint of psychedelia; just wait til they get to Trout Mask! Try this one first, it’s a winner!

Also of certain note, in the movie, High Fidelity, Jack Black won’t sell a record to this poor guy who isn’t cool enough for him, but he sells it for $40 to his friend when he leaves. This is that record.

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“Plastic Factory”

Abba Zaba!

Captain Beefheart

Dr. John “Gris-gris”

Gris Gris

In N’awlins, Gris-gris means voodoo. And on Dr. John’s debut album, you get the feel of what voodoo sounds like pretty quickly. I’m telling you! This album is an automatic freakout waiting to be put on your stereo.

I really love this album and just about everybody wants to know more about it when it spins. This baby is a raw classic and it has that real power that only the most authentic records have got… it draws you in, and keeps you there, and kind of scares you, and then it rewards you.

There are some great sounds on this record like that smooth organ, and the well applied touch of mandolin, loud percussion, chants, and growling, haunting lyrics. Read Richie’s liner notes to get a better idea of what this one’s all about.

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They Call Me Dr. John, Known as the Night Tripper

Dr. John - Gris-Gris