domingo, 12 de maio de 2019

White Denim - Performance


















White Denim - Performance - 2018

A decade into their career, the two founding members of Austin, Texas-based White Denim -- singer/guitarist James Petralli and bassist Steven Terebecki -- sit on a body of work that can be variously described as nothing short of eclectic. Their six albums have brought waves of critical acclaim and positive attention. Their frenetic and inspired live shows have brought absolute giddy proclamations from fans and journalists. Phrases like "true rock and roll saviors" has been thrown around quite a bit as journalists ecstatically leave the sweaty confines of a White Denim show basking in the glow of a knockout show.

True to the craft of the trade, Petralli and Terebecki kept the band together a couple of years ago after two of their prominent members left to join Leon Bridges' band. Instead of using the lineup shuffle to reassess or move onto other projects, they reconvened and soldiered on with 2016's gloriously fun Stiff, an album that solidified the band's sprawling sound and turned enough heads to allow a tune to be featured in an advertisement for Nintendo Switch.

Two years later, they're back with Performance, a nine-track collection that was put together with drummer Conrad Choucroun and keyboardist Michael Hunter. It's a no-frills recording that plays to the band's strengths while reminding listeners just why they're so damn good in the first place.


01. Magazin
02. Performance
03. It Might Get Dark
04. Sky Beaming
05. Double Death
06. Fine Slime
07. Moves On
08. Backseat Driver
09. Good News



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quinta-feira, 2 de maio de 2019

Ace of Cups - Ace of Cups


















Ace of Cups - Ace of Cups - 2018

They were arguably the first all-female rock band of importance.

The five-member Ace of Cups was based in San Francisco at the height of the Haight, when the neighborhood in the ’60s was known for its outsider art and hippie culture. They performed with such acts as Quicksilver Messenger Service, Country Joe and the Fish and Jefferson Airplane.

Bill Graham picked them to open for a then-new group called the Band, and Jimi Hendrix, upon returning to England, sang their praises (“I heard some groovy sounds last time in the States, like this girl group, Ace of Cups”).

Original and openly feminist, the act never scored a record deal.

Until now.

Today, with each of the women of Ace of Cups in her 70s, the band has been re-discovered. This month the act released its self-titled debut album via High Moon Records.

“This is a dream deferred,” says Denise Kaufman, who plays guitar, bass and harmonica and has written much of the group’s material.

“It’s magical,” adds guitarist Mary Ellen Simpson, who is simultaneously celebrating another grandchild.

Adds longtime fan Jackson Browne, “I’ve been waiting 45 years for the debut.”

The five original Cups — Kaufman, Simpson, Diane Vitalich, Mary Gannon and Marla Hunt (Hunt is not involved now) — met amid the haze of Haight-Ashbury on New Year’s Eve in 1966. Then in their late teens or early 20s, they were in school or held clerical day jobs.

Gannon, a former Miss Monterey, was working in an all-night doughnut shop, Simpson was studying art at a city college and Kaufman was employed at Fantasy Records, the label famous for its association with Creedence Clearwater Revival. But their passion was making music, and once they merged, they would often practice in Fantasy’s upstairs studio. Eventually, they landed a manager and started getting gigs in venues like the Avalon and the Fillmore.

Their songs upended the “It Must Be Him” sentiments they grew up hearing and boast lyrics like, “There are a whole lotta people tryin’ to mess with your mind.” They were soon part of the fabric of their place and time. None more so than Kaufman, who dropped out of UC Berkeley (where she was arrested in the free-speech protests) at 18, and temporarily hopped on Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters bus. At various points, she was apparently the focus of many a famous male’s life. (Hint: Check out the current biographies of Paul Simon and Jann Wenner)

But the summers of love eventually ended, and by 1972, the Ace of Cups’ moment had passed.

“I like to say we faded away,” says drummer Vitalich.

What followed were their version of normal lives: relationships, babies and geographical changes — or, in the words of Gannon, “a lot of hookups and wrong choices.”

Simpson returned to school and eventually became a substance abuse and mental health specialist. Gannon also went back to college and got a degree in education. Vitalich cleaned houses three days a week, and Kaufman, who was married briefly and gave birth to a daughter, moved part time to Kauai, where she started an organic farm, which is still operating, and with six local women opened a private school for kindergartners to 12th graders. She later became a yoga instructor, and her celebrity clientele has included Madonna, Quincy Jones and Jane Fonda.

READ MORE HERE







01. Introduction: There’s a Record Being Made
02. Feel Good
03. Pretty Boy
04. Fantasy 1&4
05. Circles
06. We Can’t Go Back Again
07. The Well (feat. Bob Weir)
08. Taste of One
09. Mama’s Love
10. Simplicity
11. Feel It in the Air
12. Interlude: Transistor
13. Stones
14. Interlude: Baby from the Forest of Knolls
15. Life in Your Hands (feat. Taj Mahal)
16. Macushla/Thelina
17. As the Rain (feat. Peter Coyote)
18. Interlude: Daydreamin’
19. On the Road
20. Pepper in the Pot (feat. Buffy Sainte-Marie)
21. Interlude: Breath
22. Indian Summer
23. Grandma’s Hands
24. Medley (The Hermit / The Flame Still Burns / Gold and Green / Living in the Country)
25. Outroduction: It’s Always Safe…
26. Music


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sábado, 27 de abril de 2019

Humble Pie - Joint Effort


















Humble Pie - Joint Effort - 2019

By Mark Rockpit
As someone who has always been a huge fan of Humble Pie and all things Steve Marriott the news that a new album that had “remained in the vaults since 1975 will finally be released next month” was like several Christmases coming all at once. ‘Joint Effort’ duly arrived for review and as I tend to do when I review, I read nothing about it and did not research anything until I’d had a few spins and got my initial thoughts down.

Recorded in their own Clear Sounds Studio between 1974 and 1975, the album we have here contains the music put together by Steve Marriott and Greg Ridley as a side project before Pie gained momentum again due to the classic albums ‘Eat It’ and ‘Smokin” taking hold in the U.S. As a result Pie regrouped with Dave ‘Clem’ Clempson and Jerry Shirley and the recordings were ultimately rejected by A&M.

Sounded great, but even glancing at the tracklisting that first time made me wonder if maybe this collection of “never-before-heard originals, (and) covers of songs recorded by the Beatles (“Rain”), Betty Wright (“Let Me Be Your Lovemaker”) and James Brown (“Think”)” was indeed something new.

I mean re=recorded versions of ‘Rain’ and “Let Me Be Your Lovemaker’ were both on the bands 1975 album ‘Street Rats’ then as soon as the metaphorical ‘needle hit the groove’ I realised that this album hasn’t exactly languished in the vaults since 1975 – I already had a copy of it titled ‘Running With the Pack’ which saw release on Alchemy Entertainment a mere 20 years ago in 1999! Not only that the Alchemy release also contained four live tracks from what was then at the time Humble Pie’s last show in the States in 1973.

Of course if you’re a ‘Pie’ fan then you’ll still be interested if you haven’t picked up that prior release (or the limited edition reissue on the same label in 2003). The sessions (or demos as Alchemy perhaps more correctly called them) feature the line-up of Steve Marriott, Greg Ridley, Dave ‘Clem’ Clempson, and Jerry Shirley, and do see the band focussing more on the Rhythm and Blues and Soul aspects of their sound than the harder edged Rock.

Notwithstanding the fact that these sessions are 50% covers (and you have to remember that Pie were the masters of taking a song and twisting it to make it their own), there is some great material here.

After the blazin’ funk of ‘Think’ which to me just reconfirms that Marriott had one of the best soul voices out there come the soulful  ‘This Ol’ World’ and ‘Midnight Of My Life’ which do suggest a more soulful future for the Pie. But it’s  Betty Wright’s ‘Let Me Be Your Lovemaker’ that really outshines here – all blues fueled hard rocking bluster that sees Ridley take lead vocal (‘Street Rats’ sees and even heavier version of the song).

The Beatles ‘Rain’ gets the party treatment and the best original here – ‘Snakes & Ladders’ returns to the hard rock, and ‘Good Thing’ adds more blues, before the emotion, piano and blues of the again Ridley sung ‘A Minute Of Your Time.’ We close with a funky rocker from Marriott ‘Charlene’ and an instrumental take on the song that kicked us off in ‘Think 2.’

Oddly despite the line-up at the time the cover shot of this ‘re-issue’ prominently features Peter Frampton (who left the band four years before this album was recorded) rather than ‘Clem’ Clempson who replaced him in the band, it’s rather poor form from the label.

The big mystery of course is why this album was shelved in the first place as it’s just as good as the albums that followed it.

01. Think
02. This Ol' World
03. Midnight of My Life
04. Let Me Be Your Lovemaker
05. Rain
06. Snakes & Ladders
07. Good Thing
08. A Minute of Your Time
09. Charlene
10. Think 2



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