Sunday 30 April 2023


Kenny Loggins - Keep The Fire (1979)
Was this the inspiration for Spirit Of Radio by Rush? I feel like I can hear bits of it in here. Both songs were recorded around the same time so...who knows? Anyhow this is peak Loggins. Peak FM pop really. You either love it or hate it

Kenny is a surprisingly interesting cat. He was in a 60s garage group, The Second Helping, who were later included on Greg Shaw's seminal compilation series Highs In The Mid 60s. Kenny was even in The Electric Prunes for like a minute prior to forming a duo with Jim Messina of Buffalo Springfield and Poco fame. Loggins & Messina had a very successful run of six LPs from 1971 to 1976, selling over sixteen million records. 

Anyway fast forward to 1979 and the release of his third solo LP of which Keep The Fire is the title track. Amazingly this single only just cracked the top US top 40 reaching number 36. 

The Second Helping - Let Me In (1966)
Before becoming yacht rock royalty and the king of Hollywood in the 70s and 80s Kenny was in The Second Helping. They released three singles. Let Me In is ramshackle diy garage pop, that's almost proto-indie, with girl/boy vocals. Wait for psych lead break at 1:55. Good fun 60s stuff. 

Thursday 27 April 2023

James Brown - Make It Funky Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4

When you hear this you immediately think of hip-hop from the late 80s/early 90s. That's how ubiquitous James Brown samples were then. This tune was famously sampled by Ice-T and Marley Marl along with literally hundreds of others.

Anyway who cares right because this tune is better than anything it was sampled in. I can't stand how the only way to discuss legendary artists is through who they influenced. 

This is another jam that was only ever released on one of those three great James Brown Polydor comps from 1996: Make It Funky (The Big Payback: 1971-1975).

I don't recall anything much about the way JB approached his music in this peak period but I assume it's similar to the way Miles Davis and Can operated. Doing long jams then editing them later. Parts 1, 2 and 3 of Make It Funky were all edited down to singles. Parts 3 & 4 were included on the classic double LP Get On The Good Foot (1972). I gather this raw twelve minute jam is where all the material for the Make It Funky releases comes from. However I don't think he was so much into the splicing or overdubs in the way Teo Macero and Holger Czukay were, I may be wrong... 

The exalted musicianship makes me smile and laugh out loud at the sheer ease of their audacity. In particular the bit where everything turns on a dime at 1:48 and Fred Thomas's world famous bass line drops. Glorious.

It makes me think these jams are somewhat composed if not completely...
James Brown begins a list of soul food at 2:49.

Fred Wesley barges in with his trombone at 8:33 for a bit of dick joke banter. They continue with Brown getting Wesley to imitate what he's doing vocally on his trombone which is just brilliant. All the while Jabo Starks and Fred Thomas are holding down a mother of a fucking groove, that is a stone cold hard funk rhythm like no other. 

At 11:16 Brown yells out to guitarist Robert Coleman to give him a bit of BB King and he proceeds to lay down some blues licks.  

Down and dirty and base this all is.

The JBs line-up for this session on July 13, 1971, Rodel Studios, Washington, D.C. was

Organ, Arrangement - James Brown
Alto Saxophone, Vocals - Jimmy Parker
Bass, Vocals - Fred Thomas
Drums, Vocals - Jabo Starks
Guitar, Vocals - Cheese Martin
Guitar, Vocals - Robert Coleman
Tenor Saxophone, Vocals – St Claire Pickney
Trombone, Vocals - Fred Wesley
Trumpet, Vocals - Jasaan Sanford
Trumpet, Vocals - Russel Crimes
Vocals - Bobby Byrd 
Vocals - Danny Ray 
Vocals - Martha Harvin  
Vocals - Vicki Anderson 

*So we've got the aforementioned Robert Lee Coleman on guitar here. He was a fellow Georgian who put in a good couple of seasons for The JBs in 1970 and & 1971. He'd previously done a six year stint with Percy Sledge. He played on and possibly co-wrote Hot Pants (1971) and played on Think (About It) (1972) by Lyn that makes you a legend.

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Michael Henderson - Solid

Michael Henderson - Solid (1976)

Some minimal cosmic funk right here and it's glorious. A bass masterclass. It makes me wish I knew all about the musician-y stuff so I could appreciate what is going on here even more. That groove, oh my. All of the musicality moves...yes sir!

When you hear stuff like this it's hard not to think the perceived achievements by rock critics of things like Remain In Light or My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts as dubious and way overrated. 

Also that guitar is just outrageously splendid. It could be Michael but it's probably one of these two legendary guitarists who have a credit on the LP: Bruce Nazarian or Ralphe Armstrong.

I really should just go through Miles Davis's 70s bands and make sure I've checked out each members other projects and solo releases to make sure I've not missed more great stuff like Solid. All I knew for 30 years was that Michael Henderson was a fucking cool bass player because he was on all those amazing 70s Miles albums. When I say that I mean he played wicked bass on ten of the best LPs ever made! I think I had some years where pretty much all I listened to was Big Fun, In Concert, Live-Evil, Get Up With It, Agharta, Dark Magus etc. So Michael's bass has been rolling around in my head for eternity but my awareness of Solid is brand new. 

This cover. Yes.

All of it. 

That font. Recently a restaurant nearby took down its old signage which was in this exact font and from the same era, that was a depressing day.

...but wait also check out those glasses. He's giving his old mate Miles, on the cover of Get Up With It, a run for his money.

Insane jazz/funk/fusion eyewear is probably a much under-explored subject. Then again there might just be an entire website devoted to it. 

Friday 21 April 2023


"the band

the long version

best record"

That's what I had written down as notes for this tune. Need I say more?

This tune and parts of this tune had been recorded and released previously on several high profile James Brown records between 67-70 including as part of a medley, a single, an album cut and several live versions. 

This version however is somewhat mysterious. It appears to be a studio jam recorded in 1970 but as I no longer have the 96 compilation cd Funk Power 1970: A Brand New Thang I can't really find any concrete information on it apart from the fact that this version was previously unreleased. 

1996 was a fantastic year for for JB fans because three of his best ever cd compilations were released by Polydor: Foundations Of Funk: A Brand New Bag 64-69, Funk Power 1970 and Make It Funky: The Big Payback 71-75. In fact if you're a funky JB neophyte this is exactly where to start. It's got all his soulful-proto-funk to his funky funk to just plain funk and stops just short of where he starts integrating disco elements into his sound. These were meticulously put together collections. So this is THE primo James Brown goodness. Then if you need more there's an endless amount of releases to explore. These three stellar compilations have never been reissued though but they can be found across blogs, youtube, spotify etc. 

Going back to the band...I mean how smokin' was his band? This is quite possibly the best band of the 20th century...These guys:

Vocals: James Brown 
Organ: Bobby Byrd 
Bass Guitar: Bootsy Collins 
Guitar: Phelps "Catfish" Collins
Drums: John "Jabo" Starks
Conga: Johnny Griggs
Tenor Saxophone: Robert "Chopper" McCollough
Trumpet: Clayton Gunnels
Trumpet: Darryl Jamison
Engineer: Ronald Lenhoff
We've got just the one drummer here as Clyde Stubblefield left the group sometime in 1970. Sometimes they would have three drummers and a conga player on one tune. Here we've got Griggs on congas and the man behind the "Think" break Jabo Starks on drums. There's no Fred Wesley who sat out most of 1970 but then came back in 71. You could spend your life tracking and tracing the fabulous personal on each phonkay JB cut. They're like an elite footy team. They should have their own footy cards. 

Oh almost forgot fuzzy lead break alert at 4:17.  Thank you Catfish Collins, you are a legend!

The entire jam is MESMERISING

Those drums though 

Thursday 20 April 2023

Minutemen - Paranoid Chant

Andy Gill-ism.

Was gonna go on a rant about what D would have thought about Russia-gate, fake leftists now being shills for the CIA & war and so on, but I'm just sick to death of the mindless conformity. It continues on though with Biden's war on establishment dissent today with the indictment of four old school African American black power dudes. They are being accused of being Kremlin agents which just sounds like the latest iteration of Russia-gate bullshit. political terms are pretty bloody redundant nowadays. When is someone gonna come up with some relevant ones to improve political discourse?

Monday 10 April 2023

Cocteau Twins - Evangeline

I was totally disappointed when Four-Calendar Cafe came out in 1993. What happened to the sublime? Why were they sad instead of ecstatic? Why were they trying to sound like they wanted to be on American radio? Why were there so many more recognisable words than usual? Why did they release such a pissweak album? Less than seven listens in I gave the cd away. I tried to wipe it from my memory. I mean the recent-one-two punch of Blue Bell Knoll (88) then Heaven Or Las Vegas (90) was so glorious. I just wanted to live that vibe. And the Sugar Hiccup (83) to Love's Easy Tears (87) run of 45s vibe and the other one two album punch of Head Over Heals (83) and Treasure (84). I would forever just hold on to them as the 4AD group. Whatever they did after that on another label we'll just ignore. Just try to quietly forget the fact that they'd fallen from grace and faded away into artistic inconsequence. 

I was forgetting something though. The Cocteau Twins had slumped before, you know with Victorialand (86). An LP I've listened to many times but couldn't tell you the name of one track. This was an easy album to overlook though as they released so much good music between 1983 and 1990 there was enough great stuff, you could forget a record and it didn't matter. 

By 1993 though we had been waiting for three years for a record. In the mean time a bunch of kids had stolen their sounds and made them less good in their shoegaze groups Slowdive, Lush etc. So you know you don't wanna release an album so inferior that a band of b-grade imitators are going to outdo you. Some might say Slowdive's Souvlaki is better than Four Calendar Cafe and historical consensus does seem to favour that narrative. By late 93 I couldn't have cared less though as I didn't like either. Recently though I've come round to Souvlaki so I know in all fairness I need to reassess Four-Calendar Cafe.

Evangeline keeps popping its head up in my world and yeah guess what? I've become somewhat enamoured by it. I've had to compartmentalise the Cocteau Twins into their two distinctive record company stints though. So you've got the supreme golden era of the 4AD years 1982 -1990. Then you've got the less incandescent Fontana twilight years 1993 - 1998. 

In the 90s I did end up getting the final LP Milk & Kisses (1995) and those Fontana EPs probably twelve or eighteen months after release when they were cheap and in the 2nd hand bin. I recall liking some of the material, the more dubby out there type of stuff. When a seminally influential band becomes a chaser of a sound though, it seems a bit sad. Even if the sound they're following was influenced by them in the first place. Anywhoo I could'n't name or hum a tune from Twilights or Violaine. Perhaps I've underestimated the twilight years era. I hope that I've been absolutely wrong for thirty years. We'll see...

Anyway back to Evangeline the 1993 single. This is like an answer song to the dream pop they helped create (Julee Cruise, Lush etc.) except it's better, more emotional and in a class of its own. It's like they're saying yeah thanks that's flattering and all but we've got real emotional depth beneath the pop sheen. Plus they just up the ante don't they? with a preposterous key change that before you have time to throw your hands up in exasperation you realise it works just perfectly. BAM the masters have nailed it, goosebumps jackpot and the acolytes should be sheepish. Can't deny thirty years later Evangeline is one of the great Cocteaus moments.

Saturday 8 April 2023

Tommy Cash - Six White Horses

I must admit the RFK assassination is intriguing to me. I'm currently reading another tome on the subject. I gotta say I know very little of the JFK & MLK assassinations outside of their historic news story synopses. I assume the CIA was behind the death of MLK too (?). Anyway these three men are the subject of this tune. They had peace on their minds which made them a radical threat to the American money making war machine establishment. How revolting is it that the deep state has ruled American politics and their foreign policy for over 60 years. So much for the Church Committee. 

Anyway this is all kinda fitting as American hegemony has taken some severe blows in the last few weeks. Look out peace is starting to break out due to diplomatic deals being made that America isn't a part of. I reckon it's time for Australia to realise it doesn't have to be a suck job ally to America anymore either. Lets hope CIA meddling in international affairs is on the way out because lets face it, it's always been totally fucked up. Gross. I mean sure it's been a good thing for American arms manufacturers and dealers, just not so good for living people who happened to be citizens in countries America liked to war with. Perhaps it's time to develop a Peace-time Industrial Complex while hopefully the military industrial complex finally dies. Although over a hundred billion dollars to arm Ukraine and Finland joining NATO seems like peak times for reprehensible corporations Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing etc. 

On another note the CIA, FBI and all the other nonsense American security bureaus colluding with the White House, big tech and establishment media to quash the free speech of the citizens has been a frightening turn of events in the past decade. Truth was being censored during covid, that's bloody outrageous...oh but it was all done out of concern for your safety. Sure. The Twitter Files have been an incredible revelation. It's a wake up call for all Americans and the rest of the west. We are not the free societies we once were. Sure perhaps that was mostly an illusion but we used to be able to make jokes without fear of going to prison.

I'm pretty sure Australian intelligence agencies like ASIO, ASIS etc. were doing the same thing here in Australia. They're all in cahoots with the CIA in The Five Eyes anyhoo. The thing is we don't actually have freedom of speech enshrined into our constitution so we're fucked because everybody likes to conform down under. Full totalitarianism is going to be a cakewalk here over the next year or two.

...anyway how good is Tommy Cash? Poor son of gun never had a chance, spotlight-wise, with a big brother like Johnny Cash but hey I like him. He seems to have had some moderate success over the years although I think he had to maintain a day job as a real estate agent to pay his bills. Terrific singer.

Thursday 6 April 2023

Van Morrison - Summertime in England

One of the few musicians didn't put all his critical thinking skills aside to become a conformist shill for the globalists during the covid era. Then there were all the covidian turds: Neil Young, Joni, Rage Against The Machine, Louder magazine, Noam Chomsky, the majority of corporate news media... the list is endless. The masks were bullshit and the faux vaccine was almost fully useless too. I mean they literally had to change the definition of vaccine and everyone just went along with it. Nothing to see here. How's everyone going with the lies three years on? 


If you get to a point where you're at the end of your tether and the bad thoughts are spiralling in at 3AM, give this tune a shot. It might just save your life.

Sprawling...when he hilariously starts listing authors, how on earth do we let him get away with that? But we do, well some of us do. Then he can do what he pleases, so it's incantation time. The spell is cast upon you for fifteen fabulous minutes. I don't know if he's high on the Jesus juice or the cocaine or just high on life or all of the above and does it really fucking matter? No... it just is! Can you feel the light in your soul. Soak up the lord shining through in Summertime In England.

Saturday 1 April 2023

David Thrussell

This recent Snog tune is from last year. Some things change, some stay the same.

Here's a weird connection to the previous post. David Thrussell, of legendary Melbourne electronic act Snog not to forget Black Lung and Soma, once released a Porter Wagoner album or maybe two on his Omni Recording Corporation label. Snog of course were not that well liked here despite being signed to Universal but they garnered cult followings in Europe and America in the 90s. I think they even had a top ten hit in Germany. 

In the 90s Thrussell was host of the brilliant Rude Mechanical radio show on Melbourne's 3PBS FM. In the last couple of months it's been great to discover Dave is still around, not only with his music but as part of the podcast The No Goat Show. I'm kicking myself I didn't discover this podcast during Victoria's insane totalitarian lockdowns. Yes rubber bullets were deployed by Victoria's militarised police. The other voices on the show are playwright Michael Gray Griffith, Melbourne legend of Hellfire Club and Melbourne Underground Film Festival fame Richard Wolstencroft and Ryan Etherington a young Melbourne comedian. Anyway this motley crew of wrong thinkers are Aussie freedom fighters raising a ruckus because of the tyranny of Melbourne lockdowns. 

My favourite discovery though is Thrussell's solo show The Forbidden Book Club on the All Out Of Bubblegum channel which can be found on Rumble and youtube. He discusses controversial, underground and even blockbuster books from history. Many of which have forewarned us for many years about the oncoming authoritarianism in western democracies that has now arrived as well as stuff that's outside of the establishment narrative. It's amazing to think Robert F Kennedy's book about Fauci sold over a million copies and yet the good ole New York Times would not list the book. Anyway the latest episode of The Forbidden Book Club is one of the best as it features The Day Of Saint Anthony's Fire by John G Fuller. That is an incredible story of mass hallucination in a small French village in 1951.

Wikipedia is so fucking retarded they are referring to David as her because he did an album 10 years ago where apparently they thought he was pictured as a woman, so they all now think he's trans and are falling over themselves to conform to the groupthink rules.  

If you went to an industrial disco in the early 90s you know this tune, it made Snog (in)famous. Nothing has changed except now everybody wants to conform and please the government. The government serve you not the bloody other way round!