All Things Must Pass

I’m only about a third of the way through but I’m digging it so far. Man, I miss record stores …

Everyone thinks they know what killed Tower Records: The Internet. But that’s not the story. “All Things Must Pass” examines this iconic company’s explosive trajectory, tragic demise, and legacy forged by its rebellious founder Russ Solomon.

Count Jackula

Nosferatu has abandoned Transylvania for a pressing plant and dresses like Dieter of SNL. He now lives on molten vinyl, not blood. As a result, his hair has turned blue. He’d like you to know that he’s morally superior to other vinyl vampires. He doesn’t suck vinyl from other plants. He started his plant with his own money. He did this in 2017, so he’s cooler too.

He has a point, but so do the bigger, trend-surfing vampires. Why pump money into a medium that will again become unfashionable? The majors are not owned by one wealthy alt-rocker. They are beholden to shareholders who might see a pressing plant as a foolish investment. And there are other media, as most people stream anyway. Maybe he’s right, and the big labels should make room for others by pressing their own copies of Rumours and the latest Adele. Whatever, I just posted because I was amused at the vampire look and the moral posturing. If he wants to make this a moral issue, someone could always one-up him for using a petroleum product.

Chipmunks at 16 RPM

Some genius had the bright idea to play pop hits recorded by
Alvin & The Chipmunks at 16 speed, and we now have
“the most important postpunk/goth album ever recorded.”

Vol I      Vol II

Slip into those sludgy grooves.

Another King: “She Used To Pound Down”

Carole King rules. Songs I forgot she wrote but probably you guys all know:

  • I’m Into Something Good (Herman’s Hermits)
  • Chains (Beatles)
  • The Loco-Motion (Grand Funk Railroad)
  • The Porpoise Song (Theme from “Head” The Monkees Movie)
  • Up On The Roof (The Drifters)

I included the above because I enjoy the Scottish punk versions of things, and go Monkees of course. In describing Up On The Roof:

Appropriately enough, the song was born among the rat-race noise of a crowded city street. “Carole came up with the melody in the car – an a cappella melody,” …

A peaceful moment above the fray would have seemed like heaven to King – a young woman with two children and a demanding full-time job in a hit factory. The sophisticated arrangement was overseen in the studio by King herself, who was barely 20 years old at the time. “Carole used to hang in there with us tough,” Drifters member Charlie Thomas told Emerson. “She used to pound down. She wasn’t no hard woman – a girl, at her age. But she played the piano and it was amazing the songs she gave us.

Broadcast

Any of you bastards heard of them?  Someone put me onto them last night.  They were active from late 90’s to around 2011, when their singer passed away after catching H1N1 on tour.  This song’s from their first album, The Noise Made By Peoplewhich is good.  If you took Forever Changes, removed the Hispanic influence, added some delightfully creepy synths, and brought in a fifteen-year-old Nico to sing, then you might have something like this album.  Or not.

Update from the rabbit hole: this one, from second album, sounds like Silver Apples, but with a far better singer.

Hit Factory

I always forget they’re Californian, as it seems like they could have spewed forth from Appalachia, or anywhere.

Fogerty’s ’68-’70 run was nuts:

  • I Put A Spell On You
  • Proud Mary
  • Bad Moon Rising
  • Green River
  • Down On The Corner
  • Fortunate Son
  • Travelin’ Band
  • Who’ll Stop the Rain
  • Lookin’ Out My Back Door
  • Long As I Can See The Light

Been reading more about them, their implosion, all the record label nonsense.

I was alone when I made that [CCR] music. I was alone when I made the arrangements, I was alone when I added background vocals, guitars and some other stuff. I was alone when I produced and mixed the albums. The other guys showed up only for rehearsals and the days we made the actual recordings. For me Creedence was like sitting on a time bomb. We’d had decent successes with our cover of “Susie Q” and with the first album when we went into the studio to cut “Proud Mary.” It was the first time we were in a real Hollywood studio, RCA’s Los Angeles studio, and the problems started immediately. The other guys in the band insisted on writing songs for the new album, they had opinions on the arrangements, they wanted to sing. They went as far as adding background vocals to “Proud Mary,” and it sounded awful.

New Memphis Power Pop

Delayed by the pandemic, of course. Your Academy is a Memphis supergroup of sorts, made up of likeminded middle-agers. I think the video’s been up a year but the vinyl is new. What a set of pipes on that Brandon McGovern! (I’ve always loved his voice.)

Extensive band bio and purchasing options on Bandcamp.

Oh, Not Whoa

Sometimes aesthetics call for an “oh” instead of a “whoa,” as in the chorus of this forgotten Wings song.  This overlooked album track is pretty good, with a good guitar riff, a decent enough hook, and some Stax horns.  Far better than this album’s single, “Listen to What the Man Said,” which is just dishwater.  The post-Beatles careers of Lennon-McCartney revealed that they needed each other, or at least assertive bandmates.

Sorry, Not Sorry

For the uninitiated, Music from “The Elder” was KISS’s greatest misstep in a long career with more than a few. After 1980’s Unmasked bombed (they didn’t even tour behind it!), the band decided it was time to get back to basics, working again with the producer who had given them their most successful album, Destroyer. Instead, Bob Ezrin’s cocaine habit talked Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley into a concept album to rival Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

This is hilarious for many reasons, but especially funny when you consider that 99.998% of previous KISS songs were about partying and getting laid. Even Ace Frehley, the crazy, off-the-rails alcoholic in the band, knew this was a terrible idea. It was conceived as a soundtrack to a movie that didn’t exist! Here’s the story, courtesy of Wikipedia

The basic plot of “The Elder” involves the recruitment and training of a young hero (The Boy) by the Council of Elders who belong to the Order of the Rose, a mysterious group dedicated to combating evil. The Boy is guided by an elderly caretaker named Morpheus. The album’s lyrics describe the boy’s feelings during his journey and training, as he overcomes his early doubts to become confident and self-assured. The only spoken dialogue is at the end of the last track, “I”. During the passage, Morpheus proclaims to the Elders that The Boy is ready to undertake his odyssey.

How could this be anything but a cocaine album?