Archive for February, 2010

Christmas In May: Stones “Exile” Re-release To Feature 10 New Songs

Posted in Music with tags , , on February 27, 2010 by johnbuckley100

Good Lord, the Stones finally figure out the value of the vault.  Ten new songs — not three, as had been reported — aspects 0f “C*cksucker Blues” released in a new DVD, and maybe that long version of “Loving Cup” previously heard only on the bootleg Taxile On Main Street. Thank Heaven Tulip Frenzy is ready.

From this morning’s NYT:

If, after listening to all 18 tracks and 67 minutes of the Rolling Stones“Exile on Main Street” you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Boy, I could really do with a few more scuzzy, skeevy, down-and-dirty Stones tracks from those same recording sessions,” your ship has just come in. (And we think that’s Keith Richards dangling perilously from the crow’s nest.)

Universal Music said that it will re-release “Exile on Main Street,” the 1972 Rolling Stones double-album that the band recorded in Britain, France and Los Angeles amid a tax dispute with the British government and the haze of various controlled substances. The new version of the album, which will get a United States release on May 18, will include 10 new tracks, with titles like “Plundered My Soul,” “Dancing in the Light,” “Following the River” and “Pass the Wine.” It will also feature alternate versions of songs like “Soul Survivor”and “Loving Cup” (which may or may not have been the first dance at a  certain ArtsBeat blogger’s wedding).

A deluxe edition of the album will also include a DVD of a new Rolling Stones documentary, called “Stones in Exile,” which uses footage from an earlier, unreleased Stones film whose name we cannot print here. (The second part of its title is “Blues.”)

Across From The Tigers Nest

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 24, 2010 by johnbuckley100

Leica M8, 50mm Summilux, Paro, Bhutan, March 2007

The Black Ryder’s “Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride”

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on February 24, 2010 by johnbuckley100

Pedigree counts more at events sponsored by The Westminster Kennel Club than in modern day rock’n’roll, but well before the release of The Black Ryder’s superb first album, it was clear this was a well-bred band. At least Aimee Nash was a member of the Morning After Girls V. 1.0, (was her partner Scott Von Ryper as well?) and if an adjunct of class is whom you hang out with, The Black Ryder’s got an A-list social network — the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Black Angels.

More than a year ago, “Burn and Fade” showed up on their MySpace page, with BRMC’s Peter Hayes sharing vocal duties, and it immediately placed TBR on the matrix.  If the bottom axis is a band’s relative immersion in the Velvet Underground, and the right axis is where they fit on the continuum between, say, the Stones upward toward the gauzy reaches of Mazzy Star and Galaxie 500, just that first song showed The Black Ryder scoring high in the upper right hand corner.

Frustratingly for us Yanks with a hankering for Aussie bands — we veterans of the long wait for The Morning After Girls’ second album (sans Ms. Nash) — Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride came out in Australia in November, got rave reviews, but as of this writing, no American release date.  Tulip Frenzy went into emergency acquisition mode, checked our Antipodal contacts, and through extraordinary measures (Amazon, credit card, paying up for the Import), are pleased to give this debut report for the American cognoscenti.

The Black Ryder are the real deal, and if Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride had found its ways to these shores in 2009, it would certainly have nestled near Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound’s When Sweet Sleep Returned high atop the Tulip Frenzy Top 10 List.  (It wouldn’t have knocked Sonic Youth outta the top slot, for those geezers gripped it with gnarled paws.)

In the keiretsu connecting the BJM and the Dandys and the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, they’re already supplying guitar strings and guitarists (BJM’s Rick Maymi, fer example) to The Black Ryder.  Unfortunately, the production checklist didn’t include making sure the drums snapped, but they methodically went through every element relating to the guitars.  I think my favorite song so far is the throbbing “What’s Forsaken,” but honestly, hear any of these songs in a club and you’ll reach for your Shazam app.

Look, I thought the early Morning After Girls recordings were some of the best sounds that came out of that miserable decade we’ve just escaped from.  I would be prone to enjoy an album featuring someone from that lineup.  This is so much better: a lovely, mid-tempo mashup of the Dig! bands that never strains.  It fits the tempo of life between 7:00 and 10:00 AM, and then again after 9:00 PM. Does that properly place it?  Music to listen to in an urban apartment with rain slapping the streets, while tea is made.  (Yeah, that kind of tea, with cream and sugar.) Now if we can only get them to buy a ticket on a Quantas flight over to these parts.

In Preparation For The Re-Release of “Exile On Main Street”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 12, 2010 by johnbuckley100

News that the Rolling Stones would in April release a remastered version of Exile On Main Street, complete with three songs never before released, is an event the anticipation of which led Tulip Frenzy to reach for the top shelf in the library. Around these parts, we don’t have a headful of snow, but we have roads full of it, which makes getting out of the cabin treacherous, and encourages contemplation of deep thoughts, to wit, “Is Exile the Stones’ greatest album?  Or perhaps more apt, is the making of Exile, followed by the Stones ’72 tour, the greatest of rock myths, up there with the motorcycle-shredded Dylan recording The Basement Tapes, or the Beatles, having bickered their way through Let It Be, deciding to end fittingly with Abbey Road.”

Having pondered it, we think the answer to both questions may be yes.

We have before us Bufffalo Tom  frontman Bill Janovitz’ superb book, a track by track analysis in the 33 1/3d series entitled, natch, Exile On Main Street. We have Robert Greenfield’s 2006 book, Exile On Main Street: A Season In Hell With The Rolling Stones, as well as his ’72 tour classic, STP. We finally got our hands on both the DVDs of  Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones, and Robert Frank’s tour film, C*cksucker’s Blues. Like we said, it’s been a long few weeks with few outlets.  We do not have Dominique Tarle’s book of photos, Exiles, because that goes for about $4k, and we admit we didn’t go back to the bible — Stanley Booth.  But still.

Greenfield’s book on the making of Exile, published many years after the fact, does a superb job of creating the mise en scene, as he actually was, for a time, at Nellcote, Keith Richards’ tax-exiled home in Villefranche-sur-Mer in the South of France — the former Nazi headquarters, a sprawling villa with a basement suitable of being remade into a recording studio, though as “Ventilator Blues” would illustrate, not much air.  Thirty-five years after the fact, years after being approved by Keith to do the definitive Rolling Stone Magazine interview and being invited on as a journalist member of the ’72 Stones Touring Party (STP), Greenfield has no reason to cover up Keith’s junkie behavior, and he lays it out in full.  Judging from his book, it is a miracle Exile was recorded, given the dysfunction of the band — Mick freshly married to Bianca, who was pregnant and wanted to stay in Paris, well away from the band and the record they had to record; Keith and Anita Pallenberg getting deeper and deeper into smack; virtually everyone else, save Charlie and Bill, falling down the junkie rabbit hole.  Amazing the record ever got made.

What Greenfield’s book lacks is the same thing his Stones tour book lacked: a sense, or even an acknowledgement, of the primacy of the bloody music.  (Compare STP to Michael Lydon’s brilliant, majestic Stones ’69 tour chapter in his great book Rock Folk. Lydon could cover the wackiness of a Stones tour AND serve as a great rock critic, groking on the music; Greenfield can paint a picture of what went down in the Playboy Mansion when the Stones stayed there, but we don’t get a real sense of just how magnificent the Stones were when they played that same night in Chicago.) In his book on the recording of Exile, we know who was sleeping with whom, we learn the really sad story of Gram Parsons hanging with Keith and partying with him, and then being banished because when he was around, all they did was play guitar in the garden and shoot smack.  But we don’t get what we really need, which was a view of how, exactly, was “Tumbling Dice” recorded, what happened the night they finally got “All Down The Line” in the can, etc.

Martin Elliott’s The Rolling Stones Complete Recording Sessions is, of course, even more useless, with hilarious sentences like this: “The problems of recording in a family situation at the villa were evident.  Tempers became frayed, the band being particularly annoyed when Keith Richards would disappear for hours as he put his son, Marlon, to bed.  He would reappear in the early hours ready to record until dawn.”  Isn’t that something?

Bill Janovitz does the far better job of just listening to music and telling us what he hears.  If you put together his insights as a musician with some of the interviews with Andy Johns and others over how the album was actually made, you do get a sense of the prodigiousness of Keith’s drive to get what he was hearing in his junkie-addled head onto the vinyl that emerged in May 1972.  Janowitz has a pretty fascinating point of view that many of songs revolve not around Mick writing about some woman, but about the Mick-Keith relationship, and I admit, I will never again listen to “Soul Survivor” without thinking of Jagger’s point of view that his “partner in crime” was drowning in smack.

Of course, it’s all there in the music, that clotted sound, that turgid flow.  Whole genres emerged from Exile: Alt.country came from the 2nd side, for example, and the classic Stones sound that launched a thousand bands sprang from the 4th side.

Watching Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones is a reminder that, on the ’72 tour, the Stones reached the high water mark, not just for themselves, but maybe for the art form: musically, and in terms of the tour mythos, and certainly in terms of a single band’s tour having an impact on the culture at large.  I remember what it was like to be going to the Stones’ concerts that summer: you felt as if you were entering the most important room in the world.  And of course it was.

We await the remastering of Exile On Main Street.  Spring can’t arrive soon enough.

Are The Koolaid Electric Company The Great Lost Shoegaze Band?

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on February 11, 2010 by johnbuckley100

The Koolaid Electric Company were first spotted by our detective when they were mysteriously served up by Last.FM as part of the black ryder radio stream.  Hmmm, who were these guys?  The sound was something Kramer would have coaxed out of Galaxy 500 on a frozen night in Soho: all Sterling Morrison lead atop crudish rhythm guitar with not much more than tambourine as an afterthought.  Cool!

We started pulling on threads… their MySpace page didn’t give up much… and all we could find on iTunes was a single song in a Dead Bees sampler podcast.  Google, the detective’s friend, linked us to — of course! — a KeepMusicEvil.com forum.  Naturally, they’d fall in the orbit around the Brian Jonestown Massacre.  From there we were directed by a one-eyed, mohawk-tonsured, uh, short person in a tuxedo to the ApolloAudio site, where, yay, an EP was downloadable (though not without some hiccups.)

The KeepMusicEvil experts tantalizingly included a post from someone who, in April 2008, claimed that the Koolaid Electric Company’s first album was BEING MIXED IN THE ROOM NEXT TO HIM.  And then, silence, the trail cold.

Ah, but the music is very warm: full-fledged Velvets goo mixed in a blender with the BJM, and Spaceman 3, with a sprinkling of Dandys and soupcon of The Darkside.  To be continued….

And When The Snowmas, Snowmas Storm Left…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 11, 2010 by johnbuckley100

Howdja like to have a picnic on this table?  More than 40 inches have fallen in the backyard since Friday… Did we mention this is in the Nation’s Capital… South of the Mason-Dixon Line… Leica M9, 75mm Summicron

Rock It From The Crypt: New Jimi Hendrix Song

Posted in Music with tags , on February 10, 2010 by johnbuckley100

The Jimi Hendrix Estate, far longer in existence than the Jimi Hendrix Experience ever was, would seem to have scraped the bottom of the barrel so hard, it must shine in the dark.  So how to explain that 30 years hence, we have the prospect of a “new” Hendrix album, with the teaser song released today? “Valleys of Neptune” tracks familiar territory — starting out like “Angel,” and then invoking a softer chord progression than “Freedom” — and we’re probably listening to guide vocals.  But Hell, it’s Jimi Hendrix, and we haven’t heard this song before.  Thank you, God, or Mr. Hendrix, or whatever lawyer or studio archivist who found these tapes and made them available.

Now it says these tracks have never been released, though surely we’ve heard some of the songs contained in the album, to be released one month hence.  “Here My Train a Comin’,” “Red House,” and “Lover Man” were all released in studio versions, and we’ve heard “Sunshine of Your Love” live.

If the title track released today is indicative, what we’re going to hear is a good showcase for Hendrix’s final line up — Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell backing him up.  This thing came out of nowhere, as I far as I knew, we’re damn glad it did.

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