Music Library: Beasts of Bourbon, Beefheart, Charlie Hunter, Commander Cody, Earth, Eno Moebius Roedelius, Jerry Lee Lewis
Continuing with catch-up of artists I have already passed alphabetically. I'm still on John Coltrane in the main thrust of this project, but listening to too much Coltrane back-to-back has a staring-at-the-sun vibe, so I'm trying to mitigate that by doing these catch-up posts and a few Xmas posts.
Beasts of Bourbon - The Axeman's Jazz (1984). Australian cowpunk band that does a great cover of Leon Payne's "Psycho." I had a copy of "Psycho" already but when I saw a copy of this album online, I snatched it up. It's pretty decent, somewhere between bar-band country-rock and Stones-y swagger.
Captain Beefheart - Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (1978). This album was noticeably absent when I reviewed Beefheart back in April. I picked it up a while back, but I'm just getting around to reviewing it now. But it's first-rate Beefheart. I like it as much or maybe even more than Doc At The Radar Station. It's upset my Beefheart heirarchy! Of course, there's nothing wrong with that. I suspect even Beefheart would approve.
Charlie Hunter/Charlie Hunter Trio - Copperopolis (2006), Mistico (2007), and Baboon Strength (2008). Hunter's a talented and creative guitarist with a silly streak that leads to light-hearted funk-jazz. It's a bit on the jammy side for me in large doses, but quite alright in smaller ones.
Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen - Lost In The Ozone (1971). They may have come from Michigan, but Commander Cody and his cohort were Texas-style cosmic cowboys of the first order. This album mixed country, rock, rockabilly, and Western Swing with an irreverent sense of humor and some genuine country pathos. I like that they transition from the country lament-with-a-hippie-twist "Seed and Stems (Again)" to the traditional track "Family Bible" in a mere two steps. And their version of "Hot Rod Lincoln" is pretty definitive.
Earth - Extra-Capsular Extraction EP (1991). There's elements of drone here, especially in "Ouroborus Is Broken," a track that Earth would re-record for 2007's Hibernaculum. But the two-part first track (first two of three on this EP, that is) is surprisingly rocking and sounds like fairly standard doom metal. Not that there's anything wrong with this, but Earth seems so committed to the drone from the beginning that the drums and vocals and rock riffage are a little unexpected to a fan like me of their subsequent work.
Eno Moebius Redelius - After the Heat (1978). This is Brian Eno with members of Cluster doing that ambient thing they do so well. Eno sings on several tracks here, which is surprising. Holger Czukay of Can provides bass for "Tzima N'Arki," which also features a backwards tape of Eno's vocal line from the chorus of "King's Lead Hat."
Jerry Lee Lewis - Who's Gonna Play this Old Piano (1972) and Sometimes A Memory Ain't Enough (1973). A couple of countrypolitan albums from the early 70s. Not as great as "What's Made Milwaukee Famous," but what the hell is? Also, he may The Killer, but I find myself wishing that he'd refrain from referring to himself in the third person just every now and then. What am I saying? I'm just happy that he's Jerry Lee and knows it.