Monthly archive for April 2014

Brent Spiner – Ol’ Yellow Eyes Is Back

 

Way back in the darker days of 1991 – when Star Trek was extremely popular and a year before Patrick Stewart was named the sexiest man on television by TV Guide – Brent Spiner (aka DATA) released an album of him crooning away at “old pop standards” that accompanied every dinner he ate between the ages of 5 and 13. Why, at the age of 13, Spiner stopped listening to tunes penned by Ira and George Gershwin, Rudy Vallee and Sammy Cahn, we may never know. Perhaps his father – “a hell of a mambo dancer” – and the key to his knowledge of these tunes, left for another, newer Operating Family. Or maybe his interests changed to the more avant-garde with Coltrane breaking on to the scene, or folk music with Bob Dylan’s arrival, perhaps to feel more natural and connected with the earth and his roots and to experience real life, becoming the change he wanted to see in the world: Androids that can make a difference.

Do androids dream of electric guitars?

If this record is any indication, me thinks not. You have a tepid washing of 12 songs, backed by an orchestra, of mawkishly sentimental renditions of askance standards with Spiner’s voice sounding more like a trumpet muted by donuts. And it’s a great listen, albeit really creepy at points. There are a few fantastic suprises, like the can-can “Carolina In the Morning” followed by Randy Newman’s “Marie.” (I’m pretty sure that’s the only “contemporary” songwriter to make the cut, and damn if he didn’t choose the right one.) Patrick “Sexy” Stewart, Jonathan ‘The Voice” Frakes, Michael “Imma Vegan” Dorn, and LeVar “Game Changer” Burton all show up on the track “It’s A Sin (To Tell A Lie)” as The Sunspots (pun!) with quips and background vocals, sounding as stoned and burly as you remember the early 90′s being.

Ol’ Yellow Eyes is back? Never left as far as I’m concerned.

Click the links twice to D/L or listen:

Brent Spiner – It’s a Sin (To Tell A Lie) feat. The Sunspots
Brent Spiner – Marie (Randy Newman cover)

 

Today is the Present Future of Yesterday

Still true…

The State of Kuwait: R.I.P. Peaches Geldof

 

From Chris Murray, fronter of many fronts, experiments, and minds – and for this purpose: The Hepatitties.

What follows are his thoughts on the passing of Peaches Geldof. The words are his own candid sentiment – a modern-day rarity – servings as the first (and, god willing, the last ) look back at a period in our collective history that is venerable, honorable, and – well – peachy:

Chris Murray:

I’m not sure what qualifies me to eulogize Peaches Geldof, other than the fact that I briefly fronted a band, The Hepatitties, for which I used various online media accounts of the young woman’s experiences, as fodder to write songs from her singular, and absolutely fascinating perspective.

As author of these songs, I suppose I do have a unique perspective, at least amongst Nashvillians, of what it might have been like to walk even a few miles in her designer pumps, to feel the evening dew thru her ink-adorned skin, to love and fuck and take needle drugs as her beautiful young synapses fire and misfire inside that lonely skull, topped with silken blonde hair…

I suppose what fascinated me with Peaches all along were these dissonances that seemed to be at the very core of her person: she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but never hesitant to use it for melting down heroin with lemon juice. She could bed damn near any man, but chose for her first husband the ginger lead singer of ridiculous electropop/rap group, Chester French. Her face was soft and round, but usually covered in gaudy rouge, and her skin, so supple, alabaster smooth, but criss-crossed with hastily designed ink in her later years. She was an essentially conflicted, and therefor free person, it seemed to me, physically and emotionally untethered.

To me, Peaches represented a unique point on the celestial map of celebrity infatuation: not fully present in any specific time or geographical zone, but existing mostly in, propped up by the digital consciousness shared by Gawker.com readers, and perhaps more importantly, by her reliably tabloid-obsessed home country of England. Peaches gave us the mytheme that we so desperately need for meme. There can be no myth without a people to share it, after all. The fetish object is not a fetish at all, without a pervert.

The second Hepatitties EP, Banality Winkin’, explored Mrs. Geldof’s lately refined emotional sensibilities, her newfound introspection upon the birth of first born son, Astala Geldof-Cohen, as evidenced by her personal Twitter and Instagram feeds. Since the completion of this recording, Peaches gave birth to a second son, Phaedra Geldof-Cohen, and adopted two dogs: Bowgsley and another (whose name I forget,) and seemed to be further distancing herself from the hard-partying lifestyle of her late teenage years.

The Peaches Geldof of old had recently seemed to be dying in favor of a new, more “adult” version of herself. Perhaps she was just not ready to see her real self, her tabloid self, the drug-addled, occasionally chubby society plumb, wilt away on life’s pedestrian counter top.

Goodnight, Peaches. May God have mercy on us all.

 

04/07/2014

Find The Hepatitties albums for free and for sale here:

A Taste For Peaches <click!>

Banalaity Winkin’ <click!> (3rd down)

Lyman Woodard Organization – Live at J.J.’s Lounge (1974)

 

“IF YOU ARE A TRUE DEVOTEE OF MUSIC THAT EXHIBITS THE  NATURALLY RAW YET SOPHISTICATED UNADULTERATED  TRUTH–TO THE NTH DEGREE–THEN THESE PRODUCTS ARE DEFINITELY FOR YOU!!” - Quote from Uuquipleu Records

In 1974, The Lyman Woodard Organization was in the middle of a 2 year, 6-night-a-week gig at J.J.’s Lounge in the Shelby Hotel in Detroit. This live capturing of the band is pure magic, and so much so that it makes me wonder: was this night a highlight of their powers, or did they just obliterate the room 626 times?

Regardless, it is magical none the less. For my ears, this is a fantastic recording of highly in-tune players digging in hard – and often. From start to finish you have the grooves of Leonard King on drums, Norma Bell on sax, the legend Ron English on guitar, and Lyman Woodard himself on organ. Aided on a few tracks by “percussionist” Lorenzo Brown and the powerfully mononymous Sundiata on congas, the resulting music is incredibly funky and tight, veering off on more than one occasion into a freer, jazz-inherited sound that moves beyond categorization and is just fucking awesome.

Reading about all the people involved with the Lyma Woodard Organization, you get the sense that everyone cared about their home town of Detroit immensely. There were multiple local labels ran between them (“Live at J.J.’s” came out on drummer Leonard King’s Uuquipleu Records), with sounds ranging from the Detroit House sound, Jazz, Disco, Funk and any concoction imaginable of those ingredients. They all played on almost exclusively Detroit-based albums, the exception being Ron English, and did so in spite of a lengthy, tumultuous history. On top of it all, Lyman Woodard’s full story is pretty interesting (also, check out is album with his trio and Dennis Coffey of ‘Hair and Thangs’ fame — psych-funk glory).

I’m certainly not spilling any information that can’t be found on the internet elsewhere (and more definitively). The way it’s all recorded, deteriorated yet still clear, sounds just great to me. The recording itself is both close (you can hear the crowd engaging or responding to their stellar performance) and has an objective distance at the same time. Beautiful.

Take a listen below to a track and find the whole album on Spotify. You can also follow us on the old Spotify. Just search “blacktoothrecords”.

 

Lyman Woodard Organization Live At JJ’s Lounge 1974 – Last Tango In Paris by Lee Nicklen on Mixcloud

Spotify: Lyman Woodard Organization – Live at J.J.’s Lounge