(OCTOBER PODCAST 128kbps 17mb file)
2006 ISSUE #88
Country Soul: 35th Anniversary Collector's Edition Time Life
21 song DVD
Film by Albert Ihde
This is one of those things I love to see come across
my desk. TimeLife has re-released this legendary documentary from
the 1971 bluegrass festival in Camp Springs, North Carolina. It's
an incredible slice of life, featuring not only legendary bluegrass
musicians, but also the people that followed and appreciated them.
More than 20 performances are presented here, among
them are the likes of Ralph Stanley, Jimmy Martin, Del McCoury,
Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs, a young Ricky Scaggs, and even the Japanese
bluegrass group Bluegrass 45. This, in and of itself, is reason
enough to track this DVD down, yet it is even more compelling
for another reason.
We also get a look behind the stage, where the performers
interact and play with members of the audience. This is a festival
in the truest sense, where all the barriers (literally and figuratively)
have been removed. You get a sense that this particular happening
was all about the love of music, both from the perspective of
the artists and the fans. The documentary does a great job of
displaying this love, showing that music can rise above the cliche
and truly bring people together.
MISH MASH Mandate: In A Big Country
- Restless Records
- 12 Song CD
The first question you may ask is: WHY? Why
would a host of aging heavy metal musicians do a tribute to
The Beatles? I don't have the answer to that particular inquiry,
but I do have an obligation to listen to such a curiosity
and report back to you, my faithful readers.
My first reaction is understandably somewhat
hesitant. Alice Cooper singing Hey Bulldog?
Lemmy Kilmister singing Back In The USSR? Billy
Idol, Tommy Shaw, Geoff Tate, and C.C. Deville contributing
their talents to this strange compliation? It's enough to
make anyone question the sanity of whoever put this wheel
in motion. This should be a recipe for disaster.
Surprisingly, it is not completely awful. At
the very least, it occasionally rises above mediocrity into
something approaching good. And, let's be honest, it is intriguing
simply because of its inherent badness as an idea in general.
But, as you know, this is never quite enough to warrant more
than one listen.
Where does it go wrong? The main problem is
that most of the songs are note-for-note takes on the original
Beatles' tunes, only with more volume. Instead of actual metal
interpretations (which could be interesting), we basically
get louder versions with nothing new brought to the table.
Therefore, the first and most important rule of covering a
song has been broken: make the song your own, and don't simply
do a rehash. Admittedly, that's a tall order with a Beatles
Where does it go right? I do like a few tunes,
one of which surprises even myself---Billy Idol and Steve Stevens'
take on Tomorrow Never Knows. It brings along
just enough of the original and injects it with Idol's trademark
pout and preen to make it shine. It sounds like Idol was putting
his best into it, and it comes through in the end. The same
could be said of Doug Pinnick's (Kings X) rendition of Taxman,
which features the underrated Steve Lukather on guitar.
MISH MASH Mandate: Meat The Beatles
Restless Records Website
HEY BANDS! OPEN YOUR ONLINE T-SHIRT
SHOP FOR FREE!
Fight Or Flight?
12 song CD
TRACK = I DON'T WANT YOU TO LOVE ME
Wow! What else can you say when you're just totally blown away?
Kellylee Evans has released one of the most soulful, inspiring records
I've heard in a long, long time. She has a confident, powerful voice
which harkens back to the golden age of jazz---a voice which commands
attention like a virtuoso instrumentalist. The sound is modern and
global in its reach, yet solidly based in the inspiration of the
Evans twists and turns her songs with exotic flair, never allowing
complacency to set in. Her voice dips and rises dynamically, riding
along with the beat, staying in control, but never overbearing.
She knows how to use a melody to her advantage, drawing the listener
in with heartfelt and subtle moves and never relying on histrionics.
This approach works best in I Don't Want You To Love Me, a song
which begins with an Eastern-tinged intro and quickly segues into
a tight Latin flavored rhythmic steamroller. By the end of this
one, she has the listener in the palm of her hand.
MISH MASH Mandate: Jazzilicious
Kellylee Evans Website
15 song CD
TRACK = FEELINGS (NO FEELINGS)
So much has been said about the Sex Pistols over the years, that's
it's almost impossible to add to their colorful history or infamy.
That is, until now.
Spunk is an "official" re-release of a bootleg of early
demos (which eventually became their ground-breaking punk album Never
Mind The Bullocks...), featuring original pre-Vicious bassist Glen
So how does Spunk fare against its more famous offspring? Simply
put, it is rawer, louder, and overflowing with an attitude that
is somewhat missing on Bullocks. This one actually sounds like a
"real" punk record in comparison, even though in reality
it is probably just as contrived as anything else that our beloved
Pistols ever did. In other words, it's got guilty pleasure written
all over it, and you'll love every snotty second of it.
MISH MASH Mandate: Punks R Us
Sanctuary Records Website
Disco Fuzz Records
11 song CD
TRACK = SEASON OF THE WITCH
The Problem exhibits a fine understanding of what made indie guitar
rock so huge back in the 80s: guitars, guitars and more guitars,
stacked on top of each other into an awesome wall of sound. Their
approach is driving and droning, with just the right amount of anger
and misplaced angst to make it stick.
Thankfully they avoid all the pitfalls of emo rock, relying on
garage rock hooks instead of mere whinery to carry the weight of
their tunes. In other words, these guys rock instead of just pretending
to. One listen to a manic track like Killing It To Death will attest
to that. I can only imagine that they really rip it up in their
live shows when their studio tracks are this intense.
They are even bold enough to tackle The B-52's 52 Girls, shaking
it up with pure garage rock abandon. Can't argue with that.
MISH MASH Mandate: Psychotic Reaction
The Problem Website
The Vulcan Freedom
21 song CD
TRACK = ROMULAN DIVIDE
You can't get much geekier than this: a tribute celebrating the
40th anniversary of the original Star Trek TV series, as presented
by a Spain-based duo who call themselves The Vulcan Freedom Fighters.
Set your photons to Ultra Dweeb, captain!
The music is expectedly electronic prog-rock in nature, and is
accentuated with sampled sound bites from the TV series, along
with samples from a host of classic rock bands. The result is
a crazed collage of music and sound snippets which lack any real
narrative flow, but still somehow makes sense in its own special
way. I can almost picture Trekkers sitting enraptured, trying
to identify in which show the various sound bites originated.
MISH MASH Mandate: Dammit, Jim
The Vulcan Freedom Fighters Website
13 song CD
Jupiter jumps headlong into their unique blend of indie garage rock,
and they never look back. They approach their music with a twisted
sense of humor, but they can pack it with a wallop that can
sometimes leave a sting.
The band's sound goes into a hundred different directions, exploring
a number of pop rock genres, never quite settling into a single
style. Sometimes dark and moody, sometimes light and airy, Jupiter
careens along this unplanned route without pause. While it lacks
an overall focus, it certainly is an exciting ride to take. By the
end, you know you've been on adventure, even if you have no idea
of where you've been.
MISH MASH Mandate: What A Long Strange
Trip It's Been
and The Swede
and The Swede
9 song CD
And The Swede is the chosen moniker of solo artist Matthew William
Kohnle, who wrote, recorded and performed the songs on the disc
by himself. His style is sedate and subdued, found somewhere between
the quiet depression of Joe Pernice and the understated other-worldliness
of Pink Floyd.
The album finds its power in solitude, a feeling gently pushed
along by half-whispered vocals and a sparse musical landscape.
It's an emptiness which is close and personal, not distant, adding
weight with each musical passage. Yes, it is bitter, but at the
same time brilliant.
MISH MASH Mandate: The Bitterest Pill
Shoddy Merchandise Website
15 song CD
If you require style and sophistication in your next musical choice,
then look no further than Kriztal's latest compilation, more pLUSH.
Once again, they have managed to bring together some of the finest
smooth underground electronic jazz music into one sleek package.
Put this one on at your next dinner party, and your friends will
marvel at your obvious good taste in music. The collection brings
together a diverse group of acid jazz artists who embrace the
hip lounge sounds of yesteryear, updated and modulated for the
modern sophisticate. At times you'll want to pour a drink and
sit back, and at others you'll want to find the closest dance
partner and make a few moves on the floor. This is the good life.
MISH MASH Mandate: The In Sound From Way Out
Live A Little
12 song CD
Perhaps I'm setting the bar a little too high, but for some reason
I'm slightly disappointed with the latest offering from Joe Pernice.
I have to admit, it's partially my fault, because I approach each new Pernice
album automatically assuming that I will fall in love with it at
first listen. This time, I'm left wondering how long it will take
to find that spark of love.
With that in mind, I can't help but feel that Pernice may be trying
a little too hard to make this one work. The elements that make
his songs great (in spite of themselves) are all there---the pessimism,
the self-deprecation, the solitude, the Morrissey-inspired catchy
pop---yet I'm left with the notion that Pernice's heart isn't in
the half-heartedness. Could it be that he's found his happiness
after all, and this a failed attempt to hide it? Say it ain't so!
MISH MASH Mandate: Walking On Sunshine
Pernice Brothers Website
© 2006 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved