Friday, March 9, 2012

top 13 (of the Week)

Sure,you know what's cool. But do you know what's really fuckin' FAR OUT? That's where Advanced Demonology takes over. Every week, (K)en and (S)wilson trudge through the murky waters of the pop culture hellscape, dredging up sparkly morsels of wonder. These are the result of our latest foray into the world of the weird, our wildest, wiggest-out picks of the week. Call it our 13 Point Program.

13. George Harrison - Beware of ABKCO
All advanced demonological roads fortunately and unfortunately lead back to the Fab Four. Everybody listened to them back in the daze, from Buffalo Springfield to Black Sabbath. It was the one thing almost everybody agreed on. George, the coolest and most understated of gang, recorded these demos for his "All Things Must Pass" record. It's nice to hear these tunes before that lovable megalomanic Phil Spector got his hands on 'em. (S)

12. James Levy and Blood Red Rose
I don't really know anything about James Levy except that he's a singer-songwriter type from Vermont. I don't know much about Alison Pierce, either, expect that she's one-half The Pierces, who do that accordian-driven goth-pop theme song to the Pretty Little Liars TV show. What I do know is that Levy and Pierce - as James Levy and Blood Red Rose - have a new album out, Pray to Be Free, and it's lead-off single, Sneak Into My Room, is amazing. If you dig Nancy n' Lee - or Serge n' Jane - you'll love this. Harmonies so sweet it makes me wanna cry. The album isn't quite as good as the single (is it ever?), but still, well worth checking out. (K)

11. Portable Darkness: An Aleister Crowley Reader
If you've ever tried to trudge through Crowley's writings without being a full blown occultist freak, than you know how impossible it is to access what the cat was all about. Well the Portable Darkness is your 3 day pass. It's a small collection of his writings on his favorite subjects: Qabalah and Magick, Yoga and Magick, Sex and Magick, Magick and Law, and Lies. In laymen's terms he was a proto Freek reacting very psychedelically to the very un-psychedelic attitudes of post victorian England. Well worth putting aside any anti-new age sentiments that one might have for the few hours it takes to read this. (S)

10. Lonnie Mack - Untouched by Human Love
In 1963, country/blues/rockabilly pioneer Lonnie Mack released an instrumental single called "Wham" that leaned so heavy on the tremelo bar that rock n' roll basically just decided it was his deal and started calling it the "Whammy Bar". Lonnie went through many different stages and styles in his career (he's still alive and well and whamming it up but good), but 1969 was definitely one of high points, when he released two great albums, Glad I'm in the Band and Whatever's Right, full of his aggressive, soul-powered guitar and poppy, hook-heavy, bloozy, hippie-rock. Check out the killer "Untouched By Human Love" from Whatever's Right for a prime example of Lonnie's signature style. (K)

9. The Unband

Thanks To Ken, Swilson finally discovered the Unband and you all should too. Where were these guys all my life? Very Hot hot this week! (S)

8. Farrah. Sometimes you forget, seeing that the 70's are drifting further and further away, and then you stumble on a photo of her and it all comes back to you. The golden-haired goddess of the Me Generation, now and forever. (K)

7. Gypsy Girl (1966)

Hayley Mills stars as the emotionally stunted Brydie White who takes to burying dead animals in a church cemetery after the shooting death of a child hood friend. The town comes unglued and drives Brydie to take up with a band of Gypsies…sorta. This is a weird movie, it's got a great energy.(S)

6. Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood (2008)
Great documentary about the sweet-spot in Hollywood (late 20's to late 30's) when the movies really WENT FOR IT, and films were filled with vice and debauchery of all kinds, before the Hays Code "cleaned Hollywood up" and left America to suffer through a decade or two of Mickey Rooney and Doris Day. There's also a corresponding book. I haven't read it yet, but I'm sure it's just as illuminating. It's available on Netflix and Amazon as part of the "Forbidden Hollywood" pre-code collection from TCM. (K)

5. Lantern - Burned Youth

Mellow, Exile on Main Street, pop-a-delic , swaggering, sing-a-longs from the urban backwaters of Philadelphia. Shake The 8-Ball the future Is always hazy.(S)

4. Doug Jerebine is Jesse Harper
Jerebine was a 60's garage rock hero in his native New Zealand, known for his impressive, inventive, and whacked-out guitar style. In '69 he split NZ and moved to London, where he changed his name to Jesse Harper (JH - you know, like Jimi Hendrix!) got a band together and released a demo of heavy, Hendrix-y psyche-rock. The demo was a winner and Doug/Jesse was being courted by major labels, but the dude had an epiphany - as many did back then - and split for India, where he joined the Krishnas and vanished from the rock n' roll map for over 30 years. Luckily, acetates of the demo survived and have been released once or twice over the ensuing decades, most recently by Drag City (home of the Jimi Hendrix of comedy, Neil Hamburger) ensuring Doug's status as a well-deserved cult-rock hero. Loud, wild, groovy, and seriously far-out, "Is Jesse Harper" is a tantalizing glimpse into what was and what could have been. (K)

3. Edgar Winter Group - They Only Come Out At Night
Did you guys know that every song is really good on this record? I didn't until this week. Not just Frankenstein and Free Ride ( those are still the best tunes but..). It's real beer can in the afternoon jammer. Great if your unemployed on a hot March afternoon. (S)

2. The Eccentropedia
Headpress is one of the most consistently inventive/alarming book publishers in operation (they even released a book by yours truly once). Almost everything they put out is aggressively weird/awesome, and their latest release is no exception. The Eccentropedia promises over 500 pages (!) of real-life weirdos:

" The most comprehensive book on eccentrics ever published. Everyone from George Adamski, ufo contactee, to Nicolas Zuniga Y Miranda, self-professed ‘President of Mexico’. Entries include both the contemporary (Michael Jackson) and the less familiar (Martin Van Butchell, dentist). An A-Z of eccentrics! 266 true stories of the most original and outrageous people on earth, from bad poets to transsexual evolutionary theorists this encyclopedic guide covering ancient times to the present, includes reams of material never seen in book form before. Famous eccentrics like King Ludwig, Salvador DalĂ­ and Howard Hughes rub shoulders with a host of lesser-known, but equally colorful, characters in these - mostly - life-affirming stories. There are unsuspected parallels and connections throughout creating an alternative, off-kilter history of the world."

Sounds great, right? The book comes out in June, but you can pre-order it (in various editions) now, and you can take a peek inside, at the Headpress site. (K)

1. Ronnie Montrose -R.I.P.
Ronnie started out as journeyman guitar player and session musician, He played on Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey" and Edgar Winter Group's "They Only come Out At Night" before starting Montrose With Sammy Hagar. He had a very heavy, straight to the throat , no frills, bring the fire way of playing the guitar. A wizard a true star. He was 64. Rest In Peace Ronzo. (S)

1 comment:

  1. Some good news that got me through this week...

    - Poison Idea reissues on Southern Lord - I hope they get up to Feel The Darkness real quick.

    - some guy is posting hq vinyl rips of Alice Cooper records - hope he does the new wave stuff too.

    - Forbidden Dimension gig flyer is now a t-shirt and I want one!

    - Metallion issue #3 (1984) - always looking for more scans of those. I seem to recall the W.A.S.P. issue - #4? - was a good one too.

    and the roadtrip is getting closer...