Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November's Picks

1. XTC-"The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead"
A midst all the JFK mania here in the States over the 50th century of his assassination I began thinking of this number from their "Nonsuch" LP which I bought on the cheap when it came out at Best Buy (and sold the following week to the Princeton Record Exchange). I eventually got into it's jangly riff and Andy Partridge's brilliant lyrics, every bit as cynical as "Dear God".

2. FRANKIE VALLI & THE FOUR SEASONS-"Genuine Imitation Life"
While doing a little research on a previous entry on Jackie Lomax's version of Jake Holme's "Genuine Imitation Life" I stumbled upon the later Four Seasons version and their monumental, but commercially unsuccessful LP "Genuine Imitation Life Gazette".  Drawn out to 6;16 it encompasses some groovy phalanged drums and vocals , harpsichord and a fade out of "Hey Jude" where they're actually singing "play it cool" instead of "Hey Jude".

From the U.K. 3 CD box set "Love Poetry And Revolution" (that promises to be the biggest thing since 2007's 4 CD U.K. 60's set "Real Life Permanent Dreams: A Cornucopia Of British Psychedelia 1965-1970") comes this early demo of Tintern Abbey's Beeside"  perfectly charting the magical progression from mod/freakbeat to full blown acid eating psychedelia.

4. ANDWELLA'S DREAM-"The Days Grew Longer For Love"
My old pal Haim Kenig was kind enough to lay a dupe of this late 60's U.K. acts LP "Love & Poetry" and this is one of my faves from it starting out nice and mellow/acoustic and bursting into a riff heavy metamorphosis not unlike Bowie's heavy '70 stuff.

5. SYD BARRETT-"Terrapin (Peel Session 2/24/70)"
I'll own up that I never owned Syd's "Peel Sessions" mini LP till two weeks ago.  Wow! With help from David Gilmour on bass and Jerry Shirley on drums/percussion and Syd and his acoustic punctuated by some vocal "clicks" and "ahh's" I daresay this version puts the original found on "The Madcap Laughs" to shame! Proof positive that when Syd had his shit together he could deliver when he wanted to......

Imagine Joe Meek spacey weirdness meeting with Gerry Anderson's 60's theme song music crossed with choral harmony pop (or as one YouTube comment called it "The Association on crystal meth") and you've got this 1969 B-side to the trippy "Armageddon". From 1969 on the President label and found on the President CD comp "Sometimes I Wonder"

I love this tune regardless of who's doing it. From the 1958 "Somethin' Else" LP featuring the talents of Miles Davis (trumpet), Hank Jones (piano), Sam Jones (bass) and Art Blakey (drums) and of course cannonball on the alto.

Word reached Anorak Thing H.Q. yesterday of the passing of one of the last remaining jazz greats Chico Hamilton. This track comes from one of his many great LP's, 1965's "El Chico", helped in no small part by Gabor Szabo's raga like guitar licks, Sadao Wanatabe's flute, Willie Bobo's bongos and of course Chico's drumming.

9. SCIENCE POPTION-"You Got Me High"
From 1966 and from the magical land of Sweden comes this tight Association style vocal harmony number with freaky fuzz guitar, John Entwistle style bass lines (I could do a whole piece on the impact The 'Oo had on Swedish music in '65-'66) and some great double entendre lyrics!

10. BLONDE ON BLONDE-"Castles In The Sky"
This here my friends is one of my favorite all time British psychedelic records, from 1970 nonetheless.  Beneath a layer of phased horns/Mellotron (ala The Stones "We Love You") comes one of the most lysergic tunes ever recorded.  On my last trip to Portugal I was blessed with finding an original E.P. (see scan above) and it's been a prized possession since! You can find it on iTunes or the "Circus Days" box.

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