alice cooper - killer

Alice Cooper: Killer (1971)

(Yeah, we’re out of sequence but I recently picked this up at the record shop and needed a Beatles break, so even though the As are done here’s a welcome diversion) 

I grew up knowing about Alice Cooper rather than listening to Alice Cooper.  You couldn’t get away from that visage, the Welcome to My Nightmare look that’s been a staple of the man/the band for so many decades now.  But behind the paint and the Grand Guignol theatrics has always lay a band that could rock with the best of them and Killer demonstrates how versatile the entity that was/is Alice Cooper could be. Continue reading “Alice Cooper: Killer (1971)”

beatles - let it be, let it be naked

The Beatles: Let It Be/Let It Be…Naked (1970/2003)

Let It Be feels like the loose, shaggy dog of The Beatles catalog.  Recorded before but released after Abbey Road, the stories behind the album – the acrimony between the band, the various (and rejected) Glyn Johns, the final polish by “wall of sound” producer Phil Spector and eventual release after the Beatles officially broke up – all of this overshadows the original intent: that of four guys getting back to their roots, playing together the kind of rattling rock and roll they loved in the beginning.  Continue reading “The Beatles: Let It Be/Let It Be…Naked (1970/2003)”

AC/DC, Alcest, and Music That Hurts

It’s probably not a shocking revelation that as I’ve been doing this project I’ve also been buying music.  Since it’s still in its infancy, the chances of picking up an album that would have already been reviewed is small.  But it does and did happen, so I wanted to take the time to spend a few words on two recent purchases: Highway to Hell from AC/DC and the debut full-length from Alcest, Souvenirs d’un autre monde.  Over the short course of writing this, it turned into something else. Continue reading “AC/DC, Alcest, and Music That Hurts”

armageddon

Armageddon: Armageddon (1975)

One of the best things Decibel Magazine ever gave the world was Scott Seward’s Filthy 50: a collection/ranking of 50 of the best proto-metal/stoner rock albums.  I was only aware of a handful of the more popular bands (Cactus, Grand Funk Railroad) so to have my ears opened to the fuzz-blown wonders of bands like the Groundhogs, Dust, Toe Fat, and the great Armageddon was like a gift from the sticky bud gods of yesteryear.  We’ll definitely be checking a few of the bands from the list later in this journey, but for now let’s talk a bit about the band’s one and only album, 1975’s Armageddon. Continue reading “Armageddon: Armageddon (1975)”

angola 70s

Angola 70s: 1972-1973 (2000)

I don’t remember how I came across this disc, but Buda Musique’s collection of Angolan pop is a goldmine of incredible music.  Angola 70s: 1972-1973 provides a great starting place to hear traditional Angolan semba music and its commonalities and differences with other popular music.  There’s a lot to consider in the upbeat melodies considering the history of the music as a form of rebellion against Portuguese rule in prior to the country’s independence in 1975.  Continue reading “Angola 70s: 1972-1973 (2000)”

allman brothers - brothers and sisters

The Allman Brothers: Brothers and Sisters (1973)

My brother and I were recently debating the whole “Southern Rock” thing as we drove through Brooklyn record shopping.  His tastes run along the classic, laid back chill rock bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker band typify; I run more Little Feat (basically give me anything with Lowell George).  But one band we could both agree on was The Allman Brothers, and when it came to naming an album we both immediately agreed on Brothers and Sisters.  With one foot firmly planted in southern country there’s enough blues and rock to keep anyone happy, even if “Ramblin’ Man” wasn’t on it.  Continue reading “The Allman Brothers: Brothers and Sisters (1973)”

alfonso lovo - la gigantona

Alfonso Lovo: La Gigantona (1976)

And so we come to the first album I own but have never listened to.  La Gigantona, an obscure album from Nicaraguan guitarist Alfonso Lovo was a blind buy, part of a binge of records from the Numero Group when they had a killer $5 sale on compact discs.  And I’m happy to report that the compilation is fantastic, offering a wide range of tracks from solo classical tracks to straight up funk explorations and extended latin jazz jams that cross the universe and back again.  All that plus a fat booklet of liner notes that flesh out the extraordinary life of Lovo and the music contained on the disc. Continue reading “Alfonso Lovo: La Gigantona (1976)”