Saturday, November 15, 2014


Sorry all, I've been busy and seem to have misplaced my blog for awhile.Here are some stray reviews of fave albums, I don't think Shindig could use some because they weren't tied in with a recent re-release.

The Poppy Family - Which Way You Goin', Billy? (London Canada,1969)

Craig McCaw's sitar and Satwant Singh's tablas elevate some tracks into orbit, particularly 'Beyond The Clouds,' and 'Happy Island' which cause me homey flashbacks to a British Columbia ferry trip one chilly, fog-shrouded day on glassy open water (which then slid into bright sunlight welcomed by jumping orcas). Terry and Susan Jacks' vocals are unique and there's not one lower drawer song, even a remake from a Chessmen garage b-side. Excellently produced including touches of the AM country pop which was all over the radio here at that time. I sure wish Regenerator Records could get those re-releases and promised DVD collection together and finally out the door!

Archie Fisher & Barbara Dickson - Thro' The Recent Years (Decca U.K., 1969)

A sort of Scottish folk 'super session' with strong accompaniment (vocal, acoustic guitar and songwriting) by Rab Noakes, and effective producing by Ray Horricks (of Bread Love & Dreams fame). Dickson is clear and powerful while Fisher is rustic and comforting like a favorite old sweater. His song 'Lullaby For Father,' sung definitely here by Barbara, encapsulates the jingoism as well as the timeless humanity of a past war in a way real to me. Their voices combine in a lovely way on the title track. Dickson's From The Beggar's Mantle (1970) is an able second part with heavy Horricks, Noakes and Fisher participation. This one has recently had a vinyl re-release.

Fleetwood Mac - Future Games (Reprise/Warner, 1971)

A path not taken for the post Green blues graduates boasts superb, understated guitar from Danny Kirwan and new member Bob Welch. With support from Christine McVie and the eponymous rhythm section (who would quickly nail 'Werewolves Of London' where others had failed) the quintet stretch out like a soft jazz version of pre-Wakeman Yes. The time changes on 'Sands Of Time' are never superfluous as can be said of many progressive aiming contemporaries, perhaps because it's rooted in years learning the rules from past masters. This was included in a vinyl boxset re-release.

The Green Pajamas - Summer Of Lust (Green Monkey Records, 1984)

First peeked out during a Rocket*-fueled blossoming of d.i.y. cassettes in the Seattle area. Landscaped with Jeff Kelly's jangle-riffs, percolating percussion and assortment of keyboards for colour, the haunting, sometimes lysergicaly tinged vocals are always rooted by Joe Ross' prominent elastic bass lines. Emotional self-injury has never been as catchy as in
the ode to rival 'Mike Brown'. Of it's time while drawing strength from previous paisley explorers.

*The Rocket being the long gone Seattle entertainment weekly paper.

Stereolab - Peng!
(Beggars Banquet/Too Pure, 1993)

Vintage synths as building blocks with superior traditional musicianship to a new sound world? It begins here with Gane and Sadier, and best experienced in vinyl, never more unfashionable than in the '90s. Prescient lyrics about the age of electronicus having truly come to pass and being found boring ('The Seeming And The Meaning'), but Stereolab were never boring. Had their music rightfully been all over the radio where it belonged perhaps we'd be in a better place, but maybe we got there anyway with our stashes of four track Duophonic Super 45s.