Archive for The Fleshtones

The Reigning Sound’s “Love And Curses” Is Sovereign Over All

Posted in Music with tags , , on October 16, 2009 by johnbuckley100

The Governor of North Carolina has a weekend retreat high above Asheville, North Carolina.  It would be a nice place for a tea party — or the rockingest hoedown with local garage rock royalty, The Reigning Sound.  I can see the ghost of Zelda Fitzgerald doing the frug with Root Boy Slim, and Thomas Wolf twisting with Andie McDowell.

What is a band that make such a din doing in the Smoky Mountains? Much to the chagrin certainly of record store clerks, possibly of bartenders, and undoubtedly all the hep cats in Memphis, Tennessee, Greg Cartwright up and left for Asheville sometime after Time Bomb High School. With a voice that can range from John Lennon circa “Twist and Shout” to Plimsouls-era Peter Case to Paul Westerberg on “Sadly Beautiful,” Cartwright runs the gamut from blue-eyed soul to roots rock belters. I liked Too Much Guitars, but let’s just say there was truth in advertising when it came to that 2004 album.   Love And Curses, which is tearing up the charts at least on my iPod, sounds like it was produced by Alan Betrock, from session tapes bootlegged from Crawdaddy rehearsals.  Fast or slow, hard or soft, The Reigning Sound sits on the true throne of real rock’n’roll.

Garage rock is a lost art, like changing your own engine oil.  Recondite skills are needed, rites to be observed.  Let’s face it, we love him, but don’t really know what to make of King Khan, and now that The Soledad Brothers have bitten the dust, and The Chesterfield Kings are wheezing, only The Fleshtones seem to know the way to Hitsburg, USA.

Ah, but in a world dominated by bar codes and not nearly enough bar chords, Love and Curses shines through.  Give it up for royalty, these blue bloods of rock’n’roll play the hemophiliacs’ twang.  Go listen to “Broken Things” or the Mekon-esque “If I Can’t Come Back” and banish all the pretenders.

Fleshtones At 930

Posted in Music with tags on August 29, 2009 by johnbuckley100

We’re playing catchup, as the whole gang at Tulip Frenzy world HQ was given permission to go on their annual vacations.  However, on August 14th, the Fleshtones made a rare, rare, altogether too rare stop at Washington’s 930 Club, and they turned thee place upside down, inside out, and over the top.  Bringing “Hitsburg USA” to the capital o’ the USA was cool enough, but then there was the set.  Keith jumped down onto the packed floor and kicked his way through “Theme From The Vindicators,” and all the kids did the Gentleman’s Twist.  Peter Zaremba was resplendent in his sequined duds, kicking off with “Hard Lovin’ Man,”  and Bill Milhizer thundered like a one-man construction site. But the highlight of the show may have been when Kim Kane of D.C. legends The Slickee Boys took Keith’s axe and Ken Fox lifted some talented young kid up from out of the audience to play the bass for 1:30 of pure Powerstance rock.  Who was that kid?  Give him a contract!  And bring the greatest rock’n’roll band in America back, puh-leeeze.

6th Best Album of 2008, The Fleshtones’ “Take A Good Look”

Posted in Music with tags , , on December 8, 2008 by johnbuckley100

Still doing the gentleman’s twist more than 30 years on, The Fleshtone’s Take A Good Look is ready for its close-up.  Stardom’s eluded the ‘Tones so long, there are books written about it.   Maybe Keith Streng’s “Shiney Hiney” gives a clue as to how they can keep rocking year in and year out – as far as the Fleshtones are concerned, the world can kiss it.   One might take the album title as a warning that we’re not going to have the Fleshtones to kick around forever, but based on the evidence, they’re still having a ball, Peter Zaremba’s never sounded better, and the road to Hitsville, USA continues.

If NPR So Loves The Fleshtones, Can America Be Far Behind?

Posted in Music with tags on February 4, 2008 by johnbuckley100

Dig this: 

Blood Meridian’s “Liquidate Paris” Will Do Until Black Mountain’s New One

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on January 9, 2008 by johnbuckley100

The eyes of the nation await dramatic events later in the month.  We’re not talking about the Nevada caucuses, the South Carolina primary.  We’re talking about the real Super Tuesday, January 22nd, when Black Mountain, Cat Power, and the Fleshtones all release albums.  I don’t know how to handicap Super Tuesday other than to say that in the case of the Fleshtones, I pray they haven’t succumbed to that “change” bug that seems to have infected Obamawannabes: Tulip Frenzy likes its Fleshtones just the way God made ’em.
  • But while I’m really looking forward to the other two releases, it’s Black Mountain that intrigues me most.  While we await “Into the Future,” I’ve been playing everything by Black Mountain and its two sister-groups, The Pink Mountaintops and Blood Meridian.  Happily, Blood Meridian released a limited edition new album at the end of 2007.  After contorting myself to find it — searching Ebay, pulling on threads — it’s just showed up in the iTunes store.
  • “Liquidate Paris” is nowhere near as good as their last one, “Kick Up The Dust,” which took away the coveted “Tulip Frenzy Album of the Year” (c) honors in 2006.  It has the same parched, Calexico-esque countrywestern sound as the last one — you know what I mean: percussion that sounds like a marimba but is really a rattlesnake tail shake, and that’s not slide guitar, that’s a ricochet from the shoot-out at the Ok Corral — but Matthew Camirand, Joshua Wells, and the rest of the gang seem like they recorded it while midway through a Pony Express mission, which in this case may have just been Blood Mountain’s latest.  It lacks the relaxed, melodic, poignancy of “Kick Up The Dust,”which was recorded during an extended woodshed on Vancouver Island or some bucolic North’o’theborder locale.  Still, go download “Everything She Said,” “Burning River of Guilt,” “She Calls Me,” and “She Wears Black and I Wear White.”  Those songs are great.
  • For more on The Black Mountain/Blood Meridian collective see Tulip Frenzy v. 1.0.

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