Friday, July 05, 2013

Music Library: Halo Benders, Hampton Grease Band, Emmylou Harris, George Harrison, Harvey Danger, Harvey Milk, Hawkwind, Hayden, Isaac Hayes, Jimi Hendrix, Judy Henske and Jerry Yester

Harvey Milk

Continuing with the catching of up with my current position. I'm actually finishing up the Ss at the moment with Sun Ra and Superchunk (and a handful of others), but I still have to catch up here on the blog with odds and ends and then go through the Rs and Ss. Here's some more albums passed over or acquired after I covered them alphabetically.

The Halo Benders - God Don't Make No Junk (1994), Don't Tell Me Now (1996), and The Rebels Not In (1998). These three albums are collaborations between Calvin Johnson of Beat Happening and Doug Martsch of Built To Spill. Unfortunately, both of these guys have pretty clear-cut aesthetics which never quite gel on these albums. That said, there are some pretty sublime moments.

The Hampton Grease Band - Music To Eat (1971). Southern boys led by Col. Bruce Hampton (Ret.) -- who is not a real Colonel, mind you, and chose many of his lyrics in the most bizarre and random ways possible -- attempt to blend the Allman Brothers jam-all-night model with some Zappa-slash-Beefheartian surrealism. Heady stuff that doesn't come together sometimes, which is part of the general idea behind these guys.

Emmylou Harris - Elite Hotel (1975) and Luxury Liner (1977). Two albums I've had on vinyl forever. This is some of Emmylou at her finest.

George Harrison - All Things Must Pass (1970). With no one to hold him back, Harrison overstuffs this album. The high points ("Isn't It A Pity?," "What Is Life?") are pretty much the best songs he ever wrote, though.

Harvey Danger - Demo Tape (1994). Apparently sold by the band at shows when they were trying to secure a label. Interesting, literate stuff.

Harvey Milk - The Singles (1995) and The Pleaser (1997). The Singles collects singles, as it suggests, from the early part of Harvey Milk's career, and the results are predictably up-and-down. The Pleaser has the band drop the drone and drudge and crank out some ZZ Top-style boogie, and it is freakin' amazing, pretty much the equal of their artier efforts.

Hawkwind - The Spirit of the Age (compilation, 1988). Pretty good compilation of their tracks. I'm certainly no expert, but it makes me want to seek out more.

Hayden - Everything I Long For (1995). Folky Canadian indie-rocker moping around a bit.

Isaac Hayes - Presenting Isaac Hayes (1967). This ain't no Hot Buttered Soul, but it is an okay indication of things to come.

Jimi Hendrix - First Rays (Re-Mix by John Scannell) (recorded 1970). This is a thing that popped up on the Internet where Mr. Scannell attempts to organize the recorded tracks for Hendrix's unfinished next album into something coherent. Scannell succeeds, because this is a fascinating listen.

Judy Henske and Jerry Yester - Farewell Aldebaran (1969). Fascinating acid-damaged West Coast folk-rock from the late 60s. First heard a track from them on an Oxford American sampler and I had to hear more.


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