Warung Bebas

Thursday, June 11, 2015


By request, the Guatemalan garage psych album "Electronicos La Fuente" is back.
There's talented, there's influential, there's great...and then there are those at the top of Mt. Olympus whose cultural thunderbolts sent down from on high just change everything. And so it was with Ornette Coleman, who just died at age 85.

His 1960 album "Free Jazz" gave an entire genre of music it's name - how many other people can claim that? And that album (I'm listening to it now) is still thrilling, all these decades later.

Lou Reed said it was artists like Ornette that inspired "Sister Ray," which led to Sonic Youth and noise rock in general. Much of the '80s SST Records catalog - mainstays of college radio - owed a debt to Ornette.

Free jazz, especially in the hands of masters like Ornette, is not random noise. There is a method to the madness, as should be readily apparent here:

Orenette, et al. "Endangered Species" (Google Drive)
Ornette, et al. "Endangered Species" (The Box)


13 minutes from the "Song X" album that I first heard on the radio as an impressionable youth upon its release in 1986. It completely rewired my brain. And I thought I didn't like jazz. But I thought, "Well, this is kinda interesting," so I didn't turn it off. Then I turned the volume up a bit...and then some more. By the end of the track I was sitting up, blasting it, jaw dropped. 

Coleman recorded it with Pat Methany, then mainly known for his "smooth jazz." A friend of mine who worked at Tower Records says confused Methany fans would return the album back to the store, expressing their disgruntlement. Ha! Methany did amazing things on that album, making his guitar sound like an exploding synthesizer. 

The great bassist Charlie Haden, Ornette's right hand man for decades, died last year. I have plenty of his albums, too. Really dig his L.A. noir stuff with Quartet West.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

RAW MEAT! Vol. 2

UPDATE: Despite repeated tries, I could not get the Zippyshare file to work, so I've moved the file to Box. Let me know if you-all still have any problems, prefer Box to Zippyshare (or other free sharing methods?)
Continuing our survey of songs from the hippie era that are similar to the surreal, psychedelic humor of the Bonzo Dog Band (git yer Vol. 1 here)...

 Count Otto Black made many contributions to this batch of dog meat, so continued woofs of thanks to him. Vol. 1 was more from me, the more obvious stuff - albums that I'd had for ages (Cream, Pink Floyd,  etc.), but the Count really dug deep for things like the irrational international obscurities that perhaps never washed up on our shores during their initial release.

RAW MEAT! Vol.2 (Google Drive)

RAW MEAT! Vol. 2 (The Box)

01 Duke Ellington - C Jam Blues [the otherwise thorough "Songs The Bonzos Taught Us" compilation did not include this 1942 basis for the Bonzos' "The Intro and The Outro"]
02 Dudley Moore - Psychedelic Baby
03 Stackridge - Do the Stanley [a non-LP single, this one from 1973 - my fave tune from these eclectic Brits]
04 Erkey Grant & The Eerwigs - I Can't Get Enough Of You [wish I could find some info on the loonies who released this 45, their one and only record]
05 The Purple Gang - The Sheik [this band's singer wore a mask, and claimed to be an actual wizard]
06 Liverpool Scene - Bat Poem [poets poet-isizing over rock; this bunch somewhat transmogrified into the Scaffold:]
07 Scaffold - Lily the Pink [this big UK hit featured Paul McCartney's brother Mike McGear; was a cleaned-up version of a filthy old drinking song]
08 Les Sauterelles - Where Have All The Flowers Gone [a Swiss piss-take on Pete Seeger's folk hit]
09 Os Mutantes - Chao de Estrelas [yes, the Brazilian 'Tropicalia' legends]
10 The Deviants - Garbage [a college radio show I'd listen to in the '80s would play this; was mighty surprised to learn how old it was: from these British anarchists' 1967 debut]
11 Tritons - Rock Around The Clock [continuing our world tour with some Italians...]
12 Grobschnitt - Sahara [...and Germans...]
13 Giles,Giles & Fripp - The Saga Of Rodney Toady - Part 1 [precursor to King Crimson...hold up, Robert Fripp had a sense of humor?!]
14 Giles,Giles & Fripp - She Is Loaded
15 Brian Eno - Dead Finks Don't Talk [this one often gets tagged a Bryan Ferry satire, but I dunno, sounds a bit Viv Stanshell-ish to me]
16 Roxy Music - Hula Kula [this loopy mock-Hawaiian instro was a non-LP 1973 b-side written by Phil Manzanera]
17 Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias - Follow the Guru [the hippie's often-shallow infatuation with/appropriation of Indian culture was just begging to be satirized]
18 Doggerel Bank - Finale [more poetry rock, from '73]
19 Quicksilver Messenger Service - Happy Trails [another antique cover: 'singing cowboy' Roy Rogers' theme, recorded by these San Franciscans in '68]

"Dada for now..."


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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

RAW MEAT: Other Mutts From The Bonzo Dog Band's Kennel

The Bonzo Dog Band were like Beatles for Maniacs - the great, wildly-innovative British band of the '60s. But the kind of surreal humor that the Bonzos trafficked in was actually fairly common in the hippie era. Many otherwise serious artists threw in a Bonzo-esque track on their albums - amidst the folk ballads and psych freak-outs, it was not uncommon to also slip in a whimsical novelty, a neo-vaudeville romp, a campy oldies cover,  rude/irreverent/satirical humor, old-timey jazz, and/or pop cultural references. Only the gang of Viv Stanshall, Neil Innes, Roger Ruskin Spear, Rodney Slater, Legs Larry Smith, et al, made such nonsense their full-time gig.

This side of the psych-to-prog era, of course, is scarcely mentioned in the usual rock history mythologies that emphasize Woodstock, increasing musical "sophistication," social consciousness, political/poetic lyrics, blah blah blah. Yes, that was part of it, but remember: the hippies were, after all, young people trying to have a good time. Y'know, rock 'n' roll? This ridiculousness is often far more entertaining and creative than many (most?) of the usual critical suspects from this era. Once again, I am...The Anti-Critic!

As the first 7 tracks demonstrate, bugs and animals were a popular theme (the Bonzos were named after a cartoon dog, after all.) The acts are mostly British, displaying the type of humor often described as "Python-esque," tho much of this predated Monty Python. It's just that good ol' Brit wit. The title of these collections is "Raw Meat" - any hardcore Bonzo fans catch the reference?

RAW MEAT! Vol. 1

01 Zal Yanovsky - Hip Toad [1968, from co-founder of The Lovin Spoonful]
02 Peter Cook and Dudley Moore - The LS Bumble Bee [1967 single allegedly was the first record released explicitly referencing LSD]
03 The Peanut Butter Conspiracy - Flight Of The Psychedelic Bumble Bee
04 Can - Turtles Have Short Legs [non LP single from 1971 in which Damo Suzuki informs us that turtles have short legs, but not for the walking.]
05 Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - The Teddy Bear's Picnic [covering a century-old children's song]
06 White Noise - Here Comes The Fleas [this 1969 release by BBC Radiophonic Workshoppe refugees features Miss 'Dr Who' Theme Herself, Delia Derbyshire]
07 Cream - Pressed Rat and Warthog [don't worry, this isn't an Eric Clapton song]
08 Portsmouth Sinfonia - From the Nutcracker Suite Op. 71a - March (at the Royal Albert Hall) [Brian Eno once played clarinet in this, the "World's Worst Orchestra"]
09 Donovan - The Intergalactic Laxative [keep in mind whilst listening to this profanity that the singer was voted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame] 
10 Lewis & Clarke Expedition - Everybody Loves a Fire
11 Private Eye - Take Off Your Clothes! [a John and Yoko parody; from a flexi that came with an issue of British humor magazine Private Eye]
12 Peter Sarstedt - Take Off Your Clothes [when I used to hear Dr Demento play this years ago, I didn't release how skeevy it really is]
13 The Pipkins - Gimme Dat Ding [a 1970 Top 10 hit on the UK/US charts from the bubblegum pop factory, not from a psych/prog band, so perhaps shouldn't be here cuz that's a whole other topic...but I inexplicably love this drivel]
14 The Monkees - Zilch
15 Fleetwood Mac - Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight [this 1969 non LP b-side from an obviously pre-Buckingham/Nicks lineup of the Mac would become an early punk standard]
16 Pink Floyd - Corporal Clegg [The Floyd, years away from their 'Dark Side' breakthrough, once used kazoos. Kazoos and lasers. Something to think about.]
17 Small Faces - Lazy Sunday
18 Kevin Ayers & The Whole World - Hat [Well, the Bonzo's had a song called  "Shirt"...]
19 Pussy - Comets [Spacey theremin instrumental by, it should be noted, an all-male band; released in '69, of course]
20 you know their name - You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) [unreleased 6 minute version]


Thanks to Count Otto Black!


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