Friday, May 20, 2016

Green on Red: The Killer Inside Me (1987)

This record borrows its title from the novel by Jim Thompson. I have read that novel. How about that? I simply cannot remember the last time I heard this record. I'm having a hard time remembering what it is all about. My sense is that it's OK, but I haven't listened to it for a very long time. I should really give this one a spin.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Green On Red: Gas Food Lodging (1985)

Green on Red was a psych band, echoing sounds of the 60s, before morphing into alt-country act. By the time this record was released, the band was on its way a country Americana sound. I think this is a pretty good record, though I haven't listened to it in ages. It's not a record I find myself coming back to, so maybe it's time to let it go.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Grateful Dead: Anthem Of The Sun (1968)

Although originally released in 1968, I have a 180 gram US Rhino Records repressing from 2011. This release uses the 1968 mix, which is important, because as I understand it, there were later mixes that sound quite different, and the 1968 mix was last used in 1972. I probably have never heard the later mixes, so I have nothing to say about that.

Of course, what one wants to see on a new pressing is something like this, which is taken from the hype sticker on the plastic wrap of this release:

"LPs cut from the original analog masters.
Packages replicated to the finest detail.
Manufactured with more care than ever."

On that note, I read that the recent David Bowie repressings were taken from a digital source. It's well known that some modern pressing use a CD as the master. That's nuts. I realize that tape is fragile, and that maybe some digital preservation of mastering might be needed, but using a CD doesn't make sense to me.

I am not a big fan of The Dead. I don't really know that much about them, but I saw this for $9 (brand new, still wrapped in plastic) and I just could not pass it up. It's a really interesting record as it mixes live material with studio material.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Grandmaster Flash: They Said it Couldn't Be Done (1985)

They Said it Couldn't Be Done is a disappointing record. There are much better Grandmaster Flash records. I have the first US pressing. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Grand Duchy, The Gloom Prophet: Let The Prophet Speak: Nine Remixes By The Gloom Prophet Based On Songs From The Album Let The People Speak By Grand Duchy (2012)

So, this record has a Pixies/Frank Black tie-in. Grand Duchy is Frank Black and his wife, Violet Clark. This album is a remix album of the second Grand Duchy record from The Gloom Prophet, otherwise known as Britt Thomas Brady. To be honest, I do not know very much about The Gloom Prophet or Grand Duchy, but if the name Frank Black is on something, I'm generally in.

The description that was released with the record is as follows:

"Let The Prophet Speak is a 12'' limited edition LP of remixes by the Gloom Prophet from Grand Duchy's new album Let The People Speak, due out April 10. Gloom Prophet, a self-proclaimed 'sound designer', specializes in rich textures and soundscapes laid atop groove-laden, post-dubstep beats. Although tracks from Let The People Speak were remixed by a handful of artists all over the world, the Gloom Prophet's remixes have taken these tracks out of this world and back. The familiar voices of Violet Clark and Frank Black, along with his signature howling telecaster riffs have been remixed and warped into another universe. An absolute must for any fan of Grand Duchy, Frank Black or experimental electronic and dubstep."

I think that this is a limited edition, but I am not certain.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Gowan: Strange Animal (1985)

Strange Animal is the only Gowan record I have heard in full. I have heard some of his other tracks, here and there. In truth, I was never a huge fan, but it would have been impossible to make it through 1985 in Canada and not have been exposed to his music. I recall that some friends hated his voice. It did remind me somewhat of Jon Anderson, at times and so it is probably an acquired taste.

A bunch of singles were released from this record, including the two most famous, Strange Animal and Criminal Mind. For me, the most interesting thing about this record is the fact that a big portion of Peter Gabriel's band appears on this record, those members being Jerry Marotta, Tony Levin, and David Rhodes. The band sounds really tight.

I would say that this record is very well recorded and catchy, but I am no sure it has endured. Bizarrely, Gowan ended up as the new lead singer for Styx, starting in 1999. I still can't get used to that. I have checked out some stuff on youtube, and I guess it makes some sense. There is no question that Gowan is an accomplished musician. Still, it just seems weird. I even heard that the band plays Criminal Mind in concert.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Government: How Many FIngers?

How Many Fingers?, a four-track EP, was the final release from the band. It contains:

How Many Fingers?
Plaza Del Pimps
Paranoid Downtown Funk Pt.2

The band had a new drummer for this record. I'd say that they lost their way a bit here, but I still love this record.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Government: Guest List (1980)

I love this LP. It holds a treasured space in my memory of certain days way back when. For some reason, this record was very well known in parts of my residence during my undergraduate degree. The first time I heard a few tracks, I raced out to the nearest record store and found a copy, along with some other releases from this band. It's a weird record, but very interesting.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Government: Electric Eye (1979)

This is a crazy, freaky record. I cannot describe it. In truth, I prefer Guest List and the 7" EP better, but this is unquestionably some music that challenges and it needs to be heard.

The Government had an association with the VideoCabaret theatre company, so this record is something of a soundtrack, albeit an odd one, to a video. I have no idea if the video still exists.

I was nowhere near Queen Street west during this time, so all I have are the records. I wish I had been able to see this band, I hadn't heard of them until way too late.

For more information on this record, I recommend the following brief article:

Here's an interview:
Gina Daniels interviews The Government, 1979 from Allison Collins on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Government: 33 ⅓ RPM E.P. (1979)

I know I said I wasn't going to discuss my 7" record collection, but this is one I have to include, mostly because it's an EP with 4 tracks, rather than the usual 2 tracks. I do have other 7" records like this. The other odd thing is that it plays at 33 ⅓ rather than the usual 45 RPM for small records.

I'd call this a punk band, though some have seen fit to use the term post-punk. Either will do. Just don't call them a new wave band. It's almost impossible to describe the music on this record, so I'm going to insist that you listen to the youtube content, below. All I can say is that it's awesome. My copy is a minty fresh piece of vinyl.

Side A:

Flat Tire
Get You Sleepin'

Side B:

Zippers of Fire

Wikipedia has a brief entry for Andy Paterson, the lead singer of the band. He also has a website.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress (2015)

After a three year break, Godspeed came back with this relatively short album, by GYBE standards.

Evidently, a double-sided poster was included with some pressings, but not mine. This record contains 4 tracks:

1. "Peasantry or 'Light! Inside of Light!'" 10:28
2. "Lambs' Breath" 9:52
3. "Asunder, Sweet" 6:13
4. "Piss Crowns Are Trebled" 13:50

I think the Allmusic critic is a bog fan of GYBE:

"Opener "Peasantry or Light! Inside of Light!" thunders in on doom riffs, while squalling, sawing, multi-tracked violins and an army of slow, plodding guitars compete for dominance, with thudding drums -- à la Black Sabbath -- and a taut, layered bassline all playing variations on 12-bar blues but in waltz time. Short cadenzas are woven into the turnarounds, throwing things off and adding a regal element that passes for a schematic; it's almost florid maximalism, but the tension is palpable. After a stinging guitar break, Sophie Trudeau's violins introduce the next phase as Eastern and Western melodies join and soar to the top of the mix and the rest of the band's instruments, puncturing every space in order to catch her. That enormous crescendo we've become accustomed to never quite happens. The pace slows, the spaces get wider, and the opening riff eventually returns, this time with the pomp of those recombined harmonic lines woven in. "Lamb's Breath" and "Asunder Sweet" variously employ blown-out distorted basslines, piercing feedback, single guitar stabs, and sonic washes, culminating in tonal and microtonal drones forming the middle of the record. It's an extended meditation in sound, full of bleak and brooding dread and mournful spaces. Ambient textures from blasted organs and synths and guitar harmonics coalesce toward a squall of maqam violin themes grafted onto post-minimalist repetition. Combined, they create a ground floor for GY!BE to begin to erect their trademark urgent, dramatic tension that gradually announces the concluding "Piss Crowns Are Trebled." Single-string ringing guitar, prodded by open-tuned drones from keyboards and other six strings, whomping bass, and cataclysmic drumming are woven into and through one another as an uncharacteristically intricate violin melody climbs toward the transcendent border of no return. Everything swirls in cacophonous, ever repeating, four-beat drones; only Trudeau's violins offer variation in a frenzied, harmonic counterpoint. There is nowhere left for the music to go; even scaling back the swell of instruments doesn't succeed in relieving the tension or stop the frenetic energy; the music has entered oblivion; shelter from the storm is only unnecessary because it is impossible." [source]

I should add that I love this record. I should also add that GYBE make really fine album covers.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Godspeed You! Black Emperor: 'Allelujah! Don't Bend Ascend (2012)

It took 10 years, but the band finally put out another record. Allelujah! You can call it a comeback. The record even won the 2013 Polaris Prize. The reviews, as I recall, were good, so my faith in reviewers is partially renewed.

The band toured the year prior to this release, but I did not see them. In fact, I have never see the band in concert. Maybe I never will. I really should.

This record was sold with a bonus 7" 45RPM record, but my copy lacks the 7". I noted one other complaint on Discogs about this. How do I get my 7" record? Constellation, can you send me the 7" record?

These notes were provided on Discogs: Pressed on 180-gram virgin vinyl and comes in a tipped-on heavyweight gatefold jacket printed in full-color process plus a spot metallic ink and spot matte varnish. LP dust sleeve is also 4-color print, with a center hole cut to display the record label on either side. Package includes a 7" in printed dust sleeve and a 12" x 48" poster (printed full-color on both sides) featuring a collage of film stills specially-photographed and captured from the GY!BE live 16mm projections. Godspeed You! Black Emperor is also credited as "God's Pee" on the back cover, spine, and dust sleeve.

Once again, Allmusic praised the record, and rightly so, because it is great, even though I don't have the 7" record that is supposed to come with it.