I first discovered free improvising pianist Σάκης Παπαδημητρίου (Sakis Papadimitriou) in a bargain bin at a record show around ten years ago. There was a dealer with several boxes of $5 CDs, and Plus and Minus, by Papadimitriou and percussionist Lefteris Agouridakis, looked intriguing. Plus, it was on Leo Records, an excellent jazz label generally worth a risk (other Leo risks that proved fruitful have included South Wind by the Satoko Fujii Orchestra and Hidden Music by the Scottish improv combo Green Room).
Plus and Minus turned out to be a very cool album, and I've been searching out more Papadimitriou ever since. He's released several solo albums, in addition to collaborations with others, and today's piece is from his second release and first solo outing, Piano-Contacts (in English). The name of this piece translates to "DM/Cough." No, I don't speak or read Greek; there are translations for everything on the back cover. Papadimitriou sticks strictly to the keys on this number, but he often plays inside the piano as well, strumming, scraping, and plucking the strings. No matter how he plays, he's a master, imo.
The Jukebox is still on hiatus, but will be back in the next few days. I had to go out of town and did not have time to pre-schedule daily posts, and I did not want to announce, of course, that I was gone. I am now returned, however. After I get caughtup on things around the house, the Jukebox will once again flow.
I was invited to a Sadie Hawkins Dance my senior year of high school. Since the girl* I liked hadn't asked me, I accepted for the heck of it. It was my first (and last) high school dance. There was a live band, and they were horrible. The drummer cleverly added an extra beat to "Highway to Hell," thereby rendering the usually very danceable beat totally awkward. That was the only song to which we danced. The girl didn't want to dance or talk after that. We just sat there.
Afterward, we went to her house and watched Saturday Night Live. The musical guest was Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band. I thought they were bizarre but cool. It was by far the highlight of my evening.
Sadly, the Captain passed away this past week.
Another of my heroes is dead.
His music will live forever, though. Here're the two songs from that night; both from his then new record, Doc at the Radar Station, his penultimate album.
*I was still in heavy, heavy denial at the time
Still on hiatus . . . this is a special post.
(Criminal Damage Records, 1983)
various artists LP
(Power Pak, 1973)
You may have noticed I spelled the last word of the title Café; on the album itself, it's spelled Cafe. I'm sorry, but I could not bring myself to spell it that way in the post title. I'm such a pedant.
(Bahia Music, 1999)
Uh, oh! You either don't have the Flash plug-in installed, or you have it disabled.
Otherwise, there'd be a cute lil' streaming audio player on the left, rather than this message.
(DML Music Entertainment, 1998)
I think I'm one of about five people that actually dug Rob Halford's dance-metal-thing Two. Sure, Fight (his first post-Priest band) had gone splitsville, and he'd said that metal was dead, but he meant popularity-wise when he said it. Not long after Two kinda fell apart, I guess when it hit that lotsa folks hated it, he fired up the metal again with his third band since leaving Judas Priest, Halford, then rejoined Priest, for a really good album, Angel of Retribution, followed by a stinky embarrassment, Nostradamus. They'd gone poop before, can you say Turbo?, then flushed it with good stuff, aka Painkiller, in the past, though, so my fingers are crossed.
Oh, yeah, so, like, today's selection is the bonus track from the Japanese version of Voyeurs. Unlike the Japanese bonus track on his previous outing, Fight's otherwise heavy-f'ing-kick-ass second-and-final album A Small Deadly Space, it's an actual song!
(Drakkar Productions, 2002)
My goodness, what a naughty cover!
If you look at the release date, you'll note it's 1972, the same year that Lou Reed hit the charts with
Take a Walk on the Wild Side. But, wait, Lou was the leader of The Velvet Underground! What gives?
For the folks who don't already know, this is Doug Yule's Velvets. He replaced John Cale after the second Velvets album, White Light/White Heat. When Lou left two albums later, he proceeded to replace Lou. Squeeze was released only in the UK, and Doug played most of the instruments himself, as Sterling and Moe were also gone by the time it was recorded. If you find yourself wanting to set fire to a recording studio whilst listening, however, that's 'cause you're hearing Ian Paice, of Deep Purple, (uncredited) on the skins. Lotta folks hate this album, and I can understand why. I, on the other hand, have grown to like it over the years. I will say, though, that I'm glad I bought it for $4 rather than a crazy collector price. If I had spent a lot on it, I just might hate it, too.
|Last Days of May|
Last Days of May
(No-Fi Records, 1997)
Sativa Luv Box
The Bad Sleep Well
(Splat-Co Records, 1989)
Wayyyyy back in the '80s, Patrick Mata led the band Kommunity FK, who played a mix of punk, industrial and proto-goth. Their debut album, The Vision And The Voice, is an absolute classic in my book. The follow-up, 1985's Close One Sad Eye, was good, but they'd eased up on the punk end a bit too much, in my opinion. After that, they split.
In 2003, Mata re-emerged with a new band called Sativa Luvbox and an album called Beloved Satellite. What I heard sounded OK but nowhere near as quality as KFK. I mentioned that on a message board and a buddy of mine contacted me and told me it was actually their second album, and, just like with KFK, the first was better. Today's tune is from that first album, which was released only on vinyl and took me a couple of years to find, probably because the band name was slightly different: Sativa Luv Box. It's the most straight up, hard rocking thing Mata has done, and I like it quite a bit. Three of the ten songs were redone for the 2003 CD, but the originals rock harder.
(Engineous Productions, 2005)
(50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Watts Records, 1988)
I saw ½ Japanese, who featured Jad Fair on vocals and guitar, open for the Dead Kennedys when I was 17. Based on that performance, I was firmly convinced they were the worst band on Earth. Later, I was shocked to discover they had a 7" single out! I mean, someone was stupid enough to put out a record of that? They just made a buncha noise, and, out of six people on stage, only one of them appeared to know how to play his guitar, and he looked all of 14 (he, Mark Jickling, was actually quite a bit older than me)!
I didn't know at the time that the single,
Spy, was from a full-length album, Loud, now on CD with the b-sides from the aforementioned single plus the also excellent Horrible EP. Or that Loud had been preceded by a couple of 7" records, a couple of cassettes, and a triple-LP box set, 1/2 Gentlemen/Not Beasts!
Jad and his brother David founded ½ Japanese in 1974. David wrote the majority of the songs in those early years, so I guess that's why Jad started doing solo releases. Jad's solo songs gravitate mainly towards love, mostly unrequited, and monster/horror movie themes; today's song,
Another Silent Night, is one of the former. Musically, the album veers from noise collages to frantic anti-rock to beautiful sadness. As far as I know, it is the only of his solo albums to never see reissue, in CD or any other form. That's a damn shame.
NOTE: There was a follow-up, of sorts, to this song called
1,000,000 Kisses on the 1988 ½ Japanese album Charmed Life.
The Seventh Day of Doom
(H.L.K. Prod., 1997)
I found the debut CDR EP by these folks in the bargain bin at my fave local store. It turned out they were locals and a power trio of guitar, synths and drums. The bass end of things was usually held down by the guy who plays just keyboardy things (the guitarist/vocalist also played synths), and I love deep, rumbling, dense synth drone in r'n'r. All of the songs on the EP were on the follow-up album featuring today's song, so I passed it along as a gift to a friend. I never really listened to stuff like Gary Numan (love the song
Cars, though), but I imagine fans would find something here of appeal. They released one more album on their own Cracked Egg label, this time on pressed CDs, Silver Dust of the Funk Age, then disappeared, though I did see MiniMoog man Zachary Hollback later play with the rather completely different (but also good) Brodie Stove.
(A. 1. Records, 1979)
No, this is not the hardcore band from Boston. This particular The Freeze were late '70s punkers from wee Scotland. They only released a couple of 7" records in their lifetime, and, while they're good records, they're more historically significant for being transgender warrior Gordon Sharp's band prior to Cindytalk, whom I featured back in July. Not to denigrate The Freeze, mind you. I think this is a pretty sharp tune. HA! Pun not intended.
I've added a download button so songs can now be downloaded or streamed, as you wish. I plan on retroactively adding it to the preceding posts, but there are 140 or so of 'em, so don't expect it to be done overnight. ^_^
We got this one at my college radio station and I was pretty blown away. Unfortunately, the album gave no information beyond song titles and who produced it (Matt Wallace, best known for producing a buncha records by Faith No More and The Replacements). Until I found this MySpace page just now when doing this write-up, I didn't even know they were from Michigan; I'd just assumed California.
NOTA BENE: There's another Spahn Ranch that plays industrial dance music, I think. Seeing as most of their releases are/were on Cleopatra Records, I imagine they're probably best avoided.
The Burning Hotels|
Eighty Five Mirrors
I found this one in a dollar bin this past Saturday at a little store around the corner from my house. The band name was intriguing and the cover art eye-catching, so it whored itself out and went home with me (if it'd been in a free bin, it would've been just a slut, not a whore). Today's song is the leadoff track and it jumped right out of the CD player and grabbed me by the ears on first listen. I checked their MySpace and they've released a single and another CD since this, so you'd better believe I will be investigating further.
DAMMIT! I had a nice writeup started then my computer locked up. Oh, well.
I've featured MX-80 Sound before, but that was before I was setup to rip from records and tapes (I cheated for that post and ripped the song from the CD version of the album where it appeared, but the cover I scanned was from my copy of the single). This was their very first recorded appearance, from a local compilation album released in 1975. From what I've read, they started in 1972, the same year that Suicide and the Swell Maps started. Punk rock ground zero, so to speak.
The Lost Recordings
Well, Decca finally got off their asses and issued the deluxe remasters of Thin Lizzy's first three albums: Thin Lizzy, Shades of a Blue Orphanage, and Vagabonds of the Western World. Back in those days (the very early 1970s) they were a trio with Eric Bell on guitar, rather than the twin guitar attack of Scott Gorham plus another guy (there were several of 'em over the years). These darn things were initially announced as forthcoming close to a decade ago, so it's about darn time! Today's song, therefore, is a tune that predates those records, even.
This album was recorded with the intent of it being the The Last's second album, following their snazzy debut album L.A. Explosion! For a number of reasons, it ended up never making it past the test pressing stage. Click the album title above for the sad saga from the band themselves. Then, if you like, read the topic about it on their forum; both fans and members of the band get in on the action.
Barrett Jones is best known for his production and engineering work with the Foo Fighters and other alt. rock bands in the 1990's and beyond. In the mid-80's, however, he was an aspiring musician type, and led a swell combo called 11th Hour, singing, playing guitar, writing, and producing everything. I didn't snag their demo tape, sadly, but I did pick up both of their 7"s, on their own Shag Records, and caught them live (they rocked impressively). The first 7" was this EP, and today's selection is the lead-off track. It was followed by an equally excellent single called
Servation, and then they vanished.
One might be tempted to say there's an obvious Dinosaur (Jr.) influence, but Dinosaur's first album was released the same year as the debut 11th Hour 7", so I don't there'd been time yet for them to be influential. On top of that, my buddy Hubert K. Bunwich reviewed 11th Hour's demo in issue #5 of the magazine Live Squid, whereas Dinosaur's album wasn't reviewed 'til issue #6 (by moi). So . . . yeah.