Archive for June, 2010


“Steelyard Blues” is a 1973 anarchic comedy crime film starring Donald Sutherland, Jane Fonda and Peter Boyle. It concerns the lives of a group of misfits trying to find a happier life against the norms of society. Sutherland plays an ex-con with a passion for demolition derbies. He has wrecked almost every possible car, but violates his parole when confronted by a 1950 Studebaker. This embarrasses his brother, Howard Hesseman, in an unlikely respectable role. Fonda plays a prostitute with an off-on relationship with Sutherland’s character. The film is notable for reprising the Fonda-Sutherland pairing of Klute. The gang tries to get an old PBY flying, and much humor ensues.

The film´s psychedelic utopianism failed to find an audience, however, and it died on release.

The tremendous soundtrack album to director Alan Myerson’s film “Steelyard Blues” feels like a side project collaboration between the Electric Flag and Paul Butterfield Blues Band with added performances by Maria Muldaur and Merl Saunders. The majority of the material is written and performed by the great Nick Gravenites and Mike Bloomfield, the 14 songs really standing up on their own as a work not dependent on the film and not feeling like they are mere chess pieces to supplement a Hollywood flick. Gravenites does a masterful job of producing, with “Common Ground” resembling a great lost Electric Flag song – Annie Sampson trading off on the vocals with Gravenites as Janis Joplin did with him on “In Concert”. Muldaur co-wrote “Georgia Blues” with Bloomfield and Gravenites, while they gave Muldaur and Saunders the opportunity to contribute a tune by including their “Do I Care.” “My Bag (The Oysters)” adds some pop/doo wop to the affair, a nice twist, and it borders on parody. Gravenites is always able to juggle his serious side with a tongue-in-cheek wink, and this interesting and enjoyable effort deserved much wider play.

Nick Gravenites & Mike Bloomfield – Steelyard Blues (OST, 1972, vinyl rip)

(320 kbps, cover art included)
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“Steelyard Blues” is a 1973 anarchic comedy crime film starring Donald Sutherland, Jane Fonda and Peter Boyle. It concerns the lives of a group of misfits trying to find a happier life against the norms of society. Sutherland plays an ex-con with a passion for demolition derbies. He has wrecked almost every possible car, but violates his parole when confronted by a 1950 Studebaker. This embarrasses his brother, Howard Hesseman, in an unlikely respectable role. Fonda plays a prostitute with an off-on relationship with Sutherland’s character. The film is notable for reprising the Fonda-Sutherland pairing of Klute. The gang tries to get an old PBY flying, and much humor ensues.

The film´s psychedelic utopianism failed to find an audience, however, and it died on release.

The tremendous soundtrack album to director Alan Myerson’s film “Steelyard Blues” feels like a side project collaboration between the Electric Flag and Paul Butterfield Blues Band with added performances by Maria Muldaur and Merl Saunders. The majority of the material is written and performed by the great Nick Gravenites and Mike Bloomfield, the 14 songs really standing up on their own as a work not dependent on the film and not feeling like they are mere chess pieces to supplement a Hollywood flick. Gravenites does a masterful job of producing, with “Common Ground” resembling a great lost Electric Flag song – Annie Sampson trading off on the vocals with Gravenites as Janis Joplin did with him on “In Concert”. Muldaur co-wrote “Georgia Blues” with Bloomfield and Gravenites, while they gave Muldaur and Saunders the opportunity to contribute a tune by including their “Do I Care.” “My Bag (The Oysters)” adds some pop/doo wop to the affair, a nice twist, and it borders on parody. Gravenites is always able to juggle his serious side with a tongue-in-cheek wink, and this interesting and enjoyable effort deserved much wider play.

Nick Gravenites & Mike Bloomfield – Steelyard Blues (OST, 1972, vinyl rip)

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Nancy Dupree initially found her elementary school music students in Rochester, NY resistant to participation in class.

Once she dropped the standard literature (which asked “Mr. Bear” to “come and”) and began composing music that bore relevancy to contemporary society and to their very tuned-in and grownup interests, she found they immediately took to performing.

Her songs addressed, for example, the contributions icons James Brown and Jelly Roll Morton (aka “Docta King”) made to society, the intangible assets each child naturally possessed (“What do I have? Guts…heart…and soul”) and fighting for civil rights (“I want my freedom; I want it now”). Not only did singing about meaningful issues in real musical styles reveal the immense talents the students had, but it gave all a critical lesson in empowerment.

Tracks:

1 What Do I Have? 3:01
2 James Brown 2:48
3 Bag Snatchin’ 2:46
4 Docta King 5:35
5 Virgin Mary 3:00
6 I Want 3:34
7 Frankenstein 0:55
8 Cold 2:16
9 Jingle Bells 3:48
10 Call Baby Jesus 4:12

Nancy Dupree – Ghetto Reality (1970)
(128 kbsp, front cover included)

Nancy Dupree initially found her elementary school music students in Rochester, NY resistant to participation in class.

Once she dropped the standard literature (which asked “Mr. Bear” to “come and”) and began composing music that bore relevancy to contemporary society and to their very tuned-in and grownup interests, she found they immediately took to performing.

Her songs addressed, for example, the contributions icons James Brown and Jelly Roll Morton (aka “Docta King”) made to society, the intangible assets each child naturally possessed (“What do I have? Guts…heart…and soul”) and fighting for civil rights (“I want my freedom; I want it now”). Not only did singing about meaningful issues in real musical styles reveal the immense talents the students had, but it gave all a critical lesson in empowerment.

Tracks:

1 What Do I Have? 3:01
2 James Brown 2:48
3 Bag Snatchin’ 2:46
4 Docta King 5:35
5 Virgin Mary 3:00
6 I Want 3:34
7 Frankenstein 0:55
8 Cold 2:16
9 Jingle Bells 3:48
10 Call Baby Jesus 4:12

Nancy Dupree – Ghetto Reality (1970)
(128 kbsp, front cover included)

This bootleg collects some early and rare Neil Young recordings. The Wichita Falls tracks are solo acoustic (pre-Springfield). Very good sound qualities for the time. There are also two Buffalo Springfield outtakes. As well, there are two 45 single demos with Neil’s Canadian group the Squires.

Tracks 1-7; 10 and 11 were recorded live in Wichita Falls, Texas, 1-12-65

Tracks 8 and 9 are Buffalo Springfield studio outtakes.

Track 12, called “Sultan” and track 13 (“Aurora”) are from The Squires’ and Neil Young’s first single, produced by Bob Bradburn, a DJ at CKRC in Winnipeg in 1963.




No link.

Her husky, surprisingly sensual voice and exquisitely cool readings of pop standards distinguished her singing, but Lee Wiley earns notice as one of the best early jazz singers by recognizing the superiority of American popular song and organizing a set of songs around a common composer or theme – later popularized as the songbook or concept LP. She was also a songwriter in her own right, and one of the few white vocalists with more respect in the jazz community than the popular one. Even more tragic then, that while dozens of inferior vocalists recorded LPs during the late ’50s and ’60s, Wiley appeared on record just once between 1957 and her death in 1975.

Lee Wiley pioneered the “songbook” concept, for which a singer exclusively interpreted the work of one composer.

Her Gershwin and Cole Porter projects of 1939-40 were major successes, as is the music on this album with songs by Rodgrs & Hart. In a fairly straight but strangely sensuous manner, Wiley sings eight songs by Rodgers & Hart while backed by a variety of all-star players associated with Eddie Condon, including pianist Joe Bushkin, trumpeters Max Kaminsky, Billy Butterfield and Bobb Hackett, tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman, and Ernie Caceres on baritone and clarinet.

Although many of these songs have been interpreted countless times since, few singers have reached the emotional peaks that Lee Wiley scaled in her versions of “A Ship Without a Sail,” “Let’s Fall In Love,” “I’ve Got the World On a String,” “Down With Love” and especially “Glad to Be Unhappy.” This set belongs in every serious jazz collection.

The inside cover reads” ” This little musicale was a lot of frolic in the making. Dick Rodgers, in the breathless middle of two new scores, dropped everything to help us work it out. Paul Whiteman lent us the best two man rhythm section in the business, Artie Shapiro and Stud Wettling, better known as the Rider. Bradford Gowans, who was building a rotor boat on the shores of an estuary near North Reading, Mass. forgot all about that and caught the Merchants back to write four of the orchestrations. For the other four Tommy Dorsey kindly lent us the services of Paul Wetstein, Jr., his brilliant young arranger. Lee sang the songs over and over. And finally we went to the studio and made the records. Let me tell you we had a good time I’m Sure you’re going to enjoy it too. Ernie Anderson February, 1940.”

These eight songs were published in 1940 on the Gala label on four 78 RPM discs.

Lee Wiley – Sings Songs By Rodgers & Hart (1940)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Her husky, surprisingly sensual voice and exquisitely cool readings of pop standards distinguished her singing, but Lee Wiley earns notice as one of the best early jazz singers by recognizing the superiority of American popular song and organizing a set of songs around a common composer or theme – later popularized as the songbook or concept LP. She was also a songwriter in her own right, and one of the few white vocalists with more respect in the jazz community than the popular one. Even more tragic then, that while dozens of inferior vocalists recorded LPs during the late ’50s and ’60s, Wiley appeared on record just once between 1957 and her death in 1975.

Lee Wiley pioneered the “songbook” concept, for which a singer exclusively interpreted the work of one composer.

Her Gershwin and Cole Porter projects of 1939-40 were major successes, as is the music on this album with songs by Rodgrs & Hart. In a fairly straight but strangely sensuous manner, Wiley sings eight songs by Rodgers & Hart while backed by a variety of all-star players associated with Eddie Condon, including pianist Joe Bushkin, trumpeters Max Kaminsky, Billy Butterfield and Bobb Hackett, tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman, and Ernie Caceres on baritone and clarinet.

Although many of these songs have been interpreted countless times since, few singers have reached the emotional peaks that Lee Wiley scaled in her versions of “A Ship Without a Sail,” “Let’s Fall In Love,” “I’ve Got the World On a String,” “Down With Love” and especially “Glad to Be Unhappy.” This set belongs in every serious jazz collection.

The inside cover reads” ” This little musicale was a lot of frolic in the making. Dick Rodgers, in the breathless middle of two new scores, dropped everything to help us work it out. Paul Whiteman lent us the best two man rhythm section in the business, Artie Shapiro and Stud Wettling, better known as the Rider. Bradford Gowans, who was building a rotor boat on the shores of an estuary near North Reading, Mass. forgot all about that and caught the Merchants back to write four of the orchestrations. For the other four Tommy Dorsey kindly lent us the services of Paul Wetstein, Jr., his brilliant young arranger. Lee sang the songs over and over. And finally we went to the studio and made the records. Let me tell you we had a good time I’m Sure you’re going to enjoy it too. Ernie Anderson February, 1940.”

These eight songs were published in 1940 on the Gala label on four 78 RPM discs.

Lee Wiley – Sings Songs By Rodgers & Hart (1940)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

The band’s debut album, “Os Mutantes”, is far and away their best — a wildly inventive trip that assimilates orchestral pop, whimsical psychedelia, musique concrète, found-sound environments — and that’s just the first song!

Elsewhere there are nods to Carnaval, albeit with distinct hippie sensibilities, incorporating fuzztone guitars and go-go basslines. Two tracks, “O Relogio” and “Le Premier Bonheur du Jour,” work through pastoral French pop, sounding closer to the Swingle Singers than Gilberto Gil.

Though not all of the experimentation succeeds — the languid Brazilian blues of “Baby” is rather cumbersome — and pop/rock listeners may have a hard time finding the hooks, Os Mutantes’ first album is an astonishing listen. It’s far more experimental than any of the albums produced by the era’s first-rate psychedelic bands of Britain or America.

Os Mutantes – Same (1968)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Though rarely heard outside their Brazilian homeland (especially during the first phase of their career), Os Mutantes were one of the most dynamic, talented, radical bands of the psychedelic era — quite an accomplishment during a period in which most rock bands spent quality time exploring the outer limits of pop music. A trio of brash musical experimentalists, the group fiddled with distortion, feedback, musique concrète, and studio tricks of all kinds to create a lighthearted, playful version of extreme Brazilian pop.

Three Brazilian teenagers start a garage band. They know nothing of music theory, have no equipment (they built their own guitar pedals and used tin cans as cymbals), but lots and lots of cannabis.

Though the existence of Os Mutantes is in itself unremarkable, what is mind-blowing is the top-notch quality of the music. These three teens, Rita Lee (vocals), Sergio Baptista (guitar), and Arnaldo Baptista (drums), while attempting to mimic their heroes in the states, were able to surpass them.

This was due to their inability to adequately imitate (due to their geographic isolation), and the band’s unfettered creativity. For these reasons, their meld of otherworldly guitar noise, crisp harmonies, and propulsive drumming found no equal among American counterparts like the 13th Floor Elevators and the Electric Prunes. While these bands just picked up where Sgt. Pepper’s left off, Os Mutantes made music that had no point of reference until almost 30 years later.

This album is one of their best, and it showcases the band’s ability to morph genres into their own warped originality. The opener “Ando Meio Desligado” beats American psychedelic rock at its own game, combining a great hook with untamed guitar theatrics and sound effects. On “Meu Refrigerador Neo Funciona,” Rita Lee does Janis Joplin while Sergio overdubs his patented weirdness. “Desculpe, Baby” is a deceptively simple but intricate ballad, while “Hey Boy” turns doo wop on its head, contorting it into a whole new form.
With each listen, “A Divina Comedia on Ando Meio Desligado” unveils new secrets, making it well worth the price of admission.

No link.

Though rarely heard outside their Brazilian homeland (especially during the first phase of their career), Os Mutantes were one of the most dynamic, talented, radical bands of the psychedelic era — quite an accomplishment during a period in which most rock bands spent quality time exploring the outer limits of pop music. A trio of brash musical experimentalists, the group fiddled with distortion, feedback, musique concrète, and studio tricks of all kinds to create a lighthearted, playful version of extreme Brazilian pop.

Three Brazilian teenagers start a garage band. They know nothing of music theory, have no equipment (they built their own guitar pedals and used tin cans as cymbals), but lots and lots of cannabis.

Though the existence of Os Mutantes is in itself unremarkable, what is mind-blowing is the top-notch quality of the music. These three teens, Rita Lee (vocals), Sergio Baptista (guitar), and Arnaldo Baptista (drums), while attempting to mimic their heroes in the states, were able to surpass them.

This was due to their inability to adequately imitate (due to their geographic isolation), and the band’s unfettered creativity. For these reasons, their meld of otherworldly guitar noise, crisp harmonies, and propulsive drumming found no equal among American counterparts like the 13th Floor Elevators and the Electric Prunes. While these bands just picked up where Sgt. Pepper’s left off, Os Mutantes made music that had no point of reference until almost 30 years later.

This album is one of their best, and it showcases the band’s ability to morph genres into their own warped originality. The opener “Ando Meio Desligado” beats American psychedelic rock at its own game, combining a great hook with untamed guitar theatrics and sound effects. On “Meu Refrigerador Neo Funciona,” Rita Lee does Janis Joplin while Sergio overdubs his patented weirdness. “Desculpe, Baby” is a deceptively simple but intricate ballad, while “Hey Boy” turns doo wop on its head, contorting it into a whole new form.
With each listen, “A Divina Comedia on Ando Meio Desligado” unveils new secrets, making it well worth the price of admission.

No link.