May 25, 2010
Who would have thought the Temple High School Stage Band "The Highlighters" would be so damn funky? This is their 1974 3xLP release, and I'm only upping the Pick Up the Pieces track for now. Which is a Bobby Timmons song that Average White Band made pretty huge, if I am remembering correctly. But the album has quite a few winners on it, including the synth backed Epitaph of a Dying Planet, a complex big band jazz fusion with amazing intensity. If you know central Texas well, of all places, Temple was the last I thought would have such left field and complex funk rhythms. Check the saxophonist and Drummer's mad high school band talent. Also, this track is much better at really high volume, because it was probably recorded with only 1 or 2 microphones. Yes they start getting a little bit loose toward the end, and I have heard a few tighter high school bands, but over all for this not getting any blog time or internet/collector appreciate, it MUST be brought to the masses!
Pick up the pieces! Alright! Pick up the Pieces! Alright!
I don't normally post this kind of thing, but I have to jump on the Ata Kak band wagon for anyone who has not yet had the pleasure of listening to this gem of a tape, posted by the glorious Awesome Tapes from Africa blog. Below is a link to the site, and it's hosted on a few other blogs now too.
One thing I would really like to clear up, and I need confirmation from Awesome Tapes, but there is no fucking way that this tape is from 1986, I have a plethora of reasons but number one is the production, yes it sounds 80s esque in style, almost more like 88-92 to me, but the equipment sounds mid 90s to me. I dunno maybe I'm wrong, but Jesus if this tape is really from 1986 it may actually be the best album of the 1980s, and that's no joke. I think the "1986" dating comes from Awesome Tape's comment "It sounds so home-made, funky yet spooky, like a warped Prince protege from Africa by way of 1986 Chicago." Which is a description not a dating. I think the tape is "fairly" recent, I dunno say the last 15 years. In fact, even over at rateyourmusic.com they have an entry for this tape as 1986, and its made it to the 456th ranked album from 1986, and yet its not even from 1986...? yet another mystery surrounding the awe inspiring life of Ata Kak. I would pay 500 dollars to meet this man and $2000 plus airfare for a concert, no shit. And I bet I could find some really rich folks that would pay even more, so Ata Kak, if you are out there, I hope you are getting rich off this genius work. I have to say, I was more impressed by this tape than I was by the first time I listened to Hi How Are You. Maybe not a fair comparison, but really, is Ata Kak not Africa's Daniel Johnston of Dance music? Anyway, here is a nifty link to everything that Awesome Tape's has about Ata Kak, and PLEASE WATCH THE SECOND VIDEO by Rei Helder, it is mind blowing.
LINK TO A LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE, MORE EPIC THAN EPIC BEARDMAN? YES!
May 16, 2010
JACK ADKINS - AMERICAN SUNSET (1984) boink records. Recorded in Tampa, Florida.
Private press 500 copies. This album is like nothing I have ever heard before, or will ever hear again no doubt. TRUTH is definitely the most standout track, quite haunting. American Sunset sounds like the Gentleman Losers but 20 years early, and then Sunset Beach sounds like Mantronix and the Gypsy Kings locked themselves in a studio with a lunchsack full of peyote. If that wasnt enough Hurts to be a Hero throws out all your expectations and launches out on what could be the soundtrack to an 80s cyborg film starring Klaus Kinski. A couple of the tracks are less interesting country tinged folk rock weirdness with a drum machine. Jack plays all the instruments himself and then layers them up in the studio. Except he brought someone in to lay down the awesome Linn drums. This record is a perfect representative of why I love crate digging so much. Maybe I'm crazy and this record is really awful I dunno, but it certainly blew my mind when I put the needle down. In the words of Jack: Mind equals ship, Truth equals fuel: have a nice trip.
May 11, 2010
Another fuckin incredible find this week! Here we have the ultra rare 1993 LP with custom inserts by New York graffiti legend REVS. On the back cover there is a scan of a newspaper police report detailing a great story about REVS and his crew going to bomb a subway car with a bad ass giant mural of Miami Vice when the cops showed up and started ganking everyone, except it would seem that one of the miscreant teenagers got away by hiding in the bushes for a few hours. Anyway, teenage graffiti pranks aside, the album itself is not bad. At times it's even pretty original/innovative/thoughtful whatever. Done in a Brooklyn Punk / Hardcore style with slightly art school edge and lots of ridiculous samples layered in, the LP is decided LoFi, and uses material recorded way back in 83 and then refurbished in the studio, but the majority I think was recorded somewhat close to 93, though again I'm not sure. It's not exactly something to put in your usual listening rotation, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard. And anyway, this is a real piece of New York graffiti history and an interesting listen for the fans of punk and hardcore. The only other copy I can find recently got auctioned on Ebay and sold for around $300.00. It''s been a pretty good week so far.
REVS - Just Stay Away (1993) No Label, New York, NY.
May 8, 2010
First let me say I'm not posting the entire album because you will never listen to it more than once anyway, because it's all about that one ridiculous track on this bizarro record. Don't know a whole hell of a lot about The Family Tree, they are from Minnesota I believe, and played in various clubs and weddings around Nashville. They originally sang bad country and soft rock covers, which there are 2 other LPs you can get on ebay right now and they are both cheap and truly awful. But sometime in the late 70s the Family Tree decided to get a little funky, as rock n roll was fading out and disco was taking over, I'm sure they got Barry White requests at a lot of weddings, so why not put a fully realized cover song of Never Gonna Give You Up on their last LP. And damn I am glad they did. This gem is quite rare, indicated by the signature of every person in the band on probably ever record they pressed, under 500 total I bet. Recently sold for $250.00 on Ebay, so this is indeed no joke. Not for everyone, I realized that, but for that certain record collector that's heard it all these kind of things are marvelous, and they will often sell like they are marvelous. It is also worth noting that I purchased this in a record store for .49 cents, a price that doesn't even exist normally in the store, but they were so horrified by it's existence (without listening to the whole thing probably) that they felt compelled to skip the dollar bin and besmirch this hideously beautiful stepchild with a 49 cent sticker. So without further adieu, Here is the Family Tree - Never Gonna Give You Up (1979)...