terça-feira, 27 de setembro de 2011

Blues rock & roll

One of the biggest accomplishments of this, the second full-length from Columbus, OH's Great Plains is that it proves that rock & roll can be smart and fun. While frontman Ron House would later take his nasal sing-speak and increasingly snide lyrical slant and front the noisy '90s indie punk outfit Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, here his songs have wiseguy in-jokes, but more importantly, they're strong, catchy songs. Propelled by and large musically by the warm hum of Mark Wyatt's bouncy, Mott the Hoople-by-way-of-seminary organ playing, Naked at the Buy, Sell, and Trade has the fun, bop-around-the-record-player feel of jangly '60s pop acts, but retains a clear punk rock sensibility. Vintage-sounding without coming across as being dated; lo-fi before there truly was such a thing. Most notable among Naked at the Buy, Sell, and Trade's 13 tracks are the criminally catchy clap-along "Dick Clark" and House's wry ode to the underground, "Letter to a Fanzine." Featuring lines like "Isn't my haircut really intense?/Isn't Nick Cave a genius in a sense?" and posing the age-old question "Why do punk rock guys go out with new wave girls?," "Letter to a Fanzine" found a fan in wacky music aficionado Dr. Demento and gained airplay on his radio program. A markedly more somber track, "Chuck Berry's Orphan" is a carryover from House's pre-Great Plains outfit Moses Carryout. With lyrics like "The big city had nothing for us/They said we needed a pretty chorus," the song could be read as a premonition of what will ultimately be House's band-ending dissatisfaction with never rising above the status of being critical darlings (which they were, having drawn praise from the likes of Robert Christgau and Greil Marcus).

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If you've got plenty of disposable cash, there are about a dozen Scientist recordings available as pricy Aussie imports. But if you wanted one chunk of strum from Kim Salmon and his twisted pals, Weird Love is as good (and inexpensive) a place to start as any, since it's the only Scientists recording to be released in the States. Loaded with pumped-up guitars and psychedelic flourishes, it's a bash fest from the start that is relentlessly powerful and intense. Not a new release per se, Weird Love is in fact tracks collected from earlier Aussie-only recordings. Still, it's an accurate reflection of how good this band could be, and certainly will make you excited enough to want to explore more of their exciting, loud and rocking world. 

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So we had the Roxy live Album and we had the Vortex live album; now came the Live At The Hope Anchor - Front Row Festival. Does it hold up against those? The answer is yes and no, but then again it didn't have to. There's no shots of the audience or such like because it's the the venue who's the star here.
If there were stars then it would have been the Stranglers who opened the three week festival on November 17th 1977. Playing the Hope as early as 1975 they had endured the typical start of one man and his dog in attendance. Come November 1977 and they were hot property breaking attendance records at the Roundhouse, top thirty singles and albums and in the middle of a nationwide tour.
For the gig the band had rehearsed every song they'd ever done and wrote a song specially for the occasion 'Tits'. Though only 'Straighten Out' & 'Hanging Around' were selected for the album, the whole gig came out on CD some years later that revealed the band in particularly fine and fun form as songs were played on an almost request basis by the audience. Earlier obscurer tracks such as 'Mean To me' and 'Choosey Suzie' were added to a classic early set list.

The album was released on March 3rd 1978 by WEA a double album but despite a lot of publicity only managed to make it to #28 in the charts. This despite it only costing £4.49 as well.
To be honest it's a fair representation of the music scene in London in Pubs at around the end of 1977/78 - from the obvious punker new wave acts such as the Stranglers,999, Suburban studs and X Ray Spec to the more pub rock R&R of Wilko and the Pirates to the power pop of the Pleasers and the new reggae of Steel Pulse. Near enough everyone of the bands who played had outgrown the Hope and were now playing bigger venues and had record deals but for the festival they were giving something back by returning to their roots.
There's a great selection of tracks but in hindsight you can see why it wouldn't sell. Most Punk fans would want half of the album and consider it too expensive and most other fans would want the the other half and consider it too expensive.
The Saints Offer Demolition Girl and its a ferocious take on the number at breakneck speed and one of the best tracks on there. X Ray Spex give us 'Let's Submerge'. Hell even the Suburban studs sound ok on this and there's a nice version of 'I'm Bugged' by XTC. Even the more pub rocky stuff from Wilko, Tyla Gang and The Pirates are passable.
All in all a good album with some great tracks and a fine testament to the Hope and Anchor.

Eddie Kirkland has long straddled the fence between bluesy soul and soulful blues. He was at a low point when he recorded for Trix in 1973, but this session recharged him musically, if not sales-wise. Whether Kirkland is doing silly numbers, offering taut blues licks or giving examples of his philosophy, he finds creative ways to utilize the standard 12-bar scheme. ~ Ron WynnLP has been rereleased on cd and is available at Amazon.

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Prickly insights and sensitive accompaniment were the stock-in-trade of pianist and vocalist Wilbert Thirkield "Big Chief" Ellis. A self-taught player, Ellis performed at house parties and dances during the '20s, then left his native Alabama. He traveled extensively for several years, working mostly in non-musical jobs. After a three-year army stint from 1939 - 1942, Ellis settled in New York. He accompanied many blues musicians during their visits to the New York area. He started recording for Lenox in 1945, and also did sessions for Sittin' In and Capitol in the '40s and '50s, playing with Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee for Capitol. Though Ellis reduced his performance schedule after moving from New York to Washington D.C., his career got a final boost in the early '70s. He recorded for Trix and appeared at several folk and blues festivals until his death in 1977. 

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Queen - 40th Anniversary Series: 38x SHM-CDs (Digital Remaster '2011)

Queen - 40th Anniversary Series: 38x SHM-CDs (Digital Remaster '2011)
EAC Rip | FLAC+CUE+LOG > 8,6 GB | Scans 600 dpi > 2,83 GB | MP3 CBR 320 Kbps > 2,96 GB
It's hard to believe but 2011 is indeed the 40th anniversary of the legendary rock group, Queen. Even though lead singer, Freddie Mercury is no longer with us, their music continues to live on and manages to make an impact with each and every new generation. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the band, Universal Music Group will be reissuing all 15 studio albums as deluxe remastered editions which will include additional bonus material!

Queen's 40th anniversary celebration kicks off with deluxe reissue of first five studio albums, plus Greatest Hits 1 & 2, and Deep Cuts, vol. 1.

Queen’s 40th anniversary is now upon us, and the band plans to pull out all the stops to celebrate this historic occasion. “2011 is an important year for Queen,” said Brian May “and there will be a lot of activity.” Adds Roger Taylor, I can’t believe it’s been that long and that we are still around in such a big way. I’m amazed and grateful!” This yearlong event will be marked by a series of releases, re-releases, special limited-edition items and events around the world.

It was in March 1971 that bassist John Deacon joined May and Taylor’s buzzed-about London group, which had changed its name from Smile to Queen nine months earlier, following the addition of multitalented singer/pianist Freddie Mercury, thus completing the classic lineup. The four simpatico musicians proceeded to take the world by storm. The band has released a total of 18 chart-topping albums and 18 #1 singles, while selling more than 300 million albums worldwide, making them one of the biggest rock acts of all time. They’ve received seven Ivor Novello awards in the U.K., were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, the UK Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and even received their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in October 2002.

As live artists, Queen literally conquered the world. Acknowledged as one of the greatest stadium bands of all time, Queen performed over 700 concerts, reaching into every corner of the world. They achieved rock history by being the first band to open up South America and the Eastern Bloc, with world record- breaking concerts in Argentina, Brazil and Hungary.

This is a timeless band whose music retains such immediacy and undiminished power that new fans continue to discover and embrace it, along the way inspiring a host of diverse artists from Lady Gaga (who took her name from Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga”), and Katy Perry, through to the Foo Fighters. It’s worth noting that Queen’s videos have collectively generated well north of 300 million views online—a remarkable figure that figures to expand exponentially with the launch of a dedicated Vevo channel this spring, in yet another iteration of the anniversary rollout.

As the centerpiece in the 40th anniversary celebration, Queen’s entire 15-album studio catalog is being reissued in a series of deluxe editions. Every note is being tweaked, every piece of artwork is being cleaned, freshened up and resourced, wherever necessary, with the legendary Bob Ludwig doing the remastering, working from the original source material. The albums will be released in three waves, staggered over the next year, with the first wave—comprising the first five LPs—coming this spring.

Each studio album will be released in a new two-CD edition, the first containing the updated, remastered original LP, the second disc packed with rarities—and we don’t use the term lightly. Some of these gems have never before seen the light of day, even in crappy bootleg form. To cite a particularly fascinating example, five first-album demos recorded at London’s De Lane Lea Studios in December 1971 were pulled from the only existing copy on the planet—an acetate from May’s personal archives. Not even his bandmates had a copy.

“A huge amount of work has already been put in behind the scenes to unleash a completely newly mastered set of the original Queen LPs and CDs,” May noted. “I know our fans will appreciate the attention to detail, bringing the early albums closer than ever to the magic of the vinyl originals, but with the benefit of up-to-the-minute quality technology.”

In other anniversary activity, the gallery exhibition “Storm Troopers in Stilettos” opens in London on Feb. 25, with plans in place to tour the exhibit around the world. According to May, this unprecedented event “will highlight in some innovative ways the growth of the ‘Early Queen.’” On April 12, Hollywood will reissue Queen’s debut single, “Keep Yourself Alive” b/w “Son and Daughter,” on seven-inch vinyl in a limited edition coinciding with Record Store Day. And on April 19, the label will issue the band’s Greatest Hits II for the first time in North America. This classic collection includes the rock standards “Under Pressure” and “Radio Ga Ga,” plus many other classics from the second half of Queen’s run, including the worldwide smashes “I Want It All” & “Innuendo.” Additionally, the “Queen on Vinyl” reissue program will be completed this year with the release of the final five studio albums.

In the UK, Queen’s Greatest Hits 1 holds the record of being the biggest selling album of all time ahead of albums by The Beatles, Oasis, Dire Straits, and Abba.

This is just the beginning of what promises to be a treasure trove of must-have pieces for Queen fans. More will be revealed in the coming months, so stay tuned.

-- from the official press release

DOWNLOAD > Queen - 40th Anniversary Series: 35x SHM-CDs (Digital Remaster '2011)

The archives are interchangeable.

where "L" is lossless, "M" is MP3, "C" is HQ Scans
and the album's title is his catalogue number.