Album of the Day: Iggy & the Stooges, Raw Power (1973, Columbia)

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ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FREAKS ALBUM OF THE DAY FOR SUNDAY, AUGUST 23:

Iggy & the Stooges, Raw Power (1973, Columbia)

Allmusic (5/5): AllMusic Review by Mark Deming

In 1972, the Stooges were near the point of collapse when David Bowie’s management team, MainMan, took a chance on the band at Bowie’s behest. By this point, guitarist Ron Asheton and bassist Dave Alexander had been edged out of the picture, and James Williamson had signed on as Iggy’s new guitar mangler; Asheton rejoined the band shortly before recording commenced on Raw Power, but was forced to play second fiddle to Williamson as bassist. By most accounts, tensions were high during the recording of Raw Power, and the album sounds like the work of a band on its last legs — though rather than grinding to a halt, Iggy & the Stooges appeared ready to explode like an ammunition dump. From a technical standpoint, Williamson was a more gifted guitar player than Asheton (not that that was ever the point), but his sheets of metallic fuzz were still more basic (and punishing) than what anyone was used to in 1973, while Ron Asheton played his bass like a weapon of revenge, and his brother Scott Asheton remained a powerhouse behind the drums. But the most remarkable change came from the singer; Raw Power revealed Iggy as a howling, smirking, lunatic genius. Whether quietly brooding (“Gimme Danger”) or inviting the apocalypse (“Search and Destroy”), Iggy had never sounded quite so focused as he did here, and his lyrics displayed an intensity that was more than a bit disquieting. In many ways, almost all Raw Power has in common with the two Stooges albums that preceded it is its primal sound, but while the Stooges once sounded like the wildest (and weirdest) gang in town, Raw Power found them heavily armed and ready to destroy the world — that is, if they didn’t destroy themselves first. [After its release, Iggy was known to complain that David Bowie's mix neutered the ferocity of the original recordings. In time it became conventional wisdom that Bowie's mix spoiled a potential masterpiece, so much so that in 1997, when Columbia made plans to issue a new edition of Raw Power, they brought in Pop to remix the original tapes and (at least in theory) give us the "real" version we'd been denied all these years. Then the world heard Pop's painfully harsh and distorted version of Raw Power, and suddenly Bowie's tamer but more dynamic mix didn't sound so bad, after all. In 2010, the saga came full-circle when Columbia released a two-disc "Legacy Edition" of the album that featured Bowie's original mix in remastered form]

Track Listing:

Search And Destroy 3:26
Gimme Danger 3:28
Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell (Originally Titled “Hard To Beat”) 4:52
Penetration 3:35
Raw Power 4:22
I Need Somebody 4:50
Shake Appeal 3:00
Death Trip 5:53

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Listen on Spotify – Iggy Pop Mix

Listen on Spotify – Legacy Edition

Album of the Day: Richard Berry, Have “Louie” Will Travel (2004, Ace Records)

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ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FREAKS ALBUM OF THE DAY FOR SATURDAY, AUGUST 22:

Richard Berry, Have “Louie” Will Travel: The 1956-62 Recordings (2004, Ace Records)

Allmusic (4.5/5): AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger

Although Richard Berry had long been recognized as an important secondary pioneer of ’50s rock & roll/R&B in general, and as the originator of “Louie Louie” in particular, his best and most influential material was out of print for decades. This 30-track compilation totally rectifies the situation, with both sides of all eight of his 1956-1960 Flip singles, as well as an almost equal number of early-’60s recordings for various labels, some previously unissued. The Flip sides in particular represent his most important work, if for no other reason than they include his original (and not often reissued) 1957 single version of “Louie Louie,” the regional rock & roll hit that eventually became one of the most covered songs of all time. Otherwise, the Flip stuff shows him to be something of an R&B-rock jack of all trades, including doo wop ballads, uptempo Los Angeles R&B in the midst of transition to rock & roll, and novelty-tinged numbers that sound a little like some of the Coasters’ early work. The quality on the Flip tracks is variable, and frankly not strong enough to qualify him as a major rock & roll artist, ranging from the ordinary and generic to the outstanding. In the outstanding category are “Louie Louie,” the call-and-response vocal number “Sweet Sugar You” (where the Coasters connection sounds the strongest), a fun rock & roll version of “Besame Mucho” (also covered by the Coasters, lest we forget), and “Have Love Will Travel,” his best song other than “Louie Louie.” The early-’60s cuts were produced by another L.A. jack of all trades, Gary Paxton, and while some of them are good, they seem to have a bit of a slapdash try-anything-and-see-what-sticks mentality. Some of them are very much in Berry’s ’50s style; others are clearly trying to mimic the R&B-pop crossover of Brook Benton; and “Everybody’s Got a Lover But Me” is a dead-on imitation of early, Latin-tempoed Impressions hits like “Gypsy Woman” that’s enjoyable but quite derivative. It’s an inconsistent compilation, then, but it’s a worthwhile plug in the gap of Berry’s discography, his complicated saga clarified by the outstanding, thorough liner notes.

Track Listing:

1 Richard Berry & Pharaohs, The  Louie Louie 2:13
2 Richard Berry & Pharaohs, The No Kissin’ And A-Huggin’ 2:34
3 Richard Berry & Pharaohs, The You’re The Girl 2:17
4 Richard Berry & Pharaohs, The Rock, Rock, Rock (This Dance Is Crazy) 1:42
5 Richard Berry & Pharaohs, The I’ll Never Ever Love Again 2:11
6 Richard Berry & Pharaohs, The Sweet Sugar You 2:46
7 Richard Berry & Pharaohs, The Somewhere There’s A Rainbow 2:04
8 Richard Berry & Pharaohs, The (3) You Look So Good 2:17
9 Richard Berry & Pharaohs, The (3) Take The Key And Open Up My Heart 1:53
10 Richard Berry & Lockettes, The Heaven On Wheels 2:04
11 Richard Berry & Pharaohs, The You Are My Sunshine 2:34
12 Richard Berry & Lockettes, The The Mess Around 2:34
13 Richard Berry & Pharaohs, The  Besame Mucho 2:10
14 Richard Berry & Pharaohs, The Do I, Do I, Do I 2:13
15 Richard Berry & Pharaohs, The Have Love Will Travel 2:54
16 Richard Berry & Pharaohs, The No Room 3:13
17 Richard Berry In A Real Big Way 2:14
18 Richard Berry Well Done 2:29
19 Richard Berry I Want You To Be My Girl 3:17
20 Richard Berry It’s All Right 2:32
21 Richard Berry Weep No More 3:11
22 Richard Berry Everybody’s Got A Lover But Me 1:59
23 Richard Berry Tell Me Why 2:32
24 Richard Berry Dreams Of An Angel 3:22
25 Richard Berry Give It Up 2:35
26 Richard Berry I’m Your Fool 2:54
27 Richard Berry What Good Is A Heart 2:40
28 Richard Berry Empty Chair 2:30
29 Richard Berry I’m Learning 2:07
30 Richard Berry Walk Right In 3:04

Buy from Ace Records (UK)

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Listen on Spotify

Album of the Day: Guitar Wolf, Rock’n’Roll Etiquette (2000/2004 [Japan/US] Ki-Oon Music/Narmack Records)

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ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FREAKS ALBUM OF THE DAY FOR FRIDAY, AUGUST 21:

Guitar Wolf, Rock’n’Roll Etiquette (2000/2004 [Japan/US] Ki-Oon Music/Narmack Records)

Allmusic (4/5): AllMusic Review by Mark Deming

At this point in their career, reviewing a Guitar Wolf album is not unlike reviewing the Ramones — they’ve firmly established their sonic template, so you have a pretty good idea of what to expect going in. The question, then, is whether this will be an album like Brain Drain (a great band just walking through the paces) or more like Too Tough to Die (a great band proving it’s still got the muscle). Thankfully, Rock ‘n’ Roll Etiquette offers 15 slices of proof that these guitar-battering lunatics from Japan aren’t likely to run out of steam anytime soon. This album starts out exploding in a blast of cranked-into-the-red guitars, battered drums, and percolating bass, and pretty much doesn’t stop from there on out, even for the relatively slower songs like “The Way I Walk” or “Teardrop Boy.” In short, this is primal rock & roll so raw it practically drips blood, and the grainy fuzz of the lo-fi audio and the manic half-English/half-Japanese howling only add to the impact. If you want your ears kicked, Guitar Wolf is still the band to call on, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Etiquette is one high-quality portion of gut-level wail.

Track Listing:

1 God·Speed·You (Etiquette Version) 2:09
2 Jet Virus 2:24
3 Hot Air Jiro 1:43
4 Murder By Rock (Etiquette Version) 1:42
5 Toiletface (New Mix) 2:19
6 Venus Drive 2:05
7 Sore Loser (Written-By Royal Pendletons, The) 2:24
8 Drives With Wolves 2:44
9 Sky Star Jet 2:10
10 Earth Love 1:50
11 Teardrop Boy 2:49
12 Route 66 (Written-By Bobby Troup) 2:27
13 Three AM Noodle Shop (New Mix) 2:36
14 Highway Baby 3:26
15 Rock ‘N’ Roll Etiquette 1:33
16 The Way I Walk (Written-By Jack Scott) 3:01

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Album of the Day: Randy California, Kapt. Kopter and the (Fabulous) Twirly Birds (1972, Epic)

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ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FREAKS ALBUM OF THE DAY FOR THURSDAY, AUGUST 20:

Randy California, Kapt. Kopter and the (Fabulous) Twirly Birds (1972, Epic)

Allmusic (3/5): AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann

Kapt. Kopter and the (Fabulous) Twirly Birds was Randy California’s debut solo album after leaving Spirit, and thus, expectations were high. California, still only 21, opted to return to the influence of his early mentor, Jimi Hendrix, who had died in 1970. California wailed through a series of tunes in a style more reminiscent of the extended arrangements of Electric Ladyland than the tight psychedelic pop singles on Are You Experienced. Beatles songs like “Day Tripper” and “Rain” became almost unrecognizable frames for California’s improvisations. At least the covers were actual songs, which was more than you could say for the originals. Kapt. Kopter ended up proving that California was not ready to be promoted from a group guitarist who sang and wrote occasionally.

Track Listing:

Downer 5:34
Devil 4:17
I Don’t Want Nobody 4:20
Day Tripper 3:00
Mother And Child Reunion 2:45
Things Yet To Come 8:00
Rain 8:37
Rainbow 3:27

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Album of the Day: various artists, Scratchin’: The Wild Jimmy Spruill Story (2014, GVC Records)

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ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FREAKS ALBUM OF THE DAY FOR WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19:

various artists, Scratchin’: The Wild Jimmy Spruill Story (2014,GVC Records)

Liner Notes from GVC Records

Review from www.redlick.com :

Maxine Brown, Buster Brown, Lee Dorsey, Charles Walker, Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez, Solomon Burke, Bobby Marchan, Noble ‘Thin Man’ Watts, Elmore James and many more…

A fabulous compilation of the early recordings in the career of the talented, little-known but in-demand guitarist, Jimmy Spruill. A native of North Carolina who moved to New York in the mid-1950s, Spruill had a distinctive guitar technique that would soon be employed on a whole host of rock and roll, R&B, blues and soul recordings, many of which would go on to become big-selling and influential hits.

Due to less than comprehensive cataloging, the totality of Spruill’s involvements and contributions can only be guessed at but across the two CDs included here there are over 60 splendid examples from between 1955 and 1962 to be going on with.

You will no doubt already be familiar with some of the big hits included here, without necessarily previously being aware of Spruill’s input. Wilbert Harrison’s massive R&B hit, Kansas City that opens this set being an obvious example of this. Spruill’s scratchy rhythm guitar and stirring solo feature prominently, as it does on the fantastic Fannie Mae by Buster Brown. And his guitar riffery is all over the tremendous No 9 Train by Tarheel Slim, which also includes an explosive guitar solo to drool over.

The real beauty of this release however is that the majority of the tracks on offer here are little known and less frequently anthologized numbers. This of course means that there are plenty of unknown delights to now enjoy, from Bob Gaddy’s soulful and sedate reading of Till The Day I Die, to the intense blues of Tarheel Slim & Little Ann’s It’s Too Late and Little Danny’s Mind On Loving You. Bobby Long’s version of The Pleasure Is All Mine is another one of many new treasures uncovered, along with Jim & Bob Harrison’s tender Please Don’t Hurt Me. On these and most other tracks, Spruill’s always tasteful guitar is a prominent delight but as and where its existence is less obvious (such as on I’m Worried by Elmore James or Dedicated To The One I Love by The Shirelles) the music is of such a high standard that you simply just enjoy the music on offer.

And, if all this sterling support work was not enough, Spruill’s superlative guitar work also features to excellent effect on a number of instrumental sides under his own name. Check out Scratch ’N Twist, Slow Draggin’ and Lonely Island and I guarantee you’ll be hooked.

Track Listing:

CD1

WILBERT HARRISON – Kansas City
WILD JIMMY SPRUILL – Hard Grind
TARHEEL SLIM & LITTLE ANN – Wildcat Tamer
LARRY DALE – Big Muddy
JUNE BATEMAN with NOBLE ‘THIN MAN’ WATTS & HIS BAND – Believe Me Darling
TARHEEL SLIM & LITTLE ANN – It’s Too Late
LEE ROY LITTLE – Your Evil Thoughts
WILD JIMMY SPRUILL – Kansas City March
BOBBY LONG – Jersey City
ELMORE JAMES – Strange Angels
JUNE BATEMAN with NOBLE ‘THIN MAN’ WATTS & HIS BAND – Possum Belly Overalls
DAVID CLOWNEY BAND – Shakin’
CHUCK BRADFORD – You’re Going To Miss Me (When I’m Gone)
WILBERT HARRISON – Don’t Wreck My Life
BOB GADDY – Till The Day I Die
JIMMY SPRUILL – Lonely Island
BOBBY MARCHAN – There’s Something On Your Mind (Pt. 2)
LYNN TAYLOR & THE PEACHETTES – Sweet Little Girl
CHARLIE LUCAS COMBO – Jump For Joy
HAL PAIGE & THE WHALERS – Going Back To My Home Town
TARHEEL SLIM & LITTLE ANN – No.9 Train
B.BROWN & HIS ROCKIN’ MCVOUTS – Hardworking Man
MAXINE BROWN – All In My Mind
SOLOMON BURKE – Down In The Valley
WILD JIMMY SPRUILL – Slow Draggin’
JIM & BOB HARRISON – Little School Girl
CHARLES WALKER’S BAND with JIMMY SPRUILL – Driving Home (Pt. 2)
BUSTER BROWN – Fannie Mae
NOBLE ‘THIN MAN’ WATTS & HIS RHYTHM SPARKS – Hard Times (The Slop)
JIMMY ‘WILDMAN’ SPRUILL – Scratchin’

CD2

WILD JIMMY SPRUILL – Scratch’n’Twist
BUSTER BROWN – Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby
BOB GADDY – I’ll Go My Way
B.BROWN & HIS ROCKIN’ McVOUTS – Rockin’ With “B”
HORACE COOPER & BAND featuring. JIMMY SPRUILL – The Squeeze (part 1)
BOBBY LONG – The Pleasure Is All Mine
TARHEEL SLIM & LITTLE ANN – Don’t Ever Leave Me
JUNE BATEMAN with NOBLE ‘THIN MAN’ WATTS & HIS BAND – Go Away Mr Blues
LITTLE DANNY – Mind On Loving You
JIMMY SPRUILL – Raisin’ Hell
ELMORE JAMES – I’m Worried
BUSTER BROWN – Sugar Babe
STOREY SISTERS – Bad Motorcycle
COMMANDOS – Chicken Scratch
LEE DORSEY – Ya Ya
DAVE ‘BABY’ CORTEZ – The Happy Organ
BOBBY LEWIS – Tossin’ And Turnin’
SHIRELLES – Dedicated To The One I Love
ROSE MARIE with BILL IVEY & THE SABERS – Most Of All
WALKIN’ WILLIE & HIS ORCH. – If You Just Woulda Said Goodbye
HAL PAIGE & THE WHALERS – After Hours Blues
MAXINE BROWN – Harry Let’s Marry
JIMMY ‘WILDMAN’ SPRUILL – Country Boy
DAVID CLOWNEY BAND – Hoot Owl
JIM & BOB HARRISON – Please Don’t Hurt Me
CHARTS – Deserie
LITTLE ANTHONY & THE IMPERIALS – So Much
CHARLES WALKER & HIS BAND – Charles Walker Slop
NOBLE ‘THIN MAN’ WATTS & HIS RHYTHM SPARKS – Jookin’
DAN-DEES ft. JIMMY SPRUILL – Memphis
WILBERT HARRISON – Goodbye Kansas City.

Buy from GVC Records (UK)

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Album of the Day: Stories, Stories (1972, Kama Sutra)

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ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FREAKS ALBUM OF THE DAY FOR TUESDAY, AUGUST 18:

Stories, Stories (1972, Kama Sutra)

Allmusic (4/5): AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine:

Stories was always an odd creature, bearing echoes of Michael Brown’s delicate work with Left Banke, a more mainstream McCartneyesque pop also reminiscent of a sweeter Raspberries and, thanks to Ian Lloyd’s light rasp, hints of Rod Stewart. That hoarse soulfulness served Lloyd well on the band’s only hit “Brother Louie” — which appeared on their second album, About Us — but he was never a true blue-eyed soul vocalist, and not just because Stories didn’t often delve into blues-rock: his touch was too light, his voice too high and thin to dig deep into R&B. He was stuck between two sounds, between precious pop and soulful rock, which was completely appropriate for Brown’s artful pop writing. Brown’s songs for Stories weren’t immediate, they were elliptical and gentle, just melodic enough to hint that these tunes are hookier than they are, having just enough structure to suggest big pop arrangements that never quite materialize, at least on their debut Stories. The touchstone for Stories is quite plainly Paul McCartney, as this is music that places the melody at the forefront; it’s proudly precious and willfully whimsical, music crying out for listeners with a sweet tooth. Here, Stories make Badfinger seem like muscular macho men, as their hardest-rocking song “Take Cover” — with its big, cascading chorus, it’s a tune that could have slipped onto No Dice — almost perversely avoids power chords. Then again, “Take Cover,” while it does point the way to About Us, is atypical on Stories, as it’s built upon Baroque ballads and lovely, lilting midtempo pop, signatures of Michael Brown from the days of Left Banke. While it’s interesting to hear Brown navigate the valleys of modern rock production here, Stories could have used more definition in its arrangements, more power in its production, to really grab listeners. As it stands, it’s ideal music for cultists: music that requires a bit of work, but not too much, to truly appreciate, and it does pay back the effort it demands.

Track Listing:

Hello People
I’m Coming Home
Winter Scenes
Step Back
You Told Me
St. James
Kathleen
Take Cover
Nice To Have You Here
High And Low

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Album of the day: Thee Headcoats, Heavens To Mergatroyd, Even! It’s Thee Headcoats! (Already) (1990, Sub Pop Records)

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ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FREAKS ALBUM OF THE DAY FOR MONDAY, AUGUST 17:

Thee Headcoats, ‘Heavens To Mergatroyd, Even! It’s Thee Headcoats! (Already)’ (1990, Sub Pop Records)

Allmusic (4/5): AllMusic Review by Paula Carino:

This 1990 album, originally released on indie stalwart SubPop, established the basic template for Billy Childish’s oeuvre for the next decade to come: simple garage riffage, snotty, smart lyrics, and a tinny, devil-may-care production that underscores the casual desperation behind the music.

Cover art by Daniel Clowes

Track Listing:

Mantrap
No Way Out
Reindeer Are Wild
Hand To Hand
Headcoat Man
Girl Of Matches
I Don’t Like The Man I Am
Pokerhuntus Was Her Name
We’re Gone
Stewball
I Ain’t About To Give You My Name
Rusty Hook

Buy from Sub Pop

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THE FIRST ANNUAL FREAK OUT WEEKEND – AUGUST 7-9, 2015 – SEATTLE, WA

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The First Annual Freak Out Weekend will be a three day party in Seattle, WA on the weekend of August 7-9.

For all of the details as they develop, visit the First Annual Freak Out Weekend event page on Facebook.

FRIDAY NIGHT, AUGUST 7 will be a rockin’ backyard party hosted by Ted Cogswell and Tamar Lively in Seattle’s Northgate neighborhood. We’ll be firing up the grill, playing some great music, and enjoying some of Washington state’s finest beers and 100% legal recreational cannabis!  If you play guitar or any other acoustic instruments, bring them along for a jam session around the fire at sunset, led by James “Shoes” Walker.

On SATURDAY, AUGUST 8, the Freak caravan will be visiting Something Weird Video world headquarters for an evening of psychotronic cinema under the stars. Lisa Petrucci of SWV has generously offered up access to their vast library of 16mm films and her gorgeous backyard cinema for an evening  that will feature TWO amazing features – THE ASTROLOGER (1975) and THE PSYCHEDELIC PRIEST (1971). There will also be a selection of suitably freaky shorts and trailers as well as popcorn and other concessions.

And then on SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, we will convene at the north end’s greatest old-school dive bar, Darrell’s Tavern, for our big closing bash. We will be entertained by local surf/garage rock legends THE BOSS MARTIANS along with DJ HOWIE PYRO (INTOXICA RADIO/D-GENERATION) and DJ BROTHER JAMES (SINISTER SIX/BUG NASTIES/CAT BUTT).  There will be a cover charge of $7 for this event.

It’s going to be an amazing weekend, and hopefully the start of a great new Northwest tradition. Don’t miss out!!!

Go to the FIRST ANNUAL FREAK OUT Facebook event page to keep up on all of the details and to sign up to get the super-secret addresses for the Friday and Saturday night parties.

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