Thursday, 25 November 2010

Bucketfull Of Brains #76 now available

Here it comes, issue number 76 has just started rolling back from the printers. The usual mix of information and misinformation to delight and astound.

This time around we’ve got an array of old favourites and eminent friends; a little bit of looking after our own. There’s stuff on books and festivals and psych folk, and the usual bits and bobs.

Howe Gelb and Chuck Prophet are interviewed by Nick West. Mick Dillingham locks horns with The Posies. Hugh Gulland talks at length with Terry Edwards; this is Part One of what looks set to run and run. Our friend Roch Parisien chaired an online session with Jim Sclavunos and we’ve got some excerpts from that. Then Kim Salmon and Jud Cost had a bit of a chat about this and that.

Phil Suggitt went to IPO in Vancouver, sat David Bash down and got the skinny on that moveable feast. Plus there’s stuff on the Stones and the End Of The Road, Dennis Dalcin’s Garage, various reviews and stuff.

Purchase the issue here and now

BoB #76

Or take out a three-issue subscription

BoB 3 Issue Subscription starting with #76

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Damaged Goods Christmas Party - 100 Club - 15th December

This years' Damaged Goods Christmas spectacular is at the very lovely, possibly not long for this world, 100 Club, for £8 you get 4 bands and a 7” single, it must be Christmas!

So there’s Betty And The Werewolves, whose debut album Teatime Favourites was out in the summer, Thee Spivs currently getting loads of press coverage for their debut album Taped Up which is out on the 15th November also on DG plus Tender Trap who are on Fortuna POP! but we really like them so why not and special guests who all I can tell you is that they are a band and they make a lot of noise, more than that we’d have to kill you.

So get there early, doors will be at 7.00 and first band on at 7.45, the order will be sorted out on the night by the toss of a coin or a game of dominos.

The free 7” will be for everyone who BUYS a ticket and will have a track from each band.

Tickets are on sale here.

London: 100 Club

Weds 15th Dec, 2010 - 7pm - midnight


Monday, 8 November 2010

Two Jayhawks albums released in expanded form in the new year

Just had this in. Obviously a welcome pair of reissues especially for what's on the second CD of Tomorrow The Green Grass. However you do despair of major labels given that while these may be the first two they released on Sony, they’re not actually the first two Jayhawks albums but their third and fourth. (Everything below is from the press release except the images of The Bunkhouse Record and Blue Earth - now available on Lost Highway and Restless/Ryko).




In the aftermath of The Jayhawks’ founding members Mark Olson and Gary Louris duo album collaboration (2009’s Ready For the Flood) and their subsequent Jayhawks reunion tour activity, interest in the seminal American roots band has been soaring. Last year’s release on Columbia/Legacy of Music From The North Country (a career-spanning double-CD anthology of The Jayhawks, supervised by Louris) came with a promise of future Jayhawks catalog projects to arrive in 2010.

That promise is fulfilled with two new releases that open up worlds of insight into the creative passion of The Jayhawks’ early years:

Hollywood Town Hall, their debut album from 1992, containing the original album’s 10 songs plus five bonus tracks, two of them previously unreleased

Tomorrow The Green Grass: Legacy Edition, the long-awaited follow-up of 1995, now a deluxe double-CD, with the original album’s 13 songs plus five bonus tracks, three of them previously unreleased, along with The Mystery Demos, a second CD featuring 18 tracks recorded by Olson and Louris in 1992, all previously unreleased, the ultimate treasure for collectors and aficionados.

Unraveling the tangled history of the Jayhawks in the first half of the ’90s is a challenge well met by producer George Drakoulias. His liner notes to Hollywood Town Hall describe initial encounters with Louris and Olson in Minneapolis, and re-live, virtually track-by-track, sessions in Los Angeles and the Twin Cities. Accompanying Drakoulias’ detailed account, producer Joe Henry’s original notes to the 1992 pressing are included in the package.

For Tomorrow The Green Grass: Legacy Edition, separate sets of liner notes were also necessary to cover the two CD’s in the package. Covering the original album and bonus tracks on CD one is respected West Coast country-rock scholar Bud Scoppa. Providing an equally astute liner notes essay for CD two’s Mystery Demos is PD Larson, a Minneapolis-based writer who wrote the revealing 2,000-word liner notes essay for last year’s Music From The North Country. Larson (a fan since witnessing the first-ever Jayhawks concert in 1985) painstakingly details the 18 tracks on this package, a representative sampling of the best of ‘The Mystery Demos’ that includes some of the Jayhawks' finest best known songs, including nascent versions used years later in various side projects.

Larson reveals that the so-called “Mystery Demos” were actually two different sessions from 1992: the first with Louris and Olson, taking place at a local studio in Minneapolis in early February 1992; and a second session eight months later in Los Angeles, under the helm of George Drakoulias. A total of 44 different song demos were first unearthed in 2002 by “some long forgotten Jayhawks insider,” of which 11 were cut by The Jayhawks during their existence. Another 11 were used for non-Jayhawks projects, leaving 22 unreleased. “With the release of this special bonus disc,” Larson concludes, “the world at large will get a chance to further share in the unadulterated quintessence that the Mystery Demos represent. Given the quality of some of the remaining unreleased Mystery Demo material – and the fact that Olson and Louris’ collaboration is ongoing – there surely are chapters of this once-mysterious story left to be written.”

The two new packages cap a high-profile year for The Jayhawks that also saw the launch of a new website in June 30th. The website has become a well-traveled portal for up-to-date news releases and touring information, message boards, links, mobile applications, album discography, photography, videos, and merchandise.

Originally issued September 1992

Selections: 1 Waiting For The Sun • 2 Crowded In The Wings • 3 Clouds • 4 Two Angels • 5 Take Me With You (When You Go) • 6 Sister Cry • 7 Settled Down Like Rain • 8 Wichita • 9 Nevada, California • 10 Martin’s Song • Bonus tracks: 11 Leave No Gold • 12 Keith And Quentin • 13 Up Above My Head • 14 Warm River (previously unreleased) • 15 Mother Trust You To Walk To The Store (previously unreleased).

Originally issued February 1995

CD One Tomorrow The Green Grass: 1 Blue • 2 I’d Run Away • 3 Miss Williams’ Guitar • 4 Two Hearts • 5 Real Light • 6 Over My Shoulder • 7 Bad Time • 8 See Him On The Street • 9 Nothing Left To Borrow • 10 Ann Jane • 11 Pray For Me • 12 Red’s Song • 13 Ten Little Kids • Bonus tracks: 14 Tomorrow The Green Grass • 15 You and I (Ba-Ba-Ba) (previously unreleased) • 16 Sweet Hobo Self (previously unreleased) • 17 Last Cigarette • 18 Sleep While You Can (previously unreleased)

CD Two The Mystery Demos: 1 Pray For Me • 2 Won’t Be Coming Home • 3 No Place • 4 Precious Time • 5 Poor Michael’s Boat • 6 Ranch House In Phoenix • 7 Cotton Dress • 8 She Picks The Violets • 9 Bloody Hands • 10 Up Above the River • 11 Over My Shoulder • 12 Blue From Now On (take 2) • 13 Hold Me Close • 14 Turn Your Pretty Name Around • 15 You And I (Ba-Ba-Ba) • 16 Red’s Song • 17 Nothing Left To Borrow • 18 White Shell Road. (All tracks previously unreleased)

Items Received Recently 1

This is a new departure but made necessary by a slight upswing in the amount of material arriving at BoB Towers. It allows press officers etc to see that their offerings have arrived without the necessity of phoning us up. It also lets the wider readership see the kind of stuff that turns up, and conversely what doesn't.

Of this week's list by far the most exciting are the two items from Munster. The wondrous I Knew Buffalo Bill now available on double vinyl. With extra tracks of course and very nice inner sleeves with essays by Jeremy (including his words on the death of Rowland S Howard which originally ran in BoB#74), Andy Bean, and an exert from Nikki Sudden's autobiography. Very well done to all parties.

Also from Munster comes Los Saicos' Demolicion - complete recordings of the 60s Peruvian garagistas who Lindsay Hutton suggests "make The Sonics sound like Simon And Garfunkel".

Jim Moray's always interesting. In Modern History must be his third or fourth album; a mix of traditional tunes like 'Long Lankin' and 'Silver Dagger' and his own variants - 'Spencer The Writer'. I put a video of his take on 'Gilderay' (not on this album)  in a post last week.

Various - Summer Turns To Autumn
Bat Kinane - A Lifetime To Kill
Destructors - Helloween
Wax - Melted
The Unfortunate Sons EP
Old 97s - The Grand Theatre Vol 1
Sool - A Touch Of Sool
The Weisstronauts - In Memphis
Britta Pejic - Backyards That Weren’t There Yesterday
Sparkleberries - Skylight Exchange
Soulbreaker Company - Itaca
Warchetype - Ancestral Cult Of Divinty
Jeremy Gluck - Buffalo Bill vinyl
Los Saicos - Demolicion
Bobby Conn - Rise Up
Jim Moray - In Modern History
San Carter - 'Yellow Sign' – single
The Scene Is Now - Magpie Alarm

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Stuff I've Enjoyed This Week 5

Ange Boxall's album launch at The Lexington

Stuff I've Enjoyed This Week 4

Piers Miller's show of all the talents; James Walbourne, Case Hardin, Celilo, and Rob Sekula's 14 Iced Bears (secret warm-up for the American tour). Good to see Piers with whom BoB may well be doing shows again next year. Also around were Robin Brookes and Tom Horn out of Corolla and Goldwing (both featured on BoB CDs back in the day).

Stuff I've Enjoyed This Week 3

'Monk's Mountain'from Blurry Blue Mountain. Played on Thursday at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

"‘Monks Mountain’ is seven minutes long but every tine I listen to it it sounds like it’s only three and a half. The lyrical content could be anything you want it to be, all the songs are always like that, but my idea was telling the story of where Thelonious Monk got born in North Carolina. The music is nothing like jazz per se, but it’s just weird and the vocals are so hidden in it, you have to lean in to listen. That’s probably my favourite piece, and I still can’t understand what makes that song seem like it goes by so fast."

Howe Gelb, from an interview in Bucketfull Of Brains #76 - Winter 2010

Stuff I've Enjoyed This Week 2

Also at The Drop the fab Boonaraaas!!! Mr Hutton came all the way down from Scotland to see 'em.

Stuff I've Enjoyed This Week 1

Los Explosivos from Mexico played at cracking set at The Drop on Saturday

Friday, 5 November 2010

Advertise in Bucketfull Of Brains #76

#76 is only a short time away from publication. Featuring Chuck Prophet, Terry Edwards, The Posies, and a bunch of others it’ll be the usual fascinating mix.

As ever we could do with a bit more advertising. And just to point out it’s very cheap – starts at £20, and if you have the bits and pieces Terry will knock your advert into shape.

If you’re interested you know where to find us.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

OBFUSCATE REINDEER! Bonfire Evening At Bull & Gate

My old Turning Worm pal and collaborator Piers Miller presents as STUNTFOX

A crazy Guy Fawkes Night hoedown featuring an international smorgasboard of talent.


Over from Portland, Oregon on a whirlwind tour of our beautiful isles with their beautiful songs.


Homegrown country talent play us songs from their latest album Some Tunes For Charlie Spencer.


Great new band featuring some very familiar faces!


Pretenders / Pogues / Son Volt guitarist previews songs from his forthcoming solo release on Heavenly.


I am contractually bound not to tell you who this lot are! Psychedelic indie icons have a run through ahead of their American tour.

Doors 7pm
Entry £6

The Bull And Gate

Redlands Palomino Company at Honky Tonkin' this Sunday - Nov 7th

OK folks hold your noses and bring your smelling salts and hip flasks we're off to The Golden Lion. The Redlands are on this Sunday:


Headlining we have the always winning and ever popular REDLANDS PALOMINO COMPANY. Luckily, they got their rehearsal out of the way at a small South London pub last weekend and very good it was too.

In support we have the excellent old time sound of THE ELY PLAINS who have always impressed and have free singles to give away to anyone who'd like to sign up to their website.

Our DJ is THE NINESTONE COWBOY, the small package that never disappoints.

Now does this sound like something you'd want to miss? No, I didn't think so.

Tunes from 4.30pm, support around 5.45pm, main band 7pm.

Here's an interview with Alex Elton-Wall that was published in the final print issue of Pop Culture Press in 2008


A conversation with Alex Elton-Wall of the Redlands Palomino Company

“We’re doin’ it for the country, we’re doin’ it for GP,
We’re doin’ it for Neil Young and Crazy Horse ‘cos God knows they do it for me!”

In these rousing, crowd-pleasing lines from “Doin’ It For The Country” the English country rockers the Redlands Palomino Company enshrine the curious affinity that UK fans, all the way back to the Zigzag kids in the 70s with their import copies of The Gilded Palace Of Sin, have with American country tunes. That the Redlands can sing this in complete earnest yet with tongue firmly in cheek goes much of the way to explaining their pre-eminence in the circles of English

This remains a relatively small world centred on a network of clubs and venues run by faithful promoters and fans. It’s a world that doesn’t always appreciate its homegrown jewels, especially when the opportunity arises to genuflect before an American, even of middling talent. It speaks volumes that the Redlands’ record label is based in Sydney rather than Acton. Yet they thrive precisely by working in the genre they love while not trying to be what they’re not.

“It would be daft for us with our backgrounds and our nationality to write straight country songs, so we just write about personal experiences.
We love the instrumentation, the sounds, of classic country rock music, but we’ve got to be serious about who we are and where we’re from. If we suddenly start writing songs about American highways and Tennessee we might look like buffoons. You can’t sing about what goes on in Portsmouth ‘cos it would sound silly. If you drove for three days straight here you’d be in the Irish Sea.“

Thus Alex Elton-Wall tells it like it is; frontman Alex, his wife Hannah, pedal steel player David Rothon, and Bassist Rain have been Redlands from the start. Last year they lost drummer Jamie Langham, replaced by the subtle and nuanced Dan Tilbury, and added another guitarist in the multi-talented Tom Bowen. Bowen, who back in the day played in lost Camden band Goldwing, had been searching for a home since the ‘Wing crashed and burned. Everyone knew it was the Redlands but it took a long time for him to get there.

“In hindsight we should have asked him to join the band years ago; it was pretty stupid that we didn’t. We were doing a gig at the 100 Club and we asked him along to the rehearsal to play a few songs and he came and played along to everything. He was able to play all the bits from both of the albums that we couldn’t play live. It took about one rehearsal for us to say come and play the rest of the tour. I think we’ve never sounded better. We’re so used to hearing him play his Telecaster and fantastic lead guitar but he’s a really great acoustic guitarist as well. He’s recently been playing a bit of dobro and when we did some recording, though he’d never picked one up before, he’s playing a banjo parts”.

The Redlands came together nearly eight years ago though they’d begun as indie kids in the mid-90s: “I started playing with a guitarist called Mike Gant and Rain came on board and then Jamie. I was listening to a lot of bog-standard indie music, shoegazing stuff, then Mike started introducing me to Gram, the Byrds, Big Star. He played me record after record. We weren’t really a country band but we played jingly-jangly music and then Rain mentioned he knew a pedal steel player and Mike and I got very excited. Dave came down and played ‘Teach Your Children’ and we were hooked. Dave and we played a few gigs as a five piece and then a four piece and then I met Hannah in 2000 and she came along and did some backing vocals on a couple of tracks live. We quickly realised that she was actually the star of the show and should be asked to join the band on a permanent basis.”

Mike Gant had gone by then, having played his pivotal role. But in Hannah they’d found a voice, a songwriter, and a foil to Alex. Like him she had the instinct to write about what she knew, and the songs that they, separately and together, provided for 2004’s By The Time You Hear This… spoke of real life. Songs about a girl wanting a horse, and a favourite car breaking down, and the joys and pains of love. That record was recorded as and when in 2002 and 2003. The 2002 sessions with ex-Rockingbird Alan Tyler producing. They stuck with Rockingbirds, this time Chris Clarke and Sean Read, for 2007’s Take Me Home, and took the view that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Though noticeably Alex has grown into an accommodation with the roughness in his voice, and allows a natural contrast with his wife’s purity.

Always an excellent live band they have the knack of pulling a crowd that probably doesn’t think it likes country music, and then getting them to come back again. Now they stand on the point of starting their third record:

“It’s going to be the same kind of songs, though we’ll probably do some more acoustic and live sounding material. We won’t necessarily think every song has to be guitar, bass, drums, pedal steel. If a song doesn’t need drums, it won’t have drums. Before Tom it had been the same for so long; it was, ‘I do this. You do that’. I think we’ll be a bit more open about what a particular song needs. Whether it needs to be a full-on country song or a more mellow traditional sounding song, though I say this and it’ll probably all sound the same with screaming guitar solos.”

All photos from The Tapestry Festival 2007

Monday, 1 November 2010

Song By Song Notes from Steve Wynn on Northern Aggression


Song By Song--What's It All About

It seems somehow appropriate to be here in Heilbronn, the home of Edgar Heckmann and my longtime label Blue Rose Records, on the day my latest record is being released in Europe. I’m spending a week here (and being very well fed by his ver...y kind wife Beate) doing interviews for the record and enjoying the active Heilbronn nightlife. Don’t laugh—I can recommend the Tropicana bar the next time you’re in town. Seems like something Warren Zevon would have liked. I hear they make a mean mai tai although I have chosen to stick to the beer. Even with the protective shield that is a heaping bowl of spaetzle (and they do it right in this town), you just can’t be too safe especially when getting into fighting shape for a 4 week tour.

But enough about tropical drinks, doughy treats and even the upcoming tour.-- more about that soon and I do hope that you’ll join us if you’re in the neighborhood or in the mood for a road trip. Let’s talk about Northern Aggression:

The bio/press release/back story is up on the website so let’s cut to the chase and talk about the songs:

RESOLUTION—The first track, the first single, the opening gambit. I had forgotten about this particular tune in the palette of ditties that I brought down to Richmond, Virginia until late one night in the studio when Dave put his foot down and said, “Okay, here’s the thing. We gotta do that song in D, you know the one.” And I did. One take later we had the version that you’ve hopefully already heard. It’s a mission statement, a zen koan. Time is the great equalizer—as is a good droning D chord, of course.

WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT—The Southern tip of the Northern Aggression. Tony Joe White filtered through the Lower East Side, Captain Beefheart strolling through the Bowery. Linda said she tried to deny the funk but, as you can hear, that was impossible. What’s it all about, Alfie? Well, shine a light deep into the dark recesses, the cracks that nobody can see and the most interesting things arise. And then? Shut off the light and don’t tell anyone what you saw.

NO ONE EVER DROWNS—I wrote this when I was 20 years old (one year before forming the Dream Syndicate) for a band a band called Goat Deity, which was me and two sisters who went on to form Wednesday Week. We played it at our only gig, which took place in their mother’s living room. The song was never recorded in any way but somehow I remembered the music and lyrics 30 years later and it just seemed like this was the time, place and record in which it was time for some dusting and preening. A statement of defiance and bruised optimism from a precocious kid, barely out of his teens

CONSIDER THE SOURCE—Had this bit of music floating around since around the time of “Static Transmission.” Never could find the right words or story to tell. But in the laboratory that was the recording of my third album with the Miracle 3 I decided to give it a shot. I sat down at a Wurlitzer electric piano and just started playing. The band caught all of the changes on the fly, I made up the lyrics on the spot (it’s a live vocal, thank you) and amazingly enough my fingers never flubbed on the 88’s. That’s Jason on organ (the guitar solo was overdubbed). Yep, so much for Guitar Rock, although Jason says this is his favorite recorded solo.

COLORED LIGHTS—More on topic, this is us doing that Miracle 3 thing. Hazy psychedelia, riffs galore and a rave-up at the end. It’s what we do, man! Van Morrison said something about not pulling punches or pulling a river. But he said it more quietly. Oh, and I have always loved colored lights. I guess it’s some kind of visual Ritalin.

THE DEATH OF DONNY B—Okay, here’s the deal. I didn’t write this. But I don’t know who DID write it either. Jason discovered it as the soundtrack of a short, early 70s film on YouTube not long before we went into the studio and it became our mutual obsession for weeks. What a great film! What a great song. And late one night in Richmond we decided to record it just for kicks. Once again, a live performance, a live vocal, one take bit of magic. And, best yet, it was all documented on film by our friend Ford Loving. Go ahead, type in the title on YouTube. You might get the original film or you might get our version and they’re both worth your internet time over a cup or two of strong coffee.

THE OTHER SIDE—My bandmates don’t understand—nay, are somewhat repelled by my not so guilty pleasure enthusiasm for the occasional endless live jam bootleg documentation of the Allman Brothers and/or Grateful Dead. More about that at another time but I knew that I had to sneak this one by them by wrapping it up in Television wrapping paper and it does feel like the improbably link between Jerry Garcia and Tom Verlaine. Can you imagine the band they might have had together? The song was inspired by a duo show that Jason and I played in Austin at South By Southwest a few years ago. The rains nearly washed the show away before giving way to bright sunlight and some kind of low-grade epiphany that became this song. It’s all about transcendence; it’s all about breaking on through. It’s all about the other side.

CLOUD SPLITTER—I was going to call this “Jihadist Dream” but knew that was just looking for trouble. But it also might give some clue to this opaque pop tune. Animals tell us all kinds of things but they’re also sometimes an unreliable narrator, practical jokers, not always concerned with our best interests. Can we touch the sky? Maybe, just maybe—go ahead and give it a shot.

ST. MILLWOOD—Another song with an alternate title, “I Brought My Own Sorrow” which tells you all you need to know. Or maybe if I tell you that I had considered “Grief Tourism” as an album title, well you might get the idea. Or how about Emotional Ambulance Chasers? I’ve got a million of ‘em. Stephen McCarthy’s pedal steel work on this one brings me to tears every time.

ON THE MEND—Wrote this one in a Ljubljana hotel room, singing all of the various jam rock riffs into my tape recorder (a cassette, no less!) I think this song could have gone on for another 20 minutes and might do just that when we bring it to a stage near you. It’s a story I’ve told many times before—the dark side of recovery and rehabilitation but I’ve never set it to something that could have been a Dennis Coffey out-take. I’ve never played it live (which is true for almost every song on this record, actually) but if I was a betting man, I would bet on this being one of the highlights of the upcoming tour.

RIBBONS AND CHAINS—And ending it all on a happy note, the unexpected Hollywood Ending. It turns out that everything that rises really truly absolutely must resolve and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. For all of the desire to shape, mold, move, steer, deny and dissolve, you usually just end up where you started. With more miles, a few weathered cracks, a couple of jokes and the path and directions to begin the next circle or two.

Lifted from Steve's Facebook page