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Acid Archives 2nd Edition Updates
2 January 2014
Los Angeles -- Open City
Now Playing: Jarvo Runga
Topic: Minor change or comment

I picked up an obscure '60s underground paper from LA called 'Open City' and as often there were some curious surprises in there, such as the only review of the ACID SYMPHONY 3-LP set that I've ever seen. Some other interesting reviews, check it out. In addition there was a long and respectful discussion of Corman's "The Trip", an interview with the US Kaleidoscope, a syndicated interview with the Doors, a review of the Airplane at the Hollywood Bowl, and an instalment in Charles Bukowski's "Dirty Old Man" series of short stories that would ultimately be assembled for his debut book. But this was as early as '67 and the Buk a complete unknown. Cool paper, odd that I haven't run across it earlier.

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 19:59 CET
Updated: 2 January 2014 20:06 CET
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29 December 2013
Gwydion wholesale
Now Playing: Jelly Bean Bandits "Caterpillar's Eye"
Topic: Minor change or comment

Opinions may differ as to the aesthetic value of Gwydion's music, but surely every private press collector with a heart must admire this full-page ad. Knowing his audience, the man didn't advertise in Rolling Stone but instead the occult digest FATE, which more than a decade earlier had run a few pioneering LSD articles among its stories of werewolves and UFOs.

The wholesale price is quite competitive. Thanks to avid Acid Archives reader Ken B for this one! 



Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 22:41 CET
Updated: 29 December 2013 22:56 CET
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25 December 2013
Beverly Hills Baba & Lite Storm
Now Playing: Buddy Holly
Topic: New review

Here's a real review of a placeholder in the AA book, after I finally located a copy; both this and its predecessor are rarely seen.

God Is Truth 1974 (Sai Sound Samitee 10-50)
The second of two albums that the hippie-rockers Lite Storm recorded under the aegis of their Hindu guru Satya Sai Baba, who appears on the cover and is heard throughout the record. The old Acid Archives review suggests that this sequel is similar to the preceding God Is Love, and while they have much in common, there seems to be a certain development in process. The unusual mix of embryonic new age (eerie electronics), liturgic Eastern chanting, and trippy CA folkrock is recognizable, but here given a further spin as Sai Baba picks up the mic and sings a few songs himself--not just the kirtan chanting, but real pop songs. One of them sounds more Bollywood than CA guru music, but the bulk of it is typical '70s hippie-folk with a light rock setting, atmospheric keyboards & wordless vocals, and Sai Baba and the Lite Stormers (male and female) sharing lead vocals, often by trading lines. It's kind of catchy, and fun to hear traces of old '60s sunshine lyte-psych mutated into this unorthodox spiritual music. Whatever Sai Baba's game was, he clearly had no objection to the disciples' Western musical activity. Compared to God Is Love I think this is a more consistent and finalized album that plays through like a charm, but the kirtan curveball gives the psychedelic/new age aspects of the music an ethnic pop sheen which needs to be weighed in. Well-written songs and arrangements with some spooky psych passages and nice female vocals, and as a crossover item it finds its inbetween-ground in a fairly unique spot. [PL].

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 22:31 CET
Updated: 25 December 2013 22:54 CET
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19 December 2013
Seeds go out with a bhang
Topic: Minor change or comment

The long-running mystery of the last "real" Seeds line-up which did the two MGM 45s in 1970 was finally cleared up via Jeff Jarema's liner notes for the double 45 reissue recently. In case you missed it, Sky Saxon and Daryl Hooper recruited a completely new band with no ties to the various '68-69 players. The new guys were a Pasadena band known as Solid Mist who jumped aboard not knowing where the Saxon magic might take them, although the end result was limited to a number of live gigs and those two 45s. I refer to the reissue 7-inch and my indepth Sky Saxon page for details.

The main purpose of this post is to announce that I now own a copy of "Did He Die", the 2nd MGM 45 and one which I doubted I would be able to score, since it's as rare as some Back From The Grave discs! It landed here sounding more intense than any repros, as 45s tend to do. I also noted that "Love In A Summer Basket" was the designated airplay pick.

The other thing I wanted to share was the discovery (by Richard MJ of Flashback), finally, of a period media reference to this last Seeds line-up including band member names. The reason no one has utilized this info before is because it appeared only in an obscure publication called Entertainment World, which had a few issues around 1970. This brief news item would have been a real scoop a few years ago, and is still worth passing on today.


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 17:49 CET
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:09 CET
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14 December 2013
Flour Zine Flower Scene
Now Playing: Ithaca "A Game For All Who Know"
Topic: Minor change or comment

I finally found time to scan and document my prized copies of Flower Scene, an independent British music magazine which existed 1967-68 and is rarely seen today. The Lama Workshop has now been expanded with a Flower Scene introduction, content index and some scans for two early issues. Skip Bifferty in the flesh, gov'nor! While waiting for the page to load, here's a small but rare shot of Paper Blitz Tissue who had the great "Boy Meets Girl" 45 (Chocolate Soup vol 2).


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:19 CET
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:13 CET
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6 December 2013
Two obscure reissues
Now Playing: Mario Kart
Topic: Addition

It was easier back when you only had to keep track of Funhouse and Midnight Records catalogs to have a full grasp of new reissues. Nowadays many indie records sort of leak out into the real world without anyone bothering to advertise them, presumably because the internet networking is good enough to move 500 or 750 copies of a repro without standard PR. The risk, obviously, is that people who would love the reissue don't get to hear about it until much later.

Here are two reissues that you may not have heard about:

KEVIN APRILL: Sunset Upon An Imaginary Beach Of Latent Energy (Del Val, US)
This is a limited reissue of a 1-known-copy US private press basement wonderama which seems quite interesting, with references to Madrigal and Charlie Tweddle. I had to order one right away, and maybe you do too. The Del-Val label is back after a few years of hibernation.

CASE: Blackwood (Lion Productions, US)
Another one I never expected to see a reissue of, like Todd, Misty Hush Revival, etc. Discovered some 10 years ago by a young Texas craterist, Case is highlighted by a dynamite westcoasty basement psych track, while the rest of the album left me rather unmoved, as evident from the Acid Archives review. However, holding a real rekkid, even a reissue, in one's hand can change the impression substantially, so for now I'm just noting that this one is out from the renowned Lion Productions, with band info (recorded during X-mas break 1971 by a PA high school quintet) and color photo insert. Limited edition of 500 copies, which is a lot more than the RPC original, of which very few copies are known to exist. 

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 17:01 CET
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:13 CET
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Chaplains (1965)
Now Playing: Floss "Cruisin'"
Topic: Addition

The bold and beautiful few who share my journeys through the shunned woods of mid-60s teenbeat LPs have now come up with another buried artefact from ancient days. Previously undocumented, we give you...

More Soul 1965 (MIC 2109)
  [no sleeve]
The band were students at Vanderbilt Univ in Nashville, class of '65. The album apparently never came with a cover. Proud explorer Erik Lindgren reports that "...there are a few good garage numbers and a bunch of horn rock soulish covers. The three or so bona fide garage songs don't have horns and are spirited. Musically in the league of most Justice LPs...". Erik also forwarded a track list, viz: 

Side 1
1 Gloria
2 For Your Precious Love
3 Can I Get A Witness
4 In Crowd
5 Treat Her Right
6 Cry Baby

Side 2
1 Midnight Hour
2 Deep Purple
3 The Last Time
4 My Girl
5 All My Loving
6 Turn On Your Love Light

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 16:37 CET
Updated: 6 December 2013 16:40 CET
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17 November 2013
Name That Tune legacy
Now Playing: Midwinter "Waters Of Sweet Sorrow"
Topic: Minor change or comment

The contest is finished and the prizes are being distributed, but late-comers may still be interested in the Name That Tune contest, the music part in particular. The web-pages will be left running and the music remains downloadble, viz:

here you can download the Mystery Disc aka Name That Tune:
track list here:
Now it's time to look forward and boldly go where no man has gone before!

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 18:35 CET
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10 November 2013
Name That Tune contest finished !
Now Playing: Darius on Chartmaker
Topic: Minor change or comment

Things have been more strange than usual around these parts, as I fractured my hipbone last week and was taken to hospital, where they shot me full of morphine & then, between nodding-off, I checked my surf pad (gotta love Wi-Fi equipped hospitals) only to find that Lou Reed had moved on to, well, wherever a Lou Reed goes when it dies. Reclining in a hospital bed with industrial strength opiates running through my system while thinking of Lou Reed seemed like an unusually memorable event among the dead days of Nordic autumn. They allowed me home after a few days and sent me off with some interesting pharmaceuticals which are currently being evaluated. I'm not really a big narcotics fan, but it if it's clean and nearly free, why not enjoy it while it lasts... and now I really don't care anymore... you can aalll go take a waallk...

Actually, that's not true. What I really came to tell you about is the final results of the massive Name That Tune contest that we kicked off 5-6 months ago. The NTT website has been updated with all the results and winners ('Crazy Juan' in Spain won by a thin margin after having named 15 of the 23 tracks: a very impressive feat in view of the level of difficulty). Of these 23 tracks, only two remained unidentified after the dust had settled.


So, winners, track lists and comments can be found here:

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 21:33 CET
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7 October 2013
Reissue round-up
Now Playing: Koobas
Topic: Entry data revision

I don't intend or pretend to keep track of all new reissues that poureth forth from all corners of the world, but once in a while there may be a quick survey of what's going on. Like right now.

First off is the unexpected repro of TODD's immortal "With Love From Me To You", originally self-released in 100 copies in Indiana 1979. It's been said that Todd sells more t-shirts than records (I have two snazzy Todd tees, for instance), but the back story and significant artefact status of Todd justifies this repro from Swan Fungus, an American label. The modern producers generously provided a photo of Todd in a joyous moment reminiscent of his moment of triumph at the high school prom, where according to legend he became a John Hughes '80s teen movie type underdog/hero after the jocks tried to make fun of him and the other kids rallied to support him.

It was snidely predicted back then that Todd would "still be selling his record 20 years from now" and guess what--the bullies were right, but not in the way they intended! Apparently Todd likes to think that his current status is due to the excellence of his music and nothing else, so buy the rekkid and decide for yourself.

Way off at the other end of the scale, or maybe on another scale altogether, is a brand new reissue of the hallowed debut LP from MU, featuring Merrel Fankhauser and Jeff Cotton. No mind games on this Guerssen reissue, just the classic LP in the original '71 sleeve, with insert liner notes by, well, me. It was great to connect with the Fank, who remembers every aspect of his career well, and given his multitude of projects there was quite a bit to write about. I think this may be the most accurate and complete piece fact-wise for the 1969-72 period so far. The LP is great and now ready to be contemplated by another generation.

Almost as unlikely as Todd is the reissue of MISTY HUSH REVIVAL also on Guerssen. This one's been out for a while but still has me surprised each time I see it listed. It's enjoyable as a time capsule with a sound and vibe you never find on a 'real' label release, but it's also so extremely obscure (for a long while, only one copy was known to exist) that I never thought it would be reissued. Of course, I thought the same about HEITKOTTER, and then a 1000-copy reissue popped up from Time-Lag, so I guess anything is possible these days. When is the Cincinnati Joe & Mad Lydia repro due?

Finally on Guerssen is a record whose qualities are in your face and not in need of ironic analysis, meaning T-KAIL's "Somewhere Sometime" (or whatever--I have an orig here but am too lazy to check), which comes with band story from my Acid Archives colleague Aaron Milenski, esq. Aaron is a major fan of this record since long, which you can see from his review in the Acid Archives. I think it's pretty damn good too, and recommended to fans of Titus Oates, Galaxy and maybe even Anonymous. Watch for the disco track on side 2 though!

In the first version of this post I forgot to mention yet another unlikely reissue of recent making, meaning the extremely obscure METZ album from mid'70s Texas. You can find a review of the album in the Acid Archives 2nd Edition, but basically it's an energetic urban glam-rock sound that is quite unusual for the region. The back story has some interesting angles--the first (presumably) copy was found by the Rockadelic guys back in the 1980s, but one of them managed to break it when demonstrating the flexibility of the thin vinyl! They patched it together enough so it could be spot played, and realized that it kicked ass. After that nothing was heard about Metz for 20 years, until a copy popped up in one of the Pokora books, while a collector in New Orleans simultaneously found another copy.

Metz sleeve as seen in Pokora book, sorry for poor scan

A funny thing about the new reissue from the US Ossining label is that the front cover isn't "real"--the Metz LP was most likely sleeve-less, and what is being recycled is a home-made, modern design drawn by the Austrian (T.U.T) collector who owned the copy shown in the Pokora book, and who reportedly had a habit of creating new sleeves for the sleeve-less items in his collection. This is more of a fun curiosity than a problem, not least since the design is nice and fits the record. Observe the reversed 'Z'.

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 20:22 MEST
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:15 CET
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1 October 2013
Name That Tune enters the final lap!
Now Playing: Chris, Chris & Lee
Topic: Minor change or comment

Today we have precisely 1 month left before the doors close on that most exciting of contests, the psychedelic NAME THAT TUNE!

You've seen it on the TV show, you've heard it on the radio -- if not, here's the full low-down:

Enter now and compete for the extraordinary prizes and even some good old US dollars!

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 21:32 MEST
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30 September 2013
Missouri's lost drone masters: The Sound Farm
Now Playing: Sound Farm
Topic: Addition

This was forwarded to me by an experienced Midwest collector, and turned out to be a highly interesting and for the area atypical '60s hippie underground sound with avant touches. The band were called Sound Farm and apparently were an early commune of musicians, something which is audible in the group-mind nature of the music. Alas, the Sound Farm settled for a reel-to-reel 'release' of their album-length material (complete with custom-designed box and awesome insert; $3.50), which has never come out in any other format. Reissue labels may take an interest in this in 2013. Reportedly the band laid down a bunch more on tape than what was released.

Harvest (Music For The People) 1969 (no label)
  [reel-to-reel format; mono and stereo; circa 500p]
Nine tracks of atmospheric hippie drone-rock from communal heads in Missouri; reminiscent of The Electronic Hole and European early '70s psych in the Trad Gras & Stenar style. Recorded as early as 1966-68, this is a pioneering effort for the Midwest, and features structured songs mixed with instrumental organ/guitar headtrips with enjoyably stoned results. Only released on 7" reel tape.

"Mr Bullfrog":

"Jungle Body", 8 minutes of vintage Missouri drone:


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 22:22 MEST
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:16 CET
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21 September 2013
Eden Ahbez with bonus
Now Playing: Eden Ahbez
Topic: Entry data revision

As the importance, not to mention sheer enjoyment, of Eden Ahbez' proto-psychedelic masterpiece Eden's Island opens ears and minds in ever wider circles, the reissues step forth. Righteous/Cherry Red in England have recently released what I think is the fourth repro, and it is the best one yet. Earlier repros have simply taken the original album for recycling, not bothering to add even the non-LP 45 side that clearly belongs to the Eden's Island sessions. A recent vinyl repro took the liberty to replace the classic, perfect 1960 sleeve with some yellow abomination that was neither modern nor retro, but simply wrong.

The current CD on the other hand retains the original front cover, and better yet, adds a whole bunch of vital bonus tracks. The 45 track ("Tobago"; actually an instrumental version of an LP number) is present, as are several other 45 (or even 78) tunes written by 'Ahbe', as his friends knew him. Bianchi & The Jungle Sex-Tet have 3 tracks from the Aphrodisia LP which are fun cocktail sipping music from the Atomic Age, and there is also a vocal surf tune with Eden himself.

But what really delighted me was the inclusion of Herb Jeffries' "Legend Of Nature Boy" suite in its entirety. Released around 1957, this is the only recording of Ahbez' complete suite, from which "Nature Boy" was pulled and made a hit for Nat King Cole in the late '40s. Jeffries fell in love with the spiritual depth of this smooth music, and arranged and recorded it with Richard Hazard's Orchestra for a self-financed release; an early private pressing in other words. This is not quite Exotica but big band crooner ballads with a serious, philosophical tone; not at all like Eden's Island yet quite psychedelic in its own way. In my Acid Archives and Psychedelia books I have written at length about Jeffries' LP, which the man even took care to reissue in the late 1970s. In addition to the musical and historical value, it is encouraging to see reissue labels do their homework and dig up contextual recordings of importance. Kudos to the producers.

Second pressing from the late 1970s

With reference to Ahbez' oeouvre, it should be recognized that what we get on this CD is a selection, by no means complete. There are several more 45s and 78s featuring recordings of Eden's songs (I have one in my own quite small Ahbez collection), although I don't think there are any more discs with Eden himself present. If the Ahbe trip continues its victory tour around the world, it may be possible to envision a complete collection of all his compositions in their original recordings. Wouldn't that be something? In the meantime, pick up this excellent CD reissue from Righteous and dream the dream that dreamers dream.

PS if someone is working on a complete Ahbez discography featuring all his compositions, feel free to get in touch for hands-on support.

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:55 MEST
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:17 CET
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9 September 2013
Joy Malay Ensemble on Album World
Now Playing: Eclipse (US 1983)
Topic: Addition

Avid Acid Archives reader JB generously forwarded an odd bird that should interest tax scam hounds and Album World completists.


Maid Inn De' USA 1977 (JM Records AW 14086)

Here's what seems to be a previously undocumented addition to the Album World tax scam discography. The 'band', if we pretend that it existed, delivers what sounds like studio backing tracks for various known and unknown songs before the vocals were added. In other words, it's instrumental music that was never intended to be released in this form. Not uncommon for the wild world of tax shelter rock, and as you might guess, a rather unusual listening experience. Assuming that it all comes from the same source, I would venture that it was a club band cutting some studio sides, as the playing is reasonably good and the track list contains several 'oldies'. Off the top of my head I identified instro covers of "Liar Liar" (Castaways), "La La La La La" (Blendells) and "When You Walk In The Room" (Searchers). People with better ears than me can properly name several more, although the completely invented back cover credits do not offer much help. Since the music was intended to support a vocalist, there is not much of soloing and the verses and choruses float by in an amusingly passive way. It is strangely listenable, and fairly varied style-wise, so why not? [PL]

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 21:20 MEST
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25 August 2013
Save Wild Basin finally located
Now Playing: Pink Floyd live San Diego 1971
Topic: Minor change or comment

Since time immemorial I have been haunted by the mystery of two obscure vintage 45s for which even the tiniest bit of information refused to surface. Theories as to them being modern hoax recordings, or unreleased, or maybe not from the USA, came in vogue as time went and positively no one I asked seemed to know anything. Recently, after 20+ years, I sort of gave up on the quest, since not even the riches of internet yielded any clues.

And maybe that was just what was needed, because a few months ago, in rapid succession, I found the whole shebang of release data for both 45s. I will return to the other no-longer-mysterious 45 in a later post and focus on the second one of the two here, as I now have the actual rekkid in my hairy hands. It is "Save Wild Basin" by a group called Sonstar, and like almost everyone familiar with it, I first ran across it on the enigmatic 'Good Roots' garage/psych compilation from Austria c1982. The comp contained no data and in fact managed to mis-spell (deliberately?) the group's name as 'Sonostar', which may have contributed to my long delay in finding it.

A mighty fine piece of music it is anyway, energetic hippie-folk with an advanced guitar arrangement and soaring vocals that fit the theme of the lyrics perfectly. The band turned out to be a quartet from Austin TX and the single was released as part of a campaign to save a piece of rural land and a basin from explotiation. It came with a picture sleeve that also could be used as a mailing envelope, and contained a 2-sided insert. Very few people have heard the B-side "Golden Eagle", which is a quite good rock number with a full electric setting; it's probably one step too close to mainstream FM rock to work on underground ears, but does confirm the quality of Sonstar. Another collector who was in contact with the group learned that they had a major label deal in progress, at which point their album master tapes were lost; at least that's what the band claims. Too bad, because one can imagine a pretty damn good LP coming from these cats.

The 45 was released as late as 1976, making it almost contemporary when it was picked for bootlegging on 'Good Roots'. This places it in the fine company of other mid-70s tracks such as Neil Norman's "Phaser Laser" (1977) and Scorpion's "I'm Only Human" (1974) on that most peculiar compilation. In any event, the Sonstar quest is complete and I am very happy for the closure.

You wonder about the campaign? Well, it turned out successfully--wild basin was saved and is probably still there.


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 20:30 MEST
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22 July 2013
Stray dogs in need of a name tag
Now Playing: still the same Rex Foster LP
Topic: Addition

A couple of titles that look AA-like but need more feedback.

Conglomerations 1973 (no label ARA 71673) 
[paste-on sleeve]
Described as pretty good acoustic downer folk, includes a rarely done Donovan cover.

BRAT (San Diego, CA)
Brat 1971 (no label R-2826)
  [1-sided; no sleeve]
Presumed demo press-only 1-sided disc with six tracks from this unknown local rock band, including covers of the Yardbirds and the Who. Reportedly only 50 copies made, which could be true.

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 20:28 MEST
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:19 CET
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9 July 2013
Alan Franklin Climactic Correction
Now Playing: Deliverance (1972)
Topic: Entry data revision

Floridian king of rock Alan Franklin had several obscure LPs under his belt, with at least three in the vintage (1969 onwards) years alone. The album credited to the Alan Franklin Explosion and reissued by Psycho is well-known and not overly hard to find--it was in fact even mentioned in Billboard--but the other two are obscure indeed.

Our diligent friend Juan in Spain recently aquired the LP listed vaguely as 'Climax' in the Acid Archives 2nd Edition, and forwarded several corrections to that entry. The release year is 1969, the title is Blues Climax (same as the Alan Franklin Explosion LP) and there is nothing to really indicate it being the 'demo' it is listed as. Based on the liner notes, which are quite amusing and probably written by Franklin himself, this was a proper commercial issue whose main fault was that no one was interested in it.

Blues Climax 1969 (Horne J.C. 333-7)

This pre-dates the better known 'Alan Franklin Explosion' LP and features earlier versions of several tracks, recorded with Franklin handling all instruments except the drumming. Despite its obscurity it appears to be a commercial issue, rather than a 'demo' as has been claimed earlier.


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:24 MEST
Updated: 9 July 2013 23:26 MEST
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6 July 2013
Hoi Polloi peeks out again (40 years on)
Now Playing: Hoi Polloi reissue
Topic: Entry data revision

I have written at some length about the sophisticated and partly quite superb college project LP Hoi Polloi from Earlham College 1972. After a long, diligent process the album is now out as an vinyl reissue from a joint indie project between Family Vineyard and Folk Evaluation:

Hoi Polloi is one of few albums where I can claim a stake on being part of its "discovery", and it's an utter delight to see the long process from getting an original in a trade about a decade ago (a transaction actually described in the liner notes) now result in this upscale reissue from people who obviously take a real interest in the story and record. I can still recall the buzz I got from the very first play of my old original--the sound and quality of the opening "Who's Gonna Help Me" was totally different from what I had expected from the crude cover and custom label press. At the time, the album was unknown except for a listing in one of the Pokora books, and only 3-4 copies were known to exist. A few more have surfaced since, but it's still a serious rarity.

The reissue landed here just the other day and is very nicely done; thick sleeve, insert, exact repro of Custom Fidelity labels even. The sound seems to be excellent on the first play--despite the engineer/producer's comments about the limitations of 'bouncing tracks', the original recordings are almost of pro-studio quality, clean yet dynamic. One of my favorite reissues of 2013 so far, although I'm obviously biased. I had no direct involvement with the production of the repro, however.

Don't miss the highly rewarding download bonus tracks, which give the substantial talents of Charlie Bleak more individual space than the group-effort Hoi Polloi album. This cat was the Paul McCartney of Ohio! There are also four tracks from the one and only live performance from Hoi Polloi, which includes a couple of tunes not on the original album.


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 21:59 MEST
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:20 CET
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13 June 2013
Bureman & O'Rourke & Post #100
Now Playing: Terminator Salvation
Topic: New review

Post #100 will cause no particular celebration, but for the record I might observe that the AA Updates concept has worked out pretty well. Feedback is sporadic but good, and I can tell from e-mails and other comments that quite a few people read these pages. The blog format is convenient in some ways, but the lack of an A-Z index is annoying. I'll see if I can fix this somehow. And now...

BUREMAN & O'ROURKE (Kansas City, MO)
Strawberry Pickin's 1974 (Pearce 42550)

This is a fairly well-known title among private press rural rockers, yet listening to it I think it deserves a little more attention. It's simply a good, enjoyable album that could well have come out on a real record label. Music-wise it's bluegrass-oriented roots sounds, utilizing a standard rock setting plus banjo and mandolin. It's not a hippie barnyard thing like Sodbusters, but a more genuinely dedicated effort that reminds me of the Brown County Band. Side 1 is more traditional, while side 2 leans more towards rural rock with a possible New Riders Of The Purple Sage influence. That said, "Genevieve" on side 1 is the strongest track of all, an excellent original that could have come from the Modlin & Scott LP. Covers include a fine "Mr Bojangles", "Love Song" by Loggins & Messina, and a couple of trad numbers. While not quite up there with Cambridge or the Black Canyon Gang, Strawberry Pickin's (it's their apostrophe) plays through like a charm, and will appeal to anyone with an ear for rural rock, country-rock and modern bluegrass. This used to be in 'The Attic', but both quality and recent going rates promotes it as a matter for the main Acid Archives. The duo had at least one more album. [PL]

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:24 MEST
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12 June 2013
Doc Holiday & Justen O'Brien
Now Playing: Doc Holiday
Topic: Addition

Here's one that's probably been floating around in $5 bins before someone with the right ears sat down and gave it a chance. Cred goes to the legendary sleuth in Texas who still pulls rabbits out of the hat after 25+ years. The connection to a well-known private press maestro provides the icing on the cake.

Lady Free 1980 (no label DDP-807)

Another recent discovery, Doc Holiday managed to ensure maximum obscurity for his opus by a combination of artist name, album title, and front cover design that sends out a total impression of second tier contemporary country music. However, flipping the cover over to read the credits, the name JUSTEN O'BRIEN will jump out at any seasoned record aardvark, not least since O'Brien's presence is all over the album: he handled engineering and mixing at his own 'Justen Other' studio, reportedly co-wrote several of the (uncredited) songs, and played bass. The opening track is unimpressive soft rock that seems to confirm the negative promise of the packaging, but with "I Dreamed I Went Sailing Last Night" we are swept into what sounds like a lost outtake from Justen O'Brien's Time Will Tell LP. Any fan of that highly original piece of work will instantly recognize the odd nocturnal vibe, the flowing basement sound, and the lyrics about journeys of the imagination. For a pure Justen OB buzz, this is the high point of the LP, but fact is that for its full duration, Lady Free is good or even very good. There is a certain folk influence that combines with the '70s late-night Midwestern vibe most intriguingly, as heard on side closer "I Am Just A Spirit", which revisited some of the Justen feel as combined with a solid dose of Tom Nehls. A tribute to Sir Thomas More (!) anglifies the folk theme, while over on side 2 cutting fuzz leads opens the door to the most rocking track, "A Friend I Have". Moments like this may bring Michael James or even side 2 of Marcus to mind, although Doc's excellent, mellow vocals gives the music a distinct identity. "Kathleen" takes a Pearls Before Swine approach to a melody reminiscent of Dylan's "Tomorrow Is A Long Time", with excellent use of violin, while the Donovan strain from the Thomas More tune resurfaces on another Albion-themed song about Queen Victoria. True private press appeal arises from the combination of '60s folk, nocturnal singer-songwriter, and spooky Midwestern late '70s DIY FM rock production; had the Doc been picked up by a record label the outcome would have been completely different. As it is, the unexpected marriage makes the album difficult to figure out at first, but with several plays a consistent, homogenous experience emerges. Lady Free has some things in common with the Richard Kneeland LP [see review below] and may appeal to the same type of '70s private press collector, once the news of Justen O'Brien's presence has been digested. The artist was tracked down recently and his few remaining copies were aquired and distributed. [PL] 
see => Justen O'Brien

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 22:15 MEST
Updated: 12 June 2013 22:23 MEST
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